Wednesday, July 18, 2012


When you  decide to go abroad to study English, you must have a strong determination. Your mind should be stronger than your emotions. 

At first, some things you've never seen in your home country will shock you. The culture is different and the way of life here is a little laid back.  The climate is almost always warm. These and other factors all contribute to the development of the lonely feeling called homesickness.

It's true, you may feel homesick sometimes. You may miss your family, your friends, your previous job and all that you left behind. Unfortunately, some students have let their homesickness get in the way of their journey. 

Try to imagine the time when you were very young. You were just a tiny, helpless creature. But as days went by you discovered the strength  of your knees, and you tried to stand up. Next, you dared to make a step forward. Your first steps were wobbly and for countless of times you stumbled and fell, and probably even got hurt. You did not give up. You did not remain slumped on the ground. You stood back up and walked again with more determined steps.  You were very happy when finally, you learned how to walk. You not only learned how to walk but also how to run, skip and jump. Had you been too scared or too disappointed to stand up and walk again, what would you be now? 

Now let's connect this to your learning English.

Sometimes you feel disappointed especially when you can't remember a very important English word. Sometimes, you get so homesick. Sometimes you think that the future looks so vague. At a certain point, students reach this point called slump. Some students fail to realize that this feeling is transitory. It's just a small part of the adjustment period. Sadly,  some choose the easy way out; they buy a plane ticket, pack their suitcase, and go back home. Still, some choose to take life a little easier by drinking and hanging out with friends.  

You may live until  you are 80 or 85. That lifespan is very long. When you go abroad, you have only six months or one year to study English. You go abroad to study English and build your future. Who can make your dreams come true? Your friends? Of course, not, so it's not wise to build your life around them as though they were the only means of your survival abroad. It's okay to have friends of course, but be choosy. If your friends don't encourage you to study hard, if they only want to hang out with you, are they really your friends? Choose friends that don't spoil your good habits.  

Life is fleeting. Once a moment is gone, it's gone. You cannot turn back time. Should you let your negative feelings defeat you, or should you be man enough to face them, get rid of them, and go on with your dreams? The choice is yours.  

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Invisible Hump


I have here an amusing story.

Let me begin by saying that when my female student arrived here, her vocabulary was very limited. She didn't know even simple words such as toe, ceiling, eyelashes and eyebrows.  And like most students, she didn't recognize the difference between F and H, L and R, M and N, J and Z and the like.

To simultaneously develop her vocabulary, speaking and comprehension, we designed a special course for her. In the course, she is always asked to read aloud so that  we, her teachers, can "straighten up her tongue and align her jaws" right there and then. One of our first lessons was a simple reading about camels and how they survive in the desert. In the reading, she learned words and expressions such as "go without water for a long time, desert, all over its body, heat, cold, cool, hot, about 150, describe, thick, thin, eyelashes and hump.

A few weeks ago, she saw me devouring all the leftover food on the counter. Her speaking was not yet that fast but somehow, she said and I quote,  "Teacher, you eat a lot but you are very thin! Where do you put the food? Do you have a hump on your back that I cannot see?"

I laughed heartily because her joke was both  funny and witty, not to mention that it was totally unexpected.  But something  deep within me made me want to hug her. (But of course, I did not.)

It  feels good when  students practice the words, expressions and grammar points that we teach them. It feels even better when these students, like my female student, use those words and expressions correctly and from the heart because they know how the words work together , and not just mechanically.

Here at ACERS School, we produce English speakers, not parrots.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

We study English the correct way

Thanks to the wonders of Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V, I got the following headlines to my blog page in a matter of  seconds!

PH soon to join 'tiger economies', claims expert

3 Philippine universities among world's best English-teaching schools

Today, these two news headlines (and articles)  brightened up my day. 

Again, I admit that my beloved country is lagging behind some Asian countries in terms of economic stability. This is a fact known to everybody. However, as the above headlines show, when it comes to English, we always manage to be on top, and this is something we take pride in. 

We are often  asked by our foreign friends how we can properly use  a language which isn't our own.  It's because we study English the correct way. Let me state, by the way, that there are only two ways to study English: the correct way and the wrong way.  

We studied English the correct way, so we are confident that we can also teach it the correct way. How do we do it? We would love to show you how.!

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