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Showing posts with label READING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label READING. Show all posts

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 23

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills and have fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CULTURE: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Portraits of a complex marriage, by Kelly Grovier. Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera painted each other for 25 years: those works give us an insight into their relationship, argues Kelly Grovier.
Seen side-by-side in photographs, they struck an almost comic pose: his girth dwarfing her petite frame. When they married, her parents called them ‘the elephant’ and ‘the dove’. He was the older, celebrated master of frescoes who helped revive an ancient Mayan mural tradition, and gave a vivid visual voice to indigenous Mexican labourers seeking social equality after centuries of colonial oppression. She was the younger, self-mythologising dreamer, who magically wove from piercing introspection and chronic physical pain paintings of a severe and mysterious beauty. Together, they were two of the most important artists of the 20th Century. (Continue reading)

From BBC TRAVEL: The country with 11 official languages, by Denby Weller. Before coming to South Africa, the last thing an Australian would think is that there might be language difficulties.
[...] Discussion of the evolution of the colonial languages of South Africa is controversial, not least because they are just two of the 11 official languages in use today, and neither one is the first language for the majority of South Africans. In the 2011 Census, IsiZulu emerged as the language most spoken at home, followed by IsiXhosa. Afrikaans was a first language for 13.5% of South Africans, while English was spoken in just 9.6% of homes. Yet it is English that has emerged as the lingua franca – albeit a unique, local dialect enriched by the company of the many languages of the land. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
What causes antibiotic resistance? - Kevin Wu (4:34 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
BBC 6 Minute English: What Makes You Laugh? with English Subtitle (6:03 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
How to Survive Long Haul Flights - Travel Tips, Hacks & Tricks (11:42 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: Find out when to write hyphens (6:14 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
English Grammar - comparing with LIKE & AS (9:10 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Monday, November 12, 2018

How Emotionally Intelligent Are You? (From Mind Tools)

Boosting Your People Skills


We all know people who are in full control of their emotions. They're calm in a crisis, and they make decisions sensitively, however stressful the situation.

We also know people who can read the emotions of others. They understand what to say to make people feel better, and they know how to inspire them to take action.

People like this have high emotional intelligence (or EI). They have strong relationships, and they manage difficult situations calmly and effectively. They're also likely to be resilient in the face of adversity.

So, how emotionally intelligent are you, and how can you develop further? Find out below.


πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in the quizzes below:

Monday, October 29, 2018

What is the best age to learn a language? By Sophie Hardach (From BBC Future)

πŸ‘‰ GO TO FULL ARTICLE: What is the best age to learn a language?
πŸ‘‰ By Sophie Hardach

When it comes to learning a foreign language, we tend to think that children are the most adept. But that may not be the case – and there are added benefits to starting as an adult.
Credit: Getty / From: BBC Future

It’s a busy autumn morning at the Spanish Nursery, a bilingual nursery school in north London. Parents help their toddlers out of cycling helmets and jackets. Teachers greet the children with a cuddle and a chirpy “Buenos dΓ­as!”. In the playground, a little girl asks for her hair to be bunched up into a “coleta” (Spanish for ‘pigtail’), then rolls a ball and shouts “Catch!” in English.

“At th
is age, children don’t learn a language – they acquire it,” says the school’s director Carmen Rampersad. It seems to sum up the enviable effortlessness of the little polyglots around her. For many of the children, Spanish is a third or even fourth language. Mother tongues include Croatian, Hebrew, Korean and Dutch.

Compare this to the struggle of the average adult in a language class, and it would be easy to conclude that it’s best to start young.

But science offers a much more complex view of how our relationship with languages evolves over a lifetime – and there is much to encourage late beginners.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The 10 personality traits English cannot name, by Alex Rawlings (From BBC Future)

πŸ‘‰ GO TO FULL ARTICLE: The 10 personality traits English cannot name
πŸ‘‰ by Alex Rawlings

From the “un-take-out-able” to the “magnets for bad luck”, other European languages have a rich vocabulary of personal characteristics that English struggles to describe succinctly.
An 'I-don't-care-ist', someone who is overly complacent, indifferent or apathetic (Credit: Javier Hirschfeld/Getty Images)





The English language may be one of the richest in the world. It draws on its unique combination of a Germanic heritage and strong Romance influences to offer speakers a broad range of nuances when expressing themselves. Just consider the difference between a ‘hearty welcome’ and a ‘cordial reception’ to see where the possibilities lie.

Yet, as English continues to rise as the world’s de facto lingua franca, it’s important to also remember its limitations. Languages encapsulate culture. They are an embodiment of the way in which a particular group of people has agreed to communicate. As a result, they reflect those people’s experiences of the world through the idioms and expressions that become common parlance.

Learning other languages offers insights into the way that other cultures see the world. For someone like myself, gaining those insights can become addictive, and that fixation has led me to study 15 different languages. My recent book, 'From Amourette to Ε»al: Bizarre and Beautiful Words from Around Europe', explores some of the words that other languages have, but that English doesn’t. The following 10 words, for example, describe character traits and behaviours that may be familiar to us all, but that the English language struggles to succinctly express. (Continue reading)

πŸ‘‰Alex Rawlings is a polyglot and writer, who in 2012 was named Britain’s Most Multilingual Student after being tested for fluency in 11 languages. His most recent book is From Amourette to Ε»al: Bizarre and Beautiful Words from Around Europe.

Friday, October 26, 2018

How Creative Are You? (From Mind Tools)

If the idea of being creative at work makes you think of artistic talent, don't worry!

Business creativity is all about finding fresh and innovative solutions to problems, and identifying opportunities to improve the way that we do things.
Image From: The Creativity Post

As such, anyone can be creative, just as long as they have the right mindset and use the right tools.

This test helps you to think about how creative you are right now. Take it, and then use the tools and discussions that follow to bring intense creativity to your everyday work.

❓ QUIZ ⇒ How Creative Are You?

πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in the quizzes below:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 22

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills and have fun – ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

F
rom BBC CAPITAL: How similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness, by Christian Jarrett. Researchers have found that how similar you are to your partner can affect your happiness – but it’s complicated.
Among many monogamous species, from cockatiels to cichlid fish, studies have revealed a clear pattern: it helps to be more similar to your mate. When mating pairs are behaviourally similar, their reproductive success tends to be higher.
In human terms, this would imply it’s better to be similar to your partner. Indeed, for a long time psychologists and others have argued that similarity is probably beneficial – after all, then we will be more likely to enjoy the same pursuits, values and outlook on life.
But no matter how intuitive the idea seems, for decades nearly every study has failed to support it.
Now, though, a team of psychologists at the University of Amsterdam think they know why. They have taken a far more sophisticated and nuanced look at the issue than in previous research. (Continue reading)

From BBC REEL: Reel: The oldest coffee in the world. From huts in remote villages to internet cafes in the capital city, coffee ceremonies are the centre of social life and hospitality in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
How to show annoyance (4:11 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Salary Negotiation: 6 Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary (9:56 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
HISTORY: CONSUMERISM (10:52 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: Words with more than one spelling (6:16 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
Learn English: "last year" OR "in the last year" (8:26 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Core Values Are What You Believe, by Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

πŸ‘‰By Susan M. Heathfield (From The Balance Careers)

What Are Your Most Significant Beliefs and Needs?

Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent an individual's or an organization's highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are the heart of what your organization and its employees stand for in the world.

Core values are intrinsic to form the vision of your organization that you present to the world outside of your organization. Your core values are fundamental to attracting and retaining the best, most contributing employees.

Core values define what your organization believes and how you want your organization resonating with and appealing to employees and the external world. [They] should be so integrated with your employees and their belief systems and actions that clients, customers, and vendors see the values in action.

For example, [...] when customers tell the company that they feel cherished by the business, you know that your employees are living your core value of extraordinary customer care and service.

Core values are also known as guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are, what you believe, and who you want to be going forward.

πŸ“Œ Core Values Form the Foundation of Your Organization
Values form the foundation for everything that happens in your workplace. The core values of the employees in your workplace, along with their experiences, upbringing, and so on, meld together to form your corporate culture. [...]

πŸ“Œ How to Identify Your Core Values
Your goal, when you identify the core values of your organization, is to identify the key core values, not a laundry list of cookie-cutter values that you copied from another organization's list of core values. An organization's employees would have a hard time living any more than 10-12 core values (at a maximum). Four-six is better and easier to hold front and center in everything you do. [...]

πŸ“Œ Develop Value Statements From Your Core Values
Value statements describe actions that are the living enactment of the fundamental core values held by most individuals within the organization. For example, a nursing group of employees identified caring service as one of their core values. When they wrote their value statements, one was, "We will respond to all customer calls within one minute." Another values statement was, "No patient shall ever run out of medication from the drip line."

Values play a defining role in employee motivation and morale. [...] Values such as integrity, empowerment, perseverance, equality, self-discipline, and accountability, when truly integrated within the culture of the organization, are powerful motivators.

They become the compass that the organization uses to select staff members, reward and recognize employee performance, promote employees to more senior roles, and guide interpersonal interaction among staff members.
πŸ“Œ The Downside to Identifying Values

The downside to identifying values occurs when an organization's senior leaders claim to hold certain values and then behave in ways that are contradictory to their stated values. In these workplaces, values deflate motivation because employees don’t trust their leaders’ word.

Remember that employees are like radar machines watching everything you do, listening to everything you say, and watching your interaction with customers and their coworkers. They see your values in action every day at work—or they do not.

Employees want to work in a workplace that shares their values. They want their overall work culture to promote being a part of a whole system that is much bigger than themselves. They experience motivation and engagement when their workplace exhibits their most important core values. Never underestimate the power of core values in creating a motivating work environment—or not. Your choice.

πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

WEEKLY PICKS - 21

This is a weekly selection of reading articles, free online exercises, YouTube videos, games, quizzes and resources for you to further improve your English language skills while having fun ENJOY!

πŸ“œREADING PICKS – Articles, blog posts, quizzes and more:

From BBC CAPITAL: How to avoid awkward work conversations, by Alison Green. BBC World Service contributor Alison Green has been giving workplace advice for over a decade. She is still surprised at how many people avoid difficult interactions with colleagues. [This story is from an episode of Business Matters from the BBC World Service. To listen to more episodes, please click here.] (Continue reading)

From BBC FUTURE: A little bit of boasting could have benefits, by Talya Rachel Meyers. Many cultures tend to praise modesty and humility. But new research has revealed that the tendency to feel, and show, pride evolved for a reason – and plays a key role even today.
Pride is the downfall of many a tragic hero. Mr Darcy has to let his go before he can earn Elizabeth Bennet’s love. Dante listed it as one of the seven deadly sins. And as the famous (and oft-misquoted) verse from Proverbs cautions us, it “goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”.
There’s no question about it: we’re consistently told that pride makes us obnoxious at best and doomed at worst.
But pride may not entirely deserve this reputation as a destructive force. There’s new evidence that this emotion has an evolutionary function, and that it plays an important role in the way that we interact with the world. (Continue reading)

🎬 VIDEO PICKS – Short and fun videos:

LESS-THAN-5-MINUTE VIDEOS:
Visiting London - Beginner's Guide for Shopping in London (3:48 minutes)
5-TO-10-MINUTE VIDEOS:
HOW TO: Making informal invitations (6:02 minutes)
A LITTLE LONGER BUT WORTH IT!
5 English Pronunciation Tricks EVERY English Student Should Be Using (13:59 minutes)
πŸ’¬ VOCABULARY PICKS:
VOCABULARY: How to use synonyms (6:08 minutes)
πŸ’‘ GRAMMAR PICKS – Assorted exercises and games:
BBC Learning English - 6 Minute Grammar - Phrasal and prepositional verbs (6:32 minutes)
MORE PICKS NEXT WEEK!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How Good Is Your Feedback? (From Mind Tools)

Giving Clear Comments to Improve Performance
© iStockphoto / monkeybusinessimages / From: Mind Tools

As a manager, one of the most important things you do is give feedback. When you let people know how they're doing, you give them the chance to change unhelpful habits, and you reward and cement positive behavior

Do you know when and how to give feedback to colleagues? 

So, why do managers find it so difficult to give feedback? Perhaps it's because they're uncomfortable doing it, or because they don't feel that they have the skills to do it properly. Either way, they may put off giving feedback until a problem has become serious. 

Use this quiz to find out how well you give feedback, and to discover how you can give better feedback in the future


πŸ’‘ You may also be interested in the quizzes below:

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The surprising truth about loneliness, by Claudia Hammond (From BBC FUTURE)

The reality of feeling alone is not what many people think. Claudia Hammond, who instigated a survey called the BBC Loneliness Experiment, explores five counterintuitive findings.


About the results: The findings in this article are based on an online survey of 55,000 people from around the world, called the BBC Loneliness Experiment. It was created by academics at three British universities in collaboration with Wellcome Collection. - Find out more: The Anatomy of Loneliness
  1. Younger people feel lonelier than older people
  2. 41% of people think loneliness can be positive
  3. People who feel lonely have social skills that are no better or worse than average
  4. Winter is no lonelier than any other time of year
  5. People who often feel lonely have higher levels of empathy than everyone else
1) Younger people feel lonelier than older people

When you picture someone who’s lonely, the stereotype is often an older person who lives alone and hardly sees anyone. Indeed, in the BBC Loneliness Experiment, 27% of over 75s said they often or very often feel lonely. This is higher than in some surveys, but because the survey was online, we had a self-selecting sample and might have attracted more people who feel lonely.

Yet the differences between age groups are striking. Levels of loneliness were actually highest among 16-24 year olds, with 40% saying they often or very often feel lonely.

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