Friday, 24 September 2010

How the Web Can be Harnessed for Social Good

How the Web Can be Harnessed for Social Good

Saturday, 18 September 2010


You want to become fluent in English, but learning it is not exactly a piece of cake. It was easier to make your business profitable. Why does it take so long to become proficient in English? According to statistics, you need at least 600 class hours. But success depends on different factors: your ability to learn languages, your motivation, and most importantly the level of proficiency you want to attain.

Much practice is required to develop your writing skills. Most learners have definitely felt the pressures created by the inconsistencies of English spelling. For adult learners this causes a lot of stress. To avoid this unpleasant aspect, students should first learn about their brain and personality. Are you a logical person, do you need details and concrete situations? These are left brain dominance characteristics and you’ll probably show good speaking skills. Right brain characteristics make you more intuitive and visual. This helps the student memorize spelling patterns easier. However, irrespective of what type you are, there are techniques that help both categories improve their English spelling faster.

Why would one want to become a better speller? Because poor spelling creates a bad impression.

 Briefly, to improve your spelling you need to:
  • Develop an interest in words. Read, memorize words and learn about the meaning(s) of words.
  • Learn how words are built up
  • Learn basic spelling patterns
  • Take notes, highlight words and phrases or underline them, use coloured pencils, repeat to help your brain recall the information or the image by creating long term memory. This helps you process the information by observing, understanding and memorizing.
  • Create your own tests
 LIST No. 3

The key lime is a smaller, more fragrant variety of the common lime, ranging in size from just 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter.
The key lime distinguishes itself in ways other than size. Its rind is thinner and more delicate and its colour is light yellowish. Key limes are more acidic, have a greater number of seeds, and also have a more distinctive aroma than the larger limes.

All visual information that the human mind receives is processed by a part of the brain known as The visual cortex is that part of the brain that processes all visual information the mind receives. It is located in the occipital lobe (the lower back of the brain).

Spelling and word games – Why? Because you can spend time together with your family, help kids enjoy learning without thinking of being tested. Several spelling and word games have been popular for some time: Scrabble®, Boggle®, Junior Scrabble, How Smart are We? or Everybody Wins. Do you want to improve your spelling? Write down as many words as you can and count them up for the family score, instead of using points.

A dental ceramist prepares dental prostheses such as crowns, bridges, and veneers. These dental professionals work in laboratory environments with materials like ceramics and metal, receiving three to four years of training in order to practice on their own as ceramists.

Academic redshirting is a relatively new term that applies to delaying entrance into kindergarten for young children.
In the US the typical age at which a child is eligible for kindergarten is five, providing the child turns five by a date somewhere close to the start of the school year. Academic redshirting refers to the postponement of kindergarten entrance until the year after the child is eligible to attend, when the child would be six years of age or turning six close to the start of the school year. (Source for wordlist:

Next article: Word formation and basic spelling patterns

Thursday, 16 September 2010


This is a message I received yesterday from a new friend I got during the campaign I've been  participating in for a couple a months. Why don't you join 1 GOAL, too? It's your future, as well. It's every child's future. SPEAK UP!

Dear Mioara,
Hello from South Africa! My name is Nthabiseng Tshabalala and I'm 12 years old, and go to Winnie Ngwekazi Primary School in Soweto, South Africa. It has been a huge honor to work on this issue with all of you. Education has changed my life, and I want every child around the world to have the same chance.
During the World Cup, I had the incredible chance to work with Shakira and 1GOAL. Together, we delivered Education Yellow cards from 1GOAL supporters to world leaders who were meeting here in South Africa.
I thought that meeting was big. But next week, all the leaders in the world are meeting at the United Nations to discuss how to deal with issues like education. So this week I’m travelling with the 1GOAL Campaign to New York City! At the summit, I will talk to world leaders, tell them my story, and ask them to make sure every child has a chance to get an education.
I also know they will listen much more closely if they are hearing from many people at once. So now I am asking you to join me. Imagine you could tell all the world leaders what you wanted them to do about education by 2015. What would you say? What kind of future do you want in 2015?
I know I'm very young to be speaking to Presidents and Prime Ministers but they are deciding the future. And it is children, like me, who will live in that future. So I think it is important for us to tell them what kind of future we want to live in.
New York City is farther away from home than I've ever been. I’ve always wanted to go to America, so I am very excited and but I’m also very nervous. But I know I should go. I know that these leaders are choosing which future I will grow up with.
It could be a future where every child gets to go to school. That way, if you're good at maths, you can become an engineer. Or if you are good at science, you can become a scientist. We wouldn't need to worry about going hungry, because everyone would have good jobs that they are good at doing. (I would like to be a writer. Can you tell?)
Or it could be a future where most kids still can't go to school. So even really smart people can't find a job, because they never learned anything. In many places like where I grew up, there would be no engineers to build new buildings and no scientists to help cure diseases. And people will go hungry because they cannot find work.
I am hoping that I can encourage the leaders in New York to choose the better future for me and children around the world.
And I am hoping you will write to me about the world you want in 2015. I want to add all of your voices to mine at the United Nations next week. Please write your answer to me right away:
believe that this way, we don't have to just wait to see what the future brings. We can choose our own future.
Thank you for being part of 1GOAL. And thank you for fighting for me and all the other children and adults in the world who are denied an education.
Nthabiseng Tshabalala

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Previous article:

You can learn new words from newspapers, TV programmes, games, wordlists etc. Most adults find wordlists too systematic .Consequently, learning from them is considered boring. Wrong. Learning systematically is good because you don’t become overloaded. We’ve come to a compromise; our lists of words are not systematic! Instead, they will give you a chance to develop your vocabulary by surfing the English lexis randomly: rare words and phrases, unusual and unexpected structures, newly coined words and many other word formation types: derivations, clippings etc. For many of you, this might become an efficient strategy to improve your English because:
• the definitions will help you think in English
• the new concepts increase your curiosity and knowledge in a meaningful manner

There are different learning strategies one can use successfully, but the most important thing is to find out the method that works best for YOU. Strategies range from memorization to fun and interesting games. They are more or less efficient according to the type of learner who uses them.
If you are a visual learner, you should read and write more than listen to a tape. (Read online for more practice. You don't need to leave the blog. Go to the bottom of the page and watch NEWS VIDEOS from Washington Post, or download one of the excellent FREE e-books.)
On the other hand, the auditory type learns from songs and commercials, films etc. (Tip! Record yourself pronouncing new words, reading dialogues, short sentences etc. Listen to the tape while driving or when you do simple chores at home.)
If you are a tactile learner, you’ll probably need a coursebook, a dictionary and notebooks, projects to design etc. Irrespective of what type you are, the main strategies work through the same processes; you need clarification on the new concepts, sometimes you guess or deduce, you need to practice and memorize.
This is not all you have to do to achieve your final goal as a language learner - the communicative skill. In order to become an efficient communicator, you shouldn’t ignore the social strategies; engage in conversations, ask questions, post articles and comments. It's the perfect way to practise your knowledge and indirectly improve it. Social media provides an excellent opportunity for such activities. Don’t miss it!
And don’t forget! Social Media is the best place to share. If you use an effective learning technique, let us know about it. SHARE!

When you are the only one at the airport who can’t find your luggage, you feel very angry and frustrated. This feeling is called baggravation.
Have you ever tried funkinetics? You should if you need exercise; it’s a new form of aerobics, an energetic form that mixes exercise and soul music.
You’ve just come back from the dream holiday: fabulous hotel and food, fabulous landscape. In fact, it was beyond fabulous; it was fantabulous.

A spelunker is a person who explores caves as a hobby. Two other terms applied to those who partake in cave exploration are caver and speleologist. However, the latter two terms are generally reserved for those with training and education in the science of caving. Spelunkers are usually amateurs who don't follow any specific guidelines for traversing the passages of caves to retrieve data for scientific study
Retrocession is used in two very different ways. In the financial world, it refers to a situation in which one firm which specializes in reinsurance agrees to take on some of the risk for another reinsurance company. The term can also be used to refer to the ceding of land, usually involving the return of land to the original owner.
A sticker price is the listed price for an item. Usually, it is the manufacturer's retail price, and it may be negotiable. The term "sticker price" comes from the idea that the price of an item is often marked with the use of a removable sticker, allowing people to conceal the true cost of the item if it is used for a gift.
A log flume generally refers to one of two things: either the literal device used to move logs from one location to another, or the amusement park ride based on the concept of actual device. Flumes are generally any sort of artificial construct intended to move water from one place to another, and are often used in dams.
Top hat plans are a form of retirement plans that are not offered to the general employee force of a firm. Generally, a plan of this type is reserved for key executives of the firm and occasionally a select few other employees, depending on the structure of the plan. (Source for last five terms:

Sunday, 5 September 2010


If you are in love with words, you are welcome to this new chapter. It's dedicated to wordaholics, logoleps and verbivores. These terms were created by Dr. Richard Lederer, the linguist who wrote about the English language as a man in love with it, not a man of science. English is amazing and complex. However, it can be confusing sometimes. "It's a crazy language, the most lunatic and loopy and wifty and wiggy of all languages", said Richard Lederer.
English has acquired the largest vocabulary, perhaps as many as two million words. Still, there is always a new word created or borrowed. This is one of the joys of learning it, and one of the difficulties an English learner encounters.

Randomly, rare words will be explained and questions answered. Not only will you improve your vocabulary, but you will also learn about the world.
Here are the first three items:

      DiGeorge Syndrome is a genetic disorder that can result from a deletion or abnormality of chromosome 22 during the earliest stages of development. Depending on the size of the deletion and which genes are compromised, patients with DiGeorge syndrome can have result in defects of the heart muscle, kidneys, and face. Many infants have small heads, square ears, and cleft lips and palates. Due to these defects, a baby may feed with difficulty and may also have hearing and seeing problems and a number of them suffer from mental retardation.
      Treatment may involve surgery to correct defects and lifelong medical management of immune system problems.
      An ascot, also called an ascot tie is a kind of necktie that became popular in Great Britain during the late 19th century and early 20th century. It is also called a cravat and it still is in use today, principally in England, for formal and semi-formal dress occasions. It also is worn in movies and television by characters known for foppish or outrageous fashion choices, such as Mike Myers' spy spoof Austin Powers. The ascot, usually made of silk, is shorter than a standard necktie, secured at the throat with a knot or pin, with wide ends that sometimes are secured under a jacket or shirt for formal occasions or left loose for casual wear.
      A screamer is a distinctive headline which has been written with the goal of drawing attention to the article beneath it. Screamers demand attention, insisting that readers turn to the article in question immediately and without delay. Screamers are typically sensational, and sometimes specifically designed to be provocative. They appear on the front page, above the fold because the idea is to entice consumers into buying the newspaper or magazine to read what's inside. Screamers may also use punctuation, be italicized or underlined for extra effect.
      This term is most commonly used in print journalism, in reference to newspaper and magazines. Screamers also appear in online journalism and on television; here they literally scream at the viewer with the use of embedded sound files or scrolls at the bottom of some network feeds. (Sourse: wiseGEEK,com)
Next post on September 12 (Topic: Learning strategies & and new wordlist)