Speak OUT

Many people ask me how they can improve their pronunciation, and you guys have to understand that this is a very vague question. There are myriads of ways to improve your pronunciation/speaking skills, and I wanted to talk about one specifically today.

When I first read an English book, I would always look for an empty room or place to read it. I was 11 and the book was "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". It was terrible for me, because I knew less than half of that English, but I was determined.

Why am I talking about reading on a speaking post? Because halfway through the book, I decided to read out loud. It sounded so dumb in the beginning: you listen to yourself and that sounds terrible. YOU KNOW WHAT? It DOES! And there's nothing you can change about it. You have to go through it sooner or later. And FURTHERMORE, it is a lot better to read aloud and make mistakes than make those mistakes in front of other people.

But how can I improve my pronunciation if no one's around to correct me?

Well, knowing how to speak takes many steps. One of the most important ones is done when you read aloud, which is knowing the words and vocabulary. The biggest issue I see ESL speakers struggling with is lack of vocabulary. Reading adds a vast foundation of vocabulary. Knowing how to pronounce comes later.

So go ahead, read aloud and make mistakes, because it takes someone to make 500,000 mistakes until fluency is achieved. Don't be afraid to speak out loud. Doing so will give you courage to speak with other people in English when it happens.

CPT - What is it?

CPT (Curriculum Practical Training) is an option of work for those students who are looking for some experience on their area of study, but their campus simply can't offer it. It lasts 12 months. To be eligible, you need to complete at least one year of school and then apply. You need to fill an application with your school and it could take a couple of months to process. While studying, you can only work part-time, but when school's out and you're taking a semester break, you can go full time.

The Credit System - How Colleges In The US Work?

If you are planning to study in the USA but have already heard the terms “credits” and “full time student” and have no idea whatsoever what they mean, I will just tell you to chill out. It’s not that hard to understand. This post is to clarify doubts about the American college system works.

So, each class you take has a certain amount of credits. They can go from half a credit up to four credits. Each credit is correspondent to an hour that you will be in class during the week: if your class is a 2 credit class, it normally means you will go to class twice a week and spend one hour in class each time or go once a week and spend two hours in class.

When you take less than 12 credits, you’re considered part-time student. Normally institutions charge tuition by credit when students go part-time. When students take from 12-18 credits/semester, they are considered full-time students. Most institutions’ semester rate won’t change from 12-18 credits, so if you take 12, 15, or 18, tuition price won’t change.

Once you’re on a student visa, you’re required to take at least 12 credit hour/semester in order to keep your status. While going to school full-time, you are allowed to work on campus only part-time. After studying full-time for two semesters, you can take a semester break. Full-time employment is allowed on your break.