Salaam, Everybody,

Many people are afraid of trying to read an English newspaper, because they are afraid there are too many unknown words.

Now this is not a good excuse, because most of the news items are already known to you through the media or Urdu newspapers, Therefore it should not be difficult for you to guess their meanings.

Just take a start and you will see it is not such a difficult job.
Suppose you come across a news headline which says :

7 dead, 9 injured in bus-truck collision.

It should not be difficult for you to guess the meanings of ‘injured’ and ‘collision’ even if you have never seen these two words before.

I hope you understand my point.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 1 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,:

The language of newspaper headlines is often quite different from the language of everyday speech and writing. Present Simple Tense is sometimes used not only in place of Future Tense but also in place of Past and Present Perfect Tense. For instance

1. Foreign Minister leaves for China.
( leaves = left / has left )

2, CM inaugurates tree-plantation.
( inaugurates = inaugurated / has inaugurated )

Sometimes to+Present form of Verb is used for Future Tense, as

1. PM to arrive in Lahore this evening.
( to arrive = will arrive )

2. Pakistan Cricket team to leave for Australia next week.
( to leave = will leave )

3. Lahore Qalanders to play Against Karachi Kings.
( to play = will play )

But when you read a newspaper you are not confused by such odd use of Verbs / Tenses.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 2 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

All English newspapers are available online. Just type the name, The News, Dawn, The Nation etc , click, and you get the newspaper of your choice.

For beginners I would suggest reading only the front page, because most of the news items are already familiar to you. Don’t try to read the editorials and articles at the initial stage.
As you read the news items, you will be surprised to see how easily you pick up new words. Just carry on, and you will soon start enjoying it

In this way you can gradually build up your vocabulary without taking any extra pains.. . with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 3 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

People often complain of lack of vocabulary.

Well, how can output be more that input ? Can you make a telephone call worth Rs 25 on a Rs 20 easy-load ?

Vocabulary can increase only by input. The more you read or hear, the better you can speak or write. There is no shortcut. So please keep up at least reading, and you will gradually build up a rich vocabulary.

with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik -4 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

When we were students we used to say like I’m 12 years old. He was 50 years old etc.

But, with the passage of time, English became smart So now people just say
I’m 12.
He was 50.
No need to say years old. Just the figure ( 2, 3, 4, 60 etc) after is, are am, was etc means— years old.

Now you can also say He died in early twenties.
Early twenties means between 20 and 25 years of age. Similarly when we say late forties , it means between 45 and 50 years of age.

Please note that with late or early, the numbers are generally written in words, not figures, as I have done.
.with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 6 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

I have written more than 1000 posts in English. Most of these posts are about the right way to learn English. Those posts are theoretical.
Sometimes I write about words and phrases to enrich your vocabulary, like my posts about Phrasal Verbs and more than one uses of words.
Sometimes I just share my memories with you, like I did last year.
Occasionally I give you assignments.
At the very early stage I gave some very simple but interesting assignments. Let’s have another of the same type .

Make as many words as you can from the letters given below :
b a t e l s

Conditions :
Each word should have at least 4 letters.
Double letters are not allowed.
Each correct word will get you 1 mark.

A Master Word containing all the letters will get you 2 marks.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 7 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Most of you failed to understand the conditions about last night’s assignment.
Here;s another of the same type. Please read the conditions carefully before you attempt the assignment. Don’t hurry,

Make as many words as you can from the letters given below:
g r s t n a e

Conditions :
1. Use only the given letters.
2. Each word should have at least 4 letters.
3. Give all your words in one attempt.
4.. Each correct word will get you 1 mark.
5.. Master Word consisting of all the letters will get you 2 marks.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik -8 Mar 2019

 

Salaam, Everybody,

Visited Kitab Mahal in Urdu Bazar, Lahore.
Kitab Mahal has published my 14 books related to the course of MA English over the past few years.

But to me Kitab Mahal is more than a publisher, It is just like my home for me. Everybody, from the workers to the MD, regard me as head of the family.

The bond of relationship between me and Kitab Mahal was established, about 30 years ago, by the founder, Shah Ji ,(Syed Sardar Javaid, may ALLAH richly bless his noble soul).

The present owner, Syed Muhammad Ali Javaid, elder son of Shah Ji, welcomed me. We shared sweet memories of Shah Ji, and discussed Kitab Mahal’s upcoming projects.

Like always it was a pleasure to spend some time with people who love me and are loved by me.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 9 Mar 2019

 

Salaam, Everybody,

Sorry for un-notified absence over the past two days. I was busy preparing for return from Lahore to Mianwali. Had to visit some places, to do some shopping, and to see some friends.

Back to business, we’ll resume vocabulary exercises of the sort we were doing last week.

Make as many words as you can from the letters given below :

e i o r s m p

Conditions :
1. Use ONLY the given letters.
2. Each word should consist of at least 4 letters,
3. Double letters like ss, oo, etc not allowed.
4. Each correct word will get you 1 mark.
5. Master Word consisting of all the given letters will bring you 2 marks.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 12 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Make as many words as you can from the given letters:

a t y o f c r

Conditions : ] 1. Use ONLY the given letters.
2. Each word should consist of at least 3 letters.
3. Double letters like cc , rr , not allowed.
4, Make only the words, of which you know the meanings.
5. Marks for each correct word : 1
6 , For Master Word consisting of all the given letters : 2

Score to be announced around 10 pm.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 13 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

A network problem prevented checking your assignments last night. Here is another :

Make as many words as you can from the letters given below :

s b r d n a

Conditions :
1. Each word should consist of at least 3 letters.
2. Use only the given letters.

Award :
5 words — Good
7 words —- Very Good
10 or more words —- Excellent

See your score around 10 pm.

By the way, shall we continue doing assignments of this type, or pass on to something else ?  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 14 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

As a teacher I know that the formal process of language learning has the following four phases:
1. listening
2. speaking
3. reading
4. writing

But since Pakistanis in general do not speak English, the learner has to learn the language through reading, and use it in writing. That is why I have always focused on reading. By reading you can also learn speaking. The process is slow, but we have no other option.

It is important to note that we learn a language not in the form of single words , but in the form of sentences. We learnt our mother tongue and Urdu by hearing it spoken by the people in the form of sentences.

More of this tomorrow, IN’SHA’ALLAH. with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 15 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

A sentence is a group of words that makes a statement, asks a question, gives an order or advice, makes a request, or expresses a strong feeling of surprise, anger or pity etc.
Examples :

1. Aslam is my cousin. (statement)

2. I live in Mianwali. (statement)

3. Do you like cricket ? (question)

4. Where were you last night ? (question)

5. Leave the room. (order)

6. Please lend me 1000 rupees.. (request)

7. What a charming sight ! (surprise / appreciation)

8. How foolish you are ! (anger/ displeasure)

To be continued tomorrow.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik -16 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

In my post dated March 15, I said we learn a language in the form of sentences, not in the form of single words. We learn our mother tongue spoken in the form of sentences by the people around us. Urdu we mostly learn by reading newspapers, books etc.

Thus words come to us through sentences, and mostly we have no difficulty in understanding their meanings, because we know the topic to which they pertain. We don’t need to search for their meanings in dictionaries.

Like our mother tongue and Urdu, our learning of English should also start with sentences, spoken or written. But unfortunately English is not taught that way in our public (government) schools.

More of this tomorrow, IN’SHA’ALLAH.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik -18 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

In Pakistan English is generally taught with the help of grammar-translation method, known as GTM. The teacher reads out each sentence from the textbook, and translates it into Urdu. Thus the students’ attention focuses on the meanings instead of the language. As as result they develop the habit of translating into Urdu whatever they read in English.

For writing they first think in Urdu, and then translate it into English with the help of grammar.
It makes speaking and writing tedious activities, They get confused and discouraged. Isn’t it so ? 
with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 19 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Learning English with the help of GTM (grammar-translation) creates feelings of hate and fear which result in a sort of surrender. The learner comes to believe he can never learn English.

This is the general attitude towards learning English in Pakistan.

Instead of taking measures to change this negative attitude, the teachers rather confirm it by openly telling the students English is not easy to learn.

But my experience as a teacher showed me that the students do pick up some English, not from the classroom, but from other sources. I came to know this when I asked the students to write short dialogues on topics related to everyday life.

Could you guess what those other sources are?   with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 20 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Last night I said students do pick up some English, not from the classroom, but from other sources.

The main source is our everyday conversation. About 350 English words are in common use everywhere across Pakistan. Even people in rural areas speak these words freely. Some of these words are given below :

About places :
school, station. road, petrol pump, factory, sugar mill.

About transport
bus, car, truck, jeep, wagon, driver, conductor, train, ticket, platform

About dress
shirt, cuff, collar, button, coat, jeans

About food
chicken, burger, ice-cream, toffee, fry, roast,

About agriculture
tractor , trolley, thresher

About cellphone
mobile phone, smartphone, SIM , balance, load, message, call, miscall

I have given just a few of the words in common use to give you an idea of the presence of English in our daily communication. I hope you now realise that English is already a part of our life. We can’t escape it in spite of all our hate and fear.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 21 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Some more English words commonly used in Pakistan:

About education :
school, college, class, classroom, teacher, lecturer, professor, admission, test

About health :
doctor, hospital, nurse, ward, surgeon, operation, X-ray

About cricket :
batting, bowling, batsman, bowler, fielding, runs, catch, toss, captain / skipper, umpire, one-day match, test match

About stationery (writing material / equipment)
pen, pencil, marker, notebook, register, paper, clipboard,

About business :
general store, superstore, medical store, bookshop, bakery, hotel,

These are the most commonly used words. There are many more related to these fields. But I have chosen only the most widely used.
Many new words are coming into use everyday. It is a sort of flood. روک سکو تو روک لو 😆  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 22 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

In the previous two posts I gave some of the English words commonly used across Pakistan. There are many more. Even an uneducated Pakistani has a vocabulary of around 150 English words. Educated people have a much larger vocabulary, of course.

Then why do you still regard English as a difficult language?
Some of you might say it is difficult because they can’t make sentences.

Now this is just a sort of lame excuse. Let me assure you, you CAN make sentences if you try. No need of going to grammar or translation. The language learning system in your brain has already downloaded some sentences that you have heard or read. It edits those sentences and gives them back to you when you speak or write.

I hope you see the idea. More of this tomorrow, IN’SHA’ALLAH.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 24 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

In 1986 dialogue writing was included in BA English course. I used it as motivation for my students to write their own sentences. I gave them assignments like

Write a dialogue between two friends about their studies.

Write a dialogue between a father and a son about the son’s examination

Write a dialogue between two ladies about kitchen shopping.

Then I gave them some English words related to the topic of the dialogue, and asked them to write the dialogue. It was a pleasure to see that they could write pretty well. The students were astonished to see that they could write their own English. They often said,” Sir, now we see that we need not be afraid of English. It’s quite easy.”

More of this tomorrow, IN’SHA’ALLAH.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 25 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Dialogue writing was a very interesting as well as useful activity. It alleviated my students’ fears and gave them confidence to speak / write English. They became so fond of it that they sometimes asked me to give them a dialogue to write.

Just imagine, Mianwalian students asking to be given to write in English !!!! You may find it hard to believe, but it is 100 % true. Anyone of my students of those days will affirm what I have said
Any questions or objections ? .

My next post (tomorrow) will, IN’SHA’ALLAH, address your questions and objections, if any.  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 26 Mar 2019 

Salaam, Everybody,:

I expected some questions and objections in response to my last night’s post. But I got just 33 “likes”.No questions or reservations. It means you agree with me that you can write English at least in the form of dialogue.

Well, let’s see. Here is a little assignment.

Write a dialogue between a student and a bookseller about purchase of stationery.

Some helpful words / phrases :
affordable, too costly, discount / concession, good quality, out of stock, durable, nice

Write just 5 questions and answers. with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 27 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Six of you, Falcon Rose, Malik Sanaullah, Attaullah Niazi, Mashooq Khoso, Taimoor Malik and Shahid Khan Niazi have written the dialogue assigned by me last night.

Immensely pleased to see that they have all done pretty well. Ignoring minor errors made by some of them, I appreciate their work.

The dialogue written by Falcon Rose is the BEST among the six.
Well done, Falcon Rose !!!!!  with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 28 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

Suppose you want to get admission to the First Year class of a college. Write a short dialogue between you and the Principal on this subject :

Some helpful words / phrases :
Premedical group, Pre-engineering group, Humanities (Arts) group, documents, admission test, score, division / grade, come from / live in, merit.
It is not compulsory to use all these words / phrases.
with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 29 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

A student wants to buy a smartphone. Write a dialogue between him and his father on this subject :

Some helpful words / phrases
model, latest, options, handy / easy to handle, helpful in collecting information, waste of time and money, afford, chatting, watching movies 

with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 30 Mar 2019

Salaam, Everybody,

I would like to continue dialogue assignments through the next week. It depends on your response to the following simple question :

Do you find dialogue writing helpful ?
Say YES, or NO. 
with thanks Professor Munawar Ali Malik – 31 Mar 2019

Your words for Mianwali and Mianwalians

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