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Monday, 23 February 2009

8 Tips for Taking Multiple-Choice on TOEIC Test

Effective test-taking strategies are especially important with multiple-choice questions found on language tests such as TOEIC. These types of questions often include clues that may help you identify the correct answer. You may be able to improve your performance on such tests by considering the following tips :

1. Read the direction carefully
The directions usually indicate that some alternatives may be partly correct or correct statements in themselves, but not when joined to the stem. The directions may say : "choose the most correct answers" or "mark the one best answer."Sometimes you may be asked to "mark all correct answers".

2. As you read the stem of each multiple-choice question anticipate the answer before looking at the options. If the answer you anticipated is among the options, it is likely to be the correct one.

3. Always read each question completely.
Continue reading even if you find your anticipated answer among the options. There may be a better option farther down the list.

4. Learn how to quickly eliminate options that are highly implausible.
Many questions have only two plausible options, accompanied by "throwaway" options for filler. You should work at spotting these implausible options so that yu can quickly discard them and narrow your task.

5. Be aware that information relevant to one question is sometimes given away in another test item.

6. On items that have "all of the above" as an option, if you know that just two of the options are correct, you should choose "all of the above". If you are confident that one of the options is incorrect, you should eliminate this option and "all of the above" and choose from remaining options.

7. Options that represent broad, sweeping generalizations tend to be incorrect. You should be vigilant for words such as always, never, necessarily, only, must, completely, totally, and so forth that create these improbable assertions.

8. In contrast, options that represent carefully qualified statement tend to be correct. Words such as often, sometimes, perhaps, may and generally tend to show up in these well-qualified statements.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

7 Tips for CVs/Resumes

When you apply for a job, you are usually asked to send a CV or resume. This is a history of your education and work experience. Here are 7 tips for CVs and resumes in English:

Tip 1:

Use design that demands attention Employers don't have time to read through each of your job descriptions to know if you have the skills they need. The design of your CV must do it for them. Your CV should be concise, well-organised and relevant. It should emphasise the most important and relevant points about your experience, skills and education.

Tip 2: Use 'power words'

To control the image that an employer has of you, use power words that match the position you want. Certain words are used frequently by recruiters in their job descriptions. You should study recruiters' advertisements and job descriptions and use these words in your CV and covering letter.

Tip 3: A number is worth 1,000 words

Numbers are alive and powerful. They create images in our minds. General statements are easy to ignore. Be specific!
Use numbers when describing your duties and achievements.

Tip 4: Put important information first

List important information at the beginning of your job descriptions. Put statements in your CV in order of importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job.

Tip 5: Sell benefits, not skills

Holiday companies don't sell holidays. They sell relaxation, adventure, sun, sea and sand (the benefits of a holiday).
You should not sell your skills (many other people have the same skills). You should sell the benefits of your skills.
When you write your skills and past duties, you can explain their benefits to the employer.

Tip 6: Solve the employer's (hidden) needs Employers want people who can solve problems, not create them! Your CV and cover letter should show how you can solve the employer's problems and needs.

Tip 7: Target the job

You will have more success if you adjust your CV and cover letter for the specific skills an employer is seeking. This means that you would write one CV for one particular job and a different, modified, CV for another job.

Source :

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

7 Ways to Improve YOUR English without even Trying! for people who speak English as a second language

Learning a second language can be a very stressful and arduous task if you let it. Somehow, the words you learn in the books don't seem to apply very well to real life situations. Those small and seemingly un-important elements the show a person to be in command of not only the language, but the culture of the people who speak it cannot be adequately expressed by words on paper.

So, how do you learn these little secrets of mastering the ability to articulate yourself in another language?

Here are 5 proven techniques that will help you improve your English without even trying, if you are learning to speak English as a second language. Do they really work? Yes. I've tried them myself as I've had opportunity to live somewhere where English wasn't the primary language. I found it to be a fun, exciting, and painless way to learn both the language and the culture. The culture is simply learning the way the natives express their own words. The genuine accent, facial expressions, hand gestures, sighs, moans, groans, laughter, smirks, and other things that go along with everyday conversation.

Regardless of how extensive or not your vocabulary is, if you master the ability to "sound" like you know the language and can speak it, people will be more than generous to assist you.

1. Watch Movies!

Watching movies is always a fun thing to do. In order to get the most out of your movie watching experience, if your vocabulary is limited, watch a movie in English that you are very familiar with in your own language so you always know what's going on. Try not to translate as you go because you lose blocks of conversation this way. Instead, watch the picture and listen. Hear all the words, but determine what's going on by the pictures you see and the words you're hearing that you already know. Believe it or not, other words will sink in too, and so will the accent and everything else that went with what you saw and heard.

As your vocabulary grows, expand your movie selections to other movies you'd like to see but are only available in English. Try to be able to see the film more than once if possible.

According to the location and type of film you intend to view, you will be able to experience different accents, and other cultural expressions of the English language. Pick and choose the things that you think will suit you best. If it doesn't work out, pick and try something else! Have fun with yourself and your efforts.

2. Watch Soap Operas

The place where extreme expression and limited vocabulary meet! This is such a fascinating way to learn a foreign language. Every accessory that goes with the expression of a word is demonstrated on a soap opera. "Outrage" expressed with a word, facial expression or two, and perhaps even a subsequent face slap, all of that being understandable in any language. "Love", another universal subject, or violence, good versus evil can all be discerned quickly and easily on a soap opera. Plus, soap operas are naturally designed to allow anyone just tuning in to pick up the story quickly. The characters are easily loveable and deliciously "hate-able" so you turn to it again and again to see what's going on, and not only improve your English each time, but reinforce what you've already learned.

3. Read the Comics/Funny Papers

Very non-stressful! Pictures with words, or words with pictures, however you want to look at it, it's a great way to learn! For each thought presented there are words that match a picture, and vice versa. It doesn't matter if you read comic books, or the comics in the Sunday newspaper, read whatever will make you laugh and cause you to enjoy learning at the same time.

4. Read Children's books

If you know any little kids between the ages of 5-8, try reading one of their books to them. Usually little kids know their favorite books by heart, so if you stumble a little, they'll be able to help you.

If you enjoy this method of improving your English, and you find yourself to be pretty good at it, then try reading a few Dr. Seuss books. The rhyming will challenge you, but once you master it, your pronunciation of English, and your delivery will have been considerably refined and improved.

5. Take a service job like waiter or waitress; bartender, or sales person.

This type of job can be done if you have a decent vocabulary of verbs, and know how to say "I, we, she, he, they", etc. The only other thing necessary is a working vocabulary of things relevant to your specific tasks and goals.

For example, as a breakfast waitress, you want to be able to ask if they want their eggs, "scrambled or fried", if they want "more coffee", if everything is "alright", do they want "anything else", and the total of their bill in their own language!

If you sell real estate, you'll want to incorporate words like "mortgage, loan, co-sign, 30 year fixed", etc.

If you sell shoes, you need words like "how does that feel", are they "too tight, too loose, to short in the toe, to big", etc.

The longer you work at your job, the more your working vocabulary will improve.

6. Learn these two sentences and you'll be set for life . . . seriously!

"How do you say (blank)", in English (Spanish, French, etc.), and "What is that called?" (Point if you have to, and smile too). Smiling is a universal language. Once I learned how to ask these two questions, I was on my way to being conversant in the language of my choice!

I could use my limited vocabulary to ask the question and then when I got my answer I would repeat it a few times to make sure I was saying it correctly, and "BAM" I had a new vocabulary word. And, because I asked my question to the best of my ability in the native tongue, the natives realized my sincere desire to learn, and helped me!

7. What happens if you make a mistake?

Nothing. The world won't come to an end, and you haven't embarrassed yourself to the point where you can't show your face again. Just apologize if that's what's called for, or laugh at yourself, make the correction, and count it as a learning experience.

Once I was in a restaurant and I wanted to ask the waiter for a "to go" box, however, I was speaking to my kids in English, and trying to think of what I wanted to ask for in Spanish, and I promptly and incorrectly asked him for a "house to go". He looked at me kind of funny, but he was very courteous, and didn't laugh until I laughed.

I've committed other language faux pas as well over the years, all of which have been a learning experience, and if given enough time, will become a humorous story as well.

About The Author

Kim Rogers has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Denmark, and along the Mexican Border. Kim has developed 101 Words that will make You Sound Smarter Right Away! To read more got to

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

14 Tips for Learning Foreign Languages

Depending on the language you want to learn there may be thousands of books, CD's or tools out there (if you're lucky) to help you learn the language. Don't run out and buy anything just yet.

1. First you should do some research.

Research the books, and materials best suited to your needs. How do you do that? Well the easiest way is to go online and visit the largest shopping can also give you a free head start in the language or dialect you want to learn. If you are a student, who is in high school or plans to go to college, (or are already in college) you can ask a teachers' opinion on what books/materials are best suited for learning your foreign language (of choice). Students could also consider taking the foreign language, of interest, as part of their curriculum. that sell books, CD's and multimedia; customers often leave feedback on items they have bought. Read the feedback and quite quickly you should be able to determine what books or materials are best suited to your needs. On the other hand, you may not need to buy anything at all. Some libraries have a foreign language section and they will let you borrow their material for free. In addition, some websites such as

Another very important point to remember when learning some foreign languages is that there are dialects and forms of the language and they vary by country or by region. You should decide which dialect you want to learn to speak. Here is a simple example: a dialect from "country A" may not be understood in country B, C or D even though it is classified as the same language. On the other hand, another dialect spoken in "country E" may be understood by all other countries. What's a common reason that the dialect of "country E" is widely understood (by other countries)? Well it may be widely understood because all or most of the movies, music or entertainment might be produced in that country (country E), therefore the dialect is widely understood in all the other countries. A foreigner wanting to learn the language might be better off learning the dialect of "country E" since it is more widely understood. Another thing to remember is that, in some foreign languages, a huge variation in dialect should not be an issue because learning the standard form of the language should ensure that you are understood by all native speakers.

Ok other tips for learning foreign languages are:

2. Listen to foreign language music and watch foreign language television, even if at first the language all sounds like "one big long word."

By watching the programs, you'll learn new words. Some words have a way of jumping out at you and sticking with you even if you initially have no idea what they mean. With time, you can learn what these words mean by asking a native speaker, asking at school or through self study. If you keep listening to foreign music or watching foreign language television, in time the "one big word" will begin to sound like "smaller word chunks" and eventually you should be able to tell where one word begins and another ends even if you don't understand what the word(s) mean. Later on, you can investigate their meanings.

3. Most people spend their time listening to the sounds of their native language whether it's the news, music or by chatting with friends.

That's how you learned your native language; by listening. Spend less of your time listening to your native language and try to fill as much of your world, as possible, with the sounds of the foreign language you want to learn. You can do this by listenening to language tapes, over and over again in the car. Try to be interactive and actively participate by repeating what you hear on the tape. Repeating the words helps both with pronunciation and memorization. The key is repitition. If you take a bus or taxi, invest in an mp3 player (tip: you can fit more mp3 material on a single CD) and make your own mp3's if possible. If mp3's are out of the question then opt for CD's, computer software or cassettes.

4. Try listening to foreign language tapes at home also.

It's best to use headphones because you get the full effect of a native speaker speaking into your ear. Furthermore, with headphones you hear the nuances of the language alot better. In addition, if you decide to leave the room (or go outside) the headphones will still be on your ears and the speaker will still be talking directly into your ear.

5. Alot of the above methods involve listening materials.

Listening and imitating is the way you learnt your native language as a child and is therefore one of the best ways to become proficient in a new language. But there are other materials you should use to complement your rigorous listening exercises. These could include books, flash cards, computer software. Books are especially important when the language, you want to learn, does not use the English alphabet (Roman alphabet). The written word would help in instances when there are words you have difficulty pronouncing, deciphering or understanding.

6. As mentioned earlier, another aid to learning a foreign language are movies.

Foreign language movies with english subtitles are preferred. If you can turn the subtitles off (as you can on many DVD titles) then you can watch the movie with and without the subtitles to test your knowledge.

7. To learn a foreign language you have to completely immerse yourself in that culture for periods of time (whether through music, movies, television or by visiting a friend who speaks the language).

8. Visiting the country where the foreign language, you want to learn, is spoken is also a very good way to learn the language. Quite logically, the longer your visit the more you will learn. If you surround yourself with others who mainly speak the foreign language then you will be forced to learn and communicate in the foreign language.

9. Some foreign languages use a different alphabet system, different phonetics and the arrangement of the letters do not always follow the A to Z formula. Therefore, by learning their alphabet, phonetics and alphabet order you'll not only improve your pronounciation but also be able to use a dictionary.

10. In time after studying intensively, you'll begin to ask yourself "what is the word for such and such". At this stage a small pocket sized dictionary becomes an essential tool. With a foreign language dictionary, you'll be able to quickly find the word, commit it to memory and satisfy your mind's curiousity.

11. Go over the basics from time to time. Never assume or tell yourself "I already know that so I can skip it." You may be surprised to find that by looking at things from a new perspective you'll gain new insight on something you thought you had already mastered.

12. Take breaks when necessary but don't stay away too long because it's easy to forget what you have learned.

13. Friends who are native speakers of the foreign language are also an essential resource.

Try to be around them especially when they are conversing with others in their native tongue. Even if you don't understand initially you'll be improving your listening skills. One important thing you might come to realize when learning a foreign language is that some words even though they are spelt with a certain letter, that letter may fall silent when spoken in some countries while in other countries it is pronounced. Another important thing to remember is that although a word may be spelt with a letter and that letter has a particular sound in english, in another language that same letter may have a different sound. Those are a few of the reasons why being around native speakers can help improve your foreign language skills by leaps and bounds; not to mention the cultural tips you'll learn which a book, CD, cassette or teacher probably won't cover. Friends are also great resources because they can give insight and help you with the meanings and usuage of words.

14. Don't tell yourself that you are too busy to study or learn your new language. Make the time. Excuses, excuses will get you nowhere.

8 Tips for speaking English fluently!

Here are a few tips and suggestions for you to find input of English around you and improve your English speech:

1. Rent or buy an English movie DVD

Rent or buy an English movie DVD. Put the English subtitles on. Follow the movie.
This has many advantages:
a. You will be able to compare the written words to the correct pronunciations.
b. You will get a feel of how real English sentences are formed when speaking.
c. You will be learning English but it will not be frustrating and boring because you will be watching a movie.

2. Read about any subject that interests you

There are a lot of English magazines available on a lot of different topics. No matter what subject interests you, there must be some magazine that talks about it. There are English magazines about Business, Brides, Guns and Ammo, House Keeping, Stock Market, Sports, Computers, Electronics, Linux, Graphic Designing, Cooking etc.

3. Read Internet forums of subject matter that interests you

Got to Internet forums of the subject matter that interests you. Generally most of the forums are in English language and are a great source of English input.Forums are a great source of information. Also in forums real people talk about real problems. Most of the information typed in forums is written in an informal way. Because of this the forums make a good source for English input. Reading forums exposes you to a lot of phrases of daily use.

4. Read English fiction novels

Read English fiction of your choice. Pick up some thing that interests you. Take it home and read it. Be sure to look up all the new words you come across in the book.

5. Listen to the radio and TV

There are also many different radio stations available now-a-days in the big cities. Some of these radio stations are in English. Listen to them to get a feel of the language.

Besides the radio, you could also listen to the "News In English". It’s available on a wide variety of channels. The news is a good place to get input of the English language because it is spoken in a very clear, easy to understand way.

6. Chat with fluent English speakers

Chat with fluent English speakers real or online. Make friends with interesting English speakers. Become pen-pals with a fluent English speaker.While talking to them look at their lip movement for tips on how to pronounce words correctly.

7. Most effective tip: "Think in English"

One of the most common mistakes that English learners make is, they think in their mother tongue. When they want to say something in English, they think in their mother tongue, translate it to English and then say it in English. The result is a very flawed English sentence. Never do this!

If you want to speak in English fluently you will have to learn to "think" in English. When you are constructing sentences in your mind before saying them, think in English and form them in English in your mind.

8. Get your self some English learning software!

To help you with your English, you could get your self a English learning kit OR English learning software!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

English Grammar Really Does Matter

Whether we are talking about a five year old that is about to start learning to read or whether we are talking about a thirty year old woman who is attempting to write a thesis for her master's degree, we cannot deny the fact that taking time to learn proper English grammar is important.

When we see or hear about English grammar, the immediate reaction of many people I know is to cringe. They are reminded of junior high and high school English class and the way that their English teachers made them to English grammar exercise after exercise. Because English grammar is usually seen in such a negative sense, it is all the more important that people replace those lies with the truth that learning English grammar really is important for anyone who wants to have a proper perspective of the English language.

When we are speaking or hearing English, not too many of us take the time to think about the fact that English grammar is the very thing that allows us to communicate with and understand one another. It is not so much because we use the same words of the English language, but it is because we all put our words together in certain ways to form thoughts and sentences that we can understand each other. This, in short, is the purpose of English grammar.

English grammar is the mechanics of the English langauge that allows for two people who use the same vocabulary to be able to communicate without misunderstanding. Certainly there will always be some level of misunderstaning that happens when two people communicate, but so much of our problems will be lessened if we all take some time to learn English grammar.

Many schools today are moving away from making English grammar a part of the regular curriculum. So while students may learn how to read and write successfully, they will likely never learn the English grammar or the reasons why they are speaking and writing as they are. So if you or someone you know is struggling with any element of the English language, or if you know a child or someone who is attempting to learn English for the first time, then make sure English grammar is included as an important part of the learning process.

Being able to speak, understand and write a language is an important part of being successful no matter what you do in life. And taking the time to learn even the basics of English grammar will go far in helping people communicate even better.

Catalogue: Reference & Education | Language
Title: English Grammar Really Does Matter By: Julee Mitchelsin

Ebook for Free Download : Learning Spoken English in Half the Time

By Lynn Lundquist

LEARNING SPOKEN ENGLISH tells you how to learn to speak English in half the time it would require in even the best grammar-based English training programs. If you live in a country where good English is not regularly spoken, for each hour of study you can learn how to speak in even less than half the time it will take others in your country.

This entirely new language study method for learning spoken English works extremely well. It was first introduced on the website Within two years, it had become the world’s most widely distributed spoken English language course. Today, hundreds of thousands of students around the world are learning fluent spoken English using the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons from the website.

This book completely explains this new language study method which is called the Feedback Training Method (also known as the Proprioceptive Language Learning Method). You can now learn English—or any other language—faster and with greater fluency using this new method.

This book will help you learn English more quickly if you are already studying in another English program. You may also use the freely down loadable Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons from whether you are a beginner or advanced English student.

We wish you the best of success as you learn to speak fluent English.

The ebook content :


Chapter 1 : Teaching your tongue to speak English

Chapter 2 : Four rules for learning spoken English

Chapter 3 : Grammar and writing in spoken English study

Chapter 4 : Do you need beginning and advanced lesson?

Chapter 5 : Selecting a text

Chapter 6 : Studying the English verb

Chapter 7 : Success in spoken English study

This ebook ca be downloaded in here : Learning English Spoken.pdf

4 Tips How to learn English Pronunciation

Here are 4 tips how to learn pronunciation :

1. Learn the sounds of English

English uses different sounds than other languages. For example, the first sound in the word thin and the first sound in the word away are never spoken in many languages.

So you have to know all the English sounds. You also have to practice your pronunciation — listen to English words and sentences, and try to repeat the English sounds as well as you can.

2. Learn the pronunciation of English words

Reading an English word does not tell you how it is pronounced. This means that, generally, you have to learn the pronunciation of every word that you use.

How can you learn the pronunciation of an English word? You can look it up in a dictionary and read about how it is pronounced. Dictionaries tell you about pronunciation through a special system called " phonetic transcription".

Phonetic transcription is written in a phonetic alphabet. The most popular phonetic alphabet is the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Anti moon has also created the ASCII Phonetic Alphabet, which is suitable for typing on a computer.

3. Choose American or British pronunciation (or both)

Different kinds of English have different pronunciation. For example, the pronunciation (the accent) in British English is different from the pronunciation in American English.

You have a choice between British English and American English, because these are the most important kinds of English in the world. Which one should you choose? Probably the kind that you like the most. Whether you choose British or American pronunciation, people will understand you wherever you go. Of course, you don't have to decide: you can learn to speak both kinds of English.

4. Learn about both American and British pronunciation

Even if you choose to speak one kind of English, you should learn about both kinds. Let's suppose you want to speak pure British English. You don't want to have an American accent at all. Should you pay attention to the American pronunciations in your dictionary? We believe you should.

You may want to speak British English, but you will hear some American English, too. You may go see an American movie, visit the United States, have an American teacher, etc. You may want to speak only British English, but you need to understand both British and American English.

Also, consider what happens if you (a student of British English) hear a new English word from an American? You may learn the American pronunciation of the word. And you may start using that pronunciation in your own speech. So your British English will no longer be pure.

For example, if you hear the word nuke on American TV, it will be pronounced [nu:k]. If, all your life, you have been reading only British phonetic transcriptions, you will not know that many words which have the sound [ju:] in British English, have [u:] in American English. So you will probably learn that nuke is pronounced [nu:k]. But if you learn it like this, you will make your pronunciation "wrong", because a Briton would pronounce the word [nju:k].

Thursday, 5 February 2009

10 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

Active listening is really an extension of the Golden Rule. To know how to listen to someone else, think about how you would want to be listened to. While the ideas are largely intuitive, it might take some practice to develop (or re-develop) the skills. Here's what good listeners know - and you should, too:

1. Face the speaker. Sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through body language.

2. Maintain eye contact, to the degree that you and the speaker remain comfortable.

3. Minimize external distractions. Turn off the TV. Put down your book or magazine, and ask the speaker and other listeners to do the same.

4. Respond appropriately to show that you understand. Murmur ("uh-huh" and "um-hmm") and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as "Really," "Interesting," as well as more direct prompts: "What did you do then?" and "What did she say?"

5. Focus solely on what the speaker is saying. Try not to think about what you are going to say next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the speaker makes her point.

6. Minimize internal distractions. If your own thoughts keep horning in, simply let them go and continuously re-focus your attention on the speaker, much as you would during meditation.

7. Keep an open mind. Wait until the speaker is finished before deciding that you disagree. Try not to make assumptions about what the speaker is thinking.

8. Avoid letting the speaker know how you handled a similar situation. Unless she specifically asks for advice, assume she just needs to talk it out.

9. Even if the speaker is launching a complaint against you, wait until she finishes to defend yourself. The speaker will feel as though her point had been made. She won't feel the need to repeat it, and you'll know the whole argument before you respond. Research shows that, on average, we can hear four times faster than we can talk, so we have the ability to sort ideas as they come in.and be ready for more.

10. Engage yourself. Ask questions for clarification, but, once again, wait until the speaker has finished. That way, you won't interrupt her train of thought. After you ask questions, paraphrase her point to make sure you didn't misunderstand. Start with: "So you're saying." As you work on improving your listening skills, you may feel a bit panicky when there is a natural pause in the conversation. What should you say next? Learn to settle into the silence and use it to better understand all points of view.

About the author :

Susie Cortright is the founder of and Momscape's Online Organic and Natural Living Magazine. She is also the creator of, featuring free, quality articles for your website, ezine, newsletter, or blog.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

An Introduction to English Phonology

By : April McMahon

This textbook is designed for use on ten- or twelve-week introductory courses on English phonology of the sort taught in the first year of many
English Language and Linguistics degrees, in British and American universities.Students on such courses can struggle with phonetics and phonology; it is sometimes difficult to see past the new symbols and terminology, and the apparent assumption that we can immediately become consciously aware of movements of the vocal organs which we have been making almost automatically for the last eighteen or more years. This book attempts to show students why we need to know about phonetics and phonology, if we are interested in language and our knowledge of it, as well as introducing the main units and concepts we require to describe speech sounds accurately.

This e book's Content (145 pages) :

Sound, spelling and symbol, The phoneme : the same but different, Describing English consonants, Defining distribution : consonants allophones, Criteria for Contrast : the phoneme system, Describing vowels, Vowel phonemes, Variations between accents, Syllables, The word and above, and more

For the detail, the e book can be downloaded in here :

An Introduction to English Phonology.pdf