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Education Scene 1

Stephen and Ashlie decide to take a course on basic car maintenance. Anxious to get his hands dirty, Stephen learns a lesson the hard way.

Watch the video. Then go to Task and do the activities. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Language level

Intermediate: B1


How to improve written english

Hello Glory R. M,

How to write depends upon what kind of writing you want to do, for what purpose you are writing and who the recipient is. Different kinds of writing require different language and different ways of organising the text, so the first thing to do is to take a look at as many different texts as you can. In general, to improve your writing it's important to read and write as much as possible, so keep an eye out for good examples of letters, articles and so on. Using the internet to read magazines, newspapers and other text-types from online media is a good idea.

If possible, you should get feedback from a teacher or knowledgeable friend on your writing. Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to give users individualised feedback on their writing, but you can still use LearnEnglish to do some work on your own.  You can respond to other users in the comment sections to carry on a written conversation, just as I am responding to you now. Good writers learn from reading other writers' texts, so you could learn a lot about writing from reading the content on the site. Our Magazine might be a good place to start if this interests you. You can also of course carry on written conversations there in the comments. On the other hand, if you are interested in academic writing, then our Writing for a Purpose section might be what you are looking for.

Whatever you do, try to spend at least 15 minutes several days per week reading and/or writing. When you have doubts, ask a friend or teacher, or you're also welcome to ask us periodically here by using the comments sections on each page, and we'll be happy to try to answer your questions. Remember also that written texts are usually well organised - unlike a lot of speech, which can often be haphazard and disorganised.  Therefore it's important to write in an organised way: start by collecting your thoughts, then plan how you are going to organise them, then write a first draft. After that, check (or get someone else to check) your draft before writing your final version. Research shows that good writers constantly review their work and amend it, so this is a good model.

You might also take a look at the British Council's ESOL Nexus site, which has materials for different skills, including writing.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Please give me some tips for presenting a paper in front of people/audience in a meeting. Most of the time I lose confidence.

Hello Glory R. M,

Our focus here is on the language rather than on presentation skills, which are a separate area. However, I have quite a lot of experience of giving talks and I would say that confidence is something that comes with experience. All speakers are nervous initially so the key is to be well-prepared, to know your material and to take your time. When people are nervous they speak more quickly; be aware of this and don't worry about using pauses effectively. I'd suggest that reading from a script is a bad idea in most cases as it makes the presentation wooden and depersonalised; however, speaking ad lib is difficult for the inexperienced and so a good balance is often to prepare a set of cards for use. Each card is for one part of the talk (maybe 15 minutes or so) and contains little prompt words, things to remember, a list of points to make, a joke to tell, information about slides or visuals and so on. You can hold them in the palm of your hand and use them to keep track of where you are and what you have to say.

I hope those suggestions are helpful. You can find a lot of tips and guides on the internet, of course, including video guides on YouTube and elsewhere.

Best wishes and good luck!



The LearnEnglish Team

the most difficult part of English languages is memorizing the word. is there any one to guide me in this part?

Hello N-Akbari,

To improve your vocabulary it's important to 1) see new and familiar words and phrases in context, 2) note down these words and phrases in an organised manner and 3) practise, revise and review new items systematically.

You can apply this method to any language source, but I'd like to recommend in particular the Listen & Watch section on LearnEnglish. Working through this section will help you with the first point. The more you read - magazines and newspapers, journals, short stories, novels, poems... in fact, whatever genre or kind of writing interests you - the better, and you can find an inexhaustible supply on the internet, of course.

We also recommend very strongly that you start (if you haven't already) a personal vocabulary book. Organise it by topic (sports, work, appearance, finance etc) and add new words and phrases to it as you listen, watch and read in English.

Once you have built up a small collection of items in your vocabulary book, you can use it to test yourself so you can see how well you memorise the items. Cover the meanings and/or examples and try to recall them, or to translate the words and phrases into your own language.

Good luck!

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

how to improve oral english

Hello David,

This is a question we get quite often, and it is hard for us to give specific advice without knowing how you speak at the moment. However, there are some suggestions which we can make which will help you to improve over time. The most important thing you can do is to speak English as often as possible. To do this a partner is very helpful, so think about the people you know and consider if any of them could be a practice partner for you. It may be that you know someone else who is also learning English and who would like to practise with you, or perhaps you know some people who do not speak your language but do speak English.

However, if you do not have a practice partner it does not mean that you cannot practise because it is possible to practise alone. Just speaking English to yourself while you are at home, going about your normal daily activities, can help a great deal with your fluency and can help you to feel more confident, which will help you to cut down your hesitating.

You can also use the audio and video materials here on LearnEnglish to improve your fluency. After doing the exercises, try listening with the transcript (listening and reading). Then try saying the text yourself, and finally try saying it with (and at the same speed as) the recording. This will help you to develop speed in your speech, which is a key component of fluency.  You'll also pick up a lot of language as chunks - words which are often used together in set phrases - which you can use to communicate with less hesitation.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, this is sunita, Would you let me, wen we use, get used to\ used to be????/ I am used to getting around New York by subway.......... I am getting used to the climate. you will get used to eating with chopsticks........................ pls let me know, what are the different in these sentences, and why they used in the different way????

Please, I am interested to improve my english for theoretical (philosophical, logical) presentations.
May you give me some areas on your site?