AS Language Programme
|Word of the week: flout–
to treat with contemptuous disregard
|Quote of the week: “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” -Oprah Winfrey|
|Te reo Word of the week: wiki– week||Fact of the week: In 1974, the Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis published a paper titled “The Unsuccessful Self-Treatment of a Case of ‘Writer’s Block.'” It contained a total of zero words.|
|Lesson Aims: to add to the ability of editing and functional skills for English mastery.||Success Criteria: to recognise the expectations of the AS language paper|
|Keywords: Content and Context||Homework: To have all work written up in notes and exercise books|
Write out the following paragraph (in full) highlighting the edits that you make. For example, if you have changed a lower case letter to a capital letter, highlight that capital letter.
D. Correct as is
A. very serious.
B. real seriously.
C. really serious.
D. very seriously.
E. Correct as is
D. Both A and C are correct
E. Both A and B are correct
A. a demise of the relative
B. the demise of a relative
C. a relative’s demise
D. Both B and C are correct
E. Both A and B are correct
A. beautiful, but antique
B. beautiful antique
C. beautiful or antique
D. Correct as is
A. his mother’s father’s father,
B. the father of his father’s father,
C. the mother of his father’s father,
D. Both A and B could be correct
A. If so,
B. If not,
C. This way,
D. If true,
E. Correct as is
- You are to write out the spelling words below into your English Language notes in preparation for a quiz on Friday. You may wish to add them to your ongoing work so as to keep a running record of words that can be used as a vocab expansion, or in a separate file / book.
- You will be tested on these throughout the year at various intervals. For example week 8 test will consist of all words studied thus far.
- You will need to find dictionary definitions for all of the below words, and hand write them into your AS Language book. NB: Mostly the google definition (eg typing in ‘necessary definition’) can be wonderful, but not always.
- For each word you will also need to put it into a sentence. That sentence must be grammatically correct and contain the word, as it is written below (ie no derivations) and should demonstrate that you understand what that word means. For example ‘I told Louise it was not necessary for her to come along, I knew she had other things to do.’
How to remember spelling words?
- Have the words on one page, and your practice on a separate page. Look at the word quickly and then cover it, then try to write it out – then check.
- Try to remember the words in order.
- Think up a little rhyme or tune (if you are that way inclined) to remember spelling. One of the main ones I use is the spelling of onomatopoeia where each letter fits with the tune ‘Old Mac Donald’.
- Try to use the word more in your day to day.
- Test yourself on the Monday (when you first get it), Tuesday, and then Thursday. Science says that gap on Wednesday will provide the most help.
Copy the following rules for prefixes and suffixes into your English book
Verbs are action words. they express state of being.
eg. run, interpret, feel, give, are
Forms of Verbs
1. The base form: explain, listen, and eat
2. The s form or third person singular: explains, listens, eats
3. The “ing” form or present participle: explaining, listening, eating
4. The past tense: explained, listened, ate
Four Kinds of Verbs
1. Regular Verbs form their past tense by the addition of d/ed to the base form. Regular
verbs have the same form both for the past tense and the past participle.
|Base Form||3rd Person Singular||Present Participle||Past and Past Participle|
2. Irregular Verbs form their past tense and past participle in the different way.
3. Linking Verbs are used to link or join the subject with the word in the predicate which relates to the subject.
A. Verbs ‘to be’ (am, is, are, was, and were) are the most commonly used linking verbs.
B. Verbs of the senses:
eg. become, sound, seem, remain, look, smell, appear, feel, taste, hear
* My favourite subject is English.
* He looks great in his green jacket.
* My husband became a lawyer in 2016.
4. Verb Phrase a verb be made up of a phrase instead of a single word, the verb form at the end of the verb phrase is always the principal verb.
The others are called auxiliary verbs or helping verbs.
List of commonly used auxiliary verbs
|will be||do||would have|
|shall be||did||must have|
|could be||does||should have been|
|have||may||could have been|
Three Parts of Verbs (The principal)
Present tense is used to express an action or condition that is occurring at the present time.
* He eats bread.
* The child plays basketball.
* She is ill.
B. Past tense shows an action or condition in the past.
* He ate bread.
* The child played basketball.
* She was ill.
C. Past participle of the verb is a verb form that is used with has, has or had formed the perfect tenses.
* He has eaten bread.
* The child had played basketball with me.
* She had been ill.
3. Speed Writing
Task: In your English book you need to write out the following sentence as quickly as you can in one minute. The aim of this exercise is to write as fast as you can, but also as legibly as you can. It doesn’t have to be your neatest writing, but it should be close.
|Sixty zips were quickly picked from the woven jute bag.|
Make a note of your speed, and rate your legibility out of 5. We will continue to develop this over the term.
3. Speed Reading
The Two Finger Pull is a pacer that uses the index fingers of both hands. They help focus your eyes primarily on the line you are reading as well as keep your place reading down the lines.
Choose a page in a magazine, newspaper, or this book for this exercise. Make sure it is on a flat surface, not balanced upright in your hands. Place the index finger of your left hand at the beginning of the line and the index finger of your right hand at the end of the same line. Your fingers are now framing the line of text. There should be nothing else in your hands. As you read, quickly move your eyes from the left finger to the right and back again, slowly but continually moving your fingers down the left and right side of the column. You can use keywords, phrases, or key phrases to help you go faster. As you get more accustomed to the method, try moving your index fingers a little faster.
There are some other places of interest on your road map worth looking at before you begin actual reading. They include:
Pictures; Tables; Graphs; Charts; Captions; Bold Print; Italicized print; Bulleted points and numbered lists; Length of reading; Margin pullouts (pull quotes); Separate articles within, sometimes called sidebars or boxes; Unfamiliar vocabulary; Author’s information; Copyright date; Footnotes
- Pictures, tables, graphs, charts. By looking at pictures, tables, graphs and charts you will be able to:
- Get a quick visual clue about what the text is discussing
- Increase your reading speed. Have you ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words?
- Captions. Captions usually describe an illustration or photo. They are usually located underneath or directly beside the visual and are helpful in clarifying the image’s meaning and text.
- Bold and italicized print. Try to become accustomed to using your eyes and brain to find these different type styles. Bold and italicized print tells you:
- When a word or words are important to the text’s meaning.
- When a new vocabulary word is introduced.
- Bulleted points and numbered lists. If you were pre-viewing this chapter and quickly read the bulleted points listed before this section, you might have thought, “Okay, I understand. I don’t need to read the detailed descriptions below.” Or you might have thought, “Okay, I’d like to know why these are so important. I will read the descriptions, or selected ones, below on more detail.” Bulleted points and numbered lists do the following:
- Communicate a lot of information in a short amount of space.
- Help you choose what you need to read in more detail.
- Length of reading. By knowing the reading’s length before you begin, you can decide:
- How you want to manage your time by predicting how long it will actually take you.
- Whether the reading topic is worth that much time.
- If you want to save it for when you have more time.
- How you might break a longer reading down into smaller, more manageable sections.
- Margin pullouts (pull quotes). This is a term use for anything printed outside the text in the margin. For example, a margin pullout may give you the following:
- Quotes pulled from the reading.
- An explanation of a vocabulary term.
- Separate articles within. Also known as sidebars or boxes, these can be pre-viewed by looking at the subheadings and first sentences of paragraphs.
- Unfamiliar vocabulary. Identifying unfamiliar vocabulary can:
- Help you gain a better understanding of the content before you read for detail.
- Focus your reading purpose to help you decide whether you need to define the term before you begin to try to figure it out from the context.
- Author’s information. Knowing the author’s information before you begin reading can:
- Give you clues about the author’s point of view
- Tell you what experiences have led the author to his or her writing on a particular subject.
- Copyright date. The copyright date gives you the following:
- When was the writing written? A computer manual from 1993 is probably not up-to-date.
- A time context to date the information, indicative of the point of view. You can find the copyright in books near or adjacent to the title page next to the copyright symbol ©.
- Footnotes. Footnotes or references are usually found only in academic or research-based writing. Footnotes do the following:
- Inform you where the material originated.
- Provide more explanation about a specific topic being discussed in the text.
By quickly looking for these clues, you can get the gist of most nonfiction material in a short time. When you add a faster reading strategy to pre-viewing, such as key words, phrases, key phrases, or a pacer, you have a supercharged way of getting the most background knowledge in the least amount of time.
This exercise will take you less than eight minutes. You will be pre-viewing “Day 6: Hanging Out the Caution Flag” for this exercise. You will hopefully find that you will get the gist without reading it in detail. Please read the directions before reading.
- With a stopwatch or clock with a second hand next to you, get ready to time yourself for five minutes.
- Begin your pre-view by quickly reading the chapter title, then the introduction, which is the first or first few paragraphs. Remember to use your faster reading strategies to assist you. When you feel you have read enough of the introduction, stop reading in detail.
- Continue reading just the first sentence of the next and subsequent paragraphs.
- As you’re quickly driving along the writer’s road, notice other clues such as illustrations, bulleted points, or bold or italicized print.
- As you read, be aware your purpose is to piece together the outline until the five minutes are up. If you finish before the five minutes are up, round your time to the nearest 10 second mark. For example, 3 minutes 17 seconds would be 3 minutes 20 seconds.
- At the end of five minutes, stop your pre-view. Do not be concerned if you did not get to the end.
When race car drivers drive, they focus on where they are going and how they are going to get there as quickly and safely as possible. This means they are aware of their surroundings, not what’s happening on the other side of the track. The flagman is similar to the driver’s eyes on the other side of the track. He waves a yellow caution flag telling the driver to slow down because there is an accident, oil, or other debris on the track. Slowly the driver circles the track waiting for a flag to tell him it’s okay to continue. This is a valuable opportunity for drivers to evaluate how the race is going, rethink their racing strategy, and make any adjustments to their driving when the race starts again.
When reading, you not only need to be aware of where you are going but also of what’s happening on the author’s side. Effective reading is an exchange of ideas, not a one-way conversation.
You are the one who converts your reading relationship from a monologue, where you are the passive recipient of the author’s words, to a dialogue, where you actively ask questions and look for answers. This is considered critical reading.
A mindful, active reader — one who engages in this dialogue — is also categorized as alert, appropriately suspicious, and skeptical. Though you can think this way while reading fiction, critical reading is primarily meant for nonfiction or information reading.
The Mindful Side of Criticism
If your boss said he wants to speak to you and give you criticism about your job performance, you would probably wonder what you did wrong. However, the word “criticize” means “to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly.” Ideally, this means that your boss would talk to you about your strengths and weaknesses.
Being critical means consciously passing judgment, both favorable and unfavorable, on everything you see, hear and read. This sometimes is done unconsciously. For example, you go to a new friend’s house for dinner. The minute you walk up to the door, your critical mind is working overtime. You are unconsciously evaluating everything you experience from the sound of the doorbell to how the meal tastes to the cleanliness of the bathroom. All of your experiences contribute to your conscious opinion at the end of the evening.
When you read, your mind works with the same unconscious procedure. If you can learn to criticize consciously and mindfully, however, you will greatly improve your background knowledge and comprehension. How do you accomplish this? By being prepared to look for the pros and cons in what you read, according to you, examine and question carefully, and form your own judgments on the content. Exercising this ability separates the excellent readers from the average ones.
Restaurant critics sample foods and write about what they like and don’t like and why. Movie critics watch movies and use similar criteria. Both share their opinions with their readers based on their background knowledge. Does it mean their criticism is correct? No, there is really no correct criticism just as there is no assurance that you are right in your evaluation of an author’s words. Only you determine if your evaluation is correct. You base your evaluation on your own background knowledge just as restaurant and movie critics do.
When reading nonfiction, you ultimately want to:
- Justify what you already know is accurate.
- Learn something new.
- Distinguish fact from fiction.
- Change your mind if you are proven wrong.
- Have the author reach a conclusion.
Critical reading, then, is founded on your previous understanding of the subject matter and your current understanding of material you are reading.
There are several ways to create a conscious, mindful relationship with an author when you read. They include challenging the author, distinguishing facts, and making inferences.
Challenging the Author
There are occasions when you read that you are surprised or confused about something an author says. Perhaps the author has not developed a sound argument or her reasoning seems flawed. These are times to use critical and mindful questioning. You may already do this but doing it mindfully makes your reading more active and engaging.
Critical questioning implies that you have a healthy skepticism about the author’s motives for the writing and its contents. It is helpful to decide for yourself whether you agree with an author, and, if you disagree, what your basis is for the criticism. The following list of questions, split into three main categories, are valuable when engaging in a hypothetical dialogue between you and an author.
Questions About the Author
Let’s look at questions directed toward the author.
- Does the author have experience on this topic?
- Is the writer male or female? Does the gender affect the point of view?
- How does the author’s background and experience affect his or her interpretation of the topic?
- What is the author’s motive?
- Is the author objective, not influenced by emotions or personal prejudices — or subjective, that is, personal?
Questions About Content
Let’s examine queries about content.
- What is the intended audience for this writing?
- What is the author literally saying in the text?
- What is the author really trying to say, or what is he implying? What does he mean?
- Is the message clear?
- Are the details factual or anecdotal?
- Are the arguments and conclusions consistent?
Questions About Yourself
Now think about you and your background knowledge
- Am I familiar with this author’s work? If so, how does this previous experience influence me?
- What do I believe about the piece of reading material?
- Does the information match what I know about the topic? What is different?
- How does this affect what I need to know or what I can use it for?
Ultimately most writers intend to influence your thoughts in some way. If they believe in something, they also want you to believe it. The most objective scientific report, for example, tries to present all the data necessary for you to judge the accuracy of the report’s premise or hypothesis.
Then the author hopes that you accept his conclusion based upon the data reported.
Use This Book
For example, if you take this book and have a mental dialogue with me, my goal is that you understand the following information based upon the content I have provided in the book and how it is arranged to reach these conclusions. Let’s take a look at how I respond to the questions from the three categories.
Responses from the Author
Keep in mind that my responses are solely my opinion and point of view.
- Some of my experiences are stated on the “About the Author” page as well as related in personal stories throughout the book.
- I am female, although I don’t think my gender greatly affects my point of view on this topic.
- My background and experiences learning about and teaching faster reading permit me to be confident about the veracity and usefulness of information in this book.
- My motive for writing this book is to share how simple it is to feel more confident and competent while reading.
- I am definitely influenced by my personal experiences as a reader and an educator. I hopeto convert many nonreaders into avid readers.
Responses from the Author About Content
See if you agree with my responses regarding the content presented in this book.
- The intended audience for this book is anyone who wants to feel better about him- or herself as a reader and wants to learn how to read more efficiently.
- Literally, I am saying that if you first become aware of who you are as a reader, and then learn about the many ways you can develop your skills, you can read faster and improve your comprehension.
- I am really trying to say that there is no one preferred way to read more quickly but many possible ways.
- The only way to know which strategies work for you is to try each one and then decide.
- The details are mostly anecdotal, sprinkled with relevant facts.
- I have tried to make my points relevant, clear, and consistent.
Responses from You
- Now add in information about yourself and your background knowledge.
- What do you want to believe?
- Does the information match what you know base on your background and experience? What’s different?
- Are you getting what you needed to know?
- How can you use it?
How to Quickly Prepare for a Business Meeting
Picture this: Your boss tells you that the forty-five-page report you received two weeks ago is going to be the focus of a meeting in twenty minutes. You knew about the meeting but didn’t know this report would be discussed. You haven’t even looked at it. What do you do? Here are a few suggestions to help you apply your speed reading skills in a time crunch.
- Pre-view. Sometimes you may only have enough time to pre-view. But remember you can get at least 40 to 50 percent of the main points using this strategy. The remaining 50 to 60 percent of the document is usually explanation and elaboration. Look for the writer’s outline, if there is one, and, of course, make sure to get the most salient points by reading the introduction, first sentences of paragraphs, and conclusion, and by reviewing any graphics.
- Look for key words and key phrases. If time allows you to read in more detail after your pre-view, then put key words, phrases, or key phrases into play. Using your fingers or the white card pacer (remember: top down) will force you out of the tendency to read word-for-word and help speed your work.
- Think critically. First, understand what the author really said and the conclusions the author came up with. Get the facts by looking for the answers to the 5W’s and H (who, what, when, where, why, and how). Second, quickly come to your own conclusions based on what you know about the subject and how it relates to the purpose of the meeting.
- Many of my workshop participants have told me they have used these strategies and have looked really good in their employer’s eyes.
Fast Tracks: Distinguishing Facts
A true dialogue is not one-sided: Just as you have the right to question the writer’s motives, the author has the right to have you question your own motives and examine your own unacknowledged preconceptions.
Many people have a hard time identifying facts. In my classes, I do an exercise where I give the participants the definition of the word “fact.” Then I ask them to come up with as many facts as they can about a toy, one of the props I use while teaching my class. From about twenty-five responses, maybe only two or three end up being true facts. The remaining responses are opinions, inferences or biases.
It is a fact that there aren’t nearly as many facts as there are opinions in this world. So when in doubt, it is probably an opinion. It is a natural human tendency to be emotionally committed to your own view because it’s yours. A strong reaction to an author’s statement, either positive or negative, is a clear sign that a bias or a subjective point of view may be at the root of it. Being aware of your opinions, inferences (see below), and biases represents a comprehension challenge every time you read.
Though you may have heard this already, it is worth repeating: Do not believe everything you read!
Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s true. Whenever the media run articles on myself or my business, I am thrilled for the exposure but dread the one inevitable misquote or other inconsistency a journalist may write as a result of our interview. A well-meaning newspaper reporter tried to quote one of the participants in one of my classes. I have changed the participant’s name but the quote is accurate.
“I read word-for-word very slowly. I’d read a sentence two, three, even four times. My comprehension was terrible,” says Ford.
That was four weeks ago. Now Ford reads at 260 words per minute and her comprehension level is 80 percent.
The reader infers that the progress was good but unfortunately the words per minute and comprehension level quoted was the participant’s beginning benchmark instead of her ending average of 580 words per minute with 85 percent comprehension. A big difference.
Two or more people can read the same piece of material and each will have a different interpretation of its meaning. This is the true difficulty of gauging accurate comprehension. People make inferences or settle on what they think are logical conclusions based on what they assume is true, given their own background and experiences.
The most intelligent action you can take as a reader is to first read the material and, before inferring its meaning, ask yourself, “What did the author really say here?” Avoid jumping to immediate conclusions. Take a mental step back, look for the stated facts, then make your inference based on the evidence presented.
Without looking back at the reading passage, respond to the following statements by indicating whether the statement is True (T), False (F), or Not Discussed (N).
______ 1. A mindful reader is skeptical.
______ 2. True critical readers only look for the negative things or things they don’t like when reading.
______ 3. There are five main categories of questions you can mentally ask while reading.
______ 4. The author engages in critical dialogue in this chapter.
______ 5. Critical people make better critical readers.
______ 6. There are more facts than opinions in this world.
______ 7. When an author develops his writing, he may use other words to support his argument.
______ 8. A word can have different meanings depending on how it is used.
______ 9. Reading word-for-word guarantees you will not miss all the small important words.
______ 10. Critical readers are fast readers.
Now, estimate how many of these answers you believe you have correct out of ten _____
This text is an extract from an essay about a hospital for the poor in France in the 1930s.
In a paragraph of around 100 words, summarise the ordeals of the writer while at the hospital.
|In the year 1929 I spent several weeks in the Hôpital X, in the fifteenth arrondissement* of Paris. The clerks put me through the usual third-degree at the reception desk, and indeed I was kept answering questions for some twenty minutes before they would let me in. If you have ever had to fill up forms in a foreign country you will know the kind of questions I mean. For some days my temperature was abover a hundred degrees, and by the end of the interview I had some difficulty in standing on my feet. At my back a resigned little knot of patients, carrying bundles done up in coloured handkerchiefs, waiting their turn to be questioned.
After the questioning came the bath — a compulsory routine for all newcomers, apparently, just as in prison. My clothes were taken away from me, and after I had sat shivering for some minutes in five inches of warm water I was given a linen nightshirt and a short blue flannel dressing-gown — no slippers, they had none big enough for me, they said — and led out into the open air. This was a night in February and I was suffering from pneumonia. The ward we were going to was some distance away and it seemed that to get to it you had to cross the hospital grounds. Someone stumbled in front of me with a lantern. The gravel path was frosty underfoot, and the wind whipped the nightshirt round my bare calves. When we got into the ward, I immediately noticed the foul smell. It was a long, badly-lit room, full of murmuring voices and three rows of beds that were surprisingly close together. As I lay down I saw on a bed nearly opposite me a small, round-shouldered man sitting half naked while a doctor and a student performed some strange operation on him. First the doctor produced from his black bag a dozen small glasses like wine glasses, then the student burned a match inside each glass to exhaust the air, then the glass was popped on to the man’s back or chest and the vacuum drew up a huge yellow blister. Only after some moments did I realize what they were doing to him. It was something called cupping, a treatment which you can read about in old medical text-books but which till then I had vaguely thought of as one of those things they do to horses.
The cold air outside had probably lowered my temperature, and I watched this barbarous remedy with detachment and even a certain amount of amusement. The next moment, however, the doctor and the student came across to my bed, hoisted me upright and without a word began applying the same set of glasses, which had not been sterilized in any way. A few feeble protests that I uttered got no more response than if I had been an animal. I was very much impressed by the impersonal way in which the two men started on me. I had never been in the public ward of a hospital before, and it was my first experience of doctors who handle you without speaking to you, or, in a human sense, taking any notice of you. They only put on six glasses in my case, but after doing so they scarified the blisters and applied the glasses again. Each glass now drew about a dessert-spoonful of dark-coloured blood. As I lay down again, humiliated, disgusted and frightened by the thing that had been done to me, I reflected that now at least they would leave me alone. But no, not a bit of it. There was another treatment coming, the mustard poultice**, seemingly a matter of routine like the hot bath. Two slatternly nurses had already got the poultice ready, and they lashed it round my chest as tight as a strait jacket while some men who were wandering about the ward in shirt and trousers began to collect round my bed with half-sympathetic grins. I learned later that watching a patient have a mustard poultice was a favourite pastime in the ward. These things are normally applied for a quarter of an hour and certainly they are funny enough if you don’t happen to be the person inside. For the first five minutes the pain is severe, but you believe you can bear it. During the second five minutes this belief evaporates, but the poultice is tied at the back and you can’t get it off. This is the period the onlookers most enjoy. During the last five minutes, a feeling of numbness takes over. After the poultice had been removed a waterproof pillow packed with ice was thrust beneath my head and I was left alone. I did not sleep and to the best of my knowledge this was the only night of my life — I mean the only night spent in bed — in which I have not slept at all, not even a minute.
- Firstly, summary writing is based on material that has already been written. The summary writer must decide what to include, what to eliminate, how to reword or reorganise information, and how to ensure that the summary is true to the original meaning.
- Two types of thinking are crucial to summarising. The first is a selection process: judgments made about what text information should be included or rejected. The second is a reduction process: ideas must be condensed by substituting general ideas for lower level and more detailed ones.
- Summary writing is about finding what is important in a text. The aim firstly is to work out to whom is the information important? The key is to acknowledge what is important to the author. This means that you need to look for the things that the author seems to be emphasising. Clues on this is to look at the following: introductory sentences, topic sentences, summary statements, underlinings, italics, pointer phrases, repetitions etc. See if you can spot these, and jot them down underneath your writing.
- Sometimes two summaries are better than one. It can be easier to get things clear in your mind first, before trying to write a summary for someone else. The skill of summary writing is key to a number of industries, particularly law, commerce, health and media. You should make sure you understand the text before trying to summarise it for others. The best idea is to make your own notes and then write the summary.
Ko te reo te tuakiri | Language is my identity.
Ko te reo tōku ahurei | Language is my uniqueness.
Ko te reo te ora. | Language is life.