When my husband left me the house was in disarray.  T-shirts, pairs of jeans and towels on the floor.  Unwashed plates on the sink.  And the nearby closet was yanked open, the fragrance of mothballs was even more apparent in the blistering heat of July.   As I made my way across the cluttered kitchen I caught sight of the boxes of tools hauled out from the lower cabinets.  Some of these boxes were either not labeled or mislabeled unlike the time when Janus would find time to write in his clear-cut, draftsman’s hand the words “shelf nail screws”, “LED flashlight batteries”, or “zinc plated bolts” and organized them as if our kitchen were a hardware store.   Now somehow I pitied myself that out of ignorance I couldn’t even distinguish one screw bolt from other.  He didn’t teach me these things.  I shook my head, feeling a certain tinge of remorse.  It’s all over now.

Jessica and Lennie, my working colleagues at CompWares, called this morning to ask if I needed some help with the cleaning.  I chuckled at their excessive displays of concern about the state that I was in.  “Oh no, I’m fine really,” I countered, holding the phone on my right hand and a strip of wire on the other.  I was trying to disentangle the computer wires using my one hand.  I need to finish the project software soon because the deadline is today.

“Are you sure?” Lennie asked me again, her voice Continue reading

SLA: How Meaning Is Negotiated Using Technology

Technology is taking the second language acquisition to a whole new different level.  Consider for instance, visiting the Google Translate website – Google’s free online language translation service.  The site instantly translates text and web pages to any desired target language that you want.  Although this automatic translation tool clearly has its own set of limitations (as will be explained later), you can’t deny that a lot of people find this useful one way or the other.

A product of innovation and technology, Google Translate is not the only thing that’s prominent when it comes to helping people in learning or understanding a new language.  Some of the related advancements in this arena include automated communication systems, online dictionaries, electronic talking machines, dictation programs that can transcribe speech, and a whole lot many more – innovations that can simulate the human speech and intelligence.  But the question of how accurate are these computerized programs to fully assist the learning needs of people remains to be Continue reading

Commence, Russian Literature Addiction!

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Nothing cheers me up than receiving a book on an ordinary day!

Especially if it’s a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel. 🙂

Truth to be told, I’ve been looking for this novel for years, as my Fiction teacher recommended this one to us. I couldn’t find a copy in the college library back then.  Looking for Raskolnikov, that young and intellectual man, was never easy.

But I knew I always have that knack to get the things I want even if it’d take years, and this is just one of those days.

Some Thoughts on the Essay Genre

The word essay comes from the French word meaning, “to try”.  In all instances, the genre is an attempt to write about any subject matter – relevant or mundane though maybe on the outset – in the hope to capture an interesting thought, experience and insight from it.  Compared to other genres in literature, essay is the least explored and may be considered to be the least popular, but the scope of this genre is huge, ranging from the formal, clear-cut essays popularized by Montaigne, Addison and Steele and Emerson to the informal loosely-constructed ones popularized by Scott Russell Sanders, George Orwell, EB White and other contemporary writers these days.

The history of the essay goes back to the works of Continue reading

Means, Opportunity and Motive in Sequential Bilingualism

Language seems to be highly accessible now for other cultures and countries to learn.  Aided with and made possible by various factors, language is not anymore confined or exclusive to specific countries and geographical locations.  Acquiring a second language (L2) may begin at any age or life stage – usually during childhood or adolescence, although there are still cases in which L2 learners beyond those age range are still capable of Continue reading