Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Silver surfer

Do you know what is Silver surfer?

Well, I have just found out that it means an older person who uses the Internet! haha it has nothing to do with surfers with silver medals!

Actually I was reading an article from 

The English language has excellent expressions of exactness, precision and conciseness in science as well as idioms derived from technology.
ENGLISH can make scientific terms and expressions more humane and tender, indeed, we have idioms in science.
Here are 10 examples with their meanings:
Blow a fuse – get very angry.
Fire on all cylinders – everything is working well.
Light years ahead – out in front with new developments or successes.
On the same wavelength – to have the same ideas and opinions.
Sputnik moment – when you realise you need to work harder to catch up, this refers to the rivalry between the former Soviet Union (now, largely, Russia) and the United States to make advances in space. The Soviets launched the world’s first satellite on Oct 4, 1957 and this surprise success precipitated the so-called “Sputnik crisis” which heralded the beginning of the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War between the two superpowers.
Re-invent the wheel – waste time doing something that has already been done in an effective way.
Cog in the machine – a person or thing that is part of a larger system.
Bent out of shape – worried about or stressed about something needlessly.
Elbow grease – effort and hard work.
And, last but not least, the ubiquitous “You need not be an Einstein or a rocket scientist to understand this finding”.
In Science, measurable quantities are divided into two groups: scalars and vectors. The former has magnitude, the latter both magnitude and direction. So, there is a distinguishable difference between the words “speed” and “velocity”; two words sometimes interchangeably used. “Speed” is the “average distance covered over a given time”; “velocity” is “speed with direction”.
You can travel with a speed of 110 km per hour (and even go in a zig-zag pattern if your car can handle it), but when you travel with a “velocity” of 110 km per hour, it refers to you going in a certain direction, for example, eastwards.
So when you drive from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban (where I live), strictly speaking, the velocity of your car changes whenever you move your steering wheel because the direction of your car changes, even though the speed may remain the same.
Then we come to the terms “weight”, “force” and “mass”.
You can state your “weight” as, say, “62.5kg” and it’s all right and acceptable. Strictly though, your “weight” is the force with which the earth’s gravity pulls your body mass to the earth.
The unit for measuring force is “Newton”, represented by the symbol “N”, and is obtained by multiplying 1 kg by 9.8, or 10 approximately. So, your weight as stated above should be 625N! Most people will think you are talking Greek if you state your weight in Newtons!
But, that explains why your “weight” changes when you are on the moon; a fact we are all familiar with. The smaller gravity pull on the moon makes you feel “lighter” and your weight decreases.
Your body mass remains the same, however, on earth and on the moon; and mass is measured in “kg” and … bla, bla, bla! Nevermind; we are here to talk about English, not science!
Science also deals with infinitely small and infinitely large quantities. We are all familiar with the prefixes – deci-, centi-, milli- denoting respectively a tenth, a hundredth and a thousandth of a particular unit of quantity. So, one centimeter, is one-hundredth of a meter (or 0.01m).
Moving upwards, we have prefixes like kilo-, mega-, giga- denoting, respectively, a thousand, a million and a billion times of a unit. Hence, one megabyte of computer memory is one million bytes. (However, a Megamall does not mean a million malls! The “mega” there denotes something “huge”!)
Extending downwards from “milli-“, denoting smaller and smaller derivatives, are the prefixes micro-, nano-, pico-, fento-, atto-, zepto-, yocto-; each denoting a quantity a thousand times smaller than the one before it. So, for example, one micrometer is one-millionth of a meter.
Conversely, after “giga-“ we have on an expanding scale, tera-, peta-, exa-, zetta- and yotta-; each has an increment of a thousand times than the one before it.
A computer with a one terabyte hard drive has one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) bytes (or 1,000 GB or gigabytes) of memory. However, if you had a one yottabyte computer, it would mean having hard drives with 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes worth of memory!
In science, it is essential to be exact, precise and concise. The English language makes beautiful expressions of exactness, precision and conciseness in science. In the above examples, impersonal numbers are smartly summarised by using elegant sounding prefixes. A “face” is given to those numbers.
English complements the learning of Science and Mathematics. I can’t help but continue to lament the abrupt demise of PPSMI, the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English. Would the powers-that-be relent and reconsider?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Words Related to Food

Eating your words by terence toh

When it comes to words relating to food, the English language is a 24-hour all-you-can-eat international buffet.

Whether your tastes in food words are prandial (relating to a meal) or gastronomic(relating to the art of fine eating), English has just the right word to tickle your tastebuds and please your palate.
After all, why refer to something as just tasty or delicious when you can usesucculentdelectablescrumptioussavoury, or even ambrosial?
And why say your food is healthy when you can use salubrious instead?
If your soup has a sharp taste, it is pungent. If this sharpness is pleasing, it ispiquant. If its taste and smell are too strong and unpleasant, however, it becomesacrid.
Seriously, when it comes to food words, there is no such thing as too many cooks spoiling the broth.
Don’t go bananas: relish the fact that the English language is peppered with more of these words than you can stomach!
For example, you know when you’re eating claypot rice, or paella? And there’s this layer of crunchy rice forming a base at the bottom of your pot? Well, that rice has a name: its soccarat.
And no, chanking is not the name of a province in China: it refers to the rejected parts of fruits or nuts, such as seeds, pits, or chewed pieces.
And you know when you go to your local coffeehouse, and they hand you your latte with a little cardboard ring around it? That’s a zarf, or a handle for a coffee cup without a handle (again, how specific!).
Even the act of cutting food has many words associated with it.
To slice food into very thin strips or shreds is to chiffonade it: the term comes from the French meaning “made of rags”.
To julienne is to cut into long thin strips, and to vandyke is to cut zigzags in edges of fruit and vegetables halves, usually as garnish.
And to suprême food has nothing to do with Diana Ross: it means to remove anything extraneous to the meat. Suprêming a chicken or fish means removing skin and bones, while suprêming an orange involves removing the skin and seeds.
We’ve heard of herbivores (plant eaters), carnivores (meat eaters) and omnivores (eaters of both plants and animals), but I bet not many of us have heard ofpiscivores (fish eaters), granivores (seed and grain eaters) or planktivores(plankton eaters).
Those terms may not be very mainstream, but I think the most hipster kind of “vore” is a locavore: a person interested in eating food that is locally produced. The word, which was coined by Jessica Prentice of San Francisco, was the word of the year for 2007 in the Oxford American Dictionary.
Other interesting food words: marinate, which is to soak food in a seasoned liquid mixture for a certain length of time, and macerate, which is a similar process applied to fruit, often to soften or break it.
And while masticate may sound similar to a rather suggestive word, it really just means to chew your food.
One of my personal favourite food words, however, has to be abligurition, mostly because of how amazingly specific it is. The word refers to spending wasteful amounts of money on fine foods. The Oxford English Dictionary has classified the term as “obsolete”, however, which is a shame: such a lovely word to describe one of my favourite vices.
I wouldn’t be surprised if after reading this, you feel some borborygmus coming on: no, don’t worry, it is not some kind of mythological monster. It is the technical name for stomach rumbling.
So in a nutshell, I hope this article has whetted your appetite for food words, and you have not been cheesed off from the half-baked puns. See you at the next course!

Julienne: This word means to cut something into long thin strips, which is what has been done to the seaweed on top of the tofu mille-feuille tiered with bright orange shrimp roe and light green avocado.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


How to win a scholarship

Upon completing SPM, tough decisions regarding your future plans await. These range from what courses to enroll in, to your college choices.
A significant influencing factor would be cost. Scholarships serve as a great assistance to deserving students to embark on their academic journey soon after high school. Setbacks in your finances should not be a hindrance for you to complete your formal tertiary education and work your way towards career success.
Government, corporate and university scholarships are available for you to achieve your dreams and aspirations. Just like everything else in life, an effective strategy can assist your way through. Here are some key tips on how you can obtain them:
As obvious as this may seem, your grades are your “passport” towards securing a scholarship. Extra-curricular activities and being a holistic person are absolutely vital but keep in mind that grades come first.
To apply for scholarships, besides your SPM results, some applications require you to send a record of your previous transcripts being either trials or your Form Four year-end exam results. So, ensure your grades are consistent.
That being said, even if you have done badly in your previous exams, if you use that as a motivating factor and work extremely hard for your successive exams, this may be a plus point. Your interviewer may be impressed with your will power and award you the scholarship!
Many students have an obsession to be a part of numerous clubs and societies. It’s true that it’s necessary to be involved in extra-curricular activities to obtain a diverse experience in leadership and team work.
However, it is better to focus on a few (two or three) clubs and societies that you are passionate about rather than having an array of them.
For example, sponsors usually prefer a student who has focused on a sport that he/she is good at and represented the school for, rather than someone who has joined various different clubs and societies but only is involved at the surface level.
Potential sponsors will be investing a great deal of money in you. Therefore, you should be thinking of contributing to them in the best way possible. To be able to do that means ensuring that your degree is aligned to your passion and your greater goals as an individual.
Take time to understand yourself. This can be done through various online assessment tests or asking yourself hard questions.
Some scholarship application processes involve an interview. If you bluff your way through the online application process, the experienced interviewers may catch you!
Many of us are unaware of scholarship opportunities out there. Always be on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that suit you!
There are ample resources out there to get you going. For instance, or
It is crucial to start early because the application process of many scholarships takes quite a long time and some application deadlines finish early.
While browsing the internet and reading books on how to secure a scholarship are essential, you should also talk to people who have been through the entire process.
This could be a senior who has obtained the scholarship or an academic counsellor who has assisted many students in the past.
Don’t hesitate to drop by at your counsellor’s office and ask for further information.
Applying for a scholarship is evidently a challenging task. However, it is worthwhile to put your effort and time into it. It is an excellent way to learn skills and gain application experience.When your finances are not in the way, you can also focus on other crucial areas of your life.
I bid you good luck in your pursuit to obtain a scholarship. Be persistent and never give up! Remember, when a door closes, a window opens.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Good MUET Book

Effective Muet Practice Book by Oxford Fajar

If you are looking for a MUET reference or practices book, let me suggest you this book. I used this book recently for a MUET workshop at my college.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

How To Cite?

This would be very useful for my Technical Academic Writing class.

Citing Sources: A Quick and Graphic Guide 

Graduates only know SMS jargon, not proper English

This is from The Star;

MALACCA: Many multinational companies have to bear with jobseekers who can only write in SMS jargon, said state Private Sec­­-tors Affairs, Human Resources and NGOs committee chairman Datuk M.S. Mahadevan.
These firms are finding it difficult to hire graduates who possess a fair command of the English language, he said.

“They are not looking for candidates with impeccable English but those with a moderate command to get the task done.
“But the pool of graduates who apply for jobs can only write in SMS jargon, which is not a formal way to carry out business correspondence,” he said in an interview yesterday.
This was among the grouses he received from the management of multinational companies here when he went around to introduce himself since taking over the state executive councillor portfolio.

Mahadevan said he would advocate for the English-speaking officers to screen applications from graduates before they were referred to these organisations.
“We have to take care of investors and their requirements, especially those who have to communicate with their clients from other countries where English is the main commu­nication tool,” he said
Mahadevan also lamented about young graduates who demanded high salaries but did not possess the qualities required by the prospective employer.
Some employers complained that their new executives, who were hired based on their paper qualifications, could not string a proper sentence not just in English but also in Bahasa Malaysia.

They believed that these executives could have plagiarised materials from the Internet and submitted paperwork to their superiors to pass off as their own ideas, he said.
Mahadevan said he would also propose the idea of a skills training hub in Gadek, Alor Gajah, to guide job seekers on how to cope with requirements at the workplace.

“There should be a shift in mindset among young employees.
“Nothing comes easy, so they should stop being demanding just because they are gra­duates,” he said.

I wonder what do they mean by SMS jargon used by the graduates, did they use these sms jargon ?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

British & American English

Here are some of the main differences in vocabulary between British and American English. This page is intended as a guide only. Bear in mind that there can be differences in the choice of specific terms depending on dialect and region within both the USA and the UK.

British EnglishAmerican English
articulated lorrytrailer truck
autumnautumn, fall
bill (restaurant)bill, check
block of flatsapartment building
bonnet (clothing)hat
bonnet (car)hood
bumper (car)bumper, fender
car parkparking lot
chemist's shopdrugstore, pharmacy
chest of drawersdresser, chest of drawers, bureau
chipsfries, French fries
the cinemathe movies
clothes pegclothespin
coffincoffin, casket
crispspotato chips
crossroadsintersection; crossroads (rural)
cupboardcupboard (in kitchen); closet (for clothes etc)
drink-drivingdrunk driving
driving licencedriver's license
dual carriagewaydivided highway
dummy (for baby)pacifier
dustbingarbage can, trash can
dustmangarbage collector
engineengine, motor
estate agentreal estate agent
estate carstation wagon
filmfilm, movie
flatapartment, flat, studio
flat tyreflat tire
gearbox (car)transmission
Girl GuideGirl Scout
ground floorground/first floor
handbaghandbag, purse, shoulder bag
high streetmain street
hood (car)convertible top
jamjam, preserves
jugjug, pitcher
lorrytruck, semi, tractor
madcrazy, insane
main roadhighway
motorwayfreeway, expressway
motorwayhighway, freeway, expressway, interstate highway, interstate
naughts and crossestic-tack-toe
pants, underpantsunderpants, drawers
pet hatepet peeve
petrolgas, gasoline
The PloughBig Dipper
pocket moneyallowance
postcodezip code
postmanmailman, mail carrier, letter carrier
public toiletrest room, public bathroom
return (ticket)round-trip
reverse chargecollect call
ring roadbeltway, freeway/highway loop
road surfacepavement, blacktop
roundabouttraffic circle, roundabout
rubbishgarbage, trash
rubbish-bingarbage can, trashcan
saloon (car)sedan
shopshop, store
silencer (car)muffler
single (ticket)one-way
solicitorlawyer, attorney
taxitaxi, taxi cab
tea toweldish towel
telly (informal), TVtelevision, TV
third-party insuranceliability insurance
toll motorwaytoll road, turnpike
trouserspants, trousers
tube (train)subway
underground (train)subway
walletwallet, billfold
wellington bootsrubber boots, rain boots


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top 10 World University Ranking

EAST Asian universities continue their upward trend in the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine's 2013 World Reputation Rankings, which was published recently.

Institutions from Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan improved on last year's positions in this year's top 100.

Malaysian universities did not make the cut.

The reputation ranking, a subsidiary of the World University Rankings, is based on the largest worldwide invitation-only survey of senior academic opinion.

It provides the only global index based purely on the power of university brands.

Reputation both reflects and drives university success, attracting staff, students, business investment, research partners and benefactions in a highly competitive global market.

THE rankings editor Phil Baty says: "A university's reputation is subjective, but it matters deeply in today's highly competitive global marketplace, and it has serious real-world impact, helping to attract top student and academic talent, and encouraging industrial investment and benefactions.

"It is clear that no university, no matter how prestigious, can afford to be complacent in this fast-moving, information-rich global age. New forces in higher education are emerging, especially in the East Asian countries that are investing heavily in building world-class universities, so the traditional elite must be very careful. In the three years that the World Reputation Rankings have been running, we have clear evidence that the United States and the United Kingdom in particular are losing ground."

The poll, carried out by Ipsos MediaCT for Times Higher Education's rankings data supplier, Thomson Reuters, has attracted 48,000 responses from more than 150 countries in three years. This year's results are based on 16,639 responses from senior published academics.

While Japan still leads the Asian institutions pack with five schools on the list, it has lost some of its lustre.

University of Tokyo, which was at eighth spot last year, slipped down one notch to ninth position, while Kyoto University tumbled down three spots to No. 23. Osaka University remains in the 51-60 group but both Tohoku University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have fallen from that band to the 61-70 cluster.

Baty says: "Japan's showing in the reputation ranking is much better than its record in the overall World University Rankings, based on 13 largely objective indicators, so there is a concern that the country has for too long been resting on its laurels and historical reputation. Strong action is needed to protect Japan from falling behind Asian rivals."

Though East Asian institutions are coming up, this year's ranking has again provided strong evidence of an elite group of six "super-brand" universities from the United States and United Kingdom that stand head and shoulders above the rest.

The group is headed by Harvard University, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

With the exception of Oxford, which has swapped places with Stanford this year, the top six's membership has remained consistent since the World Reputation Rankings' first edition in 2011, with the gap between it and the chasing pack widening each year.

While American schools continue to dominate the rankings, occupying 43 out of 100 spots. this position is slowly waning. It had 45 representatives in the top 100 in 2011 and 44 last year.

Outside the US, the UK has the most top 100 representatives (nine), but its overall showing has declined from 12 in 2011.

In terms of representation in the top 100, the US and the UK are followed by Australia, which has moved ahead of Japan and the Netherlands and now has six representatives (up from four last year).

Japan, the Netherlands and Germany each have five top 100 institutions, with Germany gaining a new entrant in 2013 (Freie Universität Berlin, which has entered the 91-100 band).

In total, 20 countries are represented in this year's reputation ranking.

For the full results, visit

 Learning Curve - New Straits Times

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Maybe This Method Might Help

Learning English in a group is much more effective than on a one-to-one basis 
Submitted by Neli Kukhaleishvili on 28 September, 2008 - 05:38

Learning English in a group is much more effective than on a one-to-one basis

Learning English in a group or on a one –to- one basis? Which is more effective? Do you think it is reasonable? How can my child learn it with four or five other children? How can the teacher give equal attention to each of them? These are the questions that parents, students and their numerous relatives bombard teachers with, each time they want us to give lessons to their dear children. We often get not only questions but answers which parents hurl at us: “What?In a group? Not my child! My child is going to get his teacher’s full attention! No, I think it’s nonsense and a waste of time and money…!” But dear parents: Why do you send your children to secondary schools, music schools, to different clubs, studios and to higher educational institutions if you don’t want them to be taught in a group? I think learning English in a group has more advantages than leaning it individually and I am going to prove it.

First, if your child learns English in a group, he is sure to get more motivated and enthusiastic about learning it. Modern textbooks, unlike old- fashioned soviet ones, contain a wide choice of activities for learners of different styles and intelligences, which are kind of a clever trick even for those children who dislike doing any kind of work. For example, if a child can’t stand dictations, there are creative writing storms at his disposal, if he doesn’t like listening for the main idea, he might do listening to complete a picture and compare it with his peers. Whereas if he is taught one to one , he won’t have the chance to do writing storms , to complete the picture with his partner , share his ideas or understand what is it that makes other children more motivated. So, he is left to face reading alone, writing alone, listening alone and what is worse speaking alone , though one hour lesson is entirely his and his teacher’s attention as well.

Second , learning in a group contributes to creativity. In a group there are students with different personality characteristics and this variety will bring diversity of ideas. For example, in my reading class students discover things for themselves, but they are open to new ideas which come from their partners, they question these new ideas, they respond to these ideas and learn how to explore and develop them. On the other hand, if a student is left one to one with his teacher, who is he going to discuss with , whose questions and responses is he going to hear? Parents will say teachers should do it and they do lead students to ideas but teachers as mature personalities bring their own experiences, their own style of thinking which can’t be compared with that of their peers. Though one hour lesson is completely his, the student does not know how his peers think , what ideas they have or how they solve the problems posed in their books.

The last but not the least advantage of learning in a group is peer collaboration. Students learn how to support each other, monitor and facilitate. Moreover, peer collaboration helps them to overcome shyness, get rid of complexes and discover leadership qualities in themselves. I have witnessed positive changes in my students’ behaviour after having worked in a group, some of them became more open, others more helpful, third ones more confident. But the happiest part of my teaching life is when I notice the eagerness to express his ideas in my student’s eyes which is thanks to working in a group. As soon as I notice this quality, I know this student will be a monitor,a supporter, a facilitator and a leader In contrast , the student who is without a group is deprived of collaboration and is left to stew in his own juice, though one hour lesson is still his. Parents, if you want your children to be eager to learn English , be able to speak it fluently, and at the same time be original , reflective , supportive and tolerant, decide in favour of groups. Remember: Two heads are better than one!

taken from here

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

2013 and How I Solve My Problem of Having Full Picasa Web Album

Assalamualaikum and Good Afternoon to all of my blog readers.

This is my first post for 2013, so I think it is still not too late for me to wish all of you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope starting from today I will make a lot of entries for this blog. This is because for the past 2-3 years I have been neglecting this blog simply because it's not fun any more to blog here after my picasa album for this account is full, therefore I cannot post pictures here. Luckily today during my lunch break I remembered that I have been procrastinating to do some housekeeping for this blog. Since there is still plenty of time, here I am writing to you once again after my last post way back in July 2012.

So, in order to solve my problem of having a full picasa album, I had to create another email account then using that new account I add another author or contributor for this blog! Problem solved!

So, VOILA... ! Here I am... misz sensei with an empty picasa album, all excited to write lots of entries and upload tons of photos here!.  

Stay tuned people!

p/s: Ironically there is no photos for this entry.. haha
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