In Your Head

A matter of identity


The input you receive from reading and listening is the essential ingredient for language acquisition. But there are other ingredients – for example, the beliefs and feelings you have about yourself, your new language, and its culture – that affect your ability to acquire and use a new language.

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When you do the right thing and it doesn’t seem to work


Of all the students I’ve worked with, one group always seems to do better than the rest even though they all do the same thing. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it – but it’s true. Make sure you’re in the right group.

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What about my accent?


Many English learners would like to “sound like a native English speaker.” What about that? Is it necessary? Or is it a good idea to even try? What can, or should, an English learner try to do about accent?

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An English lesson from a tennis coach


Gabriel wrote: “I have a problem: I’m not sure of myself, I have afraid to talk to someone because I think I don’t have good pronunciation, or afraid to make mistakes about grammar rules… What can I do?” This is my answer.

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Are you grokking English yet?



I’ve always been amused by this odd-looking, odd-sounding little verb.

When I saw it again a few days ago, I thought, “This is something every English learner should be doing!” Are you grokking English? If not, you should be!

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It’s not broken!


A student recently called his English “broken.” I have a different opinion!

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