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Posts Tagged ‘Small Talks’

ENGLISH QUOTES TO RE-MOTIVATE YOUR STUDENTS

September 27, 2015 3 comments

motivation

Do you always find your students lack of motivation in improving their English? If you do, then you might want to stop giving them harder homework. Or stop teaching them using vocabulary cards. Or stop asking them to memorize 5 new words every day. Or stop forcing them to take a remedial test every time they failed in the previous test. Or stop all of your conventional teaching methods. You want to give them a space to relax and start to talk to them heart-to-heart.

Maybe, you also need to re-motivate your students and remind them about the importance of English. Do not only say that English is an important international language, because some language experts say that English is not the #1 anymore, but there are Chinese, French, Germany, or even Russians!

If you have a plan to re-motivate your students, you can use the following popular quotes about learning languages that I took randomly from many websites. Of course, they are adjustable to be delivered in your English class. They might be a short quote. But they have very deep meaning. Enjoy! Read more…

LANGUAGE EXCHANGE, WHY NOT?

January 18, 2015 Leave a comment

my language exchange

How a language learning process will bring us into success is definitely depends on so many factors: our discipline, media that we use, supporting environment, and of course, practices. I have read so many articles and books related to “learning English”. Why people should use flashcard, why people should use audio podcasts, why people should read aloud along the reading practice, and so on. But, I recently found a site with a very good idea: language exchange!

We often hear about “practicing with native speaker” method. We go online, sign in for a “about language” chat, find new friends from other country, and so on. It’s really helpful. But usually (or sometimes), an ordinary practice with native speaker only give benefit for one side—the language learner. Of course, for the natives, it’s still worth to build a friendship while helping other people to learn their language. But I found a very interesting concept on http://mylanguageexchange.com/ where we can find one or more partners to assist us in learning a language, while we will teach them back our language in the case of they need to learn our language too.

Of course, language exchange method is not something new. But in http://mylanguageexchange.com/ I found a real concept of language exchange: I speak Indonesian and I want to learn English. You, an English (native) speaker, want to learn Indonesian. We build a friendship and we exchange language lesson. http://mylanguageexchange.com/ might be not the only site with this concept, but of course, we can use this site as one of mediums to gain higher level of learning a language.

http://mylanguageexchange.com/ offers free membership where you can use all features but you can only “say hi” to the people that you want to learn from. Or you can pay US$ 6/month to say hi and send e-mail in unlimited number. By “upgrading” your membership, you can start the conversation with anyone on the board, especially sending e-mail. For the pricing policy, please refer to this page: http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/FAQMembers.asp.

Through http://mylanguageexchange.com/ we can search and filter other members based on the age, gender, native language, language they want to learn or practice, origin, and even the conversation method they want to use (e-mail, text chat, voice chat, or live exchange in person).

HOW TO USE “I.E.” AND “E.G.” CORRECTLY

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

It sometimes hard (and also confusing) to decide whether to use i.e. or e.g. in writing, because they seems to be the same. But, through this article, I will reveal the “secret” about how to use i.e. and e.g. correctly and effectively. Most of the “original” sentences/theories can be found here: here and here.

What to know about i.e. and e.g.

  • e.is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase “id est” meaning “that is” while  e.g. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase “exempli gratia” meaning “for example”.
  • Use e. when you want to give further explanation for something.
    Example: After work I’ll walk over to the Thunderdome, i.e., the new sports arena a few blocks away.
  • Use g. when you want to give a few examples but not a complete list.
    Example: I love drinking holiday-related beverages, e.g., hot chocolate, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes.

How to Remember the Difference Between I.e. and E.g.

But by now, I’m sure you know that I’m not going to ask you to remember Latin. I’m going to give you a memory trick. So here’s how I remember the difference. Forget about i.e. standing for “that is” or whatever it really means in Latin. From now on, i.e., which starts with i, means “in other words,” and e.g., which starts with e, means “for example.” I = in other words. E= example.

A few listeners have also written in to say that they remember the difference between i.e. and e.g. by imagining that i.e. means “in essence,” and e.g. sounds like “egg sample,” and those are good memory tricks too.

So now that you have a few tricks for remembering what the abbreviations mean, let’s think about how to use them in a sentence.

E.g. means “for example,” so you use it to introduce an example: I like card games, e.g., bridge and crazy eights. Because I used e.g., you know that I have provided a list of examples of card games that I like. It’s not a finite list of all card games I like; it’s just a few examples.

On the other hand, i.e. means “in other words,” so you use it to introduce a further clarification: I like to play cards, i.e., bridge and crazy eights. Because I used i.e., which introduces a clarification, you know that these are the only card games that I enjoy.

Here are two more examples:

Squiggly loves watching old cartoons (e.g., DuckTales and Tugboat Mickey). The words following e.g. are examples, so you know that these are just some of the old cartoons that Squiggly enjoys.

Squiggly loves watching Donald Duck’s nephews (i.e., Huey, Dewey, and Louie). The words following i.e. provide clarification: they tell you the names of Donald Duck’s three nephews.

An important point is that if I’ve failed, and you’re still confused about when to use each abbreviation, you can always just write out the words “for example” or “in other words.” There’s no rule that says you have to use the abbreviations.

Dos and Don’ts

Don’t italicize i.e. and e.g.; even though they are abbreviations for Latin words, they’ve been used for so long that they’re considered a standard part of the English language. Also, remember that they are abbreviations, so there is always a period after each letter.

Also, I always put a comma after i.e. and e.g. I’ve noticed that my spell checker always freaks out and wants me to remove the comma, but five out of six style guides recommend the comma. Seriously. I got so engrossed in the question of whether a comma is required after i.e. and e.g. that I made a  table for the website summarizing the opinions of six different style guides.

EXPRESSION OF APPOLOGIZING

June 12, 2014 Leave a comment

We say sorry when we do something wrong, when we have upset someone, when we want to sympathize with someone, when we are about to disturb someone and even when someone else disturbs us! Have you ever stepped on someone’s foot and the other person says sorry before you? I suppose they feel sorry that their foot was in your way!

So what is the best way to apologize in English?

There are many different ways to say sorry in English depending on the situation, who you are apologizing to and how you are feeling. You may have already learnt this vocabulary in your English classes; however, I have listed 10 common expressions to say you’re sorry below:

Sorry.

This is a very common, simple apology and there are many situations we can use it in. For example:

  • When we bump into someone on the street (“Sorry!”)
  • When we want to get someone’s attention (e.g. to go past them on a train. “Sorry, excuse me”)
  • When we are sympathizing with someone (e.g. “I’m sorry to hear that”)
  • When we know we have done something wrong (e.g. “Sorry I’m late”)

This is a weak apology so don’t use it if you have done something very wrong – it won’t sound strong enough!

I’m so / very / extremely / terribly sorry.

This is similar to “sorry” but adding an extra word makes the meaning stronger. For example:

  • “I’m so sorry I didn’t come to your party yesterday.”
  • “I can’t believe I forgot the tickets. I’m terribly sorry!”

How careless of me!

This phrase is used when we criticize ourselves for making a mistake. For example: “I just broke a glass, how careless of me! I’ll buy you a new one.”

I shouldn’t have…

We use this when we realize that we have done something that we shouldn’t have done and now we regret it. For example: “I shouldn’t have shouted at you last night. I didn’t mean what I said.”

It’s all my fault.

We use this phrase when we want to take responsibility for something. For example: “It’s all my fault we missed the train. I should have woken up earlier.”

Please don’t be mad at me.

This is quite an informal phrase, which we use when we’ve done something wrong and we don’t want the other person to be angry with us. For example: “Please don’t be mad at me but I have to cancel our plans this weekend.”

I hope you can forgive me / Please forgive me.

We use this to ask forgiveness from someone when we do something to upset them. For example: “I acted awfully last night and I know I embarrassed you. I hope you can forgive me.”

I cannot say/express how sorry I am.

This is a very strong way of saying sorry. We use this when we know we have done something very wrong and we cannot find the right words to apologize. For example: “I cannot express how sorry I am for telling James your secret. I had no idea he would break up with you.”

I apologize for… / I’d like to apologize for…

This is a more formal way of saying sorry. You usually hear it in formal/business situations or emails. For example: “I apologize for the delay in replying to your email.”

Please accept my (sincere) apologies.

This is a very formal way of apologizing, especially when the word ‘sincere’ is included. It is usually used in formal letters. For example: “Please accept my sincere apologies for the mistake. We will refund the money to your account immediately.”

Being polite and knowing how to apologize are important in all languages and cultures. After all, everyone makes mistakes! Hopefully now you will know how to say sorry in any situation…

Source: http://bloomsburyinternational.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/how-to-apologise-in-english/ with small adaptation (words deletion and addition, and also style change)

MASTERING ENGLISH FASTER WITHOUT SPENDING MUCH MONEY

May 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Being able to mastering English is a kind of common dream of many people. Some people achieve mastery by attending an expensive English class or by flying to English-speaking countries to study English, while some people spend no cost at all to be fluent in English—both writing and speaking. If you have to choose, which method will you use?

Flying to an English-speaking country to study English is an expensive dream, although it’s a ‘powerful’ and ‘fast’ way to achieve your goal. But, how if you have no much money, want to be soon mastering English, and expect the same result as studying abroad? Read more…

CONFUSING ENGLISH WORDS

October 15, 2013 Comments off

Since English is only a secondary (or even tertiary) language here in Indonesia, we, the young English learners here are often confused about some “looked same” words. So that’s why, when we are listening to an English dialog, we may often get confused because of some words that spoken similarly to the other words. We call it as homophone. A pair of words that different in their spelling and meaning, but spoken in the same way.

Sometimes, we get confused too, when we are reading a text aloud then find a pair of words that almost the same in their written form, although the way to pronounce them are totally different. So, to make us more aware of the differences among the “almost the same” of English words, here I make a small list of them. If you are interested to develop the table below, please be glad to give any comment.

English

Bahasa Indonesia

See, Sea Melihat, Laut

  1. Don’t you see her? She is over there.
  2. The whales live in the sea.
Reply, Replay Membalas, Mengulang / Memainkan Kembali

  1. I will reply your text soon.
  2. Please replay the songs.
Not, Knot Tidak / Bukan, Knot

  1. The book is not mine.
  2. Knot is a unit of length used in navigation, exactly 1,852 meters.
Here, Hear Di sini / Ke sini, Mendengar

  1. Please come here.
  2. Please hear me.
Sum, Some Menjumlahkan, Beberapa

  1. Sum all the numbers in the left column!
  2. Some people are gathering in the park.
Tree, Three Pohon, Tiga

  1. There is one coconut tree in the garden.
  2. There are three coconut trees in the back yard.
Plan, Plant Rencana, Tanaman

  1. Do you have a plan for this weekend?
  2. I plan to plant some flowers in the yard.
Leaf, Leave Daun, Pergi / Meninggalkan

  1. The green leaf is a symbol of our community.
  2. We will leave at 5pm.
Rode, Road Menaiki (V2 dari kata Ride), Jalan

  1. They rode a bike for days to reach my village.
  2. There are many holes on the road, make it unsafe to ride fast.
Rise, Raise Naik, Menaikkan

  1. I like to rise at 6am or 7am.
  2. If you have a question, please raise your hand.
Price, Prize Harga, Hadiah

  1. The price is $1.
  2. The prize was only a set of stationery.
Right, Write Benar / Kanan, Menulis

  1. Please stand up in the right side of that yellow box!
  2. Write down your name, please!
Weather, Whether Cuaca, Apakah

  1. The weather is unpredictable, nowadays.
  2. I’m not sure, whether she’ll come or not.
Presents, Presence Hadiah / Menghadiahi, Kehadiran / Keberadaan

  1. She got a lot of presents in her birthday party.
  2. Her presence is absolutely important.
Sight, Site Pandangan / Pemandangan, Tempat / Situs

  1. It was a bad sight for me.
  2. The site was prepared to build a national monument.
Bear, Bare Beruang, Gundul

  1. The lonely bear lives in the deep of the jungle.
  2. The top of the hill is bare.
Advice, Advise Saran, Menyarankan

  1. She gave me an advice so that I learn harder.
  2. I advise you not to take it.

Once you come to know the spelling and meaning of these homophones you need to practice them for a better understanding. The more you use them, the easier it will become.

LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

two minutes english

Having another new business has forced me to stay so far from this blog for weeks. But of course, I can’t let you all, my precious readers, feel disappointed. When you visit this blog again, you must be hoping that there is a fresh article, right? Just like me, if I visit my favorite blog while the contents are the same as I visited before, I would be disappointed.

Well, while I’m having a spare time I’d like to post about Speaking. Speaking, as a part of communication, sometimes is a hard thing to do, especially speaking a foreign language. And English, as a non-mother-tongue here in Indonesia, is still categorized as a language with a particular difficulty level. Actually, not only English. Learning a foreign language (whether it’s Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, etc.) has its own challenge. Luckily, not like any other languages, English is still “the easiest” language to learn. Because there are so many sites providing tutorials, audio podcast, and even video materials.

Weeks ago, my visitor named Nikitha Roy commented in my blog and left a link to http://www.youtube.com/twominenglish. I followed the link and found a great video collection to help beginners to speak in English. I do appreciate to Nikitha Roy for leaving the link. It is so helpful, even for me.

Watching a-few-minutes-in-duration videos from http://www.youtube.com/twominenglish has opened my mind that learning English is getting easier. We only need to download the video and burn it or play it directly to our students. It will be a great experience for our students because they can watch and repeat after the native speakers. We can also encourage the students to download the videos so that they can do a practice at home.

Learning English through a video is not something new here, of course. Most teachers only do it rarely. In fact, a video as a learning tool has stronger effect than reading textbook or listen to an audio podcast. Through video, students can watch the native speaker’s expression too.