"Give them the gift of words"

Ultimate Vocabulary EDU is the world's most advanced vocabulary learning system for schools. With Ultimate Vocabulary, you have your vocabulary teaching requirements completely under control.

Based on proven principles of cognitive science, Ultimate Vocabulary EDU contains all the features of Ultimate Vocabulary plus:

It's absolutely essential your students graduate with their vocabulary educational requirements met. With Ultimate Vocabulary EDU these vocabulary requirements are more than met. Students also improve academic performance, are prepared for standardized tests, and improve their confidence.

The next step is to see Ultimate Vocabulary for yourself. Simply fill out the form and we'll send you a free no obligation trial of the full version of Ultimate Vocabulary EDU.

Find Absolute Happiness Through Two Simple Activities – This 5-Minute Video Shows You How




Studysuccessful.com Creator, Stefan Knapen, Recommends Efficient Study Habits for Academic Success





College and university life can provide many challenges for students, and it’s always good to have someone around who can give students the hints and effective tips that help them get the most out of their study time and their school years. In fact, the advice that Stefan Knapen provides at his website StudySuccessful.com can be applied to many situations and to people of all ages. After all, learning starts immediately and is a never-ending process! Check out Stefan’s site for answers to your questions about study habits, personal development, modern technology, and more.

7SR: You moved quickly through your university years and are now attending medical school in your early 20s. You must be incredibly busy! How do you fit everything into your schedule?

Haha, yeah things are going pretty fast. Well, what I did in my first couple of years was focussing on setting up a system. What kind of schedule should I use, how much work can I take on, and experimenting with different studying techniques. Probably one of the most interesting concepts I learned was the ‘Parkinson’s Law’, which teaches us that work expands with the amount of time you give it. So by taking up a lot of work, you won’t have a lot of time left to give to it. This results in the need to be highly effective in that work.

Take preparing a presentation for example. I could work hours on creating the perfect powerpoint, preparing all the jokes and practicing the presentation a couple of times beforehand. Now, as I simply did not have that time I needed to find the input which yields the highest results. So I focus on the story, I focus on the core principle. The powerpoint lay-out is not a priority at that point. This is also why starting the night before usually works out ‘fine’ (although it is for stress-reasons definitely not recommended!)

7SR: Here at 7 Speed Reading we encourage students to learn to speed read so that they can get through their research and study projects more quickly. Is this something that you’ve found to be helpful?

In med school I have to read a lot. In keeping up my blog I have to read probably even more. So learning the principles of speed reading helped me definitely. I don’t recommend to always speed read, but if it is a low-density text and there are only a couple of principles to get out of it, speed read your way through it and memorise the concepts later.

7SR: You wrote a free guide on how to build a personal website. Why is it important for people to have an online presence?

First of all: in this day and age it’s really simple. If you don’t own your own domain name somebody else will soon enough.

Second: Anybody who will ever have something to do with you will Google you. Being aware of your online presence and working on it as well can give you easily the ownership of the top 5 results in Google. Now, what do you want your future employer to find when he Googles you. Your own personal website, where your CV is clearly outlined and links to your portfolio? Or that picture where your roommate throws beer over you at that frat party on Facebook?

The free guide is a simple step-by-step instruction on how to create your own personal website. Check it out at StudySuccessful: http://studysuccessful.com/blog-as-student/

7SR: Good study habits are important for success in school, and can be applied even in a person’s later professional life. What are some of the study habits you encourage people to develop?

The best study habit would probably be finding out how you work as a person. Do you learn the most from lectures or from books? Do you like to read text or look at pictures? Do you study better in the morning or in the evening? In your first years these are core concepts to figure out. Find out where you are good at and use that.

7SR: What are three things you would recommend to someone who is starting their first year at university?

Again. Find out how you work. What is your way to do things. Together with that: also find out how social aspects of the University life fit into that, because they have to fit in there. This is the best time to meet new people, to make new connections. Use that. Say yes, become busy and find out how you can flourish! 

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.

What This 12-Year-Old Girl Says About Age Will Amaze You




What Is A Contronym? (And Why You Should Know About It)





The funny thing about the English language is that it keeps you on your toes. Its pronunciation is unpredictable to put it mildly, and at times, some words seem to fight over a single definition, even when they denote the exact opposite concept. Welcome to the absurdity that is the English language.

A contronym is a word that has two contradictory meanings. For example, if the word ‘open’ were a contronym, it would both mean ‘to open’ and ‘to close.’ Sounds crazy? Well, it’s not. In fact, the English language has several words that are contronyms, or “auto-antonyms.”

Hysterical

If someone says that your jokes are hysterical they probably mean they’re very funny. But if something or someone is hysterical, bad news. They probably mean something is frightening or plain frantic and crazy.

Dust

If you dust the table, do you remove the dust from it or do you cover it with it? It ultimately depends on your goal. The same applies with strawberries. You might dust them with sugar or any other sweet substance, or dust them as a way of removing dirt and, well, dust.

Nervy

If you’re nervy you’re either very courageous or very volatile and likely to lack nerve. Here are some examples to make this difference clear:

“You’re nervy to show up after what you did!”

“He’s nervy whenever he has to talk in front of a large audience.”

Cleave

When you cleave onto something, you cling tight to it, or join it. As in:

“The homeless baby, frightened of the pedestrians, cleaved to his mother.”

But cleave also has the meaning of splitting up through cutting something in half or in more pieces. So for example, you can cleave open a piece of wood or meat.

Strike

When you strike something you hit it. But in baseball, a strike is a miss. So yes, in this world, on this planet, strike means both hit and miss.

Overlook

You can overlook a team of scientists or you can overlook your team’s mistake’s. The second one might be a problem, with the result of them doing their own thing and missing your deadlines. Overlook can mean either monitor/supervise or a failure to notice something.

To Sanction or Not?

If a government sanctions a law, they either approve it or boycott it. To sanction is to penalize or punish a person, organization, or even country as a way of deterring a behavior or action in the future. But a government can also approve, endorse or ‘OK’ a law or project if it’s a good one.

Off it goes – or is it On?

If the alarm goes off, it actually means that it is activated, triggering the alarm sound. So in this sense, ‘off’ means the alarm goes on.

Peruse

Perhaps the most confusing contronyms or auto-antonyms are verbs because the action they’re supposed to perform is contradicted.

Take ‘to peruse’ as an example. You can peruse an email as a way of reading very carefully what’s being said or you can peruse a magazine casually and without much focus or attention to detail, just skimming through it.

For more information on contronyms check this great list by The Daily Writing Tips.


Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

They Changed My Life: People Talk About the Teachers Who Inspired Them




One Word A Day – Start Improving Your Vocabulary Now!





You don’t need an expensive tutor or a five-year plan in order to improve your vocabulary. All you need is the determination to learn just one word a day.

One word a day doesn’t sound like much, does it? If you’re wondering how this works, read on!

Read

Today more than ever, your access to quality online content is super easy, super instant. You can read on your tablet or your smartphone on the way to work, you can read a print book in the park, and you can read at home while taking a bath or listen to an audio book while you’re cooking.

In other words, there are no excuses here when it comes to finding the time to read. So grab a book (or download one, whichever is your thing) and delve right into a story.

Even if you read just a few pages, you will probably stumble upon a new word or phrase. Look it up and try to use it that day or the next day. This way you will be able to recall and use your new vocabulary again when the circumstances call for it.

Dictionaries are your new best friend

I’m not talking about the bulky dictionaries that seem to weigh as much as a car. I’m talking about an app you can download on your smartphone or tablet so that you have an offline dictionary at your disposal at any given time.

Whether at school, college, or work, the world’s knowledge will be literally at your fingertips. When you come across a word you don’t know, tap the app, learn what the word means and how to use it, and go back to your life. It doesn’t get easier than this!

Subscribe to a word a day service

To help you stick to your a word a day pledge, do the most sensible thing possible: subscribe to a service that provides exactly that. Most online dictionaries offer this feature, usually in the form of a daily email. Here are a few you should give a try:

Dictionary.com: Word of The Day

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Word of The Day

WordSmith.Org: Word A Day

Don’t wait any longer. Start improving your vocabulary today!


Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

StoryCorps: The Amazing Recordings That Show Love Is Listening




How Did April Get Its Name?





Ever wonder why the months are named the way they are? What is it about the last month of the year that makes “December” an apt name for it? What about April and March – what are their stories?

We know for certain that for August through December, the months’ name correspond to their order of appearing in the year. September was the seventh month, October the eighth and so on, back when March was the first month of the year. However, April’s name has nothing to do to its position in the sequence.

April, the blossoming of Nature

The most prevalent theory as to how April got its name says that it goes back to the Latin word ‘aprilis’ and the verb ‘aperire,’ both of which denote an opening, to open, or blossom. This is a well-grounded hypothesis considering that April is the time when both animals and nature resume their activities after the long winter. Signaling this activity by naming the month after it seems like a sensible thing to do.

Another theory, however, says that ‘April’ got its name from the Greek goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite. Again, this could be seen as an attempt to denote the beauty of this time of the year as the trees and flowers begin to blossom, showing off their radiant colors.

April is a month commonly mentioned in literary works, music and other forms of oral culture and arts. T. S. Eliot’s Waste Land opens with the line: “April is the cruellest month” and George Orwell’s 1984 novel opens with this strong image:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks  were striking thirteen.”

April Proverbs and Sayings

Cultures around the world have proverbs about the month of April that help us better understand the significance and role it had to play in their daily lives.

“March Winds and April showers bring forth May flowers”

This well-known proverb perfectly illustrates how the weather in March and April ensures the abundance of May and early summer.

This proverb signals the anticipation of spring and all the images this conjures up of blossoming flowers and buzzing nature. In many countries and especially the UK and Ireland, April has heavy rain (or ‘April showers’) due to the jet stream.  The Spanish face the same phenomenon as illustrated by their own saying which is very similar: “En abril, aguas mil.” This proverb says that during the month of April, there’s a lot of rain, ‘millions of water.’

In previous centuries when people use to forecast weather based on the weather of particular days and months, April was among the months whose weather was under scrutiny. Such forecasts include:

– After a wet April, a dry June

– Fogs in April, floods in June

– Moist April, clear June.

At the same time, the French have a saying that counsels patience. The proverb says that April is not yet the time to don your summer outfits:

-En avril, ne te découvre pas d’un fil.

The French caution you not to put away your winter clothes yet as cold is still a fact.

Is there a special proverb or saying in your language about April? Let us know in the comments below!


Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Follow Ultimate Vocabulary on Facebook, Twitter and Googe+ for more tips and advice.
Check out eReflect’s Profile on Wikipedia, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Crunchbase and Training Industry as well!

This Student’s 7-Minute Video Highlights A Country’s 700-Year History




How Months Got Their Names (HINT: Gods Are Involved!)





Ever wondered how the months got their names? Then read on!

January

The first month of the year is named after the Roman god Janus, the god in charge of beginnings and passages. This was an apt name for January as it marked a review of the year that just ended and the optimism associated with a new year ahead.

February

This month took its name from ‘februa’, the cultural practice taking place halfway through the month. The Februa feast culminated between the 15th and 13th centuries as a form of ritual purification.

March

This one is easy! March got its name from the god of war, Mars. Several cultural practices devoted to Mars were taking place around this season, hence the name.

April

This name was presumably derived from the Latin word ‘aprillis’ coming from the verb aperio, which means “to open.” Given the agricultural focus of civilizations thousands of years ago, April was a busy, thriving month for farmers that signaling the opening of new agricultural possibilities ahead.

May

The fifth month is named after Maia, a goddess who, according to Greek mythology is Hermes’ mother and Atlas’ daughter. She was celebrated as a deity with a nurturing, motherly attitude.

June

Named after the Roman goddess, Juno, June is a month dedicated to marriage, childbirth and women’s well-being. Often Juno was associated with her Greek counterpart, Hera.

July

Named after Julius Caesar as a way to commemorate him, July is the first month of the calendar year not named after a deity, and it’s the month Caesar was born in.

Now let’s take a breather and a brief history lesson to understand the naming of the remaining months.

Hundreds of years back, the Romans had only ten months. These were what we now know as March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December. They also had a dead or idle period of about 60 days in which nothing major happened , at least not anything related to agriculture.

So, according to the Roman year, the year started in March and ended about 60 days after the end of December.  So considering that March was the first month, that makes August the sixth, September the seventh and so forth.

Now, Numa Pompilius, the King of Rome 2,700 or so years ago, decided to spice things up a bit. He said that the year should start earlier than March, and so he divided and named that dead winter time, creating January and February.

August, September, October, November, December

Before being named August, the six month was known as Sextilis (the ‘sixth’, see history lesson above). It was renamed as August in honor of the first Roman emperor.

September is the seventh month, October is the eighth month, November the ninth and of course, December, the tenth. These all come from the Latin words for those numbers: septem, octo, novem, decem.

Now you know why months are named the way they are!


Ultimate Vocabulary guarantees to help you increase your vocabulary knowledge! Learn more words and apply them in your writings.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments