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.

  • How to Silence Your Inner Critic - Reading Article

     

    Being self-critical is a great way to push yourself into being a better person. Perhaps you want to do your job better, or maybe you want to help other people. You may even want to yell less at your kids. When you critique yourself, you have the ability to make changes. But, can you go too far?

  • Is Immersion Better Than Learning English Online or in an Academy?

    Studying English

    It’s a dream for many people to spend a summer break in an exotic foreign country, hanging out with the locals, making a friend or two (or even a summer romance!) and returning home refreshed and fluent in a foreign language.

     

    But can someone just pick up a language simply by being in the country in which it is spoken? Many companies that organize immersion exchange programmes, summer camps or English language courses in an English-speaking country would have you believe that it’s so much easier than with traditional English academies or online English classes. Even the wordimmersion itself sounds so, well, easy. Justimmerseyourself in the language, like standing under a waterfall, and everything will just seep into your skin.

     

    I’m afraid to say that in my case this just did not happen. Before I spent four months travelling around South America, everyone had told me I would ‘pick up’ Spanish as easy as ‘uno, dos, tres’. I took an Ipod full of Spanish songs, somehow hoping that the language flowing through my ears would end up stuck in my brain. But after a month or two, I couldn’t do much more than order a beer and have a basic conversation. So why was I ‘failing’?

  • Is Our High Tech World Overstimulating - Reading Article

     

    2017 08 16 informationoverload

    Modern life is so noisy nowadays, it is the noisiest it has ever been in history, and with noise, many sounds are filtered out. As a result we could end up missing some of the most important things in life. This can have far reaching implications, and is aptly known as “overstimulation.”

    Forget your smartphone, and your i7 chip set, the brain in your skull is the most efficient processor the world has ever known, capable of processing stimuli from a variety of sources, but sometimes it can all become too much. 

  • Laughter and the Brain - Reading Article

     

    burnout 

    Could fun and laughter be an antidote to burnout?

    When you think of burnout, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Maybe horror images of someone so burnt out that they become a vegetable with no brain function left. Well, what if you were told that answer isn’t that far fetched?

    When someone burns out, the brain’s emotional responses become suppressed, the brain can't cope any longer, and the person may well give the general impression of suddenly having a short fuse.

    The simplest way to cure this is usually embarking on a well-earned break from the stresses of everyday life, but sometimes all we need is some fun and laughter to turn the universe back to how it was meant to be.

    Here are a few ways that laughter and fun can help you to cure any symptoms of burnout.

  • 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.

  • Scaredy Cat - Language Article

     

    We can be frightened for all kinds of reasons; some are logical, such as a fear of snakes which might bite you, but people can be frightened of all sorts of  things, many of them harmless: clowns, butterflies, clocks, moonlight. We call them phobias, and there are long lists of these phobias, most of them seemingly totally irrational.  However, not all fears can be classed as phobias, and we have lots of different words to describe fear, and even ways to describe the people who experience these feelings.

    Thanks to the wonders of Facebook I have recently linked up with a friend I used to play with when I was about eight years old. The phrase ‘scaredy cat’ was often used as a playground jibe when I was very young. Bigger and older children might dare someone to do something  - such as climbing up on the bicycle shed and then jumping off into the coke pile – a really foolish thing to do as you would probably end up covered with coal dust and many scratches, and at worst you could break a leg.  So the sensible thing to do was to take no notice of such jibes, but not everyone felt able to stand up to the teasing.

  • 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.

  • The Power Of Using Your Imagination - Reading Article

     

    Use your imagination

    When we are children growing up, our imagination is the key to untold worlds.  And it has been shown that kids with very active imaginations are more likely to dream and strive for greater things as adults.

  • 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.