Don't Give Up!

Don’t Give Up!

You don’t need me to tell you that studying a foreign language is difficult.  When we attempt to do something difficult, it’s easy to get discouraged and want to quit.  The vocabulary in this lesson focuses on how we talking about giving up and not giving up.   Let’s start with not giving up (because that is what I hope […]

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Precision in Language

Precision in Language

Building your vocabulary is important not just for getting good scores on exams like the TOEFL and IELTS but also for expressing yourself clearly.  The more choices you have, the more precisely you can communicate. For example, a low-level English speaker might say to me: “I feel bad.”  While I’m sad for him, the simple […]

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PELA English student

Student Profile: Ahmed Al-Harbi

Yesterday, I sat down with one of our recent graduates, Ahmed.  Before he returns to his home in Saudi Arabia next week, I wanted to know what advice he might have for new students coming to Portland.  What surprised him?  What did he learn about being a student here?  Was all the struggle worth it? […]

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Must Not vs Dont Have To (Blog Post Image)

What’s the Difference? Must Not vs. Don’t Have To

There is a big difference between telling someone “You mustn’t drink alcohol” and telling him “You don’t have to drink alcohol.” Meaning: Must not means that the action is illegal or dangerous.  If I overhear the first speaker, I think this is a doctor telling someone that his health will be ruined if alcohol crosses […]

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