Sunday, October 14, 2012

54. New [academic] Year Resolutions

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How many times have you got bored of, or felt discontented with, your day-to-day rhythms? Was there at least one particular situation you were in that made you say to yourselves ‘enough is enough’, or ‘I must do something about it’ [of which the latter does not actually mean ‘something must be done’ – you tell me why!]? If this is the case with you, you were about to take action towards what is usually called ‘New Year Resolutions’ – well, those are kept aside for December, of course: what I’m referring to is an extended metaphor. I’m referring, of course, to the new academic year.

You must be quite happy and feel relieved, for you are just a tiny number of the two billion learners of English worldwide, ready to grapple with the mysteries of the English language. I know what you’re thinking: this is not new. Every year is the same. We start in September or October and we are supposed to upgrade until next June enough for us to pass a test, which seems to be the condition for improvement.

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So far, so good. Now, where do you enter the scene? You know what you intend to achieve = a goal. What’s left for you to think about and do is find the way to get there. So this would be the how-to section.

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Every teacher taking his/her time would have started his/her endeavour by handing sheets to his/her students containing information about how to organize study. This time I didn’t...take my time (redundancy intended) simply because of what I said in the ‘about me’ section on the right, next to my photo: Information is out there, waiting for you to consult it, put it to use, take it in, make it yours.

Yet, a bit of help would come in handy. Here are some hints. Suggested answers to the exercises in the sheets below (which can be magnified by pressing ctrl and rolling the mouse wheel) - after the page break.