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Motivate Your English Language Learners To Speaking Improvement Using Comedy, Anecdotes and Stories

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Add These Suggestions to Your “Bag of Tricks”

Inherently, most people really do like to talk. That includes your English language learners too, although sometimes you have to literally pry the speech from their frozen lips by any means necessary. Have you tried using comedy, anecdotes, stories and fairy tales to lure them into speaking activities? If not, consider adding these five suggestions to your English or foreign language teaching “bag of tricks”.

1. Tell an Anecdote

Everyone has a personal store of humorous stories, happenings or anecdotes that they’re willing to tell. With learners and teachers alike, many of these might even originate in the EFL classroom. Family, friends, romantic interludes and vacation travels can also account for a number of these.

2. Tell a Story

In many countries there is a tradition of passing down stories, fables and history through a series of verbal sessions by “Griots”, or village story-tellers. Your learners may well a few of these they’re willing to share before the class. Why not open up this option to them? There’s no problem either, with using a few small, well-chosen props to aid in the story telling exercise.

3. Narrate a Fable

It’s not only children who love stories, fairy tales and fables. Whether the origin is European, African, Latin American or Asian, your learners can try their hand at relating a well-known, or not so well-known, story or fable they know. If it originates from a local culture, it could be quite interesting for you too and is an excellent way to help to delve more deeply into the local or national culture.

4. Re-Tell a Fairy Tale

The most popular fairy tales, in practically any country, are often ones you heard or learned as a child. Allow your English language learners to try their hand at telling or re-telling these fairy tales in English using their own words, idioms, expressions and language skills to do so. They needn’t stick to the “original” version either. A change of endings, modified characters and plot twists are most welcome, thank you very much.

5. Tell a Joke

Who doesn’t enjoy humor? Everyone knows a few good jokes or a joker or two who can give you a few good jokes to tell. Go onto the internet for a slew of these. Check out your local library for collections of riddles, jokes and humorous stories that might be used to stimulate speaking practice in English class. Did you hear the one about …

So if you haven’t tried using comedy, anecdotes, stories and fairy tales to lure your English language learners and reluctant students into speaking activities consider adding these five suggestions to your English or foreign language teaching “bag of tricks”. Remember, if you have any further questions, comments or assistance, just e-mail me. I’ll be happy to help.

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How to Start a Blog Fast – Expert Guidance to Successfully Start a Blog

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Are you looking for information on How To Start A Blog? Well here are a few tips to get your new blog venture as quick and easy as possible.

1. Get it right. That means doing things like a professional from the beginning. Find an effective domain name, pay for a reliable hosting company with packages to host WordPress blogs. Also be prepared to pay an experienced WordPress expert to set up your blog exactly the way Google likes it only if you can’t do it yourself. Always avoid cutting corners – getting professional help will get you start off on the right foot.

2. Decide your niche. There are a hundreds of weblogs about all type of topics. Few are so boring that you will never read any of them. The fewer blogs that do get the readers attentions always have something special in them. I would suggest is to use your creative writing skills for writing great SEO optimized articles.

3. Blog regularly. Google likes blogs which are updated regularly and most often. As such, it also works best if you can turn blogging into a regular habit.

4. Don’t lose patience. It will take a while before you gain your identity in the blogging world. You need to experiment with various little things like plugins and widgets. You might get things wrong sometimes but that is the way people learn, and you are no exception. But these experiments become really painless with an expert help who may fix things that you may mess up from time to time. Don’t forget to find a Blogging Guru before you start blogging, trust me it helps a lot or else you will feel alone and give up at some point of time which is not something you started for, did you!

5. Center on your content. New web blogs should center on attracting readers and the best way to do it is by a steady flow of quality content. All the distracting widgets, cool tweaks and revenue-generating advertisements can come later.One should avoid getting into those for the first couple of months.

Lots of people make pretty big mistakes when they setting up their blogs. If you are one of those, then my friend you have come to the right place. You can get my assistance to kick start your new blog.

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The Essential Tools for Self-Publishing

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There are numerous tools designed for Kindle e-book writers. Unfortunately, many of these tools are just a waste of time and money. In this article, you will find the most effective online publishing tools available to you.

Identifying the Best Category and Keyword/s

Being a self-publishing writer in Kindle requires more than just excellent writing skills. You also need to know how to find the right category and keywords for your work. If you succeed in this aspect of publishing, you can get a lot of visitors and (hopefully) sales. The tools given below can be of great help here:

· Kindle Spy – This tool costs $47. You can install it on Google Chrome to collect information from the Amazon.com website. To use this tool, you need to visit a webpage that lists Kindle e-books. Used this way, Kindle Spy will help you find the ideal category for your e-books.

· KDP Rocket – This tool, which costs $67, will give you the best keywords and categories to target. The information you will get from this tool can help you generate new e-book ideas or validating new ones. Using this tool, you can determine how many people search for specific keywords, how competitive the keywords are, and how much money similar books are earning.

Writing your E-book

Word processors (e.g. Microsoft Word) are designed for different types of documents. However, they are not ideal for writing novels and other types of books. Fortunately, some computer programs are created specifically for authors.

One of the best tools is Scrivener. This program is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. It offers cool features such as the “corkboard” and the multi-tab structure. It can also generate names for your fictional characters. Lastly, it can help you prepare the table of contents and bibliography of your e-books in just a few mouse clicks.

Getting Great Reviews

If you want to sell a lot of e-books, you need to get great reviews from your customers. Positive reviews boost your rankings and your conversion rates. Readers will be more encouraged to purchase your books if you have good reviews.

Currently, the best tool for obtaining reviews is Book Review Targeter. It helps you find excellent book reviewers without violating Amazon’s rules. You just have to run the tool, specify the book to analyze and wait for the results. The program will give you the names and email addresses of people who are likely to give positive reviews. You may then contact these people and make arrangements on how they can check the published e-books.

Formatting your Books

As an independent writer, you have to handle all the aspects of publishing books and formatting is certainly one of the most complex parts of being a self-publisher. If you want to add pictures to your work and/or format your books properly, you need to use Jutoh. This tool is created to format all types of e-books. It can do excellent formatting tricks that most self-publishers do not even know about.

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Captchas Considered Harmful – Why Captchas Are Bad And How You Can Do Better

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What Is A Captcha?

If you’ve ever joined a large website, then you’ve seen a captcha. Twitter uses it, Facebook uses it, and WordPress uses it. Captchas are small test that you must complete in order to prove that you are human. Usually, the test involves looking at some text and typing that text into a near-by box.

What Are Captchas Meant To Do?

The simple answer is keep your website spam free. That is the purpose of a captcha. More generally, it aims to stop automated spamming, by assuming that every single user of the site is a robot until they prove otherwise.

Why Captchas Are Bad

On the surface, captchas look easy to use and interact with. Well, they only look that way to people who have perfect vision and an elastic mind. If you have these qualities, congratulations. If you don’t, here’s how captchas will be difficult for you and your users:

  • Warped letters are hard for users to read. Combine that with a strike-through, and you have a bad idea.
  • Users can’t tell the difference between 0 and o; and I, l, and 1, in certain fonts.
  • Blind people can’t use them. Even colour-blind people find some captcha implementations difficult to use.

Worst of all, even people with super sight and brilliant spatial awareness find captchas plain annoying. This drives away users, which drives down revenue.

How Can You Do Captchas Better?

The best way to do captchas better is to turn the concept on its head. Instead of asking every user to prove that he is human, you can trick every robot into telling you he’s an automated spamming machine. The easiest way to do this is to lay some traps.

Traps And Why They Work

In order to explain what a trap is, and how it’s going to stop your site from filling with spam, you first need to know how a spam-bot works. If you don’t know what you’re up against, then you will never defeat it.

The Two Kinds Of Robots

There are two kinds of spam-bots. The first kind is a replay-robot. This type of spam-bot records a form verbatim, and then posts the form with the fields filled in at a later date. It’s like a spam version of TiVo. Usually, the bot will do this again and again, literally replaying the recording it has made of the form.

The second kind of spam-bot is the form-filler. Form fillers crawl the web, find a form, insert the spam, and submit. Some form-fillers are dumb, and will put the same information everywhere. Others recognize common field names like username, email. A robot like that will place the spam in a text area, as this is usually where your users’ content goes in each post.

Traps For Form Fillers

The simplest way to trap a form-filling robot is to create a field which a human won’t (ideally can’t) fill in. You can do this by warning users not to fill in a certain field, but that’s just as bad as asking users to complete a captcha. Much better is to make your trap hidden. A form-filling robot doesn’t see the form, it reads it and parses it. You can make a field which is invisible to humans, but which is parsed by the robot. You can hide a field using CSS, or by changing the style of a field directly using JavaScript. As long as the visibility of the field is set in separately from the form, the robot will fill always in the field, and your users will not even know of its existence.

Catching Repeats

With replay robots you should capitalize on the fact that forms are collected once ahead of time. The forms are collected, and then, sometime later, they are replayed. You can record when a form was produced by including a date and time stamp with each form served. By comparing that date and time with the current date and time, your site can deduce whether or not an unreasonable amount of time has passed between form generation and form submission.

When The Robots Get Smarter

The obvious problem with adding a time stamp to your form is that once it becomes widely known as a tool for stopping spam, the people who program replay robots will generate good time stamps at the moment the form is replayed. The way around this is to encode the time stamp using a secret key. The data is decoded when the form is sent and then evaluated. It is highly unlikely that a replay-robot will be able to guess both your secret key and your encoding algorithm, providing you with security against spam, no matter how smart the robot gets.

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