New Blog: English Conversation Online

As you could probably tell from my post, How to Put it There Too, I'm a stickler for good writing. I view putting what I write online on my blogs to be the same as publishing my articles in the newspaper. With the newspaper articles, I have my editor's eyes to catch errors that might slip by me, and I cringe when I see an error that snuck past us both. As much of a stickler as I am, there are more than a few people in America that can't read or write English at all, and even more than can't read or write well.

Yes, English is a very difficult language to learn. There are many people who visit my blogs that use English as a second language, and many of the blogs I visit are written in English by people in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and more. I am honored that you choose to learn to communicate with me using my language, and I commend you for taking on such a daunting task. I am grateful for the opportunity you give me to learn more about you and your cultures.

And now there is a blog dedicated to helping you overcome some of the struggles in learning English as a second language. Mike has a lot more insight into the things that an American might not understand due more to cultural differences than language since he is an 'expat' living in Thailand. His recent project is a blog called "English Conversation Online" and it is off to a good start. He talks about everything you need to ease your efforts to learn English from having a high-speed Internet connection to choosing the right English teacher.

For those of us wishing to learn more about how it is for a Westerner to live in another country, I recommend Mike's "My Thai Friend." Mike writes about day-to-day life living in Thailand and shares his revelations, trials and tribulations as he runs into things that would have never crossed his mind living in England. His photography is stunning, the scenery is breathtaking, and he illustrates the Thai culture beautifully.

Both of Mike's blogs are thoughtful, thought-provoking and insightful. His approach to living in Thailand and learning the culture there is open and honest. I recommend that you add these blogs to your daily reading list. Mike will take you along with him as he learns, stumbles, falls and succeeds to live happily in Thailand.


  1. Even though I was born in the United States and have lived here all of my life, I do not speak English.

    I speak eastern North Carolinian. :)

    All joking aside, I am amazed at how so many people cannot read and write. In the past, I did some substitute teaching. One stint involved a 6th grade class for three weeks, due to an illness by their regular teacher.

    I gave simple writing assignments and was appalled at what I read. Even worse, the kids did not put in much effort and did not seem to care.

  2. Illiteracy is quite an issue, and it's still kept under the rug for the most part. The Literacy Council is barely funded enough to operate and buy materials, so not much left to put into increasing awareness and reducing the stigma.

    As for the kids, Paul, I don't know how you could handle seeing a 6th grade class flounder so badly. Ouch!

  3. Hi Theresa or should I really say hello as I am a Brit?

    Whatever, thank you so much for the post, funnily enough I wrote a post today on the new site about US/UK/AU English. All errors will be corrected with my rubber oops sorry my eraser!

    Now seriously, I know we share many values on a few diverse topics and English seems to be one of them.

    In the UK I was shocked and appalled at lack of basic English demonstrated by my college (High School) students. All of them were allegedly native English speakers and writers. But actually struggled to put two words together on some occasions.

  4. You're welcome, Mike.

    I read the article about the cultural variations and you made some great points I hadn't considered. I think the majority of people here in the US rarely have a chance to travel out of country, and then if they do, it's as a tourist. I think you miss a lot of culture that way.

    I had a student, a basketball player, that couldn't write at all. I learned this from the first course he took with me at the beginning of his college career. The last course he took with me, I found that he had learned to "buy" his papers. He was recruited by a major university for basketball, full scholarship, but he couldn't read and write.

  5. After reading some of the articles here, I will visit your blog again next time. You also use a nice blogger template.

  6. Welcome, Charles! I'm glad you like it here, and I look forward to when you return.