31 May 2008

Checking out new features

Since I am barely a fortnight into bloging, I still have heaps to learn. I wish I had got into this sooner. Am feeling like I missed the bus. Any tips my friends in IT have to share will be great. Specially if it has anything to do with getting more traffic onto the site.

Have been getting plagued with a software which keeps wanting to protect my privacy. I wish it was a guy in front of me instead of an irritating pop up. I would truely whip him into shape for bothering so much about my privacy.

Next I have been reading up about SEO. A term which I had never even heard of till the 9th of May 2008. For those of my dear friends who are as lost as me, it means Search Engine Optimisation. It means that when you type in a lot of stuff that you want others to read, you also type in a lot of keywords that people keep hunting for. So when they do searches on google your page also pops up in the results.

Will keep you updated of my endeavours.

Humour In Uniform

Being an Army Daugther and an Air Force Wife I have seen both the services at close quarters. There may be quite a few things different, but some things don't change.

Last evening a friend came in splits of laughter to my house. It seems her husband asked the household helper to bring him the "CD" to the bedroom. Time went by and eventually a good ten minutes later, they hear a scraping noise. Then the chap walked in with the MES ka "Seedi".

Straight away reminds me of the time when I was a kid and with Dad at A'Nagar. The regimental centre has guys who are literally "raw recruits". These poor rustic guys, you can imagine them direct from the villages, three decades ago, obviously didn't have a clue.

Two neighbours living on the left side of the block of four houses used to go to play squash every evening together. One fine day the guy downstairs wasn't feeling upto it and so he decided to skip the game that evening. He called his sevadar(aforementioned raw recruit) and told him, "Seedi se upar jao aur sahab ko bolo aaj Sqaush ke liye nahin jayenge" (Go up stairs and tell sahab that we wont play Sqaush today.)

Then the husband and wife retired to the bedroom for their siesta. Within a few minutes they heard a persistant metallic noise outside the window. The lady opened the window to see the chap poised to climb up the "Seedi" to the bedroom window of the upstairs neighbour.

To date I wish she had let him pass the message just to get the neighbour's reaction!

29 May 2008

Working From Home

Work and Home in the same sentence would never exist even a decade ago. However with the advent of the Internet and its popularisation in India, this is a happening new field now. So many people used to tell me, why don't you do something online. There is supposed to be a lot of things that you can do online these days. i would agree politely and then shift the conversation to something else.

While it is true that there are a multitude of people sitting at home and making mega bucks, i was not one of them. Why? Because though I had learnt computers at APTECH and done content writing for a website, I was always in touch with people over the phone. Or I would have been for an interview in person before I got these jobs. The mere thought of getting work online from an unknown person frightened me.

Unreasonable, I know, but true all the same. My basic nature is not geared up for taking risks. I am the kind of person who will weigh all the pros and cons before getting into what i call a calculated risk situation. Thankfully, getting back onto the net and mingling with some strangers has let me ease up on my fears. The mere fact that i am writing this blog is proof of that.

I would also like to thank two close friends of mine for pushing me over the net via supportive emails. they told me to just do something to keep myself busy. It began in a small way doing things I enjoyed, and now here I am.

Teaching Spoken English

Hello All,
One of the reasons why I've created this blog is that I get to put things in perspective. When I first started teaching Spoken English I had no clue about the differences between written and oral skills. I learnt on the job and now I will attempt to tell you more about it.

Essentially there are Four Language Skills that one needs to master to learn a language. These may be categorised as listening, speaking, reading and writing. That's the way a newborn baby learns his first language. In India more often than not the baby is bombarded with at least two different languages at home. The regional language or mother tongue and Hindi. In urban areas there may be a smattering of babies who learn English at home as well.

However the majority of Indian's are more fluent with their Mother Tongue and Hindi and English is learnt in school. When you teach English in school you use the following Language Skills come into play; writing, reading, listening and speaking. The teachers are more interested in perfecting the written word for the exams and after the priliminary classes when orals are no longer part of the exams one hardly gets to prqactice the language at all.

This leads to a large population having learnt English with grammar and all in schools but with little confidence to speak the language. That's where Spoken English classes such as I teach come in. What I do is make them speak as much as they can in English. This is done using various techniques such as impromptu discussions, prepared speeches and presentations, dialogues between people, etc. This improves their confidence levels and Spoken English.

Keep a look out for my next post with more details on the same topic.

27 May 2008

My First Blog

I have been wanting to do this for quite some time now and finally did it. Am hoping to make this a place where I can do some of that serious writing practice i keep promising myself to do. Let's see how good, bad or ulgy it turns out to be.