segunda-feira, 30 de junho de 2014

Your CV or Resume In English

When you apply for a job, employers ask for two important documents:

1.A CV or resume
2.A covering letter
This month we look at your CV. Next month we will look at your covering letter.

Why you need a good CVYour CV is a summary of your professional and academic life. It usually concentrates on your personal details, education and work experience.

Your CV's job is very simple: to get you a job interview. To do this, your CV must be:

•easy to read
•relevant to the job offered
You should include everything that is relevant to your employment or career and nothing that is irrelevant. There are usually 5 general headings of information to include:

a.Personal details: name, address, email and telephone number (and sometimes nationality, age/date of birth and marital status)
b.Objective: a headline that summarises the job you want
c.Work experience: your employment in reverse chronological order
d.Education: details of secondary and university education
e.Personal interests: showing that you are a well-balanced person with an interesting life outside work
Sometimes, you may need to give additional information for a particular job or because you have special qualifications.

FormatIn the English-speaking world your CV should be word-processed, for several reasons:

•a hand-written CV is unprofessional
•some recruitment agencies and employers like to scan CVs electronically
•it will be easier for you to update and modify your CV later
It is usually best to limit your CV to a maximum of 2 pages. You can usually put everything you need on 1 or 2 pages.

There are basically 2 standard paper sizes, depending on your part of the world:

•A4 (297 x 210 millimetres) - as used in Europe
•Letter Size (8 1/2 x 11 inches) - as used in the United States
Your language should be simple and clear.

Use short words and short sentences.

Do not use technical vocabulary (unless you are sure that the reader will understand it).

Talk about concrete facts ("I increased sales by 50%"), not abstract ideas ("I was responsible for a considerable improvement in our market position").

Use verbs in the active voice, not passive voice. Which of these two sentences do you think is the more powerful?

•active: "I organised this exhibition."
•passive: "This exhibition was organised by me."
Use "power words". The most powerful words are verbs. And the most powerful verbs are action verbs. (Action verbs describe dynamic activity, not state).

Here, for example, are some typical power words for Management and Sales skills:

•Management skills: assign, attain, chair, co-ordinate, delegate, direct, execute, organise, oversee, plan, recommend, review, strengthen, supervise, train
•Sales skills: sell, convert, close, deal, persuade, highlight, satisfy, win over, sign
So you should use lots of action verbs matched to your skills, and use them in the active form, not the passive form.


sexta-feira, 27 de junho de 2014


By Josef Essberger
KWIM? I thought not.

For e-English read "electronic English" and for IYKWIM read "if you know what I mean".

And for KWIM? Yes, that's right. You'll have to FIOFY.

The internet has created a whole new way of speaking when we write email, post messages or chat online.

It saves time and typing effort, but it's no joke if you don't know the "secret". So just to help you if you're not already a netspeak expert, here are a few of the basic rules and codes people use on the internet.

Remember, these are for use on the internet with friends. We do not usually use them in formal letters or faxes.

If we want to emphasise a word (make it more important), we often use asterisks (*), like this:

"I *love*"

Sometimes people use capitals to add emphasis but it is not a good idea. MOST PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE A LOT OF CAPITALS. THEY LOOK RUDE AND CAN BE DIFFICULT TO READ.

If we want to express our feelings and emotions, we can use "smileys". A smiley is a combination of symbols that looks like a face sideways. The original, basic smiley (eyes, nose and smiling mouth) is very popular and shows that we are happy:


We can also do this with eyes and mouth only:


Of course, if we are unhappy, we can change the mouth: :-(

There are many possibilities. Here are a few more:

•;-) wink
•:*) kiss
•:~) tears
To save time when typing (and maybe to save money if you are online), people often abbreviate commonly-used phrases. There are hundreds of possibilities and you certainly do not need all of them!

Some of these codes are just the first letter of each word, for example:

imo = in my opinion

Some of these codes use the sound of the letter to represent the sound of a word. For example, the letter "c" sounds like the word "sea" or "see":

cu = see you

Some of these codes use numbers because the sound of the number is the same as the sound of another word (not the spelling!). For example, 4 (four) sounds like "for". And 8 (eight) sounds like "ate". So if we write L8 we get "late". If we write W8 we get "wait"!

Here are some more examples:

•aamof = as a matter of fact
•asap = as soon as possible
•b4 = before
•b4n = bye for now
•cul8er = see you later
•damhik = don't ask me how I know
•eta = estimated time of arrival
•f2f = face to face
•gf = girlfriend
•gmt = Greenwich Mean Time
•hth = hope this helps
•icbw = I could be wrong
•jam = just a minute
•k = okay
•lmk = let me know
•mcibty = my computer is better than yours
•oic = oh I see
•pls = please
•plz = please
•q = queue
•rumf = are you male or female?
•sil = sister-in-law
•tia = thanks in advance
•uok = you ok?
•vr = virtual reality
•wdymbt = what do you mean by that?
•y2k = year 2000
© 1999 Josef Essberger


quinta-feira, 26 de junho de 2014

What's IN a Preposition?

What's IN a Preposition?
Josef Essberger

Prepositions can be divided into:

•one-word prepositions (eg at, into, on)
•complex prepositions (eg according to, in spite of)

The name "preposition" (pre + position) means "place before". Prepositions usually come *before* another word, usually a noun or noun phrase:

•noun (I will meet you IN *London*.)
•pronoun (Give it TO *her*.)
•noun phrase (I'm tired OF *all this work*.)
•gerund (verb in -ing form) (It crashed ON *landing*.)
If a preposition does not come before another word, it is still closely associated with another word:

•*Who* did you talk TO?
•TO *whom* did you talk?
•I talked TO *Jane*.
Notice that many prepositions can also be adverbs:

•He walked DOWN the hill. (preposition)
•Please sit DOWN. (adverb)
A few prepositions can also be conjunctions:

•Everyone came BUT Tara. (preposition)
•I asked her BUT she didn't answer. (conjunction)


How many prepositions are there in English? It is not possible to give a definite answer, partly because complex prepositions are "open class", which means that new ones could be invented at any time. But for a list of almost all the one-word and complex prepositions in common use, see English Prepositions Listed which includes 370 example sentences.


Many words are associated with a particular preposition. When you learn a new word, try to learn the preposition associated with it. A good dictionary usually gives you examples.

Here are some common verbs that are associated with a particular preposition:

•to agree WITH somebody
•to agree ABOUT a subject
•to agree ON a decision
•to agree TO a proposal
•to arrive AT/IN a place
•to ask FOR something (but to ask a question/the time/directions etc)
•to borrow something FROM somebody
•to depend ON somebody/something
•to explain something TO somebody
•to insist ON -ing
•to laugh AT somebody/something
•to listen TO somebody/something
•to participate IN something
•to pay FOR something
•to be rude TO somebody
•to shoot AT somebody/something
•to smile AT somebody
•to succeed IN something
•to talk TO somebody
•to talk WITH somebody (US)
•to worry ABOUT something
•to write TO somebody
Here are a few common expressions with particular prepositions:

•to be afraid OF somebody/something
•to be angry WITH somebody
•to be angry ABOUT something
•to be bad AT something
•to be clever AT something
•to be good AT something
•to be interested IN something
•to be kind TO somebody
•to be nice TO somebody
© 2001 Josef Essberger


quarta-feira, 18 de junho de 2014

False Friends

Careful with the False Friends! Both in your life and in your English. 

See the list and exercise below:

sexta-feira, 13 de junho de 2014

Humor: It’s great being a woman because…

14 It’s great being a woman because…

1.We got off the Titanic first.
2.We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynaecological disorder excuses.
3.Taxis stop for us.
4.We don’t look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
5.No fashion faux pas we make, could ever rival the Speedo.
6.We don’t have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.
7.If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
8.We can congratulate our team-mate without ever touching her rear end.
9.We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.
10.We have the ability to dress ourselves.
11.We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.
12.If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.
13.We will never regret piercing our ears.
14.There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.
15.We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren’t listening anyway.


quinta-feira, 12 de junho de 2014

A White Shade of Pale - Procol Harum

We skipped the light fandango
And turned cartwheels across the floor
I was feeling kind of seasick
The crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said there is no reason
And the truth is plain to see
But I wandered through my playing cards
Would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
At the moment my eyes were open
They might just as well have been closed

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

From Wikipedia:
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the debut song by the British band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart[1] on 8 June 1967, and stayed there for six weeks. (Without much promotion, it reached #5 on the US charts, as well.)

With its haunting tone and Bach overtones, vocals by Gary Brooker, and unusual lyrics by Keith Reid, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" reached #1 in several countries when released in 1967. In the years since, it has become an enduring classic. In 2009 it was the most played song in public places in the UK,[2] and the United Kingdom performing rights group Phonographic Performance Limited in 2004 recognized it as the most-played record by British broadcasting of the past 70 years.[3] Also in 2004, Rolling Stone placed "A Whiter Shade of Pale" #57 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

More than 900 recorded cover versions by other artists are known.[4] The song has been included in many music compilations over the decades and has also been used in the soundtracks of numerous films, including The Big Chill, Purple Haze, Breaking the Waves, The Boat That Rocked and notably in Martin Scorsese's segment of New York Stories. Cover versions of the song have also been featured in many films, for example by King Curtis in Withnail and I and by Annie Lennox in The Net.

The original writing credits were for Brooker and Reid only. On 30 July 2009, Matthew Fisher won co-writing credit for the music in a unanimous ruling from the Law Lords of the House of Lords.

Reid told Songfacts that he got the title at a party, which gave him a starting point for the song.[6] He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, "You've turned a whiter shade of pale," and the phrase stuck in his mind.[7][8] The original lyrics had four verses, of which only two are heard on the original recording. The third verse has been heard in live performances by Procol Harum, and more seldom also the fourth.[9] The author of Procol Harum: beyond the pale, Claes Johansen, suggests that the song "deals in metaphorical form with a male/female relationship which after some negotiation ends in a sexual act."[8] This is supported by Tim de Lisle in Lives of the Great Songs, who remarks that the lyrics concern a drunken seduction, which is described through references to sex as a form of travel, usually nautical, using mythical and literary journeys.[10] Other observers have also commented that the lyrics concern a sexual relationship.[7]

The phrase a whiter shade of pale by Keith Reid has since gained widespread use in the English language, noticed by several dictionaries.[11][12][13] As such, the phrase is today often used in contexts independent of any consideration of the song. (See [14] for many annotated examples complete with links to original sources.) It has also been heavily paraphrased, in forms like an Xer shade of Y - this to the extent that it has been officially recognized[15][16] as a snowclone - a type of cliché and phrasal template.

The Hammond organ line of "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach's "Sleepers, Wake!" and "Air on a G String", but contrary to popular belief, the song is not a direct copy or paraphrase of any music by Bach,[17] although it makes clear references to both pieces. This similarity is referenced in the 1982 play The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard and the 1991 film The Commitments. The music also borrows ideas from "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge.[18]

The single was released on 12 May 1967 (UK, Deram Records). It entered the UK charts on 25 May 1967. In two weeks, it had reached number one, where it stayed for six weeks. All in all, it stayed 15 weeks on the UK chart. A May 1972 re-release on Fly Records stayed in the UK charts for a total of 12 weeks, and reached number 13 as highest. In the US, it reached #5 and sold over one million copies.

Chart positions: # 1 (UK), # 1 (Germany) , # 1 (Ireland), # 1 (Australia), # 1 (World), # 3 (Norway VG-lista), # 5 (USA Hot 100)

Over time, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" has earned extensive critical acclaim.

It was named joint winner (along with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody") of the Best British Pop Single 1952-1977 at the BRIT Awards, part of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.
#57 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.
British TV station Channel 4 placed the song at #19 in its chart of the 100 greatest number one singles.[19

quarta-feira, 11 de junho de 2014

Pardon anything

Gregorio Duvivier

Hello, Gringo! Welcome to Brazil. Não repara a bagunça. Don't repair the mess. In Brazil we give two beijinhos. Em São Paulo, just one beijinho. If you are em Minas, it's three beijinhos, pra casar. It's a tradition. If you don't give three kisses, you don't marry in Minas. In the other places of Brazil, you can give how much beijinhos you want. In Rio, the beijinho is in the shoulder.

The house is yours. Fica à vontade. Qualquer coisa é só gritar. Shout. Mas keep calm. Como é que se fala keep calm em inglês? Here the things demoram. It's better to wait seated. Everything is atrasado, it's like subentendido that the person will be atrasada. For a meeting, it's meia hora. For a party, it's two hours. For a stadium, it's one year. For the metrô, it's forever.

Never say you are a gringo. Yes, people love gringo but people also love money and gringos have money so people vai cobrar de você mais money because you are gringo. Say you are from Florianópolis. People de Florianópolis look like gringo and they have a strange sotaque igual like you. People will believe you are from Florianópolis.

Politics is complicated. We don't like Dilma because of corruption but I think she don't rob but people from PT rob and Dilma don't do nothing to stop people robbing but politics is complicated.

Try this moqueca. Put some farofa. Try this açaí. Put some farofa. Try this chicken we call à passarinho because it looks like a little bird. Now put some farofa. Now put some ovo inside the farofa. Mix with some banana. Delicious. You don't have farofa in your country? You know nothing, you innocent.

I'm catholic but I'm also budista and I am son of Oxóssi. How do you say Oxóssi in english? It's the brother of Ogum. You don't know Ogum? They are guerreiros. And my moon is in Áries. Ou seja. Imagine the mess.

Try this xiboquinha. It's cachaça with canela and honey. Try this Jurupiga. It's cachaça with wine. Or maybe it's wine and sugar. Nobody knows. It's delicious. Try this soltinho da Bahia. It's organic. I only smoke when I drink. But the problem is drink a lot. Try this brigadeiro. This is called larica. Now put some farofa. Delicious.

This cup passed really fast. Volte sempre. Come back always! Fica lá em casa. We are family now. You like that? You can keep it. It's your. Faço questão. I make question. Go with god and desculpa qualquer coisa. Pardon anything.

Gems of Wisdom: You can make this day whatever you want it to be.

The very moment you wake up in the morning you can decide what sort of day it is going to be for you. It can be the most wonderful imaginable, but it is up to you. You are free to make the choice. Be determined to be ultra-positive today, to expect the very best and draw it to you. Have absolute faith and confidence that you can and will do it.

Sometimes the only sense you can make out of life is a sense of humour.
To make sense of something
To understand something that is complicated or difficult.

I can’t make sense of these calculations.
Sense: The ability to understand or judge something. Some very common expressions are –

A sense of humour (= the ability to find things funny or make people laugh).
A (good) sense of direction (= the ability to find the way to a place easily).
A sense of rhythm (= the ability to move in time to a fixed beat).
A sense of timing (= the skill of doing something at exactly the right time).
Dress sense (= to know which clothes look attractive).
Road sense (= the ability to drive or walk carefully and safely through traffic).
Common sense (= the ability to make good judgments and behave in a practical and sensible way).

Referência: “Gems of Wisdom – Inspirational Messages to Enhance the Quality of Your Life and Improve Your English” de Jack Scholes – Disal Editora, 2007. Leia a resenha. Adquira seu exemplar na Disal ou no Submarino.

terça-feira, 10 de junho de 2014

Melhores professores de inglês não são britânicos nem americanos

'Melhores professores de inglês não são britânicos nem americanos', diz linguista

Para David Graddol, o ideal é que o docente fale a mesma língua do aluno.

Especialista diz que o ensino do idioma no Brasil tem décadas de atraso.

Foto: Fernanda Calgaro/G1

Ao contrário do senso comum, o melhor professor de idiomas não é o nativo, mas aquele que fala também a mesma língua do aluno. A vantagem desse profissional está na capacidade de interpretar significados no idioma do próprio estudante. Com a hegemonia ameaçada no caso do inglês, professores americanos e britânicos devem reavaliar a maneira como ensinam o idioma.

As conclusões fazem parte de duas pesquisas desenvolvidas pelo lingüista britânico David Graddol, 56 anos, a pedido do British Council, órgão do governo do Reino Unido voltado para questões educacionais.

No Brasil para participar de seminários sobre língua estrangeira, ele avalia que o ensino do inglês nas escolas brasileiras está muitas décadas atrasado em relação a outras nações e sugere que o país aproveite os Jogos Olímpicos e a Copa do Mundo para tentar correr atrás do prejuízo.
Durante 25 anos, Graddol foi professor da renomada UK Open University e atualmente é diretor da The English Company e editor da Equinox Publishing. Ele prepara um terceiro estudo, este focado mais na Índia, que será publicado até o final do ano. Leia abaixo os principais trechos da entrevista concedida ao G1.

G1 – Qual o perfil ideal de um professor de idiomas?
David Graddol - O melhor professor é aquele que fala a língua materna de quem está aprendendo o idioma. Também é preciso ser altamente capacitado e ter um ótimo domínio do idioma, claro.
Muitas pessoas ainda pensam que os melhores professores são os nativos. Minha opinião é que elas estão erradas"

G1 - O sr. considera então que os professores nativos estão perdendo terreno para outros que falam também a língua do aluno?
Graddol - Sim e não. O que acontece é que, usando uma metáfora, o bolo geral está crescendo, porque atualmente há cerca de 2 bilhões de pessoas aprendendo inglês ao redor do mundo. O fato de o Reino Unidos e os EUA estarem perdendo essa fatia de mercado é enganoso, porque a participação deles também está crescendo. No entanto, o bolo está crescendo mais e mais rápido. Em muitos países, há reminiscências românticas acerca do ensino de inglês. Muitas pessoas ainda pensam que os melhores professores são os nativos. Elas pagam inclusive a mais por isso. No entanto, minha opinião é que estão erradas. O que deve ser mudada é a maneira como o inglês é ensinado.

G1 - Como assim?
Graddol - O inglês passou a ser encarado como uma necessidade. Muitos países se relacionam e fazem negócios entre si por meio do inglês, sem que nenhum deles tenha o inglês como primeiro idioma. Em muitos lugares, o inglês deixou de ser ensinado como língua estrangeira, como na Cinha e Índia, onde o inglês passou a ser considerado uma habilidade básica. Nesses países, os estudantes começam a aprender o idioma já nos primeiros anos escolares. A ideia é que mais tarde, quando atingirem o ensino médio, passem a ter aulas de outras disciplinas por meio do inglês. Historicamente, falar uma língua estrangeira era sinal de status. Agora, o que acontece é que as pessoas estão genuinamente tentando universalizar o idioma.

G1 - O uso do inglês como “lingua franca” [quando um idioma é utilizado por pessoas que não tenham a mesma língua nativa] pode modificar o seu ensino?
Graddol - Há certas coisas que se tornaram comuns e que parecem uma nova variedade de inglês. E nós acabamos nos habituando a esse novo uso. São coisas simples, como a maneira em que as palavras são soletradas e todas as vogais, faladas. Muitas das vogais, nós, nativos da língua, substituiríamos por um único som. Essas peculiaridades, que não necessariamente devem ser consideradas erros, precisam ser levadas em conta no ensino desse inglês global.

G1- Como avalia o crescimento da demanda pelo ensino de inglês?
Graddol - O que está acontecendo é que, desde a década de 90, houve um aumento gradativo de pessoas aprendendo inglês e atualmente cerca de 2 bilhões de pessoas estudam o idioma. No entanto, nos próximos anos, a expectativa é que haja um declínio nessa demanda.

G1 - Como se explica essa previsão de declínio?
Graddol - As pessoas que hoje estão no ensino fundamental e aprendendo o idioma chegarão ao ensino médio ou superior já sabendo inglês. Em muitos países da Europa, quando chegam nesse ponto, esses alunos começam a ter aulas de diferentes disciplinas em inglês. Então, deixam de ser estudantes de inglês e passam a ser usuários da língua. Eles não têm mais um professor de inglês, mas um professor de geografia, por exemplo, que dá aulas em inglês. Esse declínio não significa que menos pessoas estejam usando inglês, mas que o inglês, ensinado no ensino fundamental, começa a fazer parte da alfabetização básica.

G1 - Que idiomas podem representar uma ameaça ao inglês? Mandarim é um deles?
Graddol - O mandarim não é uma ameaça. Certamente que tem crescido em popularidade, mas faz parte de um pensamento antigo, quando se achava que uma língua cresceria à custa de outra. No entanto, ambas podem crescer juntas, assim como outros idiomas.
A internet tem uma diversidade de línguas, mas o inglês acaba então sendo mais comum nos fóruns on-line de discussão e em relatórios técnicos"

G1 - Qual o impacto da internet no uso do idioma?
Graddel - A internet é outro bolo que tem crescido cada vez mais rápido. E nela são usadas mais línguas do que antes. É um lugar que acolhe línguas menores. Meu nome é galês e, se fizer uma pesquisa no Google sobre mim na internet, aparecerão diversas páginas escritas em galês. Isso é surpreendente porque, de repente, percebemos que há um universo paralelo na internet. E o mesmo acontece com o catalão. E muitas vezes não tomamos conhecimento disso porque uma página num idioma não tem link para páginas em outro idioma. A internet tem uma diversidade de línguas, mas o inglês acaba então sendo mais comum nos fóruns on-line de discussão e em relatórios técnicos.

G1 - O ensino do inglês é bastante rentável para os países onde a língua é falada.
Graddol - Os ganhos com o aprendizado do inglês não vêm só dos cursos de inglês mas também dos estudantes internacionais que vão para as universidades nesses países para terem aulas em inglês. Então, esse é outro tipo de exportação que pode ser creditada ao inglês.

G1 - A crise global afetou em algum aspecto o ensino do inglês?
Graddel - A crise global foi positiva para o setor porque provocou a desvalorização da libra esterlina e deixou o Reino Unido mais atrativo. O que aconteceu é que o Reino Unido deixou de disputar esses alunos com competidores tradicionais, como os EUA, a Austrália e, em certa medida, a Nova Zelândia. Agora, estamos perdendo para universidades na Europa, que têm cursos de diversas áreas que são dados em inglês. Um aluno coreano, por exemplo, pode estudar direito na Alemanha e ter aulas em inglês, além de estar bem no centro da União Europeia e quem sabe até aprender um pouco de alemão. Para ele, o ganho acaba sendo maior.

G1 - O ensino do inglês deve começar nos primeiros anos escolares? As crianças obtêm resultados mais consistentes?
Graddol - Diversos aspectos devem ser considerados. É possível começar a estudar inglês mais tarde. No entanto, se esse início for com 11 anos de idade, por exemplo, o número de horas dedicadas ao idioma precisa ser mais intenso, com, no mínimo, cinco ou seis horas. E esse ensino tem que ser bastante eficiente, que contemple o desenvolvimento de diversas habilidades da língua.

G1- Existe então uma idade ideal para começar a aprender inglês?
Graddol - Não. Na verdade, há vantagens e desvantagens em quase todas as idades. Conheço adultos que, com meia hora de estudo, têm rendimento maior do que uma criança justamente por causa da sua experiência adquirida ao estudar idiomas. Há vários outros aspectos a serem levados em conta. Um é que é muito mais fácil criar, numa sala de aula, um ambiente que motive as crianças a aprenderem. Elas aprendem quase sem perceber. No entanto, o principal argumento talvez seja que, como nem todas as escolas conseguiriam destinar um dia da semana de uma turma de alunos de 11 anos para ensinar inglês, o melhor é começar cedo. Assim, é possível obter um progresso gradativo, que permita ao estudante chegar no ensino médio falando inglês.

G1 - Como avalia a situação do Brasil em relação ao ensino e uso do inglês?
Graddol - No Brasil, o inglês é ainda visto como uma língua estrangeira. Em muitos outros países, as coisas avançaram muito rapidamente e não é mais visto como uma língua estrangeira. O Brasil parece estar muitas décadas atrás do resto do mundo em termos de inglês. O que está sendo feito aqui não é suficiente para produzir pessoas realmente fluentes em inglês. As escolas estão falhando ao ensinar inglês e isso é uma ótima noticia para o setor privado. As famílias que tiverem condição de bancar os estudos mandarão seus filhos para escolas de idiomas, o que gera a divisão social.

G1 - As Olimpíadas e a Copa do Mundo podem ser oportunidades para o Brasil correr atrás desse prejuízo?
Graddol - Certamente. Foi o que a China tentou fazer, usou as Olimpíadas como uma justificativa para implantar programas de melhoria de conhecimento de inglês para a população de Pequim. Foram estabelecidas metas. E é isso que o Brasil deveria fazer, porque, se não se estabelece metas, não se sabe onde quer chegar nem se você chegou lá.

G1 - E deu certo na China?
Graddol - Entre as metas estabelecidas na China, havia algumas em relação a policiais e taxistas, por exemplo. Mas devo dizer que não deram muito certo. Como alternativa, puseram uma maquininha dentro dos táxis que emitia a tarifa da corrida para facilitar a vida do turista. No caso do Brasil, o país deve ao menos tentar garantir que os funcionários de hotéis falem bem o inglês. E as metas precisam ser estabelecidas já, porque as mudanças levam tempo.


segunda-feira, 9 de junho de 2014

Why is English So Hard to Learn?

By John Janson

In order for you to be able to make yourself understood, and to understand other people too, it necessary to COMMUNICATE. This is the basis of all relationships, whether personal or professional. If you reside in a country like US, where practically everyone speaks English, then it is important that you speak English fluently. Learning to speak a language is a very important part of making yourself comfortable in the place that you live in. And in the US, English is important so you are expected to speak in English. Yet, there are so many groups that do not speak English and this in turn creates a lot of disharmony with the people around. And why? Only because they cannot understand each other. How can a Hispanic understand a Chinese, unless they meet on common ground. And this common ground is the language. And English is one language that universal and is adapted by most people all over the world. Yet there are people in the US who don't take an interest in learning it.

Now if you have decided to make an effort and learn English the there are some things that you could do. Don't be under that false belief that English is a tough language. It is not. And in a country like the US, it becomes even simpler. Because almost everyone speaks English and this way you get to hear those familiar words frequently. And due to the frequency, you actually can pick up so many simple words without any problem. You are basically placed in an environment that is so conducive and supportive. Everywhere you go, people speak the language. If you feel that you do not have the right kind of people or surroundings, then ensure that you place yourself among English speaking pros and create the right kind of setting as in where you can pick up the language fast.

To get better at English, you need to find a co-operative candidate or friend that will be willing to speak in English with you, and that too on a daily basis. You don't even have to spend a penny. Every time you visit a store, just push yourself to speak a few monosyllables and words, feeling no shyness. Get comfortable in speaking this new language, and you will be surprised how kind greengrocers and storekeepers are. They will actually assist you and correct you. When you go home, stand in front of the mirror and try speaking in the same accent and forming sentences of your own. You will soon realize how much you have picked up, without a sweat.

If you want to learn English instantly, then I suggest you get some audio and visual aids to help you. Get some DVDs that help you learn English. They have a constructive and quick course to help you. But remember, you still need to go out and make sure that you find the courage to speak and exchange words with other folks who know the language well. The more you speak, the more you will master it.

sexta-feira, 6 de junho de 2014

Vocabulário: Qual é o melhor dicionário?

By Ulisses Wehby de Carvalho

Mas, o que é um bom dicionário de inglês? É aquele que atende as suas necessidades. Simples, não é? Você me pergunta: como encontrá-lo? Aí vai a dica: defina que tipo de dicionário você necessita: pode ser inglês > português, português > inglês, inglês > inglês, de uso geral, técnico genérico, técnico específico, de termos financeiros, médico, de expressões idiomáticas etc.

Além da necessidade de momento, quanto tempo você estuda inglês pode também ser fator preponderante na escolha do tipo de dicionário. Lembre-se de que há dicionários que foram desenvolvidos especialmente para alunos de inglês. Há ainda outras considerações referentes a tamanho, quantidade de palavras, preço etc. O vendedor de uma livraria especializada pode lhe ajudar nessa escolha.

Depois de escolhido o tipo de dicionário, peça ao vendedor para ver todas as opções daquela categoria. Sempre compare dicionários dentro do mesmo grupo. Pois bem, para fazer uma boa comparação entre eles, faça o seguinte: procure a explicação ou definição de um termo que você conhece muito bem. Compare as explicações de dois ou mais livros, analise qual deles possui mais clareza, os exemplos mais elucidativos, a apresentação mais agradável etc. Assim, você terá condições de fazer a melhor escolha. O erro que muita gente comete na hora de escolher um livro, principalmente os dicionários, é de ler trechos de assuntos novos ou desconhecidos.

Em suma, faça as comparações com base naquilo que você já domina. Somente assim você poderá saber qual foi mais claro, direto, preciso, com mais exemplos etc.


quinta-feira, 5 de junho de 2014

Building a sentence

A sentence is a group of words which starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!). A sentence contains or implies a predicate and a subject.
Sentences contain clauses.

Simple sentences have one clause.
Compound sentences and complex sentences have two or more clauses.
Sentences can contain subjects and objects.

The subject in a sentence is generally the person or thing carrying out an action. The object in a sentence is involved in an action but does not carry it out, the object comes after the verb.
For example: The boy climbed a tree.
If you want to say more about the subject (the boy) or the object (the tree), you can add an adjective.
For example: The young boy climbed a tall tree.
If you want to say more about how he climbed the tree you can use an adverb.
For example: The young boy quickly climbed a tall tree.
The sentence becomes more interesting as it gives the reader or listener more information.

What makes a complete sentence?
If it helps you, think about a sentence as if it were a skeleton, the skeleton contains various bones and these bones are put together to form different parts of the body. So are sentences formed by words, the words are the bones and they are put together in different ways to form sentences.

1. Simple SentencesA simple sentence contains a single subject and predicate. It describes only one thing, idea or question, and has only one verb - it contains only an independent (main) clause.
Any independent clause can stand alone as a sentence. It has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
For example: Jill reads.
Even the addition of adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to a simple sentence does not change it into a complex sentence.
For example: The brown dog with the red collar always barks loudly.
Even if you join several nouns with a conjunction, or several verbs with a conjunction, it remains a simple sentence.
For example: The dog barked and growled loudly.

2. Compound Sentences
Compound sentences are made up of two or more simple sentences combined using a conjunction such as and, or or but. They are made up of more than one independent clause joined together with a co-ordinating conjunction.
For example: "The sun was setting in the west and the moon was just rising."
Each clause can stand alone as a sentence.
For example: "The sun was setting in the west. The moon was just rising."
Every clause is like a sentence with a subject and a verb. A coordinating conjunction goes in the middle of the sentence, it is the word that joins the two clauses together, the most common are (and, or, but)
For example:
• I walked to the shops, but my husband drove.
• I might watch the film, or I might visit my friends.
• My friend enjoyed the film, but she didn't like the actor.

3. Complex SentencesComplex sentences describe more than one thing or idea and have more than one verb in them. They are made up of more than one clause, an independent clause (that can stand by itself) and a dependent (subordinate) clause (which cannot stand by itself).
For example: "My mother likes dogs that don't bark."

The anatomy of a sentence
The Verb
The verb is the fundamental part of the sentence. The rest of the sentence, with the exception of the subject, depends very much on the verb. It is important to have a good knowledge of the forms used after each verb (verb patterns), for example: to tell [someone] TO DO [something]
Here we can see that the verb to tell is followed immediately by a person (the indirect object, explained later), an infinitive with 'to', and, possibly, an object for the verb you substitute for DO.
Verbs also show a state of being. Such verbs, called BE VERBS or LINKING VERBS, include words such as: am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being, became, seem, appear, and sometimes verbs of the senses like tastes, feels, looks, hears, and smells.
For example:
• "Beer and wine are my favourite drinks." The verb "are" is a linking (be) verb.
Fortunately, there are only a limited number of different verb patterns. Verbs can describe the action (something the subject actually does) or state (something that is true of the subject) of the subject.
For example:
• ACTION: I play football twice a week.
• STATE: I've got a car.

Some verbs can represent both actions and states, depending on the context.
For example work:
• ACTION: David's working in the bank.
• STATE: David works in a bank.

Finding the VerbWhen you analyze a sentence, first identify the verb. The verb names and asserts the action or state of the sentence.
For example:
• "Working at the computer all day made David's head ache."
The main verb of the sentence is "made", not working.

Verbs identify our activity or state.
For example:
• eat, sleep, run, jump, study, think, digest, shout, walk ....

The SubjectThe subject is the person or thing the sentence is 'about'. Often (but not always) it will be the first part of the sentence. The subject will usually be a noun phrase (a noun and the words, such as adjectives, that modify it) followed by a verb.

Finding the SubjectOnce you determine the verb, ask a wh...? question of the verb. This will locate the subject(s).
For example:
• David works hard.
o Who "works hard"? = David does=the subject.
• Beer and wine are my favourite drinks.
o What "are my favourite drinks"? Beer and wine are=the subjects.

The Predicate
Once you have identified the subject, the remainder of the sentence tells us what the subject does or did. This part of the sentence is the predicate of the sentence.
The predicate always includes the verb and the words which come after the verb. For example:
• Michael Schumaker drove the race car.
"Michael Schumaker" is the subject; "drove the race car" is the predicate.

More Advanced Terminology

The Object
Some verbs have an object (always a noun or pronoun). The object is the person or thing affected by the action described in the verb.
Objects come in two types, direct and indirect.
The direct object refers to a person or thing affected by the action of the verb.
For example:
• "He opened the door. "- here the door is the direct object as it is the thing being affected by the verb to open.
The indirect object refers to a person or thing who receives the direct object.
For example:
• " I gave him the book." - here him (he)is the indirect object as he is the beneficiary of the action.

An 'adverbial' or 'adverbial phrase' is a word or expression in the sentence that does the same job as an adverb; that is, it tells you something about how the action in the verb was done.
For example:
• I sometimes have trouble with adverbs.
• He spoke very quietly.
• I've read that book three times.
The first tells us the frequency of the action (sometimes), the second how he carried out the action (quietly), and the third how many times the action has happened (three).
To remember the form of such verbs use your notebooks to write down the different forms.
For example:
• to go [somewhere]
• to put [something][somewhere]
This information is also useful when deciding the order of adverbials in a sentence. Unlike the previous parts of the sentence, a sentence can contain an indefinite number of adverbials, although in practice it's a good idea to keep them few in number.

quarta-feira, 4 de junho de 2014

Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips

Original version by by Jessica Bauer (UWEC student); revised and maintained by Dennis G. Jerz

Some professionals get scores of e-mails a day. Follow these tips in order to give your recipients the information they need in order to act on your message sooner rather than later.
1.Write a meaningful subject line.
2.Keep the message focused and readable.
3.Avoid attachments.
4.Identify yourself clearly.
5.Be kind -- don't flame.
7.Don't assume privacy.
8.Distinguish between formal and informal situations.
9.Respond Promptly.
10.Show Respect and Restraint.

To read more about this subject, go:


terça-feira, 3 de junho de 2014


The most important Jewish writer since Kafka may have also been a part-time beauty columnist with a penchant for Chanel suits. Benjamin Moser describes his fascination with Clarice Lispector ...


In September 1994, when I walked into a faux colonial building in Providence, Rhode Island, I had no idea that the modest trip from my dormitory marked the start of a journey that would take me to the graveyards of Ukraine, the apartments of Copacabana, the libraries of Manhattan and the suburbs of Manchester, on the trail of a glamorous and elusive artist.

I had gone to university determined to study Chinese. But after a few weeks of grunting despairingly in the language lab, where the professor told us that the most dutiful among us could hope to read a Chinese newspaper in a decade, I concluded that I needed something easier, something with an alphabet. As it was so late in the semester, the more popular languages were booked, so I found myself turning up for my first Portuguese class.

That unexpected encounter brought me friends I never would have met and took me to places I never would have seen. Yes, the same would have been true with Russian or Arabic or Greek: every new culture brings its food, its music, its beaches. But what Portuguese gave me that nothing else could have was Brazil’s great mystic writer, Clarice Lispector, a person so dazzling that she was reputed to be that rare woman who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf.

There were no faux colonial buildings in her background: despite her alluring reputation, she was born in a Ukrainian shtetl, a tiny town where people shat in ditches, even in good times. 1920, the year of her birth, was not a good time. In the aftermath of the first world war and the Russian Revolution, the country was starving. The Red Cross reported that people commonly ate their dead relatives and Jews were being massacred in a devastating, and today nearly entirely forgotten, wave of pogroms. Against incredible odds (her mother was raped in one of those pogroms) her parents managed to reach Brazil when Clarice was just over a year old.

She grew up in the Jewish neighbourhood of Recife, where she lost her beloved mother when she was nine. As a teenager Lispector migrated with her father and sisters to Rio de Janeiro. By the time she reached university she was already renowned as one of the most beautiful women in Brazil, and when she published her first book, "Near to the Wild Heart", at age 23, it was acclaimed as the greatest novel a woman had ever written in the Portuguese language. The judgment would still hold if Clarice Lispector had not continually surpassed her first book with her own subsequent works.

One of those was "The Passion According to G.H.", a novel I picked up during a lengthy backpacking trip I took as a student on my first visit to Brazil. The weeks-long journey took me through four countries; Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay in addition to Brazil; but of everything I saw on that trip--the boulevards of Buenos Aires, the Uruguayan pampas, the ruined Jesuit missions of Paraguay, the thunderous waterfalls of Iguau--the most thunderous impression of all came from reading "G.H.", the shocking story of a well-to-do woman who, at the height of a mystic crisis, puts a dying roach into her mouth.

The roach is not the only echo of Kafka in Clarice Lispector’s work. If for many Brazilians she is an icon of their national literature, for me she is the most important Jewish writer since Kafka. She is a woman who asked, and answered, all the essentially Jewish questions: about the beauty and absurdity of a world in which God is dead, and the mad people who are determined to seek Him out anyway.

This great figure is duly celebrated in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Her arresting face adorns postage stamps. Her name lends class to luxury condominiums. Her works are sold in subway vending machines. One Spanish admirer wrote that educated Brazilians of a certain age all knew her, had been to her house and have some anecdote to tell about her, much in the way Argentines do with Borges. At the very least they went to her funeral in 1977.

Outside Latin America, I found to my dismay very few people knew her, and I long wondered why. Was it because she wrote in Portuguese, a language whose literary productions were so invisible outside its own territory that it was once nicknamed "the tomb of thought"? Was it because nobody expects the greatest Jewish writer since Kafka to be a part-time beauty columnist whose Chanel suits and wraparound sunglasses made her look more like a Rio socialite than a mystic genius?

Or was it precisely because she was a Jewish woman in a literary economy that expects a Latin American writer to be a mustachioed chronicler of jungles and slums? Whatever the reason that the man on the street does not know Clarice Lispector, I started discovering, once I embarked on the half-decade project of writing her biography, "Why This World", that Clarice was a secret passion that many people, often prominent writers, had cherished for years. Members of this hidden fraternity would pop up all over the world. And they got the same crazed glint in their eye that I got when speaking of her. Colm Tóibín, at a wedding in Italy, rushed up to me to proclaim his love for her, and said he would do "anything anything!" to get more people to read her. Orhan Pamuk, who had read "The Passion According to G.H." in Turkish, confessed at breakfast in Stockholm one morning that he had been fascinated by her ever since. Guillermo Arriaga, a famous Mexican novelist and screenwriter, said that you can’t read Clarice Lispector without falling in love with her.

And that is exactly what I hoped I could make happen by writing "Why This World": to get more people, not just the literati, but everyone who cares about art and literature, to fall in love with her. Not simply because she brought the old Jewish mystical tradition of Eastern Europe into a wild new world. Not just because, as Elizabeth Bishop wrote Robert Lowell, she was a greater writer than Borges. But because readers might, as I did, find in her expressive genius a mirror of their own souls. After all, she was right when she wrote at the end of her life that "I am all of yourselves".

(Benjamin Moser is the author of "Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector". Clarice Lispector’s fourth novel, "The Apple in the Dark", will be reissued in Britain in October.)

segunda-feira, 2 de junho de 2014

Want to Convince? Use Abstract Rather Than Concrete Language

When consumers talk to each other about products, they generally respond more favorably to abstract language than concrete descriptions, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"In a series of experiments, we explored when and why consumers use abstract language in word-of-mouth messages, and how these differences in language use affect the receiver," write authors Gaby A. C. Schellekens, Peeter W. J. Verlegh, and Ale Smidts (Erasmus University, The Netherlands).

In the course of their studies, the authors found that consumers who described a positive experience with a product (like a smooth shave with a new razor) used more abstract language when they had a positive opinion about the brand before they tried the product. "When consumers were told that the product was a brand they did not like, they used more concrete language to describe a positive experience. Thus, consumers use different ways of describing the exact same experience, depending on whether they use a liked or disliked brand," the authors write.

For a disliked brand, favorable experiences are seen as exceptions, and concrete language helps consumers to frame the experience as a one-time event, the authors explain.

On the receiver end, the studies showed that consumers responded differently to abstract and concrete language. "In our study of receivers, we gave consumers a description of a positive product experience, and asked them to estimate the sender's opinion about the products," the authors write. "We found that perceived opinion of the sender was more positive when the description was cast in more abstract terms." For descriptions of negative experiences, the perceived opinion of the sender was more negative when the description used abstract language.

"Our finding that abstract messages have a stronger impact on buying intentions can be translated straightforwardly into the recommendation to use abstract language if you try to convince someone of the (positive or negative) consequences of buying a product, or of following your advice," the authors conclude.

Story Source: Adapted from materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:
1.Gaby A. C. Schellekens, Peeter W. J. Verlegh, and Ale Smidts. Language Abstraction in Word of Mouth. Journal of Consumer Research, August 2010