Education is the most powerful weapon, Nelson Mandela says, which we can use to change the world. This article helps and inspires students to improve their English and encourage their interest in achieving their goals without needing to go off the course syllabus, however strict it might be. It is divided into four segments: quotations and their explanation, proverbs, correct and incorrect English, and some tips to improve your English. All the segments are presented in twos.
Quotations and Their Explanation
Life without motivation is like sitting in a dark room with lots of fear inside. Here are two quotes that can motivate you in life.
“Creativity is not getting lower, it is heightening in Nigerians. Creativity is not the exclusive preserve of any generation, past or present; it is just that the older guys had all they needed to reach the peak of their abilities. In that privilege and opportunity, they forgot tomorrow as shown by the absence of credible platforms for the growth of later generations. As the country settles down to order, we expect hardworking writers to also gain prominence at national and global scene.” ─BM Dzugoki
Explanation: Baba Muhammad Dzukogi, is a writer and the pioneer Director-General of Niger State Book Development Agency, and former General-Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors as well being the current Chairman of Northern Nigeria Writers. He is the brain behind NIFESTENA, a festival for Nigerian teen artistes.
“The young ones should be everybody’s concern, all the time. The youth should be what the adults should focus on in terms of development, education, ICT, shelter, job creation, leadership, science and technology, art and everything about society should take account of where the child should fit in. Why do adults live of not for the good of children? I am a teacher; I know that children can do many things correctly. They need serious mentoring, tutoring and guidance for excellent and worthwhile adult life and as functional members of society.” –BM Dzukogi
Explanation: This very self-explanatory!
Proverbs and Their Meanings
There is a proverb for almost any situation. It a wise saying that gives some advice about life.
All good things (must) come to an end.
Meaning: used when you accept that even enjoyable experiences cannot last for ever, e.g. It’s been a fantastic couple of weeks but all good things must come to an end
The darkest hour is just before the dawn
Meaning: said to emphasize that things often seem at their worst just before they get better (Idan aski ya zo gaban goshi… in Hausa).
Correct and Incorrect English
We all make mistakes when we are learning English as a Second Language, along the way. Of course, it is inevitable. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes so you become a more confident, capable speaker and writer.
Incorrect: I accept to do the work tomorrow, if Allah wills.
Correct: I agree to do the work tomorrow, if Allah wills.
Note: here, “agree” means, “willingly to do what one is asked to do”, but “accept” means, “willingly receive something offered”. That, “agree”, and not “accept” is followed by “to”.
Incorrect: Everyone knows she’s very serious on Isa.
Correct: Everyone knows she’s very serious about Isa.
Note: Here, one can be serious “with” something, like an important task, e.g, Ali is now very serious with his work. But, one is serious(deeply interested) “about” somebody.
Words and Their Meanings and Examples in Sentences
Words are of paramount importance to our lives. Voltaire once said, “Language is a very difficult to put into words.” What is the best way to learn new words? Sound them out, The Seattle Time reported. Researchers found sounding words slowly helps people memorize new words easier. Here are some phrases:
*Can you find a home for the books, please?
If you find a home for something, you find a place where something can be kept.
*You can’t do anything if you put yourself in my place.
“In somebody’s place” is used to talk about what you would do if you were in someone else’s situation.
Tips to Improve Your English ─ Hester
- If you can’t speak to someone in English, the next best step is to use chat-rooms, forums and community sites.
- Shadow English CDs. Listen to a few sentences, then repeat what you heard. Focus on the rhythm and intonation.
Thank you for reading and remember ─ practice is key!
Bashir Shu’aibu Jammaje
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Mrbashjam