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Issue #031 -- Week 07/12/14-13/12/14
December 16, 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 4 ~ Lesson 15

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:

Issue 016 - The NAMES and SOUNDS of the Letters
Issue 017 - Short/Long Vowel Sounds & CVCs
Issue 019 - CCVCs and CVCCs
Issue 020 - Digraphs and Silent Letters
Issue 021 - Sight Words (or Dolch Words)
Issue 022 - Long Vowel Sounds
Issue 023 - The R-Controlled Vowel Sounds
Issue 024 - Vowel and Consonant Contrasts

Issue 025 - An Introduction
Issue 026 - The Basic "Ingredients" of a Reading Programme
Issue 027 - Word Recognition
Issue 028 - Understanding Meaning in Context [1]
Issue 029 - Understanding Meaning in Context [2]
Issue 030 - Understanding Meaning in Context [3]

Issue 016 - CAUSE and EFFECT
Issue 017 - Comparison of Adjectives
Issue 019 - Comparison of Adverbs
Issue 020 - Special Cases of Comparison
Issue 021 - Comparison Clauses vs. Comparison Phrases
Issue 022 - Restrictive and Non-Restrictive Meaning
Issue 023 - Expressions of Frequency
Issue 024 - Using Grammar for Speaking/Writing
Issue 025 - Linking Signals and their Functions [1]
Issue 026 - Linking Signals and their Functions [2]
Issue 027 - Linking Signals and their Functions [3]
Issue 028 - Linking Sentences [1] (Types of linking)
Issue 029 - Linking Sentences [2] (Time, cause/reason/result)
Issue 030 - Linking Sentences [3] (Conditions)

Website building:
Issue 016 - The Basic Concepts
Issue 017 - Content vs. Monetize
Issue 019 - PREselling vs. Selling
Issue 020 - Developing a Site Concept
Issue 021 - Choosing Your Site Concept
Issue 022 - Choosing Your Niche
Issue 023 - Real Supply and Value Demand
Issue 024 - The Filter Tool - Phase 1
Issue 025 - The Filter Tool - Phase 2
Issue 026 - The "Depth" of a Website
Issue 027 - Evaluate 7 factors for each Site Concept
Issue 028 - Profitability vs. Monetization
Issue 029 - The Site Content Blueprint
Issue 030 - Lateral Brainstorm

Reading ~ Step 2: Enlarging Your Vocabulary (Beginner)

We said that starting from our present issue we shall look at some ways of acquiring vocabulary and improving it. Let’s proceed:

Meanings of words can be learnt partly through reading text as well as by doing simple exercises, practising opposites, analogies, putting words in the right places in a sentence, etc.

It is obvious that you need to choose simple words at the lower levels and increase their complexity towards the higher levels.

At level 1 you will start with the following types of exercises:

1) Opposite words exercises, like: 'day', 'cold', 'happy', 'shut', 'bad', 'new', etc. You will give your child a list of the exact number of opposites on another sheet, from which they would choose the correct ones individually. For this exercise, choose from: 'old', 'open', 'night', 'hot', 'sad', 'good'.

2) Sounds are another type of words that children need to recognise and know which animal or thing to associate them with. For example: 'bow-wow', 'moo', 'quack-quack', 'tick-tock', 'me-ow', etc. Ask your child to choose one of the following nouns for these: 'duck', 'cat', 'cow', 'clock', 'dog' and you shall see it’s not as easy as it would be in their own language. They need to learn these words as 'new vocabulary', whereas in the first language they acquire these in their daily life.

3) Words out of place, or ‘the odd one out’ is an exercise whereby children are given a set of words in which one doesn’t fit, in terms of its meaning. For example: 'nose', 'eye', 'ear', 'car', 'foot', 'hair'.

4) What’s wrong? This is a similar type of exercise, only that here we have to consider the meaning of words in the context of a sentence. You will make an incorrect association and your child’s task is to infer the correct meaning and to tell you why what you’ve said is wrong. A bit like: - I am a dog. I live in the sea.
- I am a duck. I live on the moon.

5) Synonyms words is like the exercise for opposite words above, but in reverse: the task is to match two words that have similar meaning. Say you have the words ‘start’, ‘hole’, ‘look’, ‘quick’, ‘fall’, ‘little’ on the one side. Now give them to your child to match them with the equivalent from the following group: ‘drop’, ‘begin’, ‘gap’, ‘see’, ‘fast’, ‘small’.

Now for level 2, you will have the same kind of exercises, only a slightly higher level of words:

1) Opposite words: 'soft', 'many', 'light', 'high', 'empty', 'white', 'buy', 'dirty', 'dry', 'friend', 'small', 'bottom' to match with the following ones: 'dark', 'black', 'full', 'few', 'low', 'clean', 'wet', 'sell', 'hard', 'enemy', 'big', 'top'.

2) Sounds You could choose from 'hoot', 'slam', 'bang', 'drip' to complete the following expressions:
- The __________ of a door
- The __________ of a gun
- The __________ of a horn
- The __________ of a tap

You see what I mean? Now the truth is that the meanings of these words will not come to you in other ways than
a) simply experiencing them as a native speaker, as you grow up, or
b) reading and speaking with other people in your second language. The more you expose yourselves to this vocabulary by reading, the sooner you’ll commit it to your memory.

The websites I mentioned in previous lessons have plenty of exercises of these types for both your children and yourselves to enjoy while you gather more and more vocabulary.

Grammar ~ Linking Sentences [4] (Additions)

Last time we worked on linking sentences in order to express conditions, both positive and negative, as well as alternative conditions.

In this issue we shall consider another situation: how to link sentences when you wish to add something, like another aspect of something or somebody you've mentioned previously.

Before we start, for those of you who haven’t received these lessons from the very beginning, the abbreviations we’re using here stand for:

[Co] = coordination; [Sub] – subordination; [Ad] = adverbial link.

You can find more information about these and how to use them in Issue 028 .

Many students, mostly beginners, tend to formulate two sentences to express two aspects of the same item. For example:

He is an engineer.
He is a very good teacher.

But, if you try to link the two sentences, you get a compound sentence, where the verb in the second one is omitted, to avoid repetition:

[Co] He is (both) an engineer and a very good teacher.
He’s not only an engineer, but also a very good teacher.
[Sub] As well as being an engineer, he is also a very good teacher.
[Ad] He’s well known all over the country as an engineer. What’s more, he is (also)a very good teacher.

Now, that’s all very clear. However, if you pay attention more carefully, you’ll find that the adverbs of addition (also), exception (even), and restriction (only) can create some confusion in your sentences. How?

You can see that when you use these three words, you actually ‘focus’ their meaning on a particular part of the sentence. Depending on where you put your stress in the sentence, to indicate the part you are focusing on, is the solution to the confusion. For example:

The sentence “I only lent her the books.” Can mean two things:

a) (I didn’t give her anything) - I only lent her the books.
b) (I didn’t lend her the computer) - I only lent her the books.

The underlined words are those that are being ‘focused’ in these sentences. To avoid possible confusion, you can put the focusing adverb as near as possible to the focused element in your sentence. Put only and even before it, and also and too after it:

“I lent her only the books.” Instead of “I only lent her the books.
“His wife also has a Porsche.” (‘His wife, as well as himself.’)
“I too thought he was a thief.” (‘I thought so, as well as you.’)

Next time we shall look into another category of sentence linking: the vague or 'general purpose' connections. Understanding and applying this will help you to avoid saying 'and', 'and', 'and' all the time. Imagine: only by doing this little correction in your speech/writing would jump your English a level or two!

Website Design ~ Designing your Site Content Blueprint

So far we’ve worked on building our treasured word list in the MKL and now we are about to get ruthless with our ultimate Master Keyword List, in order to reduce and organize our keywords into our Site Content Blueprint.

We need to refine (or in some cases, merely confirm and tighten) our original Site Concept. We start organizing keywords (each of which is the topic for a quality content page) into logical groupings, and sub-groupings, within your soon-to-be website.

Brainstorm It! has already done some of that work for you, with the Groups function. Many of the remaining groups, especially the larger ones, will provide keywords for TIER 3 pages.

This step covers the techniques you will use to delete, group and organize your MKL keywords into the three-tiered blueprint structure that works so well for both humans and spiders....

TIER 1 (home page) This page focuses on your Site Concept word (eg. "anguilla"). It links to TIER 2 pages.

TIER 2 pages These are the hub pages, linking from TIER 1 and linking to TIER 3 pages. Each is a major subcategory of the Site Concept (eg. "anguilla villas" and "anguilla shopping") and they should be "big enough" to break down into their own sub-subcategories...

TIER 3 (most of your pages) These should logically be related to, or be subcategories of, their respective TIER 2 pages. For example, "anguilla villas" can be logically divided into articles about Anguilla villas (eg. legalities, trends, how to find and rent them, etc.) and feature some special villas (the owners of which just may pay you for the special coverage).

As you follow along below, always keep in mind that each keyword should "fit" into your evolving 3-TIER Site Content Blueprint, something like:

If you need to go to four tiers to cover your niche properly, go ahead and do that. With the sitemap informing the search engines about every page of your site, all you have to worry about is providing a clear path from TIER 2 to TIER 3 to TIER 4 for your human visitors.

The SBI system provides an Excel spreadsheet as a tool to help you organize your MKL keywords and research data, If you work better with paper index-cards, or your own mind-mapping software, you’ll be able to use these – whatever makes your website vision come to life most effectively is acceptable.

In our next issue we shall look at the profitability factor again, from the point of view of how each keyword fits into its own place in the tiers you planned so far, by using some new SBI tools. We are nearing the big chapter on monetizing, as planned - by the end of this year... in just a few short weeks' time. Hang on in there!

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!
Wishing you a good rest of the week,

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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