Jun 12

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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    • Grayson on June 13, 2017 at 4:33 am
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • Lily on June 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm
    • Reply

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

        • Lily on June 18, 2017 at 9:19 pm
        • Reply

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

        1. 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.

    • May on June 19, 2017 at 9:30 pm
    • Reply

    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. 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!

    • David on June 19, 2017 at 10:15 pm
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • June on June 21, 2017 at 1:05 am
    • Reply

    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. Your comments are helpful to me, June. Thanks.

    • Steven on June 27, 2017 at 9:23 am
    • Reply

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

    • Summer on June 28, 2017 at 3:22 am
    • Reply

    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. 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?

    • Morning on June 28, 2017 at 4:01 am
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • Jason on June 29, 2017 at 9:53 am
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • Allen on June 29, 2017 at 11:27 am
    • Reply

    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. 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.

    • Judy on July 12, 2017 at 6:48 am
    • Reply

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

  1. 1. On average I spend half an hour reading articles in the blog, provided I’m not out traveling.
    2. Sometimes I will check out the links when I want to dig deeper.
    3. The links are useful and informative because they can either help further understand the articles or provide additional information/knowledge related to the subjects.
    4. It helps me know new vocabulary, correct usage of them and new knowledge.
    5. I’m interested in articles about food, drinks, cooking, gardening and traveling.
    6. Articles closely relating to our life are easy to understand, those about art, music, poems and politics are difficult, as there are too many new words. In many of them history are involved as well. All these factors set up a barrier to a thorough understanding of the contents.
    7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From that, I started to know some superficial knowledge about Symphony: composition, instruments, appreciation etc.
    8. My favorite articles are about barbeques: at your friends’ place, at your own backyard.
    9. The one about Hong Kong. It tells me Hong Kong is worth a good visit for various cuisine other than a shopping paradise (I think Hong Kong has lost this good name in rencent years).
    10. I can’t remember the title. It’s about paintings: very interesting. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Maggie!

    • Julia on September 4, 2017 at 11:55 am
    • Reply

    1. Sorry, this year I seldom visited your blog. I hope I have more time to enjoy your interesting articles.
    2. If I think the link is helpful or interesting I will check it out.
    3. Sure!
    4. Your blog improved my vocabulary.
    5. I hope you can write some articles about American education.
    6. Yes.
    7. Vincent
    8. “Spring Break” always reminds me of the happy spring break 🙂
    9. I like this article–“Beijing, The Forbidden City and Falling on the Great Wall.”
    10. Can I say, I think all your article are terrific! I will come back~~~

    1. Ah Ha! Julia, I found your comments. They were sent to the spam folder and I will guess that the reason was because of the address from which they originated. I think the anti-spam application must have decided that your web-address was a commercial source. Very sorry for the confusion.
      Now, having said that, I must thank you for your feedback. The article about “Spring Break” is a great memory of your visit to my place during your time as a visiting scholar at Penn State University! Thanks also for liking the “…Falling on the Great Wall” article. As you know, that was my first trip to China and the experience of hiking a section of the Great Wall is another fond memory…I won’t forget the falling part either. hahaha!
      I do hope you will continue to read as the blog continues to grow. Best to your family and please keep in touch.

    • Lara on September 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm
    • Reply

    1, When I was learning English with you I read your blog about 1 article per week. Now I am getting lazy….
    2, Yes, If I am interested in the topic I will do further reading.
    3, Quite useful and informative. I can see you have put lots of effort into that.
    4, The vocabulary especially those related to daily life.
    5, Food and Garden.
    6, All articles contain new vocabulary and daily life are easier.
    7, Remember you got lots of articles about MET Sculpture
    8, Love all food you cooked looks so yummy and some veggies I haven’t eat before in China, like Brussels sprouts, zucchini, basil, start to eat a lot now in Melbourne.
    9, Definitely the Travel to Xi’an one.
    10,Karate, guess it’s the first Article we use in study, since I was on business trip and talking about the safety.

    Happy fifth anniversary for your blog! I think it’s pretty hard but you make it. you did a fantastic Job to share those hundreds of articles with us:)

    1. Thanks for your feedback and high praise, Lara!
      It is a great pleasure for me to know that the blog was useful and interesting for you. Of course, the article about my visit to Xi’an (your hometown) was one that I like also. I have very fond memories of our two days together, the tour of the Terra-cotta Warriors was an amazing part of that trip as well as sharing delicious local foods. I will never forget it!

      I hope you are doing well in Australia, but you know now that American English sounds quite different from what they speak in “the land down-under”.

      Best to you and Bryan and keep in touch.

    • Penny on September 8, 2017 at 3:47 am
    • Reply

    1. I used to read the articles at least 1 time a week during the period of learning. Now. only when I remember.
    2. Yes, I check the links I’m intereasted in.
    3. Definitely yes.
    4. The articles can help me learn some new words and new grammer.
    5. Delicious cooking with simple food material, especially for baby. Can you cook that?
    6. Some of them are easy for me.
    7. Country music is my favorite, and I like some photos taken by your. Such as the flower pictures, little deer, sun flower, natural scenery.
    8. Roast pig, Turkey.
    9. Netherlands,the relaxed pace, clean air and river, also the cultural atmosphere attracted me a lot.
    10. Thunder and lightning, your shooting, etc.

    1. Nice comments, Penny, thanks.
      I know you have been busy since the birth of your little girl. I look forward to when you return for more lessons.

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