Trigger words

I want to try out this idea of trigger words as a key to learning a language. To learn a language, like English for example, you have to master the phrases. You have to be able to use phrases correctly. You have to use phrases almost instinctively.??

Why do you need phrases? Because with ready made natural phrases your language will become idiomatically correct, accurate, logical (logical according to the logic of the language), consistent and clear. Those are exactly the things you want to achieve when writing and speaking the language.

So how does one master the phrases? You have to notice them when you read and listen. How do you do that? Trigger words are key.

I have written this text quickly before going to bed. (Tonight was?? my wife’s birthday so I took her out to dinner. We came home and had the birthday cake that I bought at a French pastry shop. I had a glass of Glenlivet Scotch in a brandy snifter and snuck away to the computer to make an entry in my blog).

Having written the blog I will now go back and bold all trigger words. If learners read this text and see the bold trigger words, they should try to pick out the phrases that are triggered by these trigger words. If they are members of The Linguist they should import this text into The Linguist and then save those trigger words that they want to understand better. They should then look at the example sentences that are created in Words I am Learning. They should observe all the phrases they find in these sentences.

You cannot just read a list of phrases because you will not remember them. You have to learn to notice phrases when you read and listen to the language. You have to notice them in different contexts. You have to try to use them. Once you have used them and feel comfortable with them, then they become reliable tools that you can use in expressing yourself in another language.

Maybe this idea will not work but it is something that I want to try out. Remember the trigger words are there to trigger your awareness of phrases. If they are saved when reading texts in The Linguist they will trigger lots of example sentences. The logic of the language is learned by seeing the words work in context. Learners make many of their mistakes with easy words that they understand but cannot use properly.

For advanced learners of English

I posted this on the Linguist Forum. This may be of interest to advanced learners.

For advanced learners it is very important to use the imported content function to bring in advanced reading in areas of interest. One very useful site in this regard, especially for students, is the following.

Here you will find very high quality summaries of university courses on different subjects.

Tell the forum if you found this useful. Please recommend other good sites for importing content into The Linguist.

The imported content will interact with your Linguist word and phrase databases just like our own content. Stay with one subject for a while to really learn the technical terms and phrasing for that discipline.


Easy English Diary Feb 28

I will try to write a little bit in this diary every few days. After many days of sunshine the rain has returned to Vancouver. This February was the sunniest February in history. This was good for people in Vancouver. It was not good for skiers and people who run ski hills. Lots of sun means very little rain in the town and therefore, very little snow in the mountains.

Sunday I finally took down the Christmas lights, or at least some of them. Over Christmas we like to hang bright lights on the outside of the house and on some trees. Since Chinese New Year was in early February, that was a good excuse not to take them down. There are many Chinese people in Vancouver and they sometimes hang lights outside for their New Year. My wife’s father was Chinese and she grew up in Chinese culture so we celebrate Chinese New Year as well.

Anyway, there was no more excuse so I took them down on Sunday.

There it is. A short entry in my diary. This time I have highlighted the phrases. The next time I will highlight the “trigger” words only.