4 suvremena alata za bolje učenje engleskog jezika

Below is the first part of an article published in Women in Adria.

Otkrila sam u radu sa svojim polaznicima u Speak Up! konverzacijskom tečaju engleskog jezika nešto fenomenalno za učenje jezika, nešto što me je toliko oduševilo da ne mogu obuzdati potrebu da to sa svima podijelim. Tako da umjesto da Vas vodim kroz popis modernih tajni učenja jezika koji polako raste do krešenda, odmah započinjem s bombom. Zove se Memrise. Promijenit će Vam život.

Gdje i kako učiti vokabular online – Memrise

Memrise je besplatna aplikacija koju možete koristiti na svom kompjuteru i smartphoneu. Što znači da možete učiti strane jezike malo po malo, usput, dok u kafiću čekate onu prijateljicu koja uvijek kasni, dok stojite u redu u pošti, ili dok Vam mama ili baka na telefonu u detalje opisuju neki recept za koji nikad niste pitali.

A kako s Memriseom učiti jezike? Tako da ponavljate vokabular na milijun načina. U Americi je među učenicima i studentima popularno nešto što se zove flashcards – mali papirići malo veće gramaže, obično veličine 10x15mm, na kojima se s jedne strane napiše riječ/pojam/fraza koji se želi naučiti, a s druge strane značenje te riječi/pojma/fraze. Pa se vrti. Prolazi se kroz hrpicu dok se ne nauči sve, i nadopunjava se novim riječima/frazama po potrebi.

Memrise je elektronička verzija takvih flashcardsa. (Hot tip: korisno je upotrijebiti flashcards kada održavate neku prezentaciju pred publikom. Na taj način ne čitate s prezentacije (veeeliki “no-no”), a opet imate oslonac/podsjetnike koji Vam pomažu pri izlaganju). Čitajte dalje.

New! Writing course & essay package

This summer is set to sizzle with two brand new projects ready to roll.
In addition to regular conversation lessons, this 5-week mini summer semester (June 27-July 29) I’m introducing writing classes and an essay writing feedback package. Read on to find out more!

WRITING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Experimental/taster course
Duration: 5 weeks (June 27-July 29)
90 min. 1x per week
Price: 700 HRK

While going through the stages of writing – from pre-writing to revising – this mini writing course will be heavy on grammar, covering among other things word order, subordinate clauses, and sentence parsing (analysis). This taster course will be followed by a more in-depth writing course in the fall.

ESSAY CORRECTION PACKAGE
Also new!
Price: 250 HRK
Learn from home

Do you want to work on your writing but can’t attend writing classes? Then you might want to buy a 5-essay correction package which includes corrections and feedback via email to five 700-word essays you write during the period of the five-week mini summer semester (June 27-July 29). But you have been warned: don’t expect to just sit back and relax after corrections are sent back – they will require further work on the essays you’ve submitted!

Don’t know where to start when writing?

Take a look at this useful resource on pre-writing techniques:
http://slc.berkeley.edu/you-start-writing-paper-guide-prewriting-techniques-0

Student essay: Why funny pick-up lines work

These days, guys need to be pretty creative when approaching a girl, since it is no longer enough to knock her down with a bat and to drag her into a cave. The thing is that expectations grow in every field of life, so it is no wonder that new ways of flirting are also required. This is where creativity takes the stage, and where only the best, or the craziest, are applauded. Creating the right strategy for making a move on someone can be tough work, since people are different and their reactions can be unexpected. For those who don’t care that much what others will think of them, this is not much of a problem. However, most us are not that loaded with self-esteem, so starting a conversation with someone we like is quite a challenge. But what better reaction can we get than a sincere, big old laugh. This of course doesn’t imply that you succeeded in your intention but it’s a pretty good start.

When it comes to creating funny lines, Croatian guys show some real effort; they even use current affairs, so if you’re at a disco in Zagreb, you might hear something like: “Hey girl I’d tap you like a farmer taps incentive funds”. Of course this is an absurd line, but if you heard it, it would be hard not to laugh. Using such obnoxious terms is what makes it so low-minded that you can’t even take it seriously, so the natural reaction would be to laugh, although it depends on the tone and the situation, because it could result in a slap on somebody’s face. This may not be the best illustration of what a good pick up line should be like, but it covers the humor part, and also, by being so silly, it makes you feel like the other side has no expectations whatsoever, so you don’t feel the jitters potentially involved when flirting.

mustache_2

Real humor is rare. A lot of people try to be funny, but only a few really are and that’s what makes it such a desirable quality. The trick is in being spontaneous, because the thing with humor is that you really do not want to overdo it. What I mean is, when somebody tries too hard, it is visible, and it’s more sad than funny. Some people were born funny, and it’s a unique kind of talent. Like other talents, it can be trained to some extent, but you can’t train to become Jim Carrey.

that_dress_would_look_better

Corny pickup lines that comment on someone’s good looks don’t work, the trick is to start a conversation, not to create an awkward silence. As I already said, the most important thing is to be as light-hearted/playful as you can, because you don’t want to scare the other person away, even if that means hiding your true intentions. There is no need tobare your soul out when you are first trying to contact someone.

The most casual line I recently heard was: “Hey, aren’t you a friend of Anabela’s?” The line was supported by absolute euphoria and a proud look in the guy’s eyes for having recognized Anabela’s friend, then followed by a look of great disappointment when he realized he mistook the girl for someone else. And then, after the well-played scene, when you almost start sympathizing with the guy, he comes back with: “But if you’re not Anabela’s friend, who are you?”. So simple, but also funny, as well as naturally followed by a conversation, and if the guy is also attractive, who knows?

super_fine

Since girls are, at least traditionally, the prey in this hunt, to get the answer we need to pick through their brains a bit. Why do girls like funny guys? Is it because of their fear of something serious? Or because they relate humor to self-confidence or even the bad boys that they all secretly crave for? Or is it just because of their bad taste, and their lack of better criteria? I bet we could find pretty ridiculous explanations for this phenomena. But before we attempt any further “serious” psychoanalsis that will all result in the conclusion that women are complicated creatures anyway, we could take into consideration the possibility that there is a simple explanation for it all. Cyndy Lauper sums it up in a song that goes: “Girls just wanna have fun.” And it really is simple as that. Women don’t always over-analyze things, sometimes they just want to laugh and have a good time. So put your instruments down, ’cause there won’t be a lobotomy, at least not today.

Written by: Mia Blatančić

The worst customs at Croatian weddings

The worst customs at Croatian weddings

By: Marko Primožić

Weddings are occasions on which, at least in my opinion, people of any nation show their best and worst. Generally speaking, there are many good customs at Croatian weddings, but somehow the bad ones can significantly overshadow the good ones. They are eyesores in what is supposed to be a celebration of love and cannot in any way be connected with the decision that two young people made to perpetuate their love. Here is a list of just a few of them (they are listed chronologically as they happen as the wedding proceeds, not by the level of disgustingness/nonsense):

1

Bachelor party:

The first thing whose concept is not understandable to me is not only a Croatian custom, but every nation’s custom, and it happens a few weeks before the wedding ceremony. The bachelor party. What is the point in having a party with only boys involved? The only rational argument that can come to mind would be so that the guys can do things they wouldn’t do in front of the girls. But the problem is I can’t think of even one example of such a thing. Maybe drinking enormous amounts of alcohol without being criticized by girlfriends? No, because, let’s be honest, the majority of them don’t give a s**t about it, because, you know, this is the first and only time your friend is getting married and you can do whatever you want (what a reason!!). On the other hand, the minority who actually care about it would do it anyway, pretty much because of the same reason (the only difference is that this kind of boy would be sorry about it the next day). Maybe the reason for the boys-only-party would be to be able to behave as foolishly as you want? I don’t think so, since they also do it at parties when girls are involved. Maybe because they want to rent a stripper. Still a poor argument, because your fiancé would found out about it sooner or later.

Still, even though I can somehow accept the necessity of a bachelor party as an only-boys-are-allowed-to-come-party because it is a tradition and you are not supposed to analyse its reasons, what about bachelor parties joined with bachelorette parties? By doing this, the whole concept is crushed and it doesn’t make any sense at all.

2

Congratulating the parents

The second fact I want to discuss happens immediately after two young people say Yes. After the wedding ceremony is finished the crowd comes to the newlywed husband and wife and congratulates them. But what really irritates me is that they also congratulate their parents. Now, I would like someone to explain to me why on earth the parents are getting credit for it. Maybe because they gave birth to them, but that is something that you congratulated them for a long time ago, when they were actually born. It’s not like the parents went from house to house looking for their son’s/daughter’s wife/ husband. It was purely their children’s decision and the parents have nothing to do with it. And if they did, that’s even worse, because obviously they persuaded them to marry someone and that is not something to congratulate them for. I understand the custom is left over from the times when parents were actually partly in charge of finding a spouse for their children, but come on, we are in the 21st century now, not the 15th. Times have changed.

3

Waving the national flag and honking during a parade

Waving a Croatian flag while you are driving from the church or courthouse to the restaurant where the wedding reception is taking place is also at the top of my nonsense list. Again, my mind can’t see the connection between two young people loving each other and a Croatian flag. As the name says, the national flag represent the nation, and is held when you achieve something in the name of your country. And what is achieved in the name of the nation during a wedding ceremony? Yes, I agree, nothing. So please stop the prostitution of the Croatian flag.

Another thing that bothers me during the parade from the church to the restaurant is the constant honking. Ok, it is a special day for the bride and the groom, and also a special day for their families and friends, but is it for the rest of the world? They just want to live their usual lives, and really don’t care at all about the wedding of two out of 6 billion people they don’t know/strangers. Perhaps the intention of honking is to make others happy because of the wedding, but by honking all the time, you just make them nervous and angry. So please, next time, don’t be a bumpkin. Be happy and share it with your friends but leave others alone.

4

The way presents are given

The last custom I don’t like is how presents are given. At the majority of weddings I have gone/been to, the procedure is that at some point in the night an announcement is made asking people to form a queue to hand presents to the bride and the groom. Consequently, people form a queue they stand in waving around envelopes full of money. Obviously not everyone thinks this, but to me that custom seems inelegant, not to say heinous. It looks like people are just about to bet on some sports match or like they want to show how much money they have. Wouldn’t it be more elegant to just have one bag in the corner where people can/would insert their envelopes whenever they want?

Not only does the way presents are given bother me, but the way greeting cards are written does too. You usually put money inside the envelope and the signed the greeting card. Personally, I think unsigned cards are much more polite. In Croatia (and I believe in many other countries) cards are singed so that the bride and groom know how much money they should give you when you will be getting married. But it shouldn’t be like that. The present is given to show your appreciation and love. And everyone will give as much as they can afford. Of course, with unsigned envelopes you leave space for receiving empty ones. If someone wants to do it, go ahead, it will be to your disgrace.

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