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10 Ways to Communicate Effectively

10 Ways to Communicate Effectively

10 Ways to Communicate Effectively

    1. Pause before responding. I don’t know about you, but I’m often in a rush for something and whenever I’m trying to communicate, I’m usually trying to do so quickly. As hard as it is for me to just pause sometimes, I’ve actually found that it works wonders when it comes to communicating more effectively with others. Sometimes just that tiny break, giving you time to think, is just what you need to really understand what someone else has said or to formulate the thoughts you really want to convey.
    2. Be trustworthy and honest. When you’re trustworthy and honest, communication becomes a lot less complicated. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to say wrong and you don’t have to worry about uncovering a secret or a dishonest statement. If you remain open, honest, and worth of trust, you’ll have a much easier time communicating with others and others will be a lot more willing to communicate with you. Words like “trustworthy” and “honest” are thrown around a lot, but they really are valuable and they are particularly important when it comes to communication.
    3. Don’t rush communication. This goes back to the point that came up in #1. When you’re rushing and trying to get through your communication quickly that’s when things can go wrong. Often when we’re in a rush, we forget things or misplace things and the same goes for when we’re rushing through any type of communication. So next time you find yourself communicating with someone else, slow down and really pay attention. Taking just a little extra time could end up making a huge difference.
    4. Adapt your ideas to others. When we come up with an idea, we often have a set image of it in our minds and that image isn’t always easily conveyed to others. If you really want your ideas to be heard, you have to work with the person you’re speaking to and find a way to communicate that idea in a way s/he will understand. This means you have to take the time to get to know your audience if you really, truly want to be able to communicate with them effectively.
    5. Stay in the moment. You know I love this one! When you devote your full attention to the person or people you are communicating with, you’re more likely to have much better results. I know for a fact that’s very, very true. Whenever I’ve gotten distracted and stopped paying attention to the person I’m communicating with, the communication as quickly gone south. If you want to communicate your thoughts effectively, you have to stay in the present moment and really be there when you’re speaking and listening.
    6. Pay attention to non-verbal cues. This is essential when it comes to effective communication. So much of what we say is actually not said, and if you want to understand what others are really thinking or saying you have to do more than just listen. You have to look and experience too. It’s very easy to say something and not really feel it so it’s very important that, when communicating, you look both at your own non-verbal cues and those others are sending you. There’s a lot to be said for what’s not really being said.
    7. Intend to understand. This idea comes from Stephen Covey and focuses on the concept of listening to actually understand what is being said, rather than listening just to respond with what you want to say. This can be a tricky thing to do if you’re anything like me, always ready to respond with your own opinion. Too often we’re not really trying to understand what others are saying but instead are trying to find a way to jump from their points to our own. Next time you’re communicating, do what you can to really work on understanding what others are saying.
    8. Be patient and open-minded. Communication, even the easiest of communication, can be tough at times, which is why it’s so very important to be both patient and open-minded in your interactions with others. Recognize that you might not necessarily be communicating as effectively as you’d like and remember to also be patient with yourself. No matter what the situation, there is a way to communicate — sometimes it just takes time. Be patient and keep your mind open for new ways of sharing and understanding.
    9. Follow up after communicating. To often we assume that whatever we’ve attempted to communicate was received just the way we sent it and, unfortunately, more often than not that’s just not the case. If you’re communicating with someone (especially if it’s important!), make sure that you follow up after you’ve communicated. Assuming that your message was heard and understand is a big no-no in the effective communication world. No matter how obvious your message might seem, it never hurts to follow up!

 

  1. Ask for feedback from others. When it’s all said and done, one of the best ways you can learn to communicate more effectively (particularly with specific individuals) is to ask for feedback. Take some time to speak to those who you communicate with frequently to find out how you can improve on your communication with them. Sometimes all it takes is a few suggestions and you’ll be on the road to creating a better understanding with someone else. It’s not always easy to ask for feedback, but it’s worth it!

Communication can be tricky at times (especially if you’re in a situation where you need to communicate difficult topics or discuss hard-to-grasp ideas). There are many ways communication can be made ineffective and it’s all too easy to let effective communication skills slip through the cracks. However, if you really want to make the most of your life and you want to continually strive to improve your relationships with others (and with yourself!), you must stay on top of your communicating game. Pay attention to how you communicate with others and also pay attention to how others communicate with you. You may have learned a thing or two from this post, but you can always learn more and one of the best ways to learn is by observing and then taking action. So pay attention to what’s going on around you and what choices you’re making when it comes to communicating with others; being more aware will help you be more proactive in your effective communication efforts. Now go on — get out there and communicate!

 

Source: positivelypresent.com

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Is grammar important?

Is grammar important?

Some people think that correct English grammar matters only to teachers and is of no real importance in daily life. This is certainly not true. Grammar, regardless of the country or the language, is the foundation for communication. When a message is relayed with the correct grammar, it is easier to understand the purpose and meaning of that message. In order to communicate, a learner should know the grammar of the language. It is important to be able to express yourself, but this should be done in a way that people find easy to understand.

Writing that is poorly punctuated and contains grammatical errors is difficult to read and sometimes impossible to understand. If the reader has to go back and re-read a sentence several times because they are not quite sure what it means, it spoils their reading experience and they are quite likely to misunderstand the point or even give up and not read any further.

In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules which influences the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given language. It is the systematic study and description of a language, and it helps us to understand how words and their component parts combine to form sentences.

Reasons why you should apply the correct grammar when you speak and write

  • Grammar rules can help learners develop the habit of thinking logically and clearly. After studying grammar, learners are able to become more accurate when using a language.
  • Without good grammar, clear communication is impossible. Proper grammar keeps you from being misunderstood while expressing your thoughts and ideas.
  • Grammar improves the development of fluency. When a person has learned grammar, it will be easier for that person to know how to organise and express the ideas in their mind without difficulty. As a result, they will be able to speak, read and write the language more fluently.
  • Many employers are immediately put off when they receive a cover letter for a job application that contains grammatical errors and is poorly written. Many employers will simply ignore this application and even delete it. It is therefore important to bear this in mind when applying for a job.
  • When writing on behalf of your organisation, it is important to use the correct grammar, as this can mean the difference between readers trusting your expertise or questioning your knowledge of the subject matter. If you can’t write properly, you can’t relay your subject matter with authority.
  • A person with poor grammar skill can form a negative impression on others. First impressions can be lasting, and may hide the true judgment of character. Some people consider good grammar to be a mark of intelligence and education. Don’t allow strangers to form a negative impression of you based on your poor communication skills.
  • Writing and speaking correctly gives you the appearance of credibility. If you’re attempting to build a reputation as an expert in your profession, correct use of grammar is extremely important.

With the development of social networks and technology, people have become increasingly more lazy to use grammar in their everyday communications. When texting, using Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, they tend to use sentences that are as simple as possible. Grammar is unnecessary in these mediums and fragments of sentences are quite acceptable. Unfortunately, it is easy to get into a bad habit based on this.

There is no shortcut to learning English grammar. A computer can’t fully grasp the complexities of the English language. In some cases, a computer grammar check can sometimes suggest the incorrect alternatives when attempting to fix common errors.

Different ways to improve your grammar

Read more in English

One way to improve your grammar is to read more in English. The more you read, the more you improve your grammar and vocabulary. It may be tiring and difficult to understand everything, but this is one step you cannot skip if you want to get better at grammar. Reading helps you to see how English works and how the grammar works. That knowledge can transfer to your writing. Find something you like to read, and then keep on reading. It doesn’t matter what you read – books, magazine articles, or newspapers – as long as they are written in proper English. Try to read as many different genres (e.g. newspaper articles, academic journals, blogs, short-stories, etc.) as you can.

Listen more to English

Listening to others who use good English and watching television also helps. It works better if you watch what you are really interested in. Remember that the English spoken in America is different from that spoken in England. Some parts of spelling and grammar are different between the two countries. In South Africa, we follow the British grammar and spelling rules.

Practise more

Make sure you work through all your grammar exercises in your course book regularly. To learn English grammar well, you will need to practise each grammar point until you can easily use it. Look for a book of grammar exercises that also has answers for additional practice. Online activities and quizzes can also help. Focus on one grammar point each time you study.

Write more in English

Try writing a daily journal in English. Any extra practice that you can get is going to help you.

Remember, try not to get discouraged. Learning English grammar and using it correctly takes a lot of time, effort, and practice. Be positive and proactive about practising your grammar and you’ll begin seeing more improvement.

 

Source: witslanguageschool.com

 

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Fun Facts: 10 Reasons To Study Abroad

Fun Facts: 10 Reasons To Study Abroad

There are hundreds of reasons why you should study abroad. Kaplan thought that writing each one would be too hard. We decided to list the top ten reasons instead.

1. Making Friends

Studying abroad might seem scary but it is a great opportunity to make new friends. You why study abroadwill meet people from different countries who are doing the same thing. Sharing your experience with them will create friendships that can last forever.

2. Gaining Confidence

Traveling to a different country to study takes courage. You will do things that you have never done before. Succeeding at new challenges will give you extra confidence and turn you into a stronger person.

3. Becoming Independent

Some people might not be used to do things for themselves. Studying abroad makes you learn to look after yourself without the help of family. Gaining greater independence will help you to achieve more in life.

4. Food

Why study abroad? For food of course! Every country has amazing local dishes. If you travel abroad to the UK, you can try a delicious plate of fish and chips. Students in the USA can enjoy mouth-watering hot dogs. Nothing beats a barbeque in sunny Australia.

5. Make People Jealous

Friends back home will be very jealous of your adventures abroad. Posting Facebook photos and Twitter updates will show everyone how much of a great time you are having. This leads nicely into the next reason to study abroad …

6. Invite Your Friends To Visit

People will love to visit if you are studying abroad. You will be able to show friends around a new country and feel like a native. Friends will also be very impressed with your new confidence and independence.

7. Improve Your C.V.

Studying abroad looks fantastic on your C.V. Employers often look for confident people who

why study abroad

have done interesting things. Showing that you have studied abroad will improve your chances of getting a job.

8. Experience New Cultures

Traveling allows you to learn about the local art, history and culture of a new country. Discover exciting and unusual customs that will amaze you. Living with a host family is a great way to learn about local traditions.

9. Record Your Experience

Studying abroad is a great reason to start a blog. Keeping a blog or a journal will help you record and share your experiences. Look back at the start of your journey and see how much progress you have made.

10. Learn Languages

The last and probably most important reason to study abroad is that it is much easier to learn the local language. Living and studying in a country makes learning a language quicker. You might even pick up the local accent.

Source: kaplaninternational.com

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Ten things you might not have known about the English language

Ten things you might not have known about the English language

Here are ten things that you may not have known about this wonderful language of ours:

1. It is the only major language without an academy to guide it

L’Académie française, based in Paris, is in charge of overseeing the French language. Part of its job is suggesting alternatives for the English words that are pouring into French. That’s how email became courriel, for example (although you will still hear it called e-mail in French).

For Spanish there is the Real Academia Española. German has the Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung. There is no equivalent to L’Académie for English. Of the 10 most-widely spoken languages in the world, only English has no academy guiding it.

There are political reasons for this. The closest Britain ever came to having a language academy was at the start of the eighteenth century, when Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift was lobbying hard for an academy because “our Language is extremely imperfect… its daily Improvements are by no means in proportion to its daily Corruptions (and) in many Instances it offends against every Part of Grammar.” Queen Anne supported the idea but died before a decision could be made, and the issue was largely forgotten.

In the USA, a bill for the incorporation of a national academy was unsuccessfully introduced into congress in 1806. Fourteen years later, an American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres was launched with John Quincy Adams as president, but broke up after two years after receiving little political or public support.

Nowadays, the only English-speaking country to have a language academy is South Africa. Because the English language has become so ubiquitous without any guidance, there is little prospect of anyone starting an academy any time soon. Where would it be? In Britain, the home of the language? Or the USA, where the largest English-speaking population lives?

2. More than 1 billion people are learning English as you read this

According to the British Council, around 1 billion people around the world were learning English in 2000. This figure is now likely to be significantly higher.

3. 96 of the 100 most common English words are Germanic

Of the hundred most frequently used words in English, 96 have Germanic roots. Together, those 100 words make up more than 50% of the Oxford English Corpus, which currently contains over 2 billion words found in writing around the world.

Surprised? The most frequently used words are the meat and bones of the language, the essentials that make communication work, including Iyougoeat, and so on. Old English developed from various Germanic languages that came to the British Isles in the second half of the first millennium AD.

Whereas the language has changed almost unrecognisably since then, including the grammar, the basic words have remained.

4. …but most words that have entered the language since 1066 have Latin origins

If English is your first language but you find French or Spanish easier to understand than German, you are not alone. This may seem strange when English and German are on the same branch of the Indo-European language tree.

The Renaissance, which started in Italy and reached England via France, was a massive source of new vocabulary. New ideas, or old ideas rediscovered, started flooding out of the southern cities but there were no words to describe them in English. So the language adopted or adapted the Latin words. During the Renaissance, the English lexicon roughly doubled in size.

The shift away from the Germanic languages, however, had started much earlier, because…

5. For more than a century, the English aristocracy couldn’t speak English

William the Conqueror tried to learn English at the age of 43 but gave up. He didn’t seem especially fond of the land he had conquered in 1066, spending half of his reign in France and not visiting England at all for five years when in power. Naturally, French-speaking barons were appointed to rule the land.

Within 20 years of the Normans taking power in England, almost all of the local religious institutions were French-speaking. The aristocrats brought with them large retinues and were followed by French tradesmen, who almost certainly mixed bilingually with the English tradesmen. In turn, ambitious Englishmen would have learned French to get ahead in life and mix with the new rulers. Around 10,000 French words entered English in the century after the Norman invasion.

There is little to suggest that aristocrats themselves spoke English. It isn’t until the end of the 12th Century that we have evidence of the children of the English aristocracy with English as a first language. In 1204, the English nobility lost their estates in France and adopted English partly as a matter of national pride!

6. …which is why Latin words sound more prestigious than Germanic ones

Think about the difference between a house (Germanic) and a mansion (French), or between startingsomething and commencing, between calling something kingly or regal. English has a huge number of close synonyms, where the major difference is the level of formality or prestige. The prestigious form is almost always the Latin one.

The names of animals and meats also reflect this phenomenon. The old story goes that, in English, the animals have Germanic names but the cooked meats have French ones. For example, swine is Germanic but pork is French, sheep is Germanic but mutton is French. Was this because the English speakers worked on the farms whereas the French speakers ate the produce? It’s certainly possible.

7. The concept of “correct” spelling is fairly recent

There are many reasons why English spelling is so erratic including the lack of an academy, the contributions of Noah Webster (see below) and the introduction of William Caxton’s printing press just before major changes in pronunciation. But the idea of correct or incorrect spelling wasn’t really considered important until the 17th Century when the first dictionaries were published. Even then, it was largely a debate for academics and writers.

Shakespeare, for example, was liberal in his spellings of words, often using multiple variants within a single text; his name itself has been spelt in many different ways over the centuries.

8. One man is largely responsible for the differences between American and British spelling

Noah Webster, whose name you still find on the front of many American dictionaries, was a patriotic man. Born in West Hartford, Connecticut in 1758, he believed that a great emerging nation such as the USA needed a language of its own: American English.

Webster found the English in the textbooks of the time to be corrupted by the British aristocracy, with too much French and Classical influence. He was to write American books for American learners, representing a young, proud and forward-thinking nation.

Between 1783 and 1785, he produced three books on the English language for American schoolchildren. During his lifetime, 385 editions of his Speller were published. The modern US spelling of color was initially spelt in the British way, colour, but this changed in later editions. Other differences include the US spelling of center as opposed to the British centre, and traveler instead of traveller. Webster wanted to make spelling more logical, as befitting a nation that was founded on progressive principles. This is a rare example of a dictionary writer trying to lead the English language instead of describe it.

In Britain, the use of “Americanisms” is almost guaranteed to upset people. But not all Americanisms are what they seem. For example…

9. -ize is not an American suffix

There is a popular belief that words such as popularise/izemaximise/ize and digitise/ize have different spellings in British and American English.

Look at that z – isn’t it snazzy? It’s got to be American, hasn’t it?

Not according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which rejects the French s for a good old British z:

…there is no reason why in English the special French spelling should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic. In this Dictionary the termination is uniformly written -ize. (In the Gr. -ιζ-, the i was short, so originally in L., but the double consonant z (= dz, ts) made the syllable long; when the z became a simple consonant, (-idz) became īz, whence Eng. (-aɪz).)

10. The English language will change a lot during your lifetime, like it or not!

The only thing that is consistent in language is change. When a language stops changing, it becomes purely academic, like Latin or Ancient Greek.

New words are being coined all the time. If you asked someone twenty years ago whether they had googled the person they had just friended on facebook, they would stare at you blankly (spell-check still gives them wiggly red lines of disapproval).

Vocabulary changes more rapidly than grammar, but even English grammar is evolving. For example, the dative whom is increasingly being replaced by whoWho can you blame? Decades ago, this would have jumped off the page as a grammatical error, but doesn’t it look ok now?

Similarly, in the first part of this post, “Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift” is an example of grammar that would have sounded very strange even fifty years ago. Did it seem strange to you?

One thing is certain: with well over a billion people speaking English around the world and, for the first time, most of them speaking it as a second language, there are plenty of changes to come!

 

Source: oxforddictionaries.com

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10 Amazing benefits of being biligual

10 Amazing benefits of being biligual

1. Being bilingual has positive effects on the brain

Studies show that being bilingual has many cognitive benefits. According to research, speaking a second language can mean that you have a better attention span and can multi-task better than monolinguals. This is because being bilingual means you are constantly switching from one language to the other. Numerous other studies suggest that bilingualism can also reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Cognitive benefits effect both bilingual kids and bilingual adults. Children as young as seven months who are exposed to more than one language tend to adjust better to changes in the environment. For older bilinguals, there tends to be less cognitive decline.

2. Bilingualism gives you the educational advantage

Many of the cognitive benefits mentioned above can also mean that bilinguals have an advantage at school or further education. Many studies show that those who speak a second language are more likely to be less distracted and more focused on tasks.

Even bilingual children who are educated in their second language, have actually been seen to outperform monolingual students in their native language.

The recent Millennum Cohort Study found many educational benefits for bilingual children. Their research showed that even though children who are educated in their second language may initially lag behind around three, four and five years old, they soon catch up and outperform their peers by age seven.

3. Languages are highly valued in the workplace

Speaking a second language has numerous employment benefits. Being bilingual means that there are more job opportunities depending on which languages you speak. Communication in the workplace is important, and more companies, especially those with international offices, are considering bilingualism a high priority.

Fast growing fields such as tourism, journalism and translation put great value on bilingual employees. Additional languages on the resume could have your application moved to the top of the pile and give you a better chance at getting the job, even if you aren’t as qualified as another monolingual applicant.

4. Being Bilingual has been linked to health benefits

There have been many studies proving that being bilingual can benefit ones health. Researches recently found that there is growing evidence to suggest that bilingualism can delay the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for example. Other benefits of being bilingual include things such as a faster stroke recoverylower stress levels, and delay many effects of old to name a few.

5. Speaking more than one language makes you more open minded

Have you ever heard the bilingual quote “To have another language is to possess a second soul” by Charlemagne? One of the benefits of being bilingual can mean that you see the world in different ways. Some even say that speaking two different languages can sometimes feel like having two different personalities.

Bilinguals are used to constant change. This means that they are usually less effected by changes in the environment, and more open minded to new things and new experiences, because they have more than one view of the world already.

6. Speaking a foreign language can be highly beneficial when you travel

Of course you can get around many countries without speaking the language. However, think of how much more you can experience if you speak the local language of the place you are visiting. No need for a phrase book or a translation app on the phone. Being able to communicate with the locals and immerse yourself in the language and culture can make your travel experience so much more enjoyable.

7. Being Bilingual opens up new social opportunities

Bilinguals can make friends in more than one language meaning more opportunities to meet new people, and enjoy different hobbies and activities. Being able to communicate with people from other cultures is a huge social advantage and can open up so many more doors in life.

8. Knowing more than one language helps you to learn additional languages

An amazing benefit of being bilingual is that you can learn additional languages more easily that monolinguals. This is because language skills reinforce each other. So if you have learned a second language already, then learning a third means transferring those skills over.

9. Being bilingual means you can raise bilingual kids

What better advantage, than being able to pass on your languages to your own children so they can reap the benefits of being bilingual too! Give your children the best start in life and raise them bilingual from birth. Your bilingual kids can then have bilingual kids of their own and languages can be passed on through generations.

10. You are not the minority if you are bilingual

One of the biggest misconceptions is that bilingualism is a rare phenomenon. But, in fact being bilingual means you are NOT the minority.  More than half the world speaks more than one language on a daily basis. In many countries around the world, bilingualism is actually considered the norm, and I’m sure it won’t be long until the rest of the world catches on. Everyone should have the chance to learn a second language and reap the benefits of being bilingual.

 

Source: bilingualkidspot.com

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Merry Christmas in 12 Languages

Merry Christmas in 12 Languages

There’s more than one way to say Merry Christmas, why not learn it in a different language.

 

French – Joyeux Noël

German – Frohe Weihnachten

Mandarin – Sheng Dan Kuai Le (圣诞快乐)

Danish – Glædelig Jul

Finnish – Hyvää joulua

Hungarian – Boldog karácsonyt

 

 

Italian – Buon Natale

 

Norwegian – God Jul

 

Portuguese – Feliz Natal

Russian – rah-zh-dee-st-VOHM (C рождеством!)

Spanish – Feliz Navidad

Swedish – God Jul

 

Merry Christmas to all our non-English speakers!

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10 Things To Do After Exams

10 Things To Do After Exams

1 ) Sleep: I usually come home from an exam and jump into bed to catch up on my lost sleep. The couple of days before my exam I find it difficult to get to sleep because of the looming exam but after my exams are finished, I need that period of rest to recuperate from the stressful exam period!

2 ) Go for a celebratory meal: This is something that gets me through many long periods of revision. The thought of going somewhere nice to eat and just having a generally pleasant meal and having a fun time with friends without that nagging feeling of having to revise at the back of my mind is a welcome end to revision and exams.

3 ) Pack/throw away notes: This is very satisfying. Its something that I almost see as a ritual. Packing away revision notes and folders full of lecture notes somewhere under my bed or in a dark cupboard somewhere is very satisfying indeed. And it is refreshing to wake up to an empty desk rather than one full of piles of paper and notes.

4 ) Catch up with my emails/Facebook: I try to restrict my social life as much as possible during exam period so I don’t get distracted whilst I am revising. This usually results in long lists of emails and Facebook posts needing to be read which I end up replying to very late!

5 ) Clean my room: I’m normally a very tidy person but during the exam period I don’t know what happens but I end up with clothes on the floor, my cupboard a tip and papers scattered around my room. However, its only when my exams finish that I see this mess and so clean it up. During exams its like I have beer goggles on and my eyes just skim over it all!

6 ) Make something yummy to eat: I love to bake cookies and cakes and the majority of the time they turn out to be quiet nice! I don’t get much time in between revision to bake something, and I’m usually so distracted that I end up adding the wrong quantities of ingredients so my final product is barely edible! After my exams are over, I enjoy baking something and then eating it whilst I relax.

7 ) Read a book: I have yet to find a book to read this time round. I love reading fiction, especially since it makes a nice break from all the textbooks and journals I have read throughout the year. Anyone have any recommendations?

8 ) Lounge about without feeling guilty: This always gives me a wonderful feeling! I can sleep in, relax in the sun and surf the internet for hours on end without that nagging thought of looming deadlines and exams.

9 ) Return my textbooks to the library and secretly feel smug about others still having exams: Ah its always great fun to watch my textbooks being carried away on the conveyor belt of the Books Returns machine in the library and knowing it will be at least a month before I need to bury my head in them again. Seeing other students furiously scribbling away and revising for their upcoming exams when I have already finished makes me feel just a bit guilty but mostly relieved that I am no longer in their situation.

10 ) Enjoy the sun: Not that the sun likes to wait around till after my exams are finished. (Just look at the weather now- all dull and wet compared to the bright sunny skies we had approximately two weeks ago)! When it does come back though, I shall thoroughly enjoy eating ice cream and soaking up the sun without a textbook or any revision notes in sight!

 

source: studentblogs.le.ac.uk

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Intsikizi Tapestries – Art Exhibition

Intsikizi Tapestries – Art Exhibition

IS Art Gallery hosts an exhibition of the Intsikizi Tapestries from the Keiskamma Art project during the Franschhoek Literary Festival. The six piece set of the exhibition shows the hunt for the endangered Southern Ground Hornbill (Intsikizi) and focuses on the natural environment. Using the style, composition and content of the famous European artwork “The hunt for the Unicorn” as a starting point, the theme follows in a Xhosa context showing a Xhosa traditional hunt with dogs for the ground hornbill. In the South African context Xhosa dogs are often trained to hunt by hunting the ground hornbill as it is slow to fly, and is associated with rain making, so is hunted in time of drought. It is now endangered and the hope from this work is to engage in a deeper understanding of nature and its meaning in Xhosa life, thus helping to restore traditional values of respect and awe of the natural world.

The Keiskamma Art Project provides opportunities to over a hundred people in the tiny Eastern Cape settlement of Hamburg to support themselves and their families. Members of this project are best known for the “compelling and exquisite” large-scale artworks they make collaboratively, which include embroidery and needlework.

Venue: Ilse Schermers Art Gallery, 11 Huguenot St, Franschhoek
Time: Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm | Sat & Sun 10am to 5pm
Cost: Free

Tel: 021 876 2071
Email: gallery@isart.co.za
Website: keiskamma.com
Facebook: The Keiskamma Trust
Twitter: keiskammatrust

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7 Benefits Οf Technology Integration Ιn Τhe Education Sphere

7 Benefits Οf Technology Integration Ιn Τhe Education Sphere

The future of the educational system is practically determined by the development of technology. Some educators and experts are against the trends of implementing EdTech tools and apps in every single aspect of the schooling system, mainly because technology is a source of distraction for students. However, proper technology integration guides students towards greater understanding of all concepts covered in class.

Advantages Οf Technology Integration Ιn Τhe Education Sphere

The teaching strategies based on educational technology can be described as ethical practices that facilitate the students’ learning and boost their capacity, productivity, and performance. Technology integration in education inspires positive changes in teaching methods on an international level. Are you still wondering whether or not you should start relying on different apps and tools? The following list of benefits will help you come to a final conclusion.

1. Technology makes teaching easy! 

Aren’t you tired of giving theoretical explanations your students cannot understand? You simply cannot discover a way of presenting tough concepts that makes the concept clear for each and every student in the class. Technology has that power! Thanks to audio-visual presentations, your students will understand exactly how the knowledge is applied in practice. You can use projectors and computer presentations to deliver any type of lesson or instruction and improve the level of comprehension within the class.

2. Technology helps you track students’ progress!

You are no longer limited to a plain-old diary and notes about every student. That would only get you confused. Today, you can rely on platforms and tools that enable you to keep track of the individual achievements of your students. MyStudentsProgress and theTeacherCloud Progress Tracker are great online tools that enable you to do that, but your school can also develop personalized software that would serve that purpose.

3. Educational technology is good to the environment!

Can you imagine the amount of paper and number of trees that would be saved if every school decided to introduce digital textbooks? Of course, that goal is far from realistic at this point, but you can make a change when you start from your own class. For example, you can instruct your students to take online tests and submit their papers and homework through email. You can also encourage them to use eReaders to go through the literature you assign.

4. Thanks to technology, students enjoy learning! 

Students are addicted to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, and other websites from a very early age. The internet can distract them from the learning process, but you can also use their inclination to spend time online for a good purpose: Making learning enjoyable. Use touch-screen technology and online presentations to make the classes more interactive. You can also rely on technology when you want your students to take part in discussions. Set up a private Facebook group for your class and inspire constructive conversations!

5. Technology makes distance learning more accessible than ever! 

Without the wonders of the internet, people wouldn’t be able to get access to any type of information at the very moment they think of it. Today, distance learning is one of the most trending learning methods. Virtual lessons are slowly taking the place of traditional lectures. Students can organize their time in a way that works for them, and they can easily gain the knowledge they are interested in. For example, let’s say one of your students shows great interest in Astronomy, but the traditional curriculum does nothing to feed that hunger for knowledge. You can recommend him/her to take beginner’s course at Coursera, Udemy, or any other online service that offers high-quality virtual lectures.

6. Students and teachers can access information at any time!

This is possibly the most obvious benefit of technology. When old-school teachers were students, they had to spend hours in the library looking for the information they needed. Today, technology integration makes everything different and simpler. Students can easily access newspapers, scientific articles, studies, and any other type of content online. They can write better, deeper academic papers because they can support their arguments with more evidence. When you give a lecture the students don’t understand, they can find simpler instructions and information with a single Google search.

7. Technology makes collaboration more effective! 

Think about the way collaboration looks like in a traditional classroom setting. You organize groups, assign the projects, and suddenly the class becomes a complete mess. Some students express their opinions too loudly and firmly, while others don’t get an opportunity to be heard. Online tools and apps offer a unique setting for students to engage in a group project. They can do the work from home; the team is connected through the Internet and everyone is inspired by the focused environment.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Technology

You stand no chance of being called “the cool teacher” if you keep neglecting the use of educational technology in the classroom. The benefits of technology integration described above should convince you of the fact that this form education is great for both students and teachers.

 

source: elearningindustry.com

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8 Tips to Help you Set New Year Goals

8 Tips to Help you Set New Year Goals

The importance of setting new year goals. This is an important life skill you need to learn.

Here are 10 tips to help you set goals for the new year.

1. Define the Word “Goal”

Make sure you know what the word “goal” means.

2. The Importance of Setting Goals

Setting a goal will:

Improve your confidence.
Help you make better decisions.
Give you motivation in life.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Set small, achievable goals that can be achieved quickly. This will help you understand the process of setting and achieving a goal.

4. Improve Unrealistic Goals

Some people may dream big, maybe too big, and you know that this goal will be unachievable. Instead, refine your goal into something you know you will be able to achieve.

5. Develop a Step-by-Step Method to Achieving the Goal

Develop a step-by-step method to achieving this goal.

6. Visually Create Your Goal

A visual reminder is a great way to help you physically see what your goal is.

7. Keep in Mind the Time Factor

Make sure you set a timeline to achieve their goal.

8. Celebrate Once a Goal is Achieved

Hooray! You have achieved your goal! Now it’s time to celebrate.

Credit: Janelle Cox

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