May 25, 2006

Wonder and Twinkle -- by Bruce Lin


The moon of the light,
The sea of the blue,
Everywhere, everywhere, on the earth.
However, I saw the petals
Blowing in the air like stars

An American mother showed me this poem, Wonder, written by her 6-year-old boy. There are no difficult words in it, but somehow those simple words get off the ground, transporting the reader to the realm of a dreamy world. His Wonder makes me wonder: Would our six-year-olds come up with poems like that? Maybe, if their parents wouldn’t cram them with too much knowledge that blocks their imagination.

The mother proudly showed me another poem, Twinkle:


O mother,
Your beautiful eyes,
They twinkle,
Like stars.

Your eyes,
Whenever they open,
My heart feels nice.

I looked at the mother when I finished reading it, and indeed the mother’s eyes twinkled. Parents like that are unusual. I often have parents coming to me asking how to help their kids pass certain English tests. Those parents’ eyes rarely twinkle; instead, they often look concerned, insecure, anxious, or puzzled. You could sort of imagine that those worries would be carried through their kids’ lives, and it is difficult to stretch creativity when too much worry is in the way.

I asked the American mother what kind of learning environment she gave the boy. With her eyes twinkling again, she said that she just wanted him to be happy.


May 21, 2006

How to make an effective oral presentation

Learning a language is always full of excitement and challenges. Among ways of improving your language skills, making a public speech or presentation is a useful one. The following notes are my two cents worth about how to do a good job on an oral presentation.

effective 有效的
excitement 興奮, 激動
challenge 挑戰
presentation 簡報
two cents worth 觀點
oral 口說的

In order to make your topic informative and persuasive, it's a good idea to do a few research on it. Practice as much as your can before your do the real stuff.

informative 資料豐富的
persuasive 有說服力的
research 研究
practice 練習
stuff 東西

Use tools like Power point , slides, transparencies, pictures, and so forth in your presentation. These are the things called 'visual aid' that helps people understand, learn, or remember information provided from you. Besides, using visual aid can awake your audience for a monotonous topic.

Power point 微軟的簡報軟體
slide 幻燈片
transparency 投影片
and so forth 等等
visual aid 視覺輔助
provide 提供
besides 除此之外

awake 喚醒
audience 觀眾

A note card, the thing we learned from the school's presentation class, helps you remember your path or even when you have a blank during the presentation. To prepare note cards isn't like writing down everything you are going to say on it, but you have to just take down the key words or a summary of the contents broken down into several parts in your note card. During the presentation, you can hold them in your one hand and have a quick glimpse of them to remind you what you have to say next. It works well for me.

note card 提示卡
path 路徑
have a blank 一片空白
during 在...期間
take down 記下
summary 大綱
contents 內容
be broken down 分散成
several 一些
glimpse 很快的看過
remind 提醒

Body language is another important issue here. First, Eye contact! Pay attention to your audience and see their faces at times and make them believe that you are making a good presentation because you are enthusiastic about the topic. Second, tone variation. Try not to use the same tone all the time. Do not speak too fast or too slow, try not to let people know you are nervous though it happens to us very often.

issue 議題
eye contact 眼神的接觸
enthusiastic 熱心的, 真誠的
tone variation 語調變化
nervous 警張的

Last but not least, be confident. You have to trust yourself even if you are making a debut of your presentation. When it comes to the actual presentation, present your issue as if you mean it. You talk as if you mean it, the audience will be moved. You make them believe what you're saying.

last but not least 最後也是最重要的
confident 有信心的
trust 信任
debut 初次登場
actual 實際的

In a word, it sounds difficult to get ready for an oral presentation but is well the effort to prepare for it. So, good luck if you're going to do one. I hope these will come in handy for you.

In a word 總而言之
well the effort 值得努力的
come in handy 派的上用場

Showcase Update

Please check out my showcase to see the updated information.

May 14, 2006

How to prepare for "Short Readings" of TOEIC

Short readings is the longest and the last part of TOEIC. Lots of people may feel tired already while working on it. Your endurance will determine the score you will get. There are three kinds of questions appearing in this part: overview questions, detail questions, and inference questions. Here I want show you how to do a better job on them.
短文閱讀是多益測驗最長也是最後的一個部分.當做到這個部分的時候,許多人已經覺得累了.此時你的耐力將會決定你的成績好壞. 此部分有三種問題:整體性的問題,細節問題及推論問題. 以下是有關如何做好此部分練習的要訣.

  1. Look at the passage at a steady pace of yours to get a basic idea of what it is about.
  2. Read the questions only, not the answer choices this time, of the passage. Try your best to know these questions by heart as you read them.
    接下來只要讀此篇文章的所有問題. 先不要讀每一題的答案部分, 盡量記住問題在問些什麼.
  3. Now you should look for any question which is a “overview” question. You may be able to answer it since you have got an overall idea of the passage.
  4. Get back to the passage and start reading them again. Read the first two sentences first and then you have to ensure that if they refer to the question you are working on. If you can find the answer, fine. But, if you can't, keep reading the following two sentences until you find the answer that matches the question.
  5. If you are unsure about the answer, you must guess at it and go on to the next question or passage. Spending too much time on one question won't do anything good to you. Come back to these unsure items later if you have time.

    Overview questions
    What does the article mainly discuss?
    What is the purpose of this announcement?
    Why was this memo written?
    What is the best title for the article?
    Where was this ad probably published?
    What does the report concern?

    Detail and inference questions
    which of the following can be inferred from the article?
    What number would one call to speak to someone in room 921?
    For which of the following purchase is this form NOT required?
    What information does the chart provide about Downtown?

May 10, 2006

A quick announcement

This message is sent to my ELTS's students of the Interchange 3 class at Shi Lin school. The mail recipients for this message include Annie,Angela, Emily, Dave, Randy, Alice, Cayko, and some people who I can't recall their names. If you are not one of them, then you may please ignore this message.

message 訊息
recipient 收信人
recall 記得
ignore 忽略

As you may know, there are some differences made in our class schedule. We still meet on every Tuesday evening at seven but the contents for the class have been slightly changed. That is, after following every two units in the textbook, we will have to do some extracurricular activities in our class. The school authority offered me no limitation to whatever I want to teach. Therefore, I've decided on giving everyone more chances to speak and practice your presentation skills. On the following Tuesday, everyone who attends the class will be asked to make a short speech in class. The topic is up to you, butwe have come to a conclusion last night about what you have to say next time-- you are going to show us something you are good at. In other words, you will make a presentation about your field of expertise. For example, Dave is an experienced lifeguard so he may tell us how to be a good swimmer or how to prevent ourselves from drowned while swimming.

slightly 輕微地
extracurricular activities 課外活動
school authority 校方
offere 提供
limitation 限制
presentation skills 簡報技巧
attend 參加
up to someone 由某人自己決定
come to a conclusion 得到結論
field of expertise 專業領域
lifeguard 救生員
drown 淹死

Doesn't that sound exciting to you? I am so looking forward to see howe eryone will be working in our class and I believe you also anticipate doing a great job then. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

be looking forward to + Ving/ Noun 期待去...
anticipate Ving 期盼做...
at one's convenience 在某人方便之時候

Albert Chang

May 07, 2006

A message board founded here

I just added a message board in the right column of this page. People may ask me how I did it. Well since I am not a cyber-geek who can do programming myself, in fact there is no trick doing this-- I just found a Web site that provided such feature for me . Then I copied some HTML codes from there for building this board and eventualy I pasted it on my blog and that's it!! I guess it is pretty easy to get it done.

message board 留言板
column 欄位
since 因為
cyber-geek 網路癡狂者
programming 電腦程式設計
in fact 事實上
trick 把戲
found 建立 (found founded founded)
find 發現 (find found found)
feature 功能
HTML codes 網路標記語言碼
eventualy 最後
paste 貼上

You know I used to put a message board here a while ago but it seemed no so many people take notice of it. This time I expect my friends like you to leave some messages here to let me know you have known it. Would you please do this favor for me? Thanks.

used to 曾經
take notice of 注意
do a favor for someone 幫忙

May 01, 2006

Talk about hybrid cars,...

A Japanese hybrid car has been introduced to the local automobile market these days. It may have drawn a lot of buyers' attention; however, due to its high price--say something around 1.05 million NT dollars-- whreas in the US it's only priced in half, what it means to the average Joe and Jane is a "dreamboat" only. What is the appeal of a hybrid car? Please see the following intro.

hybrid 油電混合車
be introduced 被引進, 介紹
automobile 汽車
draw one's attention 吸引...的注意
whereas 相反地
the average Joe and Jane 普通大眾
dreamboat 夢想之事物
appeal 吸引人之處
intro= introduction

There are two engines in it, an electric engine and a gasoline one, which are both used in unison. People who drive a hybrid car need no worries if it has a reduction in speed or acceleration, even though its gasoline engine is designed smaller than the conventional ones. Instead, when starting the car, the electric engine provides extra thrust for acceleration. After the hybrid car hits on the road, the gasoline engine kicks in so you can go as fast as fast you can, not to worry people cutting you off.

engine 引擎
electric 電力的
gasoline 汽油
in unison 一致地
reduction 減少
acceleration 加速
conventional 傳統的
provide 提供
extra 額外的
thrust 推進力, 爆發力
kick in 啟動
cutting someone off 開車時擋在某人前面

Don't forget why a hybrid car is made. Just because of its light weight, it can save lots of fuel as driven on the road. Insight, made by Honda, is reported to get up to 70 miles per gallon, that equals 28 liters per kilometers. Holy Cow!! I think the other hybrid, Prius, which is the Toyota's make may have the similar performance in preserving gas.

weight 重量
fuel 燃料

Insight 本田的混合車名
reporte 報導
mile 英里
per gallon 每加侖
equal 等於
liter 公升
kilometer 公里
Holy Cow 天啊
Prius 豐田的混合車名
performance 表現
preserve 保存

What's more. The hybrid car not only save our money on purchasing gasoline, it also helps pollute less and gets better mileage.

purchase 購買
pollute 污染
less 較少的
mileage 里程數