Expressing Ideas Effectively: Building Confidence in Communication for ELLs

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In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to communicate effectively across different languages and cultures has never been more critical. The journey can be particularly challenging for English Language Learners (ELLs), who not only need to grasp a new language but also express complex ideas and thoughts within that language. Our guide, “Expressing Ideas Effectively: Building Confidence in Communication for ELLs,” is designed specifically to support these learners in their pursuit.

We understand that mastering a language involves more than just learning its syntax and vocabulary—it’s about utilizing it as a tool to articulate thoughts, ideas, and perspectives in a way that resonates with others. This process requires building confidence, which is often overlooked in traditional language teaching methods.

In this guide, we will delve into innovative and effective strategies for helping ELLs to express their ideas more clearly and confidently. We will explore approaches that integrate cognitive, social, and emotional aspects, focusing on comprehensive language acquisition. Our goal is to empower ELLs, allowing them to become not just proficient speakers, but also persuasive communicators who can leverage their linguistic skills to shape and influence their world. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey towards effective and confident communication.

Understanding the Importance of Effective Communication

The ability to communicate effectively is vital in our daily lives. It’s an integral part of our interactions in personal relationships, workplaces, and broader societal contexts. Effective communication facilitates mutual understanding, encourages empathy, promotes learning, and nurtures strong relationships. Furthermore, it opens doors to opportunities and helps us express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly and accurately.

However, for English Language Learners (ELLs), communication goes beyond just conveying a message. They often grapple with expressing their ideas and emotions effectively and accurately in English, which can pose significant challenges. Some struggle with vocabulary or grammar, while others may find it challenging to grasp the nuances of the language like idioms, metaphors, or cultural references.

These difficulties can lead to miscommunications, misunderstandings, and even frustration. Moreover, these challenges can impact their self-confidence, making them hesitant to use English in public or formal settings. This apprehension can create a barrier to their full participation in classroom activities, social interactions, and professional opportunities where English is the medium of communication.

Yet, these obstacles are not insurmountable. With targeted support, ELLs can overcome these challenges and gain the skills needed to express their ideas effectively. In the following sections, we will explore practical strategies that aim to boost their confidence, strengthen their language proficiency, and enhance their overall communication abilities.

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Boosting Communication Skills for ELLs with

Embracing a new language is an immersive experience that demands patience, practice, and a positive mindset. The approach and tools we utilize can make a world of difference in this process. One such revolutionary tool is, a smart learning platform that creates a supportive, engaging, and adaptive environment tailored to the unique needs of ELLs.

Overcoming Language Barriers with Positive Mindset

One of the first steps to boost communication skills is cultivating a positive mindset towards English learning. A positive mindset can significantly enhance the learning process, making it more engaging and less daunting. It promotes resilience and enables learners to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks.

For instance, let’s consider Ana, a Spanish native who moved to the United States for her studies. In the beginning, she was overwhelmed with the complexity of English and often hesitated to communicate with her peers. However, instead of succumbing to self-doubt, Ana decided to foster a positive attitude towards her learning journey. She began to view each interaction as a chance to improve, which, over time, enhanced her English skills and boosted her confidence.

Just like Ana, numerous ELLs have discovered that a positive mindset can greatly impact their progress. It can transform fear into courage, hesitation into curiosity, and failure into a stepping-stone for success.

Exercise: Promoting a Positive Mindset during Challenging Conversations

Practicing positivity can begin with simple exercises. Consider the following scenario: You’re about to attend a team meeting where you need to present your ideas in English. Before the meeting, take a few moments to visualize yourself speaking confidently. Imagine each sentence flowing naturally and your colleagues responding positively. This exercise can not only help calm your nerves but also instill a sense of self-belief, setting a positive tone for the conversation.

Remember, overcoming language barriers is not solely about learning new words or grammar rules, but also about nurturing a positive attitude towards the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Enhancing Vocabulary with

A wide vocabulary is a crucial aspect of clear and effective communication. The more words you know and understand, the easier it is to express yourself accurately and convincingly. This is especially important for ELLs, as a broad vocabulary range can not only aid in comprehension but also boost confidence in engaging with various communication scenarios.

This is where comes into play. This dynamic learning platform leverages advanced AI technology to support vocabulary expansion in an engaging and user-friendly way.’s smart algorithm analyzes individual learning patterns and tailors vocabulary exercises accordingly. This personalized approach helps learners absorb new words more efficiently and apply them correctly in different contexts.

Exercise: Testing and Improving Vocabulary Skills with

Ready to give it a try? Start by setting aside 15-20 minutes each day to use During each session, the platform will present a series of vocabulary exercises that cater to your current language proficiency. It may start with simple words and gradually introduce more complex vocabulary based on your progress.

Moreover,’s vocabulary tests include words used in different scenarios, aiding learners in understanding the context in which certain words or phrases are typically used. By regularly practicing with, you’ll gradually find it easier to recall words, understand their nuances, and use them effectively in your everyday conversations.

Remember, expanding your vocabulary is a journey that takes time and consistent effort. With the right tools like and a positive mindset, you’re well on your way to communicating your ideas more effectively and confidently.

Mastering Pronunciation Skills with

While vocabulary and grammar are foundational elements of language learning, pronunciation plays an equally crucial role in effective oral language communication. Accurate pronunciation ensures that your message is not only understood but also perceived in the right context. It significantly aids in reducing misunderstandings and miscommunication, which is particularly important for ELLs.

However, mastering pronunciation can be a daunting task, given the subtle nuances and variances in sounds, intonations, and stress patterns in English. This is where can be an invaluable tool in your learning journey. leverages cutting-edge speech recognition technology to provide learners with an interactive platform for practicing pronunciation. It listens to your speech, evaluates your pronunciation in real time, and provides instant feedback on how to improve. It can highlight areas where you excel and areas that require more practice, thereby allowing you to focus on specific sounds or words that may be causing difficulties.

Exercise: Using to Improve Pronunciation

To get started with pronunciation practice, simply select the ‘Pronunciation Practice’ module on The module will guide you through a range of words and phrases. As you speak these out loud, will analyze your pronunciation and provide immediate feedback.

Don’t worry if you stumble initially; remember that improvement comes with practice. By consistently using for pronunciation practice, you can enhance your clarity of oral language speech, sound more natural, and communicate your ideas more effectively.

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H2: Navigating Everyday Conversations Through Real-World Scenarios

1Attending a university lectureDifficulty in understanding academic vocabulary, unfamiliar idioms, and fast-paced speechRegularly expanding vocabulary, practicing listening comprehension, taking notes, asking clarifying for vocabulary and listening exercises, Note-taking apps
2Participating in a team meetingFear of mispronunciation, uncertainty about formal language and expressions, fear of making grammar mistakesDaily pronunciation practice, learning professional language and idioms, practicing grammar through for pronunciation and vocabulary exercises, Grammar checker tools
3Casual conversation with friendsDifficulty understanding colloquial language and cultural references, hesitation in speaking due to limited vocabularyRegularly expanding vocabulary, watching English movies/shows, participating in English speaking clubs/ for vocabulary exercises, English language movies/TV shows, Speaking clubs
4Giving a presentationAnxiety over pronunciation, fear of forgetting words, nervousness about public speakingRegular practice of speech, using visual aids, practicing pronunciation and vocabulary, gaining feedback from for pronunciation and vocabulary exercises, presentation software, peer review sessions
5Attending a job interviewDifficulty in expressing ideas clearly, nervousness about speaking English, uncertainty about professional languageMock interviews, vocabulary expansion, pronunciation practice, learning industry-specific for vocabulary and pronunciation exercises, Mock interview sessions
Real World Scenario Chart

Understanding the Importance of Context in English Communication

The context in which communication takes place is as crucial as the words themselves, especially in a language as diverse as English. The words, phrases, and idioms we use can often change based on various factors like the situation, the individuals involved, and even the country or region.

Different contexts demand different styles of communication from English learners. For instance, the language used in a formal business meeting will significantly differ from the language used in a casual gathering with friends. The same is true for geographical contexts – an expression commonly used in Australia may not be familiar to those in the United States, and vice versa.

Understanding these nuances can be challenging for ELLs. However, it is vital to comprehend these contextual differences to communicate effectively and prevent potential misunderstandings.

Exercise: Identifying Appropriate Language for Diverse Scenarios

Let’s put this into practice with an exercise. Consider the following scenarios:

  1. Chatting with friends at a cafe
  2. Presenting a project update in a formal business meeting
  3. Attending a university lecture
  4. Engaging in a discussion at a local community gathering
  5. Interacting with service staff at a hotel

For each scenario, identify the type of language (formal/informal), possible common phrases or expressions, and any cultural etiquette you might need to be aware of. You can use resources like, English language movies/TV shows, and native English speakers around you to help understand the context better.

Mastering these contextual differences will not only enhance your communication skills but also help you navigate diverse scenarios with more confidence and ease.

H3: Exploring Cultural Nuances with

Language and culture are deeply intertwined, and understanding cultural nuances can significantly enhance communication skills, especially for ELLs. This holds true for English, which is spoken across diverse cultural backgrounds, each with its unique customs, idioms, and styles of expression.

Significance of Cultural Awareness in English Speaking

Cultural awareness plays a pivotal role in effective communication. It not only aids in understanding the context and connotations of words and phrases but also fosters mutual respect and reduces the potential for misunderstandings.

For instance, in some English-speaking cultures, directness is appreciated and seen as a sign of honesty. In contrast, other cultures may prefer a more subtle approach to avoid potential conflicts. Similarly, certain idiomatic expressions or humor may be specific to particular cultures and can lead to confusion if not understood correctly.

Consider the British phrase “Bob’s your uncle,” which means “everything is all right” or “you’ve got it.” An ELL unfamiliar with this idiom might take it literally and be puzzled, potentially leading to miscommunication.

This is where can be instrumental. It offers culturally diverse content that not only aids in language learning but also provides insights into various English-speaking cultures. Through, learners can explore different contexts and cultural nuances, thereby helping them communicate more effectively and appropriately in various scenarios.

In the end, embracing cultural awareness not only enriches the language learning journey but also fosters a global mindset, empowering ELLs to navigate the English-speaking world with confidence and sensitivity.

Getting Practical: Engaging Activities and Comprehensive Feedback

When it comes to mastering communication skills, there’s no substitute for practical experience. Practice allows you to apply what you’ve learned, recognize your areas of strength, identify areas for improvement, and gain confidence in your abilities. It’s the bridge that connects theoretical knowledge to real-world application.

Integrating technology into this practice can offer personalized, comprehensive feedback that is key to refining your communication skills., for instance, provides interactive sentence starter exercises tailored to your learning pace and level, providing instant feedback to help you improve.

Exercise: Integrating into Scenario-Based Communication Practice

Try this exercise to put your skills into practice using

  1. Choose a real-world scenario such as a job interview, a social gathering, or a business meeting.
  2. Use to practice relevant vocabulary, idioms, and pronunciation. Pay attention to the feedback provided by the platform.
  3. Now, simulate a conversation related to your chosen scenario. Speak out loud, framing sentences using the words and phrases you’ve practiced.
  4. Record your conversation and replay it. Pay attention to your pronunciation, word usage, sentence construction, and overall fluency.
  5. Use’s speech recognition feature to get feedback on your pronunciation. Reflect on the feedback and areas you need to focus on.

Regular practice coupled with consistent feedback can dramatically enhance your confidence and proficiency in English communication. Remember, language mastery is a journey, and each step, each practice session, brings you closer to your goal.

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Exploring Common Misunderstandings and Idiomatic Expressions in English

English, like any other language, is rife with idiomatic expressions that often lead to misunderstandings, especially for ELLs. Idioms are phrases that have a figurative meaning different from their literal interpretation. They add color and personality to language but can be confusing if you’re not familiar with their actual connotations.

Decoding Idioms with

Luckily, decoding idioms can be made significantly easier with the right tools., for example, offers features specifically designed to help learners understand idiomatic language. It provides an extensive library of common idioms, complete with their meanings, usage, and contextual examples. This not only helps ELLs comprehend idiomatic expressions but also equips them to use these phrases confidently in their conversations.

Exercise: Identifying Idioms in a Text and Defining their Meanings

Let’s put this into practice with a simple exercise. Consider the following text:

“John has been feeling under the weather recently, so he decided to take a few days off work to rest. However, his boss told him not to throw in the towel just yet, as a major project was in the pipeline. John knew he had to pull up his socks and give it his best shot.”

Using’s idioms feature, identify the idioms in the text and define their meanings from sentence starters. Once you’ve done that, try to rewrite the text, replacing the idioms with their literal meanings.

Regular practice with idioms can significantly improve your understanding of English and its cultural nuances, thereby enhancing your ability to communicate effectively.

Navigating False Friends and Commonly Confused Words

False friends are words in two languages that look similar but have different meanings. For example, the Spanish word “embarazada” might look like the English word “embarrassed,” but it actually means “pregnant.” Such misunderstandings can lead to confusion and miscommunication. Additionally, even within English, certain words sound alike or have similar spellings but different meanings, which often leads to mix-ups.

Exercise: Identifying and Correcting Commonly Confused Words

Here’s an exercise to help you navigate these commonly confused words. Consider the following sentences:

  1. “I’ll meet you at the principle’s office.”
  2. “Their going to the public school tomorrow.”
  3. “She has less books than me.”
  4. “He complemented her on her new dress.”
  5. “The desert was extremely hot.”

Each sentence contains a commonly confused word. Can you spot and correct them? Remember, the context can often give you a clue about the right word to use.

Tackling commonly confused words and false friends can significantly improve your accuracy in English communication. With diligent practice and the right learning tools like, you can easily navigate these common pitfalls and express your ideas more effectively.

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Enhancing Interpersonal Communication through Active Listening

Active listening is a vital component of effective communication. More than just hearing the words, it involves understanding the message, providing feedback, and demonstrating that you value the conversation. By practicing active listening, you can foster better relationships, understand different perspectives, and communicate more effectively.

The Significance of Active Listening in Communication

Active listening is not just about comprehending the spoken words, but it also involves interpreting non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. By doing so, you can grasp the full meaning of the conversation and respond appropriately.

Active listening also shows respect and empathy towards the speaker, making them feel understood and valued. It helps build trust and openness in communication, which is crucial in all interactions, from professional settings to social gatherings.

Exercise: Practicing Active Listening within Different Communicative Contexts

Try the following exercise to practice active listening:

  1. In your extra time, listen to a podcast or watch a video on a topic of interest. Focus not just on the words, but also on the speaker’s tone, pace, and any non-verbal cues.
  2. Summarize the main points of the discussion in your own words. Try to recall any details or examples provided by the speaker.
  3. Reflect on the speaker’s perspective. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  4. If possible, discuss the content with someone else. Use this opportunity to express your understanding of the topic and your own opinion.

This exercise can help you develop your active listening skills, which are essential for successful interpersonal communication. With consistent practice, you can become a more effective communicator and foster stronger, more meaningful relationships.

The Significance of Active Listening in Communication

Active listening is one of the most critical communication skills and is about more than just hearing the spoken words. It involves understanding, interpreting, and reacting to the speaker, showing empathy, and conveying that you value and respect what they’re saying. In any form of communication, especially in a language that isn’t your first, active listening can provide invaluable support to comprehend the nuances and context of the conversation better.

Listening actively helps you to process information more accurately, reduces chances of misunderstandings, and fosters more meaningful connections with others. It allows you to pick up on subtleties that can add depth to your understanding of the speaker’s emotions and intentions.

Exercise: Practicing Active Listening within Different Communicative Contexts

Let’s engage in an exercise that will help to sharpen your active listening skills:

  1. Choose an English language podcast episode or a video on a topic that interests you. Pay attention not just to the words but also to the speaker’s tone, pauses, and emphasis.
  2. After listening, take a silent period to write a brief summary of what you heard. This practice helps to reinforce memory and clarify understanding.
  3. Reflect on how the speaker may have felt during the talk. Did their tone suggest excitement, frustration, joy, or any other emotions?
  4. Find a partner and engage in a conversation about the topic you just listened to. During this discussion, focus on understanding their viewpoint rather than formulating your response.

Remember, active listening is a skill that takes time for your language levels to develop. With consistent practice, it can become a natural part of your communication toolkit, enriching your interactions and helping you to navigate the English-speaking world with confidence and ease.

Applying Active Listening Skills with

Active listening is an essential part of language learning, and tools like can be incredibly helpful in promoting this skill. With its diverse library of audio content and interactive exercises, provides a platform where learners can practice active listening in a variety of contexts.

The platform incorporates various audio-visual learning materials, like videos, dialogues, and podcasts, that can help ELLs grasp the nuances of English language communication. This diverse content also provides exposure to different accents, conversational styles, and vocabulary, enriching the overall learning experience.

Exercise: Using to Improve Listening Skills

Let’s put this into practice with an exercise designed to boost your active listening skills:

  1. Choose an audio lesson or dialogue from that aligns with your English proficiency level.
  2. Listen to the content carefully, paying attention to the vocabulary used, the speakers’ tone and pace, and any idioms or phrases that may be new to you.
  3. Use the provided transcripts to check your comprehension and look up any unfamiliar words or phrases.
  4. Reflect on the main points of the conversation and the emotions or attitudes expressed by the speakers oral language skills.
  5. Replay the dialogue and repeat the sentences. This not only helps in enhancing your listening skills but also gives you the opportunity to practice pronunciation and intonation.

By integrating active listening exercises into your regular study routine, you can significantly improve your English comprehension skills, paving the way for more confident and effective communication and English language proficiency.

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Visit the Lillypad Onward: Enhancing Communication Confidence with

One of the standout features of is its ability to personalize the learning experience. It uses advanced AI technology to adapt to your learning style, pace, and proficiency level, providing customized content and exercises that align with your needs and goals.

Whether you’re practicing active listening, decoding idioms, navigating false friends, or participating in real-world scenarios, is there to guide you every step of the way. By offering a personalized, engaging, and effective learning experience, empowers ELLs to express their ideas confidently and navigate academic language proficiency with ease.

So, visit the Lillypad, immerse yourself in the world of English learning, and watch your communication skills flourish.

Continuous PracticeRegular use of helps in reinforcing English skills through repeated exposure and practice.
Goal encourages users to set clear, measurable learning goals, providing direction and motivation in their language learning journey.
Monitoring ProgressThe platform offers features to track progress, providing instant feedback and personalized recommendations for improvement.
Personalized Learning uses advanced AI technology to adapt to users’ learning styles, pace, and proficiency levels. It provides customized content and exercises to meet individual needs and goals.
FeaturesExtensive vocabulary builder, pronunciation helper, idioms library, and interactive exercises are available for comprehensive English learning.
Active Listening PracticeThe platform offers a variety of audio-visual materials for practice, enhancing listening comprehension skills.
Contextual LearningThrough real-world scenarios and dialogues, aids in understanding the practical usage of English, including cultural nuances.
Confidence BuildingContinuous practice with fosters communication confidence, preparing users to express their ideas effectively in the English-speaking world.
English Communication Chart

Conclusion: Empowering ELLs for Clear Communication

This article has journeyed through the critical importance of effective communication for English Language Learners (ELLs) and the significant role that can play in this endeavor. We’ve highlighted the unique challenges that ELLs face and introduced various strategies to overcome these language objectives, focusing on the key components of communication – from vocabulary building and pronunciation practice to active listening and understanding cultural nuances.

Communication is more than just exchanging information; it’s about understanding the emotions and intentions behind the information. Active listening, understanding the context, and being aware of cultural sentence frames can significantly enhance the quality of your communication., with its state-of-the-art AI technology and personalized learning experience, is a powerful tool that can assist in your journey to English mastery. It offers a plethora of features that are designed to address the specific needs of ELLs, from an extensive vocabulary builder and pronunciation helper to a library of idioms and interactive exercises. Its tracking and feedback features also allow for goal-setting and self-improvement for a student learning English.

Foreign language learning is a journey that requires continuous effort, student response, and practice. But remember, every conversation you have, every new word you learn, and every mistake you correct is a step forward on your path to fluency.

Don’t be discouraged by obstacles that may arise along the way. Instead, embrace them as opportunities to learn and grow with this complex language. Make use of effective tools like and keep practicing every day. As you gain confidence and proficiency, you’ll find that you’re not just learning a new language – you’re also opening doors to new opportunities, experiences, and connections.

So continue to express your ideas, share your thoughts, and engage in conversations. Your voice is unique and valuable, and the world is waiting to hear it. With as your guide, you can navigate your language objectives in the English-speaking world with confidence and ease. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and here’s to your success in English communication!


Feeling nervous when speaking a new language is entirely natural. Regular practice can help you overcome this fear and form complete sentences. Start with small, manageable steps such as having casual English conversations with friends or colleagues. Consider joining an English language learning group or class. Using platforms like to engage in real-world scenarios and interactive exercises can offer safe and pressure-free practice environments. With time, your confidence will naturally increase and you will gain a deeper understanding.

Enhancing your listening skills is a gradual process that requires regular practice. Consider listening to English language podcasts, watching English films or shows with subtitles, and using language learning platforms like The diverse audio content provided by can help familiarize you with different accents and varying speeds of this academic language.

Understanding grammar rules and avoiding mistakes requires consistent learning and practice. You can make use of English grammar books, online resources, and language learning apps., for example, provides specific modules on grammar that offer explanations, examples, and exercises to reinforce learning. It’s also important to note that making mistakes is a natural part of language development. Each mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow your language skills.

Expanding vocabulary in native languages is an ongoing process. Reading widely in English – books, articles, blogs, etc. – can introduce you to new words. Try to use new vocabulary in your daily conversations or writings to reinforce learning. also offers a feature for vocabulary building, where you can learn new words, their meanings, and examples of their usage.

Absolutely! Pronunciation can be improved with practice and background knowledge. Listen carefully to native English speakers, and try to imitate their pronunciation. There are many online resources and applications, like, which offer specific pronunciation exercises. Remember, everyone has an accent, and it’s a part of your unique identity. The aim is to be understood, not to eliminate your accent completely. Maintain eye contact and learn cultural practices to help understanding.

Idioms and colloquial language sentence frames can indeed be tricky for English learners as they often don’t translate literally. Learning them involves a lot of listening and reading. Whenever you come across an idiom or a colloquial phrase, jot it down and look it up (closed captioning helps for this). has an idioms library that can be particularly helpful. With time and exposure, you’ll be able to understand and use them correctly.

Understanding cultural differences and social norms is a part of language learning. Reading about the culture, watching films and shows from English-speaking countries, and interacting with native speakers can help. Platforms like also offer modules that highlight cultural nuances in communication, helping you navigate these effectively.

Improving interpersonal communication skills involves practice and actively seeking opportunities to engage in conversations. You can start by asking open-ended questions to initiate discussions. Listen actively to the other person and respond thoughtfully. Over time, your comfort level will increase. Platforms like can also provide you with real-world scenarios to practice outside of mainstream classrooms, with different conversation strategies and improve your language gaps.

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Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

…it’s a whole new story!

Do you want to improve your English? Visit

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Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald has contributed articles since 2020. As their Blog Lead, she specialises in informative pieces on culture, education, and language learning

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