You have decided to learn another language. Now what? Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve and by when? Our teachers found: “Language learning is best when broken down into manageable goals that are achievable over a few months. This is far more motivating and realistic.”
You might be feeling wildly optimistic when you start but aiming to be fluent is not necessarily the best idea. We generally recommend making these goals tangible and specific: “Why not set yourself a target of being able to read a newspaper article in the target language without having to look up any words in the dictionary?”
REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU ARE LEARNING
It might sound obvious, but recognising exactly why you want to learn a language is really important. Motivation is usually the first thing to go, especially among students who are teaching themselves. To keep the momentum going we suggest writing down 10 reasons why you are learning a language and sticking it to the front of the file you are using and turn to these in times of self-doubt.
COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom.
As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused might be here to stay.
While countries are at different points in their COVID-19 infection rates, worldwide there are currently more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures due to the pandemic. In Denmark, children up to the age of 11 are returning to nurseries and schools after initially closing on 12 March, but in South Korea students are responding to roll calls from their teachers online.
With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market.
Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING?
While some believe that the unplanned and rapid move to online learning – with no training, insufficient bandwidth, and little preparation – will result in a poor user experience that is unconducive to sustained growth, others believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits. “I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education,“ says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.
There have already been successful transitions amongst many universities. For example, Zhejiang University managed to get more than 5,000 courses online just two weeks into the transition using “DingTalk ZJU”. The Imperial College London started offering a course on the science of coronavirus, which is now the most enrolled class launched in 2020 on Coursera.
Many are already touting the benefits: Dr Amjad, a Professor at The University of Jordan who has been using Lark to teach his students says, “It has changed the way of teaching. It enables me to reach out to my students more efficiently and effectively through chat groups, video meetings, voting and also document sharing, especially during this pandemic. My students also find it is easier to communicate on Lark. I will stick to Lark even after coronavirus, I believe traditional offline learning and e-learning can go hand by hand.”
It’s grammatically incorrect and sounds awkward to native English speakers. The word “news” is one of those words that sounds plural (meaning there’s more than one) but is actually singular (there’s only one). It’s called a mass noun and is usually used with a singular verb.
In English, most nouns add “-s” or “-es” to the end of the word to make it plural; cat becomes cats, house becomes houses. Sometimes, the entire word changes in the plural: mouse becomes mice, goose becomes geese. Some words can be plural or singular, depending on the context— moose is one example that can be one animal or a whole herd.
So, back to your question. “News” is like the word “scissors” or “trousers”. It’s generally understood that although it sounds plural, it’s actually singular. These kinds of nouns are called ‘plurale tantum‘.
(Plurale tantum is a noun that appears only in the plural and doesn’t ordinarily have a singular form (for example, jeans, pyjamas, tweezers, shears, and scissors). Also known as a lexical plural. Plural: pluralia tantum. Jeans, scissors, trousers and glasses are great examples of plural tantum nouns in the English language. There is, of course, the opposite as well. Singular tantum, a noun that appears only in the singular form, such as dirt, is known as singulare tantum.)
In order to use the article/adjective “a”, you’d need to change the way you phrase it.
“I’ve got a bit of good news.”
“I have a lot of good news.”
Otherwise, the correct way to say it is, “I have good news.”
The most successful essays are well planned. Essays that go off the point with lots of extra detail will get poor marks.
STICK TO THE QUESTION
Underline key words in the essay title so you really understand the question being asked. It’s not about writing all you know about a topic.
Words like ‘discuss’, ‘compare and contrast’, ‘evaluate’, ‘account for’ are used as ways to direct your answer; make sure you know what they mean.
Other questions may start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘when’.
WRITE A PLAN
Brainstorm your ideas on the essay topic to get started. Spider diagrams are good for this.
Plan the structure of the essay by numbering each of your ideas in order of importance. At this stage, you may wish to leave some of them out or develop others by breaking them into sub points. Redo your original spider diagram as necessary.
You may have to present your argument for the essay under broad themes like ‘economic’, ‘social’, ‘political’ or ‘religious’ reasons. Make sure you understand which theme suits each of your points, then group your all points on the same theme in order of importance into a separate paragraph.
WRITING THE ESSAY
Your essay must have an introduction. State the main points you will discuss in order to support your answer to the question set in the title of the essay.
2. DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR ARGUMENT
After the introduction, add further paragraphs to build your argument, make the most important points first. Remember the way these points are ordered makes your argument clearer to the reader.
Start a new paragraph for each new important point and any linked points that relate to the question. You may include quotations from other historians and refer to primary sources (such as you can find on this website) to support a particular point.
Make sure your essay makes chronological sense. Try to present any factual points in date order.
Avoid telling the story of what happened. If you refer to an important historical event, you must make a point or comment about it. This will stop your essay from becoming a simple narrative and it shows you are trying to analyse events rather than just describe them.
Aim for five to seven paragraphs, depending on the essay and level, of course, you are following.
Sum up the main points and briefly restate your argument.
RE-READ YOUR WORK, CHECK FOR SPELLING ERRORS, AND REDRAFT IF NECESSARY.