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Back to school tips and tricks: holiday stories

Back to School with Macmillan DictionaryThe beginning of September means back to school (or class or work) for a lot of us and throughout the month I’ll be providing you with some tips and tricks for getting back into the swing of things. These posts are for our English language learners and are meant to be entertaining as well as helpful. Let me know what you think, or share your stories on Macmillan Dictionary’s Learn English Facebook page or in comments at the end of these posts. Happy learning!

Collocations and holiday stories

After a holiday (vacation if you’re into American English) you’ll want to bounce back into class relaxed, refreshed and positive. Everybody has a few stories to tell after a good break. Try to make sure that yours are upbeat – you want to be a glass-half-full person. Apparently they get on better, pass exams more often and succeed earlier in life. I’m not sure if that’s really true, but what is true is that it’s difficult to follow a story when the storyteller is mixing up their collocations.

Getting collocations right is a sign of language fluency. Let’s go through some that might be useful to a holiday-related tale on your return to class.

1) So, first of all, as I said, you want to have a positive approach/attitude/outlook/view, which will give you positive feedback/reinforcement or a positive reaction/response.

There you go, you’ve positively nailed positive already.

2) Now, here are some common collocation mix-ups to avoid when telling a holiday tale:

You were at on holiday.
You make did a tour but did made a detour.
You travelled with a by train, car, airplane or boat.
It was frantically wildly/madly exciting. It was big great (or even super) fun. It was heavily deeply moving.
Remember, it’s important to give show interest in your classmates too by asking about their holiday:
Did you make have a good holiday also too? I’d love to hear of about it …

Next week’s tricks and tips for school: slang and txt spk in the classroom.

Have a good start to the new term!

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Laine Redpath Cole

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