A while ago you subscribed to our newsletter, that is, you entered your name and email address into our database. Why did you choose to become one of our readers along with 30,000 others from around the world? Well, you certainly have your reasons and it''s very likely that you are either a learner of English or an English teacher. Or both. In any case you must be interested in using the English language as a means of achieving your goals. But what exactly is it that you want to accomplish, where do you want to go? I''m asking all these questions because the more we know about you, our readers, the better we can support and assist you.
I''d venture to say that one of the challenges you are facing daily is how to use your time effectively. In April 1998 I started working as a language coach and ever since I have helped at least 1000 people learn English faster than they did before. Guess what the vast majority of my clients defined as one of their major obstacles to learning English? Lack of time! Friend, you are a busy person, you have thousands of things to do every day. You get up early to rush to work or school and when you come home after a long, hard day, you are usually too tired to even think about English let alone study grammar or learn vocabulary words. What about the weekend? Since you have friends and family there isn''t that much time on Saturday or Sunday to spend on learning English either, so what the heck, why spoil the fun with grammar text books and essay writing?
On Monday morning you open your email inbox at work and are frustrated to find so many messages many of which are in English. Your boss has told you several times that unless you improve your written and spoken English, your job might be at risk. At this point you wonder how that guy across your desk has managed to learn English so well. He doesn''t seem to have any difficulty answering the phone or replying to emails in perfectly correct English. You actually heard him give a sales presentation in English the other day and you wished your English was as good as his.
And that''s where we come into the picture. Yes friend, we will help you improve your English and save time. How? Very simple. We have created an exciting tool for you, a system that you can use for free whenever you want. It''s available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The system provides you with an answer to any question you might have regarding the English language. After all, asking questions is one of the most effective learning methods. Here is an example. Let''s say you need to compose an email to one of your English speaking clients. You start typing your message and realize that you are not sure whether you should write "Dear Mrs Ashton" or "Dear Ms Ashton". Which of these two greetings is more appropriate? There is nobody you can ask and your dictionary isn''t of great help either. What you need is advice from an expert, somebody who can tell the difference between "Mrs" and "Ms".
As you continue writing your email, the next question arises: Which phrase is better "I look forward to our next seminar" or "I''m looking forward to our next seminar"? Again, you want to consult somebody who can tell you the difference between both expressions. Or what about that translation your boss asked you to do? How can you be sure that the sentences you use are good, idiomatic English? There is no dictionary, no book that can tell you how a certain phrase in your native language might be translated into English. There is an endless list of questions you are bound to be confronted with if you use English as a second language. If you want to find the answers to these questions in books or even on the Internet, you need to invest a lot of time because in most cases you have to wade through lots of pages full of information. Now, wouldn''t it be fantastic to have your own personal English language consultant? A professional you can turn to any time you have a specific question? Well, that''s exactly what our system is all about. We call it "the forum". It''s a place where you get advice and support from a team of English language experts and here you can read more about some of our most active forum members
Did you recognize the name of our most active forum member? Of course it''s Alan Townend, your newsletter author. Now you have the chance to meet Alan and his team ''in person'' online. All you need to do is register as a forum member so you can start asking questions. Registering takes about 3 minutes and is completely free of charge. Let me describe the simple steps of the registration process:
1) go to the page below
2) create your username and enter it (for example, your username can be friend or any other name you like)
3) enter your email address
4) enter your password (your password can be any word, for example friendpass
5) confirm your password (enter your password again)
6) enter confirmation code (this is the text line you will see on the page below)
7) click the ''send'' button
Once you have taken these steps, our forum will automatically send you an email with a link. Please click on this link so our forum knows that you are a real person and not a spam software program. As soon as you click the link, your forum user account will be active and you can start asking your questions. Are you ready? Then go to the registration page
As a registered member, you can log on to this page
and log in to the forum. You will see that there are many different parts of the forum and maybe you are overwhelmed by the number of links you will see. Well, after a while you will get used to using the forum and we are always there to guide and assist you. If you have a vocabulary or grammar question, please click on this link
and then click on the "new post" button (upper corner on the left hand side). A new screen opens that looks similar to your email program. In the "subject" box, enter a title for your question. Let''s say you want to know if the noun ''couple'' is plural or singular. The subject line of your forum message can read "couple singular or plural"? In the window below the subject line, you can enter your question. For example: "When is the noun couple treated as plural and when as singular?" What about other collective nouns such as ''pair'' and ''team''? After you enter your question, click on the ''send message'' button below the message window. Now your message (your question) is on the forum and we can answer it. As soon as somebody answers your question, you receive an email with a link. Click on the link to read the answer. Believe me, it might sound more complicated than it actually is. Just take the first steps and you will quickly learn how to use this new tool. We really look forward to meeting you on the forum.
PS: Alan is writing a new essay which you will receive soon. In the meantime, you can read all his previous newsletter