Monthly Archives: April 2012

Spoken English Classes for Kids

Alberta Rose Education Centre is offering a Spoken English Class for Kids.  If you child is between the ages of 11 and 16, this course is for them.  This course is offered for the month of July 2012.  This is a good way to keep your kids busy during the summer months.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity as the course will be taught by a native English speaker who is an English teacher, writer and editor.

Hurry fast as pre-enrolment is required.  Class sizes will be kept small to ensure that your child receives individual attention.

Contact Alberta Rose Education Centre at 35743158 or 03444543919 for more details.

Summer Writing Course for Kids

Alberta Rose Education Centre is offering a Summer Writing Class for Kids.  If you child is between the ages of 11 and 16, this course is for them.  This course is offered for the month of July 2012.  This is a good way to keep your children busy during the summer months.

You don’t want to miss this opportunity as the course will be taught by a native English speaker who is an English teacher, writer and editor.

Hurry fast as pre-enrolment is required.  Class sizes will be kept small to ensure that your child receives individual attention.

Contact Alberta Rose Education Centre at 35743158 or 03444543919 for more details.

Friday is Games Day

It’s the end of the school week, and if you are lucky, the end of the work week.  So it’s time for a game.  Try this brain stimulating game to increase your brain power.  I played this game and it is good game of strategy.  So give it a try, you will like it.

http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/colorlines/

Five Commonly Misused Words

When conveying a message it is important to use the correct vocabulary words.  If you do not use the correct word from the English language’s large selection of vocabulary, then you have given the wrong message.  It is very important to convey the right message at anytime, but especially so if you have a vast readership.  If you are posting to the web, then your audience is uncountable.

Some of the most commonly misused words that I have come across while editing papers are:  plethora, repute, reputed, sack and wing.

I frequently read the phrase ‘a plethora of services’.  What the writer is referring to is the large number of services and packages available to the prospective client.  Plethora does mean lots of, or abundance, that is true; but it carries with it the meaning of overabundance, excess, glut and surplus (these are some of its synonyms).  This subtle change in meaning from abundance to surplus makes it an inappropriate word to use.  In the English language we have some better words to use which mean in our collection, or inventory, our available list of services, packages, etc.  These words are repertoire, collection, selection, gamut, range or inventory.  Some of these words would be better suited to a ‘full selection of services’.  Additionally, plethora is a seldom used word and your audience may not even know what it means; so leave it alone.

Repute or reputed are another two words that are misused.  I often read ‘a reputed company’.  My response is, “What is its repute, good or bad?”  The English word, ‘repute’, is a noun that means reputation.  One can have a good or a bad reputation.  The English word ‘reputed’ is an adjective that means ‘generally considered or reckoned’.  So, to put this in context, “A sloth is reputed to be lazy, but an ant is reputed to be industrious.”  I don’t believe that you want to use the term ‘a reputed company’.  What you do want to write is reputable, which is an English word that means a good reputation.

Another word that I often come across is ‘sack’.  It is not that the writers don’t know what the English word sack means, they do.  But what they are doing is using it in a tacky way.  I read phrases like ‘in your sack’ which seems to be used to express the idea that the services rendered to the client is added value to the client.  Using sack in this sense is not professional; it’s tacky, cheesy, just bad taste.  What you might want to try is some expression such as added value, certain, a sure thing, benefits to the client, etc and etc, but not a sack.  You are not writing about a sack full of grain, rice or flour.  The only time you might want to write sack in your content articles is when you are doing a website or promotion for an agriculture related industry, such as a flour mill or a grain elevator.

The fifth one I want to address in this article is the English word ‘wings’.  I read phrases like, ‘give wings to businesses.  In the English language, as in any other language, even though the meaning might be static, it is not always appropriate to use the word in every situation.  If you are writing for a professional, technical online company, then you don’t want to use the word wing.  Again, it’s cheesy, not professional.  Rather write phrases or words such as:  your business’s growth will soar to unprecedented heights, escalate, increase rapidly, rocket, spiral, shoot-up, mushroom, climb to the zenith; shoot to the sky, etc.

Whether it’s spoken English or the written word, make good use of your dictionaries and thesauruses.  Even Word has a decent thesaurus.  If you use the English words appropriately; your career will soar skyward.

If you still don’t know if the word is appropriate or not, write a comment on this blog and you will be sure to get an answer to your questions.

An Ant Attitude

Ants are amazing creatures.  If insects have attitudes then ants have the right attitude.  We have much we can learn from them.

Ants are persistent.  They never give up.  For example if you put an obstacle in the path of ants, they will find a way to overcome the obstacle.  They will try to go around, under, over top, whatever it takes to overcome the obstacle put in their path.  They don’t say “Woe is me.”  Rather they get to work and persistently tackle the problem.  Ants have a good attitude.

Ants plan for the future.  A famous man, full of wisdom once said, “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.”  They know that summer doesn’t last forever, so they are busy in the summer storing up their winter supply of provisions.  They don’t know the word procrastination.  Take time to watch a colony of ants and you will see that they are busy little creatures.  They are never idle.  They plan their future and work hard to obtain their goal.  They have the right attitude.

So next time we need a little wisdom on how to conduct our lives, let’s slow down long enough to watch the ants, learn from ants and then apply it to our lives.  They don’t have an ‘attitude problem’ like us humans.

Perhaps we should put on an ant’s attitude in our lives.

You can learn more about ants at:

http://www.earthlife.net/insects/ants.html

Intermediate Level Spoken English Class in Lahore

Register now for our upcoming Intermediate Spoken English class.  The start date is May 2012 so don’t miss it.  Free placement assessments are given to each incoming student to assure they are placed in the right class.  This is an evening class.

Contact Busisense English now for details and registration.  Click on the Contact Information link to see contact details.

Beginners’ Spoken English Class

Do you want to speak English so others can understand you?  Are you a beginner with the English language?  Then this is the course for you.  Register now for our upcoming Beginner’s Spoken English Class.

The start date is May 2012 so don’t miss it.  Free placement assessments are given to each incoming student to assure they are placed in the right class.  This is an evening class.

Contact Busisense English now for details and registration.  Check out our Contact Information page for contact numbers.

Does Smiling Make You a Better Student?

Smile, Its Good for You

Could getting good grades be as simple as smiling?  If that’s all it takes to get good grades, let’s all start smiling.

But let us see what smiling really does for you.

It makes you look good – Now that is important!  Everyone wants to look good.

It makes us more confident – Good point!  A confident student is a better student.  Do you agree?

Gives you a positive attitude – A positive attitude is always good.  You can climb the highest mountain if you have a positive attitude.

It makes you happier – When you are happy do you do better at school or worse?  Think about it.

It makes you friends – If you smile; 99% of the time, a smile is returned.  And who doesn’t want to be around a happy, smiling person with a positive personality.  It is a charm you can’t do with out!  You need to smile.

It makes you healthier – If you are smiling, confident and happy, your body can relax.  The less stress you have, the healthier you will be.

So back to the original question; if we smile a lot, will we have better grades?  Hummm…. Confident student, happy student, healthy student – all these are needed to be a student who gets good grades.  That doesn’t say you don’t have to study if you are a smiley kind of person, you still have to study hard.  So sorry kids, the books have to stay and there is that exam tomorrow.  But your positive attitude and smiling happy personality will just make studying easier and will give you what it takes to get good grades.

Study hard, work hard at school, and smile.  Because you are smiling, you will walk into the exam confident that you know your material, you studied hard and you believe you can do it.  So smile.

Remember this clincher for smiling is this:  it makes you look good! Irresistible!

We simply have to smile more!

Which is Better? British English or American English?

I hear it all the time:  I mean the question.  Students will ask me which one is better; British English or American English.  Well, it depends.

To best answer the question, I will ask a question.  What is the purpose of language?  Language is a means of communicating, a way of a messenger sending a message to a receiver.  If we have conveyed the message clearly and the recipient understands the message, then our language usage has done its job.  It has given a message which was understood by the receiver.

To answer the question, which English is better, it all depends on a number of things.

The English language used in a particular location

For example, if I am in England and I speak with an American English accent, will I be understood by the Brits that I am trying to communicate with?  If I am not understood by my audience, then the particular brand of the English language I am using is not better, it is worse.  On the other hand, if I am in the US and speak with a British accent, will the Americans understand me?  Probably not!  Therefore the British English, in this situation is not better, but worse.

Which dialect of the English language is the best?

This opens up a whole Pandora’s Box of English dialects.  I speak with a Canadian accent.  Then there is Australian English, New Zealand English and even in the US the English accent comes in different flavours – the Southern drawl, Black American English, and etc.  If you go to England the British English also comes in different English flavours.  There is the Cockney accent, the Scottish and Irish accent, and etc.  So which one is the best of them all?

Idioms and Words

If I use British English I might call the hood of a car a bonnet.  No one in the US will understand me.  If I am in England and I use American English and call a gun a piece, will anyone there understand me?  Maybe not!  Or let’s take some other words that don’t necessarily cross borders:  How about a lorry, a semi or a dench?  What am I talking about?  All these words refer to a large-haul truck or a semi-trailer truck.  If you use the British term for eraser (rubber) in North America, you will get your face slapped.  When I first came to Pakistan, every time I wanted a tissue I asked for a Kleenex.  No one understood what I wanted.  Kleenex is a tissue brand name in North America.  So my North American word usage was not better but wrong because no one understood what I wanted.

Spelling and Grammar Differences

There are some variations between American and British English in how words are spelled.  For example honour vs. honor, or analyze vs. analyse and etc.  Which is correct or which is better?  It is dependant more on where you are and what is expected.  If you understand me when I write honour or honor, it probably doesn’t matter at all, especially if you live in neither the US nor Great Britain.

Also grammar differences are not significant either.  There are some differences in pronoun usage.  For example in Britain you will hear “If one becomes angry, one should apologise.”  But in America you might hear, “If one becomes angry, he should apologize.”  These differences are really insignificant and immaterial.

So there is no real better English language, but what does matter is how clearly you speak and write in the English language.  In Spoken English, no matter the accent or dialect, it is very important to not mumble, but to open up your mouth and enunciate.  Speak each word clearly so your audience will hear and understand.  In both written and oral communication it is very important to use correct vocabulary and grammar.  There is no way around these things; if you want to be understood and get your message across to an audience.

And as for Canadian English, well it is an interesting fusion of American and British English.  So for Canadians, we might think that neither the British nor American English languages are better, but that Canadian English is the best.

Some ‘age’ words

The answer to each of the following is a word ending with ‘age’.  See if you can think of the whole word.  The first one is done to give you the idea.  Give the right answer in a comment.

  1. A bird’s age:   C age
  2. A suitcase’s age:  _ _ _ _ age
  3. An age that is powerful:  _ _ _ _ age
  4. An age for fatherless & motherless children:  _ _ _ _ _ _ age
  5. A bride and groom get this age:  _ _ _ _ _ age
  6. An age between 13 and 18:  _ _ _ _ age
  7. Using words in this age:  _ _ _ _ age
  8. An age in a book:  _ age
  9. An age to do without:  _ _ _ _ _ age
  10. The age that gives you the right to vote:  _ _ _ _ _ age