Sunday, March 29, 2009


Indian classical dance is a relatively new umbrella term for various codified art forms rooted in Natya, the sacred Hindu musical theatres styles, whose theory can be traced back to the Natya Shastra of Bharata Muni (400 BC). These are:
Dances performed inside the sanctum of the temple according to the rituals were called Agama Nartanam. This was a spiritual dance form.
Dances performed in royal courts to the accompaniment of classical music were called Carnatakam. This was an intellectual art form.
Darbari Aattam form of dance appealed more to the commoners and it educated them about their religion, culture and social life. These dances were performed outside the temple precincts in the courtyards. - Wikipedia-

The world of Indian dance is rather wide, similar to its music. Since, it is tremendously extensive, I would best segregate it into two categories, that are, the North India Classical Dance and the South Indian Classical Dance.

Below are the examples of:

North Indian Classical Dance





South Indian Classical Dance

Bharata Natyam


Pulikali / Kadavukali


Mayilattam / Mayuri Nritya



At first, the term "concordance" sounded somewhat like Greek to me! Another funny thing that would make you laugh till you twist your belly is the fact that I assumed concordance as a type of "dance", since I am rather curious to explore various sorts of dance lately! However, after several attempts of analyzation and thorough reading, the whole idea of concordance finally hit into my head. Well, for those who are still unable to digest this term, below is the definition to it and its related terms.

Concordance: An alphabetical list of the words in a book or a set of books which also says where each word can be found and often how it is used.

Concordancer: A concordancer is a computer program that automatically constructs a concordance.

Concordancing: (Not a type of dance for sure!) but simply an act of concordance.

KWIC: KWIC is an acronym for Key Word In Context, the most common format for concordance lines.

A corpus: either just one text or a collection of texts.


In this scenario, most of us would relate this as to how a software like such could be helpful to teachers of languages. Well, here's why:

  • The teacher can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate features of vocabulary, typical collocations, a point of grammar or even the structure of a text

  • The teacher can generate exercises based on examples drawn from a variety of corpora, for example gap-filling exercises and tests.

  • Students can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features for themselves by searching for key words in context. Depending on their level, they can be invited to question some of the rules, based on their observation of patterns in authentic language.

  • Students can be more active in their vocabulary learning: depending on their level, they can be invited to discover new meanings, to observe habitual collocations, to relate words to syntax, or to be critical of dictionary entries.

  • Students can be invited to reflect on language use in general, based on their own explorations of a corpus of data, thus turning themselves into budding researchers.


Most may say that concordance is a tool in linguistics only, but the fact is when concordance is effectively implemented it can do much more than what is really assumed. Understanding and using concordance in a database will provide more comforts. Especially languages that are developing in computing field now can utilize this facility more effectively. More refined and object oriented tasks can be made by the use of concordance. General uses of a concordance are,

  • Comparing different usages of the same word

  • Analyzing keywords

  • Analyzing word frequencies

  • Finding and analyzing phrases and idioms

  • Creating indexes and word lists

Uses of Concordance in Language computing can vary largely. For example:

  • Developing tools for searching

  • Effective adoption of vocabulary

  • Developing a very effective database in regional languages

  • Very accurate and faster searching and listing of required.

  • Can change the methods of search engines in regional languages

  • Can be used in Machine Translation

  • Can be used in Spelling and Grammar tools as a back end

To my extent of knowledge, concordance has done wonders to reduce the burden of people who would wish to analyze a context word by word (these people I am referring to are mainly Linguists and others related to Language). In ancient times, one would probably have to anaylze word by word manually where he would have to analyze each and every word provided in a text. With the help of concordance softwares, now we are able to analyze a whole context (no matter how lengthy it may be) in a tick before a tock! For example, counting the frequency occurence of a word can be a real hassle (imagine a context of a thousand pages) but a concordance software can easily finish your job in a fraction of time. However, concordance can only analyze words and phrases that can be done grammatically, almost close to a word processor. The reasons of different usages of words, grammatical errors and probably other methods of study can only be performed by us humans. Hence, it can only help one analyze the occurence and not its characteristics (despite grammatically). The picture below may give one a clearer view of how exactly this software works.


Nevertheless, one can still download free versions of concordance softwares online such as antconc for a good explore of this software. Below is a link to concordancesoftware which allows us to download a free version of concordance (Concorde 3.20 - the software in the image above). Once you are done downloading the software, simply click on file menu to attach a context of words and be surprised as to how this software can actually help us analyze words in depth. Also, do not fail to visit the links below to obtain more information on concordance, its benefits and how it really works! (The latter focuses on various topics that are related to concordance, mainly those related to language learning, language awareness, and activities on concordance).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Posting 4: A day at PNB Darby Park Hotel - E-Community National Seminar

I would certainly love to tale on the trip to PNB Darby Park Hotel for the “Seminar Kebangsaan E-Komuniti” with the main motive, that is, “Merapatkan Jurang Digital: Masyarakat Berpengetahuan, Model Malaysia”. Thus this seminar was held to diminish the digital gap between the citizens of Malaysia through E-learning. Hence, the presence of highly knowledgeable speakers from various backgrounds helped us open our views towards E-learning and the other related notions. I’ve chosen two very interesting topics spoken by these speakers which may be helpful to you readers as well!

TOPIC: Reducing Writing Apprehension Through Blogging Activities.
SPEAKER: Ms. Azianura Hani Shaari (UTM)
The issues to be considered: What are the factors that contribute to writing?
Apprehension writers may generally have negative attitudes and perceptions towards writing.

Symptoms: You may come across many people who fall into the category of writing apprehension. Below are the symptoms that you may notice in these individuals.
· Scared to write
· Hands cramp
· Hate writing
· Mental blocking problems
· Produce shorter essays and,
· Ideas hardly develop.

Contributing Factors: Though the symptoms may be fairly straight-forward, the contributing factors to these can be quite buried and implicit. Below are the contributing factors that glumly contribute to writing apprehension.
· Culture – Face saving: Though this may not be the similar to cause to people from other corners of the world, it certainly is for Malaysian citizens. This literally means that the people of this society find it difficult to accept comments and feedbacks from other people.
· Examination: The education system is rather exam-based. Hence, students do not get motivated to explore their talent and competence in writing but prepare themselves only for the written exams at the end of the day.
· Lack Confidence
Teachers’ Comments
· Proficiency Level
· Audience
· Lack Role Models

Fostering Positive Writing Attitudes through Blogging: Ms. Azianura concludes that blogging has the magic to cultivate positive writing attitudes through web logging. How? As stated below.
· Blogging increases involvement among passive students – Which means it actually provides room for direct participation in writing.
· Promotes brainstorming and Peer Review Activities.
· Face-saving
– Since most Malaysian students are particular about giving and receiving comments, blogging provides opportunity for one to accept comments without losing his/her face.
· Student-centered
· Huge audience
– Especially native speakers. Generates chances of improving since blogging allows students from other parts of the world (especially native speakers) to comment on the writer.
· Boost up confidence and motivation – I would not know if it works the same way for others but it sure does for me. Blogging constantly actually supplies enough boost for writing further confidently.

Thus, the conclusion made to this concept is that blogging is fairly reasonable to assume blogging as a new practical solution in minimizing fear or apprehension towards writing among the second language learners (THAT’S US!)

To me, blogging certainly is a way to reduce writing apprehension. There were many questions asked regarding this particular topic since it is rather applicable to most of us these days. Hence, there were many who felt that blogging may not be the right method as young bloggers may tend to use the SMS terms (short forms/ abbreviations). Thus, there may not be room for improvement. However, I argue on this remark since;

  • Blogging may not be the best solution to improve ones English Language competency but it certainly reduces writing apprehension through constant writing (After all, practice makes perfect right?) However, at the end of the day it all depends on the writers willingness to learn and progress in writing.

  • Bloggers tend to work behind the screen which means blogging actually hides your pretty face till you eventually get the hang of writing and get comfortable with all the feedbacks that come crawling to you. (Notice that the feedbacks start getting better because your writing is getting better!)

  • Furthermore, blogging may seem informal and too casual but it is important to remember that feedbacks tend to come not only from the locals, but from foreigners, such as native speakers as well. This undoubtedly improves ones writing skills as the feedbacks create room for blooming learners.

  • Bloggers who do a lot of writing will definitely do a lot of reading in time to come too! And reading brings many other benefits along with it.

TOPIC: The Use of Media and Digital Technology through E-Commerce.
SPEAKER: Mr. Khairul Afzan.

First, let me define the meaning between these letters, SME. SME basically means Small and Medium Enterprises.

This can be grouped into three categories; that is, Micro, Small or Medium.

These grouping on the other hand are based on either:
-the number of people a business employs or,
-on the total sales or revenue generated by a business in a year.

The concept of SMEs itself can be segregated into two different categories.

  1. Manufacturing Industries - E.g.: Usra Sdn. Bhd.

  2. Service Industries - E.g.: Homestay

The problems encountered:
· Lack of knowledge of the benefits of technology to their industries.
· Lack of confidence in the effectiveness of using E-commerce.
· Lack of capital.
· There is still digital divide in Malaysia that must be bridged.

Recommendations: Below are only a few suggestions that I find important.
· Government should provide broadband infrastructures throughout Malaysia (Rural, Urban and etc.)
· Universities should organize/develop programs to promote technologies to SMMEs.
· Information regarding cyber law should be spread.

Link: Visit the link below given by Mr. Khairul Afzan for further info.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


            Feeling stressed? Then why not kick up your heels to salsa or do the boogie-woogie? Fortunately, dance is known to be as an amazing solution for the most common health crisis today, that is, stress. Studies show that dance is an eternal stress reliever and carries many beneficial effects to the health of the human body. For instance, a massive amount of endorphin is discharged when one has a good round of dance. In result, the occurrence of wrinkles can be reduced to almost sixty three percent. This is also probably since you tend to grin and smile a lot more when you sway and swing to a desired tune. Furthermore, dancing enables most women to be stress-free because it physically keeps one occupied since most women fall towards the emotional region. Accordingly, dance transports an outstanding glow on ones skin that no skin product could possibly replace. So, ‘Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around; that’s what it’s all about!’

-By: Sheelaa a/p Sundaralingam

Sunday, March 15, 2009

POSTING 3 - Start Your Search Engines!

Write and discuss the similarities and differences between search engines like mamma, google scholar, eric digest and yahoo.

This time, we students have been assigned to not only an educational task, but also a rather beneficial and handy task. Based on the lectures and guides given, I have explored various search engines and come to conclude that most search engines are alike. Instead of simply stating point-by-point, I would prefer to elaborate more by search engines. Hence, to start with;

1. : is a Meta search engine with a wide range of other web search engines for its results! Like the company’s saying, “The Mother Of All Search Engines”, certainly is the central to other search engines available on the net. However, practically speaking, most of us do not have all day to browse through search engines to other search engines. Thus, may require one to spend a lot of time browsing through these web engines before arriving to the final destination for results. However, one will be able to browse through the type of information looked for such as for WebPages, jobs, videos, shop, travel, yellow pages and white pages. Hence, the results obtained will be somewhat precise yet wide in choices.

2. : Not to be bias, is certainly a search engine I have always preferred. Given that there are ample of relevant reasons to support my stand on this search engine, I have decided to break my ideas to be more comprehensible. Below are the benefits available for those who may be new or still unfamiliar with this amazing gizmo.

a) Google as a SEARCH ENGINE: There are many ways you can narrow down your information to the exact information you are looking for. Hence, this expert search engine works simply professionally to help you narrow down your search!

-Quotation marks (“…”) = – to help on find the exact phrase in the information.
-Define: = - to help one find the definition of a particular word or phrase (works as an excellent dictionary!)
-filetype: = to help one find the actual file type looked for. (E.g.: filetype:pdf to find pdf files).
-ext: = similar as the search for specific file types and known as an extension operator.
-site: = works as a site operator.

b) Google as a CALCULATOR: Why download or install an electronic calculator when you can simply click on google to help you count your fingers for you.

-Currency Converter == to convert from one currency to another. (E.g.: 1myr in USD)
-Calculator = serves a similar role to an e-calculator.

c) Google NEWS: This wonderful state-of-the-art provides us with the latest news and happenings all over the world. Thus, you can now save money on those newspapers as well as the paper-cuts!

3. Unlike other search engines, Eric Digest falls more towards the educational background. For example, most of its links are designed for educational purposes such as Educational Journals, Eric Digest Lesson Plans, Classroom management, National Geographic and other related reasons. However, this search engine may not be as excellent when compared to google and mamma since it tend to be less helpful when concerning other entertainment cum educational based searches like images and videos.

4. Yahoo has been around from the early days of internet and appears as a famous search engine. Similar to google, it has other wonderful services such as games, downloads, emails, horoscopes, news, music and the list goes on. However, unlike the other search engines, yahoo has an advantage that may help those hazy ones look for the apt information. Well, the moment one starts keying in the word or phrase they wish to look for, the search bar drops a list of other suggested words and popular searches to look out for. Thus, there is hardly any spelling or sentence/phrase structural mistakes that one might commit during the process of searching. Most important, the layout is rather interesting with images and latest updates on events currently being updated on the webpage. Hence, there may be ample of coincidental learning via this webpage. (There is also a higher chance of one to get diverted from the actual information they are to look for!)

Thanks to the brilliant novelty of technology, we now do not have to flip through those bulky books to find a little piece of information. So, start your search engines and race your way through the web pages!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

POSTING 2 - Blogging for Language Learners

Discuss how blogging can assist language learners to improve & enhance writing skills.

"Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted".

Those are the meaningful words quoted by Jules Renard. As I am a person who take words into deep consideration, I never fail to study the words of Jules on how crucial writing is to us beings. Hence, I am really grateful to how the internet has presented us a gift to write online: blogging. Now there's no way I am going to define the term 'blogging' as you readers out there can't possibly be reading this right now without access to this particular post of mine! Yet, how many of us are aware that blogging can be quite an interesting pastime besides a brilliant place to learn? Honestly, I may not be a big time blogger but all this blogging certainly made me so in love with wrting; despite constructing unfathomable passion towards this way of expressing thoughts and ideas. Leaving that aside, the impact of blogging overflows with obtainable advantages that one can never imagine. Indeed, I am keen and would love to share the advantages I am able to identify within blogging. Below are the benefits of blogging so you readers would enjoy reading since most of you out there are on the right track!

  • Improves ones writing skills : How is that impossible? It is a known fact that bloggers are able to be more spontaneous in writing as most people find writing easier said than done. Thus, blogging provides opportunity for spontaneous writing where writers (or shall I say 'typers') tend to practise a lot of writing in the process of expressing views and opinions. Undoubtedly, you will eventually get into the habit of writing frequently, as writing becomes less taxing and more pleasureable from time to time.

  • Readers to keep you going : "The first step in blogging is not writing but reading them - Jeff Jarvis". Jeff could not have mentioned those without a reason. Well, here's mine : If there is a piece of reading material, there will definitely be readers to read it. Got it? Undeniably, web logging creates an atmosphere somewhat like writing for a magazine or for a newspaper. Hence, the fact that one has readers to constantly read his/her opinions and ideas certainly works as a booster to motivate one to write more often. This instantly diverts to the first point mentioned above where you improve your writing skills in every post of your blogs.

  • Feedbacks and comments : This advantage hits the ceiling as one is definitely unable to receive as many feedbacks and comments even if he/she were to write in a newspaper/magazine. Wait! there's more great news! To top it all, the comments and feedbacks you will be able to receive is (most of the time) instant and spontaneous as well. Hence, blogs build an effective learning environment as writers learn to write through not only experience, but from mistakes and nonjudgmental feedbacks from other bloggers.

In brief, the gain from blogging is certainly as clear as day and should be exposed to students of other fields besides language learners since the pro to the subject is countless. If this isn't convincing enough, you should probably visit the following URL to see the views of other experienced writers on "How blogging classes can improve writing skills in students". You readers will definitely see the advantages coming from various persons. SO READY, 1, 2, & START BLOGGING!

Friday, March 6, 2009


For the very first time, the students of SKBP1023 (UKM) are assigned to a rather excitingly fruitful assignment; Blogging, thanks to the experienced and skilled lecturers! This assignment will certainly be a turning point to most students; including myself, for though we have been exposed to the world of blogging, most of us still lack in confidence and courage to speak our minds through words. Hence, we students are fortunate to be assigned with such a task and would love to see how far we will be able to progress in it! Thus, i am done browsing through the net to analyze the type of material i come across most often. In fact, I have chosen a piece of reading material that I am most in favor of to be shared with the class and my dear bloggers. As required, I have analyzed and stated my opinions based on the reading material. So, STAY TUNED!

Paragraph derived from - (Page 2)


Later that night, there was a knock on the door of the village tailor. When the tailor opened it, the wicker husband stood outside. 'Lend me a suit,' he said. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to church naked.' 'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the tailor, and ran out the back door. The tailor's wife came out, wiping her hands. 'What's going on?' she said. 'Lend me a suit,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married tomorrow, and I cannot go to my wedding naked.' The tailor's wife gave him a suit, and slammed the door in his face. Next, there was a knock on the door of the village shoe-maker. When the shoe-maker opened it, the wicker husband stood there. 'Lend me some shoes,' he said. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to church barefoot.' 'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the shoe-maker, and he ran out the back door. The shoe-maker's wife came out, her hands trembling. 'What do you want?' she said. 'Lend me some shoes,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to my wedding barefoot.' The shoe-maker's wife gave him a pair of shoes, and slammed the door in his face. Next, the wicker husband went to the village inn. 'Give me a drink,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married tomorrow, and I wish to celebrate.' 'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the inn-keeper and all his customers, and out they ran. The poor wicker husband went behind the bar, and poured himself a drink. When the ugly girl got to church in the morning, she was mighty pleased to find her husband so handsome, and so well turned-out. When the couple had enjoyed their first night of marriage, the wicker husband said to his wife: 'This bed is broken. Bring me a chisel: I will fix it.'

Interesting? Visit the URL above to complete reading the rest of the story and or other exciting stories online. Why? At least for the fact that it's FREE!


Based on the paragraph above, I am able to conclude that the particular reading material falls no further from the vicinity of 'Reading For Pleasure'. This simple conclusion was made based on somewhat straightforward grounds.

  • The material is a short story written by Ursulla Wills Jones which is fiction or in other words, an invented story. Thus, there is very little information that one can obtain from this piece of reading material besides the fact that one will be able to expand the knowledge on creative writing and vocabulary.

  • The material is not connected to any factual data and does not give too much room for deep thinking or analyzing. Hence, the material may work as a relaxant for one to relax his/her mind and probably read for leisure.

  • The material does not involve any form of instructions or step-by-step guides to follow. The material is also not very crucial or compulsory for reading which means the reader is not obliged to read the context for any specific purposes. Therefore, it does not fall into the 'Reading for instruction/task completion' category.

  • The material does not appear accessible to simply anybody that bumps into the webpage since one has to go through a search or look for the particular source for reading. Hence, the material does not fall under 'incidental reading' as well.

Based on this clear explanations, it is no doubt that the reading material above comes under the category of 'Reading For Pleasure'. Reading for pleasure tend to be very unlike 'Reading For Information' and the other reading purposes because there is very little effort one has to put in to understand and comprehend the details of the reading material. Despite all that reading done during lessons and for other educational purposes, reading for pleasure gives room for one to relax the mind and may serve as a benefitial pastime. This does not necessarily mean one has to read short stories for pleasure. 'Reading for Pleasure' may include other exciting reading materials such as jokes, comics, e-magazines and other reading materials that may not require too much hassle to understand the context. Besides, it does not burn a hole in your pockets to surf through the net and read as many exhilarating bits and pieces anymore. That's great news! So start clicking your way to reading online and enjoy the benefits technology has granted us with.

-Ms Sheelaa (ELS)-