Vocabulary Quiz on Sundays, Rearranging Sentences on Fridays

Showing posts with label learning English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label learning English. Show all posts

Sunday, 30 December 2018



There are many ways one can use Hollywood movies to learn English. In this video, however, I've talked about a simple exercise that one can incorporate in one's daily routine.

Sunday, 12 August 2018


i. Formal assessment is a preplanned, systematic, and deliberate measure to determine and ascer tain the current level of proficiency of the learner. It is done in the form of tests. On the basis of formal assessment, a teacher can assess oneself as well, and modify one’s teaching accordingly. Formal assessments are done in accordance with a select set of methodologies and objectives. Thus, it is very well structured, and a system in itself. It also give the students time to prepare themselves for tests.

However, formal assessments may not be as effective as they could be if they are not planned/conducted properly. First, each and every learner has his/her own set of skills. And, some are just better than others. If formative assessment is done in such a way, that the test does not give the students ample opportunities to perform the best they can, it can discourage them.
In addition, it is often seen that in formal assessments, all the four communication skills are not always tested.

ii. Informal assessment is based on teacher’s observations during the class. By observing how students behave and respond, teachers become aware of certain things that they might act upon later on. For example, there might be a few students who feel uncomfortable whenever a text deals with race and religion. If it comes to the notice of the teacher through informal assessment, one would definitely try to modify one’s way of explaining things in order to make those students comfortable.
However, since informal assessment relies upon the teacher’s perspectives and one’s innate understanding of human psychology, one may assess poorly, and consequently, make a wrong assumption.

iii. Formative assessment records the on-going development of the learners in order to estimate not only the current level of proficiency of the learners, but also to predict what to expect from them after completion of the course. At any point of time, a teacher can provide the assessment data on any student. At the same time, since learners keep facing challenges in the form of formative evaluation, they get ample opportunities to prepare themselves for their finals.

However, formative assessments can be very stressful for the learners. Many students often report that in their schools, teachers teach less, and take class-tests more. Secondly, formative assessments are extremely time-consuming.    

iv. Summative assessments are those assessments which are done at the end of a course. They help us understand whether the course objectives are fulfilled or not. In a way, summative assessments certify a learner eligible to face the challenges of the next level.  

However, these assessments remain unsuccessful in assessing whether all the necessary skills are attained or not. At times, summative tests are given so much importance in the society that even if one becomes a victim of faulty assessment one remains ineligible to get several opportunities in the job sector.

English Vocabulary Week 1: July 28-Aug 04, 2018

Hello Everyone! And, welcome to 'English is Easy with RB'! My name is Rajdeep Banerjee. This is the first post of the series, 'English Vocabulary'. Each week I will help you learn new English words chosen from world renowned newspapers. For obvious reasons, this series would be important for those who would like to increase their word stock. So, make sure you go through the entire write-up. 

Let's begin.
1. Sabotage- a deliberate action aimed at spoiling something in order to prevent it from being successful... Let me explain it...
Suppose there are two multinational companies, X and Y, who are competing against each other. Now, X is prepared to do anything to topple Y in order to take over the market. So, what does X do? X bribes some of the staff members of Y whose job would be to harm their own company secretly.
In this situation, we can say that X is planning to sabotage Y. And, if X is successful in this task, we would say X has sabotaged Y. We can even use 'sabotage' as a noun. X is behind the sabotage.
This word is especially used in American politics at this moment, where many news agencies reported that the 2016 Presidential elections may have been sabotaged by a foreign superpower.

2. Redress- to rectify or correct something which is unfair or wrong
Let us try to understand it.
Imagine a situation where the recruiting process run by the government in a certain country was biased for many years. In that country, only those people got the jobs who supported the political party in power. However, after the elections, the new party in power is trying to get things done properly. They are trying to redress the injustices of the past.
Now, there is an idiomatic expression where 'redress' is used-
Redress the balance
It means 'to make a situation equal or fair again'.

3. Cleave- to split something into different parts
For example, The war cleaved the country into two parts.

Cleave is also a part of an Idiomatic expression, 'cleave to a belief/idea'. Interestingly, it means 'to continue to believe in or be loyal to a belief.'

For example, 'He is cleaved to the belief that there cannot be life on other planets.'

4. Disparage- to suggest that something or somebody is not important
For example,
Her parents disparaged her success in badminton.
We get to learn two more words derived from 'disparage'- its adjective, 'disparaging' as in 'His disparaging remarks made her cry',
and, its adverb, 'disparagingly' as in 'He spoke disparagingly about her success in the competition.'

5. Affluent- someone who has a lot of money and a good standard of living

For example,
She belongs to an affluent family. So, she spends a lot of money.

English Vocabulary Week 2: Aug 05-11, 2018

This is the second post of the series, 'English 

Vocabulary'. Today, we are going to learn 5 English 

words. So, let’s begin.

1. The first word we are going to learn today is 


It means ‘to allow someone have something, 

especially, land and control, unwillingly, or because you are forced to do so.'

For example,

‘After the war, the king lost his kingdom. It was 

ceded to the new ruler.’

‘Although she has left the company, she is yet to 

cede control over it.’

2. Next up, ‘REVERE’

It means ‘to respect and admire somebody or 

something a lot’.

‘These students revere their teacher.’

We get to learn one more word from ‘revere’. It’s 

‘REVERENCE’. It means ‘great respect or admiration’.

For example,

‘These students have reverence for their teacher.’

3. Next, ‘COPIOUS’.

It means ‘in large amounts, or more than enough.’

Some people drink a lot of coffee. Take my friend for example. She takes copious amounts of coffee.


It means ‘to defeat a competitor by a large margin’.

For example,

‘Team A has trounced Team B by six goals to one.’

Or, maybe, in the elections, someone has won by a 

large margin.

In that case, we can say that

One has trounced one’s rivals in the election.  


It means ‘a government which is run by a few 

extremely wealthy people’.

For example,

‘It’s difficult to say which country is not run by an 


A member of this select group of people is called an 


If you have any queries on this post, don't be shy. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018


Today, I am going to talk about two expressions, ‘at the end’ and ‘in the end’.
First, let us deal with ‘at the end’. 

‘At the end’ implies ‘at the end of something’ which means ‘when something ends’.
For example,
at the end of the month
at the end of the week
at the end of August
at the end of the match
at the end of the movie
at the end of the semester
at the end of the video
The opposite of ‘at the end’ is ‘at the beginning’.
For example,
  • She always gets her salary at the end of the month.'

Now, let us talk about ‘in the end’. ‘In the end’ means ‘finally’. We use ‘in the end’ to mean what the final result of a situation was.
For example,
  • At first, we did not know what to do with our old car. In the end, we sold it.
  • In the end, he decided to visit her aunt.

In general, the opposite of ‘in the end’ is ‘at first’.

I have an exercise for you. Would you answer it? Just write it in the comment section. I’ll make sure I respond to all the comments.
Fill in the blanks with at or in.

A: I was in a difficult position. I didn’t know what to do.
B: What did you do __ the end?

2. She is going to shift to her new apartment ___ the end of September.

3. ____ the end she got a job in a hotel.

4. He had met his teacher ____ the end of December last year.

Sunday, 5 August 2018


One of the things that an English-language learner often forgets is that one must take the initiative to improve oneself. The teacher is there to help you out. But, s/he is more like a guide who would show you the way. At the end of the day, it is the learner who is going to walk that path. There should be an urge in the student to know more, even if there isn't anyone to help him/her out. I am going to suggest a few tried and tested tricks which you can adopt in your daily routine.

Try to understand why you find it difficult to learn English, or any language for that matter. It is the unfamiliarity that creates all the problems. To solve the problem, you need to regard a language as a human being with whom you need to form a relationship. When you fail to understand someone, you have complications. But, when you get used to someone, you get habituated with their characteristics. As a result, the discomfort will no longer be there when you make the unfamiliar familiar. One should read English newspapers, watch English news channels regularly. It would increase one's familiarity with the English language. I would even recommend you to watch English cartoons. If you dislike the present ones on Cartoon Network, try the old ones that are there on YouTube. Spend more time with the language that  you want to learn, and it will definitely love you back. 

There is one more thing that you can try to do. This would develop your listening skills. You can watch a Hollywood film with subtitles. First, watch the film switching off the option for subtitles. You should watch those parts of a film where a lot of conversation takes place. After watching the film for a minute or two, you can try to recall the dialogues and write them in a notebook. Then, you may switch on the option for subtitles, and see whether you have listened properly. You can do the same with songs as well. You just need to get the lyrics which is pretty easy to find on the internet. 

These are a few techniques which one can adopt. I do not guarantee immediate success. However, one should not feel discouraged if it takes time. If you have any queries, don't be shy. Just put it in the comment section. I will get back to you.  

Friday, 3 August 2018


Let me respond to the topic at hand by posing a question. Do you think there are no thieves, robbers, murderers, rapists in English speaking countries? I think you have got your answer. The association of the use of a certain language or a particular dialect of the language concerned with social respectability has always been prevalent since the olden days.

If one looks up the history books, one would find that there was a time when the written doctrines of a popular religion was prohibited to be translated into English. There were, I am sure, many questionable reasons behind such indignation towards the English language. But, one thing is for sure that English was once considered inferior to Latin in England in terms of the respectability it bestowed upon its users in the social sphere. Of course, over the course of history, the narrative changed. English became more widespread and capable enough to sustain itself through its users, whereas Latin became a showpiece item in the language bank of a handful of educated people in Great Britain. 

The effect of British colonialism made English a symbol of power and to a certain extent, an object of fear mixed with awe. From fear came respect and from respect the desire to be associated with the British rulers. They were considered far superior to the natives by many of the colonized. 

The language of the king represented the king. This very notion of honour and grandeur which the mass associated at that time was marketed wisely in such a manner that in India today most of us remain in awe when we hear someone speak English fluently. Obviously, a language represents a culture. But, does its use ensure that someone's core characteristics would be noble? I do not think so. 

One must be a good user of English. But, it does not guarantee that one is a good person as well. At the same time, if one is not proficient in English, it does not imply that one is not a good human being. However, given the present circumstances, the chances of getting a respectable job are poor if one is not good at English overall. So, even if one gets respect in India on the basis of one's English language skills, it will not last for long if one does not capitalize on it. 

What do you think?