Thursday, February 28, 2013

How Can I Learn English Quickly and Effectively in Hong Kong (HK SAR)?

Hong Kong skyline from the Peak
Hong Kong skyline from the Peak (Photo credit: xopherlance)
by Ian Nock

This is a question that so many people in Hong Kong ask!

The answer is easy: learn and practice more! Find an experienced private English tutor in Hong Kong and work with him (or her).

Most people will respond with "But I have been learning English in HK since kindergarten! I do try to learn but I never get more confidence".

The three most common problem functional areas in HK are poor English grammar, pronunciation and lack of vocabulary.

Communicating in English is also hindered by a strong Chinese accent (from Cantonese or Mandarin mother tongue language). The other main problem is the lack of opportunity to use and practice English.

Although English is an official language in Hong Kong, it is in fact a foreign language for most people. There is little chance for people to practice English since almost everyone speaks Cantonese for day-to-day conversation within the office and at home. That's why practicing with a native English tutor is so important.

English grammar can be improved upon. A good English tutor will use a quick diagnostic test (such as the Oxford University Test) and this will enable your teacher to find out the exact problem areas you have with verb tenses, prepositions, articles, nouns etc.

In fact prepositions, articles and verb tenses are the most common errors encountered by local Hong Kong Chinese. Analysing the form and structure and utilising the verb form by writing an article using it can help cement your understanding and thus prevent future errors. Your English tutor can help you correct your writing and improve key areas such as this.

English vocabulary is another problem area for HK people. With grammar mistakes you can still communicate your message, but without sufficient vocabulary you will never be able to communicate in English at all!

Reading is a great way to improve vocabulary but choose ones that are interesting for you. If you are interested in photography or sports find a good English language blog and read that. There are lots of free articles on the internet these days, many aimed at native speakers. Just do a search for "free articles".

Newspapers sites are also in abundance and UK dailies such as the Guardian Newspaper publish on the net for free. You can print the article and take it with you to read on your journey to work. It is important, however, that you keep a log book or record of the new English words. Try to use 5 new words every day at work or with your friends.

One word of warning (if you excuse the pun!) is not to use too complicated or old-fashioned words; remember that you want to be able to communicate clearly and if you use a long, old-fashioned word even some native English speakers may not understand you!

Learning how to pronounce English words correctly is best done one-to-one with a native speaking tutor. The tutor will be able to correct you instantly and show you how to pronounce the words properly with the correct use of your mouth, tongue, lips and throat.

Many sounds in the English language just don't exist in Chinese so Hong Kong Cantonese speakers and mainland Mandarin (Putonghua) speakers don't have the inbuilt ability to produce them. It is rather like trying to do a marathon without ever running before. Chinese native accent also causes problems with communication but this can also be reduced by learning English with a native tutor.

When you are reading look at how the English phrases are put together. Most native speakers remember phrases and blocks of language rather than individual words. Why? Because English words often have several meanings. By remembering the words inside a phrase you will also remember the correct meaning and be able to use it correctly.

Remember practice makes perfect - but you have to learn English first!

Start improving your English today. And if you need to practice and have expert guidance, then one-to one private English tuition with a native tutor is your best bet.

http://www.HKEnglish.Com provides the highest Quality English Tuition in Hong Kong and all its friendly English teachers are experienced, native speaking foreign tutors.

For the best English courses in Hong Kong then is your best bet.

Learn English in Hong Kong - the easy way! - Helping You Talk To The World

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National Press Club Address: Glyn Davis on a Smarter Australia

University of Melbourne
Uni of Melbourne (ricklibrarian)
by Glyn Davis, University of Melbourne.

Universities Australia chair and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Glyn Davis, addressed the National Press Club in Canberra today. Here is a copy of his speech.

In 1970, when Julia Gillard was in primary school and Tony Abbott starting his secondary education, just 3% of adult Australians held a university degree.

Now we are tracking toward a national target of 40%, with more than a million and a quarter people enrolled in Australian universities this year, on their way to qualifications.

In just two generations, going to university has become a familiar part of life’s journey. Australians hope to be educated and affluent, moving beyond the school leaving certificate to embrace the lecture and the tutorial, the attitudes and mores of a secure middle class.

Australians understand our national prosperity is more than resources. It requires new skills made possible through higher education.

This profound change has encouraged a new Australian outlook. As research released yesterday by Universities Australia reveals, an astonishing 88% of Australians will encourage their children, and young people they know, to attend university. 88%!

That is an historic journey from the tiny numbers of 1970. For the first time, access to a university education has become the aspiration of an overwhelming majority of Australian families. They choose wisely. As every parent knows, a solid education in trade skills, or a good university degree, are the pathway to economic security.

More than half the jobs created in the Australian economy this year will require a university qualification. High-skilled jobs are growing 1.6 times faster than low-skilled jobs. Graduate incomes, on average, are twice those of school leavers.

Working class or middle, country or city, Indigenous or non-Indigenous - it doesn’t matter. Going to university is no longer an elite concern, but a plan for the future. This shift in public outlook is confirmed by research commissioned by Universities Australia.

More than 90% of individuals and businesses told researchers that universities make an important contribution to Australian society. A similar proportion believes a well-funded university system is critical to Australia’s economy and national growth.

Most agree it is important for Australia to increase the proportion of university graduates over the next 10 years. And 90% of businesses and the public agree that research is an essential part of what a university does.

Australians value the advancement of knowledge, even when the pay-off is long-term. They know the high standards we enjoy in medicine, in engineering, in cultural achievement, are made possible by research from the best minds in the nation.

Australians see universities as particularly well placed to conduct research, given their independence from business and government.

And they see the benefits of higher education up close, especially in regional Australia. University campuses provide contracts for small business, jobs, health services, sporting facilities, art galleries, theatre and the excitement of a community with many young people, lively, engaged, irreverent.

In short, the nation has turned an important corner. Our universities are now viewed as crucial to our country’s future, and vital to the economic prospects of most families. This makes now the right time to focus attention on the future of our university system.

A Smarter Australia

At the start of this election year, Universities Australia today launches a detailed policy statement, A Smarter Australia, and announces a campaign to promote universities in building our shared prosperity.

Our policy advice is addressed to the next government of Australia, regardless of party. It proposes a partnership through a specific and detailed set of proposals - some to be implemented by universities, others in the hands of the Commonwealth.

This is a call for political leaders to recognise the asset for this nation in the 37 public and two private universities represented by Universities Australia. We aim to make higher education core to the national vision for our economic future.

Through the ideas outlined in A Smarter Australia, an already strong university system can become truly great.

A Smarter Australia advocates:
  • continued growth in Australians accessing higher education by maintaining the demand-driven system;
  • supporting the global engagement through expanding the export of international education;
  • sustaining Australia’s research effort through support for research infrastructure, and an expanded research workforce;
  • increasing investment in teaching over the next five years; and
  • reducing the regulatory burden on universities.

Universities and prosperity

The arguments for greater investment and more supportive policies for our universities are popular – and compelling.

The reason is simple: our nation values equality of opportunity and rewards hard work. Universities are the key to maintaining an equitable and vibrant society in the knowledge age.

Other countries know this already. Consider the substantial investments in universities in a number of Gulf states made rich from oil. Qatar, which boasts the highest GDP per capita in the world, is pouring billions into its university system.

To quote Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family and a former university professor: “… the blessing of the oil and gas won’t last forever - so focusing on something sustainable is more important. Having been blessed with the wealth, there is no better way of using it than education.”

It won’t last forever, and there is no better way of using it than education. What other nation, made rich from natural resources, might benefit from such wisdom?

This same approach is being pursued with vigour by many of our Asian neighbours, as they build world-class universities and make unprecedented investments in research. We can and must do likewise.

Australia - a talent for higher education

Fortunately, we start with a major advantage: Australians have a talent for higher education. The most recent global survey of national higher education systems ranks Australia number eight in the world. This is a better performance than Australia achieved at the London Olympics, where we came tenth.

There are just nine Australian companies listed in the Fortune Global 500, but there are 19 Australian universities in the world’s top 500, five of these in the top 100.

There are so many reasons to invest in universities: they are major employers, often the largest in Australia’s regions. They promote innovation and develop social capital.

They build capabilities in almost every sphere of national achievement. And higher education is a powerful instrument of soft diplomacy. To date, the only political debate about education is about schools.

That’s fine. There is no more important issue than the quality of school education. With speculation the May budget will implement recommendations from the Gonski Review, an important step seems in prospect.

An important first step. Ensuring Australian children are well educated in their 13 years of schooling is essential. But waiting for them on graduation must be a quality university system. Their future requires education that carries students seamlessly from school to trades, vocation and higher education.

This is the challenge for government and universities: to achieve the best possible university system. To work together to make Australia an even smarter and more prosperous nation, wealthier in every sense.

A Smarter Australia sets out specific initiatives by universities and government, toward four goals: participation, global engagement, research and innovation, sustainable investment and better regulation.

Participation and access

We start with access.

Every qualified Australian should have the chance to go to university. Not all will accept the challenge, but high levels of participation in universities are crucial for national success.

We have lots of smart people. Their talents are part of our natural resources. The bigger the pool we draw from, the more prosperous everyone will be. That’s why we must find university places for qualified students regardless of social background, location or physical circumstance.

Universities Australia strongly supports the national target to lift university participation among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds to at least 20% of enrolments. We must lift participation among students from regional and remote Australia.

And we all know Indigenous Australians should be represented in universities in at least the same proportions as other Australians.

All these goals are in our grasp. On some campuses, more than half the students already come from a low socioeconomic background.

And innovation will expand opportunity. Think of Charles Darwin University, reaching out to students through online education and outreach teachers, deploying satellite-connected mobile classrooms to take education and training to far reaches of the Northern Territory.

To ensure campus reflects the whole of our society, universities will work with government to achieve national participation goals and broaden pathways into university study.

Much of the necessary machinery is already in place. The demand-driven system provides places for all Australians, and income-contingent loans ensure cost is no barrier to taking up the opportunity.

Yet more can be done, including improved links between vocational education and university study, targeted income support, and better student housing.

A globally engaged university sector

Our second goal is a globally engaged university sector.

Australian universities are among the most successful in the world at educating international students. International education has replaced tourism as Australia’s biggest source of service exports.

International students sustain our universities, create tens of thousands of jobs, and share knowledge across the world. Educating so many of our neighbours is Australia’s most significant contribution so far to the Asian century.

Australian universities are global and entrepreneurial. More than 20 Australian public institutions have courses or campuses in Asia.

RMIT alone educates 6,500 students every year in Vietnam. More than 5,000 people study at Curtin University in Singapore and Malaysia. Monash University hosts campuses in Asia, Europe, India and South Africa. This is a sector of global significance.

Australian universities have now educated two and half million international graduates. In doing so, we create a vast network of alumni connecting Australia with the region. There are champions for Australia in every Asian city and beyond. The Asian Century is the University Century.

We can build further on this success. By adopting the five year strategy recommended by Michael Chaney and released today, we can more than double international student numbers to more than 700,000 a year by 2030. Our present $14.76 billion a year education export industry will grow even larger, bringing benefits to every Australian.

This ambitious plan requires Australia to maintain a reputation for quality education, with an approach that welcomes international students through thoughtful policies on visas, access to work, safe and affordable accommodation, health care and transport.

Get this right, and university graduates throughout the region will speak first hand about Australia as a friend.

A powerful research and innovation system

The third goal of A Smarter Australia is a powerful research and innovation system.

Our universities are central to the national innovation effort, collaborating closely with industry, government and the community. Over the next decade, Australia should be recognised as a leader in the OECD world for the creation and practical application of knowledge.

This requires outstanding fundamental research and strengthened capacity for research training.
We have a way to go. Australians do great research, producing breakthroughs that find quick application in vital fields such as medicine and public policy.

But national investment in research remains modest, and industry take-up of research lags at the bottom of OECD measures. Only 3.1% of innovating Australian businesses source their ideas or information from a higher education institution.

Thought is needed on both sides, because great things happen when researchers and industry work together. Think of the bionic ear, which has improved the lives of people around the world.

What began as a research project led by Professor Graeme Clark at the University of Melbourne eventually gave rise to Cochlear, a global research-based company with an annual turn-over approaching $800 million, and impressive new facilities at Macquarie University.

Universities across the country are working hard to improve enterprise links. The University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus co-locates commercial and research organisations to promote an exchange of ideas.

The University of Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre has helped entrepreneurs raise $26 million in capital for more than 90 local businesses.

But we need a national research infrastructure program, an expanded research workforce and long-term commitments to the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. These ambitions are detailed in A Smarter Australia.

Investment and regulation

The fourth and closing goal of the Universities Australia policy statement is public investment and smarter regulation.

Universities Australia sees substantial scope for reform in higher education to provide universities with autonomy to innovate, lift efficiency, cut costs, and improve quality.

Our universities are already among the world’s most efficient, ranked in the top five by the OECD for teaching and research. They outpace productivity growth in most other sectors of the Australian economy.

Australian universities are markedly entrepreneurial, whether going off-shore or exploring the potential of online technology.

We have long-established but innovative distance courses from institutions such as Deakin and the University of New England. More universities are using web-based delivery to expand access.

In the past year, for example, Professor Chris Mackie and his team at La Trobe University have welcomed almost 200,000 students from around the globe to subjects on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome delivered through iTunes U.

Universities are also looking beyond traditional public funding. Australian universities lead the world in attracting international students, who support the finances of every institution.

And philanthropy is an aspiration, greatly encouraged by recent generous donations to the University of Sydney and the Australian National University. A Smarter Australia advocates matched funding programs and other proven incentives to unlock further philanthropy.

But the Commonwealth government must play a direct role through funding and regulatory reform. A Smarter Australia seeks to maintain indexation for funding per student, and a timetable to address funding shortfalls identified by recent external reviews.

Let us be clear - there has been a notable and welcome increase in public funding over recent years.
Schemes such as the Education Investment Fund are without recent precedent in Australia. They have supported the construction of superb new facilities on campuses across the nation.

And despite cuts at the end of 2012, overall public investment in research has improved markedly over the past five years, to the benefit of national innovation. But spending on teaching remains low.

Twice in the last five years government-appointed review panels have identified specific shortfalls in funding for university teaching. In terms of GDP, Australia now ranks just 25th out of 29 advanced economies for public investment in higher education.

Better-funded institutions in our region are pressing hard. Now is the right time to act.

Recognising difficult financial times, A Smarter Australia proposes an incremental response to the funding shortfall, with indexed base funding to increase by 2.5% annually over the next five years.

This would draw Australia closer to OECD averages for public investment, and address deficiencies identified by both the Bradley and Lomax-Smith reviews.

A Smarter Australia sets out a blueprint for investment and regulatory reform, but acknowledges the technical complexities involved. These will be addressed during the year by a series of policy papers from Universities Australia.


So four vital policy goals - participation, global engagement, research, and investment with smart regulation – provide the way forward. We hope the people of Australia will embrace these ambitions.

Our research confirms that Australians are keen to know more about universities, and to ensure places on campus for their children.

To quote the newly fashionable Abraham Lincoln, “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

So today Universities Australia announces a $5 million national campaign to promote policy reform and encourage wider awareness of higher education. The campaign is funded entirely from dividends earned by a company owned by Australian universities.

Let me emphasise, not one cent of student fees or Commonwealth grant money will be spent on this campaign. We will engage Australians in a conversation about how universities can contribute to a more prosperous and intellectually vibrant Australia.

Australia boasts one of the best and most accessible higher education systems in the world. We do great research. We earn billions for the nation in export dollars. Around the region and the world, Australia is seen as a source of knowledge, a country that takes its place among the great education centres.

Our campaign will share these stories.

But Universities Australia is not a political organisation. We support no party. When the writs are issued, the campaign will stop. Our job is to advocate ideas as political parties prepare policies for the 2013 election. We want support for investment in universities to be bi-partisan wisdom.

Women and men of the National Press Club, in the 2010 election campaign higher education was all but overlooked.

Liberals, Labor and the Greens alike issued brief policy statements about higher education just days before the poll, long after the horse race overwhelmed any discussion of ideas. This was desultory and disappointing. We are determined 2013 will be different.

The future of Australia’s universities - and the hopes of that 88 percent of Australian families who want their children to have a chance for university education - demand more considered debate. The electorate should know, long before polling day, where every party stands.

Through A Smarter Australia, the members of Universities Australia make clear our aspirations.

And we have shared this vision with our communities. This morning vice-chancellors across the nation sent emails launching the campaign to the 110,000 people who work in the sector, to the 1.25 million local and international students who study at an Australian university, and to the many millions more alumni who remain proud members of their university community

No matter where they live - in the suburbs or the city, remote communities or right near campus - young Australians look to the political leaders of this nation to ensure a tertiary education is available to everyone.

It is a responsibility everyone in this National Press Club must share.

A Smarter Australia - a goal and a plan, released today to spark a national conversation. Since 1970 this nation has undertaken a remarkable journey. Children in school then are now our national leaders. They know, first hand, that university education can contribute powerfully to the prosperity and wellbeing of the Australian people.

So do you. Be part of the policy argument. Help spread the message - in a world where resources run out, there is no smarter investment in the future than a great university system for Australia.

Glyn Davis is the chair of Universities Australia. He steps down from that role in May.
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Abbott: Universities Should Exploit Digital Revolution

Abbott's Lagoon
Abbott's Lagoon (Photo: K Schneider)
by Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

A Coalition government would reduce the regulatory burden on universities and encourage the growth of online learning, opposition leader Tony Abbott will tell a higher education conference this morning.

Abbott will say that outside officials should not be trying to micromanage universities “or bury them in reporting requirements. We will help to foster the creative and economic potential in our education and research sector by reducing their regulatory and compliance burden.”

He will say that universities already have to report to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency set up in 2010, and should not also be subject to oversight from the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

“This is an unnecessary and intrusive bureaucracy and entity that was supposed to reduce red tape but which has already increased it.”

Addressing the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference in Canberra, Mr Abbott will place a lot of stress on online learning, saying the Coalition wants the universities to be able to take advantage of the growth in this area, such as the development of Massive Open Online Courses.

“These have obvious potential to make higher education widely available but, equally obviously, also pose a challenge to established methods and institutions.”

Abbott will announce a Coalition online higher education working group of MPs, chaired by Alan Tudge, from Victoria, to “explore how nimble and resourceful institutions might make the most of future opportunities while preserving their inheritance."

The group will report on:
  • How online technology can improve existing campus-based teaching, with all the benefits of interaction, in the classroom and beyond.
  • How online courses can expand access for people wanting to undertake university study.
  • Whether online courses offered by Australian universities can be attractive to large numbers of students in Asia and beyond.
  • What is needed to ensure the quality and integrity of online courses.
  • What the government should do or undo to enable universities to make the most of new technologies.
“These are important questions, lest debate about online opportunities fall into the trap of ‘bricks and mortar versus virtual’,” Abbott says in his speech. The group will report by the end of April after consulting widely with the sector.

Abbott promises a Coalition government would be “stable and consultative”, carrying through policies it put in place. It would encourage universities to protect their academic standing so students “can be confident that their degrees are taken seriously.”

It would also work with universities to expand their share of the international higher education market, and would establish a new Colombo Plan. The Menzies Research Centre, the Liberal party’s think tank, will soon host a round table to help shape this initiative.

The Coalition would encourage universities and institutes to “ensure that their research work is world class, effectively delivered and well targeted.”

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Conversation

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Plus One Equals Life, The Universe And Everything

English: Max Tegmark Cropped from a photograph...
Max Tegmark (Wikipedia)
by John Prytz

The Universe IS just mathematics according to physicist/cosmologist Professor Max Tegmark (Department of Physics, MIT).

It's called the "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH)" or the "Ultimate Ensemble", one of those proposals for a 'Theory of Everything' (TOE), that ultimate theoretical equation so beloved by physicists that describes life, the Universe and everything.

It will be so concise that it can be printed on just the front of a tee-shirt. Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis is: our external physical reality is a mathematical structure. All structures that exist mathematically exist also physically. That is, the universe IS mathematics in a well-defined sense.

Mathematics has an external reality, and since everything is built from the ground (i.e. - mathematics) up, everything ultimately is mathematics and therefore can be expressed in that ultimate theoretical TOE tee-shirt equation.

Mathematics is the universal language. Whether you're a Frenchman or a Chinaman; an Englishman or even ufonauts like those alien LGM (Little Grey Men); a Klingon or a Romulan; you understand the Pythagorean Theorem and the quadratic equation; topology and the calculus.

The most fundamental science is physics. That's the bedrock on which chemistry is formatted. The earth and space sciences are in turn supported and explained by those two building blocks.

All of those collectively form the foundations of the biological sciences, which in turn support anthropology, psychology and the other social and behavioural sciences. Even economics and the arts have ultimate foundations in mathematics.

But what supports physics? Mathematics, that's what. Ultimately that's where it all begins. The Universe (including life and everything) is mathematics. You exist inside of geometry. You are receiving information about life, the Universe and everything encoded in mathematics; it takes mathematics to reveal the information.

You cannot come to terms with understanding space and time, matter and energy, and the four (or more) fundamental forces that govern the Universe, hence ultimately you and your surroundings, without resorting to maths.

Your day is constantly filled with how much, how many, and how fast - mathematical relationships. 'Where' is maths; 'when' is maths; 'what' is often pure maths. You may not be a physicist, but economics probably rules your roost.

There's gambling (even if just on the stock market or getting away with running a red light) involving probability theory. Every day in every way you add and subtract and multiply and divide numbers. You even do fractions! Your calculator may crunch the numbers, but you press the buttons.

Music and sounds in general play a massive role in our lives. Acoustics, harmonics, sound waves, and the like are all expressible in, and based around, mathematics. Ditto for navigation and GPS and related.

Now think of the mathematics supporting the physics (or its applied alter ego, engineering) behind your home, your transport, your entertainment, your comfort conveniences, and what goes into making you able to get through your day.

What holds all your bits and pieces together and holds you to the ground yet doesn't allow you to go through it can be expressed in equations? What mathematical physics fuels the sun that ultimately gives you your daily bread? What mathematical physics keeps your home planet a goldilocks planet, not too far away from, or too close to the sun with an atmosphere over your head?

24/7/52 you are governed by time and space; matter and energy, all of which have reality as mathematical constructs. And where would sports teams*, NASA and the military be without the basic mathematics behind the basic physics that guide and govern their activities?

There's another kind of mathematical universe apart from the one promoted by Max Tegmark, though maybe they are actually one and the same. That's my hypothesis. There's another way of looking at this. There's another possible, even probable, Mathematical Universe - the Simulated Universe. Could these two universes be one and the same?

Firstly, why is a Simulated Universe our probable Universe?

Well, for the exact same reason that while you suspect there is just one real Universe, the one real Universe the really real you lives in, you would be aware that Planet Earth in that really real Universe has an intelligent human population that has evolved computer technologies and has created thousands upon thousands of virtually real simulations, both for the purposes of instruction (say astronaut flight training) as well as for entertainment (video games).

The ratio of virtually real landscapes to really real landscapes is therefore multi-thousands to one.

Further, in most cases there are thousands upon thousands of copies of those simulations, a sort of Multiverse, where say a character in one video game has thousands of 'clones' because there are thousands of copies of that game. That character of course couldn't meet any of his or her or its identical copies, which is probably a good thing.

However, if you could ask that character whether they felt they were really real or simulated, they would of course answer really real not knowing or suspecting that a human being was their creator and the creator of their simulated landscape.

Go one level up from Planet Earth and humanity's numerous simulation creations and extrapolate and the odds are high that someone or something out there, a Supreme Programmer, created a simulation that's our Universe.

There are numerous copies of this video game simulation called say "The Life and Times of Planet Earth" created by this unknown and probably unknowable Supreme Programmer, and thus there are really numerous copies of you, but fortunately only one copy per game! Your day-to-day reality is just a virtual reality because you don't really exist in the way you think you do.

Another way of thinking about the numerous copies of the video game "The Life and Times of Planet Earth" is that this amounts to the concept of Parallel Universes. In another copy of "The Life and Times of Planet Earth" another copy of you has led a different life and lifestyle to the you that exists in your copy or version of "The Life and Times of Planet Earth".

Now, the interesting bit, IMHO, is what if our Universe or Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe which is also our Universe was just a Simulated Universe; a virtual reality computer software generated Universe? Well, what is computer software?

Computer software is just bits and bytes, ones and zeros, binary code, or in other words mathematics. You can construct life, the Universe and everything via mathematics by constructing or programming appropriate computer software. Ultimately a video game 'Universe' or landscape is just mathematics. An astronaut's training simulator is just a mathematical construction. If you are a computer software generated, simulated being, inside a virtual reality, then you are a mathematical construction.

What's the appeal of a Simulated Universe? It explains a lot that's currently unexplainable.

Why are all electrons (or positrons or up and down quarks, etc.) identical? Because all electrons have the exact same binary code, that's why. Forget vibrating strings as the reason. String theory isn't even in the hunt. Any and every anomaly is explained as easily as "run program" as there is no such thing as the concept of impossibility in a simulation or a video game.

Joshua can indeed make the Sun and the Moon stand still in the heavens! You can even have a virtual reality afterlife! In fact, for the physicist, a Simulated Universe scenario should be pleasing since in fact there are two separate sets of incompatible mathematical software running the Simulated Universe - gravity software and quantum physics software.

I bring this up because physicists have been trying to marry those two branches of physics for decades now into a Theory of Everything, and haven't scored a run yet.

In conclusion, our Universe is a Mathematical Universe; a Simulated Universe is a Mathematical Universe. Therefore, it's possible or even probable as I noted above, that our Universe is a Simulated Universe and you therefore live in a virtual reality landscape that exists as a mathematical construct!

*There's an entire book, for example, devoted to the physics of baseball, and no doubt many "How To Play... " books focus on the physics behind the scenes and the mathematics behind the physics.

Baseball can be reduced to pure mathematics apart from the mathematical physics relating to bat and ball, which will come as little surprise to most baseball fans, players and managers. There's percentages this; statistics that, all of which make baseball about the most mathematical oriented sports on the ground.

Science librarian; retired.

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Time to Change the College Paradigm

Study Abroad Ambassador: Will in Finland
Study Abroad Ambassador: Will in Finland (Photo credit: Thompson Rivers)
by AnnMarie McIlwain

We send our children to college to gain knowledge and to build the foundation for a self-sufficient life.

Along the way, we hope that they develop a passion for something that will make their professional lives productive and satisfying.

Despite the best of intentions and a lot of spending by parents, schools and the government, half of our nation's recent graduates face unemployment, according to an analysis of government data for The Associated Press.

Those that do get jobs are often disappointments for their employers. "Follow your passion" is a throwaway to college grads hanging out at home and their parents who are feeding and housing them.

To address the mismatch between higher education and real-world employment, we need to change how we raise our children and what it takes to get into college.

Many parents my age joke that if they were to apply to their alma mater today they would never get in due to the requirements of today's top colleges. While my generation may lack the athletic, linguistic, musical and academic pedigree of younger generations, we had something perhaps more valuable: job experience.

Like many of my peers, I started with a paper route. As I got older, I tutored younger children, worked in the President's office where I attended college, was a security guard for the local department of public works, and spent years as a salesclerk at a card and gift shop.

These experiences instilled in me a strong work ethic and an understanding that I would and could support myself.

By contrast, today's kids emerge from high school and college with little to no real work experience and are, not surprisingly, ill prepared for the work environment. Four out of ten employers report that recent college grads are not prepared to successfully participate in the business world, according to a recent study by the Global Strategy Group.

Common employer complaints include unpreparedness for interviews and bad attitudes. Such employer dissatisfaction may be contributing to recent graduates' high level of unemployment.

Adding to this, parents often expect too little of their children when it comes to basic household chores and work. We allow the homework, practices, club meetings, etc. to set the tone of the household and leave nudging our children to help around the house or get a job for a later time.

I am just as guilty as any other parent - tired from the demands of working and managing my children's marathon lives to enforce the behavior.

To begin solving this problem, we need to reassess the college experience. One or more of the top ranked colleges needs to publicly announce a change in the admissions qualifications by giving equal or greater value for work experience, rather than the extracurricular requirements of today.

A bridge year between high school and college where kids work waiting tables, shoveling snow, teaching English in Costa Rica, or pumping gas would arguably be more valuable than repeating high school algebra and biology as a college freshman, particularly since that is not the skill set most employees seek.

College curricula should be revised to focus more on critical thinking and communication skills, as these are the skills most valued by employers and frequently found to be lacking. Majors should be primarily focused on subject areas that can be validated as market worthy (i.e., are projected to be in sufficient demand).

The government should rethink giving loans to students pursuing fields that are not projected to be growing in the future and offer employment. Lastly, full credits should be given for real, full time, full semester work by the majority of schools, not just the co-op schools.

Changing the paradigm for entrance to college by validating work experience puts parents in a position to execute changes at home. Some of the time spent on extracurricular activities could be devoted to assuming responsibilities at home and working in part-time jobs.

This benefits everyone as the children learn how to serve the needs of others and parents get an extra set of hands. Self reliance and pride should grow.

By re-engineering what it takes to get into college and embracing this change in our homes, we can partner towards building a better-qualified young adult workforce. America cannot afford to keep graduating millions of students every year who are fundamentally unprepared to work. It is not economically or socially sustainable.

AnnMarie McIlwain is the Founder and CEO of

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Universities Australia Elects New Chair

James Cook University Entrance
James Cook University Entrance (Wikipedia)
by Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation

Universities Australia, a national peak body for universities, today elected James Cook University Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding as their new chair.

Professor Harding will replace University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis in May this year.

Professor Harding, an economic sociologist, was previously the deputy chair of Universities Australia, which represents the interests of universities to the federal government.

Professor Davis welcomed Professor Harding to the new role, saying that “her relentless dedication, passion and enthusiasm has helped shape [James Cook University] into one of the world’s leading universities focusing on the tropics.”

Professor Harding said it was an exciting time to be taking on the role. “With an election announced, and education singled out as a key issue, we will certainly be busy ensuring that policies that strengthen universities are adopted by the next government,” she said.

Jeannie Rea, National President of the National Tertiary Education Union said the academics' union was happy with Professor Harding’s appointment.

“Universities Australia and the sector will be fortunate if Professor Harding can bring the same enthusiasm and innovation to her role as she has as Vice-Chancellor at James Cook University,” she said.

“I hope she continues the important work of Professor Davis in positively profiling the vital role of higher education to government, business and the community. And it is always good to have another woman leader.”

Dr Andrew Norton, Higher Education Program Director at the Grattan Institute, said the key issue Universities Australia would lobby the federal government on is funding.

“They are going to be asking for more money because they always do. But that’s a waste of time in the current budgetary environment,” said Dr Norton. “They are worried about cuts to research funding and many of them already built that funding into their budgets,” he said.

“Really, their core problem is that the teaching research employment situation is not working because teaching and research are funded in completely different ways. Teaching funding is driven by student numbers and research funding is driven by past performance.”
The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There Is a Difference Between Learning to Think and Learning To Be Told What To Do

Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Illustration from The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Wikipedia)
by Lance Winslow

Whether you ask an educator, parent, or anyone who has gone through the school system they will tell you that we aren't teaching people to think, but we are teaching them lots of information.

Today's information won't be that valuable tomorrow, it will all be just known facts, many of which will not be needed, just like a good many skills aren't needed today, things which were taught to us when we were in school.

Further, this entire concept of rote memorization isn't all that great either, as all we're doing is depositing information into the heads of children sitting in nice little rows.

Okay so, let's talk about this shall we, from a homeschooling perspective.

You see, I would submit to you that there is a difference between learning to think, and learning to be told what to do.

In many regards our education system is all about getting our children to respect authority, and then without authority all we do is make them rote memorize information which causes them to stop thinking. How can that be good for the human mind? It isn't, and that's the problem.

Perhaps this is why we need homeschooling, because we need some people in our society to still be able to think once they are done with their learning, and once they go out in the real world.

If everyone is following authority, and only few people are actually thinking, then the onslaught of the population is merely being used by everyone else. How can that be good?

We all know the difference between these two types of teaching. Teaching people to ultimately just obey authority is going to be a disaster, especially when those same people who can't think rise up the ladder and are then in charge.

All they will do is continue on doing everything the way things have been done before, but as history has shown things haven't always worked out too well have they?

Does this mean that you should question authority? Well, I suppose someone who may have been brighter than me has stated that wisdom in so many words the prior. It is important to question authority, especially false authority, and therein lies the problem.

We have too many folks claiming authority who don't know what they're doing who desire to mentally enslave our children into their way of thinking. And if our children can't think for themselves then they will fall in line for any Pied Piper who was whistling an even remotely interesting tune. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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18 Blogs You Can Use to Determine if Your Child is Gifted

Cover of "Your Gifted Child"
Cover of Your Gifted Child
by , Find a Nanny:

Many parents think that their child is gifted, maybe because he walked before the other babies in the playgroup or was an early talker.

However, does this mean that your child is gifted or just really smart? What is the difference between a child who is gifted and one who is highly proficient? As a parent, what should you do to make sure your child is getting what he needs in school?

These questions and others will be answered in the following 18 blog entries. If you think your child might be gifted, you may benefit from reading these blogs.

Gifted vs. Highly Proficient

Sometimes children are labeled as gifted when they may just be ahead in their learning. Children who attended pre-school may be ahead academically when compared to a child who had no schooling prior to kindergarten. Does this mean one child is gifted and the other is not?

Determining the difference between a gifted child and a highly proficient one is a difficult task. The highly proficient child knows the answers to the questions, whereas a gifted child will ask questions that are beyond the scope of the lesson. Read through these six blog posts and see if your child is gifted or highly proficient.

Parental Role

As a parent, you may want to know what your role is in determining if your child is gifted. Decades ago parents sent their kids to school and that was pretty much it. It was the teacher’s job to teach your child. Often, children who are labeled as gifted now were considered unruly or disruptive back then.

So much more is understood about learning styles and various special needs that school is an entirely different ballgame now. Parents may have to step in to make sure that their child is getting the attention that he requires to learn and reach his full potential. If you feel your child is gifted and not being challenged enough in class, you have the right to have him tested for the gifted program.

Testing for Giftedness

There are differing opinions about when a child should be tested for the gifted program. If you test a child in kindergarten, are you truly finding the gifted kids or just the ones that are ahead of the learning curve? How should a child be tested? These questions and others will be discussed in the following six blog articles.
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WA Premier Slams Gillard’s Gonski Reforms

by AAP, 21st Century News:

Gonski (Photo credit: SurfGuard)
Western Australia appears set to follow Victoria and opt out of Julia Gillard’s proposed Gonski school reforms, if Premier Colin Barnett is re-elected in March.

The prime minister vowed on Monday to get an agreement on her $6.5 billion funding plan, despite Victoria announcing it will go it alone. It says it can deliver better outcomes for students than the commonwealth.

WA Premier Colin Barnett said he believed the federal government was a “small player” in education and heavily criticised Ms Gillard’s style of negotiation with the states. “We have never indicated we would sign up to Gonski,” Mr Barnett told reporters in Perth.

“If the federal government has some proposal, they are very much the small player in education. We are not going to sit back and suddenly let the commonwealth take over the running of our schools.”

Ms Gillard will meet state and territory leaders in April to discuss the new plan, and Schools Minister Peter Garrett will this week advise how much the commonwealth will contribute.

Mr Barnett, maintaining the anti-Canberra stance that has been a plank of his state election campaign, launched another broadside at the Gillard government. “The style of Julia Gillard is to pick a fight with the states, run out to the media and pretend she has a solution,” Mr Barnett said.

“They come out and denigrate our hospitals, denigrate our schools, and then pretend to have a solution. That is not good government.”
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting Meaning and Grammar to Merge

Major levels of linguistic structure
Major levels of linguistic structure (Wikipedia)
by Robert L Fielding

Grammar is most probably traditionally viewed by students of any foreign language as a sort of obscure code which prevents them from passing examinations, forcing them to take further courses in that language.

That may be because they are unused to scrutinizing the grammar of their own language and so find the grammar of the language they are learning as an opaque system, rather than one that helps them to mean what they say and say what they mean.

English grammar is as complicated, or as uncomplicated as any other grammar; it is logical and easy to understand for native speakers, whilst being difficult to comprehend for students whose native language is not English.

Again, traditionally, students are taught to use the verb correctly; more or less without any other reference than that of tense. They are given linguistic hoops to jump through, sometimes without any real reference to meaning. No wonder students get their grammar wrong, even in faculty - when, arguably, they can least afford to make mistakes.

It is when writing up term papers and the like, in specialized topic areas with attendant specialized vocabulary that students have to grapple with grammar to achieve the meaning they want to convey - in language, the meaning of which cannot always be readily grasped by teachers in writing centres, for example.

Grammar is looked upon as an almost independent system in language, when in actual fact, it is highly affected both by subject and by vocabulary.

Accordingly, a new approach to the teaching of grammar, as well as its scrutiny in half-written term papers, should include the teaching of paraphrasing of sentences or paragraphs, to disambiguate meaning - to get to the bottom of the vexed question, 'What do you want to say?'

A student who writes a 'sentence' without a main verb is perplexed to find that what she thinks is a sentence, is not one; the placing of a relative pronoun is a common source of confusion.

'The boy who helped me.' This is not a sentence, even though its writer will insist that it is. 'The boy who helped me, ran away before I could thank him.' This is a sentence.

Now, how can I as the teacher best explain this? I can give the student the 'normal explanation' or I can ask the student to paraphrase her 'sentence' and then mine.

Of course, she will do her utmost to explain what she means, but will ultimately fail, as it has no meaning other than being a noun phrase - the boy who helped me - that boy in particular.

Whereas, in my own sentence, it is clear that that particular boy (the one who helped me) ran away.
In this way, the student can easily be made to see that her 'sentence' in not one and therefore has no meaning, whilst mine is a sentence, the meaning of which can be easily explained.

Now, it is readily admitted that this is a simple example, but, it does serve its purpose; that an attempt to paraphrase its meaning fails, and in so failing, exposes the mistake for what it is - an error that falls down on meaning.

If anything is achieved using this way of getting to the bottom of the problem with the student's grammar, it is that she finally understands what a relative pronoun does - it allows her to add something - in this case, the predicate 'ran away'!

To repeat, this is a very simple example. When it comes to examples with complicated meanings, paraphrasing has no equal. If a student can say it in another way, she has got to understand what it is she wants to say - first - using grammar to organize words to say it.

Grammar is not just an obscure system to organize words in a sentence, rather, it is a very real way to convey meaning using those building blocks of meaning - words.

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Gonski Hangs in the Balance Amid the Politicking

Scott Ludlam gives a Gonski
Scott Ludlam gives a Gonski (Photo credit: Greens MPs)
by Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Julia Gillard has set an April deadline for a breakthrough with the states for a new schools funding system.

She reiterated on Friday that “the big test” would come when she met the premiers then and declared “I hope the premiers will rise to the challenge”.

But Gillard herself is the one who has most at stake. If she can’t get an agreement then or very soon after, she could be left with a big hole in her election pitch.

Her talk and the parliamentary and electoral timetables ensure she will be judged toughly. She know she has to throw everything at trying cut a deal on the proposed Gonski funding model at that Council of Australian governments meeting.

But her problem is that key states will not just have issues of money and detail, but also an eye to the federal election which will be only several months away.

Unsurprisingly, Queensland and Western Australia are making negative noises and now Victoria, fresh from forcing the Commonwealth to backtrack on hospital funding, has produced an alternative.

The Victorians say their plan, released at the weekend, would be phased in from next year and when fully operating would deliver more than $400 million extra (federal and state money) a year for Victorian schools.

Its elements include increased funding to disadvantaged government schools; a voucher system (called a “pupil premium”) to follow disadvantaged students to any school, and more consistent funding across government and non-government schools for students with disability.

One of Victoria’s gripes with the Commonwealth’s approach is that it believes the federal plan to secure teaching and other reforms - yesterday Gillard announced all schools and states would be asked to sign up to a “national reading blitz” - to go with the new funding system is too intrusive on schools and the state.

The Gonski plan would cost $6.5 billion annually when fully operating but the cash-strapped federal government is proposing a modest start - about $1 billion from federal and state levels combined in 2014.

The Gillard government wants a comprehensive April agreement with all states that would then go into the framework legislation on Gonski that is now before Parliament; that legislation would be passed in the June sitting, the last before the election (suggestions last week that the Greens were posing a threat to the legislation were wrong; they said they would move an amendment to benefit the poorest schools but if it was defeated they would still vote for the bill).

Despite the harsh rhetoric federal Labor sources claim to be optimistic that an agreement, with some local variations between states, will be reached because, they say, that would be in the states' self-interest.

Whether this can happen will essentially depend on whether Victoria, Queensland and WA are adopting negotiating positions or deliberately digging political trenches. If it’s the latter, they know they only have to hold out for a brief time beyond the April COAG, before there is a likely Abbott government.

The federal opposition’s position is that it supports the present funding system, based on socio-economic regions. But it is open to adopting a Gonski-type loading system for disability, indigenous students, non-English speaking students and economic disadvantage.

If Labor fails to achieve a comprehensive agreement, Canberra will do deals with those individual states that are willing to play and put those into the legislation.

But this would be a messy result on which to go to the election; certainly a great deal less than ideal for a PM who repeated on Friday: “Education is the defining passion of my political life”.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.
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Schools to Conduct Reading Blitz: Gillard

by Ed Logue and Ehssan Veiszadeh, 21st Century News:

Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Matthew Kenwrick)
Children in the first years of their schooling will be the focus of a reading blitz in new learning measures announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The program will target students from kindergarten to year three and may involve breakfast clubs and after-school activities such as parents reading to their children, or access to digital resources.

About 75,000 students across all grades failed to meet national minimum standards in NAPLAN tests last year. This would more than double by 2025 without improvement, Ms Gillard said.

“Through this reading blitz, we want to make a difference,” she told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

Ms Gillard said 74 per cent of children starting school were at risk of not learning to read well, but studies showed that figure could be lowered to six per cent.

Federal Schools Minister Peter Garrett said all schools would need a plan to address the progress of their students. “A focus on literacy will be a very important part of that process,” he said.

The government would work with state and territory governments, and the non-government sector, to complete the national plan to improve reading levels from 2014.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said his government had invested $261 million to improve the literacy and numeracy performance of students from kindergarten to year two, with the first 50 specialists in those areas now in the state’s public schools.

“We look forward to seeing the detail in the commonwealth’s plan and the research and evidence upon which it is based,” he said in a statement.

Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said an emphasis on reading would be one way to use the increased funding proposed by the Gonski schools review.

“What we urgently need now is for the federal government to sit down with state and territory leaders to agree on the funding for Gonski, so that the additional resources are available in schools from next year,” Mr Gavrielatos said in a statement.

Ms Gillard said improving reading levels would give students more opportunities for their careers and also boost the economy. “The evidence shows if you come out at year three not reading well, you are very likely to come out of year nine not reading very well either,” she said.

“Which means you are very likely to end up an adult who never reads well, with all the consequences that has got with the jobs you can do and the jobs that are locked away from you.”

The teaching of phonics, which involves sounding out letters to help students develop basic reading skills, is one of the measures to boost literacy.

Ms Gillard read Emily and the Big Bad Bunyip to 10 children sitting on the floor of The Lodge on Sunday.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Improving Your Reading - For Better Grades

by Ian Shilton

Student life is laden with stress and constant worry, and it often seems that there is modest opportunity to improve your reading. There is so much to do and so little chance to get it done.

If that's not all, you have to ensure you attain the level you set for yourself. This can sometimes increase the stress you already feel and improving your reading is the last thing you are thinking about.

However, a lot of students are discovering that a little bit of time spent improving their reading compensates them with improved exam results.

You will need to take notes in class as a student. This is a huge chance to improve your reading. Take plenty of notes and make it a priority to understand them by a certain time. This means cramming, revising and reading slowly. These acts are all conducive to making your reading better.

So, your notes become a tool for you to enhance your reading and helps to also achieve the goal of learning your curriculum material much better.

Try developing your reading with a dictionary. You need to ensure you keep a dictionary handy so that you can improve your vocabulary. Having a thesaurus will help too. Again, use your curriculum materials to help here, by looking up words that you don't quite understand. This will guarantee you improve your vocabulary.

To ensure that your speed, comprehension and overall reading improves you need to spend 15 to 20 minutes a day practicing. So what you have to do is read for this long every day as fast as you can. You could stumble and falter on the words. But, practice makes perfect and this will make you an overall better reader.

However, you should check your comprehension later. Writing a summary is the best way to do this, after you have been reading as fast as possible. So what you are doing is creating skills that give you the ability to prepare similar methods of writing to improve your studies.

Progressing your reading is no painless undertaking. But if you choose to utilise it to improve your marks you can use your course notes to assist you. Boost your word power by using your dictionary and have a reading routine that you stick too, that's what it's all about.

Once you have routines in place for this, you will have a good chance of improving your reading to the extent that you get better grades.

Improving your reading will give you the edge you need to get better grades. For more articles and information visit my website

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5 Ways to Help Kids Who Are Struggling With Homework

by admin, Nanny Websites: 

Though some progressive schools around the country have taken steps to eliminate homework, it still remains a fixture in the lives of most students.

Homework can also be the source of much household suffering, either due to a refusal to complete assignments that ultimately affects academic performance or a difficulty completing the work.

Before you throw in the towel altogether, give these five suggestions a try in order to get the students in your family back on track.

Nip Excuses in the Bud

Kids will come up with remarkably creative excuses to get out of doing their homework, especially if they’re having trouble with the work or are eager to pursue activities that they enjoy.

Refusing to accept excuses and establishing a routine of completing homework on a set schedule can make a noticeable difference in homework struggles that are built around kids’ efforts to evade homework. When your child knows that his efforts to avoid his homework will not be effective, he’s more likely to direct his energy elsewhere.

Verify Kids’ Claims

Two of the most popular ways of getting out of homework is to claim that it was completed during free time or that there was none assigned. While actively showing distrust for your kids’ claims can be detrimental to their self-esteem, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you establish a system of verifying their claims in regard to homework.

Making it routine to go over assignment planners or to check homework together can help you ascertain just how much homework your child has without actively accusing him of being dishonest.

Work on an Incentive Plan

For many kids, homework just doesn’t seem to serve much of a point. There’s no tangible payoff for the time invested in filling out those worksheets or writing assigned papers, so it can understandably seem like a waste of time to them. There’s a fine line between creating an incentive plan and bribing your child to do the things he’s supposed to do, but it is possible.

When your child is able to connect his hard work and all the effort he’s putting into his homework with actual, tangible results, he may change his tune. Making sure that your child understands how his grades are connected to the effort he puts in and that there are rewards for doing his very best in school is important.

Establish a Line of Communication with Teachers

Whether you’re looking for verification of assignments or looking for the best way to help a child that’s having trouble with his schoolwork, it’s important to make sure that you’ve established and are actively maintaining an open line of communication with your child’s teacher.

Kids that want to do their best in school, but find it difficult to grasp the work, can easily become frustrated and lose their interest in academia altogether. Working with his teacher to find the best way of helping him overcome his difficulties is essential, especially if your child’s frustration is reaching a level that’s difficult to manage.

Get to the Root of the Problem

The most effective way of helping your child overcome a homework struggle is to find the root of the problem and address it directly. If he’s having trouble focusing or grasping the material and is avoiding it because he feels that it’s above his skill level, work with him until he’s feeling more confident. It’s also important to swallow your pride and ask for help yourself if you need to.

Not only have teaching methods changed since your own school days, but skills that you haven’t used in decades can become rusty. When you’re able to work with your child one on one to determine his individual learning style and needs, you’ll be able to tailor your approach to homework help accordingly.

In some cases, it may be necessary to consider working with a tutoring program to give your child the extra attention that he needs to succeed to the best of his abilities. Helping your child reach his full potential is your job as a parent, even if doing so requires you to take measures you wouldn’t expect.

You may also want to discuss persistent problems with a specialist, especially if you suspect a learning disability that requires special care. In such cases, many young students’ academic performance improves significantly after the appropriate measures are taken to help him work around the roadblocks he’s encountered.

How To Have A Fabulous Career With TESOL Courses

by Chris Shane James

Mastery of the English language has many benefits. It can lead to business opportunities, prominence on social networking sites, wider options when it comes to news and entertainment and many others.

Being one of the most spoken languages in the world and one that is frequently used in international trade, knowledge of English can literally mean that the world is at your fingertips.

There is one more advantage though that you can easily put into good use: you can teach others who want to enjoy the benefits mentioned above.

Become a TESOL or Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages

A qualified TESOL teacher can have an awesome career. Most of them are presented with travel opportunities and the liberty to set their own work schedule. They can be employed full-time in an academic or corporate set-up or part-time through online or traditional tutorial sessions.

If you want to become one and explore these amazing job prospects, it is recommended to take short but quality TESOL courses from a reputable university or institution first. Eloquence in English is one thing, but teaching the language is quite a different matter. It requires expertise in the language and so much more.

Without a good TESOL education, you may find it hard to reach out to your students or engage them long enough to learn. TESOL Diploma Courses can arm you with the right teaching methods aside from helping you to brush up on your English skills.

Grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are just some of the most important lessons in a TESOL program. Native speaker or not, trust that you still need a quick review on these topics. A good TESOL course also includes classroom management and lesson planning as well as using visual aids and activities to keep the session interesting and informative.

The right TESOL program can be the start of an exciting career so be careful when choosing one. Don't dismiss the idea that you can achieve great results from online TESOL courses. Many online courses are actually good especially if you are looking for a more affordable and convenient way to learn. An online TESOL certification is also accepted by many employers as long as it is gained from a credible institution.

Lastly, complement formal studies with practice. Use the language as often as possible and hone your teaching skills by performing the job. If you want to have more experience to enhance your resume or boost your confidence in teaching, don't hesitate to sign up for volunteer work or on-the-job training.

Visit international career institute for TESOL Diploma Courses, TESOL Courses, and Online TESOL Courses and build the career of your dreams. For more information visit

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