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06

28

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Quick Write 0628-3011 “Overview of June 2011”

June is Black. So Black to me. I tell you what. I’m talking about “calendar”. Have you ever thought that June on a calendar is so Black without any national holidays on weekdays? Besides the no bonus day-off thing, the rainy season sets in June all over Japan. I don’t dislike rain. I rather like staying home and looking watching rain pouring down relentlessly through the windowpane. My problem on rainy days is commuting. I’ll have to cycle to the station wearing my super-fashionable, extremely-elegant raincoat designed for cyclist. That said, June 2011 has brought me something new and nice. This Quick Write Forum launched out the end of last month, and I keep posting my QW product almost every day. Actually, I have no idea what will happen or where I’m headed by doing QWing so often, but I won’t quite until I can celebrate 1000th topic anniversary (so I hope). The other new experience is the photo-session with a professional photographer. The photos he took for me will be posted on a certain Web site pretty soon. I’m not sure if I can successfully hold back screaming in front of my PC upon looking at my pictures. Yes, I hate myself being “that” self conscious...

(5 min for brainstorming / 10 min for writing / 206 words)

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See? June is so "Black".
june-calendar-pic.jpg

06

27

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Quick Write 062711 “Why I take / don’t take TOEIC”

One of the regular QW contributors mentioned her history of TOEIC test-taking in her post, which gave me some thoughts to my own objectives of taking TOEIC tests. As you know, (or you still don’t know yet?!) I’m an English teacher whose job responsibilities include teaching TOEIC. In this respect, I need to catch up with the latest trend of the test to offer feedback to my dear students. Also, it’s better for me to keep experiencing the actual TOEIC test as one of those test-takers to sympathize with what my students would feel toward the test. Not only for vocational reasons, but also for my personal interests, I keep taking the test. Actually, I don’t consider myself as a TOEIC maniac or TOEICoid (maybe some of you might think me as one, though!). To be honest with you, I don’t study for TOEIC with TOEIC prep books except for the occasions on which I prepare for my classes. In that sense, I’m not a hard-core TOEIC test taker, I would say. But the tension that the TOEIC imposes me on the test venue with lots of test-takers around is not bad, and the adrenalin-rushing time pressure is kind of thrilling to me. Taking the test on Sundays can be tough sometimes, especially when I need a good rest at home. In such situations, I’ll encourage myself by remembering my students who want to see my score report with 495/495 on it. You might say “Who cares? “. But it won’t hurt if I think that way, will it?

(3 min for brainstorming / 10+2 min for writing / 259 words)

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It's actually almost impossible to review TOEIC test items unless listening to "TBR" or other discussions by those who took the test, though.
PTC002.jpg





06

26

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Quick Write 062611 “June 2011 TOEIC”

It’s 14:50. I’m thinking of my folks who are taking TOEIC today. Some of them have already answered all the 200 questions and are reconsidering something they are not sure of. Some might be struggling one of those Double Passages, like 196-200 which contain loads of text in its the e-mail format. I usually skip June TOEIC and October TOEIC. Taking the test every other month is already enough for me. It’s not that I hate the test. It’s due to my concentration management issue or my boredom controlling issue, so to speak. If I took TOEIC every month or more that twice a month often than that, I would soon lose my interest and motivation for the test, and what is worse, I would start hating the test itself. To avoid such a tragic situation (but who cares if I quit taking TOEIC?! ), I try to have appropriate intervals. This morning, I read so many tweets of those who were going to take the test. Some said they’re quite motivated, some said they were running late or checking what to bring, and some were encouraging each other while heading for the test venue. It’s kind of nice to share those moments just sitting in front of my PC, just like me being part of their rising spirits. What I could do for them was to send my messages with which I hoped to ease their tension, comfort uneasiness, and make them much more confident in themselves. They all replied to my tweets in the midst of their business. Thank you, folks. I’m wishing you way more than luck. And I’m looking forward to sharing nice stories with you, really.

(3 min for brainstorming / 10 min for writing / 276 words)

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For me, taking two-hour TOEIC is like running middle distance of 400 or 800 meters. I like "Adrenaline rush" during the test. istock_000004703492xsmall1.jpg

06

25

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Quick Write 062511 "make advances to" & "make a pass at"

Dear QWers, let me just go onto the “make advances” thing one more day. Regarding yesterday’s QW 0624, the other contributor DOUBLE ‘C’ mentioned something interesting. “make a pass at someone” is OK, but “make passes at someone” sounds weird. Good point. When I hear the word “pass”, I visualize a ball being thrown from one person to another. I never imagine multiple balls coming at one person! (That’s really scary and can be a kind of bullying!). In the “make a pass at someone” case, the attempt to seduce someone is regarded as a whole even though it actually is a sequence of actions. Now I’d like to look at the difference in prepositions used in both phrases, that is, “to” is used in “make advances to someone” whereas “at” is used in “make a pass at”. My personal interpretation of the preposition of “to” is “directed to some point or orientation over distance”, and the one of “at” is “to aim at a small spot accurately”. When those two interpretations applied, it sounds to me that “make advances to someone” can imply multiple acts of seducing with a slim chance or likelihood of success, whereas “make a pass at” should mean the focused action on somebody with well-planned strategies. Paying attention to prepositions used in certain phrases can give me other opportunities to enrich into grammatical knowledge and insight.

(5 min for brainstorming / 10+5 min for writing / 232 words)

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Those soccer players are good at making a pass at girls? It depends??
dep_3199663-Young-beautiful-girl-with-a-soccer-ball.jpg

06

25

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Quick Write 062411 “make advances” or “make advance”?

If this title brings you either a happy smile or a bitter smile, you must’ve taken TOEIC in May. Yes, this phrase threw me into agonizing contemplation and cornered me into choosing the wrong answer that I would never ever choose in sanity. Usually, “make advances” means “hitting on someone” or “making personal overtures in an attempt to become friendly, gain a favor”. But on TOEIC test items, the subject would never ever be a guy who’s interested in a gorgeous female colleague working in the next partition and seeking an opportunity to ask her out. I searched the phrase on the web and discovered that both “make advances” and “make advance” are commonly used even in a business context. Regarding “make advance”, I noticed that an article and an adjective are attached in multiple example sentences, such as “a significant advance” or “a remarkable advance”. Then it makes me wonder if “subject + make(s) + (no adjective) advance” sounds natural to native speakers. It should be a good research question to English learners, I think. “make + plural nouns or singular nouns“ is always a source of serious contemplation to me. For instance, “make efforts” or “make effort” or “make an (adjective) effort”. I already checked “make progress” is commonly used, but “make progresses” is rarely seen in example sentences. Oh yes, English is a great mystery. That’ why I’m so attracted and so intrigued…

(5 min for brainstorming / 10+5 min for writing / 236 words)

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Visualization works when learning new vocabulary.

f1cda303-915c-45c1-bc35-a00a3e07625b.jpg

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