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EFL Legenda

Legenda--English as a Foreign Language
Use Labels to find things.

Levels of Proficiency
1. Beginner (A-1) 
Translation-->Native Language
2. Pre-Intermediate (A-2) 
Translation-->Native Language
3. Intermediate (B-1) 
English-->English "translation"
4. Upper-Intermediate (B-2)
 English-->English understanding

Goals to Achieve
1. Understanding--easy
2. Speaking--harder
3. Writing--hardest
4. Fluency (Native-like "Speaker")

Skills to Develop
1. Reading
2. Writing
With help-->Independence
3. Speaking
4. Listening

1. About Teaching
2. Methods and Materials
3. Advanced Readings (C-1,2)
4. Notes and Queries
Recent posts

How it looks like?


A. "What it looks like"
This is a pointer indicating equivalence or similarity between this something and another something (things you can look at/see).

B. "How it looks"
This is a pointer indicating equivalence or similarity between this something and another something (things you can look at/see).

C. "How it looks like"
This is a pointer indicating similarity between, as seeing in a similar way or manner.

The erratic history of C's usage would tend to reflect what our care for precision of expression looks like.


The erratic history of C's usage would tend to reflect how our care for precision of expression looks.


How does she look like? (incorrect--in my opinion)

What she looks like is a dream. (correction in the answer)

I hear this a lot: "That (something/-one) is how (it or s/he) looks like." This construction is substituted for or confused with "what it looks like."

To remember the two expression…

Apostrophes' demise?**

The standing committee for the Preservation of Perfect and Exact English discharged this announcement in its latest newsletter:

    At long last, PPEE has concluded the apostrophe no longer necessary. 'Itll be phased out beginning this year and gone from the prescriptive canon by the end of the decade.' The first phase will focus on its use in contractions, or rather its elimination as shown variously here.

    Declaring the apostrophes obsolescence* comes as a result of years of misuse and outright neglect, according to the committee. 'The lofty place of the apostrophe in lines of text left vacant by willful populists and others shall now be deemed correct. Thus, the practice of English 'wordsmiths', who have refused to join the ranks of those who would conserve the language in its pure and original state, shall, alas, rule.'

    In its action, the committee has succumbed to 'ponderous evidence of what writers do', not the pressures exerted by 're…

Language in culture

[Précis. Language is embedded in culture also. Serious students of a language need to dig deeper to get it, or have the benefit of some help.]

I have taught English as a foreign language for over twenty years. This has been both a secondary occupation and sometimes a first. In any event there are two teaching/learning opportunities I do not practice, which in fact weakens my effectiveness. I don't play games and I don't (often) listen to music. Thus, my efforts to help students learn are reduced, for both of these ways of learning a language are proven successful techniques.

Recently I asked a student who is passionate about music about the song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." He said, "Oh, we all know that. It is the first song I learned to play on the guitar." I then asked him what the song was about. He said he didn't know, but that it was something about being dead. I asked dead or dying. He didn't know. I repeated this exercise with other…

Download link for 50+

50+ Readings Download
Angličtina pro seniory 50+
During the month of August 2017, Gabriela Nováková and Angličtina pro seniory 50+, Praha, commissioned this collection of readings to help students over 50 learn English. The readings are classified as Beginner, False-Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. The above scheme, anchored to the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, guided the creation and adaptation of the readings. However, the exact levels have not been assessed by an external authority.

The status of the readings is that they are online and available for teachers and students. Classroom testing is first. If there are adjustments to be made from this phase, the readings will be re-posted with appropriate changes. The next phase will be to measure the levels of the readings via online level-testing tools and make any further changes based on the results of that (i.e., external assessment mentioned above). Anticip…

Developing a Volunteer Culture*

During the course we’ll define organisational culture and consider how changing your culture impacts upon the volunteering experience. We’ll look at real examples of organisations which have developed a volunteer culture, and identify practical steps to take to change the culture within your organisation. By the end of the course you will be able to: Explain what is meant by organisational culture. Recognise how aspects of culture might impact upon someone’s experience of volunteering. Identify the practical steps to take to change organisational culture and develop a volunteer culture within your organisation. Engage, empower and influence others to get support throughout your organisation. How much will it cost? (For more, see the online source.)
* (2017). Developing a Volunteer Culture. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].

Women's work--chceš facku?

A note about this phrase. . .
You can use it to describe work that women do. You can say this without it being negative or critical.

You can also say this when your partner is the person doing all the cooking, cleaning, and childcare. Try it and see what happens.
It is possible she will look at you as if you are a caveman living in the distant past. Be careful, she can give you a good slap in the face.

Correct a published article

This is an advanced reading about a woman garbage truck driver in Prague. Women's work? Why not?
However, the object of this reading is not the content so much as the quality of the English in the original article, which was not good. See if you can correct the English.
Here is the link.

Song lyrics and subtext

This post is in answer to a question about how to work with advanced (Czech speaking) seniors, who are students of English, and the song, "This Woman's Work."
This is the idea for the song.
The lyric of 'This Woman's Work' is about being forced to confront an unexpected and frightening crisis during the normal event of childbirth. Used in the movie _She’s Having a Baby_, director John Hughes used the song during the film’s dramatic climax, when Jake (Kevin Bacon) learns that the lives of his wife (Elizabeth McGovern) and their unborn child are in danger.
As the song plays, we see a montage sequence of flashbacks showing the couple in happier times, intercut with shots of him waiting for news of Elizabeth and their baby’s condition. Bush wrote the song specifically for the sequence, writing from a man’s (Jake’s) viewpoint and matching the words to the visuals which had already been filmed.
The lyrics of the song ask the reader to ask questions of what is said, to…

Biographical note

My father was born in Shanghai. He was part Chinese.
The name Mactavish, sometimes spelled with a capital T, means son of Thomas. My father's biological father was Irish and had the last name of Murphy. My father's mother was Chinese and Scottish, and her last name, maiden name, was Mactavish. Why didn't my father have the name of Murphy? Murphy left my grandmother after one year of marriage. She had my father's last name changed to her maiden name. And that makes me a Mactavish with Irish, Scottish, and Chinese roots, and probably something else. Confused? That's America.
My mother? My mother was born in California. She had an Irish background. So that makes me more Irish, but I don't know how much.
Now, when people say that real Americans are white and came from Europe, remember that some came from Asia! You know, the USA has a left coast and a right one. I come from the left coast, California. And there, there has always been a mixture of nationalities and c…