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: "CAREER CHOICES - Follow your passion or follow your ability? (October 17, 2021)"

    Please refer to the steps below to join the discussion:
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    The online discussion will start at 3.00pm and close at 5.00pm on 17th, October 2021.
    CAREER CHOICES - Follow your passion or follow your ability?
    (the topic was once discussed on SEPTEMBER 22, 2016)

    Making a career choice is more than just landing a job. It is a decision that has a huge impact on our lifestyle and the way we achieve our lifetime goals. But how can we decide on a career path when our academic performance suggests an option but we desire otherwise?
    Imagine you make it through four years of college and get your degree; you graduate and get a job in a related field. But years later, you realize it was actually a mistake. What you are doing is not what you actually want to do. You feel bad having to get up each day and go to a job you do not like.
    That scenario is not rare. For many people, it may take years or more to find out what they are good at, and sometimes, their skills and abilities may not equal their interests and passions. That is one reason why many college students change their major halfway through college, and many never do the jobs related to their majors after graduation.
    The fact is that you cannot be successful at something you are not interested in, but if you have no special skill in something you are passionate about, you can be discouraged; your passion can be drained, and it can be another dilemma.
    1. Are you doing what you love for a living?
    2. Why do people sometimes do the jobs they hate?
    3. How do we know if a job is our true calling?
    3. What should we do to make a smart career choice?
    Topic maker: Giang Hải Đăng

    Enjoy and have a fruitful discussion!



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    My bottleneck

    (23:22:37 PM 18/03/2014)

     In English, the word "bottleneck" describes something that slows down a process.

    Think about the shape of a wine bottle. The bottom part is wider, but in order for the wine to pour out, it has to pass through the narrow "neck" of the bottle. This limits how quickly you can pour it.

    We use the term "bottleneck" to talk about things like business processes. Whenever one specific part of a system is slowing down the entire system, it's a bottleneck.

    Where are your bottlenecks?

    It can be really useful to consider where the bottlenecks in your English learning are.

    For example, imagine someone who never learns the English alphabet. Even if this person lives in an English-speaking country, surrounded by English signs, books, magazines, and so on, they will never learn to read. All of those opportunities are wasted because this person doesn't spend a week or two to learn 26 letters.

    Some weaknesses don't matter as much. But when you have a "bottleneck" weakness like this, it stops the whole learning process. No matter how hard you work on other areas, your improvement will continue to be really slow and painful.

    Avoid common bottlenecks

    Here are some areas that can become bottlenecks:

    • The sounds of English
      Once you learn the difference between, for example, "hit" and "heat", you can start to hear it every time someone says one of those words. That gives you more practice, which improves your pronunciation more, and so on.

      English has about 24 consonant sounds and 15-20 vowels (depending on the region). It doesn't take a long time to learn them.
    • Specific vocabulary
      Consider a sentence like this:

      In short, humans go through a process which creates lactic acid during anaerobic exercise, which builds up in the muscles and causes soreness after strenuous exertion.

      Not knowing the complicated words keeps you from understanding the sentence. Not understanding the sentence keeps you from understanding the grammar, which makes it hard to express complex ideas in any area.
    • Cultural knowledge
      The more you're able to speak English with people, the faster you'll improve. So how do you get people to speak with you a lot? It helps if they like you and accept you. And this is much easier when you know how to follow social rules, like when to speak formally and when to be more casual.
    • Your emotions
      Do you get nervous or subconscious when you speak to people in a foreign language? If so, you probably don't speak as often. Or you might limit your range and just use simple, safe language.

      Learn how to be relaxed and confident when you speak English, even when you don't know a lot of make mistakes.

    There are probably dozens of areas like this. The important thing is to think about yourself and figure out what you need to improve. 



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