Interjection Sounds in English

Em, eh, um…

Interjection sounds aren’t even really words but they are full of meaning! The English language is full of them. In some cases, if you make the wrong interjection sound, it can give completely the wrong meaning.


Interjection sounds can be used as a space filler or a kind of pause while speaking, like in the three examples in the title above, or as a way to express surprise, (dis)agreement, happiness, sympathy… pretty much every emotion you can think of!

You might recognise some of the sounds in the picture; there are lots more!

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Reduced Forms in English


Native speakers do not pronounce every word clearly. When speaking informally, people often reduce or contract sounds. Most commonly, the words that are important to the meaning of a statement will remain unchanged but words that link or are functional will be shortened.   

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‘Reduced forms’ are words that are not written in English but that are frequently used by native speakers in spoken English. It’s very useful to be able to recognize them so you can understand when native speakers speak English and also to sound more natural when you speak yourself.

Here are some of the most common reduced forms.

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Irish Films 2


“No art form goes beyond ordinary consciousness like film does, straight to our soul.” – Ingmar Bergman
“Cinema is universal, beyond flags, borders and passports.” – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu


Do you have a favourite film genre or type of film? Let’s look at some film genres and what genre of films are most typical in Ireland. 

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Irish Films


“In the world we need to talk to each other, listen & understand how we see things differently. Cinema is one of the best ways to do this.” – Martin Scorsese


What is the most famous film from your country? Do you like it?

There are many famous Irish films. Have you ever seen any Irish films or films about Ireland? Was it very different from a typical film from your country?

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The Look of the Irish


During the last ten thousand years, many different peoples have arrived on the island of Ireland. The genetic history and make-up of the Irish has connections to Scotland, Wales and also to the Basque region and Galicia in northern Spain. Many Irish people still share an early western Atlantic genetic history which has remained relatively untouched and less affected by migration and mixing of peoples than other parts of Europe.

We know very little, however, about the physical appearance of the first pre-historic people who arrived in Ireland.

What do you imagine these pre-historic Irish people looked like?

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Irish Pubs & Drink Culture


Saying ‘cheers’ is an important part of sharing a drink with someone. How do you say it in your language?


Here are ten examples of how you say ‘cheers’ from around the world: 


1.Oogy wawa Zulu  2. Sláinte – Irish  3. Prost – German  4. SkålSweden  5. Cin cinItalian  6. I sveikataLithuanian  7. KanpaiJapanese  8. L’ChaimHebrew  9. Fe SahetekArabic 10. Na ZdrowiePolish

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Reading in English

What should you read in English?

We should probably think about two things when choosing things to read in English – interest and usefulness. When we decide to read a book, a magazine or newspaper article, we do so because we think it will be of interest to us. When we choose to read an instruction manual or a train timetable, it’s not because we think it will be enjoyable but rather that it will be instructive or useful to us in some way.

Purpose is another element of our motivation for reading. When we read the news we do so for a purpose – keeping up to date on political and economic events.

The other main element in our motivation is expectation – we have a sense of what to expect before we read a certain magazine, a book by a familiar author or a brochure for a holiday resort. 


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National Stereotypes – Are they real? Are they useful?

Close your eyes for a moment and think of an example of a national stereotype.  

Is the stereotype you thought of positive or negative? Do you think generalising about whole nations like this is useful or do you think stereotypes always tend to be negative?

The purpose of discussing stereotypes is not to reinforce existing ideas and perceptions but rather to question and challenge them. 

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Learning English Vocabulary

The ‘Teacher Dictionary’

Vocabulary is an essential part of language learning and teaching vocabulary in a productive way is something which must be at the front of our minds as teachers of English. Teaching new words to students at first seems quite a straightforward idea. You provide the appropriate word and its meaning and then move. However, the teacher is far more than merely a speaking dictionary.


There are many things to think about when teaching vocabulary.

  • How many words should you try and teach students in one class?
  • How do you decide which new words you should teach?
  • What criteria do you use to decide which words are most useful?

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Ten More Questions About Irish Culture

If we look carefully, we can see the effects of history in the culture all around us. Can you think of any historical reasons for the following things that you might notice in Ireland today?

Read through the questions and then click the link below to see some suggested answers. 

1. Ireland is an island surrounded by seas full of some of the best fishing in the world… Why don’t the Irish eat a lot of fish?


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