Friday, April 30, 2021

Thinking In A Second Language

 The key to being fluent in a language is to think in that language.  Easier said than done!  To a certain extent you can prepare by learning a lot of general words like "thing", "stuff", "gizmo", "person", "machine", and so on.  But mainly, there's a technique to limiting yourself to the words in the new language that you do know.  I ran across a wonderful explanation,  How To Think in English by Rachel Smith.

Of course her explanation is aimed at ESL students but the technique and exercises work for any language.

I've used these exercises over the years, myself, but Rachel came up with an especially good suggestion I never thought of.  Try this just as you are dropping off to sleep.  You might even dream in the second language!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Simple Past of Popular Irregular Verbs

Today I made a little progress with my ongoing project to download all the free flashcards at  

Now having some graphics to work with, I turned the flashcard pdf set of "Simple Past of Irregular Verbs" into a Google Slides show and posted the results under the Portfolio tab. It still needs some work.  The first slide centered slightly differently from the others and the show has only simple controls (Google Slides default). Plus I still need to add audio!

Adding audio for the first time may turn into rather a project; so it may not get done until this weekend.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Free Tools and Yet More Free Tools

 Along with Google's Blogger, I've started using Google Docs and Google Slides.  Then I signed up with the free version of yet more slideshow / video / graphics / animation / lesson builders offering lots of fancy bells and whistles.  Even the free versions have lots to offer.  So far the list includes:

Plus I downloaded YouCam Essential (free software download) but If I want to really use it I don't know if it will remain free.

I'll post links to the best (or at least the least lame) of my creations under the Portfolio tab.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Word "Serendipity"

Since this is a blog about language, here is one of my favorite words, "Serendipity", which I mentioned last time.

Word: serendipity

Sylables: ser•en•dip•i•ty

Part of Speech: This is a noun. It can also be turned into an adjective: serendipitous.  Can it be used as an adverb, "serendipitously"?  I don't see why not.

Meaning: An unplanned, fortunate event or discovery.  Something that happens by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

Example: Finding an empty parking place right by the front door was a bit of serendipity and meeting you here was also serendipitous.  Plus the speaker's advice addresses both our problems most serendipitously!

Sounds per Phonetic Alphabet: /ˌserənˈdipədē/
Pronounced slowly, sound by sound, the word is ser-en-DI-pi-ty.  
However the last part is generally said fast, all at once, like “dippity”. "Ser-En-Dipity"

Saturday, April 24, 2021

New Blogger Blog

I've signed up with three, free, blogging platforms:

-- Google's Blogger (this Blogspot blog). It is easy to use and of course it automatically gets Googled.  That's a plus in some situations.

-- Serendipity.  The company name is one of my favorite words.  But I chose it because it has a lot of good features and uses php, a computer language which I know to a certain extent.

-- Edublogs.  It's a good platform for teachers and students. They automatically block search engine scans such as Google.  That is also a plus in some situations.

This is the Blogspot  blog which you can access directly at

It also appears on this page using php's file_get_contents() function.