Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year 2009 - International Year of Astronomy

Happy New Year 2009 - International Year of Astronomy
ಹೊಸವರ್ಷದ ಹಾರ್ದಿಕ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು
ಬೇದ್ರೆ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಾನ - ಅನೌಪಚಾರಿಕ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ, ಸಂಶೋಧನೆ
ಮತ್ತು ತರಬೇತಿ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆ, ಚಿತ್ರದುರ್ಗ

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Spoken English - Key to Success - Article in Prajavani Daily - Margadarshi Section - 23-12-2008

Spoken English - Key to Success
Margadarshi Section - 23-12-2008
Some Useful Books
Spoken English for You (Vol. 1 & 2)
(With Audio CD & Cassette)
G. Radhakrishna Pillai and K. Rajeevan
Spoken English - A Self Learning Guide to
Conversation Practice (With a cassette)
V. Sasikumar & P.V. Dhamija
Conversation in Action
J.C. Richards
English Conversation Practice
Grant Taylor
Spoken English - A Hands-on Guide to
English Conversation Practice
M.C. Sreevalsan
Applied English Course
A Practical Handbook of Spoken and Written English
Bedre Manjunath
Multimedia English Language Laboratory
to Learn Spoken English

Bedre Manjunath
Spoken English - Bedre’s Multimedia Approach
Bedre Manjunath
One Minute English - Multimedia Course
Bedre Manjunath
BBC World Service Learning English
Better Speaking & Self Study
Basic Communication Skills
P. Kiranmai Dutt & Geetha Rajeevan
A Course in Listening and Speaking (with CD)
V. Sasikumar, P. Kiranmai Dutt & Geetha Rajeevan
Speaking English Effectively
Pub.: Orient Longman, India

Some useful Blogs and Websites on Spoken English

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The A B C of Language Labs - Article in DH Education 06-11-2008

The A B C of Language Labs

From LKG to PG classes, all professional training institutes should have atleast one Language Lab,
Bedre Manjunath

There is an easier way to learn new languages. All you need is a laptop equipped with a multimedia language lab. But, first, what is Language Lab?A Language Laboratory is a room in a school, college, training institute or university that contains special equipment to help students learn foreign languages by listening to tapes or CDs, watching videos, recording themselves, etc. The language laboratory is an audio or audio-visual installation used as an aid in modern language training.It is also called as a Speech and Writing Lab. All the four language learning skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are given importance. Students are provided with ample opportunities to practice by listening to audio programmes and watching video clips.Technically a language lab is an instructional tool consisting of a source unit that can disseminate audio, audio-visual, and/or written materials to any number of students at individual seats or carrels, with a wide variety of potential feedback mechanisms.There are different kinds of language labs available today. Starting with the basic Audio System Language Lab (which consists of a central tape recorder connected to a number of headsets or earphones) to the Multi-Media Computer Language Lab (which has built-in media functions and offers computer-assisted instruction to students).It is very simple and easy to establish your own lab within any budget. There are many companies which supply the required software and hardware to establish a Language Lab. Some of these companies provide yearly maintenance facilities as well.Look before you leapBefore establishing a full-fledged language lab it is wise to visit some of the well-established labs at CLU, RIESI, British Council, Kuvempu University and the Bedre Foundation.Of course, a computer cannot replace the teacher. However it does brings a change in the role of the language teacher, from the traditional know-it-all authoritarian to a facilitator or a guide in the language learning process. Noted linguist Clifford says, “Computers will not replace teachers, but teachers who use computers will replace those teachers who do not.”

Friday, 10 October 2008


We will begin with BOX and the plural is BOXES
But the plural of OX should be OXEN and not OXES.
Then one fowl is GOOSE but two are GEESE
Yet the plural of MOUSE should never be MEESE.
You may find a lone MOUSE or a whole set of MICE
But the plural of HOUSE is HOUSES not HICE.
If the plural of MAN be always MEN
Why shouldn’t the plural of PAN be PEN?
If I speak of a FOOT and then you show me your FEET
And I give you a BOOT, would a pair be called BEET?
If one is TOOTH, and a whole set is TEETH
Why should not the plural of BOOTH be BEETH?
Then one may be THAT and three may be THOSE
Yet HAT in the plural would never be HOSE
And the plural of CAT is CATS not COSE.
We speak of a BROTHER and also a BRETHREN
But alothough we say MOTHER we never say MOTHREN.
Then the masculine pronouns are HE, HIS and HIM
But imagine the feminine SHE, SHIS and SHIM.
So, English, I fancy, you will agree, is the
FUNNIEST LANGUAGE you ever did see!
- Leo Angela Rupert

Spoken English Exercises - Family Tree & Dialogue Patterns

Spoken English Exercises

Family Tree

Dialogue Patterns

Spoken English Exercises - Answer these Questions

Spoken English Exercises

Answer these Questions


I’m / My name is : ..............................................
I’m : ...................................................years old.
My date of birth is : ...........................................
I go to school. Its name is : ................................
My favourite teacher is : ....................................
My favourite lecturer is : ....................................
I like : ...............................................................
I love : ..............................................................
My favourite hobby is : ......................................
My favourite book is : .......................................
My favourite actor is : .......................................
My favourite actress is : ....................................
My favourite colour is : .....................................
My favourite shade is : ......................................
My favourite flower is : .....................................
My favourite fruit is : ........................................
My favourite subject is : ...................................
My favourite person is : ...................................
My favourite sweet is : .....................................
My favourite bird is : ......................................
My favourite animal is : ..................................
My favourite vehicle is : ..................................
My favourite dish is : ......................................
I enjoy watching : ...........................................
I enjoy playing : ..............................................
I like to learn : .................................................
I don’t like to learn : .......................................
I like to visit : .................................................
I don’t like to visit : ........................................
I’m afraid of : ................................................
I’m not afraid of : ..........................................
I like to read : ................................................
I don’t like to read : .......................................
I like the sound of : ........................................
I like to meet : ...............................................
I want to become : ........................................
I don’t want to become : ...............................
I want to buy / get : .......................................
I don’t want to buy / get : ..............................
I would like to help : ......................................
I don’t want to help : .....................................
I enjoy eating : ..............................................
I don’t like to eat : .........................................
This is my father. His name is : .......................
This is my mother. Her name is: .....................
This is my brother. His name is: .....................
This is my sister. Her name is: ........................
This is my uncle. His name is: .........................
This is my aunt. Her name is: ..........................
This is my grandfather. His name is: ...............
This is my grandmother. Her name is: .............
This is my nephew. His name is: .....................
This is my niece. Her name is: ........................
This is my friend. His name is: ........................
This is my friend. Her name is: .......................
This is my classmate. His name is: ..................
This is my classmate. Her name is: .................
This is my cousin. He is: ................................

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Plain English - The Simplest English

Learning Plain English

Teaching and learning English is a ‘Million Dollar Industry’ today. Whatever we learn at the so called elite institutions of English Language Teaching (ELT) becomes stale and archaic. Many times we fail to use appropriate words to suit the occasion. Roundabout way of speaking, use of complex and compound sentences become obstacles in understanding the speech or writing. We can use simple and plain language to avoid such cumbersome sentences.
The Plain Language Commission and the Plain Language Network, the Plain Language Association International (1993) are advocating the use of simple language. Their members include professionals who plan, write, design, and create communications projects to better serve the needs of the public, clients, customers, professionals, students and teachers. They work for all kinds of organizations — government departments, financial services companies, registered social organizations, regulators, ombudsmen, local authorities, pension schemes, hospital trusts, utilities, telecom companies and international law firms.
The Plain Language Commission is independent of Government. It is personally managed by Martin Cutts, author of ‘The Oxford Guide to Plain English’ and ‘Lucid Law’. Editors and course presenters include Sarah Carr, Ruth Thornton, Christina Gleeson and Judy Brown. They have brought out Plain English Lexicon to make the meaning of the words clear and understood well. They are publishing a newsletter “Pikestaff” which can be downloaded free of cost.

What is Plain Language?
‘The writing and setting out of essential information in a way that gives a co-operative, motivated person a good chance of understanding the document at first reading, and in the same sense that the writer meant it to be understood.’
On 26 July 1979 Martin Cutts conceived what seemed like one of the strangest crusades of modern times, the Plain English Campaign. Strange or not, the idea of plain language in written public information has gradually begun to take root in the public mind and in government and commercial life in many parts of the world. In the booklet “ Twenty Five years of battling gobbledygook”(26 July 1979 to 26 July 2004) we have a looks back on Cutts’s 25 years as a campaigner, editor, author and teacher in the plain-language field – first with the Plain English Campaign and now with Plain Language Commission – and considers what still needs to be done.

Style and Grammar

The Plain Language Commission gives importance to the style appropriate for the audience, with a good average sentence length (say 15-20 words), plenty of active-voice verbs, and reasonably short paragraphs. It also checks whether the document is free of pomposity, verbosity and officialese (no aforesaids, notwithstandings, herebys, adumbrates, commencements and inter alias). It gives importance to the text which is simple, grammatically sound and well punctuated.

Why should we use plain language?

The Plain Language Commission recommends the use of simple, sensible and clear sentences to make the people understand. As it is very simple everyone understands and there will not be any confusion in filling up the required documents. Plain language is fair language because it informs and empowers people instead of baffling and oppressing them. People have the right to understand the documents that affect them. Now the industry leaders are using clear writing as an important part of their brand image.

Free Books and Study Materials

A few of the Plain Language books can be downloaded free of charge from
They are:‘Twenty-five years of battling gobbledygook’, ‘Lucid Law’, ‘Clarifying Eurolaw’ all these three books by Martin Cutts, and ‘Clarifying EC Regulations’ by Martin Cutts and Emma Wagner.
‘The Oxford Guide to Plain English’ by Martin Cutts (Pub.: Oxford University Press), ‘Indlish — The Book for Every English-Speaking Indian’ by Jyoti Sanyal and ‘Good Word Guide’ (A&C Black) are available for sale. For more details you can contact the commission at this address: Plain Language Commission, The Castle, 29 Stoneheads, Whaley Bridge, High Peak SK23 7BB, UK

1 5 Tips on Wr i t i n g Plain English

1 Consider carefully your purpose and message before starting to write – clear writing and clear thinking go hand in hand.
2 Wear the readers’ shoes – how would you feel in their position?
3 Plan a structure that will help the reader, perhaps with headings, bullet-point lists, and a pithy summary of key points at the start.
4 In letters and emails, tell the reader clearly, concisely and courteously what has happened, how the situation stands, and what they can expect next.
5 Match your writing to the needs and knowledge of the readers – some of them may be baffled by official jargon and procedures.
6 Write sentences that average 15–20 words.
7 Keep the word order simple. In most sentences, put the doer early and follow it with an active-voice verb.
8 Take pride in using everyday English, sound grammar and accurate punctuation.
9 Where appropriate, use ‘I’, ‘we’ and ‘you’ to make the writing more human.
10 Maintain the flow by starting some of your sentences with connectors like ‘but’, ‘however’, ‘so’ and ‘because’.
11 Use commands when writing instructions.
12 Cut unnecessary words.
13 Check that the facts and judgement are right. Nothing compensates for inaccuracy or illogicality.
14 Pre-test your high-use documents with typical readers.
15 Apply common sense and scepticism to all guidance about writing.
Now, Plain English, sans flowery sentences with full of idioms and phrases, is becoming popular in England and other foreign countries. Why don’t we have taste of it? Let’s try.
Article by - Bedre Manjunath
Address: Bedre Manjunath, Transmission Executive, All India Radio, Chitradurga

Language Laboratory for learning Spoken and Written English

Language Laboratory

for learning

Spoken and Written English

Language Labs have come back! From LKG, UKG classes to PG classes all the schools, colleges, universities, professional training institutes, soft skill training academies should have Language Labs. Multipurpose Language Labs are being established in many residential schools and colleges.
All you have to do is to tune in your Radio, TV, or Tape Recorder to make an ‘Audio Lab’. Audio - Visual Aids like VCD, DVD, MP3 Players, Projectors help you to establish an ‘Audio-Visual Lab’. A Multi-Media Computer with recording facilities makes a ‘Computer Language Lab’. Mobile Phones, I-Pods, Laptops, Palmtops, PDAs serve as Labs.
Spoken and Written English, Language (SOFT) Skills, Parts of Speech, Vocabulary, Tense, Voice, Speech, Dialogues, Composition exercises can be learnt without much efforts at the Language Lab. You can have your own Laptop Multipurpose Multimedia Mobile Language Lab, if you spare a part of your income. Now, visit this Handy Lab and dream of establishing your own Lab.

What is a Language Lab?

A Language Laboratory is a room in a school, college, training institute, university or academy that contains special equipment to help students learn foreign languages by listening to tapes or CDs, watching videos, recording themselves, etc. The language laboratory is an audio or audio-visual installation used as an aid in modern language teaching. It was also called Speech and Writing Lab. All the four language learning skills (LSRW) are given importance and learners are provided with ample opportunities to practice by listening to the audio programmes and watching the video clips.
Technically, a language lab is an instructional technology tool consisting of a source unit that can disseminate audio, audio-visual, and/or written materials to any number of students at individual seats or carrels, with a wide variety of potential feedback mechanisms to the student, teacher, or other students.

History of Language Labs

The origin of the Language Laboratory can be traced as far back as 1877, when Edison invented the tin foil phonograph. In the 1920s, radios were used for foreign language instruction. Movies, tape recorders, televisions, video recorders, digital recorders and computers gradually started playing their role. The practical use of language labs began in the 1950s, when tape recorders with two tracks became popular, new teaching methods in language labs evolved. During the 1970s language labs became unpopular because of the expensive repairs needed to the open reel tape machines resulting from student misuse, neglect, wear and tear etc. and the change in the language acquisition theories from linguistic accuracy to communicative fluency.
In the 1980s language labs revived with the advent of the personal computers. Computer aided instruction (CAI) and Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) gained importance with multimedia PC based labs. These digital labs allow students to record their voice and teachers to control student positions. They are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated, integrating the latest technological innovations to enable students and teachers to improve the quality of language teaching and learning.
The International Association of Language Learning Technology (, the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning ( and the Language Laboratory Association of Japan ( are some of the professional organizations whose members provide leadership in the utilization of instructional technology for teaching and learning of languages.
The first development of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) software programmes can be traced back to the early 1960s,namely the Programme Logic for Automated Teaching Operations (PLATO) project. Developed at the University of Illinois, it was among the first computerized foreign language teaching systems. PLATO was mainly used for grammar and vocabulary drills, and translations. Since then, the impact of information technology (IT) on language teaching/learning has increased rapidly to include the present day’s wide range of software programmes, language learning websites and related audio-visual programme activities.
The Language Laboratory is used for language tutorials. These are attended by the students and persons who voluntarily opt for remedial English classes. Lessons and exercises are recorded on a cassette or computer so that the students are exposed to a variety of listening and speaking drills. This especially benefits students who are deficient in English and also aims at confidence-building for interviews and competitive examinations. The Language Laboratory sessions include word games, quizzes, extemporary speaking, debates, skits etc. These sessions can also be conducted with the help of internet where many websites provide online practice sessions.

Types of Language Labs

Audio System Language Lab

The Audio System Lab consists of a central tape recorder connected to a number of headsets or earphones through which the students can merely listen to the audio programme when the central tape recorder is played. The multi-media home theatre system speakers are used to facilitate listening in a large class. Pre-recorded cassettes can be used for this purpose. Some of the radio programmes meant for school broadcast are also useful. They can be recorded and played, if required.

Audio Active System Language Lab

This Lab consists of a central tape recorder connected to a number of headsets fitted with microphones making provision for students to respond orally. The teacher or instructor can respond to the feedback. It is a two way communication.

Audio Active Comparative System Language Lab

This Lab consists of a central tape recorder connected to a number of headsets, separate tape recorders fitted with microphones making provision for students to record feedback. They can use two track cassettes for this purpose. One for the lesson, called the master track and the other to record the learner’s response called student track.
After listening to the recorded pronunciation of words, programme etc. the listeners may compare their response with the master track. They may repeat the same and get it recorded. After recording they can playback their recorded material and listen. Thus they can make out their mistakes and correct them. The master track cannot be erased; it stays there for learning and comparison.

Audio Active Comparative System with Controls Language Lab

This Lab is almost the same as the Audio Active Comparative System Language Lab but some controls to communicate with the students, monitor or correct them without disturbing others have been added to it. The teacher can take command of the entire system whenever he/she decides. This Lab enables the students to learn at their own pace and the teacher to direct and monitor any one student or to address all students by stopping their tape recorders. This system constitutes the best language laboratory where a student can do these activities:
Play, stop, rewind and fast-forward the tape at will.
Listen to the recorded message individually.
Write or speak at will.
Proceed at his / her own pace and select the learning material at will.

Audio - Visual Multi-Media Language Lab

This Lab the same as the Audio Active Comparative System Language Lab with Controls, but all the modern audio-visual multi-media teaching and learning materials along with the recent technological advancements in the field of Teaching Technology are used to make teaching and learning interesting.
A number of books have been written on using modern Education Technology for teaching of English as Second Language (ESL).
Most of these laboratories became unpopular during 1980s because of the lack of technical assistance, outdated modules of recording, the expensive repairs resulting from student misuse, neglect, wear and tear, expensive tapes and booth maitainance, lack of interest among the teachers, misuse by the students and many other reasons sealed the future of the labs. But with the advent of affordable multimedia PCs in the late 1990s led to a resurgence and transformation of the language laboratory with software and hard drives in place of reels of analogue tape the Multi-Media Computer Langauge Labs emerged. As these are the days of Mobile Phones and Laptops the Portable / Laptop or Palmtop Labs are making a way into the class with a multi-media projector and home theatre audio system. Now-a-days these Multi-media Computer Language Labs are found in big cities and metros from KG classes to PG classes!

Multi-Media Computer Language Lab

This Lab is the perfect answer for language teaching with modern technology or Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). As most of the PCs have built in multi-media functions, it is very easy to record the voice, dialogue, skit and playback the same. This Lab offers computer-assisted instruction, which gives students an opportunity to work with word processing programmes, the internet communication network, and language skill development programmes.
For more details visit the following websites:

Multipurpose Multi-Media Computer Language Lab

This is an extended version of the Computer Language Lab which can be used for various other purposed besides language learning. Social science, other languages, science subjects, art, music, film or any other subject can be taught with the help of available multi-media devices. History becomes a lively subject when films related to history are screened and Astrophysics enchants one and all when the images of the sun, moon, stars and other heavenly bodies, satellites are shown. Mathematics becomes more interesting with live demos.
All the spots of historical importance can be brought into the class with the help of videos and photos. Model reading of poems and stories may be recorded and played back. Encyclopedia and Virtual Globe take you on a world tour. Internet connectivity brings the whole world into the classroom. Online library is the most powerful tool to master any subject. If this system is used at home, you have your Home Language Lab! Try it. Good luck!

Start your own Language Labs

It is very simple and easy to establish your own LAB at your own price at your own will. It is possible to build your lab with just Rs.100/-! This does not include the cost of land and building and mega infrastructure facilities. A separate room or hall will serve the purpose

Audio System Language Lab

(Expenditure: Rs.100 to 10,000/-)

The Audio System Lab is the cheapest of all the labs as it consists of a radio or tape recorder. Multi-media speakers can be used, if necessary, for the large classes. Headphones are only optional. Just switch on the radio and tune in the proper channel. BBC, VOA, ABC, CRI and many other broadcasting organizations broadcast English language programmess all day long. All India Radio Bangalore in collaboration with the Dept. of Education and DSERT is broadcasting ‘Keli Kali’, ‘Chukki Chinna’ and ‘Chinnara Chukki’ where lessons are aired from July to March every year. Just play the suitable programme at the suitable time as per the time-table provided.
Pre-recorded audio cassettes of Rhymes, Dialogues, Discourses, Speeches etc. can be played to know the original British pronunciation and accent.

Audio Active System Language Lab

(Expenditure: Rs.1,000 to 1,00,000/-)

The Lab provides an opportunity to record the voice of students and playback. Model tapes can be played first, then the same dialogue or line may be repeated and the same may be recorded. Reading a passage aloud or dialogue between friends, teacher and students can also be recorded and played back.

Multipurpose Multi-Media Computer Language Lab

(Expenditure: Rs.15,000 to 15,00,000/-)
This Lab is the perfect answer for language teaching with modern technology. Here you can play, listen, record, re-record, practice, watch, observe, comment, criticise or even enact a drama. This lab can accommodate any teaching / learning activity. High speed internet connectivity brings the e-library into the classroom providing an opportunity to learn on your own. Millions and millions of websites are ready for your service. Just log-in and experience the world of e-learning.

Bedre’s Laptop Multipurpose Mobile Language Lab

(Expenditure: Rs.25,000 to 75,000/-)
This is the best suited Personal Mobile Lab. It is the language teacher’s personal asset and dream. There is no need for waiting or asking permission of anyone to use this mobile lab. It is not at all costly. All you can use is a laptop (even palmtop) computer, multi-media speakers and a mike. If the school or college provides the LCD projector it would add to the beauty of the presentation. Some of the English teachers and lecturers are already using their Laptops and LCD Projectors to make their class interesting. The Laptop Multipurpose Mobile Language Lab has been in use at Bedre Foundation - Non-formal Education, Research and Training Institute, Chitradurga. It is being used to record the dialogues, to practice pronunciation of different words, to listen to various pronunciations and skit, to watch programmes and films related to language practice, to browse the internet and to help in making the teaching of all the subjects interesting. It is used as tool to teach Social Science, Mathematics, Science and other subjects also. Mobile phones and palmtop computers can be used in this mobile Lab.
The Laptop computer cannot replace the teacher but it brings a change in the role of the language teacher, from the traditional know-it-all authoritarian to a facilitator or a guide in the language learning process. Noted linguist Clifford says, “Computers will not replace teachers..., teachers who use computers will replace teachers who do not”.
Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) software programmes are available in abundance and the language teachers have to select those that best suit the needs of the students. Teachers, who are unprepared, both technically and mentally, may leave students with an adverse impression of CALL. Successful integration of software programmes requires that the language teachers have a certain level of competency in the use of computers, an understanding of the dynamics of a CALL classroom and a commitment to the continuous use of CALL in the language classroom.
Most of the English language programmes have a special focus on general proficiency, report writing, business communication, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary enrichment, spoken and soft skills. Software programmes designed for general proficiency are usually available at different levels of difficulty, covering all four language skills (LSRW), grammar and vocabulary.
The classical 3Rs (Reading wRiting and aRithmetic) can be re-defined as Receive (instruction from native speakers and translators through cassettes or CDs), Repeat (lessons and animated drills using the record and playback features), Review (your progress with questionnaire, quizzes and games). Research and Recognition are essential to encourage the learners and teachers. A multimedia computer with suitable audio-visual recording facility throws open the doors of joy learning to one and all.
There are many professional companies which provide tested software and hardware required to establish a Multipurpose Multi-media Language Lab. Some of these companies provide yearly maintenance facilities too. Before establishing a full-fledged language lab it is better to go and visit some of the well established labs like the labs at CLU, RIESI, British Council, Kuvempu University, Bedre Foundation and make changes that suit your purposes and also to your institution. Those who are interested may contact these sites:

Article by - Bedre Manjunath
Bedre Foundation - Non-Formal Education, Research and Training Institute
Address: Duty Officer, All India Radio, Chitradurga - 577 501, Ph. 9448589089

Saturday, 23 August 2008



Hello Friends!
Do you know ‘Mowgli’ the jungle boy and the ‘Jungle Book’? Do you like the adventures of Mowgli? Well, it is written by Rudyard Kipling. Many of the works of Kipling are meant for children. He has designed many games for them. If you are a Boy Scout or Girl Guide you have all the chances of playing the ‘Kim’s Game’. This is a very popular game with Girl Guides.

What is Kim’s Game?

‘Kim’s Game’ is an exercise used to develop a person’s capacity to observe and remember specific details. The name is derived from Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim. Kim is the story of the orphan son of an Irish soldier in India who grew up among the native boys and was later trained for government intelligence work. The training began by showing Kim a tray of precious stones and gems for a minute’s observation, then covering it, and asking Kim how many stones and what kind they were.
At first Kim could remember only a few, but soon, by practice, he was able not only to say exactly how many, but to describe the stones. Then he practiced with other articles, and ultimately was able to glance to see all sorts of details of items that were of value in tracing and dealing with criminals. It is also called ‘Keep in Mind System’.
Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting, describes the playing of Kim’s Game in his book Scouting Games in detail. He uses the game as a Scouting Activity.
“The Scoutmaster should collect on a tray a number of articles knives, spoons, pencil, pen, stones, book and so on not more than about fifteen for the first few games, and cover the whole over with a cloth. He then makes the others sit round, where they can see the tray, and uncovers it for one minute. Then each of them must make a list on a piece of paper of all the articles he can remember or the Scoutmaster can make a list of the things, with a column of names opposite the list, and let the boys come in turn and whisper to him, and he must mark off each of the things they remember. The one who remembers most wins the game.”
This game is commonly played with young pre-school aged children, as it is great for developing memory, observation skills and can be used for learning new groups of objects, such as shapes or fruits.

Types of Kim’s Game

Basic Kim’s Game

Equipment : A tray with 20 small articles (may or may not be related by theme!), pencil and paper for each person, and a watch or timer.
Game : Uncover the tray and hold each article up, while naming it so that they whole group sees each thing and hears its name separately. Cover the tray after 2 minutes and allow the group 5 minutes to write the names of as many of the 20 objects as they can remember.
Scoring : Award one point for each correct article in the list of the contestants.

Camping Observation Kim’s Game

Fill a small bag or small box with a variety of small man made items, about 30 in number, and a list of the items. At camp, rope off a small area (e.g. square meter) of trees or bush. Hide the items in the bush, attempting to camouflage several of them.
Have the contestants walk around the circle for a set period of time and record the ones they see -- advise them not to point them out until we are all ready to share our answers. Encourage the contestants to change direction, crouch down, etc., to see more items. After everyone has discussed the answers and why some things are harder to find than others, collect your items and store your bag for next camp.
Some items that camouflage very well : green tie, bobby pin, delicate bracelet, plastic animal or bug, matchstick, etc.

Feeling Kim’s Game

This is done much the same way, with textures being the thing guessed. You can use cooked spaghetti, a bag of elastics, macaroni noodles, peeled sectioned oranges, sand, raw diced carrots, etc. In between each feeling there may need to be a place to rinse your hands. Or you could use rubber gloves for each person. Immediately after feeling something they could record their guess, someone could be taking dictation for this!

First Aid Kim’s Game

This game is suitable for contestants aged 9-12. Have on hand about 25-30 items which could have come out of a complete first aid kit. The contestants are divided into teams. Each team has 2 minutes to view the items, then they go off to separate corners and have 5 minutes to, collectively, list as many items as possible. The contestants have to be silent during the viewing.
After each team has had a turn to view the items, they all come together to discuss what they have seen. The contestants are allowed to ask identification for unknown items, and to ask reasons for items that they don’t understand.

Flying Saucer Kim’s Game

Have a bag instead of a tray, with your 20 objects in it. You need two contestants for this. One person takes the article out of the bag and tosses it to the other contestant, who holds it up, names it and puts it in their bag. After all the objects have done their flying saucer act the contestants have 5 minutes to record as many of them as they can.

Hearing Kim’s Game

This version requires some preparation and a tape player. Make a cassette tape of 10 sounds that you would hear. This could be 10 nature sounds, or 10 city sounds, or a mixture of the two. Unlike the above versions, the contestants record what they think they are hearing as they hear them. So, you play your first sound, and the contestants are given 10 seconds to write down what they think it is, then you play the second sound, etc.

Jumping Kim’s Game

Gather together about 10 small items (a coin, a button, a paperclip). Keep them in a small box - a metal Band-Aid box works well. The game then is handy for any occasion or moment when a little activity, but not too much, is needed. Contestants stand in a circle. There has to be an umpire Items from the box are spread on the floor in the centre of the circle. The umpire calls out “Jump!” and everyone jumps and turns to face outside the circle. The umpire removes one item and then calls out “Jump!” again. Players jump and face into the circle. The first to spot the removed object raises her hand and if correct becomes the next “umpire”.
Two good gamesmanship ideas can make this a very good game. As some contestants are better than others at spotting the item removed they may win more than once. When the items become too familiar, the box may be filled with a new set of items.

Mime Kim’s Game

This is a camping game. In the bag have a list, which the contestants can not see of 20 camping related articles. Reach into the bag, and one at a time mime the action of taking out and using 20 articles that you would have a camp, i.e. a flashlight, matches, etc. After you have done all 20 actions the contestants see how many they can remember.

Pass - It Kim’s Game

Each team (of at least 6 players) has a no-see-through bag with a selection of the same objects. Teams stand in a line, starter has bag in hand - end player has another empty bag. One by one the objects are to be passed along the team line and into the bag at the end - including the first bag. Now the team has to write down the objects passed. Don’t tell them about the listing part until after they’ve passed all the objects down the line!

Smelling & Tasting Kim’s Game

10 small bags with wet sponges that have been soaked in vinegar, sugar cane juice, tea, coffee, orange juice, water, ketchup, mustard, etc, are lined up and numbered. The contestants smell the contents of each bag and immediately mark down their conclusion. The bags need to be covered so that the contestants do not get hints by colours, or textures.
This one can also be a tasting game, each contestant tastes with a drop of the liquid put on his/her tongue with a tooth pick. For reasons of health, a tooth pick is only used once and never dipped into a bag a second time. Salted water and sugar water can also be used for the tasting version.

Smells of Camp Kim’s Game

This game is especially useful at a camp with a lot of inexperienced campers as a way of underlining the reasons we:
A - Don’t keep food in out tents;
B - Dispose of garbage / slop pail stuff properly;
C - Store our personal care items outside the tent;
D - Clean and disinfect our cooking areas regularly;
E - Don’t wear perfume/make up at camp.
Number a bunch of opaque cans. Fill each cans with something that has a distinct aroma, but is common at a campsite. Some suggestions include Toothpaste, insect repellent, garlic, cinnamon, vinegar, sunscreen, deodorant, dettol, dishwashing liquid, butter, shampoo, mouthwash etc.
The contestants have to pick up each container, close their eyes, open the lid, smell, close the lid, and then open their eyes. There is definitely the possibility of cheating here. Hence, you can cover their eyes with a strip of soft cloth.
Have the contestants record what they think each smell is and then discuss the answers as a group. Afterwards, discuss the fact that animals have much more sensitive noses than we do and will actually eat through tents to get things that smell appetizing. Then explain how we use the rules listed above to prevent unwanted guests at camp.

Sound Game

Get some opaque cans . Label them with numbers or letters. Select things that will make sound when shaken and fill two containers with each. Have the girls shake the containers and try and locate the pairs. Bonus points if they can guess what makes the sound.
Some sample items you could use include: salt or sugar, rice, coins, a marble, carom board pawns, small stones etc.

Touch Kim’s Game

Cut a waste cloth into small rectangles. Select a variety of small items which do not break easily and won’t spoil. Take a marble, an earring back, a jack, a paper clip, a coin, a pen cap, a small plastic toy, a pebble, an eraser, a small pencil, a die, some string, a birthday candle, a ring, etc. and lace one item on each piece of cloth. Fold the pieces over the items and sew up the three open sides with a sewing machine. Use a permanent marker to number the pieces and develop a master list of answers. Have the contestants try and identify the items through the fabric. This can be put away and used again and again through the years. You could also make a few different sets that are easily kept separate by using different fabric colours for each set.

Kim’s Game with Words

A list of selected words has to be prepared at first. When the list is ready, look at a list for about two minutes. Then look away and write down as many words as you can remember.

“ ~ cracy”


“~ graphy”


“~ archy”


“~ ate ”


“ ~cide”


“ ~mania”









or more Kim’s Games please visit these Websites:’s_Game

Thursday, 12 June 2008

250,00,00,000 Words in English Language!

250,00,00,000 Words

in English Language!

How many words are there in English Language? If you just ask this simple question, surely you will get a variety of answers. A recent survey says that there are 250,00,00,000 Words! All these words are found in a corpus.

What is a corpus?

A corpus is a collection of texts of written (or spoken) language presented in electronic form. It provides the evidence of how language is used in real situations, from which lexicographers can write accurate and meaningful dictionary entries.

The Oxford English Corpus

The Oxford English Corpus is at the heart of dictionary-making in Oxford in the 21st century and ensures that we can track and record the very latest developments in language today. The Oxford English Corpus is central to the process and to Oxford’s £35 million research programme - the largest language research programme in the world.
The Oxford English Corpus is a text corpus of English language used by the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary and by Oxford University Press’s language research programme. It is the largest corpus of its kind, containing over two billion words.

Brigham Young University Corpus of American English

The freely-available 360+ million word BYU Corpus of American English is the only large corpus of American English currently available, and the only publicly-available corpus of American English to contain a wide array of texts from a number of genres. In addition, since new texts will be added at least two times each year (20 million new words each year), it will serve as a unique linguistic history of American English since 1990.


COBUILD (Collins Birmingham University International Language Database) CORPUS, is a British research facility set up at the University of Birmingham in 1980 and funded by Collins publishers. The Bank of English is the name of the COBUILD corpus, a collection of English texts The corpus totals 525 million words.
The British National Corpus

The British National Corpus (BNC) is a 100-million-word text corpus of samples of written and spoken English from a wide range of sources.

Longman Learners’ Corpus

Longman Learners’ Corpus is a 10 million word computerized database made up entirely of language written by students of English.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

What is Language? What is Language Lab?


Language is a system of communication by written or spoken words, which is used by the people of a particular country or area. It is used for communication by word of mouth. The mental faculty or power of vocal communication. The cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication.

What is

‘Language Laboratory’?

A ‘Language Laboratory’ is a room in a school or college that contains special equipment to help students learn foreign languages by listening to tapes or CDs, watching videos, recording themselves, etc.

Types of

‘Language Laboratory’?

Audio System Language Lab.

Audio Active System Language Lab.

Audio Active Comparative System Language Lab.

Audio Active Comparative with Controls Language Lab.

Audio-Visual Multi-Media Language Lab.

Computerised Langauge Lab.

Logograms & Alphabets

The oldest forms of writing used pictures or symbols for whole words. These are called Logograms.
The major systems are Hieroglyphs (picture writing used by Ancient Egyptian), Mayan Glyphs (drawings representing words) and Cuniform (wedge shaped characters used by Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite and Persian). These are examples that are no longer used. The modern languages of China (e.g., Mandarin, Cantonese) and Japanese are still written using logograms called Chinese Characters (or Kanji in Japanese). Chinese writing requires the use and knowledge of thousands of separate characters.
The alphabet is the common writing system based on symbols determined by sounds rather than words. In an alphabet, each symbol represents a single sound. The Latin alphabet used by much of the world has between about 24 and 40 symbols depending on the language.
The alphabet was invented in Ugarit (in Syria) during the 2nd Millennium BC. This Ugarit Alphabet was derived from a previous Cuniform writing system. The Ugarit Alphabet slowly evolved into the Phoenician, alphabet of the eastern Mediterranean region. Phoenician slowly evolved into Hebrew and Arabic.
Moving West from its area of origin, the Phoenician alphabet spread to Carthage as the Punic Alphabet. It was also adapted to form the Greek Alphabet.
Greek was adopted by the Etruscans and adapted for their alphabet and from there became the Latin alphabet of the Roman Empire. The Latin alphabet has now spread around the world to such an extent that many people refer to it as the alphabet.

What is Grammar?

Grammar is a study of the laws of a language that makes sense of the words. It is the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology (and sometimes also deals with semantics)


55 % Body Language

38 % Voice Culture

07 % Words /Sentences

The process of communicating what you are feeling or thinking by the way you place and move your body rather than by words. Kinesics is the category of non-verbal symbols created by the body.

Type of Kinesics are:

Gestures - Gesticulations - Facial Expressions
Eye Contact - Appearance (Dress & Persona)


Voice - Tone - Pitch
Pronunciation - Speed - Mode
soft - polite - smooth - clear - swift - modulated

Instrumental (to get what you want / need)
Regulatory (to command or alter other’s behaviour)
Personal ( to express feelings / thoughts)
Interpersonal (to relate to others)
Heuristisc (to explore and learn)
Imaginative (to explore alternatives beyond the here and now.)
Informative (to convey information)
"Language is purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desire by means of a system of voluntarily produced sound symbols." (Edward Sapir)

250,00,00,000 Words in English Language!

250,00,00,000 Words in English Language!

The Oxford English Corpus is the largest text corpus of English language containing over two billion words . (Recently the number reached 2.5 billion mark!)
The Bank of English is the name of the cobuild corpus (Collins Birmingham University International Language Database ) which has 525 million words. The British National Corpus is a 100 million word text corpus of written and spoken English.
The Brigham Young University Corpus of American English contains 360+ million words.

Friday, 21 March 2008




Sumanth was all smiles when his new class teacher Varsha showed his collection of pamphlets and booklets to his classmates. At the school assembly on 21st June , Vasrha Miss requested the Head Mistress to speak on the importance of Children’s Rights. Head Mistress was very glad to address the gathering. This marked the beginning of celebrations of all the important days and events in Sumanth’s school.
Every Thursday afternoon, specially the last period, was reserved for reading or story telling. Varsha Miss used to ask all the students to tell a story of their choice. This provided a platform for free expression. Everyone in the class was eager to tell one or the other story. Sometimes there was a competition! There was no binding on language also. Students loved this sesssion very much.
Last Thursday there was reading session. Miss gave some colourful books to all. Being the library incharge, Varsha loved to carry books to class-rooms and make the students read atleast for half an hour. There were many interesting story books. If the students liked to carry the books home, they could do so. "Adventures of Robinhood". "Adventures of Tom Sawyer", "Adventures of Huckelberryfin", "Kim", "Secret Seven", "Hardy Boys", "Nancy Drew", "The Time Machine", "The Invisible Man", "Adventure Stories", "Stories of Fantasy", "Jurasic Park", "Twentythousand leagues under the sea", "Journey to the centre of the earth", "Treasure Island", "Coral Island", "King Soloman’s Mines", "Adventures of Ulysis", "The Three Musketeers", "Alice in wonderland", "The Kidnapped", "Tale of Two Cities", "Lorna Doon", "Heidi", "Moby Dick", and many such titles attracted the students.
After distributing the books, Varsha went round to see whether the students were reading the books or not. Many were reading silently. A few of them were just turning the pages and making comments on the drawings in them. It was a busy session.
Varsha had a habit of introducing one new aspect in every period. She wanted her students to be brilliant in many fields. She found the I.Q. level of that 6th ‘B’ section was quite hight, so she brought new books, newspapers, charts, photographs to the class and showed them. This made her class still more interesting. Students were eager to learn many of aspects of G.K.
Now, Varsha observed everyone immersed in reading. She thought for a while and then asked, "Children, you have been reading many books. Can any one tell me why do we read or how many purposes are there for reading?"
"To learn, Miss." "To know more, Miss." "To enjoy."
"To know answers for the questions, Miss."
"Miss, here is a quotation on reading. Mr. Frank Jennings says, ‘We read to learn. We read to live another way. We read to quench some blind and shocking fire. We read to weigh the worth of what we have done or dare to do. We read to share our awful secrets with someone we know will not refuse us. We read our way into presensce of great wisdom, vast and safe suffering, or into the untidy corners of another kind of life we fear to lead."
The children went on giving their own version of the purposes of reading. Varsha remembered her college days. She was a voratious reader. Her sister Daksha presented her a book, "Learning to Read Effectively and Efficiently" written by Prameela Ahuja and G.C. Ahuja. It showed her the new way of reading and uderstanding more. She particularly liked this statement : ‘Reading is the first button in the garment of education. If the first button of a man’s coat is wrongly put, all the rest are bound to be crooked.’ Varsha repeated the statement and explained the purposes of reading.
"Well children, I agree with you. Prof. Hathaway identified 1620 purposes of reading. We read to gain meanings, to gain information, to guide activity, for social motives, to influence or entertain others, to find values, to organize, to solve problems, to remember, to enjoy, to satisfy an eagerness for knowledge, to compare views on a subject, to find illustrations of an idea, to discover relationships, to note the degree to whcih a thing is true, to view two sides of a question, to seek advice, to attain an attitude of open-mindedness and abilithy to form a tentative judgement, to entertain children, to learn the options of a district upon a political issue, to laugh, to re-live common, everyday experiences, to escape from real life, to enjoy the emotional life of others, to satisfy curiosity especially as to why people act the way they do, to enjoy dramatic situations vicariously, to gain information about the world we live in, to enjoy people and places we have never seen, to see how smart we are to outguess the author, solve a puzzle and so on."
"Miss, what are the uses of reading in the classroom?"
"We read in the classroom to find answers to specific questions, to determine the author’s aim or purpose, to find the central thought of a selection, to follow a sequence of related events, to enjoy the facts or story presented, to find the most important points and supporting details, to selelct facts which relate to a problem, to judge the validity of statements, to find facts supporting a point of view, to draw valid conclusions from materials read, to discover problems for additional study, to remember what is read, to determine the essential conditions of a problem, to follow directions with reasonable speed and accuracy."
"If we find a machine which reads all these books for us, how nice would it be!"
"Really! There are some machines availabe now. The books start narrating the story to you alive. They are in the form of Multi-Media Compact Disks. Diskis Books, Pentasoft Story Books, Sesame Street CDs, Schoolrom CDs and many more such compact disks contains hundreds of books which can be read with help of computers. If you place the CD in the drive and click the button, the Text Assistant Reader in them starts reading for you. There may be dramatic enactment of situations also. The colourful pictures and live scenes make the story more interesting."
"Miss, How shall we use them?"
"Well, as you know, we have a Language Laboratory in our school. We can go there and request the instructor to play those CDs for us and see them ourselves. I think we shall fix the next week for that listening session."
"Miss, Can’t we make our texts books to be read by computers?"
"Well, some of the CBSC and ICSC text books have been brought out in the form of CDs already. Many more CDs on Language Learning, Mathematics and Science have been availabe in the market. Recently I read an article on e-book. It is a small electronic divice like pager or a personal organiser. It has a small screen. Nearly 400 hundred text books can be stored in one e-book reader. It can be updated often. You can read all the text on the screen itself. If you feel bored, you can make the e-book reader to read it for you. For that you have to feed a Text Assistant Reader programme to that. With the help of a speakers or ear phones you can listen to the reading. You can choose the voice and pitch and also the speed of reading."
"Where shall we get them?"
"It is very costly now. Scientist are trying their best to produce the cheaper versions. When it is cheap all of you can bring such e-books to the class. You can even bring a note-book computer when you grow up. Then there will be no more burden of carrying books on your back. One small e-book and one note book computer or a device which can act as both will be the sole companion! How nice, yeah?"
"Will you show us such devices, Miss?"
"Sorry children, I don’t have the real ones with me. I have only the photographs of these e-books. Look here. This is Soft Book. This one is Rocket Book. This is Librius Millennium e-book. This is 3 Com Palm Pilot. These are all e-books . There are a number of e-books availabe on the INTERNET. If you are interested you can download them. You can select any search engine, say Google, Altavista, Rediff, Yahoo, Lycose, Netscape etc., and search for e-book sites. A few sites are here :

"Miss, how do you collect so much information?"
"By reading."
"We will also read and gather information like you, Miss."
"Thank you, children. I love to see all of you be good readers and good citizens of our great nation. It is time up now. We have to leave."
"Thank you, Miss. We shall be your trusted pupils."
"Well, don’t forget to attend the Language Lab.Session next week. Bye."
"Bye, Miss."
Address: C-3, AIR Staff Quarters, All India Radio, CHITRADURGA - 577 501. Ph:28974