Sunday, 4 March 2012


My group had done our presentation on how urban setting could affect English language.  I feel so nervous during the presentation but I was so happy because I had prepared myself before the presentation and I had done my best for it. But I had promise myself that I going to improve myself from time to time.
There are four area that we had cover which are school, family, media and tuition that can affect English language  urban area. I had present on how school at urban area could affect English language. Students need to change their negative attitude towards the learning of English to a positive one. Attitudinal variables can affect the learning of the second language. Local studies like Subramaniam’s(1976) shows students in urban areas have a positive attitude towards English, therefore they can acquire better proficiency of English than students in rural areas.
Urban students realize English language as a global language and they have been encouraged to speak English. We can see that some school had made a duty roster to supervise and regulate English speaking situations. Announcements in school assemblies are bilingual (Malay and English for a start). Students at school are encourage to plan their daily English activities. For example, they have English logbooks to write their thoughts and feelings. All students have to take turns to compose essays and poems in English. Notice boards have English compositions, proverbs and new vocabularies. Grammar quiz, Vocabulary Contest, Spelling bee, English mail, English sketch, singing and drama, educational trips and visits to English speaking factories, office and higher institutions are encouraged and other creative activities.
They take the initiative to lead and not wait for English teachers to suggest new plans to help them. They are empowered to organize, plan and implement activities. The school authorities guide them, not discourage them so that a positive and supportive approach will help change the current negative attitude towards the learning of English.
Besides, motivation from other subject teachers and administration is very important and they did not ignore their students. School administrators always using English books as rewards like the best staff, best disciplined students and the most diligent teacher so as to make students aware of the importance of English and hence motivate them to learn English. So, we can see that most urban students are proficient in English Language.

Saturday, 18 February 2012


We have prepared our next activities for our project on language games about word formation on week 6 as our lecturer was not around at this week.  A language game is a philosophical concept developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein, referring to simple examples of language use and the actions into which the language is woven. After some discussion with my group member, we have decided to do a language game about compound word.
In week 7 we had learned about Word Structure and Word Formation. Word structures are like breaking down a word to understand its meaning. Where we can break it down to separate the prefix, the base/root word, and the suffix. For example: Uncool-  the prefix is un and the base/root word is cool. un means not, so the word means not cool.
In linguistics, word formation is the creation of a new word. Word formation is sometimes contrasted with semantic change, which is a change in a single word's meaning. The line between word formation and semantic change is sometimes a bit blurry; what one person views as a new use of an old word, another person might view as a new word derived from an old one and identical to it in form; see Conversion (linguistics). Word formation can also be contrasted with the formation of idiomatic expressions, though sometimes words can form from multi-word phrases; see Compound (linguistics) and Incorporation (linguistics).
Have you ever experienced textpectation? According to the Urban Dictionary, that's "the anticipation one feels when waiting for a response to a text message." To a linguist, textpectation is an example of a blend or (in Lewis Carroll's more fanciful phrase) a portmanteau word. Blending is just one of the many ways that new words enter our language.
In fact, most new words are actually old words in different forms or with fresh functions. This process of creating new words out of old ones is called derivation--and  the six of the most common varieties are affixation, back formation, blending, clipping, compounding, conversion. English has many words that have been lost from daily vocabulary, though they live on in dictionaries and sometimes deserve to be revived.
Besides, we had conducted our language game that we have prepared which is on compound word. Word games are spoken or board games often designed to test ability with language or to explore its properties. Word games are generally engaged as a source of entertainment, but have been found to serve an educational purpose as well. For instance, young children can find enjoyment playing modestly competitive games such as Hangman, while naturally developing important language skills like spelling. Solving crossword puzzles, which requires familiarity with a larger vocabulary, is a pastime that mature adults have long credited with keeping their minds sharp. There are popular televised word games with valuable monetary prizes for the winning contestants. Many word games enjoy international popularity across a multitude of languages, whilst some are unique to English-speakers. Every group had done their best by preparing a creative game for this project.  I really enjoy this section because I had learned a lot of thing from it. Moreover, I learned lots of new vocabulary by searching the dictionary. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Tree diagrams are most often drawn above the item being diagrammed. A tree consists of nodes. A node has a label, for example NP for noun phrase, VP for verb phrase, and so on. The node at the very top of the tree, the one from which all the others ultimately derive, is called the root of the tree. The nodes are connected by lines, known as edges. The terminal nodes of our diagrams, the ones without any children, are known as the leaves of the tree. They will contain labels for the word categories of each word. Every sentence can he analysed at four distinct form levels: the word-level, the phrase-level, the clause-level and the sentence- level. And this is called the rank scale.
I have prepared a worksheet which consists of 2 sentences to be analysed using tree diagram and I have exchange my worksheet with my partner Christine Jane. I have to correct up worksheet that done by my partner with my own answer scheme. It was quite hard to prepare a worksheet where I have to make sure that my partner can answer the worksheet that was prepared by me.  Through this activity, I get more confident in learning sentence structure where I have learned a lot of thing from my partner and the mistakes that I had done. I think it is very important as a future English teacher to master the sentence structure in order to produce a good writing in English language.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


This week our lecturer was not around. So, we have prepare our next activities for our project on language games about word formation. A language game is a philosophical concept developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein, referring to simple examples of  language use and the actions into which the language is woven. After some discussion with my group member, we have decided to do a language game about compound word.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Reflection week 5

In week 5 we have been introduced to morphemes. Basically, the word “Grammar” in linguistics can be taken to mean the entire system of describing the structure of a language from its sound system to its meaning system or just the organization (form) of words (morphology) and arrangement of these words into sentences (syntax). From the lecture that I get for week 5, I found that morpheme is the minimal units of grammatical analysis/function. Thus morphology is the study of morpheme of a language. The morpheme is the unit that combines with other morpheme to form the next functional unit, the word

For example :

Happy (adj)                live (verb)                   please (verb)               man (noun)
Unhappy (adj)            lively (adj)                  displease (verb)          manly (adj)
Happiness (noun)       livelihood (noun)        pleasant (adj)              manhood (noun)

Under the topic morpheme, I have learned about :
  1. free/bound morpheme 
  2. allomorphs
  3. zero allomorphs
  4.   inflectional and derivational morphology. 
Two or more morphemes combined where one is the morpheme which can stand on its own, whilst the other added morphemes cannot stand on its own. For example, “happy” is the basic morpheme which can occur on its own but “un” is the added morpheme which cannot stand on its own. Such morphemes are called free and bound morphemes respectively. Thus in the above examples, “ happy”, live, please and man” are free morphemes, whereas all others, like “un, ness, ly, hood, dis, and ant” are all bound morphemes. 

Next is allomorph which refers to a variant of a morpheme. Such variance occurs due to the phonological conditioning of the surrounding sounds. For example the “[s]”morpheme in English which indicates plurality or third person singular present tense has three allomorphs. 

While zero allomorph is the term given to the unit involved when a morpheme changes status from one type of morpheme to another without any addition or subtraction of any of its parts. Zero allomorph is spoken of, therefore, in a situation where there is no overt change in the item.

An inflection is an affix used to change form and function only from the grammatical point with no change in part of speech of the word as seen below:



While derivations (derivational morphology) is an affix used to change form and meaning from lexical point with a change in part of speech sometimes as seen below:

Universe (noun)                     ambition (noun)                      protect (verb)
Universal (adjective)              ambitious (adjective)              protective (adjective)
Universality (noun)                ambitiousness (noun)              protection (noun)
University (noun)                                                                protectiveness (noun)

A morpheme can be a word whilst a word is not necessarily a morpheme but may consist of many morphemes. For example :

monomorphemic words         : I, we, you, go, ball, as, when, how
dimorphemic words               : comes, manual, wherever, prettiest, household, forever
polymorphemic words           : disinclined, uncompromising, indeterminable, uncivilized,

More information on:

week 4 (Holiday)

Happy New Year of the Dragon. 龙年快乐!

The Dragon is magnificent. In China, the Dragon is the imperial symbol, the sign of the emperor and the male element of Yang. The Dragon is also synonymous with power and wealth.

The Dragon falls on the following years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012.

It is said that people born in the year of the Dragon carry a natural charisma and are gifted with power and luck. They are egoistical and ambitious, almost to the point of megalomania, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. They can be successful as actors, singers, bankers, financiers, politicians, pharmacists and quite comfortable in the place of many other professions. Some famous people born in the year of the Dragon are Bruce Lee (1940), Florence Nightingale (1820), Paul Allen (1952), and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844).

Chinese New Year of the Dragon

Friday, 3 February 2012

Reflection week 3

In week 3 we have learned about pronunciation, production of sound which are air stream mechanisms, articulatory organs, larynx functions. Besides that, I learned about the categorization and description of sounds, and also the articulatory and acoustic parameters of segmental in English.

Each day we may utter tens of thousands of words without stopping to consider what we are doing or how we do it. Although communication through speech is our most common form of communication, the study of the production of speech is the farthest removed of all the branches of linguistics from our intuitions about language. We have intuition about the grammaticality of sentences, and the meaning and structure of words, but we have few intuitions about how we produce speech sounds. 

For example, few speakers have any precise notion of what is physically involved in the production of the word “eye” (which consists of a single speech sound), or the production of the two sounds that constitute the word “me” .

      This lack of intuition where the production of speech sounds is concerned is all the more surprising when we consider that we often make social judgements about people from their speech. We may locate them geographically and socially from their pronunciation of a single sentence. Yet we often have no idea, in precise phonetic terms, why the speech of one speaker differs markedly from that of another. Furthermore, although some speakers are able to mimic successfully the speech of others, they may have no precise idea of how they achieve this. I have found an interesting phonemic chart at this website

For week 3, we have completed two activities which are making our own mime video and present two tongue twisters in front of the class. My group had produced a mime video entitle “The Teeth” and we have do our best for this video. We watched the mime video that had been done by every group and I found that all the mime were funny and interesting. I enjoy it so much where I can see every group had done their best for this activity. Here is our video.

Besides, all of us has done tongue twister where every group have different and interesting tongue twister to present in front of the class for the next period. My group had present on these two tongue twisters. I have practice two of this tongue twister and can say it as fast as I can many times. It was a very enjoyable and interesting activity where the whole class has to practise all the tongue twister which have been present by all the group. 

First tongue twister 

How many cookies could a good cook cook
If a good cook could cook cookies?
A good cook could cook
as much cookies as a good cook
who could cook cookies.

Second tongue twister  

Six sick hicks
nick six slick
bricks with picks and sticks.

So, basically a  tongue-twister is a phrase that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly, and can be used as a type of spoken (or sung) word game. Some tongue-twisters produce results which are humorous (or humorously vulgar) when they are mispronounced, while others simply rely on the confusion and mistakes of the speaker for their amusement value.
Tongue-twisters may rely on rapid alternation between similar but distinct phonemes (e.g., s [s] and sh [ʃ]), unfamiliar constructs in loanwords, or other features of a spoken language in order to be difficult to articulate. For example, the following sentence was claimed as "the most difficult of common English-language tongue-twisters" by William Poundstone.

The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us.

Many tongue-twisters use a combination of alliteration and rhyme. They have two or more sequences of sounds that require repositioning the tongue between syllables, then the same sounds are repeated in a different sequence. An example of this is the song Betty Botter

Betty Botter bought a bit of butter.
The butter Betty Botter bought was a bit bitter
And made her batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter makes better batter.
So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
Making Betty Botter's bitter batter better

More examples of interesting tongue twisters can be found at this web site