Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reflection of the class

In this semester, I learned more online English resources, including dictionaries, corpus tools, podcast, TED, My ET and MIT OpenCourseware, which are useful to improve English four skills. The class did not let me down because I could take use of different websites or tools to learn English without under pressure.
From the listening section to writing section, what interested me the most was corpus tools. Before taking the class, I did not know how to search for the correct collocations; thus, I usually use English-Chinese dictionaries to translate the collocations I wanted to write in my English essay. However, it would easily make mistakes since English and Chinese grammar is totally different. Fortunately, I finally learned the way of looking up the right collocations with online corpus in the class.
In addition to corpus, I was also interested by opencoureware, especially NTU OpenCourseWare. In terms of having to take calculus classes during summer vacation, I can preview it at home in advance though I am a little nervous that I will not catch up with other classmate. I believe that opencoureware is one of the quickest methods to further study in different subjects because I am able to sign up any courses anytime and start it when I am ready.
        The reason why I chose the course was that I expected to know more practical online learning websites and find more ways to learn English. As far as I know, English is the basic requirement in many industries, but due to the hustle and bustle of life, I do not have sufficient time to go to cram school. Therefore, the free tools on the Internet help me save time and money. Only if I choose the correct methods, I will learn English well by myself. Generally speaking, the course has not been beyond my expectation because some of the websites or tools I have already used before. Even so, there are still some beneficial resources.
Before taking the class, I usually listened to BBC radio or read magazines to enhance my English. Although I had known that there were many helpful websites on the Internet, I did not take good use of them because I did not like to spend much time on looking at the screen, and I preferred reading English on paper. However, getting used to reading books was not enough. After taking this class, I understood how important computer assisted language learning was. With technology development, more and more English learning websites are served for free which provide me more chances to make English better. Hence, I do not get rid of taking use of free tools.

        It is approaching the end of the class, but it does not mean that my English learning journey has finished. I still have abundant chances to practice English because of majoring in department of applied foreign languages. Whether I am an undergraduate student or a freshman in the society, I will continuously apply what I have learned from the course to my English even other languages learning. There is an old saying, “Opportunity favors the prepared mind.” I should not make any excuses to not have enough time to learn English because opportunities are all around me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

#10 OpenCourseWare

       Before today’s class, I have already heard Coursera and successfully got a certificate a few weeks ago. I chose a course about the culture in the South American. In each lesson, the professor shows several documentaries that help me understand Southern American culture. By using online opencourseware, I can learn my interested topics every time and even choose when to start the class. Besides, because of the Internet, people can easily learn great courses online without pay any money. In Taiwan, we can also sign up lessons in famous foreign universities. Therefore, online opencourseware makes my learning plans more flexible.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#6 My reflection of The power of introverts by Susan Cain

Susan Cain: The power of introverts

        The reason why I want to recommend this speech is that I am an introvert as well. In the speech, the lecturer shared us some points which we should sit down and think about it. From what she said, she said our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts and for extroverts' need for lots of stimulation. It reminded me of my life because when I was studying in elementary school, I felt the world is for extroverts. Only extroverts may be attracted others’ attention. However, after watching this video, I feel my mind being comforted. The world needs each kind of people to strike a balance. By the way, the lecture released a book called The Power of Introvert in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. I bought it and decided to read it during my summer vacation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

#5 My reflection of Steve Jobs' three stories

        Jobs’ first story about connecting the dots made me think about the situation where I am now. Sometimes, people may not know how to find their way out; therefore, they attempt to make a crucial decision to pursue what they really desire. Jobs was a brave person who dropped out of Reed College because he did not see the value. From his story, he told us to look forward and do not be stuck in the current status. For me, I am on the way to achieve my goals. Even if I cannot predict what will happen in the future, I believe something that I have done will connect to dots making me become what I want to be.

Friday, May 1, 2015

#4 My reflection of Steve Jobs's commencement speech

After watching Steve Job’s commencement at Stanford University, there are some points impressing me a lot. He said “ I had no idea what to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out……So I decided to drop out……” I sometimes feel the same as him because I think some courses that I had taken were not useful for my future. It wasted my time idling sitting in the classroom. For me, I take some classes just in order to reach the requirement of graduation. However, I do not have the courage to drop out of school since I have already doubled major my interested department. He taught me to understand what is the most important for me.
Another quote from the speech that is “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” I totally agree with it. People do not know what will happen in the future; however, what they did before might become an important and required part to achieve them. Although I have not any achievement so far, I try to do something that I think can be helpful to me so that I will not regret when the time passes by.
The third point is that he said sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick, and don’t lose faith. Our life is full of different or contrast phases, but we should listen to our hearts-Ask ourselves what we really want to do and believe what we choose which give us the direction to know what we are doing now.
I also like the quote “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” All of us are living for ourselves, even if someone is close to us. No one can replace us to live on, and we eventually have to face the reality. Most important, our life only last for several decades; therefore, we must cherish time to do something more meaningful.
Finally, Jobs said, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” The proverb inspires me to not give up walking my chosen road in my life. Be brave to purse my dream and enjoy my life. I will stay hungry to learn more things and  stay foolish to do them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#3 My comment on podcast

        I think podcast is one of the convenient tools whose contents of each topic are practical because I can use it without the time limit so that I can learn English whenever I want; In addition, I can also choose my favorite topics depending on my needs. Through this kind of tool, I can train my English skill as if an English speaker would teach me how to correctly speak native English. The reasons why I like podcast are that I can build up my vocabulary bank a bit every day and the lectures don’t speak fast so I can catch up what he said.

Different from the materials I used before like the CDs with contexts book or English-learning magazines, I do not need to install software or insert CDs to the computer; besides, I can download the mp3 formats from the website and save them to my smartphone.

I think the strength of podcast is that users can learn English online every time only if they have computers that can connect to the Internet and even download the formats in order that they want to make good use of time learning English. However, it has drawbacks which are users cannot communicate with the lectures in time if they have any questions and the topics are those lectures decided; therefore, users may have no choices to pick up their most interested topics.

Friday, March 20, 2015

#2 Dictionary Exercise

1.      Strain(N.)[C][U]: pressure on somebody/something because they have too much to do or manage, or something very difficult to deal with; the problems, worry or anxiety that this produces
E.g. Their constant arguments were putting a strain on their marriage.

2.      Psychological(Adj.): connected with a person’s mind and the way in which it works
E.g. Victory in the last game gave them a psychological advantage over their opponents.

3.      Swap(V.): to give something to somebody and receive something in exchange
E.g. When you've finished reading your book, and I've finished mine, can we swap?

4.      Correspondingly(Adv.): in a way that matches or is connected with something that you have just mentioned
E.g. As the course becomes more difficult, there's usually a corresponding drop in attendance.

5.      Neighbourliness(N.): friendly and helpful behaviour, especially between people who live near each other
E.g. He has argued that neighbourliness requires ‘mutual recognition among residents through repeated informal encounters’.

My favorite online dictionaries are Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary because they provide explicit definition that I can easily understand. Besides, they also give the readers some or more examples so that we can know how to use the words we look up. Take myself as an example. I usually use Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary while I was writing English essays. Sometimes, the examples on the online dictionaries are practical for using in our daily lives. From those great dictionaries, I do not have to buy paper ones and spend too much time on looking up the dictionaries.