READING ESL: negative feedback

ESL READING: negative feedback

The Key to Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback

From an original article by Joseph Grenny (Harvard Business Review)

Feedback is not just for students! As working professionals we also have to receive feedback on our own performance; from students, peers and senior managers. How do you give or receive negative feedback?  I have re-written Joseph Grenny’s article in easy to read English, and I have linked to the original story at the end of this version. There is also a vocabulary list for the less common words that Grenny has used in the article he wrote for the Harvard Business Review.

The Key to Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback

Richard manages a large organisation producing a billion dollars of product every year with a 10,000 person workforce. Richard is good at his job, and he is respected by others in his industry. I met Richard and his team every week when I was an organisation development consultant. Someone from the human resource team asked Richard to take part in a new programme called “360 Feedback”. This allowed the boss to give feedback on the workers’ performance and the workers to give feedback on the bosses’ performance (360 degrees).

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READING ESL: Thai tattoos

READING ESL: Thai Tattoos

Foreigners getting Thai-style Buddhist tattoos: good or bad?

Here is a plain English version of an interesting article from the Agence France Presse (AFP) international news agency about foreigners who get tattoos in Thailand. I have linked to the original article published on the Free Malaysia Today online news portal at the end of this plain English version. I have also provided a glossary of the less commonly used English words that appear in the original story.

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language teaching and learning

READING ESL: beautiful river (poem)

Choral Speaking Competitions

I wrote this poem for a poetry recitation competition that we didn’t win. No hard feelings.

Choral speaking events are very popular in Malaysian primary schools, and it reminds me very much of my childhood experiences in South Wales. As far as I know, Malaysia and Wales are unique in their love of choral speaking events. My colleague who is the same age group as me was brought up in the neighbouring English county of Herefordshire, and she’s never heard of it. Choral speaking events are not a ‘thing’ in New Zealand, either.

It’s an acquired taste, I must say. But it is also very hard work for the competitors and their coaches, and some of the work is superb, even If you don’t like that sort of thing. Obviously, these verses were written to be read aloud. So, as I was writing the verses I read them back to myself to see if they sounded OK, and I was surprised to hear myself reading out loud in a Cwmbrân accent from my primary school days in South Wales.

The theme for the poetry recitation was a choice of Beauty’, ‘Freedom’ or ‘Hope’ and each entry had to be original work of 4-6 minute duration. There are one or two unfamiliar words for English learners, so I have added a short glossary at the end.

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READING ESL: every cloud has a silver lining

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

A Malaysian Story

I wrote this story last year as a text for an elementary school story-telling competition. The competition was canceled, and since then this story has been quietly filed away doing nothing.

I find the problem with ESL story-telling competitions is that the audience doesn’t understand a lot of the language in the story, so they just sit there, passively, and let the unfamiliar language wash over them. In this story, I tried to encourage the story teller to engage more directly with the audience by asking questions and soliciting opinions, and I also made use of a lot of local content and basic English vocabulary.

The theme for the story-telling competition was ‘Good Health’

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

 Do you know the English expression “every cloud has a silver lining”? It means that when bad things happen, good things can sometimes follow. For example, a rain storm is a bad thing. The rain can flood the drains and rivers, the lightning can strike trees and houses and the thunder can frighten animals and children. But after the storm there is a good thing because the air is fresh and cool, the plants and earth are watered and everything can grow again.

 Do you want to hear a story about a cloud and a silver lining?

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READING ESL: little red riding hood

READING ESL: stories for young readers

The Brothers Grimm collected traditional stories from the forests of central Europe and re-wrote them for the people of the towns and cities to enjoy, too. Hundreds of years later, these stories are still very popular with young readers, but how many modern readers know exactly how frightening the original stories were? Here is my easy reading version of Little Red Riding Hood (Rotkäppchen) taken from a vintage translation I found on the web. Check it out here: vintage story / illustrations.

Little Red Riding Hood

There is a short glossary at the end.

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READING ESL: oh my goat!

READING ESL: oh my goat!

Edmund Lee, a writer at theantdaily, remembers a funny meeting with Uncle Chong, a likeable story-teller from a local coffee shop, and the story he had to tell about the recent Chinese New Year celebrations for the year of the goat.

A vocabulary list for some of the less common words used in the original story and a link to the original article in theantdaily are provided below this easy English version.

Oh My Goat!

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