Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Book: English as a Foreign Language

A collocation is a pair of group of words that are often used together. These combinations sound natural to native speakers, but students of English have to make a special effort to learn them because they are often difficult to guess. Some combinations just sound ‘wrong’ to native speakers of English. For example, the adjective handsome collocates with men, but not with trees. Some collocations are fixed, or very strong, for example take a photo, where no word other than take collocates with photo or give the same meaning. Sometimes, a pair of words may not be absolutely wrong, and people will understand what is meant, but it may not be the natural, normal collocation. If someone says I did a few mistakes they will be understood, but a fluent speaker of English would probably say I made a few mistakes.
You need to learn collocations because they will help you to speak and write English in a more natural and accurate way. People will probably understand what you mean if you talk about ‘making your homework’ or say ‘My dad is a very high man’ but your language will sound unnatural and might perhaps confuse. Also, learning collocations will help you to increase your range of your vocabulary. For example, you’ll find it easier to avoid words like very or nice or beautiful or get by choosing a word that fits the context better and has a more precise meaning. This is particularly useful if you are taking a written exam in English and want to make a good impression on the examiners.

enhance or improve                               your appearance
have or get                                          a taboo done
have or get                                          a piercing, nose pierced
use/wear/apply/put on                           make up, cosmetics
sashay/ strut down                                the catwalk
pull on/off                                            coat, socks, gloves
wear                                                   perfume, accessories

freeze/open                                         a bank account
live on                                                 pension, a low wage, salary
inherit/amass                                        wealth, a fortune
earn                                                    a keep
extend/renew/terminate                          the lease/tenancy/contract
put                                                     your home/property on the market                                                                                       (sell)
survive/weather/experience/suffer            a recession/downtown
accumulate/incur/run up                         debts
retain                                                  customer/clients
face/be plunged into                              an economic crisis
combat/fight                                        inflation/unemployment

foster/strengthen                                             cooperation
exercise/defend                                               national sovereignty
provoke/spark                                                         criticism/discussion
bring down/overthrow/topple                                      the government
abolish/restore/topple                                               the monarchy
lead/spearhead                                               a campaign/movement
have seats                                                     in parliament
introduce/draw up/pass/adopt/draft                              a bill/law legislation
veto/oppose/vote against                                 a bill/proposal
perpetuate/conform to/fit/defy                          a common/negative stereotype
entrench/perpetuate                                        racist attitude
deport/repatriate                                             illegal immigrants
outlaw/end                                                     segregation
practice                                                         racial/religious tolerance/segregation
fear/escape from/flee                                                racial/political/religious persecution

get                                                               Aids/cancer/flu/cold
be infected with                                              a virus/HIV
feel                                                               ill/sick/nauseous/queasy
put on/rub on/apply                                        cream/lotion/ointment
dress/bandage/clean                                        a bullet wound
suffer/sustain                                                  an injury, a hairline fracture
have                                                             a fall/an injury
absorb/extract/release                                     nutrients

exercise/defend                                               national sovereignty
embrace/resist/drive                                        globalization
take on/do                                                     freelance work
raise/withdraw/overrule                                    an objection
lodge/file                                                       an appeal
carry/face/serve                                              a seven year life sentence
impose/enforce/lift                                          a curfew
house/resettle                                                          refugee
reject/accept/violet                                          a peace treaty
cut short                                                        a trip/holiday/vacation
train/equip/deploy                                           army/military/combat/unit
deploy/send/station/pull back                                     troops
enforce                                                         law/regulation

carve                                                            a figure/image/sculptor/relief
sculpt                                                            a status/an abstract figure
etch                                                              a line/pattern/design/name into the                                                                                        glass
install/place                                                    a sculptor on something
showcase/feature/promote                               a conceptual artist

The weather brightens/improves/worsens/breaks. (changes suddenly)
A storm breaks/passes/brews/abates (grow less strong)
The sun breaks through the clouds.
The sky clears/brightens up.
The clouds part/clear.
The rain holds off.
The wind dies down.
The mist/fog lifts or clears.
The sun warms/beats down on something.
The sunshine breaks/streams through something.
A fine mist hangs in the air.
Thunder rolls, rumbles, sounds, etc.
We forecast/expect/predict----- rain/snow.

A phobia is an extreme or unnatural fear of something.
Aichmophobia                                       fear of sharp or pointed object
Ailurophobia                               fear of cats
Brontophobia                              fear of thunder
Crystallophobia                           fear of glass
Kathisophobia                                       fear of sitting down
Kinosophobia                              fear of motion
Triskaidekaphobia                        fear of the number
Take notice of the following words that go together with the highlighted words.

Hi! Sameer,
We’re so glad we decided to take a holiday here. Yesterday we took a trip to the mountains. First we took a bus to a little village and got off when we saw one that we took a liking to. Of course, we were taking a risk as we didn’t know exactly we’d find there. But we were lucky. Some kids took an interest in us and showed us some great places. We took a lot of photos.
Have you done anything yet about your job? I’d take a chance and leave if I were you. No point in staying somewhere where the boss has taken a dislike to you! Take advantage of being in Kathmandu—there are always plenty of jobs there. You’ll soon find something else, so take action, that’s my advice! Good luck!

Physical appearance
The words that are likely to obstruct your understanding have been glossed below.

My father has a round face, with chubby cheeks and a droopy moustache. My mother has a more pointed face and a straight nose. My younger sister is more like my father. She has an oval face and an upturned nose. My older sister is like a model. She has a slim figure and a slender waist. She has a lovely complexion and beautiful sleek, waist-length hair, and she’s always immaculately groomed. If eel so ordinary next to her—I’ve got coarse hair and rather broad hips, but she always says I look nice.
a)    chubby    fat in a pleasant and attractive way
b)   droopy    long and hanging down heavily
c)    sleek       smooth and shiny

My father and my two older brothers are all well-built with broad shoulders. My father is going bald but he still has a very youthful appearance for someone who is over forty. My brothers both have thick hair and bushy eyebrows. My younger brother is only two—he’s just a tiny tot, but he’s very cute. My mother’s sides of the family mostly have dark hair—in fact my mother had jet-black hair when she was younger, before she went white—but on my father’s side some have fair hair and some have ginger hair.
a.    well-built = have strong, attractive bodies
b.    bushy = very thick
c.    tot = a small child
d.    jet-black hair = completely black
e.    ginger = a red or orange-brown colour; used of people’s hair

The following words are usually mispronounced by non-native speakers of English. The readers need to consult an up-to-date English dictionary.
aesthetic       apple            April             Asian            autopsy        aisle             bathe 
balloon                   behind          bouquet        cauliflower     council          cuisine          dais             
deity             delicious        depot           devil             elephant        exhibition       familiar
felicitate        gauge           geography     ghee             guardian        hammer        healthy
hurricane       increase        January         jeans            jersey           leopard         liaison
luxurious        majority        maternal        mature                   militia            newspaper     oblige
obtain           of                oil                orchard         pamphlet       paralysis        parent
penchant       pencil            phenomenon  phoenix         precious        photography  quiet
question        recitation       regime          release                   renaissance    registration    resort
résumé         risen             roster           salad            salon            salt               science
shaman         specific                   specimen       suggestion     suicide          Switzerland    thesis
threw            tomb            tortoise         used to         vacancy        vacation        vase            
vehicle          visa              women                  

                                                CREATIVE TEACHING TECHNIQUES

a)        A systematic Merit-Demerit Chart
          Unlike traditionally practised merit/demerit charts in the classroom, a teacher is          supposed to design an interesting chart that helps in classroom management. A sample      could be like this. A separate piece of paper containing criteria has to be pasted beside         the merit-demerit chart.

No. of stars
Criteria (evaluation at your convenience)
discipline at home/school or everywhere
studies (on the basis of term results or classroom performance)
regularity to school (weekly or monthly attendance record)
completion of assignment/active participation in ECAs/initiatives

Merits (stars in green ink)
Demerits (stars in red ink )





In case your students collect a certain number of merits, your students are entitled to claim one of the following items from the store room/office/school canteen/classroom.

required no. of merits
a novel/storybook/magazine worth Rs 200
colour pencil/sketch pens/geometry box worth Rs 150
chocolates/chart papers/ pens/ glitter pens
pencils/ book wrappers/ exercise books/
b) Passing the Objects
If a teacher himself/herself chooses a student to answer his or her question in class, the teacher is practicing a teacher-centred traditional approach. So, teachers are expected to call out a student’s roll no. promptly first. After the student does his or her part, the teacher should encourage the student to pass any classroom objects such as chalks, markers, dusters, pens to another student of his or her choice for an interesting practice.

c) Use of Symbolic Correction Technique
Underlining wrong words, sentences, paragraphs in red ink and overwriting correct answers in students’ exercise books kills students’ creativity and makes the pages of exercise books colourful. It rather looks ugly. A creative teacher himself/herself works less but makes students work harder and produces outstanding results every term. Take a look at the sample table below.
If a teacher is happy with the presentation of work
If a spelling is wrong
If a word order is not correct
If grammar is wrong
If the tense of a sentence is incorrect
A sample text-
One of my schoolmets (SP) phoned me last night. He had phoned me at around 8 pm when I was eating my dinner.                                                          (WG)
The correct one- One of my schoolmates phoned me last night. He had phoned me when I was eating my dinner. Or, one of my schoolmates phoned me last night. He phoned me at around 8 pm when I was eating my dinner. (Simple past takes definite time expressions such as today, yesterday, yesterday evening, last month etc. But past perfect takes indefinite time adverbs such as already, just, hardly etc.)
So, a teacher’s role is to pinpoint their mistakes for guidance. If you correct the answer, you’re leading your students.
d) Match-Stick Pictures
If you don’t have access to touch board screens or smart boards in your classrooms, for effective teaching you are required to make proper use of your creativity and the whiteboards/blackboards. You can simply draw match-stick pictures on the board which on the one hand reinforces teaching and on the other hand it injects a little entertainment into class.
Hi! Guys, this is Paul from Paris. I speak French and English. Can you speak French, eh? I think I’m the most handsome guy in the world, aren’t I? (humourous)

e) Word of the Day/Thought of the Day
A good teacher always makes his/her students curious for something new every day. A class teacher rather than subject teachers can start classes writing Word of the Day/Thought of the Day. If the teacher writes word of the day in the first lesson, students need to write as many words as they can by adding suffixes and prefixes. Also, they should write parts of speech. In the case of Thought of the Day, students need to elaborate on the thought.
For example, Word of the Day= ‘illustration’
illustrate= verb, illustrative=adjective, illustrator=noun (person), illustrious=adjective

f) Commitment Papers
Until and unless your students are attentive in class, no matter what techniques you apply doesn’t work. So one of the good techniques to stop students from misbehaving, you’ve got to print out commitment papers and ask them to put their signatures so that you can emotionally blackmail them. It can be a legal threat to them. It’s applicable to those students who belong to age group 10 to 14 years. A bit of strictness and rudeness isn’t that harmful.

g) Records of Students’ Profiles
Keeping records of students’ profiles helps a teacher study students’ family backgrounds, hereditary illness, contact address, likes and dislikes, academic status for comparison and future plans. So, records related to students’ all aspects are a must.

h) Identification of Students’ Personality
The students you teach weren’t born on the same day, at the same time and same place. They don’t possess same talent and quality either. Human brains have four parts: top left, bottom left, top right and bottom right. The students who use top left part of the brain most are very good at memorization. They can pursue their careers in medicine, engineering etc. On the other hand, students who use top right part of the brain cannot be compared with the one who uses the top left part of the brain. Every student has a personality by birth. It’s a teacher’s sole responsibility to nurture their talents and help them cultivate their own talents. Dividing students into four categories, giving them different sets of problems, question papers, project work and introducing different approaches in class are what a good teacher always does at school.

i) Quiz Contest in Class
In general, a quiz contest is understood to be a test of knowledge in a particular subject like sports, medicine, history, geography, politics etc. In order to make your students good at your subject, you can conduct indoor quiz contest of your subject but before promotional or annual examinations, questions from all subjects must be asked.

j) Innovation in Test Papers
Why can’t you do the same thing differently? Is it mandatory to write only Ram when you write a story? Is it mandatory to make students write essays on school, discipline, child rights, my aim, my family and so on. Let’s think of something that is beyond the horizon. Some students grow nervous as soon as they receive question papers during exams. If your question paper provokes some laughter, it will definitely help them overcome nervousness and do well in exams. Students’ names, their works of art, some animated pictures, and teachers’ creations can be entailed in question papers to relieve students’ anxiety. We teachers are to help them get ideas from others’ work. Contrarily, we are trying our students to be an imitator and attain full marks.

k) Exchange and Visitation Programs
A teacher’s clothing, regular presence and similar trend of teaching might indirectly impact on students’ outlook on teachers and their learning. Do you eat same kind of food every day? Of course, not. So, everyone expects new things every day. Besides a wide range of techniques in class, there can be a sudden change in the routine of teachers. If a visiting teacher enters your classroom, whole period your students don’t feel bored. You can go to your colleagues’ or friends’ school as a visiting faculty and so can they. If there is a disruptive student who usually gets on your nerves, you’d better establish a good rapport with him/her. If you contact his/her parents and pay him/her a few informal visits. The student doesn’t dare to breach any of classroom rules in your lesson or presence. Your relation with the particular child’s parents makes him/her feel uncomfortable while punishing.

l) Circle Time
Once a week or every fortnight, keep away your regular lessons, textbooks and exercise books. Just take your students somewhere out of the monotonous classroom. (I mean they sit in the same classroom, so they feel bored to be there.) Don’t let them know in advance where or why they are outside. They should be surprised. Choose a student to say a number. They can choose one number among 1, 2, and 3. You should have already written down the no. and topics. Topics could be debate, singing, cracking jokes, storytelling, sharing personal feelings, views on politics, history etc. After the circle time is over, they can be assigned a report on what they’ve done in circle time. It is an outlet to their personal sharing.

m) Small Scale Survey/Research
Concept of small scale research or survey should be started right at the tender age. As far as possible, students should be encouraged to carry out small scale survey/research on what are good facilities in a school, what are good qualities of a good student/teacher, how many students are vegetarian and non-vegetarian, how many like football, cricket, etc. Results should be announced in the assembly.

n) Choosing Motivating Topics
Force-feeding is likely to misfire. So, either do a survey or study students’ mentality about which chapter they are interested in. If you teach the chapter that students think is mundane. You may not be able to grab their attention. And all your effort goes in vain.

o) Step-by-Step Explanation
Long texts, paragraphs or passages affect students’ readability. Start teaching with small bits of text such as word clues, titles and subtitles, important lines, difficult vocabularies. Line by line explanation is like a maze for students. They get lost. Therefore, at the end of the class, a short summary makes them clear. There are many students who prefer lecture methods. But cross-questions, humours, movements of students are important in the middle of the lesson. If you’re teaching very young children or using handouts, please choose the text of moderate size with pictures or illustrations.

p) Prompt Decisions
As a class teacher or a subject teacher, you may have to cope with many confrontations, intellectual conflicts or disagreements among students. Whatever the case is, don’t let it be pending. You will lose their trust upon you. They won’t come to you for a second time seeking your help. Take the case and settle it to win their approval and credibility. This is a golden opportunity to show your leadership skills.

q) Students as Teachers
Your students are future nation builders. Why not give them a chance to enhance their potentiality? Sometimes, when there is a time to teach short and easy chapters, pick out a couple of smart students. Take them to the staff room or whenever they’re free, sit with them. Teach them how to teach the particular chapter in class being a teacher. Their ideas and your ideas should be merged. Let your students have a wonderful experience. Next time, other new students should be given chances.

r) Target Students
It is a human tendency that average or weak students anywhere are usually overlooked. For instance, when you watch a live football match, the scorer is highlighted but the one who makes such a beautiful pass is overshadowed. Is football an individual game? Of course, not. In teaching, competitions are for talented ones. What about those who are struggling to pass each term? Don’t they expect to be part of such platforms? It is you intellectual personality, teachers. You’ve to organize either outdoor or indoor pursuits to uplift the academic standards of average as well as struggling students. Then you’ll be a great teacher!

s) Prizes/Awards
Despite activities in class, some students remain passive. Why? Who are responsible for it? It’s none other than you teachers yourselves. Our students, especially young participants expect something as a prize. We teachers promise prizes, but with the passing of time, it is faded. But our students remember it. Next time they hesitate to partake in activities we organize. Let’s not dash young ones’ hopes. Ultimately, it affects our objectives.


Reinforcements in teaching are award and punishment practices. Both practices are intended for the enhancement of teaching and learning. If we look back, most of our teachers all over the world practised negative reinforcements to keep students in their grips. Of negative reinforcements, corporal punishment was dominant. It was widely used. Times have changed. Today, it is strictly prohibited in most of the countries. But the selection between positive reinforcements and negative reinforcements is still debatable. In my opinion, the first one overlaps the latter. The latter brings instant and momentary change. But the first one is steady and gradual which brings lifelong change in students. It’s the time of guiding not leading. In the past students were led, but today they are guided. Some of the reinforcements are as follows:
Positive Reinforcements:
  • Verbal praise
  • Stickers
  • Certificates
  • Appreciative notes to parents
  • Tangibles/edibles
  • Stamps
  • Positive notes on work
  • Free time for fun
  • First to Leave
  • Extra responsibilities
  • Greeting Cards
  • Green Cards Provisions (Appreciation)
Negative Reinforcements:

  Sit out at the back of class
  Send to buddy class
  Write out the rules
  Lunch detention
  Send to time-out room
  Verbal reprimand
  Send to DI/Co-ordinator
  Change seating position
  Call to parents
  Withdrawal of privileges
  Overstay at school
  Deprivation of activities
  Overload of assignments
  Yellow card provision(as a warning)
Vocabulary Test
Group A
acuity                                       fecund
delineate                                    fiat
depraved                                    figment
emend                                       garner
enervate                                    hallow
From the words in Group A and Group B following. Choose the one that most nearly corresponds to each definition below. Write the word in the space.
a.    (v.) to portray, sketch, or describe in accurate and vivid detail; to represent pictorially ________________
b.    (v.) to set apart as holy or sacred, sanctify, consecrate; to honour greatly, revere _______________
c.    (n.) to correct; to alter to serve a new or different purpose
d.    (n.) a fabrication of the mind; an arbitrary notion just a
e.    (n.) an arbitrary order or decree; a command or act of will or consciousness ­­­­­­­_________
f.     (adj.) intended for or understood by only a select few, private, secret ________
g.    (n.) sharpness (particularly of the mind or senses) _________
h.    (v.) to acquire as the result of effort; to gather and store away, as for future use _________
i.      (adj.) fruitful in offspring or vegetation; intellectually productive ____________
j.     (v.) to weaken, lessen the mental, moral, or physical vigor of, enfeeble, hamstring ________
k.    (adj.) brought to a state of evil and corruption, devoid __________
Group B

idiosyncrasy                      penchant
ignominy                          reputed
malediction                       sophistry
mundane                          sumptuous
nuance                                       ubiquitous

a)    (adj.) earthly, worldly, relating to practical and material affairs; concerned with what is ordinary __________
b)   (n.) a strong attraction or inclination __________
c)    (adj.) present or existing everywhere __________
d)    (adj.) according to reputation or general belief; having widespread acceptance and good reputation ___________
e)    (n.) a curse, expression of hatred and condemnation _________
f)     (n.) conceited, presumptuous; excessive, immoderate _________
g)    (n.) reasoning that seems  plausible but is actually unsound; a fallacy________
h)    (n.) a subtle or slight variation (as in colour, meaning, quality), delicate gradation or shade of difference _________
i)     (adj.) costly, rich, magnificent ____________
j)     (n.) shame and disgrace ___________
k)    (n.) a peculiarity that serves to distinguish or identify ________

(for answers, you are requested to consult a dictionary. Or, you can also contact the writer via email.)

                                    SELF-TEST KEY
ü  There are many adults at the conference.
ü  Anita threw water at him by mistake.
ü  Please don’t make such mistakes.
ü  All of the participants are discouraged to write their answers in ink.
ü  Make straight your line or get into the straight line.
ü  Walk slowly or else you’ll fall.
ü  Would you mind speaking English here?
ü  Bow your head; it’s the time for Morning Prayer.
ü  Bobbie returned my novel.
ü  An 8.5 Richter earthquake struck last night.
ü  I’m an honest student at GEMS school.
ü  More than 90 per cent of the students have passed English paper.
ü  I go to the grocer’s once a week.
ü  Amar married an American girl.
ü  I would like to ask all of the English teachers to be frank. (ask-means request)
ü  My friends suggested to me to do a lot of reading.
ü  Anupama’s books fell down the stairs. (touching surface)
ü  Tuleshwor stood first in the marathon.
ü  What much mark have I scored?
ü  Class 5 girls need to do their hair properly.
ü  Many of the schoolchildren like purple very much.
ü  Mr Magar’s family moved into a new apartment in Kathmandu.
ü  Only seven students have been permitted to sit the re-examination. (take)
ü  Thank your Mr Tamang for your class.
ü  The school management are discussing the promotion of teachers.
ü  Could you please turn the fan off?
ü  Srijana hasn’t covered her exercise book properly.
ü  Anju is taking IELTS this July for overseas study.
ü  Have you ever been to Pokhara?
ü  Participants talked educational issues at the conference last week.
ü  Mr Lamichhane needs some thumbtacks in order to put this paper on the board.
ü  Class X students hereby are informed to get their hair cut in a proper manner.
ü  Can you all look ahead for a while?
ü  A guardian lodged a complaint against an English teacher.
ü  Aslesha said that she left her grammar book at home.
ü  Dipti has got a lot of homework for the summer break.
ü  I saw an accident this morning.
ü  When will you make corrections on paper?
ü  Bimal always jumps the queue/ pushes in.
ü  Anajan didn’t talk nonsense either.
ü  Two pupils are searching for Mr Bin.
ü  Grade X students are making noise at the back in the school bus.
ü  I told you to complete all of the assignments yesterday, didn’t I?
ü  Samridhi studies in class 5. She is a talented student.
ü  My uncle lives in the Philippines.

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