Why is Chinglish so prevelent?

When I buy Chinese made products or travel to places in China, I see Chinglish written everywhere. Simple things are miss translated. There are basic grammar errors. Typos and spelling errors are common. Why don't the companies hire native English speakers to proofread their manuals? Western companies never release foreign language document without clearing with at least one native speaker – and preferably a professional.

How to teach beginner ESL students the difference between 'I like going to the cinema' and 'I'd like to go to the cinema'?

In short, you would not teach them the difference. Bringing up two very similar grammars, but quite with different meaning, will just confuse people.

Generally, I introduce students to phrases using “I like…” quite early on. Especially young children like to say things like, “I like to eat pizza,” and, “I like going to the cinema.” It would be quite a long time later, possibly months or even years later, that we would get to grammar using, “I would…” and then later, “I would like to…”

Why am I not seeing any improvement in my English?

I moved to the US several years ago. I speak English every day. I watch English TV, talk to friends in English and I’m also married to a native English speaker, I barely speak my own native language now, but my English doesn’t seem to be improving at all. It’s so frustrating because after many  years I thought I would see some improvement, but nothing yet.

Should "the" be capitalized in the middle of a sentence if it's part of a title/name?

Generally, the is an article in front of a noun, not part of the noun itself, so it is not usually capitalized in the middle of a sentence. However, yes, if the is part of the name or title then it should always be capitalized. For example:

The Gambia is situated on either side of the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the centre of The Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Reading, writing, listening and speaking: Which one should I learn first when studying English?

Which leg should my first learn to walk with when learning to walk. Should be perfect using the right leg before trying to use the left? I want to learn to eat with chopsticks. Should I try to learn to eat with one stick first, and perfect that, as two sticks are more complicated?

How is language and emotion linked?

People are different people when using different languages. Studies show that people think differently, behave differently and even have different morals. One example is to compare now you feel when saying, "I love you," with saying, "Wo ai ni" or the equivalent in your own tongue. In your native tongue, it feels much more personal and more heartfelt than in the foreign tongue. It's not just in the head either. It is a measurable effect, with sweat, faster heart rate, dilated pupils in the eyes and so on.

How does language affect our view of the world?

Language forms a structure through which we interpret the world. Without the language, we can actually become blind to the senses. For example, you were taught that we have 4 or 5 tastes such as sweet, sour, bitter, etc. If I give you some wine to drink, you will fall back on those words to describe it. If I give you a second wine to taste, you again use your pre-defined vocabulary to describe the differences as best you can. If the wines are similar, you might well declare them to be the same.

Why major in English as a foreign language, if you're not going to be a language teacher?

The English major on its own is insufficient for many jobs other than English teacher. Also, many other majors graduate with a decent amount of English. However, you are not wasting your time doing English. I can tell you that 10% of my students studying English majors already have majored in other subjects and are studying an English major as a second degree as it is a statement of a high proficiency that can differentiate them in a crowded job market. Having both and English major and some other specialization is the double-edged sword that will lead to a successful career.


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