Welcome to xpressenglish.com! As you will have seen by now, one of the purposes of our website is to help people for whom English is not their first language to develop their and through . Please feel free to explore our pages and use and download our materials as you wish (within our terms, of course!)

As learners of all levels may visit our website, we will try to keep the English on our pages easy to understand. However, this will not always be possible. Sometimes we may have to use technical terms to do with learning English. At other times there there may be no way to communicate meaning without using difficult words.

There are three things built into our website to help visitors understand words that they don’t know on our information pages. These are the Google page translator, links to an online talking dictionary, and a special “hover” tool.

We strongly suggest that you do not use these tools to look up meanings as you read a page for the first time. Instead, you should continue reading to the end and then go back to check your understanding when you have finished. You won’t always have a dictionary around, and an important step in developing fluency is being able to understand the overall meaning of what you read, even if you don’t know all the words.

Using the Online Dictionary

All of our pages are linked to an online dictionary. You can double-click on any word to find out its meanings, listen to how it sounds, and in many cases see its meanings in your own language. Be careful with plurals that form another word or someone’s name. For example, if you were to double-click on the word “gates” you would see a page about a very rich U.S. businessman rather than things that open and close.

Using the Hover Tool

On our general information pages, we use a special website tool to show the meaning of words which are not in our Simplified English word lists and provide more information about people, places, etc. We don’t do this on our story pages as we want readers to practice reading to the end if there is a word they don’t know.

The first time that you see any of these words on a page, they will have a line of small marks under them and look like this: . If you move your mouse to place the over this word, you will see an explanation of its meaning and in many cases a picture. Many English words have more than one meaning. Some have many meanings. To make our pages as easy to understand as we can, we will usually only show the meanings of the word for the times it is used on our website.

As well as helping you understand words that aren’t in our Simplified English word lists, the hover tool can help you in another way. With it, you can quickly identify the most important words to learn among those you don’t know. You should try to learn any words you don’t know that are not specially marked first. These are either words that are used very often, or words needed for general conversation at the level of the page.

Once you know almost all of the unmarked words at one level, you should go up to the next level and continue as before. Again, don’t worry about trying to learn the marked words; the unmarked words are the most important.

It is when when you reach Intermediate level (an 1,800 word vocabulary) that you need to start thinking about learning some of the marked words. At this level, you will know most of the frequently used words in English. You should continue to read, because this still has other important benefits. However, you will now not be meeting unknown words often enough to learn them effectively by reading

Here, our “hover” tool can help you again. Let’s look at our explanation for the word “hover”:

(v) The normal meaning of the word “hover” is to stay in the air or sky in one place, like a helicopter or when it is feeding. (โผบิน) In computing, the term means to use the mouse to place the cursor over a particular word or area of the screen such as this without clicking. 4000

For most entries, there will be a number at the end such as you see here. This represents the frequency with which the word is used in British English. This will help you know how important it is to know the word. 1000 means the word is among the 1,000 most commonly used words in English and is therefore very important to know. 2000 means between 1,000 and 2,000; also important for fluency but not as important as the first 1,000. The highest number you will find is 14000, which means that the word is used so ly that you may never come across it again in your life.

By Intermediate level you should know almost all of the words at the 1000 level. Once you are ready to start learning words, start with those you don’t know at the 2000 level. If you have a good knowledge of the words at these two levels you will be well on your way to achieving fluency.

(n: vocabulary pl vocabularies) 1. Words in general. (ประมวลศัพท์) 2. The words known and used in something [such as a language, by one person, within a particular group or profession, in a story or article, etc.]. (กลุ่มคำศัพท์) 4000

fluency(n: fluency, noncount) The ability to communicate easily and smoothly in a language. In order to understand easily and speak and write fluently, you need to be able to “think” in the language. 10000

Extensive reading is exactly the same kind of reading that a learner would normally do for enjoyment in their own language – but in English and at a level where he/she can easily understand what they read. It requires reading long conversations and passages in English without using a dictionary. Much as in real life, being able to understand the overall meaning of what you read is more important than understanding every word.

(n: copyright pl copyrights) The legal right to be the only one allowed to copy, publish, and sell a book, movie, musical recording, video, etc., for a certain period of time. 8000

hummingbird(v: hover, hovers, hovered, hovering) 1. To stay in the air or sky in one place without moving in any direction, like a helicopter or hummingbird when it is feeding. 2. In computing, to use the mouse to place the cursor over a particular word or area of the screen such as this without clicking. 4000

cursor(n: cursor pl cursors) The thing that moves on the computer screen when you move the mouse. 7000

hummingbird(n: hummingbird pl hummingbirds) A very small bird with colorful feathers, a long thin bill, and wings which beat very fast so that it can hover above flowers when feeding. 14000

rare(adj: rare, rarer, rarest) 1. Not done, seen, or happening etc very often; not common or usual. A rare animal/flower/occurrence. 2. [of meat] Only slightly cooked. I like my steak rare.
(adv: rarely) Not often. I rarely go to bed before midnight. 2000