‘Is American English better than British English or vice versa?’

Caoimhín's Blog from The Middle Kingdom

(From a LinkIn post – another contributor asked the question above; what appears below is my response)

“Neither better nor worse just different”: right on spot. I constantly try to nail this home to my students and Chinese English teachers. The English spoken by Chinese English academics is not Chinglish. It is an English in its own right which I refer to as Chinese American English (e.g. the English required to pass the TEM 4 & 8). The problem is, on the one hand, that so many native English speaker teachers do not recognize that “English” is a plural phenomenon, and that alternative Englishes are not an errant deviation from SAE. On the other hand, there are many Chinese teachers of English who counsel their students not to abide by their native English speakers’ teaching because it is “wrong English.” To repeat, both do not recognize that English is a…

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Post Christmas and more thoughts on TEFL stuff

We're All foreign, Aren't We?


Well… Christmas was actually quite good! The standard 12-4 work shift (I live in a pub, so working on Christmas day is a requisite – 60 quid for 4 hours work is decent), pub grub for Christmas and loads of films that are on every year (good job I have the memory of a goldfish). I got some money, clothes – the standard 23 year old fare. Beyond this, I’ve spent a majority of the last few days reading up on teaching english in China. This has been for two reasons:

– I can’t be arsed to revise

– I have a serious bout of man-flu (thus not feeling great enough to go out, buy clothes and get smashed)


It begs one serious question though: Where to teach in China?


Because it’s such a bloody big country and it’s so damn populated, there’s obviously a lot of options and…

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Take a Few Minutes to Learn Tags (You can, can’t you?)

English with a Smile


This video steals just a few minutes of your time to teach you tags. Here are some examples:
You do, don’t you? Yes, I do.

You are, aren’t you? Yes, I am.

When do you use do and when am? Find out in the video.

After you’ve watched the short video, you can do the exercise for more practice. Do the exercise online here.



Dialogue 1

–          The beach is straight ahead, __________?

–          Yes, it is. Blue Bay Beach is only five minutes away.

–          Great. There’s a pier where you can rent a boat, __________?

–          Yes, there is.

–          Thanks. Do you know how much it costs?

–          No, sorry, ____________.

–          Thanks anyway.


Dialogue 2

–          This yoga class is great, ____________?

–          Yes, ____________. I love the teacher, _____________?

–          Yes, I do too. She also has a class on…

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Most of time, in English, there are words and verbs with some prepositions or another words that give us multiple meanings. And it’s very difficult to many people when they’re studying English. So, Make, do, take and get are the most multiple in English and here we can see them.


make an agreement: when people have the same opinion, or when they approve of or accept something.
make an announcement (to): communicate something official
make an appointment (with): formal arrangement to meet or visit someone.
make arrangements (for): to plan how something will happen.
make an attempt (to): to try something.
make the bed: to organize the bed
make believe: to pretend or image.
make breakfast (dinner, a sandwich): prepare the meal.
make a clean copy: – to copy again what you did.
make it clear (to): – speak very clear and with no misunderstanding.
make a complaint (about):

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