AT ALL COSTS – One ILAC Student’s Story of Success

Student writing

- Paul Grieve (ILAC Teacher)

Two years ago I taught Advanced Business English and had the pleasure of teaching a very hard-working student from the Czech Republic.  This student was remarkable in many ways, but stood out in one way in particular; she was deaf.

On her first day, Eva came to me to explain her situation, expressing concern that her hearing impairment may affect her ability to participate fully in class.  I asked her a few questions to assess her listening skills, which were actually quite strong.  When I mentioned this, she told me she relied heavily on her ability to read lips.  When I asked how comfortable she felt in telephone conversations, either in English or Czech, she replied that phone conversations were challenging, but not impossible as long as her hearing aid was working.

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Free Grammar Lesson for ESL Students – Negation in English

- Josh Pirie (The Language Doctor)

Negation is a strange beast in English.  Have you ever met people who say “no” and those who say “not” in what seems to be the same sentences?  Here are two examples:

  • Your drawing is no better than mine.
  • Your drawing is not better than mine.

Generally, we say that “no” is a quantifier, a “grammar adjective” we use when there isn’t any of a particular thing.  We use it when we want to show absence: “There are no cookies left in this jar!”  We also say, generally, that “not” is an adverb, and goes nicely with verbs when we want to negate a whole sentence: “This is not what I asked you to do.”  But these do not explain the use of the two examples above.  What’s going on here?

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Learning English in a Foreign Country is like Learning to Ride a Bike!

Taking off the Training Wheels

- Paul Grieve (ILAC Teacher)

Back when I was a young child I used to watch in amazement as people on bicycles rode around the neighborhood. Able to pedal up and down the driveway on my tricycle (a bike for small children with three wheels), I wondered how the riders I saw stayed upright on only two wheels.  When I got older and my parents bought me my first two-wheeled bicycle, I was excited that I was on my way to becoming like one of the “big kids”.

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An Amazing Story of One ILAC English Student

This is a story begun in hardship, difficulty and poverty but through perseverance, fortitude and belief, grew into a story of success, joy and accomplishment. This is the story of a young boy from the city of Chita (Чита́), Russia, located in the far eastern region of Central Russia, where the nation dips its belly along the northern border of China (Mongolia), who dreamed of living in the West though most of the people around him thought it simply impossible. And while I have been to Russia a few times and know much about the nation and its history and culture, Chita had been a city unknown to me until the day Dima entered my life. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

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