Here is one more chance to explain graphs. Remember to take your time and point out any relevant details. You can post your explanations in comment box below.
As you can see, there are a few charts and graphs here that need to be explained. How should you start? If you remember from the previous blog post, you should going through the following steps will help you come up with a clear and precise explanation.
1. Introduce the topic and name of the chart or graph.
2. Point out the significance of each axis and any markers inside the chart. In
other words, explain the symbols on the page.
3. Mention trends and draw conclusions.
4. Restate the main information provided by the graph or chart.
That’s all there is to it! Why don’t you try it with the graphs above?
TED Talks are a fabulous resource for ESL students because they are very versatile. I like to use them in the following ways.
1. Try a Dictation. Pick a few minutes of the talk to listen to and write down exactly what the speaker says. You can repeat the same section a few times before you check your writing. TED Talks have a transcript of exactly what the speaker said, so you can easily check your work when you are ready.
2. Respond to the Speaker. You can try to do this in writing or orally. TED Talks usually make a claim. Try to agree and support or disagree and debate the claim. It is good practice for your conversation skills. Alternatively, you can test your comprehension by trying to summarize the presentation. In either case, share your ideas with a friend to check your skills.
3. Practice Intonation. The best thing about listening to speakers is you get to hear accurate pronunciation and the rhythm of different statements. Do questions sound different than facts? Does the speaker change how fast he or she speaks? Print out a copy of the transcript to highlight the words he or she stresses or simply stop and repeat phrases to enjoy natural pronunciation.
Finally, even if you don’t attempt any of these activities, listening to TED Talks will expand your vocabulary and your understanding of the world, so it is probably worth trying.
In the last blog post, you heard a little bit about TED Talks. Now, you can experience one. Follow this link and you will see a talk by Natalie Warne where she discusses an issue she is passionate about and her decision to make a difference. Her speech is about 13 minutes.
In her speech, she uses the term “anonymous extraordinaries”. What does this term mean? What does she ask us to do? If you were going follow her advice, what would you do?
If you are serious about expanding your vocabulary, you should think about trying some of these tips.
1. Create a schedule. What’s better, studying new words for a long, one hour chunk or for a few minutes each day? Without a doubt, the answer is studying for a few minutes a day. It gives you more opportunities to review and correct your understanding of the vocabulary and it gives you a better chance of actually studying. A five minute commitment is a lot less daunting than an hour, after all. Still, if you want to maximize your minutes, try to have a routine of when and what you study. Find a way to fit it into your existing schedule and you will have a much better chance of fulfilling your commitment.
2. Get flexible. Learn to switch nouns to verbs or verbs to adjectives through prefixes and suffixes. Initially, it can be a bit tedious, but in the long run it will help you become a more agile speaker and writer. This is definitely something you should try with new words, but it is also something to practice with words you have already mastered. Word logs or flashcards are a great way to record and practice. Once you get the hang of it, try your new knowledge out in a writing activity.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally, the best tip is to practice. So many students can pick up new words quickly, but without practicing it, it floats away. Some teachers even say that you need to use a vocabulary word at least seven times, in seven different occasions, to really remember it. This means that you need to expose yourself to as many opportunities to practice, use, or drill the new words as possible.
I hope these strategies help you reach your goal. For more tips and a guided vocabulary course, check out https://www.udemy.com/free-vocabulary-bootcamp/.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for learners in the San Francisco East Bay.