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Issue #048 -- Week 05/04/15-11/04/15
April 14, 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, with thanks. Also, they can read the previous issues on Back Issues for English Corner E-zine.

OK, having said that, let’s proceed with this week's lessons and we’ll have a little game at the end. Enjoy!

Month 8 ~ Lesson 32

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 those advanced students of ours who would like to apply their English to building a business online.

Once we covered the basics of pronunciation, we started a new course in reading, which we finished a couple of weeks ago. Following some recent requests, we started a section on educational games, to add the fun into your learning. I do hope you like these.

Until I'll have the time to write my e-books from these courses, you can enjoy our past lessons for free, as follows:

Pronunciation Lessons

Reading Lessons

Grammar Lessons

Website Design Lessons

Weekly Games

Grammar ~ Expressing Preference

This is an easy topic, especially when you acquire your English, rather than learn it methodically. People acquire a language by learning it from their parents, or by living in a country in order to learn the respective language, instead of taking a systematic approach, like we do in school. Learning from films is also a method of acquiring a language and we all use a combination of these means at times.

These are easy expressions to learn and memorise, but let me briefly explain to you the logic behind them.

To prefer means to like more or like better and it indicates a comparison between certain choices we’re pointing out. The sentence will contain both choices, but the rejected alternative is introduces by

i) a to-phrase:

“Most people prefer trains to buses.”
“He prefers watching a football match to having dinner with his mother.”

ii) The expression 'rather than', which may be followed by an infinitive (with or without to) or by an '-ing participle':

“He prefers to play on his computer rather than to do his homework.”
Rather than work in a factory, he prefers to continue studying.”
“She has always preferred cooking at home rather than eating out.”
“Their new dog prefers sleeping indoors instead of using the cage at the back of the house.”

If it’s a hypothetical preference you need to express (a theoretical one) you need to use 'would prefer' with a 'to- infinitive'. However, this can be replaced by 'would rather' with the bare infinitive (without to), which may be followed by a 'than-construction'.

“I’d prefer to stay in a guest house rather than in a hotel.”
“I’d rather stay in a guest house than in a hotel.”

That’s all there is to this matter – the rest is practice. Lots of it, as well.

Website Design ~ Website Design Tools [1]

Right, my friends, we have reached the point of designing a website and I started introducing the SBI system [Site Build It system] in our last lesson. Unfortunately, I couldn’t show you anything visually at that point, but let me share with you here the tools involved in building and maintaining a website with SBI – a system that not only gives me the tools to do such a marvellous thing, but also taught me how to use them, in a comprehensive course (which I’m sharing with you now), and it has the resources to address any little (or big) problem I may have in the process. We are like a worldwide village of people doing our business online and helping each other to prosper.

I’ll share with you the ‘behind the scene’ website – the Site Central page of the SBI system, starting today. It would take too much time and space here to present it all in once, if we were to do it justice, so I decided to take it step by step, until it’s done. I shall give you bite size aspects of the system, thus avoiding posting another long and boring lesson here.

I can’t even call the Site Central “the driver’s seat” – it’s the “pilot’s cockpit”; such complexity, fitted into a compact space like this (one page) is more like a space ship than a car. This is the place where everything happens, from the early conception stages, to the social media stage and monetizing.

It’s all very organised, with my links to the other pages of the ‘engine’ at the top-right corner: I can go to the forums, my webmail, my affiliate club, the support HQ (Head Quarters) and other resources in Find It.

Under that I have the Dashboard, which is a new and very useful addition, giving me information at a glance on your submissions – either content (stories you write in, using the forms you find on the website), or exercises you fill in on other forms, and even your subscriptions to the e-zine and the Club itself. At this moment in time, it tells me that there were 3 new subscriptions since our last e-zine, no cancellations and that 8% of you opened my last e-zine, which makes me wonder if I’m wasting my time writing these lessons or not. But, even so, life goes on and I keep sending you my information, enjoying those feedback emails in the meanwhile, confirming that some of you appreciate them. Thank you, my friends, that means a lot to me – it defeats the writer’s loneliness factor, if you know what I mean.

Underneath the Dashboard you will find the Brainstorm It!, which includes the brainstormer, together with the MKL (Master Key List) and the Niche Choose It - exactly the tools we use for searching, calculating and selecting the keywords to use within the website you're planning to build.

We introduced the Brainstormer in Issue 020 and we looked at how it works in depth, in Issue 021 , so we won't go into the details of this system today.

What comes next is the Page Manager of which I spoke in our last lesson. As you can see, it tells me how many pages I have built so far and it helps me organise them in a logical order. It gives me access to any of these pages, either to preview them, or edit, delete them or even clone them (create an identical copy, for use with other content). In this section, we also have the facility for uploading pre-designed HTML pages, in the top-right corner but I told you already, for those of us who know how to handle this – not me…

I think this is enough for a lesson about the tools for building a website right now - we shall continue with some even more exiting facilities of the SBI! system next time.

Game of the Week ~ The Irregular Verb Wheel

Irregular verbs are tricky and inconsistent - that’s why they’re called ’irregular’. You can practise conjugating irregular verbs by spinning the irregular verb wheel. Some are easy and some difficult, but how fast can you conjugate correctly?

Because there are some things in English that can only really be learnt through practice, I found a really great game for practising the irregular verbs on this site: FunGrammar The Irregular Verb Wheel :

The rules are simple: We have a wheel with verbs on its edge, from which a verb is chosen at a time, at random. A few question will then appear, asking you mainly to choose the infinitive of that verb, the past simple tense, the past participle, the –ing form, and the present simple for he/she/it from a selection of forms of the respective verb which is given inside the wheel.

You get 1 point for every correct answer and a bonus of 10 points if you answer all five questions for a particular verb correctly. Who says that hard work goes unrewarded!?

When you choose correctly, the wheel will confirm this:

If your choice is incorrect, the wheel will tell you so, but it will also point out the correct selection, so you can learn from your mistakes again:

For the rest of the game, different verbs will be selected and you’ll have the same choices for each one until your time is up, after 2 minutes. At this point, the game will stop and you’ll receive your final score. Like this:

This is my score for today. Now, I dare you to play and beat me. Will you write back when you win? Enjoy playing in the meanwhile.

This Is It, Folks!

I hope you find this information useful and not too confusing. Even though you're at 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 the rest of your week!
Have fun, as always.

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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