OLN Tool: Elsa Speaks: Smart pronunciation software

Tool of the Week: Elsa Speak for Pronunciation

 

 

 

 

The biggest reason people don’t understand you is because of your pronunciation. Japanese speakers have good grammar and can make good sentences in English, but many have problems with pronunciation.

Studying pronunciation used to be really boring. You listen and repeat, listen and repeat. With Elsa Speak, you get feedback immediately and you can improve with each time you say something. Use Elsa Speak on your phone, it works like a game, and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) can understand your mistakes and learns how to help you best. A great tutor, any time and any place, and it’s free.

English Lunches a Success

The English Room is on the 2nd floor of Building 3 (B3) near the 教授室.

It is a place to relax in English. You can study with friends, or play board games, or use iPads, or read bilingual books and magazines. Here is the English Room brochure 2017!

 

Our first week of English Lunches has been a success. On Tuesday, 8 students visited and ate lunch while talking about common subjects in English. Thursday saw 13 students talk about their life and ideas over their bentos. They had a relaxing time speaking English.

We hope to see YOU next week, or any week. Drop into the English room to look at books, magazines, movies and other information, or just to chat with friends…in English. Yeah!

Newsela Week 5: Digging Deeper: Text Sets

 

OLN Newsela News: Wednesdays

This week: Text Sets

It helps to read many articles about one topic. Text Sets are perfect for that. In Newsela, a Text Set is a group of articles all on one topic. If you read about the same topic, many of the new vocabulary words are repeated, making it easier after each article. Pick a Featured Text Set, or make a Text Set of your own, and share it with a friend. See who can make the best Text Set.

My favorite is the one on Superheroes!

Xreading News Week 5: Reading Speed

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OLN Xreading News: Tuesdays
This week: Reading Speed

How fast are you reading? This is important. Your brain works differently when you read slowly than when you read fast. Most students read about 100 words a minute. After a year, you should be reading about 200 words a minute. If you learn to read a little faster each week, force yourself, you can save a lot of time. And a strange thing happens too, you can understand the story in a different way.

Try this out with every new book. Be patient. Most students pick books that are too hard. If you pick an easier book, you can read faster.

OLN News Week 5: The 20-minute rule

Welcome to this week’s OLNews, a (月) look forward at the week’s posts about learning English for SWU ELC students (and any others!)

Upcoming: Week of May 15-21
Tuesday (火) Xreading:  Note your speed
Wednesday (水) Newsela: Dig Deeper with Text Sets
Thursday (木) English Room: English Lunches a Success
Friday (金) Tool: Elsa Speaks, intelligent software for pronunciation

Last Week (May 8-14)
Tuesday (火) Xreading:  Use the 5-finger rule to find your level
Wednesday (水) Newsela: Making discussion groups
Thursday (木) English Room: English Room Now Open
Friday (金) ToolCopy and paste with a keyboard

Settling into the comfortable routine of classes from now until the end of July, with the only exception our 学寮, this is a great opportunity to get your study habits set. Timing is everything.

Do you know about the 20-minute rule? If you are at a dinner with friends, or at a party, the conversation flows on and on. But if you listen and watch carefully, there is a pause and a switch to a new topic every 20 minutes or so.

If you are at a presentation, or a lecture in class, have you noticed that after about 20 minutes, you start to think about your rumbling stomach or what you are going to eat for lunch, how your friend didn’t call you last night, or your plans for the evening?

The 20-minute limit to attention on one topic is universal, everybody has this limit. So it doesn’t make any sense to try to concentrate longer than that. Schedule your homework sessions in 20-minute sections. Stop for a minute, get up, walk around, focus your eyes on something far away. It only takes a minute, maybe 90 seconds, and you are reset, ready to focus again on your homework. Best to try a different subject, and come back to the first homework later if you need to. Mix it up. It really works.

You can get all of the information at http://showaelc.org.
If you would like to receive this weekly news by email, go here.
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OLN Tool: Copy and Paste

Tool of the Week: Copy and Paste

 

 

 

Two things I learned in high school:

  • My most used skill: keyboarding
  • The goal in writing elegant software is “never write anything twice”.

You have used copy and paste, or cut and paste, I am sure. Most people use the menus. But when you find yourself typing the same thing again and again, a quick way to copy and paste is to use keyboard shortcuts. This is a combination of keys to do the same thing as a menu. Highlight some text on your screen. Which is faster?

  • Take your hand off the keyboard, reach for the mouse, move the pointer to the EDIT menu, select COPY, return your hand to the keyboard.
  • Hold CTRL (control) and push “C” key.

Using keyboard combinations to avoid mouse/menu interactions has saved me countless hours. CTRL+C and then CTRL+V to paste is the simplest, most useful keyboard combination. (On Apple computers, use the COMMAND instead of the CTRL.) The easiest way to learn the others (and there are many others) is to notice the edit menu. Here, we have the edit menu in PowerPoint.

The CTRL+A, for example, is great for selecting all the text in a document.

Once you start using CTRL+ combinations, you will find another pair that work really well, CTRL+F and CTRL+H to find and replace words or phrases in a document. If you like video, watch this 2-minute tutorial.

 

English Room News Week 4: Now Open for Business

The English Room is on the 2nd floor of Building 3 (B3) near the 教授室. It is not open yet, but will be open after Golden Week. It is a place to relax in English. You can study with friends, or play board games, or use iPads, or read bilingual books and magazines. Here is the English Room brochure 2017!

The English Room is now OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Your Speaking and Listening teacher may have told you about the lunch events. You can discuss things with students outside your class.

So drop by after Golden Week. Our first events will be English Lunches, where you can discuss topics in English with students outside your regular class. Get the details in the handout here! See you then!

Newsela Week 4: Discussion Groups

 

OLN Newsela News: Wednesdays

This week: Discussion Groups

Good idea! Get some friends together and pick an article. Read it at night, and discuss the next day. A great place to meet and discuss is the English Room, B3 3202B (near the 教授室). Ask your Society Today or Culture Today teacher if you can get extra credit for discussing Newsela Articles outside class on a regular basis. Keep an eye out at the English Room to see if anyone else announces an article, a time and place to discuss. It feels good to be in charge of your own learning.

Xreading News Week 4: Finding your level

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OLN Xreading News: Tuesdays
This week: Finding your level

I hope you were able to continue reading through Golden Week. Making a habit of reading is the best thing you can do for learning English.

But reading is best when you have a book at the right level. Here is a good way to think about whether a book is too easy or too hard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try this out with every new book. Be patient. Most students pick books that are too hard. The idea is to relax and read for the meaning and the story, not to understand every word. You can skip one or two on each page, and still understand.

OLN News Week 4: Know Yourself

Welcome to this week’s OLNews, a (月) look forward at the week’s posts about learning English for SWU ELC students (and any others!)

Upcoming: Week of May 8-14
Tuesday (火) Xreading:  Use the 5-finger rule to find your level
Wednesday (水) Newsela: Making discussion groups
Thursday (木) English Room: English Room Now Open
Friday (金) Tool: Copy and paste with a keyboard

Welcome back from Golden Week. We start a very intensive period of English study in classes until the end of July. Now is the time to build good habits

Before you start, though, you should look at yourself. “Know Yourself” was first written in ancient Greece, about 3,000 years ago, and has become very popular, because it is the key to success. These days, you can even do better that to “Know Yourself”, you can measure yourself. There are many ways you can measure your daily language learning. Programs like Newsela and Xreading have measurement built in. Like FitBit exercise checkers, they see what you actually read. This is called “Quantified Self.” When you start to measure yourself, you can understand yourself better.

You can get all of the information at http://showaelc.org.
If you would like to receive this weekly news by email, go here.
Or use this QR code: