Wednesday, March 26, 2014

EC CONVERSATIONS

1.Let's follow this conversation......It's not practical!

Sir, I am Lal, the parent of Kishore who is in your class, V A. His English Communication is very poor. Can you, sir help him in improving his conversational skills in English...a humble request?
Well you see Mr.Lal, We don't teach here English as a skill, for us it is a subject just like any other. So what you said is not practical. Although your request is genuine...I understand.
Thank you sir for being with me on this...but sir the very meaning of education in Malayalam, the language of Kerala, is practicing skills...I mean Vidyabhyasam.
(Laughing)...you have a point there...we need to change the whole system of education...why don't you talk to the higher ups...like the Principal or those above like the Education Minister?
Sir...I am afraid they would also say the same line which you used...It's not practical!

2. Ayushman Bhav!

Sir...today's my birthday. (offering sweets)
Great....Happy birthday....Ayushman Bhav!
I didn't get you sir....you mean...?
I mean...Many many happy returns of the day!
Is that what it means...Ayushman Bhav!
Yeah...it's Sanskrit.
Sir to be frank, I like it better than its English counterpart. Thank you for enlightening me with this new expression.
My pleasure... as always.

Also on the same page

Click Goals in English Conversations

Also on the same page 


Also on the same page 
 

Click Great Collocations

  Also on the same page 
 
Click EC Insights


Click Easy Ideas for EC

TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An easy to see CONSPIRACY !!

A CRISIS...or A CONSPIRACY?

  • A student after 12 years of formal education in our schools...
  • A student after 3000 hours of English classes...
  • doesn't know how to make a sentence in English to express his/her needs or thoughts.
  • doesn't know how to ask questions (Yes/No or Wh) using verbs like DO/DOES/ARE/IS/HAVE/HAS/WILL etc.
  • doesn't know how to have conversations in English.
And to cut the story short...

Our students in schools are ILLITERATE in ENGLISH COMMUNICATION(EC) skills.

But the solution is very easy, simple and not at all expensive.

They can be taught the basic ideas(rules) of EC in less than 50 hours and that too without any text book; in place of exams or tests what works best are classroom games which can be used to assess the students' EC abilities in making sentences and speaking English.

For eg. The Five Point method can be used which is given here:

THE FIVE POINT APPROACH IN LEARNING AND TEACHING EC (ENGLISH COMMUNICATION)

You need to understand the importance of these five things to learn and train, practice and teach EC

1.LOGIC OF ENGLISH SENTENCES
2.STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH SENTENCES
3.HOW TO USE VERBS
4.POLITE EXPRESSIONS
5.PRONUNCIATION AND VOCABULARY 
 So the big question is...
Why is this crisis happening?
Who is responsible?
And why nobody cares about it?
Is there a conspiracy involved?

And what is the result?

GROWING UNEMPLOYMENT
YOUTH UNABLE TO GET JOBS IN INTERNATIONAL FIRMS
COMMON MAN/WOMAN HAVING NO VOICE IN THE ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD


And who benefits from this situation?
 
 
 Our rulers.
Our masters.

 Our lawmakers.
Those who divide and rule...
Those who dislike questions...
Those who hate discussions...

 

OUR SILENCE IS THEIR VICTORY.

THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR HALF A CENTURY. WILL THERE BE A CHANGE NOW ? 

WE CAN CHANGE OUR FUTURE IF WE CHANGE OUR SCHOOLS.

LET'S THINK BEYOND COMFORT ZONES. FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION.

THE SITUATION CRIES FOR A SOLUTION. LET'S WORK TOGETHER FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.



On the same page:  A WAKE UP CALL
 









On the same page: EC - It's a CHILD's RIGHT





































TO BE CONTINUED...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BLOGGER INTERVIEW

Can you say something about this blog?
This blog can be divided into four parts. The first part deals with the basic ideas related to EC which includes an E-Book also. The second part is about exercises to practice EC in classrooms. The third part has some selected online and offline resources to keep improving your EC and also for getting inspiration. The fourth part stresses on conversational practice with the help of scripts, video clips, role play exercises and vocabulary tips. 

Why did you make this blog and for whom?
It was during the summer vacation classes in 2012 when I made this blog to help my students who were at that time attending a Spoken English class in Calicut at a Computer Institute. There were four students in my Spoken English class and I noticed this all the time that these students were making a lot of spelling mistakes even when they were copying what was written on the board. So I thought of making a blog for them since they all had Internet access through the laptops or PC's used by their parents. Also I thought that when these children use blog for getting their notes they can save a lot of time which was spent in writing all the details on the board.

So that's how it started...didn't it?
Yes, and once it got started I realized its scope in sharing knowledge and experience with the people who are interested in the area of English Communication.

Did your teaching experience help in making this blog useful to learners?
Yes definitely...that's what many people have told me through their feedback. Many teachers have thanked me for giving them new ideas in conducting EC classes. I have not given anything in this blog which was not useful to my own students. 
Regarding my experience, I have been working in the field of teaching/training people in EC skills since 2000. I got opportunities to take EC classes at school level, college level, corporate level, for students preparing for competitive exams, for those seeking private/government jobs and also for English teachers.     

What have you achieved so far by making this blog?
A very common question that many have asked. I think the very act of sharing knowledge and experience with people is highly rewarding in itself. I haven't actually thought much about what I was getting or losing. For me, the real aim is not to make a good blog but to give new ideas to people so that we can all become good at learning and using English Communication(EC) for success and happiness. That's the purpose of this small step. 

OK, but haven't you found or do you know of any other such blog or websites doing this kind of thing that talks about how to learn and improve English Communication skills?
Well, I have found a lot, but till now not a single blog or website I have come across deals with teaching English Communication in a very practical sense.

How is this blog unique or what is its USP?
See, first of all let me ask you, what is English Communication? It is in its most basic sense the idea of how to make English sentences...or I would say the Great Art of Making English Sentences(GAMES). That's what this blog focuses on. That's what makes it unique. That is its USP.

Why do you think our education system doesn't impart this skill of English Communication?
Forget skills, I would say - do our schools teach students at least the logic of making a simple sentence in English? Without teaching this (I mean how to make an English sentence or the rules you need to follow while making a sentence) how can students become confident in this art of making English sentences. They will always be in doubt when they try to communicate in English. This is the problem our students have always faced in their entire life...every one seems to be confused with the right way to make a sentence in English. And nobody teaches them the right way to make a sentence...even the basic steps are not taught. 

But don't they teach grammar in schools which is what making sentences is all about...don't you think so?
Grammar is actually analyzing a sentence or studying a sentence which one has made. So by knowing grammar well you can correct a sentence or do what is called sentence correction. And that is what teachers always do and also love to do. We are good at telling others what is wrong or where the error is but do we tell people how to make a sentence from the scratch. Do  we come down to the level of thoughts of the learners ? That's where all the action happens...I mean in their minds and not outside when they speak or write a sentence.

You are pointing out the defects in our education system which is what everybody does or loves to do but what is the real alternative or the solution which can make a difference?
The solution I think lies in the true empowerment of our learners. Our education system has to rise to the occasion. We should teach how to "Think in English" If we do this, communication in English just happens, naturally and effortlessly. And to do this is easy, very easy. That is what I have tried to show in this blog - a simple method to think in English and then how to practice English Communication using the resources we already have around us like YouTube videos, songs, speeches, movies, books, newspapers, TV channels short films, TED talks, blogs, websites, Facebook etc.





  








TO BE CONTINUED...

  






Friday, March 14, 2014

DEDICATION

This blog is humbly dedicated to the spirit of SHARING and GROWING, alive in all of us since childhood....



THE POWERFUL LANGUAGE OF AFFIRMATION & VISUALIZATION

TALKING ABOUT ONE'S ASPIRATIONS AND THEN USING THE POWERFUL LANGUAGE OF AFFIRMATION & VISUALIZATION

STEPS: Asked the students to talk about their aspirations and also discussed the powerful language of affirmation and visualization.

1.Aspiration: I want to become the manager.
I aspire to be an IAS Officer.
I aspire to have a business of my own
I aspire to learn martial arts.
(Here instead of ASPIRE other verbs like PLAN, DESIRE, AIM, HOPE, LIKE, LOVE, WISH can also be used.)
2.I will buy a car: Affirmation
3.I will be buying a car: Visualization

When you say "I will buy a car" it's an Affirmation. It's a very strong declaration.

When you say "I will be buying a car" it's Visualization. It's like seeing that particular action happening live in your mind.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

EC CREATIVITY



Creativity needs ideas that inspire. And inspiration comes from being in the right STATE. For eg. to get creative ideas in any field we need to be very much interested and excited about that field and also get highly involved. The second thing is having the right RESOURCES (or possession). Ideas come to those who are best prepared with all the resources at their command. The third requirement for getting creative ideas is THINKING in the right way. Only right thoughts lead to right ACTIONS.  The fourth requirement is seeing a situation from OUTSIDE, in a detached/objective way. Getting too much passionate or emotional with a situation blocks creative ideas. Creativity therefore needs a fearless and distanced approach to any situation AND also a purpose which is beyond our own needs or desires, name or fame. The bigger the purpose, the more will be the creative flow of energy into our MINDS !!

TO BE CONTINUED...

EC MIRACLES

By changing the way we think in sentences, we can actually change the way we think, to do things, and things happen in our lives like MIRACLES...!

An example of how a person looks at this house and thinks is given here. Which of the thoughts given below is more powerful or miraculous?

I would have bought this house if I had won a lottery.
I might buy that house if I had a lot of money.
I could buy that house if I were a millionaire.
I may buy that house if I get a promotion
I can buy that house if I work abroad.
I would like to buy that house.
I will buy that house.
I will be buying that house.
I will have bought that house by March 31st 2014.


TO BE CONTINUED...

THE POWER OF BELIEF in EC



Which sentence given below is the most powerful in terms of belief?
If I get a job in an International company, I will go places.
If I started a business, I would earn a lot of money.
If I had got a job in government service I would have become very happy.


Now in these sentence types using the three IFs, the first sentence is spoken by a very confident person having a very strong belief, the second by a not very confident person having a weak belief and the third by somebody who is living in the past.
So by changing the IF pattern in a sentence, can we enhance our confidence and belief in a particular outcome?  The answer is clear from the above example.





TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A better World

 A GROUP WORK EXERCISE FOR EC LEARNERS

The steps involved are:
After dividing the class into groups of 5-6 members, the students have discussions with their group members and follow these four steps.
1.Give a name for your social mission.
2.Identify the social cause your group wants to take up and create a change.
3.Plan a presentation/role play/speech/discussion to highlight the theme.
4.Interaction with the audience.

Some of the themes selected were:
1. Waste disposal Issues,
2. Problems of addiction,
3. Terrorism,
4. Human trafficking,
5. Water Resources management,

TO BE CONTINUED... 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

PAY IT FORWARD...

If you have really liked this blog then I would say that instead of giving me a good feedback through your posts and comments please help your near and dear ones to master EC skills for self-empowerment. In other words, let's follow the policy of "Pay It Forward". Please don't spend your valuable time in making me "feel good" about this blog...that's not required. At the same I do thank all those who shared their valuable comments and acknowledged this work in the right spirit.

DISCLAIMER

This blog is based on just one person's experience in understanding, discovering and exploring the world of EC in a creative and exciting way and thereafter sharing that knowledge with people who need it the most.  So please look at this blog only as an inspirational or motivational resource and not as something that can substitute books/CDs/classes by experts in English grammar. Your interaction with this blog should only begin your quest for more knowledge in the field of EC. In short, this blog is not at all, a final word on EC in any way. It is just a beginning...a window...a small step in the right direction.

EC MEDITATION

EC and Meditation (This exercise is for the beginners in EC but the same format could be used for conducting EC exercises for advanced learners also)

1. Asked the students to close their eyes for a minute and think about themselves from a third person point of view. After one minute they can open their eyes slowly and then share that "inner world" experience with the audience, first in the form of a speech and then through an interaction.
The Speech: Dear friends, I have a friend. His/Her name is ..... He/She has ...... He/She works/stays/uses/lives ..... There are many good things about him.
The Interaction: Some of the questions were like: Where does he/she stay? Which mobile does he use? Where does he work/study/live etc.

2. Asked the students to close their eyes for a minute and think about their experiences the previous day and then select a conversation which they enjoyed the most. After one minute they can open their eyes slowly and then share that "inner world" experience with the audience, first in the form of a speech and then through an interaction.
The Speech: Dear friends, Yesterday I had a conversation with ....... He/She is .... He/She has ... He/She works/stays/lives ....
The Interaction: Some of the questions were like: Where does he/she stay? Where does he work/study/live ? Where did you both meet? How did you talk...I mean on phone or in person? How long did you talk? etc.

To be continued...