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Posts Tagged ‘Experience’

WHY DO EDUCATORS NEED TO BLOG

September 3, 2014 Leave a comment

blogging

Blogging is not something fresh today. Many people do blogging on many platforms everyday to record their life, share opinion, show themselves, and even make a full-time income just with a blog. Many people (and myself) are believe that blogging is not only a good way to learn and practice a language, but it also give us a nice platform for converting our language skills into something more and more.

Blogging is an activity to write something (or many things) into an internet canal. It just the same as writing in an ordinary book, and it just the same as publishing a printed book, but it’s different—we publish our writing virtually for much more people, wide-range of readers, crossing state line, and so it will influence much more people.

And because of those characters of blogging above, I do believe that blogging is not only about “writing theory”, a hobby in a spare time, or an activity to find out another kind of “happiness”. Out of that reasons, blogging is surely can help our education field—and many aspects of general life, of course. Don’t you see that nowadays, people teach other people on how to edit a photo, people show how to create a handicraft for kindergarten students, people post an article about how to fix our home printer or PC, etc.?

Now, one question: who did write all those interesting things on the internet? Are they a teacher? Pharmacist? Basket ball player? Farmer? Technicians?

The answer is: all people. All people now are blogging to share their knowledge and interest, to help other people to find out a problem solving, and of course, it may influence on other people’s life. Read more…

HOW TO IMPROVE ENGLISH WRITING SKILLS

May 30, 2014 2 comments

Writing is another skill that is needed by humans as one of means of communication. Some people believe that writing can even help us to deliver our ideas when speaking is impossible. So, why don’t you start writing now? Don’t worry about some difficulties you’ll face at the beginning. Try the following tips 😀

  1. Write in English every day. This is the most important tip to improve your writing skills in English. Start by thinking of a theme, for example, you could start writing a diary of something that happens to you every day, you can write a few lines of a story each day or you could write emails to your friends in English. This might be difficult at first but the more you continue, the easier it will become and you might even end up enjoying it!

  2. Ask someone to check your writing. If you’re studying at an English language school, you could ask your teacher to check your writing for you. Otherwise, why not ask a friend or relative who speaks English? I’m sure they’d be happy to help! You might even be able to do a writing language exchange – find an English person who is learning your language and write letters or emails to each other (you can write in English and they can write in your language). When you send a reply, you can also send their letter back to them with corrections and they can do the same for you!

  3. Improve your vocabulary. Having a wide range of vocabulary is very important when you’re writing in English. An excellent way to improve your vocabulary is to read as much as possible. If you read books, newspapers or magazines in English, you will learn many new words and common English idioms. Remember to write down the new words and expressions you read and their meanings so you can learn them.

  4. Use a dictionary. You might feel that using a dictionary when you write is ‘cheating’ but think again – it is actually a great way to improve your vocabulary and practice using words and phrases that you’ve heard but haven’t used before. Remember to ask someone to check your writing to make sure you have used the vocabulary correctly.

  5. Check your writing carefully. After you have written something in English, you should always read it again, either straight away or the next day. When you do this, you will probably see a few mistakes that you didn’t notice when you were writing it. Remember to check the spelling, grammar and vocabulary – have you used a particular word many times? Can you think of another way to say it?

  6. Write about different topics. If you write about the same thing every day, you could become very bored and you might end up using the same words and phrases over and over again! It is a good idea to find different topics to write about as this will help to widen your vocabulary and will be much more interesting for you. Writing about something you read in a newspaper or watched on TV is a good starting point.

  7. Do your homework. If you have classes at an English language school, your teacher probably gives you writing homework to do. It is really important that you do all your homework as your teacher knows your level of English and will be able to give you good advice on which parts of writing you need to improve most (e.g. vocabulary, spelling, grammar). This is extremely important if you are planning to take an English language exam.

  8. Write to your friends. Do you have friends who speak English (e.g. people you have met in your English classes)? If so, you should definitely practice your writing with them! There are many ways to do this – using social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), sending emails, writing text messages, chatting on Skype etc. The best thing about writing to people who are also learning English is that you can correct each other’s mistakes!

  9. Write a blog. It doesn’t even matter if no one reads it, but writing a blog is a great way to practice writing in English. Set yourself a goal (e.g. upload one blog article a week) and start writing! The great thing about a blog is you can write about absolutely anything and there’s a chance that you might even help or entertain someone who reads it!

  10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! It’s easy to decide not to do any English writing as you are worried that you will make lots of mistakes. However, the more you write and get your writing corrected, the fewer mistakes you will make!

Original source: 

http://www.bloomsbury-international.com/blog/2014/02/21/how-to-improve-english-writing-skills/

YOU MUST HAVE THEM ALL!!!

April 29, 2011 4 comments

A few days recently, I tested several dictionary application. Almost all application I tried were satisfying. The word “satisfying” here means that I felt that the application could accommodate my needs for “perfect” English dictionary. Babylon, Oxford Dictionary of English, and The Sage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus are three digital dictionaries that I tested. From those dictionaries, I choose The Sage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus as my favorite.
Actually, the first application I tried was Oxford Dictionary of English. The interface was so simple. We only need to type a certain word that we want to know the description / meaning then press ENTER. We will be shown the meaning of that word. So, just the same as its name and its book version, this application also work only as ordinary dictionary.

The second application I tested was Babylon. Actually, I got this software for about 3 or 4 years ago but I almost never tried it. Then, when I tried Oxford Dictionary of English, I remembered Babylon so I installed it. Unfortunately, the full version of this application was a proprietary (need to purchase it), while I only have the trial version. So I could not test it further. But, from the “Help” menu, we could know that Babylon is a powerful tool to understand English words.

The last application and the most satisfying application (for me) was The Sage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Just the same as Oxford and Babylon, this application has a main function to translate English to English. But, this application has more superiorities than two previous applications above. More complete database, nicer interface, and the most important thing is free while Oxford and Babylon need to be bought to give us full features. The features of The Sage are definition concordancer, example concordancer, semantic similarity, wildcard, anagram, etc. Each features has their own sub-features that will make us easier to use a certain word. Especially, it provides the real example of word’s usage in a sentence.

By using The Sage’s English Dictionary and Thesaurus I can track all words that I have learnt. Not only that, I also can make a list of “favorite” words. This list can be used as our personal dictionary. So, better you try it by yourselves so that you can experience new way of using dictionary.

Thianhvan – Trac Nghiem Anh Van
I give you one more application that will help you to improve your English: TRAC NGHIEM ANH VAN. This software contains multi-choice tests, which will test your Basic English and general knowledge. You can decide the number of questions and time to answer the questions by yourselves. After the time is up (or you finish in answering questions before the time is over), you can preview the result and see your score.

The interface of this software was actually in Vietnamese language. But don’t worry, I will show you how to use it.
OK we will start from “So cau hoi”. Fill the box with the number of question you will process. Then, in “Thoi gian lam bai”, fill the time you need to finish answering the questions. The timer will countdown your time. Last, press “Bat dau” to start answering questions.
After you finish in answering the questions, press “Ket Thuc” then “Chap nhan”. You will see the score and you may review the result of your work.

To review your work, click “Xem Chi Tiet”. If you want to stop, press “Thoat”.

100 % PERFECT GRAMMAR

April 11, 2011 4 comments

Some of us are often confuse and feel not confident when we must write in English. The most popular reason is about grammar. But now, by visiting www.grammarly.com we will be helped to construct perfect writing because this site will check the gaffes of our writing from the grammar side, punctuation, and style. Another feature of this site is the ability of checking the possibility of plagiarism. You only need to copy and paste your text into a space given. After a few minutes checking, this site will show you the statistic contains possibility of plagiarism, revision suggestion, style suggestion, spelling check, grammar, and punctuation.

 

Check Your Grammar

Check Your Grammar

The picture above was taken from www.grammarly.com on Sunday, March 29, 2011 when I tried to “test” one of my articles. The result could be seen as above. I got so many corrections in contextual spelling check, grammar, punctuation, style, and words choice. But globally, I got 75 points as my score and my article was original (contains no plagiarism).

If you are writing for a serious purpose (paper or web site / blog), you better try this site to improve your writing capability. Because this site also helps us by showing “where we should focus on” in writing.

ANDA TAKUT? ANDA BODOH!

October 31, 2010 Leave a comment

afraidOnly four words, but it’s stimulating enough our emotion, isn’t it? Yes! We feel that people uncertain with our capability. They despise us! But, stay calm guys! Don’t need to be angry because actually it’s only a motivating sentence. You must rise up to prove that you’re not afraid, you’re not stupid. Except you’re true a fainthearted person. So you’ll response nothing.

I got this word from my English club (Siaga Yudha English Conversation Club, Batam). Usually, we use it before the class begin, after the class finish, and every my leader invites one of us to speak in front of the class. Therefore, there isn’t reason to be shy or say “not yet”. Finding out reasons means that we’ll hear “Anda Takut??” and we’ll be embarrassed because we’ll hear “Anda Bodoh!!” then.

I think it’s right. I’m joining an English club for 2 year here. If I’m still afraid and not motivated to try it means I get 2 years futile effort.

English is about quantity not quality. The fluency of speaking depends on our frequency to practice our English. If we often practice our English, in the end, we’ll reach quality. Remember, English is spoken.

I like this slogan because now I’m encouraged to speak more in front of my friends although they always laugh on me. I get confidence from it. Until I write this article I don’t know how many mistake I’ve done, but I think this is just my process. It’s part of my improvement. My interlocutor is my teachers.

In addition, what about you? Do you still afraid practicing your English? If so, don’t expect that you’ll be fluent in English!

Sent by: Susliana (Batam island)

PLAY YOUR IMAGINATION

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

imaginationImagine!

Imagine if you are trapped in year 3000 because of a time machine. What will you see there? How will the world be? Become a nice future, or do you think that the earth has gone?

The sentences above were asked to my students to stimulate them to speak up. That time, I was confused about how to “force” my students to speak up. But luckily I found a good idea: invite them to play with their imagination.

When I tried to play this game, I had to ask several “fantasy” questions such as the question above. And if you want to try this game too, ensure that you also have “fantasy” questions which are stimulating your students to speak. Bring them to their fantasy world so that they find a new vision about something then ask them to describe / explain what they see, what they feel, and what they experience in their fantasy world. Sound like a kind of hypnotizing? 🙂 🙂 🙂

The questions you may build are (then you may make your own criteria):

  1. Imagine if you are trapped in year 3000 because of a time machine. What will you see there? How will the world be?
  2. Imagine if last night you slept and dreamt about living in America. In the next morning, when you wake up, suddenly you can’t speak in your mother tongue language anymore, but only English. What will you say first, what will you do first, and how will you communicate with the people around you?
  3. You get a chance to go around the world. Decide the first place you will visit, who will accompany you, and explain your reasons.
  4. Think that in the future, people can invent multifunction credit card or TV (or whatever). If you are one of the inventors, what will your credit card or TV (or whatever) look like? What functions will be added to your credit card, TV, or whatever you invent? Draw and explain to your friends.
  5. etc.

In playing this game, you may not run it in a conventional class situation. I mean, don’t set the class as if you were teaching as usual. But, set the class into a relax class, where you play instrumental music, ask your students to close their eyes for a while (for imagining the questions), and if it is possible, each student get different question they can choose from a rolled paper. And finally, keep remember this step: give a reward for the best imagination. You may give a special mark, chocolate, book, or whatever. Because your students must be love a reward.

I LEARN NEW THING: FALLING INTONATION

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Is this soup good!

How a difficult test was!

Didn’t that speech inspire one!

What do you think about the sentences above? Are they a question, or whether I was wrong in placing punctuation mark?

The same question was in my mind too. It happened when I listen to TOEFL exercise and I found some questions that actually “not a real question” but an exclamation. Yeah, that is TOEFL. We have to conclude the sentences spoken by the cassette. And I was trapped when I listened to the cassette: I thought the sentences type was question, but it was an exclamation, so I was unable to answer some questions. Oh my god!

Exclamation, although it has the similar structure with question, but of course it has several differences. They are the punctuation mark and the intonation. In a question, we use question mark and the intonation is “rising”. And in an exclamation, we use interjection mark and the intonation is “moving down” or I call it a “falling intonation”. Hem, it was a something I’ve never learnt before (I guess, hahahaha…).

The second new thing I learnt from TOEFL exercise was idioms. I almost never learnt about idioms before. My teachers did not teach any idioms and daily slang. Only some formal expressions. Maybe, this thing has made me unable to practice perfect English. So, if you are an English teacher, please make it sure that you add idioms and slang in your material in teaching process so that your students can use their English well, not only a default/formal English. In fact, idioms and slang are needed for a good communication too. Because we cannot make a communication only with a formal English. Daily English is more often to be practiced. And in the daily English, sometimes we “avoid” what we have learnt in the classroom.