Instant Advanced Listening Skills

Here is a very good video on how to improve your listening skills. It is specifically geared for conversations in real life. 

I completely agree with watching movies/tv shows to improve your listening skills because that’s how I managed to improve my listening skills in English. Though I suppose there might be downsides to this method. For example, in school I was taught British English. Since the shows I watch are usually a mixture of American and British, I picked up some American words that I use in my writing and conversations. It’s not a big deal in my country because English is not a native language and everyone tends to mix the words; as long as they are understood, then everything’s fine.

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Death scenes: How to write

I decide to take a break from tedious, monotonous, boring posts about other websites and change it up a bit. So here’s a video from Youtube.

Okay, so this is obviously about writing and not listening and speaking but you do have to be able to listen and understand her to know what she is talking about. I find this video quite funny (but that could just be my morbid sense of humour) so enjoy!

 

Below is the full story she was talking about in the video.
Disclaimer: This story DOES NOT belong to me. I’m just sharing it here.

Her hair became white and puffy, a shock from the golden spray that it used to be. She had seen it happen before but never really believed that it could happen to her. It was all too soon.

It meant the end. Nature and time were telling her that memories of her would drift off into the breeze as her body breaks down and wilts. She had seen that too. It seemed so sudden, she had never really appreciated how short lives in this world could be. She knew things here and there, she thought herself smart. She had read books and orated aloud, and her penmanship was perfect.

Outside of the classroom, things were supposed to have that same logic. Nothing could really hurt you, could it?

She considered the idea that it was a new skill, a new sort of lesson that she could triumph over and have forever. It must have been a challenge of some kind. The world is not cruel, it just needs someone clever to win it. Waving herself, she often attempted to communicate, but for all it was worth she may very well have been alone. No signs of life, true sentience from anything around her.
Sometimes she thought, just maybe, she could hear someone else.

The garden next door had been too interesting to resist. High walled and private, where the others’ interest dwindled after peering over the side, she was the only one brave enough to say “I’m going inside.”

Now everything was quiet and there were no more giggles. A stray breeze played up on her hair, taking a few starlike strands with it, drifting them beyond sight. Her memories, perhaps. She already had less of them to count on. Her youth, scraped knees and torn stockings, a gate nearly rusted shut…
A hoarse voice that had called out “Meddlers!” and the rest was a jumble of syllables she hadn’t known. Then she felt very small.

Small she had stayed. It became dark and cold, then warm and quiet, and it happened so many times as she tried to lift herself up, or move herself as she pleased. She was stuck so deeply. Her hair stood on white ends and took flight on the brave wind… Come back, she called to them, if she knew what words were.

She felt the shadow the same time as the trembling of the earth, rhythmic and determined. Wiry fingers grasped and pinched her, hot as flame against her body, and began stretching her upwards. She would scream but she never learned how. Roots clung selfishly to her, unminding of her pain and inevitable loss. They groaned, a sound she wished could escape her, before a rustle and snap… There was fluid, somewhere, and coldness where part of herself should have been. Her fine frame crinkled in the pressure of dirty hands, her broken skin darkening as the world seemed to darken around her. A sour breath gusted her face. Memories that clung to her scalp fled into the air, tumbling to safety or the comforting destination of obscurity.
She felt the other precious hairs ripped out.
Lank and oozing, she lay in the rough hand and wondered what she had learned.

They speak of curiosity killing the cat, but they mention nothing of little girls.

Feeling wheel

I stumbled across something quite interesting recently. This is called a “feeling wheel”. Apparently it was developed by Dr. Gloria Wilcox, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I’m not sure if it’s the same one because the one she developed is very colourful and I noticed a few differences on it.

 

I think this is a very useful tool/guide for English learners to learn the various adjectives you can use to describe emotion. And hey, at least it’s a wheel this time, not a list/table that we’re all familiar with when learning a language.

Looking at all these words are kinda fascinating. I find it quite intriguing  how some of the feelings are connected together e.g. sad -> bored -> apathetic/indifferent. Does this mean  you feel bored because you’re sad? Should be an interesting topic for discussion.

Impromptu speaking

Wanna practice your impromptu speech? Too lazy to think of a good topic or not sure what kind of topic to choose?

Just google “Impromptu speech generator” and voila! You have a list of sites that can either generate topics or quotes or have a list of prompts you can choose from.

Here are some websites that I like:

  • Tournament Topic Generator

    As the link says, this is meant to be a topic generator for tournaments. You type your tournament name in the box , choose topic type, max no of speakers, etc from the drop-down list, click “generate list” and you’ll have a document filled with prompts. The file is in PDF so you can instantly print it.

  • Rate Speeches

    This is also another generator.  Just choose how many topics you want to generate from the drop-down list and the topics will be generated. The topics can be expanded for a list of prompts relating to the topic if you want, or you can just use the topics as a guide to making your own prompts. Unlike the tournament topic generator, it’s not generated into a file you can download and print, so unless you don’t mind the website headings and other unnecessary things clogging up your printed topics, you have to copy and paste into a word file or equivalent.

  • Listology

    This website is not a generator like the other two but contains a list of 103 prompts you can choose from. Some of them are quite wonky and will need a creative mind to respond to the prompts given. Again, unless you don’t mind the headings and all, feel free to print it directly. Otherwise, copy and paste them into another document.

 

 

 

 

 

Public speaking

So, let’s talk about public speaking.

I’ll be honest, I cannot speak in front of an audience. I get nervous and sweaty, my hands will be shaking and I forget about what I planned on saying.

And I like to think that many people are the same as me when it comes to public speaking.

I found this video on how to improve your public speaking.