There is no Frigate like a Book - Emily Dickinson



Posted by Professor G on March 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The benefits of reading can't be exaggerated!

In addition to improving your ability in any language (second languages included), reading regularly can:

  • Improve memory
  • Improve concentration
  • Increase vocabulary
  • Improve creative thinking
  • Improve analytical thinking
  • Improve writing skills
  • Reduce stress levels

Now this is just a short list.  The benefits obtained from reading are in many cases too numerable to mention in a blog, but such a list should be motivation in its own right to just simply read as much as you can. Click here for articles discussing reading benefits.

One of the chief objectives of EnglishCaddy is to provide its users access to a diverse and entertaining corpus of written works from full-length classical fiction to the latest in scientific publications and to bring them to you in different media formats.

"How can I begin to reap the benefits of reading?"

To take advantage of the benefits of reading you could set a fixed time each day where  you will slow down and read.  It helps too if you choose a well-lit comfortable place where you can focus on your reading.  And why not pamper yourself as well? Make yourself a nice hot chocolate or a cup of tea.  Remember reading is a reward! 

Keep track of your reading!  Download and print the English Reading Log to help you journal your reading and 'harvest' vocabulary words. A reading log will help you set goals for yourself and - when completed - be an object of pride!

"Today's readers are tomorrow's leaders."

You can't achieve success in life without obtaining knowledge, whether it be a university degree, a job promotion or a fulfilling hobby.  The written word is the most ubiquitous forms of shared human knowledge in the world.  Simply tapping into that knowledge will introduce you to worlds and information you never imagined and thereby guarantee your success in all that you endeavor.

So if you're looking to exercise your mental muscle, all you have to do is simply read!

Pertinent links:

English Reading Log page (information and resources)
Reading Activities (Reading exercises and activities on EnglishCaddy)
Library (Online multi-media library on EnglishCaddy)
Benefits of Reading (An article explaining how reading enhances lives)
Observations on the effects of reading Shakespeare.
New Library@EnglishCaddy (blog entry highlighting the new features of the online library.)

Quick English

Posted by Professor G on August 15, 2011 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (10)

I know it's summer and vacation time, and in many cases, the last thing you want to do is to work on English. But, it's important not to neglect it either.

  • So, I would like to call your attention to a short daily exercise (5 to 10 minutes a day) that will help you improve your everyday English. 

Talk to you soon!


TOEIC Tip Number 3

Posted by Professor G on March 16, 2011 at 6:53 AM Comments comments (0)

Do not try to translate!


When preparing for the TOEIC it is easy to use an electronic translation dictionary or ask a classmate what the word is in your native language, HOWEVER, this is a bad habbit to begin and translating will only hurt you.  If you don't make an effort to learn the word, you will not remember the word.

Translating vocabulary and sentences wastes a lot of time. It is very rare that you will have extra time during the TOEIC test.

If you don't know a word, look at the context of the sentence and the words around it. You will not be allowed to use a dictionary when you take the test nor will a classmate be able to translate for you.

Try some vocabulary building exercises or like was stated in the previous posting; Read, Read, Read!

TOEIC Tip Number 2

Posted by Professor G on March 12, 2011 at 6:21 AM Comments comments (0)

Build a strong vocabulary


Another reason students fail the TOEIC test is that they have a very limited vocabulary.

The day you decide to take the TOEIC test you should make yourself a blank dictionary. Use a notebook (an address book works great because it is divided into letters) and keep track of all of the new words you learn along the way. It is not useful to study vocabulary lists. You will only remember words that you have seen in context. For each entry, write the word and use it in a sentence. At the end of each week you should write a short letter or composition using as many of the words as you can.


This might also be the time to stop using your translation dictionary. Electric dictionaries make things too simple! You will not remember the word if it doesn't take any effort to understand it.


Keep in mind that the TOEIC test has a business theme. You should study vocabulary from topics such as travel, banking, health, restaurants, offices, etc. You will also want to learn everyday idiomatic expressions.

Increasing your vocabulary is the best asset you can give yourself!  As a young student one of my teachers gave me some advice that I still use today.  She said "The best way to increase your vocabulary is to read, read, read!"

You can download and print a blank dictionary by clicking here, however if you would like a printed copy please feel free to see me in the Multi-média centre on Mondays from 12 to 1:30pm or Thursdays from 1:15pm to 4:45pm.

If you are looking for something to read, try the library for books, magazines and newspapers.  For thousands of free eBooks visit FeedBooks.

TOEIC Tip Number 1

Posted by Professor G on January 20, 2011 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (1)

START NOW!  You know your TOEIC is coming soon.  Don’t wait until the last minute to begin your preparation for the TOEIC! 

Actually procrastination is one of the key reasons students fail the TOEIC test.  Give yourself plenty of time to study each day.  Passing “une nuit blanche” the night before the test will not help and will only serve to make you tired and not in the best state of mind to take a test like the TOEIC.

Therefore, today should be the day that you  begin to prepare for the TOEIC test. 

Begin with familiarizing yourself with the layout of the TOEIC. 


Le manuel du test TOEIC (en français)

Tip 2 coming soon...