Tag Archives: #english

The ‘Active’ Language

The ‘Active’ Language

In this blog post I talk about the inner workings of a language and the fact that we ‘act’ with every word we utter! 🙂



It is really important to understand the inner workings of a language, the differences between the way the languages are structured, the way the language ‘thinks’, and the attitude of the language: elements of a language that we hardly talk about while teaching-learning it.


I think it is very difficult to learn a foreign language without starting to comprehend the history, the cultural thinking, and the specific ideas  all that’s behind the language. It is because languages ACT!


At university I read a book that made me think about how a language truly works. The book I read was How to Do Things with Words: Second Edition (The William James Lectures) Paperback – September 1, 1975 by J. L. Austin (Author) See the video links to a series of lectures on the subject at the end of this post. Learn more about the book here (click)


While reading this book I understood that a language is much more than a bunch of words that we struggle to remember and make sense of!


As language teachers we often talk about learning the ‘living language’. But we rarely discuss what it actually covers. Learning the ‘living language’ means becoming familiar with everything that the language ‘does’. A language does not only express ideas. With speaking words we also carry out acts that have impact on our lives and that of others.


I give you an example.


During the marriage ceremony, you actually ‘ get married’  by saying ‘I DO’. These two words bond you to another person in body and soul until ‘death do us part’.


If you have heard of affirmations, I am sure you understand the above. When you repeat your daily affirmation’s you affirm ‘good’ in your life, you ignite different parts of your consciousness to act in accordance with the ‘messages’ you convey to yourself through the affirmations. 


When you daily affirm that ‘I can learn something with easy and joy!’  your mind gets the message and start creating the new pathways in your brain that are aligned with this message.











Crossing the bridge

Crossing the bridge

In this blogpost I talk about the importance of mastering the courage to cross the bridge of uncertainty.


“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus



Crossing the bridge over the river of the unknown is challenging, saying the least. Most people who study a foreign language never cross this bridge. I call it the bridge of uncertainty. These students never manage to leave their mother-tongue behind. They keep on translating ‘into’ the new language from the original language.


During the language learning process we all cross a bridge from our mother-tongue over to the other language. We must leave the safety of a known territory for the unknown one. While crossing the bridge we become more and more familiar with the new land, it is part of the process. We must have faith and confidence in ourselves that whatever it takes we will arrive to the other side.


As we are crossing the bridge, the ‘homeland’ moves into the background, we start feeling a distance now, and so we find ourselves outside of our comfort zone.


Leaving our original language behind means exactly the way it sound: if you want to speak a foreign language, you must leave your original language behind completely. By crossing the bridge, you no longer think in your original language, neither are you the same person who started this journey.


When you start thinking in the new language without translating from your original language, you have arrived. You have crossed the bridge of uncertainty.


From now on, you can cross the bridge back and forth any time you like without being outside of your comfort zone. You have acquired a new language completely.


If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.

Language shapes the way we think! 

Language shapes the way we think! 

We are as many persons as many languages we speak. Here is the proof! The video brings light to linguistic diversity.


Language shapes the way we think!  This amazing video explaining what it is like speaking ‘within’ the language or adopting to a foreign language’s structure and thinking patterns.



 There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. “The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is,” Boroditsky says. “Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000.”


I hope this video will give you the opportunity to ask yourself, “Why do I think the way that I do?” “How could I think differently?” And also, “What thoughts do I wish to create?


Gabriella Bozsar, thank you very much for this video!





Както най-често се случва, децата учат английски като посещават някакъв курс или в средата, в която учат – училището или детската градина. Така беше и със сина ми, докато ходеше на детска градина. Нещата се промениха, когато навърши 6 години и започна да посещава предучилищна група в едно училище. Там вече нямаше уроци, часове или каквото и да било на английски. Търсехме начин да запазим знанията натрупани до момнета и да ги развием и надградим. Имаше няколко варианта, но за нас най-подходящ и желан беше възможността да учи език онлайн с Илдико, заедно с едно негово приятелче.


Познавах Илдико и знаех, че мога да разчитам на подкрепата и професионализма ѝ. В курса по образователен коучинг, който тя водеше и който съм завършила, ми беше показал възможностите ѝ. Въпреки притеснението ѝ, че децата са в предучилищна възраст и не пишат все още, тя намери начин да ги обучава и на тях да им е интересно и забавно.


За всеки урок подбира тема и материали, които да са им интересни и разнообразни. Чрез различни активности и упражнения успява да ги увлече в процеса, да им е забавно и да запомнят материала, който им поднася.


Децата рисуват, лепят, изрязват и оцветяват, докато повтарят думи и изрази. Сътворяват света около тях на английски и неусетно, дори и за тях, започват да употребяват думите и да пеят песничките.


В един момент сина ми започна да ме кара да му пускам песните, които слушат в часа по английски, защото му харесва да си ги пее и защото му е забавно.


Заедно с езика, децата научават и неща от ежедневието, разбират интересни факти за света, който ги заобикаля, забавляват се и израстват.


Радвам се, че синът ми има възможността да учи именно с Илдико и вярвам, че това е ценен опит за децата, за мен, а надявам се и за Илдико също.


If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.

The emotional component

The emotional component

In this post I discuss how our emotional state and attitude can hinder the language learning process.



So, I have studied quite a few languages over the years. For a while, I could speak some then they sank into oblivion because I did not use them.


There is one language that I have never learnt to any degree, apart from being able to read the written text without understanding it, which is Russian.


I studied Russian for over 11 years. I had at least one 45 min lesson per week semester after semester without any results.


Well, it is true to say that language teaching at that time in Hungary was in its infancy. Languages were taught with something called the Prussians method or grammar translation method that is only fit to teach ‘dead’ languages. The focus is on academic understanding of the language rather that speaking it.


“17th, 18th, 19th C – The ability to read and translate classical texts gave rise to the ‘grammar-translation’ method (first known as ‘Prussian Method’ because of German roots – e.g., Ploetz and Seidenstuecker); reading & writing paramount;” Source and read more click here


Looking back, the mode of teaching was not the main issue. I think it was that my grandma did not like the Russians, she disagreed with the fact that Russia ‘silently’ occupied the country and that we were forced to learn Russian so we can communicate with the invaders. My grandma often told me that the Russian soldiers had done much more harm to civilians than what the Germans had ever done . The horrors of the Holocaust distorted our vision and we failed to see the cruelty and the genocide of different strata of society in the so called ‘Soviet block’.


So, the main reason why I never learnt Russian was my loyalty to my grandma whom I loved dearly.  I have never experienced anything but kindness and friendship from Russian people I have met. I am very sorry that I did not learn the language when I had the chance to do so.


My emotions got in the way.


I think it is important to notice how we feel about the language that we are attempting to learn. Disliking the language we are studying makes it really heart to learn it.


I still strongly believe that anyone can learn any languages they wish to. However, if we emotionally reject the language with some reason or another, it will probably make it very harder for us to learn it.


In my observation, there are two ways to go around this problem. We can look at the issue in the face and become aware of the problem. When we know what we are dealing with, we can create strategies to overcome it. Alternatively, we can ignore the emotional issue which may prevent us from ever attaining our goal: speaking in that language.


If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.


Darling! :)

Darling! :)

In this post I discuss the importance of playful learning and how to do it.

My little 6-year old students call me ‘darling’ because I call their mum ‘darling’. Children copy what they see and hear, and follow the examples.

Adults should do the same. Why don’t they? Because they feel silly.


The boys give me so much joy! I love teaching them. They are funny and serious at the same time. They are serious about their participation in the class and it is really sweet and funny the way they go about it.  🙂


They are Bulgarian and though they studied English before, they do not speak English. Hence the classes. One of the boys’ mum is a friend of mine whom I call ‘darling’.  So, they boys assumed that this is how you call each other and when they want my attention, they call me ‘darling’. I just love it! 🙂


It is amazing to observe how quickly and easily they pick up the language just by listening to it and playing with it. They cannot read or write yet, so all we do is watching videos, making art and craft, or doing some other activity. They learn through creative play.


The reason, I believe, behind the longer time invested in learning a foreign language for an adult than for a child is that children perceive the language classes as fun and games. They don’t see it as something they have to suffer to obtain. They participate with expectancy and enthusiasm.


It seems that adults lose their ability to play as they grow up. Picasso said it well:


“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”


Learning a language – learning anything – should be a fun, exciting and an awe-inspiring process. Einstein said that


“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”


What it means to me is that if we want our eyes (minds) to stay open to the new, we must find the way to stay in the present, enjoy what is in front of us, participate with enthusiasm and release expectations of self and others. As we allow ourselves, like children, just to be and do, we simply find that learning becomes more like play and fun rather than hard work.


If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.

Self-expression thru communication

Self-expression thru communication

In this post, I would like to inspire you to ask yourself the question ‘do I want to be able to talk to others? is the bare minimum enough?’

Why do you study English (or any foreign language)?


Most people look to learn English to get by when travelling abroad.


But is it enough?


You may be able to ask your questions but will you be able to understand the answers?


And when, don’t you want to have a chat and learn more about them?


Particularly after COVID, don’t you want to connect with others and talk to them beyond ‘Where is ALDI, please’?


I understand that most people need to learn a foreign language for work purposes. It is not enough. if you are not motivated, you will find it hard to put in the work. Communication is the best motivator. Being motivated to communicate with others will carry you through the difficult times.


Even if you are introverted, you still, probably, want to communicate in writing in a way that others can understand it.


I used to teach a teenage girl. She was introverted and loved playing games on line. It motivated her greatly to speak English well. Even if she did not actually speak with anyone only chatted with them.


I suggest that you think about your motivation and your need for communication. Ask yourself: Why am I learning this language? For what do I really want to use the language? Search until you find a strong  motivator that will help you commit to learning in the long run.


Speaking a foreign language opens a new world and can connect you with many new people, even likeminded ones!


If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.


Study or not to study?

Study or not to study?

In this post I discuss why it is not necessary to ‘study’  a foreign language.

It is not hard to learn a foreign language, it is ‘ learning’  that makes it feel challenging! 🙂


Most students I have taught over the years strongly believed that STUDYING is the key to learning. Well, I am sure there is some truth to it, but trying to consciously learn a language is not very helpful.

Read the rest of this entry

Learning thru creative play with KIDZ

Learning thru creative play with KIDZ

In this post I share about my experiences of teaching two six year old children.


I have been teaching two boys for a few months now. They both are 6 years old, and they don’t read or write yet.


OMG! Aren’t they the sweetest?! They are funny and engaging. They have no idea what is going on most of the time because their English is not strong enough to understand me, but they are up for it!

Read the rest of this entry

Language is a marvellous thing!

Language is a marvellous thing!


“Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.” F. P. Jones

Franklin P. Jones (1908 – 1980) was a Philadelphia reporter, public relations executive and humorist. He wrote quips and quotes that entertained readers of major publications for years.

He was known nationally during the 1940s and 50s for his column “Put it this Way” in the Saturday Evening Post. “Put it this Way” set a record as the longest continuously published feature in the Saturday Evening Post.

“It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.”