Category Archives: Reading, Listening

Build up your Vocabulary & Collocations

Dear Readers


In this series I would be introducing 10 most powerful and widely used words along with their collocations.

  1. Alacrity  [uhlak-ri-tee] – An eager willingness to do something. Showing promptness. Collocation –  She ​accepted the ​money with alacrity.
    Question of private tuition fees they are moving with remarkable alacrity.
  2. Prosaic [proh-zey-ik] – commonplace or dull; matter-of-fact or unimaginative:a prosaic mind. of or having the character or form of prosethe ordinary form of spoken or written language, rather than of poetry
    The reality, however, is probably more prosaic.

    He ​asked if I’d got my ​black ​eye in a ​fight. I told him the prosaic ​truth that I’d ​banged my ​head on a ​door.

  3. Veracity [vuhras-i-tee]Veracity sounds a lot like voracity. Whereas many know voracity means full of hunger, whether for food or knowledge (the adjective form voracious is more common), few know veracity. Unfortunately, many confuse the two on the test.

    Veracity means truthful. (habitual observance of truth in speech or statement) Veracious, the adjective form of veracity, sounds a lot like voracious. So be careful.

    He was not noted for his veracity.  

    To question the veracity of his account.

  4. Paucity [paw-si-tee] : smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness: a country with a paucity of resources. smallness or insufficiency of number; fewness. 
    as long as the female, and this would explain the relative paucity of males.
    It is the paucity of its retail base which is stunting growth.
  5. Maintain : The second definition of this word is to affirm; assert; declareOne can maintain their innocence. A scientist can maintain that a recent finding supports her theory.
  6. Contrite : [kuh n-trahyt, kon-trahyt]   caused by or showing sincere remorse. filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent: a contrite sinner.
  7. Laconic : [luhkon-ik] – › using very few words to ​express what you ​mean: concise: a laconic reply. While Martha always swooned over the hunky, laconic types in romantic comedies, her boyfriends inevitably were very talkative—and not very hunky
  8. Pugnacious : [puhg-ney-shuh s] Much like a pug dog, which aggressively yaps at anything near it, a person who is pugnacious likes to aggressively argue about everything. Verbally combative is another good way to describe pugnaciousinclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative. He served as a pugnacious and dedicated leader of the opposition.


  9. Disparate :  [dis-per-it, dih-spar-] –different in every way: The two ​cultures were so ​utterly disparate that she ​found it hard to ​adapt from one to the other.

    distinct in kind; essentially different; dissimilar: disparate ideas.

  10. Egregious : [ih-gree-juh s, -jee-uh s]extremely ​bad in a way that is very ​noticeable: It was an egregious ​error for a ​statesman to show such ​ignorance.‘Greg’ is the Latin root for flock. At one point, egregious meant standing out of the flock in a positive way. This definition went out of vogue sometime in the 16th century, after which time egregious was used ironically.
    Thus for the last five hundred years, ‘egregious’ meant standing out in a bad way. In sports, an egregious foul would be called on a player who slugged another player (not including hockey, of course).
    The dictator’s abuse of human rights was so egregious that many world leaders asked that he be tried in an international court for genocide.

All the best.

Happy Learning.

Speed Reading

Dear All,


In this post we shall be discussing about how to increase your reading speed to four folds. If you are reading at a speed of 50 words/minute you can easily increase it to 200-300 words/minute. Expert readers can read at a speed of 800-1000 words/ minute.

Factors hindering our reading speed

  1. Vocalization : is the mouthing of the words while reading.
  2. Sub-Vocalization : It is similar to vocalization. There is no lip movement and sounding of words, but one keeps on saying the words deep within himself.
  3. Head Movements : One of the most common habit is moving the head along the lines as one read the lines. Head movements tends to reduce the speed of the eye movements.
  4. Word to word reading : The habit of looking and reading each word separately also slows the reading speed.
  5. Regressions : Regression is the backward movement of the eyes along the line of the reading. This means a students is re-reading a word or a phrase or a line.
  6. Poor Concentration : This involves reading while our mind is pre-occupied or distracted by something else. We are reading but on the back of our mind some other thoughts are going on.
  7. Inefficient Distance : This involves reading the text at an inappropriate distance which causes hindrance in reading.
  8. Fixations : It is, how much time we give or for how much time your eyes fix on each word. To illustrate this : consider the following sentence Our biggest expansion opportunity will come from volume licencing in Japan

    A slow reader may move their eyes across the following sentence as follows. Each fixation is represented symbolically by a left and right parenthesis pair.

    (our) (big)(gest) (ex)(pan)(sion) (op)(port)(tunity) (will) (come) (from) (vol)(ume) (lic)(en)(cing) (in) (Jap)(an).

    This reading example describes 20 eye movements and 20 eye fixations i.e. 40 different eye operations.

    A fast reader may read the sentence as shown below:

    (our biggest expansion) (opportunity will come) (from volume licensing) (in Japan). Reading this text takes a proficient reader four eye movements, four eye fixations, and eight eye operations. This is five times less work than a slow reader, requiring much less effort, with better speed and higher comprehension resulting.

Speed reading is to eliminate some previous habits while reading and to strengthen the capacities of the assimilation of information by the human brain.

The question is how ?

We have been reading from our childhood, the way we were taught in the school. Our teachers have trained us to speak loudly when we read so that we become familiar with those words.

There isn’t anything wrong to this method of learning.  In fact it’s very effective for first-time readers and it’s the way most kids are still taught today.  Once you learn all of the sounds, you can apply that knowledge to pronounce any word.

The problem is, this technique, which has become a habit, limits how fast you can read.  We call this habit sub-vocalization and when you do it, you engage not only your eyes and your brain, but also your mouth and your ears.

Here’s what happens when you sub-vocalize:

  • Your eyes are busy seeing the words
  • Your mouth is busy saying the words your eyes see.  You’re either moving your lips or saying the words in your mind.  Those are the voices inside your head.
  • When you say something your ears naturally want in on the action so they tune in to hear what you are saying.
  • While your eyes, mouth and ears are doing all that work, your brain is busy trying to make sense of all of the input it’s receiving.  Your brain helps you understand what you read.

As you can see, that’s a lot of work!  And it’s also very inefficient.

How do you break the sub-vocalization habit?

One simple way is to preoccupy your mouth.  When you give your mouth something else to do while you read, you can disengage the speech mechanism in the brain, allowing what your read to go straight to your conscious awareness rather than being slowed down by your brain needing to figure out how to say the words first.

Ever hear the saying, you can’t talk and chew gum?  Next time you read, stick a piece of gum in your mouth.  Chewing gum occupies your vocal cords and helps keep your brain from pronouncing the words you read.  Humming can do the same thing.

The second problem that we have to eliminate while reading is :

Regression (backtracking)

Regression is the unnecessary re-reading of material. It is possible get into the habit of skipping back to words you have just read or of jumping back a few sentences, just to make sure that you read something right. When you regress like this, you lose the flow and structure of the text, and your overall understanding of the subject can decrease. Be very conscious of regression, and don’t allow yourself to re-read material unless you absolutely have to.

To reduce the number of times your eyes skip back, run a pointer (a finger, a pen, or the cursor) along the line as you read. Your eyes will follow the tip of your pointer, helping you avoid skipping back. The speed at which you read using this method will largely depend on the speed at which you move the pointer.

Thirdly head movement should synchronize with eye tracking

There are two types of eye movements:

  1. Pursuits—following moving objects.
  2. Saccades—looking from one object to another. This is the type of eye movement that is used in reading.

Normal eye movements of skilled readers consist of a series of fixations and saccadic eye movements.

Proper eye tracking when reading can both improve fluency and cut down on careless mistakes.

In the next factor, we discuss how to remove the word to word reading habit : The best way to do is to concentrate or fixate on block of letters or words and read them.

Poor Concentration can be improved by avoiding T.V, music in the background and stay away from loud & noisy environment.

Lastly for Inefficient Distance maintain about 2 feet distance from the study material.

Is It Possible to Read 20,000+ Words Per Minute?

All the Best

Happy Practising

For more details you can contact me on



How to Master Fluency & Pronunciation

Learn How to improve Fluency and Pronunciation

A) Decide your accent
There are many different kinds of English accents. The two most common are British and American. There are many different accents even within British or American pronunciation, but most learning materials will help you learn either a standard British accent or a standard American accent.
American pronunciation and British pronunciation are completely different. The consonant sounds are the same (except for the letter ‘t’ and an ‘r’ after a vowel), but the vowel sounds are very different. The British accent has more vowel sounds, and some vowel letters are pronounced differently.

B) Learn new word daily and pronounce it correctly

The longer you say a word incorrectly, the harder it becomes to learn to say it correctly. You’ve developed a bad habit, and it takes a long time to break a bad habit! This is why it is so important to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and use dictionaries specifically for English learners.For example, let’s say you see a new word when you’re reading a book: outrageous. How do you pronounce this word? Let’s check the following online dictionaries specifically for English learners:

MW Learner’s Dictionary
MacMillan Online Dictionary
All of these dictionaries show you the IPA/phonetic transcription of the word (including which syllable you must stress)
You can also click on the red speaker icon to hear someone say the word.

C) Watch YouTube pronunciation videos
American accent: Choose your accent
British accent: Choose your accent

D) Try to imitate spoken English

To ‘imitate’ means to copy someone/something, to do something the same way, or to do the same things as someone else. Do you really like the way someone speaks English? Try to copy the way they speak.

Do you ever try to make fun of someone from another part of your country by imitating his accent? That’s what you need to do in English!

This is a great activity to try: Close your eyes while you’re listening to something in English (podcasts, songs, TV shows, movies, etc.). Listen carefully to what the speaker is saying and try to make the same sounds. Hear the sounds, don’t try to see the words. Choose a word or sentence, and listen to it many times.

D) Practice HEARING the sounds of English
Before you listen to an English podcast, song, etc. read the words first. Highlight, circle, or underline the sound you want to work on. For example, if you have trouble with the /I/ sound, highlight all the words that you think have the /I/ sound. Read the passage out loud to yourself, focusing on the words with /I/. Listen to the podcast (or song, etc.). Can you hear the /I/ sound? Practice the sound by trying to imitate what the speaker is saying.

E) Record yourself
It’s important to hear what you sound like speaking English so you know what you need to improve! You can compare what you sound like to what you want to sound like. For example, you record yourself reading a sentence from one of my podcasts. Then, listen to me say the same sentence and compare your pronunciation.
If you don’t have any recording software on your computer (like Windows Sound Recorder or GarageBand on Macs), you can use a web-based audio recorder.
F) Practice for at least 30 minutes every day
There is no way around it: the only way your pronunciation will improve is if you practice, practice, practice! Your pronunciation will not magically improve just because you’re speaking English. The sounds of English may be very different from the sounds in your language. It may be difficult and even uncomfortable for your mouth to make some of the sounds in English.
You need to practice with a purpose. Practice the sounds of English until they feel as natural and comfortable as the sounds of your language. It won’t happen overnight, but gradually your pronunciation will improve.

All the Best

Happy Practising

Important Website Links for the PTE Academic Exams – 3

Dear Friends


Today we shall be informing you about the important websites for the READING & LISTENING part of the PTE Academic Exam.


  1. For Multiple Choice Questions – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4Link 5
  2. For REORDER PARAGRAPHS – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4
  3. For Fill in the Blanks – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3


  1. For Summarize Spoken Text – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3
  2. For Multiple Choice choose Multiple Answers – Link 1Link 2
  3. For FILL IN THE BLANKS – CLICK HERE – Link 1Link 2Link 3Link 4
  4. For Highlight Correct Summary – Click Here – Link 1Link 2
  5. For Select Missing Word – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3
  6. For Highlight Incorrect Words – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3
  7. Write from Dictation – Click Here – Link 1Link 2Link 3

Click here for short interesting lectures

All the Best

Happy Practising