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As I go about my daily life, I often hear or read “bits of English” (sentences, words, phrases, etc.) that I know are really useful, and that I am quite sure most Japanese people are not familiar with. I am not really much of a social media person, but it occurred to me that it might be an idea to make a Twitter account called “bitsofenglish” so that I could just “tweet” these things as and when I notice them.
I actually set up the account a few months ago, but I have never used it. (This one is a different account from the one that I use to tell people when a new blog entry has been posted. I think that one is just called “BTB Press.”) I think that “bitsofenglish” only has about three followers at the moment!
This week, I have decided to give it a try and see whether people find it useful or not. If you have a smartphone, you can just install the Twitter app if you don’t already have it. If you do not have a smartphone, you can still use Twitter by setting up an account on your computer. To be honest, I am probably not the best person to give advice about doing this, because I am not sure how it works myself. If anyone has any problems, please post a question here, and I’m sure someone will answer it for you.
My idea is that I will post “bits of English” in sentences that I hope most people will be able to understand. I might actually post sentences from this blog as well if I particularly want people to notice them. Come to think of it, I suppose that you could also tweet sentences from this blog if you spot something that you think everyone should take note of. If you tweet it to me, I can then retweet (yes, that is a word!) it to everyone else.
If I tweet something that you do not understand, you can ask about it by posting a comment here. If you think you understand it but are not sure, you can make your own sentence and post it here for me to check. I will let you know if it is correct or not.
I will send my first tweet later this evening.
I also have a request this week. I have added a program to this website that allows you to practice the points from my book “An A-Z of Common English Errors.” Just click on “All Books” in the top menu, and then select either the English or the Japanese edition. Below the image of the book, you will see some buttons. Click on the orange one that says “Practice” to start the test. (The “test maker” button is for teachers who want to make tests for their students.)
The program is still very new, so there are bound to be some problems with it. I would like as many people as possible to test it for me and let me know if you find any issues. At the moment, the “Instructions” button just opens up a blank window because I haven’t written anything there yet, but I think the program is pretty self-explanatory.
The test is based on the workbook section at the back of the book. Choose the sections that you would like to be tested on, and then click “Go.” Answer each question using full sentences, and then click “Submit answer.” At the end of the test, you will get a score, and you will have a chance to go back and try the questions you got wrong again. Because this is a computer, your question will be marked as incorrect if you misspell any words or use different punctuation, so please be careful about those things. Also, I had to try to think of every possible answer to every question, and I’m sure I will have missed some. For example, I just typed in the answer “…trees and fields,” but the computer marked it as wrong because the correct answer I had stored in the database was actually “…fields and trees.” If you notice any problems where your answer is correct but the computer is saying it’s not, please let me know, and I will update the database.
Look forward to hearing your feedback and to getting lots of followers on Twitter!
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか？」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ！
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