Thursday, March 4, 2021

Free Class: Introduction to Public Speaking - University of Washington via Coursera

 

Hi All, 

Are you looking for a place to ramp up your public speaking skills? Now is a great time to jump in and join a free online public speaking class, on Coursera. Yes, that is right---it is totally FREE.  

I love the classes on Coursera. I have taken several classes, and find them so useful. Here is what they cover for this online class, taken straight from the class introduction page: (https://www.classcentral.com/course/public-speaking-889)

Syllabus

  • Week 1: Understanding speech
    • Thank you for joining Introduction to Public Speaking! I am thrilled at the prospect of a global discussion about good speech. Let's get started! In this module, we’ll focus on the basics of the course and how rhetorical canons will help us structure our time. Then we’ll turn to the important ways that speaking and writing differ. By the end of this week, you should have some tools for evaluating your speech writing. If you want some feedback, you’ll be able to upload an introductory speech for peer review.
  • Week 2: Making ideas compelling and memorable
    • Now that we have the course foundation out of the way, we can work on our basic speech model: the key point speech. I love this format. It's the Swiss army knife of speeches. This basic model works in interviews, short presentations, elevator talks, and can even structure an hour long presentation. After overviewing the assignment, we’ll talk about how to plan out your speeches. By the end of the week, you should have some tools for quickly putting together short presentations. You can practice this by analyzing some speeches.
  • Week 3: Illustrating and delivering your ideas
    • This week, we’ll talk about support and arrangement. The lessons here will immediately help all of your other presentations. Why? Because we need to think about how audiences hear our ideas in real time. There are things we should be doing to help listeners instantly organize and process the information we’re presenting to them. By the end of the week, you should be able to discuss evidence clearly and highlight your speech's organization. If you want some feedback, you’ll be able to upload a practice elevator speech for peer review.
  • Week 4: Overcoming your fear of public speaking and developing great delivery
    • This week, we'll discuss speech apprehension and delivery. I know the fear of public speaking is a pressing topic for many. Why didn’t we start the course with this? Because I think many delivery concerns go away if the invention and arrangement are good. However, invention and arrangement are just part of the equation - now we can supercharge our delivery. By the end of this week, you’ll have some techniques for combating those butterflies and speaking confidently. If you want some feedback, you’ll be able to upload a practice key point speech for peer review.
  • Week 5: Course conclusion and your final speech
    • Thank you for time in this course. I hope the material has proven helpful in some way. We concluded our discussion of the speech last week. I would like to spend a bit of time reflecting on the course and talking a bit about the other courses in this specialization. We will end this week with your final key point speech.

(See the introduction video here:  https://d1a2y8pfnfh44t.cloudfront.net/s2s2ZOl1Z4w/full/540p/index.mp4)

Isn't that amazing. Hey, you do not want to miss this class. Even if you are learning English, this would be a great way to practice your English and develop you public speaking skills at the same time. (I might just join the class myself.) See you in class!!! 






Thursday, February 11, 2021

Use a Variety of Methods for English Learning

 



Hello All, 

The key to having well-rounded English language is to work on all skill areas, such as reading, listening, speaking and writing. And the way to do that is to use a variety of methods. For example, reading all of the time is not going to really teach you how to properly pronounce thousands of multisyllabic words; but listening to native speakers will. And it is the same for writing. To become a better writer, you have to start writing. 

So during your week, while planning out your study activities, make sure to cover all of the different skills, and have some fun doing so. Use a variety of ways, just like a crayon box to help color your language just as bright. 

reading
movies
TV
friends
podcasts
audiobooks
travel
dating
classes
dictionaries
radio
cds
textbooks
schools
chatrooms






For more fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here

Monday, January 11, 2021

Beware of Sitcoms

 




Hi All, 

I often get asked what type of shows should students watch to improve English vocabulary. If you want to improve your English, you can technically watch anything, like dramas, movies, lectures or cartoons. Let's face it, you will absorb even a few words from nearly anything you watch. But the question should be: What can I watch that will give me the greatest benefit? 

I think the best thing to do is to watch serious movies and dramas. They normally have more normal everyday-conversation than others. As apposed to comedies which tend to use many idioms, sexual innuendo, and sarcasm. Too much of stuff that you do not understand can actually demotivate you from learning English. So my advise would be, beware of watching too many comedy shows. Focus on those with more conversational English; not vocabulary with double meanings. 

So, bottom line is try to stay away from shows like Benny Hill, SpongeBob SquarePants, techy stuff like Dr. Who or any of the stand up comics like Eddie Murphy or Dave Chappel. Save all of this type of programming for later in your development stage. 

For now, focus on shows like NCIS, Prison Break, Breaking Bad or any of the daytime soap operas (like Days of Our Lives, General Hospital) if you can stomach that kind of mush-brain storylines. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚



For more fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Yasmine's Typing Class for Free English Writing Practice

 


Hi All, 

Another great way to practice English is thru taking typing classes. Yep! Typing classes. As a matter of fact, there are some great typing programs online that are totally free. You can practice a different lesson each day. The programs tracks your progress and you can advance through the various levels that they have. 

They also have a great curriculum for typing stories. Yea, you can actually type out stories (which kind of goes with my last blog about HOW TO BE A BETTER WRITER). You type out the story and choose the way that you want the story to go. That can be real fun deciding what happens in the story. 

I can even add special lessons where I add a writing prompt and you can practice writing the answers out, all while improving your typing skills, or keyboarding skills as they say. 

Let's review the benefits of taking free online typing classes. 
  1. They help improve on your typing skills. (Especially good for those who are planning to take their TOEFL iBT tests.)
  2. They help improve your reading skills. 
  3. They help improve your writing skills. 
  4. They help improve your spelling skills. 
  5. They're private, online and---did I mention---free. 

Wow, now those are great benefits! You can join a class and start today. Join Yasmine's Class on Typing.com. Here is the link to join: https://www.typing.com/student/join#5FE3C6C5010F0

You can either use your old account or create a new one. 

Once you have logged into your account, look on the left-hand side and choose your lesson for the day. Then click the yellow START button on the right. 



Notice the different types of lessons that you can choose from, beginner, intermediate, advanced, tech readiness, career path, coding, reinforcement and stories. (The career path and reinforcement lessons are my favorites.) 



The program even keeps track of your typing speed. Start any lesson you want and practice a little each day. Experiment with different lessons to get a more rounded experience. 

Typing.com is a five-star-free-online-typing-class you will never regret using. 


Typing.com!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

How to Be a Better Writer

 



Hi All, 

Writing is everywhere! In our homes, at work, at the stores and even on the street. The skill of writing is not like that of listening. Writing is an output skill that takes practice in order to improve. Let's take a look at some ways to help you improve this most vital part of our English life. 

  1. Begin reading anything and everything. Even if you may not understand everything you are reading, you are still adding this information to your brain. Look at it this way. In order to build a house, one needs bricks. The more bricks you have, the bigger house you can build. Same with language; the more words you have. the more English you can speak and write, but you need the input of those words, and that comes from listening and reading. I promise you, if you never read, you will never write well
  2. Start writing anything and everything. Shopping lists, letters, poems and just random notes. Don't hesitate. Just keep writing. Like a baby learning to walk. The baby stumbles and gets right back up without overthinking it, don't they? Your writing is the same way.  
  3. Start copying a book by hand. Write the book out word by word, sentence by sentence in a notebook. Start with children's book at first if you like. (Any genre is really okay. If you want to practice regular conversation, choose a novel. If you want to better your academic writing, choose an academic textbook.) Now keep in mind, you will not finish this book in one day. This is a daily practice routine that will take time. Do this about 20 minutes a day. ................Now, let's examine some of the benefits for doing this practice method. 
    1. This will help build vocabulary. Remember our building a house example?
    2. This will help with learning to spell words. Some words sound alike but are totally different in spelling and writing the words out will help you to see the differences that you cannot see while only listening to English. 
    3. This will help you to actually see grammar rules in play. You may not understand them, but you will start feeling them over time. 
    4. This will help with learning pronoun usage in a natural way. Like for instance, may people call their boats and cars 'she'. Over time you will see how pronouns are used by native speakers. 
    5. This will help with sentence structure; for example, how adjectives come before a noun. 
    6. This will help you understand idea structure when telling a story. Again, the more you practice, the more your mind will start picking this up without you even realizing it. 
    7. And you will subconsciously start understanding how paragraphs are formed. For example: topic sentence, supporting ideas, concluding sentences. 

All of these things will be worked on without you even realizing it when you begin copying the book over page by page. It forces you to slow down and intake all of this information with natural absorption. Isn't that incredible???? Try this method today and you can see for yourself. Choose your text to copy over, and just start. 

I did this method myself, many years ago. It was a great exercise, even for me---an English native speaker. It helped me understand forming ideas, and fixed my own issues with punctuations. It ultimately made me a better writer! And it can help you too, no matter your level of English; you can only improve!






For more fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here

Saturday, December 12, 2020

English Coffee Hour

 


Hi All, 

A great way to practice your English is by having an English Coffee Hour. This is an hour that you pick to have with your friends or family. Here are the steps. 


  1. Choose a friend or family member to participate with you. 
  2. Choose a timeframe. It can be 1 hour, 30 minutes or even a whole day; the length of time is not important, but the more time you practice, the better it is for you. (Try to make a habit of it by doing it at least 3 times a week.)
  3. Sit down with your partner and favorite beverage (coffee, tea or whatever) and start a timer. (You can use a stopwatch, your phone or even a YouTube video.)
  4. Speak only English during this time. Do not cheat! Even if you need to use a translation book, a dictionary or your hands---speak only English. 
  5. Have fun! This hour is not meant to be stressful. If you do not know how to say something, just jot down a note to yourself to look it up later. This is free-style hour. You are with your safe-person. They won't laugh at you, so don't worry. Making mistakes or sounding like a total idiot is OKAY, so just relax and have fun with it. Talk about the weather, family, school, work-----the topics are endless. (You can even go my English with Yasmine question data base for conversation starters here.)


So let's review the benefits of practicing an English Coffee Hour


  1. It will help build your speaking confidence. 
  2. It will help improve your listening skills. 
  3. It will help with vocabulary development, because it will cause your brain to think when and why to use certain vocabulary words. 



For more fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here


Friday, November 27, 2020

English Exam Essay Formats

 





Most English exams have an essay question to give one the opportunity to show their extent of English. I get asked a lot about the best way to approach this task. While researching, I was a bit  overwhelmed with the variety of different formats, both 1-sided and 2-sided. ☺ 

One may ask which format is the best for the English essay task questions; but I think that would depend on the individual's learning style. What may be a good outline for one person, might totally confuse someone else. So, I decided to start a collection of diagram/outlines, this way students can review and decide which format is best for them. 

Check out the new page on the English with Yasmine Data Base at: http://englishwithyasmine.helpdocsonline.com/untitled-1600620482

For more details for the essay task, visit the IELTS page on the main website can be found here:  https://englishwithyasmine.weebly.com/ielts.html


Happy writing!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

My baby, Yayo!!!

 


Meet Yayo, our deaf fur-baby. He is a full white Pitbull that we have had since he was only 2 weeks old. He is so huge now, and weighs about 90 pounds. His head is nearly as big as mine. 

He is so lovable and everyone who meets him just adores him! Because he cannot hear us, he stands as close as he can to us---all of the time; this is how he communicates with us, but bumping into us. One day, he was so happy that he knocked me off my feet. He does not understand how strong he really is. πŸ˜‰

Pets are an amazing part our family. We have two Pitbulls and two cats. They love us unconditionally with their whole heart. 

Do you have pets? Are they lovable like Yayo? Let's review some pet vocabulary that may be helpful to you and your family. (Taken from https://www.excellentesl4u.com/esl-pets-vocabulary.html.)


  1. Adorable: Something that is lovely and cute. (adjective)
  2. Allergic: A reaction to something that often includes sneezing. (adjective)
  3. Bark: The sound a dog makes. (noun)
  4. Bird: An animal that flies and has feathers. (noun)
  5. Bite: To use the mouth and teeth to hold something or someone. (verb)
  6. Bowl: What an animal would eat or drink out of. (noun)
  7. Breed: The specific type of animal, e.g. there are many different breeds of dog. (noun)
  8. Cage: A structure made of metal bars that is used to keep an animal in. (noun)
  9. Canary: A small bird that sings a beautiful song and is a yellow color. (noun)
  10. Canine teeth: The sharp and long teeth that some animals have. (noun)
  11. Cat: A furry animal that goes meow with whiskers and a tail. (noun)
  12. Chirp: The noise that a bird makes. (noun)
  13. Claws: The sharp curved parts of animal’s and bird’s feet. (noun)
  14. Collar: A strap around an animal’s neck that is used to attach a lead. (noun)
  15. Crawl: To move slowly. (verb)
  16. Dog: An animal with fur that wags it tail and barks. (noun)
  17. Domestic pig: A type of pig that is kept as a pet. (noun)
  18. Donkey: An animal used to carry loads, now kept as a pet. (noun)
  19. Feathers: The covering of a bird’s body. (noun)
  20. Ferret: A long thin animal that is sometimes kept as a pet. (noun)
  21. Fetch: A game to play with a dog where the person throws something and the dog brings it back. (noun)
  22. Fish: An animal that lives in water and swims. (noun)
  23. Food bowl: The container for an animal’s food. (noun)
  24. Food: What an animal eats. (noun)
  25. Friendly: An animal that likes people. (adjective)
  26. Fur: The hair that covers many types of animals. (noun)
  27. Gecko: A reptile with sticky feet that can climb walls. (noun)
  28. Gerbil: A small animal that jumps with a long furry tail. (noun)
  29. Gold fish: A fish that has a yellow/orange/gold color. (noun)
  30. Groom: To look after the fur of animals so they look smart and clean. (verb)
  31. Groomer: Person who cuts the fur of animals and makes them look beautiful. (noun)
  32. Guinea pig: A small furry animal that has a very short tail. (noun)
  33. Hamster: A small animal that stores food in its cheeks. (noun)
  34. Hedgehog: A small animal that is covered in spines. (noun)
  35. Hops: To use small jumps instead of walking. (verb)
  36. Horse: A large animal that can be ridden by a person. (noun)
  37. ID tag: Something that is attached to a collar and has information about the animal’s owner. (noun)
  38. Kennel: A small house for a dog. (noun)
  39. Kitten: A baby cat. (noun)
  40. Lead: The rope or other material used to stop an animal running away, normally a dog (same as leash). (noun)
  41. Leash: The rope or other material used to stop an animal running away, normally a dog (same as lead). (noun)
  42. Lizard: A reptile with long tail. (noun)
  43. Meow: The sound a cat makes. (noun)
  44. Microchip: A small device put under an animal’s skin to identify it. (noun)
  45. Mouse: A small animal with a pointed nose. (noun)
  46. Parrot: A type of bird that is brightly colored and can learn to speak words. (noun)
  47. Pet owner: A person who looks after and cares for a pet. (noun)
  48. Pet shop: A shop where pets and pet supplies can be bought. (noun)
  49. Pet: An animal that is kept by a person to be a friend. (noun)
  50. Pigeon: A type of bird that can be kept as a pet and used to fly in races. (noun)
  51. Playful: An animal that wants to have fun with people. (adjective)
  52. Puppy: A baby dog. (noun)
  53. Purr: The sound a cat makes when it is happy. (noun)
  54. Rabbit: A furry animal with big ears that hops. (noun)
  55. Rat: A smallish animal with a pointed nose and long tail, bigger than a mouse. (noun)
  56. Reptile: An animal that has cold blood, such as a snake, gecko or lizard. (noun)
  57. Ride: To sit on an animal while it moves. (verb)
  58. Scales: The hard covering found on some reptiles such as snakes. (noun)
  59. Shy: An animal that is scared of people. (adjective)
  60. Slither: The movement a snake makes. (verb)
  61. Snake: A reptile with no legs or arms. (noun)
  62. Spider: An animal with eight legs. (noun)
  63. Spines: The thick, strong and sharp covering on some animals. (noun)
  64. Stroke: To use a hand to play with an animal’s fur (same as to pet) (British English). (verb)
  65. Tail: The long and thin part of an animal that comes out of the end of the back. (noun)
  66. Tank: A container for fish. (noun)
  67. Teeth: The white hard parts of the mouth used for chewing. (noun)
  68. Tie up: To use a rope or other material to attach to an animal’s collar so it will not run away. (verb)
  69. To pet: To use a hand to play with an animal’s fur (same as stroke) (American English). (verb)
  70. Treats: Special food for an animal. (noun)
  71. Vet: (Veterinarian) A person who looks after sick and hurt animals. (noun)
  72. Wag: To move a tail from side to side. (verb)
  73. Walk: To take an animal, mainly a dog, to get exercise. (verb)
  74. Whiskers: The long strong hairs growing from an animal’s cheeks. (noun)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

New English with Yasmine YouTube Channel

 


I love black and white photos! I even love to doodle on paper! Recently I found a great way to combine my love of teaching with my love for doodling---and thus my YouTube Channel, English with Yasmine was born. Now I can teach English and have fun with doodles at the same time. 


Check it out!




For more fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Born to Ride - Ride to Live

 




Hi All, 

Did you know that native English speakers continue to learn English their entire life? Yes, we do. Including me! πŸ‘€ Let me me tell you of some new vocabulary that I have recently had the misfortune of learning about. 

My son owns a Harley Davidson motorcycle; one similar to the the pictured above. A week ago he was in an accident and received 3rd degree burns down both arms and broke his left wrist. Although he has been in accidents before, this was the first time that I had to deal with burns. This entire situation was all new for me. Not only did I get scared, shocked, saddened and cried, but I ended up learning some new vocabulary in the whole ordeal. So like any great teacher, I had to share this on my blog. 



My son the day of his accident.

Vocabulary: 
  • took a spill or ate the sh*t- (verb phrases) when someone falls off their motorcycle. 
  • road rash - (noun) a burn that is caused by friction when the body hits the street or pavement. 
  • burn unit - (noun) a special section in a hospital that is dedicated to victims of all types of burns. 
  • scraping - (verb) the method that the burn unit uses to clean the road rash. 
  • dressing - (both, verb and noun) clean bandages that the burn victim is wrapped with. 
  • tubing - (noun) the elastic tube that keeps the dressing tight; used instead of tape.
  • a cut - (noun) the leather jacket that a motorcyclist wears; usually with various patches. 
  • totaled - (adjective) when a motorcycle is beyond repair.

Well, just in case you are wondering how he is doing, he is much better now, and his wounds are healing nicely. Will I ever be able to keep him off his bike? Probably never! 


Thursday, September 24, 2020

English With Yasmine - Conversation Lists

 



Conversation is what Cambly is all about. It feels like Cambly was created just for me! I love chatting and yapping with people, especially those that I have just met. 

Luckily I hardly ever find myself struggling for something to say. I'm actually quite good at controlling conversations. However, sometimes it is fun to have others pick what we talk about. So.............. I have added several pages of conversation topics to the English with Yasmine data base; this way any of my students can choose what they want to chat about way before class even starts.


Let's review what they are. 


Beginner Conversation Topics - This page is for a true beginner of learning English or those who just want to have a simple conversation. 


Intermediate Conversation Topics - This group is for those which want to have just a bit of a challenge. 


Advanced Conversation and Writing Topics - Now this page is the really fun one. 

  • First of all, they are 1225 really thought provoking questions that you can use not only for class, but with your own friends and family. 😲 Yes, that is right, 1-2-2-5! πŸ˜²You can talk on this page alone for the next year. You can practice in English or even in your own native language. 
  • Secondly, the questions come from the infamous The New York Times. Each question has a blue link in it that will take you to a small write-up---answering the question. This will help you prepare to speak about it. 
  • Lastly, they make amazing writing prompts too. If you want to work on your writing, then start writing. Choose a topic, write about it, then compare your writing with the blue link's version and compare. 


Overall, these are great places to learn vocabulary and practice vocabulary. 


Practice with me. Practice with a friend. Or practice with a pen. 
Either way.............Happy conversing!




For fun English Doodles, don't forget to subscribe to English with Yasmine's YouTube channel here




Friday, September 18, 2020

America's #1 Podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience

 Larry King, move over, 

cause Joe Rogan is taking over!


Hi All, 

If you want to work on your English in an interesting, manly way with real American English, then start watching Joe Rogan on YouTube. He is now over 1500 podcasts with folks from all over the world--- over 700 different guests they say. See the full list here: https://www.jrepodcast.com/guests/

Joe---being a comedian and actor by profession---is funny, interesting, sickening fitπŸ’ͺ and an outstanding interviewer as well. The thing I love best is that he just talks to his guests like they are just real people, sitting around the dinner table or backyard patio, just chillin and chatting it up. 

If you want to work on your vocabulary and pronunciation skills, you cannot go wrong with Joe. I suggest that you start with Edward Snowden's interview from a year ago. Edward speaks so calmly and clearly, that you will love hearing him tell his story. I think you will be surprised about how much you understand. Use #1368 below to get a feel of what Joe is all about. 

You can also go straight to his YouTube channel here and pick any of his podcasts. He is not #1 for no reason! Listen in the car, in the garage, out in the yard, in the kitchen. ......Just listen and absorb. 


Are you up for a challenge? Then watch #1255 with Alex Jones and see how much of it you can follow.