ESL and IELTS Help 4 U

Archive for May 2010

(The words with an “*” may be new vocabulary. The meanings, in my words, are below the text or look them up at

It would be nice if we all learned in the same way….but we do not!

Everyone learns a little differently. Some of us learn predominantly* by seeing, others by hearing, others by doing. In other words, some students will learn best when they can see pictures or charts of the information. Others will learn most easily when they listen to a lecture.  And many students learn most effectively* when they can do an exercise or an activity about the information they are studying. These different ways of learning are called learning styles.

Which learning style is yours? It is important to know the answer to this question. When you know what your learning style is, you can help yourself to learn more effortlessly* and easily.

How We Learn, Part 2 will tell you how to identify your learning style.

predominantly: in this case, best or most easily

effectively: better or more quickly and easily

effortlessly: easily, with little effort



Posted on: May 30, 2010

(The words with an “*” may be new vocabulary. The meanings are below the text, in my own words or look them up at

Do you feel anxious* when you study English? Afraid that you will make a mistake, that you won’t be perfect? Nervous about what others will think of you if you don’t get it right?

We all have these feelings when we’re learning something new.

But anxiety* slows down learning. It gets in the way like a wall between your brain and the information you are trying to learn.   Anxiety slows down your learning.

When you start getting anxious, look at what happens in your body. Do you clench your fists?…

Does your stomach go into a knot?

Try to just breathe and slow down your thinking until only your breathing exists.

Being aware of your breath will help you relax. When you are relaxed, the door to learning is open. Your brain can take in information. You can think more clearly. You can learn to trust yourself and what you already know.

anxious (adjective), anxiety (noun): a feeling that is a kind of fear or worry


Posted on: May 30, 2010

(The words with an “*” may be new vocabulary. The meanings are given below the text, in my own words, or look them up at

Ploy graduated from Chiang Mai University from the Faculty of Law. She plans to go abroad to study and I was privileged* to help her study for the IELTS exam. She wrote this lovely note and drew an adorable* rabbit:

privileged:lucky or having good fortune

adorable: very very cute!

I have an email address exclusively for students:

If you are interested in talking about having lessons with me, write to this address. Don’t worry about having perfect English! We will arrange to speak via Skype for up to one half hour with no fee to see if we are right for each other. Not every teacher is good for you.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Hi! My name is Erin Palmer. I’m from America and have spent the last four and a half years teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here is a picture of a super! class of students from Chiang Mai University…

This is Boom, Prae, May, Ohm and Jhai, super students, with me at the coffee house.

I have recently returned to the United States to take care of my mother who is now 85 and am teaching English online through Skype.

I’ve taught many secondary school and undergraduate and graduate university students, doctors, city officials, teachers, high school principals and lots of young learners ages 4-6.  This year I received a Best Teacher award for the year 2009 from the association of Chiang Mai private schools, the only foreign teacher to receive this award.

My students and I work together to improve speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. We focus on things that students love to talk about and do as well as what’s going on in the country and in the world. We put English to work rather than just do grammar exercises.

My background is in psychology. I have undergrad and graduate degrees in psychology as well as a TEFL certificate from Chiang Mai University.

I hope this has helped you get to know me better!

(Words with an “*” may be new vocabulary. Definitions in my own words appear below the text or go to

The only way to learn English is to speak it. In Thailand, most language classes focus* on grammar. Grammar is important but if you don’t use the language, if you don’t put the grammar to work, then English cannot be yours. Be proactive* in creating an English discussion group with other students who are studying the language. Meet regularly, for lunch or at the coffee shop. Bring an English dictionary.  Speak only English and help one another. Talk about everyday things: the weather, shopping, school, movies. Laugh at your mistakes…we all make them. Have fun!

focus: to direct your attention to one thing, to think about one thing

proactive: to create something yourself rather than react to what another person has done or said

(Words followed by “*” may be new vocabulary. Their meanings, in my words, are written below the text. Or go to

The essays are the scariest part of the test for many students. Two important keys to a good essay are (1) planning and (2) keeping it simple.

When the test begins, it is easy to just start writing. But your essay can only be organized and clear if you think about the points you want to make and decide what comes first, second and so on…BEFORE you begin to write.

Many students try to impress* the examiner by trying to write in a very advanced and sophisticated* way.  It is more important to write in a clear, simple and direct way.

impress: to affect strongly in a good way

sophisticated: high-class