martes, 28 de septiembre de 2010

Business English

Business English/Making a Personal Plan to Improve Your English

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Your personal plan should be made up of two parts: 1. Where to go, and 2. How to get there.



[edit] Where to go

[edit] SMART Goals

When we set out to do something, it is to our benefit to set clear goals and to make a plan that will help us reach them. The “SMART” acronym below is a tool that we can use to make sure that we are covering all of the appropriate areas in the process. More information can be found in the time management on Wikipedia. Just remember that if you don’t make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, and time-limited, they are not really goals, but intentions, no more.

S Specific
M Measurable
A Achievable
R Results-oriented
T Time-limited

An example:

Specific I want to improve my natural speech patterns, active vocabulary, fluency, and correct written form.
Measurable Improve my TOEFL score by 10 percent. (Use on-line or offline testing tools to determine beginning numbers, then set a goal for improvement.)
Achievable (The improvement in the measured numbers to be within reason.)
Results-oriented I want practical, real-world improvement in my levels of oral and written English.
Time-limited The follow-up testing will be done two months after the first testing.

Now, using the above example as a guide, write out your own SMART goals for improving your English. Decide which areas of English proficiency will be your priorities. Write down how much you would like to improve in each of the areas.

[edit] How to get there (personalizing your plan)

Following are specific steps that you can take to improve each of your targeted areas of English proficiency.

[edit] Vocabulary (passive and active vocab)

  • Daily reading (news and online articles, books NYTimes, HBR, Give and Take,, The Millionaire Next Door …)
  • Writing summaries of articles and mini research papers

[edit] Fluency (finding words quickly)

  • Conversation with others
  • Your internal mental conversation
  • Reading (news, business literature, novels, magazines, blogs …)
  • Writing
  • Presentations (make up your own or imitate someone else’s)


[edit] Natural speech patterns

  • Reading regularly in English. Daily is a good goal, even if it is only fifteen minutes. Look for topics on interest on the Internet or in English books or magazines.
  • Conversation and contact in English with native speakers, or at least with others who are learning.
  • Watching TV and movies in English (news, entertainment, documentaries…)
  • Online audio news (NYTimes, VOANews, BBC News …)
  • Presentations of speeches copied from native presenters
  • Listening to and reading CD magazines like English2Go and Speak Up for natural flow and inflection

[edit] Written English (grammar and spelling)

  • Grammar book exercises
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • test

[edit] Pronunciation

  • Conversation
  • TV, music and movies
  • Listening to and reading passages at the same time
  • In general, all oral communication: listening and speaking

[edit] Flow of speech

  • Conversation
  • TV, music and movies
  • Listening to and reading passages at the same time
  • In general, all oral communication: listening and speaking
  • Reading newspapers in front of mirror.

[edit] Culture

  • Reading about culture explicitly in Internet, books, and magazines
  • Observing culture implicit in written materials
  • Entertainment from target countries
  • Interacting with natives

Focus your attention on the activities that will help you improve primarily in the top areas on your personalized list. This takes a bit of discipline, but allow your actions to be guided by where you want to go in your learning. Don’t spend all of your time reading articles about current news if your main objective is to improve your pronunciation.


Making students speak: MAP formula
“I teach English at an engineering college in Kerala (India). I’ve been asked by the college management to teach communication skills. I find it difficult to make all students speak; some students are always passive. It discourages me a lot. I don’t know whether the problem is with my approach or with my students. Please suggest some strategies that really work.”

This email message is from a lecturer in English. " title="<--break-->" width="100%" height="12">I have received a number of similar queried from teachers ever since I started contributing the column ‘English Matters’ to a newspaper in India.

Trainers and teachers who are involved in developing students’ English speaking skills often get frustrated because some students do not attempt to speak at all. When the teacher wants the students to be active they prefer to be passive. This is a universal problem. The teacher faced with a serious problem of passivity among students looks for a solution to make them active participants but doesn’t succeed always. Why does it happen? I

n a typical classroom environment it is quite common to have students who are highly motivated or semi-motivated or unmotivated. Sometimes even motivated students become passive because the activities assigned to them to make them speak do not enthuse them. At times, we may have motivated students and good speaking tasks/activities but the teacher’s attitude and approach may put the students off.

How to make the unmotivated or semi-motivated students speak? As a teacher and trainer, I too have faced the problem of passivity; my colleagues at different institutes in India and abroad have experienced it. We have discussed the issue and tried various strategies that have proved to be effective.

I’ve devised a formula called “MAP formula” to make all students in a class speak without inhibition. MAP is the acronym for Motivate, Activate and Participate.

1. Motivate

According to Encarta dictionary, the word ‘motivate’ means ‘to make somebody feel enthusiastic, interested and committed to something’. A good teacher is a person who can motivate his (her too) students. The following are some tips to motivate your students:

  • Before you motivate others you should motivate yourself. You should be enthusiastic. Exhibit your passion for training your students.
  • Be a role model to your students. If you want your students to speak well, you should be articulate. Inspire them.
  • Establish a rapport with your students. You should attract your students towards you. The more the students like you, the better they learn and participate in activities.
  • Be a friend but not a philosopher. That is, don’t sound abstract when you speak to them. Give concrete examples.
  • Always give a pat on the back. Use phrases such as “Well done. It is a good attempt.” “I liked your argument very much.” “It is a good point.” “You have been very creative.”
  • Always sound positive. Instill confidence in your students. Tell them that it is easy to develop their speaking skills and make them believe your words. Make them believe that they have the potential to express themselves clearly in the target language.
  • Use strategies that do not threaten them. It is very important to learn and practise a language in a non-threatening environment.

2. Activate
The word ‘activate’ here means to make someone active or to cause someone be productive. The statement “Ignite, fuel, sustain a fire in the mind of your student” that I came across in an article best summarizes the meaning of the word. You can activate your students in a number of ways:

  • Enthuse and energize your students.
  • Create a friendly and conducive environment for students to speak and discuss topics and issues. The layout of the classroom, for example, matters a lot.
  • Make your students feel comfortable discussing any topic. Some topics may not arouse their interest at all. Recently, I gave the following topics for group discussion:
    1. A Baby boy is a blessing and a baby girl is a curse.
    2. Money is more important than values.
    3. Smoking in public places should not be banned.
    4. Most engineering students in India lack critical thinking skills.
    5. Ragging promotes friendship and unity among freshers and senior students and so it should be encouraged.
    6. Caste system is a blessing in disguise and so it should be strengthened.
    7. Success in life comes from money.
    8. Collecting capitation fees is the right of self-financing colleges.
    9. Brain drain should be encouraged.
    10. Politics and corruption do not go together.

The controversial nature of the topics listed above made all students express their views. Even students with low level of proficiency came forward to speak.

  • Encourage free discussion. The objective is to make your students speak fluently. At a later stage, you can train them to be coherent, logical, etc.
  • Tolerate their grammatical errors and correct them later. Are your students adults? If they are treat them as adults.
  • Allow judicious use of certain words and expressions in the students’ native language when they struggle to find the equivalents in English.
  • Even if your students violate the rule of speaking English, do not get angry with them. Gently tell them not to use L1.
  • Give more pair work and group work. Most students are comfortable being part of a small group.
  • Add humour to your presentation and have fun with your students.
  • Make students sit face to face during group discussion. Direct eye contact helps students develop their communication skills.

3. Participate

The third principle is to ‘participate’. It means to take part in an event or activity. It implies that the teacher should come down to the level of students. It is possible only if he undergoes a paradigm shift and has a positive attitude towards his students and adopts a result-producing approach.

  • Mingle with your students and participate in activities such as group discussions and role play.
  • Empathize with learners who need your special attention.
  • Know your students’ strengths and weaknesses.

Students’ role

The MAP formula is not for the teacher alone. Students should also adopt the MAP formula for themselves. They should know how to motivate and activate themselves. After recharging themselves they should actively participate in tasks/activities that aim at promoting their communication skills.

David Martin in his book Talk a lot (2), published by EFL Press, Japan, says that he makes his students sign an agreement with him. Each student makes the following promises:

“I promise to try to speak as much as possible. I promise not to be afraid of making mistakes. I promise to use English to communicate. I promise to ask questions when I do not understand. I promise to try to have fun!”

domingo, 26 de septiembre de 2010


Two sharks

Two great white sharks, swimming in the ocean, spied survivors of a sunken ship.
> "Follow me, son." the father shark said to the son shark and they swam
> to the mass of people.
> "First we swim around them a few times with just the tip of our fins
> showing." And they did.
> "Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our
> fins showing." And they did.
> "Now we eat everybody." And they did.
> When they were both gorged, the son asked,
> "Dad, why didn't we just eat them all at first? Why did we swim
> around and around them?"
> His wise father replied, "Because they taste better without the shit inside!"

sábado, 25 de septiembre de 2010


Coaching Critical Thinking to Think Creatively!

Art history, the basics

How to learn English? by Kevin Mansfield


"Do you want to learn English well?" asked I.
"Yes, I do!" one answered me.
"How to learn this language well? Have you got the proper ideas?" pressed I.
"I don't know." answered he.

The conversation above is my creation, but I want to say that so many English learners who have been learning English for years don't have a relatively clear view about how to learn this language well.

Today a great number of people choose software to learn, always Rosetta Stone English is the first choice because of its great power and of the development of computer and Internet.

Rosetta Stone definitely can teach you a lot about English speaking, listening, and writing. But you should have your goals to learn this language as well even you have no it.

First, let's look at speaking. Everyday you should try your best to talk as much as you can with those who share the same interest or the major. Language is a very strange thing. If you leave it alone for one day, you will feel something uneasy when you pick it up another day. And you should say to yourself, "I must speak English for 30 minutes one day." Then try your best to finish it. Certainly you cannot always find native speakers, so you can speak to yourself or surf the Internet for good English speakers. Or you can find a English corner, where you may visit as frequently as you can.

Second, let's see listening. This part is also very important in your English practice and your final success. If you hope to understand others, you must listen. But to many guys, this part is very hard to pass. But why have some people got very good listening? That's easy. Because they keep a habit of listening to English for a certain time(30 minutes or so) each day without condition and excuse. Keep it and you will find wonders in your ears.

Third, let's move to reading. Reading plays a very important role in your English learning as well. It can train your vocabulary, grammar and comprehension. But you must have the patience and heart to read even each word in this process. English is not your mother tongue after all. In my point of view you had better list a schedule for yourself reading. Maybe you should read 20 pages or 30 pages or one good chapter for a day. You see, when you read, your understanding about this language grows. At the same time you should read all sorts of materials for the sake of promoting your view on the world.

Fourth, let's look at writing. If you want to write, you need to read a lot, then you have something to set down on the paper. writing can also improve your understanding about this language, even very subtly and carefully. Then your entire ability will be improved as well. Furthermore, when you write, you can feel something directly from your heart, like a streak of clean water running gently through your heart. I have tried many times.

So learning English is not that hard. But I should say you need to put your heart wholy into it and have perseverance. Then when you pick up Rosetta Stone English, you will find you can get a lot from it.

Kevin Mansfield

Teach Online: Oniine teaching job responsibilities

Teach Online: Oniine teaching job responsibilities: "Most schools require specific administrative tasks, unrelated to teaching, that add hours of work each week. Most schools require training..."


Autumn scenes - The Big Picture -

Autumn scenes - The Big Picture -

jueves, 23 de septiembre de 2010

ESL Irregular Verbs #1 (Listen & Repeat)

My dreams with digital classroom

I read this article in a blog from Saudi Arabia

I teach English language for High school students. My course book has many lessons which focusing on some drills relating to reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. But one of my lovely lessons which is about conversations .Actually, I read the conversation loudly .Then I start discuss the content of conversation.

This traditional method makes me sick. I wish I could change this to something unfamiliar and something unusual. I suggest that How much I would like that I could make connection with another classroom around the world their students are native speaker .We can use Skype messenger to connect with another classroom in for example “England “.

You ask me” How can we do that?”. I replied ” we can do that by making connection by Skype messenger .Before that we have to make preparation between you as a teacher of classroom and another teacher .You have to discuss which conversation you would like to discuss .Then when you agree .You can then explain you lesson as usual .Then when Practice time begins you open Skype messenger .Then make connection with a teacher in another classroom in England .Take a permission from him to start practicing .After that, choose one of your students to make conversation with another students in another classroom who are native speaker .That’s will be very interesting .Also that’s will encourage students to speak as I think.

Here in Saudi Arabia we follow single sex education .In Britain there are Single sex education you may make agreement with them .So don’t bother yourself .You will see just males .

What I explain is just dreams I hope I can see it once a day.

Tour guide: Words and Their Stories: Numbers Part Two

Tour guide: Words and Their Stories: Numbers Part Two: "  Source: Or download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)  Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR..."

martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

Peace Education and ELT | Marisa Constantinides - TEFL Matters

Peace Education and ELT | Marisa Constantinides - TEFL Matters

Trapped in a Chilean mine - The Big Picture -

Trapped in a Chilean mine - The Big Picture -

Mexico bicentennial: The more colorful aspects of Mexico's history -

Mexico bicentennial: The more colorful aspects of Mexico's history -

University Fees: the business of higher education

University Fees: the business of higher education

Massive Open Online Courses for Network Creation

martes, 7 de septiembre de 2010


Of all the cathedrals of France, Notre Dame de Paris is most firmly impressed on the minds of English speaking people. At least, it is more familiarly known by all who visit that delectable land, and perhaps rightly so. Poets have sung its praises, and writers of all ranks have used it in well-nigh every possible fashion as an accessory; indeed, books almost without number have been written about it, and around it. This is as it should be, for perhaps no great church is more worthy, or more prolific in material. For those who would probe deeply into its story, there is but one way to acquire an intimate knowledge thereof, - to undertake a course of reading and study in some such way as a lawyer sets about reading up on a great case. By no other method could be acquired a tithe of the commonly known facts regarding its past history; hence the impossibility of attempting to deal fully in a few pages with this great church, even in a perfunctory manner. The most that can be safely ventured upon, is to recount some of the facts.

How many have really noticed that none of the diagrams, which show the ground-plan of this cathedral, indicate the existence of any transepts? Take, for instance, that which accompanies this volume, which, it may be said, is drawn correctly, - beyond the omission of a couple of pillars on either side of the nave, there is nothing to break into the long parallelogram-like structure, with an apsidal termination. As a matter of fact, there are a pair of very beautiful transepts, as most photographs of the exterior, and drawings of the interior, show. They are, too, in no way attenuated, and are only lost in the ground-plan by reason of the fact that they follow the very unusual arrangement of not extending laterally beyond the ample width of the nave and its chapelled aisles. The south transept faqade, with the portal dedicated to St. Stephen, and two magnificent rose windows, is unquestionably more pleasing than the west faqade itself as to design and arrangement.

Begun in 1163 and consecrated in 1182, the church has undergone many vicissitudes, changes, and restorations. It has fared ill on many occasions; perhaps the greatest defilement being that which befell it during the Revolution, when it was not only foully desecrated, its statues and other imagery despoiled, but the edifice was actually doomed to destruction. This fortunately was spared to it, but in the same year (1793) it became a " Temple of Reason," one of those fanatical exploits of a set of madmen who are periodically let loose upon the world. Mysticism, palaverings, and orgies unspeakable took place between its walls, and it only became sanctified again when Napoleon caused it to be reopened as a place of divine worship. Again, threequarters of a century later, it fell into evil times -when it was turned into a military rendezvous by the Communards of 71. In turn, they too retreated, leaving the church, as they supposed, to the mercy of the flames which they had kindled. Fortunately these were extinguished and the building again rescued from an untoward fate.

The thirteenth-century facade is usually accredited the finest part of the church. It comes upon one as rather plain and bare after. the luxuriance of Amiens, Reims, or Rouen. As a model and design, however, it has served its purpose well, if other examples, variously distributed throughout England and France, are considered. Its lines, in fact, are superb and vary little in proportion or extent from what must perforce be accepted as ideal. Its portals are of good design, and so also is such sculpture as survived the ravages of the past, though the outlines of the doorways are severely plain. A series of modern sculptured effigies of the kings, replacing those destroyed at the Revolution, forms a plain horizontal band across the entire front; a none too graceful or pleasing arrangement of itself. A rose window forty-two feet in width occupies the centre of the next stage, flanked by two blunt pointed windows rather bare of glass. Above is an arcaded gallery of small pointed arches in pairs, also extending across the entire front. The balustrade, above, holds a number of grotesque creatures carved in stone. They may be gargoyles, but are not, however, in this case, of the spout variety, being some of those erections of a superstitious age which were so frequently added to a media?val building; though whether as a mere decoration, or with greater significance, authorities do not seem to agree. The two uncompleted square towers overtop all, pierced by the two great lancets, which, with respect to mere proportions, are unusual if not unique.

The spire above the crossing is a wooden structure covered with lead, and dates only from the middle of the nineteenth century. Both the north and south transepts contain magnificent rose windows of even larger dimensions than that of the west facade. The doorway of the south transept is ornamented with effective ironwork, but otherwise the exterior presents no remarkable features.

To the artist's eye the gem of the building is undoubtedly the fine grouping and ensemble of the flying buttresses at the rear of the choir. Most persons, so gifted, have tried their prentice, or their master, hands at depicting this grand marshalled array of " folded wings," and, but for the gruesome morgue at its foot, which ever intrudes into the view, one might almost say it is the most idyllic and most specious view of a great cathedral that it were possible to have. Were it not for this charming view of these buttressed walls, with the river flowing at their feet, the Isle de la Cite would be indeed a gloomy spot, with its lurid historical past, and its present gruesome association with the " house of the dead." Indeed, it has been questioned as to whether the choir and chevet of Notre Dame de Paris is not the most beautiful extant. The Isle de la Cite was the ancient island village of the Parisii.

A sixteenth-century Dutch writer (De Sauteuil) has delivered himself of these few lines concerning the Seine at this point:

" When first it enters the metropolis it ambitiously stays its rapid course, and, being truly enamoured with the place, forgets its way, is uncertain whither to flow, and winds in sweet meanders through the town; thence filling the pipes with its waters. That which was once a river, joys to become a fountain."

To carry the suggestion of contrast still farther on should read Hugo's " Notre Dame " on the spot. It will give a wonderful and whimsical conception of those weird gargoyles and devils, which have only to be seen to awaken a new interest in what this great writer has put forth. For another sensation, pleasant or otherwise, one might look up a copy of Meyron's wonderful etching of the same subject, or refer to a most excellent monograph, written not many years since, entitled " The Devils of Notre Dame." The interior shows the earliest example wherein the double aisles of the nave are continued around the choir, and the first introduction of the quadruple range of openings from the pavement to the vaulting. The aisles and nave are of almost equal height.

The choir, besides being merely apsided, is, in fact, a true semicircle, a sufficiently unusual arrangement in an early Gothic church to be remarked; and, in addition, is exceedingly narrow and lofty. The glass of the rose windows is of old and gorgeous quality, it having escaped destruction in Revolutionary times, whereas that of the lower range of windows was mostly destroyed.

The choir stalls are of excellent wooden carving, but the high altar is modern, dating only from 1874. The choir screen, of the fourteenth century, shows twenty-three reliefs in stone, once richly gilded, but now tarnished and dull.

The Use of Social Media in Higher Education for Marketing and Communications: A Guide for Professionals in Higher Education

The Use of Social Media in Higher Education for Marketing and Communications: A Guide for Professionals in Higher Education

lunes, 6 de septiembre de 2010

Facebook Marketing – Twitter Marketing – Everything About Social Media From Eloqua

Facebook Marketing – Twitter Marketing – Everything About Social Media From Eloqua

How to conduct research online legitimately and accuratel

By Susanne Sacchetti, Online Librarian at APUS

Reprinted with permission from APUS

When students pursue their post-secondary or graduate education online, they are faced with the task of also doing research online. This concept is a new challenge for many online students, and may be a bit intimidating. When a student gets a research assignment and wants to forgo driving to the library, what can they do online to get the same, if not more up-to-date, information? How should students begin the process? How should Web site information be cited? What Web sites are good for research? And what are the plagiarism angles for online research? Let’s figure this out step by step.

First, some background. The Web is a very complex environment that has two sides: the Open (visible) Web and the Deep (hidden or invisible) Web. We are all familiar with the Open Web, the normal and free area of the Web. This area is searchable by Google and inhabited by major repository collections and government documents – as well as an immense range of less-trustworthy resources.

The Open Web

The Open Web provides information, such as news and weather; ready reference, like almanacs and dictionaries to used-car price questions; new developments and emerging topics (technology, pop culture, etc); government documents and information services; digitized images of cultural treasures and historical documentation from leading repositories; and contact information for organizations, agencies, and special interest groups. Most of us are used to searching the Open Web for quick information, but not all information found on the Open Web is reliable. Students must be cautious of the information that they find and think twice before citing that information for research purposes. It is important that students carefully evaluate a page for accuracy, objectivity, and currency.

The Deep Web

The Deep Web is the larger and more controlled area of the web that includes the secondary research materials for scholarly context. More than 90% of the holdings on the Internet are on the Deep Web. For online students, the Deep Web provides crucial access to the secondary literature and scholarly citations that are vital for their academic pursuits–but it also demands special skills. This arena requires passwords or other forms of authentication to enter, often demands payment for viewing, and may not be accessed or spidered by Open Web search engines.

Searching the Open Web

There are a variety of search engines that can be used to search the Open Web. For students who are unfamiliar with search engines or who do not know which to use, here are list of some of the most common search engines:


Students can also take advantage of the Advanced Search option found within most search engines, including Yahoo and Google. The Advanced Search provides several options for limiting results, by language, date and even domain. You can limit search results to associations or organizations by only asking for sites ending in .org, or .edu to limit results to educational institutions, or .gov to limit results to government agencies.

If you are not sure which to use, the Websites below will help them make your selection:

* Internet Public Library’s Searching Tools
* Search Engine Watch’s Search Directory
* University of California, Berkeley’s Best Search Engines
* Yahoo’s Search Engine Directory

How do you look for credible information on the Web? Trying using some of these basic steps:

* Scholarly Networking – seeking out information from colleagues and long-acquired information. One of the simplest and most effective approaches for uncovering reliable information involves mining the scholarship of others.
* Web Portals/Directories – directory pages and portals are another specialized respite for the established researcher. Such resources are particularly good for well-defined issues and established topics of interest.
* Web Search Engines – search engines are increasingly vital for online research. You will learn, however, there are significant differences among the general search engines on the Open Web.
* Deep Web Search Engines – these search engines are often more complex to operate. They are likely to rely on controlled vocabularies and narrow indexed fields.


With the web’s vast supply of information, how do you properly cite information gathered from sources for research? You’ll have to create a web citation. Citations are used for:

* Direct Quotations: Any time that you quote someone, that person must be properly acknowledged. Words are typically set off between “quotation marks” for shorter excerpts and indented without quotation marks for larger slices.
* Paraphrasing: Less obvious, perhaps, is the need to cite sources if you paraphrase, or borrow ideas and facts to inform your study.

There are a variety of citation styles that can be used to cite online information. Among the most commonly used are APA style (The American Psychological Association), MLA style (The Modern Language Association), and Chicago/Turabian style. Students should always check with their professor to be sure that they are using the preferred citation style of the professor or academic program. Students new to citing online information may also purchase automated programs to help them format their citations; however there are also free conversion services on the Internet. Before using these, students should be sure the results meet your professor’s demands.

The Web is a complex and vast repository of information. When accessed thoughtfully, it can open up a world of opportunity – for research and beyond