Englishour and the IELTS exam

What is IELTS? 

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and it is an English language exam designed by Cambridge, The British Council, and IDP.

Who is the exam for? 

The exam is suitable for English Students at all levels, and even native English speakers often take it as part of immigration requirements.

You cannot fail IELTS. It is scored on a scale of one to nine. If you have prepared enough for the exam itself, then your score will reflect your level of English.

Why do the IELTS? 

IELTS is an internationally recognised certificate. The exam is usually taken by students who are interested in emigrating to Canada or Australia, or who want to study in a university that accepts IELTS.

How long is the IELTS certificate valid for? 

Every organisation has its own rules for how long it accepts exam scores for, and the same rules tend to apply to all the exams it accepts, regardless of whether it is IELTS, CAE or another exam.
The official “expiration date” of the certificate usually doesn’t matter. So, it’s important to find out what the policies are of the place where you want to apply. 

What does it involve?

There are four sections: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The first three of these are always done on the same day in one sitting while the speaking test may be on a different day.  

How is it different from other exams? 

IELTS was originally designed to be an English language exam for prospective university students, and so it tests skills that are relevant to university students. For example, in the reading test you must be able to read a long text quickly to find specific information on a given subject, and in the listening test you must be able to catch information in a lecture that you only hear once.  

How do I prepare? 

First you learn English, then you learn the exam. 


There are three texts of about 900 words each and you have 60 minutes to answer 40 questions. The first section is easiest and then they become increasingly difficult, but every question is worth equal marks. As with any exam, you improve your reading score by improving your English level. Key IELTS preparation skills to focus on for the reading exam include time management and scanning the text for specific information.


The listening test lasts 40 minutes. There are four listenings. Like the reading test, they increase in difficulty as you go on. Part 4 is always a lecture on an academic topic. Key skills to focus on include reading exam questions quickly to find key words and understanding different accents. There is usually Australian accent and an English accent, but along with those you could hear any accent in the world.


The writing test lasts an hour, there are two writing tasks.  

Task 1 asks you to describe an image of some kind. It could be a map, a diagram, a bar chart, a pie chart, a table, a trend graph, or a combination of any of these. You must write around 150 words in 20 minutes. It is worth 33% of your score so it should take up 33% of your time. Key skills to focus on include usage of academic language, summarising factual information and usage of language for comparing and contrasting.  

Task 2, is always a formal essay where you explain a viewpoint or viewpoints. You must write about 250 words in 40 minutes it is worth 66% of your score. Key skills to focus on include usage of academic language and organising a persuasive essay.


The speaking test lasts about 14 minutes. It is just you and the examiner, and there are 3 parts. In Part 1 the examiner asks you questions about yourself and in Part 3 they ask you questions about society and the world at large. In Part 2 you are given a topic that you prepare for 1 minute and then talk uninterrupted for about for 2 minutes. This topic is always on something personal from your own life. For example, an area of natural beauty you have visited. Key skills to focus on include presentation skills and pronunciation.

I’m in an intermediate class, but I need an IELTS 6.5! What do I do? 

Study like crazy! Even if you need an advanced score, it’s never a good idea to try to skip an English level. An intermediate level mistake will have more of a negative impact on your score than an advanced level mistake. You won’t be able to get a 6.5 if you do not have a very good grasp of elementary, intermediate and upper-intermediate grammar and vocabulary. 

 What is “General IELTS”?

All of the above was written with the original IELTS in mind, which is now known as “Academic IELTS”. A second version of IELTS has been developed, and so now both “General IELTS” and “Academic IELTS” exams exist. However, the “General IELTS” exam still tests academic reading skills (e.g. finding information quickly rather than intensive reading for understanding), and the listening and speaking sections are identical. The difference is that the texts on the General IELTS reading are chosen from less academic topics, and that the writing task 1 is a letter or email instead of a description of a diagram.  

 I’m convinced! How do I sign up for IELTS preparation?

Englishour has regular IELTS preparation integrated into its syllabus, as well as teaching you essential skills throughout your course. If you would like to do a practice test at any time you can enquire at the office or by emailing exams@englishour.ie

Can I book my IELTS exam? 

Email exams@englishour.ie for extra information or support around IELTS, or to talk about booking an exam.  

By Rebecca Bourke.

Englishour competition – the winner

In our ‘How has the pandemic affected us?’ competition, our winner was this short film by Ana Martin.

We chose this film as our winner as it had the biggest impact on us from the entries received. We felt that the film was beautifully shot and very creatively done. We liked the voiceover Ana did, and the content of her script. We felt the the film illustrated very well how the pandemic felt to young people living in Dublin during this time.

Englishour Competition

People and nature

In February, we had a competition open to all Englishour students.

The title was ‘How has the pandemic affected us? Perhaps not at all’. We asked students to submit art on this theme, an essay, a poem, a song or a film. We were thrilled to receive such talented entries and the judging process was not easy.Here, you can see our second place entry, ‘How we look at nature’ by Dana Heine. We chose this delicate watercolour as our second prize winner, because it was so beautiful and also because it said so much about the target theme.

Dealing with COVID-19

What do I do if I have flu-like symptoms / fever?


– Stay home and mind yourself
– Avoid other people
– Drink lots of water
– Take pain killers / fever medication (ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol)

What if I think this might be COVID-19?

– Do not go to the GP or Emergency Room
– Phone your GP (Click here if you don’t have a GP yet)
– Phone HSE live: 1850 24 1850 they will give advice or send someone to your home to test you
– If HSE live do not answer, or you have very bad symptoms, call 112 or 999, they’ll ask “which service…?”, say “ambulance”, then talk to the ambulance person and explain the situation.

Would the state medical system help me? (HSE)

– Yes, all residents are entitled to medical treatment (Check out Citizens Information for more info.)
– You can never be refused necessary treatment
– For non-EU students the charges can be high but it should be covered by your insurance
– They do not ask about your visa status but to calculate costs they might want to check you are a resident

What if I need a doctor for some other reason (not COVID-19) ?

– GPs are the best.

What if it’s the middle of the night and I need a doctor for some other reason (not COVID-19)?

– You can see a doctor out of hours. Find the local service for your area on this page  (This type of doctor’s visit generally costs 50 to 70 Euro. If the doctor thinks you need to go to the hospital he will give you a “referral”.)

Should I go to the Emergency Department (ED)?

– Do not go to the Emergency department right now if you have fever and cough or if you think you have COVID-19.
– Emergencies are generally things like a broken leg or a burst appendix. Here’s a list of situations when we should go to the emergency department.

Be cautious not anxious!

Learning English in Dublin grows in popularity

More and more students from around the world are learning English in Dublin as the Irish capital’s reputation for good schools such as Englishour continues to grow.


Are there good schools for learning English in Dublin? (¿Hay buenas escuelas para aprender inglés en Dublín?; Existem boas escolas para aprender inglês em Dublin?; Ci sono buone scuole per imparare l’inglese a Dublino?)


Yes, Dublin has become one of the most attractive places for foreign students to study in, thanks to a large number of good quality English language schools.


Where can I learn English in Dublin?


Schools such as Englishour offer the very best English language teaching because they are smaller and provide more personalised classes to students as well as one-on-one tuition.


Where is the best place to learn English in Ireland and the United Kingdom?


Dublin is now recognised worldwide as a centre of excellence for learning English as a foreign language. The city is also very welcoming to students and presents plenty of opportunities for working – and having fun.


¿Dónde se puede aprender inglés en Irlanda?


Dublín es un excelente lugar para estudiar, ya que ofrece a los estudiantes enseñanza de alta calidad y oportunidades de trabajo.


Onde se pode aprender inglês na Irlanda?


Dublin é um excelente lugar para estudar, pois oferece aos alunos ensino de alta qualidade e oportunidades de trabalho.


Dove puoi imparare l’inglese in Irlanda?


Dublino è un luogo eccellente in cui studiare in quanto offre agli studenti insegnamenti di alta qualità e opportunità di lavoro.


Name a good English language school in Ireland.


Englishour continues to build on its excellent reputation around the world for providing the best in English language teaching.


¿Cuáles son las mejores escuelas de idiomas en Dublín? (Quais são as melhores escolas de idiomas em Dublin? Quali sono le migliori scuole di lingua a Dublino?)


Englishour in Dublin city centre is widely recognised for providing high-quality English lessons to foreign students. Its team of professional and passionate teachers will teach you how to speak English very comfortably in formal work situations and in your daily lives.


Do all English language schools in Ireland and the UK have exams as part of their courses?


At Englishour, we help all our students prepare for the exams that they must take when their course is complete: Cambridge, IELTS, TEOIC or TIE. We do this by working in one-to-one situations while you are studying.


Do English schools in Dublin find accommodation for foreign students?


Englishour provides places to live throughout the city for its students. We use a mix of host families and residences.


Are English-teaching schools in Ireland regulated?


Schools should be accredited and have ‘quality marks’ from the Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS) or Marketing English in Ireland (MEI). Englishour is recognised by both.


How do you know if an English language school in Ireland is ‘good’?


Englishour prides itself on being able to work closely with every single student who enrolls with us. Our teachers are extremely passionate about what they do and work very hard to ensure that students excel.


Is Dublin a fun city to learn English in?


The city is known for being very friendly and foreign students who come here to learn English always enjoy and say it’s hard to leave.


Where is Englishour located?


Englishour now has three locations in Dublin city centre, making it easily accessible for all students in the city.


To find out more about learning English as a foreign language in Ireland, go here. You can also phone us directly on +35318786333, email the team on info@englishour.ie or go here.

The 12 idioms of Christmas

The 12 idioms of Christmas: popular English phrases explained

People all over the world use ‘idioms’ to express everyday thoughts. Here we explain some of the more common – and fun – ones used in English at Christmastime


“Has the cat got your tongue?” “Yes, when pigs fly!” “It’s all Greek to me!”


Idioms are short phrases in English and other languages that don’t actually mean what they say, but convey a very different meaning. You have probably heard the above phrases before, but do you know what they mean? (We’ll tell you at the end of this article if you don’t.)


For example, if your friend says, “Let’s paint the town red!”, he or she does not mean you should buy red paint and brushes and sneak around Dublin painting all the buildings red. It means: “Let’s go out and have some fun.” (The term comes from the times when celebrating included lighting fires outside at night.)


Another fun example is if someone says it was raining cats and dogs last night – an idiom you might hear in Dublin a lot. It doesn’t mean that there were family pets falling from the sky, but that it was raining very heavily.


As you can see from the above examples, idioms often tend to be fun. They are also really good to know if you want to become a better English speaker. Idioms are something we focus on in our classes here in Englishour.


Here are some English idioms and other common phrases you might hear in Ireland at Christmas:


  1. Like turkeys voting for an early Christmas: This means that someone is choosing to do something which will not be good for them. After all, where do turkeys end usually end up on Christmas Day in Ireland?


  1. Good things come in small packages: If something or someone is small, they can still be very good. In other words, size is not important. This applies to Christmas presents too.


  1. Stocking stuffer/filler: This is a small Christmas gift brought by Santa Claus which can be put in the traditional stocking left at chimneys by children on Christmas Eve. It has nothing to do with women’s legs and tights!


  1. To beat the holiday blues: Often at times like Christmas, people feel lonely or sad (‘blue’) because they miss family or friends. ‘Beating the holiday blues’ means cheering yourself up by doing positive things.


  1. Deck the halls (with boughs of holly): This means to brighten up your home or workplace with Christmas decorations. Holly is a bush with green leaves, white flowers and red berries whose ‘boughs’ (branches) are used as decoration at Christmas.


  1. It’s the thought that counts: This refers to Christmas presents you receive. It means that it is not the value of the gift that matters, but the fact that someone bought you one in the first place.


  1. Kissing under the mistletoe: Mistletoe is a green plant which, like holly, is used as a decoration at Christmas. People used to kiss under it in ancient times as a way of welcoming someone. Now it is just for lovers!


  1. To light up like a Christmas tree: This means that someone has dressed up in their fanciest clothes. These days, in Ireland, as you may have noticed people tend to light up like a Christmas tree by wearing Christmas jumpers.


  1. Tis the season to be jolly: This phrase is used at Christmas to make people feel happy or jolly. The month of December is about celebrating the past year and looking forward to the next one.


  1. ‘Bah! Humbug!’: This is a way of complaining about someone who doesn’t ‘enter into the Christmas spirit’. The phrase was most famously used by Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. A ‘humbug’ is an unpleasant, deceitful or grumpy person; ‘Bah!’ is a way of dismissing them.


  1. The 12 Days of Christmas: In Christian tradition, this is the period of time between the birth of Jesus (December 25th) and the arrival of the Three Wise Men or ‘Magi’ (January 6th). It is also the title of a famous English carol (Christmas song or hymn).


  1. To ring in the New Year: This refers to the sounds of bells that are heard at midnight on December 31st as the coming of the New Year is celebrated.

And finally: ‘Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last’ is not an idiom but a line from the famous Christmas song, Fairytale of New York, sung by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl. The male protagonist is fighting with his partner, saying he can’t be happy with her at Christmas (‘arse’, a crude term for bottom, is here used like a curse) and hopes they break up.


But don’t worry! The song ends on a happier note as he sings to her:


“Can’t make it all alone,

I’ve built my dreams around you.”


Happy holidays to all our students, past, present and future!


And those idioms from the start:

“Has the cat got your tongue?”: Used when someone is refusing to talk or make a comment on a situation.

“Yes, when pigs fly!”: Used when something will clearly never happen.

“It’s all Greek to me!”: Used when someone can’t understand anything.


To find out more about studying in Dublin and the opportunities offered by Englishour, go here. You can also phone the school on +35318786333, email us on info@englishour.ie or click here.

English History Facts: How the Black Death saved phrasal verbs

English History Facts: How the Black Death saved phrasal verbs Image

To understand the English we use today, we need to walk through some of English History Facts

It is a story of death and elitism but from these murky beginnings sprang the language we love today.

A thousand years ago, there were two main influences, the Normans from France and the Saxons who were a Germanic people. The meeting of these languages and cultures were to form the English language we speak today.

From the battle of the Hastings (1066) England was ruled by French speaking kings and the land was comprised of the aristocracy and those who they ruled, the poor serfs. French was the language of the aristocracy and by extension, the language of the law and commerce. Therefore, if you were ambitious and wanted to get ahead in these fields, French was the language you needed.

Today, the same is true. However, it is not French you need but rather the side of the English language which has evolved from French. This is what we call Formal English. It often looks similar to other Latin-based romance languages.

The Norman influence was set to dominate the language but the Saxon side (informal language, like phrasal verbs) was saved by the Black Death in the 1340’s as this killed a lot of people in built up areas (the cities were largely French speaking they were seats of Government and other institutions). Peasants living off the land and Saxon speakers were not killed in such quantities as they were living in isolated areas.

There is a very interesting among English history facts and that is we have the Black Death to thank for the uniqueness of the English language today.

Today, English speakers naturally ‘switch’ their language depending on where they are or more accurately, in what situation they are in, formal or informal. What the native speaker does is use language in a particular context, depending where they are, who they are communicating with and what they are doing. That means that the speaker, in any given situation, does not sound too formal or informal but rather just right. This is what we focus on in Englishour.

Context will dictate how we speak:

For example on the telephone:

Could I speak to John please?Is John there?
This is heThat’s me
Thank you very much. Goodbye.Cheers. Take it easy!

We can apply this to many different situations. Like in the office:

To whom should I send this?Who should I send this to?
Are you attending the party?You’re coming to the bash I hope?
A preposition at the end of a sentence signals informality

‘Bash is an informal version of party. It would be unsuitable in a formal context.

I love this musicI’m really into this music
Phrasal verbs are often the informal equivalent.
The economic situation in the aeronautical industry is improvingThe air industry is looking up


So, we see that spoken English uses short forms more. And idioms and prepositions.

TranslationIdiomatic version
He told me the gossipHe dished up the dirt
You’re guessing and you have no ideaYou’re clutching at straws
I stopped smokingI gave up smoking
Let’s continueLet’s press on
He gave me €2 and it was not enough for me and I wasn’t happy.He fobbed me off with €2
I am beginning to like this productI’m getting into this product
They loved itThey lapped it up
He ate everythingHe polished it off
I am visiting him for a short time laterI’m popping in later
They all entered at the same timeThey all piled in
It will not happen due to unforeseen circumstancesIt’s fallen through
I have an excellent relationship with himWe get on
I am leavingI’m off
He is pretending to be sickHe’s putting it on
They made a careless mistakeThey slipped up


Of course, both sides are equally important for learners to focus on. The formal language promotes accuracy and allows understanding in reading and listening in formal situations. The informal side is wonderful because it is so rich in connotation and it can express so much using so few words! We need a strong foundation in formal language of course but by bridging the gap between ‘translation’ and ‘spoken English’ we can start switching between the two.

So switching means that the learner can CHOOSE whether to say

I’m leaving, which may be appropriate in one circumstance or,

I’m off.

The key is to explore options of the same message. Learn how to say the same thing in different ways and base your choice on your surroundings.

These are some of the English history facts noteworthy to mention. Do not forget to check our post for Future in English Grammar.

John Ryan

Present Perfect Tense Explanation – How does it work?

Present Perfect Tense Explanation - How does it work? Post Image

The present perfect can be a hard tense to understand and a beautiful tense to explain. Here comes a Present Perfect Tense Explanation to help you up with getting a true essence of this vital tense.

The problem for students is that it looks like and feels like the past. But it isn’t. The clue is in the title: The present perfect. It’s all about the present!

The present perfect tense isn’t about what you did yesterday, or what you did when you were a child or that time you forgot your key or any of that. It’s all about now. More precisely, it relates past actions to the present.

Some readers may not be sure what I mean by the ‘present perfect’. I have done my homework is an example. The simple past tense is I did my homework. So what’s the difference? This is the sixty-five thousand dollar question.

First, let’s think about the past.

When I think back through my past life I think about all the things I did, the things I enjoyed and tasted and felt and saw and experienced and messed up. And as I think about my past there is not one appearance of the word ‘have’. When I think about yesterday or last year, for example, I don’t think I have done, I think I did.

‘Have’ is all about now, in every sense of the word.

So back to the point. I saw the film and I’ve seen the film. What’s the difference?

When we say I saw the film, we have a particular past time in our minds, even if we don’t say it. We are thinking about the action AND the time in which it occurred. For example, if I say I met the president, not only do I think about myself and the president shaking hands but I also think about the particular time in which it happened. I’m thinking last week or three years ago or that summer I broke my arm. The past tense connects a past action with the past time in which it happened.

When I say I’ve seen the film I am not thinking about when I saw it. It’s just not important. It could be yesterday or a hundred years ago, it doesn’t matter. What is important is the action, and it is important for NOW. Where the simple past, I saw the film connects the action and the time in which I did it, the present perfect tense (the clue is in the title!) connects the past action with now.

So why do we want to connect past actions with now?

The answer is, for many reasons. For example, I want to explain to my friend that I don’t want any food now. I say No thanks, I’ve eaten. My eating in the past explains why I am not hungry now. I want to tell someone that I know about a place so I say I’ve been there. If I want to show how important I am now, I can say I’ve met presidents and kings. The I have done something is using my arsenal of past actions to have an effect on the present. I want to explain that I can’t pay for my drink so I say I’ve forgotten my wallet. I’ve finished my work tells my boss that’s it’s okay for me to leave now. I’ve cut myself says that I need a plaster and I’ve never done that could mean I’m interested.

Using the present perfect is like reaching back into the past and pulling a past action back into now and then using it to comment on the present in some way:

I’ve seen the film…I don’t want to see it, I know all about it, I can talk about it – are all possibilities.

You can say that we are the sum of all our past actions. Everything we do builds us and develops us for better or for worse. Sometimes, to show how we feel now, or what we know now, or what we want now, we use one of these past actions to demonstrate. Delving deeper into our present perfect tense explanation we must say that we use the tense.

Thought experiment:

Imagine a man standing in an empty space. He stands there looking straight at you. Behind him, just a millimeter to his left stands himself again. Like a shadow. Again, a little further to the left, there is another image of the same man and this continues back and back, smaller and smaller. Each image of the man is a little younger than the previous going back. As you move further down the line into the distance the man becomes younger, then a teenager and then a child and then a toddler until the furthest speck is him when he was born.

If I point to any one of these ‘men’ I can say that they did particular actions. Some of them did their homework and when they got older they went to college or they travelled around the world. They had girlfriends and got into fights. They saw movies and slept on floors or in beds. The man we see now, he has a past, a history snaking behind him like a tail leading back to his first moment, his birth.

If the present man wants to talk about his past experiences, he will use the past. ‘In 1987 I had a beautiful girlfriend and we went to Bolivia and climbed the highest mountain.’ But here, he is simply talking about a particular past time, in this case, 1987. But sometimes in life we do not talk about the past time. Rather we use a past action to explain something about the present. We carry all those past actions in our heads and hearts, and suddenly we pull them out and say ‘this is me!’ ‘This is who I am’. ‘I’ve been to Bolivia!’, ‘I’ve had a beautiful girlfriend’, ‘I’ve climbed mountains!’

Reaching back into the past

It’s like we reach back into the past and pull a past action back into the present and use to comment on the present in some way:

I’ve seen the film

The present perfect tense uses the past to give the listener a message for now. I’ve seen the film may mean I don’t want to see it now or perhaps now I want to talk about it. The basic message is now, I know about this film.

The present perfect illustrates present knowledge by using the past as example.

These are some of the aspects that needed to be addressed in this piece of writing for Present Perfect Tense Explanation – How does it work?

The author also posted about  English History Facts.

Best English school in Dublin

Best English school in Dublin: Englishour leads the way


Best English school in Dublin: For the past few years, Englishour has been building its reputation and is now regarded as one the best places in Ireland or the UK in which to learn English as a foreign language


People often ask: ‘What is the best English school in Dublin?’ Or ¿Cuál es la mejor escuela de inglés en Dublín?’ or ‘Qual é a melhor escola de inglês em Dublin?’ The answer is that there are many excellent schools in the city. We at Englishour like to pride ourselves on being one of the best and the extremely positive feedback from our students backs that up.


Where should I learn to speak English in Ireland?


Dublin has more than 100 English language schools and is recognised as a very good place in which to learn English and live. Englishour now has two schools in Dublin city centre and has established a reputation as a professional yet fun school in which to learn.


Where should I learn English in the UK?


Although Dublin is the capital city of Ireland and not in the United Kingdom, many foreign students from Spain, Italy, South America and beyond choose it as the ideal place in which to learn English.


This is because Dublin is a small, very friendly English-speaking city, with lots of high-quality accommodation and opportunities for employment. Many foreign students coming here fall in love with the place and the people.


Where’s the best place to learn to speak English?


Englishour in Dublin city centre takes a personal approach with its students and ensures each one is learning English quickly in a warm and welcoming environment.


We have small class sizes so we can focus on helping you do the best you can. Englishour is also very good value for money and offers free wifi, free books, free learning materials – and, of course, excellent classes in English delivered by experienced professional teachers. We also do not charge a registration fee.


Are schools in Ireland regulated?


There is a wide range of English language schools in Dublin and throughout Ireland. It is important to choose one that suits you and that will meet your needs. You also need to make sure they are accredited and have the quality marks from Accreditation and Coordination of English Language Services (ACELS) or Marketing English in Ireland (MEI). Englishour is recognised by both.


Tell me the name of a good English school in Dublin.


At Englishour, we believe that when it comes to teaching English to foreign students, small and intimate classes are the best way. Students can sometimes get forgotten in the bigger schools, but in Englishour we look after each one of you personally.


Why should I choose Englishour?


All our teachers are chosen because they are highly experienced and extremely passionate. Our mission in Englishour is to teach you English that you can use in your daily lives as well as in your professional lives.


What does Englishour offer that other schools don’t?


One of the most important things we now do at Englishour is to help students prepare for exams. Students are required to do an exam at the end of their course, whether Cambridge, IELTS, TEOIC or TIE. We work with students on a one-to-one basis throughout the course to make sure they get the best exam results possible.


What is a ‘good’ English school?


Our school is all about the language and making sure that our teachers work with our students so they can communicate effectively in any situation.


Do schools in Dublin provide you with somewhere to live?


We find places to live in Dublin for all our students. We place them with host families or in residences. We also inspect all accommodation to make sure you are staying somewhere comfortable and safe.


Can non-EU students enrol in Englishour?


If you are from outside the European Union and need a visa to study or work in Ireland, we have various courses that will allow you to do so. You will find more information here: http://englishour.ie/visa-students-first-time-renewal/


To find out more about studying in Dublin and the opportunities offered by Englishour, go here.


You can also phone the school on +35318786333, email us on info@englishour.ie or click here.

Nous faisons tous des erreurs!

Englishour classroom

Nous faisons tous des erreurs ! – un guide pour corriger les erreurs

La précision est évidemment une partie importante lorsque l’on parle une langue.

Beaucoup de professeurs d’anglais diront qu’il est important de ne pas faire d’erreurs mais en même temps, les étudiants ne devraient pas trop s’en soucier tant que leurs erreurs n’affectent pas la compréhension.

Les étudiants n’acceptent pas vraiment cette idée (ils veulent parler correctement !) Et je pense à juste titre.

Les gens se soucient de l’impression qu’ils donnent lorsqu’ils communiquent

Avant tout, les gens se soucient de l’impression qu’ils donnent. Que ce soit une bonne impression lors d’une première rencontre ou l’impression que l’on donne aux gens en général, nous avons une image de nous-mêmes que nous voulons représenter. Et cette image est généralement positive. Nous voulons être perçu comme des personnes éduquées, dynamiques et / ou prospères, et non comme des personnes qui faisons des erreurs. On s’en aperçoit notamment lorsqu’en cours d’anglais, les étudiants répètent souvent ‘please correct me’ aux professeurs.

C’est un dilemme pour les professeurs. D’une part, ils veulent corriger l’étudiant pour favoriser l’apprentissage exact de la langue. D’une autre part, ils ne veulent pas que l’étudiant perde confiance en lui, en le corrigeant trop.

En tant qu’enseignants, nous ne voulons pas corriger les étudiants chaque fois que nous entendons une erreur mais nous le faisons lorsque nous entendons des “erreurs habituelles”. Ce sont des erreurs ancrées chez des étudiants (souvent) de nationalités particulières. Ce sont des erreurs que des étudiants de mêmes nationalités font encore et encore.

Voici quelques exemples d’erreurs courantes

The last week I went to Cork. This is a common habit with the words next and last. Basically, there is no the when nextor last refers to nowLast week I went to Cork is correct.

The last week I went to Cork. C’est une erreur fréquente avec les mots next et last.

Fondamentalement, il n’y a pas the lorsque next ou last se réfère à maintenant

La phrase correcte est: Last week I went to Cork 

Un ne signifie pas deux…

I want one coffee please. Ici le problème est one. En Anglais, one signifie “pas deux”.

Cela veut tout simplement dire que l’on dit seulement “one” lorsque la personne à qui vous vous adressez s’attende à ce que vous dites « deux » (ou « trois », etc.).

Imaginez que vous avez été dans un bar avec votre ami pendant quelques heures pour commander et boire de la bière. Chaque fois que vous commandez une autre tournée, vous demandez « deux bières ». Cependant votre ami ne veut pas d’une autre bière. Vous décidez d’en commander une de plus pour la route. Vous appelez le barman. Qu’attend-il de vous ? Deux bières ! Bien sûr, car c’est ce que vous avez commandé toute la nuit. Mais vous demandez “une bière”. Un ne signifie pas deux, et dans ce cas c’est correct. Habituellement, vous demandez “beer”. Par conséquent, la version correcte de la phrase ci-dessus est : I want a beer please.

He’s 19 years. Ici, vous avez également la possibilité de dire he’s 19 years old, ou tout simplement, he’s 19.

Thanks for all. Ce n’est pas correct. On devrait dire ‘thanks for everything’. Le mot all est un modificateur utilisé avant un nom pour dire everything. Mais ce n’est pas un nom en soi. All the money, all the world, all Dublin…c’est correct. Sans le nom, vous devez dire everyone or everything etc.

Voix active ou voix passive ?

I cut my hair. Bien que cela soit possible, ce n’est probablement pas correct. Ici vous devez utiliser la forme passive « to have/get something done”. L’idée est qu’il y a des choses que nous ne faisons pas nous-mêmes mais nous payons quelqu’un pour nous les faire. Peut- être que nous ne les faisons pas car nous sommes trop fainéants (I get my grass cut every week) ou alors que nous n’avons pas le temps (I have the dog walked in the evening) ou encore que nous n’avons pas les compétences nécessaires pour les faire (I’m getting my car serviced tomorrow).

I want that he comes to the party. Lorsque vous voulez qu’une personne fasse quelque chose, la structure de la phrase doit-être la suivante : want+person+to+verb…I want him to pay me. She wants me to help her.

Par conséquent, la bonne version de la phrase ci-dessus est: I want him to come to the party.

Next week I will come back to Italy. Ici le problème c’est « come ». Fondamentalement, vous venez ici et vous partez là-bas (sauf au téléphone !). Come s’utilise lorsque c’est l’endroit où vous êtes et go s’utilise pour tous les autres lieux. Lorsque l’on est en Ireland, l’Italie est là-bas donc la phrase correcte devrait être :  next week I’m going back to Italy. J’ai également changé le temps au présent continu car c’est un événement planifié (I have the ticket).

Alors, quelles sont les erreurs que les professeurs devraient corriger ?

Le point positif dans la correction des erreurs habituelles et que cela ouvre les portes à des éléments de langage intéressants à explorer.

Ouvrez la porte, montez quelques escaliers (autant que le niveau que vous étudiez) ensuite repartez et passez à autre chose. Cela rend les classes intéressantes et dynamiques.

Une autre erreur à corriger c’est lorsque l’étudiant fait une erreur de langue qui sera traitée avec la classe. Si la classe étudie la grammaire, par exemple le futur, l’enseignant devra s’occuper des problèmes qui se posent autour de ce domaine de la grammaire. Encore une fois, le niveau de l’étudiant joue un rôle clé dans ce qu’il faut corriger et dans quelle mesure.

Avec ces erreurs en tête, comment en tant qu’enseignants pourrions-nous les corriger ?

Il y a bien sûr plusieurs moyens d’y arriver. Certains enseignants peuvent corriger les erreurs au fur et à mesure qu’ils les entendent et certains les rassemblent et organisent une séance de discussion linguistique à la fin du cours. Certains enseignants préconiseront de corriger les erreurs dès qu’elles apparaissent et d’autres créeront des exercices autours des problèmes rencontrés lors de la prochaine session.

Toutes les méthodes sont justes. La chose la plus importante est que le professeur facilite la compréhension chez l’étudiant. Il doit présenter l’utilisation de la langue dans son contexte et montrer à l’étudiant pourquoi une forme est utilisée et une autre ne l’est pas.

La clé est que le professeur doit être compris par l’étudiant, ce qui lui facilitera l’utilisation de la langue à travers ses devoirs, ses tâches. La clé de l’apprentissage des langues dépend de l’implication de l’étudiant.

De mon expérience à observer les professeurs, j’ai trouvé que les professeurs qui ont le plus de succès sont ceux qui « s’assoient » sur la langue.

Le temps que vous prendrez pour aider à la compréhension d’un sujet dépendra de l’étudiant. Dans la classe, le professeur est le filtre. Certaines erreurs passent et d’autres sont arrêtées et traitées. Grâce à l’enseignant, l’étudiant peut développer ses compétences de communication au point de faire des choix de langue appropriés à la situation dans laquelle il communique.

Après tout, c’est ce que veulent les étudiants, n’est-ce pas ?

By John Ryan