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Issue #043 -- Week 01/03/15-07/03/15
March 10, 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!
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Month 7 ~ Lesson 27
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 ~ Completing Schematic Tables
Reading Skills for TOEFL 
This is another type of question in TOEFL relating to reading skills for learning. A schematic table is a table that outlines the key information from a passage. This kind of question may have 5 or 7 correct answers. If you supply 5 correct answers, you may get 3 points. 2 points are offered for 4 correct answers and 1 point for 3 correct answers. You get 0 points for either 2, 1, or 0 correct answers.
A question with 7 answers is worth 4 points and you can also get 3 points for 6 correct answers, 2 points for 5 correct answers, 1 point for 4 correct answers and 0 points for 3, 2, 1, or 0 correct answers.
To complete this type of question successfully, you must be able to recognise overall organisation of the information in the passage, including the major points and the critical supporting information.
Let’s look at an example:
The largest flying reptiles ever to exist were the pterosaurs. These close relatives of dinosaurs, with lightweight frames of hollow bone, could have wingspans up to 40 feet (12 meters) and could weigh up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms). There are two kinds of pterosaurs. The earlier of the two were the long-tailed and short-headed rhamphorthynchoids, which first appeared in the Triassic period and had become extinct by the end of the Jurassic period. The short-tailed and long-headed pterodactyloids appeared shortly before the rhamphorthynchoids disappeared and survived until the end of the Cretaceous period.
In the TOEFL exam you will have a text like this on one screen and the question, which includes the table for your answers on another screen.
The question will be presented in the following manner:
Directions: Select the appropriate phrases from the answer choices, and match them to the type of reptile to which they relate. TWO of the answer choices will not be used. This question is worth 3 points (3 points for 5 correct answers, 2 points for 4 correct answers, 1 point for 3 correct answers and 0 points for 2, 1, or 0 correct answers).
Answer choices (Choose 5 to complete the table):
- Had short tails and short heads
The passage discusses two kinds of pterosaurs. One is the long-tailed and short-headed rhamphorthynchoids, which first appeared in the Triassic period and had become extinct by the end of the Jurassic period. From this, it can be determined that the rhamphorthynchoids had long tails and short heads and that they existed from the Triassic period to the Jurrasic period, so these are the two correct answers that describe rhamphorthynchoids.
The passage goes on to state that the short-tailed and long-headed pterodactyloids appeared shortly before the rhamphorthynchoids disappeared and survived until the end of the Cretaceous period. From this, and from the information about rhamphorthynchoids, it can be determined that pterodactyloids had short tails and long heads, that they existed from the Jurassic period to the Cretaceous period, and that they existed later than the other kind of pterosaurs.
The remaining answer choices are not a part of the correct solution. The description that they had short tails and short heads does not describe either of the types of pterosaurs described in the passage. The description that they were dinosaurs describes pterosaurs in general and is not a factor that differentiates rhamphorthynchoids and pterodactyloids.
How to succeed with questions about schematic tables?
1) How to identify the question: a schematic table 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;
A schematic table question may have 5 or 7 correct answers.
A question with 7 correct answers is worth 4 points.
The answers may be in any order in the chart to be correct.
Grammar ~ Intensifying Adverbs and Modifiers
Another way of expressing heightened emotion in speech is by using intensifying adverbs and modifiers. These are those ‘degree adverbs’ that help intensify the meaning of another word.
“She was happy.”
If you look at it, these words have little meaning apart from their emotive force. Words such as terrific, tremendous, awfully, terribly, grand, fantastic are simply empathic equivalents of good and nice.
“The weather was terrific.”
Notice that the words awfully and terribly can be used in a ‘good’ sense, but they can also be used in a ‘bad’ sense.
It depends on the word they modify:
Apart from the degree adverbs’ and other ‘degree expressions’ which we are going to look at in more depth next time, there are certain adverbs like really and definitely, which have an emphatic effect:
“We really enjoyed ourselves.”
Well, keep playing with words like this, practise building sentences with them and your oral English will improve shortly. You do need to say these words with emphasis though, otherwise the magic won’t happen.
Website Design ~ Registering Your Domain
Since nobody mentioned that they already have a website of their own since the beginning of our present course, we shall skip the domain transferring procedure and get straight to the registering process we said we were going to talk about in this lesson.
Well, one of the features that made SBI! So interesting for me was the simplicity of its operations. For example, to register my domain name (My-English-Club.com), I needed to simply follow the instructions in the registering form. I had to input my Order Number from the "Get Ready For SBI!" e-mail that I received right after my order.
The registration process confirmed that my domain was available. After I clicked on the Register Domain button and I successfully registered my domain, I received two e-mails, within minutes...
1."Site Build It! Is Ready for You!" This e-mail helped me with the second part of my journey... DAYs 6 to 10.
A final note worth knowing:
The name and contact information of all domain owners is public information and is accessible through the WhoIs database. ICANN regulations stipulate that all WhoIs domain records must contain valid and up-to-date contact information of the domain owner. (ICANN is the official governing body in charge of the registration of .com, .org, .net, .biz and .info domains.)
If you are concerned about having your home address and phone number listed in the WhoIs database, you have the option of using domain privacy.
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
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