How to Write a Recipe in English

Pancake Day!

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I don’t know if you know this already, but on Tuesday the 5th of March 2019 it will be Pancake Day in the UK.

We celebrate the day before Lent starts by eating pancakes – yum!

Lent is the 40 day period before Easter.

So, as Pancake Day will be here soon, here is a recipe so that you can start practising making pancakes the British way…

And below is the language you need to write your own recipe in English…


Pancake Recipe


First, you will need your ingredients.

A good way to remember your pancake ingredients is to remember 1, 2, 3!


1. 100g (grams) of plain flour

2. 2 large eggs

3. 300ml (millilitres) of milk


A little oil for frying

Some lemon wedges and caster sugar to serve


1. Put the flour, eggs and milk into a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

2. Add a pinch of salt if you wish.

3. Leave the mixture to stand for about 30 minutes.

4. Grease a frying pan with the oil.

5. Heat the pan for about 1 minute.

6. Add the pancake mixture little by little until it makes a circle in the pan.

7. Fry for one minute.

8. Turn over the pancake.

9. Fry on the other side for one minute.

10. Keep going until you have made all the pancakes.

11. Serve with the lemon and sugar.

12. Eat and enjoy!!!


Language for writing a recipe

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  1. Ingredients    =   the food needed
  2. Grams             =   a measurement for solid food
  3. Millilitres       =   a measurement for liquids
  4. Method           =   what you have to do
  5. Whisk             =    stir fast
  6. A pinch of      =   a little
  7. Fry                  =  cook in oil in a frying pan
  8. Roast              =   cook in the oven
  9. Bake               =   cook in the oven
  10. Boil                 =  cook (in) liquid on a high heat
  11. Simmer          =  cook (in) liquid on a low heat

*Now you try: Write a recipe for something traditional from your country using some of the language above. If you like, you can send it to me at and I will send you some feedback on your writing!

I hope you try to make pancakes the British way this week, ready for Pancake Day!

Enjoy your cooking!

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The story of love in 10 idioms

1. Puppy Love

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To begin with, you might start your romantic relationships with puppy love.

Puppy love is love that you feel when you are young, usually when you are a teenager. This kind of love often goes away as you get older.

Example: “She thinks that it’s really serious between them, but I’m pretty sure it’s just puppy love.”

Song: ‘Puppy Love’ by Donny Osmond on YouTube


2. To have a crush on somebody

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As well as experiencing puppy love, teenagers often develop crushes on other people.

A crush is having really strong feelings for somebody, usually somebody who isn’t interested in you. Crushes don’t usually last for long, but they can be intense!

Example: “I’ve got a crush on my maths teacher – I can’t stop thinking about him!”

Song: ‘Crush’ by Jennifer Paige on YouTube


3. My heart skipped a beat

bursting with love

If you have a crush on someone, or just have feelings for somebody, then when you see them your heart might skip a beat.

Your heart skipping a beat means the feeling that you get when you are excited or nervous about something.

Example: “She came over to me and my heart skipped a beat.”

Song: ‘Heart Skips a Beat’ by Olly Murs feat. Rizzle Kicks on YouTube


4. Falling for somebody

falling for you

If your heart skips a beat when you see someone then it might mean that you are falling for them.

Falling for somebody means you are developing romantic feelings for them. It is usually how you feel at the beginning of a relationship, or before the relationship has even started.

Example: “I can’t stop thinking about you. I think I’m falling for you.”

Song: ‘Still Falling for You’ by Ellie Goulding on YouTube


5. To be mad about somebody

Crazy about you

After you have fallen for somebody, you might feel mad about them.

To be mad about somebody means you are in love with them, or you at least like them very very much.

Example: “How’s it going with Dylan?” “It’s going really well; I’m mad about him!”

Song: ‘Mad About the Boy’ by Dinah Washington on YouTube


6. The One

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If you are mad about somebody, then they might be the one for you!

The one means your ideal match – the person that you should be with.

Example: “How’s it going with Dylan?”   “It’s amazing, I think he might be the one!”

Song: ‘She’s the One’ by Robbie Williams on YouTube


7. Pop the Question

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Once you have met the one, you might want to pop the question!

To pop the question means to ask somebody to marry you. Things are getting serious now!

Example: “I really love her. I might pop the question soon!”

Song: ‘Pop the Question’ by Scotty Baker on YouTube


8. tie the knot

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After one of you has popped the question, then it is time to tie the knot!

To tie the knot means to get married.

Example: “We tied the knot last year.”

Song: ‘Tie the Knot’ by Digital Underground on YouTube


9. my other half

PSX_20190210_160401 (1)

Once you are married, then you can call your husband or wife your ‘other half’.

Your other half is usually your husband or wife but it can also mean your boyfriend or girlfriend if you have been together for a long time.

Example: “My other half is a doctor.”

Song: The Other Half of Me’ by Tiffany Alvord on YouTube


10. Break somebody’s heart

heart broken

Once you are married, then hopefully it is happy ever after without any heart break!

To break somebody’s heart means to make someone you love very sad. This usually means ending the relationship or hurting them badly.

Example: “He broke my heart with all the cheating and lying.”

Song: ‘Don’t Go Breaking my Heart’ by Elton John (with Kiki Dee) on YouTube

*Now you try: try to make sentences using each of the above idioms. Good luck!


Which is your favourite idiom? Which song do you like best? Can you think of any more idioms related to Valentine’s Day?

Leave a reply below or email me at to give me your answer or comment!

I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day this year… even if you’re not celebrating! Have a great week!

Come back next week to read my next blog post on Pancake Day in the UK and to learn how to write a recipe in English.


How to improve your writing skills in English

I have written blog posts so far on improving our listening, reading and speaking skills and I have left until last the skill that most people seem to find the MOST DIFFICULT… writing! Eeeeeeek!

Do you think that your writing is terrible?

Most of my students say to me that they can’t write in English… this is not true! But a lot of students lack confidence in their writing.

So if this sounds like you, read on and I will try to help you with how you can feel more confident writing anything in English – emails, essays, reports – absolutely anything you need to write!


1. Read!

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In my last blog post, I wrote about how the perfect way to improve your speaking is to speak to native speakers. This is because you are not only speaking to them, but listening to how they speak.

In the same way, to improve your writing you need to not only work on the writing itself, but also you need to read how people with English as their first language write.

If you need to write emails, read emails that have been written by native English speakers. If you need to write essays, read essays that have been written by native English speakers. This will show you the style and a lot of the language that you will need to write in this way.

Also, as I wrote in my blog post about improving your reading skills, try to read something every day to increase your vocabulary. The bigger your vocabulary, the easier writing will be for you.


2. Write a diary

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This is something that I always tell my students to do if they are struggling with their writing. Writing a diary encourages you to write every day, which is really good practice.

Also, you will need to use a lot of language to write about yourself and your job/hobbies/daily life so you will learn vocabulary and phrases that will be useful for your speaking, too.

Bonus: Download my free ebook ‘5 Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills in English’ Click here to get it


3. Study grammar

Bitmoji Image Sorry, this probably isn’t what you want to hear! I know a lot of students find grammar boring and difficult, but to have good writing it is necessary to find your grammar mistakes and then learn from them.

A good way to do this is to ask a native speaker (or, even better, a teacher) to look at a piece of your writing for you. Ask them to show you all of your mistakes. Then, when you know what you are making mistakes with, you can look it up and practise that grammar point.

For example, if you are making mistakes with verb tenses – using past simple instead of present perfect, let’s say – then you can practise that and improve for next time.

If you would like me to look at your writing for you and send you back a report with your mistakes, I offer this as a service called a Level and Skills Check for Writing. Email me at or click here for more information!

Bonus: Download my free ebook ‘5 Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills in English’ Click here to get it


How to improve your speaking skills in English

So now we know how to improve our reading and listening skills, it is time to look at how to get better at probably the most important skill of all – speaking!

Problems with speaking can be:

  • Feeling scared, which leads to not talking much, or
  • Not having the opportunity to speak English with others.
  • If you don’t get enough speaking practice, you will find it difficult to improve.

Does any of this sound like you? If so, then read on for my advice!


1. Stop worrying!

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First, you should realise that native speakers make mistakes in English ALL THE TIME and yet we still understand each other!

You can still make grammar mistakes and be understandable to others. But you will never improve if you stay silent.

So just relax, try your best and make mistakes – that is how you will learn!

*Next time you have the chance to speak to somebody in English, try not to think too much about your mistakes. Try to relax and just speak as much as possible!

2. Speak to anyone you can!

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Of course in an ideal world you would have lots of native speakers to talk to, but if you don’t what can you do?

Firstly, if you know somebody else who is learning English, ask them if they would like to have conversation practice with you. They may not be a native speaker, but you can still practise together.

If you have nobody to practise speaking English with where you live, how about having a look online? There are lots of native English speakers learning different languages who would love to have conversation practice. Why not help each other out? You can find these kinds of learners on websites such as speaky or italki.

*Have a look on speaky now and see if you can find someone to talk to!


3. Talk to yourself!

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However, if you really don’t have anyone you can (or want to) speak to, then just talk to yourself! (I’m not joking!) Ask yourself at least one question per day and try to answer it. Try to speak for as long as possible. A question like, “What do you think about…?” is good for this. For example, “What do you think about animals?” “Well, I love animals. My favourite animal is…” etc.

Any words that you don’t know in English, just look up, translate and write down so that you can remember them the next time. Then try to talk about that topic again in a few days’ time and see if you can speak for longer.

*Now you try: think of a topic and ask yourself “What do you think about…?” Try to speak for as long as you can about this topic, just to yourself!

Good luck and enjoy your speaking!

Do you have any other tips on how to improve your speaking skills in English? If so, write a comment below or email me at

Would you also like to work on your English writing skills? If so, then come back next week to read my next blog post on ‘How to improve your writing skills in English’. Until then, have a lovely week!


How to improve your reading skills in English

Last week I wrote about listening and how to improve your listening skills in English. This week I want to turn our attention to reading.

The main problems my students have with reading are:

  • it can be too difficult so they just give up,
  • it can be boring,
  • there are too many unknown words in the text.

Do these sound like the problems you have?

If so, then read on for my advice!

Read in English whenever you can

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  1. Try to read something in English every day.
  2. Change the language setting on your phone to English so that whenever you look at your phone you have to read in English.
  3. When you are reading an article on the internet (news, celebrity gossip, football game reports – whatever you like) try to read it in English first instead of your language. If you see an interesting headline, google it in English and read the English article first. Then read it in your language to see how much you understood.

*Can you change the language settings on your phone? Try it now!


Try graded readers

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Have you heard of graded readers before? They are books written in easier English so that even low-level students can understand them.

Have a look at Pearson graded readers, Oxford graded readers and/or Macmillan graded readers.

You can choose your level (or do a level test first, if you’re not sure) on their website and then choose books written at that level.

Some of them are the physical book and some of them are the digital book so just have a look and see which you prefer!

*Have a look at one of the above websites now and see which book you would like to read!


Combine your listening practice with your reading practice

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Do you find reading a bit boring?

Or do you really not have much time in the day to read?

If that sounds like you, you may like to do your reading and listening practice together!

If you choose to read a graded reader, you can often listen while you read – lots of graded readers come with the audio, so you can read the book and listen at the same time. This makes it a bit more interesting!

If you are listening to a podcast or something with a transcript, just read the transcripts of what you are listening to, and that also counts towards your reading practice. So it is a good way of practising both skills if you don’t have much time!


*Now you try: decide which of the above tips you want to try first and give it a go! Find something to read and try just a little to start with. Then read a little more each day.


Good luck and enjoy your reading!


Do you have any other tips on how to improve your reading skills in English? If so, write a comment below or send me an email on


Would you also like to improve your English speaking skills? If so, come back next week to read my next blog post on ‘How to improve your speaking skills in English’. Have a brilliant week!