Are you learning English outside an English-speaking country? It’s tempting to pick up stray bits of the language from other teenagers whose native language is English, or who have recently spent time in an English-speaking country.

It gives your own English the stamp of authenticity. You’re cool! Amirite?



In your haste to bust out of the textbook, you may be overlooking a certain critical aspect of language: tone.

Tone poses difficulties even for native speakers. That’s why SAT questions that ask about the tone of a reading passage are often considered the most difficult.

If you are picking up slang at random, you may not have enough information to determine when an expression is appropriate and when it is not.

Athena Advises

marlena-corcoran-20160728_0647-ar-retouchlinkedinIf there’s a Bitmoji for the expression, it’s probably inappropriate for school.

And if you are are using slovenly spelling for phrases that include the word “to”–please stop right now.ta. These spellings have no place in formal language, in business communication, or even in an email to me.

I gasp when I see them. It tells me that the person writing them has read this spelling somewhere and assumes this is how people write today. Well, they don’t.

Educated people spell the language correctly, even if, In speaking informally, we lose the occasional “t.”

I know you’re not gonna wanna hear this, but you hafta cut it out. Please.

Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO