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Even old technology is technology

Posted by Ryan on October 23, 2014 in Technology, Transworld, Transworld Policy |

As a university of technology, one might expect that TransWorld would be on the ball with up-to-date systems, servers, and equipment, but that isn’t always the case.

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How to produce APA style tables in SPSS automatically!

Posted by Ryan on December 12, 2013 in Technology, Uncategorized |

I recently had to start using SPSS and figured there must be some easy way to get the output to use APA style automatically instead of having to edit each separate table. I found this walkthrough online, but it didn’t seem to be properly formatted, so I’m reposting it here with proper formatting.

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TransWorld Engrish 2

Posted by Ryan on April 24, 2011 in Transworld |

I’ve got a bunch of pictures of random Engrish (bad English) that I’ve found around TransWorld. If only people would ask for help or use spell check or pull out a dictionary, this could all be avoided.

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The Transworld Ambassadord? AmbassadorS.

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This was a booklet that was handed out for some reason or another. I forget, really. The cover is OK, but once you look inside…

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“Just do it Transworld”.

First, the school’s name is now TransWorld, with a capital W. Second, you need a comma and some punctuation: “Just do it, TransWorld!” Third, you may be guilty of copyright infringement. Nike lawyers will be calling.

The back page had a convenient memo pad Meno pad.

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Finally, there was a large sign that went with the booklet:

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They even managed to print it unevenly. How do you do that?

Here’s a t-shirt that was made for the students who helped with freshman orientation:

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Let’s see here. First, it should be ’99, not 99″. Next, you want them to “experience freshman”? What does that mean? You want to students to have sex with the freshman? How should they experience him/her/them?

Obviously, they didn’t ask for any help. If they had, I would have told them “Freshman Experience.” Come on, use a Google search. Google for “experience freshman” and every result that comes up shows “Freshman experience.” Why do you have to continue with naivety? Too proud to ask for help? The internet is huge. The answers are all there!

Ugh… moving on.

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English has rules for capitalization. We Don’t Capitalize Every Single Word In The Sentence. I suppose you can for graphic presentations such as this, but at least get it right half the time before you start experimenting.

Second, “You needs the chance” is grammatically wrong. The verb doesn’t agree with the subject. It should be “You need the chance” (no “s” on “need”). This is something every freshman learns in Grammar class and every sophomore learns in Writing class.

Last one.

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Notice anything wrong? Here, take another look:

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They misspelled the name of the school.

All of these mistakes could have been avoided. Why weren’t they?

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Patricia Kuhl: The Linguistic Genius of Babies

Posted by Ryan on March 9, 2011 in Learning |

Here’s an extremely interesting TED talk I just watched concerning learning languages.

It turns out that babies take statistics on the languages they hear in order to figure out what sounds are important and thereby learn those language. What’s even more striking is that audio and video feeds had no effect – the babies needed to hear it from a human being!

I found it very interesting when they subjected American babies to 12 sessions of Mandarin and then found that those babies who had 2 months of Mandarin understood Chinese just as well as Taiwanese babies who had had Mandarin for 12 months. However, I would pose the question: did the American babies’ English comprehension level go up, go down, or stay the same? Since their Mandarin comprehension level obviously went up, did that have any wayward effect on their English comprehension level over that 2 month period? What happens when both parents speak different languages to the child?

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A NOT To Do List for Successful Language Learners

Posted by Ryan on March 7, 2011 in English |

This article was originally posted here on LanguageMastery.com. The website is full of great articles about learning languages, so I will, from time to time, repost their articles.

Copyright © 2011 by John Fotheringham. For more tips, tools, and tech for Mastering ANY Language, go to LanguageMastery.com

To do lists seem like a good idea in theory, but they have one major disadvantage: there is an infinite number of potential to do items. With this in mind, Timothy Ferriss, best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek (and a speaker of 6 languages), recommends “not to lists” instead. Since they isolate a finite set of behaviors that are getting between you and your goals, they are far more effective than traditional to do lists. This tool applies perfectly to language learning, where most learners waste a lot of time on ineffective methods and bad materials.

Here now are my top ten NOT to do’s for effective language learning:

1. Do NOT spend more than 5% of your study time on grammar, translation, vocabulary lists or any other overt information about the language.

Languages are acquired, not learned. And acquisition by its very definition happens subconsciously over time given proper input. Which leads us to number 2.

2. Do NOT spend time on materials that are too difficult or don’t interest you.

Motivation is one of the greatest keys to success in foreign language learning, and motivation’s favorite fuel is interest. There is a wealth of free language learning content available today; you need simply look.

3. Do NOT study in long, infrequent sessions.

Behind motivation, consistency is the most important factor in language learning. If you are strapped for time (and who isn’t?), it is far better to study a little bit everyday than doing marathon study sessions a few times a month. For example, if you only have 2 hours free per week to commit to language studies, it is far better to do 20 minutes per day, 6 days a week than doing the whole 2 hours on one day.

4. Do NOT worry about speaking too soon.

Although oral fluency is certainly the goal of most language learners, it takes the brain some time to assimilate enough input to be able to produce meaningful output. Babies listen actively to the language around them for up to 2 years before uttering a single meaningful word. Adults can get to the output stage much earlier if they follow the advice on this site, but they should not force themselves (or let themselves be forced) to speak before they are ready. This is perhaps the single greatest problem with formal language instruction: students are expected to speak long before they are ready, creating a great deal of anxiety and diminishing the student’s motivation and interest.

5. Do NOT memorize vocabulary out of context.

To have any chance of retaining or using new words, they must be heard or read (preferably the former) many, many times within a meaningful situation. “Narrow reading” is a good way to increase the repetition of key words in a meaningful way.

6. Do NOT try to learn new words, alphabets, ideographic characters or spelling using “rote” memory.
We have 5 senses at our disposal: use them! Integrate taste, touch, smell, sound and movement as much as possible. Use “imaginative memory” to visualize connections, stories, objects, etc. The crazier the story, the easier it will be to imprint in long term memory.

7. Do NOT overly rely on the written word.

Whenever possible, try to listen to a piece first before reading it. This trains you to rely on your ears first, and better follows the natural order of acquisition (remember: you learned to speak your first language long before you learned to read it!)

8. Do NOT look up words before making at least one full pass through each reading or listening material (or each section for longer pieces).

Only once you have gone through once or even twice, then go back and look up words you don’t know. When you don’t interrupt the “semantic flow,” it’s easier to get a feel for the big picture. And this prevents us word-nerds from getting lost in unrelated vocabulary and new linguistic connections.

9. Do NOT let the “affective filter” put a damper on your language learning.

The affective filter is a fancy word for a simple and intuitive concept: your emotions and psychological state significantly affect your performance in a foreign language (or any skill-based act for that matter.) If you are nervous, angry, hungry, tired, or preoccupied with the fight you had last night with your significant other, your ability to speak well in a foreign language will go down faster than the current stock market. On the other hand, I am sure you have noticed that a few brewskies can significantly improve your ability to converse in a foreign tongue. Why? Because booze (like meditation, exercise, and experience) helps lower inhibitions and boost social skills like verbal communication. If your teacher makes you feel nervous or stupid, fire their ass. If your language partner does not see the logic in your incorrect, but nevertheless intelligent errors, replace them. You will never make any real progress if you are afraid to speak and are not free to make all the wonderfully logical—albeit incorrect—utterances that define both infant and adult language acquisition.

10. Do NOT forget to have some fun!

Language learning takes time, but it needn’t be difficult. If you follow the tips listed above and throughout the site, and approach language learning with a smile instead of a grimace, you too WILL succeed!

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