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: "Green Consumption (April 21, 2019)"

    Green consumption behaviour is a form of pro-environmental  consumption that harms the environment as little as possible, or even  benefits the environment. This notion seems to be unpopular in our  country, despite the fact that Vietnam, together with four other  countries, discharge 60 per cent of the world’s plastic waste into the  ocean.
    A green consumption behaviour comes from an individual acting ethically, motivated not only by personal needs,  but also by the respect and preservation of the environment. To help  combat climate change, behaviours that are strongly encouraged including  (but not limited to) (i) decreasing energy and water consumption; (ii)  changing your eating and transportation habits to conserve natural  resources; and (iii) reducing, reusing, and recycling to be more  environmentally friendly.
    QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
     1. Please share your story. What did you do as an action of green  consumption? Do you think it's enough? If not, what else should you do  and how hard it is to commit?
     2. Is it fashionable to follow the international trend of sustainable consumption? Explain?
     3. What are the benefits of engaging in green consumption? What are the  obstacles of Vietnamese people to changing their consumption  behaviours?
     4. Do you think green consumption can really help battle  environmental pollution in Vietnam? If yes, how do you encourage people  taking action?
    Prepared by: Quỳnh Như Nguyễn

     

    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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