language article

  • Can Could and All the Rest - Language Article


     

    If I ask my children to do something a lot of different things may happen: They could do it , they might do it, they ought to do it, they must do it, they should do it.

  • Hashtag - Language Article

     What is a hashtag

    #What?

    Unless you've never been on the internet (impossible if you are reading this), you have probably seen the symbol # popping up in messages and in posts online.

    It used to be used to show a number, and was often known as the number sign, or hash. In North America it was also known as the pound sign, but not any more. The internet has changed all that.

  • More Slang - Language Article

     

    More Slang

    Sir Winston Churchill once observed that Americans and the British are ‘a common people divided by a common language’ …

    Never was that as true as when describing the Cockneys.

    You’ve probably heard their accent, made famous in everything from movies based on Dickens and George Bernard Shaw novels, to computer-generated gekkos telling real gekkos how to go forth and sell car insurance. Linguists say that the Australian accent has its roots in Cockney culture, as they comprised a large percentage of prisoners, shipped there by the British when they viewed the Land Down Under as an ideal penal colony. Cockneys are the crafty characters from east London who admire those among their lot who can make a living simply by ‘ducking and diving, mate,’ which is their version of wheeling and dealing on a working-class level.

  • Nice - Language Article

     Fool or Nice

    Nice is one of those words which have changed in meaning over time. 

  • Reading Strategy - Part One - Language Article

     Are you really reading

    Are you really reading?

    If you read every word on a page, are you really reading it? It might seem a strange question to ask, but the answer is even stranger: maybe you are, but maybe you're not!

    One definition of the verb ‘to read’ is, “to utter aloud written matter”.  By using this definition alone, of course you are reading, but there is another definition (there are several), which says “to understand or interpret”. After reading a page, if you cannot answer questions about the material you just read, you really just uttered the words out loud. Yes, you have shown you know how to say the words, but you also need to understand the author’s message behind the words. If you can do that, you know you are truly reading.

  • Reading Strategy - Part Two - Question Everything - Language Article

    Reading comprehension 

    Looking for clues

    If you remember from last month's article: ‘reading’ means understanding the author’s message, not just calling out words? If you cannot answer comprehension questions after reading a page, you have not truly read anything.

    There are specific reading-comprehension skills that will help you understand what you are reading. Whereas the last article focused on Main Idea, Predicting Outcomes, Inferences, and Fact or Opinion; this article will cover Context Clues, Cause and Effect, Drawing Conclusions, and Sequencing.

    When reading be sure to ask yourself questions that reinforce these comprehension skills.

  • Speed - Language Article

    Start 

     Yesterday I was a sent a picture of my young great niece running at her first school sports day. Her mum said, ‘She was going like a train.’ That is with full power, very fast.

  • The English we Speak - Language Article

     

    According to American linguistic researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, the language  that we speak has an affect upon  at least half of what we see. Among the examples they give are the many distinctions made in English, between colours,  which do not necessarily appear in other languages, and vice versa.

  • The English We Speak #2 - Language Article

     Old cinema

    From time to time I watch old films, classics from the 1950s or even earlier, and I am often surprised at the accents – the norm for the time presumably, but often the actors sound rather more middle or upper class than nowadays. Even the Queen seems to be speaking in a rather stilted way to the way she sounds in more recent years. Listen to a speech she made as a teenager during war time. Then listen to younger members of the royal family nowadays, such as princes Harry and William. Their accents seem very neutral and ordinary in comparison.

  • Variations - Language Article

     Spice of life

    Variety is the spice of life, and because many words of modern English come from lots of different sources, French, German, Nordic languages, Latin, Spanish and even Hindi and Eskimo, speakers and writers have lots of choice when it comes to which words to use.

     

    For example:-

    Is this bed hard or solid?

    Is he clever / intelligent / bright / smart...?

    This all makes English a rich language, but it can be frustrating.

  • Writing to Persuade - Language Article

     writing

    Natural Sales Copywriting

    When it comes to writing in order to persuade other people to believe you know what you are writing about, and to persuade them to buy into what you have written, you need to get it right, but you don’t have be perfect when you are starting out, it takes time to develop your own writing style, so when you start out, keep it simple.

    Think about when you tell a friend about a fantastic meal you had at a local restaurant. Do you follow a formula to make sure you’ve told them just the right things? No – I bet you don’t: You just let the conversation flow naturally.