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Talking Cats and Dogs (Video)

Cats and dogs learning to talk to their owners.

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Improve Your Writing

How to strengthen (=make stronger) your writing:

1. Avoid overwriting – if you can find one word to explain your sentence, use that one good word instead.
e.g. Bad  : I want to make my writing better.
Good: I want to improve my writing.

2. Use adjectives to describe feelings and personalities.
e.g. Bad  : My classmate sits down next to the teacher.
Good: My talkative classmate sits down next to the angry teacher.

3. Use adverbs to describe actions and give details.
e.g. Bad  : My classmate sits down next to the teacher.
Good:
My talkative classmate quickly sits down next to the angry teacher.

4. Do NOT write run on sentences.
e.g. Bad  : It was really rainy today and I was in a hurry so I ran for the bus but I missed it so I took the train.
Good: It was a rainy day today. I was in a hurry, so I ran for the bus but missed it. I took the train instead.

5. Use ALL of the tips to re-write sentence #4 into a paragraph.
e.g. It was a rainy day today. I woke up late, so I was in a hurry and had to run for the bus. However, I was not fast enough, so unfortunately, I missed the bus. The train station was right next to the bus stop, and even though it was very crowded, I still rushed and made it to school in time.

To review your grammar concepts with flashcard games, click the following link:
http://www.memrise.com/course/648742/english-grammar-concepts/

Eat Grandma

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The Cat That Quacked

grumpy-cat-16_e

There once were a pair of ducklings who really wanted to have a baby, but it was Winter. The mother duck, Margaret, wouldn’t be able to keep an egg warm. So, they decided to find another baby animal. They went to the zoo, and because there was a large influx of babies, the zookeeper let them pick any baby animal.

The ducks walked around and looked at the animals. The puppies were cute, but they were too noisy. The piglets were sweet, but they ate too much. The calves were kind, but they were too wobbly. The ducks finally decided to adopt a kitten. Kathy the kitten was adorable, but shy. She was only active when chasing a ball of yarn.

As Kathy grew up with the other ducklings, she learned to swim and quack. It was hard for her to quack though, because her mouth was shaped differently. It always came out like a growled “wrrraacckkk”. She got along with the ducklings though, so it wasn’t much of a problem. They were talkative, clever, and wonderful creatures.

One day, Kathy went strolling around the zoo. She came across the area where they kept the cats. The cats saw that she was a cat, so they “meowed” at her. Kathy didn’t understand the “meow” but guessed that they meant “hello”. She responded with her “wrrrraaccckkkk”. The cats looked at her strangely as they didn’t know why she was making strange sounds. The cats were frightened, and didn’t like Kathy, so they hissed angrily until Kathy ran away.

When Kathy returned home, she told her duck parents about the what had happened, and the ducks explained that the cats didn’t like her because she spoke a different language. Kathy felt sad and distressedbut her duck parents kept encouraging her by saying that when she grew up and learned to meow, she would know how to speak two animal languages.

By the end of the year, Kathy had worked hard on her “meowing” and learned how the tones sounded. She was able to speak two languages, which made her well-liked by the others. She became the most popular animal at the zoo because everyone paid to see the cat that quacked.

Moral of the Story
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because someone or something looks one way, does not mean that they will behave as you think they will.

不能以貌取人 – 沒有兩個人是完全相同的

Click here to see pictures about a cat that is a vet in Poland.

cat nurse

By Nick

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The Boy Who Followed The Rules

Jackson was an obedient student who always followed the rules. At school, he would only do what the teacher asked him to, and at home, he would follow his parents’ teachings. He was so obedient that he didn’t dare do anything without permission.

One morning, Jackson had a test at school. The teacher handed out the papers, and without a word, returned to her seat to monitor the class.

An hour later, the bell rang and the teacher collected the papers. However, when she collected Jackson’s, she noticed that it was blank.

“Why didn’t you study?” she demanded.

“I did!” responded the innocent boy. “I studied for an hour every night this week!”

“Then why is your paper blank!?” the teacher was shocked.

“Because…” said Jackson hesitantly, “you didn’t say we could start the test, or write. You just handed it to us…”

“Didn’t you see your friends writing on their test papers?” she continued.

“No,” he said. “We aren’t allowed to look at other students…”

“Why didn’t you ask the teacher?” she asked.

“Because we cannot ask questions during the test…” Jackson noted.

The teacher realised the boy had made a very good point, and thought for a moment.

The teacher was stuck in a dilemma (problem) because she had two options. If she failed the boy for not doing the test, it would be unfair because he actually followed instructions. However, if she allowed him to do the test during recess, it would be unfair to the other students who’d already completed theirs.

In the end, the teacher still had to give him a “zero” because his test was blank.

Jackson felt very angry and hurt, but he started to realise that following the rules blindly without using his head could easily get him into trouble. That day, Jackson learned that he had to think for himself instead of waiting to be told what to do. The teacher also realised that being too strict and having too many rules was stopping her students from thinking, growing, and becoming independent.

That week, the teacher brought the class together to talk about which classroom rules would be helpful. Together, they managed to shorten the list from 20 rules down to 5. The students and teacher were all satisfied with the new list, and from then on, the students were happier, and the teacher was much less stressed.

Moral of The Story If you follow the rules without thinking, you might walk into a trap.

如果你不用腦,只按照規則,你會有一個很大的機會走進一個陷阱。


rules

by Alex
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Mr. Stupid Butt-face

Joke of the Week:

Teacher-Student

The following story is a combination of various real events that took place in classrooms.
Hover over the pink words for definitions.

Monday mornings can be busy, and it was no different for Stuart Pacmin.
Stuart was new to Hong Kong. He’d arrived a month ago, and had just about enough time to get settled and start his new job as an English teacher. He was feeling excited about his new position, but also nervous because he didn’t know much Cantonese. In the last month, he’d managed to somewhat understand the difference between the two thank you’s – “Mm goi” and “door zhe”.
Today, however, Stuart was about to face thirty students, and was nervous about the language barrier. He didn’t want to say something that could be unintentionally offensive, or misunderstand a serious situation. He especially didn’t want to say a student’s name wrong. As he reached the school, he took in a deep breath, put on a smile, and walked into the building.
Stuart found his classroom on the third floor, where his students were already seated quietly. The principal, Mrs. Chan, introduced him as Mr. Pacmin. “This is Mr. Pacmin. Let us welcome him to our class!” she said as she lifted her hands to ask the students to stand.
“Good morning, Mr. Pacmin,” said the class in unisonThe principal left the classroom and allowed Stuart to get on with his lesson. He started by taking attendance.
“Lamb Chicken,” said Mr. Pacmin nervously, looking at the class. At first, no one responded. “Lamb Chicken,” repeated the teacher.
Slowly, he began to hear a giggle. Then another. And another. And another and another and another. In seconds, the class was laughing so hard that Mr. Pacmin cleared his throat.
“No Lamb Chicken. Is there a You so tan?” Mr. Pacmin asked again. A girl with fair complexion  raised her hand. “Oh!” the teacher smiled, “you not tan!”
It took the class a moment to catch on, but they burst into laughter again when they realised the teacher’s joke.
Mr. Pacmin became less nervous as the class seemed happy and he continued taking attendance. “Is there a Why so dim?” he asked as a girl raised her hand. “It’s so dim, can you please turn on the light?” The girl smiled as her classmates enjoyed the humour.
The new teacher was starting to like his new students a lot, and the kids seemed to really like him, too! This was going to be a good start.
Eventually, one humorous little boy raised his hand. The teacher nodded, and the boy stood politely. “My name is 林志健. Lam Chi-kin. And the other students are Yu So Tan and Wai So Tim.” Chi-kin paused to see if the teacher would get angry, but Mr. Pacmin just smiled and allowed him to continue.
“You, sir,” Chi-kin finally said, trying hard not to laugh, “are Mr. Stupid Butt-face!”
This time, the class laughed so hard that the floors started to shake!
But Mr. Pacmin was confused. He realised that the “stupid” came from his name, Stuart, but he couldn’t understand how they thought of “Butt-face”.
The class settled down after a couple of minutes and Chi-kin stood up to explain the joke. “In Cantonese,” he said, “Pac means butt, and min means face. You are Mr. Stuart Pac-min, so, you are Mr. Stupid Butt-face!”
Everyone, including the teacher, were almost in tears from laughing so much!
At that moment, Mr. Pacmin – or rather, Mr. Butt-face – realised that sometimes having perfect English wasn’t always helpful! That, and he really had to learn Cantonese!

Moral of The Story:

always think of the context

將…置於其背景下考慮

There are many different kinds of English, so not everything is a “model answer”. Sometimes, even English teachers have a hard time with the language.

有許多不同種類的英語,所以不是一切是一個“標準答案有時,即使英語教師對這語言感困難

Written by Mikipedia and Kifter
Credits to FunnyJunk for some of the names.