Rliberni's Blog – Radical language



Berni Wall

Helping students improve English language skills

Hi there,

I want to use these postings to help English language learners improve their skills.  When I learned French and later Indonesian years ago one of the most powerful things for me was dealing with small ,yet well used bits of language. These could be individual words or simple phrases (the use of quand même in French is a good example) but what they had in common was they could revolutionise the way you produced the language and make it sound more natural. I hope that my postings will provide some useful expressions in English that will have the same effect.

I started my career as an English Language teacher in September 1977 in Medan Indonesia. I taught at the University of North Sumatra where it was my job to develop the English language skills of university lecturers to enable them to travel to the UK, US and Australia for further training in their own subject areas.

Since then I have worked in various institutions both overseas and in the UK helping students to improve their English language skills for work, study, travel or fun.

I have also trained teachers and helped them with their professional development.

I have been an examiner of English language too so I know what examiners are looking for in a student’s work.

In 2007 I developed an online language learning tool called Gapfillers. www.gapfillers.co.uk this is aimed at more advanced level students who need to keep developing their skills yet have only limited time to do this. The site delivers 4  new exercises everyday to help you practice regularly (everything is then archived) We are now looking at M-learning and will shortly release our mobile phone daily English practice  www.gapfillers.mobi  – watch this space!!

I also teach students in my home in North Yorkshire. If you are looking for a short, bespoke 1:1 English course then contact me for more information.

I want to use my years of experience as both teacher and language learner to help students put that extra gloss on their language and make an impression.


  1. […] mentoring program is the brainchild of English language teacher Berni Wall,  who is also the brains behind the online language learning tool […]

    Pingback by Mentoring for new ESL teachers | ucantchwrtg — March 3, 2012 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  2. hi ya i know this is a bit funny but i just wanna know this .. is there any centre in uk where it is easy to score than others like if u write a exam in this centre the evaluation will be very liberal and easy to score high marks kind of centre if so can u name a few

    Comment by funchild — April 5, 2012 @ 5:31 pm | Reply

    • Hello funchild I think the answer is no. Exams are moderated so that every candidate gets the same experience and the same chance of scoring the mark they deserve in the actual exam. There are no short cuts (I’m guessing you mean IELTS but this applies to all English language exams). You just have to put in the work and do the practice to get the score you want. Remember too that trying to get the result for further study by getting a particular score easily without necessarily having the required language competence would be ‘shooting yourseld in the foot’ as you would not be able to do the course properly and would risk failing further down the line which would be a far bigger waste of time and money. It’s worth thinking about your motivations in this – if you are looking for a ‘quick fix’ instead of an outcome that is satisfying and that you can be proud of – then I have to ask you ‘what’s the point?’ Why not save your time and money and do something else that is less difficult.

      Comment by rliberni — April 9, 2012 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  3. Dear Ms Rliverni,

    My name is Michelle Morissette and I am an ESL teacher of adult immigrants in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have recently discovered your blog and think you do a wonderful job. The topics are interesting, relevant and informative. You are also a very good writer.
    I am writing to ask for your permission to reprint your excellent post on setting SMART goals for language learning on my blog so that my students can benefit from it directly. I have written about setting SMART goals in the past, but you have stated the point so much better than I did. Therefore I think your post would be a better reading for them.

    I am beginning a term with a group of Lower Advanced students who have families and work full time. I am trying to help them develop realistic expectations about what they can learn in two and half months as well as how to set realistic goals for themselves – something they really do not do. I plan to use several videos in my post. One video Setting SMART goals for Language Learning from English Club is particularly useful for the topic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYBN-qLGcT4&feature=share&list=PL9C781972A124359C

    Here is my blog address: http://learningenglishwithmichelle.blogspot.ca/

    Here is the article I wrote last January about setting SMART goals : http://learningenglishwithmichelle.blogspot.ca/2012/01/how-set-achievable-goals.html

    I would appreciate hearing from you,

    Michelle Morissette

    Comment by Michelle Morissette — September 10, 2012 @ 6:48 pm | Reply

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, I’m more than happy for you to share this post on your blog. I’m flattered that you found it helpful. I think it is very important for students to have goals and to keep re-defining these as they go along.

      I’m afraid I have negected my blog of late due to other work – I hope to get back on board with it soon.

      I see that you have a lot of resources on your blog and I wondered if you might like to look at my online site Gapfillers – this is a subscription site (we are in the throes of updating it and the new version will be available in a week or so) but has a free space too. It is aimed at upper intermediate and advanced learners and I have lots of IELTS students signed up who use this to get their English up to speed for the higher bands 7 and 8. I also run IELTS workshops and programmes off the site.

      It’s always good to meet up with fellow teachers.

      Let me know if you need anything else or have any questions

      Comment by rliberni — September 12, 2012 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

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