Category Archives: tips

#EngQAs 6 July 2020: ‘in the bed’ or ‘on the bed,’ How to Improve English for Children, and Is Grammar Important?

On our special #EngQAs, our followers on Twitter are invited to send their questions related to English learning and we will try to answer it within the session. Here are some questions that were sent to us on 6 July.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  1. By @lvlcnrn: Which one is correct: in the bed or on the bed?
  2. By @SDN2_PanSi: How to improve English skills for elementary students?
  3. By @Adith_Thyo: Grammar dalam bahasa Inggris perlu/pentingkah?

 

Answers:

  1. I personally prefer using ‘on the bed’, as in my understanding, the preposition ‘on’ means physically in contact with or supported by a surface. The phrase ‘in the bed’ might refer to being inside the bed, as in the bedroom. More on preposition: #GrammarTrivia: “in” vs. “at” (Prepositions of Place)
  2. It’s important to constantly repeat the parts of speech (word types) and improve the children’s vocabulary. Here are some tips that you can also try: #EngTips: Learning at Different Ages
  3. Sangat penting, karena grammar adalah tata bahasa yang membantu kita berkomunikasi dengan lebih efektif. Akan tetapi, jangan khawatir berbahasa Inggris karena takut salah grammar. Dipelajari saja sambil jalan. More on whether grammar is important: #EngClass: Understanding the Basics of English Grammar

 

Remember that our DM on Twitter and our mention tab are open for you to discuss any topics that are related to English learning. Mention us or send us a DM.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 6 July 2020.


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#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies

Many of us are on self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only to keep ourselves safe and healthy, we are doing this to prevent further transmission of the virus to other people with whom we interact. We might not be showing symptoms (asymptomatic), but it does not always mean we are not carrying the virus with us. For me, it is better to be safe than sorry.

However, being on self-quarantine does come with challenging times. Eventually, I noticed my sleep pattern changes as I sleep or take frequent naps during the day and stay awake almost the whole night. Do you also experience the same?

I figured that I needed to find new interests to keep me busy and I decided to read and learn more especially about topics that I had never really touched before the pandemic.
Recently, I completed the 30-day word challenge by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Merriam Webster
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s Twitter handle

On this article, I’m going to share some accounts that will help you expand your vocabularies and learn grammar effectively.
1. Merriam-Webster dictionary
@MerriamWebster provides you with Word of the Day, the background story behind words and phrases, and trending words.

  1. Dictionary.com
    @Dictionarycom also provides word of the day and trending words, with quite a sassy and hilarious manner.
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary
    My most favourite feature of @OED is its Word of the Year, which doesn’t only cover the most searched word of the year as it might also introduce a new word that is widely used but not registered on any dictionaries yet.
  3. The Yuniversity
    @The_YUNiversity posts daily vocabulary and grammar lessons in just a few tweets and helpful infographics. Its explanation is also really easy to comprehend. Bonus: KPop fans will relate so much to this handle.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 11 June 2020.


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#EngTips: Eid al-Fitr During COVID19 Pandemic

A big holiday is coming in less than a week for us in Indonesia, but sadly, it’s most likely that this year’s Eid al-Fitr will be very different than the previous years. Regardless, it’s a difficult situation for all of us so we need to work together to help flatten the curve.

What can we do on this year’s Eid? Here’s what we recommend.

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Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on Pexels.com
  1. Save the funds for emergency.
    I think we can put less priority on new clothing or lavish celebrations in favour of emergency funds and donation to those who are in need.
    Do you agree, fellas?

  2. Stay in the city.
    I understand that the situation is very different from one person to another but if you still can stay in the city where you’ve been living, consider not doing the homecoming trip until we get the situation under control. This is to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus to our family and relatives in our hometown.

  3. Minimise movement and keep physical distance.
    The Eid prayer is an important part of the Eid holiday. If the local government considers it safe to do so, still maintain your distance from other people. Keeping a safe distance between two people could reduce the risk of getting infected by the virus.

  4. Make use of the technology.
    Make use of our smartphones to contact our loved ones by, perhaps, having a virtual celebration. It is very important to stay connected as well as checking up on each other.

Those are the tips that we can share, fellas. Happy holiday and stay safe!

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 18 May 2020.


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#EngTips: How to learn English quickly (5 Tips)

Hello fellas, Do you want to learn English quickly? Learning English fast can seem impossible. But today, we will discuss and tell you that it isn’t as long as you have the right strategy.

So, lets start to learn English quickly with the right strategy, here there are:

  • Read Everything about English

The first strategy is to read everything about English you can get your hands on. Classic literature, newspapers, websites, emails, your social media feed etc. These contents will be full of new vocabulary, grammars and idioms. This is good for you to enrich your vocabulary.

  • Talk with Real Live Humans

Fellas, language is for communicate, so the second strategy to learn English quickly is talk with real live humans. You have to seek out native speakers for an informal language exchange, so you will learning English appropriately. You also can enroll in a course or taking English classes online.

  • Subscribe to Youtube Channels (in English)

The next strategy is very recommended for you. This is so easy and fun to do. There is an English Youtube channel out there for you. You have to subscribe and listen while driving, watch during the commute to school or work, or anythime when you at home.

In the first time seeing them, you might find the native accents difficult, but after that you will soon start to understand it. Find a native speakers youtuber who came from your country too.

  • Go Abroad

Do you like travelling? You also can learn English quickly from your travelling activities. Make sure that the country do you want to visit is an English countries. Think about New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada and USA.

  • Don’t Kick Yourself while youre down

May be learning English is need a time for some people. When you start feel like nothing progress in your English, don’t say “ I don’t speak English”. Better say “I’m learning English and making improvements everyday”. Learning and practice doesn’t make youre down in English.

That’s all for today fellas, See you tomorrow!

Compiled by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, 11 March 2020

#EngKnowledge: Common Misconceptions in English Learning

Hi, hello, fellas! How are you?

With the increasing use of English in every field, English proficiency is a must-have skill. We in Indonesia, however, could find a lot of challenges when trying to learn English, some of them came from the misconceptions that we still believe to be true until now.

By changing our mindset about these misconceptions, we will be better prepared to embrace English learning or learning any other foreign languages as a part of our daily life.

What are those misconceptions?

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

English (or any foreign languages) is hard. I will never be good at it.
Trust me, fellas, I also had the same mindset when I first started learning English. It turned out that it was just in my mind. And so, I tried a variety of learning methods. One that helped me a lot was doing a lot of exercise and practice, whether it was reading, listening, or structure/grammar. Take your time while learning something new and be patient with yourself.

We can learn English better and faster with a native speaker.
Not always true. Most native speakers learn English through language acquisition when they were young, which means they might not experience the difficulty of learning a new language at a later age. Native speakers can often follow English grammar patterns without knowing what that grammar pattern is, so they can use English well but might not be able to teach it.

I can never master the correct British/American/Australian accent.
Again, this is not always true, fellas. With practice, you can acquire the accent, but the more important thing is the correct pronunciation as well as your confidence in yourself to use English on a daily basis.

Grammar is the most important part of English learning.
The correct statement is all elements of English learning are equally important. Grammar at times can be the most intimidating part, but as you grow to love what you are learning and notice the pattern on which a grammar is used, you will find no difficulties using grammar.

Someone who speaks English is more intelligent than others.
Proficiency in English does not equate intelligence, fellas. It’s true that by being proficient in English, the opportunity to learn new things will open widely. However, it will depend on the person whether he/she/they can use the opportunity and the resources well, including understanding the subject.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 13 January 2020.


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#EngTips: How to Improve Vocabulary

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Photo by Ree on Pexels.com

It is not easy to learn a new language, fellas. Especially with the structure, grammar, and all the tenses. We could also find difficulties adding new words to our vocabulary. We have to know the meaning of the word, how to pronounce it correctly, and in what context it is used.

However, we can always try by learn and learn more. Here are some tips to help you improve your vocabulary:

Read and listen
It might sound simple, fellas, but it is about building a habit. The more we try to find new words by reading English texts, watching the news, or listening to podcast, the more familiar we are with them.

Keep a journal
Writing a word down in a journal could help us memorise it better. You can also use any notes on your mobile phone if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Dictionary and thesaurus are handy
If you are still unsure about the difference between a dictionary and a thesaurus, you can simply think of a dictionary as a list of words in alphabetical order with their meanings and the pronunciation, while a thesaurus shows what words are synonymous or antonymous.
With technology nowadays, install a dictionary and a thesaurus app on your mobile phone to quickly help you when you find a new word.

Use the new words
Never be hesitant to practice by using the words in a written form or in a conversation. You can also ask your studying partner to correct you.

Group words that surround the same theme
Instead of listing the words one by one, try grouping them into the same theme. For example, if you love dining out, then collect words that are related to food and restaurant and cooking. So every time you learn a new word from this theme, it will be easier to remember.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 9 January 2020.


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#EngTips: Volunteering

Hello fellas, how are you today? In this session, we are going to discuss volunteering.  Fellas, have you ever been a volunteer? Or have you ever joined a volunteering project?

A volunteer is a person who offers to take part in an enterprise or to undertake a task. This person often does the task without being paid.

Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community.

By joining as a volunteer, we ourselves also get the benefits, because volunteering and helping others can help reduce stress, combat depression, keep us mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.

Nowadays, people choose to volunteer for variety of reasons. Some people do voluntary job because they want to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them.

Some people do voluntary job because it can be a route to an employment, it is an opportunity to try something new, and it could lead to a career change.

So, how to become a volunteer? Here are the tips for you:

  • Educate yourself

Before you decide which organisation to join for a voluntary activity, you should have a firm grasp of the organisation’s mission and goals so you will be able to better serve the community and become more professional.

  • Attitude is everything

The more positive your attitude is and the more you think about the voluntary activity with an open mind, the more you will get from the experience. Sometimes voluntary work isn’t exactly what you want to be doing, but always look on the bright side.

  • Accept differences

When you decide to be a volunteer, you should realise that you will be working with a diverse group of people, which means exposing yourself to a variety of social classes, ages, and races. Volunteering can shatter barriers between people who never interact. Accept the differences and you won’t regret it.

  • Make connections

The last tip is about how you can build relationships with both sides, in this case the people in the non-profit organisation and the people you serve. Treat them well and make sure to leave everyone you meet with good impression.

Source: https://nonprofithub.org/volunteer-management/4-easy-ways-to-become-a-better-volunteer/

Compiled and written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, May 22, 2019

#EngTips: Overview (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss the overview in IELTS Writing Task 1.

An overview is not a conclusion. A conclusion is a final judgement or opinion. On the other hand, an overview simply describes the main points. It summarizes the information depicted in the graph.

An overview can be put either right after the introduction or in the last paragraph. It does not matter where you place it as long as it is written in your report. However, it is recommended that the overview be put at the beginning because if you run out of time and do not write an overview at all, you will be unable to get a band 6 or higher for your task achievement.

To write an overview, you need to look at the most noticeable feature – what changes occurred from the beginning to the end. You do not need to state numbers because they are included in the specific details. Features like ‘overall change’, ‘highest’ and ‘lowest’, are mentioned without specific figures.

Example:

CO2

Overview:

Overall, it is clear that the UK produced the most emissions per capita of the 4 nations over the period although the levels fell slightly. The amount of CO2 emitted per person dropped more markedly in Sweden while levels rose in Italy and Portugal.

Sources:

Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: GRAPH REVIEW (Academic Task 1)
Global Manpower, GUIDELINE IELTS WRITING TASK 1
IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1
IELTS Writing Task 1 Simon
Bayside, IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: band 9 sample, https://www.baysidecollege.com.au/task-1-sample/

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 12, 2019

#EngTips: 3 Sentence Structures to Describe Trends (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, fellas. In this session we will discuss one of key elements in IELTS Writing Task 1. It is a variety of sentence structures to describe trends.

To achieve a high score, you should learn to write sentences using different patterns. However, students tend to use only one of those. Consequently, their answer sounds ‘mechanical’. By varying how your sentences are structured, you can show your wide range of grammar.

It is essential that you get word forms right. Verbs can change into nouns and adverbs change into adjectives depending on the structure you choose.

The patterns are:

1) Noun + verb + adverb
Example: The consumption of oil rose steadily in 2008.

2) There + be + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: There was a steady rise in the consumption of oil in 2008.

3) Time + saw/experienced/witnessed + adjective + noun + in + noun
Example: 2008 saw a steady rise in the consumption of oil.

Source:
IELTS buddy, IELTS Made Easy: Step-by-step guide to writing a Task 1

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, March 31, 2019

#EngTips: HOW TO KEEP A CONVERSATION GOING

Hello fellas, I’m happy to meet you again today. How are you today?

Fellas, as non-native speakers, have you ever felt stuck and confused in the middle of a conversation? Especially since the conversation is done in English.

Sometimes, when we meet with international friends, we must keep a conversation going to give them sufficient details about us. However, when we feel confused because we don’t know what to say, the conversation will stop.

Example:
“Did you have a good weekend?”
“Yes, I did. You?”
“Yeah, it was good.”

The conversation will stop because there is no natural way to continue it. A brief conversation with strangers are fine from time to time, but if it is someone we know, a longer chat will be expected.

Here is how to keep a conversation going:

1. Ask questions and start with 5W + 1H (What, Who, Where, When, Why, How). Avoid yes or no questions.


2. Answer the questions with elaborated details that will help you continue the conversations.

3. Try interesting topics such as family, hobbies, sports, movie, TV shows, culture, music, recent events, travelling, or interesting places in the city where you live. Avoid such topics as religion, politics, sex life, personal finance, or health issues.

Check this long conversation as an example:
James: “Hey, Rachel, how was your weekend?”
Rachel: “Pretty good! I went to a baseball game with my brother.”
James: “Really? What teams were playing?”

Rachel: “The Red Sox and The Yankees. We are huge Yankees fans!”
James: “Yeah? How was the game?”
Rachel: “Very exciting. It was tied until the last minutes, and then we won 2-1.”

You can see from the example that both persons tried to keep the conversation going. James asked questions and Rachel answered enthusiastically.

To have a good conversation in English with your international friends, a regular practice is necessary. That is all for today, fellas! If you have questions about this or previous sessions, don’t hesitate to mention us.

Hopefully today’s topic could help you brush up your English conversation skill. See you tomorrow!

Compiled and written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, March 13,2019

#EngTips: 3 Parts of a Paragraph

Hello, fellas. Are you are going to do academic writing? It is necessary that you learn the way of organizing your ideas because it is probably different from what you are accustomed to. At first, you can begin by learning a paragraph.

A paragraph is comprised of related sentences about a subject. It has three parts: a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

1) The Topic Sentence

The topic sentence is used to tell the topic of a paragraph. It is usually placed at the beginning. It is neither too general nor too specific.

Example: The mix of cultures in Hawaii make weddings there very special occasions.

2) The Supporting Sentences

The supporting sentences give details about what topic the paragraph is going to discuss.

Examples:
Certainly, Hawaiian clothing, music, and other Hawaiian customs play a big role. For example, the bride often wears a long white holoku (wedding dress), and the groom wears a long-sleeved white shirt and pants with a red sash around his waist. Both of them wear leis (necklaces made of flowers). The bride’s lei is traditionally made of white flowers such as pikake (jasmine), and the groom’s is made of green maile leaves. Another Hawaiian custom is the blowing of conch shell three times to begin the ceremony. Hawaiian music is played both during the ceremony and during the luau (Hawaiian barbecue feast) afterward. Other customs included in the festivities depend on the ethnic backgrounds of the couple. For instance, there may be noisy firecrackers, a Chinese way of keeping bad spirits away. There may be a display of Japanese origami, or there may be a pandango, a Filipino custom. During a pandango, the wedding guests tape money together and wrap it around the couple during their first dance together as husband and wife.

3) The Concluding Sentence

The concluding sentence is the summary or paraphrase of the main points. However, not all paragraphs need it. A paragraph standing alone needs a concluding sentence. On the other hand, a paragraph of a longer piece of writing does not always need one. You should begin the sentence with a conclusion signal such as:

All in all,
In brief,
In conclusion,
Indeed,
In short,
In summary,
To conclude,
To summarize,
To sum up,
It is clear that…
These examples show that…
You can see that…

Example: All in all, a Hawaiian wedding is truly a magical, multicultural event.

Source:
Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue, Introduction to Academic Writing: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, March 3, 2019

#EngTips: Process (IELTS Writing Task 1)

Hello, Fellas. To prepare for IELTS Writing Task 1, you do not only need to practice writing based on data, but also diagrams describing how a process occurs. Here is the outline of the task.

bee process

(Source: https://essayforum.com/writing/honey-bees-life-cycle-57460/)

Introduction

Similar to the other types of IELTS Writing Task 1, the first paragraph constitutes an introduction. It comprises of the paraphrase of the questions and an overview.

a. Paraphrase of the questions

The first sentence tells what the diagram is all about. It can be made by paraphrasing the questions. For example, the question above can be changed into:

  • The diagram illustrates the various stages in the life of a honey bee” 

If you want to know more about paraphrasing, you can read the article by followint this link .

b. Overview

The overview states at least the number of stages. You can also add information on the duration of the process and how it starts and ends.

Example:

  • There are five stages in the development of the honey bee, from an egg to a mature adult insect. The life cycle takes between 34 and 36 days to complete.”

2) Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs are where the steps are described. Break the description into two paragraphs to make it more organised. Do not forget to include the initial and final steps mentioned in the overview, but describe them in more detail or in a different way.

Example:

The life cycle of the honey bee starts when the female adult lays an egg. It typically lays one or two eggs every 3 days. Between 9 and 10 days later, each egg hatches and the immature insect, or nymph, appears.

During the third stage, the nymph grows in size and shed its skin three times. This moulting first takes place 5 days after the egg hatches, then 7 days later, and again other 9 days later. After a total of 30 to 31 days from the start of the cycle, the young adult honey bee emerges from its final moulting stage, and in the space of only 4 days, it reaches full maturity.

Sequence Words and Phrases

To show the order of a process, sequence words and phrases can be used.

  1. The First Stage
    • Example:
      • “First,”
      • “In the first stage,”
      • “At/In the beginning,”
      • “The first stage is when…”
      • “The process begins/starts/commences when…”
      • “The process begins with” + <noun/noun phrase>
  2. Middle Stages
    • Ecample:
      • “Next,”
      • “Then,”
      • “Before,”
      • “After,”
      • “After this/that,”
      • “Afterwards,”
      • “In the following stage,”
      • “In the stage after/following this,”
      • “In the stage that follows,”
  3. The Last Stage
    • Exanple;
      • “Finally,”
      • “Ultimately,”
      • “Eventually,”
      • “The last/final stage is when…”
      • “The process ends when”
      • “The process ends with” + <noun/noun phrase>

Sources:

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtipsforyou on Tuesday, July 3, 2018


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#EngTips: Numbers and percentages in IELTS Writing Task 1

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today we will talk about IELTS Writing Task 1. As we know, we must usually write an article based on data given in the test. Due to the fact that the data are expressed in numbers or percentages, it is essential that we know other ways of expressing them.

Fractions

Sometimes, data in IELTS Writing Task 1 are expressed in percentages. To avoid repetition, percentages can be replaced by fractions. For example:

  • 75%= three quarters
  • 67%= two thirds
  • 50%= a half
  • 33%= a third
  • 25%= a quarter
  • 20%= a fifth

Example:

  • “75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only 20% was allocated on education.”
  • “75% of global expenditure was spent on food in 1990, while only a fifth was allocated on education.”

If the percentage is, for example 51% or 23%, we can use approximations (“approximately,” “around,” “almost,” “about,” “nearly,” “just above/over,” “just below/under,” “a little/slightly more than” or “a little/slightly less than”)

Example:

  • “The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to 31% in 2004.”
  • “The proportion of foreign students experienced an increase from 25% to just below a third in 2004.”

Comparisons using “half,” “twice,” “three times,” etc. with “as many”/”much…as”

Example:

  • “In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won 32 gold medals, while Japan won 16 gold medals.”
  • “In the 2004 Olympic Games, China won twice as many gold medals as Japan.”

“Double,” “treble,” “quadruple,” etc.

Example:

  • “The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it rose to 60 in 1998.”
  • “The number of businesswomen was 20 in 1994 and it trebled four years later.”

“Twofold,” “threefold,” etc.

Example:

  • “In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it increased to 45%.”
  • “In 1998, the proportion of unemployed people was 15%. 2 years later, it saw a threefold increase.”

Sources:

  • Ebrahim Tahasoni, Master IELTS Visuals (Academic Writing Task One): Course Materials & Supplements for Academic Candidates
  • Diana Hopkins and Pauline Cullen, Cambridge Grammar for IELTS with Answers
  • Alireza Ramedani, IELTS Writing Compact: Graph Review (Academic Task 1)

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @englishtips4u on Thursday, June 14, 2018


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#EngTips: Paraphrasing

Hi, Fellas. How is it going? Today’s discussion is about one important element of writing, which is paraphrasing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words.” It is essential that we understand paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism and prepare for IELTS test.

There are several methods of paraphrasing, they are:

Using synonyms

This is probably the most commonly used method. Words can be replaced by their synonyms with no change in meaning. Remember, you do not need to change all words in a sentence.

Example:

  • “Parents should teach their children to cooperate.”
  • “Parents should educate their kids to collaborate.”

Changing active voice into passive voice, or vice versa

This method cannot be used for all kinds of sentences because only transitive sentences (sentences containing objects) can be changed into passive voice.

Example:

  • “Deforestation causes global warming.” (active voice)
  • “Global warming is caused by deforestation.” (passive voice)

Nominalization

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, nominalization is “the process of making a noun from a verb or adjective”.

Example:

  • “The price of oil rises.” [rise (verb)]
  • “There is a rise in the price of oil.” [rise (noun)]

Incorporating Data

This is a method of paraphrasing related to numbers.

Example:

  • “From 1990 to 2000, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In ten years, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”
  • “In a decade, the population of Indonesia increased significantly.”

Adding Information

In order to paraphrase by using this approach, it is better if you add information, which is general.

Example:

  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in London, Paris, and Berlin.”
  • “Many Indonesian scholars study in European cities.:

Joining Sentences Using Conjunction

Conjunction is a part of speech connecting words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, for instance, “and,” “but,” “because,” “although,” etc.

Example:

  • “Students learn English. They want to pursue their education abroad.”
  • “Students learn English because they want to pursue their education abroad.”

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, May 24, 2018.


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#BusEng #EngKnowledge: Old-School Career Rules for Millennials

pexels-photo-313690.jpeg
Picture from Pexels/Wordpress

People who were born from 1981 to 1997 are often being referred to as millennial generation or simply ‘millennials.’ This age group is also the one who prides itself as 90s kids, as the people who belong to it spent their childhood and teenage era in the 90s.

Now, most millennials have grown up to the productive age when they start working as professionals. Fast-thinking, self-assured, and a high adaptability to technology are often considered as millennial workers’ strengths.

Sadly, millennials often get labelled as disloyal, quickly jumping from one job to the next, having high expectation, and having a great deal of entitlement. Millennials also tend to get bored easily. If they feel they are stuck, they will find a way to be unstuck, which makes them seem difficult to deal with. These traits make millennials easily misunderstood by their coworkers and employers who are from older generation.

So, how can millennials solve this? I’d like to share several old-school career rules that millennials can apply to their professional life.

  1. Communication matters.
    Even when we’re working in the same workplace, people come from varied backgrounds. This means that we need to explain ourselves from time to time. So, there shouldn’t be ‘I thought you already knew’ or ‘Nobody told me that.’
  2. Be on time.
    By being on time (or early, if possible) we show people that we respect their schedule and we take them seriously. Besides, a delay often leads to other delays. If we don’t finish a task in a timely manner, it is very likely that the other tasks are delayed. In a fast-paced working environment, things can easily get out of hand.
  3. Eyes on the details.
    Be it on the way we dress, the way we write our emails with proper and acceptable manners in business relationship, or the way we refrain ourselves from checking our phones during important meetings, pay attention to small details. Again, we want to show our partners that working with them is important to us.
  4. Never underestimate any tasks.
    “I didn’t spend 5 years in the university only to work on Excel spreadsheets,” was my thought on the first day of my first job. Do you also have a similar experience, fellas? Well, no matter how much we dislike trivial assignments, they are actually necessary to learn the workflow at the workplace. If we can handle trivia, we can always ask for more responsibilities to our supervisor.
  5. Give time for a change to happen.
    Oftentimes, we as millennials want to see some changes to immediately happen once we utter the ideas. A new coworker to share our workloads with, a promotion, a more challenging position, or anything similar. What we should realize is that our supervisor or employer makes a decision that concerns many other people. Therefore, they might take some time before making up their mind.

 

That’s all I can share, fellas. Let us as millennials be a good example for our generation, while also being an agent of change to the workforce.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 7 May, 2018.


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#GrammarTrivia: Brackets

Hello, fellas! How’s your day? Today we will talk about “brackets.” Here we go!

Brackets are symbols mainly used as separator for additional information to a sentence or a main content. If we remove the brackets, the sentence would still make good sense. There are two main types of brackets, they are round () and square [].

British English (BrE) and American English (AmE) define them differently.

  • (  ), BrE: round brackets or brackets, AmE: parentheses
  • [  ], BrE: square brackets, AmE: brackets

Round brackets or parentheses are used to:

  1. add extra information to a sentence.
    • Example:
      • “Lake Toba (Indonesia: Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in Sumatera as well as the world.”
  2. indicate plural or singular nouns.
    •  Example:
      • “My new shelf need book(s).”
  3. add a personal comment.
    • Example:
      • “Kuta Beach is the most beautiful beach in Bali (I prefer Sanur Beach  to Kuta Beach).
  4.  define abbreviations.
    • Example:
      • “The link above will take you to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.”

Square brackets are used to

  1. modify another person’s words, especially when we want to make it clear that the modification has been made by us, not by the original writer.
    • Example:
      • The witness said: “He [the policeman] hit me.”
  2. add information.
    • Example:
      • “The two teams in the finals of the first FIFA Football World Cup were both from South America [Uruguay and Argentina].”
  3. add missing words.
    • Example:
      • “It is [a] good question.”
  4. modify a direct quotation.
    • Example:
      • He “love[s] driving.” (The original words were “I love driving.”)

That’s all for today, fellas! I hope it’ll be useful for you. Good night!
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, March 10, 2018.


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^MD

#EngTalk: How to Start a Conversation

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Image by WordPress

 

Sometimes, we could feel nervous when we are about to start a conversation in English. The feeling of awkwardness of saying something in a foreign language, coupled with the concern about saying something wrong or grammatically incorrect, could be overwhelming.

However, the more you familiarise yourself with speaking in English, the more confident you could be. Therefore, always practice when you have a chance. You can start with everyday conversation with a friend or a colleague.

When passing a friend on a hallway at school or meeting somewhere else, we can say:
– How are you?
– Hey, what’s up?
– Hi, how is it going?

If it’s a colleague at work, a more formal interaction is expected. We can start with:
– How are you today?
– What have you been up to lately?
– How was your weekend? (if weekend has just passed) OR Have you got plans for the weekend? (if weekend is about to come).
– Have you heard of that news?

But what if we are in a situation when there is no one we are familiar with?
When you are in a party or a gathering, and there is no one there whom you know, you can always start a conversation and turn a stranger into an acquaintance.

Here are some sentences you could use to start a conversation with a stranger:
–  I don’t believe we have met. I’m Katie.
– What is it that you do for a living?
– Do you go to school near here?
– Do you live around here?
– This is such a great event. What do you think?

You can also start with complimenting a person’s appearance or performance. For example:
– I like your outfit. Where did you buy it?
– I couldn’t help but staring at your necklace. It’s beautiful.
– You gave an interesting speech. I’d like to know your thoughts about…

Making comments about someone’s physical appearance is fine if we are already good friends with him/her, but never point out what a stranger’s lacking as it is considered impolite. For example:
– You look uncomfortable in that clothes ×
– It seems like you have gained some weight ×

 

If you feel that you might require some helps getting into a conversation with strangers, bring a friend. After a while, you should be confident to do it on your own.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 February 2018.


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#EngTips: IELTS academic writing task 1 (chart data)

Hello, Fellas. How are you? Time flies so fast, doesn’t it? It’s already February.

Today, I’m going to give some tips about performing IELTS academic writing test. For you who have some additional tips, either based on your own experience or the tips and trick guidance you’ve read, are free to share it..

I had actually shared the tips of paraphrasing, which acts as the introduction of your essay, some times ago. If you missed the session, you can read it through this link https://englishtips4u.com/2017/03/21/engtips-ielts-academic-writing-task-1-paraphrasing/

In this session, we will discuss planning the structure of the essay based on data chart. This might seem difficult, but I personally think that writing an essay from data chart is simpler than the others, such as maps and processes.

I read Barron’s Writing for The IELTS as a guidance. It suggests us to make some a list to determine and at the same time classify the data from the chart.

Firstly, we need to make a list that includes general information of the data, such as the object, the recorded time and place(s), and others.

Here is the illustration:

engtips

(Source: Barron’s Writing for The IELTS)
  • Title: Average daily sales, by number of servings
  • What (object): Average daily sales
  • When: winter and summer
  • Where: Vista cafe

Next step, you can make a comparison as well as the details from the object you have figured out.

For example:

Object comparison:

  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in winter

Details:

  • The highest serving: hot coffee (above 70)
  • The second highest serving: soup (50)
  • Medium number of serving: salad and ice cream (25 for each item)
  • The lowest serving: ice coffee (below 5)
  1. Median daily sales (serving) of foods and beverages in summer.

Details:

  • The highest serving: ice coffee (40)
  • The second highest serving: ice cream (35)
  • Medium number of serving: hot coffee (30)
  • Lowest number of serving: salad and soup (25)

From the details given, you can start writing your essay by comparing the data and also describing the details’ information (discussion). According to the example, you can compare the highest and the lowest food/drink serving in each season.

Lastly, make your conclusion. This part can be put either before the or after the discussion. Besides, you can write your conclusion by using the comparison information in general. For illustration, “Overall, hot coffee and soup are the most purchased items in winter while Ice coffee and ice cream reached the highest servings in summer.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, February 1, 2018