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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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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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Q & A About Cape Town

Q & A About Cape Town

How safe is Cape Town?
No matter where you go in the world, you will always need to take basic precautions when travelling. Just be aware of your surroundings, don’t walk around with your cellphone in your back pocket, be careful not to walk around alone at night – take someone with you, only take what you need when going out – don’t take a lot of money with you, don’t let anyone help you at banks.

What is the weather like in Cape Town?
Cape Town has a moderate, Mediterranean-like climate. Summers (December to March) are usually dry and windy, while winters (June to October) are normal cold and wet.

What language do Capetonians speak?
English is the most spoken language as well as business language in Cape Town. Afrikaans and Xhosa are closely followed as other spoken languages. South Africa has a mixed culture and wide diversity resulting in 11 official languages.

What’s the public transport like? Do I need a car?
Cape Town has implemented the rapid bus system, commonly known as the MiCiti Bus. They are quick hop-on-hop-off buses that run throughout the city and outer city bowl. Cape Town has also the popular, fast minibus taxi’s stopping almost anywhere at any time. For longer distances, we also have trains. But, if any of this is not for you, renting a cheap car is always an option.

Do I need a visa for South Africa?
Yes, most likely, depending on where you come from and how long you want to stay in Cape Town. For more information on visa’s visit: http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/visitorsvisa.htm

• Tourist Visa – 90 days or less
• Transit – 3 days or less
• To conduct business – 90 days
• Voluntary or Charitable Activities – Up to 3 years
• To conduct Research – 3 years

What’s the food like in Cape Town? And is it expensive?
Eating out is fairly cheap in Cape Town. No matter where you go, you will find plenty good restaurants with delicious food. From Indian food, to Italian, Chinese, Cuban, Malay, French, Spanish, Portuguese, to good old American fast food chain, you will be spoilt for choice. But, don’t forget to try our traditional South African food as well.Buying food in shops is relatively cheap if you’re not a Capetonian.
What kind of people will I find in Cape Town?
Cape Town is a total mix of various religions, cultures and different ethnicities due to its famous history. In 2016, according to the World Population Review, Cape Town has an estimated population of 3.74 million people. Cape Town houses mostly the Xhosa speaking people, Afrikaans people and the English speaking people, all ranging from black African, Coloured, White, with a large group of Indian and an influx of Asian people.

What is Cape Town like?
Cape Town is a big city with low-lying skyscrapers, the inner part of the city being the usual buzz. The “Mother City” is known for its laid-back, relaxed vibe with beautiful long stretches of sandy-white beaches to a vast variety of fauna and flora. Cape Town is also known as the “Windy City”, with the gushing South-East “Cape Doctor” wind.

There is a lot to do within the city that you can do on a low budget. For the adrenaline junkies, there are endless adventure activities ranging from different levels of craziness.

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