Category Archives: tips

#EngTalk #EngTips: How to Master English (2)

When I was at school, a lot of people complimented me for my English proficiency. Sometimes I got asked, “How do you manage to speak so fluently in English? How can I be like you?”

I never really knew how to answer that questions because to me, learning English was just as natural as learning other subjects, like Mathematics or Geography. So, I was thinking, how can I help other people who have the same questions?

And then it struck me. What motivated me to learn English was that I was interested in the language. I love learning English.

I realised that some people around me perceived English as a scary subject, something that they could never be good at. This is where the first barrier is. By looking at it from a different perspective, we are allowing ourselves the chance to learn.

Keep in mind that learning is a process. We could be successful at one point and then facing difficulties afterwards. The result might not always be linear (always good), as shown in the meme below.

Progress is not always linear. Credit: @WholesomeMemes on Twitter

The first step towards improving our English is liking what we are learning. If you find textbooks to be too formal, you can look at popular sources, like movies, songs, memes, or other internet contents. Of course, this should also come with a mindset that popular sources might not be correct, so textbooks and dictionaries are always handy.

Secondly, we should practice what we have learned. All skills will become rusty (not as good as they used to be) if we never use them. Make time to practice, either by reading, speaking, listening, or writing.

My favourite method when I was at school was speaking in English to my classmates who were also interested in learning English. I also attended English courses twice a week.

Third, we have plenty of resources to use in our learning process. Now, I acknowledge that I had quite a privilege because my interests in English were started and then nurtured by my parents who wanted me to succeed.

But, luckily, the internet has now become a lot more powerful than how it used to be when I was at school. Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms have given us an unlimited access to learn anytime at our convenience.

@sarishara: whatever it is, when you decide to learn a foreign language, don’t be afraid to make mistakes & practice it every day. Importantly, don’t take personally what other’s assumption about your learning journey, some people might think you act pretentious. Just keep going, don’t stop

The last but not the least, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Don’t worry about what other people say about your learning process, unless it’s a constructive feedback. If you want to learn something, no one can stop you.

Some more useful tips from our Twitter followers:
@sarishara: This is my personal experience, I thought self-learning is difficult and frankly, quite lonely. Somehow, I think it would be easier if you learn a foreign language with some friends and having moral support is really matter. It’s beyond joy when you able to reach the goals.

@sshaikhsohil: Best way is to talk with people who speak English well. It doesn’t matter if it’s audio or video call. This makes you think and sometimes when you come new vocabulary it’s easier to know the meaning in context for that particular situation.

@tangerineeye: I play online games so I can talk with people all around the world

@dinomyno: I like to talk in english with myself when I’m alone. It helps me to boost my confidence bcs I’m still shy to talk in english with other people.

@mrivaldi__: My personal experienced to learn english is from music. When i was kid ( 3 sd kalo ga salah ) , my cousins had luar negri songs. Then, i determined to menghapal the lyrics, bcs i really want to sing well. Until now, i love (and still learn) english.

@MissGanis_RIS: Things have changed.. Now kids in some private schools are taught using English for Math, Science, Social studies…They don’t go to courses anymore

@NituYumnam: What’s one valuable piece of advice you received as a student? A professor, owning a collection of encyclopedias and dictionaries, in the 1980s advised:
– Just learn one word a day, refer to dictionaries for its definitions, including its part of speech, word formation, and origin.
– Make a journal. Relate the word with things/people around you, be creative and write a meaningful sentence out of it.
– Show your work to your teacher/parents on a daily basis for approval, correction, and praise.
– Engage those words in your writings at school and verbal communication when applicable.


If this method/practice is adopted by a pupil at an early age, the child would learn 365 words by the end of a year, and over the years, he/she would have learned numerous words when adult. Plus, the enormous amount of knowledge he/she would have gained over the years—you can very well imagine the benefits of this pattern by yourself.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 21 June 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngKnowledge: Common Misconceptions in English Learning
#EngKnowledge: Twitter Handles to Expand Your Vocabularies
#EngTips: How to Master English
#EngTips: How to Improve Vocabulary
#EngTips: Learning English as Adults

#EngKnowledge: Labour Day 2021 and Improving Working Conditions

The first day of May is internationally celebrated as Labour Day, so let’s take a moment to honour and commemorate those who have struggled and advocated for better working conditions and let’s work harder to create a no-discrimination and safer workplaces for everyone.

We as today’s workers can enjoy around 40-45 hours of work a week (8-9 hours daily), receive minimum wages, social and health benefits, and paid leaves thanks to those who worked hard for these changes in the past.

Does this mean that the work is done for us? As the world is constantly changing, we also need to adapt. There are still works to do to cultivate healthier working conditions. What are those?

International Workers’ Day illustration inspired by Frederick Douglass.
Source: Facebook CWA Local 1033

1. Environmentally-friendly industries
As the climate change poses a threat to everything on earth, we can start by adapting environmentally-friendly policies in our offices. Things like reducing carbon footprints, unplugging devices when not used, maximising natural light, minimising the use of papers and plastic wrappings, as well as giving back to the environment through social works and charities can help.

2. Humanisation
Except for artificial intelligence, all workers are humans and not machine or robots. Sometimes we get tired, we underperform, or we have health issues that could affect our performance. The best way to handle this is to treat our coworkers sympathetically.

3. Open the door
Open more opportunities for people with physical challenges. Try to connect with NGOs that empower people with physical challenges to see if we can give some training and eventually employ them.

4. Stand up against discrimination, harassment, or alleged abuse
Discrimination in workplaces can be in any forms: race, skin colour, ethnicity, gender, or other social backgrounds. Harassment and abuse can also happen in verbal or written forms, from microaggression, bullying, to sexual misconduct. If anything like this happens in the workplace, please stand with the victim and bring up the issue to people team or the higher management.

5. Support career advancement
A good workplace should not only obligate us to come to work and get paid. Trainings and opportunities to learn new skills that can be beneficial to our careers are also important.

6. Interns are workers, too
The year is 2021 and we should have moved past the mindset that interns are paid with working experience. As they usually do a portion of work for the company, they should also receive payment and benefits.

7. Working overtime is not to be glorified
Some still think that working as long as possible, whether it is at the office or from home, is a sign of dedication, while it could be stressful and detrimental to our health in the long run. Remember that burnout is not a badge of honour. Instead, try using our regular working time as effectively and as efficiently as possible so we don’t have to carry the workload to home, to later hours, or to the following days.

8. Leaves are for taking a break
People who are on a leave should take a good rest without their workloads looming over their heads. Whether the employees are single, married, or have children and family of their own, their leaves are for them to use.

9. Medical benefits for workers
This should be of a top priority especially for high-risk jobs. Not only should it cover physical injuries, it will be ideal if the medical benefits also provides support for psychological treatment.

10. Transparency
There should be a clear understanding between the employees and the employers regarding the company’s policy. Policies made should be socialised before applied to allow for any input from the employees.

11. Support for working parents
The needs of working parents, especially mothers, to care for their children as well as provide for the family are often neglected. Instead, we can try to support the parents by allowing a place for children in the office, providing nursing room, or flexible parental leaves for both mothers and fathers.

12. Empower women
There are still many issues related to women and those who identify as women in the workplaces, whether it is discriminative treatment, unequal opportunities, or even pay gap. We could try to allocate a certain percentage of female employees especially in the role of decision-making.

Those are what we can suggest to improve our working conditions. Try to propose them to the people management team in the company that we are working for to see if we can make any changes.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 1 May 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#BusEng #EngVocab: Types of Job and Types of Work
#EngKnowledge: Short History of May Day
#EngQuote: Work
#EngTalk: Salary Issue on May Day
#IOTW: Idioms about Hard Work

#EngTips: Learning English As Adults

Some people said that it is harder to learn something new as an adult. To some extent, the saying carries some truth because our brains need to create new cognitive frameworks or consciously do intellectual activities.

Besides, adults have less free time that can be allocated to studying. If children, teenagers, and young adults go to school, adults need to go to work and do other adult things. So, to help you get started, we’ll share some tips on learning English as an adult.

Photo by Nicole Berro on Pexels.com

1. Make time
Allocate 10-30 minutes daily to study, be it early in the morning or before you go to bed. It might not seem significant but if you use this time to study regularly, there will be some improvement.

2. Find a supportive community
We are likely to pick up words or habits from people we interact with. Try joining English learning communities and have conversations in English as often as possible.

3. Use technology
Apps, online dictionaries, thesaurus, or word games are there to help you brush up your English skill. Have fun with them!

4. Read the English edition of a familiar book
Start with something simple like bedtime stories, fables, or fairy tales that we know by heart. For example, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Pinocchio. We will eventually be familiar with the English version of the tales.

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t rush ourselves
“Malu kalau salah berbahasa Inggris.”
Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s how we learn. Try to be open to correction and suggestion and think of mistakes as something we can fix, not something that should stop us. If you get overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break and repeat what you’ve learned so far.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 22 March 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngTips: Effective Internet Searching
#EngTips: How to Be Productive
#EngTips: How to Improve Vocabulary
#EngTips: Learning at Different Ages
#EngTips: Tips on Writing Essay

#ENGTIPS: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Once again, we are going to complete our movement around the sun. Many of us might be looking back to major events in 2020 and looking forward to what we are going to do in 2021.

Entering a new year is not complete without a list of new year’s resolutions. Looking back now, there were so many things I planned to do in 2020 that didn’t happen, but I’m grateful that I’m healthy. I’m also happy that many people have started receiving Coronavirus vaccine.

I’m also delighted that one of my 2020 resolutions did come true: maintaining healthy lifestyle and losing weight. If we think about it, physical and mental health should still be our priority, whether there is a pandemic or not.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

Today, I’m going to share tips on how to make our new year’s resolutions stick.

  1. Changes on habits are more likely to stick
    It’s easy to say we are going to lose 25 kilograms by the end of next year, but we also need to think about how we are going to get there. By changing our habits (e.g.: eating habits, moving and exercising frequently), we might not see an instant result, but our body will adjust itself to the new habits and the positive changes we expected will naturally come out. It will also benefit us in the long run.
  2. Make commitments
    We should realise that whatever positive changes come with the need to commit, and we owe it to ourselves to make those commitments. However, if committing to oneself is still hard, we can start by asking other people to keep us accountable.
  3. Big goals, small steps
    Make big goals but break it down to small steps to achieve them. Let’s say we want to improve our vocabulary. Start with learning a new word every day by writing it down, finding its meaning, and using it on our daily conversation.
  4. Focus on how far we’ve come
    We can easily lose sight of our goals on the long and winding journey. When it happens, take a moment to look back and remember how far we’ve come and how many ups and downs we’ve been through.
  5. Pat ourselves on the back
    Even if we come to the end of the year not meeting our goals, think of all the positive impacts we have gained through the process. Let’s say we only managed to lose 20 kilograms but we can run for 2-3 kilometres easily. Not bad, right?

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 19 December 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngKnowledge: New Year’s Resolutions
#EngVocab: The Origin of ‘January’
#EngVocab: Year-End Vocab
#IOTW: Idioms for New Beginnings
#IOTW: Idioms for New Beginnings (2)

#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngKnowledge: Fanfiction
#EngTalk: Your Learning Method
#EngTips: Academic IELTS Writing Tips
#EngTips: How to Avoid Monotony in Writing
#EngTips: Tips on Writing Essay

#ENGCLASS: EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, AND HOW TO EXPRESS THEM

The year 2020 has been tough for everybody. Many people fell ill, lost their loved ones, lost their jobs and livelihood. During this difficult time, we can always use or offer empathy and sympathy.

Are you still unclear of what the difference is between empathy and sympathy, fellas? We will discuss it on this article, as well as how to express them.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Empathy is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling. Sympathy is feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, sometimes including the ability to offer helps or condolences.

Let’s say a friend has just broken up. By listening and understanding what the friend is going through, we are showing empathy. By offering our help to make the friend feel better, we are showing sympathy.

So, in a way, we will show more efforts in staying by our friend’s side and listening to our friend’s problem with empathy. With sympathy, we proactively offer condolences and even our assistance. Similar, but not exactly the same.

Both empathy and sympathy are emotional skills that, just like other skills, need some practicing. By meeting more people from different backgrounds, seeing their struggles, and showing kindness to those in need can be some of the ways to practice these skills.

Now, how do we express empathy and sympathy?

Just like I mentioned before, empathy requires a lot of listening and understanding. When someone going through difficult times, it’s easy for us to go to them and say, “I’ve had worse. You should do this or that.”

Sometimes, that is not what the other person needs. When someone comes to us with their problems, they don’t necessarily require solutions. Perhaps the solutions are what they’ve known all along; they only need someone to talk to.

Which is why some of the best ways to show empathy are:
– listening to the problem and acknowledging it
– saying that it’s reasonable to feel bad or upset
– thanking the person for opening up to us
– letting the person know that we are there for them

Meanwhile, to show sympathy, we can do the following:
– saying, “I’m sorry for what happened. My thoughts are with you.”
– offering help by saying, “Tell me if you need anything.”
– giving support and words of encouragement
– assisting the person

For situations that require us to show empathy and sympathy, there is one thing that we should always keep in mind: this is not about us. The person suffering the most should get the most attention, even if they are suffering silently.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 October 2020.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngTalk: Asking for Help
#EngTalk: Giving and Responding to Bad News
#EngTips: Volunteering
#EngTrivia: Ways to Express Condolences
#WOTD: Condolence

#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.

pexels-photo-208494.jpeg
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.


RELATED ARTICLE(S):

#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.


RELATED ARTICLE(S):

#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.

pexels-photo-318451.jpeg
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.


RELATED ARTICLE(S):

#ENGTIPS: HOW TO LEARN ENGLISH QUICKLY (5 TIPS)

Hello fellas, do you want to learn English quickly? Learning English fast can seem impossible, but as long as you have the right strategy, it probably isn’t.

  • 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 Others

Fellas, language is created to communicate, so the second strategy to learn English quickly is talk with other people. You may seek out native speakers for an informal language exchange, so you will learn English appropriately. You can also enroll in a course or take online English classes.

  • 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. Subscribe and listen while driving, watch during the commute to school or work, or anytime when you are at home.

At first, you might find the accents difficult, but after that you will soon start to understand them. Find YouTubers from different parts of the world to learn how the accents differ.

  • Go Abroad

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

  • Don’t Kick Yourself while You’re Down

It could take some time to learn something. When you start feeling no progress in your English, don’t say “I don’t/can’t speak English.” Better say, “I’m learning English and making improvement every day.” Learning and practicing show that you care about your own growth and progress.

That’s all for today fellas, see you next time!

Compiled by @2013happyy for @EnglishTips4U 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?

 

abstract blackboard bulb chalk
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.


RELATED ARTICLE(S):

#EngTips: How to Improve Vocabulary

woman in front of her computer
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.


RELATED ARTICLE(S):

#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


RELATED POST(S):

^MD