Wanna sound like a native?

My apologies

There are several questions that come to my mind every time that I see ads, videos, and comments that promote nativespeakerism. I’m an advocate of critical thinking and I’m against nativespekerim and any form of discrimination.

Today I’ll start a thread of thought provoking posts with a public apology.

My dear English students,

I would encourage you to start questioning the ads of teachers and influencers who make you feel inferior, broken, unworthy, incapable and unintelligent just because of your English level or your accent.

You are capable of achieving great things. Don’t let anyone decide what you should say and how you should sound.

If I ever made you feel like that, I want to take this moment to apologize. If you have ever been humiliated or mistreated by an English or any other language teacher, I just want to say: ‘Forgive us. I’m deeply sorry for the pain you had to endure’

Don’t let anyone stop you becoming the best version of yourself.

I hope you achieve all your goals. I encourage you to speak like you and let others hear your voice.

With much love,


P.S. You are worthy.

Do you think that speaking like a native is better than speaking normal English?/ Why? Why not?


Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings


Lately most of us have been attending virtual meetings. Zoom has become one of the preferred platforms for working and learning remotely. In one hand virtual meetings have become an effective way to communicate with colleagues, teachers and classmates. On the other they have become a source of stress and anxiety especially for non-English speakers.

This quick guide will offer useful vocabulary and phrases to improve your communication skills online.

First of all you need to become familiar with the icons and their functions. It’s important that you learn how to pronounce their names in English. Some words are universally used around the world but the pronunciation varies according to the language.


Here is a list of words that can help you for your next virtual meeting/ class.

  • video conference
  • host
  • participants
  • camera on
  • camera off
  • adjust volume
  • microphone on
  • microphone off (mute)
  • share screen
  • poll
  • turn up the volume
  • turn down the volume
  • chat
  • record the session


Here are some common phrases used during virtual meetings. How many of them have you heard before?

  • Can you hear me?
  • Can you see me?
  • Can you see the presentation?
  • Can you hear the audio?
  • I can’t hear you / I’m having trouble hearing you.
  • Your mic is off
  • Please turn your mic off
  • I can see you but I can’t hear you
  • I’ll share my screen
  • Can you share your screen?
  • I’ll stop sharing my screen
  • Can you stop sharing your screen?
  • Are you on mute? / I think your microphone is off
  • I have a problem with the connection
  • Sorry, I got kicked out
  • The connection is slow
  • I’m lagging / You’re lagging
  • My/ your video is freezing
  • Did you receive the link?
  • I’m waiting for it to load
  • It’s not loading
  • Scroll up please
  • Scroll down please

Do you want to practice pronunciation? Download a worksheet with pictures and audio


Extensive Reading for English learners

An excellent way to improve your English fluency is by reading extensively. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, an intermediate or an advanced student, extensive reading is one of the most effective ways to improve your fluency. Extensive reading is also known as free reading or reading for pleasure. It is widely believed that extensive reading facilitates the acquisition of new words through inferencing and improves comprehension either in your mother tongue or in a foreign language.

How to choose a good English book

1. Look for graded reader series.

A graded book series are books that increase in difficulty depending on the level. Books for beginners have short texts and use more common words while books for advanced learners have longer texts with less common vocabulary.

The most popular graded reader series are

Oxford’s Bookworm series

Pearson Graded Readers

Penguin Readers

Helbling Readers

Most of the grades reader series have been produced by British publishers and only one small series have been published in the United States.

Click HERE to find a list that I have created with the most popular books for Beginners, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Advanced English learners.

2. Follow the 5 finger rule

If you are not sure if you are going to understand a book or not, follow the five finger rule.

Five Finger rule for Extensive Reading

3. Read, relax and enjoy

Remember that one objective of extensive reading is reading for pleasure and fun. There won’t be any tests or quizzes about the reading. You can read at your own pace and re-read a the paragraphs as many times as you want.

The more you read extensively the more confidence and motivation you gain. That in turn will help you improve your fluency and become a more effective language user.

Read, Relax and Enjoy

A fellow teacher, Cris Nishimura from Brazil, recently asked me to talk to her students about the five finger rule for extensive reading. If you want to learn more about it, watch the videos below.

If you speak Spanish here you can watch the video in Spanish

Happy reading!