HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (2)

Please note the difference:

HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example,

  • wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)
  • they’re (they are) and their (belonging to them) and there (adverb of place)

HOMONYMS are a kind of homophone, words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings.

Examples of HOMONYMS are:

  • book           – something we read and . . .
  • book           – to schedule something.
  • Spring        – the season and . . .
  • spring         – to jump up.
  • club            – somewhere to dance and . . .
  • club            – large, heavy object that people get hit with.
  • fine             – money you owe for bring things back late and . . .
  • fine             – feeling okay.
  • rock           – a type of music and . . .
  • rock            – made of stone.

HOMOGRAPHS are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently.

Examples of HOMOGRAPHS include:

  • to wind a clock but blowing wind.
  • rose, the flower and rose, past tense of the verb to rise.
  • book – something we read and book – to schedule something

To help you improve spelling skills for each word listed below, I have included the most Homophone common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

pexels-photo.jpgPlease note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. cite/sight/site

  • Sight is one of your five senses. As a noun, it is “the ability to see.” It is also someone or something that is seen.
  • Site means “a place where something has happened.” It can also be “a place where something is, was, or will be located.”
  • Site is also short for website.
  • Cite is a verb. It can mean “to write or say the words” of a person, book or another source. It can also mean “to mention something,” usually to support an idea or opinion.

 Using the correct use of cite/sight/site, fill in the sentences:

  1. The sunset last night was a beautiful . . . .
  2. There are some important battle . . . near Washington, DC.
  3. When you write research papers in school, for example, you . . . other sources to support your argument.

2. canvas/canvass

  • Canvas is a type of strong cloth.
  • Canvass is to seek people’s votes.

 Using the correct use of canvas/canvass, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . -made trainers did not last long.
  2. The MP has tried to . . . for re-election for a third term.

3. censure/censor

  • Censure is to criticize strongly.
  • Censor is to ban parts of a book or film; a person who does this.

Using the correct use of censure/censor, fill in the sentences:

  1. He was . . . (ed) for his remarks over the incident.
  2. My book was heavily . . . (ed) before its publication.

 4. climactic/climatic

  • Climactic is forming a climax.
  • Climatic is relating to climate.

 Using the correct use of climactic/climatic, fill in the sentences:

  • The film’s . . .  scenes were traumatic for the kids.
  • Under certain . . . conditions, desert locusts increase in number.

5. complacent/complaisant

  • Complacent is proud of oneself and self-satisfied.
  • Complaisant is willing to please.

 Using the correct use of complacent/complaisant, fill in the sentences:

  1. In all of this praise, however, there is a severe danger that we might become . . . .
  2. There are too many . . .  doctors signing sick notes.

6. council/counsel

  • Council is a group of people who manage or advise.
  • Counsel is to seek advice; to advise.

 Using the correct use of council/counsel, fill in the sentences:

  1. The . . .  has unanimously endorsed the agreement with the government.
  2. He had to go for . . . (ing) after the tragic incident.

7. cue/queue

  • Cue is a signal for action.
  • Queue is a line of people or vehicles.

 Using the correct use of cue/queue, fill in the sentences:

  1. Pearl  hasn’t yet been given the . . .to come on stage.
  2. We found ourselves in a . . .  for petrol.

8. complement/compliment

  • Use complement when referring to something that enhances or completes.
  • Use compliment as an expression of praise.

 Using the correct use of complement/compliment, fill in the sentences:

  1. The cranberry sauce is a perfect . . . to the turkey dinner.
  2. I was pleased to have received so many . . . on my new dress.

9. curb/kerb

  • Curb is to keep something in check; a control or limit.
  • Kerb (in British English) is the stone edge of a pavement.

 Using the correct use of curb/kerb, fill in the sentences:

  1. The parents had to . . . his wayward behaviour.
  2. She fell of the . . . on her to ASDA market.

 10. currant/current

  • Currant is a dried grape.
  • Current is happening now; a flow of water, air, or electricity.

Using the correct use of currant/current, fill in the sentences:

  1. He .enjoys eating . . . fruits.
  2. Ted enjoys listening to . . . . news about the economy.

11.  cast, caste

  • cast – throw, toss or cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface.
  • caste – social class (with some privileges).

Using the correct use of cast/caste, fill in the sentences:

  1. He . . . the book down onto the floor angrily.
  2. Those educated at private schools belong to a privileged . . . .

 12. capital/capitol

  • Capital has several meanings. It can refer to an uppercase letter, money, or a city where a seat of government is located.
  • Capitol means the building where lawmakers meet.

 Using the correct use of capital/capitol, fill in the sentences:

  1. Peter visited the cafe in the basement of the . . .  after watching a bill become a law.
  2. Basel visited Brasίlia, the . . . of Brazil.

13.  coarse/course

  • Coarse means rough, crude or harsh.
  • Course (n.) is a path or route to be taken.

 Using the correct use of coarse/course, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . manners were very irritating.
  2. Now that you’ve lost your job, what is the first . . . of action to be taken?

 14. choose/chose

  • Choose means to select.
  • Chose is the past tense of choose.

 Using the correct use of choose/chose, fill in the sentences:

  1. I . . . my puppy last week.
  2. I . . . that puppy in the window.

15. conscience/conscious

  • Conscience is your inner, moral guide.
  • Conscious is being aware of; alive; being alert

 Using the correct use of conscience/conscious, fill in the sentences:

  1. He had a guilty . . . about his desires.
  2. Tad became . . . . of people talking in the hall.

So, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) sight b) site   c) cite; #2. a) canvas b) canvass #3. a) censured   b) censored #4. a) climactic  b) climatic; #5. a) complacent  b) complaisant; #6. a) council   b) counseling; #7. a) cue b) queue   #8. a) complement b) compliments   #9. a) curb   b)kerb #10. a) currant b) current   #11. a) cast b) caste  #12. a) capitol   b) capital   #13. a) coarse   b) course   #14. a) chose   b) choose   #15. a) conscience b) conscious

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the above mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (1)

HOMOPHONES are two or more words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings.

In the sentence below, for example, every word is spelled correctly but three words are the wrong words, and even a spellchecker will not flag one of them.

Can you spot the homophones in the sentence below?

I herd the reign ruined there picnic.

 One great way to improve spelling skills is to learn the correct spellings and meanings of common sets of homophones.

A large percentage of spelling errors at High School are actually homophone usage errors.

Written correctly, the sentence should, of course, read:

 I heard the rain ruined their picnic.

Included here are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones. To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

blur book close up data

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. buy/by/bye

  • Use buy when purchasing an item.
  • Use by as a preposition to indicate location.

Use bye in saying “goodbye” or when an athlete moves directly to the next round of a competition without playing.

 Using the correct use of buy/by/bye, fill in the sentences:

  1. I do need to . . . new shoes for the kids.
  2. John was given a . . . after Tad had withdrawn from the competition.

 2. bear/bare

  • Use bear when referring to the large mammal or to indicate the act of holding or supporting.
  • Use bare as an adjective indicating lack of clothing; uncovered.

 Using the correct use of bear/bare, fill in the sentences:

  1. How did that brown . . . open the security gate at the campsite?
  2. The wagon can hardly . . . the weight of the load.
  3. His . . . neck burned in the direct sunlight.

3. brake/break

  • Use brake as a verb meaning to stop or as a noun when referring to a device used to stop or slow motion:
  • Use break to indicate smashing or shattering or to take a recess OR
  • Use break as a noun to indicate a rest or pause.

 Using the correct use of brake/break, fill in the sentences:

  1. We took a water . . . after our first set of drills.
  2. The bike’s . . . failed, which is why he toppled town the hill.
  3. My back will . . . if we put one more thing in this backpack.

 4. breath/breathe

  • Breath is a noun; it’s the air that goes in and out of your lungs:
  • Breathe is a verb; it means to exhale or inhale:

 Using the correct use of breath/breathe, fill in the sentences:

  1. Chad held his . . . while Larry skateboarded down the stairs.
  2. After Shona’s spectacular landing, Holy had to remind herself to . . . again.

5. balmy/barmy

  • Balmy means pleasantly warm; soothing.
  • Barmy is being foolish, crazy.

 Using the correct use of balmy/barmy, fill in the sentences:

  1. I thought I was going . . . at first.
  2. We always enjoy the . . . days of late summer in Heysham.

6. bated/baited

  • Bated means in great suspense, very anxiously or excitedly
  • A bait is food attached or inserted as a decoy to lure

Using the correct use of bated/baited, fill in the sentences:

  1. The fish let go of the . . . .
  2. He waited for a reply to his offer with . . . breath.

7. bazaar/bizarre

  • Bazzar is a Middle Eastern market; a fundraising sale of goods
  • Bizarre means strange or unusual

 Using the correct use of bazaar/bizarre, fill in the sentences:

  1. They went to the Turkish bazaar to buy items.
  2. We found ourselves in a . . . situation.

8. berth/birth

  • Berth is a bunk in a ship, train, etc.
  • Birth is the emergence of a baby from the womb.

 Using the correct use of berth/birth, fill in the sentences:

  1. I will sleep in the upper . . . .
  2. The . . . of his son was a turning point.

9. breach/breech

  • Breach is to break through, or break a rule; a gap
  • Breech is the back part of a gun barrel; in birth, feet coming out first

 Using the correct use of breach/breech, fill in the sentences:

  1. The way he acted was a . . . of confidence on Sarah’s trust.
  2. She has had a . . . birth of her first born son.

 10. broach/brooch

  • Broach to raise a difficult subject for discussion; pierce
  • Brooch is a piece of jewellery

 Using the correct use of broach/brooch, fill in the sentences:

  1. He . . . the topic he had been avoiding all evening.
  2. Ted enjoys wearing an emerald . . . .

11. beside/besides

  • Beside means next to.
  • Besides means in addition.

Using the correct use of beside/besides, fill in the sentences:

  1. He sat . . . me.
  2. I love ice cream . . . chocolate.

12. capital/capitol

  • Capital has several meanings. It can refer to an uppercase letter, money, or a city where a seat of government is located.
  • Capitol means the building where lawmakers meet.

 Using the correct use of capital/capitol, fill in the sentences:

  1. Peter visited the cafe in the basement of the . . . after watching a bill become a law.
  2. Basel visited Brasίlia, the . . . of Brazil.

13. coarse/course

  • Coarse means rough, crude or harsh;
  • Course (n.) a path or route to be taken;

 Using the correct use of coarse/course, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . manners were very irritating.
  2. Now that you’ve lost your job, what is the first . . . of action to be taken?

14. choose/chose

  • Choose means to select.
  • Chose is the past tense of choose.

 Using the correct use of choose/chose, fill in the sentences:

  1. I . . . my puppy last week.
  2. I . . . that puppy in the window.

15. conscience/conscious

  • Conscience is your inner, moral guide.
  • Conscious is being aware of; alive; being alert.

 Using the correct use of conscience/conscious, fill in the sentences:

  1. He had a guilty . . . about his desires.
  2. Tad became . . . . of people talking in the hall.

pexels-photo-416322.jpegSo, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) buy   b) bye; #2. a) bear b) bear c) bare #3. a) break   b) brake c) break #4. a) breath     b) breathe; #5 a) barmy   b) balmy; #6 a) bait   b) bated; #7 a) bazaar b) bizarre   #8 a) berth b) birth   #9 a) breach   b) breech addition   #10 a) broached b) brooch   #11 a) complement b) compliments  #12 a) capitol   b) capital   #13 a) coarse   b) course   #14 a) chose   b) choose   #15 a) conscience b) conscious

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the above mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

BEST WORK ETHICS: APPLYING S.M.A.R.T and S.P.I.R.I.T. IN YOUR WORK LIFE

The terms S.M.A.R.T and S.P.I.R.I.T. generally describe goals created to assist people improve the way they approach, set, and pursue their goals. Even though the phrases have developed in numerous ways, SMART stands for goals that are Specified, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely; while SPIRIT stands for objectives that are Specific, Prizes, Individual, Review, Inspiring and Time-Bound

Often, the phrase S.M.A.R.T. Goals and S.M.A.R.T. Objectives are employed. Although the term SMART generally stays the same, objectives and goals might alter. Goals are the unique purpose that is to be anticipated from the assignment or project, whereas objectives, on the other hand, are the defined stages that will direct full completion of the project goals.

Put very simply, SMART objectives (or SMART goals) is a tool designed to help organisations and individuals set objectives in an effective and productive manner. Specific and measurable objectives define the success of a project or initiative. Achievable and realistic objectives engage and motivate individuals. Time-bound objectives ensure that all stakeholders agree time scales for the achievement of objectives.

Both Peter Drucker (1955) and G.T.Doran (1991) have been credited with developing the model, although it is difficult to be certain whether either of these two were really the first people to use the term ‘SMART’ with reference to objectives. The concept of SMART objectives is commonly used by managers to set individual objectives within appraisal and performance management systems.

SMART i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound

  • SPECIFIC – outline in a clear statement precisely what is required.
  • MEASURABLE – include a measure to enable organisations to monitor progress and to know when the objective has been achieved.
  • ACHIEVABLE (or AGREED) – design objectives to be challenging, but ensure that failure is not built into objectives. Objectives should be agreed by managers and employees to ensure commitment to them.
  • REALISTIC (or RELEVANT) – focus on outcomes rather than the means of achieving them
  • TIMELY (or TIME-BOUND):  – agree the date by which the outcome must be achieved.

Communicate Objectives

When at all possible, objectives, particularly those at the organisational level, should be made public and conveyed to colleagues, employees, teams, and even customers or suppliers, according to the principles of open communication. Everyone in the organisation should have a clear grasp of the organization’s objectives, as well as a clear understanding of their own role in accomplishing those objectives. This will assist in involving others who are not directly accountable for attaining the objectives and will also alert people to changes that may have an impact on their lives or careers.

Taking time to check to see whether we have done the right things will prevent us from having to learn from our mistakes

Deeper Explanation Of SMART Objectives

1. SPECIFIC: Objectives should be specific. They should describe the result that is wanted in a way that is, detailed, focused and well defined.

The following questions may be helpful in developing precise objectives:

• What outcomes are we searching for?

• Is it clear what the objective means?

• How will this be done and what tactics will be followed?

• What needs to happen?

• What are we going to do, with or for whom?

• Who will be responsible for what and do we need anyone else to be involved?

• When do we want this to be completed?

When writing objectives, especially for individuals, use action-orientated verbs which describe what needs to be done to achieve the objectives. For examples: analyse, Apply, Change, Create, Determine, Differentiate, Identify, Instigate, Perform.

AVOID jargon, words and phrases which are (or can be construed as) misleading or ambiguous such as: be aware of, have an awareness of, be prepared for a variety of.

2. MEASURABLE: In order to know if a target has been reached, measurement is critical. Objectives that are quantifiable are those that describe a result or performance that can be expressed as a percentage or that has some other numerical value. A system, method, or procedure that has tracked and recorded the results relevant to the target will have to provide evidence.

Consider the desired outcome and the factors that may be measured to assist in developing measurable goals. Consider whether or not cross-comparison is possible.

Consider these questions:

  • How will I know that the change has occurred?
  • Can these measurements be obtained?

The mea­sure of a SMART objec­tive could be qualitative or quantitative. A quan­ti­ta­tive mea­sure might be​“Reduce depart­men­tal over­heads by 10% this finan­cial year”, while a good qual­i­ta­tive objec­tive would be​“Project com­plet­ed on time and with­in bud­get to the sat­is­fac­tion of the customer”.

3. ACHIEVABLE (or AGREED): This let­ter is where some vari­ance occurs between dif­fer­ent SMART objec­tive def­i­n­i­tions. The most com­mon vari­a­tions are Achiev­able, Attain­able, Aligned and Agreed. I sug­gest using ACHIEV­ABLE over attain­able, as the word sounds slight­ly less bureau­crat­ic.An objective can be said to be achievable if the necessary resources are available or similar results have been achieved by others in similar circumstances.

Questions to consider include:

  • Who will carry out the actions required?
  • Do they have the necessary skills to do the task well?
  • Are the resources (personnel, funding, time, equipment etc.) to achieve this objective available or can they be obtained?
  • Who will bear responsibility for what?

‘Achievable’ suggests that individuals entrusted to it are willing and capable of accomplishing it. If goals are perceived to be impossible, people charged with them are prone to lose motivation and become demoralised.

As a result, it is critical to discuss and agree on objectives, particularly those pertaining to people. Recognize that agreeing that an aim is attainable may entail a commitment to supply a certain level of resources (people, money, or time) that the objective would be impossible to accomplish without.

Keep in mind that establishing too low of a target might sometimes result in demotivation and disillusionment. Stretching ambitions motivate people to invest time and effort in figuring out how to accomplish the aim. The majority of people will rise to a challenge if it is not excessive.

4. REALISTIC (or RELEVANT): The terms ‘realistic’ and ‘achievable’ are synonymous, which may explain why some prefer the term ‘relevant’ instead.

The term ‘realistic’ implies that there is a clear understanding of how the target might be accomplished; that no situations or factors exist that would make accomplishment impossible or improbable; and that all potential obstacles and limits have been considered.

The term ‘relevant’ implies that the objectives specified are appropriate for the individual or team and their work role and function, or that they correspond with the organization’s overarching purpose and strategy.

5. TIMELY (or TIME-BOUND): Setting a date or time limit on when the aim should be attained or completed helps to make objectives measurable. For objectives that will take weeks or even months to complete, it is prudent to establish milestones or critical steps and assign dates to them in order to keep work toward the ultimate goal on track.

A deadline helps provide the required urgency, motivates action, and concentrates the minds of individuals accountable for the promises made in agreeing to the objectives. Without deadlines, levels of urgency and motivation may decrease, which may result in unnecessary delays or failure to meet the objectives. Consider if the target can be fulfilled within the established deadlines, taking into account any conflicting demands that may cause delay.

A Word For Managers: Action Checklist

Managers should avoid:

  • Setting ill-Defined Targets And Failing to implement a system, technique, or procedure for tracking and recording actions and progress toward goals
  • Establishing unrealistic goals
  • Setting Implausible Goals and failing to establish a timetable for achieving the goal or goals
  • Creating Unachievable Or Unrealistic Timelines, forgetting that circumstances change and that it may be required to evaluate and alter or renegotiate objectives if circumstances make them less definite or impossible.

Setting Goals with SPIRIT

If we don’t know where to look for a target, the majority of us will fail to hit it. In the same way, if you follow specific principles when setting your goals, you will have a higher chance of achieving your objectives. Peak performers set down their objectives, review them on a regular basis, and make revisions as necessary.

You should write down your dreams and goals for the future so that they have SPIRIT attached to them.

The SPIRIT Acronym

Specific

Make a clear statement about what you want to achieve or what you don’t want to achieve. The end consequence should be observable and quantifiable. “Look gorgeous” is a bit of an unclear statement; “lose 20 pounds” is more precise.

Prizes

Reward yourself at various stages of the goal-setting process, especially if it is a long-term one. As an example, if your goal is to set up a home office, you can decide to acquire a new desk once the space has been cleared out and prepared.

Individual

The objective must be something that you are interested in pursuing. If your husband wants you to drop 20 pounds but you believe you are in good shape, you are unlikely to want to put in the effort to achieve the objective.

Review

Review your progress on a regular basis. Is the objective a reasonable one? Are you unable to move forward? Do you think you’ll need to make any changes to it?

Inspiring

Positive language should be used to frame the goal. Make the task enjoyable to complete. A poster of the final product, framed and hung on the wall, would be appropriate.

Time-Bound

Set a deadline for yourself to meet in order to achieve your goal. Even better, break the goal down into manageable chunks and assign a deadline to each piece of the puzzle.

A Personal Action Plan

You know, most of us are content with far less than we are capable of being. Don’t be content with that. Change is difficult, but it is possible – we simply have to want it passionately enough to put up the effort to make it happen!

Many of us have a lot of ideas, but we are short on taking the necessary steps to put those ideas into reality. Possibly, we try something once and fail because we didn’t consider and plan the activities through to the end of the process. However, you are aware of the adage regarding the lottery: “You cannot win if you do not purchase a ticket.” This holds true in life, as well: “If you stop trying, you lose all hope of achieving success.”

So, Dear Reader,

Make a promise to yourself that you will make an effort to put what you have learned today into practice, especially when the techniques will be beneficial to your future success.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

BEST WAYS TO DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

Here is an interesting story . . . .

Legend has it that Thomas Edison – the American inventor and businessman whose inventions include the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as improving the telegraph and telephone  –  experimented with tens of thousands of different designs before settling on the perfect one. With almost a thousand patents under his belt, it’s hard to envision the prolific inventor succeeding every day in his Menlo Park lab.

Despite being plagued by the fear of “failure” throughout his career, Edison never gave in. All of his alleged “failures,” which number in the tens of thousands, served as a teaching tool for him. The phonograph, telegraph, and motion picture all came about as a result of his tenacity and perseverance during the early part of the twentieth century.

It’s difficult to conceive of what our world might be like now if Edison had given up after his initial setback. Is he resilient enough to overcome his challenges?

Thomas Edison’s narrative inspires us to reflect on our own life. Alternatively, ….

  1. Do we allow our setbacks to disrupt our goals?
  2. If we had the fortitude to keep going, who knows what we could accomplish?

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear” ― Greg Kincaid

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

It is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” It is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

What Does Research Say About Resilience?

According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:

CHALLENGE – A challenging situation is viewed as a challenge by resilient people, rather than as a life-threatening occurrence. They view their mistakes and failings as opportunities for growth and lessons to be learned. They don’t see them as an indictment of their character or sense of self-importance.

COMMITMENT – Resistant individuals commit to their life and their ambitions, and they have a good purpose for getting out of bed every morning. Not only do they devote themselves fully to the job at hand, but to their personal connections as well as to the causes close to their hearts and religious or spiritual convictions which guide them.

PERSONAL CONTROL – Resilient people focus their attention and energy on things they can influence. They are empowered and self-assured as a result of focusing their efforts where they will have the greatest influence. Those who spend a lot of time thinking about things they can’t change may feel hopeless and helpless.

Martin Seligman, a well-known psychologist, believes that how we explain setbacks to ourselves is crucial. Rather than resilience, he uses the phrases optimism and pessimism, although the result is essentially the same. These three elements make up the “explanatory style”:

PERMANENCE – In other words, optimists (who are more resilient) believe that negative things will only last for a short time. Instead of saying “My boss never likes my work,” they can say “My boss didn’t like the job I performed on that project.”

•PERVASIVENESS – Being omnipresent means resilient people don’t let setbacks or unpleasant events have an impact on aspects of their lives that are unconnected to them. Instead of saying “I’m no good at anything,” they can say “I’m not very good at this.”

•PERSONALIZATION – Those that are resilient don’t place the blame on themselves when awful things happen. Instead, they attribute the problem to other individuals or external factors. Instead of saying, “I messed up that project because I can’t perform my job,” they can say, “I didn’t obtain the support I needed to finish that successfully.”

SOME more attributes that are common in resilient people include:

  • Resilient people don’t see themselves as victims. In other words, the future is bright for those who are resilient as they keep a positive view and look forward to better days.
  • Resistant people have clear goals they want to achieve.
  • Resilient people are empathetic and compassionate. They also spend less time thinking about what others think of them. But they don’t give in to peer pressure and preserve healthy relationships.
  • Resilient people never think of themselves as victims – they focus their time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.

There’s no getting around the reality that we’re all going to fail from time to time: it’s an unavoidable aspect of life that we make mistakes and fall flat on our faces every now and again. The only way to prevent this is to live a closed-off and meagre existence, never attempting anything new or taking a chance on something. A life like that is one most of us would rather avoid!

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good” ― Elizabeth Edwards

10 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE

If you’re not inherently robust, it is possible to learn to build a resilient mindset and attitude. This is great news! To do this, make the following daily changes to your routine:

1. Relaxation Is A Skill That Can Be Learned. Take care of your mind and body, and you’ll be able to better handle life’s obstacles. Make sleep a priority, try something new, or employ relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help you unwind.

2. Develop The Ability To Be Conscious Of One’s Thoughts. Negative thoughts aren’t allowed to disrupt the efforts of resilient people. They, on the other hand, are staunch believers in the power of positive thinking. When anything goes wrong, pay attention to how you talk to yourself. If you find yourself making assertions that are permanent, pervasive, or personalised, modify your thinking.

3. Make Changes To Your Outlook. Work on cognitive restructuring to alter the way you perceive unfavourable situations and unfortunate events.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes And Failures. To be successful, you must learn from your setbacks and mistakes. Look for the lesson in every scenario since every mistake has the capacity to teach you something. Another thing to consider is “post-traumatic growth”; many people feel that crises like losing a job or a breakup in a relationship allow them to reflect on their lives and make positive changes.

5. Choose Your Response:  Keep in mind that everyone has bad days and goes through crises from time to time. There is a choice in our response: panic and negativity are options, or we can remain cool and reasonable to come up with an answer. It’s always up to you how you react.

6. Maintain A Clear Head: Individuals with high levels of resilience recognise that while a circumstance or crisis may appear overwhelming at the time, it may not have a lasting impact. Avoid exaggerating the significance of occurrences.

7. Set Some Goals For Yourself:  Learn to develop SMART, effective personal goals that are in line with your beliefs and can help you learn from your mistakes if you haven’t previously.

8. Build Your Self-Confidence:  Resilient people, on the other hand, believe in their ability to succeed in the long run despite obstacles or pressures. Confidence and a strong sense of self allow people to take risks and keep moving forward, all of which are necessary if someone wants to succeed.

9. Build Solid Connections With Others: It’s been proven that people who have great work relationships cope better with stress and are more satisfied in their jobs. You’ll be more resilient since you’ll have a strong support network to lean on if things get tough in your personal life as well. Here, it is critical to treat individuals with compassion and sensitivity.

10. Be Open To New Ideas:  Things change, and even the most meticulously laid plans may need to be modified or cancelled at times.

“‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else” ― Henry Ward Beecher

THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE

According to an American Psychological Association (APA) report, The Road to Resilience, being resilient does not mean that a person is impervious to adversity or distress. People who have faced severe difficulty in their lives are more prone to suffer from emotional distress and dissatisfaction (e.g., doctors). In truth, the path to resilience is likely to be paved with a great deal of emotional suffering. Resilience is not a trait that can be gained or lost over time. Because these behaviours, attitudes, and actions can be learned and developed by anybody, they can be acquired and developed by anyone.”

Resilience is defined by psychologists as the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or severe causes of stress, such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or employment and financial stressors.

As much as resilience entails “bouncing back” from adversity, it can also entail tremendous personal growth.

The APA offers these 10 ways to build resilience:

1. Make connections. “Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience.”

2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. “Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better.”

3. Accept that change is a part of living. “Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.”

4. Move toward your goals. “Do something regularly—even if it seems like a small accomplishment—that enables you to move toward your goals.”

5. Take decisive actions. “Rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away, act on adverse situations as much as you can.”

6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. “People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss.”

7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. “Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.”

8. Keep things in perspective. “Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.”

9. Maintain a hopeful outlook. “Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.”

10. Take care of yourself. “Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.”

“Strong people alone know how to organize their suffering so as to bear only the most necessary pain” ― Emil Dorian.

Thus, . . . .

Despite the fact that life does not come with a map, everyone will experience twists and turns, ranging from minor setbacks to devastating occurrences with long-term consequences, such as the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a life-threatening illness. Each shift has a distinct impact on people, bringing with it a unique stream of thoughts, powerful emotions, and a sense of insecurity. Despite this, people often adjust effectively over time to life-changing crises and stressful conditions—in part because to their ability to maintain their composure.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST – THE ROAD TO BAND 5+

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

There are two types of IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic (suitable for students who want to pursue higher studies abroad).
  • IELTS General training (suitable for people who wish to migrate to English speaking countries).

NB: The Listening Test and Speaking Test sections are the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General, whereas Reading and Writing sections vary slightly.. It is structured in such a way that does not allow test takers to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The IELTS SPEAKING Test lasts between11–14 minutes in a face-to-face interview with the IELTS Examiner. The Test includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion

My advice to my students is to:

  • Feel confident and remind them to relax and enjoy the conversation with the examiner.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Use fillers and hesitation devices if they need ‘thinking time’ before answering.
  • Realise, it is their language level not their opinions which are being evaluated.

The Speaking Test is divided into three parts: .

Part 1[Introduction and interview] Test takers answer general questions about themselves and a range of familiar topics, such as their home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2[Individual long turn] Test takers are given a booklet which asks them to talk about a particular topic. They have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3[Two-way discussion] Test takers are asked further questions which are connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give the test taker an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

There are four evaluation criteria on the Speaking Test:

  1. Fluency and Coherence               = how clear and structured is your speech.
  2. Lexical Resource                           = how good is your vocabulary.
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy  = how good is your grammar.
  4. Pronunciation                                 = how naturally you sound.
What are you waiting for? Kindly JOIN my classes and ace it!!

The 18 Don’ts For The IELTS Speaking Test

1. Don’t Ever Think That The Speaking Test Is The Easiest part of the exam.

Because the examiners are friendly, this section may appear to be simple. You are on your own for the rest of the exam, so it may appear that you have someone to assist you in this section.

However, in order to ensure fairness, the examiner must adhere to extremely strict rules. They evaluate all candidates using the same set of criteria.

Remember that all the four sub-tests have the same level of difficulty, but you may find one part of the exam easier than others depending on your language skills.

2. Don’t Memorise Answers

Many people believe that the best way to perform well on the Speaking Test is to memorise scripted answers and simply use them during the test. This is a bad idea because memorised answers are obvious, and examiners are trained to detect them. Not only will you lose marks, but the examiners may also ask you more difficult questions in order to test your English competency and determine your true level.

3. Don’t Worry About The Examiner’s Opinion

According to some students, you can only do well on the Speaking Test if the examiner agrees with your point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Examiners aren’t interested in your thoughts; they simply want you to demonstrate your ability to speak. Concentrate on responding to the question in a fluent, grammatically correct manner.

The truth is that only your pronunciation is evaluated, not your accent.

4. Don’t Insert Lots Of ‘Big’ Words

A common misconception is that in order to get a high score on the test, you must use very long, ‘complicated’ words in every sentence. This is not true. However, you should try to demonstrate to the examiner that you have a diverse vocabulary, so avoid using words you don’t fully understand. If you try to use ‘complicated’ words that you don’t fully understand, you will almost certainly make mistakes and lose marks.

My 100% rule is that if you aren’t certain about the meaning and form of a word, don’t use it.

Here are some connectors you can use to structure your speech in an organized manner:

  • Firstly, secondly, last but not least
  • Moreover, furthermore, in addition
  • Consequently, therefore, as a result
  • In order to, so as to, so that

5. Don’t Take Notes While Preparing For Part 2.

You may want to take notes, but sometimes it is better to simply think about the subject. You have one minute to prepare. If you spend that time writing, you may be wasting valuable thinking time.

Every topic card contains a few ideas that you should incorporate into your speech; therefore, organise your speech around these ideas. Spend one minute thinking about brief responses to each sub-question.

Once you have a brief response in mind, you will be able to expand on it while speaking by providing examples and discussing how those answers relate to you. Most people have no qualms about talking about themselves because it is a topic they are familiar with.

The truth is that you might want to take some notes, but since you only have one minute, you might be better off just thinking about the topic in Part 2.

6. Don’t Show Off Your Grammar

Many candidates believe that in order to receive a high grade, they must show the examiner how fantastic their grammar is. Again, the risk here is attempting to use grammar that you are unfamiliar with and then losing control of the sentence. Consider the tense you’ll need to use when practising, as well as functional language for expressing opinions, contrasting points, emphasising, and so on.

It’s actually preferable to experiment with complex grammatical structures and make a few errors than to use very simple sentences.

Even if they make mistakes, a candidate who only uses short and simple sentences, for example, will receive a lower score than a candidate who attempts to use a conditional clause.

7. Don’t underestimate any of the four parts of evaluation criteria.

Grammar is only one of four evaluation criteria used to determine your score on the speaking test. The others are Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource (vocabulary range), and Pronunciation.

They are all equally significant.

As a result, if you excel at grammar, one-fourth of your final score will almost certainly be high. However, if you want to get a high overall score, you must also show a wide vocabulary range. If you can use a lot of words to correctly express what you want to say, you’ll do well here.

You must also be very good at pronouncing words. This refers to your ability to correctly pronounce individual sounds as well as use appropriate intonation and word stress.

8. Don’t Answer A Question If You Don’t Understand It

If you don’t understand a question, it’s fine to ask the examiner to repeat it or ask it differently.

You could use some of the following phrases to accomplish this:

  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Could you please repeat the question?
  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Would you mind repeating the question?

Before responding to a question, it is best to clarify it. If you do this a few times, you will not lose points; however, if you ask the examiner to repeat every single question, the examiner may believe you have a problem understanding spoken English, and you will receive a lower score.

The truth: If you don’t understand a question, you should ask for clarification.

9. If You Don’t Know The Answer To A Question, You Cannot Get A High Score.

This exam does not assess your understanding of specific topics. Examiners care more about how you say things than what you say.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t know what to say when asked, “How do teenagers have fun in your country?” you can explain why. “I’m not sure I can accurately answer the question because I’m no longer a teenager, but I could tell you about how I used to have fun when I was a teenager.” I anticipate that this will have changed significantly because…”

This shows the examiner that you can speak and develop responses even when you are not in your comfort zone.

10. Don’t Say Nothing

This may appear to be obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many students would rather say nothing than provide an answer. It is always preferable to make an attempt to respond rather than simply saying nothing. Many students believe this because their previous teacher told them not to say anything or chastised them if they didn’t know the answer.

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you are not expected to give a perfect response to a question or to be an expert in many different areas. The most important thing is to show that you can speak. If you don’t know the answer, you can always say something like ‘I don’t know much about this subject, but I believe…’ or ‘I’m not really sure, but if I had to guess….’ and then try to answer.

11. Don’t Run Out Of Ideas In Part 3.

Part 3 assesses your ability to distance yourself from the topic of Part 2 and speak more abstractly about topics of general interest. You must demonstrate your ability to describe things in detail, compare and contrast concepts, generalise, and draw conclusions.

So repeating your ideas from Part 2 is unlikely to provide an answer to the questions in Part 3.

12. Don’t Prioritise Grammar Over Fluency

You will receive separate marks in the exam for grammatical accuracy and fluency. Most students are more concerned with their grammar than their fluency, and as a result, the latter suffers. It is critical to give equal weight to all parts.

13. Don’t Worry About Your Accent

Your accent is not an evaluation criterion. Although you will be graded on your pronunciation, you will not be expected to have a native accent.

When evaluating candidates’ pronunciation, examiners pay close attention to individual sound pronunciation, word stress, and intonation.

In fact, as long as your ability to communicate is not hindered by your accent, it is irrelevant in the speaking test.

14. Don’t Get Too Nervous

Nervousness is a natural reaction to a test, but it can lower a person’s score in a number of ways. People who are nervous tend to speak at a very low volume, making it difficult for the examiner to understand them. When people are nervous, they mumble, which is obviously inappropriate in a speaking test. The key is to properly prepare, and as a result, you will feel more confident.

15. Don’t Be Late

Allow plenty of time to get to the testing centre and find out where your speaking test will be held. Arriving early allows you to become acquainted with your surroundings and focus solely on the exam. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff any questions you have; they are there to help.

16. Don’t Cover All The Parts Of The Task In Part 2

In Part 2, your topic card will have a main topic and four questions on it. You must actually speak about all of the questions and devote roughly equal time to each of them.

If you have four questions on the topic card, you should spend about 30 seconds on each of them, for a total of two minutes speaking.

After giving several such brief presentations, through practice, you’ll get a sense of how long 30 seconds are and when you should move on to the next point.

The truth is that you must answer all of the questions in Part 2 in an equal amount of time.

17. If You Don’t Hesitate When Speaking, You’ll Make A Good Impression.

The importance of coherence is equal to that of fluency (being logical, and making sense). Avoiding hesitation is a good idea, but you also need to keep your response logical and organised.

If you keep talking and talking without making much sense, you are fluent but not coherent. The overall impression will be one of dissatisfaction.

Keep in mind, however, that some hesitancy is normal. It is unacceptable to speak without first taking a breath or thinking.

Try using some of these filler phrases to make your hesitations sound more natural:

  • To put it differently…
  • What do you call it…wait a second…I have it right there.
  • Well…
  • You see…

The truth is that fluency (speaking smoothly and without hesitation) will not make a good impression on its own. You must also be able to speak clearly (logically, organized).

FINALLY . . .

18. Don’t Rely On The Examiner

Some students believe that the speaking examiner will prompt you if you are talking too much or too little, not speaking loudly enough, or not staying on topic. In reality, the examiner is under no obligation to do any of these things, and she or he will let you make mistakes without notifying you.

Take control of your own speaking and don’t look to the examiner for cues or assistance.

Dear Candidate,

By word of mouth, this appears to be simple and doable. That is not the case! Only after enrolling in the course and completing the IELTS General Course will you appreciate the work I do and carry out with you.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST – THE ROAD TO BAND 5+

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

There are two types of IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic (suitable for students who want to pursue higher studies abroad).
  • IELTS General training (suitable for people who wish to migrate to English speaking countries).

NB: The Listening Test and Speaking Test sections are the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General, whereas Reading and Writing sections vary slightly.. It is structured in such a way that does not allow test takers to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The IELTS SPEAKING Test lasts between11–14 minutes in a face-to-face interview with the IELTS Examiner. The Test includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion

My advice to my students is to:

  • Feel confident and remind them to relax and enjoy the conversation with the examiner.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Use fillers and hesitation devices if they need ‘thinking time’ before answering.
  • Realise, it is their language level not their opinions which are being evaluated.

The Speaking Test is divided into three parts: .

Part 1[Introduction and interview] Test takers answer general questions about themselves and a range of familiar topics, such as their home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2[Individual long turn] Test takers are given a booklet which asks them to talk about a particular topic. They have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3[Two-way discussion] Test takers are asked further questions which are connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give the test taker an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

There are four evaluation criteria on the Speaking Test:

  1. Fluency and Coherence               = how clear and structured is your speech.
  2. Lexical Resource                           = how good is your vocabulary.
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy  = how good is your grammar.
  4. Pronunciation                                 = how naturally you sound.
What are you waiting for? Kindly JOIN my classes and ace it!!

The 18 Don’ts For The IELTS Speaking Test

1. Don’t Ever Think That The Speaking Test Is The Easiest part of the exam.

Because the examiners are friendly, this section may appear to be simple. You are on your own for the rest of the exam, so it may appear that you have someone to assist you in this section.

However, in order to ensure fairness, the examiner must adhere to extremely strict rules. They evaluate all candidates using the same set of criteria.

Remember that all the four sub-tests have the same level of difficulty, but you may find one part of the exam easier than others depending on your language skills.

2. Don’t Memorise Answers

Many people believe that the best way to perform well on the Speaking Test is to memorise scripted answers and simply use them during the test. This is a bad idea because memorised answers are obvious, and examiners are trained to detect them. Not only will you lose marks, but the examiners may also ask you more difficult questions in order to test your English competency and determine your true level.

3. Don’t Worry About The Examiner’s Opinion

According to some students, you can only do well on the Speaking Test if the examiner agrees with your point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Examiners aren’t interested in your thoughts; they simply want you to demonstrate your ability to speak. Concentrate on responding to the question in a fluent, grammatically correct manner.

The truth is that only your pronunciation is evaluated, not your accent.

4. Don’t Insert Lots Of ‘Big’ Words

A common misconception is that in order to get a high score on the test, you must use very long, ‘complicated’ words in every sentence. This is not true. However, you should try to demonstrate to the examiner that you have a diverse vocabulary, so avoid using words you don’t fully understand. If you try to use ‘complicated’ words that you don’t fully understand, you will almost certainly make mistakes and lose marks.

My 100% rule is that if you aren’t certain about the meaning and form of a word, don’t use it.

Here are some connectors you can use to structure your speech in an organized manner:

  • Firstly, secondly, last but not least
  • Moreover, furthermore, in addition
  • Consequently, therefore, as a result
  • In order to, so as to, so that

5. Don’t Take Notes While Preparing For Part 2.

You may want to take notes, but sometimes it is better to simply think about the subject. You have one minute to prepare. If you spend that time writing, you may be wasting valuable thinking time.

Every topic card contains a few ideas that you should incorporate into your speech; therefore, organise your speech around these ideas. Spend one minute thinking about brief responses to each sub-question.

Once you have a brief response in mind, you will be able to expand on it while speaking by providing examples and discussing how those answers relate to you. Most people have no qualms about talking about themselves because it is a topic they are familiar with.

The truth is that you might want to take some notes, but since you only have one minute, you might be better off just thinking about the topic in Part 2.

6. Don’t Show Off Your Grammar

Many candidates believe that in order to receive a high grade, they must show the examiner how fantastic their grammar is. Again, the risk here is attempting to use grammar that you are unfamiliar with and then losing control of the sentence. Consider the tense you’ll need to use when practising, as well as functional language for expressing opinions, contrasting points, emphasising, and so on.

It’s actually preferable to experiment with complex grammatical structures and make a few errors than to use very simple sentences.

Even if they make mistakes, a candidate who only uses short and simple sentences, for example, will receive a lower score than a candidate who attempts to use a conditional clause.

7. Don’t underestimate any of the four parts of evaluation criteria.

Grammar is only one of four evaluation criteria used to determine your score on the speaking test. The others are Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource (vocabulary range), and Pronunciation.

They are all equally significant.

As a result, if you excel at grammar, one-fourth of your final score will almost certainly be high. However, if you want to get a high overall score, you must also show a wide vocabulary range. If you can use a lot of words to correctly express what you want to say, you’ll do well here.

You must also be very good at pronouncing words. This refers to your ability to correctly pronounce individual sounds as well as use appropriate intonation and word stress.

8. Don’t Answer A Question If You Don’t Understand It

If you don’t understand a question, it’s fine to ask the examiner to repeat it or ask it differently.

You could use some of the following phrases to accomplish this:

  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Could you please repeat the question?
  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Would you mind repeating the question?

Before responding to a question, it is best to clarify it. If you do this a few times, you will not lose points; however, if you ask the examiner to repeat every single question, the examiner may believe you have a problem understanding spoken English, and you will receive a lower score.

The truth: If you don’t understand a question, you should ask for clarification.

9. If You Don’t Know The Answer To A Question, You Cannot Get A High Score.

This exam does not assess your understanding of specific topics. Examiners care more about how you say things than what you say.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t know what to say when asked, “How do teenagers have fun in your country?” you can explain why. “I’m not sure I can accurately answer the question because I’m no longer a teenager, but I could tell you about how I used to have fun when I was a teenager.” I anticipate that this will have changed significantly because…”

This shows the examiner that you can speak and develop responses even when you are not in your comfort zone.

10. Don’t Say Nothing

This may appear to be obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many students would rather say nothing than provide an answer. It is always preferable to make an attempt to respond rather than simply saying nothing. Many students believe this because their previous teacher told them not to say anything or chastised them if they didn’t know the answer.

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you are not expected to give a perfect response to a question or to be an expert in many different areas. The most important thing is to show that you can speak. If you don’t know the answer, you can always say something like ‘I don’t know much about this subject, but I believe…’ or ‘I’m not really sure, but if I had to guess….’ and then try to answer.

11. Don’t Run Out Of Ideas In Part 3.

Part 3 assesses your ability to distance yourself from the topic of Part 2 and speak more abstractly about topics of general interest. You must demonstrate your ability to describe things in detail, compare and contrast concepts, generalise, and draw conclusions.

So repeating your ideas from Part 2 is unlikely to provide an answer to the questions in Part 3.

12. Don’t Prioritise Grammar Over Fluency

You will receive separate marks in the exam for grammatical accuracy and fluency. Most students are more concerned with their grammar than their fluency, and as a result, the latter suffers. It is critical to give equal weight to all parts.

13. Don’t Worry About Your Accent

Your accent is not an evaluation criterion. Although you will be graded on your pronunciation, you will not be expected to have a native accent.

When evaluating candidates’ pronunciation, examiners pay close attention to individual sound pronunciation, word stress, and intonation.

In fact, as long as your ability to communicate is not hindered by your accent, it is irrelevant in the speaking test.

14. Don’t Get Too Nervous

Nervousness is a natural reaction to a test, but it can lower a person’s score in a number of ways. People who are nervous tend to speak at a very low volume, making it difficult for the examiner to understand them. When people are nervous, they mumble, which is obviously inappropriate in a speaking test. The key is to properly prepare, and as a result, you will feel more confident.

15. Don’t Be Late

Allow plenty of time to get to the testing centre and find out where your speaking test will be held. Arriving early allows you to become acquainted with your surroundings and focus solely on the exam. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff any questions you have; they are there to help.

16. Don’t Cover All The Parts Of The Task In Part 2

In Part 2, your topic card will have a main topic and four questions on it. You must actually speak about all of the questions and devote roughly equal time to each of them.

If you have four questions on the topic card, you should spend about 30 seconds on each of them, for a total of two minutes speaking.

After giving several such brief presentations, through practice, you’ll get a sense of how long 30 seconds are and when you should move on to the next point.

The truth is that you must answer all of the questions in Part 2 in an equal amount of time.

17. If You Don’t Hesitate When Speaking, You’ll Make A Good Impression.

The importance of coherence is equal to that of fluency (being logical, and making sense). Avoiding hesitation is a good idea, but you also need to keep your response logical and organised.

If you keep talking and talking without making much sense, you are fluent but not coherent. The overall impression will be one of dissatisfaction.

Keep in mind, however, that some hesitancy is normal. It is unacceptable to speak without first taking a breath or thinking.

Try using some of these filler phrases to make your hesitations sound more natural:

  • To put it differently…
  • What do you call it…wait a second…I have it right there.
  • Well…
  • You see…

The truth is that fluency (speaking smoothly and without hesitation) will not make a good impression on its own. You must also be able to speak clearly (logically, organized).

FINALLY . . .

18. Don’t Rely On The Examiner

Some students believe that the speaking examiner will prompt you if you are talking too much or too little, not speaking loudly enough, or not staying on topic. In reality, the examiner is under no obligation to do any of these things, and she or he will let you make mistakes without notifying you.

Take control of your own speaking and don’t look to the examiner for cues or assistance.

Dear Candidate,

By word of mouth, this appears to be simple and doable. That is not the case! Only after enrolling in the course and completing the IELTS General Course will you appreciate the work I do and carry out with you.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

ACE IT! ESSENTIAL INFORMATION TO ACHIEVE THE BEST FROM YOUR ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHER

If you really want to take your English acquisition and competence to the next level and are serious about cutting back on mistakes, and improving naturalness and efficiency, as well as passing your IELTS, English Language or English Literature exams, then I am your English Teacher! I have vast experience as an IELTS, English Teacher and Examiner. My blog here is one testimony of what I can do as well being a Writer – and Freelance Journalist – having written TWO books: Writing Elements@High School and Good Manners & Other Life Lessons.You can also buy my ebooks here in the Shop or listen to my podcast episodes on Spotify – English@HighSchool

Book Cover 1 GC

My work as an ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHER has got FIVE key areas aimed at EXAM PREPARATION in: GCSE and IGCSE; IELTS; SAT; AP English and ACT English

This is essentially students at High School although, I have engaged a few high-flying students from Middle School and five at undergraduate first year university.

GCSE & IGCSE: Are IGCSEs equivalent to GCSEs?

GCSE stands for General Certificate in Secondary Education, We have two sets of exams: GCSE, which is UK-based’s National Curriculum, although some schools abroad are taking it and IGCSE, which is the international component taken by thousands of students outside the UK.

Cambridge IGCSE was created as a GCSE examination for international use and the academic demands (‘standards’) of Cambridge IGCSE are equivalent to those of GCSE. This means students can be confident that their Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK’s GCSEs by leading universities worldwide.

The IGCSE is the world’s most popular exam qualification for 14 to 16 year olds, and the Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities and employers everywhere.

Cambridge IGCSE exams are held in May/June and in October/November each year. The May/June sitting is the more widely available.

There is a general belief in some quarters that the new 9-1 GCSE grading system is more challenging than the IGCSE. However, this is controversial and there is not, at present, a conclusive proof that this is generally the case.

The new GCSEs, with their new grading system, were introduced, to identify the most academically able, as fewer students will now be awarded the top grade of 9. Grades 8 and 9 in the new system are equivalent to A* in the old system, with Grade 9 being reserved for the crème de la crème of young people.

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My Experience

I have experience as a Teacher and I/GCSE Examiner for . . .

  • Cambridge IGCSE First Language
  • Cambridge IGCSE English Literature

Currently, my remit is with Pearson Edexcel as an Examiner in the following subjects:

  • Pearson Edexcel GCSE
  • Edexcel International GCSEs in English Language A and English Literature
  • Pearson Test Of English (PTE) General

Although not an Examiner, I also have experience teaching IGCSE English as a Second Language.

For assessment purposes all GCSE questions encourage an informed personal response and test all FOUR assessment objectives (AO). Candidates will have to demonstrate the following:

    • knowledge of the content of the text – through reference to detail and use of quotations from the text (AO1).
    • understanding of characters, relationships, situations and themes (AO2).
    • understanding of writer’s intentions and methods – response to the writer’s use of language; personal response – sometimes directly (answering questions such as ‘What do you think?’, (AO3).
    • ‘What are your feelings about…?’) and sometimes by implication (answering questions such as ‘Explore the ways in which…’) (AO4).

Rest assured, Dear Reader, that my tutoring and exam preparation will develop YOU into a successful reader, listener, writer, thinker and speaker hence I have a 14-day money back guarantee.

My emphasis is on language skills, encouraging students to use relevant vocabulary, correct grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as exhibiting a sense of style and consciousness of audience.

The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

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IELTS Crash-Course Preparation

The IELTS Academic is the most popular English-Language test that’s used for work, study, and migration, recognized by over 10,000 organizations in 140 countries around the world. It is taken by those planning to study for higher education, such as in a university or college. For these candidates, their admission to an undergraduate or postgraduate programme or courses may be based on the results of the IELTS Academic.

My IELTS Preparation course is a one to one basis course to cater for IELTS applicants according to their own level and schedule. Conducting a small group of friends is another option where their level in English is identical.

I prepare students through all FOUR SKILLS in IELTS Academic and General modules with concentration on the skills students have difficulties with.

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IELTS Modules

1- The Academic Module: It is for students who wish to study at a college or university abroad.

2- The General Training Module: It is suitable for people who wish to complete their secondary education in an English-speaking country, for participants of work experience / training programmes, and those who need it for immigration purposes.

IELTS Options

Option 1  – 20 hours one to one IELTS Preparation + 5 Free Mock Exams

Option 2 – You can decide about the number of hours and pay your tuition fee accordingly in advance.

Option 3 – Do you prefer to join the course with your friends? A massive deposit will apply starting with two students: each one will receive 10% discount; 3 students: each one will receive 20% discount; and 4 students: each one will receive 30% discount.

Schedule: According to student’s time and availability (Flexible for students)

IELTS Test Sections – The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The test has four parts covering all four language skills:

  • Listening (30 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (60 minutes)
  • Speaking (11 – 14 minutes)

IELTS Preparation Course Description

LISTENING: My concentration is listening tactics, predicting the answer and understanding the conversation.

READING: My concentration is Scan and Skim skills, Gist, Clue & Keywords, Main idea finding, Topic Sentence, answering methods for all types of IELTS questions and Reading and Answer boosting.

WRITING: My concentration is Grammatical lessons, Correct structure and templates, brainstorming, analysis of graphs, diagrams, etc.

The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

 

 

 

 

 

SAT (English), ACT Test & AP English Preparation Courses

These are US-based courses recognised by many universities around the world.These courses have steadily gained popularity with many international and national schools. 

SAT Preparation –

I offer one to one SAT Preparation course as well as small groups for you and your friends packaged at 10 SAT ENGLISH sessions.

AP English –

I also have experience teaching and preparing students for AP English Language and Composition & AP English Composition and Literature

The ACT Test – 

Just like the SAT and AP English courses, the ACT is an admissions exam used by universities to evaluate undergraduate applicants. More than 200 universities outside of the US, including many in Europe, Asia and Africa, accept and value the ACT.

 The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

Payment Methods

All my payments are in US$ (United States dollar) regardless of where my students live. In addition, I only accept payments from debit and credit cards as well as from reputable third parties who process payments for me. These are:

  • PayPal (www.paypal.com) – It is one of the best choice for receiving payments and has been around for a long time. It has the added advantage of being widely known and used.
  • Western Union (www.westernunion.com) – I also receive payment via Western Union from students who don’t have a credit or debit card.
  • Bank Transfers – Depending on where you are and whether a bank transfer is permissible, one can engage a bank transfers and takes a few days for funds to reach my bank account. One incurs bank charges along the way.

Cancellation Policy

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I respect that your time is valuable and I appreciate that you understand mine is too.

I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellation that occurs 24 hours or more before the scheduled time start of OUR lesson can be re-booked at no additional cost to you. Without that, you forfeit any payment made.

Other Courses Available For You

Besides teaching the standardized subjects – IELTS, IGCSE and GCSE, ACT and SAT as well AP English – I also offer tailor-made courses for struggling and high flying pupils. With customised learning pathways linked to your own unique goals, you can benefit from tailored lessons that give you the hands-on English skills you need for academic purposes or for improving your communication in the workplace.

 I run through email and home-learning courses (or on your desktop or tablet) at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels for students at High School. These courses cover FOUR levels at:

  1. Standard Course for High School pupils – eg: preparatory SAT, Revision Techniques
  2. Most Popular courses for Year 11 and 12 students – eg: Course work/Research report
  3. Tailor-Made Course for specific needs – eg: Analysing Poetry, Short Stories;
  4. Course-Through Assessment First for those who just want to meet a particular need and then move on – eg: English Literature Essay Writing, Composition Writing (specific genres: discursive, narrative, argumentative, persuasive, etc)

Hence, my motto: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

Dear Reader, please note that you will receive feedback from me every step of the way to help and support your continued improvement.

Monthly Subscriptions Plans

I have got flexible monthly subscriptions plans – 5, 10, and 15 lessons – per month that suits your budget and lifestyle. Kindly email me and we will engage each other. You can change or cancel your subscription at any time.

Certificate Of Achievement

You will receive English@HighSchool certificate of achievement to celebrate your learning, as well as a new-found confidence in using the English language effectively and proficiently. I also provide comprehensive report on your performance and any references whenever needed.

Proofreading And Editing

I carry out all SPaG [Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar] related cases for your assignment, dissertation, university application, research paper, literature review,etc. This means . . .

  • Editing, proofreading and formatting – all included in a single fee!
  • Your document is proofread to correct all English Language errors.
  • Your edited work has an improved style, clarity, and sentence structure.

Do you want to find out more?

Please fill in the form below and engage me in a conversation that will change your WRITING, READING and ANALYTICAL style. I truly believe IN YOU and would be happy to engage you.

Good luck in all your endeavours. 

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (6)

HOMOPHONES are two or more words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings.

In the sentence below, for example, every word is spelled correctly but three words are the wrong words, and even the spellchecker will not flag one of them.

Can you spot the homophones in the sentence below?

I herd the reign ruined there picnic.

 One great way to improve spelling skills is to learn the correct spellings and meanings of common sets of homophones.

A large percentage of spelling errors at High School are actually homophone usage errors.

Written correctly, the sentence should, of course, read:

 I heard the rain ruined their picnic.

pexels-photo-256417.jpegIncluded below are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones.

To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • what part of speech it is (sometimes).
  • a very brief definition.
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.
  • answers to the sentences given at the end.

Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. affect/effect

  • Affect means to change or make a difference to . . .
  • Effect means a result; to bring about a result; used as a verb meaning to cause/achieve or to bring about . . .

Using the correct use of affect/effect, fill in the sentences:

  • The medicine did not . . . . the way the doctor had hoped.
  • The magician . . . (ed) his escape with a false door
  • The new medicine had negative side . . . .

2. accept/except

  • To accept is to agree to receive or do . . .
  • except means not including . . .

Using the correct use of accept/except, fill in the sentences:

  1. The organization will . . . donations from well-wishers.
  2. You may donate all items . . . car seats and cribs.

3. altogether/all together

  • Altogether means “completely” or “entirely,”eg: He denied all knowledge of it’
  • All together refers to a group of people or things that act collectively or at the same time, eg: “Let’s raise our glasses all together!” 

4. aloud/allowed

  • Use aloud when referring to something said out loud.
  • Use allowed when referring to something permitted.

Using the correct use of aloud/allowed, fill in the sentences:

  1. Reading . . . – and doing it well– is a skill that requires much practice.
  2. Dogs are not . . . to be on school property between 2:45-4pm.

5. advice/advise

  • Advice is a recommendations about what to do.
  • Advise is a verb meaning to recommend something.

Using the correct use of advice/advise, fill in the sentences:

  1. Shona . . . Holy to avoid the questionable chicken salad.
  2. Charles gave Paul good . . . .

6. assure/ensure/insure

  • Assure means to tell someone that something will definitely happen or is definitely true.
  • Ensure means to guarantee or make sure of something.
  • Insure means to take out an insurance policy.

Using the correct use of assure/ensure/insure, fill in the sentences:

  1. Lennie took steps to . . . that no one cheated at Bingo.
  2. The car was . . . against damage caused by flooding.
  3. Tad assured Pearl that no one would cheat at Bingo.

7. addition/edition

  • An addition is something that is added.
  • An edition is one in a series of printed material.

Using the correct use of addition/edition, fill in the sentences:

  1. Did you see the latest . . . of the paper?
  2. We built an . . . . onto the house.

8. adverse/averse

  • Adverse – unfavourable, harmful
  • Averse – strongly disliking; opposed

Using the correct use of adverse/averse, fill in the sentences:

  1. Taxes are having an . . . effect on production.
  2. He was a man known to be extremely controlling and . . . to intrusions.

9. aisle/isle

  • Aisle a passage between rows of seats
  • Isle is an island

Using the correct use of aisle/isle, fill in the sentences:

  1. He lives in the British . . . .
  2. The musical had the audience dancing in the . . . .

10. along/a long

  • Along is moving or extending horizontally on
  • A long refers to something of great length

Using the correct use of along/a long, fill in the sentences:

  1. We just continued to plod . . . the tasks.
  2. I went for . . . . walk.

11. altar/alter

  • Altar is a sacred table in a church
  • Alter is to change

Using the correct use of altar/alter, fill in the sentences:

  1. Andrew was persuaded to . . . the passage.
  2. I spent time in the cathedral admiring the . . . and ceiling.

12. amoral/immoral

  •  Amoral is not concerned with right or wrong
  • Immoral means not following accepted moral standards

Using the correct use of amoral/immoral, fill in the sentences:

  1. The client pays for the . . . expertise of the lawyer.
  2. The council judged the film to be . . . and obscene.

13. appraise/apprise

  • To appraise is to assess
  • To apprise is to inform someone

Using the correct use of appraise/apprise, fill in the sentences:

  1. There is a need to . . . existing techniques in the Department.
  2. I thought it right to . . . Chris of what had happened.

14. assent/ascent/accent

  • Assent is an agreement, approval
  • Ascent is the action of rising or climbing up

Using the correct use of assent/ascent, fill in the sentences:

  1. There was a loud murmur of . . . to the new proposal.
  2. The . . . grew steeper as we climbed the mountain.

15. aural/oral

  •  Aural is relating to the ears or hearing ‘
  • Oral is relating to the mouth; spoken

Using the correct use of aural/oral, fill in the sentences:

  1. The information was held in written,  . . . , or visual form.
  2. The class had an . . . discussion of the topic.

ANSWERS: #1. a) affect   b) effected   c) effects; #2. a) accept   b) except; #4. a) aloud    b) allowed; #5 a) advised   b) advice; #6. a) ensure   b) insured c) assured; #7. a) edition   b) addition; #8. a) adverse   b) averse; #9. a) Isles    b) aisles; #10. a) along    b) a long; #11. a) alter   b) altar; #12. a) amoral   b) immoral; #13. a) appraise   b) apprise; #14. a) assent   b) ascent; #15. a) aural   b) oral

How did you fair?

HOMOPHONES are quite tricky and need a lot of care and attention. It is always advisable to EDIT your work if you are someone who tends to get confused with them. In the end you will get the hang of it!

AGAIN, PRACTICE makes it perfect. Good luck in all your endeavours

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL

 

AMAZING DO-ABLE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS & OTHERS IN 2022

Happy New Year to you and your families. Can you imagine that we are almost at the end of January and February is reckoning. Do you seem tired and exhausted of it already? Why?

MONEY SAVING PLANS

My sincere apologies on digressing – I am not a money matters expert but sitting down with my Mrs on New Year’s day, we just started talking about money saving challenges available so . . .

If saving money is high on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, there is a simple way to ensure you have a nice nest egg at the end of 2022, without it, feeling too punishing.

Is your financial situation undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive?

THE 365 DAY CHALLENGE 

Apartment Therapy has unveiled a foolproof money-saving approach – the 365 Day Challenge, which could net you almost £1,500 ($2 023) over the course of the year by putting aside a small sum of money each day.

Every Sunday, you put aside £1, on Monday it’s £2 and so on until Saturday when you put away £7 before starting again at one the following week. This amounts to £28 ($38) per week, and £1 456 ($1 976) a year.

Because it’s a case of saving just a few pounds, the plan should not feel like too much of a burden day-to-day.

52 WEEK CHALLENGE

Anyone who’s searched for a way to save more money has probably heard of the 52 Week Challenge. It’s a way to slowly build up your savings throughout the year—you start by putting aside $1 on week one, $2 on week 2, and so on until you reach week 52, putting aside $52 that week. In total, if you follow the 52 Week Challenge, you’ll save $1,378 (£1 000) by the end of the year. Easy enough, right?

OTHER WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

Just saving loose change has persuaded many people that they are able to save.  And when they become convinced that they can save, they find other ways to build an emergency fund or save for other goals.

Establish your budget. Are you looking for an easy way to begin? On the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month you will be able to clearly see where your money is going.

Budget with cash and envelopes. If you have trouble with overspending, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone, it’s gone.

Don’t just save money, SAVE. There’s a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account to plan for other expenses or emergencies that can leave you financially better off.

Save automatically. Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. This means saving automatically.  As millions of savers have learned, what you don’t see you won’t miss.

Choose something to save for. One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal: choose between a short-term and long term goals! Start by thinking of what you might want to save for—anything from buying a lap top to a vacation—then figure out how long it might take you to save for it.

Aim for short-term savings goals. Make a goal such as setting aside $20 (£15) a week or month, rather than a longer term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.

Save your loose change. An easy way to start to save is to collect your loose change. By being aware of the loose change around you and making a conscious effort to save it and gather it in one place, you will soon reap the rewards of your new saving habit.

Use the 24 hour rule. This rule helps to avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse. Think over each non-essential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online, because you can add items to your cart or wish list and come back to them a day later.

Treat yourself, but use it as an opportunity to save. Match the cost of your non-essential indulgences in savings. So, for example, if you splurge on a smoothie while out running errands, put the same amount into your savings account. And think of it this way, if you can’t afford to save the matching amount, you can’t afford the treat either.

Watch your savings grow. Check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. These simple ways to save money may even inspire you to save more and hit your goals faster.

Everyone has the ability to save. At America Saves, they say “Start Small, Think Big.” You can start with only $10 a week or month. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.

WHERE CAN YOU SAVE YOUR MONEY?

Keep a Cash Jar: Some people feel more productive, savings-wise, if they use cash. If that’s you, and you’d prefer to physically put a dollar (or however many you’re supposed to put aside depending on which day of the week it is) aside every day, try keeping a money jar in a place you’ll remember to drop cash into every day, like on top of your dresser—you’ll see it when you’re getting ready, so you won’t forget. At the end of the week (or month, if you prefer), just deposit the cash into your savings account.

Use a Money App: If you’d rather keep things digital then a money app like Qapital or Acorns will be of great help. These banks are a new way to bank that makes it easy to save and invest money for stuff that matters.

Qapital, for example, lets you set up automatic transfers in the same dollar amount every day, every week, or every month, and has the traditional 52 Week Challenge transfer rule. Always make your homework before committing yourself.

If you don’t mind remembering to put aside money everyday, you can simply transfer the dollar amount for that day into your account with your preferred app—think of it like a digital cash jar, no deposits required. Or, if you’d rather set it and forget it, you can simply set up a recurring automatic weekly transfer of $28, and let your money basically save itself. Minimal effort required, and at the end of the year, your savings account will be nearly $1,500 richer.

Enough of money matters, dear folks . . .

Lastly, whilst doing some chores, one of these chain whatsApp messages popped up. It read:

Welcome to 2022, The Year of Nothing – IF you do NOTHING.

This month’s most popular text trending on phones, whatsApp, Facebook inboxes is all about ‘Happy New Year or Wish you a prosperous 2022’. Now, thank you, but that is the most useless yet popular message all around the world.  It is not about wishes, it is about action!

Pastors will be busy dishing out all types of ‘messages of hope to their respective congregants, The Year of Breakthrough, The Year of Prosperity, The Year of Victory and whatever as their God tells them, but listen, 2020 is a Year of Nothing –  IF you do NOTHING! All the sweet sound messages will not mean anything until you do something yourself.

My message to you friends and folks is: PPP – Pray, Plan and then Pursue. God will only bless what you work on according to His will. Do not be religious but be realistic! Take action and do not keep repeating the same things year in and year out, yet you expect different results. Otherwise 2022 will be like 2017, 2016, 2015 or whatever or even worse. 2022 is just a number, it is not enough to just wish each other a happy one. It will not bring happiness unless you find something that will make you happy.

God has never rewarded idleness. Look at all successful people around you, they all had to do something, they never just waited and hoped. Set up your goals and then prepare, then take up appropriate action.

Do not fear failure. When you try and fail, be happy because you have just learnt one way of not doing things.

Listen to constructive criticism but do not underrate yourself. You are not useless.

Everyone who is normal in the world can do something. It is not about your government always, it is not about God always, it is not about your friends and relatives, it is about YOU. The old say as a man thinks, so he is.

Remember God told Abraham, ‘Look North, South, East and West. As far as your eyes can see, I will give you and your children that land forever!’ Here God was giving Abraham an open cheque. He says you can do anything as long as you believe. Only you, can limit yourself.

So folks, I pray for all of you that God opens your eyes so that you will see limitlessly in 2020.

I am not wishing you a happy 2020, I am praying for you, instead.

Walk in love, believe and be diligent in all you do. Start today, set your goals and move! WALK THE TALK!

Another chain message I came across read like . . .

2022 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Do not be casual in anything you do. Put your best in everything you do. God does not bless mediocrity, average or break-even.
  2. Serve God like never before without looking at what people say. Look continuously to God who is the rewarder of your service.
  3. Sacrifice. The quickest way to turn from captivity is sacrifice. Sacrifice provokes God to act.
  4. Balance devotion and duty. Grace does not take away responsibility. Balance devotion and duty.
  5. Stay spiritually and visionary focused.

Again, I repeat: Welcome to 2022, The Year of Nothing, IF you do NOTHING.

Good luck in all your endeavours in 2022.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL

INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP – THE BEST TRIED & TESTED TECHNIQUES

Let me start by dispelling a common misconception that . . . . a job title does not make a leader inspirational. Also many senior leaders expect employees to follow them because of their title, their company ownership, or their place in the organization’s hierarchy. And many employees do follow a leader for these reasons. However, all these do not mean the leader inspires their best work, support and contribution.

Rather, it’s the ability to drive people to reach great heights of performance and success and to demonstrate the qualities employees will follow by choice—passion, purpose, listening and giving meaning to their role.

Inspirational Leadership Is NOT A Style Of Leadership Per Se

According to research, an inspiring leader can effectively use a variety of leadership styles depending on the scenario at hand without ever losing sight of the inspirational part of their approach. It all comes down to employing the appropriate approaches at the appropriate moment, as well as taking into consideration the needs and motivations of those you are leading.
In other circumstances, the very directed approach will be exactly what is required, and it will be this approach that will serve as the inspiration for your reports. Depending on the situation, a less directed approach may be required, in which staff are encouraged to take the initiative and push for change themselves.

INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP, AT ITS CORE, is about finding ways to enhance the potential of those you lead in a way that works for them, and inspiring others to push themselves, achieve more and reach that potential. The methods by which this is done will vary from person to person, and business to business, but the outcome is always the same – people developing a greater confidence in what they can do, and applying this confidence in a way that benefits the organisation they work for.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to being an inspirational leader

If what you advocate doesn’t truly align with your personal values, then you will always struggle to inspire and motivate those around you. As highlighted previously, one of the key components of being an inspirational leader is a strong conviction in your values, and unless you live in accordance with these on a daily basis, and continually inspire yourself to strive for bigger and better things, you will never achieve true inspirational leader status.

COMMON TRAITS OF INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being an inspirational leader, there are a few key traits that tend to apply across all those considered inspirational, and perhaps unsurprisingly these traits have nothing to do with background, education, intelligence or wealth.

An inspirational leader does not just tell employees they are deeply committed to their clients’ experience. The leader must demonstrate this commitment and passion in every meeting, presentation, and in how they handle customer problems. The leader’s behavior must inspire employees to act in the same way.

The traits that make someone an inspirational leader are far more powerful.

What are the key traits of inspirational leaders?

Self-inspiration – Developing the skills to be an inspirational leader of others is a highly beneficial from an organisational perspective; however it is equally important for leaders to also inspire themselves.

THEY ARE AUTHENTIC – Authenticity is essential for inspirational leaders because it serves as the foundation for respect. Even those who do not agree with your message will show respect if they see that it is driven by principles and is completely in line with what you stand for.

Leaders that constantly adjust their message to cater to the whims of their followers are those who fail to inspire or generate respect. However, while achieving authenticity as a leader is one of the most important qualities, it also necessitates a number of other abilities and traits from this list., it also require several other skills and traits within this list in order to do so.

THEY ARE PASSIONATE – The inspiring leader is enthusiastic about the organization’s vision and mission. They can also communicate their enthusiasm in a way that inspires others to do the same. Shared passion propels organisations to achieve their goal and vision. It is lot simpler to be your real self and inspire those around you if you are attempting to do it in an area about which you are sincerely enthusiastic.

THEY ARE GOOD LISTENERS – Listening is an important element of communication. Leaders should make themselves available to staff on a frequent basis to discuss issues and concerns. The inspiring leader pays attention to the individuals in their organisation. Talking about your passion with others isn’t enough. To share meaning—a favoured and meaningful definition of communication—you must let your staff’s ideas and thoughts to help shape the vision and purpose, or, at the very least, the goals and action plan. No one is ever completely supportive of a course of action in which they had no say. People want to see their ideas implemented—or to understand why they weren’t.

THEY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE – While it is not necessary that you know everything in order to be an inspiration to others, you do need a level of understanding in your field in order to exhibit credibility.

People will not be able to trust what you say if this is not present, and trust is another important component in inspiring others.

THEY ARE INCLUSIVE – To experience inspiration, people need to feel included. Inclusion goes beyond the realm of listening and providing feedback. For real inclusion, people need to feel intimately connected to the actions and processes leading to the accomplishment of the goals or the final decision.

THEY ENGAGE PEOPLE – Engagement as an inspirational leader isn’t only about being engaged with your area of expertise or your particular passion, but also being engaged with those you lead. This means taking the time to listen to the views of others, spend time to understand their concerns, and engaging with them on a personal level.

THEY ARE PERSONABLE – The most inspirational people tend to be the ones we connect with on a personal level; sharing similar values and passions with those you lead is essential, but if you then combine this with an unpleasant approach to interacting with others, this will weaken your influence considerably.

Developing a strong rapport with others, alongside viewing and treating them as important and valuable human beings, is hugely important in becoming an inspiring leader.THEY HAVE SELF-AWARENESS – Highly effective inspirational leaders are not just aware of what their followers appreciate, but are also committed to growing their own self-awareness. Understanding who you are, what motivates and inspires you, and having a clear set of underlying principles that will guide you; and then living according to these, is the pinnacle of being an inspirational leader, and this can only be achieved via self-awareness.

THEY GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT – An inspirational leader gives people what they want within their capabilities.For example, you can’t provide a pay rise if the company is not reaching profit goals. But you must share the rewards if the organization is doing well.

THEY ARE RESILIENT – It is not simple to be a leader. Some individuals will defy or detest you; plans will go awry, and things will get difficult. The key to being a great leader is learning to overcome these problems, but the key to being an inspirational leader is also learning and growing from them, and using your experiences to inform and help others on their journey. As a result, resilience is an important skill to acquire and grow as a leader.

THEY ARE MOTIVATORS – Leaders must motivate their staff to go above and beyond for their organisations; simply offering a fair wage is rarely enough motivation (although it is important too). You can inspire your employees in a variety of methods, including building employee self-esteem through recognition and prizes, or giving staff additional duties to boost their interest in the firm.

THEY DELEGATE – Leaders who attempt to take on too many things on their own will struggle to complete anything. These leaders frequently believe that delegation is a sign of weakness, while in fact it can be a sign of a strong leader.

As a result, you must identify each employee’s skills and assign assignments to each employee depending on his or her skill set. You can focus on other vital activities by delegating responsibilities to staff employees.

We Can All Be Inspirational Leaders

As the list above shows, there is nothing inherently different about inspirational leaders; they’ve simply developed some valuable skills that help them connect with and inspire others. These are skills we can all develop, and may already have within us – so whether you think you currently are an inspirational leader, everyone has the potential to be.

THE INSPIRATIONAL LEADER also understands that, while money is a motivator, so are praise, recognition, rewards, saying thank you, and noticing an individual’s contribution to a successful endeavor. Speaking directly to a contributing employee about the value their work provides for the organization is a key source of inspiration for the recipient. The actions you take every day at work are powerful.

So, How Can You Build Leadership Skills? 

You do not need to supervise or be a manager to cultivate leadership skills. You can develop these skills on the job in the following ways: 

  • Take initiative: Look beyond the responsibilities listed in your job description. Consider what is best for your department and the firm in the long run. Try to come up with new ideas and commit to producing work that goes above and beyond the daily grind.
  • Request more responsibility: While you shouldn’t ask for more responsibility in your second week on the job, if you’ve been in a position long enough to become an expert, you can tell your boss that you’re keen to develop your leadership skills. Inquire about how you can assist—are there any future projects that require a point person? Is there anything you can delegate from your manager’s to-do list?
  • Target specific skills: If you want to enhance a certain talent, such as creative thinking or communication, make a plan to improve your abilities in that area. This could include attending a class, seeking assistance from a mentor, reading books, or creating a small objective that forces you to acquire this talent. Talk to your bosses and coworkers, as well as friends outside of the office, to help you establish an improvement strategy.

REMEMBER that everybody has the capacity to be an inspirational leader, but it is not something that everyone is born with. Awareness is the key to inspirational leadership — both self-awareness and awareness of people around you. You can’t inspire others unless you first inspire yourself, which means identifying what motivates you and using that as a springboard to inspire others.

Of all, the primary objective of a leader is to lead others, so while self-awareness is important, you must also be aware of what others find inspirational; what drives your employees?

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!