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Issue #028 -- Week 16/11/14-22/11/14
November 25, 2014
Greetings and General Information
Apologies my friends, for not having posted this issue yesterday, as scheduled. This was due to Internet connection problems over here in Saudi Arabia, which made me give up trying round about bedtime. The problems persist today, so I'm going to do my best to get this through before it's blocked again.
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 12
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 skillful 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: Understanding Meaning in Context
Last time we looked into some reading tools that test one’s ability to recognise and read words, without taking into account the meaning of those words.
In this issue we shall consider testing one’s ability to read text, i.e. understanding the meaning of words in context, hence getting the ideas and the propositions the author is transmitting. This can be done at various levels, but I shall keep in line with what I said previously, that this course is for beginners and for parents teaching their children to read. In time, we shall get to more advanced levels, but I prefer you all to have a scaffold-method of reaching those methods, with no steps missing. That’s the way to build a solid foundation for your own reading, as well as for your children’s.
Now, depending on the amount of practice a child/beginner of English has with reading, there can be a very wide diversity in ability to read. With sufficient and correct practice, a 7-year old child can actually be near to GCSE level, whereas another one of the same age can just recognise a few words and miss the idea of the piece of reading. I have designed the following reading passages (stories), together with the questions you can ask your children, so that you can grasp a clear idea of your child’s reading ability at this moment in time.
Level 1 – Bob Is Happy
Today is hot. Bob and his dog Roxy went to the river. He looks at the fish in the water. The fish looks at him. Then the fish swims away. It is very fast. Bob jumps in the river. Splash! Roxy jumps in, too. Bob is very happy. Roxy is with him, and they can swim in the warm water.
Questions to ask:
My Spanish students started practising at this level at the age of 4, in kindergarten, right after they had a large enough bank of CVC words and sight words in their second language vocabulary. Your children can do this too, if you did the previous lessons diligently with them – the ones from our previous pronunciation course, when we introduced sufficient CVCs and sight words to get your child’s level of reading up to the equivalent of grade 3 and beyond.
My friends, due to lack of time (again, because of work pressures) I will not have time to write the stories for the subsequent levels 2-4. I am writing them myself, so they are original work, hoping that eventually they will be transferred into some nice children’s books, with colourful pictures, to make the reading more fun – exactly what I was telling you about in the first lesson of this course in reading.
Let me see if I can do this for our next issue.
Grammar ~ Linking Sentences 
We have considered linking signals within a sentence so far. These are words used by people to indicate how they organise their speech in order to present their ideas clearly but also with style.
Now we shall spend some time looking at how these words can help us connect sentences, i.e. the organisation of connections between sentences.
We consider a clause (the unit which may express a thought) as the basic unit of meaning in discourse (in speech). Clauses put together form sentences and these are, in turn of various types. If you’re not familiar with the type of sentences we can have in English, I suggest you visit [ this page ], to familiarise yourself with this matter. Grammar provides three main ways of putting clauses together:
[A] COORDINATION: we do this by using the conjunctions and, or, but, both… and, etc.
[C] ADVERBIAL LINK: we can also link two ideas by using a linking sentence adverbial, like: yet, moreover and meanwhile
Let’s look at an example, and for this we shall use the idea of a contrast:
The concert continued but my friend stopped listening.
The author included some controversial examples in his third chapter, although he was warned by his editor to avoid these.
[C] ADVERBIAL LINK:
Most of the students were studying in the library. Meanwhile, John decided to visit his uncle instead.
Note: for a stronger and more emphatic link, occasionally we find a combination of a sentence adverbial with coordination or subordination.
[A] + [C]: He was extremely tired, but he was nevertheless unable to sleep until after midnight.
[B] + [C]: Although she was interested in collecting stamps, yet because of the costly nature of this hobby, she opted for gathering dried flowers instead.
So, how do we choose between coordination, subordination and linking adverbials?
 Coordination is often less emphatic and vaguer, therefore it provides a ‘looser’ connection than the others. We use coordination more in informal than in formal style. This type of linking two sentences is preferred for sentences at the same level, in other words they will be perceived to be of the same value, for example they are both main sentences.
 Subordination tends to make a sentence a less important part in the information conveyed by a sentence. We use this type of linking when we subordinate one sentence to the main sentence, in other words, one sentence will not have a complete meaning without the other one – a little bit like a branch with the tree it belongs to.
 Adverbial links are often used to connect longer stretches of language, perhaps whole sentences which themselves contain coordinate or subordinate clauses.
Next time we shall consider linking sentences, to express various other meanings, such as time, cause & reason, positive & negative condition, condition & contrast, addition and alternatives.
Website Design ~ Profitability vs. Monetization
In this issue, I want to point out the difference between "Overall Profitability" and "Monetization".
The former is based on how many profitable keywords you have in your MKL (Master Keyword List) and how profitable they are more precisely. It looks at the Demand/Supply ratio of a keyword.
The latter is a tool we need to assess the potential a website has for us to build several streams of income. C T P is useless if there is no M potential! For those of you who joined us after the point when we explained CTPM, you can find it in the lesson about the basic concepts, in [ Issue 016 ].
Let’s look at this just for a minute:
The fact is that you must be able to monetize your PREsold traffic. The more ways to do that, the better. How many of the following could you (eventually) implement on each Site Concept, and with what kind of financial potential?
Now, if you're not sure about the entire niche, look at the commercial intent of each group of keywords. Are the keywords related to seeking information or buying something? Perhaps one group has commercial intent and is best monetized with an e-book, while another group is best monetized with an e-course or AdSense ads. A third group may have low commercial intent. If you can see a way to monetize all or most of the groups, it's easier to answer the question "is there money in it?"
You will cover these and other monetization models in detail around the end of this year, after we’ll have covered brainstorming tactics for profitable topics and designing a Site Content Blueprint. We shall start this chapter in our next issue, for the duration of about 4-5 lessons.
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.
Have fun, as always!
Lucia da Vinci
Founder of My English Club
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