Understand more. Speak more. Enjoy more.

About Making Sense of English

Making Sense of English

Making Sense of English (Aka: Apoven) is a resource for students and teachers.

I provide students with the tools they need to become successful communicators in English.

These tools include insights into cultural differences, language tips, sample conversations, and much more!

Beginners, try out the listening resources and be sure to watch Emma’s video.

Intermediate and Advanced students will find lots of material to suit their level.

The Virtual Online Textbook page and posts are written for the university courses I teach, but everyone is welcome to read them (unless password protected).

*Click on CC (closed captioning) if you want to see the subtitles. I’ve edited them for accuracy. You can also view it on YouTube.

In addition to a brief introduction, you’ll learn the meaning of the following phrases and hear them used in context:

  • make sense
  • to stick with something

Are you ready to improve your English?

Are you committed to putting in the time and effort to create a daily practice that will support your goals?

Are you afraid to speak English?
Are you worried about making mistakes?
Do you lack confidence?
Are you worried about being judged?

If not, fantastic! You are more than 50% of the way to becoming a fluent English speaker!

If you are afraid and nervous about speaking English, keep reading.

An Off the Cuff video about Mistakes

If you view this on YouTube, you can see explanations of vocabulary and expressions in the description, but I also explain some of it during the video. Be sure to click on CC if you want the subtitles, which I edited for accuracy.

Expressions you’ll hear:

  • to have a laugh at someone’s expense
  • to be used to something
  • to hold someone back
  • to sink in

I also speak a little Korean in this video, so feel free to have a laugh at my expense! 🤣

The Importance of Mistakes and Practice

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you probably have very little English speaking practice. Am I right?

People who are afraid of making mistakes usually prefer to listen. That’s fine! For now.

However, at some point, if you really want to improve your English speaking ability, you are going to have to be brave and start speaking. You can get speaking practice to improve your speaking ability even without anyone to talk to.

Anyone who plays a sport or a musical instrument can easily understand that learning a new skill takes lots of practice.

Your ability to use your instrument well, whether it is your body, your violin, or your voice, will only improve by practice, practice, and more practice. There is nothing to be afraid of. Mistakes are natural.

You will absolutely, 100% make mistakes. That is guaranteed.

Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process. Embrace them. It is also guaranteed that you will not become a better speaker if you don’t embrace the learning process and start speaking, little by little.

If followed, the methods I teach are effective and you will build your English fluency little by little.

You have my support on your English language journey. You are not alone!

With practice, you can:

What if you have no one to speak to?

Check out this video on learning how to think in English. Follow Emma’s advice to stop translating (“buffering”) and start thinking in English. By practicing a little each day, you’ll increase both your vocabulary recall and your ability to speak more fluently. You can also practice speaking English with Siri.

While I am not currently taking new students, if you think you’d like to work with me in the future, sign-up for my mailing list via the pop-up form to be first to hear about course offerings.

Who’s behind Making Sense of English?

This site is completely written and published by one person, dedicated to helping English language learners gain confidence and improve their English.

About me:

  • I love learning and strongly believe in lifelong education and personal growth.
  • I practice gratitude daily because it helps me stay positive in an imperfect world.
  • I write for at least 30 minutes every morning.
  • I do yoga everyday.
  • I’m an aspiring minimalist.
  • I need to be surrounded by nature to feel relaxed.
  • I meditate for at least 5 minutes every evening.

My qualifications include:

  • English teacher to students from all over the world since 2006
  • M.Ed. in Education and Teaching English as a Second Language
  • B.A. in English and Education focusing on English Literature and English language learners
  • Massachusetts Educator’s License in English Secondary Education
  • TEFL Certified

I enjoy helping students become comfortable speaking English by giving them the tools and practice they need to understand English and start speaking English more confidently.

The very first tool is learning and using practical English. By using just 3 or 4 practical English questions, you can communicate in English right from the start!

Like anything, improving your English speaking skills takes A LOT of practice and motivation. It also takes bravery! <– Song with a message for you from me and Sara Bareilles.  

For 3 tips about how to enjoy English, check out the article 3 Tips to Jump-Start Your English and Add More Fun to Learning. 

Remember: Successful communication is the most important thing. Mistakes are learning opportunities! 

Continue your journey now by learning 3 ways to start making sense of English.

Finally, if you are looking for online English courses, I recommend my affiliate Espresso English. You’ll find a variety of options at affordable prices. There are plenty of free samples to try out, but if you do make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. I only recommend courses I trust and wish I had created myself!

Never stop learning!

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