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ETC - English Training Courses - Part 2

An Extra 30 Minutes Sleep Will Improve Your Child’s Motivation to Learn

learning1 An Extra 30 Minutes Sleep Will Improve Your Childs Motivation to LearnEnsuring your child has an extra 30 minutes in bed can effectively improve their motivation to learn, concentration levels, mood and health and also their performance at school, according to a new US study.

The US study also found that a lie-in led to a reduction in children’s fatigue and stress levels. Researchers from the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, tracked 200 students aged 14 to 18 as their school starting time was delayed by 30 minutes – from 8am to 8.30am.

They were also asked to complete an on-line “sleep habits” survey before and after the change. According to the study, published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the delayed start time resulted in “significantly more satisfaction with sleep and experienced improved motivation”.

It added: “Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and depressed mood were all reduced. Most health-related variables, including health centre visits for fatigue-related complaints, and class attendance also improved”.

learning2 An Extra 30 Minutes Sleep Will Improve Your Childs Motivation to LearnThe later start was also associated with a significant increase in the amount of extra sleep children got. On average, children stayed in bed for an additional 45 minutes, even though classes were only delayed by 30 minutes.

According to the study, the proportion of teenagers getting less than seven hours of sleep fell by almost 80 per cent, while those reporting at least eight hours of sleep soared more than three-fold.

It also led to a reduction in the amount of over-sleeping at the weekend.

If your child’s English reading, writing, speaking and Math skills are important to you but your busy schedule only allows for quality family time – why not contact us? We have fun, friendly and experienced private English Teachers who can happily help your child learn the vital skills they need in the safety and security of your own home

New Tax Incentives For Thailand’s Tourism Industry

Winai Wittawatkaravet 248x300 New Tax Incentives For Thailands Tourism Industry
Winai-Wittawatkaravet, Director General of the Thailand Revenue Department

The Director General of the Thailand Revenue Department,Winai Wittawatkaravet, is announced the introduction of new Tax incentives, to help revive the struggling tourism sector in Thailand.  The new incentives are designed to boost domestic tourism and offer assistance to small and large businesses throughout the kingdom.

According to the article in the Bangkok Post, authorities have announced a five-part package of tax incentives to help the industry, starting with a 15,000-baht personal taxable income deduction on domestic tourism-related spending for Thai residents. The Council of State, the government’s legal arm, is currently reviewing the plan, which will be applied retroactively to cover spending from March through Dec 31. Residents seeking to claim deductions must keep relevant receipts to be filed with their 2010 tax returns.

A resident will be allowed to claim 100% of the cost of a domestic tour package up to a maximum of 15,000 baht. Hotel and resort expenses may also be claimed in full under the incentive, for properties registered with the Interior Ministry.

The Revenue Department would permit deductions only for lodging expenses for individual trips, said Mr Winai.

Hotel rack rates inclusive of breakfast would probably be allowed, he said. But other services, such as meals or spas, may not be deducted under the programme.

A second incentive allows tourism operators to claim up to two times the actual expenses incurred for domestic or international trade shows in their corporate tax filings in the 2010 and 2011 accounting years. The measure will apply only to events supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Additional deductions will be given to companies for training-related seminars held this year and next. Under the current law, up to two times cost of training events is deductable, a level that will be increased under the programme to support the hotel and Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) sectors.

The department also will allow car operators to increase depreciation claims for their vehicle fleets. Existing rules allow depreciation charges of up to one million baht over five years for vehicles seating up to 10 passengers. Under the new rule, depreciation may be claimed up to the full value of the vehicle over five years.

For rental cars, depreciation rules will permit charges up to the full value of the vehicle, compared with the previous rule limiting charges to up to 36,000 baht a month.

Depreciation rules will also be changed for hotels renovating their properties. Previously, the cost of renovations may be booked under depreciation charges of up to 20% of the value over five years.

The new rule will permit faster depreciation, with up to 60% of the value of the improvements taken in the first year and the remainder averaged over four years. The measure will apply only for the 2010 and 2011 accounting years.

Mr Winai said the five tax measures included measures that may be issued as ministerial announcements or as executive decrees.

The legal process is expected to be completed relatively soon, he said, adding that it was difficult to estimate the final cost to the government for the programme, he said.

For the 15,000-baht personal tax deduction alone, the department estimates lost tax revenues could amount to as much as 3 billion baht.

Boost Loyalty Programs With Location Based Offers

selfcheckin Boost Loyalty Programs With Location Based OffersVentureBeat, an internet site that ‘provides news about innovation for forward-thinking executives’ has reported upon a leading brand new virtual intermediary that claims to function as the bridge between flourishing location dependent services and loyalty programs by supplementing instead of competing with the latter.

Appropriately known as, Topguest, the New York City based start-up is designed to connect loyalty programs, used by hotels and airlines, with numerous (virtual) check-in services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt.

VentureBeat reports that Topguest “is going for a niche market and making a bet the travel industry will venture into the location space using its product.”

The initial hotel chain to implement the system is (as of this moment) the Standard Hotels, which is currently based in four cities, and promises users of Topguest a free week at one of its hotels subject to availability and restrictions.

The “free” week occurs if a “Topguest” customer checks in using any of the supported geolocation applications and stays in all four Standard hotels within one week. If however the thought of such restricted travel does not meet the needs of the guest addititionally there is the possibility of issuing 25% off the guests next reservation after 10 check-ins at any Standard hotel, bar or restaurant.

Additional location based benefits include spa treatments, boutique discounts, and cocktails. Topguest in addition has registered three other premier loyalty programs which are to be announced later in the year.

Topguest could possibly be on the brink of the next big thing for directing loyalty marketing, for both hotels and airlines, as guests “checking-in” virtually will be offered extremely targeted promotions from hotels to guide them in the “right” direction and, most significantly, help the travel and hotel industries become location-smart and enhance the method by which they communicate with their customers and guests.

And with social networking sites such as Facebook forecasting the fact that the whole advertising industry will eventually center, around social media, the necessity to communicate effectively, immediately and constantly is extremely important for the survival both in the long and short term.

So contact us today and discover how an investment in an ETC…English Training Program can give your business a strong competitive edge and help develop your guest loyalty through customer care and guest satisfaction

Build Your ‘Confidence in English’ – Use Phrasal Verbs & Idiomatic Expressions

confused1 Build Your Confidence in English   Use Phrasal Verbs & Idiomatic ExpressionsNative English speakers, whether they come from the United Kingdom, Australia, American, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa will all naturally, and without thinking, use phrasal verbs and idioms in their everyday speech.  Unfortunately these words and phrases are often complicated and confusing and are typically used instead of more easily understood Latin root language.

Most vocabulary used in phrasal verbs and idioms is not often clear to the EFL and ESL learner and unfortunately just have to be learned if you want to speak English with confidence, like a native speaker or understand fully your English speaking friends, business associates, clients and customers. Sadly, this is not going to be easy as the vocabulary will often have a very specific meaning, which is often in a very narrow context.  For instance, consider the phrasal verb “he cleared off” meaning that “he left quickly and suddenly”. Or “she turned up out of the blue” meaning ” she arrived suddenly and unexpectedly”.  When you consider idioms like “it’s high time that I took some more English lessons” meaning “I feel that I really should take some more English lessons now and this need has existed for a long time.” it’s clear to appreciate that the non-native speaker is always going to be at a permanent disadvantage!

Therefore to build your confidence in English it is necessary focus upon improving your passive English vocabulary rather than your active vocabulary. Passive vocabulary is the range of words you understand simply by hearing them spoken aloud or see it written down.  Whereas active vocabulary is the words, phrases and sentences you produce when speaking or writing. Your passive vocabulary will always be much greater than your active. However, to expand and improve your passive vocabulary you – try reading more in English.

Finding English books or newspapers locally may be difficult so go online instead and find an article or confused2 Build Your Confidence in English   Use Phrasal Verbs & Idiomatic Expressionsnews story written in English that you find interesting and read it. The first time you read the article, do so without stopping to consider the meaning of words or phrases you are not familiar with. Try instead only to get a general understanding of what the story is about. Then go back and have look at the sentences containing words or phrases that you don’t understand or haven’t seen before, however don’t go reaching for your dictionary just yet! Instead, consider the context and probable meaning of the sentence by understanding the sentences which come before and after it.  Then substitute the unknown phrase or word with something else, try a word or phrase you are familiar with and substitute another word, or words, ensuring that the sentence still makes sense.

One of the main things to remember when building your ‘Confidence in English’  is that you may find it confusing and difficult when trying to understand native speakers of English, but you are not alone! It’s a very common complaint from even the most advanced EFL and ESL learner so why not try putting the practical tips above into practice and contact us to see how ETC…English Training Course can do to help you build your ‘Confidence in English’.

English Story Books Can Help Improve Your Child’s English Language Skills

child reading English Story Books Can Help Improve Your Childs English Language SkillsIs your child currently attending an English bilingual school, a part-time English language program or receiving lessons from a private English Tutor?  Would you like to help reinforce the their learning at home, but you don’t know how?  English story books are a fun and easy way to teach English to your children and many of these fantastic English resources are readily available online, but with so many children’s stories to choose from where should you begin?

The children’s book publisher Puffin are currently celebrating their 70th anniversary and to mark the event they have compiled a list of 70 children’s books, said to be the best of all time, and with fantasy classics such as ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ making their lineup, the ‘The Puffin Handbook’, a new guide to children’s books for parents is a great place to start.

The pirate adventure Treasure Island and the tear-jerking classic Watership Down also feature.Watership Down 150x150 English Story Books Can Help Improve Your Childs English Language Skills

The classic counting book The Very Hungry Caterpillar tops the list of best bedtime books.

Eric Carle’s title sells a copy every 30 seconds somewhere in the world, according to Puffin.

The list is divided up into categories including mischief and mayhem, weird and wonderful, and best blood and guts.
‘Phizzwhizzers’ Toddlers’ favourites The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward; the nostalgic Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg; and Hairy Mclary from Donaldson’s Dairy are among the titles in the section called “best to cuddle-up to”.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland Alice in Wonderland tops best weird and wonderful

charliechocolate 150x150 English Story Books Can Help Improve Your Childs English Language SkillsRoald Dahl takes up the entire “phizzwhizzers” category on his own, meanwhile, with his classic tales The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Fantastic Mr Fox.   Dahl sells more books every year than any other Penguin author in both the adults and children’s categories and his sales rocketed by 35% in 2009.

Modern best-sellers, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kenney and Charlie Higson’s thriller The Enemy, are also included in the list.

The titles feature in The Puffin Handbook, a new guide to children’s books for parents and if you would like to download a free copy of the book CLICK here ‘The Puffin Handbook’

If your child’s English reading, writing and speaking skills are important to you but your busy schedule only allows for quality family time – why not contact us? We have fun, friendly and experienced private English Tutors who can happily help your child learn the vital skills they need in the safety and security of your own home.

Labour Union Formed by Native English Teachers in Korea

english teachers union 266x300 Labour Union Formed by Native English Teachers in Korea A Teachers Labour Union comprising of native English teachers working for a language institute or “hagwon” has been formed in Incheon,

Acording to the The Korea Times news paper, a legal expert, Jung Bong-soo, is representing the new Teachers Labour Union which is is the second teachers’ union, to ever be formed in the Country. The first one was established in 2005 in Gangam, southern Seoul, according to the Ministry of Labor.

Jung said the union comprised of native English teachers working for a language institute or “hagwon” has been established in Incheon, a legal expert on labor representing them said Tuesday.

The union, headed by Evan Lloyd from the United States, has nine members, he said. Native English teachers belonging to the institute are eligible to join, he added. The union head was unable to be immediately reached for comment.

A pattern of “unlawful” behavior by the employer – unpaid overtime and threats of dismissal – drove them to unionize, Jung said.

The five founding members decided to set up the union after the employer forced them to work 40 hours per week rather than 30 hours stipulated in their contract.

“Under the contract, the employer is supposed to pay an overtime rate of 15,000 won per hour. But the employer paid nothing,” Jung told The Korea Times in a phone interview. “In response to complaints about the unpaid overtime, the employer even verbally threatened to fire one of the five, who was a woman.”

They visited Jung’s office, KangNam Labor Law Firm, in southern Seoul in early September for consultations, leading to an investigation by a state labor inspector.

“The inspector acknowledged the teachers were forced to work additional hours without proper compensation and ordered the employer to pay,” he said.

That ruling, however, was not good enough for them because their relations with the employer turned sour with one of the five being laid off. The dismissed teacher plans to file a petition with the Ministry of Labor for her reinstatement.

“The other teachers involved in the dispute also fear similar retaliatory action,” Jung noted.

The expert refused to identify the language institute in question to protect the unionized teachers from further retaliation.

Yoo Mi-young, the labor inspector in charge of the case, said: “The number of petitions of this kind brought up by native English teachers here is on the increase.”

Ahn Kyu-seok, a spokesman for the Korea Immigration Service, said: “Their activities aimed at protecting and boosting their right as legitimate employees will be guaranteed by law, but any activities with political purposes will be prohibited as stipulated in the Immigration Law.”

A total of 22,905 foreign nationals are here on E-2 English teaching visas as of Oct. 31 this year, according to the Ministry of Justice. Of them, 134 overstayed their visa, the ministry said.

Bilingual Learning Begins in the Womb!

baby Bilingual Learning Begins in the Womb!Bilingual learning begins in the womb – according to a new study carried out by a research team led by Krista Byers-Heinlein and Janet Werker of the University of British Columbia.  The studies compared the responses of newborn babies whose mothers only spoke English with those of mothers who were bilingual and spoke both English and Tagalog.

The research, which was recently published in the Journal Psychological Science, stated that results showed that the babies of bilingual mothers demonstrated awareness whenever they heard both languages, however newborns of single language mothers only responded to English.

The researchers watched the sucking reflex of babies to determine whether or not they recognised linguistic stimulation. Newborns have a tendency to suck whatever touches their tongue, lips, or cheeks, and the rate associated with this kind of motion will increase any time something intriguing occurs. Exposing babies to two distinct languages switching every minute for ten minutes, the study learned that just the newborns of bilingual mothers demonstrated a sucking response when the two languages alternated. The researchers said in the article, “Bilingual newborns’ curiosity about both languages helps guarantee awareness of, and therefore additional understanding of, both of their languages.”

If your child’s English reading, writing , speaking and Math  skills are important to you but your busy schedule only allows for quality family time – why not contact us? We have fun, friendly and experienced private English Teacher who can happily help your child learn the vital skills they need in the safety and security of your own home

Australian Government Considering TOEFL English Testing for Immigrants

Australia toefl article image 1 Australian Government Considering TOEFL English Testing for ImmigrantsThe Australian government’s dependence upon the IELTS test (International English Languate Testing System) to determine the English language level skills of would-be immigrants may soon becoming to an end as a recent reports say alternative exams, such as TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) are now also being considered.

According to The Daily Gaurdian, an Australian newspaper has quoted an Immigration & Citizenship Department spokesman as saying that the minister in charge, Chris Evans, had written to ETS, the US company that produces Toefl, and other test providers to tell them of “his in-principal support for the acceptance of more than one English language test under the migration regulations”.

“We’re very hopeful. There’s really no objective reason why Toefl could not be confidently used in the Australian [immigration] context,” Eileen Tyson, an ETS representative in Australia, told the newspaper.

In 2008 immigration officials launched a review of the Ielts monopoly by inviting other test providers to make their case for recognition.

Last month Evans also revealed a new, scaled-down list of occupations that will be accepted under the skilled migration programme, a major route to settlement for foreign nationals. The number of eligible jobs has been reduced as part of a move by the government to match workers to higher-skilled and in-demand Australia May Accept TOEFL Qualifications Australian Government Considering TOEFL English Testing for Immigrantsemployment.

The new Skilled Occupation List has been compiled by Skills Australia, an independent body established by the government to assess workforce needs. “This list is designed to target occupations of longer-term economic value and will deliver highly skilled migrants while breaking the nexus between permanent residency and low-value education courses,” Evans said.

This is  great news for all Thai learners of English as a Foreign language, especially if you are considering working in Australia, or if you have an employee who would be a vital asset to your Australian business.  So why not contact us today and see how ETC… English Training Courses can help you prepare for your TOEFL test.

Thai MICE Industry Is Starting to Fight Back – Are You?

Akapol Sorasuchart e1274809030262 250x300 Thai MICE Industry Is Starting to Fight Back   Are You?
Akapol Sorasuchart Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau President

The Thailand MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Event) industry  is turning towards England to help combat the continued problems face by Thailand’s Tourism industry.  As they do, will your employees be English Language Ready too receive them?

In a recent interview Akapol Sorasuchart, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau President, discussed the plans the Bureau has to revive Thailand’s Tourism Industry, by focusing upon the UK Business Market.

During 2009, over 11,400 British business visitors came to Thailand contributing heavily towards the £287million earned by the Thai MICE industry.  However, with the ongoing political riots and unrest MICE are expecting that income to fall as much as 90million (30%) in 2010 so as part of a new plan Thailand’s Convention and Exhibition Bureau is planning to  target the UK Conventions Market by injecting £425,000 into its British campaigns to win back guests.

Akapol Sorasuchart, said “During the UK winter, Thailand is an excellent destination and we hope all of the problems will have blown over by then. From now until the end of the year, what we’re selling will be better than ever. We’re not telling people to come over now and we didn’t think the problems would escalate as far as they have. However, we still see Thailand as an attraction destination in the long term,”

The Bureau President then went on to add that Thailand appeals to British Companies because we offer pleasure as well as business opportunities saying “We work closely with Thai Tourism Authority offering add-ons for trips to  convention groups.”  He did confirm however that a number of conventions and meetings had been cancelled or rearranged recently, but the Bureau was doing all it could to help guests by limiting cancellation cost and encouraging visitors to rebook once the violence has died down.

The Thai MICE is planning on investing almost 20 million baht to entice English business guests, what will you do to ensure your employees are English Language ready to receive and ultimately hold onto them? ETC…English Training Courses are committed to helping your employees meet and exceed your English speaking customer expectations with innovative and effective Hospitality, Professional and Sales & Marketing English Language Training solutions. CLICK here and make an appointment with one of our ETC..English Training Managers.?

EFL Selling Skills That Will Help Build Rapport With Your International Customers

etc thai sales marketing english image telesales 1 150x150 EFL Selling Skills That Will Help Build Rapport With Your International Customers Have you  been in sales for quite a while but now need to use English – which is  not your first language?  Do you know how to sell however, with improved English Language skills you will do a lot better?  Then you will hopefully find some of  our tips below very useful – they are some the main phrases currently being used by successful native English speaking sales people!

Make sure you  take some time to have a go with them, but don’t forget to change them to fit what you are currently selling!  Once you feel confident enough, try introducing them into your current sales messages and remember –  it’s how you sell not what, and by following some of the simple steps below  we are sure you will soon be developing some new and existing business opportunities with your international customers and client!

When building rapport with English speaking customers, first impressions count. You will not have a second chance therefore, as a foreign speaker of English, you will need to choose your words carefully and take care with your pronunciation.  Here are some useful selling phrases to use and a few to avoid:-

Do:

Anyone who works in sales knows that people buy more if they are in a positive frame of mind. So don’t give negative or irritated clients the opportunity to tell you what a bad day they are having by asking  “How are you?”.  Instead say “Great to see you again!”

Additionally, always try and use “can do” positive words and phrases which show your prospective client just how willing and able you are to help them.  Try phrases such as  “Absolutely no problem” “Certainly sir!” “Definitely, if that helps, we’ll do it.” and “Of courses I can”.

We all know the benefits of helping a prospective customer visualise ownership of what we want them to buy.  Use English selling phrases such as “Can you imagine how  easy your life will be when you can…?” “Consider the money you will be saving in the long term!” and “When you can reduce your costs by buying these, you can charge your customers a more competitive price”.  By using English phrases such as these you are showing prospective clients their problem, then you are offering your solution!

Don’t:

Don’t use negative words or phrases! You are offering to do your prospective customer a favour and you know your product is fantastic, so what have you got to apologise for? So never start a conversation by apologising. It puts you at a disadvantage. So do not use phrases such as  “Sorry to bother you, I won’t take long” “It’s just a quick call, do you have time to speak to me?”.

There are also several words which you should never use because they will make your listener feel small, they are   “Actually,…” “Basically,….” or “Obviously,….”  So do not start sentences with these words, they will have a bad effect  – avoid them at all cost!

etc thai sales marketing english image telesales 2 150x150 EFL Selling Skills That Will Help Build Rapport With Your International Customers Your voice  is also an important sales tool, in fact it’s probably your most powerful resource, so also consider your  pace,  pitch and projection.

Your rate of speech should match that of any prospective customer. As with body language, it always helps to “mirror” the person you are selling to. Native English speakers have a much broader pitch range compared to other languages. Try listening to the “music” of a native speakers voice when they are talking, It probably sounds overstated and alien to you.

Practice saying this sentence  “Great to see you again!” using  the following tones types below:

  1. Use a constant flat tone.
  2. Exaggerate your voice by making it rise sharply on the two stressed words in the sentence,  Great and see ie “Great to see you again!”

How does the sentence sound when you use when you use the first tone – okay or boring?

Unfortunately, to a native English speaker a flat constant tone sounds as if you are bored or uninterested in what they have to say –  which is negative and rude and potential customers will not want to buy from you!

If  you can practice adding stresses in your voice and you succeed in  exaggerating the correct words at the right times you will sound genuine, interested, motivated and polite!  However, do be  aware of the volume of your voice.  If it is too loud you will sound aggressive and “pushy” especially when trying to sell to a native English speaker.

So remember, the voice is the most power tool a sales person has to build rapport with your English speaking customers.  So if improving the English selling skills of your employees is important to your business  – why not contact us?

etc thai sales marketing english image salesteam 1 150x150 EFL Selling Skills That Will Help Build Rapport With Your International Customers ETC… Sales & Marketing English Training Courses are designed to help those people working in Sales & Marketing Industries recognise that it’s ‘how you sell not what you sell’ and successfully develop new and existing sales opportunities with your International customers and clients.

English Language & Training Solutions for Thailand’s Hospitality & Business Industries