Skip to main content


Feedback on my online IELTS classes from my student: M Singh

Given below is the feedback from my previous student. The feedback is only from students who attended my classes online and who have explicitly consented to put their details online.

Name: M. Singh
Name of the course: IELTS (All skills)
Age: 34
Final IELTS Score:  Listening-7.0, Reading-7.5, Writing-7.0, Speaking-7.0
Would you like to see your testimonials published in my blog/site (yes, no, summary of testimonial): Yes
Place: Pune (India) Can prospective learners contact you?
Through phone: NoThrough email: Yes

Address : Pune
I am Maninder Singh, I needed 7.0 each in all the four parts of IELTS to immigrate to AUS.
I appeared for the exam but failed to achieve my target. Then I contacted Jims 2 months ago.  Eventually with his support & Guidance I achieved my target within time."
What was the duration of your online course? : 1.5 Months

Rate my classes on a scale of 1 to 10
As a teacher: 9.5

Vocabulary: 10.0

Grammar: 10.0

Pronunciation: 10.0

Materials Provided: 9.5

Where you…

Word Accent Made Easy

Have you ever heard a native British speak. Next time you hear them, listen carefully to what they say. Notice how they gobble up some sounds and give more importance to some other sounds. That is what makes a native speakers speech different from ESL learners from other countries.
Consider the word “frequent”. You just hear the first part of the word (also known as a syllable) and the rest is left unstressed. Now, the problem is that we do not have fixed rules for word accent in English. We got to learn it the hard way. But I can provide here some basic tips that usually (but not always) work.
Tip1:Some sounds are almost always given stress. The vowel sound “ee” for example is stressed in words like “frequent”, “street”, “naughty” etc. Other such sounds are “aa” as in “carpet”.
Tip 2: Some consonant sounds are so prominent that we cannot simply gobble them up. Sounds like “d” (just try to say “digest”) and “g” (just say  “gauge”). Other such sounds are “t” and “k”, “b” etc.
Tip 3: Som…

Software for online teaching/learning

It is been a while since I took up teaching English online, and often people ask me about the software that I use for communication. While they think of some exotic software, my answer is quite a dull one: Google Drive and Skype.

Why Skype? Why I can't I use any other collaboration/online education software.

Why I give a thumbs up to Skype:
Its popularity: Everyone knows something about it. Skype is installed in many systems to get in touch with their relatives. So, it is not huge technical leap for them.

Skype is intuitive. My borther's 5 year old son uses it to call me. Nothing more to be said on that. It stores chat text, so it is always easier to go back to what you have taught.It automatically reconnects after a break in the net connection.And the biggest advantage: Crystal clear voice. It is very important for teaching pronunciation and intonation.

Now the thumbs down:

It gobbles up bandwidth. Even if you cut the video, which I use only for rare occasions, call dropping …

Learning to speak English by watching movies: does it really work?

I’ve heard many English gurus give this insane piece of advice: watch some Hollywood flick to learn how to speak in English. But is that so simple. I don’t think so.

 Here is what you can and cannot achieve by watching movies:


1) If you already have some idea about English, your KNOWLEDGE or UNDERSTANDING of the English language can improve by watching movies. You can get a general idea of phrases, pronunciation of individual words and most importantly, intonation.

 2) Your vocabulary might improve a bit- say 10 words per movie. But even an average English class can fetch you those many words. Reading simple articles can give you a much better result.

 3) Common phrases and usages are easy to acquire by watching a movie. Learning that otherwise would require much more time.

 4) You can also understand how the natives use the language and how it is different from the English that we have learnt from schools.


1) Fluency. It will NOT improve beyond a point. Fluency is a …

A cat has nine lives

What is the difference between 'there', 'they're' and 'their"?

The word "their" is used to mean something that belongs to a group of people. see the examples:

Where is their car?Look at their dirty shoes.Their marks were poor.
The word 'they're' is a shortened version of 'they are'. See the following sentences:

They are going to the park.I think, they are a bunch of idiots.

'There' is used to show a place.

I saw the thief over there.Let us search over there. 'There' is also used to mean something that exists: There are three chairs in the room.There is no place for us to sit.There is no shortcut to success.

Author: Jims Varkey
-English Quick Tips Page