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Issue #032 -- Week 14/12/14-20/12/14
December 23, 2014

Greetings and General Information

Realising how difficult it is to post this e-zine on Mondays, since a recent change in my job, I decided to re-schedule the publishing of our lessons on Tuesdays from now on, hoping this will not upset anyone. Cheers!

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!

Please feel free to contribute to these pages when you have a minute. They are meant to be a platform for exchanging ideas, stories and opinions - an ideal medium for practicing your English, which should be used to the full. Together, let's bring it alive, let's make it the welcoming community you wished for, when you joined.

You and your friends can subscribe individually through the form on My English Club. If anybody mentions to you that they are interested in receiving it, please tell them this - many thanks. Also, they can read the previous issues on Back Issues for English Corner E-zine.

Month 4 ~ Lesson 16

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 031 - Enlarging Your Vocabulary (Beginner)

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)
Issue 031 - Linking Sentences [4] (Additions)

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
Issue 031 - Designing your Site Content Blueprint

Reading ~ Vocabulary Games Online

Now, if you want to spice your learning a little, or to make it fun for your children to acquire vocabulary and increase it, I can recommend some really good websites to visit, where you can play with words to your heart’s content.

Since we worked on the phonics for a couple of months, let’s start up with this system. On this page you will find the content list of all the programs available on KizPhonics: Vocabulary Games - Phonics Program . You can select according to your child's age or level of English. Once there, I suggest you reach the sentence stage pretty fast, in order to learn vocabulary in context, as we've been doing so far. Find some sentence games here: Vocabulary Games - Sentences .

After that, you can progress to reading and listening to phonics stories, on: Vocabulary Games - Stories .

If you want to test your accuracy and memory in learning words, try your hand at this game on opposites Vocabulary Games - Opposites . And last, but not least, do not forget to play the verbs, on: Vocabulary Games - Action Verbs .

These are just a few of resources you can tap into online, but these will certainly keep your children, as well as yourself, indeed, very busy during the festive season!

Grammar ~ Relative Clauses

Now let’s consider some general purpose links. Following the examples we had in some of our recent issues, ’and’ is a ‘general purpose’ linking word. Its meaning will change, according to the context. As you can see, ’and’ can express any positive link between two ideas. This is very simple and you know it already.

Today we shall look at the first of three other methods to make vague or ‘general purpose’ connections like this. They are:

1) Relative clauses
2) Participle and verbless clauses
3) Grammatically unlinked clauses

Relative clauses are introduced by a relative pronoun, like which. There is an equivalence between this situation and a coordinate clause starting with and.

She cooked a really good dinner, and we all enjoyed it.
She cooked a really good dinner, which we all enjoyed.

When you have this situation, the which relative pronoun refers to ‘dinner’, for which reason we don’t need to use ‘it’ at the end of the sentence – we would refer to the dinner twice in the same sentence.

There are other situations where the relative pronoun points back to a whole clause or sentence:

He’s been working on his computer for too many hours, and that’s not good for his health.

He’s been working on his computer for too many hours, which is not good for his health. [Here we do not need to use ‘that’ for the same reason.]

The above are also known as non-restrictive relative clauses. Restrictive clauses also have a flexible connecting function – the following examples are for expressing reason, time (when) and condition, as per the examples below.

I don’t like people who drive fast cars
(Because they drive fast cars, I don’t like them.)

Time - when:
The man I saw was wearing a hat.
(When I saw him, he was wearing a hat.)

Anyone who bets on horses deserves to lose money.
(If anyone bets on horses, he or she deserves to lose money.)

Website Design ~ Checking Profitability with Pre-Set Tasks

From what we’ve learnt so far, we need to keep the high-Profitability keywords. An extra piece of advice is to hold onto high Demand keywords even if they have high Supply (i.e., lower Profitability) too, for the following simple reason: you may not win the search engine "wars" for these keywords right away, but when you do, they are valuable pages. They often make valuable TIER 2 pages. And visitors will also find these pages by navigating through your site from pages they do find at the engines.

Low-profitability keywords can also be valuable if they fit well with the Site Concept and within your 3-TIER site structure. Why? They usually deliver your first visitors because it's easier to rank highly for them. They have an important role in starting the traffic snowball, and there are many of them, so the traffic adds up.

Those are general concepts. Now let's look at the numbers related to each of those concepts. We'll do that using the 3 pre-set tasks from the Basic Task Bar...

Lower Profitability finds keywords that have high Real Supply and low Value Demand. The filters are pre-set as a starting point. Change the numbers to find better or worse profitability. Highlight the number, delete it and enter your own. Delete the worst of the bunch, especially if the relevance is shaky.
General Competitive finds keywords with high Real Supply and Value Demand (highest 20% for both). These keywords are General Keywords. Eliminate them unless they are directly relevant. Change the numbers of the filters to find keywords with different Supply and/or Demand numbers.
Solid Potential finds keywords that will form the core of your site. These "bread-and-butter" keywords have reasonably good profitability (above-average Demand and mid-range Supply). Some of these will be TIER 2 keywords, but most will be TIER 3 keywords.

Your reactions to each word will vary, as follows:
• You will eliminate some (low Demand and Profitability).
• You will want to write about others very soon (ex., "the basics," which tend to have higher Demand and Supply -- Home Page, important TIER 2s and strong TIER 3 pages).
• Others are prioritized after that (ex., lower Demand with lower Supply before the lower Demand keywords with higher Supply and also before higher Demand with higher Supply -- these will all become solid, topical content, but you want to get the easier traffic started ASAP).

As always... do not be misled -- human judgment rules. You should never be guided exclusively by what the numbers indicate. Use your own thoughts and priorities, when it comes to choosing the keywords you wish to use on your website.

We shall round up our lesson on designing the Site Content Blueprint next time. After that, and before we are ready to register a domain name (the name of the website you wish to work on), we shall look into the matter of Monetization, as promised.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair if I left this lesson without giving you the following information. This applies to those of you who made it to reading as far as this point – showing that you are actually interested in the idea of having and building a website for yourselves.

This is a sales point, but please do not take it that it is for this I’ve been teaching you the website design. However, it is interesting for you to know that SBI – the system I’m using, are having a Christmas sales on websites and hosting packages, whereby the normal cost of purchasing a website ($299 per year) is reduced to $199 for the first year, giving you a saving of $100. I actually gave myself the gift of a website from SBI at Christmas time in 2011, and this is how My English Club started. If you are interested in this, please write me an email and I shall give you more insight into this matter.

Do not worry if you are not ready to jump into purchasing yourself a website right now. The same offer will be available again in February, on the occasion of the Valentine celebration. I shall inform you more in advance about the opportunity at that time. If any of you are still with us at that time, it must be for a reason...

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Take a break during the Festive Season and have some fun with the games I suggested above. Write us a card and share your joy with other MEC members worldwide.

Please feel free to comment and suggest your ideas by replying to this email - I look forward to hearing from you.

Have fun, more than usually!
Wishing you a great winter holiday,

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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