Workshops Don’t Work! Practice Over Time Does

I recently participated in a basic one-day first aid and CPR training workshop. Although you don’t need a medical background, it would have been easier if I had one. The course was very intensive. A lot of great information and demonstrations were packed into 6-8 hours. By the end of the day, my head was spinning. I…

Details

Punctuation Matters

Whenever I solicit grammar questions from an audience, many of the questions relate to punctuation. Punctuation is a crucial part of good writing. It tells us where to stop, where to pause, and it marks off the exact words someone is saying. But it does so much more than that. Judicious and correct use of…

Details
Scrabble-type letter tiles spell out the words English, Langauge, Speak, Learn. Used to illustrate the concept of Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business.

Why Improving Employee ESL Skills is Good Business

The other day I received an email message from a businessman, who is not a native English speaker. He included the following disclaimer after his signature, “Please apologize any spelling mistakes as this message was sent from my mobile phone.” Clearly, this disclaimer is not a solution to his English communication problem; it’s more a…

Details
How Not to Waste Your Reader's Time

How Not to Waste Your Reader’s Time

Contrary to popular belief that we write less now, because of our reliance on digital technology and our obsession with social media, we are actually writing more. We use the written world to socialize and engage more extensively with others, via Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. [http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-new-literacy]. Language and literacy are thriving, not suffering. Although texting…

Details