This is the last week of Computer Lab Class for the semester! Let’s review the topics we’ve looked at together:
Hello! The end of the semester is getting very close. And you know what that means: we have a lot of major projects, papers, and exams to deal with! This week, I would like to share a couple of tools that might help you organize your work and motivate yourself to be more productive: Trello and Habitica.
Trello (https://trello.com/) is a website that helps you create and organize to-do lists. It is especially designed for teams working together on a project, but people use it for personal to-do lists as well.
There are many ways to organize and prioritize your tasks on Trello. Here are two simple examples:
Habitica (https://habitica.com/) is a website that helps you turn your goals into games. As you study and complete assignments in real life, you earn rewards in the game. This is designed to help you keep your motivation high.
I hope one or both of these resources helps you to achieve your goals for the end of the semester. Good luck!
Some of you will go on to have careers (temporary or permanent) in an English-speaking country. You may find some of these resources helpful when looking for and applying for positions!
- Résumé / CV: Everyone needs a short (1-2 page) résumé. If your focus is academic, you should have a full CV (curriculum vitae) as well. There are many websites which can help you create an attractive résumé, and many have a “free” option. However, you usually need to pay if you want a good-quality résumé. Here are some recent reviews of ten résumé building websites.
- Cover letters: Most job listings require you to write a cover letter. The main purpose of a cover letter is to demonstrate that you are an excellent fit for the job you are applying for. Beyond that, expectations and traditions for cover letters are different in every field, so it is good to ask people in your field for advice. Purdue OWL has an excellent resource for writing your cover letter.
- Business cards: Business cards are small cards that have your contact information on them. They are a very useful thing to bring to business meetings, conferences, and job fairs. There are many websites that can help you design and print business cards. Here is a recent listing of six business card websites.
- LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn is a social network focused on jobs and careers. It is a good idea to create a LinkedIn profile and to include the link on your résumé. LinkedIn is a good way to network and to make friends in your field.
- Job listing websites: There are many ways to find good jobs. One of the best and most effective ways is through networking (“word-of-mouth”), when friends tell each other about open jobs. However, there are also websites that help you search for job listings in your field. Two popular choices are Indeed and SimplyHired.
- Company reputations: When you’re considering a company to work for, it’s good to know what current and former employees think of that company. GlassDoor is a popular website that lets people review their companies and express whether they are good or bad places to work.
- Salary ranges: Salary negotiation is often one of the most difficult and confusing parts of getting a job. GlassDoor is one place to find out what people in your field are usually paid. Many other websites also exist for this purpose, including PayScale.
Hello! This week, my suggested resource is a tool called a vocabulary profiler.
In your ELI classes, your textbooks and your teachers help you to preview vocabulary before you read a new text. But outside of the classroom, how can you preview vocabulary in the real world!?
A vocabulary profiler can analyze a text and show you which words you probably need to focus on and preview. The profiler finds all of the interesting or unusual vocabulary the text has. You can use this information to help you prepare to read (or listen to) a new text!
Click the link below to begin:
Here is a profile for a TED talk titled “How we can make the world a better place by 2030”:
On the left is the original text which I copied and pasted into the website. On the right is a colored text showing how common each word is. The most common and simple words are blue and green, while the least common words are colors like orange and people.
Here’s the important part:
In the middle is a list of uncommon English words that are used often in this text. For example, this text uses the word “capita” four times, “economy” 14 times, “forecast” four times, and “poverty” six times. If you don’t understand what those words mean, you will probably have difficulty understanding the speech! So you should review that list carefully and preview the vocabulary before reading or listening to the speech.
Give it a try: paste text from a newspaper article, magazine article, or TED.com into the vocabulary profiler and see what you discover!