Tag Archives: English

The Challenge of Using Prepositions

Grammar Hour topic: Prepositions Prepositions are one of the hardest concepts for English language learners because there are no hard and fast rules about how prepositions can be used across the board. Most rules are specific to one or two words, and often, there are multiple prepositions that you can use with one word, but each […]

Diagnose Your Grammar Skills!

This past Friday, during Grammar Hour, we took a grammar diagnostic test from the Oxford Practice Grammar program. This type of test is designed to help you determine which grammar concepts cause you trouble, and which concepts you have mastered. We will use the results from the students who took the diagnostic last week to select […]

Whose, Where, When and Which in Complex Sentences

Grammar Hour topic: Forming complex sentences using adjective clauses Here is an example of using an adjective clause in a complex sentence: “I am friends with the people who live across the hall from me.” These clauses serve to modify the sentence to add a description. Typical adjective clauses use words like “whose,” “where,” “when,” “which” […]

Using American Slang

This week in English Conversation Club, we learned a whole bunch of American slang! We thought it would be fun for everyone to discuss some of the phrases in English that might be slightly obscure or hard to understand. So, Shirley and Lani made a list of slang words and phrases we knew or had heard […]

A New Semester of English Conversation Club

Last Wednesday was the first session of English Conversation Club this year. Since José graduated, the program is under new management. Lani Furbank, the ELLS peer educator, and Shirley Yang, the ELLS international student liaison, are excited to be leading the group through another semester of great conversation. Here are their thoughts on the program so far: […]

Grammar Hour Returns!

We are excited to announce that, due to popular demand, Grammar Hour is back this semester! Lani Furbank, the ELLS peer educator, will spend an hour each week answering grammar questions and leading a mini-workshop about a specific grammar concept. Modals: May I learn more? Last week, we discussed the use of modals. The word modals […]

Why we spell, and Onions.

by Jose Morales I just watched one of the best TEDed videos I have seen so far. It is about spelling, but more so about the meaningful structures of language that we as speakers take for granted. Whether we’re learning a new language from scratch, or just speaking our native language we rarely think about […]

Dude! No way Jose! This post is on American Slang. Forreal though.

By Jose Morales I remember hearing the words “flat soda” in a sentence once and not being able to comprehend the logical reasoning behind such expression. Was it even physically possible to flatten soda? I knew soda was mainly a liquid which meant it would take the shape of its container. So, when my friend […]