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Syrian Arab Republic

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February 9, 2010

After the first successful ten tips, I'd like to provide you with more...

1.Read English language comics. Even more than books with lots of dialogue, comics can be easy to understand and full of idiomatic language as it is actually spoken. There can be difficulties with slang, difficult to understand jokes and/ or dialogue written how people speak rather than with normal spellings, so try to choose which comic carefully. Usually, serious or adventure comics are easier to understand than funny ones.

2.Read English language entertainment guides. Nowadays most big cities in the world have an English language magazine and/ or online guide to the movies, plays, exhibitions that are on in the city that week. Reading this in English is not only good value, but it could also guide you to places that English speakers are interested in and where you might hear some English spoken around you.

3.Read English language magazines.If you can read two versions of the same magazine (Newsweek in your language and in English, for example), that could make understanding it much easier.

4.Take a one week intensive course. Although you cannot expect to come out of a very short course speaking much better English than when you started it, if you continue studying a little over the following weeks and months, the knowledge you gained then will gradually come out and mean that your level of speaking, listening etc. are better than they would have been if you hadn't taken that course. This positive effect can still be true up to a year later.

5.Follow your intensive course up with an extensive course. The more time you can spend studying English the better, but studying periodic intensive courses with a few hours of study a week in between is probably better value for money than any other system as it gives your brain time to subconsciously learn and start using the new language you have learnt before you introduce the next new "chunk" of language.

6.Supplement your group class with a one to one class. Another good way to combine two different kinds of classes is to study both in a group class and one to one. Having a one to one teacher, even if just a couple of times a month, will mean that you can be taught exactly the language that you need, that you will have more time to speak, and that you can have as much error correction as you like.

7.Supplement your one to one class with a group class. The benefits of having a group class are often less clear to students, but they include the fact that you will learn to deal with several people speaking at once, have a chance to practice skills such as interrupting people, and will hear a range of different viewpoints and topics.

8.Teach your children or friends some English. Recent research has shown that elder children tend to be a couple of IQ points above their younger siblings, and the most likely reason is that explaining things to their little brothers and sisters gives them an intellectual boost. In the same way, teaching someone lower level than you the English you already know is a great way of permanently fixing that knowledge in your own brain.

9.Ask your company to start English lessons. Even if you don't need to speak English at work, English lessons can be a fun and reasonably priced way for your company to spend their training budget in a popular way.

10.Have English radio on in the background while you are doing your housework. Even if you are not listening carefully, it will help you subconsciously feel the natural English rhythm and intonation.


Got a question?! Feel free to contact me at Ebaby!

Longing for another ten tips??!!!, that would be coming up soon.

Mr. Firass Kaddour


January 25, 2010

Hello everybody and welcome to my humble blog.

As you maybe have seen my profile, I’m an English teacher. What I’m trying to do is to help people improve their English language, or even start with them to learn this amazing language which I like so much.

I would like to start with my own experience through which I achieved native-like competence of American English.

Long ago, since I was a little child at nearly the age of 10 and by mere chance I was exposed to Whitney Houston's song entitled "I will always love you".
That made a great, deep impression in me though I didn't understand what I heard. So, I kept trying to repeat the song but in vain because I didn't speak English, so I tried to remember the melody only in order not to forget the song because maybe one day I’ll come to know this song’s title.

After about five years and by chance again I bought a cassette that included Whitney’s song and Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on “as well. That was amazing I was so happy I found the song I was looking for.
Then I started to listen to my local radio stations which broadcasted English songs, and sometimes they were telling the lyrics of those songs. That helped a lot, but until that time I wasn’t seeking learning English. Then, and with the passage of time I started understanding few words and sometimes fifty percent of the songs I hear on the radio. Of course I was a secondary school student at that time, so I had some English grammar. I want you to know that what was driving me is love, the love of that language.
I wasn’t intending to improve my English, but it was automatically improving by the passage of time.
After I was grown up a little bit I decided to study English Literature at the university, because I said to myself this is the best subject I’ve been good at during my school life, so I want to do it. And that’s what happened; I studied English Literature at university and graduated recently.

There’s something I want you to know, my native-like competence didn’t evolve because of the university, it evolved from hardworking and self-study. I used to listen to native speakers of both British and American English almost all the time, I imitated their pronunciation, and of course this didn’t happen simultaneously, I had to repeat and practice even with myself i.e. I spoke to myself sometimes loudly and I’m still doing it. Because you know… and as one of my friends here at Ebaby told me that he is not finding a person to communicate with in English, I didn’t have my English mate as well, not even had a person to speak English with. Some said that : come on man, we’re not English why should use their language, some didn’t have the courage, and many others couldn’t communicate in English though they were English Literature students and were exposed to English almost daily and for at least five six hours a day.
So I decided to chat with English people on the internet. Most of my conversations were by writing only, I had the chance to speak via voice only twice in the last four years.

It was such a pleasure to speak English fluently at least for a few minutes with my professors back at the university.
I tried to speak all the time. I needed a chance so I told one of my instructors to let me make a presentation in front of all my colleagues, and she said ok. I did it, and during it I cracked a joke in order to refresh the students but guess what happened?! Only four guys understood what I said and laughed. Oh my God, I was shocked but still, I wanted to go on.
You might ask yourselves this question “How could this guy pronounce English like native speakers, and I’ve been trying so hard to do that and I couldn’t?! Even though I’ve been studying English for years and in formal classes”.

I can tell you something but I don’t want you to get disappointed or frustrated; as I studied language learning theories and how a child acquires his mother tongue and how an adult learns a new language and how far can he or she achieve native-like competence of that language, this could be up to many factors like: age, teacher, environment, the right input etc…….
But my case as I think is a kind of innateness, something I was inborn with, so no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do you’re not gonna reach that point. I don’t wanna disappoint you but this is the truth as far as pronunciation is concerned.

But, you should keep learning and trying to improve your English whatsoever, don’t lose hope and practice English pronunciation as much as you could because not all learners of English are native-like speakers, but some have a nice pronunciation, they’re able to communicate with others, they can express themselves clearly.

Finally, one of the best ways to improve your English is using it, use it or lose it.
Please help me fulfilling my quest by commenting on my articles and lessons.
Please feel free to share me your ideas and thoughts, and don’t hesitate to contact me at Ebaby!

Mr. Firass Kaddour

Syrian Arab Republic




10:23 PM Feb 01 2010

Amar pandey

Very intresting juorney of learning english and inspiring too. You have faced the same problem what most of us have faced. However you was inspired by yourself and diligently achieved  what you wanted. Honestly speaking It was not my love that drove me to learn this language, in fact it was my circumstances that and quest of knowledge that compel me to learn this language.

I am facing problem thesedays to speak it. in this regard i would like to take yours advise, whether i should join a english coaching to be competent at speaking. 

10:06 PM Feb 01 2010



I think you are good teacher. I wanna to be a good teacher,too. I would like practice all English skills as you do.

02:07 PM Jan 31 2010

Dominican Republic

Good Article

05:19 AM Jan 28 2010

Syrian Arab Republic

Thank you so much for your lovely comments

06:08 AM Jan 26 2010


Saudi Arabia

Every single person in the world has a motivation of some kind that pushes him/her forward to achieve an intended goal.

Songs were good enough to support your LOVE of English language. Actually, trying to understand the words of the songs - not because you are a fan of these songs but because you are a fan of English language, is something stunning by itself.

You had the seed of success. You didn't stop at that point but ,instead, started watering your passion toward English till you gained the native speaker competence.

Your experience is touching; and from now on, your articles are gonna be one of my various sources of "aquiring" the language. Smile

08:20 PM Jan 25 2010


Sri Lanka

I gathered some knowledge to improve my English language ability by reading your article.Thanks for kind help.

02:48 PM Jan 25 2010

Efri Shan

Efri Shan

That's a good article. We have the same experience.Unlike you, I still can't be able to speak English like native-speaker. I loose of practice, maybe cuz I don't have a parter to talk with.By reading ur article, I'm motivated to try ur tips. I like English songs, too! I usually listen to the English song, looking for it's lyric, and try to pronounce it by singing. And it works.Thank u for sharing ur idea and I hope u don't mind to help me improve my English. Sincerely, Efri Shan