Saturday, 31 December 2011

Go Diego Go!

It's another Saturday afternoon, with nothing to do. Turned on the television, and found out that hindi movies are on almost all channel. So the only viable option would be TV9 - Wonderpets. Oh! I almost forgot to watch my weekly marathon of cartoon on Saturdays. It started with Wonderpets, followed by Go Diego Go, Dora the Explorer, Aahh, Real Monsters!!, Jimmy Neutron, and lastly, Spongebob. Oh, don't forget Upin & Ipin after that.

Go Deigo Go is actually a very good show, especially for kids trying to learn English. However, the horrible pronunciation of the characters - especially Diego- seemed to annoy me to the max. It might be okay if you mispronounce a word once in a while, but pronouncing the word 'correct' as 'kerek' every time he got it right did get on my nerves. Maybe the boy who voiced Diego should just stick with Shin Chan instead.

Another thing that annoys me is when he said "Oh! Serigala itu sudah hilang untuk kebaikan!" Obviously, the actual English sentence in " Oh! The wolves are now gone for good!" Direct translation... one of the main problems in Malaysian TV. Those are idioms, so you cannot just direct translate it.  The sentence should be " Oh! Serigala itu sudah hilang untuk selama lamanya!" or " Oh! Serigala itu tidak akan datang lagi!" I know that you have encountered these direct translation before. Share with me if you have, so we can discuss on this matter.

More game time! Yes!!

It is the last day of the year. I'm not in the mood to teach anything today. Maybe I'll play some games. But games are not the most beneficial things for us to do, especially if we want to improve our grammar. Maybe we can try reading? Yes. Reading is good. However, reading can be boring too. Is there a way that you can do both, playing a game while reading a book?

Actually you can. Have you heard of the term gamebooks? No? Thank you for making me feel very old. Gamebook was very popular in the 1980s. It is actually a book, but allows the reader to participate in the story by making effective choices to determine their own ending. It is like playing a role playing game (RPG), but the graphics and sounds are replaced by sentences. To play it, the readers need to choose the pages to go next. However, with the advancement of technology, there is no longer the need to flip pages.

I always enjoyed playing RPG, so I'm going to share with you an awesome website. Fighting Fantasy Project
In this website, you can choose to play (or to read) from over 30 gamebooks of different genres.

After you have chosen which one to play, you will have to choose your attributes first, just like playing most RPG. Then, it's hammer time!

Hopefully, apart from having fun whacking monsters and aliens, you will also learn something out of this. Look at the sentence structures! Identify them with the grammar rules that you have learned, be it here or in class.

Now who says that playing games is a waste of time?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

made of? made from?

I was cleaning the house earlier. While cleaning the kitchen cabinet, I actually found several interesting things.
last raya's cookies and some packed dates
no, I did not found my cat in there, but i did found a pack of asam keping and a box of SINGA tea (the best!)
a pack of unopened goji berries @ wolfberries
and lastly, a pack of candies, made of yak meat.
yes, YAK.

The last two items were presents from a friend from Xinjiang, China. Some of you may find the yak candy a bit  out of the ordinary, but actually it tastes quite nice. (I tried one and never touch them again^^). On the packaging, it says "This product is made of the meat of the yak, a unique treasure of the snow mountain and grassland of the Qinghai-Tibetan Highlands.

Eating a candy made of yak meat may be a challenge for some, but deciding whether to use 'made of' or 'made from' is far more challenging for some people. So how do you decide on which to use? Is any of them grammatically wrong?

Actually both are grammatically correct, but it is used in different context. The natural characteristics of the given object would help to determine on whether to use 'of' or 'from'.

Take a look at these examples:-

Plastics are made from oil.
These boxes were made from recycled plastic materials.
That chair is made of wood.
Wardina's hat is made of raccoon's fur.

If you noticed, 'made of' is used when we can still see the actual materials in the end product. If we take a look at a chair, we can still see the wood. But when we look at a plastic bottle, we cannot really see the oil, so the phrase 'made from' is used.

So, for the yak candy, it is made of yak meat, as you can still see, and even taste the texture of the meat.

what about these examples?

The slipper is made of / from a tire.
These customs are made of / from animal skins.
This special dress is made of / from silk.
The beads were made of / from hardened yellow pine sap.
The box is made of / from gold.

Post your answers in the comments, then we can discuss them together!
In the meantime, if any of you are visiting western China, you can bring back anything for me, other than the yak candies ^^

Monday, 26 December 2011

All play and no work makes us very happy ^^

Previously we have learn a thing or two about adjectives. Since all of you have an idea on the topic, its time to play a game!

I found this when I was surfing around the web aimlessly one day (believe me!) It is actually a game where you can choose between three roles in a newspaper company. All you have to do is read the description given and choose the right person for the article.
you can play it by clicking this link Yay! It's play time!
Here is a bit of a preview.

You can also explore the webpage, as the page provides you with an introduction video on the topic, and also some exercises for different levels.

Not interested in those games? Try these other games.
Feeding flies to the right spider careful, they might bite your finger!

Found the games that you like yet? ^^


This is my cat. He is big. He is grey. He is fuzzy. In a nutshell, Boo (his name) is a big, gray and fuzzy cat... Or should I say a gray, fuzzy and big cat? A fuzzy , big, gray cat? A gray, big, fuzzy cat?


For those who are not very sure on how to arrange these adjectives in a series, there is actually a pattern for this. Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you to the royal order of adjectives.

As you can see, all the adjectives can be classified in different categories. So, looking at the table, I should say "Boo is a big (size), fuzzy (shape) and grey (colour) cat." If I am to add more adjectives, such as "expensive(observation)", I should say it before I say all of the physical descriptions - Boo is an expensive, big, fuzzy and grey cat.
There will be some exceptions to the pattern in the table above, but this table will help you. Do not worry if you are still confused with this pattern. Practice, and in time, this order will become instinctive when you use the language.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Know yourself from your smile ^^

I came across this picture in my Facebook. Who posted it, I'm not sure. Just look at the smiley, and if you come across a recognizable word, write it down. The first 4 words you saw would be the words that describe you. Try it!

For myself, I found CHARISMATIC, CHARMING, TALENTED and ELEGANT, which describe me perfectly. lol.

These describing words are called adjectives or words that give more information about the object signified. Some of the other common adjectives include:-
  • a beautiful girl
  • a handsome lecturer who will give me an A
  • a big, bad, brown cat

So, what are the adjectives that describe you?

It's official. I AM scared of grammar.

Greetings. As you all know, this blog is actually just a requirement for a course that I'm taking. But I'm trying my best to make sure that this blog would be beneficial to all, and off course I do hope that Sir Hadi would give a good mark for this effort ^^.

Back to the topic. Today I had to answer a questionnaire containing a grammar test. Yes. A grammar test. Out of all the topic under the sun, why does it have to be grammar? It's not that I hate grammar, I just have the difficulty in identifying the different parts of speech. Of course, I do know the basic stuff, like nouns, adjectives, etc. However, words and phrases like possessive adjectives, subject nominative, predicate nominative etc do freak me out.
                                         My face after seeing the questions, literally.

However, as an English educator-to-be, I should have a good understanding on the different parts of speech. So it is hoped that this blog will not only benefit the readers, but also myself. Enough with all the rantings. Hope that all of you would gain something out of this. Enjoy!