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What are homographs?

Words that have the same spelling and different pronunciation in English are called homographs. These words also have different meanings.

Just like in Portuguese, English has many words that fit this group.

SEDA College Online has prepared 10 examples to make clear what homographs are.

  • Bear (animal)

I love brown bear

Bear (the verb; to stand)

I can’t bear this noise

 

  • Minute (time measure)

I’ll be there in a minute

Minute  (tiny)

Add just a minute amount of salt into the soup.

 

  • Close (not far)

The cafeteria is close

Close (verb)

The cafeteria will close in 5 minutes

 

  • Bar (place)

She was sitting at the bar

Bar (object)

I bought one bar of chocolate

 

  • Left (direction)

Look Left and right before you cross the road

Left (past of to leave)

Tha plane left for Paris last night

 

  • Letter (written document)

There is a letter for you

Letter (of the alphabet)

B is the second letter of the alphabet

 

  • Novel (fiction)

I read a lot of novels

Novel (new)

What a novel idea

 

  • Right (correct)

I’m sure I’m right

Right (direction)

Take a right turn at the intersection

 

  • Ring (jewelry)

What a beatiful ring!

Ring (to call)

I’ll ring you later

 

  • Sign (signal)

Headches may be a sign of stress

Sign (the verb)

You forgot to sign the cheque

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Do you know how important ‘English for Specific Purposes’ courses are? SEDA Online explains!

How about getting better prepared acquiring skills and specific vocabulary in English for your job area? SEDA College Online helps you acquire this knowledge with English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses.

They have as the main goal prepare the students according to the skills and vocabulary required in their own field, being able to communicate effectively when necessary.

The capacitations focus on developing communication skills in English in specific subjects, such as marketing, managing, Human Resources, and strategic thinking, for example. Therefore, these capacitations allow professionals to master relevant skills and be able to deliver the necessities of a global market.

On SEDA College Online it is possible to have access to courses with this objective, that help developing careers and English learning, since they teach specific vocabulary for certain situations. Check below some courses available now and go for them!

English for Business 

Hairdresser and Beauty Salon

Cabin Crew

Job Interview

Improve your Linkedin

Introduction to Digital Marketing

Sales Process

Persuasion

Sales Skills

Time management

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Tips to improve English

If you know the language and would like to improve certain aspects related to vocabulary and pronunciation, we have some tips to share that will help you improve English. Check!

Read out loud

It is a recommendation from specialists! Write a text then read it out loud. This will help you recognise proper writing and it will help you be more secure with pronunciation.

Meetups

This website has every person interested in many activities, with interests that go from gastronomy to languages. Be part of groups that will help you practice your English by speaking about nice topics. It’s the perfect opportunity to increase your vocabulary and make new friends.

Get to know more: https://www.meetup.com/pt-BR/

Conversation classes

There is nothing better to improve the language than practicing it! And one option is being part of conversation classes. Seek groups in your city or even a bunch of friends to practice.

SEDA College Online

With more than 30 available courses, SEDA College Online’s platform is a great option to improve your English. There are courses from beginner to advanced, and even specific ones related to jobs and the market, for example. It’s worth a look!

Check here: https://www.sedacollegeonline.com

 

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How to organize your schedule to learn English faster

We know that learning a language depends a lot on the dedication and persistency of the student.

Besides being a personal victory, everybody dreams in finding the formula to learn English faster. If the student knows how to organize their schedule, occupying themselves with diverse activities that will put the language in their routine, the result will be reached faster. Check some tips!

  • When you wake up, go for some radio stations in English. While you make breakfast, take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed and leave the house, pay attention to the radio host. Nothing better than this to learn the accent, new words, slangs, etc.
  • Whenever you are going to class or work, listen to your favourite songs. Many times we sing without paying attention to the lyrics, intonation, meaning. For this to be useful in learning, it must be studied and understood.
  • After having an English class, check your notes, do the exercises, read out loud to make your pronunciation better.
  • Whenever you pause for a meal, listen to podcasts. You will be acquiring knowledge in different areas and will train your listening and comprehension.
  • While resting after classes and work, watch some movies or favourite series in English. Start paying attention to the dialogues, following the subtitles closely. After that, watch it without subtitles. Slowly your ears will be used to that and you will understand.

By acquiring these habits, organising your schedule and putting English more in your routine, you will be practicing it all day long, making your learning faster.

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The hardest parts about learning English

The fact that many people speak English and it is used all around, from tourism to academic writing, it is common to think it is easy to learn. But don’t be fooled: no language is actually easy to learn, not even English. Actually, every language is equally complex and every single aspect of it is tricky for foreigners.

If you want to speak, write, read and understand in an advanced level, you must conquer harder aspects of the language. These are five of the hardest things to learn about the language, check it out!

  1. Spelling System

One of the most challenging aspects of the language is its spelling system, which is very unpredictable. Instead of having a relation one-to-one between word and sound, any combination of vowels, consonant or vowels and consonants can be pronounced differently than it looks.

  1. Tenses

Trying to understand tenses can be very frustrating. Some of them are challenging because they have too many exceptions and make mastery harder.

Let’s use the present perfect continuous as an example:

“I have been travelling for two months.”

In English, you use the modal verb has + been and the verb with -ing to express the idea that some time has passed since the action started.

Even though that might sound like second nature to a native speaker, this is not so obvious to foreigners, especially to those who speak languages that don’t express this concept like this.
–

  1. Polysemy and context

Many times we forget that the words are complex things with many meanings and functions. This is specifically true in English, where words can have the same surprising amount of different meanings and functions depending on where and how they are being used.

  1. Compound verbs (phrasal verbs)

One of the scariest things about learning the language is this section of weird verbs known as phrasal verbs. There are so many confusing ones.

They are, to make it simple, a combination of a noun and an adverb, a verb and a preposition, etc., things that work as one word only.

  1. Extensive Vocabulary

The size of the English vocabulary is huge and constantly growing. And there are many reasons for that.

There is a great variety of borrowed words as well, like many other languages. Most of them come from Latin, Greek and Germanic roots. Besides, English has reached a status of a global language, that is why it is constantly assimilating new words from other languages thanks to the internet.

But don’t be afraid of that, because even when we accept that it is hard, we keep going after more practice and during your exchange programme, you will hear a lot of it and eventually learn how to be fluent.

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4 ways of dealing with the tiredness of learning English

Despite how thrilling leaning English can be, we cannot deny that the process can be a bit stressful. After all, learning a foreign language means:

  • Finding time in your schedule to study everyday.
  • Acquire thousands of new words, grammar structures and cultural concepts.
  • Making tons of mistakes, many in front of complete strangers.
  • Forget years of habits from your mother tongue.
  • Challenge yourself continuously to practice and improve.

The stressful factors mentioned above can sound scary, but in reality they are just part of a process that has more advantages than disadvantages.

 These four tips can help you with this process:

1-Keep studying

When we are stressed because of learning, the first thought that comes to our mind is to have a break. This is a natural response, but it can compromise your goals of learning on the long run if you’re not careful enough.

The most important thing is: keep studying. Change everything related to the way you learn: what you learn, how much, when, where and why, but make sure learning is still part of your life.

2-Vary your learning activities

When you decide to learn a language, it doesn’t magically appear in your brain. It is a set of skills that, in order to learn them, you must practice any number of activities that will help you develop them.

Besides your classes, practice with classmates or friends, listen to songs and watch movies in English, use apps to learn more and above all, go to extracurricular classes offered by schools.

3- Find something you like

Sometimes, the cause of the overload is not the activity that makes you learn, but you are trying to learn too actively.

The best way to reduce the speed without actually reducing the contact with the language is finding a passive activity related to the language of your preference, and do this while you’re not doing the hard stuff.

By doing these activities, don’t worry about trying to get every detail. These are different, so just enjoy and see what you can get from them.

4- Have a break (well planned)

If even after all those activities you feel like having a break from learning, you can do it. However, to avoid falling in the common trap of postponing learning indefinitely, you will have to have a plan.

First, what you will have to split tasks in chunks. How long is it going to last? You break them down and have a long break or short ones?

But don’t forget that you can’t extend it much, because the lack of interest comes back fast.

 

 

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The most common mistakes made by learners of English

As students of the English Language, you need to have tips to focus your learning so that you can fine-tune your language skills. So, check these tips about the most common mistakes made by learners of English and allow them to help you to develop your skills. SEDA Online believes in education for everyone and we know you can achieve your goals with a little bit of guidance.

Pronunciation

  • Pronouncing silent letters; pronouncing the ‘t’ in ‘castle’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘coffee’ as ‘cough’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘of’ as ‘off’.
  • Pronouncing the letter ‘i’ consistently as /i:/ rather than one of its many proper pronunciations.
  • Using the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable of 3+ syllable words.
  • Pronouncing all words ending in -ed as ‘ED’.

Grammar

  • Using the wrong prepositions in the wrong context; ‘in home’ vs ‘at home’.
  • Confusing when to use to + inf. Verb, or gerund.

✓        “The importance of having a daily study routine’.

x         “The importance to have a daily study routine’.

  • Using question words… Who, What, Where, When, How, Why… properly.

✓         “How does this weekly routine work, to help me learn English?”

x          “How this week routine works to help me to learn English?”

  • How/when to use Present Perfect; have in present + past participle of main verb.
  • How/when to use Past Perfect; had + past participle of main verb.
  • How and when to use Conditionals.
  • Speaking in infinitives rather than conjugating verbs for their subject in the present.

✓         “She works at a hotel’.

x          “She work at a hotel’.

  • Using comparatives incorrectly by adding ‘more’ before an -er comparative.

✓         “Mark is taller than Tom”.

x          “Mark is more taller than Tom”.

  • Using superlatives incorrectly by adding ‘the most’ before an -est superlative.

✓         “Pistachio is the best flavour of gelato!”

x          “Pistachio is the most best flavour of gelato!”

  • Mixing comparatives with superlatives and vice versa.

The more best.            The more better.         The most better.


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

Vocabulary

  • Thinking that vocabulary which looks and sounds similar to your own language is the same.

“Embarrassing” in English is not the same as “Embarazar” in Spanish.

  • Bad idea: Directly translating vocabulary words from your own language into English or entire sentences… the meaning is often not the same and you will confuse native speakers.

Google translate and direct translations are not always your friends… it’s the same for English speakers directly translating into another language; the translation can be wrong and very difficult to understand, or even insulting!

For some words and phrases, there are simply no direct translations from one language to the next, that’s what makes languages unique and fascinating. In these cases, we need to learn other words or phrases which, essentially have the same meaning.

Do you want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

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How to create a weekly routine to organize your studies

As a language learner and part of the SEDA Online Study Team, you need to focus your studies and provide yourself with the structure you need to succeed and live your dream of being a great English speaker. So, it’s important to have a weekly routine to organize your studies.

The SEDA Education Team and Teacher Lydia O’Donnell have created a positive, progressive, and realistic 4-week study schedule template that you can use to make a schedule for yourself.

The Weekly Routine we have created is based on studying for 90 mins. per session and 3-4 times per week on a rolling schedule that you can rely on week after week for consistency and reinforcement.

We have also suggested which skill to practice each day and a minimum of 2 skills per session. There are four skills to language; reading, writing, listening, and speaking (R,W,L, and S). To make sure you get even and accurate practice, we ensured that you practice each skill at least two times per week.

Start using the SEDA Study System today and you will start seeing results after the first 4 weeks! The great news is that you have access to lots of Listening and Reading activities with all our great videos and if you make yourself pause and take notes, as well as speak along with the teachers, you can practice all four skills easily! Welcome to the SEDA Study team, we are happy you have joined us. GO, TEAM!


READ MORE: 5 bad habits to drop when learning English

Weekly Routines

  • Allow for repetition.
  • Allow for consistency.
  • Great method for learning any new skill.

Weekly Routine Template

WEEK ONE

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
W + RR + LL + SS + W

WEEK TWO

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
W + RR + LL + S

 

WEEK THREE

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
S + WW + RR + LL + S

 

WEEK FOUR

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
S + WW + RR + L

Do you want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

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Tips to learn tenses in English

One of the hardest steps to learn English is learning the verbal tenses. These many times get confusing even because of their names, since some have “present” in their names but talk about the past, making learning more complex. And that is why we are here to give some tips to make learning easier.

TIP 1: Practice tenses, use them and get feedback

Although the grammar explanations in books are welcome, just like those coming from teachers, real understanding comes from using them in writing and speaking and getting feedback from people. The theory by itself doesn’t work when you learn a foreign language.

This doesn’t mean grammar explanations are useless. In some cases they are essential. However, what matters the most is the way you use them. Read explanations that are brief, clear and concise and use them as a reference.


READ MORE: Easy tips to improve your English

Once you have the basic knowledge of the tense, try practicing it, as much as possible, be that in conversation (you can have a partner for that) or writing. So, get feedback and try to understand what you got wrong. Use these comments to understand how the verbal tense works and read the grammar explanations again after a while.

Read the explanation of a simple grammar > Practice the structure > Read again and reinforce the grammar structure.


READ MORE: 7 important reasons to learn English now!

Tip 2: Use visual resources whenever possible 

A practical tool that helps you learn fast and intuitively the mechanism behind verbal tenses are the visual aids known as timelines. A visual timeline is a very simple manner to show how to develop or interact with each other talking about a period of time.

Timelines are used with frequency when verbal tenses are discussed, and you can find many online, or even draw your own! Check some examples:

“I’ve been traveling for two months”

You can see this with a simple timeline like this:

This timeline shows the action (trip) started two months ago and it is still happening.

“I had been traveling for two months when I got the news about my friend”.

This timeline shows that the trips were happening two months before another event happens (news about my friend). Using the timeline we can also tell that all the events happened in the past, but we can’t be sure of how much time before.

Just like these examples try to align the sentences, you can have a clearer idea of which tense is necessary to use.

Want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

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Examples of homophones in English

Homophones are words that sound alike when pronounced but have different meanings. There are many words like that in English. This is a common mistake when people write, generating confusion. Here we show some examples of homophones!

To: used in the infinitive of a verb and to give a meaning of direction as well

Two: the number

Too: meaning “as well” and “a lot”

Stationary: something that doesn’t move

Stationery: office objects such as a pen, stapler, etc.


READ MORE: 10 fun facts you didn’t know about English

Compliment: something nice to say to people, praise them.

Complement: extra, something additional.

Know: to be acquaintance with someone or something, to be aware of something.

No: denial.

Raise: to lift

Rays: sunshine, beams of light

Res: plural of “re”, from the musical scale


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

Rice: a plant which produces edible grains

Rise: improvement, 

Whole: complete

Hole: empty space in something

Want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

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