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Using Dictation to Improve Your SPEAKING

Many people like to practice dictation (listening to someone speak and writing what you hear).  It helps improve your English listening and writing.  You can also use dictation to improve your speaking.

The website englishharmony.com has some suggestions for how to do this:

  1. Listen to a recording of someone speaking.  It’s best if …
    1. you can understand most of what they are saying
    2. they’re talking about something you find interesting
  2. Write down what you hear (pause the recording as needed) and – SPEAK the words out loud as you write them down.
  3. After you finish writing, read your sentence(s) out loud a few times
  4. Then play the recording again and try to read along – out loud – comparing your pronunciation to theirs
  5. Finally, try to tell (out loud) about what you just heard/wrote, looking at your writing as little as possible.  Do this a few times

You can start with some short dictation exercises that we have recommended.

Note: The Englishharmony website offers online training to buy.  Learning English in MetroWest does not make endorsements for any online training programs.

70 Ways to Improve Your English

 Lots of good tips in this updated blog post on UsingEnglish.com.  Suggestions include:

  • Read the lyrics to a song while you sing it
  • Read a book about a story you already know
  • Keep a diary in English, writing about your daily life
  • Change the language on your phone/computer to English
  • Have an English radio station on in the background while you work in your house

and 65 more.  The main idea: Find as many ways as possible to add English into your normal day.

Winter/Spring ESL Classes at FAESL – New Student Lottery Information

Framingham Adult ESL will have a limited number of spaces for morning and evening classes for the Spring 2019 semester.

  • If you are interested in taking a MORNING English class at Framingham Adult ESL you must come in person to
    St. Tarcisius School (BRACE building)
    560 Waverly Street, Framingham
    Thursday, January 17th, 8:45 – 10:00 AM
  • If you are interested in taking an EVENING English class at Framingham Adult ESL you must come in person to
    Fuller Middle School Cafeteria
    31 Flagg Drive, Framingham
    Thursday, January 17th, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
  1. Come on January 17th to submit an entry card (with your name, address, etc).  Everyone who submits a card will have their name included in the lottery.
  2. The lottery will be on Wednesday, January 23rd.  Don’t come to the school on Jan 23rd.  You can watch the lottery online (Facebook Live) on your phone, tablet, or computer.
  3. If you are one of the winners of the lottery, you will be asked to come back on a different day for testing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • If I want to participate in the English class lottery, do I have to come to the school?
    YES – You must come to the school on Thursday January 17th to submit an entry card.  BUT, this should not take too long because there will be no lottery or testing on that day.
  • Will there be 2 separate lotteries?
    YES
    – If you come in the morning of Jan 17th (to St. Tarcisius), your name will be part of the lottery for MORNING classes.  If you come in the evening of Jan 17th (to Fuller School), your name will be part of the lottery for EVENING classes.
  • On January 17th do I need to arrive at the school before 6:30PM (or before 8:45 AM for morning classes)?
    NO – You can come any time between 6:30 and 8:00PM (or between 8:45 and 10:00AM for morning classes).  ALL the names collected during that time will have an equal chance in the lottery.
  • Do I need to watch the lottery (on Facebook Live) on January 23rd?
    NO – When you come to the school on January 17th, you will submit an entry card with information (phone, email) on how to contact you.  If your name is selected in the lottery, the school will contact you.
  • If my name is selected in the lottery, what happens next?
    You will be asked to come to the school for testing.  After testing, you will be assigned to one of these:

    • a regular English class (6 hours each week)
    • or – a volunteer-led, once-a-week prep class (2 hours)
      If you stay in prep class with good attendance, you will automatically be on a priority list for a regular class and will not need to participate in any more lotteries.
    • or – a waiting list
      (You get a space in class as soon as possible and do not need to participate in more lotteries)
  • When are the classes?
    • Regular morning classes are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings from 8:45 to 10:45
    • Regular evening classes are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30
    • Prep classes are on one of those mornings, or evenings, each week
    • Regular classes start on Tuesday February 5th and Prep classes start a few weeks later
  • I can’t come on January 17th.  Can I come on the 16th (or some other day)? Or can someone else come to submit an entry card for me?
    NO – Unfortunately, the only day you can come to submit your name for the lottery is on January 17th, and you must come in-person.

NOTE: This is information only.  It does not guarantee you a place in class. 

New Year’s Week in Boston

There will be a large number of special events in Boston to celebrate the new year.  Most of them are part of First Night Boston.  Here’s a Full Schedule

  • Blink light and music show – every 30 minutes from 4:30-10:30pm, every night through Jan 1st
  • Ice sculptures – at Quincy Market, Copley Square, and other places 

Pick Up

Don’t Say Say This
Pick it up the pencil.
or Pick up it.
Pick up the pencil.
or – Pick the pencil up.
or – Pick it up.
I’m going to pick it up my daughter. I’m going to pick up my daughter.
or – I’m going to pick my daughter up.
I’m going to pick up her/she. I’m going to pick her up.

Remember

  • to pick up is a “phrasal verb” (a two-word verb).  The most common meanings are:
    1. To lift something/someone from a surface
      Ex: He picked up his book.
    2. To meet someone and take them with you.
      Ex: I have to pick up my kids after school.
  • You can pick something up – or – pick up something
    Ex: Pick up the package.  or  Pick the package up.
  • But – You can only use a pronoun in the middle – between “pick” and “up”
    You can Pick her up or Pick it up.
    Incorrect: Pick up it. or Pick up her.
  • Also, Don’t use the noun and its pronoun together.
    Pick up the phone. – or – Pick the phone up. -or- Pick it up.
    But NOT: Pick it up the phone.
  • There are some other meanings of this phrasal verb too.
  • You can see pick up used as part of a conversation in many examples from YouGlish below.  You can press the Next Track button   to see another example.

Visit YouGlish.com