Archive for the ‘Student Resources’ Category

Reading is the key!

Monday, August 6th, 2012

In today’s world so much information requires strong reading and writing skills to access. Literacy skills are critical to success in our modern technological world. Information is easily accessible on the Internet and e-mail and messages are a part of every day life.

Reading is the key to language learning.  Educational researchers have found a strong correlation between reading and academic success. A student who is a good reader is more likely to do well in school and achieve higher scores on tests and exams. Researchers have also found a strong correlation between reading and vocabulary knowledge. Students who have a large vocabulary are usually good readers, which are not very surprising, since the best way to acquire a large vocabulary is to read extensively, and if you read extensively you are likely to be or become a good reader!

The more you read, the more exposure you will have to language and the faster you will improve your fluency. It is a good way to expand your vocabulary, learn how different types of sentences are formed, expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking, and most of all enjoy yourself. You will probably find that after starting your personal reading program, you will start using new words and language structures more easily. This is because you will just be repeating many of the things you have seen in the books you have read. You will start to feel more confident and comfortable using English and you will be well on your way to becoming a proficient English speaker. These are some of the reasons why you need to dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to reading in English.

Good readers understand the individual sentences and the organizational structure of a piece of writing. They can comprehend ideas, follow arguments, deduce implications and make inferences. They know most of the words in the text already, but they can also use context clues to determine the meaning of many of the unfamiliar words. In summary, good readers can read for a variety of texts for different purposes. This all means that you need to encourage your child to read.

It is important for your child to read a variety of text that includes both fiction and non-fiction; however, it is also critical that your child continue to read in his/her home language. He/she should be reading independently for about 15 minutes every evening.

Tips for Effective Presentations

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Learning how to make an effective presentation is a vaulable skill to develop.  Here are some useful tips for you.

SMILE  (When an audience sees a great smile, they will smile, too.)

MOVE AROUND  (When you feel comfortable and move around to interact with the audience, they will be more receptive to your presentation.)

MAKE EYE CONTACT  (Don’t hide behind your papers and leave your feet planted in one spot.  Know your audience and talk to them.)

RELAX  (If you are prepared, then the presentation will run smoothly and you will appear confident.  Be confident!)

STAND TALL AND USE GOOD POSTURE  (When you stand straight, you appear confident.  Stand comfortably.  Don’t slouch or lean.)

 TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE  (When you talk to your audience and interact with them, your presentation is more interesting and engaging.  Don’t read your presentation!  Try to get the audience involved in your presentation by asking questions or for a show of hands.  Make a connection!)

USE PROPER GRAMMAR (Avoid slang and vague words like “people or basically”.)                                     

BE PREPARED   (Make sure that your equipment is ready and working. Practice and rehearse your presentation so you feel comfortable.  Make sure you know how to pronounce all of the words correctly and there are no spelling mistakes in your presentation. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” )  

BE CONSISTENT   (Your presentation design, text font, and colour scheme should be simple and consistent.  Colours and pictures should be integrated into the presentation to enhance or emphasize            information, not distract the audience.)

SPEAK CLEARLY (Use a natural pace and don’t race through your presentation.  When we are nervous, we tend to talk faster.  Avoid fillers like “umm”, “yeah”, “whatever”, “and so…” ; they are distracting.  Practice new words so you are not stumbling in your speech.)

SPEAK LOUD ENOUGH  (It doesn’t matter how good your information is if we can’t hear it.  Watch your voice modulation and intonation.)

USE GESTURES  (Don’t fidget, but appropriate facial expressions and gestures add personality and emphasize important points.)              

BE ORGANIZED  (Introduce your topic, use a hook, and get your audience interested in your presentation.  Make sure that you have a beginning, middle and end.)