Friday, December 28, 2007

Reading, New Years and EVO 2008

Hello all
How are you coming along with selecting something to read for your reading project? If you are have a hard time deciding, pick something short. Then you can try something different next time.

If reading in English is hard for you, then you should focus on reading shorter pieces until reading gets easier. Wearing yourself out mentally won't help. With that thought in mind, maybe I should look for "Flash Fiction" links. Flash fiction stories are very short.

Changing the subject, New Years is coming. I'm looking for a New Years writing assignment. Not everyone in the class celebrates Christmas, most every culture has some kind of festival for the New Year and new beginning - or end of the old year. Should we write New Year's Resolutions? Many write them: few keep them. What else would be suitable writing for the season? We could write out lists of the best and worst of 2007. Or we could make predictions for 2008. Hopes and wishes - we need those. Let me know what interests you - or jump right in and write something about New Years and what it means.

I have a piece of news for you: I will be doing part of the EFI workshop at the 2008 TESOL Electronic Village. My topic will be managing the email based online class and using blogs. I set up a blog for the workshop and hope that some of you will decide to join me. I would really like to see you join me there and welcome your comments and suggestions.

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges... (Voltaire)


  1. Hello Ms Vanessa.
    I like to reading in English. It’s seems to me easy. The part thing for me is the words that I don’t know. I find their meaning but I have found yet the best way or best method to learn easy and remember them after that. The best way that I find until now is to write them. But ‘eats’ me a lot of time. What is your opinion about this? Is there something better? When I want to write any text I want to use kinds of word that they have the same meaning. I don’t want to use the same word all the times. The text is very poor. For a example: the word ‘want’ I used it some times. I don’t like this but I don’t know some another word closed the word ‘want’ without change the meaning.

    I’d like the idea to write something for 2007 and wishes and hopes for 2008.
    Or some celebrations that we have in my country this time every year.

    What is the EFI workshop at the 2008 TESOL Electronic Village. I see the page in hurry but to tell the truth I didn’t understand a lot. I have unknown words and it makes me more difficult to explain the general meaning. I’d like to be there with you if you think that I can

  2. Mata

    I know what you mean - building vocabulary is the slow part of reading in another language. If you stop all the time to look up words, then reading is very slow. You should try to "decode" or figure out meaning from context and skip some words. If you skip too many words though, then you may have a hard working out meaning.

    Eventually you will develop enough reading vocabulary to read more efficiently. But it can be hard, slow work getting there.

    I can think of a couple strategies that might help. First, you need to know the meaning of some words in reading more than others. If you keep missing the same words, write them down to look up, find other example sentences, use them, and so on.

    When you come across a word you don't know, underline it faintly in pencil and put a check at the side of the page. If you come across it again and still can't get the meaning from context, underline and put TWO checks on the side of the page. If you still can't work out meaning and not knowing interferes with understanding by the time yo have 4 checks, then this is a word that shows up a lot and that you need to know.

    With the internet, try reading with a dictionary site open, so you can look up words even faster.

    The more you already know about a subject, the easier it is to read more about it - even in another language. So look for something to read in English that is on topic you already know about.

    Of course we want variety and precision in word use - to know more words. Using a thesaurus for synonyms does not always work because the meanings often won't be close enough. It's always better to have a word you know than none at all.

    The more you read and grow your vocabulary, the more words you will have to work with. Using them when you write will help you remember them better and make them your own.

    * Reading Strategies

    * Extensive Reading


    EFI stands for English For the Internet and is an organization that hosts esl classes online.

    EVO = Electronic Village Online puts on online workshops abut using the internet and computers to teach English. EFI participates and puts on a section called Tips & Tricks for Teaching English Online.

    TESOL, an international organization for esl/efl teachers, sponsors the Electronic Village as an activity preceding and leading up the annual TESOL conference. EVO is an opportunity for esl/efl teachers who cannot attend the conference in person to participate.

    This year I am presenting something on using blog to manage the online classroom. So I'd be using what we do here.


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