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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5 Ways You Can Train Yourself to Think in English

Back in my corporate days, I had a friend, Linda (not her real name), who I had lunch with every day.

Our first language is Malay, so as we enjoyed our steaming rice and chicken curries under the shade of a hot zinc roof, we would laugh and share stories in Malay.

Back in our (freezing cold) air-conditioned office, we didn’t speak to each other much because we were in different departments. We were our professional, English-speaking selves when it came to work.

The language used for communication in the office was English so it was normal for us to write and speak to other colleagues in English. 

One time, Linda called me up to ask about something related to work. Since we were used to speaking Malay to one another, we started the conversation in Malay.

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The My English Matters podcast is finally here!

I’m writing this post a little later than usual because this week my children have started their online classes. They use the same computer that I use for work, so basically I’ve been working from my phone.

(I have a laptop of my own, but haven’t used it since early this year. It’s seven years old and too slow to do anything. Maybe it’s time for me to get another laptop?)

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we officially have our own podcast show!

It’s aptly named My English Matters.

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10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Learn English

People often ask us this question: ‘How do I stay motivated to learn English?’

Learning English, just like learning any other skill, requires a lot of time and support. And it’s hard to get the support you need when the people around you don’t speak English.

So in this week’s video (which was a live session on our FB page), I share ’10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Learn English’. 

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