The Disadvantage of Staying Out

The Disadvantages of Staying Out

As promised I will post, according to my opinion, the disadvantages of staying out while studying English in Cebu.

ACCOMMODATION

Looking a nice and safe accommodation might take much of your time. There are many apartments available but going to many houses to check the place personally might take at least one whole day or even more than that.

LOCATION

Cebu is a small city. You can view the main area of the city in less than one day but looking for an accessible place to stay can be also be tiring.

TEACHERS

If you plan to stay out and study with a private tutor, the quality and teaching of skills of tutor is not guaranteed to be effective unlike when you study in a school where teachers are trained and goes through a formal hiring process.

CLASSROOM

If you rent in an apartment, the tendency is for you study in your own bedroom or own living room. As a teacher, I do not think is the best place to learn. Bed, TV and food can really be an irresistible distraction. You might feel easily sleepy and you might slack off easily.

BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES

Obviously, your books and other learning materials are limited. Although your learning won’t be entirely be affected.  But it does have an impact.

CLASSMATES AND PEERS

Having somebody that you share the goal with is good for you in order to sustain. Living and studying alone can make you feel bored and there is a higher tendency for you to lose your focus and be distracted.

 My Final Advice:

The decision is always yours. Choose what you think is best for you and which way you think is suitable for you in learning English. What matters is your own determination! Study Smartly.

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

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Stay in School or Stay Out and Study

There has been many  questions to foreigners who wishes to study in Cebu to either stay in a school or rent a house and hire a private tutor. For me, both has its own advantages and disadvantages. Also, timing must also be considered as well. If you are fresh student in Cebu, I do suggest to enroll in real English academy. Why? It is simply because the school can help you a lot.

Studying in a school helps you in many ways. First, your processes of papers such as SSP (Student Study Permit). Second, schools have organized structure for learning. They have Placement Test which assess your English Proficiency. This is important because you need to know which point of learning you are going to start working on. If you do this on your own without proper test, you might not fully sort out what you need to study and what you do not need to study. It could be a waste of time on your part. Third, safety and convenience. If you study in a school, you are safe because the administrator has surely look into that already. Unlike renting your own, you need to personally check how safe the place is. School and dormitories have security guards and other peace and order personnel. If,you also get sick, the school also has their own contact of doctors. Unlike when you stay alone, you need to go to hospital and ask for recommendation. In addition to all of this, studying in an English school can give you instant peer support. You automatically will have classmates, room mates and teachers. Your interaction with them is essential to keep you going. Social relationships does encourage you to study more. You can join group classes, school tours and other activities. All of these are absent if you decide to rent a house and student alone. 😦

These are just some disadvantages I see.  On my next post, to be neutral, I would also post the disadvantages of staying out. This way you could judge on your own which you prefer.

 

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

Study Tip: Be good student

For the past ten years of teaching career, until now it is hard to label and recognize what a good student is. Some teachers say a good student makes her home work, a good student is someone who goes to the class even if it is against her will or some say a good student is someone who participates in class. All of these can be a basis of what a good student is.

But in my opinion, especially in learning an English language, a good basis to identify a good student should be focused on the result. By result, I mean the ability to use the newly learned English language.  Result should also not be focused on the speaking alone but rather on all aspects including reading, writing and listening as well.

The common mistakes of students assume is when they solely judge their English level skills on the way they speak – only the way they speak. So, if they can’t speak, they would regard themselves poorly. While a student who speaks fast, regardless of grammatical errors, as long as the student is able to utter in English, they an EFL student naturally assumes the student possess a greater English level.  Although, speaking is the easiest way the knowledge of language is quickly available, this is not so. All skills must be considered because they go hand in hand in learning English.

If you are a Japanese or Korean learning the English language, do be frustrated if your English speaking skills is quite low but try to look into your other skills which you have a high level on and use this to support your weaker skills.

 

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

Study Tip: Have a Pocket Size Vocabulary Notebook

When you learn a new language, in one class alone, you will learn a lot of new words. Sometimes, it is common for students to feel overloaded.

ISOLATED MEMORIZING

Memorizing 5o words a day I say is pretty useless. In my teaching carrier, I have seen students mostly Korean) that has very long lists of words they try to re-write and re-write in the hope that they would naturally memorize the long lists. As a teacher, I say. It is only a waste of time. Because spend all night trying to memorize the whole fifty words all night, the next day, they end up being absent in my class. 😦 Some students who are very good in memorixing can actually memorize the word and their meaning but they fail when they can’t use the word on their own. My language teacher once said “Even if you know a certain word, but still you do not know how to use, it is the same as not knowing it. It’s actually useless.” So I agree with him. Knowing a word does not stop in understanding but also in using it.

HAVE VOCABULARY NOTEBOOK

During your stay in Cebu, you will tantamount of words here and there but do expect yourself to understand and memorize everything right away. It will only frustrate you. Even I am not that good in remembering right away. So insteadm have a vocabulary notebook. I suggest a pocket sized is ideal so you can bring it anywhere with you.  So when you learn a new word or expression while buying something at the mall, take a note of it right away. Bring this everywhere you go — malls, restaurants and etc. Promise yourself to write a few words a day. There should be a limit. Do not write all the new words that you know. You won’t have time for all of it. So let’s say, you write 3 to 5 words a day. Write these words and get their meanings. (Do not go more than 5. It might be too much and you will be tired. ) Review these words at night and try to use it the way it is used from where you learned it, but create your own sentence.

BE CONSISTENT

Five words a day may seem to little, a bit to less and you might worry your level is dragging. But do not panic. The key thing here is consistency not speed. Just be consistent in writing 3 to 5 words a day and after few weeks you will learn more and more, after a few years you will know more than hundred words without so much effort. So be consistent in making this simple homework.

I have seen students with long impractical list to memorize but after few days, they soon give up everything. Too much of something is bad enough. Just imagine yourself like a baby learning to walk — they start by crawling till they can run.

 

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

 

 

 

English Learning Site: BBC Learning English

As we all know, the English people are more conservative with the way they speak the language since it is originally from them. Based on my understanding, they are more strict on rules of the language and adherence to this is so much valued compared to elsewhere. British Broadcasting Company or BBC creatd a fascinating website to help learners of the English language learn by themselves.

Here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

One thing I like about this website is the organization itself. They offer Business English, General English, Vocabulary and Pronunciation and others such as tests and learning series. You can just click on the category you wish to study. Piece of cake! The learnig categories usually starts with the listening with a script — the vocabulary highlighted and then explained. From here, you can learn on your own. You can review the audio file over and over again as long as you like.

For students, BBC is one website that is dedicated to aid students on their own. Isn’t great? I will write more on BBC Learning English Site in more detailed post – by section later on and I will give tips on how to go about it to maximize it’s potential.

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

How to Say to No Friends’ Pressure When Studying Abroad

Staying abroad can be so much fun. You have the ultimate freedom of your own life. No parents. No guardian but yourself. Studying in Cebu can surely be more exciting for many reasons. For one, Cebu is inexpensive when it comes to enjoying – dining out and drinking out at night. Other outdoor activities too are so much cheaper – diving, going to the beach, island hoping and sightseeing. These fun activities can be very exciting but at times these can be a major distraction!

Staying in Cebu to study English you need friends to cope with loneliness being away from your family and boredom being away from your close friends. You certainly need new friends especially if you are going to stay for more than two months. No man is an island as they say.

The issue now here is to draw the line between friendship and your priorities in learning English. For the past ten years in the ESL business in Cebu, I have heard many reasons and excuses of why many of my students fail to do the take home task I asked them to. Almost 90 percent of their reasons are peer pressure. (Most of my students are Koreans).  These are the common excuses:

“My roommate wanted me to go with them last night. It was his farewell party so I decided to go. I got drunk.”

“My batch mate has a problem. We talked about it for until past midnight.”

“My friend wants to eat something special so we had to go out last night.”

In conclusion, friends can really impose a strong pressure especially while you are studying here abroad. So I just you should learn how to balance between friendship and yourself.  If you say no to your new foreign friends in Cebu, you might be really lonely and if you say yes to them all the time, you might end up stagnant in your English level.

Here  are some of the nicest excuse to refuse your friends when you have pressing academic matters to do:

“My teacher expects me to finish my homework tomorrow.”

“I have pair-work homework. If I do not do my task, my partner would suffer. It would be really unfair.”

“The whole class is counting on my report tomorrow so I have to give so much effort to it. I am afraid I can’t go out with you because I have big responsibility.”

“I need to finish something up. The teacher gave me this last chance. I have to do it tonight.”

In this conflicting situation, it is important be reminded of your GOAL. First things first. It might be hard depending on your own home culture but the best learning studying abroad is to stand on your own.

 

Thanks for reading,

Miss D

Study Tip: Write English in Facebook

One way to improve your English skill is to simply write English in Facebook  instead of  writing comments and posts in your mother language. Why? The explanation here is easy, it is still practice. But first we have to take into consideration that first, in Facebook, no one will correct your mistakes when you write English. This is a big disadvantage but on the other hand, but this is one freedom social media has given. Isn’t it smart to utilize this for you to learn English?

Comment in English

Post in English

Message in English

Chat in English

Learning a new language is lifestyle after all!

After you change your text in English, there are still other hidden ways you can learn:

Read photos with text in English. You can learn a lot from these small things.

Take time to skim short stories posted.

Take time to read posts in English.

Read comments in English.

Like Learning-English Fan Pages which can provide you practical learnin updates.

These are just simple ways to learn not inside the classroom.  You can learn on your own and if you have any questions about grammar from your readings, you can just ask your teacher. This way, you are not totally dependent on classroom input only but you are helping yourself learn English the way we live.

Thanks for reading,

Miss D