Phrasal Verb Friday | Phrasal Verbs VS Verb + Prepositions

The past few Fridays have been spent reviewing a variety of phrasal verbs and how to learn them, but what exactly is a phrasal verb? What is the difference between phrasal verbs and verb + preposition combinations? Yes, did you know that second … Continue reading

Happy New Year!

Firstly, I’d like to say a big..

Happy New Year!!! 

.. to everyone. It’s been too long.

Sincerest apologies for my hiatus (noun: a pause or gap in process), the past few months have been absolutely crazy and so hectic. Apart from the expected chaos of the holiday season and everyday life, add a couple sicknesses and an out-of-state move to the list…and there you have my Nov/Dec/Jan. But enough about me, I am back in the game and here to provide you with even more exciting things on English Outside the Box‘s learning blog.

First, besides signing up and subscribing to this blog, I’d like to invite you to sign up for English Outside the Box’s newsletter. This newsletter will be providing you with all of the latest and greatest Outside the Box news, information, and learning opportunities. It will give information about upcoming giveaways, free class options, even more learning resources, and other things I may not necessarily include on this blog. To sign up visit:

Next, did I say free class options? Yes, I did!! Starting this coming month, February, I will be hosting a free Conversation Hang Out (via Google Hangouts) for 7 students (and me of course). These Conversation Hang Out’s will happen once a month, will vary on themes/topics, and will be an excellent way to talk with a native speaker, other learners, and make connections! Because of different time zones, the class start times will vary month-to-month to allow multiple countries to participate, but space is limited so make sure you sign up fast! To sign up, send an e-mail with your name, country, & e-mail to:  To check the current class information for this month, visit: and of course, check your e-mail newsletter updates!

Another great (and exciting) feature coming up on the blog next month (& this year) is a new writer & maybe, a short story series. An incredibly talented writer has come on board to give you even more things to read, more ways to connect, and more opportunities to practice English. Through these posts, you will be able to practice reading, writing (commenting), new vocabulary, potential new grammar concepts, and speaking…talking and sharing your thoughts with others. I’d say this will be an excellent addition to your learning routine!

Finally, in addition to all these great new things coming to the blog, don’t forget to take advantage of all the ‘old stuff’. You know what they say, “an oldie but a goodie.” (something old but still valued) The menu has changed (new year, new menu), and should be a little bit easier to navigate. If you want to find specific posts, exercises, or lessons that focus on a particular skill, you can search under “Practice English”. You can also connect with me, and utilize the English opportunities I give via Social Media. English Outside the Box can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, all with the name: JenESL760 . On these social media sites you will find a lot of visual learning tools: infographics, pictures, charts, cartoons, quotes, videos, etc.. all of which will help different skill areas. If you haven’t connected yet, what are you waiting for?

It feels good to be back, and I wanted to say hello and give some updates before I get back into the swing(return to normal routine) of regular blog updates. So, HELLO! I am so looking forward to 2015 and all the world has the offer! I hope you are too…

Happy Studying & Connecting! ♥♥

If you like what you’ve read, and are excited for the new features and updates coming…share your excitement, and share the blog with a friend.

Thanks! xo Jennifer

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

English Idioms ~ Keeping it in the family

In honor of International Day of Families, and my own family in from out of town this weekend, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s idioms to family.   So what are some common idioms related to family? Find some of them … Continue reading

Word 2 of the Weekend: nauseous

Why is it useful? It’s a very common symptom of many illnesses, both serious and not.


Courtesy: Merriam-Webster Learner’s

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (& Week)

You are reading this post because someone wants you to know that you are appreciated.

or you clicked a link because you are interested in teachers, teaching, education, or are just curious 🙂


A “thank you” is something that can pick anyone up (make someone happy), brighten a day, or inspire others to keep on keeping on. Today is a day to say thank you, and to honor educators. Actually, this week is a week to honor educators.  According to Channel 10, “As early as 1944, teachers called for a national day to honor educators. In 1980, the National Education Association (NEA) lobbied congress to create such a day….”

So here we are, beginning this wonderful week to give recognition, appreciation, and a virtual hug and “HIGH-FIVE” to those teachers who have made a difference in our life. Becoming an educator, specifically an ESL instructor, has given me an entirely new appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to teaching others, and choose to share their passion everyday. Although incredibly rewarding overall, this job is not always easy. It can be quite difficult to pour your heart into something, only to realize your sharing it with individuals who might not care. I have definitely, at times, taken a lack of motivation from students quite personally. I wonder why I can’t be the one to inspire someone like others have inspired me. However, still pretty new to this field, I am learning the ins and outs, and most importantly, that I can’t always take it personal. On days when I face less motivation, I try to step out of the situation and think of the students who I know I inspired, motivated, or whose lives I have touched. You know who you are 🙂 I try to remember that, no matter what, I can’t let anyone affect the passion that I have, and the information I want to share.

So I wanted to make a special shout out, and say thank you to the teachers who have influenced me in one way or another, who have made some positive mark on my life, and in the memories of my education. I wanted to create something that could be shared with other teachers who have made a difference. I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone out there in the educational field, whether professionally or on a volunteer basis, whatever you may be doing to help positively influence the life of others. Thank you.

In thinking about my past, and educational experiences, there are many teachers I’ve had that were wonderful. Some made stronger connections, some shared a greater passion.

In thinking about the most recent, and biggest impact someone has made on my life, it would be the professor that helped guide me to where I am today. She opened my eyes to what else was out in the world, and showed me a path that I had never considered. Early on I thought I knew what I wanted to do, therapy with a psych degree, but having met Dr. Suzanne Moineau, in my “science to speech and hearing” class I was opened to the world of speech pathology. She was so motivating, and made learning so enjoyable. She’s friendly and encouraging, and it was that encouragement to go down this path and search for something different, that brought me where I am today. Other things, of course, have affected where I am, but I really hold a special part in my heart for Dr. Moineau, and extend a million hugs, high fives, and thank yous.

Other teachers who hold a special place are my Ramona teachers.

Mr. Bringham: “Who’s the now, You’re the now!” You’ll always be one of my favorites.

Mrs. Snodgrass, Mrs. Brainard, and Coach A Rodriguez: The continued support, guidance, love, throughout high school with the cheer program and academics is unparalleled. You wonderful women made such a huge difference in my life, and the whole program.

Mrs. Bridgewater: She made science fun. She was so happy, all the time, and her passion shined through her smile always. “Pooosh” is one of the forever ‘inside joke’ memories I have in that class, a definite favorite.

Mr. Newman: Hard for words to describe how wonderful Mr. Newman is! Spanish class and Washington D.C. in junior high, and felt his presence through high school as well. He made connections with students, and his passion and dedication could never be second guessed. The educational world is lucky to have him!

Thank you all.


I encourage you to share this post with a teacher who has made a difference. Reach out, and say thank you. Let them know you appreciate them, and show that you care. ♥


Some links if you’d like more information about National Teacher’s Day, links to spread the love to a teacher, or a relevant read!

Happy Learning ♥

Learning for your Style (+ Vocabulary)

Happy Sunday! I’m excited for today’s post because it’s going to help everyone, and allow all of you to find out your individual learning style, and hopefully improve your educational experiences! Once you find out your learning style from the provided quiz, I will provide a few activities for each strength as a way to improve your language skills! 🙂


photo: Connections Academy Blog

All of you have unique learning styles, meaning everyone learns in their own way, and has different strengths and weaknesses. Some people learn better alone, while others need a group for support and guidance. Some people need pictures, like me, and visual stimulation to remember information, but others get distracted and would prefer not to have a lot of color and photos. All of these differences make us unique, and when we know what our learning style is, we can learn and practice in a way that highlight our strongest skills. Here are the different skills an individual can have:

* Bodily-Kinesthetic (body smart): you learn best through touch and moving, using the body to understand information. You need to be up and moving.

* Interpersonal (people smart): you prefer to work on a team, are a good leader and team player. You need to share information and work together with others to understand.

* Verbal-Linguistic (word smart): you need words to learn: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You learn best by reading something and then discussing it.

* Logical-Mathematical (logic smart): you learn best by categorizing information. You think by classifying information, thinking about the sensible logic, and then, reasoning it.

* Naturalistic (nature smart): you work best outside, in nature. You enjoy learning about natural events, or things related to life.

* Intrapersonal (self smart): you need to work alone. This doesn’t mean you are shy, but independent and must work with your individual goals.

* Visual-Spatial (picture smart): you prefer to draw, or imagine and (visualize) things. Anything with a picture helps you understand, including charts and diagrams.

* Musical (music smart): you need music in your learning, and enjoying listening to it, singing it, or finding the rhythm and melody.

There are many online quizzes that will tell you your learning style.  After trying a few of these out, I’ve selected Edutopia’s because it is accurate, and easy to follow.   (please copy/paste this address if Edutopia link doesn’t work: ) *see below for some help if you don’t understand the quiz*

The quiz will take about 5-10 minutes, and below I have included some explanations and definitions for anything I thought might be difficult. Make sure you read each section’s question, because each of the 4 sections ask something different. After the explanations below, I will give some activities for each style, so make sure you keep scrolling down.  ↓  ENJOY! ♥

Page 1: How much time do you spend:  This question wants to know the amount of time you really do on these activities regularly. Think about your ‘average’.  The choices are:   none (no time),   only a little (sometimes),  a fair amount (more than sometimes), a lot (often), all the time (almost-always)

  • to get lost in a book: give so much attention to your book, and forget about everything else around you.
  • crafts: things you make with your hands
  • mysteries: things that are unknown
  • riddles: difficult questions that are like a game
  • reflecting: to think very carefully about something
  • yearning: to strongly desire or want something

Page 2:  How keen would you be to: This question wants to know how interested you are in the things listed. Keen means excited and interested in. The choices are:  I’d hate to (not interested at all),  I’d be a little reluctant (you are not very interested, but maybe), I wouldn’t mind (you don’t care if you do or don’t),  I’d like to (interested), I’d jump at the chance (very very interested).

  • reluctant: having doubt about doing something
  • self-improvement: something that makes you, as a person, better (improves)
  • look after: give care to, take care of

Page 3:  When you are in a group, how often do you find yourself: This question wants to know your behavior (the way you act) in a group of people (not alone). The choices are: none (you never do it), only a little (sometimes), a fair amount (more than sometimes), a lot (often), all the time (almost-always).

  • speaking on behalf of the group: you speak for the group, and represent them and what they want to say. The group tells you what to say for them.
  • navigating or reading a map: you lead the way and give the directions. You read the map to tell the others where to go.
  • role: position
  • acting a role/impression: pretending to be a different person, behaving like someone else.

Page 4:   How well do these statements describe you: This question wants to know if the information describes how you are and what you do. The choices are: Not me at all (not you, never), a little like me (kind of, sometimes), moderately like me (sometimes, often), a lot like me (yes, very me), exactly like me (this is me!).

  • figure out people: try to understand people (who they are, and why they behave the way they do).
  • set goals: say what you want to achieve/accomplish.
  • gardening: working with plants in a garden(area where plants grow).


* Bodily-Kinesthetic

  • games that involve your body will be fun and help you learn. Simon Says, Charades, Twister, etc…
  • scavenger hunts. Look online, ask a teacher (ME), or create your own list of objects to be found by using clues. Relate this to a theme or your current vocabulary.
  • practice your language, and entertain others while putting on (or going to) a magic show. Step by step instructions can be reviewed, imperatives, and again, target vocabulary.
  • the use of realia or real life objects will help you. Plastic fruits and vegetables will work better than flashcards, or real clothing and costumes more than pictures. Use your theme to guide you to a place (ie: travel to a local guide shop, food to the grocery store, etc…)
  • turn your songs, vocabulary, or current theme into movement. Think dances, plays, acting, etc…

* Interpersonal

  • interviews! Use other people to gain knowledge, and give your knowledge to them, too. Ask experts in a field about something your interested in, review vocabulary and grammar concepts that you form into interview questions.
  • teach others information that you would like to review, you’re practicing speaking, interacting with others, and helping out a friend.
  • studying in groups, review in groups, learn in groups. Organize your own club with some people interested in English and set a time to meet each week.
  • nominate yourself as the leader of any group you participate in, and take charge!
  • role playing or participating in a play will help you practice language and get you around others.

* Verbal-Linguistic

  • word games are an incredible resource to improve English with this strength. Scrabble (Words with Friends), crossword puzzles, or try Boggle!
  • say “hello!” to a stranger! Try to start a conversation with someone new, invite others to share and enjoy English with you!
  • start a blog, or write on a blog (comment below!), search for blogs, read some blogs, and then...tell someone about the most interesting blog you found!
  • write a poem or a story, and enter it into a contest.
  • try and debate more. Read the news about some controversial issues that are local, and talk about them.

* Logical-Mathematical 

  • try logic games, like sudoku, review the numbers in English, and try to think/say (in English) why you are making the decisions you are.
  • clue or detective games. Having the opportunity to solve a crime is fun, logically think about evidence and discover the mystery.
  • always put new English concepts (grammar, vocabulary, ideas) in categories. Organize your notes in this way to stay organized.
  • learn how to play classic math favorites in English, think: Chess, cards, checkers, dominoes.
  • find the patterns in everything. Classifying things you read, ie: find similarities in characters of stories, or find analogies of new vocabulary.

* Naturalistic

  • volunteer at a local animal shelter, or environment organization. Use your English skills to connect on the Internet to make a difference.
  • study outside, learn outside when you can, and use your natural surrounding to educate yourself. Vocabulary, and discussion ideas can be taken from the natural world.
  • start an exercise group, where the members must also communicate in English.
  • find a new hobby that involve the outdoors. Groupon has new activities to try, or search on “international meetup.”
  • National Geographic has a lot of information on the Internet to explore and practice language at the same time!

* Intrapersonal

  • blogging, journal or diary writing. Writing your thoughts and self reflecting will help you to express yourself, and improve writing skills.
  • create scrapbooks of your favorite memories, with quotes, and information to help you think about it. Using different pictures can help you review vocabulary.
  • self-study, and review in a quiet place with no interruptions.
  • keep a goal chart, with specific language goals you want to accomplish. Keep track!
  • talk to yourself, think out loud, always be self-communicating to practice your language skills. Make sure you know (in English) what you’re always doing..

* Visual-Spatial

  • take photographs of new vocabulary, learn new words with what you see around you.
  • forget the dictionary or translator, use Google images as your dictionary for unknown words.
  • learn with flashcards: there’s a variety of activities you can do: practice, review/test your knowledge, memory game.
  • take notes with pictures, cluster ideas in word clouds, mind map when you write to brainstorm ideas.
  • use comic strips/cartoons to learn. Remove the original speech and create your own story, or illustrate a story that you have written.

* Musical

  • is a great way to listen to music and practice listening and writing.
  • read information out loud, enjoy the sound of your own voice, and make some chants or songs about the information you are learning.
  • create your own song! Use current vocabulary or grammar concepts to write a song. If you think that’s a challenge, start with a poem.
  • listen to soft music (minimal words) while you are studying, or reviewing information. This can motivate and energize you!
  • podcasts, YouTube, anything that is REAL audio will help you, watch interview of your favorite celebrities, movies, TV, etc…


I hope you found your learning style, and can use some of the activities listed above. Please, share with other learners some of your favorite activities related to your learning style in the comment section here. What works best for you?

Comment, Share, Connect, Like, inspire yourself and others to learn..

Happy Studying my favorite Bloggers!  ♥





Word 2 of the Weekend: foster

Why is it useful? Helping others grow is a beautiful thing, and can benefit the world. It can be used for people, animals, or some things.


Courtesy: Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary