Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Three Types of Redundancy to Avoid

Redundancy in a sentence is annoying, and it is also a nuisance. Conveying information in more than one way, or by repeating wording, is consciously or subconsciously distracting to the reader and contributes to compositional clutter. Note in the discussions and revisions following each example how the sentence in question can be improved by deleting such infelicities.
1. Like Smith, Jones also owns a family-run business.

When an additive word or phrase such as like or “in addition to” introduces a sentence, using also to bridge the complementary phrases is redundant: “Like Smith, Jones owns a family-run business.”

2. Many components, such as asset balance, deposit balance, and interest income, etc., should be sensitive to the change in the macroeconomic environment.

Use of a phrase like “such as” or “for example” (or the corresponding abbreviation e.g.) is redundant to etc. (or “and so on”): “Many components, such as asset balance, deposit balance, and interest income, should be sensitive to the change in the macroeconomic environment.” (Or “Many components—asset balance, deposit balance, and interest income, etc.—should be sensitive to the change in the macroeconomic environment.”) Note, however, that i.e., which means “that is” (or “that is” itself), pertains to clarification and not to listing of examples, so it is not redundant to etc.

3. But the policy is not solely about consumers; it is about what the law calls a data subject. A data subject is defined as a living individual to whom personal data relates.

Avoid ending one sentence and beginning the subsequent sentence with the same word or phrase, which generally occurs when a word or phrase is introduced and then immediately defined: “But the policy is not solely about consumers; it is about what the law calls a data subject, which is defined as a living individual to whom personal data relates.”

My favourite redundancy is an office sign:

Department of Redundancy Department

“Do I need a TEFL or TESOL Certificate if I have a bachelor degree?”

Unless your degree is a B Ed, you do. Even then, I have heard students tell me “They didn’t teach us that in Teachers’ College!”  Our courses are very comprehensive. When a school hires you, they want to know that you have specific training for the age level you are going to be teaching. Also, the chances are that you will be teaching overseas where English is not the first language so you will be teaching English (ESL) to students who have very little knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure, as well as idioms and expressions. Our courses teach you 24 + different methodologies you can use depending on your particular class or situation.  

If you hope to be teaching in Western Europe (very tough unless you are from the UK or EU and an experienced teacher), choose the TEFL Certificate. It is good in Asia, too, particularly if the school prefers to teach British English.
If you want to teach in Latin America, or in Asia in a school that teaches American English, choose the TESOL Certificate. 

To register and get started, click on either:


Earn your Certificate in as little as 4-6 weeks!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Worldwide ESL Teaching Jobs as of January 16, 2018

Hey Aspiring Teachers!

Want to explore the world? Learn a new language? Make a ton of new friends? Boost your resume big time? Help people to learn English? Teaching is one of the best ways to accomplish all these goals in one fell swoop.

Here is where the jobs are. Just posted today...566 ESL teaching jobs in 36 countries around the globe. Those with a ‘v’ after the number indicate ‘volunteer’ positions. You will get housing, meals, medical but no salary. Travel may or may not be paid. All other positions shown should be salaried. Some will even pay your air travel (usually it is reimbursed once you complete your contract).

Austria 2, Belgium 1, Burma 2, Cambodia 3, Chile 6, China 200 +,  Czech Republic 10, Ecuador 2, France 3, Germany 10, Honduras 4v, Hong Kong 7, Hungary 1, Indonesia 8, Italy 60 +, Japan 20 +, Kazakhstan 1, Malaysia 6, Mexico 2, Mongolia 1, Poland 4, Portugal 3, Russian Federation 16, Saudi Arabia 20 +, Singapore 1, Slovakia 4, South Korea 20 +, Spain 100 +, Taiwan 6, Tanzania 1, Thailand 10, Turkey 5, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates 6, Vietnam 20 +.

What qualifications do you need?

1.       A degree in any discipline.
2.       Native English speaker are what parents prefer but some schools will hire you if you have a good command of the English language, understanding of grammar, and little or no accent.
3.       A TEFL Certificate. Our TEFL course will get you this in 4-6 weeks! Full tuition is only $300 USD.
4.       Enthusiasm and energy.
5.       Willing to accept other cultures and ways of life.

No degree but want to teach? We have contacts with major education groups in China with some jobs that do not require a degree. This is a great place to gain overseas experience and work on your degree by distance.

Prepare and send us a one-page résumé with your education, other courses or training taken, interests, additional languages spoken and anything else that may help you to become a teacher. Click our link to get started today!

Dr Robert W. Taylor
Dean of Studies
Sunbridge Institute of English


Friday, January 12, 2018

Lapse, Elapse, Collapse, Relapse and Laps

This post lists and defines lapse and its family of related words that pertain to a passage of time or to falling.

The words discussed below all derive ultimately from the Latin verb labi, meaning “fall,” “sink,” and “slip,” in addition to other related actions, by way of lapsus, meaning “falling” or “slipping” (figuratively or literally) or “passage of time” (from the sense of “gliding”). 

Lapse, as a verb, originally pertained merely to that last sense, but it later applied as well to something becoming invalid or void and acquired the additional meanings of “commit a sin” or “fail to retain religious faith.” As a noun, lapse means “decline” or “fall,” or “interval,” “interruption,” or “termination,” or it may refer to a mistake due to forgetfulness or inattention, or to abandoning one’s faith.

The adjectival form is lapsed; the adjective labile once meant “prone to fail or fall,” but now it pertains to instability or propensity to change. (The adjective labial and other words pertaining to lips are unrelated.) Labefaction, meanwhile, is a rarely used word meaning “downfall” or “overthrow” in the sense of a weakening of civil order or moral principles.

When time goes by, it is said to elapse. That word was at one time also a noun, but lapse has superseded it.

In theology, several words with the root lapsarian pertain to various beliefs about the biblical account of the fall of humankind as told in the story of the Garden of Eden: postlapsarian (“after the fall”), prelapsarian (“before the fall”), sublapsarian (“under the fall,” which is also the translation of the synonym infralapsarian), and superlapsarian (“above the fall”).

The verb collapse (literally, “fall together”) means “fall” or “fall apart,” “break down” or “lose effectiveness or significance,” or “fold down” or “give way” and as a noun refers to any of these actions. Something that can be collapsed, generally limited to the sense of “fold down,” is collapsible, and that quality is called collapsibility.

When a body part falls or slips, it is said to prolapse (“fall forward”), and such an occurrence is a prolapse.  

A relapse (“fall again”), meanwhile, is an instance in which symptoms of a disease that had abated recur, and the word also serves as a verb.

Lava is an unexpected cognate; the word describing magma, or molten rock, after it has surfaced from underground (in its molten state or after it has cooled and hardened) stems from lapsus by way of Italian. The adjective lavalike refers to something resembling the molten state.

Lapidary, referring to cutting of gems and stones, is an unrelated word derived from lapis, the Latin word for “stone.”

And allow me to add a couple more lapses you may have heard of...

Memory Lapse is when you know that you know something such as a person's name but just cannot think of it at the moment. Politicians are often known for having 'memory lapses'.

Time-lapse is a term usually used when talking about photography taken over a period of time such as to show how many lightning strikes there were overnight.

Oh, and don't confuse lapse with laps...the number of times a runner goes all the way around a running track, or a race car completes 'laps' around the racetrack or a swimmer goes from one end of a pool to the other.

Just to add to the confusion...
When you sit down, where your body bends is called your lap.  Here is a child sitting on Santa'a lap.
 ...and, of course, everyone knows what a laptop is. It is a computer that is designed to sit on top of your lap.