10 Rules for Positive Parenting

1.  Know your child. Parents fall short when they try to make their children more intelligent, assertive, and graceful or accomplished than they are naturally disposed to be. They fail them just as much when they ignore or deny their real talents and temperament. 

2.  Know yourself. Examine your motives in wanting more from your child. Parents may have their own shame or unmet needs that they project onto their children.

     Do you want our child to take dance lessons because your parents forced them on you? Were you a mediocre athlete but hope for trophy in the next generation?

3.  Educate yourself. Talk to other parents and your pediatrician, and read child-development books to learn what you can reasonably except from your child at each stage of his life.

4.  Empathize. Take time to see yourself through your child’s eyes. Do you act embarrassed by him? Do you point out only his mistakes? Would you want to be treated that way?

5.  Make adjustments. “No one responds well to someone who is accusatory or judgemental. If you find yourself harping on what your child can’t do, refocus on her strengths. Once you change your attitude, you may find that she changes too.

6.  Collaborate. Create a partnership with your child in which he can participate in setting appropriate goals and solving problems.

7.  Read how your child feels. Your child’s behavior- anger, fidgeting, procrastination- says a lot about whether she is being asked to do more than she can manage.

8.  Explore possibilities. A good way to encourage I to expose your children to a variety of environments, including sports, the arts, nature and science.

9.  Keep your eye on the end goal. A parent’s main objective should be to raise a child who loves well and takes pleasure in life. You don’t want to stifle curiosity, initiative and confidence.

10.   Avoid comparisons. A style of parenting that works for one child may backfire for his sibling. Every child has his own personality.

Tips for Speaking English Better

Language study requires hard work and careful effort. Some ways have proven themselves more successful than others. Ten such ways are given here for your improvement.
 1. Find a Partner.
 Communication in any language is really practical when there are two agents. Therefore, at the beginning you have to find a partner for making English conversation and it is better to find a partner from your peers with whom you are really comfortable to communicate may be with all your mistakes
2. Start thinking everything in English and use chunks.
 Don’t try to speak sentences translated from other languages. Always think in English and speak spontaneously. Talk to yourself. Play back in your mind the language what you just heard, mimicking (to copy the way somebody speaks) intonation, stress (an extra force used when pronouncing a particular word), etc. This will help you to improve your fluency.
 This helps the beginners particularly. Chunks are phrases or groups of words which can be learnt as a unit by one who is learning a language. Examples of chunks are ‘Can I have the bill, please?’ and ‘Pleased to meet you’, etc. This is another way to improve your fluency. It is because, while learning English, it is very important to notice how words are often heard together.
3.Don’t worry too much about Making Mistakes.
  Get over your shyness and hesitation. Use the language as often as you can; may be with a lot of mistakes at the beginning. Slowly, you will be all right. The more you speak the faster you will learn. Also don't try to avoid the “illers’ /noises’, “repetition of words’, ‘pauses’ etc.
Even the native speakers use “filler’ phrases to varying degrees. These are phrases like “What I’m trying to say is ...”, “If you know what I mean . . . “, “Let me think a minute here...”etc., which give speakers a small space to think before they express their next idea.

4. Don’t worry about starting trouble
  Even native speakers of English find it difficult to get started. So, don’t let the starting trouble disturb you. Using discourse markers (a word or phrase that organizes spoken language into different parts, for example ‘Well …’ or ‘On the other hand …’) is a good idea in handling starting trouble.
 Okay, all right, right then, well, hmm’, you know, like, etc., are all examples of discourse markers used in conversation. They are employed to give the speaker a second to think about what he wants to say. At the beginning don’t speak fast. Being fluent does NOT mean speaking quickly. It is better to speak slowly and clearly at the beginning than quickly and incoherently. People will not understand you if you speak too quickly with the wrong intonation (the rise and fall of the voice in speaking, especially as this affects the meaning of what is being said).

5. Don’t follow written English Style and don’t learn by heart.
 Don’t try to follow a formal written English style or don’t make deliberate attempts to speak full and complete sentences as in written English. Also don’t try to connect your sentences through logical connectors like ’Above all’, ‘in addition to’ etc.
6. Hear English Everywhere.
 Have you ever asked yourself: “How did I learn my own language?” In fact, you never really “learned” it at all - you just started speaking it. One day, when you were about two or three years old, you started speaking your language. A few words at first, not full sentences. But you spoke. And very soon you made progress without even thinking about it.
It was like magic ! But it wasn’t magic. It was the result of hearing. For two to three years before you spoke, you heard people speaking your language all day and may be all night. You heard people speaking your language. May be you listened to people, but more importantly you heard them. For two to three years, words went IN to your head.
Then words came OUT of your head! That is why hearing (and listening to) English as much as possible is so important to you now. The more English you put in, the more you’ll get out! There are many ways of hearing English:
Two of the best international networks are the BBC World Service and Voice of America. Both of them have special programmes for learners of English. In addition to this you can make it a habit to listen to News broadcast by All India Radio.
TV helps both in hearing and listening to English. The pictures help you understand what is being said. Again BBC, CNN, DD News, NDTV24/7, Star News etc, are the good choices to serve our purpose. When you are watching TV, observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech.
Make it a habit to watch to English films. If you need to read the sub-titles, at least you’ll be hearing English even if you don’t understand it.
CD Player / Computer:
CD player has one really great advantage. You can hear/watch repeatedly by replaying them. If there are sub-titles, you can cover them with paper (which you can remove if you really don’t understand after listening several times).
 Try to make friendship with English-speaking people so that you can practice your English through conversation. This will serve as an exercise for your speaking as well as listening. At least you can chat a little by telephone. Thus, if you want to speak English better in the future, speak it as much as, possible NOW! Finally, don’t worry if you don’t understand everything you hear. Hearing comes first! Understanding comes next!
 Record your own voice (if possible) and listen for pronunciation mistakes.
7. Develop your Active Vocabulary.
 Active vocabulary consists of the words you use frequently and comfortably in speaking and writing, while passive vocabulary consists of the words you recognize when you read and listen. So one has to increase his Active Vocabulary to be good speaker.

Learn new words every day. If you add 5 words a day, to your vocabulary, you will learn about 150 new words a month. As you are searching for words that you want to know, it will be easier to remember them. Do it this way
 a) Keep a small notebook handy: Think of a word you know in your mother tongue. As you read, study, listen to TV or talk with other people, note down words and expressions that you think would be helpful for you. 
b) Look it up in your dictionary. Refer only an English - English dictionary. Get into the habit of looking up words which you don't know and their phonetic symbols (for correct pronunciation of words when you are not sure).
 c) Write the English definition of every thing.
d) Copy a sentence from the dictionary. This will help you learn how to use the word correctly. Do not yet write your own sentence. Practice reading this sentence until it becomes natural for you.

8. Make Substututions.
 If you learn some basic sentences in English, you will be able to make unlimited number of sentences based on this basic structure. This process is called substitution. Let us see how it works : Basic sentence  : Do you speak English?
 I. Do you speak Hindi / Do you speak Spanish? / Do you speak Tamil ? / Do you speak Greek? / Do you speak Italian ? (Just imagine how many sentences you can make substituting English).
II. Do your sisters speak English (Just imagine how many sentences you can make substituting you into your...
 III.Do you speak English fluently?  (Just imagine how many sentences you can make adding one more word )    
 9. Read aloud (the books that are not too difficult).
Read aloud in English for one to two hours each day. This will help you strengthen the mouth muscles that you use when you speak English. It will also help you to Listen, Speak and learn new words.
Find a book that is not too difficult - don’t be embarrassed to start with a children’s storybook with pictures! Once you feel comfortable with these kinds of books, you can start reading simple short stories and then graduate to novels
 10. Make a promise.
It is said that zeal without action is fire without heat. So be active from today. Even make a promise to follow all the above tips. On one fine day you will be speaking fluent English. It is true like law of gravitation. Follow the AIM CARD that will be given to you at the beginning of the course. So this is a new day in your life. Look forward. Success will be yours.
Remember for speaking better in English you have to listen and read a lot.

Words having same pronunciation but different meanings....

English is full of words that sound similar or identical, but that mean different things. Only in English can you “stare at the stair,” “sail to the sale,” “break the brake,” or “brush the hare’s hair.” Such words are called HOMOPHONES.

HOMOPHONES - Each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling.

It can be hard to remember which spelling refers to which meaning. As a result, sound-alike words are often used incorrectly in writing. (In spoken English, of course, sound-alikes are not an issue. Spelling doesn’t matter when you talk!)

          This post includes fourteen sound-alike word groups that tend to give writers fits. Read the definitions, and memorize the helpful hints. You’ll be on your way to better written grammar in no time at all!

1. Don’t confuse “except” and “accept.

In its most common usage, “except” is a preposition. It means with the exception of: Everyone except Hector went to the circus. “Accept” is a verb. It means to receive, approve, or believe: Denise accepted the award. I was accepted to the gifted program. I accept what you’re telling me. To keep “except” and “accept” straight, remember that “a” is the first letter of the word “action.” “Accept,” which is a verb and therefore an action word, also starts with “a”.

2. Don’t confuse “affect” and “effect.

“Affect “is a verb. It means to influence something: His hard work will affect his grade in that course. “Effect” is usually a noun, and it means the result of something: His hard work will have a good effect on his grade in that course.

        The word “effect” is also sometimes (though not often) used a verb. As a verb, the word means to make something happen: That new law will certainly effect change.

         To keep “affect” and “effect” straight, apply the same rule you learned in the Tip 1. “Affect” is an action word “effect” usually isn’t.

3. Don’t confuse “capitol” and “capital.”

         A “capitol” is a building where a state’s or country’s government meets: The officials gathered in the capitol.

        The noun “capital” has several meanings. A capital may be the city that contains the capitol: Pierre is the capital of South Dakota. It can refer to wealth: She will need a lot of capital to start her own business. It can mean an uppercase letter: Always use a capital at the beginning of a sentence. And finally, it can refer to the main or most famous city in a certain respect: Philadelphia is sometimes called cheesesteak capital of the world.

         If you get mixed up, just remember that “capitol” only means a government building. For every other usage, “capital” is the correct word.

4. Don’t confuse the words “compliment” and “complement.

“Compliment” can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means a flattering remark: She always receives lots of compliments when she wears that beautiful dress.  As a verb, it means to give a compliment: John complimented Lara on her new hairdo.

       “Complement” can also be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it means something that completes or improves something else: Gravy is the perfect complement to mashed potatoes. As a verb , it means to complete or to improve: The players’ styles complemented each other nicely.

         It may help to picture the word “complement” as “comple(te)ment.”

5. Don’t confuse “stationary” and “stationery.

 “Stationary” is an adjective. It means staying in one place: Judy exercised by riding the stationary bicycle.

     “Stationary” is a noun. It means writing materials: Lisa’s stationery is covered with pictures of teddy bears.

       To tell the difference between these words, remember that “stationary”, which is an adjective, is the word that contains the “a” instead of the “e” – and “a” stands for adjective.

6. Don’t confuse “principle” and “principal.

            “Principle” is a noun. It means a basic rule or assumption: He struggled to learn the principles of geometry. “Principal” can be a noun or an adjective. As a noun, it usually means the leader of a school or business: The principal gave me detention. The executives wrote a report for the principals. As an adjective, it means most important: Lester has the principal role in the play.

           Here’s a memory shortcut for you. Remember this phrase: “The principal is your pal.” That takes care of the noun version of the word. As for the rest…. Well, once again, the “a” in “principal” stands for “adjective.”

7. Don’t confuse “then” and “than.

“Then” is an adverb. It indicates a time sequence: Carrie sneezed, and then blew her nose. “Than” is usually a conjunction. It indicates a comparison: My brother is two years older than I am. That’s easier said than done.

8. Don’t confuse “further” and “farther.

  “Further” can be an adverb or an adjective. As an adverb, it means to a greater degree: The disobedient child further annoyed her tired mother. As an adjective, it means additional: Eddie needed further help.

         “Farther” can also be an adverb or an adjective. As an adverb, it means to a greater distance: The library is a little farther down this road. As an adjective, it means more distant: There are more coconuts on the farther side of the island.

          Remember that in either form, the word “farther” always involves measurable distance. If you could use a ruler on something, “farther” is correct. If not, “further” is the word you’re looking for.


9. Don’t confuse “lie” and “lay.

In their verb forms, “lie” and “lay” are two of the, most commonly confused words in the English language. So if you have a trouble in this area, you are not alone!

         The word “lie” has many definitions. Its most often confused one is to rest in a horizontal position:  The cat lies on its cushion. The word “lay,” too, has many definitions, but its most often confused one is to put in positions: Lay your coat on the couch.

          It Might help you to remember that “lay” always requires an object. That is, you must always say what you’re laying for this word to be correct. You can “lay down the law” (lay what? The law) but you can’t “lay on the bed” (lay what? A pillow)

         There is no simple solution to this grammar challenge. Practice until you get it right!

10. Don’t confuse “sit” and “set.

The difference between “sit” and “set” is very similar to the difference between “lie” and “lay.” In its most common definition, “sit” means to rest on the haunches: The elephant will sit on that little stool. The most often confused meaning of “set” is to place: Rosie set the apple on the table.

      “Sit” is not often used in place of “set.” “Set,” however, is commonly misused. You might hear someone saying, “I think I’ll just set here awhile.” Wrong!

      Here’s a hint. Like “lay,” “set” requires an object. If the object is missing, you know the word “set” is wrong.

11. Don’t confuse “it’s” and “its.”

A lot of people make this mistake, but it’s actually an easy one to avoid if you remember that “it’s” is always a contraction for either “it is” or “it has.” In every other circumstance, “its” is correct

Right: It’s a bad idea.

Right: The bird carries worms to its babies.

     When in doubt, substitute the words “it is” for “its” or “it’s.” It is a bad idea sounds right, so you know the contraction “it’s” is appropriate. The bird carries worms to it is babies, however, is obviously wrong, so you must go with “its.”

12. Don’t confuse “you’re” and “your.”

These words, too, are easy to tell apart if you remember that “you’re” is always a contraction for “you are.” In most other circumstances, “your” is correct. (There is another sound-alike word, “yore,” which means long ago. But most people don’t use this word too much. “You’re” and “your” are much more common.)

    In these examples, “you’re” and “your” are used correctly:

                  You’re my best friend.

                 Can I borrow your book?

Use the same substitution trick you learned in Tip 10 if you are not sure which word to use. You’ll see very quickly that You are my best friend is correct while Can I borrow you are book is not correct.

13. Don’t confuse “they’re” and “there” and “their.

 Once again, contraction can help you. Start by remembering that “they’re” is always a contraction for “they are”: They’re going to spend the day at the beach.

      The next two are a little trickier, but still not too tough. “There” is usually an adverb, and it indicates a place or position: Stand over there. There he is. “Their” is an adjective, and it indicates possession: The rock pile blocked their path. (Whose path? Theirs)

      Here’s a memory trick to help you. “There” is spelled like “where.” If you can ask the question “where” about a sentence (Stand where? There. He is where? There.), then sound0-alike word “there” is the right choice.

14. Don’t confuse “too,” "two" and “to.” 

“Too” is an adverb. It can mean either in addition. Give me some cookies, too! or overly: There are too many mosquitoes out tonight.

    “Two” is usually an adjective, and it indicates a number: Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

    “To” is usually a preposition. In its most common usage, it indicates movement toward a person, place, or thing: I biked to school. I gave the gum to Pete.

    For most people, the word “two” isn’t the problem. “To” and “too,” however, are often confused. Unfortunately, there is no easy trick to remembering how these words are used. This is one more area where practice makes perfect.