IELTS Writing: Numbers and Pie Charts

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As found on Youtube

Learn English Tenses: 4 ways to talk about the FUTURE

{“en”:”Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, I’m going to teach you the four futures. Okay? A lot of you know two futures, I think. A lot of you probably know “will” and “going to”. I’m going to teach you two more futures today, and teach you how they’re different from one another. Okay? So let’s get started with the present continuous future. So the present continuous is when you have “be” verb, so “I am”, “you are”, “he is”, “she is”, “they are”, I don’t know if I said “we are”, “we are” plus the verb and “ing”. Okay? So we have “am”, the verb, “ing”. This is known as the present continuous. It’s usually one of the first things you will learn when you’re learning English.

So a lot of you know the present continuous, and you think: “Oh, present continuous, it’s taking place now.” You’re right, but we can also use it to talk about the future. We use the present continuous to talk about future that is going to happen very, very soon. So, for example, if you ask me: “Emma, what are you doing this weekend?” Well: “I’m hanging out with my friend, Josh, this weekend.” Okay? Or I might say: “I’m shopping this weekend.”, “I’m studying this weekend.” If you ask me: “What are you doing tonight?” Well, you know, I want to be a good student, so: -“I’m studying tonight. I’m studying tonight.” -“What are you doing next week?” -“Well, next week… I’m working next week.” Okay? So present continuous is very, very common for when we’re talking about the future that’s going to happen soon. Not future that’s going to happen 2,000 years from now or 50 years from now – no, no, that’s far future.

We’re talking about the future that’s going to happen in the next couple of days. Okay? So very, very soon future. We can also use the simple present to talk about the future. So, the simple present is when you take a verb and, you know, it’s in the basic form, usually you add an “s”. If it’s third-person singular, for example: “I leave”, “you leave”, “he leaves”, “she leaves”, “they leave”, “we leave”. So this is all simple present. In your classes, you probably learned we use the simple present when we talk about routine. We can also use the simple present when we’re talking about routines in the future. Okay? So, for example… And by this I mean timetables. We use this when we’re talking about a schedule event; something that is scheduled to happen in the future. So, this usually has to do with when we’re talking about transportation; trains, airplanes, we can use this tense. We can use it when we’re talking about TV shows. We can use it when we’re talking about restaurants opening and closing, or stores, when they open and close.

So we use this when we’re thinking about a schedule or a timetable. So here are some examples: “The last train leaves at 6pm today.” So 6pm hasn’t happened yet. It’s in the future, but because this is a schedule event, it’s a timetable event, it’s a schedule, we can use the simple present. Here’s another example: “The restaurant opens at 5pm today.” So this hasn’t happened yet. Right now, it is 2pm. This is going to happen in the future.

But still, I use the simple present because this is a schedule. Okay? Every day the restaurant opens at 5pm. Here’s a third example, I like watching TV, imagine I like The Big Bang Theory: “My TV show, The Big Bang Theory, starts at 4pm.” So again, it’s a routine, it’s a schedule that takes place in the future, but it’s still a schedule so we can use the simple present here. All right, so these two, even though they’re present tenses, they can be used for the future. Now let’s look at the two verbs we commonly use for the future or we commonly think of as future verbs. “Be going to” + a verb and “will”. So, “be going to” + verb: “I’m going to study.”, “I’m going to sleep.”, “You are going to watch a video.” Okay? These are examples of the “be going to” + verb future. So we use this when we’re talking about the near future. Similar to this… So it’s not a future that’s very, very far away; it’s soon, but it’s a future where we think something is going to happen, and we have evidence that something is going to happen. So, for example: “I’m going to study English next month in Canada.” This means you probably have your ticket already bought, you’re pretty sure about this.

There’s not a lot of confusion. This is almost going to happen almost certainly. So you’re pretty sure about this. “I’m going to study English next month.” Another example, imagine I watch the weather station. Okay? And the meteorologist has predicted the weather, but it’s a very good prediction because we see these clouds in the sky, there’s a lot of evidence it’s going to rain. Because there’s evidence, we could use this tense and we could say: “It’s going to rain all week.” So this is based… It’s in the near future, but it’s based on some sort of evidence. This is likely to happen, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to happen.

We have some evidence that makes us think it’s going to happen. So this is a bit different from “will”, which is one of the maybe easier futures to think about. We use “will” + a verb. For example: “I will always love you.”, “I will study hard.”, “I will do my taxes on time.” Okay? So we use “will” + a verb when we’re talking, first of all, in the far future. So this is all soon. This is very soon; whereas this, is very far. So for example: “In 50 years, everyone will speak Chinese.” We use this also when we’re not so sure about something.

This is my prediction, but I don’t have much evidence of this. I’m not very, very sure, so I will use “will” because I’m not sure; whereas if I’m very sure, there’s a lot of evidence, I know it’s going to happen, I do “be going to”. So this one, there’s not a lot of evidence, and it’s a prediction we don’t have evidence for. Another example: “Aliens will invade Earth.” Okay? In 25 years, aliens are coming, they will invade the Earth. I don’t mean to scare you. Luckily, I’m using “will”, which means I’m not really sure. If I said to you: “This week, aliens are invading the Earth”, you’d be very scared. If I said: “Aliens are going to invade the Earth. I know this. I have secret government documents.” I’d be using this, and you’d be scared, too. But with “will”, it’s “will” so you don’t have to be scared.

It might not happen. We also use “will” when we’re making promises. Okay? So if somebody ever gets down on their knee, and says: -“Emma, will you marry me?” -“I will marry you.” It means I’m promising to marry you. Okay? Or maybe I don’t really like the person, I might say: “I won’t marry you.” “Won’t” is the negative form of “will”. So I promise not to marry you. I don’t know in your culture, but in Canadian culture and many Western cultures, for New Years, we always make these resolutions. We think: “Oh…” When it’s New Years, when it’s January 1st, we make some sort of promise to our self that we’re never going to do something again, or we’re going to start doing something. We normally use “will” for these. So, for example, maybe you have had too many beers, and you’re thinking: “I don’t want to ever drink again”, you might make a promise to yourself: “I won’t drink again. I will never drink again.” Okay? Or maybe you want to stop smoking: “I will never smoke again.

I will never do this again.” Okay? Maybe your parents are angry at you because, you know, you did really bad on a test: “I promise I will work harder, I will study harder.” So these are promises. We use “will” for promise. Finally, we also use “will” for volunteering. Okay? When we want to volunteer for something, we want to offer our help. We want to help someone, we can use “will”. So, for example: -“Emma, can you clean the dishes?” -“I’ll do it.” -“Emma, can you vacuum the floor?” -“Sure. I’ll vacuum.”, “I’ll get the telephone.”, “I’ll help you with your homework.”, “I’ll help you learn English.” I’m volunteering, and so I use “I will”.

Okay? So just to recap, just to quickly go over everything: there are four futures I’m teaching you today. Present continuous can be used as the future if it’s very soon. Simple present can be used for the future if it’s a routine or schedule, something that’s like… If you look at a schedule in the future, we can use the simple present. We can use “be going to” if we’re talking about the near future and some kind of plan that… Or prediction we have evidence for. We are pretty certain it’s going to happen. And then we can use “will” and a verb for the far future for a promise or when we want to volunteer for something. Okay? So, there you have it, four futures. I invite you to come visit our website at www.engvid.com. There, you can actually practice these on our quiz. I hope you will do it soon. I hope, actually… I hope you’re doing it today or tomorrow. Okay? So until next time, take care.

I wish you the best of luck. And good day, sir.. “}

As found on Youtube

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain

{“en”:”My name is Steve Pinker, and Iu2019m Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.  And today Iu2019m going to speak to you about language.  ufeffIu2019m actually not a linguist, but a cognitive scientist.  Iu2019m not so much interested as language as an object in its own right, but as a window to the human mind.ufeff Language is one of the fundamental topics in the human sciences.

 Itu2019s the trait that most conspicuously distinguishes humans from other species, itu2019s essential to human cooperation; we accomplish amazing things by sharing our knowledge or coordinating our actions by means of words.  It poses profound scientific mysteries such as, how did language evolve in this particular species?  How does the brain compute language? But also, language has many practical applications not surprisingly given how central it is to human life. ufeff Language comes so naturally to us that weu2019re apt to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is.

 But think about what youu2019re doing for the next hour.   Youu2019re going to be listening patiently as a guy makes noise as he exhales.  Now, why would you do something like that?  Itu2019s not that I can claim that the sounds Iu2019m going to make are particularly mellifluous, but rather Iu2019ve coded information into the exact sequences of hisses and hums and squeaks and pops that Iu2019ll be making.  You have the ability to recover the information from that stream of noises allowing us to share ideas. Now, the ideas we are going to share are about this talent, language, but with a slightly different sequence of hisses and squeaks, I could cause you to be thinking thoughts about a vast array of topics, anything from the latest developments in your favorite reality show to theories of the origin of the universe.

 This is what I think of as the miracle of language, its vast expressive power, and itu2019s a phenomenon that still fills me with wonder, even after having studied language for 35 years.  And it is the prime phenomenon that the science of language aims to explain.  ufeff Not surprisingly, language is central to human life.  The Biblical story of the Tower of Babel reminds us that humans accomplish great things because they can exchange information about their knowledge and intentions via the medium of language.  Language, moreover, is not a peculiarity of one culture, but it has been found in every society ever studied by anthropologists.ufeff Thereu2019s some 6,000 languages spoken on Earth, all of them complex, and no one has ever discovered a human society that lacks complex language.  For this and other reasons, Charles Darwin wrote, u201cMan has an instinctive tendency to speak as we see in the babble of our young children while no child has an instinctive tendency to bake, brew or write.u201d ufeff Language is an intricate talent and itu2019s not surprising that the science of language should be a complex discipline.

ufeffIt includes the study of how language itself works including:  grammar, the assembly of words, phrases and sentences; phonology, the study of sound; semantics, the study of meaning; and pragmatics, the study of the use of language in conversation. ufeff ufeffScientists interested in language also study how it is processed in real time, a field called psycholinguistics; how is it acquired by children, the study of language acquisition.  And how it is computed in the brain, the discipline called neurolinguistics. ufeffu2028 Now, before we begin, itu2019s important to not to confuse language with three other things that are closely related to language.  One of them is written language.  Unlike spoken language, which is found in all human cultures throughout history, writing was invented a very small number of times in human history, about 5,000 years ago.

 ufeff And alphabetic writing where each mark on the page stands for a vowel or a consonant, appears to have been invented only once in all of human history by the Canaanites about 3,700 years ago.  And as Darwin pointed out, children have no instinctive tendency to write, but have to learn it through construction and schooling.ufeff A second thing not to confuse language with is proper grammar.

 Linguists distinguish between descriptive grammar – the rules, that characterize how people to speak – and prescriptive grammar – rules that characterize how people ought to speak if they are writing careful written prose.  ufeff A dirty secret from linguistics is that not only are these not the same kinds of rules, but many of the prescriptive rules of language make no sense whatsoever.  Take one of the most famous of these rules, the rule not to split infinitives.  ufeff According to this rule, Captain Kirk made a grievous grammatical error when he said that the mission of the Enterprise was u201cto boldly go where no man has gone before.u201d  He should have said, according to these editors, u201cto go boldly where no man has gone before,u201d which immediately clashes with the rhythm and structure of ordinary English.  In fact, this prescriptive rule was based on a clumsy analogy with Latin where you canu2019t splint an infinitive because itu2019s a single word, as in facary[ph] to do.

 Julius Caesar couldnu2019t have split an infinitive if he wanted to.  That rule was translated literally over into English where it really should not apply.  ufeff Another famous prescriptive rule is that, one should never use a so-called double negative.  Mick Jagger should not have sung, u201cI canu2019t get no satisfaction,u201d he really should have sung, u201cI canu2019t get any satisfaction.u201d  Now, this is often promoted as a rule of logical speaking, but u201ccanu2019tu201d and u201canyu201d is just as much of a double negative as u201ccanu2019tu201d and u201cno.u201d  The only reason that u201ccanu2019t get any satisfactionu201d is deemed correct and u201ccanu2019t get no satisfactionu201d is deemed ungrammatical is that the dialect of English spoken in the south of England in the 17th century used u201ccanu2019tu201d u201canyu201d rather than u201ccanu2019tu201d u201cno.u201d  ufeff If the capital of England had been in the north of the country instead of the south of the country, then u201ccanu2019t get no,u201d would have been correct and u201ccanu2019t get any,u201d would have been deemed incorrect.

ufeff Thereu2019s nothing special about a language that happens to be chosen as the standard for a given country.  In fact, if you compare the rules of languages and so-called dialects, each one is complex in different ways.  Take for example, African-American vernacular English, also called Black English or Ebonics.  There is a construction in African-American where you can say, u201cHe be workin,u201d which is not an error or bastardization or a corruption of Standard English, but in fact conveys a subtle distinction, one thatu2019s different than simply, u201cHe workin.u201d  u201cHe be workin,u201d means that he is employed; he has a job, u201cHe workin,u201d means that he happens to be working at the moment that you and I are speaking.  ufeff Now, this is a tense difference that can be made in African-American English that is not made in Standard English, one of many examples in which the dialects have their own set of rules that is just as sophisticated and complex as the one in the standard language.

 ufeff Now, a third thing, not to confuse language with is thought.  Many people report that they think in language, but commune of psychologists have shown that there are many kinds of thought that donu2019t actually take place in the form of sentences.  ufeff (1.) Babies (and other mammals) communicate without speech ufeffFor example, we know from ingenious experiments that non-linguistic creatures, such as babies before theyu2019ve learned to speak, or other kinds of animals, have sophisticated kinds of cognition, they register cause and effect and objects and the intentions of other people, all without the benefit of speech.  ufeff (2.) Types of thinking go on without language–visual thinkingufeff We also know that even in creatures that do have language, namely adults, a lot of thinking goes on in forms other than language, for example, visual imagery.  If you look at the top two three-dimensional figures in this display, and I would ask you, do they have the same shape or a different shape?  People donu2019t solve that problem by describing those strings of cubes in words, but rather by taking an image of one and mentally rotating it into the orientation of the other, a form of non-linguistic thinking.

 ufeff (3.) We use tacit knowledge to understand language and remember the gistufeff For that matter, even when you understand language, what you come away with is not in itself the actual language that you hear.  Another important finding in cognitive psychology is that long-term memory for verbal material records the gist or the meaning or the content of the words rather than the exact form of the words.  ufeff For example, I like to think that you retain some memory of what I have been saying for the last 10 minutes.

 But I suspect that if I were to ask you to reproduce any sentence that I have uttered, you would be incapable of doing so.  What sticks in memory is far more abstract than the actual sentences, something that we can call meaning or content or semantics.  ufeff In fact, when it even comes to   understanding a sentence, the actual words are the tip of a vast iceberg of a very rapid, unconscious, non-linguistic processing thatu2019s necessary even to make sense of the language itself.  And Iu2019ll illustrate this with a classic bit of poetry, the lines from the shampoo bottle.

 u201cWet hair, lather, rinse, repeat.u201d  ufeff Now, in understanding that very simple snatch of language, you have to know, for example, that when you repeat, you donu2019t wet your hair a second time because its already wet, and when you get to the end of it and you see u201crepeat,u201d you donu2019t keep repeating over and over in infinite loop, repeat here means, u201crepeat just once.u201d  Now this tacit knowledge of what the writers **** of language had in mind is necessary to understand language, but it, itself, is not language. ufeff (4.) If language is thinking, then where did it come from?ufeff Finally, if language were really thought, it would raise the question of where language would come from if it were incapable of thinking without language.  After all, the English language was not designed by some committee of Martians who came down to Earth and gave it to us.  Rather, language is a grassroots phenomenon.  Itu2019s the original wiki, which aggregates the contributions of hundreds of thousands of people who invent jargon and slang and new constructions, some of them get accumulated into the language as people seek out new ways of expressing their thoughts, and thatu2019s how we get a language in the first place.

 ufeff Now, this not to deny that language can affect thought and linguistics has long been interested in what has sometimes been called, the linguistic relativity hypothesis or the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (note correct spelling, named after the two linguists who first formulated it, namely that language can affect thought.  Thereu2019s a lot of controversy over the status of the linguistic relativity hypothesis, but no one believes that language is the same thing as thought and that all of our mental life consists of reciting sentences.

 ufeff Now that we have set aside what language is not, letu2019s turn to what language is beginning with the question of how language works. In a nutshell, you can divide language into three topics.  ufeff There are the words that are the basic components of sentences that are stored in a part of long-term memory that we can call the mental lexicon or the mental dictionary.  There are rules, the recipes or algorithms that we use to assemble bits of language into more complex stretches of language including syntax, the rules that allow us to assemble words into phrases and sentences; Morphology, the rules that allow us to assemble bits of words, like prefixes and suffixes into complex words; Phonology, the rules that allow us to combine vowels and consonants into the smallest words.

 And then all of this knowledge of language has to connect to the world through interfaces that allow us to understand language coming from others to produce language that others can understand us, the language interfaces.ufeff Letu2019s start with words.ufeff The basic principle of a word was identified by the Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, more than 100 years ago when he called attention to the arbitrariness of the sign.  Take for example the word, u201cduck.u201d  The word, u201cducku201d doesnu2019t look like a duck or walk like a duck or quack like a duck, but I can use it to get you to think the thought of a duck because all of us at some point in our lives have memorized that brute force association between that sound and that meaning, which means that it has to be stored in memory in some format, in a very simplified form and an entry in the mental lexicon might look something like this.

 There is a symbol for the word itself, there is some kind of specification of its sound and thereu2019s some kind of specification of its meaning.  ufeff Now, one of the remarkable facts about the mental lexicon is how capacious it is.  Using dictionary sampling techniques where you say, take the top left-hand word on every 20th page of the dictionary, give it to people in a multiple choice test, correct for guessing, and multiply by the size of the dictionary, you can estimate that a typical high school graduate has a vocabulary of around 60,000 words, which works out to a rate of learning of about one new word every two hours starting from the age of one.  When you think that every one of these words is arbitrary as a telephone number of a date in history, youu2019re reminded about the remarkable capacity of human long-term memory to store the meanings and sounds of words.

 ufeff But of course, we donu2019t just blurt out individual words, we combine them into phrases and sentences.  And that brings up the second major component of language; namely, grammar.  ufeff Now the modern study of grammar is inseparable to the contributions of one linguist, the famous scholar, Noam Chomsky, who set the agenda for the field of linguistics for the last 60 years. ufeff To begin with, Chomsky noted that the main puzzle that we have to explain in understanding language is creativity or as linguists often call it productivity, the ability to produce and understand new sentences.  ufeff Except for a small number of clichu00e9d formulas, just about any sentence that you produce or understand is a brand new combination produced for the first time perhaps in your life, perhaps even in the history of the species.

 We have to explain how people are capable of doing it.  It shows that when we know a language, we havenu2019t just memorized a very long list of sentences, but rather have internalized a grammar or algorithm or recipe for combining elements into brand new assemblies.  For that reason, Chomsky has insisted that linguistics is really properly a branch of psychology and is a window into the human mind. ufeff A second insight is that languages have a syntax which canu2019t be identified with their meaning.  Now, the only quotation that I know of, of a linguist that has actually made it into Bartlettu2019s Familiar Quotations, is the following sentence from Chomsky, from 1956, u201cColorless, green ideas sleep furiously.u201d  Well, whatu2019s the point of that sentence?  The point is that it is very close to meaningless.

 On the other hand, any English speaker can instantly recognize that it conforms to the patterns of English syntax.  Compare, for example, u201cfuriously sleep ideas dream colorless,u201d which is also meaningless, but we perceive as a word salad.  ufeff A third insight is that syntax doesnu2019t consist of a string of word by word associations as in stimulus response theories in psychology where producing a word is a response which you then hear and it becomes a stimulus to producing the next word, and so on.  Again, the sentence, u201ccolorless green ideas sleep furiously,u201d can help make this point.  Because if you look at the word by word transition probabilities in that sentence, for example, colorless and then green; how often have you heard colorless and green in succession.  Probably zero times.  Green and ideas, those two words never occur together, ideas and sleep, sleep and furiously.  Every one of the transition probabilities is very close to zero, nonetheless, the sentence as a whole can be perceived as a well-formed English sentence.

 ufeff Language in general has long distance dependencies.  The word in one position in a sentence can dictate the choice of the word several positions downstream.  For example, if you begin a sentence with u201ceither,u201d somewhere down the line, there has to be an u201cor.u201d  If you have an u201cif,u201d generally, you expect somewhere down the line there to be a u201cthen.u201d  Thereu2019s a story about a child who says to his father, u201cDaddy, why did you bring that book that I donu2019t want to be read to out of, up for?u201d  Where you have a set of nested or embedded long distance dependencies.

 ufeff Indeed, one of the applications of linguistics to the study of good prose style is that sentences can be rendered difficult to understand if they have too many long distance dependencies because that could put a strain on the short-term memory of the reader or listener while trying to understand them.  ufeff Rather than a set of word by word associations, sentences are assembled in a hierarchical structure that looks like an upside down tree.  Let me give you an example of how that works in the case of English.  One of the basic rules of English is that a sentence consists of a noun phrase, the subject, followed by a verb phrase, the predicate.ufeff A second rule in turn expands the verb phrase.  A very phrase consists of a verb followed by a noun phrase, the object, followed by a sentence, the complement as, u201cI told him that it was sunny outside.u201d  ufeff ufeff Now, why do linguists insist that language must be composed out of  phrase structural rules?  ufeff (1.) Rules allow for open-ended creativity ufeffWell for one thing, that helps explain the main phenomenon that we want to explain, mainly the open-ended creativity of language.

 ufeff (2.) Rules allow for expression of unfamiliar meaningufeff It allows us to express unfamiliar meanings.  Thereu2019s a clichu00e9 in journalism for example, that when a dog bites a man, that isnu2019t news, but when a man bites a dog, that is news.  The beauty of grammar is that it allows us to convey news by assembling into familiar word in brand new combinations.  Also, because of the way phrase structure rules work, they produce a vast number of possible combinations. ufeff (3.) Rules allow for production of vast numbers of combinationsufeff Moreover, the number of different thoughts that we can express through the combinatorial power of grammar is not just humongous, but in a technical sense, itu2019s infinite.  Now of course, no one lives an infinite number of years, and therefore can shell off their ability to understand an infinite number of sentences, but you can make the point in the same way that a mathematician can say that someone who understands the rules of arithmetic knows that there are an infinite number of numbers, namely if anyone ever claimed to have found the longest one, you can always come up with one thatu2019s even bigger by adding a one to it.

 And you can do the same thing with language.  ufeff Let me illustrate it in the following way.  As a matter of fact, there has been a claim that there is a worldu2019s longest sentence.  ufeff Who would make such a claim?  Well, who else?  The Guinness Book of World Records.  You can look it up.  There is an entry for the Worldu2019s Longest Sentence.  It is 1,300 words long.  And it comes from a novel by William Faulkner.  Now I wonu2019t read all 1,300 words, but Iu2019ll just tell you how it begins.

 ufeff u201cThey both bore it as though in deliberate flatulent exaltationu2026u201d and it runs on from there. ufeff But Iu2019m here to tell you that in fact, this is not the worldu2019s longest sentence.  And Iu2019ve been tempted to obtain immortality in Guinness by submitting the following record breaker.  “Faulkner wrote, they both bore it as though in deliberate flatulent exaltation.u201d  But sadly, this would not be immortality after all but only the proverbial 15 minutes of fame because based on what you now know, you could submit a record breaker for the record breaker namely, “Guinness noted that Faulkner wrote” or “Pinker mentioned that Guinness noted that Faulkner wrote”, or “who cares that Pinker mentioned that Guinness noted that Faulkner wroteu2026”  ufeff Take for example, the following wonderfully ambiguous sentence that appeared in TV Guide.

 u201cOn tonightu2019s program, Conan will discuss sex with Dr. Ruth.u201d  ufeff Now this has a perfectly innocent meaning in which the verb, u201cdiscussu201d involves two things, namely the topic of discussion, u201csexu201d and the person with who itu2019s being discussed, in this case, with Dr. Ruth.  But is has a somewhat naughtier meaning if you rearrange the words into phrases according to a different structure in which case u201csex with Dr. Ruthu201d is the topic of conversation, and thatu2019s whatu2019s being discussed.  ufeff Now, phrase structure not only can account for our ability to produce so many sentences, but itu2019s also necessary for us to understand what they mean.  The geometry of branches in a phrase structure is essential to figuring out who did what to whom.ufeff Another important contribution of Chomsky to the science of language is the focus on language acquisition by children.

Now, children canu2019t memorize sentences because knowledge of language isnu2019t just one long list of memorized sentences, but somehow they must distill out or abstract out the rules that goes into assembling sentences based on what they hear coming out of their parentu2019s mouths when they were little.  And the talent of using rules to produce combinations is in evidence from the moment that kids begin to speak.  ufeff Children create sentences unheard from adultsufeff At the two-word stage, which you typically see in children who are 18 months or a bit older, kids are producing the smallest sentences that deserve to be counted as sentences, namely two words long.  But already itu2019s clear that they are putting them together using rules in their own mind.  To take an example, a child might say, u201cmore outside,u201d meaning, take them outside or let them stay outside.  Now, adults donu2019t say, u201cmore outside.u201d  So itu2019s not a phrase that the child simply memorized by rote, but it shows that already children are using these rules to put together new combinations.

 ufeff Another example, a child having jam washed from his fingers said to his mother ‘all gone sticky’.ufeff Again, not a phrase that you could ever have copied from a parent, but one that shows the child producing new combinations.  ufeff Past tense ruleufeff An easy way of showing that children assimilate rules of grammar unconsciously from the moment they begin to speak, is the use of the past tense rule. ufeff For example, children go through a long stage in which they make errors like, u201cWe holded the baby rabbitsu201d or u201cHe teared the paper and then he sticked it.u201d  Cases in which they over generalize the regular rule of forming the past tense, add u2018edu2019 to irregular verbs like u201chold,u201d u201csticku201d or u201ctear.u201d  And itu2019s easy to showu2026 itu2019s easy to get children to flaunt this ability to apply rules productively in a laboratory demonstration called the Wug Test.

 You bring a kid into a lab.  You show them a picture of a little bird and you say, u201cThis is a wug.u201d  And you show them another picture and you say, u201cWell, now there are two of them.u201d  There are two and children will fill in the gap by saying u201cwugs.u201d  Again, a form they could not have memorize because itu2019s invented for the experiment, but it shows that they have productive mastery of the regular plural rule in English.  ufeff And famously, Chomsky claimed that children solved the problem of language acquisition by having the general design of language already wired into them in the form of a universal grammar.  ufeff A spec sheet for what the rules of any language have to look like.  ufeff What is the evidence that children are born with a universal grammar?  Well, surprisingly, Chomsky didnu2019t propose this by actually studying kids in the lab or kids in the home, but through a more abstract argument called, u201cThe poverty of the input.u201d  Namely, if you look at what goes into the ears of a child and look at the talent they end up with as adults, there is a big chasm between them that can only be filled in by assuming that the child has a lot of knowledge of the way that language works already built in.

 ufeff Hereu2019s how the argument works.  One of the things that children have to learn when they learn English is how to form a question.  Now, children will get evidence from parentu2019s speech to how the question rule works, such as sentences like, u201cThe man is here,u201d ufeffand the corresponding question, u201cIs the man here?u201dufeff   Now, logically speaking, a child getting that kind of input could posit two different kinds of rules.

ufeffThereu2019s a simple word by word linear rule.  In this case, find the first u201cisu201d in the sentence and move it to the front.  u201cThe man is here,u201d u201cIs the man here?u201d Now thereu2019s a more complex rule that the child could posit called a structure dependent rule, one that looks at the geometry of the phrase structure tree.  In this case, the rule would be:  find the first u201cisu201d after the subject noun phrase and move that to the front of the sentence.  A diagram of what that rule would look like is as follows:  you look for the u201cisu201d that occurs after the subject noun phrase and thatu2019s what gets moved to the front of the sentence.  Now, whatu2019s the difference between the simple word-by-word rule and the more complex structured dependent rule?  Well, you can see the difference when it comes to performing the question from a slightly more complex sentence like, u201cThe man who is tall is in the room.u201d  ufeff But how is the child supposed to learn that?  How did all of us end up with the correct structured dependent of the rule rather than the far simpler word-by-word version of the rule? ufeff u201cWell,u201d Chomsky argues, u201cif you were actually to look at the kind of language that all of us hear, itu2019s actually quite rare to hear a sentence like, u201cIs the man who is tall in the room?  The kind of input that would logically inform you that the word-by-word rule is wrong and the structure dependent rule is right.

 Nonetheless, we all grow up into adults who unconsciously use the structure dependent rule rather than the word-by-word rule.  Moreover, children donu2019t make errors like, u201cis the man who tall is in the room,u201d as soon as they begin to form complex questions, they use the structure dependent rule.  And that,u201d Chomsky argues, u201cis evidence that structure dependent rules are part of the definition of universal grammar that children are born with.u201d  ufeff Now, though Chomsky has been fantastically influential in the science of language that does not mean that all language scientists agree with him.  And there have been a number of critiques of Chomsky over the years.  For one thing, the critics point out, Chomsky hasnu2019t really shown principles of universal grammar that are specific to language itself as opposed to general ways in which the human mind works across multiple domains, language and vision and control of motion and memory and so on.  We donu2019t really know that universal grammar is specific to language, according to this critique. ufeff Secondly, Chomsky and the linguists working with him have not examined all 6,000 of the worldu2019s languages and shown that the principles of universal grammar apply to all 6,000.

 Theyu2019ve posited it based on a small number of languages and the logic of the poverty of the input, but havenu2019t actually come through with the data that would be necessary to prove that universal grammar is really universal.  ufeff Finally, the critics argue, Chomsky has not shown that more general purpose learning models, such as neuro network models, are incapable of learning language together with all the other things that children learn, and therefore has not proven that there has to be specific knowledge how grammar works in order for the child to learn grammar.

  ufeff  Another component of language governs the sound pattern of language, the ways that the vowels and consonants can be assembled into the minimal units that go into words.  Phonology, as this branch of linguistics is called, consists of formation rules that capture what is a possible word in a language according to the way that it sounds.   To give you an example, the sequence, bluk, is not an English word, but you get a sense that it could be an English word that someone could coin a new formu2026 that someone could coin a new term of English that we pronounce u201cbluk.u201d  But when you hear the sound ****, you instantly know thatthat not only isnu2019t it an English word, but it really couldnu2019t be an English word.

 ****, by the way, comes from Yiddish and it means kind of to sigh or to moan.  Oi.  Thatu2019s to ****.  ufeff The reason that we recognize that itu2019s not English is because it has sounds like **** and sequences like ****, which arenu2019t part of the formation rules of English phonology.  But together with the rules that define the basic words of a language, there are also phonological rules that make adjustments to the sounds, depending on what the other words the word appears with.  Very few of us realize, for example, in English, that the past tense suffix u201cedu201d ufeffis actually pronounced in three different ways.  When we say, u201cHe walked,u201d ufeffwe pronounce the u201cedu201d like a u201cta,u201d walked.  When we say u201cjogged,u201d ufeffwe pronounce it as a u201cd,u201d jogged.

 And when we say u201cpatted,u201dufeff we stick in a vowel, pat-ted, showing that the same suffix, u201cedu201d can be readjusted in its pronunciation according to the rules of English phonology.  ufeff Now, when someone acquires English as a foreign language or acquires a foreign language in general, they carry over the rules of phonology of their first language and apply it to their second language.  We have a word for it; we call it an u201caccent.u201d  When a language user deliberately manipulates the rules of phonology, that is, when they donu2019t just speak in order to convey content, they pay attention as to what phonological structures are being used; we call it poetry and rhetoric.  ufeff So far, Iu2019ve been talking about knowledge of language, the rules that go into defining what are possible sequences of language.  But those sequences have to get into the brain during speech comprehension and they have to get out during speech production.

 And that takes us to the topic of language interfaces.  ufeff And letu2019s start with production.  ufeff This diagram here is literally a human cadaver that has been sawn in half.  An anatomist took a saw and [sound] allowing it to see in cross section the human vocal tract.  And that can illustrate how we get out knowledge of language out into the world as a sequence of sounds.  ufeff Now, each of us has at the top of our windpipe or trachea, a complex structure called the larynx or voice box; itu2019s behind your Adamu2019s Apple.  And the air coming out of your lungs have to go passed two cartilaginous flaps that vibrate and produce a rich, buzzy sound source, full of harmonics.

 Before that vibrating sound gets out to the world, it has to pass through a gauntlet or chambers of the vocal tract.  The throat behind the tongue, the cavity above the tongue, the cavity formed by the lips, and when you block off airflow through the mouth, it can come out through the nose.  ufeff Now, each one of those cavities has a shape that, thanks to the laws of physics, will amplify some of the harmonics in that buzzy sound source and suppress others.

 We can change the shape of those cavities when we move our tongue around.  When we move our tongue forward and backward, for example, as in u201ceh,u201d u201caa,u201d u201ceh,u201d u201caa,u201d we change the shape of the cavity behind the tongue, change the frequencies that are amplified or suppressed and the listener hears them as two different vowels.  ufeff Likewise, when we raise or lower the tongue, we change the shape of the resonant cavity above the tongue as in say, u201ceh,u201d u201cah,u201d u201ceh,u201d u201cah.u201d  Once again, the change in the mixture of harmonics is perceived as a change in the nature of the vowel.  ufeff When we stop the flow of air and then release it as in, u201ct,u201d u201cca,u201d u201cba.u201d  Then we hear a consonant rather than a vowel or even when we restrict the flow of air as in u201cf,u201d u201cssu201d producing a chaotic noisy sound.  Each one of those sounds that gets sculpted by different articulators is perceived by the brain as a qualitatively different vowel or consonant.

 ufeff Now, an interesting peculiarity of the human vocal track is that it obviously co-ops structures that evolved for different purposes for breathing and for swallowing and so on.  And itu2019s anu2026 And itu2019s an interesting fact first noted by Darwin that the larynx over the course of evolution has descended in the throat so that every particle of food going from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach has to pass over the opening into the larynx with some probability of being inhaled leading to the danger of death by choking.

 And in fact, until the invention of the Heimlich Maneuver, several thousand people every year died of choking because of this maladaptive of the human vocal tract. ufeff Why did we evolve a mouth and throat that leaves us vulnerable to choking?  Well, a plausible hypothesis is that itu2019s a compromise that was made in the course of evolution to allow us to speak.  By giving range to a variety of possibilities for alternating the resonant cavities, for moving the tongue back and forth and up and down, we expanded the range of speech sounds we could make, improve the efficiency of language, but suffered the compromise of an increased risk of choking showing that language presumably had some survival advantage that compensated for the disadvantage in choking.

 ufeff What about the flow of information in the other direction, that is from the world into the brain, the process of speech comprehension?  ufeff Speech comprehension turns out to be an extraordinarily complex computational process, which we’re reminded of every time we interact with a voicemail menu on a telephone or you use a dictation on our computers.  For example, One writer, using the state-of-the-art speech-to-text systems dictated the following words into his computer.  He dictated u201cbook tour,u201d and it came out on the screen as u201cback to work.u201d  Another example, he said, u201cI truly couldnu2019t see,u201d and it came out on the screen as, u201ca cruelly good MC.u201d  Even more disconcertingly, he started a letter to his parents by saying, u201cDear mom and dad,u201d and what came out on the screen, u201cThe man is dead.u201d  ufeff ufeff Now, dictation systems have gotten better and better, but they still have a way to go before they can duplicate a human stenographer.  ufeff What is it about the problem of speech understanding that makes it so easy for a human, ufeffbut so hard for a computer? Well, there are two main contributors.

 One of them is the fact that each phony, each vowel or consonant actually comes out very differently, depending on what comes before and what comes after.  A phenomenon sometimes called co-articulation.  ufeff Let me give you an example.  The place called Cape Cod has two u201ccu201d sounds.  ufeff u2028Each of them symbolized by the letter u201cC,u201d the hard u201cC.u201d  Nonetheless, when you pay attention to the way you pronounce them, you notice that in fact, you pronounce them in very different parts of the mouth.  Try it.  Cape Cod, Cape Codu2026 u201cc,u201d u201ccu201d.  In one case, the u201ccu201d is produced way back in the mouth; the other itu2019s produced much farther forward.

 We donu2019t notice that we pronounce u201ccu201d in two different ways depending whether it comes before an u201cau201d or an u201cah,u201d but that difference forms a difference in the shape of the resonant cavity in our mouth which produces a very different wave form.  And unless a computer is specifically programmed to take that variability into account, it will perceive those two different u201ccu2019s,u201d as a different sound that objectively speaking, they really are:  u201cc-ehu201d u201cc-oau201d.  They really are different sounds, but our brain lumps them together.  ufeff The other reason that speech recognition is such a difficult problem is because of the absence of segmentation.  Now we have an illusion when we listen to speech that consists of a sequence to sounds corresponding to words.  But if you actually were to look at the wave form of a sentence on a oscilloscope, there would not be little silences between the words the way there are little bits of white space in printed words on a page, but rather a continuous ribbon in which the end of one word leads right to the beginning of the next.

 ufeff Itu2019s something that weu2019re aware ofu2026 Itu2019s something that weu2019re aware of when we listen to speech in a foreign language when we have no idea where one word ends and the other one begins.  In our own language, we detect the word boundaries simply because in our mental lexicon, we have stretches of sound that correspond to one word that tell us where it ends.

 But you canu2019t get that information from the wave form itself.  ufeff In fact, thereu2019s a whole genre of wordplay that takes advantage of the fact that word boundaries are not physically present in the speech wave.  Novelty songs like Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy diveyufeff u2028A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe? ufeffu2028u2028Now, it turns out that this is actually a grammatical sequence in words in Englishu2026 Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, a kid’ll eat ivy too, wouldnu2019t you?ufeff When it is spoken or sung normally, the boundaries between words are obliterated and so the same sequence of sounds can be perceived either as nonsense or if you know what theyu2019re meant to convey, as sentences.  ufeff Another example familiar to most children, ufeffFuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.  Fuzzy Wuzzy wasnu2019t very fuzzy, was he?  And the famous dogroll, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

ufeff We are generally unaware of how unambiguous language is.  In context, we effortlessly and unconsciously derive the intended meaning of a sentence, but a poor computer not equipped with all of our common sense and human abilities and just going by the words and the rules is often flabbergasted by all the different possibilities.  Take a sentence as simple as u201cMary had a little lamb,u201d ufeffyou might think that thatu2019s a perfectly simple unambiguous sentence.  But now imagine that it was continued with u201cwith mint sauce.u201d  You realize that u201chaveu201d is actually a highly ambiguous word.ufeff As a result, the computer translations can often deliver comically incorrect results.  ufeff According to legend, one of the first computer systems that was designed to translate from English to Russian and back again did the following given the sentence, u201cThe spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,u201d it translated it back as u201cThe vodka is agreeable, but the meat is rotten.u201d ufeff So why do people understand language so much better than computers?  What is the knowledge that we have that has been so hard to program into our machines?  Well, thereu2019s a third interface between language and the rest of the mind, and that is the subject matter of the branch of linguistics called Pragmatics, namely, how people understand language in context using their knowledge of the world and their expectation about how other speakers communicate.

 ufeff The most important principle of Pragmatics is called u201cthe cooperative principle,u201d namely; assume that your conversational partner is working with you to try to get a meaning across truthfully and clearly.  And our knowledge of Pragmatics, like our knowledge of syntax and phonology and so on, is deployed effortlessly, but involves many intricate computations.  For example, if I were to say, u201cIf you could pass the guacamole, that would be awesome.u201d  You understand that as a polite request meaning, give me the guacamole.  You donu2019t interpret it literally as a rumination about a hypothetical affair, you just assume that the person wanted something and was using that string of words to convey the request politely.  ufeff Often comedies will use the absence of pragmatics in robots as a source of humor.  As in the old u201cGet Smartu201d situation comedy, which had a robot named, Hymie, and a recurring joke in the series would be that Maxwell Smart would say to Hymie, u201cHymie, can you give me a hand?u201d  And then Hymie would go, {sound}, remove his hand and pass it over to Maxwell Smart not understanding that u201cgive me a hand,u201d in context means, help me rather than literally transfer the hand over to me.

 ufeff Or take the following example of Pragmatics in action.  Consider the following dialogue, Martha says, u201cIu2019m leaving you.u201d  John says, u201cWho is he?u201d  Now, understanding language requires finding the antecedents pronouns, in this case who the u201cheu201d refers to, and any competent English speaker knows exactly who the u201cheu201d is, presumably Johnu2019s romantic rival even though it was never stated explicitly in any part of the dialogue.

 This shows how we bring to bear on language understanding a vast store of knowledge about human behavior, human interactions, human relationships.  And we often have to use that background knowledge even to solve mechanical problems like, who does a pronoun like u201cheu201d refer to.  Itu2019s that knowledge thatu2019s extraordinarily difficult, to say the least to program into a computer.  ufeff Language is a miracle of the natural world because it allows us to exchange an unlimited number of ideas using a finite set of mental tools.  Those mental tools comprise a large lexicon of memorized words and a powerful mental grammar that can combine them.  Language thought of in this way should not be confused with writing, with the prescriptive rules of proper grammar or style or with thought itself.  ufeff Modern linguistics is guided by the questions, though not always the answers suggested by the linguist known as Noam Chomsky, namely how is the unlimited creativity of language possible?  What are the abstract mental structures that relate word to one another? How do children acquire them?  ufeff What is universal across languages?  And what does that say about the human mind?  ufeff The study of language has many practical applications including computers that understand and speak, the diagnosis and treatment of language disorders, the teaching of reading, writing, and foreign languages, the interpreting of the language of law, politics and literature.ufeff But for someone like me, language is eternally fascinating because it speaks to such fundamental questions of the human condition.

 ufeff[Language] is really at the center of a number of different concerns of thought, of social relationships, of human biology, of human evolution, that all speak to whatu2019s special about the human species. ufeff Language is the most distinctively human talent.  Language is a window into human nature, and most significantly,ufeff the vast expressive power of language is one of the wonders of the natural world.  Thank you.ufeff. “}

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Study English in Brighton

Learn English – English in Three Minutes – Asking About Names

{“en”:”Welcome to EnglishClass101.comu2019s English in Three Minutes. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn English. Hey everyone, Iu2019m Alisha! This series will teach you some easy ways to ask and answer common questions in English. Itu2019s really useful, and it only takes three minutes! In this lesson, youu2019re going to learn some new ways to ask someone, u201cWhatu2019s your name?u201d including one that you can use when youu2019ve forgotten someoneu2019s name. Now, u201cWhat is your name?u201d was probably one of the first questions you learned when you started studying English.

I have to tell you, though, that most native speakers of English would never say this! In English, just like in other languages, it is often more polite to be a little indirect. Of course, the easiest way to avoid asking the question directly is to not ask at all! Just introduce yourself, and most people will respond by doing the same. When introducing yourself, simple is nearly always best. Just say… u201cHi, Iu2019m Alisha!u201d To show that you want to know the other personu2019s name, just add, u201cAnd you?u201d at the end. u201cHi, Iu2019m Alisha! And you?u201d u201cHi, Iu2019m Alisha! And you?u201d Just like before, take out my name, Alisha, and put your name in its place. After you say this, the other person will tell you his or her name. Okay, now letu2019s talk about an embarrassing situation that happens to EVERYBODY: youu2019ve already met this person once before, but youu2019ve forgotten their name! The most polite thing to do in this situation is to apologize and ask again.

Thereu2019s a simple way to do this thatu2019s also polite. u201cIu2019m sorry. What was your name again?u201d u201cIu2019m sorry. What was your name again?u201d This sentence is very similar to u201cWhatu2019s your name?u201d but it has three important differences. First, we say, u201cIu2019m sorry.u201d A small apology can go a long way. After that we say u201cWhat was your name?u201d This is just like u201cWhat is your name?u201d but instead of u201cisu201d, we use the past tense u201cwasu201d.

This is really important, as it tells the other person that you remember meeting them. You havenu2019t forgotten HIM or HER, youu2019ve just forgotten the NAME. This little word makes all the difference! u201cIu2019m sorry. What was your name…? Finally, we add u201cagainu201d to the end. This is another hint that tells the other person that you remember learning his or her name before, but you just canu2019t recall it right now. u201cIu2019m sorry. What was your name again?u201d This phrase is appropriate for both formal and informal situations. Now itu2019s time for Alishau2019s Advice! In the United States, itu2019s normal to address people by name in conversation more than once. In both formal and informal situations, itu2019s a way to show respect or interest in the other person, and can help you make friends.

It is also a great way to practice someoneu2019s name so you donu2019t forget it! If you are talking to someone named Ann, for example, instead of just: u201cWhat do you do for fun?u201d, you could say: u201cAnn, what do you do for fun?u201d You can also put the name at the end of the sentence: u201cWhat do you do for fun, Ann?u201d You donu2019t want to say the personu2019s name too often, or it will sound a little strange, but if you practice someoneu2019s name like this, you wonu2019t forget it. And people love to hear their own name! In this lesson, we learned what to say when we forget someoneu2019s name. In the next lesson, youu2019ll learn what to say when you want to get in touch with someone, whether by telephone, email, or even newer ways to communicate. Whatu2019s your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and join us next time for the sixth English in 3 Minutes lesson! See you next time!. “}

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Study English in London

Learn Arabic – Arabic in 3 Minutes – Do you speak English?

{“en”:”Maru1e25aban u01e7amu012bu02bfan, u02beanu0101 Carole! Hi everybody! Iu2019m Carole. Welcome to ArabicPod101.comu2019s Al-u02bfarabiyyah fi u1e6falu0101u1e6fi daqu0101u02beiq. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Arabic. In the last lesson, we learned the most common forms of greetings in Arabic. Do you remember them? We introduced maru1e25aban and Al salu0101mu u02bfalaykum , as well as u0161ukran and u02beilu0101 al-liqu0101u02be. In this lesson weu2019re going to learn a very useful phrase: u201cDo you speak English?u201d If you find yourself in a situation where you need assistance in English, this phrase can be a lifesaver.

And because youu2019re asking it in Arabic, you can be sure that everyone will understand what youu2019re saying, even if their answer is no. Are you ready? then letu2019s start! Here’s the basic way to ask if someone speaks English: Hal tatakallamu al-u02beinklu012bziyyah? if you are talking to a male and Hal tatakallamu012bna al-u02beinklu012bziyyah? if you are talking to a female. [slowly] Hal tatakallamu al-u02beinklu012bziyyah? Hal tatakallamu012bna al-u02beinklu012bziyyah? Hal means “Dou201d.

u201cYouu201d and u201cSpeaku201d are merged into the same word u201ctatakallamu u201d for males and u201ctatakallamu012bnau201d for females. u02beinklu012bziyyah means “English,” This is an indirect way of asking someone to speak to you in English. There are many ways of making it clear that you’re asking the person to speak English to you, for example: Hal biu02beimku0101nika al-takallum bil u02beinklu012bziyyah? also means “Could you speak English?” Hal biu02beimku0101nika? means u201ccan youu201d or u201dcould youu201d, u201care you able tou201d, or u201cis it possible tou201d and can also mean the u201cabilityu201d of the person to speak English.

Again, if you are talking to a female you should change the last accent of ka to ki. So the question becomes: Hal biu02beimku0101niki al-takallum bil u02beinklu012bziyyah? Al-takallum is a noun that means u2018speakingu2019 and bil u02beinklu012bziyyah is u201cin Englishu201d. To be more formal we could add the word u201cpleaseu201d to the request, to make it: Hal biu02beimkanika al-takallum bil u02beinklu012bziyyah min fau1e0dlika? In this case, the question cannot mean the personu2019s ability to speak English anymore, because you are obviously asking them to speak English to you. Since in Arabic the word u2018pleaseu2019 literally means u2018from your favoru2019 it should also be changed according to the personu2019s gender.

So in case of a female, we should also change the ka ending of u2018pleaseu2019 in min fau1e0dlika? to min fau1e0dliki? The question becomes Hal biu02beimkaniki al-takallum bil u02beinklu012bziyyah min fau1e0dliki? The responses you will receive could be one of these three: Nau02bfam. “Yes.” [slowly] Nau02bfam. Qalu012blan. “A little.” [slowly] Qalu012blan There are a few ways of saying u2018nou2019 in Arabic Lu0101 or Kallu0101. u201cNou201d “No, I donu2019t speak English.” is Lu0101, u02beanu0101 lu0101 u02beatakallamu al-u02beinklu012bziyyah [slowly] Lu0101, u02beanu0101 lu0101 u02beatakallamu al-u02beinklu012bziyyah It is exactly the same structure as in English. Lu0101 is u2018nou2019, u02beanu0101 is u2018Iu2019, lu0101 means u201cdonu2019tu201d, u02beatakallamu is u201cspeaku201d (me) and al-u02beinklu012bziyyah is u201cEnglishu201d.

Since this last one is a negative statement, we need to say lu0101 before the verb, u02beatakallamu or speak. lu0101 literally means u2018nou2019, but when placed before a verb it negates this verb, becoming u201cdonu2019tu201d or u201cdoesnu2019tu201d. Notice also that the verb, u02beatakallamu is slightly different than tatakallamu which we learned before. Remember, the verb changes depending on the pronoun used. We are now talking about u02beanu0101 , Arabic for “I,” Thus u201cI do not speaku201d is: u02beanu0101 lu0101 u02beatakallamu Now itu2019s time for Caroleu2019s Tips. For those of you who are not native English speakers, you can obviously use this question with any language you need. Arab people study other languages at school depending on the country they live in, so maybe you will get lucky! Just substitute al-u02beinklu012bziyyah with al-faransiyyah for French, Al-u02beiu1e6du0101liyyah for Italian, Al-u02beispu0101niyyah for Spanish, or Al-u02bealmu0101niyyah for German.

In this lesson you learned how to ask if someone can speak English. In the next lesson weu2019ll learn how to say u201cexcuse meu201d and other ways to apologize in Arabic. I’ll see you in the next Al-u02bfarabiyyah fi u1e6falu0101u1e6fi daqu0101u02beiq lesson. u02beilu0101 al-liqu0101u02be!. “}

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Study English in London

Learn English – Asking About Hobbies, What do you do for fun?

{“en”:”Welcome to EnglishClass101.comu2019s u201cEnglish in Three Minutesu201d. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn English. Hey everyone, Alisha here! In this series, weu2019re going to learn some easy ways to ask and answer common questions in English. Itu2019s really useful, and it only takes three minutes! In this lesson, youu2019re going to learn how to ask what someoneu2019s hobbies are – without using the word u201chobbiesu201d! Youu2019ve probably seen the question, u201cDo you have any hobbies?u201d, or u201cWhat are your hobbies?u201d in an English textbook before.

However, native English speakers almost never use the word u201chobbiesu201d when asking about them! A much more natural way to ask the same question is: u201cWhat do you do for fun?u201d Letu2019s practice this question. u201cWhat do you do for fun?u201d u201cWhat do you do for fun?u201d You can also ask: u201cWhat do you do in your free time?u201d u201cWhat do you do in your free time?u201d So how would you answer this question? Letu2019s look at how native speakers would do it! The easiest way is to say: u201cI like to…u201d or just u201cI like…u201d followed by what you like to do. For example, if you like watching movies, you could say: u201cI like to watch movies.u201d or u201cI like watching movies.u201d u201cI like to watch movies.u201d or u201cI like watching movies.u201d And if you like golf, you could say: u201cI like to play golfu201d or u201cI like playing golfu201d.

u201cI like to play golfu201d or u201cI like playing golf.u201d You can emphasize how much you like your hobby by adding a word like u201creallyu201d in front of u201clikeu201d. For example: u201cI really like watching movies.u201d On the other hand, if you want to play down how much you like something, you can say u201ckind ofu201d. For example: u201cI kind of like playing tennis.u201d Now itu2019s time for Alishau2019s Advice! If you donu2019t have any special hobbies, or donu2019t want to be specific, a good way to reply is: u201cI like hanging out with my friends, and stuff like that.u201d u201cI like hanging out with my friends, and stuff like that.u201d Just use u201cI like…u201d and add u201changing out with my friendsu201d, and then add: u201cand stuff like that.u201d How do you answer the question: Where you from? It doesnu2019t even have a verb! Weu2019ll cover this and more in the next English in 3 minutes lesson. See you next time!. “}

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Learn English in London

How to write a good essay: Paraphrasing the question

{“en”:”Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I’m going to teach you something very important for if you’re taking any type of test that has a writing component. So, if you are taking the IELTS, the TOEFL, the CELPIP, even just a university test, it can be any type of test, but if you’re asked to write something like an essay or a paragraph, this video is for you. Okay? So I’m going to teach you a very important skill that will help improve your marks when it comes to writing on tests. So, let’s get started. So, I have here an essay question. This question is actually… I’ve seen it on the IELTS. You know, you have similar types of questions on the TOEFL, sometimes in university. The question is this: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country. Do you agree or disagree?” Or maybe: “To what extent do you agree or disagree?” So, this is an example of a question you might be asked. Now, a problem a lot of students have is in their answer to this question.

They see this, and they think: “Okay, education is the most important factor in the development of a country, yes, I agree.” So then they… Or: “I disagree”, and they start writing. And what do they write? Usually the very first thing students will write is this: “I agree that education is the single most important factor in the development of a country because…” So, what is the problem with this? Is there any problem to start off your essay with something like this, or to start off your answer? There’s a big problem. So I want you to take a moment and think: “What could be the problem with starting your essay off with this sentence?” Okay, well, if you noticed, you have here the word: “education, education, is, is, the single most important, most important factor”.

If you notice, these are the same. They’re the exact same, except for: “I agree that” and “because”. The student, here, has used the exact same wording that is in the question. So, if you do this on the IELTS-and many students do this, same with on the TOEFL-you actually will lose marks, and same with in university, because you’re not showing your abilities; you’re just copying what somebody else has said or what the essay question is. So, in this video, I’m going to show you first off… First off, I’m going to tell you: Don’t do this, don’t copy. And I’m going to teach you ways in order to improve yourself and your answer by changing this wording. How can you change your introduction so it’s different than what the question is? Okay? So, let’s look at how to make these changes.

Okay, so what we are going to do in order to change the question into a proper answer that doesn’t just copy the question, is we are going to paraphrase. So, the word here is: “paraphrase”. This might be a new word for you. What does it mean to paraphrase something? Well, when we paraphrase, it means we take a sentence that, you know… We take somebody else’s sentence and we change it into our own words. Okay? So, we change the words of a sentence, we also change maybe the sentence structure, but we keep all the same meaning. Okay? So, the meaning from the sentence you copy, it stays the same, same meaning, but different words and different sentence structure. Okay? So it’s in your words, but this other person’s meaning. So, we are going to paraphrase this example of a question into our own words. So, first we’re going to look at how to do that using vocabulary and synonyms. So, we have here the same question: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” How can we put this into new words or our own words that keep the same meaning? Well, we can use synonyms.

So, this might be a new word for you, too. A “synonym”. “Synonyms” are words that have the same meaning, but are different words. So, for example: “big” and “large”, they have the same meaning, just like: “huge”, “enormous”, these are synonyms of each other; same meaning, but they’re different words. So, you need to use different synonyms so you don’t just copy these words. You use synonyms to have words that have the same meaning, but are different words. So, let’s look at an example. Our first word, here, is: “education”. What’s another word we can use instead of…? Instead of “education”? Well, there’s different words we can use. Maybe one could be: “schooling”. Okay? So, we could change this word to “schooling”.

“Schooling is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” What’s another word we can change? Well, maybe “most important”. Instead of using the word “most important”, maybe we could use: “most significant” or “most essential”. Okay? So: “essential”, “significant”. There are many words you can use. But the point here is: Find a word that has the same meaning, but is a different word. Okay, here’s another word: “factor”. Can you think of another word for “factor”? Well, sometimes “factor”, it can be an “aspect” or an “element”.

Okay? You can even say sometimes: “a significant role”. Okay? Or: “a part”. So, there’s different words we can use that have similar meanings. In terms of the word “development”, we can change the word “development” to “advancement”, “progression”, “evolution”. Okay? And in terms of the word “country”, another word for “country” is “nation”. Okay? So, these are all synonyms, and this is what you want to do. When you look at the question, think about some new words you can use that have the same meaning. This is also important throughout your essay, because one problem a lot of students have is they keep using the same word again, and again, and again in every sentence. This does not help you with your marks. It’s better to use different words that have the same meaning. At the same time, you have to be careful, here, because some students, they find a new word, they think it’s a great word, but there is a little bit of a difference in meaning. So, you need to be really comfortable with the word you choose, and you need to know what it actually means so it doesn’t sound strange.

Okay, so if we wanted to change this now, instead of saying: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country”, our paraphrase… Our first step in our paraphrase could be changing these words to: “Schooling is the single most significant element in the advancement of a nation.” Okay? So that’s just one example. So, now, let’s look at another thing you can do in order to paraphrase the question on a test or exam.

Okay, another way we can paraphrase is by changing the structure of the sentence. So, for example, you might have a verb and, you know, which is an action, and you might change that into its noun form. So, for example, if your verb is “developing”, you might change that into “development”. You might change, similarly, a noun into a verb. Okay? So, for example, we just said “development” is the noun, it can turn into: “develop” or “developing”. You can also change things into adjectives. So, if, for example, you’re talking about “technology”, which is a noun, you can change this into the adjective form which is “technological”. So, changing the form of the word can help you with paraphrasing.

Also changing placement of the words can help you out. So, for example, in our original sentence or the question was: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” So, I’ve now changed some of the wording, as well as the order. Okay? So, here: “Education” is at the beginning. In my sentence: “The most essential element of a nation’s development is education.” I’ve changed the order of the sentence, so now “education” is at the end, instead of at the beginning. I’ve also started out with: “The most essential”, as my beginning; whereas here, it was in the middle. You’ll also notice we have, here: “in the development of a country”, I’ve changed this to: “nation’s development”.

I could also change this to: “country’s development”, instead of “the development of a country”. So, changing the order of the sentence and changing some of the structures can really help you in terms of paraphrasing. Now let’s learn one other way in which we can improve our marks by paraphrasing. Okay, so the last tip I have about paraphrasing a question is using concessions. So, what is a concession? Well, I want you to look at what the question actually says and my new answer to it. The question, again, same question as before: “Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country.” My answer… Okay, so I’ve changed some words and I’ve also changed the structure a bit, but there’s one other thing I’ve added. “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building, I think education has a far greater impact.” So, what I’ve done here is I’ve added a concession.

A concession is where you say what the opposite opinion is, and then you say what your opinion is. So, you’re giving two opinions; you’re giving your opinion and also what other people might think. This is a great thing to do, especially in essays, and this is something you can do at the beginning of your answer. So, we use here the key word: “Although”. Okay? And you’ll notice that this has two clauses. I don’t want to get too technical with grammar on you today, but what I mean is: If you see, we have the red part: “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building,” and then we have a second part. So, we have two parts to this sentence. “…I think education has a far greater impact.” So, the first part of the sentence is in red and it’s the “Although” part, and the second part of the sentence is in purple-okay?-and that’s: “I think education has a far greater impact.” And they’re separated by a comma.

So, a concession has two parts to it. You say what the other people think first, in this case: “Although many”, “many” meaning people, we could also say: “many people”. “Although many would argue that the economy is the most important factor in nation-building,” okay? So, this is what some people would say. Now I’m going to say what I think. “I think education has a far greater impact.” So, why is this a good idea? Well, one reason is because when you write a concession, when you’re showing what the opposite opinion of yours is, you’re showing that you’ve thought about the issue.

Okay? You’re looking at both sides. You’re not just looking at your opinion. You’re looking at both sides, and then you’re making a judgment. So this shows that you’re thinking about the question, and you’re really giving it some thought. And by representing both sides, you’re really showing critical thinking. So this is a very good idea to do. Okay, so the three things we’ve talked about today in terms of paraphrasing the question is: Changing the words using synonyms, we’ve talked about changing the sentence structure, and we’ve also talked about adding the other perspective using concessions. Okay? So, these are three things you can do in order to change the question so you’re not just copying what is on your test paper. Again, great thing to do if you’re writing a high school essay, university essay, TOEFL, IELTS, CELPIP, all of these things – this skill will really come in handy for you.

Now, you might be wondering: “Okay, this is great, but I don’t know any synonyms. Or I… You know, I don’t know much about this.” Well, what you can do is you can come check out our website at www.engvid.com. There, you can find a lot of other resources, including improving your vocabulary, we even have a video on how to make concessions, you know, we have videos on sentence structure, too. So, there’s a lot of videos you can check out and a lot of resources. You can also come visit our website where you will find a quiz, and by taking that quiz, you can actually practice your paraphrasing skills so you can see, you know: “Am I doing this right? Is this…? You know, is this the right way to do this?” and get more practice. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. And until next time, take care.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London

IELTS Speaking Task 1 – How to get a high score

Hi, there. My name is Emma, and in today’s lesson, we will be looking at how to do well on the speaking part of the IELTS. So the speaking part of the IELTS is divided up into three sections. Today, we’re just going to be looking at section No. 1. So first of all, I will explain how to do well — oh, sorry. First, I’ll explain what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS. And from there, we’ll look at some things you should do to do well and some things you shouldn’t do, okay? So let’s get started. So what happens in Part 1 of the IELTS? Well, first of all, the speaking Part 1 of the IELTS is for both those taking the General IELTS exam and the Academic. So whether you’re taking the Academic or the General IELTS, it’s the same test with the same questions. Okay. It lasts between four to five minutes.

It’s made up of first an introduction. So the examiner is going to introduce himself or herself. Then, you will introduce yourself. So for example, “Hi. My name is Emma. Nice to meet you.” Okay, so there’s an introduction. And then, the examiner is going to ask you some questions about yourself. So these questions aren’t that difficult. Usually, they’re about where you’re from. So for example what city you were born in, where you grew up. They might be about work. They might be about what you study, about your friends, about your hobbies, food, sports, and another thing I don’t have up here, family. Family is also common on this part of the IELTS. Okay? So usually, the examiner, after introducing himself or herself, they will talk to you about two of these topics.

Okay?” Now, the way they mark this part of the IELTS is they’re looking specifically for pronunciation, okay? So can they understand what you’re saying? Do you pronounce things well? They’re going to be looking at fluency. So what’s “fluency”? Well, do you go, “Uh, um, uh, uh” a lot during the test? Or do you speak very clearly, in a very nice rhythmic way? Do you use organizers or transitions? “First of all, secondly, finally.” Do you use words like this? “Another reason.” Or do you have problems speaking at a normal rate? So they look at that in fluency.” Then, they mark you also on vocabulary. Do you use words like “good, bad” a lot? Those are very low-level words. Or do you use high level words that really show off your vocabulary?” The final thing you’re marked on is grammar and accuracy. So for example, do you only use the present test for the whole test or are you able to correctly use the present tense, the past tense, present perfect, future? How well is your grammar? Okay? So don’t panic.

Maybe you’re weak in grammar. Maybe you make some mistakes in grammar. But you’re marked equally on these four components, okay? So now, let’s look at some tips on how to do well on Part 1 of the speaking part of the IELTS. Okay. So what are some of the things we should do to get a good mark in Part 1 of the IELTS for speaking? Well, we have a list here of dos. Okay? So these are things you want to do. So the first thing that’s very important is when you first meet the examiner, okay? If you’re very nervous, and you don’t make eye-contact, and you look at the floor the whole time, you’re not going to do well on the IELTS even if your English is pretty good.

So it’s very important to present yourself with confidence, okay? You want to go into that test and know you’re going to do well. If you think you’re going to do well, you’re going to do a lot better. Okay? If you think you’re going to do badly, you’re probably going to do badly. So think you’re going to do well, and be confident. Okay? Another important thing is be friendly. Okay. You want to smile. Body language is actually very important in the IELTS. You want to make eye-contact, okay? So don’t look at your feet. Don’t look at your hands. Look at the examiner. But you don’t have to stare at them, okay? Just look at them when you talk. Another thing a lot of students forget is they don’t act excited when they’re answering questions. So what do I mean by this? Well, they talk with a monotone. So for example, “Do you like playing sports?” This is a common question on the IELTS.

A student might respond, “I really like playing basketball. Basketball is a good sport.” Okay. If the examiner hears that, you’re probably not going to get a good mark. You should act excited about what you’re saying. Okay? “Yes. I love sports. Basketball is my favorite. It’s, you know — I love watching basketball. It’s a lot of fun to play.” If you seem excited, you will do better. Okay. The next thing that’s very important is the vocabulary you use, okay? So remember, you’re getting marked on four different things. One of these things is vocabulary. So how do you improve your vocabulary mark? Well, don’t use simple, easy, boring, low-level words like, “I like basketball because it’s good. I don’t like soccer because it’s bad.” Okay? These words, “bad, good “, they’re too easy. You need to try to find vocabulary that is higher level and practice before you do the IELTS. So for example, a good thing to do is look at the list of topics you will probably be asked about.

Food is a very common thing they will ask you about. So try to come up with vocabulary in advance and practice this vocabulary about the different topics. So for example, I know they may ask me a question about food. So I might learn some words that have to do with food. Maybe I don’t know the word “cuisine”. Well, if they ask me a question about food, I can say, “My favorite type of food — I love Indian cuisine.” Okay? And there you go. They’ve just noticed you used a higher level word. Same with friends. A common word we use when we talk about friends, we talk about “acquaintances”. Okay? So this is another good word to use. So again, try to come up with vocabulary for each of the different topics, and practice. Okay.

Now, in this part of the IELTS, the examiner may ask you about what you like. “Do you like to play sports? What hobbies do you like? What are your favorite foods?” Now, one thing a lot of students do is they overuse “I like”. “I like this. I like that. I like this. I like that.” This is not going to help you with your vocabulary mark.

So instead of using “I like” a lot, try something different. “I enjoy playing basketball. I enjoy hanging out with my friends. I really love yoga. I really love bowling.” Okay? “I prefer playing sports to doing other activities.” So “I enjoy, I really love, I prefer” — I’m sure you can come up with more, but it’s good to practice these types of expressions before you do the IELTS, okay?” Another key tip: Expand your answers. So what does this mean? Well, maybe the examiner asked you a question, “What is your favorite food?” Or — sorry. Let me think of a good example. “Do you like to play sports?” Okay? The examiner might ask you that. Some students might just say, “No.” And that’s their answer. “Do you like to play sports? Do you like to cook?” “No.” Well, the examiner is not going to be able to judge your English if you answer questions yes or no.

You have to give bigger, longer answers. So this is what I mean by expand. Don’t just say “yes” or “no”. Even if you don’t know what to say, make something up. So for example, a common question they ask, “Where are you from?” Now, I could just say, “I’m from Toronto.” Or, “Toronto.” This isn’t going to help my IELTS mark. It’s better if I expand this answer. “I’m from Toronto. It’s actually the biggest city in Canada. It’s also considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world.” I don’t have to talk too long about Toronto. I don’t want to say the whole history of Toronto. I don’t want to keep talking and talking and talking. But I don’t want a very short answer. So you need to find an answer that is not too short and not too long. You want something in the middle. Okay? So that’s what I mean by “expand”.

One way to expand your answers is by giving examples. So I asked this question earlier. You know, “What’s your favorite food?” “Oh, I love Indian cuisine.” How can I add to this? I can give examples. “My favorite dish is palak paneer. It’s made from spinach, a type of cheese they use in India, spices. You know, we often eat it at my house.” So there. Instead of just saying, “I like Indian food”, I’ve given a lot of examples. And that’s what you want to do, okay? Finally, most importantly, practice. Okay? So you know the types of questions you’re going to get. A lot about what you do for work, what do you study, how many people are in your family — these types of questions. Now, it’s important to practice your answers. Okay? Practice with your friends. Practice with a mirror. Practice, practice, practice. It’s very important that you practice answering these types of questions before you do the IELTS. Okay, so now, let’s look at some of the “don’ts”, some things you shouldn’t do in the IELTS.

Okay. So what are things you shouldn’t do? Okay, now, we’re going to look at a list of what you shouldn’t do. So “don’ts”. Okay. Don’t do this. Don’t speak with a monotone. So I already mentioned this. Don’t speak where your voice flat, okay? Don’t speak like, “I have a mother and a father.” Don’t say things like that. Speak with enthusiasm, okay? Not monotone. Okay. Don’t give yes/no answers. “Do you have a family?” “Yes.” That’s a horrible answer.” Okay? It’s more — “Have you traveled to China?” “No.” Okay.

These types of answers are not the ones you want to give. Expand. Make your answer longer, even if you have to lie. It’s okay to lie on the IELTS as long as you speak. That’s the most important thing. Okay. Do not repeat the question. Okay. So if they say, “Do you like sports?” “Yes, I like sports.” You’re wasting a sentence. Instead of repeating the question back to them, find a better way to say it.

“Do you like sports in” “Yes. There are many sports that I find very fun and interesting.” Okay, so don’t repeat the question. “Do you have a family?” “Yes, I have a family.” It’s not a good thing to do.” Don’t go off topic. So sometimes, students — they’re really actually excited, and they want to talk. And they want to show off their language skills. And so they think, “Oh, yes. I need to expand my answers.” But instead of expanding, they go and they talk about so many different things that don’t have to do with the topic. So for example, if they ask me a question on my hometown, if I start talking about Toronto, and then I start talking about education, and then I start talking about technology, this is going off on too many different topics.

Stick to what they ask you. Okay? You can give examples, but they should be about — they should refer to the question they asked you. Okay. Don’t answer, “I don’t know.” So in the first part of the IELTS, this would actually be a difficult — I can’t imagine you actually using this answer because the point of Part 1 of the IELTS is to make you feel comfortable. So the examiner asks you questions about yourself. So you should know these answers. “What are your favorite hobbies? What types of foods do you like to eat? How many members are there in your family?” You shouldn’t answer, “I don’t know” to any of these questions.

They’re about you. And if — maybe you don’t know. Maybe you’ve never thought about what’s your favorite food. Just make it up. Okay? Even if you hate sushi, even if you hate West Indian food or Canadian food. That’s okay. Just make it up. “I love West Indian food. I love Canadian food.” If you don’t know, make up your answer. Don’t speak too quickly, and don’t speak too slowly. Okay? So this is a little bit about fluency.

What often happens with students is when they get nervous, they start to talk really, really, really fast, and they go a mile a minute. They just go so fast. So if you’re the type of person that does this, practice is speaking in environments where you get nervous. So this way, you can practice maybe ways to deal with stress, ways to deal with nervousness. Try not to speak too quickly. Also, don’t speak very slowly, okay? I’ve had some students who have used a lot of “uh’s” and “ah’s”, and this is a problem. So don’t speak too slowly. Okay? Another thing: Don’t speak quietly. Okay? A lot of students, they’re nervous, and they’re shy, so they talk like this. And the examiner has to really listen. They can’t hear what they’re saying, and so you’re not going to do as well if you talk quietly.

Talk with confidence. Talk loudly so they can hear what you’re saying. Okay. Finally, the most important point: Don’t worry about being perfect. You do not have to speak perfect English to do well on the IELTS. Even if you’re aiming for a mark of nine on the IELTS, a bandwidth of 9 — sorry. If you’re looking for the mark of nine, you do not need perfect English, okay? You can make mistakes. So if you make a mistake, that’s okay. If you can correct it easily, do so. If you try to correct it and you’re going to make more mistakes or you’re going to take a lot of time, it’s okay; just leave it. If you make a mistake, continue to talk. Move on. There’s a chance that the examiner didn’t even hear that mistake.

And they expect you to make mistakes. So if you make a mistake between using “a” or “the”, if you make a mistake in terms of grammar, it’s okay. Native speakers make mistakes, too. People are used to hearing native speakers, ESL students make mistakes. So you do not have to be perfect. I can’t say that enough. Don’t worry about being perfect. Okay? So if you’re wondering the types of questions you may see on the IELTS, and if you want to practice with a friend or even in front of the mirror, I strongly recommend you visit the website www.goodluckielts.com.

On this website, there are more tips, as well as practice questions for Part 1 of the IELTS. And information, too, on the writing section, listening section, and reading section, okay? So I also invite you to come and do our quiz at www.engvid.com where you can practice some of these tips that we’ve talked about today. So until next time, take care..

As found on Youtube

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself When Learning English

Want to speak real English from your first lesson? Sign up for your free lifetime account at EnglishClass101.com. Hi, everybody, and welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha, and today we’re going to talk about 10 ways to motivate yourself when learning English. Let’s go! The first way to motivate yourself is to imagine that one day you will live in the United States. So to do this, imagine what is your day going to be like when you live in the US, where will you go, who will you meet, where will you shop, and so on.

Imagine your day in the United States. Ok, the second way to motivate yourself when you’re studying English is to study other aspects of the culture, too, which makes it more rewarding to study English. Ok, so this means, of course, studying English as a language but if there’s a specific country that you’d like to visit or a specific part of that country’s culture, try to learn about that too. If you like music, if you like the food, if you like the history; try to find something about a specific country or a specific part of that country’s culture that you enjoy in addition to studying the language. Ok! Way number 3 to motivate yourself is finding funny words in English. Ok, so finding a word that sounds funny or a word that you enjoy using, or a phrase that you enjoy using can really increase your motivation for using that word and for interacting with people.

So if you can find those phrases that you think are funny or are fun, they can be really really helpful for you as you learn your language. The next way to motivate yourself is to make friends with people who speak English. So of course, if you don’t have any friends who are English speakers, especially native English speakers, it’s a really good idea to make some friends. This way you can practice with them, you can learn from them, and you can just see maybe what their life is like and how their life is different from yours. So this is a great way to practice, a great way to learn, and a great way to think more internationally as well. The next way to motivate yourself is watching youtube videos of other people who have successfully learned English. So you can listen to people what worked for them, how did they study, where did they go, what materials did they use, what did they find not helpful.

So you can try to find a strategy that works well for you through using resources like YouTube, for example. It’s a great way to find people that maybe match with what you need. Ok, the next way to motivate yourself is by watching English movies and TV shows and enjoying the feeling when you can understand a word or a sentence. Yeah, I do this too. When you enjoy something, when you find entertainment value in something, like music, movies, TV, and you there’s that moment when you pick up, or when you understand what your favorite character said, or you understand that like a key point in the story, it’s a really really good feeling.

It makes you want to continue watching, I think. So that’s a really really nice feeling, I think, and you can do that by enjoying media so it’s a fun way to learn and it’s a fun feeling to experience. Ok, the next way to motivate yourself is by reading English news articles, blogs, and magazines to get a feel for formal and casual language. So the style that we use here, like EnglishClass101 and on the videos on this channel, is quite casual most of the time, or at least in these videos it’s very casual, but the way that I speak in the way a newspaper is written, the way a magazine is written, the way a newscaster presents the information, these are all different ways of communicating.

We’re using the same language, yes, but there are different styles, so it’s important to try to understand those differences and to become familiar with them. So try to find a few different things that you can enjoy. The next way to motivate yourself is after dinner you write about your day in a journal in English. Ok, this is an interesting idea. So just take a few minutes after dinner or before you go to bed to write something in English about what you did that day, or maybe so you have a chance to talk about future tense, or to use the future tense, you can use you can talk about your upcoming plans or the things you’re going to do the next day. So you can talk about past tense, what you did that day, maybe present tense, how you’re feeling as you’re writing your journal for the day, and future tense to talk about your upcoming plan.

So journaling can be a really effective exercise for motivating you. Okay, the next way to motivate yourself is by practicing with flashcards of useful words and phrases for 15 minutes every day on the train. I actually do do this, I use, but I use an application to study in Japanese to study Kanji, and 15 minutes every day adds up over the course of a week, you can learn a lot of information in a short period of time. And if you live in the country where your target language is spoken, then you might even find the word you studied on the train, you see it, like, after you leave the train you might see that word later on in your day.

So you can immediately feel like an extra sense of motivation by knowing that this thing you’re studying is applicable, it’s something you can use right away, it’s a really cool feeling. So this is a tip, I honestly, I use this. Last, I make sure to thank anyone and everyone who corrects my English. Yeah, I think this is really important because people are really nice, they don’t want to correct you when you make a mistake; but sometimes, people do, they’re really polite about it, and they tell you the more, tell you a more natural way, or they give you a suggestion for how to improve your English, make sure you say thank you. Like, repeat after them and then say thank you. So that’s, you know, it’s motivation for them to tell you again in the future, to help you again in the future.

So make sure to say thank you to anyone who helps you with your English. So that’s the end! So those are 10 ways that you can motivate yourself when you learn English. If you have a different strategy for how you like to motivate yourself to learn English, please let us know in the comments. Please be sure also to like this video and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already. Thanks very much for watching I hope this video motivated you to keep studying, we’ll see you again soon with more fun stuff, bye!.

Learn English: 11 ‘mind’ expressions

Hello. My name is Emma and in today’s lesson I am going to teach you a bunch of new vocabulary expressions. These expressions are all very common and very useful. So, the expressions we’re going to learn today all have the word “mind” in them. Okay? And there are a lot. I’m not even covering all of them because there are so many expressions in English with the word “mind”, so we’re only going to cover some of them, but we’re going to cover the main ones. Okay, so, when we talk about “mind”, there are different ways we’re talking about mind. “Mind” can have to do with the brain and with thinking or thoughts. Okay? So, sometimes when we’re talking about mind we’re talking about our brain or we’re talking about our thoughts. Sometimes we’re talking about something totally different with mind. Sometimes when we’re talking about mind we’re actually talking about being polite. For example: “Do you mind?” this is something where you’re being polite. And then we also use “mind” when we’re telling somebody to pay attention to something.

For example: “Mind the gap” or “Mind the hole”. So we have these three times where we’re using “mind” and we have a lot of different expressions for each of these different categories. So we’re going to go over each of these. I’m going to teach you a bunch of expressions where “mind” has to do with thought or brain, I’ll teach you a lot of expressions where it has to do with politeness, and then I’m going to teach you a lot of “mind” expressions that have to do with paying attention. But this is pretty much one way you can look at these expressions. So let’s get started by talking about… When we’re talking about mind, and thoughts, and the brain. So, first, when we talk about “mind” one meaning of “mind” can have to do with pretty much the brain, but it’s not exactly the brain. Okay? So your brain is in your head and it’s a physical thing. You can touch the brain, you can feel the brain, you can see the brain, smell the brain, so it’s physical. Mind is not physical.

You can’t see the mind because the mind is where your thoughts are, where your memories are, and these are things you can’t really see or feel, but they’re somewhere in here; we just can’t see them because they’re not physical. So, for example: Einstein, very famous scientist: “Einstein had a brilliant mind.” Okay? So this means Einstein had brilliant thoughts, he was very smart. He had, you know, brilliant ideas. These things are all in his mind. So it’s similar to brain, although not exactly the same thing, it’s very similar to brain.

We can also say: “psychologist”. A psychologist is a job and people who are psychologists, they study the human mind, meaning they look at the brain and they look at people’s memories, they look at the way people have ideas, and they think about: “Where do these things come from?” Okay? So they study the human mind. So, a lot of the times when we use the word “mind”, we’re talking about kind of your brain and your thoughts. You know, we might say: “Oh, Beethoven had an incredible mind”, or you know: “In your opinion, which minds were the greatest of the 20th century? Who had the greatest mind?” Meaning: Who had the greatest ideas, and thoughts, and pretty much brain? Okay, so that’s “mind”. Now, let’s look at another way we use “mind” and that’s in the expression: “on someone’s mind”. So this is a very common expression. In English we often ask: “What’s on your mind?” Or we also say: “I have a lot on my mind.” So, what does: “on my mind” mean? And make sure you have “on someone’s mind”, so it can be: “on my mind”, “on your mind”, “on her mind”, “on John’s mind”, you can pretty much put any person here.

What does it mean? Well, when we talk about “on our mind” we’re usually talking about problems, so we’re usually talking about problems that we are thinking about. These are thoughts, we’re thinking about something so it’s on our mind. So, let me give you an example. If I ask you: “What’s on your mind?” I’m asking you: “What are you thinking about right now? What’s on your mind?” And you might tell me, you know, some problem you’re having. “You know, I had a fight with my brother. That’s on my mind right now, that’s what I’m thinking about.” You can also say: “I have a lot on my mind.” When somebody says this it means they’re saying: “I’m thinking about some problem I’m having”. “I have a lot on my mind”, it means I’m thinking about a lot of problems right now or a big problem I have. So you’ll see often in TV or movies somebody says: -“What’s wrong?” -“Oh, I have a lot on my mind right now, sorry.” Okay? Meaning: “I have a lot of things I’m dealing with at the moment” or “I have a lot of problems in my life”.

Okay? So: “on my mind” has to do with thoughts, often it has to do with problems and thinking about problems. Now, let’s look at some other examples with the word “mind” when we’re talking about thoughts and the brain. Okay, so our next expression also has to do with thinking, thoughts, and the brain, and that’s: “have in mind”. Okay? So: “have in mind”. So, when you have something in mind or someone in mind, what it means is that you are thinking about a person for a position…

So, for example: -“Who are you voting for?” -“I have Trudeau in mind”, so I am thinking about Trudeau for the position of Prime Minister. Or, you know, maybe if you’re following American politics, you know, if Hillary Clinton is running, you might say: -“Who are you voting for?” -“Oh, I have Hillary in mind.” This could also be for a promotion at work. Maybe you need to hire somebody for your company or promote somebody, so you want to give somebody a job. -“Who do you have in mind for the job?” -“Oh, I have my sister in mind” or -“I have George in mind. He’s a good employee.” So it’s where you’re thinking or it’s like your opinion about a person for a position. You think this person is good for this position, so you have this person in mind for this position. We can also use it with a thing also. It doesn’t always have to be a person. For example, when we are thinking about something, some sort of object that is right for a situation.

So, for example, you know, I’m pretty hungry right now, I’m thinking about dinner. So somebody might say: “Oh, what do you have in mind for dinner?” So: -“What are you thinking about for dinner? What is right for dinner?” -“In my opinion, I have pizza in mind.” That’s what I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about pizza. Pizza is right for this situation. Okay? So, again, we can use it either with a person or a thing, but you’re pretty much saying that this is right for this situation in your opinion. Okay. Our next expression is: “lose someone’s mind”. Okay? I really like this expression. When you lose your mind it means you go crazy. So, for example: “I’m losing my mind. The cat is speaking English.” Okay? So this means I’m going crazy because cats, of course, don’t speak English, so I’m losing my mind. We can also use it if somebody’s doing something very strange, you know: “I think my dad has lost his mind. He’s, you know, wearing a winter jacket and it’s summertime. I think my dad has lost his mind.

I think my dad has gone crazy.” So, we use this expression a lot, especially in conversation. All right, now let’s look at some other expressions to do with the mind. Okay, so our next expression is: “cross someone’s mind”, so this could be: “cross my mind”, “cross your mind”, “cross her mind”, “cross his mind”, and what it means is when we think of an idea very quickly. Okay? An idea comes into our head very quickly.

So, for example: “It just crossed my mind that I need to buy bread today.” It means I’ve just really quickly come up with this idea. Or: “It crossed my mind that I should bring an umbrella because it’s going to rain.” So it just means a quick idea. Okay, our next expression: “Give a piece of someone’s mind.” I really like this expression. It means when you’re giving someone an angry opinion. Okay? So, when you give a piece of your mind, you’re usually angry like this. So maybe, you know, you want to call your telephone company and you’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and nobody’s answering the phone. You might say to yourself: “I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.” It means: “I’m going to give them my angry opinion.

I’m so angry right now.” So: “She gave them a piece of her mind.” Okay? If I ever meet… You know, like, maybe there’s somebody you don’t like: “If I ever meet Johnny I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.” It means I’m going to tell him my angry opinion about him. Okay? What I don’t like about him. Okay, the next one is also an expression, I love this expression actually. When your “mind goes blank”. Okay? This happens to me all the time. What it means is when you forget everything. Okay? You forget what you’re going to say, you forget what you’re supposed to do, you forget everything, and your mind… You don’t remember what you’re supposed to do. So, for example, if you have ever taken a test and you get the piece of paper, you get the test, and you look at it and suddenly: “Oh my god, I don’t remember anything. Oh my god, I’ve forgotten everything.” That means your mind has gone blank.

Or if somebody asks you a question, you know: “Can…?” Like, you know: “What’s…? What’s your phone number?” Maybe if you’re, like, forgetful, you don’t remember. “Oh, my mind just went blank. I don’t remember. I need to, you know, memorize it.” Okay? So when your mind goes blank it’s usually because you’re nervous or tired and you forget everything. Okay? And then maybe you remember in a minute, but at that moment you don’t remember anything.

Okay, so: “My mind just went blank.” My mind always goes blank. Okay, the final example of these brain expressions with “mind” is: “Make up someone’s mind.” So, when somebody makes up their mind it means they decide something, they decide to do something. Okay? So I can say: “I have made up my mind. I’m going to university.” It means I’ve decided to go to university. We could say: “Philip made up his mind. He’s going to get pizza for dinner tonight.” Or: “Susan made up her mind. She’s going to the prom with Johnny.” Just another example. So, when you make up your mind, you decide to do something.

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to be an astronaut.” Another example, okay, of deciding to do something. So now let’s look at some expressions that have to do with “mind” when we’re talking about being polite and politeness. Okay, so we can also use the word “mind” when we are trying to be polite. And usually we use it this way if we are asking permission for something or if we are requesting something. Pretty much we are asking: Is something okay? And this is a very polite way to ask that. So, for example: “Do you mind if _______?”, “Do you mind if I smoke?” So this is a question where you’re politely asking: “Is it okay if I smoke?” Okay? So, we don’t usually… Well, we sometimes talk this way to our friends, but we usually use this in formal situations or with strangers, or with people we don’t really know that well.

But we can also use it with friends, too. “Do you mind if I smoke?” So you’re asking permission. “Is it okay if I smoke?”, “Do you mind if I open the window?”, “Do you mind if I turn off the light?”, “Do you mind if I borrow your books?” Okay? So, again, you’re asking permission. Now, if it’s okay, you can say: “I don’t mind.” This means: “It’s okay”. “I don’t mind if you open the window.”, “I don’t mind if you smoke.”, “I don’t mind if you borrow my books.” You’re saying: “It’s okay if you do this.” You don’t even need this. If you want, you can say: “Sure. I don’t mind.” So, you know, you don’t need the full sentence, you can just say: “I don’t mind”, and that’s okay, too.

What about if you do mind? What about if it’s not okay? If somebody says: “Do you mind if I smoke?” and you’re not okay with it, what you can say is: “I prefer if you didn’t”. -“Do you mind if I open the window?” -“Well, I’d prefer if you didn’t.” Okay? So we say: “I don’t mind” if it’s okay, and we can say it in different ways, but one way is if you have a problem you can say: “I’d prefer it if you didn’t.” Okay, and then we also have another expression which means very similar: “Would you mind _______?” So this is a very polite way to speak, just like: “Do you mind?”, “Would you mind getting me some coffee?” So in this case I’m asking somebody to do something for me, so I’m requesting something. I want somebody to do something for me and I’m asking: “Is it okay? Is it okay for you…? Do you mind if you get me some coffee?”, “Would you mind getting me some coffee?” I’m requesting for the person to do something for me. “Would you mind if I don’t go to the party?”, “Is it okay if I don’t go to the party? Would you mind?” So this, again, is very similar to: “Do you mind?” It’s a polite way to either request something or ask for somebody’s permission to see if something is okay.

So these are all very polite ways to speak. So we’ve now covered “mind” when we’re talking about the brain and thinking, we’ve covered “mind” when we’re talking about being polite and requesting or asking permission for something. And now let’s look at the final way we use “mind”, which is when we’re telling somebody to pay attention to something. Okay, so our next expression has to do with paying attention. It means you’re telling somebody to be careful about some sort of danger, and so that sentence is: “Mind the _______!” and then here you put whatever the danger is.

So, for example: “Mind the gap.” If you’ve ever been on the subway or the tube and you see there’s, like, between the train and the platform, there’s like a hole, sometimes people might trip on that so you’ll see signs saying: “Mind the gap”, which means: “Be careful about the gap. Pay attention for this gap.” Or on a rainy day when it rains, the ground has puddles on it. So, a puddle is like a lot of water, and what you might tell your friend is: “Oh wait, mind the puddle”, meaning: “Pay attention.

There’s a puddle there.” Or maybe you see dog poo on the sidewalk, and you’re about to step in it and your friend says: “Mind the dog shit.” Okay? Or: “Mind the dog poo”, if you want to be more polite. So, you know, you see these different dangers. Sometimes they’re not dangers, but you really don’t want to step in dog doo-doo, so that’s an example. So anytime you’re telling somebody: “Be careful. Pay attention to this” and it’s kind of urgent, you can use: “Mind the _______.” We also have: “Keep in mind”. So, “keep in mind” means you’re telling somebody to pay attention to something and not forget to remember something. Okay? So, for example: “Keep in mind the bus leaves at 8 pm.” This means: “Remember”, or, you know: “Keep this on your mind. Don’t forget this. Pay special attention to this, the bus leaves at 8 pm.” Or imagine your boss is going on vacation and you’re not going to be able to contact them, your boss might tell you: “Keep in mind I’m going on vacation on Tuesday.” Okay? So: “Keep in mind” means: “Please remember this.” You’re pretty much reminding somebody about something, you’re telling them to put…

Or to pay attention to it, to put some sort of focus on it, and to remember it. Okay? So we’ve covered a lot of different expressions, and just to tell you this, when we cover a lot of expressions it’s very easy to forget some of the ones we cover because we have covered many. What I recommend is maybe working on three or four a day, and then just come back to the video, watch again, learn some new expressions, practice those ones, and once you’re comfortable with those ones maybe work on some of the other expressions we’ve covered in this video. You don’t have to learn them all at the same time; you can do a little bit every day, and that way you will remember a lot more.

On that note, I invite you to come check out our website at www.engvid.com and there you can actually find a quiz where we have all of these expressions and you can practice using them in our quiz. So I highly recommend that for practice. Another point is I’d like you to invite you to subscribe to our channel. There, you will find a lot of incredible videos on all sorts of things. We have more vocabulary videos, grammar, pronunciation, IELTS, TOEFL, business English, all sorts of different resources that are very helpful for students. So I highly recommend you check that out. Until next time, take care. And I will see you later..

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