Want 2020 to be amazing? 3 things to remember

Yesterday, the My English Matters Team had our annual meeting where we talked about our plans for 2020. We also looked back at 2019 to review what went well, what didn’t go as planned and what we can improve–personally and also as an organisation.

As we were going through the agenda of our meeting, we came across some nuggets of wisdom. So I thought I’d share them with you. I hope you find these helpful as you plan your 2020.

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Take this self-assessment to determine your level of English

A few weeks ago, I wrote about identifying your level of English and making the intention of moving to the next level. We received a lot of great feedback from that post. So today I want to share with you the levels of English (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR) so that you can do a self-assessment.

Many international tests such as IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC are aligned to the CEFR, so I hope this will be helpful for you.

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The book I’m going to read on my flight to Bangkok

Right now, I’m supposed to be packing for an all-girls’ trip to Bangkok (flight is tonight!)! So I’m going to try and keep this one short! I was brainstorming in my head what I could write about today. I thought a book recommendation would be cool because it’s a book that I’m planning to read on my flight.

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Going to the “next level” in learning

Last weekend, we had our Speaking English with Confidence Workshop, and we had so much fun! We were so happy to welcome students who came back for their second time (and even a third time!) because they wanted to take their skills to the next level.

I always say “next level” to the point where I think it sounds cliched or even cheesy.

But what I mean by that is there is always room for improvement.

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How to tackle tasks you don’t like doing

Do you have tasks that you don’t like doing but you have to do them because they’re important?

It could be work-related: going for meetings, public speaking, giving a presentation. Or personal-related like cleaning the house, exercising, cooking.

Sometimes, even the thought of doing these things can give you anxiety.

So what can we do to motivate ourselves to do these things in a better frame of mind?

Let me share how I do it.

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Feeling behind? Two tips I shared with my friend

Yesterday I was on a phone call with a dear friend of mine. She was having trouble with her self-esteem and not feeling “enough” after seeing how other people around her seemed to have perfect lives.

Have you ever felt this way?

Maybe you look at people’s “perfect” lives on social media and it makes you feel really bad about yourself. Like you’re not good enough and you’re behind everybody else.

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Read this if you don’t like reading.

Do you like learning, or you want to read more, but you just don’t like reading?

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen the Instastory we posted today. If you haven’t, well you should be following us already.

Anyway, I talked about a few books that I received recently. Do you like online shopping? I’m not really a shopper (online or in real life), but I absolutely LOVE books.

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Remember this simple rule for “will” vs “would”

Today, we’re going to talk about these two verbs: “will” and “would”.

We often see people confuse one with the other in their writing.

But follow these rules, and you should be right most of the time:

1. If you talk about something that always happens in the present, use “will” and if you talk about something that always happened in the past, use “would”.

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Two things to consider before you make a request

Yesterday, I was on a coaching call with a student of our online course, Communicate with Confidence. She asked for some advice on how to persuade people to do something that they didn’t really want to do. Now, I like to call this persuasion skills. It isn’t easy, but it’s a skill that can be learned.

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The correct way to say “is it?”

In this week’s post, we’re going to talk about the correct way to use “is it” and “isn’t it”.

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you may know that I’m also a translator for Malay and English shows.

The other day, I was translating a Malay show into English. I realised that in the Malay language, we frequently end questions with “kan”.

In Malay conversations, “kan” can be used in almost any situation. For example:

“Mesti kakak mimpi tentang lelaki yang jahat tu, kan?”
“Saya comel, kan?”
“Makanan ni sedap, kan?”

So when Malaysians speak English, we tend to use the words “is it” or “isn’t it” to replace “kan” at the end of questions.

These are called question tags. For example:

This is delicious, isn’t it?
The parcel isn’t arriving today,
 is it?

However, they should not be used all the time!

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