Reah's Blog | Education, Language, Technology

A Language Barrier

By on Mar 23, 2012 in English Language | 5 comments

I was in a famous fastfood branch waiting for my cashier to serve the meal I ordered, when I overheard the old traveling Japanese man by the next cashier asking her “Is it OLD?”, referring to the coffee she was serving. His cashier, misunderstood OLD with COLD, and answered the Japanese, “HOT sir”. It wasn’t quiet at all by the counter and the cashier was away from her cash register getting a cup under the cabinet, so, the miscommunication was acceptable. The Japanese repeated himself, “NO, is it OLD?” and the Filipina answered back “HOT sir.” This second time was less acceptable. The Japanese asked again, so the Filipina moved back to her register and told the Japanese the coffee would be HOT. Frustrated with the cashier’s answer, the Japanese rephrased his question, “No, how long? WHEN?”. The cashier got more...

The Freemason Filipinos

By on Nov 26, 2011 in Philippines | 3 comments

I learned about Freemasonry and Knights Templar from reading Dan Brown’s books. So, when I saw a show running in the History Channel about the Holy Grail, I sat and watched it. The show’s conclusion led me to re-dig more information about the Freemasons and find out who were the famous people known to be Freemasons. The Wikipedia’s list of Freemasons surprised me as I recognize the Filipino names listed there. It amazed me how these Filipinos shaped the Philippines history. I might had overlooked the fact of their membership of this mysterious organization before but it’s harder for me to ignore it this time. So, let’s take a look at those notable Filipinos who were members of Freemasonry, a fraternal organization, and let’s wonder what had they taken from their membership and brought to the Filipinos. José Abad Santos, Chief Justice of the Supreme...

Use Images and Charts to Learn Descriptive Words

By on Sep 6, 2011 in Education, English Language | 5 comments

Growing up, I had a limited English word list to describe emotions, actions, or even people in certain ways. During the past three years, however, I’ve been adding new adjectives to my list more actively than before. One of the ways I’ve been doing to learn new adjectives is using images and charts. Back when I was in high school in the Philippines, I looked at a facial expression chart posted inside our guidance counselor’s office. Drawn in the chart were faces showing different emotions, and below each face was the English word to describe the expression. I didn’t think of learning words from the chart that time. I just thought it was creative and cool. Now, I think of it as a learning tool as well. Using the facial expression chart as a learning tool was probably the primary intention of the first person who created a chart like this. And it’s good that...

Use an English Visual Dictionary When Learning Nouns

By on Sep 5, 2011 in Education, English Language | 0 comments

When learning new English nouns—the words that refer to people, places, things, or ideas—a visual dictionary will help you retain the words in your mind effectively. It’s just like when a child learns what the word apple means, a parent will show the child an apple or an image of an apple to help the child create a mental image of an apple, which is usually a red fruit (sometimes it’s green!). So next time the child sees the actual fruit, she will remember to call it apple. There are more nouns that are uncommon than apple, however, and you will likely want to see images of these nouns to remember them. Thus, you may want to use a visual dictionary in this situation. The highly-recommended visual dictionaries that you can look for copies in your library or bookstores are: Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary by Merriam-Webster (Oct 1, 2006) Ultimate Visual Dictionary...

101 Ways to Improve Your English – For Non-native Speakers

By on Sep 5, 2011 in Education, Language | 7 comments

Having English as a second language, I played kids vocabulary games, watched English TV shows with captions on, read English books aloud, and thought in English all day—all so I can be fluent in English. How hard can that goal be? Hard but fun! And as if those “hard-but-fun” activities are not enough to accomplish my goal, I created my own word games, made bike riding an educational activity, and tested myself on how many English words I could spell correctly in an hour. The last one sounds overboard, don’t you think? But I did it. Let’s say it was the product of too much enthusiasm (and free time?) Ha! That activity made me a better speller though and it is just one of a few examples of what you can do to improve your English too. In fact, at the end of this article is a 101 list of activity ideas, so be ready to fill your to-do lists and desks. No need to do all the activities listed...