All Ears English Podcast | Real English Vocabulary | Conversation | American Culture (all ears english)

Do you have trouble understanding American speech habits?

In today’s Tear Up Your Textbook Tuesday, Lindsay and Michelle discuss 5 weird ways Americans use English, and how to understand what they’re saying!


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What’s so difficult about the IELTS Speaking Part 1?

What can you do to prepare?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss some tactics for avoiding the dangers and allowing yourself to stand out!


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Speaking Part 1 of the IELTS includes questions about yourself.  You will be asked about three topics, and though it may seem like simple stuff, the danger is that you might become too relaxed and start using one-word answers.

You want to do better than that.  In fact, ideally your answers will be 2-4 sentences each!

How can you do come up with that?  Do some brainstorming.  Think of the question words.  Question words can help you think of better answers.


Vocabulary is also important in Speaking Part 1.  If you want to achieve a higher score, you will need to use a range of vocabulary, including slang and idioms.  The examiner wants to hear that you know more than what’s in your textbook.  A good strategy is to have a short list of slang and idioms ready to use.


What are some good English slang words or idioms that might be helpful to have for Speaking Part 1 of the IELTS test?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Direct download: AEE_IELTS_2_How_to_Avoid_the_Dangers_on_Speaking_Part_1.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Do you prioritize learning English?

Are you a multi-tasker?

Today, Lindsay and Michelle talk about the famous “to do” list, and whether or not it really moves you forward in your life or your career!

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Direct download: AEE_244_To_Do_or_to_Dont-_That_Is_the_Question.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Can movies cause problems in speaking natural English?

Today, find out why mimicking phrases from movies can make it difficult to have natural-sounding English conversations!


Hollywood is drama.  Its stories are fiction.  This means that the language used by characters is often unrealistic.

Because of the unnatural dialogue, you don’t want to quote from movies unless it’s understood that you are quoting.  Native English speakers do it all the time by slightly changing the tone of their voice.  Even then, such quotes are usually made in a context that makes it clear that the usage is a little joke.


Some popular American movie quotes:

  • “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump
  • “May the odds be ever in your favor.” – The Hunger Games
  • “May the force be with you.” – Star Wars
  • “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13


While it can be fun to directly quote movies, you want to try to sound more like a real English speaker, not a fictional character.


Do you have any favorite movie quotes in English?

Share the ones you love in the comments section below!


Do you need a plan for Writing Task 1 on the IELTS exam?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica share two clear steps for helping you beat it!


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The IELTS exam’s written section is divided into two tasks.  Task 1 requires you to interpret a map or chart in approximately 150 words, while Task 2 is about 250 words on your own thoughts.  Even though it is longer, Task 2 is often easier for test-takers.  Task 1, because of the vocabulary needed, can be much more difficult.

The Task 1 chart is usually some kind of line or graph that shows a change over time.  To give yourself the language needed to discuss this chart, a good tactic might be to read the business section of the newspaper and pick up the vocabulary you need – words like that describe change, like increase, decrease, decline and skyrocket.


In writing your answer for Task 1, keep it clear and simple.  A good plan might be to discuss increases in paragraph one, and decreases in paragraph two.  That way, your answer is organized.


How are you preparing for the IELTS exam’s Task 1?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Direct download: AEE_Test_Talk_IELTS_How_to_Beat_Writing_Task_1_on_the_IELTS.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Do you have trouble using English modals?

Today, Lindsay and Michelle give you three crazy role-plays to understand when to use should, could and would!


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Correct use of modals like should, could and would can be confusing.  All three deal with time and possibility, and all three involve telling or asking someone to do something.


Should describes the strong possible likelihood of something.  It is also used to give advice.

  • “I should arrive on time.”
  • “You should apply for the job.”


Could describes a possibility in the past or the future.  It can also be used as a polite request.

  • “She could have eaten dinner already.”
  • “Could you pick me up at the airport?”


Would is most commonly used to make a polite request.

  • “Would you like to come with me?”
  • “Would you ask him about the book?”


How can you use should, could and would?

Give us some examples in the comments section below!

Direct download: AEE_241_Could_You_Listen_Would_You_Listen_You_Should_Listen.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Are you preparing to take the IELTS exam?

Today, Lindsay and Jessica discuss what you need to know to pass with the score you want!


Taking IELTS?

Get our free IELTS video course now

Direct download: AEE_TEST_TALK_IELTS_How_the_Pros_Prepare_for_the_IELTS.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Do you have trouble writing an email in English?

Do you worry about what kind of impression you’re making?

Today, Lindsay and Michelle share four common email mistakes made by non-native English speakers, and how to correct them!


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Have you ever thought about taking the TOEIC?

On today’s Test Talk, Lindsay and Jessica talk about using prediction in testing, and how it can help!


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When getting a bank account, cell phone, or internet connection in a foreign country, you need to be able to ask questions and know the right structures of conversation.  If you don’t, you might not be told all of the information you need to know.

By practicing, especially if you’re able to do so with a partner, you can learn to anticipate what might be said by the other person.  Doing this is learning to predict, and see what you’re missing.  It might make you a better test-taker.


A practice conversation might go like this:

  • “I need to open a bank account.”
  • “Okay, to open an account, please complete this form.”


  • “Where should I take the form?”
  • “Give it to the woman in the office down the hall.”


  • “When can I have my account?  Today?”
  • “No, it takes two weeks.”


  • “Do you need my passport?”
  • “Yes, and your birth certificate.”


If you would like to learn about this strategy, hear advice on how to strengthen it with resources that are free online, and get a practice guide written by Jessica, purchase the full episode.


Are you taking the TOEIC-1?

If so, let us know in the comments section below!

On today’s Deep Thoughts Thursday, Lindsay and Michelle consider a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.


When he was a child, Teddy Roosevelt was weak, sickly and asthmatic.  He had poor eyesight, too.  Yet he grew up to be one of America’s greatest symbols of achievement and individual strength.  His attitude continues to inspire today, and is summed up in the following quote:

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Direct download: AEE_239_Say_NO_to_the_Naysayer_When_It_Comes_to_Your_English.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT