Short Update (in essence–why I haven’t been posting)

I can’t write much now, mostly because it is so late (almost 11 pm (23:00)).  I wanted to let all of you who aren’t on my Facebook blog page a heads up as to why I haven’t been posting regularly.  There is a reason, and I promise, it is not procrastination (this time). 😀

I am currently attending an eighteen (18) day TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) class.  It has been awesome!!  (I’ve been here since Wednesday evening, July 11th).  Along with the 14 TESOL students, we are partnering with a Taiwan/Chinese(+ Hong Kong) group of foreign exchange students (48 students).  In my room, there are three Taiwan girls.

Basically, we (TESOL students) are learning to teach English, while the foreign students are learning English (and the culture) and having a Christian seminar at the same time.  (and did I mention the musical we are performing??  :))

I’ll try to write a more detailed post later this week or the next.  Suffice to say, I am learning Chinese!!  😀



Map of China and Taiwan

Heinous Homophones A – C

Speaking the English language can be quite tough, especially for newer students, but words known as homophones make it especially tough to listen and understand native speakers.  What is a homophone?

A homophone is a group of two or more words,

Having the same pronunciation,


Having different meanings and spellings.

While studying for this post, I found a list of over 2000 homophones!  In this post, I will only share a few select homophones in the A-C section.

Ad – Add   

Ad (noun) – Short for an advertisement.

Add (verb) – A math term, meaning addiction (+).

Adieu – Ado 

Adieu (exclamation/noun) – “Goodbye”

Ado (noun) – Trouble of Difficulty.

Aisle – I’ll – Isle 

Aisle (noun) – A passage between a row of seats or shelves.

I’ll (noun + verb) – Short for “I will”.

Isle (noun) – An island.

Ant – Aunt

Ant (noun) – A small insect.

Aunt (noun) – The sister of your father or mother.

Ate – Eight

Ate (verb) – Past tense of “Eat”.

Eight (cardinal number) – 8.

Band – Banned

Band (noun) – A thin loop of material used to put around something.

Band (verb) – To surround something in the form of a ring.

Band (noun) – A musical group.

Banned (verb) – Being blocked from something.

Beach – Beech

Beach (noun) – A rocky or sandy shore.

Beech (noun) – A large type of tree.

Beat – Beet 

Beat (verb) – To hit/defeat.

Beet (noun) – A type of red vegetable.

Been – Bin 

Been (verb) – Past tense of “Be”.

Bin (noun) – A container for storing a specific type of object.

Bell – Belle

Bell (noun) – A musical instrument that is shaped like a hollow cup.

Belle (noun) – A beautiful girl/woman.

Board – Bored

Board (noun) – A long and thin piece of wood.

Bored (verb) – Having nothing of interest to do.

Brake – Break 

Brake (noun) – The part of a moving vehicle that slows/stops it.

Break (verb) – To destroy or separate.

Buy – By – Bye

Buy (verb) – To obtain something by paying for it.

By (preposition) – Identifying the author/performer.

Bye (exclamation) – Short for “Goodbye”.

Cell – Sell

Cell (noun) – A small room for a prisoner or monk.

Cell (noun) – The smallest unit of an organism.

Sell (verb) – To exchange something for money.

Cense – Cents – Scents – Sense

Cense (verb) – To perfume something.

Cents (noun) – Money worth one hundredth (1/100) of a dollar.

Scents (noun) – A distinctive pleasant smell.

Sense (noun) – A part of the body which notices environmental changes.

Chili – Chilly

Chili (noun) – A small spicy type of vegetable.

Chilly (adjective) – Cold.

Chord – Cord

Chord (noun) – A group of three or more notes sounded together.

Cord (noun) – A flexible string/rope made from several twisted strands.

Close – Clothes

Close (verb) – To cover an opening.

Close (adjective) – A short width/length away.

Close (adverb) – To be very near someone/something.

Clothes (noun) – Items worn to cover the body.

Council – Counsel 

Council (noun) – A group of people formally made up who meet regularly.

Counsel (noun) – Advice.

Counsel (verb) – To give advice.

Creak – Creek

Creak (verb) – To make a harsh, high-pitched sound.

Creak (noun) – A jarring scraping/squeaking sound.

Creek (noun) – A stream/brook, or small part of a river.

Cymbal – Symbol

Cymbal (noun) – Musical instruments that look like plates,

which make ringing/clashing sounds.

Symbol (noun) – A thing that represents or stands for something else.

A Lagoon for Linguistic Lovers

I’ve spent the time between this post and the last one debating on what to write about…  This morning I discovered a “new” (new to this blog) subject upon which to tell you about.  🙂

Drum roll please….  the subject of this post is…!  🙂

In June of 2011, a good friend of mine introduced me to this site.  She told me that she knew of a useful language site, and sent me the link.  Being an avid studier of languages and enjoying interactions with people of many cultures, I checked it out and made an account.  Then I began looking around.

My journey started under their “Courses” section.  Under “Enroll in a course” I was struck by the sheer number of languages they offered.  Over 38! (including English)  Sure, most of what was offered is only the basics, but still, to someone who has a passion for every language she can get her hands on this is a wonderful treasure!  I immediately signed up for their free beginners courses in Russian and German.

After enrolling I started the first Russian lesson.  Each language they offer (the free ones) are split into groups of ____ 101 , ___ 102, ____ 201, and ___ 202.  Within each group (let’s take Russian 101 as an example) you have 3 Units.  Within each unit you have 5 to 6 lessons.  Each lesson is comprised of an audio/visual lesson which teaches you 40 new words/phrases, a quiz, an optional writing exercise, and an optional speaking exercise.  It is not dissimilar to the Rosetta Stone form of language study.  You see a picture, hear the word spoken in the foreign language, read it in that language, and read the translation in your own language.

My favorite part of the lessons are the exercises.  In a speaking exercise it gives you some sentences (or a paragraph) with words you just studied in the lesson and asks you to record yourself saying it.  Then, once you have submitted it, other members of the site who are native to that language (or are friends of yours on the site) may grade you and write reviews of your submission.  The writing exercise is similar, but this time they give you a topic to write about (example shown below):

Some members of the site are better reviewers than others, but you can learn over time who gives the best reviews and ask them specifically to review each exercise you submit.

On a side note, the site encourages people to review by giving the reviewer 20-30 tokens for each review (depending if your review is the first or not).  Tokens are used for different things on the website, such as buying downloads of each lesson.  You may also purchase tokens.

Another bonus of this website is the section “Flashcards”.  In this area you can make your own flashcards with pictures, writing, and even sound if you choose.  At the end of every lesson it gives you the option to save the new words and phrases you learned into a new set of flashcards, the added bonus of doing this is that you get a picture, the words, AND sound which is much harder to come up when making your own set.

As mentioned above, you have the option of adding friends who you meet on this site.  For your profile you can put whatever information you wish, from almost no info to your city/town, age, fav. music, and many other details.  Anyone can view your profile.  As a member you have the option of adding cultural pictures or stories about where you live, so that other members can view/read about your homeland.

The last thing I’d like to inform you of is the option to chat.  When this function works (and it frequently chooses not to on my computer) it is quite nice, and even equips you with a translator on the right hand side of the chat room, so that you can quickly understand everything your friend is saying.  Many members use Skype to communicate, since it is more reliable.  Skype is optional though, and not everyone uses it or gives out their username to people over livemocha.

One warning to you, the only downside I have found to this site is what you will find on any social networking site.  Some people out there are simply looking for a quick relationship and are not there to study languages at all.  If you have no interest in a short-term relationship with someone you don’t know over the internet I’d strongly counsel you to put “Not looking for a girlfriend/boyfriend” or something along those lines.

After this I’ll be quiet…  If you decide to join the site and would like to add me as a friend post a comment below with your username.  I’m very happy and willing to help anyone who wants to learn English, however I am NOT looking for a boyfriend, so don’t even ask!  Thanks!


Yes, yes, I know… I said I would stop talking… but I forgot one small thing!  On you have a sort of e-mail service, for sending messages between members online.  This can be a helpful tool in asking language teachers questions.

2012 Resolutions ~ 2012 Goals

This year I decided to make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions”… I have come to realize, however, that this list is more of my “2012 Goals”.  So, whichever heading you think this list should go under, here it is.


~ Be able to speak simple conversations in German and Russian.

~ Blog post at least once every 2 weeks.

~ Journal regularly.

~ Learn 2 new alphabets.

~ Learn how to read bass clef notes.

~ Learn Arabic numbers.

~ Exercise regularly by walking to the library and/or weight lifting.

~ Start some sort of Book Passing Club.

~ Help English students weekly on livemocha.

~ Continue to grow spiritually and study the Bible every day.

~ Have a strong relationship with each of my siblings.

~ Study thoroughly:

Origin of the 66-book Bible,

Suffering in relation with a good God,

and Islam

~ Help edit friends’ books.

~ Play piano daily (when I’m home), and learn at least 6 new songs.