Teachers’ Tips: PRONUNCIATION

 

Producing sound and actually being able to say a word perfectly is a real challenge for most non-native speakers. It is understandable that some syllables and sounds don’t exist in our native tongue and that’s completely normal. However, when it comes to speaking English, we should, or must be able to enunciate the words and phrases clearly to sound like a native speaker (or at least neutral) and most especially, to be understood.

It goes without saying that practice, practice, practice is the key to success, but going an extra mile would induce more positive results. These are some exercises you can add:

“Try to record your voice then compare with your dictionary.”
-Teacher Ana

The most tried and true source of information regarding this matter would be a dictionary. Check out the right pronunciation of the word and compare it with yours. Repeat until you sound quite parallel.

“Try tongue twisters to stretch your tongue”
-Teacher Alejandro

Getting used to babbling tongue twisters such as those above are a great way to get your tongue used to different positions that are required to produce certain sounds such as the most dreaded “r” sound. Furthermore, it also accustoms the oral muscles to speed used in transitioning from one sound to another as in from “L” to “R” in the word “already”.

R-L

Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com

“Watch English movies and imitate”
-Teacher Geralyn

Watching movies (and or series) gives us clue on how to actually utter the words, intonation, and stress. Some common expressions are being spoken in movies and it could help a lot to try to mimic the way native speakers converse.

http-mashable.comwp-contentgalleryhow-i-met-your-mothertumblr_mmqcypookx1qd9vmjo2_500

Source: http://i.amz.mshcdn.com/

“Sing English songs especially songs with blending.”
-Teacher Ana

People love music whether or not they can sing or not. Singing English songs can help you practice blending and pronunciation. Plus, you can sing in karaoke to practice!

“Don’t be afraid to ask about the right pronunciation.”
-Teacher Areya

Last, but not the least, don’t be afraid to ask! Asking for the right pronunciation is better than wondering and being hesitant to speak of the word.

3fa43e55664465ab6904ec9388a81408.jpg

Source: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Bonus: Familiarize yourself with the International Phonetic Alphabet or the IPA symbols. This comes in handy!

 

**featured image from http://www.fluentu.com

Teachers’ Tips: WRITING

Writing is like a double-edged sword – it could be both advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. Unlike speaking, writing could be reviewed and edited as long as you have enough time. However, talking about the latter, published work is irreversible be it printed or digital.

That’s why it is crucial to be detail-oriented in writing. The process wouldn’t be an overnight success – it is a combination of different factors and habits that leads to development of this skill. Here are five tips from our teachers that would help you along the way:

“Picture the flow of your piece.”
– Teacher Rolando

To make a clear map of your piece, it would help to be specific with your topic, determine the scope of your essay and discern the purpose of writing your piece. Start with tailoring the three important parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

“Study basic grammar rules first before complex grammar rules/ structures.”
Teacher Jesheamor

Grammar, as Merriam-Webster dictionary suggests, is “the set of rules that explain how words are used in a language”.  Sure, there a lot of rules and exceptions in studying a language, that is the point why it is important to start with the basics alongside with simple sentences to complex ones. Familiarize yourself with the figures of speech, subject verb agreement, clauses and phrases, punctuation rules and many more. Check out http://www.grammarbook.com for helpful and comprehensible explanations.

“List down 5-10 new words everyday.”
-Teacher Geralyn

There are may words that could describe a single event and as soon as you expand your vocabulary, the more specific and clearer your sentences would be. Writing 5-10 words everyday is a good start when developing your skill. Review the words you have learned in class and try to use them in a sentence till you master their usage.

“Read different kinds of articles.”
-Teacher Rolando

Writing style is the product of your own imagination plus all those you have read. Developing one’s personal writing style involves taking into account the voice of other writers. Reading different kinds of articles can also help you be familiarized with sentence structures, vocabulary, and word usage.

“Keep a journal.”
– Teacher Areya

The daily writing practice serves as a whetstone to enhance writing skills. Few months or years upon writing consistently, you could go back to the earlier dates and “evaluate” how much you have improved. Start by writing about your day and try to be as descriptive as you can. Remember: Practice, practice, practice.

Bonus:

“Join writing contest.”
– Teacher Ana

Joining writing contest or any other contests for that matter is not only about winning. Of course, winning would be the best thing after putting your masterpiece out there, but there are other ways that joining a contest is beneficial. It is a good way to test your ideas, challenge yourself, and show your talent.

Have you heard of the Photo Essay Contest? Monol International Education Institute encourages students to participate in the said competition held per batch.
Challenge yourself!

**featured image from https://www.careermetis.com/increase-writing-efficiency/

Teachers’ Tips: LISTENING

What?
Can you please say it again?
Sorry, I wasn’t able to catch that.

Sounds familiar?

Listening takes a lot of effort than it appears especially for language learners. It is not only about hearing what another person is saying, it’s more about processing the sound transmitted from a medium to our brains. Making sense of what you have heard is a challenge especially when you’re unfamiliar with the words uttered to you. In addition, there exists numerous accents all over the world which means different pronunciations and diction.

This is why we compiled some helpful tips straight from the people who knows best when it comes to this facet — teachers. And here’s what they’ve got to say:

“Listen to English songs and try to write their lyrics.”
-Teacher Jesheamor

There are countless genres that would suit each and every person in the world. Pick one that interests you and try to play it, pause, and scribe. Repeat the process and check your performance by searching for the lyrics on the internet.

“Record class activities.”
-Teacher Tom

Here’s the thing: when you are in class, you probably can’t turn your 100% attention on what the teacher is telling you maybe because of some external factors or because you are multitasking- – writing, listening, and even talking at the same time. The good thing about this strategy is, you can replay the audio during your self study time and be able to focus on the content in your own sweet time.

“Have a list of words to listen to.”
-Teacher Tom

Having a list of words could help in expanding your vocabulary, therefore training your mind to be accustomed to the words that you don’t usually hear around you. Familiarity is the key.

“Engage in meaningful conversation with your friends.”
-Teacher Areya

Engaging in a meaningful conversation with your friends is a viable way to develop listening skills. The more diverse your circle is, the better chances of being accustomed to different accents and speech rate.

“Watch English movies.”
-Teacher Geralyn

This is probably the most entertaining way of practicing your listening skill. Watching a movie is like being in the real situation, seeing gestures, lip movements, and all the possible real-life situation all in a screen. Plus, you can take home a lot of practical expressions!

*featured image from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Top 10 Picks from the Newly Added Words in Dictionaries

Learning a language or anything for that matter is a never ending process. And so as any other things that undergo evolution, modification, and innovation, words also sprout from something that there already is, that has Latin etymology (as per 30% of words in the English language), Greek, German and all others. It is  known that words’ meaning change over time, giving credit to the connotation and denotations as well as combined and borrowed words.

Although some of the words are being used in some areas, these words were considered as slang till this year when it was accepted by some credible dictionaries (we’re talking ’bout Oxford and Merriam). Some of these words are not necessarily new, but has some other meaning added to it. To keep you updated with the new vocabularies, we compiled some newly accepted words in the English language.

From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

Weak sauce
n.
US slang
:  something inferior, ineffective, or unimpressive :  something weak
“She is pretty, yes. But her personality is a weak sauce.”

Macaron
n.
:  a light, often brightly colored sandwich cookie consisting of two rounded disks made from a batter of egg whites, sugar, and almond flour surrounding a sweet filling (as of ganache, buttercream, or jam)

‘That store makes really good macarons. Do you want to try it?”

Colorful macaroons

Image source: https://tripagency.info/cuisine/macaron.html

Photobomb
v.
:  to move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank

photobomb

Image source: http://imgur.com/VAmLb

“We don’t have a single descent family picture. Bob photobombed every single one.”

Woo-woo
adj.
:  dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific.
“She kept on saying that she saw a ghost. I don’t believe her woo-woo stories anymore.”

Ginger
v.
:  to make lively :  pep up
“Do you have any idea how to ginger this boring party?”

From Oxford Dictionary

Yas
informal
:  expressing great pleasure or excitement.
“I got accepted for the job position. Yas!”

beer o’ clock
n.
humorous
:  an appropriate time of day for starting to drink beer.
“It’s beer o’ clock. Time to go to the bar!”

beer o clock

Image source: https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=beer+o%27clock&rlz=1C1CHBD_enPH709PH709&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC_K3G5NDTAhVGmJQKHcLRAnQQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=613#imgrc=nEKdx14UbV4zzM:

Biatch
US
informal
:  used as an affectionate or disparaging form of address.
“See you later, biatch.”

hangry
adj.
informal
:  bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.
“We better rush before the customers get hangry.

hangry

Image source: https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/tnTbdXwmGOEcuAkWLOlYdQ–/aD0zNDQ7dz01MDA7c209MTthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/http://magazines.zenfs.com/resizer/FIT_TO_WIDTH-w500/81e7afa9724594fb3273997b9dd317617a3377af

sausage fest
n.
informal
:  an event or group in which the majority of participants are male.
“Are you sure you want to hangout with them? It’s a sausage fest.”

What’s the most recent word you’ve learned? Let us know in the comments below.

*featured image from http://cf.ydcdn.net/1.0.1.71/images/wordfinder-background

How to Effectively Incorporate Social Media into Learning a Language

Multiple sites, blogs, and even teachers here in Monol International Education Institute would tell you the same thing in different words about learning a language: EXPOSE YOURSELF TO THE TARGET LANGUAGE.

This is an intimate and direct interaction that enables us to receive and deliver information, a similar way we learn our mother tongue and being able to communicate even before attending school. With the advent of modern technology and the internet, language exposure has become more accessible and effortless. In that event, we listed some apps and sites that you can use for a more effective “live and learn” experience.

  1. YouTube Channels

English with Lucy

Lucy is an English teacher based in United Kingdom. She teaches various types of lessons from pronunciation and idioms to grammar. It is a plus that her voice is soothing, making the words sound clear and comprehensible. This youtuber apparently uses British English, but no worries because she differentiates British English from American English especially when it comes to pronunciation.

TED

TED is a non-profit organization that aims to spread ideas through short, but powerful talks that tackle the best ideas from TED Conferences all over the world. Icons, geniuses, and mavericks share their ideas in less than 18 minutes. This channel is one of the best sources of inspiration and insights about certain topics especially when you are into public speaking and developing listening skills.

  1. Mobile Application

HelloTalk Learn Languages

Using HelloTalk is like hitting two (or more) birds in one stone.

HelloTalk is the first global language and culture exchange community that connects you with native speakers of other languages. Users of this app are very willing to teach their native language and be taught in return.

This app features more than 100 languages and matches you to the native speakers whom you can interact with depending on your target language and level. It has inbuilt translator, grammar correction, text to voice, and voice recognition to improve your writing/speaking skills.

  1. Instagram

Instagram is one of the most acknowledged applications all over the world when it comes to audience involvement and interaction. If you have this app, you might have been bombarded with selfies, food snaps, and all other things under the sun. Fortunately, there are a few  accounts that you could follow to learn some expressions and vocabulary. Three of these are @english_vocabulary@bbclearningenglish, and @grammar_tips that post just what matter— vocabulary, expressions, grammar lessons, and sample sentence.

And oh, don’t forget to follow our very own Instagram account, @baguio_monol for more!

Winners of first Photo Essay contest in Monol announced

During the past month, Monol launched its very first Photo Essay contest in the academy to give a little spice to the usual essay writing contest regularly organized. For the said competition, seven winners were named and although the weather in Baguio is mostly rainy and cloudy, the winners’ entries talked about their fun experiences and adventures at the beach and other tourist destinations in the Philippines, which are considered to be the must-see places during the summer season.  Continue reading

Learning the subject: Reading (Regular ESL)

Reading is a man-to-man class and is one of the five core subjects of the Regular ESL course of Monol. It is facilitated for one hour and focuses on honing the students’ comprehension through varying reading activities.

Unlike any other classes in Monol, the Reading class is the only subject in Regular ESL that gives students homework even before the beginning of the formal class. The homework entails reading the first unit’s passage in advance, answering the questions in Comprehension Task (which comes next after the reading passage) and filling the notepad with entries that will be useful for the oral summary of the student the next day. The output of the student’s homework shall, then, be checked and discussed with the teacher as they go along the lesson. Continue reading