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 "

  • Ảnh quảng cáo Slide
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  • Topic of this Week: "RISK TAKERS (June 7, 2020)"

    Gaining a recognized position & earning incredibly high salary in your field of expertise are most people’s dreams. To pursue these payoffs, workers work hard and students study hard. However, achieving that goal in a decent manner is far from easy. As a result, some people use their own talent and their endeavor, whereas some choose shorter and less transparent ways.
    Recently, the IELTS community has solicited a wave of anger for some highly respected trainers whose names are so familiar to us. Some of these instructors either exaggerated or falsified their IELTS certificates to deceive the public. To make matters worse, when the information of these wrongdoings leaked, the convicted opted for making excuses, beating around the bush or giving no explanation instead of apologizing to their learners for their misbehavior.
    Due to these recent scandals, it got me thinking that whether these wrongdoers had once thought about possible responsibilities they would bear if someone detected it one day. In addition, these scandalous events could have higher chances of becoming stigmas which are hard to fade away for many years to come.
    As for psychological reasons, we people usually face the dilemma of prioritizing between existing monetary benefits and our code of conduct – a so-called “work ethics”.
    Let’s join us and share some of your thoughts about this topic!!!
    QUESTIONS TO PONDER:

        In your expertise, can you share with us about case studies of people who are willing to take risks and ignore their work ethics to achieve their goals?
        Being an angel bears a striking difference to being an evil. Which one is your preference, sticking to your belief system of doing the right thing or pursuing your goals at all costs?
        Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, offenders are involved in illegal acts due to their family burdens such as cases of prostitution or petty crimes. Do you agree or disagree with this idea?

    Prepared by: Hang Nga Luna

     

    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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    Speaking phrases vs. Listening phrases

    (06:54:53 AM 04/04/2014)

     

    February 28, 2012

     

    Ever buy a book of idioms or phrases in the language you wanted to learn? Somewhere at my wife's parents' house in Japan is a book that I bought several years ago with several hundred pages of phrases.  I tried studying some of them, but at some point tried out a few on native Japanese speakers. The response I got was,

    "No one says that."

    Not being a native speaker myself, I didn't have the facilities to judge whether this was an accurate claim.  It may be that the Japanese people I associate with are not particularly literate.  Or maybe, in their enthusiasm to find enough phrases to make a book out of, the authors ended up including a lot that were not very common.

    But - me and my language conspiracy theories - I have another explanation for why my friends may have claimed that the idioms from the book were not that useful.

    Consider the following English phrases:

    • "bring home the bacon"
    • "the concrete jungle"
    • "the old ball and chain"
    • "two of one, a half dozen of the other"
    • "no man is an island"

    Now take a look at this list:

    • "play your hand"
    • "it is what it is"
    • "kill two birds with one stone"
    • "don't hold your breath"
    • "bitch and moan"

    There are a few differences between the two lists. For one, the first list is more colorful and interesting. They're probably also much more well-known and widely accepted than the second list.  But the main difference I considered when writing the two lists was whether I would use each phrase in daily conversation without feeling self-conscious about it.  For the first list, the answer is "no". For the second, it's "yes".

    A few caveats: 1) Everyone's different, and the phrase that flows off the tongue naturally for me may seem contrived and awkward to you. 2) This is not to say that I don't use the phrases in the first list. I do, but when I use them, I put a big set of mental quotation marks around them. I say them as a joke, or as a conscious anachronism.  Listeners may not interpret it that way because- see caveat #1. But that's how I intend them.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that the book I had was full of a lot more idioms from the first category than the second. And despite what my friends told me, I bet there would have been a lot of value in continuing to study them. Because there's a lot of communication out there that's not "everyday conversation". Speeches, literature, TV dialogue, and advertisements all use different registers of language that are more likely to include this kind of variety.

    But what we do need more of in language education materials is more focus on the idioms that are perhaps less colorful but more common in everyday communication. And we need more accurate information attached to our phrases to tell us whether it's a speaking phrase or a listening phrase.

     

     

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