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Your prospect of learning English online – How effective is it going to be?

learning English online

With the invasion of technology in today’s classrooms, learning English or any other language doesn’t have any relation with sitting inside a classroom and solving tricky grammar exercises. Ideal English language teachers boost you to do plenty of surplus learning outside what you learn in school and in the school English text books. There are numerous ways in which you can improve the comprehension abilities of the language and many of such methods are indeed lot of fun.

We all know that different people respond to a new language in a different method. While someone may learn perfect English attending classes sitting inside a classroom, there are some others who may learn the same language by attending online classes from websites dedicated to language classes. Irrespective of which category you fall into, if you’re eager to improve your English speaking skills, consider following certain handy tips to improve your understanding of this language. Not all the tips will work for all individuals but if you keep adding such ideas to your day-to-day language learning, you will definitely witness some improvement.

  • Inculcate the habit of watching films and television in English

The United States of America and Britain not only produce some best shows and films on television but they also offer you an opportunity of learning English while watching them. In case you’re someone who is still trying to get a firm grip on the language, you can switch to watching movies with English subtitles so that you may read and listen at the same time. Listen to some of your favorite English radio stations and find enough sources to listen to English on the internet.

  • Practice reading English newspapers and books

When you have got enough leisure time, you can take English books and read them as this is one of the best ways of practising English during your own time. Try to learn a single word at a time and you can relax while at home as there is no teacher who will peep through your shoulder to check what you’re doing. If you’re someone who’s just at the beginner and intermediate level, choose a children’s book as the language will be simpler. Newspapers are also a worth read as you not only get to learn English but to know about the local news as well.

  • Surround yourself with native English speakers to learn the right pronunciation

When you learn a language, it is important for you to pronounce the words appropriately so as to make yourself sound like a native. If you spend most of your time with people of your country, you will probably miss the chance of practising correct English. Try your best to befriend native English speakers as it is only then that you will be forced into speaking the language. You can even pick up ideas like conversational English, slangs which you’re not likely to learn in classrooms. In case you don’t find English speakers, get around with people who are not in your course.

  • Take down notes of the new vocabulary that you learn

Irrespective of the place where you learn a new word, always make it a habit to jot it down somewhere so that you remember the word and know when to use it later and in what context. Whenever you get leisure time, take out that notebook and try to make sentences with the words that have been jotted down. This way you will learn how to use new words in conversation and this could even be done on your phone in case you don’t want to carry a notebook with you.

  • Buy yourself a reputed bi-lingual dictionary

A bi-lingual dictionary can become your best friend especially when you’re in the process of learning English. But be aware of the numerous dictionaries which have mistranslations and mistakes. Invest your money in the most reputed dictionary which can help you in learning the language. You can even have dictionary apps on your Android smartphone.

Therefore, when you’re earnestly willing to get a grip on English language, try your best to follow the handy tips mentioned above. Speak as much as you can in English to improve your fluency.

Are you keeping your workstation clean?

clean workstation

While deadlines, workplace politics, company policies, and paycheck quite sum up our work life- one of the major aspects that we end up undermining is our workstation. How many of you take the trouble to ensure that your workstation is in order? How many of us ensure that it is absolutely clutter-free before we start working or after we are done working? Not many of us do! However, many of us are also not aware of the fact that by keeping our workstation dirty we are actually flouting major workstation etiquette!

Not many of us realize that keeping our workstation tidy is part of our workplace duty. Your employer might not have spelt out norms regarding the same but let us give you all the reasons under the sun to keep your workstation clean. Read on to discover.

Your workstation is a direct reflection of your personality

When it comes to business, a clean workstation has way many more functions to serve than what you can actually imagine. Is a prospective client on his/her way to your office? You must be all ready to leave a favorable impression on him/her. You might have selected the best tie and suit for the occasion. However, you cannot really forget that the “impression” to be created by you, goes beyond how you dress up. The appearance of the workplace will matter as well.

Professional image

A clean work space is important to keep up the professional image of the place as well. Make sure your workstation is not brimming with dirty coffee cups, office supplies, papers or for that matter other stuff. Clean. Clean. Clean.

Think about your health

A dirty workstation is not conducive to health as well. Workplace illness remains one of the leading reasons behind missed deadlines and dismal business growth. The pile of dust accumulating on the desk, for instance, might as well be seriously harmful for employees having dust allergy or breathing trouble.

More about workstation cleaning: What you should know

So, the next time you are blaming your frantic work schedule for being unable to tidy up your office space, remember what all you are losing out on when you are not maintaining a dirt less and clutter-free workstation. Plus, those who are eating at their desks without cleaning them up, will unwittingly end up attracting disease carrying vermin.

Hope the points mentioned here will guide you in your efforts to step up the work space cleaning measures.

Are you stuck with a bad employer?

boardroom interview

Bad employers are a reality. Your stint with your present company is marred by a seemingly ill-tempered or highly unreasonable boss. At first, it gets difficult for you to draw parity between the sane rational individual (who was) sitting in front of you during the boardroom interview and the one who you are interacting with, at present. Initially, you think that it’s your fault and that it’s you who can’t keep up with the inexplicable corporate mechanization. However, with the due passage of time you come to realize that you have got ten other colleagues who have got similar complaint against “the boss”.

Here are the signs that tell you that you are actually working with a bad boss and that it’s perhaps time to switch! Your career deserves much more than bad employers

Are you working under a bad employer? Here are the warning signs!

If your employer is encouraging coworkers to engage in regular deceit to entrap customers then you should view it as a possible red flag. The person handling sales over phone calls is regularly using fake names and promises. Even the company ads are full of fake promises and guarantees. You should wisely consider detaching yourself from such an organization. It’s only a matter of time till your company gets a bad rep. As an employee you will be seriously denting your future prospects if you choose to continue your association with such an organization.

There are instances where employers are known to take screenshots of mistakes committed by employees and circulate the same in the entire office. Humiliation of this scale should never be endorsed by recruits. No you possibly can’t shout at the top of your voice to stop this. However, what you can do is silently step up your job hunt and make the switch whenever you find something suitable.

If your employer wants you to work through lunchtime – almost every day, then you should rethink your decision of continuing with your present company. If your boss is trying to convince you that you should give up your lunch for work just because “you’re a senior” or for that matter “because you’re in charge of the fresh recruits” then let us tell you that he/she is perhaps too busy beefing up his personal murky mechanization under the facade of corporate adherence. Do not give in for long! Your health matters! Start looking for organizations where employees are treated with respect.

4 Useful Tips for Student to Choose the Best Career Path

choose-the-best-career-path

Choosing a career path is not an easy decision and if you want to have a good career then it is important that you are happy with your career path. There are very few people who are sure about the path they want to take early in life. If you find it difficult to pick a career then you can do it by following some simple tips. With the help of these tips you will find it easier to find a satisfying career.

Here are some useful tips that will help you in choosing the most suitable career path.

Knowing your Interests:

The first thing that you need to consider are your interests. You cannot work happily if you are not satisfied with the type of work you are doing. You will only be able to devote your time and energy to the work if you like doing it and it will also increase your chances of excelling.

What are you good at?

You should never ignore your skills and talents. Every person is born with some skills and if you can make a career out of it then it is the best thing. You also need to consider your qualities while choosing the career path. The working style plays an important role in determining which type of work is best for you. You should do an honest evaluation of the work style. If the career you choose is suitable to the work style, then you will easily excel in your professional life.

Test your Skills with an Internship:

It is possible that the career path you choose for yourself is not the best one for you. Changing a career path is not a bad thing. You can know if you are getting into the right industry or not by trying an internship. Trying an internship will give you a taste of the industry you are getting into. It will also provide a chance to interact with professionals and get some useful career advice.

Do not be afraid to explore unconventional career paths:

Everyone is aware of the popular career choices such as being a doctor, engineers, teacher, lawyer etc. but if you do not find them inspiring choices then you should look for unconventional options. There are thousands of options available for you. You just have to research and find something that inspires you.

If you want to have a good and successful career then you need to be patient. It is not always easy to make a career out of something that you love and enjoy so it is possible that there are going to be some difficulties but do not lose heart. Be patient, work hard and you will have a happy and nice career.

How can you be a better class monitor?

class monitor

Being a class monitor is every student’s dream. Generally the student with the greatest leadership qualities (as have been perceived by the class teacher) or great academic records is made the class monitor. If today, you are honored with the prestigious position, you will definitely like to educate yourself about ways to become that monitor who everybody in the class looks up to. The tips mentioned here, will definitely help you become one. Do read on.

Exploring the qualities of an ideal class monitor

The first quality that you need to develop as a leader is neutrality. You cannot be biased. You cannot turn a blind eye to your best friend’s fault in class or be unnecessarily harsh with somebody who you just don’t gel with. Breach of classroom norms should be treated with equal gravity – irrespective of whether it has been committed by your friends or no-so-good-friends in class.

Being a leader is not easy. He should harness certain qualities in himself that will help him differentiate himself from others. From the moment you are chosen as the class monitor you should learn to be calm. There is no room for lack of patience or demonstration of rage. You should be calm but stern enough to ensure that the students are listening to you when you are in charge of the class (i.e. during the teacher’s absence).

It is your duty to be understanding towards your classmates. You just cannot go on to ignore the genuine problems faced by your classmates when the teacher is not around. Is someone bothered by someone else’s harsh comments? Is there a situation which has gone out of control? Is there anyone who is trying to reach out to you to overcome a sense of alienation from the rest of the class? Make sure you are paying attention to these needs. Doing this will not only help you develop great leadership qualities but shape remarkable human virtues as well.

Be disciplined yourself and try to encourage others to be the same as well. Don’t be late for class. Don’t talk when a class is going on. Don’t pick up fights with others. Set an example for others to follow.

Are you the class monitor at present? Are you sure you have all these aforementioned qualities? If not, then make sure you are actually making an effort to develop them. There is no dearth of avenues from which you can actually learn and grow.

How can you encourage creativity in classroom?

classroom creativity

In our bid to prepare students for standardized examinations, we are significantly losing out on the wonders that classroom creativity entails. Don’t be surprised if in the near future you come across more and more teachers complaining of the slow but eventual death of creativity in classroom. However, though creativity itself is on the verge of phasing out from school education, the need for creativity is still there. Its importance cannot be undermined. We need it for the development of well-rounded individuals.

Documented below are a few ways with the help of which teachers can encorage students nourish their creativity.

How can you encourage creativity within the four walls of the classroom?

Irrespective of which level you are teaching at you can always set at least an hour a week aside to encourage your students to explore what they like or for that matter what they are passionate about. What do they like? Writing? Blogging? Painting? Paper craft? Give them the free reign to work on their passion (that of course has to happen without them creating a chaos inside the classroom). They can research on the works of painters, writers or actually write or paint or else can do anything which they are really passionate about.

Researchers (many of them) suggest that it gets easier for teachers to instill creativity in students through emotional connect. For instance, if teachers assign projects based on community problems like child labor, then they will inadvertently be responsible for encouraging creativity in students because of the human touch.

Open ended projects are one of the major mediums through which the creativity of students can be channelized. These are different from standard projects governed by set guidelines or parameters that students have to abide by. Open-ended assignments imply students can actually enjoy the freedom to choose their own subjects. They can choose the project which they want to work on and the rubric by which they should be guided.

The significance of active learning

The growth of active learning should absolutely be encouraged. Active learning entails the use of creative stuff including creative concepts, games and different study materials. The teacher should make an extra effort to weave an enjoyable learning ambience because it is only in this kind of learning environment that active learning can be encouraged. Interact more with them to bolster their problem solving abilities and encourage them to ask questions as well.

Classroom Etiquette: An important part of school and college education

classroom etiquette

Though classroom etiquette is not really a part of your school or college curriculum, your teachers do expect a certain degree of courteousness from you. And courteousness here doesn’t only mean politeness but several other aspects including punctuality, attention in class and a keen sense of certain group dynamics. We will learn more about classroom etiquette (as an important part of school and college education) in this particular post.

Don’t be late for your class

This is one lesson that should be inculcated in students right in their formative years. The value of time can never be undermined. Students in general will go on to learn its true significance as they foray into the corporate world. There are days when you just can’t help being late for the class owing to unavoidable circumstances. However, do not make it a habit. Being regularly late for class conveys a sense of disrespect for your professor or teacher.

Learn the ways of working in a team

Classroom etiquette is applicable for your equation with your classmates as well. If you are working on a group project make sure you are never rude with your group members. Even if you disagree with any other member, try to get across your point politely instead of pouncing on the same. Do not embarrass others but try to weed out disagreement through discussion.

Side conversations are a major no-no!

Indulging in side conversations might be fun for you but is utterly disrespectful for your teachers or professors. Ask them and they would rank this behavior of these students as one of their top pet peeves. There are times when students’ whispers become so loud that they end up distracting the entire class. Another inappropriate behavior is to read some different text or completing your homework for the next class while your teacher is conducting a class.

Student presentations

If you are a part of a student presentation then always be attentive to what the speaker has to say. Don’t distract the speaker by talking to others while the presentation is going on. Always participate in discussion if the speaker encourages you to do so. Do not pass rude comments.

Turn off your cell phone

Always turn off your cell phone when you are attending a lecture. You can keep it in the vibration mode but make sure its intensity does not end up distracting the entire class. The best thing to do is to switch off the phone when you enter the class.

Should you use social media at work?

deadline

If you are helplessly staring at possible missed deadlines or imminent rebuke from your boss, then it possibly isn’t the right time to advise you to contemplate. However, if you do not contemplate you will not really be able unearth the reason behind your repeated failure to maintain deadlines. You may not realize but it might be your productivity which is to be blamed.

The “connect” between social media and reduced productivity has been established

Talking about workplace productivity, let us tell you that one of the biggest factors affecting the same is the use of social media at work. Yes, social media may have emerged as the biggest branding tool for businesses today. However, its unrestricted usage will only end up harming productivity as per latest studies.

TeamLease has brought out its World of Work Report, as per which around 32% of your time spent on social media during your work hours is actually for personal work rather than for business purposes. This accounts for major loss of official work. What more? Social media activities alone result in the loss 13% of work productivity.

Let us tell you that the extent of harm done by the “thoughtless” use of social media at workplace is presumably unimaginable. The truth is, excessive use of social networking has also led to the loss of confidential information, misinformation, defamation and employee solicitation.

No prizes for guessing, Facebook remains the most accessed social networking channel at workplace. It has been found that around 62% of the employees access social media at workplace and around 83% of them access Facebook – mostly.

What should you do?

So, the next time you go about spending “quality” time chatting away with friends at work, do remember the findings of this particular study. You may love to live in a state of denial – thinking that there’s nothing which is eating away your productivity but do remember what we have pointed out here.

You might as well think that it’s okay to browse Facebook at work after every hour or so for just a “few” minutes. However, let us tell you that these few minutes often escalate to half an hour or more in certain cases. Don’t let your productivity be affected by social networking at work. Start working on your habit of browsing social networking channels at work. Self-restraint is key to workplace success.

It’s just a matter of few days until staying away from these social channels during work hours becomes a habit.

Should you refer your friend to your employer?

refer-your-friend-to-your-boss

You may not have thought deeply about it yet, but there are actually not one but several things to consider before you are recommending your friend to your boss. It’s not like you can actually go on to refer him to your boss arbitrarily just because you guys (i.e. your friend and you) belong to similar work field.

Should you not consider your friend’s request for referral at all?

Now, we are not really asking you to dismiss requests of friends (to refer them to your boss) outright. They are doing what they should be doing in order to get their proverbial foot in the door. They are networking. And, who better to network with rather than their friends themselves? However, you just cannot afford blast your friend’s resume blindly. There’s no harm in your friend bagging a job but you should “know” who you are referring. After all, bad referrals can indeed put your reputation at stake. Given below are a few factors that you should keep in view before referring your friend to your boss:

How “knowledgeable” are you?

The first thing to do would be to put your own knowledge under the radar – i.e. your knowledge about your friend’s credentials as a professional. How much do you know about his work experience? What kind of a work record does he have? Is there any avenue of getting an idea about his work ethics? If you have little idea about his work ethics then it would be important on your end to have a more complete sense of the same before referring him to someone.

Consider what your colleagues will think

Consider how your colleagues will perceive the appointment of your friend (if at all he is appointed at the first place). If you are already a favorite of your boss (of course, owing to your professional credentials) then congrats you already are a cause of envy for many. In such a scenario, if your boss ends up hiring your friend, then your co-workers may view the move as favoritism. This is one factor which makes it all the more important for you to consider investigating the credentials of your friend. Steer clear of a blind referral so that even if your friend is hired, it is proved that there has been no workplace favoritism at play.

Is your friend serious about getting the job?

Last but not the least; consider referring your friend only if he is serious about bagging this job and not merely checking out options.

Trends that will dominate the future of e-Learning

the-future-of-e-learning

With our students securing access to some of the most exciting e-learning technologies today, it is indeed the right time to explore the future of this particular form of education. No, we aren’t really spelling out flawless predictions but are definitely looking at trends that will possibly shape the future of e-learning. So, let us explore.

Future of eLearning: Looking at a few trends

With e-Learning getting unprecedented mileage in recent years, there’s hardly anything which can be more interesting than gauging its future. Here is a look at a few possibly dominant future trends to throw light on.

Automated Course Authoring will only grow from here

Today, automation stands as a fairly less explored concept. Expect it to enjoy a much more significant position in the coming years. Thanks to the eLearning authoring tools, you do have access to a plethora of e-Learning templates and themes today but the future is definitely about the introduction of many integrated codes that facilitate process automation. With their help, you can actually go on to create eLearning assessment methodologies and games with minimal effort.

Mobile Learning: How can you miss that?

You possibly cannot miss out on the possible expansion of mlearning or mobile learning while you are discussing the future of e-learning. Experts opine that the growth of mlearning is only going to facilitate informal learning in a major way. Mobile learning supports informal learning to a great extent – so much so, that with the growth of mobile learning, it has been opined, more informal learning can be incorporated in the curriculum.

Growth of gamification in learning

Much to the delight of kids, gamification in learning is well poised to become one of the most influential trends in e-learning in the years to come. In fact, that time is not far when gamification will actually become an integral part of e-learning. Organizations offering services to corporate clients employ gamification to motivate unmotivated learners. Games often involve points, badges and leader boards to drive learner engagement.

There are a few people who believe that universities (i.e. traditional universities) will not even exist in 2075! Learning will transcend edifices by then. The teachers’ jobs will not be at stake because they are the ones who are going to pass on knowledge through generations just as they are doing now – only with a difference. Schools and universities will transform to mobile and desktop screens then!