English Intonation The Noun And Verb Tutoring Services Five Tips For Choosing The Best Speed Reading Getting The Main Idea Online College Degree The Choice Of Today San Francisco Schools Connect To China And Its Chinese Community

Listen and Learn: The Different Intonation of the Noun and the Verb

Intonation, the “music” of a language, is perhaps the most important element of a correct accent. Many people think that pronunciation is what makes up an accent. It may be that pronunciation is very important for an understandable accent.

But it is intonation that gives the final touch that makes an accent correct or native. Often we hear someone speaking with perfect grammar, and perfect formation of the sounds of English but with a little something that gives her away as not being a native speaker.

Therefore, it is necessary to realize that there are three components to an accent, pronunciation, intonation, and linking. In other places we will examine pronunciation, the proper formation of vowels and consonants, and linking, the way that syllables within a word, and the beginning and ending of words come together.

But what interests us now is the issue of intonation, and in particular the difference in intonation in saying the same word (same spelling) when it is used as a noun and when it is used as a verb. It is a perfect example of how meaning affects intonation.

We will try to hear clearly the difference that intonation makes in the daily use of a proper North American English accent. The practice with the following examples will help you to notice, practice, and master the different intonation patterns that you will discover as you concentrate more on your use of North American English.

Intonation: Noun or Verb

Knowing when and where to stress the words you use is very important for understanding, and is part of a good accent. A clear example is that of the different stress in nouns and verbs.

It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. Underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. I start the exercise with two examples, the words “suspect” and “present”. You do the rest. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

Usually (although there are some exceptions), the stress of a verb is on the last syllable, and that of a noun is on the first syllable.

It will be useful for you to be aware of the stress in both cases. Here is a list of a few that will get you thinking and give you some practice in identifying them and using them correctly. I start the exercise with two examples. I have indicated the stress with CAPITAL LETTERS. You underline the syllable that is stressed, and write a brief explanation to indicate that you understand the difference. You do the rest of the table. And make sure you pronounce the words OUT LOUD.

to susPECT: meaning, to have an opinion

a SUSpect: meaning, a person under suspicion

to preSENT: meaning, to give, to introduce

a PREsent: meaning, a gift, now

Now, you do the rest of the table, underlining the accented syllable and defining the word to emphasize your understanding that the accent goes with the meaning.

to conflict, a conflict

to contest, a contest

to contract, a contract

to convert, a convert

to convict, a convict

to incline, an incline

to insult, an insult

to object, an object

to permit, a permit

to present, a present

to produce, a produce

to project, a project

to protest, a protest

to rebel, a rebel

to recall, a recall

to reject, a reject

to research, a research

Practice on the following sentences that contain some of the words of the list used buth as noun and as verb. Underline the accent and read the sentences out loud

You need to insert a paragraph here on this newspaper insert.

How can you object to this object?

I’d like to present you with this present.

The manufacturer couldn’t recall if there’d been a recall.

The religious convert wanted to convert the world.

The political rebels wanted to rebel against the world.

The mogul wanted to record a new record for his latest artist.

If you perfect your intonation, your accent will be perfect.

Due to the drought, the fields didn’t produce much produce this year.

Unfortunately, City Hall wouldn’t permit them to get a permit.

Today, tutoring services abound. There are a number of tutoring center franchises that have sprung up in strip malls, online tutoring, and more traditional one-on-one tutoring. But how do you make an informed decision about which tutoring service to use? Here are five tips for choosing the best.

1. Do your research. Most tutoring services have websites, so first go online. Tutor centers should have a wealth of information available on their websites that covers everything from the subjects they offer and their philosophy of education to statements about the qualifications of their tutors and testimonials.

2. Know your goals. When selecting a tutoring service, it’s important to know what you want to get out of the experience. Perhaps your child is falling behind in a subject and needs remediation with a math tutor. Maybe your child is a gifted or accelerated student and needs to be challenged to reach his or her full potential. It could be that your child needs help in test preparation in order to be ready to take his or her SATs. Or maybe you are studying for your GRE or CBEST and need the boost that test preparation can bring. Understanding your specific needs will help you determine whether or not the tutoring services under consideration are a good fit for you or your child.

3. Take personalization into account. Each person is unique, both in learning style and in what kind of tutoring is needed. For this reason, one-on-one tutoring is your best bet. In test preparation, for example, tutoring services often enroll 20 students per class. It’s difficult to get the individualized attention you or your child needs with a large class.

4. Take location into account. It’s important to think about where the tutoring should take place in order to reap the greatest benefits for you or your child. For many children, tutoring centers are less than ideal. It often takes children several sessions to become comfortable with the environment before they’re able to take advantage of the learning opportunities. Similarly, test preparation classes may not be at a time and place that is convenient for you or your child. Most people find that one of two approaches works best: tutoring in the home or online tutoring. The familiar environment of home makes the transition to learning easy for children. Likewise, one-on-one online tutoring is convenient and consistent.

5. Look for evaluations and assessments. The tutoring service you choose should do an initial evaluation for no extra charge. This provides a benchmark by which to measure your or your child’s progress. They should also offer periodic assessments to ensure that progress is being made.

People use tutors and tutoring academies for many different reasons. Ideally, though, the tutor you choose should listen to your student, be upbeat and enthusiastic, make learning fun, instill confidence in your student, and, ultimately, teach your student new learning habits so that he or she can succeed in all of his or her educational endeavors.

Getting the main idea in reading is central to effective studying.

You must learn what the author’s central idea is, and understand it in your own way.

Every paragraph contains a main idea. Main ideas are perfect for outlining textbooks. Make it a habit to find the main idea in each paragraph you read.

Extracting Important Details

Extracting important details mean that you locate in your reading main and most significant ideas.

There is usually one important detail associated with every main idea. The more important details you can identify, the easier it will be to review for examinations because you have made a link between an idea and information that supports it.

The more links you can make between details and ideas, as well as ideas themselves, the more powerful will be the efforts of your study.

The first things to ask yourself are: “Why you are reading the text? Are you reading with a purpose or just for pleasure? What do you want to know after reading it?”

In other words, identify your purpose.

Once you know this, you can examine the text to see whether it is going to move you towards this goal.

An easy way of doing this is to look at the introduction and the chapter headings. The introduction should let you know whom the book is targeted at, and what it seeks to achieve.

Chapter headings will give you an overall view of the structure of the subject.

After grasping ideas from chapter introductions, ask yourself whether the book meets your needs.

Ask yourself if it assumes too much or too little knowledge.

If the book weren’t ideal, would it be better to find a better one?

Take 1-2 minutes to skim through the article to find the core idea. Know what is being expressed. Do you need more details? If not, find another article.

Read lightly and flexibly. Know what you need. Slow down to fulfill your purpose, answering questions that are most important to you.

Since very few words carry the meaning, speed up to pass redundant or useless information.

Online college degree programs are rapidly becoming the mode of learning education of choice among teens and young adults. Empirical evidence would suggest that there are five principal reasons why this may be the case:


The Number 1 reason why teens and young adults are choosing to do online college degree programs is convenience. Here, in nearly all cases, respondents claim juggling their already busy lives with college means that an online college degree is their mode of choice when it comes to higher learning.


Aside from being extremely convenient, and in conjunction with the convenience factor, an online college degree permits teens and young adults the chance to take the online college degree at their own pace, and also more options when it comes to available courses to chose from.

No on-campus presence

Combining convenience with flexibility for teens and young adults is the fact that many online college degree programs do not require on-campus presence, or minimal on-campus presence. To many online students, this is the best of both world’s – home study with a recognized higher education certificate.


Teens and young adults argue their claim to preferring to study for online college degree programs due to the fact that doing their studies online means they can study at a prestigious institution, without actually having to be physically present. Consequently, living on the East Coast no longer has mean that you have to study your college degree program on the east coast or else move to elsewhere. Now we live in the virtual world, you really can be in two places at once!


Although tuition fees for an online college degree can be competitive when compared with traditional education fees, the fact that the online degree is both flexible and off-campus means teens and young adults (and their families) can arrange for the financing more easily and effectively – without having to make major sacrifices to their every day living.

All of the above make for good reasons to study for an online college degree. However, don’t confuse the above as meaning an online college degree is easy. As with all forms of higher learning, it’s not – it just provides you with an easier means of learning, not an easier learning program!

The Alice Fong Yu Alternative School

The Alice Fong Yu Alternative School, one San Francisco School, is the first Chinese immersion school in the United States. The school is designed as a two-way Chinese/English instructional environment. The school provides an outstanding educational experience for children of all backgrounds. All students at Alice Fong Yu develop competency in the Cantonese and English languages and use the two languages actively in the content curriculum. The school aims to have all students to be able to converse in and become literate in both English and Cantonese by 5th grade. The Mandarin language is added after the fifth grade. The Mandarin/English program is similar in scope and function to the Cantonese/English program. The program is intended to vigorously include the staff, parents, and students in cultural and language education. The Alice Fong Yu school uses parents and volunteers in a variety of enrichment programs such as, Performing Arts Workshop, Poets in the Schools, and science and library consultants.

The Alice Fong Yu Alternative School’s Chinese Exchange Program

Created in 2000, the exchange program sends the eighth grade class to Beijing to meet their Chinese pen pals. The program gives students the opportunity to use their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture in a real life experience. The students travel to Beijing and Hong Kong where they meet Chinese students their own age. This experience allows students to experience the culture first-hand and put their language skills to the ultimate test.

In January of 2005, the program came closer to being a true exchange program. San Francisco Schools through the Alice Fong Yu School hosted students and teachers from The Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University. The selected students and two teachers from China stayed with host families and participated in classes and school functions including English, art and modern dance classes. The Chinese students were able to tour City College, the Chinese Consulate and many interesting tourist destinations in the San Francisco area. Both the local and Chinese students spent their time practicing English and Mandarin.

Dance and Art Students from San Francisco Schools Travel to China

Other programs in San Francisco Schools have allowed students to travel to China to participate in international exchanges and competitions. This summer five students from the San Francisco School of Arts will travel to ShenZhen, China as representatives of the United States at the ShenZhen International Culture and Arts Festival. As part of an Educational Exchange program facilitated by Dr. Marie Lee, Director of East/West Child Research and Development Center and former school administrator of the San Francisco Schools, all student expenses in China will be provided in full by the ShenZhen Nanshan Government. The five selected students will perform two dances, Chant of the Sirens and Basin Street Blues. The School of the Arts students were the only students from the United States invited to the Festival in 2006. The three hundred students at the Festival represented countries from around the world including: Australia/ New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and others. Along with performing at the Festival students will visit schools, attend art exhibitions, eat new foods, visit tourist locations, and learn about Chinese culture and language while staying with Chinese families and students.

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