Why you need a media kit

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Every business should maintain a press kit. You never know when an opportunity for good press exposure will present itself. Sometimes you will place yourself where the media is designed to find you. Other times you may find yourself in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the right time.

Whatever the reason for media exposure, seize the opportunity and be ready to be seen in the best possible light. Read the rest of this entry »

Free TV

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Do you want FREE TV? Perhaps it’s because you are addicted to the latest police, medical or legal weekly series (mine is NCIS) or you are a sports couch potato (who spends all weekend with beer, potato chips and whatever game is on). Or maybe you are a news and documentary junkie (like my husband). But TV has more to offer …

TV can be a great educational tool for learning another language too. Watching and listening to your favorite program (in English or French) is a great way to improve your listening skills. My recommendation is that you select at least one program and watch it regularly. If it becomes your favorite show, then you are far more likely to be motivated to watch than if you randomly select shows. The regularity of the show will engage you. After a period of time, your understanding will improve as a result of the level of engagement.

About the FREE part of watching TV

It is obvious that people would like to watch TV for free!  Read the rest of this entry »

The Well-Written Word

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I freely admit to being a pedant regarding the written word. Given our rich vocabulary and well defined rules of grammar and punctuation, it seems perfectly reasonable that we use it correctly and fully. But of course too, it has to effectively communicate the message we are trying to deliver. Given that our messages may be intended for different audiences, it is essential that the writing reflect their education, socio-economic backgrounds and their propensity to stay the course through the entire text.

So it was with some trepidation that I listened to a renowned linguist talking about the natural and rapid changes which all languages have gone, and continue to go, through. I am taking a course on The Story of Human Language, given by Professor John McWhorter. Read the rest of this entry »

I will miss you Stuart McLean

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I rarely read obituaries and have never written about them – but this one is different. It is about Stuart McLean, author of The Vinyl Cafe.

My copy of The Vinyl Cafe sat on my bookshelf for years. However a few months ago I moved it to my coffee table where it is today. I found it is the perfect book to grab on my weekly trips to the Museum of Fine Arts. The subway ride is thirteen stops. That is just enough time to get through one of Stuart McLean’s fabulous short stories. My challenge for the day is always not to laugh out loud on the way. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favorite Class

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I wrote this article about my favorite class. While it is not about learning a language, I think the thoughts about learning,  teachers, and what makes a good class apply equally well to the study of languages or any other subject matter, so I thought I’d share it here…

The room was small. The mirror was cracked. And I was nervous as I waited for Viola, the teacher to arrive. But the memories from the experience are large, wonderful, and long-lasting. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Grammarly helpful?

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Good grammar is essential to your credibility!

As a writer I write, re-write, edit, read my work out loud, and correct any grammar mistakes or typos before my work goes out of my hands. Yes, it takes time and slows my progress down sometimes. But I consider it essential that my work is correct. And yet as I scan the web daily, I am always surprised to see so many errors in English. Read the rest of this entry »

Almost Scammed and Annoyed

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I went to sleep hopeful – I had a new student to tutor and help with English, which made me excited. New challenges energize me. Having new students encourages me about the possibilities in life.

In the morning, these hopes were shattered. I was infuriated when I received an email that was a scam. I had been gullibly entrapped in a scheme that tries to take money from innocent victims. The perpetrator (perp) usually sends a request for you to cash a cheque for more money than your fees and submit the excess cash to them. Then the cheque bounces. Firstly, you are left without your fees. Secondly, they have stolen your money too.

I was upset for several reasons:

  1. I had been looking forward to the opportunity to teach – but it wasn’t real.
  2. While I am usually vigilant, I had missed / ignored some of the signs that this was a scam.
  3. There are bad people out there who are trying to take advantage of us and it is just not fair!

However, I am a person who looks for the silver-lining in every cloud, and I feel that I am constantly learning from every experience. So, I want to share what I learned from this particular experience. Read the rest of this entry »