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Alan G.'s Resources

A lot of people don't connect clear speaking with writing skills, but I've noticed that lots of students, from elementary school through college make errors in spelling and grammar because of the influence of hearing others pronounce words incorrectly. For example,  "I don't know weather I'm going" or "Could you be quite, please? or "Me and my friend are...." The... read more

You may have heard that the Scholastic Aptitude Test is being redesigned, with a new version being introduced in 2016.  The testing company that creates the SAT has said that they will strive to make the test more relevant and more reflective of the content that high school students cover in their classwork. Therefore, there will be a reduced need to learn obscure words that are rarely... read more

For anyone that is preparing or thinking about preparing for one of the standardized 'high stakes' tests (you know which ones) -- the SAT, GRE, GMAT, ISEE, SSAT, and so on -- there's something you really should know about test development.   But first consider this. Wouldn't it be sensible for tests to discover what your strengths are and what you do well in?  Of course! But... read more

So you are wondering about another rule that English teachers tell you that is really a "myth."  It's that you can't begin a sentence with 'and,' 'but,' 'or,' 'yet,' or 'so.'  Well, you can.   Your teacher might correct you when you begin a sentence with "and." However, as long as your sentence is an independent clause, it's fine, and many of the... read more

Whether you're in middle school, high school, or college, it is almost certain that you will have writing assignments wherein you're required to take a position on a topic, and argue your position by providing a thesis and supporting points.   For example, a typical subject might be "The death penalty should be abolished," or "High schools should institute a pass/fail grading... read more

Educational administration, whether at a small college or a major university, requires a lot of tactical efforts, not just educational efforts. Think about all those courses and who must determine their time slots and assign classroom space. Think of the first day of a semester when students are rushing to find out where their class meets. Imagine if you had a job where your office location... read more

To add to the excellent explanations, there is another use of the word "affect," which is particularly important for anyone studying psychology or education, but is bound to turn up in other subjects as well.  "Affect" is often used as a noun, in which case it means something...

Have you taken a full year or two of a foreign language, and wish to have an enjoyable way to increase, improve, and expand your vocabulary and comprehension of the language in 'real' life? Here is an easy and rewarding way to do so. First, let's figure what you usually 'need' for foreign language study: material in the language you're studying; a way to look up or translate unfamiliar words... read more

Here's a thought. A student in Philadelphia (close to where I used to live) received a perfect 2400 on her Scholastic Aptitude Test recently. To what did she attribute her high score? Well, she has read a lot ever since she was in primary school. But more importantly, she LIKES to read. Have you noticed that you often do well in a subject or a sport or just about any activity if you actually... read more

Have you scheduled a time to take one of the standardized tests listed in the subject line? Are you thinking about signing up to take one of them? Have you taken one already, but have decided to take it again in the hopes of getting a higher score? Have you taken one of the tests, and found the experience so rewarding, you plan to sign up and take the same test simply for the enjoyment? (If... read more

Flashcards have been used for a long time by students that want to broaden their vocabulary, whether for learning a second language or increasing one's vocabulary of your primary language. Before computers, students often used index cards and wrote a word on one side, and the meaning of the word, or the equivalent word in another language on the other side. Now there are all sorts of flashcard... read more

The two basic reference books for writers are the dictionary and the thesaurus. There are several good ones available--both in hard copy and online. However, if you want to find the exact word you need for a particular subject or build your vocabulary, whether the subject is technology, geography, history, architecture, business, politics, history, and so on, there are two books you should... read more

Math majors have included professional athletes, actors, writers (including the author of the original Dracula), not just students in white shirts and nerdy glasses. Here is a list of a few famous ones. Harry Blackmun - Supreme Court Justice Ahmed Chalabi ~ controversial Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago Lewis Carroll (AKA Charles... read more

If you are studying a foreign language or would like to, consider the various ways you can use film to make your studying more interesting. Here are some suggestions. DVDs often come with original language and dubbed language choices, as well as a choice of subtitle languages (and some have cloze-captioning for the hard of hearing options). If you’re studying French, for example, you could... read more

If you are studying for the AP English Literature test or taking English or Literature in high school or college, you probably have had to study Shakespeare, or perhaps plays from the modern period like those written by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, or Thornton Wilder. It's not easy to see a production of these plays unless you're lucky enough to be studying at the same time a production... read more

Students of all ages often wish they could have an electronic version of a book on study skills, a reference book, a book on math, a foreign language, or a book for learning English. Of course, you can always buy a download from the major vendors on the internet, but often we just need these books for a few weeks. You can gain access to lots of these electronic learning material for free if... read more

This is an old joke. What do you call a person that speaks one language? American! If you grow up in the United States, there's a good chance your experience with learning a second language (other than English) wasn't a pleasant one. There are probably dozens of reasons why. You hear responses like, "Everyone speaks English," "I don't have a chance to interact with people that... read more

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