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Issue #071 -- Week 13/09/15-19/09/15
September 22, 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.
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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.
In addition, we had the course in reading, which we finished in March 2015. Following some requests at that time, we started a section on educational games, to add the fun into your learning.
As we finally finished the course in website design in the last week of August, we have replaced it with our new course in writing, which I hope will appeal to everybody, from beginners to advanced speakers of English, more precisely to those who want to master the skill of writing in English.
Until I'll have the time to write my e-books from these courses, you can enjoy our past lessons for free, as follows:
Website Design Lessons
Grammar ~ Comparison Clauses and Phrases
Today we continue our lessons on comparison by considering a few more complex cases, some of which you may or you may not have come across so far. You can find this lesson on the Comparison Clauses page. I do hope you find this useful and by next time I shall prepare some exercises for you to practice this matter.
Writing ~ What Can Be Learned from Teachers?
We’ve considered the first two (of three) categories of lessons that a beginner writer can consider – we’ve seen what can be learned from books and by the actual act of writing itself. Let us now reflect upon what can learned from a teacher and now only what, but how as well.
My advice is to never give up learning new vocabulary and, once you started to write regularly, to never give up the habit either, as this is an art which develops continuously and the language used is going to be forever in process – you will never reach the end of that learning process, no matter how long your life is meant to be. Whether you’re writing in your own language or in English, or another foreign language – all and any of them are living entities; they develop and change along the years, leaving us no alternative than just to keep up by learning more. You only need to watch the Word Trend Watch on a good dictionary site, like Merriam Webster, to mention the least.
Having said all this, for every writer there must come a time when the general learning is no longer sufficient, when (s)he feels the need to look for guidance beyond the books and dictionaries. At this point the only reliable guide is someone who has travelled the same path further than the learner him/herself, in other words, a practitioner of the art, someone who has made the pursuit of writing his life or her life.
But how and where can one find such a teacher? In England it has been made easier during the last half a century, since the opening of the Arvon Foundation, which organises residential courses for the general public where more than 350 writers are lecturing regularly and can be consulted by the learners online.
In other words, through this medium hundreds of inexperienced writers have the opportunity to work in conducive circumstances with professional writers, specialists in many of the craft’s various disciplines (from poetry, to writing for radio, TV scripts and writing for children, non-fiction or whatever other genre one is interested in).
Our course in writing skills (the one presented in these weekly e-zines) will be designed following the Arvon Foundation’s principles, because the form of training that this enterprise provides is essential to every student of writing and it can be applied to any student of any age and educational background.
Apart from this, we shall also consider the principles taught in formal schools and universities, leading to the successfully passing tests and exams in writing, of which suffice to mention TOEFL, IELTS, CAP and CAE as a minimum.
We shall continue next time by looking at the minimum requirements necessary for starting to write, before we’ll take a more practical approach to developing your writing skills.
Game of the Week ~ Scrabble
At long last I've found a good solitary Scrabble game online, on our good old Merriam Webster page. I've selected their Scrabble for today. As you shall see, you are timed for this game - you only have 120seconds, i.e. 2min to gather your points.
You will be given the image of the board in the bottom-right corner and the first selection of space on it, which will come highlighted.
In this case I had a selection of 7 letters and the usual corner bonus points spaces of the double word points, together with the double letter space further along on the line.
I didn't reach the double letter bonus (and it actually happened with other letters than the first picture - sorry), but can you see how fast the time runs out? Once you get into the red zone, the seconds start ticking loudly, so it adds more pressure on you.
As you can see, the following space on the board is the next line down, so you always know where you are, just as long as you can use the bonus spaces to your advantage.
So, that's it - quite straightforward, right? Once your time runs out, you will be stopped by the scoring pad, giving you the points you've scored during this particular game and the highest scoring word of the round.
That's it, your turn now - go ahead and play the Scrabble game in your own time. Enjoy!
This is it for now, my friends!
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 .
All the best from me until next time,
Lucia da Vinci
Founder of My English Club
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