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September Issue

  1. 1. Published Courtesy ofInside:How to Write Using Music toBetter Essays Learn English8 BusinessWords YouNeed to Know ool I ssue ck to Sch Ba September 24, 2011
  2. 2. Dear students, As a new school year begins, we would like to take a moment to wish you good luck in your studies. We sincerely hope this year will be full of academic achievement beyond your wildest dreams! We created this magazine in order to help students improve their English and studying skills while learning more about English speaking cultures. Since this magazine is for you, we welcome any questions or comments you have and will do our best to answer them in future issues. Please email me directly at In the meantime, we hope you have as much fun reading this month’s issue as we had putting it together. Have a great year, Derek Gesin Chief Editor1
  3. 3. Table of Contents Grammar Focus The Secrets of Grammar 13 Vocabulary Focus Using Music to Learn English 11 Vocabulary & Phrases 4 English for Business 8 Business Words You Need to Know 15 English for School How to Write Better Essays 5 Culture Focus The Biggest Name in English 3 Kilroy was Here 18 A Guide to Idioms 14 Historical Context A Permanent Colony & Green Gold 9 Everything Else Chat & Text Abbreviations 8 Classroom Laughs 18 Quotables 19 Partners & Affiliates 20Lexile RatingsLexiles measure a student’s reading comprehension. Lexile ratings start at 200L for simple texts andcan go as high as 1700L for more difficult articles. An ESL student with a perfect score of 30 on theirTOEFL iBT test should easily read texts between 940L and 1100L. As a comparison, the first HarryPotter book has a Lexile ranking of 880L. Throughout our magazine, we have indicated the lexilelevel of many articles to help you determine your reading comprehension level. 2
  4. 4. The Biggest Name in English Up until 2010, this was the largest English Soon, tourists from around the sign in the world. While it is no longer world came to to see the sign. the largest sign, the impact that one word By 1949, the sign was shortened to has had on the culture of the world is simpy read “Hollywood” and it became immeasurable and will last forever. a symbol of the film industry. By 1978 the wooden letters of the original sign This famous landmark is located in the were rotten and in very bad condition. Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles, However, with the help of 9 very famous California. Constructed in 1923, the sign donors who gave a total of $249,300 originally spelled “Hollywoodland” as an in donations, the original wooden sign advertisement for a new neighborhood was replaced with a sign made of steel. being built near Los Angeles. The “new” letters of the sign are 45 feet (14 The builders of the sign were trying to meters) tall and are between 31-39 feet (9.4 attract affluent people to move away – 12 meters) wide. So, what happened to from the congestion and traffic of the the original sign? Well, in 2005 it was sold city and they wanted a sign that everyone to Hank Berger and George Weinbarger. could see. Ironically, the builders of the They in turn sold it to Dan Bliss, who sign only expected the $21,000 sign then sold it to Bill Mack. The final price to remain standing for 18 months. of the sign? A whopping $450,000! Lexile Rating: 10103
  5. 5. Vocabulary & PhrasesThroughout this magazine, you will see many words and phrases highlighted in green.These are words and phrases you should know and use. Below are their definitions andexplanations.Afluent: Wealthy. Has lots of money. “Bill Gates is rich. He is a very affluent person.”Statement: To say or write something that you believe is true. “All dogs go to heaven.”This is a statement that many people believe is true.”Gradually: Slowly; over a period of time. “The iceberg gradually floated from the NorthPole into the Atlantic.”Instructions: Directions on how to do something. “The teacher gave us instructions onhow to write our essays. She told us how to do it.”Rule of thumb: A guideline or rule that is not precise or exact. “A good rule of thumbis to finish your homework sometime before you eat dinner.”In search of: To look for something. “I was in search of success when I started mycompany!”Without a trace: To vanish without any evidence remaining. “My wallet fell into theocean. It vanished without a trace.”Out the window: Gone. A metaphor used when you abandon or quit a project. “Theboss didn’t like the idea anymore. He threw all that time and effort out the window.”Going out of style: To do something as if there won’t be a chance to do it later. “He atelunch so quickly today. He was ate like it was going out of style.”Changed the course of: To alter the result or outcome. “I did very well on the Englishexam! It has definitely changed the course of my life because now I can go to Harvard!”Lexile Rating: 430 4
  6. 6. How to Write Better Essays As your English studies progress, you Before you write anything, you should will be exposed to many different styles think about what it is that you want to of writing. Indeed, there are many write. For instance, if your professor asks different writing styles. There are styles you to write an essay on a specific subject, for business and styles for personal then you know exactly what you will letters. There are styles for university write about. Essays take lots and lots of classes, emails, and giving instructions. practice to perfect. Here are some simple There are even styles for writing magazine tips that will make writing essays a little articles! easier. Title A title is where you say what you are going to write about. The title is written on the 1st page before you write your essay. Your title should be easy to understand. Outline Now that you have written your title, you should write an essay outline. Your outline will be your map and will help guide your essay. In your outline, you should identify the main topics and ideas that you want to talk about in your essay. Additionally, you want to list your supporting evidence in order to make writing your essay easier. The following is a good template to use for outlining the ideas in your essay. Idea: I think that..... A) Evidence that supports this idea/theory B) Experts who support this idea/theory C) Why this idea/theory is correct You can have as many ideas as you need, just make sure that you can connect your ideas to eachother. This will make your writing easier to understand. Introduction This is where you will tell your reader what you will write about, and your opinion on the subject. A good introduction paragraph will tell the reader everything they will read in the essay and what you think about it. Your introduction should start off very general and not specific, and gradually become more specific when you get to your…Thesis Statement.5
  7. 7. Thesis StatementThis is the most important sentence you will write in your essay. Your thesis statementis the sentence that you must prove and support throughout the essay. A good thesisstatement makes a statement or a claim that you can support and defend. Below are twoexamples of good thesis statements:“The organization of the United States government as defined in the US Constitutionallows for great freedom within America, however, it makes government slow to act on the needs of the people.”“It is important to find a cure for HIV because without it many millions of people will die from this horrible virus.” Body Paragraphs (1 - ? )All of your body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence. If you look at youroutline, your ideas will become your topic sentences. Your topic sentence should beabout the ideas that you will discuss in that paragraph. For instance, if you were goingto write about the American government, you might start out with a couple of sentenceslike this: “The American government is divided into the Legislative, Judicial and Executivebranches. The Legislative branch includes the Senate and the House of Representatives and they are responsible for writing laws and signing treaties with foreign governments…”Do you see how the 1st sentence, which is the topic sentence, is the idea that organizesyour paragraph? It allows you to add more facts and details as you write, while keepingthe writing organized. Since the first noun in the topic sentence is on the “Legislative”branch of the US government, you could keep writng details about the Legislative branch,or you could move on to the 2nd noun, the Judicial branch, etc. ConclusionNow that you have written your essay, you need to end it. The best way to end it is witha conclusion statement. Your conclusion statement should be very similar to your thesisstatement. Some students even copy their thesis statement and use it as their concludingstatement, too! Just like in your first paragraph, you should give a brief review of theinformation you wrote about.Lexile Rating: 1000 6
  8. 8. Visualize your essay Introduction: Introduce your essay. Tell your reader what you are going to write about. Introduction paragraphs should be 4-5 sentences long. Start with a “big idea” and gradually tell your reader everything you are going to write about. End this paragraph with your thesis statement ( ). Body paragraphs: Discuss your topic and provide information on the subject. Your thesis will help you decide what your main idea, or argument of the essay is. Organize your essay so that each paragraph is supported by facts and information that support your main idea (s). Also, each paragraph should be relevant to the paragraphs before and after it. A good rule of thumb is that there should be no more than 5-6 sentences in each paragraph. Conclusion: End your essay. Start by rewriting your thesis statement. In this last paragraph, you should summarize the main ideas that you told your readers. Lexile Rating: 7407
  9. 9. Chat & Text AbbreviationsAs modern technology speeds up the ways in which we communicate, more and morewords are being abbreviated. Why is this? Well, because modern society believes “fasteris better” and that often means making words shorter so you can say more faster.This is not a new phenomenon. In fact, when Morse code was invented by Samuel Morse,many words were shortened because it was cheaper and easier to send short words. Beloware some common chat and text abbreviations for you to learn and remember.LoL - Laughing out Loud. “That was so funny! I’m LoL!”BRB - Be right back. “I have to do something for a moment. I’ll brb.”BTW - By the way. “Oh, BTW, did you see John yesterday?”CYA - See you later. “I have to go. CYA.”FYI - For your information. “FYI, John is at the park with Jenny today.”MYOB - Mind your own business. “Mom, MYOB. Don’t tell me what to do!”ASAP - As soon as possible. “Hey, do your homework ASAP!”SNAFU - Situation normal, all fouled up. It means things are not going well. “Wow, we have a real SNAFU today!”Lexile Rating: 420 8
  10. 10. A Permanent Colony & Green Gold By the early1600’s, word of the vast riches The loss of the Roanoke colony halted and expanse of America had reached English ambitions in America until 1607, England. Stories of unimaginable wealth when the Virginia Company landed their and vast geographic expanses had begun ships, the Susan Constant, Discovery, and to fuel the imaginations of English kings Godspeed at Jamestown, Virginia. Here, and queens, and by the late 1500’s, the they were determined to build the 1st decision was made to send an expedition permanent English colony in America. to America in search of the wealth of the Their mission: To search for gold and new world. establish a permanent English settlement. Unlike the Portugese and Spanish, the Rumors of vast gold deposits and other English had been slow to send explorers to riches in America had come to England America. The first was Sir Walter Raleigh, from Spanish and Portugese explorers who received permission from Queen who had found vast wealth in Mexico Elizabeth I to build a colony near modern and Central America. Because of this, the day Virginia. By 1585, the 1st colony was English believed that America was one vast established on Roanoke Island, but by gold repository. Unfortunately for the 1590, the colony had disappeared without English, the land in Virginia was not rich a trace. in gold, and the English found none. In fact, even to this day, no one knows By 1610, the colonists decided to what happened to the “Lost Colony” as it abandon Jamestown, and they boarded is now known. their ships to head back to England.9
  11. 11. However, fate intervened, and changed a profitable venture. John Rolfe had alsothe course of American history forever. helped establish peaceful relations withOn June 9, 1610, a twist of fate occurred the local indian tribes. How did he doon the James River when the departing this? Well, he married a woman namedcolonists accidentally came upon a fleet Pocahontas, but that’s a whole other story.of supply ships arriving from England. Lexile Rating: 1100The commander of the fleet was GovernorWest, and he ordered the men and womento return to the colony.Among these men were John Rolfe, and hebrought with him seeds for a plant calledTobacco. He believed that he could plantthese seeds in the fertile land of Virginia,and then sell the highly desired plants inEurope. Ultimately, the wealth of Virginiawas not to be golden, it was to be green.By 1614, John Rolfe was exportingsubstantial quantities of tobacco toEurope. After nearly a decade of trialsand tribulations, the Virginia Colony was 10
  12. 12. Using Music to Learn English Teachers and students love song lyrics! were obscure suddenly became common Song lyrics are great teachers of functional household jargon. Speaking styles and language. They show how language is used thousands of words like “cool” and by people in everyday conversations. Since “awesome” grew in acceptance and usage. songs are basically poems with music, this makes them ideal tools to use in a classroom For that reason, using songs to learn or even on your own time. how people really speak and interact is a wonderful guide to the English language. Lyrics can be a great way to learn slang and Below are some recommended artists common vocabulary. However, they do whose songs are a window into the heart not always use correct grammar, spelling, of modern English usage. Most of these or punctuation. In fact, most songs written musicians and bands sing in a tone of voice after the 1970’s should not be used to learn that is easy to understand, with lyrics that these respective aspects of language. are easily researched. This is because the 1980’s saw a major Additionally, all of these had a major culture shift in America and other English influence on the music and culture of speaking countries. Music styles changed, America and the world. as did the way people wrote and spoke the English language. Hip-Hop Usher When hard rock, rap, and hip hop Mary J. Blige became popular music styles, they often Keyshia Cole threw grammar rules out the window. Fergie Subconsciously, listeners felt that the Nelly abandonment of these grammar rules was a form of rebellion, and it is one reason that these songs became so popular. Pop Michael Bolton While musicians frequently abandoned REM the commonly accepted rules of grammar, Katy Perry they planted slang vocabulary like it was Cher going out of style. Words and phrases that Backstreet Boys11
  13. 13. Study Tips 1. Decide which singer you want to listen to, and what song you want to hear. If you don’t know the name ofthe song, just type the words you know into Google. Chances are, you’ll find it easily. 2. Play the song on Youtube one or two Rock times. Just listen to it. Bon Jovi Michael Jackson 3. Now, download the lyrics from the Madonna internet. Again, Google is a wonderful Genesis tool to find song lyrics on. Huey Lewis and the News 4. Print the lyrics out. Circle the words you know, and underline the words you Country don’t know.. You might be surprised Garth Brooks just how many circles you have! George Strait Alan Jackson 5. Look up the words you don’t know in Blackhawk the dictionary. Alabama 6. Practice reading, writing, and speaking these words until you know them. Oldies Lexile Rating: 910 The Beatles Neil Diamond Dave Clark 5 Tom Jones Herman’s HermitsLexile Rating: 1100 12
  14. 14. The Secrets of Grammar “I is real good English speaker. I done Their: Their is a possessive pronoun. It is studied hard. I don’t need no grammar used to show ownership of an object or an lessons.” Or, do you? There is no question idea. For example, “That is John and Sarah’s that grammar is hard. Learning correct picnic basket. It is their picnic basket.” English grammar takes years of practice and dedication. One thing is certain; the There: This word is used to show a location more you practice grammar, the better you or a place. For example, Look over there! will become! So, here are some common grammar errors and things to be careful You’re or Your? Again, this is the when you are writing and speaking. difference between a contraction and a possessive pronoun. Loose & Lose? This is a spelling and a pronunciation problem, so pay attention! You’re: You’re is the contraction of you + are. For example, you are going to the lake. Loose[loos]: Describes something that is You’re going to go swimming. not tight and could fall off. For instance, “The door was loose. It fell off the house.” Your: This is a possessive pronoun. For example, this is your magazine, correct? Is Lose [looz]: This means that something this your swimming suit? cannot be found. For instance, “Did you lose your keys when you fell in the water?” Effect or Affect ? This is one of the most common English errors and is one that even They’re, their or there? This is a really native English speakers regularly make. common error, and is often made because these words are homophones. That means Affect: To affect means to cause something that they are pronounced the same, but to happen. For instance, John F. Kennedy’s spelled differently and have different speeches affected many people’s lives. That definitions. means that his speeches changed peoples lives. Now, here’s where it gets confusing. They’re: This is a contraction of they + are. For example, “Mark and Mary are going to have a picnic. They’re going together to the park.”13
  15. 15. Effect: This is the result or consequenceof change. For example, John F. Kennedy’s A Guide to Idiomsspeech at NASA affected me deeply.Therefore, the effect was that I became very Idioms. These are the expressions inemotional and excited when we landed on English that most non-native Englishthe moon! speakers have the most difficulty with. However, with some practice, you tooThen or Than? This is a common, but can master idioms in your speaking andeasily correctable error. writing.Then: is a word that is used to describe Idioms are phrases that at first don’ttime. For example, we went to school and seem to make any sense. In fact, mostthen we took our test. idioms are very logical, which means that once you think about them, theyThan: Than is a word that is used to show make perfect sense!comparisons between two things. Forinstance, John is taller than Sarah. So, where do idioms come from? Well, most idioms come from history. At someIts or It’s? Wow! If I had a nickel for time, something happened to someone,every time someone made this mistake! and from that event, a phrase was born.Its: This is a possessive pronoun and is Look at the idioms below. Can youused to show ownership of an object. For guess where they may have originatedexample, Look at that dog playing with the and what they mean?ball. That certainly is its favorite toy!It’s: Just like you’re and they’re, this is a “A dime a dozen.”contraction of “it is” and is used to make “ A piece of cake.”sentences a little bit shorter. For example, “Armed to the teeth”it is easier to use a contraction. Don’t youthink it’s easier to use a contraction when “Brand spanking new.”writing sentences? “All that glitters is not gold.” “Sick as a dog.”Lexile Rating: 550 (Answers are on page 17) 14
  16. 16. 8 Business Words You Need to Know When writing business letters or presentations, correct spelling is often the difference between a missed opportunity and a lucrative agreement. While most people will spend considerable time and effort to ensure they are using correct grammar and correct pronunciation, most people will neglect a spelling check before delivering documents or presentations to prospective clients or business partners. This is often a costly mistake because most employers and prospective business partners will check resumes and contracts for spelling errors. Why do they do this? Well, they do this because correct spelling shows your attention to details. If your spelling is off, well, you’re off the table. Here are 10 of the most commonly misspelled English words, their definitions, and the proper ways to use them. It is important to know these words because they will be seen in almost every business conversation you will ever have. Accommodate (Verb): Commitment (Noun): Defintion: To make arrangements for Definition: An agreement. A promise to comfort. To make something possible. To do or complete something now or in the bring into agreement. future. Will you please change your schedule to The bosses commitment to the company accommodate the client’s schedule? was always obvious. Can you add more facilities to accommodate Nobody doubts the team’s commitment to the needs of the upcoming conference? the project.15
  17. 17. Acknowledgment (Noun): Proceed (Verb):Definition: The act of acknowledging Definition: To continue doing something.factual information or providing To move forward.congratulations for a job well done. The boss said it was ok to proceed with theMicrosoft made many acknowledgments project.of the flaws in their Windows operatingsystem. The work on the new office building is proceeding as planned.Andrew Carnegie finally received theacknowledgment he deserved for hischaritable work. Separate (Adjective): Definition: Not connected. SomethingJudgment (Noun): that is kept apart and not combined with anything.Definition: A decision or opinion. I met John in Korea on four separateIt is the judgment of the company that this a bad business arrangement. That is a separate issue that we will discussHis judgment was correct when he at another time.suggested that we buy gold stock in 2004. Embarrass (Verb):Liaison (Noun): Definition: To make fun of or tease. ToDefinition: A person who helps make someone uncomfortable because oforganizations or groups work together. bad behavior.John works as a liaison between the people Don’t embarrass yourself by not spellingand the police department. words correctly!The secretary is a liaison between the boss I would never do something that wouldand the employees. embarrass my family or my company. Lexile Rating: 760 16
  18. 18. A Guide To Idioms: Answer Key “A dime a dozen.” Meaning: Cheap, not expensive Origin: In 1796, the US Congress decided to make a new coin. It was called a dime and is still used today. In the late 1700’s cakes were sold in groups of 12 (dozen), and they cost 10 cents. “A piece of cake” “Sick as a dog.” Meaning: Not difficult. Easy. Meaning: Not healthy. Very sick. Origin: This idiom started in the 1700’s Origin: The first use of this phrase was when small cakes were given as prizes for in the 1700’s, and it was used to describe competitions. someone who was not healthy. “Armed to the teeth.” “All that glitters is not gold.” Meaning: Has lots of weapons. Meaning: Beautiful things may not be Origin: Pirates used to carry lots of valuable. weapons. Sometimes, they would even Origin: This came from the practice of carry a knife in their mouth...between their dishonest gold prospectors trying to sell teeth. pyrite (a rock that looks like gold), but is “Brand spanking new.” not valuable at all. Meaning: New. Never been used. Lexile Rating: 600 Origin: When babies are born, the doctor often spanks them so they will cry and clear their lungs of fluid.17
  19. 19. Classroom LaughsOnce we were talking about professions,that’s right, jobs. There was the typicaldoctor, dentist, taxi driver and teacher.However, in this lesson, there were alsosome new words that really stretchedmy students abilities. For example, theystruggled with “musician” crying out“MUSIC CHICKEN!” - John Trammell, South Korea Kilroy was Here This popular American cultural expression literally traveled the world during World War II. The expression and the accompanying picture of Kilroy was drawn by American soldiers on buildings, cars, tanks, boats, and even on at leastChallenge: There are 5 Kilroy’s in this one occasion, a bathroom. Painting Kilroy’smagazine (Not counting the one above). throughout the world was one way of lettingWhat pages are they on? other soldiers know that “friendly” soldiers had already been there. This sparked competition among the GI’s, all of whom wanted to be theAnswers: Cover, 3, 10, 13, 19 first to paint Kilroy in the next town and win the war! Lexile Rating: 1190 18
  20. 20. Quotables “I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.” - Jane Wagner “It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.” - Franklin P. Jones “The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.” - Derek Walcott “Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery.” - Mark Amidon “He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own.” -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe “The pen is the tongue of the mind.” - Miquel de Cervantes19
  21. 21. Partners and Affiliates The English Academy is a private, online ESL school located in the United States. They have lessons for all skill levels and work closely with students to create customized educations for their skills, interests, and goals. Archipelago Learning is the largest subscription based education provider in the world. Over the past 10 years, they have been changing the way in which literacy and ESL education have been taught in thousands of schools. With Click n’ Kids spelling, reading, phonics, and literacy programs, you can rest assured that your English proficiency will grow. The use of these programs is the foundation for many early ESL students, and we are certain that their products will be both entertaining and educational. One of the fastest growing ESL study groups within Facebook is We Study English! The mission and goal of the group is to bring together students from around the world to share their English questions and to receive tips and suggestions from their peers.We Study English! 20
  22. 22. © 2011 The English Academy, LLC