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About EnlightenedAtheist

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  1. TROLLING: "... publishing a deliberately offensive or provocative online article with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them."
  2. Some positive news. Sad to read people being critical. Too bad she is called a "hero", but those are dirty, old, stinky farang feet!
  3. What's next? A face-lift? If it looks good, it must be good! It works most of the time. Trophy wives anyone?
  4. Totally agree. The average English-speakers has no clue how difficult it is to pronounce words in English. Most vowels in English misrepresent the phoneme it or they represent. But, even more difficult is finding where is the word stress which is a unstressed schwa. Consider "photograph" and "photographer". Both of these words have different word stresses, but it is impossible to know by just looking at those words. Most English words are like that, unless they only have one syllable, of course. Still, often, the vowel is hardly representative of its sound. Most English-speakers don't like when someone points out that their language (pardon, their spelling system) is rubbish. How many are ignoring me? Bullying 101. Shooting the messenger? There is something rotten in the state of ...
  5. Roof / attic ventilation fan

    Large trees would have a similar effect, but I am told that the smaller ones you can buy grow bigger more than the ones that you buy as middle-sized trees. Bigger trees --apparently-- don't grow much if planted at a different location, but do they keep the roots moist when they store the tree? I bought a land that had a large tree on the west side of the house and I plan to put some in the east side. Most Thai developers take away/sell the trees to be more efficient. Sad, but it is more efficient. I guess they don't like to deal with roots too. You could have built a double wall, which would be just as effective, but if external, you still need to put an external coat/stucco.
  6. There is a general perspection out there that if you can speak the language, you can teach it! How many comments are made by non-educators on this website. Of course, after 50, you know it all! LOL And, then, you get some whose heads explode when they are called to teach at the university level with an undergraduate degree! They call themselves "professors". What a travesti! Of course, the top people in the ministry of education and even principals are mostly incompetent. Someone just related to me this story about a principal's conference for principals of private English schools. Most --if not all of them-- could not communicate effectively in English. If they cannot, how do they hire competent teachers. If they are allowed to fester in the system, I cringe knowing what they know (or don't) about pedagogy --and language teaching, in general.
  7. I agree with the top 2 statements, but I am perplexed by the last one. As stated before, statement #2 needs to be stated like this: 8 of the top 10 countries have very similar languages to English (alphabet, grammar, vocabulary and even phonology). In fact, looking at the top 15, Malaysia ("English is the common language, and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools." ) and Philippines have both English as active 2nd languages. Belgium has 1/2 of its population speaking a Germanic language and Dutch is a language that is learned as a second language at a very early age too by the other half of the population. The 1 country that stands out is Poland, which has not any "advantage". We might want to look there to see why they do so well. To say that Finnish is an Asian language is stretching the truth quite a bit. Asian languages are usually logographic or have very different alphabetic systems than English. This is not the case of Finnish. One of the main reasons that Finnish speakers do so well with English is because it takes very little time to learn to read/decode and write Finnish. Its spelling system is very regular. English as a 2nd language is compulsory at age 11. While it could be argued that its educational system uses modern teaching methodologies and that teachers are very well trained there, this is also so for a lot of countries below Finland in the ranking. It could be argued that Italian speakers should do better since their spelling system is highly phonemic too, but if one asks why, it will show that there is the same preoccupation to crack the grammar (the written code, in general) and not the speaking code (but there are many reasons). English is really 2 languages. It must be learned as 2 different languages since the written code is quite a bit different than its speaking code. If one mispeaks 1/2 of words in a sentence, which will happen, (add grammar errors), one will be very difficult to understand. In many ways, if one "miswrites", one will be easier to understand simply because the reader has more time to decode. The English spelling is highly flawed and inefficient, but who cares! Go fetch the water, damn it! Incidentally, there are things that could be done better in Thailand. For instance, in Vietnam, movies are shown in the original English language with subtitles. I don't believe dubbing is done. I think that the real issue is around the ability of a culture to evolve and to have its systems evolve as well. In an environment where no one can lose-face (be criticized, be hurt), how can one challenge the status quo? If one MUST pay respect to the elderly, to the hierarchy as a source of constant wisdom and guidance, then, people with outside-of-the-box ideas have no chance. Change is difficult. As stated before, this is also a problem of some Western cultures as it relates to improving certain aspects of their culture that have been set as cultural icons. The metanarrative is passed on and must be adhered to, even if it is passé. For instance, very few English-speakers are interested or willing to make things easier for the next generation and the rest of the world (as it turns out). They are not very likely to adopt a new habit as well. How many foreigners use the toilet spray gun? It is far more logical and efficient than paper? Changing habits is hard. But, when there are solutions given to save 1.5 billion speakers the drudgery of learning a highly flawed spelling system that has been proven to delay and impede learning and no one blinks, it shows that humans are far from being as wise as they claim to be. Sorry! It is your turn to go fetch the water in the croc-infested river this week! Sorry! I had to do it! John could say the same, but he fed the croc! Sorry! Al who is speaking of digging canals is nuts. How many climate deniers are there? However, all cultures seem to have old dinosaurs running the show. Many seem to think that they are indispensable. That is another major problem. PS: Whoever is the idiot who put the picture of school children in the article should be fired. The test's median age is 26. It is a test that one can take online.
  8. Hard to believe that one would applaud the removal of his own thread and posts! Give him a trophy!
  9. Norwegian is a Germanic language like English. The differences of pronunciation between English and Thai are huge compared to Norwegian. The script/alphabet is very similar too. The irregular spelling system makes it really hard for any Thai to learn the proper pronunciation of words. "Learn"? "ea" like "bear, mean, ... Sure there are patterns: earn, yearn, learn,... but there are MANY patterns and many exceptions.
  10. Told you that people would bring some excuses. That is a common stated and valid excuse, but it is only valid as it entails forcing the 1.5 billion speakers to change their way. Who said that this should be so? I understand that political systems tend to make that happen, though. It is an error. Wise people (unlike some leaders we have) would seek a clever solution to circumvent the problem. One ofthe possible solutions is starting the change in schools, starting at the grade 1 level. It would take 12 years to occur, giving plenty of time to all parties involved to get their act together, which, using computers and smart phones, is more possible than 20 years ago. Paradigms do shift. However, I know people will bring up another excuse, the one that deals with all of the different dialectal accents. If only they could be smarter and find solutions. One of the possible solutions is actually to analyze the ten most important national accents (standardization needs to happen at the national level and it has been happening for decades now with TV) and create a new lingua franca accent. Look at the diaphonemic column to the left in the vowel section: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_chart_for_English_dialects. That way, most speakers' children will retain some parts of their dialectal accent. Children will not care which is which. It is worth noting that most consonants are pronounced in the same manner across all dialects (for the most part), the "r" being one major difference and, unless you are a bona fide linguist, most of the vowel differences are minute. Most speakers can understand the standard accent of speakers of other Commonwealth countries. I said STANDARD accents. And, sure, there are a few exceptions, which I am sure some will point out. Does ONE single anecdote invalidate a general idea? We need to look at the first, not the odd leaf on one of the trees. Smart people do that.
  11. And that is another reason. Unqualified and untrained English-native and Thai teachers. If students cannot articulate these phonemes, they need to be taught. Problem is that --at this level-- this is a bit of speech therapy and/or primary teaching. This could help though. http://soundsofspeech.uiowa.edu/index.html#english (Click the English module). Teaching English --due to its complexity and its irregularities-- is not cheap, but don't worry. Those going to private school along with other farang students won't have many issues. Other Thais need to be very attractive to have a chance. I see I am being ignored. Just label me a "troll" and the issue will go away!
  12. Thanks for the reply. But, these are not wild theories. They are not even theories, in fact. These are facts. Consider: The theory that English spelling is not optimal has been demonstrated by the University of Alberta: https://www.ualberta.ca/science/science-news/2016/august/sorry-chomsky-english-spelling-is-hardly-close-to-optimal I challenge TV members to challenge that. The rotten state of the English spelling system has been corroborated by Masha Bell researching, analyzing and itemizing 7000 common English spelling words: http://improvingenglishspelling.blogspot.com/ 1/3 to 1/2 of those words have faulty spellings. It is all there for you to look at and confirm. Are TV members going to challenge the professors and their research at http://www.spellingsociety.org/.too? There are pages and pages of evidence there. The theory is so mainstream it is stated repeatedly on Wikipedia. Are THEY nuts too? "The complexity of a language's orthography is directly related to the difficulty of learning to read in that language. Orthographic complexity also contributes to how dyslexia manifests in readers of different languages.[14] Deep orthographies are writing systems, such as those of English and Arabic, that do not have a one-to-one correspondence between sounds (phonemes) and the letters (graphemes) that represent them." [...] "For languages with relatively deep orthographies, such as English and French, readers have greater difficulty learning to decode new words than languages with shallow orthographies. As a result, children's reading achievement levels are lower.[15] " [...] "Literacy studies have shown that even for children without reading difficulties like dyslexia, a more transparent orthography is learned more quickly and more easily; this is true across language systems (syllabic, alphabetic, and logographic), and between shallow and deep alphabetic languages.[20]" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthographies_and_dyslexia#The_effects_of_orthographic_depth_on_dyslexia) As stated, Einstein and Orwell used words as "treacherous" and "tormenting". Anyone interested could find a lot more evidence. The evidence is incontrovertible. Is the driver having an accident with the car that has faulty brakes, bald tyres, no wipers, and no headlights responsible or is it the manufacturer who is? The wild theory is that the dire state of the English spelling system is a non-issue! When are members going to do something about that? Mai pen rai?
  13. NO improvement, ... the English spelling system remains a mess to learn. When are we going to see improvement?
  14. I agree. There is speaking and then there is writing. I assume that most teaching is about writing and reading. That's one of the problems. But, that is partly language related because the Thai teachers cannot rely on any reading to confirm or guide proper pronunciation (unless the books use some kind of phonetic transcription). Learning a language orally takes a lot longer than if one cannot rely on some form of reliable spelling system to help you guide your learning: a lot more years (childhood) and tons of repetitions, something that an educational system cannot provide unless there is an immersion-like pedagogy, where learners are going to be encouraged to speak (and make mistake and be corrected, which I assume is not happening as much as it should due partly to the losing-face culture). Oral or immersive teaching is very inefficient, unless you have a one-on-one situation! That's why most tutors do well. It is not because they are great tutors, but because they have 60 min. of one-on-one learning happening. Yes, Isaan bar girls can learn the basic and utter a few words like you are "so handsome" because they do get one-on-one "support" and it is meaningful. It eventually sinks in by way of repetitions. Imagine what a classroom of 30 students and one model is like. Very inefficient. Even if singing or skits teaching happens, some kind of reading or writing makes things more efficient to learn and teach. They should do more karaoke singing in classrooms, but then that would involve "reading", which is partly confusing at the vowel phoneme level. It would help if the English-speaking world would get their s***t together and fix most of the senseless irregularities, but "us" changing? Over our dead body! Right? Everyone has to bend over backwards (especially bar girls), but not English-speakers. A lot of it is about selfishness on the part of the English-speakers.The world is making it easier for ALL English-speakers to communicate. English-speakers making it easier for the world to communicate? Hell no! That is one major problem. Not one English-speaker can win this argument. They are asking others to do something that they are not willing to do themselves: show empathy, but more importantly and crucially, show a willingness to make things easier for others, something that they should appreciate considering the rest of the world is doing them a favour. English-speakers, by refusing to change, are showing their true colours.