News around the world


"English Assistant"

The website launched a unique educational project "English Assistant", created for the language immersion of students from different educational institutions. English assistant is a professional teacher and native English speaker, who will help foreigner students to better understand English speech, culture and way of life. Depending on the curriculum, the assistant creates topics and materials that will be most effective and interesting to your audience. Also, the assistant can conduct classes from any geographical location that best reflects the topic of the lesson (famous sites etc). Thus, the English assistant will be able to immerse students in the reality of the language they are studying, without leaving the class walls.


How to pronounce GIF, once and for all

It might be one of the biggest debates of the digital age — how in all of cyberspace are we supposed to pronounce “GIF?”

How the heck do you pronounce this word? Be careful, you might get judged depending on which way you say it.
(tzahiV/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Since the creation of the animated loop now an essential part of meme culture, the GIF has been pronounced two ways: with a hard G (like gift) or a soft G like “jif” — yes, the peanut butter. The inventor of the graphic, Steve Wilhite, specifically used JIF peanut butter to name, pronounce and promote his creation, so many committed computer engineers stick with that pronunciation.

Full text you can read here:


The New York Times

So, Um, How Do You, Like, Stop Using Filler Words?

So, how do you, like, um, stop using verbal fillers that can make you sound, you know, nervous or not so smart?

Verbal fillers such as “like,” “so” and “you know” are common but can become problematic when overused to the point of distraction.
Credit Caleb Jones/Associated Press

Is there a name for this?

Communications experts describe “um,” “aah,” “you know” and similar expressions as discourse markers, interjections or verbal pauses.

They often occur when we are trying to think of the next thing we are going to say, Susan Mackey-Kallis, an associate professor at Villanova University who teaches public speaking, said in an email.

Full text you can read here:


The New York Times

Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms

Apple is losing its grip on American classrooms, which technology companies have long used to hook students on their brands for life.

Logan Lowry, left, and Douglas Corales, both 6, playing a game on Chromebooks at Hilltop Elementary School in Glen Burnie, Md.
Chromebooks have gained ground on iPads and Mac notebooks in schools in recent years.
Credit Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

Over the last three years, Apple’s iPads and Mac notebooks — which accounted for about half of the mobile devices shipped to schools in the United States in 2013 — have steadily lost ground to Chromebooks, inexpensive laptops that run on Google’s Chrome operating system and are produced by Samsung, Acer and other computer makers.

Full text you can read here:


This teen got acceptance letters from all 8 Ivy League schools

New Jersey high school senior Ifeoma White-Thorpe said she couldn’t believe it when she heard back from all eight Ivy League schools and Stanford University — and they all accepted her for the fall.

Full text you can read here:


Learning English is part of the game for tennis pros

MELBOURNE, Australia -- As Chung Hyeon shot up the rankings in 2015, earning the most improved award in men’s tennis, he also was working hard off the court: daily phone calls with a friend in the USA — in English.

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

As tennis has become increasingly global, it’s still far and away an English-centered sport: Three of its four Grand Slam tournaments are in English-speaking countries, the sport is officiated in English, and players — no matter where they are from — have media obligations in the language as well.

The South Korean world No. 51 was scheduled to play world No. 1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in the first round.

“I’m practicing with my friend all the days,” Chung, 19, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s for interviews and for the tennis, both.”

Full text you can read here:


Uber wins right to challenge driver English tests

Uber has won the right to take Transport for London (TfL) to court over new rules which would require its drivers to pass English tests.

TfL wants all private-hire drivers to undergo reading, writing and listening tests from 1 October, which the High Court has accepted.

However, Uber has been permitted to challenge if exemptions can be put in place for some drivers.

TfL said it was making the changes "to enhance public safety".

It also wants to implement regulations which require Uber to provide a call centre service for passengers to contact during a journey if required, which the High Court has also agreed in principle.

However, the Ireland-based transport company will challenge whether that service has to be in London, before any form of that regulation can be introduced by TfL.

Full text you can read here:


The New York Times

Do you speak Australian? Take our quiz.

The Australian National Dictionary, a standard guide to the Australian vernacular, added 6,000 words and phrases on Tuesday, its first update since 1988. Test your knowledge of the new terms with this quiz. AUG. 23, 2016

A cattle and horses parade at the Royal Queensland Show in Brisbane, Australia, in August. CreditDan Peled/European Pressphoto Agency

Full quiz you can find here: