Monthly Archives: January 2005

Logic and rhetoric

People who come from a non-Western language background, have a much tougher time learning English. They do not have the Latin and Greek based vocabulary that is common to so many European languages.They have also not been exposed to the Western wa… Continue reading

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Vocabulary

The key to fluency and literacy is better control over vocabulary, both words and phrases. It is not the learning of grammar rules. But how is this best done? There are many people who have studied English for ten or more years and have very poor … Continue reading

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Zhuangzi’s crooked tree

Zhuangzi’s Crooked Tree Huizi said to Zhuangzi, “This old tree is so crooked and rough that it is useless for lumber. In the same way, your teachings have no practical use.” Zhuangzi replied, “This tree may be useless as lumber, but you could rest… Continue reading

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Multiculturalism

Even though I speak nine languages I am quite opposed to multiculturalism, or at least the ideology of multicultualism. The ideology of multiculturalism in Western countries promotes the position that immigrants should hold on to their ancestral c… Continue reading

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The psychological factor

Some people learn faster than others. Some people pronounce better than others. Why is this? I am more and more convinced that it is a matter of attitude rather than talent. There is something that good language learners have in common. They can l… Continue reading

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Conversation class

We had a conversation class tonight with about 20 English learners, in Blenz cafe on the corner of Richards and Hastings in Vancouver. It has been raining hard the last few days and I am concerned about the snow conditions in the nearby mountains,… Continue reading

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Context

A key to understanding anything in a second language is being familiar with the context. There are many ways to become more familiar with context. Actually living the experience is the best but is not always possible. That is why extensive reading… Continue reading

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