Monthly Archives: February 2012

Simple Listening Tips for IELTS

The Dos and DON’Ts

You SHOULD DO following thing while taking IELTS Listening Test:

•    Listen carefully to the introduction to each section. This will give you useful information about the situation and the speakers.
•    Use the time at the beginning of each section (and in the middle of Section 1-3) to look through the questions and think about the topic.
•    Read the instructions for each task carefully, remember to check the maximum number of words allowed.
•    Write all your anser as you listen – remember you won’t read the recording a second time.
•    Check that what you write makes sense in the context.
•    Answer all the questions even if don’t feel sure about an answer – you may have understood more than you think.
•    Wait until the end of the test to transfer your answers. You have ten minutes for this which is plenty of time.
•    Write clearly when you transfer your answers. If an answer isn’t clear on your answer sheet, you will lose the mark.
•    Check your spelling (and grammar where necessary).

You SHOULD NOT DO following things while taking IELTS Listening Test:

•    Don’t worry if you have to cross out or change an answer.
•    Don’t panic if you miss one question. Look ahead and concentrate on the next one.
•    Don’t try to rephrase what you hear. Write down the words you hear which fit the question.
•    Don’t write more than the maximum number of words or letters allowed for each answer.
•    Don’t copy any words that were printed on the Question Paper when you transfer your answers to the Answer Sheet.

Test Reading Tips and Strategies designed for the intelligent test-taker

1. Predict! Predict! Predict!

Step 1 is always to get a good idea of what the passage is about by quickly looking at the heading and sub-headings. This speed up and facilities understanding and comprehension.

2. Know what you have to do! Quickly look through the questions. Get a general idea of the question types. Perhaps underline some keywords in the questions at the stage.

3. Read through the passage fairly quickly to form a general picture-is there a line of argument? If so what is it? Essentially find out what is the write trying to do.

4. Go straight to question.1. What kind of answer is required? Skim the passage and then scan for the exact information you are looking for and need.

5. Move to question 2 and repeat this process of understanding the question first. You can underline instruction or key words in the question to help you focus on the specific task at hand. Follow this by skimming and scanning to hopefully get the right answer.

6. Are the questions in the same order as the information in the passage? Yes/No? Knowing this is important as it makes things easier.

7. If the question asks for the exact words from the passage give them exact words.

8. If the question asks for no more than 3 words give them no more than 3 words.

9. If looking for 3 experts and their views or opinions highlight their names in the text. It makes things easier.

10. Looking for parallel expression ”eg.”flight for “ becomes “ struggle”
“problems” becomes “ concerns”
“results in “ becomes “consequences of”

11. In a gap fill look for parts of speech that fit in. is it a adjective or a noun requires? Give them what they want.

12. Matching headings with paragraphs can be tricky. Look for key information in paragraphs not minor details.

13. Always study an example if one is given in the question so you know exactly what they want.

14. Don’t let one tough question stump you and make you upset and angry. Stay cool headed. The next question might be an easy one.

Tenses in Mandarin

Unlike tenses in English grammar, verbs do not change forms in Chinese grammar, instead, additional words are added to indicate different tenses. For instance, if I want to address “I am having dinner”, I would say “wǒ zài chī fàn”. On the other hand, if I want to describe “I had dinner”, I would say “wǒ chī guò fàn le”. Besides, if I want to express “ I am going to have dinner”, I would use “wǒ yào chī fàn”. In short, verbs are remaining the same form as they are in different tenses such as present tenses, past tenses and future tenses.

In Chinese, words such as “guò”, “yǐ jing”, “céng jīng”, “wán” are utilized to imply past tenses, whereas words like “zhèng zài”, “zài”, “zhèng” indicate present tenses. In other cases, the indicators including “yào”, “jiāng”, “hui”, “jiāng yào” depict future tenses.

Therefore, it is important to remember tenses indicators to identify different tenses in Chinese.

Korean New Year’s Day

Korean New Year, commonly known as 설날(Seol-nal) is the first day of the lunar calendar. Along with Chuseok it is one of the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year’s Day. Korean people also celebrate solar New Year’s Day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. The Korean New Year holiday lasts three days, and is considered a more important holiday than the solar New Year’s Day.

Korean New Year is typically a family holiday. The three-day holiday is used by many to return to their hometowns to visit their parents and other relatives where they perform an ancestral ritual. Many Koreans dress up in colorful traditional Korean clothing called hanbok. But nowadays, small families tend to become less formal and wear other formal clothing instead of hanbok.

떡국(Tteokguk) (i.e. soup with sliced rice cakes) is a traditional Korean food that is customarily eaten for the New Year. According to Korean age reckoning, the Korean New Year is similar to a birthday for Koreans, and eating Tteokguk is part of the birthday celebration. Once you finish eating your Tteokguk, you are one year older.

Sebae is a traditionally observed activity on Seollal, and is filial-piety-oriented. Children wish their elders (grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents) a happy new year by performing one deep traditional bow (rites with more than one bow involved are usually for the deceased) and the words새해 복 많이 받으세요(saehae bok mani badeuseyo) which translates to Receive many New Year blessings, or more loosely, “Have a blessed New Year.” Parents typically reward this gesture by giving their children new year’s money, or “pocket money,” (usually in the form of crisp paper money) and offering words of wisdom, 덕담 (deokdam).

Some stories about our Japanese Courses 5

Hi everyone,皆さん、おげんきですか。

In my classes, apart from regular learning activities of speaking, reading, listening, writing and dialogues making/speaking with use of the course book, “Genki 1”, the classes learned conjugation of verbs (negative forms, past tense), that of adjectives, esp. i-adjectives etc.

For one-to-one weekly lessons with my new student who finished up to the middle of “Genki 2” at other place in the past and who can write/read over 500 Kanji letters, we use “Japanese for Everyone” (we began from the middle of that book). Probably we will start using “Basic Kanji Book, Bk. 2” for her further Kanji acquisition later.

Related to culture/society of Japan, I gave information of the following:
1.  News from NHK World (online news, 11.1.2011) Toyota Motors unveiled a next generation hybrid cat that features solar-powered air conditioning, at the Detroit Motor Show that week. The car has pug-in hybrid that can be recharged at home. Solar panels on the roof can power the car’s air conditioner. Japan is exporting it technology of “Shinkansen” bullet train to India. India is planning to make high-speed railway networks at 6 sections in the country. Japan pledged financial aide for India’s infrastructure buildup. The article also says Japanese bullet train has never had a major accident in its 45-year history.

2.   A recent MX magazine showed a picture of monkeys that are enjoying outdoor hot spring “onsen” with snow around in a popular tourist area in Nagano prefecture.

3.  There are 2 Japanese speaking Christian churches. They are one in Crows Nest and at Northside Baptist Church; the other is at Wesley Mission at Pitt St, City. Anyone will be welcomed; it will be great if you can meet interesting and nice Japanese people there.

4.  The magazine of a fitness club, Fitness First (Jan-Feb. 12, p. 21) has an article of Prof. Paul Taylor. He states learning a foreign language or how to play a musical instrument are the best things to do for human brains. Similarly, a few months ago, I heard the medical expert’s comment on a major commercial radio, AM station. That was learning a foreign language (and culture) is one of the best things to do to avoid becoming senile when people are getting old. So, learning a foreign language has great value and merit for anyone!

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


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