Kamis, 12 Juli 2012

How to learn grammar


Grammar is an aspect of language about which learners have different opinions. Some learners are very interested in finding out or learning grammar rules and doing lots of grammar exercises. Others hate grammar and think it is the most boring part of learning a new language. Whatever opinion you have, however, you cannot escape from grammar; it is in every sentence you read or write, speak or hear. Grammar is simply the word for the rules that people follow when they use a language. We need those rules in the same way as we need the rules in a game. If there are no rules, or if everybody follows their own rules, the game would soon break down. It's the same with language; without rules we would not be able to communicate with other people.
So you cannot escape from grammar, but the key question here is: what is the best way to learn grammar? You can learn the rules of a game by simply playing the game. You will certainly make mistakes; you may even get hurt. Eventually, however, you will know how to play. Of course, the rules of a language are very much more complicated than the rules of any game, but in fact this is exactly how you learned your own language. Nobody taught you the rules of your mother tongue as you were growing up but now you never make a grammar mistake.
It is possible to learn a second language in the same natural way, if you have enough time and you live in the right place. For example, if you are a Korean boy and you move to Russia at age 6, attend a Russian school, play every day with Russian friends, you will probably learn all you need to know about Russian grammar by the age of 15 without ever having a grammar lesson or reading a grammar book.
Most people learning a new language do not have so much time and such an ideal situation; So what IS the best way to learn English grammar? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the question. There are just as many different opinions about teaching grammar as there are about learning grammar. Many teachers believe in the importance of grammar lessons devoted to a study of language rules and lots of practice exercises. Other teachers feel that grammar is best learned by doing different language activities without focussing so directly on the rules. Whatever your opinion about grammar, and whichever is the way you are taught, here is some advice that may help you to learn grammar more effectively.
  • Be aware of grammar. Think about grammar. Notice the aspects of English grammar that are the same as or very similar to those in your language. (The use of the articles in German, for example, is similar to their use in English.) Notice also the way that English expresses an idea differently to how it is done in your language. For example, English uses the present perfect to express a period of time that started in the past and continues in the present (e.g. I have had this watch for 10 years). Many other languages use the present tense to express the same idea; (e.g. German: Ich habe diese Uhr seit 10 Jahren.) If you notice grammar similarities and differences, you will probably learn the rules more quickly.
  • Read a lot of English books - this may sound strange but in fact all the time you are reading English (and also listening to English), you are taking in models of correct grammar that will help you in your own writing and speaking. It will help you when you express your ideas and when you come to check your work. Of course, it is even better if you can read with the grammatical awareness discussed in the last paragraph. By this I mean that you say to yourself from time to time: Ah, so that's how you do this in English!
  • Concentrate on the aspects of grammar you personally find most difficult. (If you don't have any idea what aspects of English grammar cause you most problems, ask your teacher!) Particularly in your writing you can focus on these aspects for special care and attention when editing your work. It is more difficult in speaking, of course, but even here you can sometimes take a fraction more time to try and get that particular element right. For example, if you are retelling a story in the present tense, you could keep reminding yourself that you need an -s in the 3rd person singular.
  • If you don't like to do grammar exercises or to be taught grammar, then it's more important that you follow the advice in the paragraphs above. You should try to work out the patterns and rules of the language for yourself.
  • If you do like to do grammar exercises, then go ahead. But being good at grammar exercises does not mean you will not make mistakes in your own work. You could be like someone who has learned how to play tennis by reading a book, but once he is on the tennis court, he can't hit the ball properly. If you decide to do grammar exercises, try to go beyond just filling in gaps or doing multi-choice answers. Write out some sentences of your own that follow the same rule that you are practising. There are thousands of grammar pages on the web, including the pages on this site. Click here to go to a short index of these sites.
  • Learn the common irregular verbs If you can use these verbs automatically, it will give you more time to concentrate on other aspects of what you want to say. They are easy to learn if you say them to yourself many times.
  • Only read this last section if you are very, very interested in grammar! There is a computer program called a concordancer which can help you learn about how words are used and how grammar works. When you type words into the concordancer, it shows you hundreds examples of those words in short sentence extracts. For example, if you want to learn more about how the present perfect continuous is used, you can type in the words I have been and the computer will give you a list of extracts from books or newspapers containing those words. For example:
    • I have been waiting for two months for a letter from my pen-friend.
    • I have been living in Germany for 3 years.
    • I have been learning English since 1999.
    If you study these examples you can more easily work out for yourself the grammar rule about using the present perfect continuous tense.

Minggu, 08 Juli 2012

English Education in Aussie

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Peter Garrett, Chris Evans National education budget (2009) Budget $44,489 million (4.63% of GDP) – 80th ranking of government expenditure on education worldwide. General details Primary languages English System type Federal Established compulsory education 1830s 1870sLiteracy (2003) Total 99% Male 99% Female 99% Enrollment (2008) Total 20.4% of population Primary 1.9 millionSecondary 1.4 million Post secondary 1 million Attainment (2008) Secondary diploma 75% Post-secondary diploma 34%[citation needed] Education in Australia is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories. Each state or territory government provides funding and regulates the public and private schools within its governing area. The federal government helps fund the public universities, but is not involved in setting curriculum. Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (universities and/or TAFE colleges). The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, eighth for science and thirteenth for mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The PISA 2010 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as sixth for reading, seventh for science and ninth for mathematics, an improvement relative to the 2006 rankings. The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark and Finland.Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five and fifteen to seventeen, depending on the state or territory, and date of birth. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE) and the higher education sector (university). The academic year in Australia varies between states and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.

Sabtu, 07 Juli 2012

5 Easy Ways to Learn Grammar

grammar cartoon
For our first guest post, we’ve invited the good people at Grammarlogues, a software- and Web-based tool “founded on the premise that grammar matters most when it has meaning beyond a set of memorized rules,” to write about ways to use The Times to bring grammar lessons to life. Come tell us how you make grammar come alive

Grammar, Party of One
National Grammar Day. Three words that might elicit an even greater sigh than the term grammar itself.
The holiday conjures up images of celebrants frantically grabbing red pens and running through towns and cities, adding, crossing out, and otherwise correcting abuses of syntax and diction. Innocent passersby and unsuspecting onlookers are interrogated: True or false: You cannot end a sentence with a preposition. Infinitives should never be split. Passive voice is always wrong.
Let’s reclaim this national holiday right here and now. Boycott the red pen that ensnares us in syntactical games of right and wrong, and pick up a piece of literature, any piece of literature, and explore the English language with fresh eyes.
Consider the following five possibilities:

1. Variation Exploration

Reporters and editorial writers have one job in common: holding their readers’ interest. An essential tool for doing this is sentence variety, or using different sentence structures to avoid monotony.
The three-sentence paragraph below by Adam Liptak is a good example—he follows a simple sentence with a complex sentence, which he extends with two fairly hefty participial phrases, and he concludes the paragraph with a simple question:
Try this: Find one other example of sentence variety in a paragraph from an article in The Times that interests you. Analyze it as we did here to describe why it works. For more on complex sentences.

2. Punctuation Station

The Times is a one-stop shop for punctuation, with virtually every mark used in every issue.
In the sentence below, for instance, Jonah Lehrer uses a semicolon to separate two independent clauses. Are alternate punctuation marks possible? What would happen, for instance, if a comma were used instead?
there is no better model for the punctuation of dialogue than an article containing dialogue. The example below of an interrupted quote is a good demonstration:
Try this: Pick a type of punctuation mark, the semicolon for example, and scan an article to see where these are placed and how they are used. Then use one of those sentences as a model to try your own use of that mark. (And for more on semicolons)

3. Rule Breaker

You must understand the “rules” of grammar before you break them. If you read The Times regularly, you’ll see instances when writers intentionally break the “rules” to achieve a purpose. For example:
Is one of the sentences below a fragment? If so, what effect does it have on the article?
Why might a writer use a string of passive verbs in a particular sentence? In the following sentence, how do these passive constructions emphasize the topic?
Try this: How many Times sentences can you find that “break the rules”? Which work best? Why?

4. Sherlock Holmes

Incorporating quotations to support a thesis effectively and correctly is difficult, but journalists deal with this aspect of writing constantly, whether the text is a factual account or an opinion. Consider the indirect quote below from an article on the upcoming election in Iraq. Readers do not know whether these were Suliman’s exact words; however, the statement must accurately convey his thought:
Try this: You won’t have to read far to find examples in The Times of both direct and indirect quotations. Try conversion practice yourself by changing a direct quote into an indirect quote, following the punctuation approach you see in the Times article. For more on direct quotes,

5. Confusion Central

The best of us sometimes get tangled up in lengthy sentences, sidetracked by the ancillary ideas in subordinate clauses or prepositional phrases.
Take a sticky sentence apart in order to get to its core. For instance, the fundamental information in the sentence below about the actor Jeff Bridges is quite brief: Duane is the subject; set is the verb; the template is the direct object.

How To Speak English in 30 Days!

History of English Education in Korea

Professor Kim Eun-gyong By Kim Eun-gyong Contributing Writer This is the first in a series of articles about history of English education in Korea ― ED. English language education was first introduced to Korea in 1883, when the Joseon government opened an English language school in order to train interpreters. Since then, English has enjoyed the status as the most popular foreign language during the greater part of its existence in what is today South Korea. The following passage from an article of the Korea Times (dated February 5, 2008) offers an excellent illustration of the current extraordinary status of English in Korea society. "According to a report by the Samsung Economic Research Institute (SERI), Koreans spend about 15 trillion won ($15.8 billion) on English learning per year. Koreans also topped the applicant list of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) between 2004 and 2005 as about 102,340 out of the 554,942 applicants were Koreans. They also paid 700 billion won toward English examination fees. Enthusiasm for English study has also seen a large number of children, teenagers and even adults going to English-speaking countries like the United States, Australia and Britain to study. Last year some 250,000 under 29 years old went abroad for studying. The English frenzy saw the coining of the term 'goose father,' referring to a father who lives alone in Korea having sent his spouse and children to a foreign country to study English or some other form of advanced study. The goose fathers are estimated to be about 200,000 goose daddies nationwide. Most Koreans start to learn English from middle or elementary school. By the time they graduate, they have already spent about 100,000 hours on English studying, according to the SERI report." In this remarkable advancement of the English language in Korean society, the government’s educational policies have played crucial roles, for English language education (ELE) has served as the main vehicle of the spread of English in Korea and most of its development has been led and shaped by the educational policies of the highly centralized government. Therefore, in order to understand why and how the English language has become an important part of present-day Koreans’ lives and to be able to have a glimpse into what the status of the English language will be in the future Korean society, it is necessary to investigate and cultivate our understanding of the government’s past various roles in the development of ELE and the social contexts that brought about the changes made in the government policies on ELE. My article series will examine the ELE development from the beginning to the present from the perspective of government’s role in it. More precisely, the series will include investigations on the Joseon government’s introduction of ELE, the stunted development of ELE during the Japanese colonial rule, the expansion of ELE under the strong influence of the U.S. military government of Korea and during the Korean War, and the continual development of ELE led by the Korean government. President Lee Myung-bak has made known his intention to restructure the nationwide system of ELE. As a presidential nominee he pledged to reinforce public education in such a way that all high school graduates can communicate with foreigners without difficulty, and his presidential transition team suggested that all the English classes in high schools be taught in English. The presidential nominee’s and his presidential transition team’s obvious interest in ELE have intensified citizens’ already heated interest in and worries over ELE and started to show side effects such as a strong backlash from teachers and parents. Thus, it seems for now that President Lee has given up on his plan to implement immersion programs; the annual task report that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology presented to him included no mention of English immersion programs. This illustrates just how difficult it is for the government to introduce ELE policies that satisfy the majority of the citizens while having long-lasting positive effects. Such a gallant attempt will require thorough preparations, including in-depth analyses of the successes or the failures of similar measures taken in the past whether in Korea or in other countries. This series intends to offer a comprehensive view of the development of ELE in Korea and sound suggestions for a future direction that the Korean government should take with regard to English educational policies. With such high hopes, I now would like to begin the series by examining Koreans’ contact with the English language before the Joseon government’s introduction of ELE in 1883. Kim Eun-gyong is an associate professor of applied linguistics and Associate Dean of the Center for International Affairs, Information and Communications University (ICU) in Daejeon. She can be reached at egkimrivera@icu.ac.kr http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2009/06/181_21843.html

Senin, 25 Juni 2012


Trik Belajar Bahasa Inggris Cepat

Trik dan Tips Belajar Bahasa Inggris Cepat

Apakah anda sudah putus asa tidak bisa belajar bahasa Inggris (learning English)? Cobalah berpikir lagi. Apapun latar belakang atau pengalaman anda, anda DAPAT belajar berbicara bahasa lain dengan menggunakan enam teknik cepat.
Ada banyak cara yang bisa menjadi jembatan agar kita bisa berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Inggris: orang-orang di perjalanan, bisnis, pendidikan, hobbi, para teman atau keluarga.
Tetapi, “Dapatkah aku benar-benar mengembangkan ketrampilan-ketrampilan komunikatif dengan menggunakan lidah baru?” Jawabnya: DAPAT. Syaratnya anda harus melaksanakan dan mempraktekkan tips cepat ini dalam hidup sehari-hari.

1.Mengambil kursus pendek:
Sejumlah kursus-kursus bahasa sekarang tersedia di mana-mana, di universitas atau perguruan tinggi lokal. Internet demikian juga banyak yang memberi layanan kursus bahasa asing. Silakan ketik kata kunci seperti: learning English, atau belajar bahasa Inggris online, kursus bahasa Inggris, dsb. Nah, ambillah kursus bahasa Inggris ini untuk memulai usaha anda.

“Mom, he’s mocking me!” “Ibu, ia sedang mengejek aku!” Pernahkah anda mendengar keluhan ini bila setelah adikmu yang paling kecil menirukan dari orang lain? Seseorang menirukan kata, bunyi – dalam pidato, termasuk segala aksi panggung. Itu disebut mimicking dan cara itu sangat efektif bagi anda untuk belajar speaking. Prosedur sangat sederhana, anda mengulangi persisnya, kata demi kata, segala yang dikatakan oleh model tersebut. Model itu penyiar berita, karakter di sebuah komedi, pembawa cerita atau narrator, suara yang berasal dari radio atau operator kaset. Jangan cemas jika hasilnya belum sempurna. Anda akan belajar dengan berbahasa Inggris dengan lidah. Anda akan memperoleh kecepatan dan menenangkan cara ini dengan praktek langsung. Anda akan melakukan lebih cepat dibanding yang anda kira.

3.Membaca Dengan Suara Keras:
Salah satu terik belajar bahasa Inggris membaca dengan keras. Bacalah teks-teks bahasa Inggris dengan suara keras. Teknik tangguh ini tidak hanya mengembangkan ketrampilan-ketrampilan pengucapan kata-kata, berperan untuk meningkatan keterampilan mendengarkan, tatabahasa dan kosa kata juga. Pelajarilah bahasa Inggris dengan membaca.

4. Menonton TV: Jika anda sudah berlangganan TV kabel, adakah sebuah stasiun menyiarkan di dalam bahasa Inggris yang anda adalah tertarik akan? Banyak stasiun TV yang menyiarkan acaranya dengan menggunakan bahasa Inggris. Nah Anda bisa belajar bahasa Inggris dari menonton TV itu.

5.Mendengarkan Musik:
Mendengar musik merupakan tips dan trik belajar bahasa Inggris yang menyenangkan. Anda juga tidak asing dengan lagu-lagu bahasa Inggris, kan. Pilihlah lagu dengan syair yang mudah dan dinyanyikan dengan tempo yang lebih lambat. Anda juga bisa melakukan dengan karaoke bersama teman atau keluarga. Dengan bantuan internet, bahkan, anda dapat mencari lagu-lagu bahasa Inggris secara online. Di internet anda dapat mnemukan ratusan bahkan ribuan nyanyian online

Berhenti di perpustakaan untuk meminjam buku-buku tata bahasa dan materi belajar bahasa Inggris. Tatabahasa merupakan pemandu yang baik dalam belajar bahasa Inggris. Dan membaca secara umum merupakan modal awal belajar bahasa Inggris. Membacalah artikel bahasa Inggris sebanyak mungkin, dan anda akan menuai hasilnya.
Membaca juga bisa dipahami sebagai memahami orang lain. Pergilah ke tempat-tempat yang banyak dikunjungi oleh para penutur bahasa Inggris, seperti di restaurant, supermarket, tempat wisata, forum chatting, klub bahasa Inggris, atau ke mana saja, yang memungkinkan anda dapat berbicara dan mempraktekkan bahasa Inggris anda.