Spring is coming!

Spring is coming! Or is it here already? The weather is warming up here in Beijing, and the heat has already been turned off in some places.

I was born in the spring (actually, tomorrow is my birthday!), and I’ve always considered it to be one of my favorite seasons. I’m from Durham, North Carolina, in the United States, and fall and spring are considered the most beautiful seasons there. Spring in Beijing always starts out great, but then the sandstorms come. I wonder what this year’s spring will be like?

北广 Lecture Last Night

Harvey (刘洪波) and I had a lecture last night at 北广. It was quite a trip to get out there, but worth it to meet so many students. I’d been out to 北广 last year for a lecture, but this year was more exciting as we’re going to be offering 四级 for and 创新口语 classes at 北广.

If you’re interested in taking classes at 北广, you can call 010-6578-3063 for more info.

Ten Tips for Improving Your English (1): Know Your Reasons

This is the first article in a series on ten different ways that you can improve your English. I’ll post a tip each week for the next ten weeks.

The first tip in our series is “Know Your Reasons”. Whenever you approach any difficult task, it helps to know why you’re doing it. Knowing your “whys” will give you more motivation as you approach your task, and make you feel better while you’re doing it.

So think about why you want to improve your English. Complete the following sentence:

I want to improve my English so that I can…

Here are some possible answers you might give:

  • pass a test.
  • go abroad.
  • make my parents happy.
  • impress my friends.
  • communicate with others.
  • improve myself.

Write down as many reasons as you can think of on a sheet of paper, or type them up in your computer. Try to go as deep as possible. That is to say, if you write that you want to improve your English so you can pass a test, also as yourself why you want to pass the test.

Once you have an idea about your reasons for improving your English, you’ll be more likely to spend time working on your goal of learning English, and your studies will be more focused and productive.

Next week’s tip: Set Specific Goals.

矿业大学讲座3/11 7pm

I’ve never been to 矿业大学 before, so I’m excited about tonight’s lecture with Harvey and Hu Laoshi. It’s supposed to get down to -7˚C tonight, and the high winds will make it feel even colder, so I hope we don’t freeze!!

Hope to see some of you there at the lecture.

Coming up on this blog will be a series of posts on nine (9) specific things you can do to improve your English.

Tonight’s lecture

Just got back from a lecture with Harvey (刘洪波) and Hu Laoshi at 北京理工大学. We had a great time and the students were very receptive. Harvey talked about primarily about vocabulary and culture, I talked about spoken English, and Hu Laoshi talked about the four different levels of listening. Our school is right across the street from 北理工 inside the 农科院, so I look forward to speaking there a lot and getting to know the students.

Less* Chinese students going to US

According to this article, the number of foreign students applying to US universities dropped by five percent this year. For Chinese students the figure was even higher:

But the CGS said challenges remain. Applications from the two largest source countries, China and India, are down 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Students from those countries are increasingly being lured by stronger domestic programs or by programs in Europe and Australia that are recruiting aggressively.

The article mentions that one of the reasons fewer students are applying to schools in the US is that it is so difficult to get a visa.

I, for one, am sad to hear that less foreign students are going to the US. Some of my best friends at university were from foreign countries, and I think that foreign students bring so much to the United States.

*The “less” should actually read “fewer”. For more information, see the comments. 🙂