Friday, February 19, 2016

MUET SPEAKING TEST MARCH SESSION 2016



DEAR READERS

MUET SPEAKING TEST MARCH SESSION IS AROUND THE CORNER. HERE IS SAMPLE OF MUET QUESTIONS COMPILED BY NAOMI JAMBUNATHAN WHO IS TEACHING IN SARAWAK. SPECIAL THANKS TO HER FOR HER GREAT EFFORT IN COMPILING THE QUESTIONS  TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE SITTING FOR THE COMPONENT.

Check in out :

http://badukang.blogspot.my/2013/10/muet-8002-speaking-questionstheme-crime.html
http://badukang.blogspot.my/2013/10/compilation-of-past-muet-speaking-test.html
http://badukang.blogspot.my/2013/10/compilation-of-past-muet-speaking.html
http://badukang.blogspot.my/2013/10/compilation-of-past-muet-speaking_23.html


HIGHLANDER.

     

Thursday, February 11, 2016

33 Ways to Speak Better English- British English Coach

33 ways to speak better English – without taking classes


If you’re reading this, I imagine you want to communicate with confidence and competence in English.
When we communicate effectively we are able to express our ideas and opinions, share experiences, and build relationships with others. When we struggle to express ourselves, we feel unvalued and insecure. As human beings, we want to participate in group discussions and have an impact on the society around us.
In the modern world, we communicate across borders. English is the closest thing we have to an international language.
By speaking better English, people all over the world can hear our voice. But, to speak better English, you need a teacher, don’t you? You need to take English classes, right?
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Well, English teachers and English classes definitely help. But, studying English for a few hours a week may not improve your spoken English very much.
What you need is to become a self-directed learner, somebody who takes responsibility for their own learning and creates their own learning programme to develop their English.
Now, it’s certainly true that speaking is a social activity and is best done with other people. However, you could say the same about many activities.  Leo Messi became a wonderful football player because he spent hours every day for many years practising by himself.
You can do the same with your English. Here are 33 ways to speak better English, without going to classes.
1. Record yourself speaking English. Listening to yourself can be strange at first but you get used to it. Listen to a recording of a fluent English speaker (a short audio file) and then record yourself repeating what they said. Compare the difference and try again. Humans are natural mimics so you will find yourself getting better and better. Soundcloud is an excellent tool for voice recording as you or your teacher can make notes about your errors.
2. Read aloud, especially dialogue. Reading aloud is not the same as speaking naturally. However, it is very useful for exercising the vocal muscles. Practise for 5 or 10 minutes a day and you will begin to notice which sounds are difficult for you to produce. Find transcripts of natural dialogues, such as these here, and practise acting them with a friend, you will also learn common phrases which we use when speaking.
3. Sing along to English songs while you’re driving or in the shower. The lyrics to pop songs are often conversational so you can learn lots of common expressions by listening to them. Humans are also able to remember words when used together with music which is why it is difficult to remember poems but easy to remember the words to songs. Here are some songs to get started with.
4. Watch short video clips and pause and repeat what you hear. YouTube is an amazing resource for language learners and you probably already have your favourite clips. My advice is to watch short clips and really study them. With longer videos, you may find your attention wanders. The key to improving by watching videos is to really listen carefully and use the pause button to focus on sounds and words. Many YouTube videos now have captions.
5. Learn vowel and consonant sounds in English. The Phonemic chart is a list of the different vowel and consonant sounds in English. Learning how to make these sounds and then using them to pronounce words correctly will really help you speak English clearly. This is a great resource from the British Council.
6. Learn and identify schwa. What is schwa you might be asking? Well, it’s the most common sound in English: Click here. We use it all the time in words like ‘teacher’ and ‘around’.
7. Learn about weak and strong forms of common words. When you know about the ‘schwa’ sound, you will listen to native speakers in a different way. English is a stress-timed language which means that we use a combination of strong and weak forms of some words. For example, which words do we stress in the following sentence?
I want to go for a drink tonight.
How do native speakers pronounce to / for / a in the sentence? We use the schwa sound so it sounds like:
I wanna go ferra drink tenigh.
Learn how and when to use weak forms and your speaking will improve overnight. You will also learn to focus on stressed words when listening to fast, native-speaker English and you will finally be able to understand us!
8. Learn about word stress. When words have more than one syllable, we stress one or more of them. For example, the word intelligent has four syllables but which syllable do we stress? Click here to find out. Remember that the small vertical mark above the word identifies the stressed syllable: /ɪnˈtel.ɪ.dʒənt/
9. Learn about sentence stress. Sentence stress refers to the word or words we stress in a phrase of a sentence. When we stress a word, we help the listener understand what is important. If we stress the wrong word or don’t stress the key word, the listener may get confused or not realise what is important in the sentence. A few years ago, I enrolled in a gym. I was asked to attend an introductory class at ‘five to six‘. The Hungarian receptionist stressed the word ‘six‘ so I arrived at 5.55. She looked at me and told me that I was late and the class had nearly finished. She should have stressed ‘five‘ and ‘six‘ so would have understood that the class lasted for one hour and began at 5pm! For more on sentence stress, read here.

10. Identify fixed and semi-fixed phrases and practise them. Fixed phrases usually contain between 3 and 7 words and include items like:
to be honest
in a moment
on the other hand
A conversation is made of grammatical structures, vocabulary and fixed or semi-fixed phrases. In fact, to tell the truth , on the whole, most of the time, my friends and I , communicate with each other in a series of fixed and semi-fixed expressions.
Learn the communicative function of these phrases and practise how to pronounce them (remember weak forms, which words are stressed) and use them in your everyday conversation. Click here for a list of 1000 common phrases.
11. Learn about collocations. Words don’t like being alone. They prefer to hang out with their friends and, just like people, some words form close friendships and other never speak to each other.
Yellow doesn’t get on well with hair. Maybe yellow is jealous of blond because blond and hair are frequently seen out together having a great time. Yellow doesn’t understand why hair prefers blond because yellow and blond are so similar.
Listen carefully for common combinations of words. Short and small have similar meanings but people have short hair not small hair. High and tall are often not so different but people have high hopes but not tall hopes. Foxes are sly not devious. Hours can be happy but are never cheerful. Idiots are stupid but rarely silly.
12. Replace regular verbs with phrasal verbs. Many learners of English don’t understand why native speakers use so many phrasal verbs where there are normal verbs (usually with Latin roots) which have the same meaning. English was originally a Germanic language which imported lots of Latin vocabulary after the Norman conquest in the 11th century. Regardless of the historical factors, the fact is that native English speakers use lots and lots of phrasal verbs. If you want to understand us, then try to include them in your conversation. If you make a mistake, you’ll probably make us laugh but you are unlikely to confuse us as we can usually guess what you want to say from the context. Phrasal verbs are spatial and originally referred to movement so when you learn a new one, make physical movements while saying them to help you remember.
13. Learn short automatic responses. Many of our responses are automatic (Right, OK, no problem, alright, fine thanks, just a minute, you’re welcome, fine by me, let’s do it!, yup, no way! you’re joking, right?, Do I have to? etc.) Collect these short automatic responses and start using them.
14. Practise telling stories and using narrative tenses. Humans are designed to tell stories. We use the past simple, past continuous and past perfect for telling stories but when the listener is hooked (very interested), they feel like they are actually experiencing the story right now. So, we often use present tenses to make our stories more dramatic!
15. Learn when to pause for effect. Speaking quickly in English does not make you an effective English speaker. Knowing when to pause to give the listener time to think about what you have said, respond appropriately, and predict what you are going to say does. Imagine you’re an actor on a stage, pausing keeps people interested. Great strategy if you need to speak English in public.
16. Learn about chunking. Chunking means joining words together to make meaningful units. You don’t need to analyse every word to use a phrase. Look at the phrase: Nice to meet you. It’s a short phrase (4 words) which can be remembered as a single item. It is also an example of ellipsis (leaving words out) because the words ‘It’  and ‘is’ are missing at the beginning of the phrase. However, we don’t need to include them.  Learn more here.
17. Learn about typical pronunciation problems in your first language. Japanese learners find it difficult to identify and produce ‘r‘ and ‘l‘ sounds; Spanish don’t distinguish between ‘b‘ and ‘v‘; Germans often use a ‘v‘ sound when they should use a ‘w‘. Find out about the problems people who speak your first language have when speaking English and you will know what you need to focus on.
18. Choose an accent you like and imitate it. We often have an emotional connection with certain nationalities. Do you have more of an interest in British culture or American culture? Do you support Manchester United or Arsenal?  Deciding what variety of English you want to learn is your first step.
19. Find an actor/actress you like and identify what makes them powerful speakers. Do you want to sound like Barack Obama, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Homes) Beyonce or Steve Jobs? If you want to sound like David Beckham, I advise you to reconsider, unless you want to sound like a young girl!
20. Use a mirror and / or a sheet of paper for identifying aspirated and non-aspirated sounds. Aspirated sounds are those with a short burst of here, such as ‘p‘ in ‘pen, and unaspirated sounds have no or little air, such as the ‘b‘ in ‘Ben‘. Watch this video to learn more.
21. Practise tongue twisters. Tongue twisters are phrases designed to improve your pronunciation of particular sounds. Here is a list for kids but it’s great fun.  Have a go now.Try saying this phrase quickly:
What a terrible tongue twister. What a terrible tongue twister. What a terrible tongue twister.
22. Practise spelling names, numbers and dates aloud. This may seem very basic to some of you but if you don’t practise, you forget how to say them.Have a go here at numbers here and at place names here.
23. Learn about common intonation patterns. Intonation (when the pitch of the voice goes up and down) is complex in English but it is very important as it expresses the feeling or emotion of the speaker. Here is an amusing introduction to intonation.
24. Learn about places of articulation. The articulators are the parts of the mouth we use to turn sound into speech. They can be fixed parts (the teeth, behind the teeth and the roof of the mouth) and mobile parts (the tongue, the lips, the soft palate, and the jaw). Click here for more information.
25. After looking at places of articulation, practise making the movements that native speakers use when they speak. Here’s a video and remember to open the jaws, move the lips and get your tongue moving!
26. Learn why English is a stress-timed language. The rhythm of the language is based on stressed syllables so we shorten the unstressed syllables to fit the rhythm. Syllable-timed languages (such as Spanish) take the same time to pronounce each syllable. Here’s an explanation which might explain why you speak English like a robot or watch this funny clip here.
27. Learn how to interrupt and interject politely and successfully. Click here for a list of interrupting phrases.
28. Learn about ellipsis, assimilation and linking sounds.
29. Speak lower not higher. Studies show that you command attention and demonstrate authority with a deeper vocal tone, especially men. This is particularly important if you have to speak in public. Here is a quick guide.
30. Listen and read along to poetry (or rap songs) to practise the rhythm of English. Limericks (short, funny, rhyming poems) are really useful and demonstrate how English is stress-timed and how we use weak forms.
31. Learn exclamation words and fillers. Watch this video or study this list of 100 common exclamations here.
32. Learn how to paraphrase. Paraphrasing is when we repeat what we have just said to make it clear to the listener or when we repeat what the other person has said by using different words. Here are a few to get started.
33. Use contractions more. Contractions make your speech more efficient because they save time and energy. Say ‘should not’ and then say ‘shouldn’t’: which is easier to say? Very common in fluent speech.
Now, here’s your CALL TO ACTION.
In the next 33 days, spend 15 minutes every day on one of the tips. I’m sure you’ll notice a huge improvement.
And maybe one day you’ll speak English like Messi plays football! 

http://britishenglishcoach.com/33-ways-to-speak-better-english-without-taking-classes/

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Unemployed because they can't speak English - http://www.nst.com.my



             THE announcement by the government to introduce the new dual-language programme (DLP), as the added educational component to the government’s high-immersion programme (HIP) initiative helmed by the government’s Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) last year, received an overwhelming response from parents of schoolgoing children and would-be schoolgoing children, educationists, businesses and groups that have a stake in the development of education. It gives many of us hope that changes to the government’s education policy have ended. Under DLP, schools can teach Science, Mathematics, Information Technology and Communication, as well as Design and Technology, in English or Bahasa Malaysia. In its initial stage of implementation, only 300 schools are involved. This number will increase over time. Nonetheless, parents and their children can decline the offer to go to DLP schools. The idea is to check the falling standard of English in schools and raise the standard of education in national schools. It is hoped that our young citizens, after completing their primary education, those who complete secondary schools after 11 years of studies, and in particular, university graduates, will achieve an acceptable standard of mastery of the English language and be ready to start work.  The problem that we have now, where more than 400,000 graduates are unemployed, most of them Malays and mostly because they can’t speak English, according to a study by Pemandu, will be addressed. No graduate will remain unemployed anymore because of their poor command of English. Nonetheless, things are not going smoothly as many thought and hoped for. Due to pressure by political groups and non-governmental organisations, such as, Persatuan Penulis Nasional Malaysia (Pena), and language nationalists, there are objections to the introduction of DLP in national schools. The say DLP will relegate the importance of the national language and introduce yellow culture. Some even feel that DLP threatens the country’s national identity.  Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), a recently formed opposition political party comprising mostly members of a Pas breakaway group, voiced its objection and is planning to organise a demonstration to oppose DLP. They believe that with the introduction of DLP, the country will make the young embrace the colonised mentality that we saw during the British occupation. This is an argument, which, to many, is absurd. For a party with a large number of Malay professionals, I wonder what is happening to Amanah’s progressive stance. Their stand is disappointing to most of us who had hopes for Amanah to raise the educational level. We have given up on them. Given their stand, and if it is allowed to happen, we will see no progress. PKR and Pas are standing their ground, as expressed by their leaders to maintain the education policy and system that has Bahasa Malaysia, the national language, as the lingua franca in national schools. This is viewed as stagnation, at best, in our standard of education and, therefore, we will also see no progress. I am not surprised to see hypocrisy being practised by high-profile opposition members, who send their children to international schools, despite their stand against the use of English in national schools. Since DLP is optional, no one should have any worry or feel threatened by its implementation, and parents can keep their children in non-DLP national schools, if they object to it. Many of us now are not too sure if opposition parties are objecting to DLP just for the sake of objecting to any new government initiative, or it is just another one of their political ploys. DLP is about being pro gressive and being globally competitive. However, if the majority of people prefer to follow the advice and stand of opposition parties and they do not want the people in this country to be globally competitive, then, there’s no need to change anything. However, they should be prepared for a downfall due to our young’s education level, no progress in education, and be prepared to see more graduates unemployed. It is hoped that the government will maintain its stand on the implementation of DLP, have the commitment to ensure its success, and go for further progress and development for the good of the people. HUSSAINI ABDUL KARIM Shah Alam, Selangor

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/02/125529/unemployed-because-they-cant-speak-english