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Issue #027 -- Week 09/11/14-15/11/14
November 18, 2014
Greetings and General Information
A warm welcome to our new subscribers! I wish you will find My English Club fun and instructive and I look forward to welcome you as a new valued member soon. Read, learn and communicate around the world!
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Month 3 ~ Lesson 11
We started studying three subjects back in September 2014: pronunciation and grammar for improving your communication skills, as well as website design and development, for applying your English in practice once you get skilful in English and website building. Once we covered the basics of pronunciation, we started a new course in reading.
You can find our past lessons as follows:
Reading ~ Step 1: Word Recognition
The first thing you need is test your word recognition. Or, for that matter, your child’s word recognition, if it is him/her you’re trying to guide with their reading.
For this, we have lists of words, starting from words with simple phonic structure and progressing to words with a considerably more complex structure. These lists are merely testing word recognition, not the knowledge of word meanings or the ability to understand these words in a sentence, or the events in a story.
We shall look at 3 levels of words in this issue, of which the first list of words have a phonic basis, although such words like ‘door’, ‘queen’, ‘spoon’ do not.
The words included here are:
cat, dog, man, tap, hat, bag, pen, pin, bus, sun, lip, mug, jam, fat, rat, kid, lid, net, vet, win, box, yet, zip, queen, blot, brick, spoon, clip, crab, drop, egg, frog, grip, flag, pram, glad, step, plug, skip, scan, trip, spot, sock, slip, shop, swim, that, tree, moon, chip, feet, foot, king, dust, rush, end, kill, door.
If you or your child has difficulties reading these words, then you need to review the CVCs [see Issue 017 ] and the CCVCs/CCVCCs [in Issue 019 ]. These words need to be re-learnt, or else it will affect the efficiency of your reading process and reduce your enjoyment in the act.
The second level will include extended phonic words, like ‘sitting’ and ‘tennis’ – both using short vowels. Your can read them as two CVC words together: ‘sit’+’ting’ and ‘ten’+’nis’ and this is how we build on our knowledge of CVCs. Another category of simple words used in stories for children contains long vowels or other sounds for vowels, as we’ve seen in Issue 022 and Issue 023 .
Some words in this category are:
ball, small, gold, spring, wash, her, she, they, what, sky, game, out, about, you, your, read, cart, pull, clean, jar, morning, play, white, away, every, boat, nice, bread, school, have, pay, hole, said, paper, were, count, mouth, nose, mother, father, winter, summer, sister, table, dinner, water, letter, show, first, chair, fairy, pretty, grass, each, only, talk, horse, cold, after, mouse, year, more, lady.
If these words don’t create a problem, then your child is able to read at the level of a native seven years of age, roughly.
The list for the next level is read by fairly good readers of 7-8 years old, or otherwise beginner level, if English is your second language:
swing, stick, brave, spoon, street, paint, granddad, myself, children, another, teacher, window, bedroom, garden, farmer, church, burn, night, firework, stairs, outside, talking, asking, reading, football, party, dance, stories, today, tomorrow, anything, nothing, behind, sound, learn, number, uncle, aunt, blue, orange, one, two, eight, Wednesday, Saturday, July, August, February, rainbow, money, needle, proud, pear, prince, princess, field, monkey, chicken, understand, yellow, someone, candle, lamb, dirty, Christmas, young, quickly, writing, afraid, yesterday, afternoon, birthday, sugar, friend, hundred, wolf, half, knife, railway, building, question, answer, history.
And now another list of yet more difficult words for which we need to test only the ability to recognise the sounds and read the words, not necessarily to understand them at this stage. If you know the meaning, that’s a bonus.
Here's the last list:
property, always, altogether, castle, newspaper, midnight, adventure, holiday, cabbage, beautiful, dangerous, monster, forgotten, potatoes, tomatoes, beginning, remember, entertain, arithmetic, biology, passenger, information, disappear, wonderful, telephone, electric, imagination, gentleman, accident, invitation, examination, pavement, population, department, umbrella, hospital, century, lightning, million, elephant, geography, conductor, determination, introduction.
As from next time we’ll start reading for meaning. This will help you establish your knowledge of word meanings, sentence meanings and the understanding of various written text.
Grammar ~ Linking Signals ~ Continuation 
Having discussed the kind of words and expressions we need for linking sentences in order to make a new start in a conversation, changing the subject and listing and adding new information to a conversation, reinforcement and summary and generalisation, in this lesson we shall consider expressing
1) explanation, as well as
1) Explanation has the function of explaining a point previously made, and we can do this in three ways:
a) By expanding and clarifying its meanings. We can use expressions like that is, that is to say, i.e.;
When you go to see a dentist for the first time, it is important to bring your medical history along. That is, your records from your previous doctor.
A graduate’s ability to fit into a job can be evaluated by using role-play before one even applies for a position. For example, you could use role-play with your colleagues, to see how you react to different situation in a job.
Note: the abbreviations i.e., viz. and e.g. are in Latin and they are mainly found in formal written text. When you read the respective text aloud, you will normally say: ‘that is’, ‘namely’ and ‘for example’ respectively.
Can you remember of any situation when you had to explain your words or modify your words by putting them in other words? This is called reformulation and is used to make our ideas clearer to the reader. We can introduce this by using an adverbial like in other words, rather, better:
During a job interview, be natural, in other words, be yourself.
She decided, or rather they decided to buy the house by the beach.
In spoken discussion the following can also be used: What I mean is…, or What I’m saying is….
As from next time, we’ll start looking into how clauses and sentences are linked. Until then, please familiarise yourselves with the expressions we’ve learnt so far, as they are going to help you a lot in your writing.
Website Design ~ Evaluate 7 factors for each Site Concept
Now we need to decide which Site Concept is best. There is no magic formula, but you do have all the key factors and guidelines to aid your human judgment in making your final decision.
To achieve this, we need to score the three potential Site Concepts out of 100 for each of the 7 factors outlined here.
1) Overall Profitability based on Keyword research results I showed you last time. How many solidly profitable keywords does each of your Site Concepts have? Remember... the Profitability numbers are useful, but we need to use our own judgment to make the final decisions. By this point, of course, you should be grading "shades of grey," having eliminated Site Concepts that were clearly out of your range (e.g., "too narrow" or "too broad").
You need a nice mix of reasonably high-Demand words, even if they have fairly high Supply, a few gems (medium Demand, low Supply) and many interesting "narrow niche" words (reasonably low Demand and low Supply).
Score each Site Concept for Overall Profitability and move on the next factor.... What else is important when picking your best Site Concept?
2) Your Available Time: As was mentioned earlier, it's important to consider how much time you are willing to dedicate to your online business. Be realistic.
For example, if you can only spend 2 hours per week on your site, you will do better, sooner, with antigua and barbuda." So score it higher than "anguilla" and "caribbean cruise" (ex., 90 vs. 50) since you are more likely to win at this smaller niche with 2 hours per week.
3) Knowledge: Lean towards the Site Concept that you know the best. Real knowledge, straight out of your brain, shines through. If you have to research everything until you become an expert, that's a much more serious time commitment. It takes a long time to "shine" as someone who really knows what s/he is talking about. Have you really "been there, done that?"
4) Passion: Choose a less profitable Site Concept if the thought of building a site about it excites you much more! It will be fun to create interesting web pages about the subject area and to do the necessary research to stay current. It's not work if it's fun.
5) Niche "Sexiness": It's not just your excitement that counts. Some Site Concepts are more apt to excite visitors. Trust your gut feel about which would excite visitors the most. It's easy to PREsell your way to a strong "Brand of One" with an exciting niche. Or make a niche exciting. We'll cover this more a bit later.
6) Monetization Potential:
You need to understand that ‘monetization potential’ is not the same as ‘keyword profitability’...
7) Niche Depth: Niche Depth looks at the overall size of your niche, based on several related ideas. First, how many keywords are there? A Site Concept with 300 keywords will produce a more substantial site than a niche that has only 175 keywords. The more content your site has, the more visitors it will receive.
This Is It, Folks!
I hope you find this information useful and not too confusing. Even though you're in the stage of building on it, have patience at this point in your learning and you'll be able to reap the fruit of your work later on, whichever aspect of our lessons you are concentrating on.
Please feel free to comment and suggest your ideas by replying to this email - I look forward to hearing from you.
OK, I wish you all a great week ahead.
Have fun, as always!
Lucia da Vinci
Founder of My English Club
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