Category Archives: Educational texts




Malaysia is a country in Asia. This nation is located in the region of South-East Asia. This country is just north of the Equator. It is south of the Tropic of Cancer. The country is hot all through the year.

The neighbours of Malaysia are Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Singapore is an island. At the nearest point it is only 500 metres from Malaysia. A bridge connects the two countries. Malaysia consists of Peninsular Malaysia (This is the area that borders Thailand) and the northern part of the island of Borneo.

Malays are not the original inhabitants of this land. There are some Oran Asli who are autochthonous. However, there are precious few of them. The Malays have lived here for centuries. The Malays are Mongoloid people. They have the same phenotype as Thais and Indonesians.

Centuries ago Arab traders came to this land. They proselytised for Islam. Hence Malays are all Muslims. Various kingdoms (sultanates) were founded. Each has a king (sultan) In the 16th century Dutch, Portuguese and British sailors arrived. These people purchased land and sometimes fought the Malays.

In the early 19th century the British started to rule Malaysia. In those days they called it Malaya. They made agreements with the sultans. The sultans ruled their own sultantes internally. They relied on the Britishers for foreign affairs and defence. British rule was a boon for Malaysia. The country was connected to the world economy. Modern science and engineering made life enormously better. Modern medicine saved countless lives.

The Cameron Highland are in Peninsular Malaysia. Plantations were established there growing tea, coffee and rubber.

India was then part of the British Empire. India had been trading with Malaysia for centuries. Under British rule some Indians chose to relocate to Malaysia. These Indians mostly hailed form the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu.

China was in a state of turmoil through much of the 19th century. Near constant civil war and incursions by other countries reduced China to debility.  Many Chinese decided to shift abroad. Chinese people voted with their feet and came to reside in British Malaysia. Japanese people also came to live in Malaysia. They were spies – part of a long term Japanese plan to prepare to annex the country.

In 1942 the Japanese invaded Malaysia. British, Australian and Indian troops defended the land. However, theirs was a losing battle. The Japanese moved very fast on bicycles. They had men hold up planks of wood as bridges over streams. The Japanese had a resounding victory. It was an ignominious British reverse.

Japanese rule was cruel and exploitative. Many civilians were slain by the Japanese Army. People were enslaved and worked to death on building projects. The Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army resisted the occupation. The MPAJA was mostly communist.

In 1945 the Japanese surrendered. Normality was restored. However, the MPAJA was also anti British. They soon started an anti-British revolt. The MPAJA drew succour only from a segment of the Chinese minority.

Gerald Templer was the British general sent to quell the communists in Malaya. He introduced passes, protected villages and food rationing. He was assassinated but his plan worked.

In 1957 Malaysia became independent. The sultans take it in turns to rule for 5 years. There are 9 sultans. The sultan who is the ruler of the whole of Malaysia has the title ”Agong.”

Kuala Lumpur is the main capital of this country. Its name means ”Muddy Delta.” Can you guess which word is which? Most people can guess from the sound of the words. In Bahasa Malaysia the word ”Kuala” is ”delta” and ”Lumpur” is ”muddy.” The Parliament is here as is the residence of the Agong.

Putrajaya is the administrative capital of Malaysia. It was built in 1998 and houses the civil service. The states have different laws. Some of them have Shari law and alcohol is prohibited. It is permitted in Kuala Lumpur.

The Flag of Malaysia has thirteen red  and white strips – one for each state. The ensign of the flag is blue with a yellow crescent moon and star. These emblems symbolise Islam. The flag is consciously modelled on that of the United States.

Most of the people live in Peninsular Malaysia. The Malays are about 60 per cent of the people. The rest are divided between the Chinese, the Indians, Oran Asli and others.

The language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia. It is written in Latin letters. English also has official status.

The economy of this country is growing rapidly. Malaysia recently became a developed country. Malaysia Airlines is a major earner for the country. The nation has a good financial services sector. The country has manufacturing and industry. The currency is the Rupiah.



  1. On which continent is Malaysia in?
  2. Name three neighbours of Malaysia?
  3. Which country is connected by Malaysia by bridge?
  4. Which island is partly in Malaysia?
  5. What are the two capitals of Malaysia?
  6. Translate Kuala Lumpur.
  7. Draw the flag of Malaysia. Five marks.
  8. What is the currency of Malaysia?
  9. What are the two official languages?
  10. What are the three main ethnic groups? Three marks
  11. What are earners for this country?
  12. Which country invaded Malaysia in 1942?






TED talk – what is it you actually do


E Stokoe

#sOMEONE is a first mover. he ir she asks a pointed question

/”what do you actually do?”

does one reply ”what do you mean what do I do I could aks you that>?”

”I had a fall>” – said old woman. her  daughter said she was ageing herself in her word choice.

police interview ask about fall. push. fell on ground or lawn. Subtle change makes it softer.


she studies talk in a scientific manner. big pay offs when understanding prof or work encounters.

phone, greeting and recognition. eqnuries. main business. openings roll out ina  systemic manner


dana and Gordon. couple.

no return greeting. 0.7 second of silence.

muted hello. not going t go for how are you. inserted questions. where have you been all morning?

not an inncnet info sekeing question.

he hits back with a  cheery greeting. add detail. umm.

he pushes back. answers. music work shop. tries to move chat to initial enquiries.

hearably not fine. anaemic tone.

dana project is to discuss trouble. G wishes t =o avoid it.

race track . landscape and architecture.





issues in transcription


it is interprative. process

critically examine issues that arise.

used in Birmingham school

processes involved in conscription. what is transcription?

Hw is lang transcribed?

what is good transcription

it is process of creating witten representation of a speech evetn. This is a critiscism. levelled at people. no tone of voice, eye contact or gesture

we have no idea oof physical situation

assumed that talk is like writing. this is untrue assumption

written grmmar cannot be successfully used on spoken lang

transcription is much more and less than written talk

what is transcription is much more and less than talk written down.

”my teacher is made cos I never done my homework.”

British pupil saying the teacher is angry since the child did not do his or her work. It is ungrammatical.

our responses come from cultural ideas#

this is what people actually say – the quotation.

these perceptions are vital to remember.

what is transcription – judge people based on what they say and how

it is susceptible to secretarial events

they perceive that the person has made mistakes. these are then corrected in transcription

trans is responsive to cultural voices.

same speech can be interpreted in different ways – different research focuses.

as analysis we read and form preceptions of what is there to find. we must guard against finding what we expect to find.

transcreiption is a set of compromises

trans is more and less than written talk.

contrast common orothography

we have cultural bias. we cannot write down every gesture and aspect of situation.

write down all of context.

conversation is unproblematic but representing it is

trans is comprmise. it differs from conversation

recording quality varies. long stretches of unintelligible speech

guessing what is said.

we have to ttell that we guessed. talk about microphone. put people on record – are we recording what they think thy shuld say? They omit things and tidy up their speech

after a few minus people forget the microphone. people are not reading from a script.

people overlap. ,messy

paralinguistic features – coughing, laughing ad sighing. is it important?

extra linguistic do we need? Stage direction?

Someone was holdng something/ What do we include or have access to.

no punctuation in trans. contractions are punctuated. informal non standard speech. no full stops or capitals. we do not impose rules of writing on speech

no dealing with sentences.

number the items. speaker turns.

paralinguistic infoo can be in a different colours. wee can add pauses and long pauses

prosodic info – capitalise words for stress or volume

speaker turns. all extra linguistic info

  • gaze.
  • door handle opening.
  • time pauses.
  • #brief pauses.
  • interpretaive process is at work.
  • a series of decisions is made in trans
  •  how much detail do we need?


issues –

secretarial effect

trasn is situated

tarns is political. what happens during process when weak are trans by strong?

person from lower social class is trans by jigher social class

defendant trans by stenographer. they make standard non standard speecg

when barrister uses non standard it is not tidied up by steno

suspect and policeman



IN 2000 did work


good trans preserves some info. practical info.

analysis. convetions. pauses overlaps and interruptions.

facilitates close attention and interpretive thinking needed to make sense of data




Dr C Jones Linguistic competence.


he wrote succesfful english

successful user one can use pragmatics competently.

why was it neeful to loo at successful spoken English

native speaker is model for learners to aspire to. not always realsitic

some learners do not need to reach that level. not always desirable

what learners can do at different levels. in B2 in CFR

what do they do with lang?

what can learners do? we look at that

what B2 can do informs what people need to do from B1 to go up


does not tell us what strategies learners use. it is not intended so to do

makes it harder to interpret.

descriptions are broad.

Heinz in 1972 said competence – use and knowledge of lang are the same.

linguistic competence looked at in relation to discourse competence, pragmatic competence and strategic competence. use these to achieve goals

take these definitions

kanally and swain, backburn and palmer

b competence – linguisti – ability to use lexis, grammar and phonology

strategic competence – ability to repair errors. make choices to oil wheels of competence

pragmatic – to use lang as apposite for social setting

all of these matter

they are inter linked.

how could we look at successful speaker of English. we cannot follow and recrd someone,

corpus of learner test data

levels. learnr exams from B1 to C1.

B1 is lower intermediate

C1 is lower advanced

lang of native speakers.

corpus was 100 000 words.

tests used based on paired interviews. 12 minues.

three parts. into questions. interaction. paird discussion between candidates.

follow up discussion. candidates to candidate

topics. family, sports, hobbies. opinions on sports stars pay

exams were rated. 0 to 5. pass mark was 2.5

we used data of those who got 3 or 4. aggregate grade permission to use data

different nationalities. male and female. average age 23

context of data – lang schools. typical ppu.




frequency –

were they from first thousand in British National Corpus

look at words they sued and the types I e pronouns, nouns

repeated word is not couted twice.

increase as we move up the levels in amount of tolen whicha re used.

see that cumulatively – first two thousands words make up v large proportion of leanr speech 97 per cent

dping a lot with first 2000 words. make us work for them

this is so fr successful elaners at each level. difference in way they use the words.

simple xample. B1 lvel.

k1 WORDS – from first thousand most frequent

K2  – from second thousand in B N C

significant difference in types of words usd as the level increased. C1 use more types.

number of words used. B2 and C1 used more words than lower levels.

success at higher proficiency does not reply on using less common vocab

increased use of v frequent vocab types.

this marks out different levels of success.

frequent words. many frm first 2000. calculate these. in terms of top 20.

unsurprisingly – there are many grammatical words such as the, to, in

hesitation. frequent.

”er” is there. successful learners can hesitate.

increased use of ”yeah”

much more common than ”yes”

starts to signal greater awareness of interaction

at B1 level learners focus on their turn


B2 they respond more to partner.







Donald J Trump



Trump is the President of the United States. He was born in New York in 1946. His mother was Scots and his father was German-American. His father was a millionaire property developer.

Donald J has two sisters and a brother. He attended a military school. He did not achieve good grades. He then went on to the Wharton School of Business.

The family business was where Trump started. He was then lent $ 1 000 000 by his father. Donald was able to avoid military service by claiming to have bad heels. Trump became very rich.

In the 1970s Donald’s brother died of alcohol abuse. Donald J never drinks. He then married a Czech athlete named Ivana and had two children. Donald J began a 10 year affair with Marla Maples. He then divorced Ivana and wed Marla. They had a daughter. Donald divorced Marla and wed Melania. Melania is a Slovenian model.

Trump became a billionaire. He built Trump towers. His company is called the Trump Organization. He also has golf courses.

The political affiliation of this man has changed from Republican to Democrat and back. He donated to the Clintons. In the 1980s he spoke of standing for the vice-presidency.

When Obama became president Trump claimed that Obama was not an American. He continued to disseminate this statement long after it was debunked. Trump announced he was seeking the Republican nomination for president.

He had name recognition. He led from early in the race. In 2016 he won the nomination. Many senior Republicans were aghast.

Candidate Trump said he wanted to improve relations with Russia. He spoke of his respect for President Putin. Donald John Trump wants to annihilate ISIS and use torture. Trump’s slogan was ”make America great again.”

The Democrat candidate was Hillary Clinton. They spoke at several debates. Many scandals about Trump emerged. He stoked anti Muslim hatred.

On election day Hillary polled more votes. But Trump won more electoral votes. He was duly elected.

Trump was sworn in on 20 January 2017. He tweets at all hours.

He has three sons and two daughters. Donald Junior and Eric are involved in the business. Ivanka works at the White House with her husband Jared Kushner.


  1. When was Trump born?
  2. What is his middle initial?
  3. In which city was he born?
  4. What is his nationality?
  5. Where did his mother come from?
  6.  Where did his paternal grandparents hail from?
  7. What was his father’s job?
  8. How much of a loan did Donald receive from his father?
  9. How many siblings did Donald have?
  10. Which sort of school did he attend?
  11. Which university did he go to?
  12. How did he get out of military service?
  13. Which parties has he supported? Two marks.
  14. What is the name of his company?
  15.  What does he call his towers?
  16. How many wives has he had?
  17.  How many daughter does he have?
  18. Where did his first wife come from?
  19. Which political family did he donate money to?
  20.  Who was his opponent in the presidential election?
  21. What lie did Trump tell about Obama?
  22. Why did Trump win the election with fewer votes than his rival?. Two marks.
  23. In which year did he become president?
  24. What is the name of his current wife?
  25. What is your opinion of him? Five marks.




Moldova is a country in Eastern Europe. Moldova has the Ukraine to the east and Romania to the west. The country has cold winters and warm summers. It is well north of the Equator. This nation has no coast.

The Dnistria is the main river in Moldova. It is very wide in places. Moldova is small. It is mostly flat but has some hills.

Moldova has been part of the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Sometimes it has been part of Romania. This country was in the USSR from 1941 to 1991. Since 1991 it has been independent. Romania and Moldova considered uniting in the 1990s. Many Romanians wanted it to be part of their country. In the end it did not happen.

Some people are ethnically Moldovan. Some Moldovan citizens are Russian or Ukrainian by ethnicity. There are Gaugaz people there too. They are Turkic Muslims. Most other people in this country are Christians.

Sometimes this country has been called Bessarabia. It is often called the Republic of Moldova. This distinguishes it from the Romanian region of Moldova.

There are two official languages. These are Moldovan and Russian. Moldovan is almost the same as Romanian.

Trandnistria is a region of the country where the government of Moldova has no control. Its capital is Tiraspol. There is a football team there called Sheriff. It is owned by Mr Ciapchin. They team is known as ”soldiers”. The fans chant ”go soldiers go!”.

The capital of Moldova is Chisinau. That is the Moldovan name. Russians called it Khishniev.

The currency is the leu (lion). The Romanians also called their currency this.

The flag had three vertical bars. The left one is navy blue, the middle is yellow and the right one is red. There is a symbol on the middle bar. This flag is the same as the Romanian one but for the symbol.



  1. Which continent is Moldova in?
  2. Is it south of the Equator?
  3. Which lands are beside it?
  4.  Which sea is it on?
  5. What is the main river?
  6. What colours are the flag?
  7. What is the currency?
  8.  What are the two official languages?
  9. Why is Russian one of the languages?
  10. Why do some Romanians want Moldova to unite with them?
  11. What is unusual about Trandnistria?
  12.  What is the main religion of Moldova?
  13.  Describe the climate.
  14. What are the names of the capital of Moldova?
  15. Who are the Gaugaz people?




Mongolia is a country in Asia. It lies in the east of the continent but far from the sea. This country has but two neighbours – Russia and China. This country is mostly flat. It consists of desert and tundra. It is bitterly cold in winter and hot in summer. It is a very continental climate. It changes so radically because it is thousands of miles from the sea. The sea acts as a moderating influence on the temperature of maritime regions.

The Mongolian people were mostly nomads. They followed their itinerant lifestyle with herds of horses. They sought pasture and water for their beasts. This hardy race lived off horse meat and mare’s milk. Their clothes and shoes were mostly fashioned from their quadrupeds. The Mongolian people lived in tents called yurts. On the treeless plains wood was in short supply. These people were very tough which is why they survived without fires. They lived off their horses because the land was unsuitable for arable farming.

The Mongolians were renowned as doughty warriors. In the Middle Ages they carved out the vastest empire ever known. They subjugated China. They stormed the cities of Russia. They conquered Persia and they even bested the Hungarians. They Georgians surrendered to them rather than have their land laid waste. They Mongolians were due to invade into Europe when their ruler died. The Mongolians turned back to sort out the succession. This spared Europe. Europeans called the Mongolians ”God’s scourge”. They felt that God was punishing them by allowing the Mongolians to predate them.

The Mongolians were notorious for their extreme savagery. They would slaughter civilians by the thousand and pile their skulls. They enslaved people and used human shields.

The Egyptians were among the few people to beat the Mongolians at the Battle of Ain Jaut. The Mongolian invasion of Japan also failed.

The Mongolian dynasty split. Some ruled China. Others embraced the Islamic faith. The Mughal emperors of India were descended form them. This is why the word Mughal is like Mongol. The early Mughal emperors had Central Asian features.

The Mongolians have given their name to a whole race. The Chinese, Japanese, Kazakhs, Koreans, Thais, Indonesians and so on are all Mongoloid. These people tend to be short. They have pale to yellow flesh. They may well have large epicanthic folds and therefore their eyes are sometimes hooded. They often have large cheekbones and are narrow bodied. They have little or no facial hair. They often have a low alcohol tolerance.

Genghis Khan was one of the Mongolian rulers. His name is lauded by many people in Central Asia. One Mongolian potentate held a council at Borovoye in Kazakhstan.

Kublai Khan was another famous Mongolian leader. He inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge to compose an opium inspired poem, ”In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree.” Timur the Lame is another well known Mongol chief.

Russia had to pay tribute to the Mongolian Golden Horde. There was a street where tribute was left to be collected by the Mongolians. In time the Russians rose up and vanquished the Mongolians.

Mongolia came to be a poor and feeble country. She was dominated by her much larger neighbours. The people still wandered from place to place. They tended to like a precarious life.

In 1918 the Russian communists helped Mongolian communists start a communist revolution in Mongolia. Mongolia became a communist country in the Soviet orbit. Since the 1990s it has no longer been communist.

The capital city is Ulan Bataar. This is the coldest capital on earth. Bataar is a boy’s name in Central Asia.

The Flag of Mongolia has three vertical bars. The two side ones are red and the middle one is pale blue. There are yellow symbols on the blue bar.

The language of the country is Mongolian. The country is mostly Buddhist.


  1. On which continent is Mongolia?
  2. Which countries border this one? Two marks.
  3. What is a nomad? Three marks.
  4. What is a yurt?
  5. Name four countries the Mongolians conquered.
  6. Why did the Mongolians not stay on farms in their country?
  7. Name a renowned Mongol leader.
  8. What is a Mongoloid? Three marks.
  9. What is the capital of this country?
  10. Name its capital.
  11. What was the political system here after 1918?
  12. Draw the Flag.