Which exam should I take, the IELTS or the TOEFL?

IELTS Standardised Answer Sheet

Which is better, the IELTS or the TOEFL? Of course it depends on your goals.  If the organization you are applying for has a preference, then that’s the one you should take.

The IELTS

If you have a choice however, it depends on whether you are more comfortable with communication regarding yourself, your culture and your opinions or you prefer to focus on other topics.  The IELTS writing and speaking sections tend to be more personal.

Sample Questions for Speaking Section, part 2

The exam features questions which ask you about your life, experiences, and opinions. You may have to answer a question like the following:

Who is a fictional character you admire, and why?

ielts or toefl

The TOEFL

The TOEFL, on the other hand, tends to be a bit more academic in that you will have to perform tasks which focus on academic material then requires you to combine skills. You may have to read one article, listen to a recording on that same article and then verbally compare the two items you’ve just heard and read.

Sample TOEFL Questions

So, that’s my quick opinion, but if you’d like a more detailed comparison, check out the link below.

IELTS vs TOEFL

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New Year’s Resolutions: 2017

Predictions

I love New Year’s Day. There’s an auspicious feeling in the air and people are eager to talk about their future and plans. Websites and newspapers will write about their predictions for the year to come. I for one, am looking forward to listening, reading, writing, and speaking about it. I believe the conversations and debates will be good and I am excited to see whether this year will be more or less of a test than last year was. To prepare, I have a few resolutions.

Resolutions for 2017

This year, my New year’s resolutions are few. I want to:

  • Trust my gut a bit more.
  • Publish a bit more
  • Figure out my relationship with the cloud. At the moment, it’s complicated.

predictions for 2017

Some predictions for 2017

My gut tells me that the Internet of Things will take off. Why wouldn’t you want your refrigerator to shop online for whatever needs to be restocked? I predict that we will see more people talking to themselves as they walk up the street. Later, we will realize that they are speaking to Siri, Cortana, Jarvis or some other A.I. frenemy. The rise of the digital assistant is on its way. And, as it’s easier to talk (to a computer) than it is to type, the keyboard is about to be downsized.

Skype Lessons

What will happen in education this year?

Internet lessons, tutorials, classes and courses will become even more popular than they already are. Why go to class when you can just pull out your smart phone and start learning? Because you don’t have a smart phone. Oh. Yeah. Well, not him. I mean everyone else, more or less. OK, maybe only everyone on Facebook.

phone lessons

Ultimately, learning is about consuming, understanding and interacting with data & skills, and in some cases, producing something. When the commute is removed from this equation along with a few financial barriers, everyone with access to the internet will be able to learn more. I think that’s a good thing.

hangry

Let’s not have a word and also combine a few

English speakers enjoy making up new words. When we smash two words together like ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’ to make “phubbing” people use it for as long as the term is fun or useful. Although English speaking members of the old fart crowd tend to oppose this, some of new terms catch on, like “seafood” and others go away, like “netiquette”. I think “phubbing” will stick around for about as long as people are doing it. What better way to ward off an unwanted conversation than by becoming absolutely consumed with whatever is on your mobile screen?

phubbing-portmanteau

In addition to phubbing there will be more portmanteaus. While feeling “hangry” is not the best of feelings, there’s no better way to say it. To express other feelings and things that happen, other expressions will come to the fore before year’s end.

english-film

What will happen in the world TV & film in 2017?

I think TV (more like Netflix shows) will continue to make films look as bad as the (risk averse) bean counters insist they be.

Tech, logistics and transportation predictions

The self-driving car will take off. No, not literally, but more people will begin to trust them more. While many dream of enjoying their car in the way that car commercials promise (without traffic jams, bad weather or stress), the reality is that a lot of time in the car is spent in traffic jams or in search of parking. Wouldn’t you prefer that your car just drive you home, drop you off and go park itself? Once statistics convince us that it’s safe, we’ll sign up. But what about insurance? Well that’s complicated, but someone else’ll figure that out.

Drones

dronedeliveryThere will be more drones. As pizza delivery by drone is the dream of many, it’s a thing that could happen pretty soon. To sum up – Some people like drones. Some people dislike drones. Business likes drones. Two is greater than one, so there will be more drones.

Hot topics

This will be a very interesting year for political and social matters. In addition to the usual suspects, subjects connected to all the gritty, messy political issues will be debated all year long. These subjects include:
 

  • Wealth distribution
  • Healthcare
  • Guns
  • Drug/Pharaceutical policy
  • US military involvement
  • China, Russia, the Middle East
  • LGBTQ community issues
  • The legal and penal systems
  • International Trade
  • Race
  • Brexit
  • Banking-another crisis of some kind
  • Privacy issues
  • Immigration
  • Security
  •  

    debate

     

    If you’ve never watched the Jerry Springer show, I think you should take a look in order to get an idea of what to expect for this year.

    Conclusion

    This will be a very interesting year and I look forward to it along with the debates it will bring. So do you agree/disagree. Let us know in the comments.


     

    Here are other posts you may also like

     

    How the Internet of Things will affect your home appliance

    Battle of the digital assistants: Windows Phone Cortana vs Google Now vs Siri


     

    .

    If you liked this article, found it helpful, or just have a question, make a comment, below.

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    Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English

    talking-about-bread-pasta-and-rice-in-english

    Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English

    Talking about bread, pasta, potatoes and rice in English is easy to do in English because near all cultures eat these foods. But there is a challenge. The Chinese and the Italians don’t make pasta the same way. German bread and American bread aren’t the same. This means that when you talk about these foods, you need to be a bit more specific about how these foods are prepared.

     


    Breads

    These are the most common types of bread.

     

    Bread
    bread
    rolls
    baguettes
    white bread, sliced bread, sliced pan, Wonder bread
    wheat
    baguettes
    baps
    rye bread
    pumpkin seed bread
    whole grain
    pumpernickel
    naan bread
    flatbreads: tortillas, durums, pita bread, lavash, Injera
    simit
    bagels, biali(s)
    sourdough bread
    focaccia
    pizze
    potato bread

    Potatoes

    Average people do not normally talk about a particular species of potato. Instead, they talk about the potato dish they are having. For this reason, rather than listing potato varieties, I will list potato dishes.

     

    Potatoes dishes
    baked potatoes, jacket potatoes(GB)
    mashed potatoes
    potato pancakes
    potato farls
    potato latkes
    potatoes au gratin
    scalloped potatoes
    roasted potatoes
    potatoes dauphinoise
    fries: Belgian fries, steak fries, potato fries, shoestring fries, cheese fries, crazy fries, sweet potato fries, freedom fries, French fries

    Pasta & Noodles

    The only thing I love more than pasta, is more pasta. See below for a list of pastas and noodles.

     

    Pasta
    gnocchi
    spaghetti
    capellini, angel hair
    fettucini
    tortiglione
    papardelle
    tagliatelle
    tortelloni, tortellini
    ravioli
    maccaroni
    rigatoni
    pene
    farfalle
    lasagne
    spätzle
    fideua
    orzo

    Asian noodles

    While pasta as we think of it is from Italy, pasta’s parents are from Asia. For this reason, when we think of pasta, we think of Italy, and when we think of noodles, we have to think of all of Asia. Here, I will name only a few of the hundreds and hundreds of types of Asian pasta. If you know of a noodle that isn’t on this list that should be, write me.

     

    Noodles
    chow mein
    lo mein
    ramen
    soba noodles
    udon
    rice noodles
    cellophane noodles/glass noodles

    Rice

    If you think there are many kinds of noodles, there are even more types of rice. here is a short list of types of rice.

     

    Rice dishes and types of rice
    white rice
    brown rice
    long grain rice
    basmati
    jasmine rice
    wild rice
    arborio rice

    What about couscous, bulgar, and quinoa?

    I figured you might ask that. To read up on these, check out my post on Cuisines of Cultures and Countries.


    What happens now?

    With the terms above, you should be able to talk about most basic types of bread, potatoes, pasta and rice dishes. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell you how to talk about flavours, herbs, spices and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.


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    Talking about travelling and commuting in English

    Talking about travelling and commuting in English

    One of the mistakes that most beginners make when learning English is that they tend to focus on the vehicle or the mode of transportation. They always say “by car” or “by plane” or “by foot“. In the most extreme of cases, they say things like, “I go travelling with my car.“, which in English sounds just as clever as, “I go travelling…with my feet“.

    Of course the speakers of other languages don’t find this to be unusual. In many languages, I go travelling with my feet is a perfectly good sentence. No one laughs. In this case, English is different. In English, we can say we went by car, on we got there on foot, but if we do, it’s because we want to emphasize that there is something extreme and unusual about the way we travelled there.

    Examples:

     

    The 4×4 broke down in the middle of the desert. Luckily, some of the people who lived in the desert helped us and were able to make it to the other side on foot.

    or

    We left L.A. on Monday morning and we arrived in Boston by lunchtime on Tuesday. By car?! Wow! That’s impressive!

    How English speakers talk about travelling and commuting

    So, if English speakers don’t say, we went by boat, by bike, by metro, by horse, what do we say?

    Generally, we tend to focus on the verb. In most cases, the verb indicates which mode of transportation or vehicle we are using, so we never have to say it.

    Example:

     

    Tim: How did you get to work today?
    Nigel: I drove.

     

    In the example above, Nigel doesn’t have to say, “I drove a car.”, because most people only drive cars. If Nigel is a bus driver or a chauffer, he might have to be a bit more specific. Notice also that Nigel doesn’t have to say I drove my car. If we do drive, the car the we usually drive is a car that we own. Not always, but usually.

     

    So, what about other forms of transportation? How do English speakers talk about them?

     


    Talking about modes of transportation

    These are the most common types of transport.

     

    Mode of transport What people say Logic
    by foot (to) walk, run we can only do these things with our feet
    by taxi, train, bus, ferry, metro, and the elevator(the lift (GB)) (to) take (took) It’s public transportation. We “take” public transport. * special: You can also say that you catch (caught) any kind of public transport and if you fail to catch an intended public transport vehicle, you can say that you missed it, e.g. “I missed the train.”
    bicycle, motorcycle, *bike, quad, jetski, waterski, snow mobile, horse (to) ride (rode) These modes of transportation all require the same bodily position – with one leg on each side of the vehicle. Operating a vehicle this way is called riding as in horseback-riding.
    by boat (not a canoe, kayak or row-boat) (to)sail Originally all boats had sails so this is the verb we still use today. But we use it for all boats, not just the ones with sails. Even giant aircraft carriers or oil tankers
    plane, airplane(US)/aeroplane(GB), helicopter, space shuttle, space ship (to) fly (flew) Planes fly, so when we use a plane for transportation, we say, we “fly”.
    by car, tank, or any other vehicle with wheels that YOU are operating. (to)drive (drove) The logic is that you are controlling the power and the direction of the horses in front of you. The strength of engines is measured in horsepower. Managing the horses in this way is called driving. Although this is an ancient way of thinking, this is why we say we drive a car.
    by small boats: canoe, kayak, row-boat (to) canoe, kayak, row these vehicles are so unique, they get their own verb.
    by skateboard, hoverboard (to) skateboard, hoverboard, ride (rode) these vehicles also have their own verbs, or you can use the verb ride although you don’t have to operate them in the same way you operate a bicycle.
    by surfboard (to) surf If you can travel by surfboard. Wow!

    And now?

    With the terms above, you should be able to talk about most basic types of transport and you can also sound more natural. So remember to use I traveled/travelled by + (vehicle), less than 10% of the time, and try not to use it in the first sentence that you use in order to talk about a particular mode of transportation unless you are saying that there was something really special about it.

     

    If you liked this post, please share, by clicking the share button on the right.


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    Talking about fruit & veg in English

    talking about fruit and veg in english

    Talking about fruit & veg

    Talking about fruit and veg can differ a lot from country to country. Is a tomatoe a vegetable or a fruit? Is a Niçoise salad a vegetarian dish? It’s a good question for debate. I won’t settle the debate, but I will list a bunch of fruit and veg you can use to describe the fruit and veg itself or a dish that uses the fruit or vegetable.

     

    Pronunciation: One important thing – for beginners

     

    How many parts (syllables) does the word “vegetable” have? If you said 3, you’re right! Many English learners pronounce the word with 4 syllables. The last part of the word should not sound like the word “table”. Instead, it is pronounced, /ˈvedʒtəbl/ or VEDGE T’BL.

     


    What about the people who only eat vegetables or choose not to eat meat or animal products? They are called:

    • vegetarian:
    • a person who doesn’t eat meat

    • vegan:
    • a person who doesn’t eat meat + doesn’t eggs, cheese, honey or other animal products

     


    Green vegetables

    Here are the names of some green veggies.

     

    Vegetable
    lettuce (US), salad (GB)
    cucumber
    asparagus
    broccoli
    peas
    bell peppers
    celery
    pickles (US) – pickled cucumbers
    gherkins (GB) – pickled cucumbers
    pickle (GB) – pickled vegetables
    brussel sprouts
    courgette (GB), zucchini (US)
    green beans
    kale
    spinach

    Colorful vegetables

    Here are the names of the most common non-green veggies.

     

    Vegetables
    tomatoes (technically, this is a fruit)
    onions
    pumpkins
    aubergines(GB), eggplants(US)
    red & yellow bell peppers
    beets
    cauliflower
    mushrooms
    capers
    turnips
    rhubarb
    olives (green, black)
    squash
    corn (US), maiz (GB)

    talking-about-fruit-and-veg-in-english-2

    What about fruit?

    Talking about fruit may not be as controversial as talking about vegetables. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because the sweetness of fruit makes it less political. One of the most interesting things about fruit is that what a person considers normal in their country may be exotic in another. In the United States, cranberries aren’t so special, but many of us have never seen physalis or sandorn berries which are common in other countries. Below is a list of the most common fruits.

    Fruit & fruits

    Note: Fruit can be singular or plural. If we talk about “fruit” as in “I like fruit.”, it means, I like fruit in general. If I say, “I like fruits.”, it may mean, I like 2 fruits (e.g. bananas and oranges), but I might not like the rest.
     


    Here are the names of some of the most common fruits.

     

    Fruit(s)
    banana
    apple
    orange
    grapefruit
    lemon
    lime
    clementines
    tangerine
    peaches
    pineapples
    strawberry/ies
    cherry/ies
    blueberry/ies
    blackberry/ies
    raspberry/ies
    grapes
    pomegranites
    mangos
    watermelons
    cantelopes
    honeydew melons
    avocados
    coconuts
    cranberry/ies
    figs
    dates
    kiwifruit
    passionfruit
    plums
    papayas
    pears
    starfruits
    persimmons
    plums
    dragonfruit
    pomelos
    nectarines

    What happens now?

    With the terms above, you should be able to talk about most basic fruits and vegetables. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell you how to talk about starches, flavours and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.


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    Talking about meat and seafood in English

    Talking about food in English

    Talking about food in English is similar to talking about food in your own language. But first, we have to ask an important question.

     

    Who are you talking to?

     

    A waiter in England or the United States? Your host who has invited you to stay with them in Ireland or Australia? The bride at a wedding? The pizza delivery guy?

    As you can see, it’s important to know what we want to say. Sometimes we want to:

    • Compliment the chef
    • Ask questions about the food
    • Describe a meat or fish dish from our country to someone who doesn’t know it

     

    In this post, we will only talk about the way to describe meat and seafood. Since food is an interesting topic for many people you may have to describe food from your country.
    We’ll start with meat. Feel free to skip ahead, if you want to focus on fish and seafood.

    Meat and seafood

    In some countries only land animals are considered meat while birds and sea life are not. In English, generally birds (sometimes called “fowl” or “poultry” and food from the sea (“seafood”) are all considered meat are generally considered meat unless the speaker wants to be very technical.

     

    Also – In many countries, the name of the animal is also the name of the food. In English, this is true for chicken and fish, but we usually use different names for the animal once it is prepare for consumption.

     

    Take a look at the table below.

     

    Animal Food
    cow beef
    young cow veal
    sheep lamb
    old sheep mutton
    deer venison
    pig pork
    young pig suckling pig
    wild pig boar
    rabbit rabbit
    goat goat
    chicken(male, female) chicken
    turkey turkey
    duck duck
    goose goose

    Seafood: fish

    For seafood (= fish and shellfish) we just call the food by the same name as the animal.

    Here are some of the foods we eat from the sea.

     

    Type of fish
    fish
    salmon
    tuna
    dorada, seabream
    cod
    haddock
    hake
    sole
    plaice
    monkfish
    trout
    perch
    mackerel
    kippers
    sardines
    eel
    stingray
    shark

    Seafood: shellfish

    Here are the names of the most common shellfish.

     

    Shellfish
    prawns
    shrimp(like prawns but smaller)
    langostines (like big prawns)
    crab
    lobster
    clams
    mussels
    oysters
    whelks
    monkfish
    cockles
    barnacles
    abalone
    razor clams
    crayflish (like tiny lobsters)

    What happens now?

    With the terms above, you should be able to basically descibe most basic meats. Stay tuned for my next blog where I tell yu how to talk about fruit and veg, starches, and cooking methods. There will also be a few quizzes.


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    Present perfect – a tutorial

    Present perfect

    Why use the present perfect?

    We use the present perfect to talk about recently completed actions or states.  So why not just use the past simple? It’s usually because the recently completed action is connected to something we’re going to continue to talk about.

    Example:

    Emma: “Oh no! I’ve left my iPhone on the train.”

    You and Emma will probably continue to talk about this.

    When do we use the present perfect?

    We use the present perfect whenever we want to talk about something that started in the past and has continued until now. The word now can be a bit difficult to understand. What does it really mean?

     

    It basically means the time that we are living in at the moment.  In this way, “now” is both big and small because it can mean this….. minute, hour, part of day, week, month, year or lifetime. This is why the two following sentences are both correct.

     

    “Have you had a coffee today?” and “Have you ever been to India?”

     

    Let’s test this.

     


    2-Question Quiz

    It’s  3:30 in the afternoon. Which of these sentences is correct?

    1. “Have you had breakfast this morning?”
    2. “Have you had breakfast today?”
    3. Both

     

    The answer is b. As it is no longer the morning, you cannot use the present perfect with a time that has been completed.
     


    OK, let’s try another one. In the two statements below, which two pairs of great-grandfathers is still living?

    1. “I never met my great-grandfathers.”
    2. “I have never met my great-grandfathers.”

     

    If you chose b, you’re correct.  It’s the only sentence that lets us know that the possibility of meeting both sets of great-grandfathers still exists.

    Tricky? I know. Sometimes the time is a connected to the real time, and sometimes it’s connected to the situation. The important thing to remember is that either:

    1. whatever it is that you are talking about in terms of time or the situation isn’t finished yet, or
    2. the action, event or situation has been completed recently and you are going to continue to talk about it right now

    Let’s test your understanding.


     

    So…

    Are there other ways to use it?

    Yes. We use it when we want to talk about how long an action has occurred or how long a state has existed.

     

    Example

    “I have lived here for 5 years.”

     

    Whenever we talk about how long we have done something, we are talking about a duration of time and whenever we talk about a duration, we use the preposition, “for”.

     

    So can we say I have lived here for 2011?

     

    No.  2011 is a point in time, so we have to use “since”

    “I have worked here since 2011.”

    What about yet and already?

    yet

    If you want to talk about an action that you believe should have been completed recently, you can use yet.

     

    Example

    • “Has the pizza arrived yet? We ordered it 40 minutes ago.”
    • “Sorry. No, it hasn’t arrived yet.”

    * Note: If you answer affirmatively, then you do not have to include the word “yet” in your answer.

    • “Have you finished yet?”
    • “Yes, I have.”

    already

    Already works in the opposite way. If you want to tell someone that an action has taken place. You combine already with the present perfect.

     

    Example

    • “Are you going to read that book next week?”
    • “No. I’ve already read it.”



    Last question:

     

    Are you going to start reading this tutorial now?
    No! Because you’ve just finished it!

     

    🙂

     

    If you’ve found this tutorial informative, please share by clicking facebook or Twitter button to the right. Thanks!

     


    For follow up exercises (PDF), click the one of the links below:

    PP1
    PP2
    PP vs Present Simple 1
    PP vs Present Simple 2

     


     

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    99 Job interview questions

    Job interview questions can be difficult to anticipate. Here are 99 possible questions you may have to answer during an interview.

    Typical Interview Questions

    These interview questions are the most common questions you will encounter at an interview.  Yo won’t have to answer all of these questions but you will most likely have to answer at least some of these questions for any country you interview with.

    1. What are your strengths?
    2. What are your weaknesses?
    3. Why are you interested in working for this company?
    4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
    5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
    6. Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
    7. What can you offer us that someone else can not?
    8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
    9. Are you willing to relocate?
    10. Are you willing to travel?
    11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
    12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
    13. What is your dream job?
    14. How did you hear about this position?
    15. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
    16. Discuss your resume.
    17. Discuss your educational background.
    18. Describe yourself.
    19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
    20. Why should we hire you?
    21. Why are you looking for a new job?
    22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
    23. How would you deal with a customer?
    24. What are your salary requirements?
    25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
    26. Who are our competitors?
    27. What was your biggest failure?
    28. What motivates you?
    29. What’s your availability?
    30. Who’s your mentor?
    31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
    32. How do you handle pressure?
    33. What is the name of our CEO?
    34. What are your career goals?
    35. What gets you up in the morning?
    36. What would your direct reports say about you?
    37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
    38. If I called your boss right now and asked them what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
    39. Are you a leader or a follower?
    40. What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
    41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
    42. What are your hobbies?
    43. What is your favorite website?
    44. What makes you uncomfortable?
    45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
    46. How would you fire someone?
    47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
    48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
    49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
    50. What questions do you have for me?

    Unusual Questions

    The following interview questions are designed to get to know how you think. When you answer these questions, the interviewer may be paying more attention to the your reasoning behind the answer than the actual answer itself.

    1. How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30pm on a Friday
    2. Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk
    3. If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?
    4. What do you think of garden gnomes?
    5. Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?
    6. If you could be #1 employee but have all your co-workers dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your co-workers like you, which would you choose?
    7. How would you cure world hunger?
    8. Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?
    9. Does life fascinate you?
    10. Given 20 ‘destructible’ light bulbs (which breaks at certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulb breaks?
    11. Please spell ‘diverticulitis’
    12. Name 5 uses of a stapler without staple pins.
    13. How much money did residents of Dallas/Ft. Worth spend on gasoline in 2008?
    14. How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
    15. You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?
    16. How many planes are currently flying over Kansas?
    17. How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain?
    18. What is 37 times 37?
    19. If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
    20. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?
    21. Pepsi or Coke?
    22. Are you exhaling warm air?
    23. You’re in a row boat, which is in a large tank filled with water. You have an anchor on board, which you throw overboard (the chain is long enough so the anchor rests completely on the bottom of the tank). Does the water level in the tank rise or fall?
    24. How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?

    Odd questions asked during real interviews

    The following are questions that were actually asked during real interviews.

    1. If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office what type of parade would it be? – The Zappos Family
    2. How lucky are you and why? – Airbnb
    3. If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors? – Apple
    4. If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be? – Red Frog Events
    5. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? – Dell
    6. If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring? – Yahoo
    7. If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why? – Bed Bath & Beyond
    8. Do you believe in Big Foot? – Norwegian Cruise Line
    9. Why is a tennis ball fuzzy? – Xerox
    10. What is your least favorite thing about humanity? – ZocDoc
    11. How would you use Yelp to find the number of businesses in the US? – Factual
    12. How honest are you? – Allied Telesis
    13. How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the US each year? – Goldman Sachs
    14. Can you instruct someone how to make an origami ‘cootie catcher’ with just words? – LivingSocial
    15. If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children? – McKinsey & Company
    16. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?– Urban Outfitters
    17. How does the internet work? – Akamai
    18. If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you, and why?– SinglePlatform
    19. What’s the color of money???…. – American Heart Association
    20. What was the last gift you gave someone? – Gallup
    21. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? – Applebee’s
    22. How many snow shovels sold in the US last year? – TASER
    23. It’s Thursday, we’re staffing you on a telecommunications project in Calgary, Canada on Monday. Your flight and hotel are booked; your visa is ready. What are the top five things you do before you leave? – ThoughtWorks
    24. Most unexpected question: Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt. – Active Network
    25. Have you ever been on a boat? – Applied Systems

    Now that you have seen the questions, hopefully you can prepare better.  Good luck on your interview and let me know you did.  By the way, what are some of the questions you’ve encountered during interviews? Let me know in the comments below.

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    Three American dishes you need to try

    As an English teacher, I love to talk about food because, well… it’s food. It’s the stuff of life! What also makes it a great topic for English lessons, is that it’s polarizing which really gets students talking. And when they do, you can get them to discuss the flavor, smell, texture, sound and look of a dish along with how it’s made and how the ingredients are sourced.  It’s a beefy topic you can milk to the max.

    While not everyone has a position on food, many do. In fact, there are entire populations of people who have sworn off things like tomatoes, mushrooms, various forms of protein or anything at all that comes from the sea.  As I am from the US, whenever I talk about food, I have to defend American cuisine with Jedi-like mastery.

    mickydeesPeople often parrot that American food is bad quality, disgusting food that makes people fat. Wrong! American food is the best food in the world. Who else has a restaurant that can boast, over six billion served?  Why is it that the most ubiquitous eatery in the whole of China called KFC? Have I got your goat yet? OK. I, like you, know that industrial sales profits have little to do with whether the food is good or not. And that’s why I say that it is unfair to compare the food that comes from these corporations to anything at all that you’re calling good food. If you like a tasty home-cooked healthy meal, chances are that according to Wall Street, your favourite place to eat $ucks! So, since we’re not talking about McDonalds, let’s talk about real food.

    This week, I propose three great American foods (not the three best, just three of the many).

    Sour Dough Bread – San Francisco

    breads This bread is made the old fashioned way – allowing the natural yeast to rise in order to give it a slightly sour taste. A typical way of serving this bread up is to hollow out the center and use it as a bowl, filling it with soup (tomato soup or clam chowder). This way you eat the soup and then you eat the bowl.  Nice. No washing up.


    General Tso’s Chicken – Chinatown, NYC

    gentsogood“Isn’t that Chinese?” you ask. Well, it’s about as Chinese as burritos and chimichongas are Mexican. As it is a long story, I invite you to check out The Search for General Tso, a documentary which gets to the bottom of it, detailing exactly how this great plate came to be and where it comes from.  Now, back to food talk.  This dish involves crispy ever so sweet, tangy breaded chicken pieces coated with a lovely spicy red pepper sauce which is eaten with either rice or broccoli or both. It causes an explosion of flavor in the mouth and it will have you coming back for more before you even know it. Careful! You have been warned.


    Pumpkin Pie – New England

    pumpkinpieWhat can be said about pumpkin pie that hasn’t been said about heaven already? In its many different versions, it can be made semi-sweet, sweet, or downright melliferous.  With its blend of pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, ginger, whisky, rum, and maple syrup, pumpkin pie is one of those things that makes the world a better place.


    So, if you find yourself going to United States any time soon.  Be sure to skip the big bright signs that are sure to ensure that whatever complaints you have about American food are validated.  Instead, seek out one of the delicious dishes mentioned above.  That’s it for now. See you next week with more talk on tasty treats.


    So which dishes would you like to talk about? Leave a comment below.

     

     

     


    For a list of adjectives which describe food, click below.

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