Jonathan Taylor sings and plays guitar during production of Vseki den in Bulgaria
Jonathan Taylor is EnglishClub’s “Music Man” and this article about him recently appeared on Radio Bulgaria’s website.
When I asked Jonathan Taylor, a teacher of English in Bulgaria’s Sevlievo, if he liked Bulgaria, he replied: “I love it.” The Englishman has been living in the village of Krushevo since 2011 and says this country attracted him with its beauty and tranquillity. The village is now his home and he plans to stay there together with his Bulgarian friends. He also likes spending his free time in Sozopol. Jonathan is a musician, writer and teacher. This is precisely why we met him on International Teacher’s Day- October 5.
2016 is a new year with new beginnings and sad to say Tara Benwell, for over seven years the mainstay at MyEnglishClub, will be moving on to pastures new as from 1st January.
Tara actually started contributing to EnglishClub way back in 2003, writing materials for the Young Learners section, English for Work and many other pages. In 2006 Tara started writing and recording Listen to News, a popular weekly news story with audio and exercises. Then in 2008 we launched MyEnglishClub as our social network. Tara was the first administrator of MyEnglishClub and has worked hard to help and support its thousands of members. Since 2008 Tara has continued adding new lessons and pages to EnglishClub and helping in the overall running of the site.
Just released! Another hit song for you to listen and learn by from EnglishClub: the Months of the Year Song — or It’s Been a Year (since you broke my heart). As usual, it comes with sub-titles so you can follow along more easily.
Announcing a complete new section of 720 drag-and-drop games that learners can play to practise talking about TIME – past, present and future. These games, specially created for EnglishClub by Matt Errey, cover pretty well every way in which we talk about time in English, whether using tenses, special constructions like “going to” and “used to”, or modal auxiliary verbs like “must” and “would”.
The games are in sets of ten, with each set focussing on just one particular way of talking about the past, the present or the future. The first game in each set is the easiest, and the last game is the most difficult. In each game, the words in a sentence are mixed up or “jumbled”, and players try to put them back into their correct order.
For example, one of the sets focusses on using “going to” to talk about future plans or intentions. In a game in this set, players might have to make a sentence with the following words: “movie”, “to”, “I’m”, “tomorrow”, “a”, “see”, and “going”. Players can drag these words around, trying different combinations, until they come up with a sentence that they think is correct. If they come up with either “Tomorrow I’m going to see a movie” or “I’m going to see a movie tomorrow”, they earn the maximum score of 100%. Players can then click on “Next Game” to play another game about “going to”.
There are 720 games in 72 different sets, and learners who gradually work their way through the whole collection are sure to improve their understanding of the many ways in which we can talk about time in English.
This year, 2012, sees EnglishClub’s 15th anniversary. With support and encouragement from members and visitors worldwide, EnglishClub has matured into one of the longest standing, most dependable resource sites for English learners and teachers on the web. Since our 10th anniversary on 07/07/07, we’ve added the very popular My.EnglishClub social network hosting our members’ pages, blogs, photos, videos, music, discussions and chat; and it’s been exciting to see the highly original and interactive content created by learners and teachers. We’ve also produced the Learning English Video Project, a major 7-part video series about English learners on five continents. We continue to innovate and add new content from lessons and quizzes to Read on »
Today sees the launch of a new Beta mobile version of MyEnglishClub for smartphones. Now MyEC members can browse MyEC on smartphones such as iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, easily viewing their own page as well as latest activity, blogs, photos, forums and other members. Blogs posts and forum replies can be added via mobile. It’s also still possible to go to the normal Read on »
CAMBRIDGE, UK (EnglishClub.com) Friday April 1, 2011 — Foreigners travelling to Southeast Asia to teach English may soon face strict screening procedures upon arrival.
The newly-proposed measures include grammar, spelling and IQ tests, hygiene and personal grooming assessments, as well as mandatory on-the-spot drug tests utilizing state-of-the-art urine-testing kits.
The measures, proposed by education department officials in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), are intended to prevent large numbers of unemployed foreigners from countries including the US, the UK and Australia from flooding the local job market in search of employment as “native English teachers”.
ASEAN is following up on its recently-announced single visa plans. Under proposed new arrangements, foreigners wishing to teach English will be thoroughly screened both before and after arrival, but once admitted will be able to teach in any of the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).
With a population of about 600 million and covering an area of 4.5 million km2, ASEAN is the world’s fastest-growing English teaching market
Under the scheme, TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) teachers from outside ASEAN will receive an Alien Teacher Fitness Certificate (ATFC).
Teacher representatives have reacted angrily to the ATFC process which starts with police background checks followed by on-the-spot tests at the airport that include basic English ability, drugs and personal hygiene. Brian Pullman of TEFLA (Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Asia) called the procedure “degrading and racist”. Read on »
Anger over “inhuman” plans to vet student visa applications to UK with canines
Cent, stray Welsh Border Collie. “Very intelligent…but not necessarily best breed for pronunciation”
Following a report in the EL Gazette and the recent introduction of tougher rules designed to stop abuse of the student visa system, the UK Government has completed a feasibility study to determine whether dogs could usefully contribute to the English ability assessment – an essential part of the new visa procedure – thus freeing up valuable man-hours and saving the British taxpayer up to £23,000,000 per year.
The possibility of using dogs to test language fluency was given credence in an article in the March 2010 issue of the EL Gazette (print-edition) headlined “Dog masters ESOL” (English for Speakers of Other Languages). According to the report, members of the RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) near Manchester, England had been “puzzled” [in September 2009] by a stray male border collie that would not respond to commands. After discovering that the dog had been brought to England from Poland, and did in fact understand Polish commands, the RSPCA staff started teaching it basic English commands, using a “reward-based” programme. Luke Johnson, one of the RSPCA animal care workers, described how the dog, known as Cent, became bilingual within 4 months. Read on »
Cambridge, UK – An independent UK film crew has set out to answer a series of questions, about how and why so many people are learning English as a foreign language. The “Learning English Video Project” was shot in England, Morocco, Romania, Spain and the USA and is now in post-production. This is the first documentary series of its kind to touch on all of the main aspects of ESL (English as a Second Language) from the student’s Read on »
At 12:01am GMT on April 1st, 2008, EnglishClub published an article reporting that the United Nations planned to phase out all languages but one by the year 2049. Judging from some of the 300+ comments that this article received, not everyone realised that it was an April Fool’s Day hoax, despite the date of April 1st being clearly stated in the first line. The article, heavily laced with absurdities to add credibility, cited climate change, terrorism and multiple personality disorder as among the reasons to move to a single language. Many readers spotted the hoax and praised it highly; others took great exception to the UN plans and expressed their thoughts passionately; and a few vented their spleen on EnglishClub for having published in such “bad taste”.
Redundant languages blamed for adding to climate change, terrorism and cultural division
CAMBRIDGE, UK (EnglishClub.com) Tuesday April 1, 2008 — The United Nations is to hold its first debate on language redundancy amid warnings that the problem is “a major contributor” to climate change, a “massive threat” to international security and the cause of “rifts and divisions” within society.
Andrew Steiner, UNEP head:
“French causing damage”
Next week’s meeting is the result of an improbable coalition of interests, and follows sustained pressure from the US Administration, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program.
“We’re reacting to two very sobering reports about the impact on climate change of the huge number of languages in use worldwide,” Andrew Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program, told Reuters news service. At the same time White House spokesman Gordon Stanzel revealed serious translation challenges for the CIA caused by “an abundance of languages.” Pointing to the fact that terrorists typically use non-English languages amongst themselves, he suggested that only by making English the world’s “unique” language could security be assured. Asked why the world’s “unique” language should be English and not, say, Chinese or Spanish, he replied that English was already so Read on »