Jun 12

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June 2017 – 5 years of blogging

The month of June has arrived marking the fifth anniversary of blogging. I have enjoyed sharing all of the many articles, pictures and links to more in-depth reading about so many subjects. Readers have followed me on my travels from home here, in PA and the New York Metro area to Amsterdam, London, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Jinan (my second city) and several other cities throughout mainland China. Places like Qufu, Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai I have shared a wide range of interesting information about art, food & cooking, gardening, music, mythology, outdoor activities, poetry, travel, and much more. I’ve also tried to relate all of these many subjects into a unique language learning experience for each student.

My students have improved their language skills through reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. The purpose has always been to use this site as a teaching aid, to make learning fun and interesting. I like to think of this blog as a starting point to open dialogue on a vast array of topics.

With the goal of continuing to offer new and interesting material to readers I have some questions for you. I would appreciate each of my readers taking a few minutes to share their responses in the comment section. This will help me become a better teacher and communicator.

If you prefer to comment anonymously, please feel free to do so.

  1. On average how much time do you spend each week reading articles on this blog?
  2. Do you check-out the links within the articles?
  3. Are the links useful and informative?
  4. In what way has reading this blog helped you to improve your English language skills? ( i.e. I am more relaxed when I am using my second language, or, My vocabulary has improved.)
  5. Are there any subjects that you would like to read / learn more about?
  6. Did you find the material easy to understand?
  7. What was your favorite article about art or music?
  8. What was your favorite article about food and cooking?
  9. What was your favorite article about travel?
  10. Can you name any other article that you really enjoyed?

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/june-2017-5-years-blogging/


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  1. Grayson

    1.Sorry,i haven’t read your blog for more than half year
    2.Sometimes,i will do a further research,but not offen
    3.Of course,it’s informative,it helped to know much more
    4.Mostly the vocabulary improved,what’s more important i learned how to use the word correctly.
    5.Current event,interesting news,and Survival English
    6.Not so easy,i have to spend lots of time to learn the vocabulary
    7.I……really don’t know.
    8.About chicken,it’s my favorite meat
    9.Travelling to China(Jinan,Beijing and Xi’an0
    10.”Jinan in springtime” My wife and I are realy happy that day!All Q team are excited.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your candid comment, Grayson.
      I suspect that your lack of reading the blog this years has been due to a busy calendar in your life, wedding, buying a home, etc.
      Good that you recognize your improvements in vocabulary and proper word usage. Your comment with respect to reading the blog is not easy because of the challenging vocabulary, I would posit that improving your vocabulary is perhaps one of the most powerful tools for improving your overall proficiency in English. I have considered writing with a more simple vocabulary, but I think that is like speaking down to a student. I believe it is better to push each student to do more than he/she thinks is possible.
      Your comment to see more food articles with chicken is duly noted!
      In closing, I am pleased to know that your lovely new bride enjoyed the afternoon watching her husbands coworkers play scrabble. We were afraid that she would be bored.
      I appreciate you taking time to post your comments.

  2. Lily

    1. Approximately half an hour to one hour per week
    2. Yes,sometimes. If I found the link interests me.
    3. Of course, it helps to expand my knowledge and understand the article well.
    4. Mainly improved vocabulary.
    5. I’d like to read more about American culture, living conditions, and more about the education system.
    7. To be frank, I know little about art and music.:(
    8. I remember there was an article about pork barbecue, attractive.
    9. Traveling to Taiwan and Hong Kong.
    10.”Spring festival 2016″ and “More about firewood”.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Great feedback, Lily. Thanks…..but I noticed you skipped number 6. Any reason why? 😉

      1. Lily

        Oh,how careless I am! I didn’t notice it.
        6. Most of them are not so easy, because of the challenging vocabulary.

        1. Teacher Kevin

          The complexity of the vocabulary in most articles on this blog may be challenging for you and many other ESL students, but it really isn’t too difficult. It is one of the areas I think most students need more improvement. As I have recommended to every student; it is so important to maintain a vocabulary notebook and this is something that you can do all of your life.

          Here is a suggestion; go buy an address book with alphabetized tabs A through Z. Whenever you find a new word, you can just add it to the book under the appropriate letter.

  3. May

    1. On average, I spend one hour or more reading articles on your blog.
    2. Yes, sometimes when the material is hard to understand, I will check links.
    3. It’s very useful and informative. The links help me understand whole article better and widen my field of vision as well.
    4. Yes, I’m no longer nervous when I use my second language. My writing skills, reading skills and vocabulary are all improved during the substantial long-term learning from you. Thank you so much!
    5. Subjects about gardening, cooking and traveling are so attractive to me.
    6. Most of materials are easy to understand. But those about art, politics are very hard for me to understand, even written in Chinese.
    7. The most impressive one about art is Jinan Museum. For music, American Pie.
    8. Sweet corn!.
    9. Travel to Jinan. Travel to Philippines, as the longest article.
    10. The road not taken. Stew. Garden report etc.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Great in depth comments and feedback.

      I recognize that you have been a loyal reader and have also been steady with your comments. It is rewarding for me to see how the blog has helped to broaden your understanding on many different subjects as part of improving your language skills. And I appreciate your continued interest in learning with me.

      Thanks, May!

  4. David

    1. Most often, I spend 2 hours or more reading your blog every week. Because your blog has all kinds of delicious foods and many interesting things for me. Especially the most beautiful and fruited garden. Reading your blog has becoming my habit.
    2. Of course, I did. I like the links within the articles.
    3. Yes, they are. Through checking out the links, I can learn much knowledge about the things you mentioned in your blog.
    4. I think I am more relaxed when I am reading news or other articles because I often read your blog which has so many new vocabulary .
    5. I’d like to read more about bilingual educational articles.
    6. Most of the blogs are difficult to read for me. This is another reason why I spend 2 hours reading the blog every week. To look up the dictionary took much time. Of course I also found some links about childrens English are easy to read.
    7. “Make Tomorrow ” is my favorite music. Especially the lyrics:
    “Where the dreamer’s dream is dared “ “In each of us / A dream can burn like the sun / Let’s try it all one more time / To get this lesson learned”
    “You wonder what they’re all struggling for / What’s it all really worth / Making tomorrow today
    8. About the food and cooking, all of them are my favorite .“Squash” “Cranberries” “Lamb Shanks” “Chicken” etc.
    9. “ Hong Kong ”is my favorite article about travel .
    10. “Cucurbitaceae” was I had learned hardest pronunciation of new words and I enjoyed all kinds of colorful pictures of gourds.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your very valuable feedback, David!
      I appreciate the details and your use of so many articles.
      You are definitely correct in your comment about personal improvement in your second language. Youhave worked diligently and can see the benefits!

      Keep up the great work.

  5. June

    1. In general, I Usually take two hours to read the article each week.
    2. Sometimes but not often. If the title interests me and I want to do further research I will check-out the links.
    3. Yes, I think it is very informative and instructive.
    4. Through reading I feel more confident to read, speak and express my feelings without fear of making mistake now. It has also increased my vocabulary.
    5. Subjects like travel, gardening, funny and instructive stories.
    6. Yes, some articles like arts and music are not very easy for me to understand.
    7. Sorry, I just read one or two articles about art or music. So, I really don’t know.
    8. “Tomatoes” and “fresh sweet corn”. I really like to eat them.
    9. “Xi’an”. It makes eager to visit this city.
    10. “Autumn colors begin… ” Autumn is beautiful and colorful in your hometown. It is also a harvest season.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Your comments are helpful to me, June. Thanks.

  6. Steven

    1. Once per week, especially after the classtime. I just read 1 long article or 2~3 short article. No time limit.
    2. Sometimes. I will click the links if I was attracted by the topic.
    3. Yes, of course. We can learn more through your link. It always gives us a deep explanation and focus.
    4. I learn more through your blog and my vocabulary has improved.
    5. Just like “TIME MANAGEMENT” etc.
    6. Some of them are easy to understand, but still have some new words. And some article about politics and arts are hard to understand for me.
    7. I don’t think that I have any art talent in my body. But I like all kinds of music very much.
    8. The first one is one of my favorite food and we can learn all kinds of vegetable name in the second article.
    9. Amsterdam Weekend.
    10. Just like

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your comment, Steven.
      I am not clear on your response to #8 and #10 though.

  7. Summer

    1.Most of the time, once a week.
    2.Frankly speaking, not often. But I will do further research when I am attracted to the topic.
    3.Of course, it’s useful and it is always good to learn more.
    4.My vocabulary has improved and it gives more topics when talking with others in English.
    5.Current news, Survival English, Traveling.
    6.Not so easy, especially the political articles
    7.The article titled, More Met Sculpture.
    8.I forget the name.
    9.Hong Kong, because it gives more information. I can go there for eating not just for shopping.
    10. Personal Safety and Self-defense.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your comments on my 5th anniversary of blogging. I am surprised that your memory is so bad at your age! hahaha!
      I know you are busy at work these days, but I wonder if you could go back and review some of the articles to see if you can find your favorite article about food and cooking?

  8. Morning

    1. On average I spend one to two hours per week. But if you renew it more frequently, I will spend more time as I am a loyal fan haha!

    2.Yes, especially the links that interest me or if the topic is hard to understand.

    3.Of course they are! The links let me have a comprehensive knowledge of the article and help to broaden my understanding as well.

    4. I feel I can read challenging articles more easily than before. My vocabulary also has grown. To my excitement I get have proper word usage and expression.

    5.Like traveling, gardening and all subjects about daily life. I don’t want to be a dumb English learner.

    6.Not always especially if there are many new words. I must check all the new words meaning and read one more time before understanding it completely.

    7.To be honest, I haven’t any art genes, but I like to listen to music.

    8.Pork BBQ is my favorite.
    What was your favorite article about travel?

    9. The travel to “HONG KONG” is impressive. After reading it, I have the impulse to go and see it at once.
    Can you name any other article that you really enjoyed?

    10. The mindset of success. I have read it one more time. You can find your goal and direction when you feel upset.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Great comments with plenty of detail. Thanks you!
      To your question about “my favorite article”, I am not sure I have any favorites. I have enjoyed writing all of them.
      Perhaps a better question would be, which articles do I think are the best. To answer that I would probably say, the article about my trip to the Philippines, because it is one of the longest with a lot of details about food, or maybe, the article introducing poetry and music lyrics, or maybe, More Met Sculpture, because I detailed a lot of info related to the creation of those lovely sculptures. Then again, Beijing, the Forbidden City and Falling on the Great Wall, because that was my first experience traveling to China, or maybe the article with recipes for cooking duck, or 3 ways to cook clams….You see it is difficult to choose from over 350 articles over a 5 year period. The most important thing for me is that my readers / students have enjoyed them and learned something new.

  9. Jason

    1. About one hour.
    2. Sometimes. When I want to get more information I will check-out the links.
    3. Of course, they are useful and informative.
    4. My vocabulary and reading skills have improved.
    5. I want to read more about travel.
    6. Some of materials are easy to understand.
    7. Picasso Sculpture at MoMA
    8. Pasta with Duck Confit and Ham
    9. China End of Summer
    10. In the Merry Month of May. Very good!

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your feedback, Jason.
      I am very pleased that you have enjoyed the blog and I must say, you have very good taste in cooking! Duck confit in pasta is so good.

  10. Allen

    1. On average I spend around half an hour reading articles on blog.
    2. If I am interested in the material, I will check the links to learn more.
    3. I think you are very good at integrating links of related information into your blog. That’s helpful for us to learn more about certain topic.
    4. The blog enriches my vocabulary and teaches me how to express properly in a traditional American way.
    5. I’d like to learn more about local customs of US and other countries, e.g. I remember the class about tipping custom in US was very interesting to me.
    6. Easy to understand with the help of E-dictionary, hope someday it’s easy for me even without the E-dictionary.
    7. Sorry I have no idea about the topic.
    8. “Lamb Shanks” – I like lamb meat and your pic makes me hungry. It’s great that you specified how to cook it, maybe I can try it in future.
    9. “Contrasts in Culture”. I like the travel topic, it broadens my knowledge about the world.
    10. “Denver Revisited”, it provides your stories, nice pics, and interesting knowledge. Terrific!

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Thanks for your detailed feedback, Allen. I am also a big fan of lamb, especially lamb shanks. When cooked properly, the meat should fall off the bone and almost melt in your mouth! Also pleased to know you enjoyed the article “Contrasts in Culture” I think that was one of the most informative articles for anyone planning to travel internationally and for all who deal with foreign clients in business.

  11. Judy

    1. On average about one hour or more per week.
    2. Yes, but not all. I like to check-out the links if it interests me.
    3. Of course, it expands my knowledge.
    4. I’m more relaxed when I am using my second language.
    5. Survival English, information about children’s education.
    6. It is not easy for me with so many new vocabulary.
    7. Waters of March, Vincent.
    8. Tomatoes.
    9. Traveling to China.
    10. Traditional Chinese medicine,massage and acupuncture.

    1. Teacher Kevin

      Great feedback, Judy!
      Thanks for taking time to post your comment.

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