It’s the 8th anniversary of EnglishTeacherMelanie.com and to celebrate I’ve put together a list of the most popular lessons on this website.
I have published hundreds of English lessons on this website in 8 years. When I first started this website, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had only been teaching English for two years, and I didn’t know a lot about running a website. I decided just to throw things at the wall and see what stuck! (That’s an idiom that means I tried many different things and waited to see what worked and what English learners liked and needed!)
In 2016 I deleted 40% of the lessons on this website. Let’s be honest. Some of the early lessons weren’t very good!
These 8 lessons, however, have always been the most popular since I first wrote them. This is a surprise to me because all of these lessons were written in 2010 and 2012. I have updated them since then with more information, but every year they are always the most read lessons on this site.
1. How to Improve Your English Pronunciation
I can understand why this lesson is the most popular lesson on my website. I have learned over the last 8 years that most English learners don’t have native-English speaking teachers. They also don’t have many opportunities to practice speaking English. English learners feel very self-conscious about their pronunciation, and so they are always looking for new and interesting ways to improve their pronunciation!
2. How to Use the English Verb “Suggest”
This is a mystery to me! I am surprised that so many people found this lesson. I think it’s because the verb suggest is used differently in a sentence than other verbs, and because it is often used in sentences with the subjunctive mood, which is difficult to understand.
3. When NOT to Use the Definite Article “the”
Whenever someone asks me a question about grammar, the first book I check is Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage*. It’s 600+ pages of grammar rules and explanations. The section on articles is 15 pages. No one can remember 15 pages of rules about when to use a and when to use the. I thought it would be much easier for English learners to remember when not to use the!
4. The Ten Best Tips to Get a High Score on the TOEFL iBT
The TOEFL is not an easy test. Even native speakers would struggle to get a high score if they didn’t prepare for it. You can do well on the TOEFL and get the score you need by spending time preparing for the test.
5. The First Conditional Sentence Structure
Ten percent of all the views on my website were for the four conditional lessons. 10%! Why are the conditional sentences so popular? I suspect students need to understand the conditionals to do well on their English exams in school.
6. How to Use “So” and “Too”
This is another mystery! How did so many people find this lesson? And why are the smallest words always the most difficult to understand?
7. Core Vocabulary: The English Words You Need to Know
I wish I had learned about core vocabulary when I was studying French in school. It would have saved so much time! I could have spent more time learning the most common French words instead of memorizing words I was probably never going to use in conversation!
8. The Third Conditional Sentence Structure
I can understand why this one is so popular. Of all the conditional sentences, the third conditional is the most difficult to understand. You have to imagine a different reality. You have to imagine an unreal situation. There’s also a lot of helping verbs, so a third conditional sentence is really long!
How did you find EnglishTeacherMelanie.com? Did you come here because of one of these lessons? Let me know in the comments below!