30 days of English course – see, look and watch – day 7

Hi, guys! Welcome to 30 days of English course. Today is day 7

A few days ago, I’ve come across with the question “What’s the difference between SEE, LOOK AND WATCH?” These words can easily confuse students of English as they all relate to actions done with our eyes.


Being able to know the difference between see, look and watch. First of all, we have to think about how long we’re actually doing action for.

See and look have shortest time spend

If I say “look at the lady”, is it fast?=> Yes, it’s fast

If I say “Did you see that”, is it the fast action =>Yes, it’s a fast action.

But watch takes a longer time. Let’s think of things you actually watch

Can you watch a movie? Can you watch TV? Can you watch people?(You’re at the park. You’re sitting on the bench watching people going back and forth)

  1. How long do you usually watch a movie? It’s more than an hour
  2. How long do you watch TV with your parents? Hours

Do these actions take a short time? No, they don’t take a short time. They obviously take a longer time to do it.

In conclusion

See in an inactive word. When your eyes are open, you do it without thinking, without any effort.

For example:

  • If I throw the pen to the wall and then, ask my student the question “Did you see that?” or you really saw it?

Look is an active word. You must want to do it. You make an effort to see, but it’s for a short time. LOOK goes well with the preposition AT if you’re looking at something

For example

  • Hey, guys! look at me now

Did you want to look at me? Yes

Did you have to think of paying attention to me? Yes

Did you have to make an effort to see me? Yes

Watch is also an active word.You must want to do it. You make an effort to see, but it’s for a long period of time.

For example

  • Did you see spider-man? (the movie)

That’s it and hope you enjoy it. See you guys next time

Peace out!




30 days of English course – can’t vs can – day 6

What’s up guys!

What a beautiful day! Time to leave your work behind and explore the English language with me.Today is day 6.

Today, we’re going to talk about the difference between can and can’t in pronunciation. How to hear it, how to day it.

I’ve asked a lot of my students to tell me the difference between the two, they all said that can is pronounced  /kæn/ and can’t, on the other hand, is pronounced /kænt/, but there’s a bit of problem. We can’t rely on hearing ‘t’-a good t sound. Because most Americans when they’re speaking  everyday speech, they just don’t say ‘t’ at the end of the word can’t. 


In American English pronunciation, can is typically pronounce  /kən/. They di-stress this word, the word often reduces and it changes into the schwa sound.

For example:

  • I /kən/ kiss her
  • She /kən/ do it without her boyfriend
  • He /kən/ cry anytime


Can’t, on the other hand, sounds like  /kæn/

Can sounds like /kən/ and can’t sounds like /kæn/. This is quite crazy, huh?

For example:

  • I can’t go
  • She can’t do it alone
  • Your mother can’t do it to me

But here’re another problem. If I ask “can you do it?”, are you going to say “I can /kən/” or “I can /kæn/ if you answer is yes?

John: hey, can you do it?


  • I can
  • I can’t

In this case, what’s the difference between the two when you can’t say “I /kən/”?

Here’s the key, when you say ‘CAN’, it’s a little bit longer, a little bit smoother and really relaxed, but you say ‘CAN’T’, the stop t of can’t chops it, makes it a little be shorter, a little bit more abrupt. This might be something that is quite difficult to distinguish for you, but if you listen to English every day , it’ll help you develop an ear for this.

Click on the link below to hear and practice the difference between the words.

That’s it. Hope this has helped.

Have a fabulous day!





English course

English pronunciation course 

Pronunciation is very much a “must” skill for any English language learner.  There are many important reasons all students need to focus on correct form and pronunciation

Let’s watch the video below, and you yourself might know the importance of proper pronunciation



note:I’m the ‘boss’ of the course

 Introduction to the various elements of pronunciation and discussion of individual needs and objectives

  • What is pronunciation?
  • Individual needs and objectives
  • Phonemes and sounds in isolation – consonants
  • IPA – super important

Rhythm – word and sentence stress

  • Understanding syllables and syllable stress
  • Word and sentence Stress
  • Rhythm
  • Sounds in isolation – consonants

Rhythm – word stress and sentence stress

Intonation: Rising and falling speech patterns and inflection

  • Voice and vocal quality
  • Summary of the group’s needs and objectives
  • Intonation: rising and falling speech patterns
  • Intonation: inflection
  • Sounds in isolation – consonants

Linking in connected speech (connected speech and linking sounds)

  • Connected speech: linking and sound mergers
  • Sounds in isolation – consonants

Vowels – monophthongs

  • Sounds in isolation – vowels (monophthongs)

Vowels – diphthongs

  • Sounds in isolation – vowels (diphthongs)
  • Summing it all up
  • Suggestions for self-study

Contact me

Phone: 01674 788 069 

Gmail: shutupandspeakenglishwithlee@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thu.cuoi.18




30 days of English course – The schwa – day 5

Hey friends! Welcome to  30 days of English with SHUT UP AND SPEAK ENGLISH WITH MR.LEE. Today is day 5.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the sound, which is the most important and common vowel sound in spoken English. It replaces vowel sounds which are unstressed in words. Here it goes SCHWA


So the first question comes to mind, ‘how to make this sound?’

How to make the sound: your teeth are not closed, but they’re not really open, so they are like “uh” as in “about”, your mouth doesn’t really move, your tongue is lightly touching behind the bottom front teeth. Uh…uh…uh you move just a tiny bit. Your mouth is relaxed. Any vowel letter can be pronounced as schwa and the pronunciation of a vowel letter can change depending on whether the syllable in which it occurs is stressed or not.The schwa sound is relaxed, neutral, quick and weak. It’s going to help you reduce your accent.


Where is it found?

1.  Schwa can usually be found in function words which are unstressed in the sentences.

2. It can be found in prefixes and suffixes.

3. It can be found in content words as well.

For example: I’m going to the shop to buy some eggs.


Let’s practice with schwa sound in words

A – a, about, ability, sofa, woman, America, according

E – (E becomes schwa in the cases like) : taken, the, telephone, between, believe

I –  ability, pencil, family, possibility,  O – to, mirror,  memory, police, today, tomorrow, tonight, official, lemon, computer, conversation, nation, information

U–  campus, support, supply, suppose.

Be aware of pronouncing schwa sound helps you so much in order to lose your accent. If you’re speaking English and your Vietnamese accent is way too strong, remember to pronounce schwa sound, your English will be way so easy to understand and be super cool.

Exercise #1 Watch the video about the schwa sound. Listen and repeat the words


Exercise#2 Listen to the teacher and underline the /ə/ sound in the following sentences.

  1. We went to the theater yesterday.
  2. He can speak Russian and German.
  3. Susan is famous for her Christmas cake.
  4. The pronunciation and grammar are difficult.
  5. We could ask them if they have reached a decision.
  6. A man and a woman were waiting at the station.
  7. They’re going to the mountains on Saturday.
  8. The private sector is all economic activity other than government.

Hope this has helped you a bit. Have a fabulous day.


Help your learners speak English more in class

Should we teachers use L1 (mother tongue) or L2 English (target language) in class? Using L1 for translation and explanation is more efficient. It’ll make things move faster and remove a lot of frustrations. However, there’s an argument for using only L2 and it might be motivating. If they know that they have to talk to you in this new language and then they’ll be motivated to do so. That being said,there’s no right answer, just different people. But chances are if you’re coming from a non- English speaking country (like me), it’s clearly going to be really difficult to do it only in L2. And my question is “what techniques, tips , activities, methods, tricks, etc. do you use to  limit the amount of unnecessary L1 your learners use in class?

Here’re some of the ideas for encouraging learners to speak English more.

  • Try to convince them to use English. Explain to them why it’s a good idea to do it.
  • You could get them to do something physical and possibly embarrassing if they speak L1 like:Jump up and down, do push ups and crazy dances.
  • Pretend you don’t understand
  • Use a card thing: each of them have three ‘Vietnamese’ cards per class. They can use that if they need to (if they want to have something, want to say or ask anything, they’re going to write down on the cards in L1). If they’ve used up all three, no more L1 in class.
  • At the beginning of the class, you split the class into 2 teams (apple team vs water melon team, chicken team vs duck team and so on) and give them some points to start with. When you hear anybody use L1, you just erase one point of the board. They’ll feel like they’re letting down their team and peer pressure can be a really useful thing, a powerful thing.Presentation1
  • The red card. (I use it a lot)there’s anyone who speaks L1 in class will get a red card and then when another learner speaks L1, they’ll get the red card from the first learner, it gets passed around class. And the last person who’s holding the red card  will get punished like: get more homework, sing songs, dance, no break,etc. This activity is so much fun.  Red-Card

What ideas, tips, techniques do you use in class to encourage your learners speak English more? Can’t wait to hear yours. Have a fabulous day.


Some thoughts on teaching vocabulary

vocabularygamesbirdHey, guys and welcome to SHUT UP AND SPEAK ENGLISH.

Today, I’m going to share with you some thoughts on teaching vocabulary, and some activities you may want to use in class.

Before we start, let’s take a look at the question “What factors affect vocabulary development?”. I got a few. Here’s the  first one: It depends a bit on how old you are, not all young people learn better than all old people, but generally speaking, it’s easier for younger people to remember stuff. It’s quite sad, but it’s actually true. So that’s the big advantage for you if you’re still young and you can learn quite fast.

Personality: this is interesting one. I think it’s easier for some people depending on perhaps as much how they use language. If you talk a lot, you enjoy communicating, chances are, you learn a new language better and you probably remember vocabulary better.

Motivation is the huge one. If you’re motivated, you’ll learn more quickly. Whether your motivation is internal, whether it’s something because you really want to learn a new language or external motivation like you got an exam to past. Both of these things can have an effect. So clearly, motivation is super important.

Of course, there are many different factors that affect vocabulary development.

My question is “How do you teach new vocabulary words?” Are you going to use dictionary? Let’s take the word “conversation” as an example. You might find the definition of this word like this “talk between two or more people in which thoughts,feelings, and ideas are expressed, questions are asked and answered, or news and information is exchanged” in the Cambridge dictionaries online. If you’re going to use the definition to explain the meaning of the word, that totally sucks, and it’t useless because they’ll never know how to use it correctly.


So,I think you should only use dictionary as a tool to really get the meaning of the word and then

  • You have to put the new vocabulary in a clear context.
  • You need to explain/ clarify what it means
  • Finally, check that they understand( the most important thing)

Let’s talk more about the last thing “checking for understanding in class”. Do you often use these ways to check meaning?

  • What does ‘conversation’ mean?
  • Do you all understand ‘beautiful’?
  • You all seem to understand  ‘handmade’

but none of them are not really good,and can you tell me why you think these question might not be helpful?

If I ask the question what does conversation mean?, the difficulty is your students don’t know how to explain the meaning of the word in English, but even they may know the meaning in their mother tongue. If you ask this question do you all understand ‘beautifu’?, they might say No, but they’re likely to say Yes for a couple of reasons. One might be because they genuinely do understand, one might be because they don’t understand but are too embarrassed to say so. Of couse, You all seem to understand ‘handmade’ is not a question, it’s just an assumption. And your students might nod their head as a Yes, it makes no sense at all.

How can we check that they understand?

By asking closed questions that are easy to answer and prove that they understand. But first of all, you have to

  • indentify the meaning of the word (you look in a dictionary)
  • then you turn that meaning into closed question with short/easy answer.

For example: She looks beautiful ( your intonation is one of the key things to helping your students understand the meaning of the word easy)

  • She looks attractive
  • She doesn’t look ugly
  • She’s a beautiful woman.

All you have to do is to make these into questions…

She looks attractive: Does she look attractive? (intonation), they’ll say yes.

She doesn’t look ugly: Does she look ugly? no, she doesn’t look ugly.

She’s a beautiful woman: Is she a beautiful woman?

Let’s take look at one more example: he managed to get to sleep.

  • he tried to do something
  • it wasn’t easy
  • he succeeded

Make these into questions

He tried to do something: Did he try? (yes)

It wasn’t easy: Was it easy? (no)

He succeeded: Did he succeed? (yes)

Try to ask as many questions as you can and by answering these short/easy questions, they’re proving to you that they’ve understood what it means.

But there’s a bit problem. How long can they remember the words? So, in order to help your students remember the words “RECYCLING IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL”. And how do you do it. Here’re my ideas.


A VOCABULARY BOX: You prepare small pieces of paper in the box (blank pieces of paper). At the end of the lesson, you write down the vocabulary words that your students have learned in the lesson on pieces of paper.  Now, you have really useful resource for recycling the vocabulary.

  • You stick words on walls. With partner, they’ll have to go around the wall. One is going to ask ‘what does it mean?’, one is going to explain by giving definition or making examples or using the technique above.
  • Group words. You might want to encourage them to put the words into nouns, verbs, adjectives and so on (You may want to get your students to put the words into different groups like: these are words I like, these are words I don’t like, these are words that I remember, these are words that I don’t remember, these are words I think I use, these are words I think I don’t use). That it’s going to help them know the words in grammar.
  • Put a couple of words on the board( make it challenging for students by putting different words on the board) and then ask them to make a sentence that makes sense, but contains those words.
  • Pictionary: you’re going to pick the words and one student will have to draw, then the others  are going to guess what that word is. This activity is really fun if you split students into teams.

some more different ideas from VOCABULARY BOX

At the beginning of the class, you take out of the VOCABULARY BOX a couple of words (you’ve prepared before class) and learn with them. It seems to be a nice way of breaking ice. In the of class, students will have to put  a few words into the VOCABULARY BOX and those words will be explained in the next lesson (they can be the words they don’t know, they can be new words, they can be the words they don’t know how to use correctly, they can be the words they like and avoid giving easy words like happy, sad or angry) and next lesson comes, you open the Vocab box, pick a few words and help your students understand the meaning.

At home, your students might want to have their own box, and every day, they have to put a couple of words into the box that they learn during the day, and if they want they can share with their friends in class.

That’s it. Hope this has helped. If you like it, give it a like and make sure to share with your friends. Have a fabulous day.



30 days of English course –everyday vs every day- day 4


Hey friends! Welcome to 30 days of English with SHUT UP AND SPEAK ENGLISH WITH MR.LEE. Today is day 4.

A lot of Vietnamese learners don’t know that every day and everyday are different. Let’s find out the differences between the two.

Everyday (with no space) doesn’t mean the same thing as every day (with a space). In speech, however, they do sound the same. No wonder it’s so easy to confuse them with one another. What does each phrase mean and how do you use them? Let’s look at the definitions, along with some examples.



Here’s a tip: Everyday means common or ordinary. Every day means “each day.”

Everyday (as one word) is an adjective. Here are some quotes to help you understand how to use everyday.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ―Pablo Picasso

“The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days.” ―Sue Monk Kidd

Every day means “each day.” The easiest way to remember this is to think about the space separating the two words. Because of that space, “every” is simply an adjective modifying the word “day.” If you paired every with any other word, it would mean each.

  • I want to eat apple every day of my life. = I want to eat apple each day of my life.

Here are a few more quotes to illustrate the usage of “every day.”

“So, it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” ―Nicholas Sparks.

“May you live every day of your life.” ―Jonathan Swift

That’s it. Hope this has helped. If you like it, give it a big like and make sure to share it with your friends. Have a fabulous day!