Free Friday: Turkey Day & Black Friday!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and the craziness of Black Friday soon thereafter, I wanted to share some opportunities to learn just want these days are, where/how they started, and what they mean today. Whether you’re in the States … Continue reading

Free Friday: Cultural Differences

Since this blog is viewed all over the world, I think discussing cultural differences is a great way to get people involved and connected with one another. This is a post I’ll really encourage conversation and discussion, and the best way to do that is through the comment section below. Something so important to remember during a topic like ‘cultural differences’ is RESPECT. Different doesn’t mean bad, and we should all remember that no one would intentionally mean to hurt another person when expressing differences of opinions here… at least I’d hope so!

This lesson was created by me, but powered by TEDed, an excellent resource for any teacher (or student) out there interested in turning videos into engaging lessons online. You can access the full lesson by visiting:

The lesson includes listening comprehension [to be answered online], vocabulary [answers here], and opportunities for discussion and connection [to answer in the comment section here]. Questions? Shoot me a comment, and I’ll hopefully clear it up for you!

Scroll below for the vocabulary answers.

Discussion Questions:

*Did you learn anything new in this lesson about cultures?
*Do cultural differences make a country “better” than another? Why or Why not?
*What are issues with comparing countries as “better” or “worse”?
*What country seems to be the most different to yours? The most similar?
*Would you change anything about your country?
*How can people learn more about your culture/country, and others?

Interested in more culture expansion? Check out how to travel and learn about the world for your own home…HERE.

Vocabulary Answers:

1. f        2. d         3. e         4. c          5. a         6. g         7. b

Free Friday: #FBF

Still not familiar with the hashtag #FBF? Time to get in the know! Hashtags are everywhere on social media, and referenced daily throughout TV shows, and even news programs. #FBF stands for ‘Flashback Friday’ a time to relive the past.  Reliving the past can allow some time for reflection and growth, learn from mistakes, repeat the ideal, and make the most of your future.

In honor of #FBF, I will be reflecting on the past, and encouraging all of you to do the same…by reviewing and checking out some of my old posts. There are heaps [a lot] of material to review: vocabulary, idioms, listening, writing/reading comprehension, etc. So, what do you need to practice today? Take a look at the menu above, or utilize the sections to the right [categories & top posts] to find some posts that you find interesting or helpful.

Most of you reading this post, wanting to learn English, are all hoping for speaking fluency. Check out this post: Improving Speaking Fluency for tips and tricks on how to do it!

Going out this weekend?
Check out some of these super useful idioms to improve your speaking, and sound more like a native!

Music, Food, Family, Body, Feelings

Feeling uncomfortable with the way you speak?

Not anymore! Improve your fluency with the man from Malta, HERE!

Not sure what the best way to learn is?

Review how to learn best for your learning style by finding out your Multiple Intelligence strengths.

Happy Studying! ♥

What was your favorite post? Share with a friend, and let me know here! Looking forward to hearing from you. xo

Free Friday: American VS Australian Vocabulary Differences

So you’ve been hitting the books hard [studying a lot] and now you’re ready to take all this English to a native speaking country. The problem is….where are you going? Even though the US, Australia, UK, etc speak English, they all have their own, unique vocabulary for some items.

Even when speaking the language, confusion can happen when we come across a word we aren’t familiar with, even when we thought we knew it! I, an English teacher, experienced this confusion when living in Australia and I asked for a lemonade and got a Sprite (lemon-lime soda). What I should have asked for was a lemon squash.

Lucky for you…you have me, and a gazillion [a very large amount] other web resources out there to help you. For today’s Free Friday lesson, I’ll provide you with a list of some unique words and their OZ translations, a YouTube video with even more words, and some links to find some other information.

American VS Australian English

A lot of these words + more can be found in this YouTube video made by the Browns:
Aussie American Words


Still itchin’ for more [want more] Australian? Then check out these links on Pinterest, which also includes some British differences too!


See even more translations here…


Do you have any more differences you’d like to share? Any experiences of not knowing these differences abroad? Share with us in the comments, and of course: Sharing is Caring ♥ ♥  share this post with a friend….

Free Friday: Listening Comprehension with TED

Practice Listening Comprehension & Vocabulary with TEDtalks Well, today is an excellent day to not only provide you with my Free Friday lesson…err, umm..Saturday lesson, but to also teach you the phrase, “it’s better late than never!” Something is ‘better … Continue reading

Free Friday: Vocabulary Lesson

As if I don’t have enough on my plate as it is, I’ve decided to re-introduce a weekly component of the blog and add “Free Friday,” in which I will be uploading some free lessons. I already post learning resources and opportunities as it is; however, this has a fun name!

First, did you notice my idiom related to food in the first sentence? “to have enough on my plate” is an idiom that means, I already have a lot going on, or I am already pretty busy. You will change the pronoun “my” to reflect the correct person (his, her, their, our, etc), and you can replace ‘enough’ with other words like: a lot, so much, etc…  OR, you can use it the opposite way and say, “I don’t have a lot on my plate.” This would mean you’re not busy at all!

This week includes a vocabulary lesson, and if you haven’t guessed already, it’s related to FOOD. You can check out my other food related information [more idioms] here.

Review vocabulary words, match their synonyms, and complete the sentence blanks with their appropriate word. You can even go one step farther, and create your own sentences in the comment section for me to review and check! Click the link below to review the lesson, and be sure to practice your writing, by writing them in a notebook:
Vocab_FoodEating      <~~vocabulary lesson link is this**

Happy Studying! ♥

Have you finished the vocabulary lesson? Check your answers here: Vocab_ANS_FoodEating

How did you do? Let me know, and don’t forget to write your own sentences to practice!

Please feel free to print/use this and all lesson material provided on English Outside the Box; however, names of creators (including English Outside the Box) must not be removed, and proper credit must be given.
This lesson came from Pathways 2. A National Geographic book written by B.T. Chase & K.L Johannsen.

Minimal Pairs: Pronunciation Problems with TH

There are many parts that are equally important to speaking English fluently. Some of the things we’ve reviewed recently on English Outside the Box have been vocabulary (words of the weekend) and grammar, specifically the future tense. However, knowing what to say, is just as important as knowing HOW to say it. Speaking with accurate pronunciation is incredibly important, and doing so can prevent miscommunication, and even embarrassment.

Minimal pair are words that are extremely similar, but differ in one unique sound. These sounds are often confused by language learners, so can create difficulty when speaking and listening. There are many minimal pairs, both vowels and consonants; however, today we’re only focusing on “th” “f” “t” and “s.” Yes, it is incredibly common for the “th” sound to be confused with these sounds, depending on native languages.

Try the following sentence:THsound1

Next, let’s review the video for you to see and hear how these sounds should be pronounced.

Now it’s your turn to practice! Focus on the difference in all of these sounds….


Sometimes multiple words exist, that are legitimate words with minimal pairs: three, tree, free. Other times, words don’t exist, so you’ll just be making up words as you communicate: mouth, mouf.

It’s also possible that multiple words, that are minimal pairs, can logically make sense in a sentence. So, mispronouncing the words can definitely cause confusion. Take these examples into consideration:
— I want three tickets to the game.
— I want free tickets to the game.

In one of these sentences, you want multiple tickets. In the other, you’re a free loader.

— I don’t want to think.
— I don’t want to sink.

In one of these sentences, you don’t want to use your brain, and the other you don’t want to float to the bottom of water.

Practice with the following sentences:

  1. Thirty-three thieves thought their brothers thought they were thoughtful, but they thought wrong because they are thieves.
  2. The mouse’s mouth is sore, thick, and I think it’s sick.
  3. Thelma thinks that three free trees are available on Thirty-third street.
  4. Ruth is on the roof and thinks: sing a thing, pass the path, and thank a tank.


Below are some additional minimal pair difficulties, and some of the languages that I’ve come across that have the biggest challenges. This list, of course, doesn’t include everyone within these languages and I apologize for forgetting the many…many other languages out there. These are just what I’ve had the most contact with lately. These lessons will come later….

R/H – Portuguese

V/W – Russian

R/L -Korean, Japan

S- Spanish, Portuguese

P/B – Arabic

B/V- Russian, Korean

V/F – German


Did this post help you with your pronunciation? Share with a friend, knowledge is power….so help spread the power!

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Happy Studying! ♥