Home







English in the Real World


The 7 strangest English name changes

We’ve changed our name from EF English Live to EF English Live. That’s not strange. Because we are part of EF, we teach English and we’re live 24/7. The following names, however, are our collection of the strangest English name changes in history. 1. BEEZOW DOO-DOO ZOPITTYBOP-


How to make an appointment in English

One of the mainstays of life is making and keeping appointments. Many people consider “an appointment” to mean a doctor’s visit or a job interview or other more formal. However, it is important to realize that such activities as meeting a friend for lunch or dinner, going to a co


Strength through diversity: Learning English unites the EF Pro cycling team

In 2018 EF Education First, [https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/press/wild-ride-decided-become-title-partner-worldtour-pro-cycling-team/] the world leader in international education, entered the realm of professional cycling by acquiring our UCI WorldTour team. The cycling team is n


The Meaning of Hand Gestures Around the World

Hand gestures are an integral part of communication, particularly if we are speaking in a foreign language. They are a great way of making sure we’re getting our point across and underpin what we’re trying to say. Many travelers will also use hand gestures as a means of non-verba


How to maximize your English learning

It’s the time of year when many people begin to make plans and set goals. Often those goals include finding a new job, improving employment prospects and developing some new and positive habits. One decision that can help with all of those is to learn English online [https://eng


Learn English: Christmas and New Year around the world

Christmas is, probably the most widely held celebration in the world. The day of the birth of Jesus Christ – actually, it probably wasn’t, but we’ll let that pass. The sharing of Christmas greetings is found at Christmas around the world [https://englishlive.ef.com/blog/english-i


Black Friday History

In between Halloween and Christmas there is another major holiday that is happening in U.S. We are talking about Thanksgiving, which is happening on the last Thursday of November. It is when Americans say their thank you and spend a day filled with feasting, watching football and


Vocabulary around Halloween

When we learn English language online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] it doesn’t have to be all about grammar, syntax and all the rather technical and, although important, potentially boring stuff. Learning English is as much about discovering the culture of the countries tha


Fashion Vocabulary: Talk about fashion in English

FASHION VOCABULARY There is so much to gain when we learn the English language online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/], and perhaps the best thing of all is when we can use that language in the real world. London Fashion week [http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk] is coming up,


Breaking the Ice – Conversational English with Strangers

Attending any kind of gathering where we will be mixing with strangers causes a pang of anxiety in most of us, and when English is not our first language, such worries can be greater. One of the advantages we have when we learn English online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/]


How to Go Shopping in English

SHOPPING IN ENGLISH When we go abroad to a country where a different language is spoken, there’s that little a bit of fun going shopping, of trying to make ourselves understood whether it is for the piece of local jewellery that has caught our eye, or as we look in the supermark


Unique Regional US Expressions

In general, those learning American English learn grammatically correct English. This makes understanding documents such as directions, books, and email easy. However American conversational English poses a number of problems for those who learn English online [https://englishliv


English Around Britain

The normal language we learn when we study English online [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-us/] is known by a number of names. It is called standard English, or the Queen’s English, although this term is now seen as being a little old fashioned. This standard English is sometimes c


Understanding British Humour

BRITISH HUMOUR Most countries have a particular sense of humour, finding some things much funnier than their national neighbours. That is certainly the case with the British, for whom a sense of irony and enjoyment of sarcasm – often known as ‘banter’ is a common and often hard


Is text messaging ruining the English language?

The speed and shorthand of SMS has irreversibly changed our use of English, but is this a good or bad thing? A UN poll in 2012 found that at the time of polling just over a year ago, there were as many mobile phones as people in the world: over six billion. When you consider tha


7 famous English love quotes to put you in the mood for love

Love is a complex emotion and can be difficult to talk about in any language, let alone your second language. If you are learning English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] and want to impress the person you love, borrow some of these expressions from the masters of the English


Describe your daily routine: Useful English phrases

There are some key phrases that are useful to learn in English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/resources/english-language-ebook/english-phrases/] in order to explain your daily routine to another person. In order to introduce these phrases, let me take you through a typical day


4 simple steps to cancel plans in English

Canceling plans can be awkward in any language. Maybe you have to break them for a good reason – like you got sick. Or maybe it’s for something less truthful – like you just feel lazy. Either way, when you cancel, you don’t want to offend the other person. Here’s how to cancel pl


Top 10 ways to say "thank you" in an English email

When we’re sending emails, it’s easy to be too direct. This can upset the reader or cause offense. Saying “thank you” is a great way to make your email more polite and personal. What’s the best way to do it, though? Find out our top ten ways to say “thank you” in an English email


Best English films for learning English fast

Britain has given us movie heroes like James Bond, actors like Laurence Olivier and Tilda Swinton, and fantastic film directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Watching their films is always a pleasure – but as an English language learner it can also be a valuable way


5 interesting links between music and language

Whether it’s spoken, signed or written, language is a human universal. Did you know the music is not far behind? There are very few cultures (if any) in the world that do not have music of some sort. Music and language have closer links than just being something we all do, though


How learning English can help you expand your social reach

In an age where there is more competition than ever before for top jobs, your social network can be a powerful asset. Learning English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/] can help you expand your social reach and make yourself more competitive at work. It’s also great fun to have


What’s it like to meet an online student face to face for the first time?

One of the best things about learning (and teaching) a language online is being able to meet people from all over the world every day without even needing to leave your home. Learners get to know teachers, teachers get to know learners, we all make friends and find out interestin


How to speak English like a native speaker

Nobody wants to speak ‘textbook English’. The dated expressions and formal phrases you may remember from school can be entirely different from the real-world English used by native speakers. While achieving native-level fluency is a lofty goal, there are many small steps you can


6 English words and expressions for supporting your favourite sports team

Going to watch live sports can be great fun but sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say in your second language. If you are learning English, these words and expressions will be useful to help you get started supporting your favourite sports teams in English. COME ON


What’s the Best English Accent to Learn?

THE ANSWER MAY SURPRISE YOU! When new students join EF English Live [https://englishlive.ef.com/], they often come with an idea about what correct English sounds like, even if they’re just beginners. In most countries around the world, it’s common to hear spoken English on telev


5 Ways Our Classes Will Help You in the Real World

One of the best parts about learning English is that the language has an immediate practical application—you can use it straight away. Of course, to build confidence, most people want to practice speaking and listening with others before heading out into the ‘real-world’. It’s n


Breaking cultural diversity barriers with English

Whether it’s in the workplace, on vacation or for everyday life, most people who learn English [https://englishlive.ef.com/] do so to speak with someone from another cultural background. Think about it – if you just wanted to speak with people from the same cultural background, t


What would Shakespeare make of Harry Potter?

Shakespeare is the most celebrated English writer of all time. He’s invented words and expressions that have helped shape the language as we know it today. What would he make of modern English, though? When it comes to modern writers in English, few can match the fame of JK Rowli


Learning English is a safe haven for next economic crisis

As the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 reached its peak, people all over the world had to cut back on spending and think carefully about how to secure their employment in the future. One result of this was increased economic migration, another was increasing competition for


Social media terminology: Troll, hater, meme...

Social media can be a minefield to navigate. Especially in a second language. There are always new terms to keep up with and other people are never afraid to point out things that are wrong. Don’t fear, though. Make sure you know these simple pieces of English social media vocabu


19 motivational quotes to keep you learning English

When you’re down on motivation, it’s a great idea to get some advice from an expert. We don’t always have experts on hand, though. If that’s the case and you need some advice to help you get motivated to learn English [https://englishlive.ef.com/en-gb/], turn to some of the great


Improve your English handwriting with these 5 simple steps

In a world of email and instant messaging, it might seem like handwriting is less important than ever. This isn’t the case, though. A handwritten letter can be a really meaningful statement to a loved one and writing by hand can be an enjoyable pastime in itself. If you’ve become


Why do we eat popcorn at the cinema?

Popcorn – the snack that puts the ‘pop’ in ‘popular’ snacks to eat at the cinema. Why is popcorn and a movie such a great combination, though? To answer that question, let’s start with some history. We’ll start with which came first. By the mid 1800s, popcorn was already a popul


5 interesting ways to celebrate the legend of the three wise men

One of the Christmas legends celebrated by different people all over the world is that of the three wise men. Sometimes called the three kings, these men were said to have followed an unusual star in the sky to find the baby Jesus and give him three gifts: gold, frankincense, and