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English Proficiency Exams – TOEFL

Accepted by over 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in more than 130 countries around the world, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language is one of the two major ‘graded’-style English language tests. It is administered by the US-based Education Testing Service. The version of TOEFL required by most institutions is the internet-based […]

English Proficiency Exams – IELTS

The International English Language Testing System is a test managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and IDP Education. It is the other major ‘graded’-style English language tests, accepted by more than 9,000 educational institutions, governments and professional registration bodies in over 140 countries. There are two main formats for IELTS, Academic and […]

Review: Second Conditional

The second conditional is used to talk about hypothetical situations in the present. Suppose I think I’m too short to play basketball. I would probably say: “If I were taller, I would play basketball.” What I mean is that I don’t think I can play basketball because I’m not tall enough. I use the verb in the […]

English Proficiency Exams – What you need to know

It’s an exciting time to be a CTJ student. We are welcoming a wider range of exams for people who want to obtain internationally-recognized qualifications in English proficiency. But how do you know which certificate will suit you best? They all have impressive names, but what do these names actually do, and mean? To start […]

Money Idioms

Idioms are expressions that are natural to a native speaker of a language and they are typically metaphorical. They make our point clear and they are an economical way of getting the point across. Also, idioms are very widely used in spoken English by native speakers and because of that it is very important to […]

A vitória do “Basic English”

Quando a gente começa a aprender inglês, às vezes vêm aqueles sentimentos conflitantes – de animação e de frustração. De animação por que subitamente você começa a se comunicar em outra língua; onde antes não havia nada, agora há muito. De repente você começa a reconhecer palavras, entende uma fala aqui e ali nos filmes, […]

Games as a powerful language learning tool

Have you ever thought of playing online games to help you learn English? Games can be a powerful language learning tool. They are also seen as a fun way to expand learner’s knowledge of English in meaningful ways, which might lead to a better long-term retention of the target language. ABCya is a free educational website that […]

Free English Resources to Boost Your Language Learning

 The British Council is an organization in the United Kigdom that builds on implementing cultural relationships and provides myriad educational opportunities. They have developed a website exclusively dedicated to learning the English language, which is divided into sections according to the student age: kids, teens and adults. Each section features a huge variety of resources, including games, […]

Review: Past Perfect

Here’s my third piece of review, and it’s a good one. The Past Perfect is an interesting verb tense. It does not happen alone. It comes together with the Simple Past. As the saying goes, they go together like a horse and carriage Look at this sentence: “When I got home, my wife left for work.” In this sentence […]

What kind of movies do you like?

Hello, dear reader, In this post, I propose we talk about vocabulary that is commonly used in English to talk about movies. Many are the words used to describe how we feel about a movie, how it was made, the kind of movie it is, etc. Without further ado, let me jump right in and […]

Numbers vs Periods & Hyphens

Hi, dear reader, The title of this post might sound puzzledly mathematical, but its content does not require prior knowledge of advanced calculations. In English, periods and hyphens are frequently used when numbers need to be set to paper: Periods:  Periods are used to separate the number from its decimal ($ 3.35) . This period […]

Confusing verbs: Been or Gone?

Hi, dear reader, Two verb forms that are often confused is been and gone. They are the past participle of the verbs be and go.  I ask you, what’s the difference between,  he’s gone to Africa and he’s been to Africa? Well, use gone when someone visits a place but has not come home yet. “Michael can’t come […]

Confusing prepositions (at, in, on)

Hello, dear reader, It’s a week-know fact that prepositions in English can be tricky. Sometimes their use is quite simple, as when they are used to show placement, e.g. The book is on the table. However, there are times when their use can be quite a challenge as in He’s on a bus to Portland. Why is he on a bus […]

Pronunciation tip: Silent L

Hello, reader, The English language has plenty of silent letters, and one that is often forgotten by speakers of Portuguese is the silent l. It’s common for people who speak Portuguese to overlook that because in Portuguese silent letters are not common. Take for example the following words: Salmon, half, calm, talk, would and should […]

Confusing verbs: Borrow vs Lend?

Hi, Many are the verbs in English out there that confuse the eager language learner. As a fellow blogger of mine in these pages have already introduced you to lay/lie and raise/rise, I thought I could give my contribution so that you avoid the common pitfalls every student tends to fall into. Borrow vs Lend […]

Learning English At Home

Our Executive Director Lúcia Santos learned about this site to practice English through videos at a conference for educators. The “Connect With English” series is fantastic for those students who are eager and motivated to practice English. On the platform, there are videos with stories that last an average of ten minutes. After you watch […]

Expressions with “Face”

Nowadays it’s very common to hear Brazilian people saying “face” to designate Facebook. However, this post has nothing to do with that “face”!

Here are some common expressions with the word “face” that might interest you.