Saturday, February 22, 2020

5 Traits of a Successful English Learner

At any moment I believe there is at least one human being asking how they can learn English effectively and achieve their linguistic goals in the shortest time frame possible. I myself am an English learner and the fact that my bread and butter now is teaching English doesn't diminish it to the slightest degree: I was, am, and will always be an English learner. Through this article I'd like to discuss 5 qualities that are possessed and shown by successful learners of this sexy language (and also any other tongues, I think). This is wholly based on my own English-learning experience as well as my collective observation of my students and other English learners. Happy reading!

1. Love

Love is one of the greatest forces in life. When we hear the word "love", it usually conjures up images of a couple hugging, kissing, or doing other romantic stuff. However, love is broader in scope and involves feelings toward inanimate objects, such as languages, as well. If you are aiming for success in learning English, love is the most important quality you need to possess. When you love something, it is always easy to achieve what you want with it, isn't it? You will learn without having to be told to, because it comes from the deepest of your heart. Love of English will keep you moving forward and decimate any obstacles getting in the way of your awaiting success!

2. Curiosity

I have also noticed that high-achieving English learners are those who maintain a high level of curiosity. English is like a complex puzzle that needs to be solved but there are certain patterns or guidelines that can help you master this language. This should be a very fun activity but it requires a substantial amount of time and effort. You need to always crave for more and keep being insatiably curious. For example, if you know the word "happy", do you know other phrases or expressions that express the same idea? Its synonyms maybe? As for grammar, it is essential to get into the habit of asking "why?" Why do we need to put the -ing form after the word "enjoy"? Why is the phrase "extreme tall" grammatically wrong? Your English-learning experience will be markedly different with the existence of this quality.

3. Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic is crucial to the development of one's English proficiency. With burning enthusiasm, you will achieve in one day what mediocre ones would in a week. Within the same window of time, learners with such a characteristic will finish five long grammar exercises while apathetic ones may even struggle to complete one short exercise. Practice does make perfect and it is only with enthusiasm that this can be effectively done. Just like the power of love, if you are exuberant, you do what you need to do on your own initiative. However, it is important to keep in mind that this quality has to be paired with consistency; otherwise, the impact would not really be significant.

4. Reflection

Just as we look in the mirror before starting off for a wedding party to ensure that our appearance will not disappoint the guests, it is essential that we regularly & continually reflect on our English learning. Try to ask yourself such questions as "How long have I been learning English?", "What improvements have I made?", and "What areas do I still need to work on?" On a smaller scale, you can review what you have just said or written. Was my pronunciation entirely correct? Did I use the correct verb forms? Is this sentence grammatically perfect? Did I make any mistakes in terms of punctuation and capitalization? Doing self-assessment is, indeed, critical for your success in learning English.

5. Humility

Last but not least, aside from making you a likable human being, humility helps you reach what otherwise would be unreachable. I personally believe that we can learn from anyone, anywhere, and anytime. What we have experienced cannot be 100% the same as what others have. Therefore, even if you think you know everything, you actually do not. Being humble must be part of your disposition if you are to attain optimal outcomes from your English-learning experience. Admitting that we are not perfect is not a weakness; on the contrary, it is a strength. There are always gaps in our knowledge and it is conceivable that there are many people who have pieces of knowledge and probably tips/advice that we do not know. Thus, willingness to learn from such people and ask for their help is key to enhancing your English skills. Look around and you may see an opportunity to take your English to the next level!

I hope this article is particularly helpful for your English-learning voyage! Please write you think in the comment section below!

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Quote #59

"Some people may think that what a single individual does will not achieve a substantially positive impact if the rest of society does not do the same for the betterment of the world. However, there are several things to keep in mind. Firstly, such a deed will still make an impact, no matter how trivial it may seem. Secondly, you may not know how great the produced accumulative ripple effect will be. Lastly, obviously you cannot really control others, but it is you yourself who you are in absolute control of. I find that it is highly prudent to focus on what you can do to make contributions to the world rather than stressing about things that are out of your control." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Sunday, January 5, 2020


Teardrops fall incessantly
The overcast sky shows no sign of a bright day
My past was completely bleak, hauling you into sorrow
Splintering hearts
I never expected this to transpire

Where is the so-called true love which people say?
Can't you forgive me this time?
Your impeccable visage
Can I put my lips there?
Don't you know how feeble I am without your existence?

Never have I intended to crush your heart
But I cannot deny reality
Those dazzlingly beautiful memories
Will they remain only in my mind?
I will leave if that is what you ultimately want

The creation of this poem was inspired by Ge Qian (擱淺) by Jay Chou.
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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Quote #58

"A language learner's archenemy is, rather ironically, their own native language." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Evolution in Minutes – Book Review

Evolution in Minutes
by Dr. Darren Naish

Evolution in Minutes by Dr. Darren Naish is the very first volume fully dedicated to discussing evolution in my book collection that I've read. There is the Indonesian saying "kecil-kecil cabe rawit," which would translate to something like this in English: "Although small, they're/it's a bird's eye chili". I think this reference to a person's/thing's superb quality despite their/its small size aptly describes what this little book is like – keep in mind that it is composed of over 400 pages, however.

Of course, evolutionary change cannot be detected in minutes since the process is gradual and generational; instead, the title refers to the organization of the book whereby readers can learn about a topic in evolution in a matter of minutes. Evolution in Minutes is divided into 13 chapters, each of them nesting a number of sub-chapters. Personally I love how this book is laid out: the sub-chapters typically consist of a left-hand page for discussion text (3 paragraphs maximum) and a right-hand page for an illustration related to the topic (mostly with a caption as well).

The breadth of the information contained by this book is breathtakingly vast (it even touches the subjects of racism, consciousness, language, and future evolution) and I have acquired a prodigious amount of knowledge about this biological phenomenon through this fascinatingly readable book. Dr. Naish, without a single shadow of a doubt, is one of my most favorite authors. He masterfully crafts this book with easily digestible language yet in an outstandingly elegant fashion – I highly admire his explanatory skills and educational endeavors in science communication. I would hugely recommend Evolution in Minutes to anyone interested in biology, paleontology, nature, (pre)history, and/or evolution. Read this wondrously illuminating book and you'll end up with a much greater understanding and appreciation of the natural history of our planet and its underlying force.

If you are a dinosaur enthusiast, you should also check out Dr. Naish's other book Dinosaurs: How they lived and evolved, which he co-authored with his colleague Paul M. Barrett (read my review of the first edition here).

Have you read Evolution in Minutes? What is your opinion of this book? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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Monday, October 14, 2019

Quote #57

"Try to see a reality as it is, not a skewed version which is a product of your own self-centeredness." - Klinsman Hinjaya
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Friday, October 11, 2019