Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Irregular Verbs, Idioms & Epressions

Irregular Verbs - Example Sentences
Click on one of the irregular verbs for example sentences of irregular verbs in all tenses including active and passive forms, as well as conditional and modal forms....read more


Idiom and Expression Quizzes
These vocabulary reference pages are quite popular, so I've added a quiz for each category. The pages are linked, so if you have any problems you might want to go...read more

Idioms and Expressions with 'Come'
This vocabulary reference page provides idioms and expressions using 'come'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with...read more


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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Reading Technical Material

Graphic Organizers help students understand the structure of various non-fiction selections, choose important details from text, and organize this information in a visual way. Many of these organizers can be adapted for fiction as well.

Taking Notes

Writing Summaries is a lifelong skill that can begin in the primary years with story retelling. The ability to synthesize a great deal of material into a few words is a skill that must be practiced with easy text and familiar concepts before it can be applied independently with harder material.
SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)

Reading Strategies to scaffold interaction with texts

Intensive Reading

Monday, February 19, 2007

The informal letter

Hi everybody!

I am writing this letter to our blog class because I want to know better about all members. As I understood, varied people are participating in blog class. Every one of them has different preparation in English. The members are appearing as contributors can to show for general review and reading their articles. However, I not understand how choice topics for these articles? I was glad to read the essays about food dictionary and Happy New Year in Vietnam and I understood that everyone must to write about something that he or she knows lot better than another.

In the not far future, I am going to go to Germany. There I will to pass the training course for new equipment. Several my friends and I will be there just about three weeks. This is my first trip to German. I heard that there very beautiful and fine but I heard too that the relation to people who don't know German is very cool. Is the true or false? This factor is important for me because I can to speak only in English or Russian. I think the similar problems have people who first time arrive to country with unknown language. In the meantime, I must to prepare and to make several things for such long absence in my family.

My participating in blog class is produce many question for me. Must I to comment to all essays that were published or only which one is interesting for me? Will be interestingly to know my opinion about their essays as like a man with other professional skills? Will be interestingly to read my own essays about the things and hobbies with which I am interesting? These questions and others are interesting for me at present stage. Will be interestingly to know what you think about this? I am waiting for your opinion.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Best (actual) healdines of 2006


The year's gone by, but they are pretty neat, so...enjoy the unintentional humor! Reading humor in another language can be challenging as it often depends on play of words and muliple meanings.

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says  
       No, really?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers  
    Now that's taking  things a bit far!  

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
        What a guy!

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
    Good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-sos!

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
    See if that works any better than a fair trial!

War Dims Hope for Peace
    I can see where it might have that effect!

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
       You think?!

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
        Who would have thought!
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide  
    They may be on to something!
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges  
    You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?!

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge  
       He probably IS the battery  charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
      Weren't they fat enough?!

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
    That's what he gets for eating those beans!

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
     Taste like chicken?
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
      Chainsaw Massacre all over again!
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors  
        Boy, are they tall!

And the winner is....

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead   
       Did I read that sign right?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Print, Reading and Social Change

This book review, written for an academic audience, is not easy reading. I apologize in advance. However, the book under review relates directly to "reading and social change." As such, you may find the review interesting and worth the effort to read.

Book: Reading Ireland: Print, Reading and Social Change in Early Modern Ireland by Raymond Gillespie,
National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Manchester Manchester University Press, 2005
ISBN: 071905527
Reviewer: Joad Raymond, University of East Anglia


Raymond Gillespie's Reading Ireland sketches the impact of print in early-modern Ireland. It is a wide ranging and stimulating overview that touches upon many of the themes that have shaped recent histories of books in other European countries, but especially in Britain.

It falls into three parts. The first discusses the social impact and social meanings of print. In chapter 1, Gillespie explores the relations between and among oral communications, printed books and manuscripts, and, fascinatingly, the iconic value of books in a low-literacy society. In chapter 2, he looks at changes in writing practices and attitudes to writing that develop through the exchange and production of property deeds. These are the consequence of political centralisation, and thus initially affect the English within the Pale, though they soon extended into the provinces. The spread of a 'textual culture' in Ireland, and the consequent increases in literacy, is closely related to legal documentation of land ownership.

The second part traces the introduction and establishment of print in Ireland between 1550 and 1700, and is mainly focused on printing and the book trade. Chapter 3 tells the story of 'the coming of print' from 1550 to 1650, during which the development of the trade was restricted by under-capitalisation. Expansion was given a fillip by the 1641 rebellion, and the impact of war sharpened political polemic. Nonetheless, throughout the seventeenth century the Irish book trade had a 'colonial feel' because it was dominated by English language books, by imported books and imported printing conventions. It was the lack of capital investment, the significance of imports and linguistic division that distinguished the ascendancy of the book in Ireland from that in England. Nonetheless, as chapter 4 shows, print did triumph in the later seventeenth century, and in doing so it spread from Dublin into the provinces. This development was linked to both 'the rise of bilingualism' and entrepreneurial ambition.

The third part consists of three chapters on reception and reading, and uses a variety of evidence, both manuscript and printed, to show how readers responded, or were intended to respond to the advent of print. 'Reading for power' looks at the role of print in state formation, including the use of legal manuals, military manuals, propaganda and pre-printed forms for leases and other legal transactions. Print was increasingly used by state and church for practical purposes, but also to shape and influence culture through literary technologies. Readers were nonetheless able to resist print and to put it to their own uses.

Learn the Net News--All You Need is Love

Learn the Net News
Week of February 11, 2007

Dear Vanessa,

Welcome to Learn the Net News--a weekly roundup of fact and factoids from cyberspace.

It's our Valentine's LoveFest Issue!

Ten LOVELY Things to You Can Do on the Net This Week

  1. Perfect the art of flirting
  2. .
  3. Take the Valentine trivia quiz
  4. .
  5. Generate an instant love poem.
  6. Map where you shared your first kiss.
  7. Explore the science of chocolate.
  8. Watch the classic Beatle's "All You Need is Love” video.
  9. Seduce someone special with a romantic dinner.
  10. Read your sweetie a Valentine's poem.
  11. Calculate the chances of finding your dream partner.
  12. Watch a short history of Valentine's Day.
CoolTool: My Dear Valentine

Instant Greetings

Okay, I'm still a fan of those antiquated Valentines made of paper. But if you forgot to mail one, don't despair. With a few clicks you can send an electronic card to your sweetie.

Personal Computing with Larry Magid

New Online Services Showcased At Demo Show

Every year, about 700 tech industry insiders gather in the desert to look at new products. The event, which is in its 17th year, is called Demo because it's an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their wares. Before they make it to the Demo stage and exhibit hall, companies and their products have to be vetted by Demo executive director Chris Shipley, who said that she looked at more than 300 companies before sending invitations to the 68 selected for this year's show.
Computer Security Tips by Syd Tash

I have repeated countless times never to shop online or give sensitive, personal information from a public computer. Not ever. No matter what security precautions you think you have taken. But what if you’re using your own laptop at a wireless hot spot?

This is somewhat better, but there are still dangers. Follow these minimum steps:
  • Make sure all your security programs are up to date, including Windows (especially including Vista). You do have a full suite of security programs, don’t you? If not, get them!
  • Before giving sensitive info, check that you are on a site that begins with https://... and you see a gold padlock on the lower right of your screen (upper right in IE7). The “s” means secure, although this is not foolproof.
  • Disable file sharing, so no one can peek into your shared folders. Click Start, Control Panel, Network Connections. Right-click your connection and click Properties. Select the Networking tab and clear the checkbox marked “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks”. Click OK and restart your computer.

Syd Tash is a noted computer security consultant and author of “How to Protect Your Computer from Daily Internet Threats”. He has been keeping surfers safe since the last century.

Contact Information

Phone: 415.826.2727

Join our mailing list!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Language Arts Links for Kids

Here are even more links to neat pages on reading, writing, grammar - what K-12 educators refer to as language arts.

Language Art Links for Kids

Language Transfer: Ten Languages

The lists at the link below give details of ten languages and the features that may transfer to English and thus cause errors for the ESL writers who are native speakers of those languages. Some of the error types may be more common at beginning levels


Saturday, February 03, 2007

BBC English page for NS 4-11

Most topics on the pages below include an Activity, Test and a Worksheet. Start with an Activity by clicking on the buttons next to each topic.
  • Reading - deduction, poetry, non-fiction. Take a visit to the writing room of a 'cool' poet to discover ways to bring a piece of text to life.
  • Writing - stories and factual writing (instructions, letters, leaflets). See what's needed to make instructions and formal letters work, then have a go at writing your own.
  • Spelling & Grammar - compound & complex sentences; spelling; adjectives & adverbs
  • Games - Take a break with Game Zone. Fly your balloon over the hills of English problems and far away!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sentence Comprehension: The Connection to Reading Skills

Sentence Comprehension: The Connection to Reading Skills
"The basic task of readers is similar to the task of a prospector. Just as the prospector picks away at the surface to discover the gold hidden underneath, readers dig away at the surface structure, searching for and demanding meaning."
—Searfoss and Readence,
Helping Children Learn to Read

"A sentence should read as if its author, had he held a plough instead of a pen, could have drawn a furrow deep and straight to the end."
—Henry David Thoreau

What is behind sentence comprehension?

Comprehension of written material is inescapably intertwined with vocabulary. Word recognition, decoding, and spelling skills all help the student sort out the meaning of a sentence. But that's not all: words will take the reader far, but comprehension is about so much more. To become a successful reader, students must be able to comprehend the words they read within the context of the sentences containing those words; they must weave the meanings of individual words into the meaning of the sentence.

Say you were faced with the task of taking down a tent you'd never seen before (and you weren't around when it was put up). Certainly some tents are easy enough (as are some sentences), but what if it's one of those antique tents that someone else bought at a garage sale—meaning the instructions were lost years ago. All the pieces are there, your hands and brain are in working order, and you have the basic skills—as well as the opposable thumbs—to perform the task. But because the tent's complicated structure is not immediately apparent to you, you may have some difficulty figuring out how to take the tent apart and pack it up properly—unless you have had some training in tent design as well as some practice constructing and deconstructing various types of tent structures.

In similar fashion, sentence comprehension relies on the student's ability to decipher the structure of a sentence—the syntax. In addition, sentence comprehension depends on the student's ability to keep all the words in mind until the entire sentence has been processed; in other words, working memory skills. (Just as you need to remember how you took apart the first corner of the tent so you can take the other three apart, too!)

Let's take a look at syntax first.

Next Page...

Page 1: What is behind sentence comprehension?
Page 2: The Role of Syntax in Sentence Comprehension
Page 3: The Syntactic Challenges in Written Sentences
Page 4: Syntactic Challenges, cont.
Page 5: The Role of Working Memory in Sentence Comprehension
Page 6: Developing Reading Skills by Training Sentence Comprehension Skills

from the Brain Connection library, May 2001

Reading Assignment-- English Only Debate

Every countries have their own flags to represent their country;so does language. A language is not only a tool for communication,but also an identity and a Culture for its country. If there is an official language in the country, it will build up togetherness and national identity. Furthermore, a language is significant to continue the tradition and culture; therefore, having official language should be beneficial to a nation.

Language plays a vital role to keep nation’s unity。When someone introduces his nationality, we will immediately think of what language he may speak. That means language is a symbol of the nation, just like a flag means a country. For examples: in China, people speak Chinese; in German, people speak Germany;in Italy, people speak Italian; in Japan, people speak Japanese…and so on. In many countries, they may use several different languages or dialects, and people may argue which language is more important, even refuse to respect the other languages. Once people use the same language,it will not only improve their communication,but also shorten the distance among the different groups and see the similarities among them. Then the belongingness will start to establish 。

Languages are words in writing or speaking。Many legends and epics were told generations by generations,and they became our literature and cultures. They also preserve our history in writing so that we can learn more about our past:compare the differences between present and past;realize why and how our nation developed. If the language does not be used any more or is replaced by another one,its culture will be disappeared or forgotten with the death of the language。I have read a such thing happened in Chinese history.

Having an official language is not a bad thing,but we need to be very careful to mark a balance between official language and the rest. I think if people get more respect for their own dialects or languages,They may not have so many strong feelings about this issues.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

READING: Eating Words: Sample Delicious Literature

Reading: Eating Words: Sample Delicious Literature

Food sustains and heals us, brings us joy, occupies time and brings people together. As such an integral part of life, it is no wonder that food is the focus of so much reflection. Many great authors have combined their gift for observation and cooking to write thoughtful, often amusing, books about life, love and food. Here's a taste.

The late Laurie Colwin put into words what many feel about friendships, family, love, joy, sorrows and food. Two of her books, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, are collections of writings from Gourmet Magazine, in which she offers recipes and personal musings on food. Her thoughts on homemade gingerbread after school, eggs sunny-side-up, roast chicken and black bean soup all speak volumes to the reader about her life.

"On the surface her novels and stories are modest, as deceptively simple as a plate of fresh biscuits. But take a bite, and you discover a subtle, perfectly executed balance of tenderness and tang," said book reviewer Laura Shapiro of Ms. Colwin and her writing.

Frances Mayes takes her reader to the vibrant region of Italy called Tuscany. In two books, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, she, an American, chronicles life in a new country where food and wine are synonymous with life. In this country where family and friends gather for much of the afternoon to dine, she learns to make olive oil, finds that the skin of peaches peels off like a fine silk slip, fires up her Tuscan kitchen and doesn't feel guilty about napping at 9:00am.

In France, like in Italy, good food and wine is a way of life. Peter Mayle explores the beauty of Provence, its people, tranquil lifestyle and sumptuous cuisine in A Year in Provence. Illustrating just how important food is to the people of this lush land, he says their "sole concession to punctuality" is lunch.

The author of Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel, begins each chapter with a recipe and continues telling a sensuous story of longing, unrequited love, family obligation and adventures in food.

The Tummy Trilogy by Calvin Trillin is a compilation of three of the author's musings on food: American Fried, Alice Let's East and Third Helpings. "Trillin will be enjoyed by anyone who admires good writing, even those readers who are not especially partial to food writing," said the American Library Association's BookList.

In Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, author Ruth Reichl, takes you on the journey of her love affair with food. From her early days of trying to prevent her mother from giving everyone food poisoning to her many years as the New York Times restaurant critic, food has played a significant role in Reichl's life. Now as the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine, she continues to regale her audience with tales of fine cuisine.

From dessert at an Indian restaurant to really good barbecue, Jeffrey Steingarten, former food critic for Vogue, has strong opinions about food. He has spent days baking the perfect loaf of bread, adores french fries and struggles with basting poultry. Steingarten shares all of these experiences and more in his book The Man Who Ate Everything. Books@Random offers a summary and excerpts of the book.

Perhaps of all those for whom food is a muse, M.F.K. Fischer is the most well-known. She has been called the "doyenne of food writers." Through her books such as The Art of Eating, The Gastronomic Man, Here Let Us Feast and How to Cook a Wolf, she has truly explored the world of food and its relationship to life. Of cooking she says, "No recipe in the world is independent of the tides, the moon, the physical and emotional temperatures surrounding its performance."

For more musings on food and life, check out Between Meals: Writing About Food. Though it does not provide summaries or reviews of the books, it is a helpful resource list.
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