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Automatic English For The People

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fundamental English Class: Midterm Info

by AJ

I just reviewed the past midterm tests and now have a general idea what the test will be like. Later I will give more detailed information, but here is a general overview of the midterm topics:

I. Outside Reading

This section will contain questions about The Godfather. Most questions will be about the plot... about events in the story. So the easiest way to study is to read the book!! Also review the most important story details. As an added supplement, you might want to rent and watch the movie (with or without Thai subtitles)

II. Vocabulary

This section will test vocabulary. The words will come from the articles in the text book. To study, re-read the articles at the beginning of each chapter. Also, review the vocabulary in the exercises.

Here's a short (but incomplete) sample of possible words: ambiguous, depressing, deceive, conceal, impeccable, impart, mood, outcome, recall, verify, skepticism/skeptical, paramount, renowned, impoverished.....

III. Seen Passages

This section will test reading comprehension from the articles in the textbook. So studying is easy.... re-read all of the articles (a few times each). Be sure you understand both the vocabulary and the overall meaning.

IV. Unseen Passages.

This section will test general reading comprehension. You will read new passages (which you have never seen before) and will answer comprehension questions about them. The best way to study for this section is to read, read, and read some more. Read for fun. Read anything that interests you in English!! (Harry Potter, novels, magazines, romances, comic books, children's books, newspapers,etc). Try to read a little bit everyday.

V. Writing

OK, this is the worst section... it will contain some grammar exercises.

There are four main points you should practice and study:

1. The use of subordinating words such as: whose, that, where, while, but, when, for, if.....

2. Comma splices, run on sentences, fragments. You will read sentences and correct these errors.

3. Topic sentences- You will read a paragraph and then must choose (or write) an appropriate topic sentence for it.

4. Outlining- You will be given part of an outline. You must complete it. Be sure to use parallelism (keep the verb tenses the same for all points).

There are two ways to study for the writing/grammar section. First, review these points in your textbook and review the exercises. Get comfortable with the rules.

Second, read. Read a lot. This will help you develop an unconscious "feel" for grammar. You will learn what sounds right and what looks right. Read for fun and read as much as you can. Watching videos is also a great idea.


**Final Note:
When reading or watching videos, its important that they be comprehensible. In other words, you should understand 90% of the language used in the book or video.

If you understand less than 90%, its probably too difficult. Try to find something easier. You will learn much faster if you follow this rule. In class, we will read plenty of difficult articles. In your free time, its more effective if you read and watch things which are at least 90% understandable.

Good luck!!

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