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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

How to Improve Your English Level

5) Make English your hobby and have fun! 
Study at least two or three hours per week.
Learn English through other activities: 
Reading – there are graded books in English for your level. Internet – begin with the activities on this website and on the links page.Songs in English - take your favorite songs, download the lyrics (the words) from Google and sing them again and again until your neighbors scream: “STOP!!”. DVDs – many films are also in English with subtitles in your language.Magazines – there are specialized magazines for English students. Travel – travel motivates you to improve your level because you need English for everything.
4) Be constant! 
Don’t stop for long periods of time such as in the summer and don’t do too much! It is also important to study at least 3 hours every week. To progress very well, you should study at least 5 hours per week.
3) Be as disciplined and organized as possible with your classes! 
Free conversation is necessary and so is more controlled speaking (in practice activities in class). However, it is better to balance conversation with other activities in your classes or outside of your classes. In a "one-to-one" class, you should do all of the homework, reading and vocabulary studying outside of your class and then comment on the homework in the class. It is very important for you to do the homework that your teacher assigns you and it is very important for you to be punctual to your classes.
2) Get a teacher or attend a class! 
It’s easier to be constant, disciplined and organized if you have a teacher. It’s more difficult to study English alone. Also, it is more difficult to learn how to “speak” English if you don’t have an English teacher to speak with.
1) It is your responsibility to reach (to get) your objectives! 
Learning English is your responsibility and not the responsibility of your teacher. You must have initiative in your classes! The teacher cannot learn or study English for you. For example, you often have to study and learn vocabulary alone.
With point number one, you will develop all of the other points. If you apply these five points with long-term motivation, you will learn English or any language. Put simply: if you spend more time studying, you will learn more. If you are very interested, you will continue studying.

Taking Control of the English Language

by Steven David Bloomberg
How can I speak English better? How can I communicate better in English? How can I express myself better in English? How can I listen to and understand English better? How can I improve?
You speak English at an advanced level. You speak it fluently and you use it every day, yet you aren’t satisfied with your ability. You feel like you can’t express yourself the way you want to. When you can’t say what you want to say or need to say in the manner that you would like to, it might not leave you with the best feeling you could possibly have. There is only one thing to do about it. You must take control of the English language. What does taking control of the English language mean? It does not mean taking control of the entire language. It means taking control of the English language that is yours; the English language that you have. It means using the English that you already have to get more. It means taking responsibility for your own learning.
You might tell yourself that you want to have private instruction with an English language tutor. That’s a good idea. However, there is something you should know and be well aware of. What happens during the time that you meet with an English language tutor is very important, but what happens during the time between your meetings with an English language tutor is even more important. The proactive steps that you take in order to improve have a direct effect on what it is you get out of the time and money that you spend with an English language tutor. In order to receive the maximum benefit possible for the money you spend on a tutor, you must dedicate a sufficient amount of time to studying between each lesson. Of course, the amount of time that anyone is able to dedicate to studying will vary, but nevertheless, it must be done. Furthermore, there are a number of things you should do leading up to the time that you decide to pick up the phone and make that call. So you ask, what is it that I need to do? What can I do on my own?
You need to increase your vocabulary. You need to build your lexicon. You need to learn more idiomatic expressions. Does this mean studying vocabulary lists? No. Does that mean buying books that list idiomatic expressions in English and their meanings? That may or may not be helpful. Does it mean going to the Internet and studying idiomatic expressions that are listed at websites? Perhaps, but that wouldn’t be all. Does it mean learning the word of the day that is given by online dictionaries? No! You need to build a personal lexicon. You need to maintain a lexical notebook. You need to learn words and expressions that are interesting to you and will be useful to you. You need to learn words and expressions that are part of your environment. Where can you find these words and expressions? You can find them by listening to the radio, by listening to those that you speak with on a daily basis, and by even listening to those that you don’t speak with. You don’t have to converse with someone in order to listen to someone. Of course, you can find new words and expressions by choosing challenging reading material that is interesting to you: newspaper and magazine articles, books, short stories. In order to start building your new lexicon, I suggest starting by finding something to read.
Now that you have chosen something interesting to read, here is what you need to do. You need to write down the words and expressions that you don’t understand. Take note of the page number and paragraph that the words or expressions are on as you read. After you are done reading, go back to the words and expressions that you didn’t understand and write them in your lexical notebook. Leave space to write an explanation or a definition. From the context, see if you can figure out what the words or expressions mean. After you have done this, go to a dictionary. For idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs that you are unfamiliar with, I strongly recommend taking advantage of Cambridge Dictionaries Online. It is important that you practice these new words and expressions by writing your own sentences. This is helpful in incorporating them into your daily conversations and speaking habits. Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you have to read a lot. Read what is good for you. If you come across too many words and expressions that you don’t recognize, it might be a good idea to find some less challenging reading material. What you read should be challenging, but it should not be so challenging that it might be discouraging.
Listen to the news on the radio. Listen to talk shows. Generally speaking, radio announcers that report the news speak clearly, use good vocabulary, and also use idiomatic expressions. If you have a computer, you can listen to news reports from National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation (NPR and the BBC). You can usually find a RealPlayer link to listen to news stories from both of these resources. However, listening to the radio will suffice as well. If you can, it would be a good idea to record a ten to fifteen minute segment of a news show or any broadcast that might interest you. Take note of any words or expressions that sound unfamiliar to you. Write them down in your lexical notebook. If you were able to record what you listened to, listen to it again to see if you can figure out what the new words and expressions mean through the context that they are used in. If you are unable to figure out what something means, then by all means go to a dictionary. Once again, I suggest using Cambridge Dictionaries Online for a comprehensive overview of any single word. Cambridge Dictionaries Online is a very good resource in that it demonstrates how words are used in idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs. Cambridge Dictionaries also point out any important secondary definitions that a word might have.
Pay attention to what you hear wherever you go. If you are on a bus or a train, listen to what people say and how they say it. If you are in a supermarket, a shopping mall or any other public place where you can hear others speak, open your ears and try to listen. Take note of what you hear. Jot it down in a small pocket size notebook. Later, you can add it to your lexical notebook. If you pay attention, you are eventually bound to hear at least one word or one expression that is new to you. When you hear it, write it down. Find out what it means later. Learn it. Use it.
When learning new words and expressions, it is important to take note of whether these words and expressions are used in an informal context or a formal context. Many words and expressions are used both formally and informally. If you aren’t sure of exactly how to use a new word or expression, you can try them out with work colleagues and friends. Find people to converse with. They may not be instructive in any way, but you can try out new ways to express yourself. You should also listen as closely as possible when you converse. Listen for anything that sounds different, new, or unfamiliar. If the circumstance permits, don’t be afraid to take out your pocket notebook and write it down. If you say something that isn't quite right, the person you are speaking with might take note of it and let you know. If you aren’t sure of something you said or would like to say, then ask about it. If you hear something and you don’t know what it means, ask about that as well. Some, or even many people, may not view themselves as “teachers” per se, but most native speakers of English should be able to assist you in this manner. I believe most people would be glad to help. It is of the utmost importance to not be afraid to ask questions. That’s part of taking control of the English language. That’s part of making the English language your language. English is not your first language, but there is no reason why it cannot be your language. Get a notebook. Get something to read. Find something to listen to on the radio. Take control of the English language now.
An English Language Article by David Bloomberg Copyrighted 2003 Steven
If you've gone to some sites on the internet that have audio links and could not connect, it could be because you need this version of RealPlayer. It is RealOne player. I found it to be the case with me. I now have access to some audio links that I did not have before.
Listening On the Internet 

You can use the online dictionary in order to hear how a word is pronounced.

Basics For Improving English Writing

By Deborah Brooks
Good writing starts with good ideas. If you write about things that you care about, you will write better. If you write about things that you don’t care about, you’ll be bored and your paper is likely to have few strong ideas. Even if you are writing from a prompt, a given topic, you can find some part of the topic that is interesting or important to you.
Once you have a good idea, the next step is organization. Think through your paper before you start. Write an outline. You need to know what your main points are before you can write a good introductory paragraph. Use 2-4 main points, one paragraph each. Make sure they fit together and all relate to your topic. In the introduction, you can explain how they all relate and why they are important.
Steps to Good Writing
1. Good idea
2. Good organization
3. Clear examples
4. Review Structure
5. Review Grammar
In your central paragraphs, be concise and specific. Give examples with details, not just general ideas. If you can say the same thing with fewer words, do it! Many writers think that using lots of big words and starting every sentence with a complicated clause makes their writing seem better. Actually, it often just makes it harder to read.
When you finish writing, look at your outline again. Did you really follow it or did it change as you wrote? Many times you find different ideas as you write. Look at your central paragraphs. What are their main ideas now? Are these ideas in the Introduction? I often rewrite the introduction to fit the paper after I finish writing.
About Deborah Brooks
Picture of Deborah TaylorDeborah teaches English writing by Internet. She has been teaching ESL writing in Oakland, California for over 10 years. She is now teaching on the Internet so that she can work with students from all over the world by Email.
If you become her student, you write a short composition and send it by email. The teacher corrects your writing with many comments and sends it back to you with grammar or structure lessons as needed. You rewrite the paper and do the exercises. Your next assignment will be designed to address your individual writing problems. Each assignment is personalized to meet your needs. Many comments and corrections with long explanations will help you to improve your writing very quickly!
Students can be high beginning to very advanced. Writing can be academic, personal or for business. Send her an email to see if she can help you!
To learn more about Deborah's writing class, go to

So You Want to Speak Great English?

Suggestions for Making It Happen

By Sheri Summers
Attending classes is only part of your English education. To become proficient in English you have to take responsibility andbe active in acquiring it. You have to live and breathe English. How well you succeed is really up to you. Here are some suggestions for making English your own.
Think of English as more like an art than a science- Many people study English as if it were a math or science. They often feel they are trying to solve a problem. Yes, you can study rules, but there are often more exceptions to the rules than there are rules. This doesn't mean you should study them, but language is living. It breathes, it moves, it grows, it changes. You have to learn to live it, to feel it in your soul. You have to make it your own. It has to become a part of you. It has to feel natural.
Don't hold on to your dictionary so tightly- Your top priority in learning English should be to think in English. Our brains slow down when we are constantly translating English to and from our language. The first thing you should do is stop translating new words you hear directly into your native language. Most people immediately go to their electronic dictionaries when they come across something new. Don't do it! Try this instead:
  1. Try to understand the new word or phrase from context. The words and ideas around them should help you make a good guess. If you still don't understand...
  2. Ask someone to explain what it means in English. If you still don't understand...
  3. Consult an English-English dictionary*. If you still don't understand...
  4. Consult a dictionary in your own language.
* I recommend using a paper English-English dictionary. Many teachers have noticed that their students remember words much longer when they are forced to search for them in the dictionary. Also, dictionaries in book form generally give more detailed examples than electronic dictionaries.
Keep a list of new words and phrases in your own notes- Make your own vocabulary lists and review them often. Write sentences to help you remember what they mean. Use these new words and phrases in conversations and writings whenever you have a chance. The more you use the words, the more they become your own.
Surround yourself in English- Listen to radio in English; watch TV and movies in English; read newspapers, magazines, books, and the internet in English; join a class, club, or any gathering that is conducted in English. The important thing is that you are around English as much as possible. When you spend time living a language, it comes to you more naturally like it does for a child.

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10 Signs You're Probably Reading This Article Right Now

Reading articles is something people do on the Internet. In fact, you're probably reading this article right now. But how can you be certain that you're reading this article right now? If you're not entirely sure you're reading this article right now, check out these signs:
1. You're pretty sure you're reading this article right now.
Being pretty sure you're reading this article right now is a good sign that you may actually be reading this article right now.
2. You're very sure you're reading this article right now.
Being very sure you're reading this article right now is a good sign that you may actually be reading this article right now.
3. You see these words right now.
This is also a strong sign.
4. The last word you read was was
Again, very strong sign.
5. And now it's it's
Yup. That's a big sign right there.
6. You're still pretty sure you're reading this article right now
Another strong sign.
7. You're still very sure you're reading this article right now
Oh yes. Big sign.
8. When you ask another person in the room with you if you are reading this article right now and they respond, "yes"
They're probably not lyin'
9. You remember clicking the link to this article
Not only a big sign, but a great life memory to have.
10. You are reading this article right now.
A great sign that you're probably reading this article right now.
So, are you reading this article right now? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

9 Ways to Actually "Kill Them With Kindness"


Giving money is a kind gesture. Give them so much money at one time they will be crushed by the sheer weight of the money. 908,000 one dollar bills weighs 2,000 lbs, so you should be able to give a person 908,000 one dollar bills at one time and they will be safely and securely crushed to death. And then you can just take your money back right after the crushing, so this option presents no financial loss.

Compliments are kind. Compliment them so much they get an inflated sense of self and think they can do anything. If you tell someone, "Hey man, you could really fly that jet, no problem. You're an ace!" enough it will seep in and they will believe it. But they will not be able to fly the jet and they will die, though they will do so confidently and happily.

Muscle atrophy. By opening all doors for someone every time they go through a door, the person will just waste away. Their muscle mass will decline to the point where they have none, and they will die. But the will die happily knowing their good friend consistently opened the door for them, always.

Cheeseburgers. Everyone loves 'em and no one can resist 'em. That is 100% unequivocally true. Feed them cheeseburgers until they have such high cholesterol and blood pressure they have a heart attack and die. But they will also be thinking, "Man, I love these free cheeseburgers."

People love small animals, even people who are allergic, and giving a puppy or kitten is the image of kindness. Get someone who is intensely allergic to puppies ten puppies and they will die. Then you get to keep the puppies, which is being kind to yourself.  

It is a very kind and caring thing to send a person a card or a package. Just keep sending cards and packages until the person gets tons of paper-cuts and the packages fill up their entire apartment. They will bleed and be squished and die. But they will do so surrounded by physical evidence that someone is thinking about them. Which is nice.

The average American watches six hours of television a day. If you give them a big ass TV they will increase that viewing time so much so that they will be unable to do anything else, and they will starve and die. But they will do so watching their favorite shows, which will be fun.

This one is pretty easy. Send the person on a vacation to either a dangerous place or to do a dangerous activity, or both. If you send someone spider hunting in the deep Australian outback there is a good chance they will die. And what is more kind than sending a person on vacation? Nothing.

Just do it! You read this whole article and clearly want to kill someone, so just do it! Push them into a canyon and they will die.



Why I Have an American Man Crush on Canada

It's all the little things, like warm Molson Ice and free healthcare that lend the charm.

American and Canadian puzzle pieces fit together
Distressingly, some Americans, as well as employees of Buzzfeed (a "feed"), have just as much difficulty identifying the U.S.'s "51st state" (that is, Canada) as they have identifying their own country, the name of which I'm blanking on. Is this surprising, given the percentage of whatever-country-we're-living-in's citizens who can't even find their own friggin' country on a map? Let's not forget this "study" only included Buzzfeed employees, when it's known that said employees are barely literate and probably can't even spell "mapes" without help from Spellchock. Oh crape.
In Canada, the government doesn't require that people buy for-profit things like health insurance, and instead provides free health coverage to all citizens, therefore making it communist. This, of course, means that any American whocould identify Canada is probably al-Qaeda. Also, Canadians have managed to not be "U.S. fat," despite access to Tim Horton's, happy meals, maple syrup, and cold, refreshing beer out of their kitchen tap, as required by law. That place is sweet.
Woman from the Canadian hockey team
I have to say, as a U.S. citizen, I have been told I'm more Canadian than most Canadians. That's because I have a crush, basically, on Canada as a whole. I mean, just the hockey, you can stop there. I honeymooned in Toronto in April—not even one of the warm months. The Hockey Hall of Fame is Mecca for me...the Hall of Trophies is basically a cathedral. I love the city, the transportation...everything. Oh! I've seen hockey games in both Maple Leaf Gardens and the Montreal Forum—less hockey arenas and more, well...temples. I've spent lots of time in Montreal and for people who say Le Habitants are not helpful or polite, may I give this wisdom: don't be a dick and you won't be treated like one. In other words, they're as nice as anyone you'd encounter. My grandparents lived in Three Hills, I have to even tell you it's a pretty rural place? The name smacks of rural. And I spent awesome summers up there. I got Canadian cred coming out my hockey puck. So it dismays me that even the most high-school edumacated of American youths don't even know about our northern neighbor.
For all the U.S. high school graduates (which is all public high school graduates) who don't know that "America" features more than one country, may I present, Canada. Canada (the world's second biggest country) has three cities: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal; and two official languages: French, and what Canadians call "Maple Leafs English." For instance, the phrase "Go Leafs, eh" simultaneously means both "Where is the bathroom?" and "I need a beer." The U.S.—once again firmly showing its fallen place from the "Gold" group to the "Brown" group, the group whose members cannot have sharp scissors or pencils—has no official language at all. We don't even want to admit we speak English, as it might offend present and future residents who don't have documentation, which is illegal.
Canada's main exports are wind, geese who shit constantly but only on golf courses, and overly-polite white people. Canada's main imports are American tourists looking to gamble (either in casinos or via the Canadian Pharmacy) or buy Cuban cigars that they can stick up their butts and smuggle across the border or visit the "Canadian Ballet", which features metal poles. And "dancers." Sure they are. If you're an American and you want free healthcare, you could do worse than try to get through the Canadian border, illegally (I'm sorry, I mean...sansdocumentation), and try to get asylum. The way to do that is to make your way straight to Toronto and to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is their Capital building and embassy. There, you will be served warm, Tim Horton's doughnuts and Molson Ice, as is the tradition. You will learn about The Maple Leafs, The Great One and the Queen, and, finally, you will be declared a citizen of Canada, upon which you'll get your tattoo of a friggin' leaf.
Canada is not perfect; it does have its own issues, the primary one being that not enough famous people have lived in Canada to grace all its currency, requiring certain coins to feature ducks. Seriously, all Canadian currency features either the English Monarchy, Canadian wildlife, or both. I'm thinking if I'm a Prime Minister in Canada, I'm getting kind of pissed. I mean, a PM is like a President, isn't it? I'm not sure; I didn't have time to get to the Capital building in Toronto. At the very least, you could put Wayne Gretzky on the C-note (or its metric equivalent), given he's Canada's King.
Of course, Canada's football is hockey, a sport that will never fully make it in the U.S. because you can have gameplay for five to six minutes straight, and that doesn't work with our Xbox-ADD-PS3 generation. This clearly exceeds the attentional resources of most U.S. citizens and deprives them of natural breaks wherein they can get more beer. I'm not sure why—the Canadians seem to drink enough. Contrast this with baseball, where the entire game is one ginormous beer break.
The only problem with hockey is that a Canadian sport is being run by an American who happens to also be a lawyer, meaning that the stoopid© runs strong through the blood. In case you're reading this article hundreds of years from now, perhaps as required reading in the finest of graduate schools, but also Yale, know that this person is named Gary Bettman. I'd like to personally thank Gary for his contributions to hockey, preferably while he's sleeping. We call him "Buttman" in what I am sure is comedy gold in a land of wood and tundra. There's a lot of tundra in Canada, have you noticed that? Like the Yukon Territories, which is a real place and not a Looney Tunes character. All tundra, bereft of non-tundra features. Seriously, you gotta come see the tundra.
One of the more fascinating things about Canada is its unhealthy obsession with that helicopter parent, the Queen of England. It's always "Save the Queen" this or "Bless the Queen" that. This is all despite an entire ocean between them and England. In fact, one of Canada's most expansive parking lots—stretching from Toronto to Vancouver—is actually named the "Queen Elizabeth Way." As many ways as the U.S. could improve, at least we're not pining for the Queen. In the capital, Toronto, there is the National Hockey League Hall of Fame. Every Canadian must make the once-in-a-lifetime trek to the HHoF, or when they die their souls will have nothing to drink but Bud Light and no hockey to watch but the Colorado Avalanche. Basically, I'm describing Canadian purgatory.
Because of my love of hockey and all things Canadian (except their bacon, which is just ham), I made a trek through the three Canadian cities, starting in Vancouver and ending in Canada's capital city, Toronto. There, I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame "slash" Capital Building "slash" embassy, where I actually kissed the Stanley Cup and therefore became a Canadian citizen. Quickly realizing what I just did, I entered myself into Canada's healthcare system for a pre-emptive dose of penicillin. Who knows, I may have kissed the MRSA Cup for all I knew. One of the more interesting features in the HHoF is a full-scale replica of the Montreal Canadiens' dressing room. You can actually look at the exact spot where Patrick Roy let the Detroit Red Wings bury themselves inextricably inside his head, forever and ever. It's glorious. Now I realize I'm evil incarnate for liking the Detroit Red Wings but this is just between me and you.
Canada is a good place to learn things about yourself. One thing I learned about myself is that I cannot speak, nor infer, French. I learned this while in Montreal, trying to park on a side street. I parked right underneath a sign that apparently did have something to do with parking, I could tell that much. After staring at it hard for about 10 minutes, I satisfied myself that I was totally legal, and walked away. I returned to find out that I didn't know French at all, evidenced by the parking ticket on my windshield. At that point I realized how daft and/or ballsy I must have looked. Anybody watching me from their window would simply see someone park right underneath a "No Parking" sign, stare at said sign for 10 minutes, shake his head "yes" as if there were an audience, and walk away. The police must have thought I had a pair of 10 kilogram brass balls, parking almost purposefully right underneath what essentially was a "No Parking" sign. Maybe they thought I was in the Brown group. And yet given access to a car...sheesh.
From that experience I found another thing I really like about Canada: its honesty. By this, I mean that to pay my parking ticket, I didn't have to go to a courthouse or police station, I just had to go to the bank! Any bank! The message here is that parking and other tickets are strictly about revenue. In the U.S., they try and convince you that it's about "safety." To me, the safest kind of car is a parked car. In Canada, it's much more like, "Haha, you can't speak French, now give us some money." I have to respect that.
The last thing to note about Canada is its alarming lack of violence. As an ex-Chicagoan, it is very difficult to get to sleep without the sound of background gunfire, which Chicagoans call "ambient noise." The reason, of course, for Canada's lack of crime is their 13-month winter. The populace isn't peaceful, it's freakin' cold. It's just better to stay inside and watch the Leafs, eh. This weather-related suppression of violence is the reason hockey has fighting; it's the need to live vicariously. Americans don't have this issue, which is why the MLB, NBA and NFLsay they have fighting, but instead have sissy-slap-fests (SSFs). There is nothing more ridiculous and effete as watching a professional baseball player try to "fight" an opponent. It makes you feel like buying a purse, or maybe some heels. In contrast, hockey fights demand a fresh beer and maybe a couple of donuts, eh. And get me some wings, woman!