Animated Podcast Number 3: Spelling names in English

Animated Podcast Number 3: Spelling names in English

So what’s an animated podcast ?

Good question !

It’s a podcast with pictures, learning tips and clues. In short, it’s just a helping hand to help you understand the conversation and the context.

This is Animated Podcast number 3 in a series of 10, in which each one has a specific focus and gets progressively more challenging. 

The third one, Spelling Names in English, is a great way to learn the alphabet in a useful and imaginative way. The alphabet is always tricky in a new language and this podcast with pictures can help clear the fog.

Who is it designed for ?

It’s a perfect opportunity for new learners (pre-intermediate) to focus on letters of the alphabet, looking at tricky vowels and learning at natural pace.

It’s a great way for Intermediate learners to consolidate knowledge.

Enjoy and Welcome to the English Podcasts Youtube Channel  !

Click here to access the Youtube Channel

How to use Tag questions in English

How to use Tag questions in English

Tag questions  are questions added to a short sentence, usually at the end, to engage the listener, check understanding or confirm that an action has heppened.

Tag questions are very common in natural English and they can also have distinct meaning according to the tone used with the tag, a rising tone and a descending tone can communicate very different meanings from the question asked as you will find out in this podcast.

Common tags include: Won’t you? Wasn’t it? Don’t you? Haven’t you? Wasn’t it? Wouldn’t you? Isn’t it? Isn’t there? etc. 

Listen to the tag question examples we use in the podcast.


Asking Polite questions in English

Asking Polite questions in English

It’s so nice to be polite isn’t it? When we ask direct questions, especially to people we do not know very well, we can come across as being too abrupt or even as rude, something we would like to avoid at all costs.

In this podcast we will explain how to easily change direct questions into more polite forms, very useful to avoid any sticky situations.

Polite questions are particularly useful when we need to ask for confidential or sensitive information, where a direct question would probably not elicit an answer, such as, ‘How old are you?’ or ‘How much do you weigh?’ etc.

Know your adjectives (i)

Know your adjectives (i)

What do you know about adjectives ?

Firstly, in English the adjective is often placed before the noun (It is a serious problem, I have brown eyes etc), but it is placed after the verb to be (The food is terrible here).

Secondly, there are many different endings;

– able  comfortable
– ous  serious
– ive  protective
– ent (-ant)  confident
– ful  careful
– less  careless
 – ic  specific

Now try the quiz. 

 Do the quiz several times and try to do it in 2 minutes.


Know your adjectives

  How to activate your memory for language learning

  How to activate your memory for language learning

  How to activate your memory for language learning

Learning a new language can seem all about memory; how on earth am I going to remember all these new words? Apart from the skills of listening, repeating and practice you can also try handwriting and drawing new words. Living in the 21st century the computer keyboard tends to be our “go to method”, but did you know that you can improve your language learning by handwriting new vocabulary?

Studies have shown that using a pen or pencil activates more areas of your brain than a keyboard does.

In a recent study (i) 12 adults and 12 seventh-graders were each asked to write and draw with a digital pen. Each person was also asked to type on a keyboard. While performing these tasks, each volunteer wore a cap that held electrodes next to their head. The results showed that writing turned on memory areas in the brain whereas typing didn’t. Drawing images also turned on parts of the brain involved with learning. These new findings back up other studies showing the benefits of handwriting, 

So how does handwriting compare to using a keyboard when it comes to learning new information?

Take a moment to think about how you write.

First, hand movements; the same movement is required to type each letter on a keyboard. In contrast, when we write, our brain needs to think about and retrieve memories of the shape of each letter. We also need to use our eyes to watch the shapes we’re writing. And we need to control our hands to press a pen to shape the different letters. In short, all these skills use, connect and challenge more areas of the brain.

Now think about how you select information; key words can be interlinked by highlighting and small drawings.

Take your time; handwriting can be a slow process and this slowing down requires you to think more, activate the brain and remember better.

Get creative; handwriting can also mean drawing. You can also make a mind map, linking words together in a meaningful visual map to enhance meaning and memory.

But don’t abandon technology all together; the computer can be a great tool to help with correcting grammar and spelling.

But still put a pen in your hand; have you noticed that when you reread a printed text ideas flow into your brain the minute you pick up a pen, corrections flow and you also see mistakes immediately on the paper that you didn’t see on the screen.

So, on balance it is recommended to take notes by hand, making a mind map, writing a first draft of an essay by hand but then use technology to check the grammar and spelling for the final draft.

It’s the best of both worlds !



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