2014. február 13., csütörtök

Letter Writing - Lv. Political Agitator 

A few days ago I gave this task to one of my students:

Write an open letter to Á.J., president of the Hungarian Republic.

Your letter should be civilized, yet it should bring across your, and your nation's


In your letter:

-  tell Á. about the 3 biggest problems of Hungary today (1 paragraph for each problem)

-  mention your and the people's preference to fixing said problems. (1-2 sentences each)

-  call the president's attention to the gravity of the problems once more

Your letter should be verbally strong, but not offensive or prejudiced.

An Open Letter to the President of Hungary

Dear Johnny Á., 

My name is ##>>\\||, but this is not important because I represent everybody in Hungary. I'm the voice of the people. 

I, and the people write this letter to you, because the country is deep in shit. It is not an honor to be Hungarian anymore, it is a pain.

I want to address three problems which you need to fix:

1. It is very expensive and difficult to start a family today. Doctors are corrupt, the system is rigid and the childbirth is not natural. Less and less people want to have children. And without children this country has no future.

2. It is very expensive and difficult to start a business today. Taxes are sky-high, bureaucracy is impossible and administration seems endless. The government must make the life of companies and businesses easier and more flexible. Without companies the country will have no tax money and without money this country has no future.

3. It is very dangerous to be proud of being Hungarian. National pride is now nationalism and more and more people drop it. We must like, or love our country and our identity because without the love for Hungary this country has no future.

We ask you to open your eyes, start using your voice and act for the country and her people. 

 ##>>\\|| and the Hungarian People

2014. február 10., hétfő

All Online content Lost!

Life can be a bitch. No, scrap that, technology can be a bitch. I'm writing this still under the near-traumatizing effect of the fact that all of my educational material have been deleted from my Dropbox account by my former student - 

accidentally, of course. I was not using the service as I should have and I gave unlimited managerial rights to my students, and poof!, the stuff - my own-written material - is gone.

Desperation. Panic. Angst. Anger. And then, the realization: "Hey, this isn't that bad!"

Come tomorrow I will have a completely new chance, the clean slate, if you will, to re-write material. And by doing so I will be able to go all out: better content, even more examples and samples, flashier images and who knows what else. So, in a way, I'm okay now, better than ever, and in a morbid way I'm thankful for the death of the previously written material: this is the beginning of something new, big and wild! :)
Image credits: http://thedraftingclub.com/creativity-in-the-wild-tear-off-fliers-16-images/

2013. október 15., kedd

Stop saying: *I will late

Many Hungarians, and quite frankly many of the people whose English I'm trying to improve week by week, make this tiny mistake which really puts bad light on their overall level of English. This is the mistake of using the adjective 'late' as a verb... 

Sure, we could argue and reason like "English is a self-modernizing language", or "language elements morph into each other all the time, there is nothing wrong with that", but to put things into their right place: knowingly altering conventional language use for better, more colorful communication is one (fantastic!) thing, but using linguistic devices badly is completely different (bad) idea. It puts your reputation as a foreign language user into danger. 

The word 'late' is not especially difficult to learn to command. 

This is a good, well-formed sentence (which I sent to my student to let her know that she will have to wait for me because of a traffic jam I got stuck in):

"Dear #####, I'm sorry, I'll be 7-10 min late due to an enormous traffic jam on Rákóczi."  

Notice what I write: I + WILL BE + LATE, or more grammatically: the SUBJECT of the sentence is becoming something in the future, or easier to say: shall have a different STATE in the future.

What other people say (badly):

I'm sorry for *late >> correction: I'm sorry for being late

I will *late >> correction: I will be late
Yesterday my bus *was lated >> correction: Yesterday my bus was late.

In short: do not use 'late' as a verb and people will know you have a solid knowledge of the language. ;)

2013. június 13., csütörtök

Help Me English - The Summer Tour (2013)

Help Me English has gone mobile! 
Breaking out of the comfort of the office for this summer, I have decided to take things back into the old direction. Just for a while. :)

What this means for me is a whole lot more cycling - not a problem -, and a more commuting approach.
What this means for you, dear Students, is more comfort, because you can study in your home, office, or favorite cafe (or perhaps bar?). Also, due to the summer holidays I have decreased the lesson prices a bit - we'll talk about this in person. 

Get into contact with me, let's find the perfect combination of time and location and let's learn some English! 

Your teacher, 


2012. november 12., hétfő

How To Write Awesome Letters - Informal [SAMPLES]

Informal Letter Writing Task # 1 - A letter to a classmate

Te a Snowy Summits High School tizenéves diákja vagy. Épp nyári szüneted hatodik hetét töltöd a nem túl forró Wisconsin állambeli Saintford-ban, a nagyszüleidnél. Sajnos családod jelenleg nincs mindenkori anyagi helyzetének csúcsán, így be kellett érned ezzel a nyári megoldással. Mivel a tanyán, ahol a nagyszüleid élnek igazából nincs mit csinálni, valamint korunk egyik társadalom-mobilitási jelensége miatt minden fiatal elvándorolt a közeli kisvárosból a nagyobb városok felé. A modern tinédzserek szórakoztató-platformjainak híján jutott eszedbe az elektronikus könyvolvasód, amit egy éve adtál kölcsön osztálytársadnak. Írj levelet ennek a fiúnak/leánynak, melyben

1.) elpanaszolod mennyire unalmas a rurális nyaralásod
2.) visszakéred a könyvolvasót
3.) megkérdezed mi történik épp a címzettel

Leveled legyen személyes hangvételű, hihető, valamint formailag és nyelvtani értelemben helyes. Leveled terjedelme ne haladja meg a 400 szót.

Solution [W369]:

To: Ms Emma Shaw
564 East 42nd Street, New York, 
34552 DK 121

July 1 2012 

My Dear Emma,

I'm writing to you from my uncle Jeremy's farm, from Saintford, Wisconsin…

What am I doing here? Well, it's not the best story of my life, you see. Maybe I told you when we were still going to school that my dad might be fired from the car factory as he had that little fight with that stupid Puerto Rican guy. Well, it came true, my Dad's unemployed. As such, and 'cause my Mom is still not back to work because she is doing that IT-training program I have to be here for some time..

Anyhow, I'm doing good - aunt May is cooking really good dishes every day. Oh, you might not know this, but I'm staying with my aunt and uncle for the rest of summer. It's nice and not too hot and they are decent folks, but to tell you the truth it really is boring sometimes. There's nothing to do here, except chores and watching the sky at night. Since my uncle has sold his animals and started growing corn there isn't anything to kill time with. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I actually miss school.

The reason why I'm writing to you, apart from letting you know that I'm okay, is that I want to ask my ebook reader back from you. I know that I offered it to you when you were hospitalized, and yes, I know how much you like to read, but I would really enjoy using in now. Maybe I'd be able to finish the complete Twilight saga. I could at least tell that to Mrs Andrews, the literature teacher in September, maybe she would remember this when she grades me at the end of the term.

If you could post the reader (and its charger!) to my address I would be very happy and perhaps I'd be saved from all this boredom! My uncle's address is this:

1 Nowhere Lane, Saintford, Wisconsin, XF01 BLV 762

Also, I don't know anything about you and your summer! Please write to me and tell me anything. I really hope you are having a more eventful life then I am. I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for everything,
with love, your Friend


Informal Letter Writing Task # 2 - A letter to an acquaintance

Jenny is a girl of average intelligence, but with good looks. She and some of her friends (all girls, save Ryan, who is a homosexual furniture-designer) went out last Friday evening to call an end of a tough period at work and to have a good time with the possibility of dancing, and maybe some flirting with unknown men. Jenny had a very nice evening as a gentleman named Patrick approached her, talked to her, bought her a drink and made her laugh all night. It was well after midnight that Jenny was asked whether she would like to accompany Patrick back to his apartment, to which the girl readily said 'yes'. After a night of steaming biology, Jenny woke up to a cold and empty bed: the man was gone. Instead of last night's charmeur a big, bulky, not-overly-polite cleaning lady woke her up, gave her new underwear  and asked her to leave the apartment as she needed to clean it. Jenny was pushed outside the apartment and outside Patrick's life. With no better idea to get into contact with him Jenny sits down and composes a letter which will be posted to Patrick's address.

The letter starts like this:

Dear Cowardly, Egoistic Patrick, 

Tackle these questions in your letter:

1.how does Jenny feel?
2.what does Jenny want?
3.what are the best-case and worst-case outcomes? 

To: 'Mr Patrick'
11 Friars Alley, London,
PA545 F 15

July 18 2012

Dear Cowardly, Egoistic Patrick, 

thank you for the wonderful night. After this night I would not have thought that I have to be woken up by the rude cleaning lady who was treating me like a bitch. Or a whore. Either way,  I felt lost and disappointed. Everything was strange and unfamiliar to me because I only wanted to share time with you but you were not there for me. I have to regret all the good feelings and smiles I gave to you  because they can not be yours since you are not true…

I'm more than interested in your explanation about the last moment of our interaction. The fact that you abandoned me is hurting enough, but that you used your cleaning lady to toss me out was disgusting and cowardly and humiliating.

Despite all these I would like to have another chance to get to know you as you appeared last night: a charming, entertaining and gentle person with a good heart and a creative mind. I have a reservation for Wednesday evening, 8 o'clock at Nobu Restaurant (Petőfi S. u). I will be wearing a red dress and red lipstick. Please come and join me and let's get this problem fixed.

I'm waiting for both your answer and appearance,



p.s. If you don't show up, well, I do know where you live...

2012. november 8., csütörtök

How To Write Awesome Letters - Informal

Writing really good, correct format informal letters is not a great challenge, especially if you have a neat infographic help such as this one to the left. 

When you write a friend, acquaintance, relative or foe the language you use will be loose, easy-going, simple and very simple to comprehend. Contracted forms, abbreviations and slang are usable in the letter, all you have to worry about is grammar, spelling and punctuation, i.e. the language mechanics. 

On the top right corner, neatly aligning with the margin your address must be presented just as the bubble shows you. Underneath, in the same block of text, or one enter-hit later you should definitely enter the date of the letter. 

Next, to salute your dear friend. Pick a formula from the many: dear, my sweet, the person's first name, or simply something colloquial like 'Hey!'

The letter's body should be broken down into distinct paragraphs. Not because your friend might secretly be an academic-level letter-writing-controller, but merely to assist him/her in reading what you have written. One topic/ idea should be discussed in one paragraph, and another in a next one. There can be as many paragraphs to a letter as you want, but keep in mind, that the addressee will have to read it, so sending 7-page monsters to your ex-flat-mate, just because you were bored one rainy Friday morning may not be totally welcomed. 

As for closing, a good idea is to use a closing formula, again from our cliché-bank or from the creative depths of your mind. 

When you finish writing, the only task left to do is re-reading what you have put in the letter. Use a thorough spell-check. At this point anything can be changed, corrected, updated or reformed; later it will be much more complicated to make up for mistakes. Also, you might choose to add information or cancel out some sentences deemed unnecessary.

Once you feel your letter is completed, hit 'Send' and exhale: you did a good job! 

For ideas and references on what formulas to use consult the cliché-bank below. 

Cliché Bank

Closing Formulae
Hello NAME,
With regards,
Kind regards,
Hey there,
With kind regards,
Dear NAME,
Best wishes,
The best, / Best, 
Hey man,
With love,
Hey girl,

XOXO ( < please don't use this)


2012. október 17., szerda

Help Me English - 
Online Session

Felkészülés a vizsgára, dolgozatra, interjúra… meg a hidegre. Ha kanapéd kényelméből akarsz tanulni kedvenc bolyhos pizsidben…, nos, semmi akadálya! Újraindult online nyelvóra- szolgáltatásom, melynek kilencven percét beszédre és írás-csiszolásra is felhasználjuk 50-50 százalékban. A tanuláshoz csak egy számítógép + mikrofon+ internetkapcsolat hármasra van szükséged.


Vedd fel az óráidat a rugalmas órarendemben, tanulj otthonról és fejlődj! A szolgáltatás továbbra is személyre szabott, az ár továbbra is kedvező, én meg továbbra is meg akarlak tanítani angolul!
érdeklődj és jelentkezz itt, vagy a hme.project@gmail.com-on!