How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings – Part Two

A few years back, I got in touch with one of my high school teachers on social media.

When I told him to say hello to my favourite English teacher back in Manchester, he said, “I’ll be sure to tell Sheena McGowan.”

Her name is Sheena? I thought. I never knew! What a lovely name indeed!

I’m very conservative so I can never imagine calling Mrs McGowan by her first name! She will always be Mrs McGowan to me.

In today’s episode, which is part two of How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings, I talk about the differences between addressing teachers and lecturers in the UK versus in Malaysia.

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How to Address People in Formal and Informal Settings – Part One

I received a message the other day from an old friend. After catching up on life, I then congratulated him on completing his PhD.

I said, “Congratulations! So it’s Dr Fadli now, isn’t it?” (not his real name).

He replied, “Thank you! But please drop the title!”

It’s great to be able to be informal with friends and peers. It’s equally important, however, to know when it’s appropriate to be formal. This is about being respectful.

In this week’s video, I taught ways to address people in formal and informal settings. 

Watch part one here.

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Phrases to Use in Group Discussions

Have you ever attended a group discussion and felt bad because you could not contribute to it confidently?

Maybe you felt overwhelmed and didn’t know how to begin the discussion or interrupt the flow of ideas coming back and forth!

Yes, I have been there myself. Sometimes I had nothing much to say, I was ill-prepared or worse, I just wasn’t listening to the discussion at hand!

Listening and contributing to a discussion go hand in hand.

That’s why in this week’s live session, I taught simple phrases that you can use to be actively engaged in a group discussion. You can watch it here.

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Grammar Lesson: Three types of tenses and how to use them

tenses

Today I want to write about three types of tenses that many (even advanced students) struggle with.

Take a look at the following sentences and pay attention to the tenses:

  1. Simple present tense: As I write this, it is 10:30 am.
  2. Present continuous tense: It is raining here in Kuala Terengganu.
  3. Present perfect continuous tense: It has been raining since this morning.

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Grammar in Real Life: Present Progressive Tense

Many have written in asking about speaking and making grammar mistakes, so I’d like to combine the two in this simple article that invites you to use English in your daily routine. The rule is that you do this out loud and not in your head.

In this exercise, we will be using what is called the present progressive tense, which requires you to verbally express an activity that is in progress (is occurring, is happening) right now.

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14th October KL Workshop… Speaking English with Confidence: Igniting The Spark Within

English teacher

The most important attitude achievers have is the can-do attitude. This means thinking, “Yes, it’s hard and it’s a struggle, but I need to get out of my comfort zone and just do it!”

Much to my delight, that was exactly the kind of attitude my students from China, Kazakhstan and Malaysia had during our powerful speaking workshops we recently completed. How could they NOT have this can-do attitude when they were having so much fun uncovering their potential and raising the bar for themselves? Seeing such keen, motivated students transform through the workshop was absolutely gratifying for me.

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Play around with English tongue twisters

Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Tongue twisters and nursery rhymes make such wonderful vocal exercises to loosen your stiff tongue. They have long been used by actors, politicians, and speakers to help them speak more clearly because they’re just that effective.

In a vocal training class I attended, we’d recite several tongue twisters in order to feel the “r'” and “l” sounds roll out of our mouth. Saying your vowels, like eeeaaauuu, and ooo, aloud continuously can help make your voice come out strong and pure.

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