Monday, August 31, 2009

Christine Jalleh

I am honored because Christine Jalled visited this blog and left a comment.

Blogger christinejalleh said...

Hello there! Nice to see that my recent article on effective emails is being shared with polytechnic students.

I think you're doing a good job starting them from young :)

Let me know if there are any topics you'd like to know more about, ok?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

MUET Exercises

Muet Moments



Information transfer from graphic representation to text

Study and understand the graphic representation to know the general idea. You can ask questions like, such as “What is the main subject?” and “What is documented along the X/Y axis?”

You can also look for extreme points of data, for example, the highest, the lowest, the greatest or the smallest.
Remember to look for details along the vertical axis or the horizontal axis. You can also obtain information from the title, source, legend and scale.


Study the chart below and fill in the blanks with appropriate words.

In a survey on students’ (1)_____________ for lunches served at Silver Springs Primary School, it was found that (2)__________ types of lunches were served on 1 June 2009. A total of 121 students (3)__________ in this survey. Out of these lunches, the most (4)_________ was Turkey Tetrazzini and the (5)___________ popular was tomato soup and grilled cheese.
37 Thirty seven students preferred eating pizza and this (6)________ 30.5 per cent of the number of students who participated in the survey. Being a primary school, all the students were probably (7)__________ 13 years old.

Taken from NST

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1st Card

Received my first raya card for this year yesterday...

Idiom: Have a Crush

"have a crush (on someone)"
- have strong feelings of love for someone (sometimes for a woman/man you've never met)

"When I was in college, I had a crush on a famous singer."

When To Use Each? When To Use Every?

Determiners: Each, Every

Each and every have similar but not always identical meanings.

Each = every one separately
Every = each, all

Sometimes, each and every have the same meaning:

  • Prices go up each year.
  • Prices go up every year.

But often they are not exactly the same.

Each expresses the idea of 'one by one'. It emphasizes individuality.

Every is half-way between each and all. It sees things or people as singular, but in a group or in general.

Consider the following:

  • Every artist is sensitive.
  • Each artist sees things differently.
  • Every soldier saluted as the President arrived.
  • The President gave each soldier a medal.

Each can be used in front of the verb:

  • The soldiers each received a medal.

Each can be followed by 'of':

  • The President spoke to each of the soldiers.
  • He gave a medal to each of them.

Every cannot be used for 2 things. For 2 things, each can be used:

  • He was carrying a suitcase in each hand.

Every is used to say how often something happens:

  • There is a plane to Bangkok every day.
  • The bus leaves every hour.


College English?

After 11 years of learning English formally (primary + secondary) please at least get these sentences correct...

I just don't want to bore you with all the rules (I'm not going to explain the whole mambo jumbo of subject verb agreement for these sentences)...

Arissa goes to school everyday.

Arissa and Aleesya go to school everyday.

Arissa walks to school everyday.

Arissa and Aleesya walk to school everyday.

She walks to school everyday.

They walk to school everyday.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Got Fired Because of Facebook!

8% of US companies fired employees because of Facebook

A few days ago I was informing you about studies that revealed that Facebook is a productivity killer. It seems that this has been closely monitored by many managers lately, because now it’s time for another study to show that Facebook is also a reason for firing employees. There is no wonder, since numbers shown that 87% of employees using the social networking site at work couldn’t define a clear business reason for using it.

Proofpoint Survey says that 17 percent of companies have issues with employee’s use of social media. Furthermore, 8% of companies reported that they have dismissed employees because of their behavior on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. An alarming thing is that the number of such violations has doubled since 2008 when it was only 4%.

A perfect, and already common, example for this is an exchange between an employee that makes foolish remarks about their boss on Facebook.

So, as a short conclusion, it would be a wise idea to watch your mouth on social networking sites too just like in real life.

The study also talks about the increased concern about a growing number of data leaks within US companies.

copy&paste from:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Buy Your Degrees Online!

This is from today's The Star, it really shocking to know even prominent people fell for this kind of bogus degree

Dodgy degrees

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are so caught up with degrees that many would go to any lengths for one.

And degree mills — bodies that award degrees with little or no study — are ready to hand out the awards to many who want to boost their business position, social status or political standing.

The Starprobe’s search reveals that many Malaysians are buying dubious Bachelor’s, Master’s and even Doctorates from popular degree “conferring” bodies, among them the American-based Preston Uni-versity and Newport University; Dublin Metropolitan University (DMU) and Irish International University (IIU).

Degrees for sale: An online site promoting degrees to students and prominent personalities. The site includes contact details and hotline numbers of accreditation bodies for ‘graduates’ to pass on to prospective employers for verification

Other dubious institutions which are not in recognised accreditation registries include Connaught University, Pacific Western University, American Northeast State University, Western University, European University, Hill University, Rochville University and Buxton University.

When the Starprobe team conducted a search, including on the Internet, for the “alumni” of these degree mills, the list included prominent personalities in different sectors:

Cambodian premier Hun Sen (right) receiving his honorary degree from Irish International University head, a Malaysian called Hardeep Singh Sandhu, in 2007.

> a Selangor Umno division chief who is also chairman of a local publishing group (MBA, Connaught University, UK);

> a Kedah Umno division head and Umno Supreme Council member who became a self-made millionaire after school (MBA, Preston University, US);

> a Perak DAP state assemblyman (Bachelor of Business Administration, Paramount University of Technology, US) ;

> a retired Royal Malaysian Police department director who is now serving in a government body (MBA, Newport University, US);

> a leading Chinese educationist with three PhDs (PhD, Kensington University, US);

> a celebrity motivational speaker who has set up a private college (MBA and Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA), European Business School Cambridge of European Union);

> a top entrepreneur and chairman of one of Malaysia’s leading manufacturers (DBA, Irish International University); and

> a chairman of a local IT media company who was charged with furnishing false statement to the Bursa Malaysia (Bachelor of Science in Building Construction and Management, Connaught University, Ireland; MBA, North West London University, UK; and Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration, Pacific Western University, US).

The questionable “qualification” is evident in the official resumes of these public figures which the Starprobe team obtained from their offices or official websites.

When contacted, some were genuinely surprised to find out that they had been duped but others evaded questions and refused to comment.

One person with two alleged doctorates did not deny receiving the bogus doctorates but simply urged Starprobe to quote his third doctorate from the Southern Cross University, Australia, which is legitimate.

All the universities mentioned claim to be accredited, but none is recognised by the national accrediting body Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) or its foreign accrediting partners.

The IIU was blacklisted by MQA(then known as National Accreditation Board) in July 2005.

A disturbing trend is that these dodgy institutions offer prominent personalities degrees so they can gain credibility with the “qualifications”.

This is the standard practice for many of these bogus universities, said a senior Irish academic attached to a local private university who declined to be named.

“These institutions go to another country, especially in the less developed and developing world, and offer local prominent personalities doctorates and other degrees. These are not honorary degrees but they don’t ask the VIPs for money either.

“They just invite the important people to put in a 1,500-word essay or write something about themselves, and they ‘award’ them their degrees.

“It becomes an endorsement of sorts — when the institutions get complaints from parents and students, they will simply point out the important people who have their degrees,” he explained, adding that it is prevalent because it is win-win for both parties.

“The institutions get the chance to be set up and the important people get their paper qualification.”

Republic of Ireland deputy ambassador to Malaysia Eoin Duggan highlighted another device for these universities to gain credibility.

They would invite VIPs, including politicians, to their convocations and sometimes confer on them honorary degrees.

“Their presence gives the ceremony importance. Having, say, a junior minister’s name on their list meanwhile would add credibility to the institution’s name,” he said.

For example, IIU’s previous honorary luminaries include a senator who is famous for championing minority rights, the president of one of Barisan Nasional’s component parties and the director of a local think tank.

Although most have wised up and dropped the dubious qualification from their resume, a few still list it in their academic credentials.

Education blogger Tony Pua believes that half of those holding bogus degrees knew that their “qualifications” were not bona fide.

“It lends credence to the university to have VIPs on their list. But if you can get a doctorate without doing any research, it is a fake one. It is impossible to get a credible doctorate via a long distance learning programme, especially if you are studying part-time,” said Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.

British Council Malaysia Education and Programmes Director Peter Clack agrees, pointing out that a degree is intended to reward academic excellence and requires hard work and commitment as that is what gives it its value with employers.

“If a degree course sounds too good to be true, then it is more than likely to be a bogus one,” he said.

Unfortunately, there is nothing much that authorities can do to stamp out this fraudulent practice.

Although the respective governments are aware of these dubious institutions, they have not been able to fully eliminate them as many are legitimately registered as business entities or exist mainly in the virtual world.

Many can only advise the public about the “bogus” institutions, like Ireland, which is distancing itself from the institutions claiming to be Irish.

However, these “bogus” bodies are experts in evading authorities; further checks revealed that IIU had changed its name to Isles International University. It has even maintained an international office in Petaling Jaya.

The degree mill issue has become such that the United Nations declared a war on this worldwide industry of fraudulent qualifications in June.

Calling it “an emerging academic corruption”, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has issued a guideline for countries around the world to help eradicate these degree mills.

Duped by rogue college

PETALING JAYA: “Really? I honestly didn’t know.” That was all one prominent public figure who received an honorary doctorate from notorious degree mill Irish International University could say when the Starprobe team informed him of the alleged scam.

The leading academic, who earned his Masters and PhD from an American university in the 1970s, said he was asked to submit all his academic studies and publications to the institution for their assessment before they awarded him a Doctor of Literature degree in 2001.

He added that he was informed that the honorary degree was in recognition of his scholarship and other contribution to Malaysia and the international community.

“They then invited me to attend their graduation ceremony at the University of London in the UK. They seemed very credible; that’s why I accepted the honorary degree,” said the renowned intellectual who was appointed senator a few years ago.

Going hi-tech: Website of Newport University advertising the courses it offers

He claimed that he was not aware of the controversy surrounding the institution, which led it to be blacklisted by the Government in 2005. But now that he has been alerted, he said, he would drop the honorary mention from his profile. “If it is blacklisted, I don’t want to be seen endorsing it,” he said.

It is standard practice for these dodgy universities to invite prominent people, including politicians, to their convocations and conferring them with honorary degrees, said Irish deputy ambassador to Malaysia Eoin Duggan.

“It would add credibility to the institution’s name,” he said.

Duggan added that many who got the degrees were duped, but there were those who knew from the outset about the shady arrangements.

Convocation ceremonies could sometimes be quite elaborate, he said, citing a year when one of the organisations rented a room from a top university in England to confer their “graduates”.

One year, he said, the institution rented a room in Cambridge or Oxford University. In 2004, IIU, which set up a new “branch” in Cambodia, awarded the country’s Prime Minister Hun Sen with an honorary degree at its convocation ceremony.

Former vice-chancellor of Sunway University College Prof Jarlath Ronayne, however, felt that the recipients of the honorary degrees should check up the conferring institution’s reputation before accepting them.

“In the case of the IIU, it was reported on BBC last year that a top British businesswoman returned her honorary degree and severed all links with the university

when the whole set-up was exposed as a sham. That is what the recipients should do to stamp out this menace,” said Prof Ronayne, who has been monitoring the institution and the degree mill trend for some time.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, as reported by BBC London, had agreed to be guest of honour at a “graduation ceremony” for the institution held at Oxford University’s Divinity School. IIU then put her picture on its website to recruit more overseas students. After the BBC expose, Chapman cut all ties with the institution.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong believes that the sprouting of these bogus universities is spurred by the increasing demand for paper qualification.

“People are desperate to get a degree. Many are seeking Masters and doctorate degrees for self-enhancement, to get better jobs, better prospects and to strengthen their CVs.

“Many so-called graduates did not even pass their SPM. Some did not even sit for SPM but they have MBAs,” he said, adding that no statistics have been collected on the number of fake degree holders in Malaysia.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How To Write An Effective E-Mail

I asked my BEL 311 students to write an e-mail during yesterday... here are some pointers that might help them...

Effective e-mails

ACCORDING to technology market research firm, The Radicati Group, an average of 210 e-mails are sent per day with business users sending and receiving about 156 e-mails per day (reported in August 2008).

The majority is spam, which still leaves an average of sixty-plus e-mails flooding your inbox every day.

With 1.3 billion e-mail users worldwide, it isn’t surprising to hear people state: “I’m buried in e-mails at the moment.” Despite this, Dr Sara Radicati, president and CEO of the The Radicati Group, still believes that “e-mail saves time”.

Some tips: There are several things to take note of when sending e-mail.
And why not? No matter where you are, no matter what time of the day it is, and no matter what you may be doing, you can still receive and send messages at the click of a mouse to one or thousands within your network.

Due to this, some people take e-mails for granted and fall into an automatic mode of “shooting off” e-mails as fast as they get them. It isn’t surprising then to read that we’re under “e-mail attacks”!

Imagine having 60 people at your door every day – soon, you’ll limit the people you’d agree to meet. To deal with the avalanche of e-mails, most people filter their incoming e-mails according to the sender’s name or subject heading. Everything else either gets moved to a KIV (keep in view) folder, marked as spam or goes straight into the recycled bin.
Which e-mails get ignored?

In general, e-mails least likely to get a person’s attention fall into these categories:
E-mails that do not require the recipient’s action i.e. copied or “c.c.”-ed emails.
E-mails containing more than ten names in the “To” section – such e-mails are labelled as general or opinion-seeking e-mails. Recipients tend to delay their responses to these e-mails, thinking that nine others are available to respond.

E-mails containing one-word responses e.g. “OK”, “Thanks, everyone.”
Forum-like e-mails which contain endless replies after replies on a topic of discussion.
If your e-mails do not fall into the above categories and you’re still not getting any response, here are some sure-fire ways of ensuring that your e-mails are read and responded to.
Make every e-mail count
Are you known as the “e-mail queen” or “e-mail king” at the office? Before you start feeling glamorous, this title could be due to your sending one too many e-mails (and overloading the computer servers).

If yes, review the e-mails that you send. Ask yourself:
Was it necessary to send an e-mail when walking over to someone’s desk or talking on the phone would have been a better option?

Was each e-mail sent to share useful information or to require some form of action from the recipient(s)?

If you answered No, it’s time to pause and take a deep breath before you send your next e-mail. Keeping your e-mails to a minimum will ensure that your recipients treat each e-mail from you with respect and urgency, rather than just another e-mail to be deleted.

Format matters

For an overview of what an e-mail should look like, go to E-mails, like any other business correspondence, follow a certain format. Here’s how to use each section effectively:

1. ‘To’ – Include only the person(s) whose action is required.

2. ‘C.c’ – Include only those who need to be informed of the situation at hand.

3. ‘B.c.c’ – Known as ‘blind circulatory copy’, the recipients in this line will not be seen by recipients in the ‘To’ and ‘C.c.’ lists. This feature is commonly used for sending mass e-mails as listing out everyone’s e-mail address exposes them to the risk of getting more spam.

4. ‘Subject’ – Used to mentally prepare the recipient scanning a list of e-mails for further action, being as specific as possible. For example, “Confirmation of list of speakers for Beijing press conference” is more descriptive than “Beijing press conference”. Use “Urgent”, “Important” and red flags only when necessary as you don’t want to go through what The Boy Who Cried Wolf in Aesop’s fables did. Also, send out an e-mail with no subject headings and you’ll get no replies.

5. Body of e-mail – In composing your message, keep in mind the following:

> E-mails are not essays. Think of your key points before you write. If you need to write a long e-mail, break up your key messages into paragraphs, one for each point. Use headings to summarise each point, and numbers or bullets to help the reader scan your message quickly and easily.

> Keep it short and simple. Restrict your message to 100 words at most. A short message will fit into the preview function of most e-mail programs. If readers need not scroll down the e-mail to read further, they are more likely to respond to your e-mail immediately.

> Avoid writing in caps, red fonts or multiple coloured fonts. Not only would a message written in capitals or red fonts be difficult to read, such features also mean shouting or anger in the online world. Multi-coloured fonts look cheery but they are hard on the eyes and may be lost on e-mail programs applying the text-only function.

Signing off
Unless the recipient knows you personally, it’s best to include your first and last names in your signature. Multinational organisations use a format which includes your name, job designation, department, name of organisation and full contact details. In today’s multicultural environment, capitalising your last name – e.g. Christine JALLEH – helps the reader identify it.
When signing off, consider the level of formality as you choose signatures ranging from the most formal to the least.

Christine Jalleh is a communications specialist with a Master’s degree in English Language Studies. She blogs about English, culture and travel at

Most Awaited

and because of ramadhan...

Friday, August 21, 2009

How To Live Simpler n Sweeter Life

well.. among other things...

you could...

Stop seeing friends who make you feel depressed, confused, worried, anxious, exhausted or bad about yourself after you leave them.

Aim for C's. Perfection is overrated and ambition is exhausting. Stop striving to rise above the crowd and instead assume a comfortable place as an average human being.

Forgive all your mistakes, big and small.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Choose your words carefully and bite your tongue when you get the urge to gossip, insult, yell or lie.

taken from

Give yourself totally to the smallest of tasks. Whether shifting your car from first gear to second, unlocking your front door, pulling a bottle of lotion from the store shelves, listening to a friend talk --be sure that you are completely yourself in every moment.

Call In Sick

SMS can ahh?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what a student does not know, whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what the student knows or is capable of knowing.

Albert Einstein

p/s: erkkk... yeaahh.. guilty as charged.. hehe

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Classic Case Of ....

click to read... I can assure you.. it's worth a click..

Business Letters

I took over Mdm Tini's class because she is on maternity leave. Here is an extra notes for my students of Business Comm. class.

Business Letters in English

Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from businesses and usually sent through the Post Office or sometimes by courier. Business letters are sometimes called "snail-mail" (in contrast to email which is faster). This lesson concentrates on business letters but also looks at other business correspondence. It includes:

* letter
* memo
* fax
* email

Who writes Business Letters?

Most people who have an occupation have to write business letters. Some write many letters each day and others only write a few letters over the course of a career. Business people also read letters on a daily basis. Letters are written from a person/group, known as the sender to a person/group, known in business as the recipient. Here are some examples of senders and recipients:

* business «» business
* business «» consumer
* job applicant «» company
* citizen «» government official
* employer «» employee
* staff member «» staff member

Why write Business Letters?

There are many reasons why you may need to write business letters or other correspondence:

* to persuade
* to inform
* to request
* to express thanks
* to remind
* to recommend
* to apologize
* to congratulate
* to reject a proposal or offer
* to introduce a person or policy
* to invite or welcome
* to follow up
* to formalize decisions

for more notes, just make sure you attendant the class ;->

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cup Cake Recipe

Ingredients :

200 g butter

180 g castor sugar
3 tablespoon custard powder
220 g self-raising flour
4 eggs

Method :

Mix all the above ingredients together and beat till creamy. Spoon into the prepared muffin trays lined with papercups. Bake in a preheated oven 175C for 20 - 25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.

My method :

1. Sift flour and custard powder.
2. Beat butter and sugar till creamy.
3. Put in eggs, one at a time and continue beating.
4. Add in a teaspoon of vanilla.
5. Fold in the sifted flour.
6. Spoon into the prepared muffin trays lined with papercups.
7. Bake in a preheated oven 175C for 20 - 25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean.

source of the recipe :

Coming Along

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pink Elephant

digitally altered photo

Pink elephants are a joking way to describe the hallucinations – strange, imaginary visions and thoughts – you might see if you are excessively drunk or under the influence of drugs. A pink elephant is also used to mean something extraordinary.

Pink elephant is also often used when talking about how hard it is to not think of something once it’s been mentioned. If I tell you: “Don’t think of pink elephants,” what are you going to do? You’re going to think about pink elephants.

The approximate opposite of a pink elephant is the elephant in the room or elephant in the living room. “They ignored the elephant in the room: their daughter still would not speak to them until they agreed to let her go to the beach with her friends.”

This sort of elephant is so big you can’t miss it. Everyone knows it’s there, but nobody mentions it, usually because there seems to be no happy solution to whatever problem that elephant represents.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Air Expressions

WHEN you can speak eloquently you will be walking on air. Here are some ‘air’ expressions to boost your confidence. Fill in the blanks with the right expression.

1. We need to _______ and settle the problem about our inheritance.

A. clear the air B. charge the air

C. cleanse the air D. fill the air

2. There was great excitement ________ on her wedding day.

A. on the air B. in the air C. off the air

D. up in the air

3. ‘Sesame Street’ is _______ now so call the children.

A. in the air B. on the air C. off the air

D. into the air

4. Our trip to Japan is _______ as our leave has not been approved.

A. on the air B. off the air

C. up in the air D. out of thin air

5. ______diseases spread easily in crowded places.

A. Air flow B. Airspace C. Airborne

D. Airspeed

6. In remote areas there is a regular _______of supplies.

A. air drop B. airdrome C. airfare

D. airflow

7. The injured were ________ to a nearby hospital.

A. air locked B. airmailed C. airlifted

D. airbrushed

8. After too much heavy drinking, some of the passengers displayed _______.

A. airlock B. airplay C. air rage

D. air raid

9. A Korean plane was shot down because it flew into Russian ________.

A. airlift B. airspace C. airflow

D. airway

10. John is ________ having obtained straight As in his SPM examination.

A. floating on air B. swimming on air

C. flying on air D. dancing on air

11. We landed on an ________ with the sea on both sides.

A. airport B. airdrop C. airstrip

D. air terminal

12. Faisal has an _______ alibi, so he is not afraid to go to court.

A. air power B. airlock C. airtime

D. airtight

Answers: 1.A, 2.B, 3.B, 4.C, 5.C, 6.A, 7.C, 8.C, 9.B, 10.A, 11.C and 12.D

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lend vs Borrow

A New Day Has Come

Today is the first day of work after a week of 'H1N1 Outbreak Break'

A brand new day with a brand new spirit...

lovely frangipani flowers..

to start our day...

A New Day Has Come - Celine Dion

A new day
A new day

I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on, and don't shed a tear

Through the darkness and good times
I knew I'd make it through
And the world thought I had it all
But I was, waiting for you

Hush, now
I see a light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
I can't believe, I've been touched by an angel with love
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new sun
A new day has
Aah ah
Aah ooh

Where it was dark now, there's light
Where there was pain now, there's joy
Where there was weakness, I found my strength
All in the eyes of a boy

Hush, now
I see the light in the sky
Oh, it's almost blinding me
I can't believe that I've been touched by an angel with love
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
(And drown my fears)
Let it shatter the walls for a new sun
A new day has
Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new sun
A new day has
Ooh, oh

Hush, now
I see the light in your eyes
All in the eyes of a boy
(A new day)
I can't believe, I've been touched by an angel with love
(A new day)
I can't believe, I've been touched by an angel with love
(A new day)
Ooh, oh
Hush now
A new day
Hush now
A new day

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Head?

Photo courtesy of Okko Sprey.
Found in Chiang Mai Thailand “BigC” Superstore

Mission Accomplished! 100 Hits!!

click to enlarge

Few days ago, I set a target for this blog to get 100 hits per day, within this week.. and Alhamdulillah... last night, this blog received 100 hits! For some, that maybe just a small number of hits and insignificant, but for me that is something HUGE! weeeehuuuuu!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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