|Back to Back Issues Page|
Issue #042 -- Week 22/02/15-28/02/15
March 03, 2015
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!
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. Use the Comments facility at the end of every page and start making friends worldwide.
You and your friends can always 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 7 ~ Lesson 26
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.
In our reading course we started to work on some reading skills for the TOEFL exam, for those of you who are contemplating this in the future. This is particularly useful to my current students, who need to take this exam as part of their Level 5 course in Reading/Writing, this being the main reason for which I started this section.
Until I shall have the time to create my planned e-books from these courses, you can find our past lessons for free, as follows:
Reading ~ Selecting Summary Information
Reading Skills for TOEFL 
This lesson concerns reading skills to learn and so will our next lesson, which will conclude our series of reading skills for TOEFL.
As part of the reading section in this exam you may have to complete a summary chart in which you need to determine the major supporting ideas of the overall topic, which is given in the reading passage. This kind of question is worth 2 points, but it is also more complex than others, as it has 3 correct answers. Usually the points are allocated as follows: 2 points for 3 correct answers, 1 point for 2 correct answers and 0 points for 1 or 0 correct answers.
You need to have the skill we looked at in our last lesson to complete this kind of questions successfully. You must be able to recognise the rhetorical pattern of information in the passage (i.e. compare and contrast, cause and effect, argument supported by reasons), including the major ideas and the critical supporting information.
Let’s look at an example of a question on selecting summary information.
The Great Compromise
“At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, numerous plans for the structure of the legislative branch of government were proposed and debated extensively. There was a great amount of disagreement over how the legislature should be structured, with the greatest amount of discord arising between the smaller states and the larger states. The smaller and less populous states wanted all states to be represented equally in the legislature, while the larger and more populous states favoured representation according to population. The final decision reached at the convention, which has come to be known as the Great Compromise, was to create a bicameral legislature with a Senate and a House of Representatives: each state was given two senators so that the Senate would reflect the will of each state equally, and seats were to be apportioned to the House of Representatives according to population so that larger states would have a stronger voice in the House.”
The question will be formulated more or less like the following, and you may even find it on a separate page. Even so, you will have access to the reading passage for you to extract the necessary information; however I recommend you supply the answers as soon as you can.
Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage.
This question is worth 2 points (2 points 2 points for 3 correct answers, 1 point for 2 correct, and 0 points for 1 or 0 correct answers).
Here comes the question:
This passage discusses how the legislative branch of the U.S. government came to be organized.
Answer Choices (choose 3 to complete the chart):
• A compromise was reached that gave some advantages to both smaller and larger states.
The above three correct answers summarize the major points of the passage. The passage states that there was a great amount of disagreement, that the disagreement was that The smaller and less populous states wanted all states to be represented equally in the legislature, while the larger and more populous states favoured representation according to population and that the final decision … was … the Great Compromise, in which the Senate would reflect the will of each state equally and larger states would have a stronger voice in the House.
From this, it can be determined that the most important factors in the passage are that states with smaller populations preferred that each state be given equal representation, that states with larger populations wanted representation to be based on population , and that a compromise was reached that gave some advantages to both smaller and larger states.
The remaining answer choices are not part of the solution for a variety of reasons. The statement that many different plans were submitted at the Constitutional Convention is mentioned in the passage but is not a major factor in support of the topic. The statement that the New Jersey Plan was a plan submitted to advance the rights of smaller states is not discussed in the passage. The statement that the number of representatives in the House of Representatives would be the same for each state is not true according to the passage, which states that seats were to be apportioned to the House of Representatives according to population so that larger states would have a stronger voice in the House.
How to succeed with questions about summary information?
1) How to identify the question: a summary information chart is given.
2) Where to find the answer: Because the answer demonstrates an understanding of the major points and critical supporting information, the information needed to answer the question is found throughout the passage.
3) How to answer the question:
4) How to score the response: a summary question has 3 correct
answers and is worth 2 points.
i) You get 2 points for 3 correct answers, 1 point for 2 correct answers and 0 points for 1 or 0 correct answers;
The answers may be in any order in the chart to be correct.
Grammar ~ Emphasising Emotions in Speech
OK, we’ve covered emphasis with ‘such’ and ‘so’ last time, but we shouldn’t overlook other ways of emphasising emotions in speech. Another couple of methods are as follows:
This also expresses the degree of extremely.
“It’s far, far too expensive.”
Stress on the operator
“That wìll be nice!”
Let me tell you what an ‘operator’ is. When we have to conjugate verbs, we have to use an auxiliary verb (sometimes called a ‘helping’ verb), to formulate verb tenses like present perfect (have done) or present perfect continuous (have been doing), present continuous (they were asking), future tense simple (they will ask). The two verbs together are called a verb phrase. It’s not just a verb – it’s more than that, so – a verb phrase.
Sometimes we need to split the auxiliary verb from the main verb of the verb phrase, like:
“Wìll they ask many questions?”
Because the first auxiliary controls the tenses in the sentence, we call this first auxiliary of a verb phrase the OPERATOR. Sometimes the verbs ‘to be’ and ‘to have’ act like operators even when they are main verbs, not just helpers, as in:
“Ìs she a good student?”
Sometimes the verb ‘do’ can be used as a dummy auxiliary to express emphasis, as in:
“You dò look pretty.”
Well, this operator takes the stress in the sentence sometimes and when it does, it is one of the ways of expressing emotion. Just test it for yourselves: read the underlined words with stress and see what the meaning of your sentence becomes.
And last, but not least, sometimes the nuclear stress falls on other words for the same purpose of expressing emotion:
“I wìsh you’d lĭsten!”
Website Design ~ Preparing Domain Registration
Before registering, you need to make a few final checks on the concept and the name of your website. Make sure your domain name is:
• short and sharp, not formulaic -- keep it to as few words as possible
Note... Not having your Site Concept keyword in your domain may lose you a point or two in the Search Engines' algorithm. However, like every factor in the algorithm, no single one is an "absolute must." Ideally, this sacrifice should be one of necessity after exhausting all "with-keyword + marketing angle" domain name possibilities.
Make Sure It's Legal
It is a devastating, cataclysmic and stupid shame to build up a thriving site and then receive a "cease and desist" letter to stop using a third party's trademark. So before you "name that domain," dot your i's and cross your t's...
Using the SBI system, you can use the Site Legalities category (shown below) and then pick the Trademark Check Search Type that is right for your country. Eliminate any legal problems before they happen!
When you’re good to go, you can prepare to register your domain name. Now it's time for the moment of truth... We shall look into the mechanics of registering a domain name in our next lesson.
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. If you wish to chat either with me or with other members worldwide, go to My English Club .
Enjoy your holidays and your time with your families!
Lucia da Vinci
Founder of My English Club
|Back to Back Issues Page|