Student Spotlight: Runchana Pupasongtham

Runchana Pupasongtham, also known as Shannon, is one of our new fall students from Thailand. Shannon plans to live in the United States until she graduates from a university, so she is diligently studying and refining her English until she is ready to move to the next step.

Shannon chose to study at Nomen Global because this school is specifically designed for students studying English. Our curriculum focuses on all aspects of communicating in the English language. For Shannon, this focal point helps her improve her English at a much more rapid pace.

After studying at Nomen Global, Shannon hopes to study at a university in the United States. She is already a master of the Thai language, and she aspires to one day be as fluent in English as she is in Thai. Another goal that Shannon has is to be a psychiatrist. She finds human psychology fascinating.

In her free time, Shannon enjoys watching cartoons and playing logic games. The most important thing to her is family.

Get to know Shannon and other college-bound students like her at Nomen Global.

International Food Appreciation

Each semester Nomen Global students take a moment to appreciate all the different cultures represented by our student body. What better way to appreciate culture than with our favorite cultural food! 

The students had 30 minutes to run out to their favorite cultural food restaurant and purchase a dish to share.
Provo, Utah, is a unique city because a wide variety of different cultural food restaurants are located along Center Street. Among our favorite cultural foods are Brazilian, El Salvadorean, India, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Peruvian, Vietnamese, and others. 

Of course we began our appreciation activity with a feast! After sampling and enjoying a dozen different cultural foods, we took turns presenting information about the countries represented by our students. Take a look at a few of the pictures we took.

Nomen Global is lucky to have a wide variety of countries represented by students. We have around 30 different countries currently represented, including Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mali, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam and others.

To learn more about educational programs and our diverse students, visit us at Nomen Global.

Punctuation: Parentheses and Brackets

Today our punctuation discussion should clarify any confusion between two uncommon punctuation marks: parentheses and brackets. Both parentheses and brackets are used to enclose information, both appearing with mirrored opening and closing marks. Parentheses are undoubtedly more common than brackets, but when do we use each one?

Remember, parentheses look like this: ( ); brackets look like this: [ ].

Parentheses (which is plural for parenthesis, by the way) are used to enclose information that is not essential to the overall meaning of the sentence. If you were to take out the information within the parentheses, the sentence would still make sense without it.

  • Adjectives and adverbs are both modifiers; however, we will discuss adverbs in a later chapter (see Chapter 13).
  • The Eiffel Tower (in Paris) is 1,063 feet tall.
  • My son climbed to the top of a tree (I can't understand why!) to collect leaves for his school project.
  • Emily moved to the United States when she was 19 years old (in 2006).
Note that when you have a complete sentence within the parentheses, the end punctuation goes inside the closing parenthesis. When you have only a part of a sentence, the end punctuation goes outside the closing parenthesis.

Brackets are used almost exactly the same way as parentheses—to enclose nonessential information. However, brackets are used specifically within a set of parentheses. A set of parentheses within another set of parentheses would be extremely confusing, so we use brackets to clarify what information belongs together.

  • He always drinks water (though sometimes he prefers juice [especially orange] for lunch).
Brackets are also used to indicate editorial information, or information added by someone other than the original author. When quoting another source, you must quote the text exactly as the original author wrote it; however, if the quote is not clear, use brackets to insert clarifying information. 
  • "He [George Washington] was born on February 22, 1732."
  • "That moment was the last time Janet saw it [her money]."
To learn more about punctuation and other grammar topics, visit us at Nomen Global.

Student Spotlight: Alessandra Rossi

Alessandra Rossi is one of our devoted evening students. Alessandra is originally from Brazil but has been living in the United States for many years. She began studying English at Nomen Global in 2006, but when her son was born, she decided to dedicate her time to her family. This year, Alessandra began studying again and hopes to take the TOEFL.

Alessandra chose to return to Nomen Global because she says it is "a good school for learning English." With a career and a family to tend to during the day, Alessandra takes advantage of our evening schedule. She likes the teachers and believes they can help her become a more fluent English speaker. One of Alessandra's goals is to take and pass the TOEFL so that she can begin a master's degree in psychology.

Alessandra loves being a mother. She considers this work her greatest success. In addition to being with her family, Alessandra enjoys dancing, walking, and shopping. Alessandra always strives to be the best person.

To meet Alessandra and other hardworking students like her, visit us at Nomen Global!

Overnight Campout

This weekend was a weekend of "firsts" for many Nomen Global students. We spent the weekend in the mountains without fresh showers or nice restaurants. We went camping!

The beautiful drive up Provo Canyon was only the beginning to a wonderful weekend. We arrived at Nunn's Park in the afternoon. Many of the students teamed together for a game of frisbee in the park. Others chose to sit around the campsite with small snacks and good company.

After the sun went down, we enjoyed an evening around the campfire. We sang songs, played the guitar, roasted marshmallows and hotdogs, made s'mores, and took lots of fun pictures!

The next morning, the early-risers trekked up to base of Bridal Veil Falls, a popular and beautiful waterfall near our campsite. The mist from the falls provided a refreshing destination on a hot day.

Nomen Global students had a great time experiencing the great outdoors with each other as well as practicing their English in a fresh, new context.

To learn more about Nomen Global and the activities we have, visit our website.

Punctuation: Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used to show the exact words (spoken or written) of someone else. These convenient little punctuation marks seem simple enough; however, there are a few rules of convention to follow when quoting.

Quotation marks always come in pairs. If you open a quote with quotation marks, you must close the quote with a second set of quotation marks.
        "The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." -Herbert Spencer

The only exception to this rule is when you have such a long quote that you must begin a new paragraph before the quote is finished. You should open each paragraph with opening quotes, but do not close the quote until the very end.

Periods and Commas
In the United States, periods and commas always go inside the quotation mark. In Britain, the rule for periods and commas is different. The United States follows this convention regardless of logic.
        Henry David Thoreau said, "Be true to your work, your word, and your friend."
        My favorite poem is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken."

Other Punctuation Marks
Contrary to periods and commas, other punctuation marks follow logic rather than convention. For example, a question mark would appear inside the quotation marks if the quotation itself were a question. A question mark would appear outside the quotation marks if the entire sentence were a question.
        Our assignment is to read Emily Dickinson's poem, "I'm Nobody, Who Are You?"
        Have you seen the local theater's version of "Romeo and Juliet"?

Tags indicate the speaker and the manner of the quotation. Tags can appear at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the quote.
        Gordon screamed, "There is a rattlesnake on the front porch!"
        "I haven't been able to find," sighed Garrett, "the answer to this problem for 2 days."
        "We could have a picnic," suggested Trent.

Capitalize the first word of the quotation if the quotation is a complete sentence.
        Curtis asked me, "Have you eaten dinner yet?"

Do not capitalize the first word of the quotation if the quotation is just a sentence fragment, a phrase, or a word.
        The guests reported that the activity was "a waste of time and money."

Do not capitalize the second part of a quotation when it is separated by a tag.
        "When you begin to study a language," the teacher lectured, "the most important thing to remember is to practice.

Quotes within a Quote
When there is a quote within a quote, use single quotation marks rather than double quotation marks.
        The mother announced with delight, "My little baby just said 'mama!'"

Indirect quotations
Indirect quotations are paraphrased or summarized information rather than exact words from someone else. Quotation marks are not used with indirect quotations.
        Her brother said that he did not feel like going camping.
Quotation marks are extremely useful in telling stories and quoting sources in research papers. To practice inserting these punctuation marks in the correct spot, test yourself with this quiz!

  1. Wow Those are terrific pictures exclaimed James
  2. My sister would like to go to the movies with us said Gina May she
  3. This summer promises continued Roger to be a very memorable one for sure
  4. Would you care for another slice of pizza asked Mom
  5. Why did you say I'm better than she is
  6. Mrs. Miller said she wanted the tree projects on her desk first period tomorrow
  7. Mrs. Gardner added We should find out tomorrow
  8. The car sighed Dad needs to be taken to the mechanic
  9. Nick said that he wasn't feeling well yesterday
  10. We have to finish this quickly or we'll get in trouble cried Katie
  11. Which one of you said I can't swim
  12. Why does Karla say I think I know but I'm not sure
  13. Here is the hammer you asked for said Richard
  14. Perhaps you wouldn't be so tired suggested Dad if you went to bed earlier
  15. Excellent work Paul praised Mom
Check yourself with the answers here.

To learn more about how to use punctuation, visit us at Nomen Global!

Student Spotlight: Pak Tung Chen (Andy)

Pak Tung Chen (Andy) is from Hong Kong. He is studying English short-term at Nomen Global--he has been here for just four weeks and is leaving in another two. Andy enjoys Nomen Global because "all the staff are nice and the classmates are fun and kind."

Andy has studied English extensively in his native country as well as England. He has plans, however, to remain in the United States to attend a university. Andy is currently studying to prepare for both the IELTS and the TOEFL. Though he has had significant success with English proficiency tests and studying abroad, Andy considers his greatest success his ability to speak fluently.

In addition to studying, Andy enjoys playing basketball, making friends, and eating sushi. His goals in life include graduating from a famous business school and helping his family run their businesses. Naturally, family is the most important thing to Andy.

Get to know Andy and other great students like him at Nomen Global!

Bocce Ball Tournament

Last Monday, Nomen Global students participated in a popular outdoor activity: bocce ball! Many of our students had never played this Italian game before, but all had a great time learning a new game and competing with one another. Take a look at some of the pictures we took at the tournament.

To play bocce ball, you need the following:
  • 1 small ball (called the pallino)
  • sets of 4 larger balls (different colors for different teams)
  • any playing field
We broke up into 8 groups of four. We began with 4 different rounds, two teams playing against each other. To begin a frame, a random player throws the pallino. Then that player throws a bocce ball. The object is to get the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. Since this first team has their ball closest to the pallino, they are considered "inside". The other team, considered "outside", gets a turn to throw their balls.

The "inside" team (the team that has their color ball closest to the pallino) always allows the "outside" team to throw their bocce ball until the "outside" team gets a bocce ball closer to the pallino, at which point the "outside" team becomes the "inside" team. Whichever team has a bocce ball closer to the pallino is considered "inside". One point is scored to whichever team is "inside",  plus 1 point for each additional bocce ball of the "inside" color that is closer to the pallino than any "outside" bocce ball.

We repeat these frames until one team reaches 9 points. Once a team has earned 9 points, the round is over and each team plays another new team.

We followed the 8-team double elimination bracket to track our winners: Team SAMY (Sylvia, Aika, Miguel, and Yoyo)!

To play an online version of bocce ball, click here.

To learn more about Nomen Global and the activities we offer, visit our website.

Punctuation: the Colon and the Semicolon

Two of less popular and more commonly misused punctuation marks are the colon and the semicolon. Although these punctuation marks are less popular, they are extremely useful! Read the following guidelines to start using the colon and the semicolon correctly.

The colon has several common conventional uses, yet it has other trickier uses:

1.     To separate the hour and the minutes in time.
o    10:23 a.m.
2.     To separate the title and the subtitle of some works.
o    Fruits and Vegetables: Healthy and Delicious Recipes
o    Safety First: A Simple Guide for the Summer Swimmer
3.     To introduce a list of items after an independent clause.
o    I went to the store and bought several items: lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, bread, and meat.
o    There are cities in the United States that I would like to visit: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
4.     To introduce an explanation, an example, or a quotation after an independent clause.
o    My mother has only one rule at her house: You must be kind to others.
o    The mentor offered his student some advice: "Never say never."

The semicolon is used slightly less often than the colon, but it has three simple uses:

1.     To join two independent clauses together without using a coordinating conjunction.
o    He asked her to marry him; she said "yes".
o    Mary wanted to wear red for the family picture; Jack wanted to wear blue.
2.     To join two independent clauses together using a conjunctive adverb.
o    Jill had been planning an outdoor wedding reception for months; however, the unexpected rain forced her to bring the party indoors.
o    All of the students studied hard for the final exam and passed; therefore, they received a party!
3.     To separate complicated items in a series that already have commas.
o    Nomen Global helps students who want to improve their listening, speaking, reading, writing; who want to experience a new culture; who want to build their vocabulary; and who want to perfect their grammar, pronunciation, and idiomatic usage.
o    I have traveled to Paris, France; Beijing, China; Kiev, Ukraine; Melbourne, Australia; and Santiago, Chile.

Hopefully, with practice, you can master both the colon and the semicolon. Study this page and then try this quiz!

To learn more about punctuation, study with us at Nomen Global!

Student Spotlight: Miguel Betancort Cedres

Miguel Betancort Cedres is from the Canary Islands, Spain. He has been studying English at Nomen Global since April and will continue to study here until next April! Miguel initially chose Nomen Global because it is located in Utah, "a good and safe state to live in." Miguel has enjoyed his experience so far because Nomen Global is a good place to study. He says that it is "very nice and fun."

After Miguel studies at Nomen Global, he plans to study at a university. One of his goals is to graduate and get a good job.

When Miguel learns English well enough, he would love to study marine sciences to be a ship captain. Successful ship captains are extremely proficient in English so that they can communicate well with their crew and any passengers. Once Miguel masters English, he says that accomplishment will be his greatest success.

In his free time, Miguel likes to watch TV, play games, go to parties, and talk to his parents and friends. The most important thing to him is his health and his family. When he was living in the Canary Islands, Miguel loved his motorcycle and the sea, but he is discovering other great hobbies while he is away from home.

Get to know Miguel and other great students like him at Nomen Global!

Summer Rooftop Concerts

Last Friday, Nomen Global students spent the evening at a concert--on a rooftop! Provo City has a fun, free Summer Rooftop Concert Series featuring aspiring local artists. We claimed our spot on the roof early and had a great time playing card games and eating snacks before the entertainment began. Take a look at some of the photos that we took!

This month's free concert featured Joshua James. The night air was cool and the music was great! 

For more information about Nomen Global, visit our website.

Punctuation: The Apostrophe

The apostrophe (uh-pos-truh-fee) is one of most commonly misused punctuation marks! This mark is used to accomplish three specific purposes:
  1. to form possessive nouns
  2. to show omission of letters (mostly in contractions)
  3. to indicate plural of lowercase letters

Even though the apostrophe has only 3 uses, people still find places to put the apostrophe where it doesn't belong. For today's Punctuation Explanation, we will discuss exactly where and when not to use the apostrophe.

Forming Possessive Nouns
The apostrophe is first used to show possession, or ownership, of nouns:
  • Use 's for all singular nouns, even if the noun ends in s!
    • my son's book (I have 1 son.)
    • Chris's book (Chris ends with s, but he is still 1 person!)
  • Use just ' for plural nouns that end in s.
    • the girls' bathroom (The bathroom is for multiple girls.)
    • my brothers' dog (I have multiple brothers.)
  • Use 's for plural nouns that don't end in s.
    • my children's toys 
    • the men's bathroom
  • Use 's at the end of compound nouns.
    • my mother-in-law's house
  • Use 's at the end of a joint ownership
    • Curtis and Jessie's car (The car belongs to both Curtis and Jessie.)
  • but use 's after each name if you are referring to two separate nouns
    • Curtis's and Jessie's shoes (Curtis and Jessie own two separate pairs of shoes.)
Remember that in order to posses or own something, the "owner" must be alive. Things like buildings and furniture are not alive; therefore, you do not need to use an apostrophe:
        a vegetable drawer
        a chair leg
        a hospital bed

Showing Omission of Letters
Another common use for the apostrophe is to show the omission of letters. We see this most commonly in contractions:
        do not = don't
        I am = I'm
        you will = you'll
        who is = who's
        should have = should've

Other examples of the apostrophe showing omission of letters (or numbers) less common:
        government = gov't
        1950s = '50s

Indicating Plural of Lowercase Letters
Normally, plural forms of nouns never take an apostrophe:
        girl > girls
        apple > apples

However, when single, lowercase letters are plural, we use an apostrophe for clarity:
        Dot your i's and cross your t's.
        I'll be x's and you'll be o's in this game of tic tac toe.

Capital letters, numbers, and other signs do not require the apostrophe:
        She has two PhDs.
        My father was born in the 1960s.
        There are too many &s in your writing.

Common Mistakes
The apostrophe seems simple enough, doesn't it? Here are a few things to remember when using this punctuation mark.

  • Possessive pronouns DO NOT take an apostrophe because they already have a possessive meaning.
    • his book (NOT his's book)
    • This phone is hers. (NOT This phone is her's.)
    • Whose paper is this? (NOT Who's paper is this?)
    • The government made its decision. (NOT The government made it's decision.)
    • a friend of his (NOT a friend of his')
The most difficult of these examples is its vs it's. It's means it is or it has. Its is a possessive pronoun. Practice here.

To learn more about the apostrophe and other punctuation marks, study with us at Nomen Global!

Staff Spotlight: William Partridge

William Partridge, a Utah native, is one of our in-house recruiters. The area of the world that he works with includes all of Asia and the Middle East. 

Bill has brought 17 students to Nomen Global in the short time that he has worked with us (about 4 months)! More than his success, Bill loves meeting people from different countries and making friends with those associated with the school.

As a former engineer, Bill has the creativity to think outside the box. Bill says that the most effective tool to recruit both students and agents is talking to them! When he gets to know their personal needs, he is able to show them how Nomen Global can help them reach their goals.

“We must take every opportunity to dream dreams.” Bill truly lives by his favorite quote and works hard to make things happen.

To meet Bill and other staff like him, visit us at Nomen Global!

Covey Center for the Arts

The Covey Center for the Arts is Provo's finest art center. Nomen Global students were lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes tour of everything in the Center, including a look at their art galleries, theater, and back stage.

The following is a list of the facilities that we toured at the Covey Center (information taken from their website).
  • 42,000 total square feet
  • 670-seat performance hall
  • Three dance studios furnished with piano, ballet bars and mirrors (can be used as separate spaces or as one large studio space); performance stage in east studio (Studio Theater)
  • Brinton Black Box Theater (seats 60)
  • Two art galleries: 1,620 square-foot Secured Gallery (60' x 27') and the Eccles Gallery (lower lobby)
  • Large boardroom with kitchen/serving area
  • Full-service box office
  • Two backstage dressing rooms/green rooms with lockers and make-up mirrors (can be used separately or as one large space); and a Black Box dressing room
  • State-of-the-art sound system
  • Full theatrical lighting system
  • Full theatrical fly (75 feet)
  • Full orchestra pit, with cover
  • Access to orchestra pit from audience and/or backstage
  • Audience area: no seat is further than 60 feet from the front of the stage
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • Loading dock with hydraulic lift for easy access and load-in
  • Ramp and stair access to stage from audience
  • Elevator with accessibility to front entrance and all levels
  • Ample parking on south side of building (accessible from 100 South; see map below)
  • Television broadcast-ready
  • All studios and support spaces have access to back stage
  • Stage area sizes: 50-foot proscenium opening, 34 feet from back wall to grand curtain, 17 feet from grand curtain to front of orchestra pit
Take a look at a few of the pictures we took from our tour.

To see more pictures of the Covey Center and the places we visited, click here.

"It was crazy that there were so many rooms. I was also amazed about the prices for the paintings!" - Kevin, Ecuador
"It was good! I got to learn about a new place to visit in Provo." - Mario, Indonesia

For more information about Nomen Global, visit our website.