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What to Look (and Listen) for in Poems

I. The road not taken: we could go through English poetry as a history from its earliest beginnings (roughly the eighth century AD), although this would prove difficult and time-consuming for many reasons.
A. For one, Old English (or Anglo-Saxon) is essentially a foreign language, a branch of German, that requires separate study (for example, Caedmon’s Hymn, c. 675 AD).
B. After 1066, William the Conqueror made French the language of the English court, and it gradually permeated all of the spoken and written language. Middle English (e.g., Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, c. 1390–1400) is more understandable to us, but still not what linguists would call “modern English.”
C. After the “great vowel shift” of the fifteenth century, the patterns of modern English were established.
1. Although pronunciation has changed over the past five and one-half centuries, we can hear and understand Shakespeare and his contemporaries with less difficulty than we can writers from before the sixteenth century.
2. In the Renaissance, the first major book of lyric poetry is Tottel’s Miscellany (1557), which contains sonnets and other poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–1542) and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (c. 1517–1547), who translated the sonnets of Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374).

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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Welcome to English Learners’ Web

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYLU12cA width=”600″ height=”450″]

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

1. Discuss on the traces of ethnicity, of social order and the then state of human civilization in Beowulf.

The ultimate foundation of a society is the binding tie of cohesive sentiment. Such a sentiment is fostered by all those agencies of the mind and spirit which may serve to gather up the traditions of a people, transmit them from generation to generation, and thereby create the continuity of a treasured common life which constitutes a civilization. Anglo Saxon Literature helps us in thinking on all those agencies of the mind and spirit fostering the binding tie of English cohesive sentiment forming present state of English Nation. As a point of literary and linguistic origins, Old English has been considered an introduction to the long narrative of the progress of English and American literature. Old English has been classed as a seed, a beginning, the essence of Germanic spirit, a reflection of primitive administration, a modified species of archaic oral poetry, and a distinctly racial literature. Most often, it is described as a beginning, as an origin point. As such, it is tied to a narrative of progress and of

The literary work Beowulf reflects fundamental characteristics of English race of very beginning stage. We may use Beowulf to identify, and then to recover, English people’s cultural beginnings and racial beginnings with a dominant sense of ethnicity. Evidently, the poet of the work Beowulf was conscious enough to get answers on the concerned points. The opening passages introduce the reader to a world in which every male figure is known as his father’s son. Characters in the poem are unable to talk about their identity or even introduce themselves without referring to family lineage. This concern with family history is so prominent because of the poem’s emphasis on kinship bonds. Characters take pride in ancestors who have acted valiantly, and they attempt to live up to the same standards as those ancestors.

Anglo-Saxons appear to have organized themselves into collectives. They employed fragments of their own history, including stories and documents—texts—to reproduce “their world from the scattered fragments of the past.” The episodes on blood feuds between the Danes and the Heathobards, and again between the Danes and the Frisians are examples of this type of practices. Their interpretations of these historical texts into a cohesive story of identity is a product of the inductive imposition of an ethnic identity upon the very apparatus of interpretation. So, Anglo- Saxon selves were responses to identity—personal and ethnic.

However, we must take care in discussing English ethnic identity to recognize that Anglo-Saxon England was not always comprised of a matrix of somewhat homogenous polities roughly defined by political borders. The sense of unity was based on kinship, not geography. Beowulf, on his arrival in Geatland, is asked by the shore guard, “Now I must know your ancestry,”. Characters tend to be introduced into Old English poems by their ancestry, rarely by their place of birth. It is their nobility, not their homeland, which gives them social worth.

Anglo- Saxon selves were responses to social orders. At the very beginning of the text, we are informed regarding the thriving of the throne of Scyld Shefing, who ‘taught encroaching foes to fear him’; again ‘he was a good king’. With other necessary information, here one thing is being revealed and that is—a sense of administration has been born where a good king remains and the king has his retainers giving him tribute. And this sense of administration is clearly different from present period of time. It was based on heroic codes—principles based on which the king provided his followers shelter, food and drink and, in return, the followers are to remain loyal to the king, ensure their courageous performance in war. The codes were centering generosity from the side of king and loyalty from the retainers to king. We are again and again informed regarding the thanes loyalty—obligatory loyalty according to the heroic code. Again, Hrothger builds Heorot to prove his generosity for his thanes.

The poem highlights the code’s points of tension by recounting situations that expose its internal contradictions in values. The poem contains several stories that concern divided loyalties, situations for which the code offers no practical guidance about how to act. For example, the poet relates that the Danish Hildeburh marries the Frisian king. When, in the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish brother and her Frisian son are killed, Hildeburh is left doubly grieved. The code is also often in tension with the values of medieval Christianity. While the code maintains that honor is gained during life through deeds, Christianity asserts that glory lies in the afterlife. Similarly, while the warrior culture dictates that it is always better to retaliate than to mourn, Christian doctrine advocates a peaceful, forgiving attitude toward one’s enemies. Throughout the poem, the poet strains to accommodate these two sets of values. Though he is Christian, he cannot (and does not seem to want to) deny the fundamental pagan values of the story. However, Tribal laws, myths, and traditions seem to have melded with Christian ones very early on.

Even in the paradigms of their Christian faith, Anglo-Saxons individuated themselves—that is, they found their collective and individual identity—within a sometimes contradictory framework comprising both their local pagan and increasingly local Christian traditions. While heritage may provide models for behavior and help to establish identity—as with the line of Danish kings discussed early on—a good reputation is the key to solidifying and augmenting one’s identity. For example, Shield Sheafson, the legendary originator of the Danish royal line, was orphaned; because he was in a sense fatherless, valiant deeds were the only means by which he could construct an identity for himself. Beowulf, the hero, also established his own identity by his heroic deeds.

However, throughout the whole text, through the combination of contexts and origins, we get ethnogenesis, or the recorded stories of the beginnings of a people.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Some useful Phrasal Verbs used in Human Resource Management

Learn the most common phrasal verbs used in Human Resources in English:

‘close down’ = to shut

  • We have closed down the small local branches and created bigger regional offices.
  • The factory closed down in the 1970’s because it was too expensive to produce here.

‘fight against’ = to make an effort to stop something happening

  • All the workers fought against the closure but the plant was no longer profitable.
  • The unions have been fighting against the proposed changes as they think it will mean job losses.

‘go back on something’ = to change an agreement

  • We had come to an agreement but now she has gone back on it.
  • The company promised to review the situation but went back on its word and didn’t.

‘put back’ = to postpone, delay in time

  • They promised to make a decision today but it has been put back until next week.
  • My visit has been put back until a later date when it will be easier to plan.

‘fall behind’ = not risen as fast as, fail to do something as fast as required

  • We have fallen behind schedule. It won’t be completed on time.
  • Our salaries have fallen behind the national average with the small increase we have had.

‘turn down’ = to refuse, not accept

  • We offered a two per cent increase but it was turned down.
  • We offered him a much higher salary but he turned it down and didn’t join our team.

‘fill in for someone’ = to replace someone during an absence

  • I need to brief the person who will be filling in for me while I am on maternity.
  • I filled in for Jamie while he was on holiday.

‘back someone up’ = to support or to help

  • Whenever there is a dispute with someone in my team, my manager always backs me up.
  • Nobody backed him up when he said he had been discriminated against.

‘work out’ = to calculate

  • I don’t know how much holiday I have left. I need to work it out.
  • We need to work out how much this is really going to cost.

‘drag on’ = to last a long time, go on longer than anticipated

  • The negotiations are dragging on. I think we’ll never reach an agreement.
  • The meeting dragged on and on. I thought I’d never get home.

 

We shoul parctice, the exercises given below: ( to understand English for Human Resource Management)
Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

In English, we use a lot of phrasal verbs. These are verbs with more than one part; the verb and one or two particles. Let’s continue looking at some of the most common in the area of Human Resources:

‘get on’ = to have a good relationship

  • I don’t like my boss. We just don’t get on.
  • The atmosphere is terrible. He doesn’t get on with his co-workers.

‘follow up’ = to find out more about or take further action on something.

  • Before we offer her the job, we need to follow up on her references.
  • The training is followed up by regular refresher courses over a six-month period.

‘set up’ = to arrange for an activity or event to happen

  • I’d like to discuss it further. Can we set up a meeting?
  • I’ve set up interviews with the remaining three candidates.

‘make up’ = do or pay extra to cover a difference.

  • I’d like to leave early on Friday. I’ll make up the time next week.
  • There was an error in your expenses. We’ll make up the difference next month.

‘hand in’ = to give something

  • He’s leaving at the end of the month. He has handed in his resignation.
  • I haven’t handed my time sheet in yet. I must do it now.

‘work out’ your notice = to continue working through the period after you have resigned.

  • They asked him to leave immediately. He didn’t have to work out his notice.
  • He negotiated a deal so he didn’t have to work out his notice and could leave sooner.

‘sort out’ = to resolve

  • We don’t know who is going to replace Sue. We have to sort it out soon.
  • I have finally sorted out the error on the time sheets. It’s all correct now.

‘carry on’ = to continue

  • We still haven’t found a suitable candidate. We’ll have to carry on looking.
  • Until we get the new software installed, we’ll have to carry on using the old.

‘back out’ = to decide not to do something previously agreed.

  • They had agreed to do it but then backed out.
  • He had accepted the post but backed out at the last minute so we’re considering other candidates.

‘go with’ = to adopt or support an idea or plan.

  • I think your idea is a good one. I think we should go with it.
  • We’re not really sure which agency to go with. We don’t think any of them are really what we are really looking for.

 We shoul parctice, the exercises given below: ( to understand English for Human Resource Management)

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Time off

Learn the vocabulary to talk about being absent from jobs in English:

to take time off = to be absent from work, at home or on vacation.

  • I’m going to take a few days off to visit my parents.
  • I’m taking Monday off to go to the dentist and do some jobs at home.

to take a vacation = to take time away from work, especially when you travel for pleasure.

  • I’m taking my vacation next month. We’re going to Spain.
  • I have to take my vacation during the school holidays because of my children.

to take a sabbatical = to take time away from work to study or travel, usually while continuing to be paid.

  • He’s on a sabbatical while he does his MBA. He’ll be back next month.
  • She’s on a sabbatical from her job while she does research for her thesis.

to take unpaid leave = to have an authorized absence from work but without salary.

  • She’s taken some unpaid leave while she moves house.
  • I don’t have any paid holiday left so I’d like to take unpaid leave.

to be off sick = to be absent from work due to illness.

  • When you are off sick, you must provide a doctor’s note.
  • He has been off sick for a few days now. I think he’ll be back at work on Monday.

sick leave = the time that you can be absent from work, often while being paid part or all of your salary.

  • She is having an operation and so will be on sick leave for the next two months.
  • When you are on sick leave prescribed by your doctor, you get paid your full salary for the first three months.

maternity leave = the period a mother is legally authorised to be absent from work before and after the birth of a child.

  • Her maternity leave finishes next week but she is not coming back to work.
  • Statutory maternity leave is paid for up to 26 weeks and can start 11 weeks before the baby is due.

parental leave = the time that a parent is allowed to spend away from work to take care of their baby.

  • He has taken parental leave to look after the baby while his wife returns to work.
  • You have to work for an employer for one year to qualify for parental leave to look after your children.

statutory sick pay = the money paid by a company to an employee who cannot work due to illness.

  • If you are absent from work due to illness, you may be able to claim sick pay.
  • To claim sick pay, you have to have medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are unable to work.

a public holiday = a day when almost everybody does not have to go to work (for example in the US July 4th or January 1st).

  • We have 25 days paid holiday plus 10 public holidays.
  • When there is a public holiday on a Thursday, many people take the Friday off too.

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Changes – verbs (English for Human Resources)

Learn the vocabulary in English to talk about the many changes that take place in a company or organization :

‘to promote’ = to move someone up to a higher position in the organization.

  • He handed his notice in last month when he didn’t get promoted to senior manager.
  • She wants to be promoted to supervisor but doesn’t have the interpersonal skills for that job yet.

‘to renew’ = to make new, to extend the life or replace something.

  • I originally had a two-year contract but it has been renewed twice.
  • We need to renew the work permits for the foreign workers who have been here a year.

‘to lay off’ = to make redundant, to stop employing someone

  • When we closed the warehouse, we laid off more than fifty people.
  • Technological advances means that we have had to lay off more and more unskilled workers.

‘to demote’ = to move someone to a lower level in the hierarchy

  • She was demoted after the terrible changeover to the new accounting system.
  • Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to demote anyone who does not live up to expectations.

‘to sideline’ = to not promote someone, to move them to a position with less effective power

  • When the new CEO was nominated, he was sidelined to another department.
  • After a period as a very ineffectual head of department, he was sidelined until he retired.

‘to replace’ = to exchange one thing for another, to put a person in the job of someone else.

  • Ken replaced Tanya when she left to pursue another career.
  • When David left, he was replaced by two people as the job had grown enormously.

‘to retire’ = to stop working due to ill health or age.

  • Jack suffers from ill health and has had to retire early.
  • The statutory age for retirement is 60 although people often retire early if they can.

‘to increase’ = to get bigger in amount or size.

  • Contributions that employees pay increased faster than salaries so cutting their net incomes.
  • Even though profits have increased, we are not in a position to increase salaries above the rate of inflation.

‘to expand’ = to increase in size, number or importance.

  • We have expanded our retail operations very quickly over the last three years.
  • The company expanded very quickly in the 1990s but has since stopped growing so fast.

‘to restructure’ = to organize a business or system in a new way to make it more efficient.

  • Currently we are restructuring our organization and dividing it into five cost centres.
  • He lost his job when the company restructured the department.

Let’s Do Exercises:
exercise 1

exercise 2

exercise 3

exercise 4

 

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Working hours (English for Human Resource Management)

Learn the vocabulary to talk about working hours in English:

to work overtime = to do more than the usual hours required by the contract

  • We aren’t paid when we work overtime, we can take time off in lieu.
  • We had to work overtime to get the project finished on time.

to work shifts = to work in teams at different times of the day and night

  • In today’s twenty-four hour society, more and more people work shifts.
  • We get paid more when we work shifts to compensate for the irregular times.

shift work = when groups of workers work at different times of the day and night

  • The irregular rhythm of shift work can be very hard on family life.
  • Production keeps going non-stop so we have a lot of people who do shift work.

to be on the night shift = to work with a group during the night, often from ten pm to six am

  • It’s very hard on the night shift because I can’t sleep very well during the day.
  • Some people prefer to be on the night shift because they are at home when the children come home from school.

flexitime = a system where people can vary the start and end times

  • As we work flexitime, I take the children to school and arrive at nine thirty.
  • With flexitime, as long as I have done my seven hours, I can leave at four thirty.

a roster = a list of who’s working when and where

  • The weekly roster is put up on the board so that you can see who is working.
  • Look on the roster to see what job you are doing.

to have time off = to take vacation or leave

  • I’d like to have some time off next month. I need a break.
  • If you want to have time off, you have to fill out a request form and give it to your line manager.

to take a day off = to have an authorised absence from work for a day

  • I had two days off last week so I have a lot of work to catch up on.
  • I’d like a day off next week to deal with some family matters. Friday if that is convenient.

full-time = work a whole working week

  • At the moment I only work two days a week but I would like to work full-time.
  • After the birth of my son, I didn’t want to go back full-time so do three days a week now.

Learn more of the vocabulary to talk about working hours in English:

part-time = to work a part of the day or week

  • When I was a student, I had a part-time job in a bar.
  • We are looking for a part-time receptionist to work mornings.

to be punctual = to start or arrive at the specified time

  • She’s very punctual, always here on time.
  • Please be punctual. I don’t want to have to wait for late arrivals.

home working = to work from home rather than going into the office

  • Home working misses the social element of going to work.
  • Modern technology means that home working has become a real possibility for many people.

time sheet = a record of the numbers of hours worked by an employee

  • Fill out this time sheet every day and hand it to your manager on Fridays.
  • We no longer have time sheets as this is done automatically by the electronic ID badges.

unsocial hours = hours outside of the normal working week

  • Although the hours are rather unsocial, I don’t want a nine to five job.
  • Lots of professions work very unsocial hours and don’t necessarily get compensated for it.

to take a break = to stop work for a short time to relax

  • You can buy tea or coffee when you take a break.
  • Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break and come back to a job refreshed.

to clock in/out = to record the start or finish time of work on a special machine

  • The staff clock in when they arrive and clock out as they leave.
  • Flexitime means that everyone has to clock in and out to keep a check on the hours worked.

public holidays = national holidays that are not generally worked

  • Your holiday entitlement does not include public holidays like Christmas Day.
  • If a public holiday is on a Thursday, many people take the Friday off and have a long weekend.

hourly rate = the salary that is paid per hour of work

  • We are paid a considerably higher hourly rate for Sundays or evening work.
  • The part-time employees are paid an hourly rate but the permanent staff are paid a fixed salary.

fixed hours = the working hours of an employee do not change or cannot be varied

  • The admin staff work fixed hours; nine to five, five days a week.
  • As a freelancer, I don’t have any fixed hours but work when the work is there.

If you think you have better understood these things, you may exercise to test yourself!

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized