Lindo’s Story – Why I Want My Son to Learn English | Studycat

A mum with drive and a call for change

I have a three year old son who was going to creche before the lockdown started so it’s been a priority for me to keep him learning at home. I decided it was time he started to learn English because I want to enrol him in an English school and it’s important that he can relate to people and understand instruction when he gets there.

I think education needs to change now, we need different skills and it doesn’t prepare us properly. It doesn’t train your brain to think outside of the box. For example, entrepreneurship in school often consists of children bringing items in that their parents have bought for them to sell.  My friend who home-schools does this differently – she makes things with her children instead. They have to create the things they sell and they have to include the cost of materials when they calculate the profit they made, so she teaches them basic business skills that way.

What should the future of education look like?

We need to have more of thiideas for the future of educations in schools so that children can start to understand the fundamentals of business from early on. We also need to encourage children to think independently and take responsibility for their work. If our education system had more of this, it would prepare children better for the next phase of their life, whether that is work or higher education. At the moment there is too much of a gap between what’s expected of children at high school and what’s expected when we get to university.

When I went to university I did a BSS Political science and law degree and also completed my LLB. When I got to varsity, there was nothing that was related to high school. As a result, I barely made it through my first year in my eyes. I didn’t fail but my highest mark that year was in the 60s, and that was me trying my best. But everything was new to me, not just the information I was learning but how I was learning it.

In school we didn’t type assignments, we didn’t use Moodle or anything like that, and we had teachers to nag us, discipline us, help us. In school in South Africa, the pass rate for most subjects is 30% (for English it’s 40%). In university it is 50%, and you don’t have teachers there to nag you, discipline you and keep you on track. In university, it is up to you, and I feel we could do more to prepare children for that. I want my son to know how to take responsibility for himself. It’s important to me that he has opportunities, and learning English is important for that. I also want him to understand what is expected of him in the workplace, what skills are required and how he should conduct himself. If schools can do more to give children that knowledge, it will be a big help.

I also want him to have outside interests. Life is not all about education. I have two degrees and may need to retrain again to increase my employment opportunities so it’s clear to me that traditional education is not always the answer. It’s important to me that my son is happy and that education is not forced on him. I want him to love learning.

Priorities – learning English, maths and phonics

Apart from learning English, I look on YouTube for videos to help me with phonics and maths. EnglishIt’s important for my son to learn information in context so he becomes aware of his routine, his environment and his actions. This will help him understand the world around him. I found Fun English on the App Store and it has helped us so much. The app is great for him, he can work through the levels and it keeps him really engaged, which means I can relax a bit and know that he’s having fun learning. It makes my life super easy.

Eventually, I want him to speak more than just two languages, it is very important for the brain and will help him later on in life. I want him to be able to learn French, German – whatever he can get his hands on!

Even if schools open again soon in South Africa, I won’t take him back to his creche. I would rather wait it out until it’s safe. In the meantime, I’d like him to learn English and I want to also explore where his other interests lie. He’s a digital child, he likes computers so I will look for ways to teach him coding. I just want to feed his brain with everything possible, make sure he learns as much as he can and has as much fun as possible while he does it.

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Learn English meaning of vitamins – Vitamins

Marni:  Oh, my goodness. My pill case… I don’t know where it is…

Jessica:  What? Why do you take so many pills?

Marni:  It’s not pills, per se. It’s just vitamins. I take a lot of supplements.

Jessica:  To get extra minerals in your diet?

Marni:  I like to take fish oil because I believe it’s going to keep me young. And I take probiotics because I think it’s good for your digestion. And I take a lot of vitamin D, because we don’t get a lot of sun here.

Jessica:  Wow.

Marni:  And I take lots of calcium and magnesium and all that stuff.

Jessica:  My goodness. I just take a multivitamin. I sometimes worry that I’m going to exceed my RDA, my recommended daily allowance.

Marni:  Oh, really? I just take as much as I want. I don’t ever worry about that.

Jessica:  I focus on my diet and hope that what I’m eating will then absorb into my body the way minerals do.

Marni:  I just feel like if I don’t take all these supplements, I just am missing something. I just feel like covering all of my bases that way.

Jessica:  Maybe I should look into this a little bit more.

Marni:  Maybe you should. Maybe I should take less. Maybe we’ll learn from each other.

This content was originally published here.


4 doctor jokes – Fun English – Learn English with a laugh! – Learn Hot English

Fun English – 4 doctor jokes so you can learn English with a laugh!

When was the last time you went to see a doctor?

Did anything funny happen? Quite often, there are language confusions with doctors and nurses… especially if you’re in a foreign country. For example, something funny happened to me once when I went to see a doctor while I was in France.

After talking to me for a few minutes, the doctor asked me to “sit up straight”. My French wasn’t very good at the time, and I understood “raise your right shoulder”. So, I raised my right shoulder. She just looked at me as if I were crazy and repeated her command. In the end, I understood her and sat up straight. 

Anyway, just for a bit of fun, here are 4 doctor jokes so you can learn English with a laugh!


BUT… before listening, make sure you understand these words and phrases:

A goat

An animal about the size of a sheep with horns and a beard

A kid

Two meanings: a) a baby goat; b) a young child

A needle

A sharp piece of metal for sewing (joining pieces of material together), or for giving injections

I see your point

Two meanings: a) I understand you; b) I can see the sharp end of the object you are holding

4 doctor jokes

1 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m invisible.

Doctor: Who said that?

2 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m a goat!

Doctor: How long have you felt like this?

Patient: Since I was a kid!

3 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I’m going to die in 51 seconds!

Doctor: I will be with you in a minute!

4 Patient: Doctor! Doctor! I think I’m a needle!

Doctor: Mmm… yes. I see your point!

This content was originally published here.


Save the Date for Our Online Conference this Fall! – Learn French Online

Bonjour mes amis,

What a year it has been. As educators, we found ourselves in a unique position. School closures made us get creative with how we teach our students. Online/remote learning became necessary, and so did our ability to adapt to an unprecedented situation.

With this in mind, we decided to host an online French teacher conference with teachers from all over the United States. At French in DC, we have been compiling a nationwide French teacher database, which allows us to connect with teachers in 20+ states (plus DC) so far!

During our conference (August 1-2 2020, a Saturday and Sunday) we will have presentations, keynote speakers, and an online forum that will allow us to share our ideas on how to teach during school closures. In addition, it will be free, so you have nothing to lose by joining us.

Please send us an e-mail (under ‘Contact Us’ tab) if you are interested, or if you are a French teacher who is interested in presenting. À bientôt !

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Mandarin Lessons for Your Future Travels

Cover photo by Dongrui Yu

As the Middle Kingdom protects and heals itself during the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to share stories with you of the real people of China – the people that make this country so beautiful. Before we can welcome you back here in person, we want to bring the people to you. These stories illustrate the deep complexity, humanity, and beauty that resides across this vast nation, and we hope that by sharing stories of people with you, you’ll get to know a different side of China. This is #OurChina, from the #PeopleOfChina.

Although we can’t welcome overseas travelers here just yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t share insights into what you can expect when we can show you the Middle Kingdom. Read on the learn more about how Mandarin impacts daily life in China, and get ready to remember some phrases that will make your future journey remarkable. 

Article and photos by Daniel Lal. Follow him on Instagram: @indiandan04

“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is…” – Marcel Proust 

We travel to explore cultures that make our common sense feel not-so-common. We travel to learn that the world can turn differently without falling off its axis. We travel to discover how far from the truth our stereotypes of other cultures are.    

Languages affect cultures, which affect our viewpoints – our conclusions, beliefs, values, and behavior. The way we view a common concept could be completely different in another culture just because of the language we speak. This is a glimpse of Chinese culture through the eyes of its national language. 

Finding Mandarin Within the Daily Chinese Culture

Chūnjié, China’s Spring Festival that is sometimes referred to as the Chinese New Year, is based on the lunar calendar. A moon-based viewpoint of time will be cyclical as the moon goes through its different phases, whereas the solar-based viewpoint of time simply considers whether the sun is up or down. Although modern Chinese culture has no problem understanding the Western linear viewpoint of time, the traditional Chinese concept of time is cyclical. 

Fireworks celebrating the Spring Festival. Image by Daniel Lal

If today is Monday and you ask someone in English, “Are you free on Tuesday?”, they will likely respond: “You mean tomorrow?” Our view of immediate time includes yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Beyond that, we’re pulling out our calendars. 

If today is Monday and you ask someone in Mandarin, “Are you free on Wednesday?”, they will likely respond, “You mean the day after tomorrow?”, and they’ll respond that way for the exact same reason. 

In English, “the day after tomorrow” isn’t a concept that needs to be classified with one word. In Mandarin, each day in a week-long window has its own word: 

This is just one example of how language can affect cultural norms. Here are some other ways that Chinese culture can be seen through Mandarin, and vice-versa. 

Mandarin Moments for Your Travel Photos 

1. Héxié (和谐) – usually translated as “harmony” but generally referring to peaceful coexistence.  

The concept of héxié has thoroughly influenced Chinese culture for centuries. In medicine, it is eating foods that maintain a heat-cold balance. In religious beliefs, it accepts fate as an undeniable universal force. In architecture, it is symmetry in design and with nature.  

Photo: Grab a shot of people interacting with nature, or of a building in a natural setting, some of the clearest versions of héxié you’ll find. 

Woman feeding seagulls. Image by Daniel Lal

2. Jítǐzhǔyì (集体主义) – collectivism, the importance of a group over the individual. 

Chinese culture revolves around a sense of belonging and sharing, so while lumping an individual into a group is potentially offensive for Westerners – for example, nǐmen wàiguórén, literally meaning “you foreigners,” as if we’re all the same – the thinking behind that type of phrase carries no disrespect.   

Photo: Grab a shot of people eating family-style even though they aren’t from one single family.  

3. Xiàoshūn (孝顺) – a high regard for parents and ancestors, roughly translated as “filial piety.”  

It’s said that if a person has to choose between caring for parents or children, they must choose the parents. For this reason, many young parents work long secular hours so they can care both for their children and their parents. As a result, grandparents often raise the children.  

Photo: Grab a shot of grandparents caring for grandchildren, a common sight in China. 

Grandma and granddaughter. Image by Daniel Lal

4. Miànzi (面子) – a word that literally means “face” or “surface” but also implies “appearance” or “reputation.”  

If you say anything at all in Mandarin, your Chinese will receive very high praise because miànzi is important and not necessarily because you’re Mandarin is good (sorry). The compliments elevate you (called giving miànzi), and if you reject the compliment by saying nǎli nali, which literally means “Where? Where?”, implying there is no one within earshot deserving of those compliments, you will increase your miànzi 

Photo: Say ‘hello’ nǐhǎo, then grab a shot of someone excitedly complimenting you, an instance of receiving miànzi. 

5. Rénqing (人情) – the principle behind hospitality and relationship building that involves balance and virtue.   

Most people within Chinese culture are genuinely kind and unselfish, so don’t read this next thought the wrong way: rénqing is a social credit system. The ‘balance’ part is the balance between two parties, not within society. Even when someone does something nice for you without hoping to get something back, the concept of rénqing says you owe them.  

Photo: Grab a shot of street vendors who go out of their way to help someone, hoping for a purchase in return. 

Extra credit: If they say something to you in English, give them miànzi by saying: nǐ de yīngwén hén hǎo, which means “You’re English is good,” even if it isn’t. 

Behold Chinese Culture Through Mandarin Eyes 

To travel is to reach out to other humans and understand the world and its variety of cultures the way they really are. The long and illustrious history of Chinese culture is best understood and appreciated within its original context, so why not read more about the language here before setting yourself the task of learning just a little bit more? 

Get in touch with us today if you’re dreaming of visiting in the future and we can talk you through everything you need to know. If you’re already in China, we can help you to travel sooner, so ask us a question anytime. 

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Penn study shows telemedicine offers a barrier for those who don’t speak English

She had tried to call a city health clinic to get asthma medicine for the teenage girl, but was directed to set up a medical appointment through video chat — a big hurdle, as the family lived in a shelter and had no high-speed internet. What’s more, the instructions were in English, and the woman, an immigrant from Guatemala, did not speak the language well.

As with so many other aspects of life during the pandemic, the field of health care has shifted the bulk of its interactions to computer screens and mobile phones — the practice known as telemedicine. It can be an effective substitute for an in-person visit, except when patients lack the necessary technology or have trouble using it.

In a group of 2,940 patients scheduled for outpatient cardiology visits between March 16 and April 17, those who spoke limited or no English were half as likely as English-speaking patients to “show up” for their video or phone consultation.

Income also appeared to play a role in access to care. People from zip codes with a median household income below $50,000 were half as likely to use video to see the doctor when compared with zip codes with a median income above $100,000. Instead, they opted for a consultation by phone call, said Penn cardiology fellow Lauren A. Eberly, one of the study’s authors.

Medical appointments via phone call are far better than none at all. But the addition of video may allow physicians and nurses to gain more insight into a patient’s condition, Eberly said. They can see patients’ pill bottles, for example, ensuring that they have an adequate supply and are not taking medicines that might interfere with each other.

The clinic already provided translation services during video consultations, but arranging them was a cumbersome, multi-step process that had to be set up in advance, said cardiologist Srinath Adusumalli, the study’s senior author. The center’s tech wizards are developing a new platform that will allow patients to select the appropriate language on the spot, he said.

As for those with limited internet access, Penn has applied for funds to help patients obtain broadband coverage, and also is exploring the possibility of installing telemedicine kiosks. These units could be installed at a grocery store or a recreation center, with a curtain or door for privacy, Adusumalli said.

This content was originally published here.


Learn English meaning of ‘apple pie a la mode’ – Apple Pie a la Mode

Romeo:  Grandmama’s apple pie a la mode.

Romeo:  Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it.

Dominique:  I can’t do it with the ice cream, though, so I guess that wouldn’t make it a la mode, right?

Romeo:  You can’t do apple pie with ice cream?

Dominique:  No. Because I like to eat my apple…

Dominique:  Actually, I am.

Romeo:  Oh! Well, then there it is there. Yeah, you’re missing out. I mean, at least you can have the home-baked apple pie with the crust and…

Dominique:  Oh yes!

Romeo:  I know, right? Just sliced up real nice and just warm…

Dominique:  The Granny Smith apples… so delicious!

Romeo:  Yeah, yeah. I mean, whose other apples would you want?

Dominique:  Some people use the red apples.

Romeo:  That’s so wrong.

Dominique:  It is.

Romeo:  That’s just apple pie a la rude.

Dominique:  Totally disrespectful.

Romeo:  I guess what I’m saying is… Would you like to go meet my grandma and have some apple pie?

Dominique:  All right! Let’s do it.

Romeo:  It’s a date.

This content was originally published here.


Learn English meaning of ‘student loans’ – Student Loans

Kelsey:  Hey Andy, I have great news! I just got approved for an income-based repayment for my student loans.

Andy_H:  That’s fantastic! Well, I’m really glad that you’re making headway on getting those payments paid!

Kelsey:  Yeah, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety over getting them paid off, and even with this repayment plan, I still have a bit of fear about it.

Andy_H:  Well, you know, I understand where people can get really anxious about needing to pay off their student loans, but take me, for example. I understood that, when I was young I needed to go to college, which was a huge expense but instead of looking at it as some kind of necessary evil, I focused on how this was an investment in my future.

Kelsey:  You know, I do agree with that. I really value the education I got. I just wish I didn’t have to work two jobs right now to pay it all off.

Andy_H:  And I feel you, sister. I am working my tail off, but when I think of where I am right now, it really makes me happy that there were these kinds of establishments that allowed me to borrow money so that I could get an education, even if they are really expensive.

This content was originally published here.


Alexa, I want to learn English: Pearson India launches MyPedia Alexa skill to help enhance English vocabulary – The Financial Express

To get started say “Alexa, open MyPedia”, or simply “Alexa, I want to learn English”.To get started say “Alexa, open MyPedia”, or simply “Alexa, I want to learn English”.

Amazon Alexa has become the new destination to learn English, literally. Early this week, digital learning firm Pearson India introduced an interactive skill on Amazon Alexa for students and learners of all age groups to learn English. The Pearson MyPedia skill offers a collection of engaging stories coupled with fun facts, trivia, quizzes and rewards. The interactive format of the skill can help improve English vocabulary, listening, speaking, comprehension, and storytelling. To get started say “Alexa, open MyPedia”, or simply “Alexa, I want to learn English”.

The MyPedia skill is designed to enhance the interest of students in the English language. The stories used in the skill can inspire them to be authors and be imaginative while writing in English. The skill’s simple voice interface can enable students to learn in an interactive manner, at their own pace. The MyPedia skill can be accessed on all Amazon Echo smart speakers, Echo Show smart displays, as well as the Alexa app for smartphones.

In the current lockdown situation, as students spend more time at home, the MyPedia Alexa skill can help them make the most of this unique learning environment. It provides a holistic approach for students to build their language skills from home, for greater goals outside academic achievements.

“Our teams are constantly working to add new features and experiences so that the Alexa voice service is more relevant and useful for users. The combination of interactive learning and the simplicity of voice interactions with Alexa will make this (Pearson MyPedia skill) a fun experience for users of all age groups,” said Puneesh Kumar, country manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, Amazon India.

MyPedia Reader is a story book, a guide and a game book for learners to enable them to be more imaginative while writing their stories in the English language. It shares rich and diverse stories by students stemming from their own experiences, issues and aspirations. The stories are selected by celebrated authors and educationists which are narrated through students’ viewpoint and perspective. It will prompt the students to ‘think critically’ and ‘write creatively’.

The story book is also available in Amazon Kindle store which you can purchase and read at your own leisure.

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Learn English meaning of ‘squirrels’ – Squirrels

Jessica:  Andy, I keep seeing squirrels everywhere. I don’t know if it’s the weather shift or what’s going on, but they are so adorable.

Andy_H:  Well, Jessica, I’ve seen a lot of squirrels. I’ve seen plenty in America: black squirrels, grey squirrels, thin-tailed squirrels, bushy-tailed squirrels.

Jessica:  Wow!

Andy_H:  They can be really intelligent and fascinating, and they can also be a real pain sometimes.

Jessica:  I didn’t know there were so many different types of squirrels!

Andy_H:  There’s a multitude in America, depending on where you live. And in fact, there are a bunch of squirrels living in a tree in my backyard, and they have no hesitation throwing nuts down at us while we sit down and try to enjoy a picnic.

Jessica:  Yeah, they aren’t very predictable. We have a big tree in our backyard, too. And sometimes, they’re antisocial and leave us alone, but sometimes, they’ll run right up and bother us. But they are really cute. I just need to remember not to reach out and pet them.

Andy_H:  You definitely don’t want to do that. They will act on instinct, and they may hurt you.

Jessica:  Oh, that is true! Thanks for the warning.

This content was originally published here.