English proverb of the day

"The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and the dream "

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  • Topic of this Week: "Are you a xenophile? (December 16, 2018)"

    Xenophobia is a fear or dislike of outsiders.  Yet, there exists an opposite perspective called xenophilia. A xenophile  is a person who is attracted by foreign things such as objects, people,  styles or customs.
      Do you feel excited when you make acquaintance  with a foreigner? Have you ever invited a foreign guy to take part in a  birthday party of another friend of yours? If yes, you are probably a  xenophile. But don’t be ashamed,  xenophilia is not totally negative. If you set foot in another country,  and you are surrounded by the local people who are xenophiles, then you  can be welcomed on the red carpet or even treated like king. In stark  contrast, groups of religious, racial or sexual minorities have  experienced marginalization and mistreatment in many regions in the  world. Also, being a xenophile, you can drive pleasure from showing your  kindness and hospitality, which contributes to your well- being.
       In  general, Vietnamese people are labelled as typical xenophiles.  Nonetheless, when asked, most Vietnamese women said they don’t want to  marry a foreign man, though a Western guy is desirable to be added in  their friend/boyfriend list. Why it is the case? In social science,  xenophiles don’t necessarily have affection for real foreign people, but  they tend to fall for things that define or conceptualise that person.  Their affection sometimes originates from an idea of a collective  population which has been generalised. Most of the time, these  generalising comments are based on subjective perceptions rather than  facts or evidence.
       The answer to the question what causes xenophila  remains inconclusive. The compelling theory is that xenophilia is a  response to one’s negative feelings about his or her background. If you  was born in a poor or backward country, you are unconsciously prone to  welcome those whose background is superior to yours.
    References:  https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-xenophilia.html
     
    Questions to ponder:

     1. Do you think you are a xenophile or a xenophobe? What are the clues for being a xenophile?
     2. For whom your chemistry is stronger? A Vietnamese guy/girl or a foreign guy/girl?
     3. What are the benefits of xenophilia?
     4. Why do people become xenophiles or xenophobes?
     5. In Vietnamese context, xenophilia may create different problems in society. What are they? How to tackle these problems?
      6. Foreign English teachers are paid much higher than Vietnamese  counterparts. Is it fair? Does xenophilia involve? How to cope with  this?

     

     

    Prepared by: Ngo Huy Tu

     

    Enjoy and have a fruitful discussion! 
    See you on Sunday at 3 P.M.!
     

    Advance English club
    Address: Nguyen Cong Tru Secondary School – No. 8 Nguyen Truong To, Hanoi

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    Mistake

    (06:52:20 AM 04/04/2014)

     I sometimes browse through Twitter looking at things with the #English hash tag to re-tweet out to my followers. Today I came across this one:

    I clicked on the link, and found pretty much what I expected to find: a list of mistakes that English speakers make in written English. These are precisely the kind of points I used to teach to my American high school students.

    But these are NOT the mistakes that English learners need to focus on.

    The lists of English mistakes you read about in these lists come from writing and grammar teachers' frustrations with the writing of native students. Native students already know a language that they call "English". But their teachers have this other language that's also called "English" but is really a totally different form of the language. It's the form that is meant for formal written communication, and it's about 20-30 years out of date with the form that's actually used for written communication in the business world.

    So these mistakes are meant to point out the difference between Spoken English (which the students already know) and Essay English (which the teachers want them to learn).  Some of the favorite examples are:

    • lie / lay
    • they're / their / there
    • immigrate / emigrate

    The problems that English learners have are entirely different. The mistakes that they need to be pointed to are the ones where the language doesn't work the way that it seems like it should. Here are a few examples that I have noticed time and time again:

    • delicious - The word "delicious" isn't the most common word to describe tasty food. It's more common to say that food was "good".
    • so - "So" is usually used in a positive sense: "That's so great!" In negative sentences, it's better to use "not that", "not too", or "not very": "The speech wasn't that long. It wasn't too difficult to understand. It wasn't very interesting."
    • explain - "Explain" doesn't require a preposition afterwards: use "explain something", not "explain about something".

    The problem with teaching the native-speaker mistakes to English learners is that it can lead to speaking and writing that is far too formal. I often read something written by someone who obviously put a lot of classroom and textbook hours into their learning and think, "That sounds great - if you're talking to a robot." Of course, I try to make my comments a little more constructive than that, but the point is that overly formal languagecan make it hard for a person to cope in casual speech environments or to make social connections with other English speakers.

    So next time you see one of these lists of mistakes, take a minute and think about who it's really for.

     

     

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