Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily English Lesson


Golf is one of those rare games where a lower score is better. Each hole has a number called par, which is how many strokes it should take to complete. If it takes you fewer attempts than par, you’re more likely to beat your opponents.


Not only are Yani Tseng’s scores low, but her age is, too. At 22, she is the youngest man or woman to win five major golf championships. This Taiwanese superstar is currently ranked number 1 in the world, and with the LPGA tour about reach Asia, she was happy to meet with us to discuss her experience learning English and share some useful golf terms.

Click here to listen to the conversation and answer the quiz.

Good Luck and have fun!
Thank you Daily English

The Last of Heidi


Dear students and followers,



I can't resist sharing with you this fabulous Blog, written by someone who really knows how to say it.
Go here to enjoy a day in Savognin as experienced by "Heidi".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learn English


Elementary English podcast for you.
Follow this site daily and your English will improve for sure!
Brought to you by the British council.
So why not begin?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Matching Words




Have fun and improve your English by playing these matching games online.

Choose any of the games below and try to find the matching pairs. 'Game 1' is the easiest and 'Game 10' is the most difficult.


Begin here

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Advanced practice anyone?

Hi English Learner,

Why not go here and practice a bit more for the Cambridge Certificate Advanced?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Sing-along counting song


Numbers sing-along for my young learners.

Begin here

Thanks once again to OUP

Monday, August 15, 2011

City Guides-Travel Tips & Photos


An insider's guide to the essential city — where to sleep, eat and play.



Select A City

A note from your teacher


Ladies and Gentlemen!
Summer has been shorter than we had hoped, but needless to say,
it's time once again to begin English studies.
I don't know how you are feeling, but I can tell you-I am excited and ready for the challenge! I sincerely hope you are feeling this motivation as well.
See you next week!
Torrie

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Infinitive or -ing?


Sometimes we need to decide whether to use a verb in its:
•-ing form (doing, singing)

or

•infinitive form (to do, to sing).

For example, only one of the following sentences is correct. Which one?
•I dislike working late. (???)
•I dislike to work late. (???)


When to use the infinitive

The infinitive form is used after certain verbs:
- forget, help, learn, teach, train
- choose, expect, hope, need, offer, want, would like
- agree, encourage, pretend, promise
- allow, can/can't afford, decide, manage, mean, refuse

•I forgot to close the window.
•Mary needs to leave early.
•Why are they encouraged to learn English?
•We can't afford to take a long holiday.

The infinitive form is always used after adjectives, for example:
- disappointed, glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised

•I was happy to help them.
•She will be delighted to see you.

This includes too + adjective:
•The water was too cold to swim in.
•Is your coffee too hot to drink?

The infinitive form is used after adjective + enough:
•He was strong enough to lift it.
•She is rich enough to buy two.

When to use -ing

The -ing form is used when the word is the subject of a sentence or clause:
•Swimming is good exercise.
•Doctors say that smoking is bad for you.

The -ing form is used after a preposition:
•I look forward to meeting you.
•They left without saying "Goodbye."

The -ing form is used after certain verbs:
- avoid, dislike, enjoy, finish, give up, mind/not mind, practise

•I dislike getting up early.
•Would you mind opening the window?

Some verbs can be followed by the -ing form or the infinitive without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start. •It started to rain.

•It started raining.
•I like to play tennis.
•I like playing tennis.

PRACTICE TIME! Begin here

I like chicken! I like fish!

Sing-along at the Oxford global sing-along site.

Click here to begin

Friday, August 5, 2011

Building Vocabulary:


Using Context Clues to Learn Word Meaning

When authors write, they often include context clues to the meaning of words they use but think that some of their readers may not know. The context clue is usually presented in the sentence or paragraph in which the word occurs. Sometimes a visual such as a picture is provided.

Here are six types of context clues used by authors to help the reader understand the meanings of words. An example is provided for each.

1. Definition context clue
The author includes a definition to help the reader understand the meaning of a word. In the following example, "tainted" is defined as having a disease.

The people of the town were warned not to eat the tainted fish. The local newspaper published a bulletin in which readers were clearly told that eating fish that had a disease could be very dangerous. This was especially true for fish caught in Lake Jean.

2. Synonym context clue
The author includes a synonym to help the reader understand the meaning of a word. A synonym is a word that means the same as or nearly the same as another word. In the following example, the synonym "pity" helps the reader understand the meaning of "compassion."

After seeing the picture of the starving children, we all felt compassion or pity for their suffering.

3. Antonym context clue
The author includes an antonym to help the reader understand the meaning of a word. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. In the following example, the antonym "eager" helps the reader understand the meaning of "reluctant."

Joe was reluctant to take on the position of captain of the basketball team. He was afraid that the time it would take would hurt his grades. On the other hand, Billy was eager for the chance to be captain. He thought that being captain of the team would make him very popular in school.
4. Description context clue
The author includes one or more descriptions to help the reader understand the meaning of a word. In the following example, descriptions of President Kennedy as having charm, enthusiasm, and a magnetic personality help the reader understand the meaning of "charismatic."

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our 35th president, improved human rights and equal rights for all people. He was a very charismatic president. People were attracted to his charm and enthusiasm. His personality was described as magnetic.
5. Summary context clue
The author makes a number of statements that help the reader understand the meaning of a word. In the following example, statements about being rude, showing no respect, having poor manners, and being impolite help the reader understand the meaning of "impertinent."

Andrea was a very impertinent young lady. She was so rude that she talked while her teacher was explaining a lesson. She showed no respect for other students. Her manners were very poor. Even her parents thought that Andrea was impolite.


6. Visual context clue
The author includes a picture, drawing, chart, graph, or other type of visual to help the reader understand the meaning of a word. In the following example, the picture and its caption that is close to the sentence helps the reader understand that "exultant" means great joy.

Peggy had an exultant look on her face.
Using the context clues provided by authors can help you learn the meaning of many new words.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memory


Have you ever left your desk to get some paper and come back with a dictionary, only to have to go back a second time and get the paper?

The good news, however, is that everyone can take steps to improve their memory, and with time and practice most people can gain the ability to memorize seemingly impossible amounts of information, which includes by the way your English skills.

These tips really got me excited. I am going to start using them today.

If I don't forget.

1
Exercise your brain. Regularly "exercising" the brain keeps it growing and spurs the development of new nerve connections that can help improve memory. By developing new mental skills -- especially complex ones such as learning a new language or learning to play a new musical instrument -- challenge your brain with puzzles and games, you can keep your brain active and improve its physiological functioning. Try some fun puzzle exercises everyday such as crosswords, Sudoku, and other games which are easy enough to for anyone.

2
Exercise daily. Regular aerobic exercise improves circulation and efficiency throughout the body -- including the brain -- and can help ward off the memory loss that comes with aging. Exercise also makes you more alert and relaxed, and can thereby improve your memory uptake, allowing you to take better mental "pictures".

3
Reduce stress. Chronic stress does in fact physically damage the brain, it can make remembering much more difficult. After prolonged stress, the brain will start to become affected and deteriorate. Stressful situations are recognized by the hypothalamus, which in turn signals the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then secretes adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) which influences the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and later, cortisol (corticosteroids). The corticosteroids can weaken the blood-brain barrier and damage the hippocampus (the memory center). Ironically, the hippocampus controls the secretion of the hormone released by the hypothalamus through a process of negative feedback. After chronic stress, it will begin to deteriorate and will not be as efficient in regulating the degenerative corticosteroids, impairing memory. Neurogenesis (formation of new neurons) indeed exists in the hippocampus, but stress inhibits it.

Realistically speaking, stress may never be completely eliminated from one's life, but it definitely can be controlled. Even temporary stresses can make it more difficult to effectively focus on concepts and observe things. Try to relax, regularly practice yoga or other stretching exercises, and see a doctor if you have severe chronic stress as soon as possible.

4
Eat well and eat right. There are a lot of herbal supplements on the market that claim to improve memory, but none have yet been shown to be effective in clinical tests (although small studies have shown some promising results for ginkgo biloba and phosphatidylserine). A healthy diet, however, contributes to a healthy brain, and foods containing antioxidants -- broccoli, blueberries, spinach, and berries, for example -- and Omega-3 fatty acids appear to promote healthy brain functioning. Feed your brain with such supplements as Thiamine, Niacin and Vitamin B-6.

Grazing, or eating 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals, also seems to improve mental functioning (including memory) by limiting dips in blood sugar, which may negatively affect the brain. Make sure it's healthy stuff.

5
Take better pictures. Often we forget things not because our memory is bad, but rather because our observational skills need work. One common situation where this occurs (and which almost everyone can relate to) is meeting new people. Often we don’t really learn people’s names at first because we aren’t really concentrating on remembering them. You’ll find that if you make a conscious effort to remember such things, you’ll do much better. One way to train yourself to be more observant is to look at an unfamiliar photograph for a few seconds and then turn the photograph over and describe or write down as many details as you can about the photograph. Try closing your eyes and picturing the photo in your mind. Use a new photograph each time you try this exercise, and with regular practice you will find you’re able to remember more details with even shorter glimpses of the photos.

6
Give yourself time to form a memory. Memories are very fragile in the short-term, and distractions can make you quickly forget something as simple as a phone number. The key to avoid losing memories before you can even form them is to be able to focus on the thing to be remembered for a while without thinking about other things, so when you’re trying to remember something, avoid distractions and complicated tasks for a few minutes.

7
Sleep well. The amount of sleep we get affects the brain's ability to recall recently learned information. Getting a good night's sleep -- a minimum of seven hours a night -- may improve your short-term memory and long-term relational memory, according to recent studies conducted at the Harvard Medical School.

8
Build your memorization arsenal. Memory pegs, memory palaces, and the Dominic System are just some techniques which form the foundation for mnemonic techniques, and which can visibly improve your memory. Memory pegs involve visualization methods in which you make use of various familiar landmarks, associating the to be learnt information to these various popular landmarks. This helps to trigger and enhance the memory process.

9
Venture out and learn from your mistakes. Go ahead and take a stab at memorizing the first one hundred digits of pi, or, if you've done that already, the first one thousand. Memorize the monarchs of England through your memory palaces, or your grocery list through visualization. Through diligent effort you will eventually master the art of memorization.

taken from http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Memory