While taking this class I got a lot of skills, such as how to skim, effective notes while listening, work with other students on a research project, and write an essay using outside references and so on. There are more interesting and specialized topics in our text book than the general course. GE classes don’t usually practice these kinds of skills.

Two of the subjects, art and demographics are most useful to me. Because my favorite interest is art. When I have time, I usually go to art galleries and art book shops so that grow up sensibility from artist’s work. During learn this subject, one day we went to art gallery to do a presentation. The day was a memorable day for me. Because after choosing the work, I explained it with a partner in front of my classmates. The picture made quite a new impression on me still.

The other topic is demographics. I didn’t know the word’s meaning before I learned it frankly. Also, the contents were quite difficult, so I felt dispirited. However, during class I could learn about different kinds of charts and graphs and how to give an explanation about them, which is very useful to me.

Important thing is to take this course I written report or essay every week. To pass the assignment, it is demanded to sincerity and correct due date and so on. It was never easy to get a perfect grade. I mean, time management is great essential to me as well as everyone. So at the start of this course, I did make a plan in advance, and I did make the best use of after school and weekend without laziness. As a consequence, I am likely to finish with pride and improve my English skill.

I will tell you how to improve reading and vocabulary and listening skills. Good vocabulary skills will be useful in sentence completion, antonyms, analogies, and reading comprehension. If you know the meaning of all the words in the answer choices, it makes the question easier. Read from publications like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal on a regular basis. When you come across an unfamiliar word, look it up and write down its definition. You’ll be amazed at how much better your vocabulary is after reading The Journal on a regular basis for just a month.
As reading tip, how about participating in library reading program? I heard that libraries offer organized reading programs during school breaks for students based on their school levels.
Next, explore different forms of reading material. I mean, check out works in both their book forms and books on tape, CD, or digital recording forms. Because if do that you can read a book while listening to the same book on tape. Listening is very important in our daily life it is a real time skill. So we need to understand what we hear on the spot and often you have to respond immediately. You can practice listening in the Learning Centre, at home, through the Internet, on the bus … wherever you are. I recommend the learning center absolutely. In my case, I love watching movie. So when I go to there I used to watch DVDs so practice listening with joy and fun. Also if you are watching TV or listening to the radio, record it then you can listen again. And you can listen to your classbook cassette and workbook cassette in the Learning Centre. Use as many kinds of material as much as possible.

by Hana Kim. Hana is an English for University student at Languages International Auckland.

Photo: Hana Kim