Why Technical English

Kernel improvements in Windows 7

March 27, 2010
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  We continue in discussing Features new to Windows 7. This time some kernel improvements are argued. Join us!

Galina Vitkova

The kernel is a central part of most computer operating systems. That is a component of an operating system which makes a bridge between applications and the actual data processing executed by hardware. The kernel is intended to manage communication between hardware and software components of a computer system. It means the kernel communicates with external devices (Input/Output devices: a keyboard, a mouse, disk drives, printers, displays, etc.), manages internal components (like RAM, CPU, HDD) and operates entire processes. The kernel controls all processes which are starting and running and decides which process will have access to the hardware and for how long.   

    

Fig. 1  (from Wikipedia)

A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer

 

The kernel is a constituent of a series of abstraction layers, each relying on the functions of layers beneath itself. As a basic component of the operating system it merely corresponds to the lowest level of abstraction that is implemented in software. The abstraction layers simplify designing all the software and make its implementation feasible.   

   

Fig. 2 (from Wikipedia)

A typical vision of a computer architecture as a series of abstraction layers: hardware, firmware, assembler, kernel, operating system and applications

Several improvements and additions have been made to Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2) kernel components, which have increased system performance and enabled more optimal use of available hardware resources. Some of them are as follows:

  • Support for up to 256 logical processors.
  • Introduction of the concept of “timer coalescing (joining)”: Multiple applications or device drivers, which perform actions on a regular basis, can be set to occur at once, instead of each action being performed in accordance with their own schedule.
  • Implementation of Device Containers: Before Windows 7, every device attached to the system has been treated as a single functional end-point, which has a set of capabilities and a “status”. This has been appropriate for single-function devices (such as a keyboard or scanner). But it does not accurately represent multi-function devices such as a combination printer/fax machine/scanner, or web-cams with a built-in microphone. In Windows 7, the drivers and status information for multi-function device can be grouped together as a single “Device Container”. Then this device container is presented to the user in the new “Devices and Printers” Control Panel as a single unit.  
  • Accomplishment of User-Mode Scheduling: The 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 introduce a user-mode scheduling framework. On Microsoft Windows operating systems, scheduling of threads inside a process is handled by the kernel. This is sufficient for most applications. However, applications with large concurrent threading requirements, such as a database server, can profit from having a thread scheduler in-process. It occurs because the kernel no longer needs to be involved in context switches between threads. Due to this innovation threads can be created and destroyed much more quickly when no kernel context switches are required.

For more information about kernel innovations in Windows 7 and more English practice see Core operating system .

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

 

 

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Electronic dictionaries

July 25, 2009
8 Comments
Compiled by Galina Vitkova

Development of the modern IT has caused breakthrough in development and implementation of electronic dictionaries. Many well-known traditional companies have evolved an electronic version of their traditional dictionaries.

According to the Wikipedia an electronic dictionary is either a small handheld computer or a PDA (personal digital assistant). PDA is also known as a palmtop computer. Newer PDAs commonly have colour screens and audio capabilities, enabling them to be used as mobile phones, web browsers, or portable media players. Many PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi. Very often PDAs employ touch screen technology with a dictionary program. Electronic dictionaries are also programs that can be downloaded from the Internet or purchased on a CD-ROM or DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) and installed on a desktop computer or on a laptop one, The computer–installed dictionaries can frequently be consulted directly within any application that uses editable text. The term may be used in a broader sense to refer to the features of a machine-readable dictionary or spell checker.

Content. Some electronic dictionaries contain only corpora for a single language (monolingual), but others are bilingual dictionaries and translation dictionaries and may also include professional terms, thesauri, travel dictionaries, dictionaries of idioms and colloquialisms, a guide to pronunciation, a grammar reference, common phrases and collocations, and a dictionary of foreign loan words. Electronic dictionary databases, especially those included with software dictionaries, are usually extensive and can include up to 500,000 headwords and definitions. Manufacturers and developers of electronic dictionaries may offer native content from their own lexicographers, licensed data from print publications, or both.

Standard features. Handheld electronic dictionaries resemble miniature clamshell laptop computers, complete with full keyboards and LCD screens. Since they are intended to be fully portable, these dictionaries are battery-powered and made with durable casing material. Some of the features of both handheld dictionaries and software dictionaries involve stroke order animations, voice output, handwriting recognition, language-learning programs, a calculator, PDA–like organizer functions, encyclopedias, time zone and currency converters, and crossword puzzle solvers. Dictionaries that contain data for several languages customarily have a “jump” or “skip-search” feature that allows users to move between the dictionaries and reverse translation actions.

Evaluation. There are differences in quality of the dictionary hardware, software, and content. Some handhelds are more robustly constructed than others, and the keyboards or touch screen input systems should be physically compared before purchase. The major consideration is the quality of the lexical database. Dictionaries intended for collegiate and professional use generally include most or all of the lexical information to be expected in a quality printed dictionary. The content of electronic dictionaries developed in association with leading publishers of printed dictionaries is more reliable that those aimed at the traveler or casual user. Bilingual dictionaries, which have not been authored by teams of native speaker lexicographers, will not be suitable for academic work. Some developers opt to have their products evaluated by an independent academic body such as the CALICO.

Integrated technologies. Several developers of the systems that drive electronic dictionary software offer API – Application Programming Interface and SDK – Software Development Kit tools for adding various language-based functions (dictionary, translation, definitions, synonyms, spell checking and grammar correction) to programs, and web services. These applications manipulate language in various ways, providing dictionary/translation features, and sophisticated solutions for semantic search.

Ectaco, one of the most prosperous associations in this area, is a New York – based company that designs, manufactures and sells translation dictionaries and language software. Founded by Russian émigrés in 1990 to produce handheld electronic dictionaries, it opened its development center in St. Petersburg in 1998. Find more information at http://www.ectacoinc.com/ and http://www.ectaco.com/info/ , also See.

Ectaco produces dictionaries for 47 different languages, including a translator used by police forces in the United States.

Note. This is, first of all, a technical text for studying English and training technical English. At the same time the text encompasses up-to-date information on the topic.

Reference:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Development of the modern IT has caused breakthrough in development and implementation of electronic dictionaries. Many well-known traditional companies have evolved an electronic version of their traditional dictionaries.

According to the Wikipedia an electronic dictionary is either a small handheld computer or a PDA (personal digital assistant). PDA is also known as a palmtop computer. Newer PDAs commonly have colour screens and audio capabilities, enabling them to be used as mobile phones, web browsers, or portable media players. Many PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi. Very often PDAs employ touch screen technology with a dictionary program. Electronic dictionaries are also programs that can be downloaded from the Internet or purchased on a CD-ROM or DVD (Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) and installed on a desktop computer or on a laptop one, The computer–installed dictionaries can frequently be consulted directly within any application that uses editable text. The term may be used in a broader sense to refer to the features of a machine-readable dictionary or spell checker.

Content. Some electronic dictionaries contain only corpora for a single language (monolingual), but others are bilingual dictionaries and translation dictionaries and may also include professional terms, thesauri, travel dictionaries, dictionaries of idioms and colloquialisms, a guide to pronunciation, a grammar reference, common phrases and collocations, and a dictionary of foreign loan words. Electronic dictionary databases, especially those included with software dictionaries, are usually extensive and can include up to 500,000 headwords and definitions. Manufacturers and developers of electronic dictionaries may offer native content from their own lexicographers, licensed data from print publications, or both.

Standard features. Handheld electronic dictionaries resemble miniature clamshell laptop computers, complete with full keyboards and LCD screens. Since they are intended to be fully portable, these dictionaries are battery-powered and made with durable casing material. Some of the features of both handheld dictionaries and software dictionaries involve stroke order animations, voice output, handwriting recognition, language-learning programs, a calculator, PDA–like organizer functions, encyclopedias, time zone and currency converters, and crossword puzzle solvers. Dictionaries that contain data for several languages customarily have a “jump” or “skip-search” feature that allows users to move between the dictionaries and reverse translation actions.

Evaluation. There are differences in quality of the dictionary hardware, software, and content. Some handhelds are more robustly constructed than others, and the keyboards or touch screen input systems should be physically compared before purchase. The major consideration is the quality of the lexical database. Dictionaries intended for collegiate and professional use generally include most or all of the lexical information to be expected in a quality printed dictionary. The content of electronic dictionaries developed in association with leading publishers of printed dictionaries is more reliable that those aimed at the traveler or casual user. Bilingual dictionaries, which have not been authored by teams of native speaker lexicographers, will not be suitable for academic work. Some developers opt to have their products evaluated by an independent academic body such as the CALICO.

Integrated technologies. Several developers of the systems that drive electronic dictionary software offer API – Application Programming Interface and SDK – Software Development Kit tools for adding various language-based functions (dictionary, translation, definitions, synonyms, spell checking and grammar correction) to programs, and web services. These applications manipulate language in various ways, providing dictionary/translation features, and sophisticated solutions for semantic search.

Ectaco, one of the most prosperous associations in this area, is a New York – based company that designs, manufactures and sells translation dictionaries and language software. Founded by Russian émigrés in 1990 to produce handheld electronic dictionaries, it opened its development center in St. Petersburg in 1998. Find more information at http://www.ectacoinc.com/ and http://www.ectaco.com/info/ , also See. Ectaco produces dictionaries for 47 different languages, including a translator used by police forces in the United States.

Note. This is, first of all, a technical text for studying English and training technical English. At the same time the text encompasses up-to-date information on the topic.


Dictionary – your best helper in mastering English words

May 24, 2009
5 Comments

By Galina Vitkova 

General delineation

A dictionary (according to WIKIPEDIA, the free encyclopedia) is a book or collection of alphabetically listed words in a specific language with definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, and other information. Besides, it could be a book of alphabetically listed words in one language with their equivalents in another.

In many languages, words can appear in many different forms, but only the undeclined or unconjugated form appears as the headword in most dictionaries. Even if dictionaries are most commonly published in the form of a book, some newer dictionaries, e.g. StarDict and the New Oxford American Dictionary are dictionary software running on PDAs or computers. There are also many online dictionaries accessible via the Internet.

Specialized dictionaries

A specialized dictionary focuses upon a specific subject field. Specialized dictionaries are categorized into three types:

For example, the 23-language Inter-Active Terminology for Europe is a multi-field dictionary, the American National Biography is a single-field, and the African American National Biography Project is a sub-field dictionary.

A language for specific purposes (LSP) dictionary is a dictionary that is determined to describe a variety of one or more languages used by experts within a particular subject field. At the same time LSP dictionaries are often made for semi-experts and for users who may be beginners regarding a particular subject field.

In contrast to LSP dictionaries LGP (language for generic purposes) dictionaries are made to be used by an average user. LSP dictionaries may have one or more functions. For example, they may have communicative functions such as help users to translate texts, help users to understand texts and help users to produce texts. Dictionaries may also have cognitive functions such as help users to develop knowledge in general or about a specific topic, e.g. the birthday of a famous person and the inflectional paradigm of a specific verb.

Another variant of a specialized dictionary is the glossary, an alphabetical list of defined terms in a specialised field. The simplest dictionary, a defining dictionary, provides a core glossary of the simplest meanings of the simplest concepts. From these concepts, others can be explicated and defined, in particular for those who are first learning a language. In English, the commercial defining dictionaries typically include only one or two meanings of fewer than 2000 words. With these, the rest of English, and even the 4000 most common English idioms and metaphors, can be derived.

Pronunciation

Dictionaries for languages for which the pronunciation of words is not apparent from their spelling, such as the English language, usually afford the pronunciation, often using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For example, the definition for the word dictionary might be followed by the (American English) phonemic spelling: /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/. American dictionaries, however, often use their own pronunciation spelling systems, for example dictionary [dĭkʹshə-nârʹē] while the IPA is more commonly used within the British Commonwealth countries. However others use an ad hoc notation; for example, dictionary may become [DIK-shuh-nair-ee]. Some on-line or electronic dictionaries provide recordings of words being spoken.

Types of dictionaries

Bilingual · Biographical · Conceptual · Defining · Electronic · Encyclopedic · LSP · Machine-readable · Maximizing · Medical · Minimizing · Monolingual learner’s · Multi-field · Phonetic · Picture · Reverse · Rhyming · Rime · Single-field · Specialized · Sub-field · Visual

 

Helpful references


Reasons for enriching your vocabulary

April 24, 2009
7 Comments
By Galina Vitkova

There are several associated lexicographical terms that we meet when studying languages. Those are a vocabulary, dictionary, thesaurus, lexicon, and glossary. Needless to mention that these terms are often mixed up. That is why I decided to briefly describe them using Wikipedia. Let us start with a vocabulary. 

A person’s vocabulary is the set of word they are familiar with in a language. A vocabulary usually grows and evolves with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge

 

Graphic showing vocabulary included in a typic...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Types of vocabulary

(Listed according to the Wikipedia in order of most ample to most limited)

Reading vocabulary – all the words a person can identify when reading. 

Listening vocabulary – all the words a person can easily recognize when listening to speech. This vocabulary is enhanced in size by context and tone of voice.

Writing vocabulary – all the words a person can employ in writing. The writing vocabulary is stimulated by its user.

Speaking vocabulary – all the words a person can use in speech. Free nature of the speaking vocabulary often leads to misuse of words.

Focal vocabulary – is a specialized set of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to a certain group and reflect experience or activities of this group.

Vocabulary development

 

In the earlier phase, vocabulary increase needs no effort. Infants hear words and mimic them, finally associating them with objects and actions. This is the listening vocabulary. The speaking vocabulary follows, as a child’s mind becomes more reliant on its ability to express itself without gestures and mere sounds. Once the reading and writing vocabularies are acquired the anomalies and irregularities of the language can be determined. 

In the first grade, an advantaged student (i.e. a literate student) knows about twice as many words as a disadvantaged student. This leads into a wide range of a vocabulary size in the fifth and sixth grade, when students know about 2,500–5,000 words. These students have learned an average of 3,000 words per year, approximately eight words per day. After leaving school, vocabulary enhances areally. 

Even if we learn a word, we understand it better when we hear the words in combinations with other words in phrases, where it is commonly used. 

 

 

Native- and foreign-language vocabulary

Native-language vocabulary: Native speakers’ vocabularies vary widely within a language, and are especially dependent on the level of the speaker’s education. In 1995 the vocabulary size of college-educated speakers came to about 17,000 word families, while first-year college students had about 12,000.  

Foreign-language vocabulary: The vocabulary size influences significantly the language comprehension. The researchers studied texts totalling one million words and found that if one knows the words with the highest frequency, the person will quickly know most of the words in a text. 

Vocabulary Size  

Written Text Coverage  

Vocabulary Size  

WrittenText Coverage  

0 words 

0% 

4000 

86.8% 

1000 

72.0% 

5000 

88.7% 

2000 

79.7% 

6000 

89.9% 

3000 

84.0% 

15,851 

97.8% 

By knowing the 2000 words with the highest frequency, one would know 80% of the words in those texts. These numbers should be encouraging to beginners, especially because the numbers in the table are for word lemmas (i.e. the canonical form of all the forms of the given word with the same meaning), which give even higher coverage. Nevertheless, we need to understand about 95% of a text to be close to full understanding and it looks like one needs to know more than 10,000 words for that. 

 

Basic English vocabulary

Several word lists have been developed to provide people with a limited vocabulary as an effective means of communication or of gaining quick language proficiency. In 1930, Charles Kay Ogden created Basic English (850 words). Other lists include Simplified English (1000 words) and Special English (1500 words). The General Service List 2000 high frequency words was compiled by Michael West from a 5,000,000 word corpus. It has been used to create adapted reading texts for English language learners. 

References: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  http://en.wikipedia 

 

 


Some items about WEB 2.0

March 29, 2009
9 Comments
Composed by Galina Vitkova

In order to make our debate more vivid and more animated I am appending several items about Web 2.0.

The term “Web 2.0” became known after the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. According to Tim O’Reilly:

“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. “

Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not propose any update to any technical specifications. It is rather about changes in the ways software developers and end-users utilize the Web.

Nevertheless, Web 2.0 comprises the idea of more widespread application of interconnectivity and interactivity of web-delivered content. Building applications and services around the unique features of the Internet are considered Web 2.0 main characteristics.


By O’Reilly four levels in the hierarchy of Web 2.0 sites could be distinguished:

Basic Characteristics

Web 2.0 websites enable users to build on the interactive facilities of “Web 1.0”. It allows users to run software applications fully through a browser. Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and control those data. These sites may have a so-called “Architecture of participation” that stimulates users to add value to the application as they use it. It is in contrast to traditional websites, which only limited visitors may view and whose content only the site’s owner could modify. Web 2.0 sites often feature a rich, user-friendly interface based on AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and xml) and similar client-side interactivity frameworks, or full client-server application frameworks.

According to Best, the characteristics of Web 2.0 are: rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. Further essential attributes of Web 2.0 include openness, freedom and collective intelligence in the sense of user participation.

Technology overview

“Web 2.0” applications are loosely associated with technologies such as wikis, blogs, social-networking, open-source, open-content, file-sharing, peer-production, etc.

Web 2.0 websites usually involve some of the following techniques (sometimes the acronym SLATES is used to refer to them):

Search

the ease of finding information through keyword search which makes the platform valuable.

Links

guide to important pieces of information. The best pages are the most frequently linked to.

Authoring

the ability to create constantly updating content. In wikis, the content is iterative in the sense that people undo and redo each other’s work. In blogs, content is accumulated in posts and comments of blog visitors.

Tags

classification of content by creating tags that are simple, one-word descriptions to facilitate searching and to avoid rigid, pre-made categories.

Extensions

automation of some of the work and pattern matching.

Signals

the use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology to inform users about any changes of the content by sending e-mails to them.

Criticism

There is an opinion that “Web 2.0” does not represent a new version of the World Wide Web at all. In fact, the WEB1 technologies and concepts are constantly applied in WEB2, too. For example, AJAX do not substitute protocols like HTTP, but add a further layer of abstraction on top of them. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the WWW, described the term “Web 2.0” as a “piece of jargon”:

“Nobody really knows what it means…If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along.”

Nonetheless, the “WEB 2.0” service mark was registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June 27, 2006. The European Union application remains currently[update] pending after its filing on March 23, 2006.

Reference:

Wikipedia, the free enciclopedia


Again interview

September 17, 2008
1 Comment

Prof. Ing. Jiří Tůma, DrSc. (Prof.) from the Faculty of electrical engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Czech Republic (http://fel.cvut.cz/) was asked questions by Galina Vitkova (GVi).

Interview

with Prof. Ing. Jiří Tůma, DrSc. (Czech Technical University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering)

s Prof. Ing. Jiří Tůmou, DrSc. (České Vysoké Učení Technické, Fakulta elektrotechnická)

GVi: How many foreign languages do you make understood yourself orally and in writing?

Prof.: I make myself understood English, Russian and German. In writing and orally as well.

GVi: Kolika cizími jazyky se domluvíte ústně a písemně?

Prof.: Domluvím se anglicky, rusky a německy. A to písemnou i ústní formou.

GVi: How significant are foreign languages in your professional life?

Prof.: The foreign languages are the exigencies in professional life. Co-operation without communication is impossible, it could isolate you from your colleagues and friends

GVi: Jaký význam mají cizí jazyky ve Vašem odborném životě?

Prof.: Cizí jazyky jsou pro profesní život nezbytnost. Bez komunikování nejde spolupracovat a vedlo by to k izolaci, vůči svým kolegům a přátelům.

GVi: What language do you use chiefly for communication with people out of the Czech Republic?

Prof.: generally I use English even in the case of the other native foreign language. Most of our partners, whose native language is German, speak English very well. Russian native speakers prove great progress in having a grasp of English just lately.

GVi: Jaký jazyk používáte nejčastěji pro komunikaci s lidmi mimo Českou Republiku?

Prof.: Nejčastěji používáme anglický jazyk a to i ve vztahu na další mezinárodní jazyk.Většina našich partnerů hovořících mateřskou řečí němčinou, vládne velice dobře anglicky. Také rusky mluvicí partneři vykazují poslední dobou znatelné pokroky v anglickém jazyce.

GVi: What is a bigger problem for you – oral or written communication?

Prof.: The problem is not the oral or written communication. The written communication need not be so immediate, I can look up the word the most suitable for me. During the oral communication the flow of speaking is smarter and quicker.

GVi: Co je pro Vás větší problémem: ústní nebo písemná komunikace?

Prof.: Problém není ústní nebo písemná komunikace. Písemná komunikace nemusí být tak bezprostřední, mohu si vyhledat slovíčko, nejlépe mi vyhovující. Při ústní komunikaci je spád hovoru bezprostřednější a rychlejší.

GVi: How do you refine your technical English knowledge skills?

Prof.: Language knowledge skills need practising and training. I do it while reading professional technical texts, doctoral theses, new publications.

GVi: Jak zdokonalujete své dovednosti v technické angličtině?

Prof.: Jazykové dovednosti se musí cvičit a trénovat. V odborných textech, doktorských disertačních pracích, nových publikacích.

GVi: Do you have a method for drilling and remembering new technical terms that perpetually appear in the field of computer science and the Internet?

Prof.: The method to remember new words doesn´t exist. The terms in the field of computer science and the Internet must be memorized in the same way as for other professional fields. New terms are permanently learnt by heart as long as they are remembered. I am afraid the new method does not exit and can´t exit.

GVi: Máte nějakou metodu na zapomínání nových technických termínů, které se neustale objevují v oboru výpočetní techniky a Internetu?

Prof.: Metoda, jak si zapamatovat nová slovíčka, není. Termíny z oboru výpočetní techniky a internetu musí se zapamatovávat stejně jako z jiného oboru. Nové termíny se učí tak dlouho, dokud nebudou plně zapamatována. Obávám se, že nová metoda není a nemůže být.

GVi: What kind of texts in English do you like and prefer to read, are they of common interest (e.g. about travelling or holidays, fictions, newspapers etc.) or technical texts connected with your profession?

Prof.: Mostly I read in English professional texts ether printed or on the Internet. Also I am studying theses of our foreign magisterial or doctoral students. I read often original English newspapers.

GVi: Jaké texty v angličtině nejraději čtete a jakým textům dáváte přednost, jsou to obecná témata (například, cestování, rekreace, beletrie, noviny apod.) nebo technické texty, spojené s Vaší profesí?

Prof.: Nejčastěji čtu v angličtině odborné texty, a to buď v písemné formě, nebo na internetu. Studuji také práce našich zahraničních magisterských, nebo doktorandských studentů. Často čtu originály noviny.

GVi: Which issues made perhaps make now the most serious problems that you met or meet within practical usage of English?

Prof.: I do not remember any problems I met or meet during practical usage of English. In my case the essence of a problem is on the first place, whereas the form and manner of presentation are on the second. In any case it doesn´t deal with a significant problem.

GVi: Jaké byly a případně jsou ty závažnější problémy, s kterými jste se setkal nebo setkáváte v praktickém využívání angličtiny?

Prof.: Není mi známo, že bych narazil na nějaké problémy při praktickém využívání angličtiny.V mém případě, je prvotní věcný problém, na druhém místě forma a způsob mluvy. V žádném případě nejde o závažnější problem.

GVi: How do you see potential and prospects of modern IT for English studying? Can you imagine some actual use of them?

Prof.: I am neither a specialist on IT nor on schooling English or other language. I am, however, confident about IT usage for studying generally (certain problems could appear concerning labs and the like), materials are brought directly to students, so I am confident about IT usage rightness for studying languages too.

GVi: Jak se díváte na možnosti a perspektivy využívání moderních IT k výuce angličtiny? Umíte si představit nějaké konkrétní použití v tomto směru?

Prof.: Nejsem odborník na IT ani na výuku anglického, nebo jiného jazyka.

Jsem však přesvědčen o perspektivách využívání IT pro studium obecně (určitý problém mohou přinášet laboratoře apod.), materiály se dostávají bezprostředně ke studentům, a proto jsem přesvědčen o účelnosti IT i pro výuku jazyků.

GVi: How do you feel about English knowledge by students of the Faculty of electrical engineering in the CTU?

Prof.: Last year I had been coming in contact with foreign students and doctorands. I don´t have a complete grasp about native students, whose language skills was of a lower level. Sometimes, the language exams were the last ones, which students must have done. So, after finishing the school some of them go abroad on practice just to improve their language knowledge.

GVi: Jak hodnotíte znalost angličtiny studenty FEL ČVUT?

Prof.: V posledním roce přicházím do styku se studenty zahraničního studia a doktorandy. Nemám úplný přehled o domácích studentech, úroveň znalosti jazyků byla slabší. Někdy to byly poslední zkoušky, které student musel dělat. Někteří odjíždějí po skončení školy na zahraniční praxi, právě pro doplnění jazykových znalostí.

GVi: What will students of the Faculty of electrical engineering go in for studying languages?

Prof.: Opinions can differ. I consider an ability to comprehend each other when speaking a basic means of communication. Professional texts are of the second significance, it is possible to translate them and participants of the debate will always understand each other. In any case it needs endeavour and willingness. It does not thrive without the endeavour.

GVi: Čemu by se nejvíce studenti FEL měli věnovat v jazykové výuce?

Prof.: Názory se mohou různit. Schopnost se domluvit bych viděl jako zásadní prostředek komunikace. Odborné texty přicházejí na pořad později, je možno je překládat a vždy si budou diskutující rozumět. V každém případě to chce snahu a vůli. Bez snahy to nejde.

GVi: Thank you very much for answers, for your recommendations. To your success in education of electrical engineers.

GVi: Děkuji velice za Vaši odpovědí a doporučení. Hodně úspěchů v profesní výchově elektroinženýrů.


Last summer SKYPE conversation conference and concluding remarks about the summer conferences

September 2, 2008
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By Galina Vitkova

On Wednesday 27th August the last summer SKYPE conversation conference took place. The animated discussion about search engines and their optimisation showed that the topic was interesting and insistent for participants.

What conclusions could be done after completing the series of such conferences? First of all it appeared to be quite clear that SKYPE fully proved its ability to be a good and simple instrument for online conversation via the Internet.

The experience showed that small conversation groups up to 5 participants might be an optimal number of people for 45-minuits sessions. Within this period each participant is actually able to take part in the discussion and have a short contribution. The topics, which were discussed and materials (e.g. see Search Engines presentation on the page of the blog), which each participant received before the sessions, were reasonable and sufficient. They enabled debutants to gain a sufficient knowledge about the topic and to be properly prepared.

Another important experience lies in the fact that it is necessary to have a number of registered participants bigger than 5 because of busyness of people who want to take part in conversation.

In any case as one student says the SKYPE conferences are a great opportunity for speaking technical English.



Interview

August 14, 2008
2 Comments

Boris Kolesnikov (БК) was asked questions by Galina Vitkova (ВГ)

Interview

with Boris Kolesnikov

trying to make money via the Internet (http://www.bikol.narod.ru/

Интервью

с Борисом Колесниковым

интернет-предпринимателем (http://www.bikol.narod.ru/

ВГ: What foreign languages do you speak or understand?

БК: German, with a dictionary.

ВГ: Какими иностранными языками Вы владеете?

БК: Немецким, со словарем.

ВГ: What role do foreign languages play in your professional life?

БК: Before coming to Germany I did not need foreign languages, they were not of significant importance, had only informative meaning. In Germany I have realized that it could be helpful to understand English because of computers. I use professional German profiting an electronic translator.

ВГ: Какое значение имеют в Вашей профессиональной биографии иностранные языки?

БК: До приезда в Германию в иностранных языках не нуждался, не имели решающего значения, только информативное. В Германии почувствовал, что было бы неплохо знать английский из-за компьютера. Немецким профессиональным языком пользуюсь с помощью электронного переводчика.

ВГ: Do you feel you need to improve your knowledge of the foreign language?

БК: Living in Germany I feel it is absolutely necessary. On-line teaching and learning could significantly help, a direct contact with a teaching program, questions, answers, evaluation of answers correction enables you to become aware of your success and failures.

ВГ: Чувствуете ли Вы необходимость совершенствовать своe знаниe иностранного языка?

БК: Живя в Германии, это крайняя необходимость. Существенно бы помогло онлайн обучение, непосредственный контакт с обучающей программой, вопросы, ответы, оценка правильности ответов, чтобы знать, как продвигаешься вперед.

ВГ: If you started to study English now, what kind of texts do you prefer: for example about travelling, culture, holiday, literature etc. or technical texts connected with your profession?

БК: Undoubtedly technical texts. I very often meet them. I frequently need them for my activities.

ВГ: Если бы Вам пришлось сейчас начать изучать английский язык, какие тексты Вы как профессионал предпочли бы использовать, например, про путешествия, культуру, досуг, литературу и т.п. или технические, связанные с Вашей профессией?

БК: Несомненно технические. С ними я чаще всего встречаюсь, они мне нужны для дела.

ВГ: Do you think that new information technologies could help in studying foreign languages?

БК: No doubt they could. For example computer-aided teaching and learning programs, the best for on-line communication, MP-players, chat-communication. Specialists can surely offer another possibilities, too.

ВГ: Считаете ли Вы, что современные информационные технологии могут помочь в изучении иностранных языков?

БК: Безусловно могут помочь. Например, программы, использующие для обучения компьютер, лучше всего онлайн, МП3 плейеры, чат-разговоры. Специалисты наверное могут предложить и другие возможности.

ВГ: What are the most serious problems you meet or have met using a foreign language for practical purposes?

БК: The most necessary and the most difficult matters are business letters, job applications, answering to questions of social bodies etc. When writing these things, you realize your knowledge of grammar is insufficient, your vocabulary is very poor. The vocabulary maybe is the most important. In such situations dictionaries on a computer could help, for example a dictionary of synonyms, one language dictionaries etc.

ВГ: С какими наиболее серьезными проблемами Вы встречались и встречаетесь, используя иностранный язык для практических целей?

БК: Самое нужное и самое трудное – это деловая переписка, далее заявления о приеме на работу, ответы на вопросы социального ведомства. Не хватает знания грамматики, запаса слов. Запас слов, пожалуй, самое главное. Здесь бы помогли словари на компьютере, например, словарь синонимов, словарь иностранных слов.

ВГ: Thank you for answers, for your time. To your success in mastering foreign languages.

ВГ: Спасибо за ответы, за Ваше время. Больших успехов в овладении иностранными языками.


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