For the Sake of Conversation

Keith left me a comment on my previous post, asking why I would join so many language-exchange networks. In fact, I am not quite sure if I know the answer. May be they are free, or perhaps I keep joining new ones simply because none of them has met my expectations. When I look back […]

O Canada

Last week, I was compiling a collection of more than 25 different versions of the Canadian nation anthem “O Canada” for my daughter. The anthem is her favourite song besides, of course, the Alphabet song. I had been singing the anthem to her since she was 3-months old. Somehow, the tune worked great for a […]

Scarier Than Halloween

I just delivered a Toastmasters speech on the past Wednesday, right on the Halloween. No, this was not the scary part. It was my first speech in 11 months. This was not that scary either. The real scary moment was when I received the recording afterwards, and I watched myself delivering my speech. Many people, […]

Coalition Of The Willing

Naturegirl left a comment on my previous post, mentioning a common scenario, where you want to practice your target language, only to find out that the other person always responses back to you in English (or your native language). This is indeed an extremely frustrating experience. This could be by far the number one enemy […]

More on Accent Reduction Course

In a recent comment from my previous post on “Accent Reduction Course”, Max asks if anyone knows a good course to help his friend on his English accent. His friend comes from Mainland China. Both Max and his friend are currently living in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I don’t have any reference in Hong Kong, but […]

Business Languages

Business people can often communicate without knowing each other’s languages well. A few months ago, I had a chance to talk to a retired business man, who was a friend of my father-in-law. He grew up in Shanghai, China, and started a successful printing business in Hong Kong many years ago. He recently sold his […]

Hong Kong English Accent

A few days ago I was watching some Youtube video clips from the website 英文由F字學起 (Learn English starting from the ‘F’ word). The series is for getting rid of the Hong Kong English accent. Unlike other typical accent reduction courses, the tutor specifically pinpoints the Hong Kong accent and talks about a lot of its […]

Fear Factor

For many people, fear is probably the greatest factor in hindering our speaking progress. When speaking our target language to another person, either a native or non-native speaker, we are often afraid of being judged. We just don’t feel comfortable. Imagine how this fear factor could increase in magnitude if you have to speak the […]


Here is the hilarious ‘hamburger’ screen from the movie ‘Pink Panther’. It might seem ridiculous to most of us. How could it take so long for someone to learn to say such a simple sentence! But I am sure if you are a serious language learner, you must have experienced the same frustration before. It […]

Accent Switching

I had never believed this could be done. A non-native speaker switches accents! The other day I joined a skypecast, and I threw in one of the most commonly discussed topic on language learning: can a person become fluently in a foreign language without leaving his own country? A person from the Philippines jumped in […]

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