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About LauraM

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    Spanish, German
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  1. I think self-learning has advantages and disadvantages as well. It's really difficult to generalize as it does depend to a great extent upon the individual's learning style and level of commitment. When you are learning on your own you have to have much more discipline to stay focused and committed to your studies. That will mean setting aside time to study and practice using whatever resources are helpful. But if you're on your own, you do have to be persevering in setting and keeping to your schedule to meet your goals. Classroom learning or even having a tutor or a language partner c
  2. Yes, I can relate to what you're saying. Especially this: Yes, it can be very intimidating when one is first starting out in learning a new language. It can also be overwhelming. I think the key is to establish a consistent schedule; set aside time for study on a daily basis. Also recognize that it will take time to become proficient. It is an ongoing process. You might also want to get some help from others. We have a "Language Exchange" section in the forum here where you might be able to find someone. I know also there are lots of resources online both for finding language stud
  3. I also enjoy short stories. Over the years, there have been several short story collections that I have read numerous times. I think it's really exciting to find a short story author who does put out entire collections. While the stories stand alone, they are sometimes connected thematically. Here are a few of my favorite short story collections, that I highly recommend. Lorrie Moore: "Self-Help" and "Like Life" Raymond Carver: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" Also, the "Collected Stories" which was published posthumously Richard Ford: "Rock Springs"
  4. Those are good questions. I can see why there would be confusion. First of all, I think a closet is different because it's not really a piece of furniture; it's more like a small room and not something that can be moved. So we would speak about where the closet "is" or "is located." For example, the closet is down the hallway to the left. As for the others, a rug lies on the floor. You could also put a rug on the floor. And then once it's been put on the floor it lies on the floor. A chair is on the floor even though it can be moved. Likewise, a table also is on the floor. However
  5. Learning a language is an ongoing process, and with daily practice you will improve. Listening to something that you find enjoyable could be a starting point. It might be news or sports broadcasts -- which you can find online, as live stream audio. Or you might have an interest in movies or in television programs. I think the key is to find something enjoyable as that will help you stay motivated. Also set aside a set amount of time; an hour, two hours, half an hour. Be consistent. Schedule in the time to listen. As you improve you will feel more encouraged to continue. I hope thi
  6. I would not go so far as to say a degree in English literature is "useless." I do think that from a pragmatic, career perspective it might not be an obvious asset unless one wants to pursue a career in academia at the college level or perhaps even as a teacher in grade school or high school -- you would have to get a teaching certificate for that, of course. But it does harken back to the days when having a liberal arts education had much more value for the development of character and perhaps too as a springboard for lifelong learning and a passion for attaining knowledge. With college
  7. Yes, the Dr. Seuss books were some of my favorites as a child, especially these: "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" How the Grinch Stole Christmas" "Green Eggs and Ham" "Horton Hears a Who" These are the ones that I remember in particular. Later on, as an adult I did revisit some of these and his other books and appreciated them even more for the use of language. That's what's so exciting about great children's literature; as an adult you can see the nuances and enjoy the works on a much deeper level.
  8. The word you are referring to is considered a swear word in the English language; there's not much debate about that. We have had some discussions here about the concept of "swear words" but the focus has been more on the cultural and social phenomena of words that are not considered acceptable in polite society rather than debating about this word or that word. It is interesting, I think, that the concept of "swear words" or "foul language" or whatever one wants to call it is common in many cultures and societies. And as to why people use such language -- to be shocking, rebellious, brea
  9. catsup vs ketchup I was curious about this too, as the two words are used interchangeably although "ketchup" is much more common. I did some research and found out that both "catsup" and "ketchup" are derived from the Chinese word "ke-tsiap" -- which is a type of pickled fish sauce. Thus, it's a variation in the spelling. Over the years, "ketchup" has become much more common and typically perceived as the preferred usage. "Catsup" is more common in the U.S. than in the UK. Interesting topic!
  10. I'm enjoying this thread so much. It's quite inspiring to read all these various quotes. Very motivating and uplifting. I hope we can keep this thread going. Here are a few more of my favorites: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." -- Henry Ford "Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility." -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." -- Beverly Sills "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." -- Winston Churchill
  11. Yes, "selfie" is getting to be not just a word but a huge pop cultural trend. It's really getting a lot of attention in the media as celebrities and public figures group together and take selfies. That famous selfie that Ellen DeGeneres and the celebrities took at the Oscars seemed to really skyrocket the trend. But even people who are not famous it seems are getting more and more into taking selfies and posting them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think it could just be the beginning with the "selfie" phenomena. As for "Tweep" it simply means someone who uses Twitter a lot.
  12. Grammar can get esoteric at times due to the numerous terms that are used to describe various parts of speech and other mechanics of sentence structure. I think it is important to learn the terms, and as needed to brush up on them. There are some good resources online. A comprehensive site which covers grammar and much more is Purdue University's OWL -- which stands for Online Writing Lab. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ What I really like about the site is how they have made it so user friendly and beyond that actually fun to use. I'm always learning something new every time I visit.
  13. Yes, good point. That's very motivating. There may be practical reasons to learn a language which can be strongly motivating; knowing that you will be moving to a region or country where the language is spoken is, obviously, quite a practical reason, indeed a necessity. Thus a very strong motivation. Having a passion for the language and the culture and the people is also motivating. Sometimes a person feels drawn to a language and its culture; perhaps for the literature or even for the movies. Or a person may enjoy the sound of the spoken language or perhaps the richness of the vocabu
  14. I have corrected the title of the thread and your original post to avoid any additional confusion. As for the question I would think that a minimum of $15 per hour would be acceptable and upwards of $20 or $25 would also be acceptable depending upon the person's experience and education. I think anything less than this would be unfair to the teacher or tutor who should be properly compensated for their efforts.
  15. Yes, this is an idiom, not colloquial; you can even find it in the dictionary. Barburra explained it quite well. To be "beside oneself" is a way to describe an extreme emotional state, so extreme that a person is actually out of control. It can be any strong emotion, negative or positive. You can be beside yourself with joy, for instance. So happy and so excited in your happiness that you almost don't know how to express it. I think that's the best way to be beside oneself!
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