1 – HEAVEN’S GATE
Pico lyer in “Heaven’s Gate” describes his travel experiences in Ladakh. A land of freezing winds and burning hot sunlight, Ladakh is a cold desert lying in the rain shadow of the Great Himalayas and other smaller ranges. Little rain and snow reaches this dry area, where natural forces have created a fantastic landscape. Surrounded by rugged mountains this land is completely different from the green landscape of many parts of the Himalayas. Bounded by two of the world’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karokaram, it is a land which has no match. The temperature rarely exceeds 27 degree Celsius in summer while in winter it may drop to minus 20 degree Celsius.
Justifying the title “Heaven’s Gate”:
Even after twenty-five years of travel to the place, Ladakh did not lose its fascination and wonder for the author. The landscape of the Nubra Valley appeared to be the most pristine and surreal lyer had ever seen. A huge flat plain land extended up to snowcaps on all sides. At a few places two-storeyed whit buildings like fortresses appeared together. They were silent in the midst of apricot trees and willows. Marmots, wild asses and Bactrian asses added romance to the landscape. The sky was so blue that it almost hurt the eyes. The temple, Diskit Gompa, rose high into the heavens. The Buddhist city on a hill was rich and the chapels were fragrant with centuries of melted yak butter. It was an endless stretch of noiseless valley. The barren mountains and snowcaps gave the impression that it was an unvisited land. However, with barley and wheat irrigated by snow, the lifestyle was still pastoral. This land of blue-skied purity was also one of the most cosmopolitan trading posts in the Himalayas. Ladakh was found to be a compact, otherworldly and highly magical place and a secret treasure.
Ladakh is said to be a test case of what is good as will as what is bad. It seems to be a place of paradoxes. Both good things and bad things happen here. However, to lyer Ladakh seemed to be a beautifully unfallen place next only to the blue-glass shopping malls of modern Lhasa, the global village of pizza joints and guest houses, that is, urban Nepal, and the lonely Bhutan with its new hotels.
So much in Ladakh lives in a different century:
Leh is the capital of Ladakh. It is both traditional and modern. The main bazaar road of Leh was a crowded and noisy place. Pico lyer saw women quietly sitting along the sidewalk selling vegetables. Among the he identified the faces from Lhasa, Heart and Samarkand. At the mosque he saw Muslim elders some of whom were Indo-Iranians having blue and green eyes. They claimed their descent from Alexander the Great. For the entire settlement there were a few dusty and mud-colored buildings, an abandoned palace and a few temples on boulders and hillside. They were two trade routes. Workers in the best hotels provide only cold water twenty-four hours. There was no street lighting. There were Internet cafes at every corner but they do not work promptly. The other-worldly and highly magical Ladakh has its secret treasures which are paradoxical to modern civilization and its ills. The traditional temples built on steep hills, the small Buddhist stupas, and the tree-lined walks out of Leh are things of beauty. As against these wonders, civilization has brought a new restlessness to the people of Ladakh. This restlessness can be seen in Leh’s narrow streets, construction cranes, and reviving Suzukis. Wangchuk Namgyal lives in his beautiful apartments in Stok Palace, but he is sad that Leh is chaotic without a plan of development.
Pico lyer attends the Tse-Chu festival, a great event. He finds men and girls selling necklaces, statues of the Buddha, mystical scrolls and CDs. These things are for tourists. Many of Ladakh`s festivals have been shifted to summer for the enjoyment of foreign tourists. Ladakh`s teenagers are fashion-conscious. A little away from witnesses a team of people in black robes and a team of people in white robes engaged in traditional archery competition. Inside the temple’s great courtyard masked Lamas display meditative movements and present dances representing scenes from the life of Padmasambhava, the eight-century Indian reformer.
Services rendered by Helena Norberg-Hordge:
Helena Norberg-Hodge makes an effort to protect the traditional world of Ladakh. She arrived in 1975 and set up an ecology centre, a women’s alliance and other organizations to protect the character of Ladakh. For instance, the women’s alliance started a restaurant where only the traditional local food was served although local items were costlier than imported food items. As a result of her efforts, the people understand what was good for them. Foreigners were asked to follow ‘mindful’ tourism. At the women’s alliance discussions were held everyday on development and protection of Ladakh indigenous culture.
A senior private secretary of Dalai Lama said that Ladakh was the closest place to Tibet which he might not be able to see again. To him Ladakh was a way to recover something lost and sustain it as valuable and abiding possession. Thus Pico lyer presents Ladakh, the land of high passes, as heaven’s gate for its beautiful landscapes, snowfields, temples and blue sky.
2 – HARAGOBIND KHORANA
Khorana’s Academic Achievements:
Hargobind Khorana was born in a little village called Raipur in Punjab on 9January 1922. He went to the DAV High School in Multan of West Pakistan. One of his teachers, Ratan Lal, greatly influenced him during the high school days. Later Hargobind studied at the Punjab University, Lahore, and obtained an M.Sc. Degree. His supervisor was Mr. Mohan Singh, a great teacher, who also influenced Hargobind greatly.
Hargobind lived in India until 1945 when he got an opportunity to go to England on a Fellowship. In England, he worked for a Ph.D. Degree at the University of Liverpool. Roger J.S. Beer not only supervised his research, but also looked after Hargobind affectionately. He was greatly exposed to Western civilization and culture furring this period. Later during 1948-49 he was in Zurich with Professor Vladimir Prelog for doing Postdoctoral studies. His association with Professor Vladimir Prelog greatly moulded his thought and philosophy towards science, work and personal effort.
After a brief period in India during the winter of 1949, Hargobind went back to England. This time he obtained a Fellowship to work with Dr. G.W. Kenner and Professor A.R. Todd. During the period 1950-52, he did research strengthened his interest in both proteins and nucleic acids. After this, Hargobind went to Vancouver to take up the job offered by Dr. Gordon M. Shrum of British Columbia. Hargobind liked the academic freedom available at the British Columbia Research Council. He was greatly benefited by the inspiration, encouragement and help extended by Dr. Shrum, Dr. Jack Campbell and Dr. Gordon M. Tener.
Khorana‘s Research leading to the award of Nobel Prize:
Hargobind later held Fellowships and Professorships in Switzerland at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of British Columbia and Wisconsin. He supported Dr. Nirenberg’s findings on amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. Hargobind did extensive research on nucleotides which form amino acids. Hargobind’s relentless research in biology was crowned with glory when he was awarded the Noble Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1968 with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley.
Khorana as a Biologist with a Vision:
Hargobind and his team synthesized the first artificial copy of a yeast gene in 1971 he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1976 his team for the first time synthesized a biologically active gene, which later became the basis for gene therapy and biotechnology. He was the pioneering scientist to synthesize oligonucleotides, which helps in sequencing, cloning and engineering new plants and animals. Certainly he is a biologist with a vision. He is still active with his research on proteins. He is now an Emeritus Professor of Biology and Chemistry at MIT, Massachusetts. Nierenberg interest in cell studies attracted the attention of Khorana. Nirenberg shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1968 With Khorana and Holley. Their research showed how the genetic components of the cell nucleus control the synthesis of proteins.
Marshall W. Nirenberg:
Marshall W. Nirenberg was born in New York City in 1927. When he was twelve years old, his family moved to Orlando, Florida. His early interest in Ornithology Prompted him to study biology. He explored the ecological diversity of the Wetlands of Florida. The instructions and guidelines that he received from museum curators, biochemists and other professionals greatly helped him. In the year 1948 Nirenberg passed out from the University of Florida with a degree of Bachelor of Science. Later he did the Master’s course in the same University, specializing in the subjects of Ecology and categorization of caddis flies. After the M.Sc. course in Zoology, Nirenberg went to the University of Michigan and acquired a Ph.D. Degree. His research on sugar transport in tumor cells showed his interest in the Chemistry of life. In fact, he displayed more and more interest in the essence of life itself.
- 1. SIR C.V.RAMAN
( Shubashree Deskan )
Sir C.V. Raman Early Life:
Sir C.V. Raman was born on 8 November 1888 in a village near Tiruchirapalli. His father was R. Chandrasekhara Iyer, a lecturer in Mrs. A.V.N. College, Visakhapatnam, where he taught Physics, Mathematics and Physical Geography. Sir C.V. Raman was not an athlete and sportsman like his father, but he was Very intelligent and preferred to read books and attends to his academic work. He was a studious reader and went through his father’s collection of book on a variety of subjects. The three books that greatly influenced him were Edwin Arnold’s “Light of Asia” which is the story of Gautama Buddha, “The Elements of Euclid”, a treatise on classical geometry and “The Sensations of Tone” by German Scientist, Helmholtz. The reflections of these three great minds could be seen on the work of Raman.
Sir C.V. Raman Education:
Raman was a precocious child. He completed his school education when he was just eleven years old and spent two years studying in his father’ college. At the age of thirteen he joined the B.A. course in Presidency College, Madras. As the youngest student of the class, he also looked quite unimpressive. His English Professor, E.H. Elliot, asked him if he really belonged to that class. However, everyone was astonished when he stood first in B.A. examinations.
Raman’s teachers asked him to prepare for Indian Civil Services examination, but the Civil Surgeon of Madras declared that he was medically unfit to travel to England for the ICS examination. However, Raman joined the M.A. Physics class in Presidency College, Madras. He made the best use of the freedom available in the course and sharpened his original thinking. There was a topic for discussion in the text book on how the light fell on a screen placed in its path would get deflected or diffracted when entering a narrow slit. But Raman wondered what would happen if the light shone straight, not from an angle. The results of his study were published in a British Journal, “Philosophical Magazine”. He was in his teens then, and he was the first student of Presidency College to publish a research Paper.
Raman passed the M.A. examination in January, 1907 coming first in the University. Since research was not possible in India, he sat for the Civil Services (FCS) examination and topped the list. He was posted to Calcutta as the Assistant Accountant General. Thus C.V, Raman proved himself an extremely brilliant student with an original bent of mind.
Sir C.V. Raman’s work on waves and sound:
C.V. Raman was fascinated by waves and sound. He seems to have carried the memory of reading Helmholtz’s book ‘The Sensations of Tone’ in his school days. While working at Calcutta as Assistant Accountant General, Raman had an opportunity to study and experiment in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. He chose to study musical instruments first. Using an idea of Helmholtz, Raman explained the working of the ektara which was a simple resonant box with a string. On the basis of the ektara, Raman developed several ideas which he called ‘remarkable resonances’. He also studied the quality of the violin from a scientific point of view. Raman published a book on the violin entitled, “On the Mechanical Theory of Vibrations of Musical Instruments of the Violin Family with Experimental Results: Part-I”. As a scientist he assembled a violin from parts bought from a cycle shop and other available things in the laboratory. It did not look like a violin but it had all the essential features of the violin. Until 1920 his focus was on acoustics. He studied instruments such as veena, tambura, mridangam and tabla in addition to the violin. The he turned his attention to optics.
Events leading to the award of the Noble Prize:
Even as a student of M.A. Physics class at Presidency College at Madras, C.V. Raman was displaying his original thinking on matters such as the diffraction of deflection of light when entering a narrow slit. Raman wondered what would happen if the light shone straight, not from an angle, on an intervening screen. Though a student still in his teens he published the results of this study in the British Journal, “Philosophical Magazine”. In 1921 C.V. Raman went to England to attend the University Congress at Oxford. During his voyage back to India, he spent many hours on the deck of the ship watching the blue colour of the sea. It was nothing but reflection of the blue sky. He observed the blue colour from his optical tools and published his findings in the journal, “Nature. “Raman discovered that water Molecular Diffraction of Light. He believed that light may exist in quanta, that is, as massless particles of energy. This discovery has since been accepted.
Raman felt that if light did not exist as particles or quanta, scattering experiments would show only a change in the light intensity and not in its frequency or colour. On the other hand, if light existed as particles or quanta, a scattering of the light could change its frequency and also intensity. He intensified his research to find evidence for this theory of light through scattering experiment. His theory was proved correct with the discovery of the Compton Effect in 1923. Now Raman set his research team members to work on his ideas on light scattering. This was first spotted in 1923 and his team members were able to reproduce it and called it feeble fluorescence. After your more years of continuous experimentation, Raman’s team confidently announced that it was not fluorescence but a modified scattering of light. This led to the discovery made on 28th February that light can undergo a scattering through a liquid resulting in a change in its frequency. This is known as Raman Effect. It is a historic event, so 28th February is now celebrated as National Science Day. C.V. Raman was in mid-thirties when he made his famous discovery and he hoped to get the Nobel Prize for this. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. However, he was sad that he received the Nobel Prize not as a citizen of free India, but as a representative of a British Colony.
2. SAM PITRODA
Sam Pitroda’s creation of a new India:
Sam Pitroda’s concept of IT is the creation of a new India through a new way of doing things, Pitroda wants IT to question the age-old fundamentals in India and move forward. IT is just not software alone, but the destiny of man as a whole and his development. Sam Pitroda, known as the father of Indian Telecom revolution, used a telephone only after going to the USA to study Electrical Engineering. Fascinated by his first call, he was determined to set up small rural exchanges and connect all parts of India to one another and to the rest of the world. This, he thought, would bring in revolutionary changes in the communication systems and benefit the common man ultimately.
Sam Pitroda rendered free services for a decade to connect the country. He and his team designed and manufactured 40,000 rural automatic telephone exchanges (RAX) and installed 20 million telephone lines. These exchanges provided toll-free information services. As the mobile and landline telephone numbers were interconnected, great changes took place in the fields of administration, business, education, information media and other fields. He also visualized a countrywide network of thousands of public telephone booths to provide easy access to the people.
Pitroda believed that food, water, shelter and communication are the fundamental components in the process of modernization. He asserted that cent percent literacy, ten million new jobs a year and ten percent growth a year in the economy must be achieved. To ensure this development, people must be trained not to take jobs, but to create jobs. Accordingly, he created 6,00,000 STD/PCO phone booths and provided employment for a million people , especially physically challenged people, and phone access to a billion people. He made a call to the computer professionals of India to solve the problems of our own country in the areas of governance, commerce, finance, education, health, agriculture, environment, legal issues and employment. His idea was that IT should be used to simplify life and do things without hurdles.
Pitroda firmly believes that Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of self-sufficient village community can be achieved through IT applications. With a sense of urgency this common agenda must be adopted all citizens. Then India will forge ahead into a modern nation.
Sam Pitroda’s innovations and contributions in telecom:
Soon after his first phone call from the United States of America, Sam Pitroda worked on digital switching technology at GTH Inc., Chicago, USA. After a tenure of ten years in GTE, Pitroda started his own telephone exchange company called Wescom Switching in 1974. Later he sold the company to Rockwell for 10 million dollars. Now he entertained the dream of wiring up India and making it a self-sufficient modern nation. An opportunity came his way to make his dream reality when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him the Chief Scientific Advisor and asked him to start a Centre for the Development of Telematics (C-DOT).
The centre for Development of Telematics (1984) started exporting telephonic equipment to different countries of the world. Pitroda designed and manufactured 40,000 Rural Automatic Telephone exchanges (RAX) and equipped them with SS7 Intelligent Networking Signaling Systems. These systems are used to find out if a number is busy or available and to check up the database of telephone numbers. As these systems could also interconnect mobile and landline telephone numbers, significant changes have taken place in administration, business, education, information, media and other fields. As Chairman of National Technology Mission and India’s Telecom Commission, Pitroda brought the telephone to some of the world’s most isolated region through small rural exchanges. He visualized thousands of public telephone booths to provide easy access to people. He created 6,00,000 STD/PCO phone booths in every nook and corner of the country. He designed simple devices which display phone numbers, call costs and duration of the call, and generate instant bill.
Pitroda secured over 50 patents for digital switching, synchronization, tone generation, tone receiving and conferencing. He shaped India’s telecom policy, telecom legislation and development in the country. The fibre optic mechanism worked out by Pitroda made high speed connectivity possible. Pitroda hopes that through Internet Community centres, the Internet will become an integral part of the Indian landscape like the STD/ISD booths. The Internet will pave the way for e-governance. He is sure that IT can provide solutions to our problems. To develop telecom infrastructure in third world countries, he founded World Tel in 1995. He is now working on an Electronic wallet which will have all kinds of cards. This will pave the way for electronic payment system. Thus through his vision and dynamism, Sam Pitroda invented many devices and made many contributions in telecom so as to take India into modernity and a new age.
THE CONNOISSEUR ( Nergis Dalal )
The story of “The Connoisseur”:
In the short story “The Connoisseur”, the narrator and Miss Krishna are presented as a perfect foil to each other. While the narrator is a window, Miss Krishna is a spinster. Both are living alone. The narrator is an active writer, whereas Miss Krishna is living on a small annuity left by her mother. They meet at an art exhibition and become acquainted to each other. Miss Krishna is a tactical woman. She knows how to impress people and get the benefits she wants. She also makes people sympathize with her miserable situation. She has many complaints against her mother who was partial to her younger sister. She insists that her life is a continuous struggle because of poverty. She is sad about her coarse bed sheets, uncarpeted floors, Pottery cups and plates, and ugly and discarded furniture. She feels envious of the narrator’s house and articles in it. She declares that she is starved of beautiful things. She claims that beauty is the panacea for all her ills.
Compared to Miss Krishna, the narrator is a self-contained, self-satisfied and uncomplaining gentle lady. She keeps herself busily engaged in typing out her writings. She is thoughtful but not talkative like Miss Krishna. However, the narrator feels a sense of sympathy for Miss Krishna and even to pool their incomes. The narrator, on the other hand, enjoys living alone and making herself comfortable. She has no financial worries. With a few necessary luxuries she makes her life run smoothly. The narrator takes Miss Krishna to her house out of sympathy only. But Miss Krishna brings a number of black trunks and fills the house with them. She moves about the house, picks small things and asks a number of questions about them, and disturbs the narrator in her work. She even asks unwanted questions about the narrator’s late husband, their relations and their earnings. She probes into all matters and irritates the narrator. She even reads her manuscripts though it is unethical.
On the pretext that a thing of beauty is joy forever, Miss Krishna pilfers precious little things from the houses of her hosts. Her black trunks are filled with them. Even her large purse contains pilfered things belonging to others. She shows all her newly pilfered things to the narrator and claims that she bought them very cheaply. The narrator understands that Miss Krishna wants beautiful things only to look at them but not to adorn her house with them or sell them for money. One day she offers to give the narrator a small Burmese box as a gift, but the latter rejects it because she does not accept gifts from anyone, being a self respecting woman.
The puzzling thing is that before her death, Miss Krishna bequeaths everything to the narrator. When the black trunks are opened, the narrator finds her missing clock among scores of small things. She takes only her clock and leaves the rest to Miss Krishna’s sister. Thus while the narrator is a plain, simple and honest woman, Miss Krishna is a curious, mysterious and enigmatic woman deserving the pseudonym Maya. Perhaps her puzzling character is due to the eccentricity common to ageing spinsters. Miss Krishna is the cross that the narrator bears with as much good humour as possible.
The Character of Miss Krishna:
Miss Krishna was a sixty-five year old spinster. She was living in a tiny cottage on a small annuity left by her mother. Miss Krishna bad a younger sister who received all the love and affection of their mother. It seems early life was a struggle because of poverty. Miss Krishna gave an impression that she had a passion for beauty. She used to pilfer beautiful things like teacups, spoons, candle holders, wooden statues, silver vases, jade Buddha, jade Buddha, jeweled watches and clocks which she securely stored in a number of black trunks. She knew how to work herself into the favour of others. As a credulous woman, the narrator believed her words and took her home for a cup of tea. Miss Krishna was all praise for the artistic and glowing cup as well as other things in the house. She cursed her own house as a hovel.
Miss Krishna had many stories to tell. One day she told the author that her house was being distempered and painted, and shifted into the author’s house at the narrator’s suggestion. She brought a large number of black trunks and said they contained her precious things. These precious things were those pilfered from other houses. Never for once did the narrator suspect her. Miss Krishna was an irritating guest. She used to ask endless questions, pick up things and distract the narrator. She was also fussy about food. This was unbecoming of a guest. She was also eager to know about the narrator’s late husband, their relations and earnings. She was planning to pool up their resources and shares the house permanently. The narrator was alarmed by this. One day finding that the distempering and painting of Miss Krishna’s house had been completed a week before, the narrator asked her to go back to her own house. At that time Miss Krishna had been reading the narrator’s manuscripts. It was unethical of the guest. The narrator hated the inquisitive nature of Miss Krishna.
Miss Krishna always carried a large leather purse with handles. The purse could accommodate any number of small things without a bulge. One day she opened it and showed to the narrator a coffee cup and saucer in red and gold colour. Later when the narrator visited a friend’s house, she came to know the coffee set was pilfered by Miss Krishna our of the friend’s twelve sets bought in Paris. Miss Krishna showed to the narrator the other things she had pilfered. Out of her little shop Miss Krishna offered to give a small Burmese box to the narrator but the latter refused to accept it.
The most astonishing thing was that before her death Miss Krishna left everything to the narrator. When the black boxes were opened by Miss Krishna’s sister, the narrator found only single pieces of beautiful things, all pilfered ones. Among these pieces, the narrator found her own missing clock and wanted to take it. It is clear that Miss Krishna loved beautiful things. Her sense of beauty was her panacea or remedy for all her ills. Perhaps these things of beauty gave her joy in life. The story has an air of mystery. Miss Krishna’s actions are puzzling. She remains an enigma. No wonder, her sister refers to her as Maya.
2 – MOTHER TERESA
Early life of Mother Teresa:
Mother Teresa was born on 26 August 1910. Her original name was Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. She was youngest of the children of a family from Shkoder, Albania. Her parents were Nikolle and Drana Bojaxhiu. Her father died when Agnes was only eight years old. Then her mother brought her up as a Roman Catholic. Agnes was fascinated by the stories of the lives of missionaries and service. At the age of twelve she decided to lead a religious life. She left home at the age of eighteen and joined the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary. She never saw her mother and sister again. Agnes first went to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Ireland to learn English in order to teach school children in India. She arrived in India in 1929 and started working in Darjeeling. After taking religious vows, she began teaching in the Loreto convent school in Eastern Calcutta. She was very much disturbed by the poverty all around. The famine of 1943 brought about a seachange in her. On 10 September 1946 she felt “a call within the call” and decided to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them. She began her missionary service in 1948. She took Indian citizenship and changed her dress pattern. She declared that God wanted her to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross, so that she could understand the poverty of others and help them.
Services Rendered by Mother Teresa:
Mother Teresa started Missionaries of Charity in 1950 to care for the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind the lepers and all those who feel unwanted, unloved and uncared for. IN 1952 she opened the first home for the dying and named it like angles. Mother Teresa next opened Shanti Nagar, a home for lepers. She opened similar homes throughout Calcutta. In 1955 she opened Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, a home for orphans and homeless youth. By 1960s, she opened hospitals, orphanages and leper homes all over India. The first overseas home of this type was opened in Venezuela in 1965. By 1970s other similar homes were opened throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the US.
Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity Brothers in 1963 and a branch of the Sisters in 1976. By 1970s, she became famous throughout the world as a humanitarian and champion of the poor and helpless. Her fame was due not only to her humanitarian services but also to the book Something Beautiful for God, written by Malcolm Muggeridge. For the poor, the homeless, the hopeless, the diseased, the dying, the unloved, the uncared for, the unfed, the unlettered and orphans, she was the mother. Mother Teresa also started the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests in 1981 and the Missionaries of Charity Fathers in 1984. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity continues to expand with an ever growing number of services. By 2007 it had 450 brothers and 5000 nuns worldwide operating 610 service centres in 123 countries. No wonder, for all her humanitarian services, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979, and India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1980. She was beautified by Pope John Paul II on 19th October 2003, with the title, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
1 – CUDDALORE EXPERIENCE
( Anu George )
The rescue and relief operations undertaken by Government of Tamilnadu following the floods and tsunami:
Cuddalore experienced unprecedented floods in October and tsunami in December 2004. The damage caused by the disaster was of a great magnitude. However, the district administration initiated relief and rehabilitation operations on a war-footing.
The first thing done was to arrange for a public announcement system. This helped in streamlining the rescue and relief operations and reducing the confusion at the hospitals. A search for the dead and the injured was initiated and public information centers were also set up to provide available information. Food and water were provided to 24,000 evacuees with the help of volunteers and philanthropic agencies. The dead bodies of 618 persons were individually photographed for identification and given a mass burial. This helped in preventing out bread of diseases.
Most of the relief camps were located in wedding halls. Thirty-eight such centers were set up for the sake of refugees. With perfect co-ordination between authorities and voluntary agencies, food and water were provided to the refugees. Arrangements were made for sanitary work. Medical camps were set up. Cooked food was monitored as a precautionary measure. Syntax tanks were put up in relief centers for immediate supply of water. Immediate steps were taken to restore civic amenities like power and water supply. Also three desalination plants were set up. As many as 107 bore wells were dug and pipelines were provided to ensure water supply to all the temporary shelters. Police patrolling was arranged to prevent thefts and other untoward incidents. Control rooms were set up to ensure speedy communication of problems and solutions.
As many as 51 habitations were reduced to rubble by the floods and tsunami. Urgent cleaning was necessary to prevent epidemics. Therefore army personnel were pressed into service and within a few days mass cleaning was completed. The relief centres and villages were disinfected with bleaching powder, lime and phenyl. Community kitchens were organized to feed 7085 refuges for a month. An inventory of all donated relief materials was computerized to ensure equitable distribution. Donors were given acknowledgements. Coupon system was evolved for distribution of relief materials. Twenty-three teams of doctors did wonderful service throughout the flood affected area. Training was given to volunteers to counsel mentally traumatized people.
Agricultural land to the extent of 517.7 hectares was rendered saline. Eco-friendly technologies were used to facilitate faster reclamation. Farmers were given enhanced compensation. Dead animals were disposed of and 20,109 animals were vaccinated Traumatized children were provided parks and play therapy was given to children by trained volunteers. Special homes were opened for tsunami-affected children for their psychosocial well-being. Temporary shelters with proper amenities were put up to accommodate refugees when they returned. Thus the administration of Cuddalore undertook effective rescue and relief operations following the floods and tsunami of October and December 2004.
The health services rendered by the district administration of Cuddalore:
The district administration of Cuddalore set up thirty-eight centres for refugees. Food and water were supplied regularly. Sanitary workers were appointed to clean the places on a daily basis. Medical camps were also set up. Teams of doctors visited the camps every day. The cooked food was monitored as a precautionary measure. Villages were cleaned up to control epidemics. Dead bodies of human beings and animals were disposed of. To disinfect relief centres and the ravaged villages, bleaching powder, lime and phenyl were used. Twenty three teams of doctors did wonderful service. They treated 80,117 people with 437 people as in-patients. The doctors also gave 9373 doses of measles and polio vaccine. They further mobilized 17,000 typhoid vaccines. The medical teams organized counseling for the mentally traumatized people including children. Play therapy sessions were specially held for children. Homes were opened for tsunami orphans to provide them psychosocial well-being.
2– AMRTYA KUMAR SEN
Amartya Kumar Sen’s Early life and Education:
Amartya Kumar Sen’s education began in St. Gregory’s School, Dhaka. He soon moved to Shantiniketan of Rabindranath Tagore. It was here that at a very young age. Amartya Sen decided to become a teacher and researcher. During his earlier days, he studied subjects like Sanskrit, Mathematics and Physics, but soon he settled down for “the eccentric charms of Economics”. He was greatly influenced by the cultural diversity in the world as reflected in the curriculum of Shantiniketan.
Later Amartya Sen studied at Presidency College, Calcutta from 1951 to 1953. He already formed his views on cultural identity consisting of plurality and absorption. His intellectual horizon was broadened by the educational excellence of Presidency College, where he studied under great teachers. The student community of this college was politically active, but Amartya Sen did not develop an enthusiasm to join any political party. But the egalitarian commitment of the left appealed to him. With this exposure, he participated in the running of evening schools for illiterate rural children in the neighbouring villages. This facilitated his political and social enlargement.
In 1953 Amartya Sen moved from Calcutta to Cambridge to study at Trinity College another B.A. course in Pure Economics. After one year of research, he went to Banaras Hindu University to write his Ph.D. thesis for a competitive Prize Fellowship at Trinity College and got elected. He was given four years of freedom to do whatever he liked. During this period he studied philosophy to broaden his perspective. He worked with great philosophers like Ravels, lsaiah Thomas Scanion, Robert Dworkin, Benard Williams, Derek Parfit and Robert Nozick.
In 1963 Amartya Sen left Cambridge and joined the Delhi School of Economics as a professor. He worked with K.N Ray, the Head of the Delhi School, and made it a great centre of education in Economics and Social Sciences in India. During this period he developed the social choice theory in the dynamic atmosphere of the Delhi School of Economics.
Amartya Kumar Sen’s views on Economics:
At an early age Amartya kumar Sen was attracted to the “eccentric charms of Economics”. As a student of Shantiniketan, he was greatly influenced by the cultural diversity in the world. The sectarian or communitarian society of India and the murder of a poor Muslim, Khader Mia, of Dhaka at the hands of his rivals, formed the basis of Amartya Sen’s studies in Economics. Amartya Sen attributed incidents like this to narrowly defined identities, divisiveness and economic uncertainty. His answer to the violations of freedom lay in plurality, absorption, equity and universal tolerance.
To broaden his political vision, Amartya Sen, while still at Shantiniketan, taught illiterate rural children of neighbouring villages in evening schools. The Bengal famine of 1943 in which three million landless rural labourers were killed confirmed his economic and social philosophy. He went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and enrolled for another B.A. Degree in Pure Economics. Since Economics was closely related to philosophical disciplines, he spent four years studying philosophy. In 1963 Amartya Sen joined the Delhi School of Economics as a Professor and started working on social choice theory.
The social choice theory related to aggregation in economic assessment and policy making. He elaborated this theory in his book, Collective Choice and Social Welfare. Later he shifted from pure theory of social choice to more practical problems. This was essential to assess poverty, inequality, deprivation, distribution of national income, unemployment, violation of personal liberties and basic rights, gender disparities and women’s disadvantages. Amartya Sen shifted to America in 1985 and started analysing the implications of Welfare economics and Political Philosophy. He declared that welfare economics dealt with assessment of how well things were going for the members of the society. If things were not well, there should be a justification for that. He had a particular interest in poorest members of the society. By combining the tools of economics and philosophy, he lent an ethical dimension to economic studies. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded him the Nobel Prize for Economics in October 1998. He used a part of the prize money to run his Pratichi Trust which did social and charity work in India and Bangladesh in the fields of literacy, health care and gender equality. Known as the Mother Teresa of Economics, he spent a lifetime fighting poverty through analysis instead of political activity.
1– BUBBLING WELL ROAD
The story of the Bubbling Well Road:
The Chenab falls into the Indus about fifteen miles above the hamlet of Chachuran. Five miles to the west of this hamlet lies the Bubbling Well Road and the house of the priest of Arty-Goth. Five miles to the west of Chachuran, there is a patch of ten to twenty feet high jungle grass in a plot of three to four square miles. In the middle of this plot hides the priest. The priest is a one-eyed man with the impress of two copper coins burnt between his brows. Some people say that in the days of Runjit Singh, this old man must have been tortured for his mischiefs. Only the British Government can control him now.
A pig with a foot-long teeth enters the grass patch. The narrator goes into the patch to shoot it for the sake of honor. He carries a gun. He is accompanied by his dog, Mr. Wardle. The dog slips in and out of the grass clumps, but the narrator finds it hard to go through the thick grass. He feels that he is in the midst of Central Asia. He is unable to see two yards through the grass. The grass stems are as hot as boiler tubes. The narrator wishes to leave the pig alone. He comes to a six-inch narrow path that runs through thick grass. After fifty yards, he finds the dog missing. He wonders where it has gone. Whatever words he speaks are repeated. When he is silent, he hears an offensive laughter. The heat and the laughter upset him. The There seems to be no ground in front of him He drives his gun around but it does not touch the ground. The grunting sound he makes is repeated. When he is silent, there is the sound of laughter.
The narrator moves forward inch by inch and finds a black gap in the ground just before him. It is very deep well. Very black things are circling round and round in the black water. A little spring of water on one side of the well is creating the sound of laughter. Something in the well turns over on its back and moves round and round with one hand and half an arm held high. The narrator creeps round the well and after walking through the grass for some time, comes to a good path. This path takes him to the priest’s hut. The priest is afraid of the white coloured narrator. Being tired, he goes to sleep on a bedstead outside the priest’s hut. After waking up, asks the priest to lead him out of the grass into an open ground. When they reach an open ground, the priest runs back into the thick grass. The villagers throw stones at him if they see him. The narrator walks to the village of Arti-goth for a drink, the narrator learns from the villagers of Arti-goth that the patch of grass is full of devils and ghosts. They are all in the service of the priest. Men, women and children who enter the grass never return. The priest uses their livers for his witchcraft. Before leaving, the narrator tries to burn the grass, but it is too green. He decides to come back in summer with a bundle of newspapers and a match-box and put an end to the mystery of the Bubbling Well Road.
2- MARTIN LUTHER KING Jr.
(I have a Dream)
The condition of the Negroes in America as described by Martin Luther King:
Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the greatest demonstration of Negroes in the history of America at Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., on 28 August 1963. In the inspiring address, Martin Luther King focused on the injustice done to the Negroes of America. In fact, a hundred years ago, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation bringing hope to millions of Negro slaves who were subjected to injustice.
However, a hundred years later the Negro still was not free. He was separated from the white society and treated with prejudice. He was made to live in poverty when the entire nation was enjoying material prosperity. He was pushed away and neglected. He was treated as an exile in his own homeland. A hundred years ago the Constitution was drafted and Independence was declared. It was like a promissory note that guaranteed the right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But America defaulted. It gave the Negro people a bad cheque and it came back for want of funds. The Negro was denied justice and opportunity. The demonstration was organized to demand freedom and justice. This was urgent. Martin Luther King asked the Negroes not to rest until they achieved their just demands.
The Negroes were subjected to great trials and tribulations. Some of them came fresh from prisons. They faced sufferings and police brutality. Since suffering would finally set them free, he asked them to come out of despair.
Martin Luther King exhorts the Negroes not to turn back but march ahead: After a hundred years of the drafting of the Constitution and declaration of Independence, the condition of the Negroes in America did not improve a bit. They were still subjected to segregation, injustice, captivity, citizenship tights, suffering and despair. However, Martin Luther King asks the Negroes not to cool off but continue their struggle. He made it clear to the Negroes that they should come out of segregation and achieve racial justice. All the children of God must get equal opportunities .From racial injustice they must proceed to brotherhood. It would not be good for America to ignore the urgency of the Negro issue or underestimate it. Certainly the Negro discontent would soon yield place to freedom and equality. The struggle had just begun. There would be neither rest nor peace until the demands of the Negroes were fulfilled. The foundations of the nation would be shaken unless the demands were met.
However, Martin Luther King asked the Negroes not to indulge in wrongful deeds even for a right cause. The means must justify the ends. He also asked them not to display bitterness and hatred towards the whites. He exhorted them to conduct themselves with dignity and discipline. Violence must be avoided. Physical force must be met with soul force. Not all whites should be distrusted. Many whites realized that their destiny and freedom were tied up with those of the Negroes. The Negroes must know that they would not be able to walk alone.
Martin Luther King asked the Negroes always to march ahead and never turn back. They should not be satisfied until they could enter motels and hotels, and move from smaller homes to larger homes like others. They would not be satisfied unless they were allowed to vote for a better future and get justice and righteous treatment.
Finally, Martin Luther King gave a clarion call to the Negroes to come out of their despair and continue to work with the faith that selfless suffering would result in redemption.
Martin Luther King’s dream: During the historic demonstration of the unprivileged Negroes of America, Martin Luther King announced that he had a dream within the larger American dream. The dream was for a better destiny for the Negroes of America. He entertained the hope that one day America would rise up to the truth that all men were created equal. He dreamed that one day slaves and slave-owners would eat together like brothers. His dream was that the state of Mississippi would become on oasis of freedom and justice. Further Martin Luther King held the dream that one day his four children would be judged not by the colour of their skin, but by their character. Another dream of Martin Luther King was that in the state of Alabama black boys and black girls would join hands with their white counterparts and walk together as sisters and brothers.
Martin Luther King had unqualified faith in God. He was sure that one day lowly placed things would be elevated and highly placed things would be humbled. Rough places would become plain and crooked places would be made straight. God would thus reveal his glory. He hoped that one day the differences would vanish and there would be brotherhood in America. With faith in God, Martin Luther King declared that the Negroes would be able to work, pray, struggle, suffer in jail, and demand freedom, together. They knew that they would be free one day. On that day all the children of God would sing of freedom in ringing tones. There would be no difference then between black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics. This meant that all men were free at last. This was the fond dream of Martin Luther King.
1– THE ODDS AGAINST US
A master storyteller, Satyajit Ray belongs to the highest echelons of world cinema. Regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Ray mastered the craft of storytelling through simple yet emotive narration. Despite being made in a vernacular language, Satyajit Ray’s films appeal to a universal audience with their subtle depictions of the spectrum of human emotions and relationships.
Satyajit Ray justifies his observation that film making is tough business: According to Satyajit Ray film making is a tough business for various reasons. This is true in the case of Indian films, especially the Bengali films. With sufficient financial support, men and materials, it is easy for Hollywood to make a movie like Spartacus, or for the Soviet Russia to make a movie like War and Peace. They can present battles, orgies, earthquakes, fires, victory processions and other similar scenes.
However, in India epics cannot be shown, because we do not have enough money, market and technology to be able to compete with Hollywood. Therefore we have chosen the intimate type of cinemas. Our cinemas have adopted mood and atmosphere instead of grandeur and spectacle. Though our financial position has improved a little, we still have problems of our own.
If we consider film making from the initial stages, the first problem is finding an effective story, which is viewed as property. It is the director who chooses the story. His choice is based on two considerations. They are, his liking or sympathy for the story and his confidence that the story will make a good film. Here the public view is also important. The director must keep it in mind that if the film does not bring back its cost or capital, his backers will lose faith in him. He will become unwanted and a bad risk. A director may explore new themes, and new aspects of society and human relations, but they will find only a minority public or viewers. Therefore the director must be careful about his budget. Similarly, the director must avoid full-bodied treatment of physical passion. Love scenes in India must be suggestive only in the spirit of established moral conventions.
There are other problems, too. We cannot show a corrupt politician, a corrupt bank clerk with a Gandhi cap on, and an office boss passing comments on an Anglo-Indian. We cannot deviate a bit from a popular classic. Story-wise the director’s choices are very limited. He is in a narrow field. The next problem is finding the suitable casting. We have no agents to scout talent. Even if there are talented people, they do not respond to advertisements. The next problem is shooting. Our studios have crevices on the walls. They are infested by rodents. There are pits in the floors and cameras groan. Electrical power drops. In spite of all these problems, it is within the powers of the director to make a good film or a bad film. It is exciting to be able to create beauty even in the absence of necessities and comforts.
The problems of casting in Indian films:
In the Indian film making casting has its problems. It is the first step in the process of interpretation. In Indian films some of the roles are pre-cast. The roles are created keeping certain actors and actresses in mind. But there are no professional players for the role of an 80-year old grandfather. Similarly, there are no players for minor roles such as common men, women, children, peasants, shopkeepers, professors, prostitutes and so on. How to find actors for these roles is the question. In most countries there are agents who keep a list of all available extra actors. The director can choose his actors from them. In India there are no such agents and talent-scouts. The deserving people do not respond to advertisements for fear or suspicion of refection. Those who respond are not suitable for the roles. Therefore the search is made on streets among pedestrians, in race-meets, parties and wedding receptions. Satyajit Ray was lucky in finding the right players for his roles, but the possibility of failure was always around the corner. There is always an acute shortage of good professional actors and actresses of middle age and above. There are roles that can be brought to life only by professionals. Thus casting is always a problem in film making.
2 – JOHON F.KENNEDY
(Ask Not What your Country Can Do For You)
Salient features of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Inaugural Address delivered on January 20, 1963: In his inaugural address, as the president of America, John F. Kennedy expresses his views on several national and international issues that America was concerned with. He describes the occasion as a celebration of freedom. He declares that America has always been committed to human rights and the survival of liberty.
Kennedy assures loyalty to allies and calls for co-operative ventures. He asks newly liberated nations to strongly assert their own freedom. He promises to help those who are in misery and poverty. Kennedy offers a new alliance with the southern republics for progress and removal of poverty. These republics must remain masters of their own house. He also pledges America’s support for the United Nations Organization in protecting new and weak nations. Kennedy requests the opponents of America to join hands for peace before science causes total destruction. However, he is unhappy that the two great and powerful groups of nations are spending huge amounts of money for acquiring modern deadly weapons. They must remember that the next war is the last war. Therefore Kennedy proposes sincere negotiations in the direction of unity. He calls for strict control of arms. Kennedy also proposes to explore the wonders, not the terrors, of science. He wants the two groups of nations to explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate diseases, tap the depths of oceans and encourage arts and commerce, He also wants the oppressed nations and people to be liberated. With necessary co-operation from both the groups, a new world can be created where strong people observe justice, weak people have security, and peace is established. All this may take time, but a beginning can be made.
Kennedy calls upon Americans to wage a struggle against the common enemies of man namely, tyranny, poverty, disease and war, with hope and patience. He exhorts his fellow Americans to defend freedom with all their energy, faith and devotion, and light the entire word. He gives a clarion call to their country.
Finally, Kennedy encourages the people of the entire world to follow God with courage, sacrifice and conscience. These are the salient features of john F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address delivered on January 20, 1963.
The proposals john F. Kennedy put before his adversaries to bring about an abiding peace in the world: In his Inaugural Address delivered on January 20, 1963, John F. Kennedy puts before his adversaries some far-reaching proposals for the sake of world peace, freedom and progress.
Kennedy makes a request to the adversaries of America to bring about peace before science destroys the world. Both the great and powerful groups of nations are spending large amounts of money on deadly modern weapons that may set in motion mankind’s final war. He calls for sincere negotiations. He proposes that the two groups must try to find ways and means of uniting instead of dividing. He proposes that the two groups must try to find ways and proposes to the two groups to explored, the deserts can be conquered, diseases can be eradicated, the depths of the oceans can be tapped and arts and commerce can be encouraged. Kennedy then asks both sides to liberate oppressed people of the world. With cooperation they can create a new world order in which the strong are just, the weak are secure and peace is established. These things may take a long time. But a beginning may be made.
- 1. PHONETICS
(Introduction to the Sounds of English- Vowels, Diphthongs & Consonants.)
Phonetics is the scientific study of speech sounds. It is a fundamental branch of Linguistics and itself has three different aspects: Articulatory Phonetics – describes how vowels and consonants are produced or “articulated” in various parts of the mouth and throat; Acoustic Phonetics – a study of how speech sounds are transmitted: when sound travels through the air from the speaker’s mouth to the hearer’s ear it does so in the form of vibrations in the air; Auditory Phonetics – a study of how speech sounds are perceived: looks at the way in which the hearer’s brain decodes the sound waves back into the vowels and consonants originally intended by the speaker.
Received Pronunciation (RP) is a form of pronunciation of the English language which has traditionally been the prestige British accent. RP is a form of English English (English English is a term that has been applied to the English language as spoken in England.), sometimes defined as the “educated spoken English of southeastern England.” It is often taught to non-native speakers; used as the standard for English in most books on general phonology and phonetics; and represented in the pronunciation schemes of most British dictionaries.
The Sounds of English and Their Representation: In English, there is no one-to-one relation between the system of writing and the system of pronunciation. The alphabet which we use to write English has 26 letters but in English there are approximately 44 speech sounds. To represent the basic sound of spoken languages linguists use a set of phonetic symbols called the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The chart below contains all of the IPA symbols used to represent the sounds of the English language. This is the standard set of phonemic symbols for English (RP). Speech can be seen as controlled breathing. An utterance begins with a breath. As we exhale, we modify the flow of air in a variety of ways to produce the various sounds of speech – the individual segments of sound or phonemes as well as the supra-segmental or prosodic features of stress and intonation.
As the breath passes through the larynx, it passes the vocal folds. If we choose to, we can allow these to be set in motion by the air. The resulting vibration is the source of our voice. Some phonemes are voiced in this way, while others are voiceless. All vowels are voiced. Consonants are either voiced or voiceless. The following explanation focuses on the way in which consonants are articulated. There are three characteristics to each consonant: the manner of articulation, the place of articulation and whether or not the sound is voiced.
We can define a consonant by reference to three characteristics:
- The point of articulation -where in the vocal tract it is made
- The type of articulation – how we make it
- Whether the sound is voiced or unvoiced
One way of making a consonant is to block the flow of air so that pressure builds up, and then suddenly release it. Consonants formed in this way are referred to as plosives or stops.
Point of articulation
|The two lips(bilabial)||b||P||bat/pat|
|Tongue tip and tooth-ridge(alveolar)||d||t||dug/tug|
|Back of tongue and soft palate or velum(velar)||g||k||big/pick|
Some consonants are produced when air is forced through a narrow opening. These are known as fricatives.
Point of articulation
|Lip and teeth(labio-dental)||v||f||vat/fat|
|Tongue-tip and teeth(dental)||ð||θ||that/think|
|Tongue and tooth-ridge(alveolar)||z||s||peas/peace|
|Tongue and hard palate(palatal)||ʒ||ʃ||measure/mesh|
|The glottis is partiallyconstricted (glottal)||h||hat|
A plosive and a fricative are pronounced together.
Point of articulation
|Palate and tooth-ridge||dʒ||tʃ||judge/church|
The air exits through the nose rather than the mouth. All nasals are voiced.
|Point of articulation||
|The two lips(bilabial)||m||-||mine|
|Tongue tip and tooth ridge(alveolar)||n||-||nine|
|Tongue and soft palate(velar)||ŋ||-||sing|
Approximants: The remaining four consonants of English are less clear-cut. Some may be realised in a number of ways. There are several quite distinct /l/ and /r/ sounds.
Point of articulation
Two consonants are similar to vowels in that there is no real contact between vocal organs. These two are known as glides.
Point of articulation
|The two lips(bilabial)||w||-||win|
|Tongue and hard palate(palatal)||j||-||you|
Phoneticians also identify vowels by their point of articulation. Vowels are classified into three groups: short, long and diphthong.
Long vowels Diphthongs
English Irregular Verbs with Phonetic Transcription
|become||/bɪ ‘kʌm/||became||/bɪ ‘keɪm/||become||/bɪ ‘kʌm/|
|begin||/bɪ ‘gɪn/||began||/bɪ ‘gæn/||begun||/bɪ ‘gʌn/|
|forget||/fər ‘get/||forgot||/fər ‘gɒt/||forgotten||/fər ‘gɒtn/|
|forgive||/fər ‘gɪv/||forgave||/fər ‘geɪv/||forgiven||/fər ‘gɪvən/|
|shine||/ʃaɪn/||shone||/ʃoun, ʃɒn/||shone||/ʃoun, ʃɒn/|
|understand||/ʌndər ‘stænd/||understood||/ʌndər ‘stʊd/||understood||/ʌndər ‘stʊd/|
2 – STRESS & INTONATION
Stress is defined as using more muscular energy while articulating the words. When a word or a syllable in word is produced louder, lengthier, with higher pitch or with more quality, it will be perceived as stressed. The prominence makes some syllables be perceived as stressed. Words including long vowels and diphthongs or ending with more than 1 consonant are stronger, heavier and stressed. English words have one or more syllables. A syllable is a complete sound unit. In words containing more than one syllable, one or sometimes two syllables prominent, that is , they receive the stress or accent. The more prominent of the syllable receives the primary accent and the other receives the secondary accent. While the primary accent mark comes above the syllable the secondary accent mark comes below the syllable. The accentual pattern of English words does not rigidly conform to any set of rules and one should learn to speak with the right accent by being exposed to the right models of speech. A few conventions for accent patterns are given below.
To have good pronunciation means 1) to pronounce correctly all the individual speech sounds in English; 2) to pronounce correctly the speech sounds in their combinations in isolated words as well as in sentences; 3) to speak fluently with correct rhythm, including the correct placement of stresses and pauses and the transition of sounds according to the context; and 4) to speak with appropriate intonation according to the context.
Stress of English words and sentences: basic rules and functions
The students need to learn the concept about words stress and sentence stress.
In some languages, every syllable is given about the same length while in others, syllables vary in length. In English, strong beats are called stress.
In words of more than one syllable, one of them will receive more stress than the others. Stressed syllables are those that are marked in the dictionary as stressed. Stressed syllables are usually longer, louder, and higher in pitch.
In English, stressed syllables are usually long syllables with clear vowel sounds. The word “banana”, for example, has 3 syllables. Syllable 1 is not stressed and so is short. Syllable 2 is stressed and so is long with a clear vowel sound. Syllable 3 is not stressed and so is also short.
Stressed syllables are strong syllables and unstressed syllables are weak syllables. Stressed syllables are usually long, have a pitch change and have full vowel sounds while unstressed syllables are short and often have a reduced vowel sound.
In an English utterance, stressed words give information to the listener and unstressed words join the information words together. Correct pronunciation of stressed and unstressed words is thus extremely important for effective communication in English.
Information words in a sentence are usually nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. They give information about who, what, when, where, why, and how. They express the main idea or content of the phrase or sentence. They carry the message and therefore usually stressed. Unstressed words are usually function words like articles, pronouns, possessives, prepositions, auxiliary verbs, and conjunctions. These words connect the information words to form grammatical sentences.
If you stress all the words in an utterance, you may sound unpleasant or even cause misunderstanding because you are giving too much information, and English speakers usually stress all words only when they are impatient or angry.
Words that are often Stressed
2. Main Verbs
4. Possessive Pronouns – mine, yours, etc.
5. Demonstative Pronouns – this, that, these, those*
6. Interrogatives – who, what, when, where
7. Not / negative contractions – can’t, isn’t, etc.
8. Adverbs – always, very, almost, etc.
9. Adverbial particles – take off; do away with
Words that are usually Unstressed
1. Articles – a, an, the, etc.
2. Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs – be, do, have, etc.
3. Personal Pronouns – I, we, you, he, she, it, they.
4. Possessive adjectives – my, your, his, her, its, etc.
5. Demonstative adjectives – this, that, these, those
6. Prepositions – to, for, with, etc.
7. Conjunctions – and, or, but, etc.
English intonation: structures, functions and use
We call the melody of language intonation. Intonation refers to the total pattern of pitch changes, i.e., the rising and falling of the voice when a person is speaking, within an utterance. Intonation is another important element of spoken English. It is the English intonation which makes English sound really English.
Intonation makes speech meaningful. English intonation adds the meaning of an utterance in two ways:
- It shows the relationship of words within and between sentences;
- It tells something about the feeling of the speaker.
In other words, different pitches may indicate different meanings for the same utterance. Different pitches help us express our feelings: happiness, sadness, surprise, annoyance, anger, and so on. In listening to the meaning of an utterance, therefore, we listen to how speakers talk as well as to what they say. The HOW and WHAT together give us the meaning of an English utterance.
We now see the importance to use the appropriate intonation patterns when we speak. Otherwise, we may be sending messages using intonations that contradict what we want words to say. Intonation patterns that disagree with the content of the utterance may indicate doubt, sarcasm, or confusion.
English has two basic intonation patterns: rising and falling. When they go together, they can make a falling-rising tone.
Intonation units are also called intonation-groups, tone groups or tone-units. An intonation unit usually corresponds to a sense group (or word group). An intonation unit may contain several syllables, some of them stressed and some unstressed. The last stressed syllable is usually a marker of the highest importance and has the focus stress. On this syllable, there takes place a change of pitch, either an upward or downward movement, or a combination of the two.
A nucleus refers to the syllable in an intonation unit which carries maximal prominence. For example, this is the normal way of saying the following sentence:
I am WRIting a LETter to him NOW.
There are ten syllables in this sentence among which three are stressed syllables. The last stressed syllable is NOW. So we say that NOW has the focus stress, and is the tonic syllable and therefore is the nucleus of the intonation unit. The nucleus is the essential part of the intonation unit. It is still present even if the unit consists of a single syllable, as is the case with many sentence words like yes, no, why, etc.
Tail, Head & Pre-head of an intonation unit:
Any syllable or syllables that may follow the nucleus in an intonation unit are called the “tail”. In the sentence “I am WRIting a LETter to him”, the nucleus of this intonation unit is on the tonic syllable “LET”. There are three unstressed syllables after the nucleus. These syllables are called the “tail” of this intonation unit.
The part of an intonation unit that extends from the first stressed syllable up to the nucleus ia called the “head” of the intonation unit. In the sentence “I am WRIting a LETter to him”, the “head” of this intonation unit is made up of three syllables: “writing a”.
Any unstressed syllable or syllables that may precede the “head”, or the “nucleus” if there is no head, are called the “pre-head”. In the sentence “I am WRIting a LETter to him”, “I am” comprises the “pre-head” of this intonation unit.
So if you analyze the following sentence, we will come up with the structure of an intonation unit like this:
I am WRIting a LET ter to him.
P H N T
P = Pre-head
H = Head
N = Nucleus
T = Tail
Following are the important functions of English intonation:
A. The attitudinal function
Intonation is used to convey our feelings and attitudes. For instance, the same sentence can be said in different ways, which might be labeled “happy”, “grateful”, “angry”, “bored”, and so on. Usually, intonation units with high heads sound more lively, interesting than those with low heads. A few generalisations are often made here: the falling intonation is said to be more often associated with completeness and definiteness; the rising intonation is more often associated with incompleteness and uncertainty or questioning; The falling-rising is said to have feelings of hesitation, contrast, reservation or doubt.
B. The accentual function
The location of the tonic syllable is of considerable linguistic importance. The most common position for this is on the last information word of the intonation unit. For contrastive purpose, however, any word may bear the tonic syllable.
C. The grammatical function
Some sentence may be ambiguous when written, but this can be removed by the use of intonation. An often cited example is the sentence “Those who sold quickly made a profit”. This sentence can be said in at least two different ways:
a. A profit was made by those who sold quickly.
b. A profit was quickly made by those who sold.
Another example is the use of rising tone in statements. The sentence “They’re going to have a picnic” is usually said as a statement like this:
The sentence serves as a question here.
The intonation used in question-tags can have a rising tone or a falling tone:
When it has a falling tone, as in (a), the speaker is comparatively certain that the information is correct, and simply asking for conformation, while the rising tone in (b) is said to indicate a lesser degree of certainty, so the speaker is asking for information.
D. The discourse function of intonation
In speech, people often use intonation to focus the listener’s attention on aspects of the message that are most important. So the placement of nucleus or tonic stress depends on the “information content”: the more predictable a word’s occurrence is in a given context, the lower its information content is. For example, people would say:
The (telephone’s ringing.
The (kettle’s boiling.
In speech, people often use the falling tone to indicate new information and rising tone (including falling-rising) to indicate “shared” of “given” information.
People also use intonation to indicate to others that they have finished speaking and that another person is expected to speak.
Placement of word accent:
In a number of disyllabic words, the stress depends upon whether the word is used as a noun or adjective or a verb. The accent is on the first syllable if the word is a noun or adjective and on the second syllable if it is a verb.
‘absent – ab’sent ‘accent – ac’cent ‘conduct – con’duct ‘content – con’tent
‘contrast – con’trast ‘contract – con’tract ‘convert – con’vert ‘abstract – ab’stract
‘compress – com’press ‘conflict – con’flict ‘contact – con’tact ‘defect – de’fect
‘desert – de’sert ‘dictate – dic’tate ‘export – ex’port ‘frequent – fre’quent
‘impress – im’press ‘progress – pro’gress ‘object – ob’ject ‘produce – pro’duce
Disyllabice words – Accent on the first syllable
‘able ‘agent ‘army ‘artist ‘beauty ‘body ‘butter ‘any ‘beggar ‘color
Disyllabice words – Accent on the second syllable
a’bout a’dmit a’dvance a’go al’though a’gree be’gin
be’tween con’firm de’ceive pos’ses re’ceive de’fend
Trisyllabice words – Accent on the first syllable
‘beautiful ‘customer ‘nobody ‘company ‘agency ‘article
Trisyllabice words – Accent on the second syllable
Ag’reement a’ppointment at’tention con’nection des’tructive di’rector
Trisyllabice words – Accent on the third syllable
After’noon ciga’rette decom’pose repre’sent under’stand
Words having four syllables
A’blilty a’pologise de’velopment ‘popularity pho’tography sim’plicity diplo’matic unim’portant circu’lation in’tentional
Words having more than four syllables
Affili’ation au’thoritative identifi’cation exami’nation oppor’tuny
Observe : ‘January ‘February March ‘April May June Ju’ly ‘August Sep’tember Oc’tober No’vember De’cember
3. ROLE PLAY (Situational Dialogues)
INTRODUCTION TO ROLE PLAY
Role playing games, exercises and activities help build teams, develop employee motivation, improve communications and are – for corporate organizations, groups of all sorts, and even children’s development. Role playing games, exercises and activities improve training, learning development, and liven up conferences and workshops. Role playing games, exercises and activities can also enhance business projects, giving specific business outputs and organizational benefits.
- Role Play is a fast way to improve speaking and listening for real life situations.
- Role Play uses scripts that you read with your partner, like actors in a movie.
- Role Play gives you information about your role. You can then talk with your partner using this information.
Role Play to Practice English:
- Role Play helps you speak English in full sentences.
- Role Play makes you think about what you are saying, so you remember the language.
- Role Play gives you many things to think and talk about.
- English Role Play is FREE!
Types of Role Play
1. Situation Role Plays
Situation Role Plays give you practice speaking English with correct sentences and pronunciation.
Examples: At the Markets, Clothes Shopping, Airport Check-in, Job Interview 2, PRACTICE: Got
2. Story Role Plays : In Story Role Plays, you and your partner are characters in a story.
3. Short Discussions : Short Discussions give you practice in asking and answering questions about a topic.
Examples – Introduction, Talk about Food, Talk about America, NEWS! Global Warming
4. Long Discussions: Long Discussions give you practice in asking and answering questions about a topic, as well as discussing the opinions of other people.
Examples: Environment, Movies.
The Role Play Situations:
1. The parents of a student are called to the college to talk about his/her poor marks.
2. You are in Khammam City bus and someone is playing a songs very loudly. You are in a big hurry and want the player turned off. Other passengers think that it is freedom of speech to play songs.
3. You are strolling in a department store. Walking around, you see a person who seems familiar, but you’re not sure. On a whim, you decide to stop the person and find out of s/he knows you. It turns out, after some questioning, that the two of you went to the same high school, but at the time the other person weighed 25 kilos more. That’s why you couldn’t recognize him/her.
4. Interruptions. A couple are trying to watch a film on TV, but are interrupted by a series of unwanted visitors: a talkative friend, the gas man, a neighbour who’s lost his/her keys, a stranger who’s mysteriously convinced that this is his house …
5. Hotel reception: a rich foreign guest and his/her secretary are arguing with the receptionist about the bill. Various random guests approach the desk and join in the argument, for instance: a bridegroom, a family with lots of small kids, a film star, photographers etc.
6. On the bus: Each student gets on the “bus” as a different character until crash – and they have to react appropriately.
7. The salesperson: Assign ridiculous objects or concepts for them to sell
8. The tour guide can be made a lot funnier if some students “play” the sites that s/he is describing.
Right Body Language:
1. Eye contact
Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of dealing with others, especially people we’ve just met. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say. We tend to keep eye contact around 60-70% of the time. (However, there are wide cultural differences, so be careful in other countries) By doing this you won’t make the other people feel self conscious. Instead, it will give them a feeling of comfort and genuine warmth in your company, any more eye contact than this and you can be too intense, any less and you give off a signal that you are lacking interest in them or their conversation.
Posture is the next thing to master, get your posture right and you’ll automatically start feeling better, as it makes you feel good almost instantly. Next time you notice you’re feeling a bit down, take a look at how your standing or sitting. Chances are you’ll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward. This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can help make you feel nervous or uncomfortable.
Head position is a great one to play around with, with yourself and others. When you want to feel confident and self assured keep your head level both horizontally and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative and what you’re saying to be taken seriously. Conversely, when you want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a little to one side or other. You can shift the tilt from left to right at different points in the conversation.
Arms give away the clues as to how open and receptive we are to everyone we meet and interact with, so keep your arms out to the side of your body or behind your back. This shows you are not scared to take on whatever comes your way and you meet things “full frontal”. In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the more you tend to use your arms with big movements. The quieter you are the less you move your arms away from your body. So, try to strike a natural balance and keep your arm movements midway. When you want to come across in the best possible light, crossing the arms is a no, no in front of others. Obviously if someone says something that gets your goat, then by all means show your disapproval by crossing them !
Legs are the furthest point away from the brain; consequently they’re the hardest bits of our bodies to consciously control. They tend move around a lot more than normal when we are nervous, stressed or being deceptive. So best to keep them as still as possible in most situations, especially at interviews or work meetings. Be careful too in the way you cross your legs. Do you cross at the knees, ankles or bring your leg up to rest on the knee of the other? This is more a question of comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last position mentioned is known as the “Figure Four” and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross, especially if it happens as someone tells a you something that might be of a slightly dubious nature, or moments after. (As always, look for a sequence)
6. Angle of the Body
Angle of the body in relation to others gives an indication of our attitudes and feelings towards them. We angle toward people we find attractive, friendly and interesting and angle ourselves away from those we don’t, it’s that simple! Angles includes leaning in or away from people, as we often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways to someone to share a bit of conversation. For example, we are not in complete control of our angle at the cinema because of the seating nor at a concert when we stand shoulder to shoulder and are packed in like sardines. In these situations we tend to lean over towards the other person.
7. Hand Gestures
Hand gestures are so numerous it’s hard to give a brief guide but here goes. Palms slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm down gestures are generally seen as dominant, emphasizing and possibly aggressive, especially when there is no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm. This palm up, palm down is very important when it comes to handshaking and where appropriate we suggest you always offer a handshake upright and vertical, which should convey equality.
8. Distance from others
Distance from others is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand too close and you’ll be marked as “Pushy” or “In your face”. Stand or sit too far away and you’ll be “Keeping your distance” or “Stand offish”. Neither are what we want, so observe if in a group situation how close are all the other people to each other. Also notice if you move closer to someone and they back away, you’re probably just a tiny bit too much in their personal space, their comfort zone. “You’ve overstepped the mark” and should pull back a little.
Ears, yes your ears play a vital role in communication with others, even though general terms most people can’t move them much, if at all. However, you’ve got two ears and only one mouth, so try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as much as you talk you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike up a balanced a conversation without being me, me, me or the wallflower.
Mouth movements can give away all sorts of clues. We purse our lips and sometimes twist them to the side when we’re thinking. Another occasion we might use this movement is to hold back an angry comment we don’t wish to reveal. Nevertheless, it will probably be spotted by other people and although they may not know the comment, they will get a feeling you were not to pleased. There are also different types of smiles and each gives off a corresponding feeling to its recipient.
Dialogues for Practice:
- Hello. My name’s Prince Sundar. What’s yours?
– Nice name. I like it very much.
– Thank you. You name’s good, too.
– It was nice meeting you.
– Thanks. It was nice meeting you.
- What’s the date today, I wonder?
– Sunday, the 8th of March.
– What is it famous for?
– Don’t you know? It’s International Women’s Day.
- Are lessons over?
– Yes, they are.
– Where’re you going? Home?
– No, to the pictures. My friend’s waiting for me there.
– Good luck, then. Good bye.
– Well, I’m off. See you later.
- Have you got any hobbies? I have. I like English.
– So do I.
– Do you read much?
– Yes, because I want to know English well.
– Oh, let’s talk English for a bit.
– No objections to it.
- Oh, dear, hurry up!
– I’m trying to.
– Well, come on. It’s your first day at school.
– Do you want to be late?
– I’m ready now.
– Off we go!
- I don’t think English is easy.
– Why do you think so?
– Because I have to work hard learning a lot by heart.
- I’m going to be an English language teacher.
– For a number of reasons.
– What reasons, I wonder?
– The main one is I like English.
- What do you think the best sort of job is?
– Engineering, I think.
– I like medicine.
– To my mind the best one is the one you like the most.
- I say, where’re you going?
– To school, as you see.
– Why so early, I wonder? It’s only 12 o’clock now.
– That’s right, but I’m on duty, you know.
– I see.
- Where’re you going?
– To a friend of mine to play chess. Bye-bye.
- Please give me that book.
– What for?
– To have a look at it.
– Here you are.
– Thank you.
– Not at all.
- Have you had a good day at school?
– Wonderful! I’ve got three really good marks!
– Jolly good. Congratulations!
– Thank you.
- You’re far too lazy. Look at your English. Is this the best you can do?
– You know I’m no good at English.
– And what about Physics?
– I’m ashamed of myself.
– You could easily come top of the class.
– I’ll work harder, I promise.
- Well, hurry up.
– I’m trying to. But look, isn’t there half an hour before school starts?
– Is that the right time?
– I’m sure it is.
- School’s almost over.
– Yes, I know.
– How many more days?
– When do the holidays start?
– Next week.
- How did you enjoy your summer holidays?
– Oh, yes, very much. I spent them at a youth camp.
– On the south coast as usual with your elder sister?
– Yes, but this time I was alone.
– How lucky you were!
– That’s right.
- Look here, this has got to stop. You’ve come bottom in nearly every subject.
– Except Geography.
– Yes, indeed. You came second to bottom in that.
– It wasn’t really my fault. I was ill for some time, wasn’t I?
– That’s no excuse.
– I’ll improve.
– I doubt it.
- My bag, please.
– Which one is it?
– It’s one of those, there.
– This one?
– No, not that one.
– What colour?
– It’s brown… Yes. That’s it. Thank you.
– Not at all.
- So you’ve passed your exams.
– It wasn’t all that difficult.
– It’s because you worked hard, I think.
– Well, I was all right in History, but I didn’t do so well in Literature.
– And how about your English?
– Not so good, only so-so.
- Hello, glad to see you!
– Hello, so am I.
– Today’s your birthday, isn’t it?
– That’s right. It’s kind of you to remember.
– Well, many happy returns of the day. Here’s a present for you.
– Oh, thank you. What beautiful flowers! I don’t know how to thank you.
- Is painting your hobby?
– Why do you think so?
– Because there’re a lot of pictures in this room.
– It’s my elder brother’s hobby.
– I see, but what about you?
– I prefer books.
- What shall we have for breakfast?
– What about some bread and butter, two eggs and a cup of tea?
– Well, I don’t mind, but I’d like to add some biscuits.
- Fish? Again?
– Why, I thought you liked it.
– I do, of course, but not every day.
– Well, in that case I’ll give you some meat.
– Thank you. That’ll be better.
- Good morning. Glad to see you.
– Good morning. So am I.
– Won’t you come and sit down?
– I’m sorry, but I can’t.
– Why not, I wonder why?
– I’m short of time, you know.
– Well, then. What’s up?
– I’d like to see your sister. Is she in?
– Oh, no. She’s still at school.
- Hello, who’s that?
– Hello, Pete. How are you?
– Hello, quite well. Thanks. What are you doing?
– Playing chess with my father.
– I’d like to speak to Eliza. What’s she doing?
– Watching the TV programme.
– Shall we go to the cinema? I’ve got three tickets.
– What’s on?
– A new film. They say rather interesting.
– O. K. We’ll meet at the entrance.
– Shall we?
- Have you done your homework?
– Not yet.
– Why not?
– I didn’t have time last night.
– That’s no excuse.
- Mummy! – Yes, dear. What’s the matter? You seem upset?
– Well, what’s happened?
– You see … I … well …
– Come on now, out with it!
– All right, then, if you must know. I’ve got a bad mark.
– What? Again?
- I say, what’s wrong?
– Nothing. Everything’s fine.
– Why are you crying, then? Will you tell me what’s happened?
– Well, you see, I’ve lost my book.
– Have you looked for it everywhere in the room?
– Yes. I still can’t find it.
- What are you looking at?
– That book.
– Which one? Point to it.
– That one, there.
– Oh, yes. Beautiful one, isn’t it?
– Yes, it is. I wish I had it.
– So do I.
- What about killing that fly?
– Why not?
– Why should I?
– Isn’t it annoying you?
– No, it isn’t.
– Well, it’s annoying me.
– In that case you kill it yourself.
- Why are you switching on the radio set?
– Shall we listen to the 7 o’clock news?
– Isn’t it too early for that now?
– Of course not. It’s already one to 7.
- Shall I help you wash?
– Thanks, but I’d rather do it myself.
– As you like. It’s a pity I can’t help you or shall I try?
– Oh, no. Don’t bother.
– It’s no bother at all.
- Will you help me, my boy?
– What do you want me to do, Mummy?
– Will you polish the floor today?
– Is it my turn?
– Yes, it is. Your brother did it last time.
– Oh, all right, then.
- Your things are lying about all over the room.
– Well, what about it?
– Just tidy them up.
– I’ll think about it.
– How about doing it now?
– Well… if you insist…
- What are you doing here?
– I’m reading. Why are you asking me?
– Sorry, but I need your help.
– What can I do for you?
– Please bring me a pail of water.
– With pleasure.
- Will you copy this text for me?
– Sorry, but I’d rather not.
– Why not?
– I don’t feel like copying.
– Is that as difficult as all that?
– No, but still, you have to do it yourself.
- Excuse me. Could you help me, please?
– I’ll try. What do you want?
– Something’s wrong with my alarm-clock.
– Let me see … Sorry, but I can’t help. You’d better get it repaired.
- What’s the matter with you?
– I’m not feeling very well today.
– Do you have a headache?
– Yes, and a sore throat, too.
– Well, in that case you’d better stay at home.
– Oh, yes, I’ll have to.
- I’d like to go and play for a while.
– But you’ve got to do your lessons first.
– Oh, I’ve already done my homework.
– Have you really? Then you may go.
- You know it’s our mother’s birthday soon.
– Isn’t it about time to think of a good present for her?
– Well, I’ve a little surprise for her.
– How nice! What?
– This drawing.
– Wonderful! She’ll be delighted.
- Believe it or not! I’ve got three tickets for today’s football match!
– You don’t say! That’s wonderful!
– Will you come with us?
– Well, you see … I …
– Why are you hesitating?
– Well, I’d like to, but I’d better ask my mother first.
- This is my new dress. What do you think of it?
– It’s a very pretty one. I’ll bet it cost a lot.
– It certainly did.
– Where did you get it?
– In London.
- Can I see you for a minute, please?
– What’s up?
– Don’t you know the news?
– What do you mean by this?
– There’ll be no classes tomorrow!
- What are you doing? Eating? Jam?
– What difference does it make to you?
– Well, you shouldn’t eat in between meals.
– Why not? I wonder why?
– It’s dinner – time soon.
– All right, then.
- I wonder, where my book is?
– Why don’t you ask your sister?
– Has she ever touched my things?
– How should I know?
- How are you feeling today?
– A bit better, thank you.
– But did you call a doctor.
– Why not, I wonder?
– Well, I didn’t think it was necessary. But I’m going to bed now.
– That’s the best place for you at the moment.
- What’s the matter with you?
– I’m not feeling very well, doctor.
– What exactly is the trouble?
– I’ve got an awful headache.
– Are you working hard and getting too little rest?
– Yes, I think so.
– Now, you stay in bed until you’re well.
- Sorry, I’m a bit late, am I?
– That’s all right, darling. Take off your coat, wash your hands and sit down at table.
– Dinner’s ready, isn’t it?
– Yes, it is.
- Well, I think that’s all the reading for today.
– Is it getting late? What time is it now?
– Time for bed, I think.
– O.K. Coming, Mummy.
– Now, hurry up!
- I don’t want you fighting. Stop it once and for all.
– Sorry, but I had to. He started it.
– I don’t care what the reasons are. I forbid you to fight.
- Where’re you going? I’d like to know.
– To the playground.
– What for?
– To play football for a while. Will you come with me?
– I’m sorry, but I can’t. I’m busy now.
– What a shame! Good-bye, then.
– So long.
- Excuse me. Do you have a ball?
– Certainly. Here, help yourself .
– Thanks .
– Not at all .
- Well, do you have anything arranged for tomorrow?
– Nothing definite.
– How would you like to go on an excursion?
– Where to?
– To Prince Tower.
– Oh, yes, I’d be glad to!
- Shall we go for a walk?
– Good idea! Where to?
– Let’s go to the park.
– Don’t you think we’d better go to the fields?
– Let me see… It’s 10 o’clock now. We’ve got plenty of time.
- Are you going out?
– Yes, to the playground. Do you want to come?
– Yes, I do. But I can’t.
– Can’t you? Why not?
– Because I have to do my homework now.
– Oh, you can do it tomorrow.
– Oh, no! There’ll be no time for that tomorrow. I’ve got to do it today.
– Well, in that case I’ll stay at home and help you.
– Thanks. That’s very nice of you.
- I’ve got to go to the Railway station.
– What for?
– To meet a friend of mine. How do I get there from here?
– Catch a bus. It’s the quickest way, I think.
-I beg your pardon. Is this the right way to Hyde Park?
– I’m sorry, I can’t tell you.
– Oh, what a nuisance! Why not?
– You see, I’m stranger in these parts myself.
– What shall I do, then?
– Well, ask somebody else or, even better, ask a policeman.
– Thank you. Much obliged.
- Anything I can show you?
– Oh, yes, please. I want some shoes.
– What size, colour?
– 35, brown, please.
– Here you are.
– Thanks. May I try them on?
– Do, please.
– They’re all right. How much are they?
– 10 roubles.
- Can I help you?
– Yes, I want a large box of chocolates for a present, please. It’s Mummy’s birthday tomorrow.
– What about this one?
– Oh, yes. It’ll do. How much is it?
– 75 pence, please. Anything else?
– Nothing else. Thank you.
- Will you be going shopping today?
– Why do you ask?
– I’d like to ask you a favour.
– What can I do for you?
– Would you get me some sugar and bread?
– Certainly, if you give me some money. I’m very short.
- It’s raining hard at the moment.
– And we’re both carrying parcels.
– I’m afraid of getting wet.
– Why not get a bus?
– That’s a good idea.
- What would you do if you had a lot of money?
– I’d buy a scooter.
– But if you can’t buy a scooter?
– Then, I’d buy a bicycle.
- Hello! Is that nice? I hope you enjoy your breakfast, don’t you?
– Oh, yes, very. Thanks.
– May I sit at your table, please?
– You’re very welcome.
– Thank you.
- Oh, dear, call your little brother, please.
– He’s up in the tree.
– Well, let him come down.
– He says he won’t until you agree to play football with him.
– Oh, no. I can’t do that. I’m too old to do that.
- What’s his telephone number?
– It slipped my memory. I know it, but I can’t think of it.
– Neither can I.
– Well, it’ll come back to me in a minute.
- What’s that girl’s name?
– Do you mean the one in the blue coat?
– Oh, yes, that’s the one.
– Let me see… It’ll come back to me in a moment.
– Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten it.
– It’s just slipped my mind.
– Think hard, will you?
– It’s just on the tip of my tongue.
– You must remember.
– I’ve got it at last! Caroline!
- Do you come to school by bus?
– Yes, because I live a long way from school. And you?
– Oh, I always walk to school. I live nearby.
- What luck running into you! How are you getting on?
– Thanks. Everything’s all right. I’m quite well.
– You see, I was ill last week.
– What was the matter with you?
– I had a cold, high temperature and a headache.
– Poor you! You had an awful time I should think.
– You’re right.
- The weather’s fine today, isn’t it?
– Yes it is. The sun’s shining brightly in the blue sky.
– Is it warm in the street, I wonder?
– I shouldn’t think so. It’s November now.
– Shall I put a coat on?
– As you like. Are you afraid of catching cold?
– All right, then.
- Do you like going to the pictures?
– Not specially. I prefer the theatre.
– Do you often go to the theatre?
– Yes, I do.
– How often?
– Once or twice a month. It depends.
– Not so bad, I think.
- I’m going to have a party on Sunday. Can you come?
– Yes, thank you for the invitation. What time shall I come?
– At 6 o’clock, please.
– O. K. That suits me.
- How long shall we have to wait for him?
– I am afraid I’ve no idea.
– Well, I hope he won’t be too long?
– I hope so, too.
– How about ringing him up?
– That’s a good idea! Let’s.
- How do we get to the theatre? By bus or car?
– Either. But the tram takes much longer.
– Look, there’s a number 3 bus over there. Hurry up!
– Oh, no. I simply can’t. Let’s catch the next one.
- What bus are you catching?
– Number 2 to the stadium.
– Sorry to trouble you, but should I catch the same bus for the Post-Office?
– Yes, you can catch any bus to get there.
- Can I get to the museum by bus?
– Let me see…Why, yes.
– What bus shall I take?
– First you get a number 5 bus.
– And then?
– Then, you … you walk the rest of the way.
– How long will it take me to get there, do you think?
– About twenty minutes.
- Excuse me.
– What is it?
– Can you tell me how to get to the circus?
– Certainly. You need a number 4 trolley-bus or a number 11 bus.
– Which is the best way to get there?
– By trolley-bus, I think.
– Thanks a lot.
- Excuse me. Please let me by.
– Are you getting off at the next stop?
– I’ve got to get off at Fleet Street.
– But that’s the next stop but one, I think.
– Sorry, I didn’t know that.
- Where to?
– The Railway station.
– You’re going the wrong way. You’re going away from it.
– Oh, dear. What’ll I do, then?
– Get off at the next stop, cross the road and take the same tram going the other way.
– Thanks. Do I have to change?
– No, not for the Railway station.
- I’ve bought the tickets!
– Have you really? Splendid! How did you manage it?
– With the help of a friend of mine.
– Well done! It’s a good thing you were able to.
- How much is an ice-cream?
– Well, what sort of ice-cream do you want?
– This one, a choc-ice.
– 15 pence, please.
– I’ll have one, please.
– Here you are.
- Could you give me some money?
– How much do you want, I wonder?
– Sixpence, if you can spare it.
– All right. When do you want it.
– Straight away, please.
– Here you are.
- Order what you like. I’ll pay.
– A couple of cheese sandwiches, please.
– And what about a cup of coffee?
– As you please.
– Anything else?
– Thanks. I don’t think I’ll have anything else.
- Can I get a cup of coffee? I’m so cold and tired.
– Just a moment… Sorry, there’s no coffee.
– Can’t I have a glass of milk, then?
– There’s no milk either, but you can have a cup of tea.
– With pleasure, if it’s hot.
- What does that sign say?
– Can’t you read English?
– Why would I ask if I could?
– Shall I read it to you?
– That’s what I want you to do.
4 – ORAL PRESENTATIONS (Prepared and Extempore)
Successful presentations are designed to meet the needs and expectations of the audience. The information and delivery should be relevant and presented in a way so that the audience will listen and keep listening.
Many presenters get caught up in the details of the topic and what they want to say, and lose sight of the audience and what they need to gain. The emphasis should be on the listener, not the presenter. Analyzing your audience will help you decide what to include in the presentation and how to best present the information. You will have determined what information will appeal to them and this will increase your persuasiveness.
There is no question about the importance of content. A presentation without good content will always fall flat. However there are many skills that must be applied to bring good content to life.
Even with solid research, subject expertise, good planning and excellent facilities, some presentations fail. If a presenter does not have a confident, enthusiastic delivery style, the audience quickly loses interest and becomes bored.
Research has shown that an audience’s opinion of a presentation is based 7% from the presentation content, 38% from voice and 55% from facial expressions and gestures.
Presenters need to use their own personality while focusing on their delivery skills to project the professional and confident style needed to create a successful presentation.
Utilizing an interactive and lively presentation style uses nervous energy in a positive way instead of as an inhibitor.
Delivery skills are comprised of effective eye contact, volume, pacing, tone, body language, word choice, and appearance.
¬Focus their attention
¬Start with a clear, relevant purpose statement that shows the benefit to them
¬Use language that is clear and easily understood
¬Start with the familiar
¬Use examples and analogies
¬Stay focused on your main objective(s)
¬Use concrete examples
¬Make it memorable
¬Keep room temperature on the cooler side
¬Give them a break if they have been sitting more than 1 hour
¬If a break isn’t possible, ask them to stand up and stretch
¬Eliminate unnecessary noise distractions
¬Lighting should be bright
¬Visuals should be easily viewed by all audience members
¬Create an attention-getting introduction
¬Make a positive first impression
¬Use your voice, gestures, and facial expressions for emphasis to increase retention
The sound of your voice can be a major detractor from the content of your presentation, or it can be one of your most effective tools. The pitch, tone and volume of your voice is crucial for effective delivery. In our culture, we expect good, direct eye contact. In many presentations, speakers look at the walls, floor, their notes, anywhere but at the audience members! We need to look at individuals. Eye contact opens the channel of communication between people.
When you prepare for a presentation, you organize your thoughts and prepare your words. When the moment arrives to present, your adrenaline starts pumping and produces extra energy. Mastering key techniques allows you to channel your nervous energy in a way that brings life to your presentation. Using your body language properly will help your presentation become interesting and engaging. Keep your weight balanced equally over both feet. Stand facing the audience. Gestures add visual emphasis to your words and help your listeners remember the content. When possible, check your physical appearance in a full-length mirror prior to your presentation. Your appearance affects the audience’s perception of you. Everyone experiences nervousness before presentations. The trick is to make your excess energy work for you by fueling it into your presentation. Good visuals help support and organize a presentation.
The best way to come across as sincere and interested is to be yourself.
How do you let your own personality shine through without compromising the structure and content of the presentation?
- Share personal experiences
- Use humor (appropriately), tell stories not jokes
- Speak in a natural, conversational style – Avoid reading from a script
- Use your visual aids as your notes rather than reading from them or a script
- Become involved and committed to your topic.
Tips for Overcoming Nervousness:
Prepare. Research has shown that 50% of nervousness is caused by lack of preparation. Knowing your topic and that your presentation is well organized gives you confidence. (Section 5 provides a guide for organizing your presentation.)
Practice. Stand up and practice your presentation. Ask a few friends or family members to serve as your audience. Practice answers to questions you anticipate from the audience. Videotape yourself if possible or stand in front of a full-length mirror while practicing.
Visualize. Think positively. Mentally rehearse the entire presentation in vivid detail. See yourself as a dynamic, knowledgeable speaker, it will also help you focus on what you need to do to be successful.
Eat and drink right. Eat a light meal beforehand. Drink fluids the previous day. Stay away from sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol.
Breathe: Breathing from your abdomen releases stress-producing toxins. The first thing to do is sit up, erect but relaxed, and inhale deeply a number of times.
Stretch: To relax, you need to release tension by allowing your muscles to flex.
Visual Aids: People depend on what they see visually as their primary source of information. Adding visual aids to your presentation has a dramatic impact on how much your audience takes away. In one study, a presentation that only delivered information verbally achieved a 7% comprehension rate; the addition of visuals raised comprehension to 87%. This shows that information seen and heard has a much better chance of being remembered than information just heard. Good visuals help support and organize a presentation. They focus the audience’s attention and clarify and augment ideas. Visuals enable you to get more content across in a shorter period of time, simplify complex information, and eliminate misunderstanding.
Impromptu or Extempore Presentation:
There comes a time in any person’s life when he’ll have to give an impromptu presentation or speech. It may be for anything –a teacher trying to get you to speak up in class, or even in a casual debate. It happens more often than most people would think. Feel free to acknowledge that you have not prepared for a speech. Do this in a professional way! This should not be an attempt to garner pity, but rather a way to put yourself and your audience at ease. Then, excuse yourself for a moment and take time to jot down a quick outline. Zone out the audience. Jot down interesting or significant points about your topic, which will be related in some way to the event you’re attending.
If it is a homework assignment you are addressing, for instance, write down your impression of the assignment or anecdotes about your time spent on it. Begin with your introductory sentence, elaborate, then start working your way to your ending sentence. Fill in the middle space with as many points as you can, elaborating on each one as you go. Just concentrate on the zinger you’ve reserved for the end. As you deliver your speech, concentrate on diction and tone. If you are thinking about this, you are not thinking about the eyes watching you. This really works! Your mind can’t think about too many things at once, so think about enunciating your words and controlling your tone, and you’ll maintain more control.
5.‘Just A Minute’ Sessions (JAM).
Just a Minute Sessions are conducted to check the communication skills of the students
i.e, construction of sentences, sequencing of thoughts , putting forth ideas , knowledge
etc., in a stipulated time frame.
A Topic is put forth to the student , the student is expected to make an oral
presentation in a short period of time and speak within the stipulated time.
6 – Describing Objects / People/SITUATIONS
A paragraph to describe objects consists of 5 parts as follows:
1. Function/ Use
2. Components/ Parts
3. Characteristics (material/shape/ figure /dimensions /property /colour)
5. Connection between parts
Language Focus: Function/Use
v.to be + used to + V1
v.to be + used for + Ving
A drum is used for making music.
A drum is used to make music.
1.1 A hammer consists of a handle and a head.
is made up of
is composed of
1.2 A hammer includes a handle and a head.
1.3 A hammer has two parts: a handle and a head.
sections: one is a handle, the other is a head.
components: one is a handle, the other is a head.
A chair is made of wood.
Bread is made from wheat.
This kind of car is made by a big company in Japan.
is shaped like + n.
A coin is shaped like a circle.
is + Adj. + in shape.
A coin is circular in shape.
is + Adj.
|A coin is circular. Noun||Adjective|
He is tall. He is short. He is normal height.
+ He is very tall. He is quite short. He is relatively normal height.
She is skinny. (negative) She is fat. (negative)
She is underweight. (negative) She is overweight. (negative)
She is thin. (negative) She is plump. (neutral)
She is slim. (positive) She is stocky. (neutral)
She is slender. (positive) She is bonny. (positive)
if a man is fat (especially round the waist) we often say he has a beer belly.
blonde/fair hair brown hair red hair black hair grey hair
blonde brunette redhead – -
grey eyes green eyes blue eyes brown eyes dark eyes
Type of hair
She has long hair.
She has short hair. He has no hair. = He is bald. She has medium length hair. She has short hair.
+ She has long, black hair. She has short, black hair. – She has medium length , blonde hair. She has medium length, red hair. She has short, blonde hair.
++ She has long, straight, black hair. She has short, straight, black hair. – She has medium length, straight, blonde hair. She has medium length, wavy, red hair. She has short, curly, blonde hair.
or Her hair is long, straight and black. Her hair is short, straight and black. – Her hair is medium length, straight and blonde. Her hair is medium length, wavy and red. Her hair is short, curly and blonde.
+ She wears glasses.
Type of complexion
He is asian. He has light-brown skin.
She is black. She has dark skin. He is white. He has fair skin. She is white. She has lightly tanned skin. She is white. She has very pale skin.
moustache beard chin forehead nostrils
eyebrows cheeks lips teeth
bald, black, blonde, blue, brown, curly, fat, grey, long , medium,
overweight, pale, plump, red, short, skinny, slim, stocky, straight, tall, tanned,
thin, wavy and white are all adjectives – they describe things
very, quite and slightly are all modifiers – they change (modify) the adjectives
People are built in all shapes and sizes. There are those who are fat and overweight. Some people are extremely overweight and are obese. Other people are naturally slim, but others look have absolutely no fat on them and are thin, or skinny.
Personally, I am stocky – small, but well-built. My father is tall and lean – with very little fat. My sister is short, but wiry – she is quite thin, but muscular. Both my brothers are athletic and well-proportioned. My mother looks like a 1940’s film star. She is curvaceous, with an hour-glass figure.My grandfather is fit for his age and takes plenty of exercise. He doesn’t want all his muscles to get flabby.
My sister – she has fair hair and fair skin. She doesn’t tan easily and has to be careful in the sun. My mother is blonde, also with a fair complexion. I am a red-head – with red hair. Like many other people with a pale complexion, I get freckles from the sun – small brown dots on my face and arms. In contrast, my father has dark-brown hair and he is quite dark-skinned. You are born with a colour – white or Caucasian, black or Asian. People whose parents are of different ethnic origin are mixed-race. Southern Europeans are sometimes described as Mediterranean.
Faces, like build, vary a lot. Some people have oval faces – their foreheads are much wider than their chins. Other people have heart-shaped, square or round faces.
Features also vary. My grandfather has bushy eyebrows (he has lots of hair!), a hooked nose and high cheekbones. His eyes are large and set quite far apart. My mother has a broad nose, which she hates, as she prefers narrow noses. But she is lucky to have even or regular teeth. My sister corrected her crooked teeth by wearing a brace which straightened them. She has rosy cheeks, small ears and a snub nose, which goes up at the end.
I have long, curly hair, though my sister is the opposite, with short, straight hair. Her hair is fine and doesn’t weigh very much, but mine is thick and heavy. My mother’s hair is wavy – in between straight and curly. My father is losing his hair – in fact he is going bald, which makes him very sad. My brother looks like he is going to lose his hair too.
There are hundreds of words that are used to describe or identify emotional states:
7 – INFORMATION TRANSFER
Information transfer or presenting verbal accounts of facts and processes in pictorial form body of material in different ways. It is an important skill that you will need at the college and university levels as well as in your professional and personal lives, both to explain a map, graph or table in speech or writing and to re present a verbal text in graphic form. Information transfer is used specifically in the contexts of narration, physical and process description, listing and classifying, comparison and contrast, showing cause and effect relationship, and generalizing from numerical data. Transferring information from verbal to graphic form, and vice versa is thus a very useful skill that will help you in study and at work.
Technology in every field of information means the macro information is being transferred as much as micro is being, which we have on our finger tips. The information can be shown through texts, tables, maps tree diagrams bar graphs, pie charts , flow charts and so on.
Information in verbal form can be made clearer and easier to understand by presenting it in graphic or pictorial form.
Pictorial representation has many advantages:
Allows quick and easy viewing of a large amount of data
Quicker to locate required information in a graphic than in a written text
Data relating to a long period of time or to large number of people can be effectively summarized
Convenient to use in making comparisons involving amounts of data:
The different types of graphic representation you could use to supplement your writing are: tables, bar charts, maps, graphs, pie charts, tree diagrams, flow charts and pictograms.
When you need to use a graphic form of communication, choose a form that will present your data clearly, accurately and in an interesting manner.
When information is personated graphically, you should be able to interpret or analyse it. Transferring information from textual to graphic form and, conversely, from pictorial to verbal form are both important and useful skills.
The above example makes the advantages of pictorial representation clear:
vQuick viewing of a large amount of data possible
vFinding information in a table or a map quicker than it is in a written text
vCan efficiently summarize data pertaining to a long period of time or to a large number of people
vConvenient in making comparisons involving large amounts of data
There are different kinds of graphic representation: maps and plans, tables, graphs, diagrams, bar charts, flow charts, pie charts, tree charts and pictograms. These have different uses. Thus bar charts make comparisons, pie chart show how something is divided, and line graphs show variations in data. When you use graphs to present your data, choose the kind that will serve your purpose best and depict your analysis clearly and accurately. For example, difference in quality or number cannot be shown on a flow chart, and a trend cannot be represented by a table.
A simple form of graphic representation is the table, in which data are arranged in horizontal rows and vertical columns that carry labels to identify what they represent.
A second kind of graphic representation is the bar chart, or bar graph. It is a very common kind of graph used to depict levels of a qualitative, independent variable using individual bars. It consists of an axis and a series of labeled horizontal or vertical bars with different values. The numbers along one side of the bar graph is the scale.
A line graph is a way of depicting graphically how two quantities are related, and how they vary in relation to one another.
Another kind of chart is the circle chart or pie chart. It consists of a circle divided into sections, each showing the size of some related piece of information.
Another form of representation that is widely used today is the flow chart, also known as a flow diagram. It is used to represent a process that takes place in successive stages, as in a production process from raw material to finished product.
Tree diagrams are two types: organization chart, which is used to show the structure and lines of responsibility within a company or an institution, and the genealogical tree or family tree, which is used to represent the structure of a major group such as mineral rocks or the structure of sentences in books on grammar or relationships within a large family.
A pictogram is another very interesting way of presenting data. It uses, as its name suggests, pictures in place of bars or figures. For example, the flowers growing in different places in a state or a country can be presented by tiny pictures.
MAPS AND PLANS
Maps are representations, usually on a plane surface, of a part of the earth-continents, countries, cities, villages, small areas and even buildings. They show outlines and boundaries, names or codes of areas within them and features such as roads, coastlines, rivers, buildings and rooms.
8 – DEBATE
Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. In a formal debating contest, there are rules for people to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will interact. Informal debate is a common occurrence, but the quality and depth of a debate improves with knowledge and skill of its participants as debaters. Deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts engage in debates. The outcome of a debate may be decided by audience vote or by judges.
A debate is a structured argument. It is one way of communication where our analytical and logical thinking comes into play. It is an art of knitting arguments and putting them forth in a constructive way. Debate makes us think about the two opposite sides of a subject and helps us decide as to which way to follow. As the topic of debate is already decided, sometimes you may find your self supporting a move which you normally oppose or vice-versa. Debate can be in argumentative through letters, debates & essays. We can put forth points for and points against a particular through direct debates as well as essay writing. Debates are conducted in colleges and University. Debates are in state legislative & parliament. Debate is a contest between two speakers or two groups of speakers to exhibit their capacity and dexterity in arguing, there should always be one or more speakers for proposition and oppositions. Usually, in a debate, a topic is thrown between two teams or two individuals. One team decides to go for the topics and the other, goes against it. The topics are suitable selected as to having both pros and cons as the debate begins; the teams declare their stand and get into arguments and counter-arguments. At the end, an evaluation is made on the basis of the arguments put forth by both the teams and decision is taken on who is the winner.
Debate is the ultimate mind exercise.
Four types of debate:
1.Parliamentary Debate. This is the debating that goes on in colleges and universities.
2.Value debate : In this debate two contestants will debate topics centered around moral issues or propositions of value or preference. Here are some examples of topics appropriate for value debate: capital punishment; abortion; etc.
3.Cross Examination Debate (also called policy debate or team debate). In this type of debate two teams , one representing the affirmative position and one representing the negative position, will debate topics of public or government policy.
4.Academic Debate. These are debates of a purely academic nature. An example of this type of debate would be creation/evolution debates.
There are two things you will have to study if you want to participate in debate:
The principles of debate—logic, evidence, case construction, proof, refuting arguments, rebuttal, the brief, etc. Observe as many debates as you can. This will be difficult for some, but you might look into attending some college debates. The more you observe and study the more familiar you will become with the procedures and terminology of debate.
Participants should follow these four steps:
Read for background information about the subject.
Prepare a comprehensive bibliography.
Collect as much material as you can find.
Read and study the material discovered.
Read and study the material discovered:
After you have secured all of the material available, you will then read and study carefully the books and articles you have found. Try to learn as much as you can about the subject and to get the points of view of as many different authorities as possible. Be on the lookout for new ideas and new suggestions for arguments, arguments on both sides of the topic. Look for specific items of evidence, which might be used as proof.
Topics for Debate
Here are a few topics to discuss with a friend or group. Practise agreeing and disagreeing even if you have to argue against something you actually believe in. One way to have fun with this is to make up a bunch of cards that say agree or disagree. Try to continue each discussion for at least five minutes. Use the expressions that you learned, including agreeing, disagreeing, asking for opinions, interrupting, etc.
Alcohol should be illegal.
Studying grammar is more important than practicing conversation skills.
Television is the leading cause of violence in today’s society.
Dogs make better companions.
Smoking should be permitted in public places.
Females are better students than males.
A parent shouldn’t pierce a baby’s ears.
Women should be empowered.
Everyone should plan their own funeral.
Reading English is more difficult than writing English.
Summer is the best season of the year.
Engineering students should wear uniforms.
21 should be the legal marriage age around the world.
The government should pay for post secondary education.
9- Telephoning Skills
Learning how to communicate well on the telephone is one of the top priorities for many students who need to use English at work. Learning the common phrases that are used on the telephone helps students know what to expect. However, what students often need most is practice, practice, and more practice. While helpful, practicing a role-play in the classroom is not always the best way to improve telephoning skills. Telephoning requires special skills as there are a number of difficulties that arise when telephoning that are specific to telephoning. The first and foremost difficulty is not being able to see the person you are communicating with. This lack of visual communication often makes students, who can communicate quite successfully in other situations, nervous and thereby hinders their communicative abilities. Add to this the typical hectic pace of business communication, and you have a particularly difficult situation.
Breathe: Before you pick up the phone, take a deep breath. Most of us are what they call “shallow breathers”. We take small breathes in and out and therefore, sound tired when we answer the phone. The goal is to sound like you like your job and you are glad they called. Practice taking a very big breath and answering the phone at the top of that breathe. You will continue speaking on the exhale of that breath and the caller will hear energy in your voice! You can also practice it when you are making a call and start your breath as the phone is ringing on the other end. You’ll be surprised how you feel when you use this technique.
Identify yourself: Give your full name and function and or the name of your company. Since they have taken the time to call you, you may answer the phone this way;
Be Sincere: If we are honest with ourselves, we are all “problem solvers” in some way. People call us on the phone to have a problem answered. Whether it is to get driving directions, or hours of operation or questions about our merchandise, they have a question and want it answered quickly, intelligently and politely.
Listen attentively: Put everything down when you answer the phone! Easier said than done, isn’t? How many times have you been in your office answering email, talking on the phone, listening to your ipod and sipping ? Callers don’t like to be ignored and by multitasking, we are not focused on the caller’s wants and needs.
Visualize the person, even if you don’t know them so that you remind yourself you are engaged in a two-way conversation. If you still have trouble listening, start taking notes on what they are saying. Use a headset if possible, to keep your hands free. By taking notes you can verify with them as well as yourself, the important points of the conversation and the action items that needed attention.
Outcome. If the phone call has been successful, the first 30 seconds established a positive perception about you through voice, and tone and focus. The last 30 seconds will be when the caller finalizes their opinion about you. You can make that a positive experience by thanking them for calling, reviewing the problem you were able to solve and then most importantly, thanking them for their continued business.
These skills include:
Smiles and gestures can easily be heard over the phone, so keeping that smile on your face helps to create a positive engagement with caller every time you talk to them.
If you can’t put yourself in a caller’s shoes especially when you know they are wrong, how can you understand why they have the feelings they do about the issues they have called in about? If you cannot come to an understanding of why a caller is calling, it’s practically impossible to help them in any positive way.
Problem Solving Skills
Generally, the company you work for will offer the tools to solve any problem a caller may have, but it is your job to learn how to use them effectively.
Telephone English – The Phrases
This is Moses.
|Asking who is on the telephone
Excuse me, who is this?
Can I ask who is calling, please?
|Asking for Someone
Can I have extension 321? (extensions are internal numbers at a company)
Could I speak to…? (Can I – more informal / May I – more formal)
Is Jack in? (informal idiom meaning: Is Jack in the office?
I’ll put you through (put through – phrasal verb meaning ‘connect’)
Can you hold the line? Can you hold on a moment?
|How to reply when someone is not available
I’m afraid … is not available at the moment
The line is busy… (when the extension requested is being used)
Mr Jackson isn’t in… Mr Jackson is out at the moment…
|Taking a Message
Could (Can, May) I take a message?
Could (Can, May) I tell him who is calling?
Would you like to leave a message?
Exercises for Practicing Speaking on the Telephone
The most important thing about practicing telephone conversations is that you shouldn’t be able to see the person you are speaking to on the phone. You may ask, ‘How can I do that if I am practicing with a friend or another classmate?’ Here are a few suggestions for practicing phone calls without looking at your partner:
- If you are in the same room – Put your chairs back to back and practice speaking on the phone, you will only hear the other person’s voice which will approximate a telephone situation.
- Use the telephone – This is pretty obvious, but really not used that often. Give your friend a call and practice various conversations (role plays).
- Use internal office phones at work – This is one of my favorites and great for business classes. If your class is on site (at the office) go to different offices and call one another practicing conversations. Another variation is for the students to go into another office and have the teacher telephone them pretending to be a native speaker in a hurry. It’s then up to the students to make sure they have communicated what they need, or understood what the caller wants. This exercise is always a lot of fun – depending on how good your teacher is at acting!
- Tape yourself – If you are practicing alone, tape standard answers and then practice using the tape recorder stopping and starting to simulate a conversation.
- Real life situations – Businesses are always interested in telling you about their products. Find a product you are interested in and research it over the telephone. You can …
- call a store to find out the prices and specifications.
- ring the company representative to find out details on how the product works.
- telephone a consumer agency to find out if the product has any defects.
- call customer service to find out about replacement parts, etc.
10 . Giving Directions
Introduction: Not everyone knows where they are going and may need help with directions from time to time. Directions may be needed to get to a near by town, or directions to the newest mall in town or directions to the nearest rest room in a large building. Where ever you are going the expression below can be used when asking for directions.
Suggestions for giving directions
Giving street directions is really very easy when you remember to follow these points. When giving directions you are actually giving two sets of instructions.
- In the first set- “Go To” – you are telling the listener what street to go to or how far to go.
In the second set- “Then”, you are telling the listener what to do when they get there. (turn right/left, go straight, on the left, etc.)
- Giving even very complicated directions is just a repetition of these two basic steps.
- Another good idea is to use easily identifiable landmarks; instead of the amount of time to get someplace (time is relative, after all). Easily identifiable landmarks are street lights, stop signs, parks, tall building standing alone, etc.
- Prepositions of location most commonly used when giving directions:
go straight go to turn right turn left
cross on your right on your left beside
next to behind across from in front of
caddy corner on the corner of (to be very specific NE, SE, NW, SW corners)
Note the expressions used in the dialogue and the progression of the conversation:
Wally: Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the city hospital?
Sally: Sure, the hospital is on Tenth Street, about 20 minutes away by foot. Go south on this street two blocks until you come to the stop light.
Wally: Go south two blocks to the stop light.
Sally: Correct, then, turn left and go three more blocks, until you come to the end of the road. A park will be in front of you.
Wally: Turn left and go for three blocks to the park.
Sally: Right, then turn right again and go seven blocks, to Lipton Avenue.
Wally: Turn right and go seven blocks to Lipton Avenue.
Sally: Next, turn left on Lipton Avenue and go two blocks. The hospital is on your left, across from the baseball stadium.
Wally: OK, let me see if I’ve got this straight. Go south on this street for two blocks to the stop light. Turn left at the light and go three blocks to the park. Turn right at the park and go seven blocks to Lipton Avenue. At Lipton Avenue turn right and…
Sally: No, turn left on Lipton Avenue.
Wally: OK, turn left on Lipton Avenue, the hospital is two blocks down, on my left.
Sally: You got it.
When Giving Directions in English, Giving directions usually consists of to sets of instructions.
In the first set: Say “Go to” and tell the listener what street, building, office number, etc – or – how far they need to go.
In the second set: Say “Then” and tell the listener what to do when they get there. (turn left, turn right, it’s on the left, etc.)
* Don’t forget to say “Thank you” after someone has given you assistance
Giving Directions for Locations:
The jewelry store (on First Avenue at the corner of Hill Avenue/next to the women’s wear/behind the Italian restaurant)
The bar (on Main Street, at the corner of Pine/across from the furniture store/across from the men’s store)
The police station (on Main/Memorial/First Avenue/next to the Fire Department/across from the book store)
The toy store (on Forest Street/Main Street/across from the Chinese restaurant)
The movie theater (on Oak Street across from the Book store)
The sporting goods store (on First Avenue/next to women’s wear)
Asking for Directions
Excuse me . . .
** This is always the most polite way to begin your request for directions**
Would/Could you tell me how to get to . . . Anderson Construction?
How do I find . . . suite 305?
What is the best way to get to . . . business office?
Would/Could you direct me to . . . Ms. Sumidata’s office?
Which way do I go to get to . . . the Nobunaga Building?
Go straight Make a U turn Turn left Turn right
Continue on (keep going) Follow this hall . . . road . . . path
Take the elevator It’s about 150 meters
It’s next to . . . across from . . . opposite . . . beside . . . between (two things)
Cross the . . . street . . . road . . . park . . . lobby . . . intersection . . .
Go past the . . .
It’s on . . . the left . . . the right . . . the third floor . . . the corner
Prepositions to use with Directions
Go straight Go to Right left
Cross On your right On your left beside
Next to Behind Across from In front of
On the corner of
Short Questions with Directions:
1. Excuse me. Is there a grocery store around here?
Yeah. There’s one right across the street
2. Can you tell me how to get to Phoenix?
Sorry. I don’t live around here.
3. Where’s Tanner’s Leather Shop?
It’s on the corner of Holly and Vine. Next to the library.
4. How do you get to the bank?
Go straight down this street for two blocks. Turn left when you get to Maple Street. Stay on Maple for half a block. It’s on the left hand side.
How do I get to …?
What’s the best way to …?
Where is …?
Go straight on (until you come to …).
Turn back./Go back.
Turn left/right (into …-street).
Go along …
Take the first/second road on the left/right
It’s on the left/right.
at the end (of)
on/at the corner
in front of
(just) around the corner
Directions I: Excuse me. Is there a bank near here?
Yes. There’s a bank on the corner.
Directions II Excuse me. Is there a supermarket near here?
Yes. There’s one near here.
How do I get there?
At the traffic lights, take the first left and go straight on. It’s on the left.
Is it far?
Don’t mention it.
Excuse me. Is there a supermarket near here?
Yes. There’s one near here.
How do I get there?
At the traffic lights, take the first left and go straight on. It’s on the left.
Is it far?
Don’t mention it.
Is there a _______ near here?
on the corner, on the left, on the right
straight on, straight ahead
Is it far?
|Could you tell me how to get to( …the library)?||Go to the next light and turn right. Go two blocks, it’son the left.|
|How do I find( … city hall)?||Just go straight, it’s on this street, on the right, about amile and a half.|
|Which way do I go to get to( … the post office)?||Drive to Jackson Street and turn right. The post officeis in the middle of the block, across from the park.|
|Pardon me, I’m lost, how do I get to the ( … museum)?||Go to the second light and turn left. Then go the thirdstop sign. The museum is on that corner.|
|Could you direct me to ( … XXX)?||Take Pinal Avenue north about 8 miles You’ll run intoit.|
|Which is the best route to( …the stadium)?||Take Washington Street north to the Papago freewayand Head west. You can’t miss it.|