Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Group Discussion Notes for I year

Group discussion is commonly known as GD, as the name suggests, it is a group activity.   People are grouped in a bunch for a common purpose:
      share knowledge
   §  exchange opinions
     §  brainstorm [find solutions, innovative look for improvements]

To make a Successful GD:

Content: Fairly good knowledge of the topic and awareness of the current situation will help prevent ideas from drying up fast and to keep the GD alive and lively. If you are unfamiliar with the topic, wait for someone else to come up with important information and facts, then quickly formulate you stance and come with your perspective.

Communication: The language should be simple and lucid, use the right word at the right time that gives clarity to the GD and highlights your role in generating ideas in the group. Not to exhaust your ideas at one go. Every time you contribute, make your talk relevant and brief. It is necessary to listen with great attention and react with pertinent comments.

Constant interruption while others are speaking must be avoided. The discussion becomes meaningless if all the participants speak at the same time. Some candidates try to interrupt and even make fun of other participants. This strategy will adversely affect them.

No points will be lost even if a candidate openly supports or agrees with the views of the other candidates. Valid reasons must be given as to why you support a particular point of view. In case your views are strongly criticized, there is no need to be upset. Criticism taken positively will act in the candidate’s favour.

Thinking: Listen and understand the arguments of other participants and at the same time decide what points you should raise and how.

Group behaviour: Expressing your views emphatically will be appreciated in a GD, it is equally important that you draw the more reticent participants into the discussion and involve them in the decision-making process. The participant should be tactful while contradicting the views of other participants. Blunt statements such as ‘Your arguments are baseless’, or ‘You are absolutely wrong’, are to be avoided strictly. The participant has to disagree without sounding rude by saying things such as ‘I beg to differ’ or ‘Sorry to disagree with you’.

Some Patterns of starting a discussion:
  • We have assembled here to discuss …
  • We are here today to discuss …
  • Let us get down to business …
  • Let’s start how to proceed with the discussion …
  • Let’s start off with No.1 …
  • Shall we make a start?
  • Shall we set the ball rolling?
  • Can you please give your views on?
Some patterns for interrupting a discussion:
  • Sorry to interrupt you …
  • Excuse me, but …
  • Could I make a suggestion, please?
  • Could I say something ….?
  • Sorry to disagree with you …
  • If I could make a point here …
Some patterns of ending a discussion:
  • I think that covers everything
  • It is time to wind up
  • Shall we close the discussion then?
What I think is …
I feel that …
The main point I wish to make is …
I agree up to a certain point but …
I must disagree with your opinion …
I would question whether …
It seems to me that …
As far as I am concerned …
I don’t agree with the previous speaker …
Please don’t interrupt. Let me finish
Can you wait till I finish?
I think we are moving away from the main point.
If I may turn now to …
Turning now to …
I want to comment briefly on …
I intend to make … points about …
Now to elaborate on the first point …
I strongly believe that …
With all due respect
I am not in a position to say anything about …
If we look at it in another light …
On the contrary …
I don’t think any one could disagree with …
I can’t help thinking …
Can I finish please …?
Finally …

Successful GDs
A good and successful group discussion is one where the topic has been discussed threadbare.
  1. Analyse the topic word by word. Identify the frame of reference you would be using during the discussion.
  2.  Look at the topic from the point of view of all the affected parties.
  3.  Look at the topic from all the various angles and all the possible perspectives.
  4.  At the end of a discussion or when you know that the discussion time is almost up, it is necessary to give an appropriate conclusion. To do this, quickly recap the important points that have come up during the discussion, emphasize the points on which there were differences and where there was convergence of opinion and make the concluding remark.
  5. Points to be remembered:
  6. Prepare well by reading and reflecting on the topic.
  7.  Anticipate the points of others.
  8. Listen keenly and understand the points made by others.
  9. Break in and make your point without waiting to be called upon to do so, ensuring relevance to the context.
  10. Be loud enough to be heard by everyone.
  11. Make brief remarks often rather than giving long speeches.
  12.  Be open minded and conciliatory rather than dogmatic.
  13. Try to be group-centred rather than self-centred.
  14. Avoid personal attacks and name-calling. Accept criticism with dignity and rebut it with strong arguments.
  15. Back your arguments with evidence and authority.
  16. Use appropriate gestures and expressions.
  17. Maintain eye contact with group members.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Describing Objects

Guidelines for Describing Objects:
  • It is made up of glass, leather, silver, plastic, etc.,
  • It is sharp, valuable, tiny, soft, easy to break, etc.,
  • It is round, long and thin.
  • It is used for cutting, sticking things together, carrying things.
  • It has got a lid, handle, etc.,
Questions that help describing Objects:
  • What the object is?
  • Where, how, when you bought it?
  • Description of the object (colour, size, etc.,)
  • Why is it important to you?
  • What you use it for?
  • Why you could not live without it?
  • Any stories, memories associated with it.
Model Statements to Describe Objects:
1)      Introduce the Object:
  • I could not live without my …..
  • One thing I would hate to be without is …..
2)   Describing Object:
  • I bought it from ….
  • It was given to me by …..
  • I have had it for …..
  • It is made of ….
  • It used to belong to …..
3)   Saying why it is important….
  • It is really important to me because…
  • I need it for…..
  • It is very valuable….
  • It has got great sentimental value…
  • It reminds me….
  • I would be really lost without out it….
Digital Jewellery blog:


After reading the passage Answer the following questions.

1. What is the technological wonder described in the above excerpt from a blog?
2. What does a set of digital jewellery typically consist of?
3. What are the functions of each of the pieces in a digital jewellery set?
4. How can voice recognition software take over the keypad and dialling functions?
5. How does a Java ring relieve us of the burden of having to remember several passwords?

*          *          *

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Guidelines for proper Pronunciation

Pronunciation of Suffixes or word endings:

The plural form in written English with an s has three distinct sounds:

            /s/     cups                                        
            /z/     cubs                            
            /iz/    horses, benches                    

Rule 1
When a word ends in a voiceless sound as in /p/, /t/, /k/, /f/ the s that follows is sounded as /s/:
            Tap     -           taps /s/
            Pet      -           pets /s/
            Book   -           books /s/
Rule 2
When a word ends in a voiced sound as in /b/, /d/, /g/ the s is sounded as /z/:
            Bag     -           bags /z/
            Tub     -           tubs /z/
            Kid     -           Kids /z/
Rule 3
The plural morpheme /s/ or any word ending in s is sounded as /iz/ with words ending in s, z, dz, tò. It is applicable to verbs too.
            Bus     -           buses /iz/
            Bench -           benches /iz/
            Bridge -           bridges /iz/
            Wish   -           wishes /iz/
/s/ sound represented by
            s          -           seek, case
            ss         -           essay, pass
            sc         -           science, scene
            c          -           cement, cease
/z/ is presented by
            s          -           please, cousin
            ss         -           scissors, dresses
            z          -           zeal, amaze
            zz        -           puzzle, dazzle
            x          -           exact, examination
Past tense form ending with the inflection ‘d’ has three distinct sounds:
            bag      -           bagged /d/             
            wash   -           washed /t/   
            add     -           added /id/               

Rule 1
If a verb ends in a voiced sound, its past tense has the /d/ sound at the end:
            bagged   /d/
            clubbed  /d/
            lived     /d/

Rule 2
If a verb ends in a voiceless sound, its past tense has the /t/ sound at the end:
washed   /t/
looked    /t/
stopped  /t/

Rule 3
If a verb ends in /t/ or /d/ its past tense has the /id/ sound at the end:
want   -           wanted /id/               state  -           stated /id/
add     -           added /id/                 wade -           waded /id/


Word stress is a very important feature of spoken English.  Words are made up of sounds. The words two /tu:/ and see /si:/ are made up of two sounds each. The words cat /kaet/ and back /baek/ are made up of three sounds each. The words sent /sent/ and build /bIld/ are made up of four sounds each. The common feature of all these words is that they are all monosyllabic words. 

SYLLABLE: Syllable is the smallest unit of word which can be pronounced at a time or without stopping in between, which contains an vowel sound.

If a word has more than one syllable, all the syllables are not equally prominent: one of the syllables is more prominent than the others.   For example, the word Doc-tor is made up of two syllables: Doc and tor but only the first syllable Doc is stressed as it is more prominent than tor. 
It implies that a syllable is made up of a vowel and optionally consonant(s).  

Consonant Clusters

A syllable must have a vowel, and zero, one, or more consonants before the vowel or after it. When a sequence of two or more consonants occurs either before or after a vowel in a single syllable, it is known as a ‘Consonant Cluster’. Consonant clusters occur initially and finally. Consonant clusters occurred initially are called initial consonant clusters, if it occurs finally they are called final consonant clusters.

Initial Consonant Clusters:
Two-Consonant Clusters
/pl-/ plan, plot, place                   /fl-/  flask, flew, flap
/pr-/ pray, prize, proud             /fr-/ free, fresh, fry
/kl-/ clean, club, climb                /sp-/ speak, spend, spy,
/bl-/ blue, blink, blot                   /sm-/ small, smile, smoke

Three-Consonant Clusters
/spl-/ splash, spleen, split
/spr-/ spring, sprout, spray
/str-/ strong, strike, stroll
/skr-/ screen, scrub, scratch
/skw-/ squash, square, squint

Final Consonant Clusters:
Two-Consonant Clusters
/-pt/ kept, wrapped, slept             /-gd/ mugged, begged
/-ks/ works, shocks, fox                 /-ft/ craft, coughed, laughed
/lk/ milk, silk, sulk                         /-bd/ rubbed, clubbed

Three-Consonant Clusters:
/-pts/ adopts, erupts                      /-lkt/ milked, sulked
/-kts/ facts, ducts                            /-lvd/ shelved
/-kst/ fixed, next                             /-lvz/ wolves
/-mpt/ tempt, prompt                    /-lks/ silks

Four-Consonant Clusters:
/-mpts/ prompts                 /-lfqs/ twelfths
/-mpst/ glimpsed               /-ksqs/ sixths
/-ksts/ texts
/-lpts/ sculpts           

Stress in English Words

Stress in English words is fixed, i.e., the stress always falls on a particular syllable in a given word.   For example, in the word miserable, the stress is on the first syllable, i.e., mis, whether the word is said in isolation or in connected speech.   But at the same time, stress in English words is free, i.e., it is not tied to any particular syllable in the chain of syllables constituting the word.   For example, English words can be stressed on the first syllable as in miserable, on the second syllable as in a’gree, on the third syllable as in under’stand and so on.  

The syllable that which receives highest degree of prominence in a word is said to have the primary accent / stress.   Any other prominent syllable which receives prominence next to primary accent / stress is said to have secondary accent.   Primary accent is marked with a vertical bar above and in front of the syllable to which it refers.   Secondary accent is marked with a vertical bar below and in front of the syllable.   For example, in the following words:


The primary stress is on the last syllable and the secondary stress is on the first syllable. When such words are used in connected speech, pitch movement can be initiated only on the syllables, which have primary stress. 


Here are a few rules of word stress.  These will help one locate stress in words.
Functional shift of stress:

There are a number of words of two syllables in which the accentual pattern depends on whether the word is used as a noun, an adjective or a verb.   When the word is used as a noun or an adjective, the stress is on the first syllable. When the word is used as a verb, the stress is on the second syllable.   Here are a few examples:
Noun / Adjective                             Verb
‘absent                                                ab’sent
‘object                                                 ob’ject
‘subject                                               sub’ject
‘project                                               pro’ject
‘Progress                                            pro’gress
‘Decrease                                           De’crease

Words with prefixes / suffixes: their stress patterns

Here we discuss words with prefixes / suffixes in terms of their stress patterns.

a)         Verbs of two syllables beginning with the prefix dis- are stressed on the last syllable.

dis’arm                                               dis’may
dis’band                                             dis’pel

b)        Verbs of two syllables
Verbs of two syllables ending in –ate, -ise/-ize, -ct are stressed on the last syllable.

nar’rate                                               cap’size
at’tract                                                chas’tise

c)         Words ending in ‘ion, -ic, -ical, -ically, -ially, -ian, -ious, -eous
i)    Words ending in –ion have the stress on the penultimate (i.e., the last but one) syllable.

appli’cation                                       civili’zation
compo’sition                                     ‘question

ii)  Words ending in –ic/-ical/ically, -ial/-ially, -ian have the stress on the syllable preceding the suffix.
apolo’getic                                        sympa’thetic
e’lectric                                              patri’otic

-ical                                                    -ically
apolo’getical                                     apolo’getically

-ial                                                      -ian    
me’morial                                          lib’rarian
of’ficial                                               mu’sician

iii) Words ending in –ious, -eous have the stress on the penultimate (i.e., the last but one) syllable 
-ious                                                   -eous 
‘anxious                                             ‘piteous
in’dustrious                                       cou’rageous

d)        Words ending in –ate, -ise,/-ize, -fy, -ity, -cracy, -crat, -graph, -graphy,
-meter, -logy
i)    Words of more than two syllables ending in –ate, -ise/-ize, -ify are stressed on the ante-penultimate syllable (i.e., third from the end). 

-ate                              -ise, ize                      -ify 
                        ‘complicate                ‘colonise                    ‘justify
                        ar’ticulate                  mo’nopolize              ‘classify

ii)        Words ending in –ity, -cracy, -crat, -graph, -graphy, -meter, -logy have the stress on the ante-penultimate syllable (i.e., third from the end).  
-ity                              -cracy                          -crat
             a’bility                       au’tocracy                  ‘autocrat        
elec’tricity                  de’mocracy                ‘democrat

iii)       Words ending in –graph, -graphy, -meter, -logy have the stress on the ante-penultimate syllable (i.e., third from the end).  
-graph                        -graphy                      -meter                   -logy
‘autograph                 pho’tography            ther’mometer      psy’chology
‘paragraph                 spec’trography         lac’tometer          bi’logy
iv)       Words ending in –ain, -aire, -eer, -enta, -ential, -ese, -esce, -escence, -escent, -esque, -ique, -it is, -ee, -ette, -ete, -ade have the stress on the suffix.
–ain                            -aire                           -eer                      -ental,
Ob’tain                       millio’naire               engi’neer              experi’mental
Main’tain                   question’naire           volun’teer            acci’dental
Ascer’tain                                                      marke’teer           pa’rental
Re’frain                                                          car’eer                  inci’dental

–ential                        -ese                            -esce                    -escence,
Exis’tential                bur’mese                    coa’lesce              effer’vescence
Provi’dential             chi’nese                      conva’lesce          ado’lescence

–ee                              -ette                           -ete                       -ade,
Pay’ee                        eti’quette                   de’lete                  barri’cade
Absen’tee                   ga’zette                      com’plete             de’grade

e)         Stress Shift
Stress shift is quite normal in derivatives.  Here are a few examples :

                        a’cademy                   aca’demic                  acade’mician
                        ‘photograph              pho’tographer           photo’graphic
                        ‘politics                      po’litical                    poli’tician

Here we have given you a few rules for marking stress in English.   We have also discussed functional shift of stress.   Please remember these rules of stress are very useful for you to be able to pronounce English words correctly.