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Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

May 29, 2017

How can you describe yourself, your experiences, and your education in a way that will make you stand out? Language can help! Using creative and original vocabulary will make your resume more interesting to read. Try this useful vocabulary for creating a resume to improve your resume (and perhaps improve your chances of getting an interview).

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

It is common to use words such as make, do, improve, or get on resumes. However, these words are too common and are seen as “weak” words: there are other stronger verbs in the English language that much more effectively express what you did at your last job. Try using some of the words below instead. In the parentheses, you will see the words or concepts that are commonly used with these power verbs. Some of the words are applicable for more than one category, so they may appear twice.

Instead of MADE or DO, say:

  • Acted as (an employee with a title)
  • Conducted (research, studies)
  • Coordinated (events. meetings, groups, activities)
  • Developed (ideas, projects)
  • Delivered (results)
  • Designed (projects, spaces, events, graphics)
  • Devoted (yourself to a cause, devoted time to something important)
  • Gathered (information, ideas, objects)
  • Participated in (events, conferences, meetings, projects)
  • Performed (tasks, duties, responsibilities)

Instead of THINK/RESEARCH, say:

  • Analyzed (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Evaluated (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Examined  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Defined (target markets, audiences)
  • Developed (research studies, ideas, projects)
  • Observed  (data, statistics, research findings, etc.)
  • Recommended (actions based on professional experience or research)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

Instead of GOT/RECEIVED, say:

  • Achieved (a goal)
  • Accomplished  (a goal)
  • Earned (a new job title, an award, money)
  • Fulfilled (a goal)
  • Gathered (data, information)
  • Obtained (data, information)
  • Received (data, information, objects)

Instead of HELPED or IMPROVED, say:

  • Advanced (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Assisted with/in (a job, tasks, duties)
  • Contributed to  (an industry, a cause, an idea)
  • Contributed by + ing (an action you took to improve this cause)
  • Consulted (a company, a person)
  • Encouraged (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Enhanced (growth through action, a company, a person)
  • Generated  (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Gained (revenue, sales, internet traffic, acclaim)
  • Identified (a problem, a market, an audience)
  • Maximized (profits, efficiency, sales)
  • Modernized (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Strengthened (an industry, a system, an organization)
  • Upgraded (technology, software)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

For ACTIONS you took (organizing, managing), say:

  • Delegated (responsibilities, tasks, duties)
  • Diversified (a company’s portfolio)
  • Facilitated (meetings, changes)
  • Formulated (ideas, projects, change)
  • Headed (a project)
  • Hosted (a conference, a meeting)
  • Implemented (change)
  • Influenced (a person or company to change)
  • Launched (a project, advertising campaign)
  • Managed (people, a company, a project)
  • Mediated (issues between people, departments, or companies)
  • Negotiated (agreements and transactions between people, departments, or companies)
  • Operated (machinery, computer programs, production)
  • Organized (meetings, plans)
  • Overhauled (change in a company)
  • Oversaw (a project or company)
  • Pioneered (a new idea)
  • Planned (an event, a project)
  • Prepared (a presentation, a proposal, anything to be presented or given to the public or co-workers or clients)
  • Presented (ideas, findings, proposals)
  • Promoted (ideas, companies)
  • Provided (support, professional help)
  • Pursued (a goal or new project)
  • Redesigned or Re-engineered or Restructured (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Reorganized (a way of doing things, a system)
  • Represented (a company, an organization, a team, a department)
  • Spearheaded (a project)
  • Trained (a person or a team)
  • Unified (a group, departments, companies)
  • Utilized (resources, tools)

Useful Vocabulary for Creating a Resume

With CISL’s Career English program, students spend time with an American company and practice their English in a real working environment. Before spending time with their host company, students work with the Career English Coordinator to improve their interview skills and to create their American-style resume. 

Would you like to learn more about what it is like to spend time with an American company through CISL’s Career English program? Read about some of the experiences of former students and watch Desi’s video below. 

CISL Career English Program from Converse International School on Vimeo.

Academic English EAP Featured TOEFL University Pathway Vocabulary Writing

Academic English Vocabulary: Verbs for Citations

March 14, 2017

When CISL English for Academic Purposes students learn to write academic English research papers, students often have difficulty citing their sources. The problem? Finding synonyms for the word “say” in order to avoid repetition in their paper. The following verbs for citations can be used in place of “say.” Some are more appropriate than others depending on the situation: to better understand their usage, we are providing the situation in which we can use this word (as well as an example, which uses the MLA format for citing sources).

With each example, we are imagining a research paper written on the effects of caffeine. We will cite an imaginary scientist with the last name “Jacobs.”

Verbs for citations

Verbs for Citations

Argue

Usage: to cite a person who says something contrary to another argument.

Example: While many believe caffeine is harmful, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania argue that in small doses, caffeine can stimulate brain function and awareness (Jacobs 2017). 

Assert

Usage: to cite a person who says something confidently or with force.

Example: Despite arguments against the validity of his research, the professor asserts that the study’s findings are accurate (Jacobs 2017). 

Claim

Usage: to cite someone who is stating or asserting that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.

Example: The anti-environment group claimed that research about global warming was flawed (Jacobs 2017). 

Disclose

Usage: to cite someone who is making (secret or new information) known.

Example: Jacobs disclosed that the research was funded by a pharmaceutical company with the intention of making their new drug appear effective (199: 2017).

Divulge

Usage: to make private or sensitive information known.

Example: The summary divulged that the study was funded by the government (Jacobs 2017). 

Verbs for citations

Maintain

Usage: to cite a person who keeps their opinion, despite claims against it.

Example: Although over the years other studies have been published stating the dangers of caffeine, Jacobs maintains that the original study is correct and that caffeine in small doses is beneficial (199: 2017). 

Note

Usage: to cite a person who is pointing out something interesting, adding a fact or piece of information.

Example: Jacobs additionally notes that caffeine has been shown to help maintain steady sleep patterns when used effectively (198: 2017). 

Point out

Usage: the phrasal verb “to point out” means to bring attention to an important fact.

Example: Jacobs also points out that many of the studies regarding the benefits of caffeine were paid for by the coffee industry, while his study was funded by a government grant (198: 2017). 

Reason

Usage: to cite a person who draws a conclusion based on information, evidence, or knowledge.

Example: Scientists reasoned that the study’s results were due to the use of regulated doses of coffee, as opposed to studies that gave subjects higher doses of caffeine (Jacobs 2017). 

State

Usage: a more formal synonym for the word “say.”

Example: Jacobs also states that the study was the first of its kind (194: 2017). 

Did you notice that each of the above words are followed by the word “that?” This is optional. To find out why, read our article on Defining vs. Non-defining Relative Clauses.

Would you like some more examples of verbs for citations? Check out the University of Toronto, Scarborough’s list of Verbs for Citing Sources, the University of Portsmouth’s Verbs for Citations list, or Centralia College in Washington’s useful Verbs of Attribution download.

Academic English Academic Year Abroad Featured University Pathway Writing

Academic English: Writing a Paragraph + CISL’s EAP and Pathway

January 18, 2017

Are you an international student preparing to attend college in the United States? With CISL’s Pathway Program, students first attend CISL’s English for Academic Purposes Program and master the academic English skills necessary to succeed in the rigorous American classroom. Students then transfer to one of CISL’s esteemed Pathway Partner schools, such as Palomar College or Santa Barbara City College, to complete their degree.

One of the main aspects of CISL’s EAP program is learning how to write an effective essay. This is the cornerstone of the American academic system! Mastering the essay begins with mastering the paragraph. Do you know how to write an effective paragraph?

WriteReadStudy

Writing an Effective Body Paragraph

An essay typically consists of the following:

  • An introduction
  • Body paragraphs (2-3, but this varies)
  • A conclusion

We are going to take a look at the body paragraphs and how to write them effectively. But first, let’s look at their parts.

A paragraph consists of several parts:

  • An introductory sentence. This is the sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. It tells the reader exactly what the paragraph will be about.
  • Supporting sentences. These sentences support the main idea of the introductory sentence. Every sentence in the paragraph should directly relate to this main idea. Although this sounds simple, in the end it’s very easy to begin writing and get off topic!

Here are two examples of paragraphs with an introductory sentence and supporting sentences. Where do you imagine that these paragraphs would be placed in the essay?

art-1868727_640

Paragraph 1

Researchers also discovered that flights affect one’s ability to reason. In a study of over 1,000 participants, scientists asked each person to complete puzzles and other problem-solving exercises while on the ground and then again in the air. Researchers reported a 20% decreased in the participants’ abilities to problem solve while flying versus in the air.

This next example has a sentence which doesn’t belong. Can you find it? Why do you think it doesn’t belong in the paragraph?

Class.University.Pathway.Seat.Chair.Lecture.College

Paragraph 2

The first reason I believe that school uniforms are beneficial is a personal one. I attended two high schools: the first required us to wear uniforms while the second did not. I found that the morning routine during my first two years of school (in which I wore uniforms) were significantly less stressful than my last two (in which I did not wear uniforms). With uniforms, I knew exactly what to wear each day and. Also, I found it easier to make friends in the school where I wore uniforms because we did not have the distraction of fashionable clothing and the status associated with wearing certain brands.

Student.Question.Class.Teacher.FAQ

Further practice:

Rewrite Paragraph 2 so that it meets the requirements of a good paragraph.

Write another body paragraph after Paragraph 2. What would you say?

 

Academic English Cambridge Exams EAP Featured IELTS TOEFL Writing

Exam Prep Writing: Beginning an Essay with an Effective Hook

December 16, 2016

Many writers (both native English speakers and English learners) agree that beginning the essay is often the most difficult part. For English proficiency exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge FCE and CAE, this is certainly the case!

Take a look at this sample TOEFL Agree/Disagree statement. How would you begin an essay? (For tips on TOEFL Agree/Disagree, check out our article that contains useful hints.)

Writing.Speaking.Agree.Disagree.TOEFL.CAE.FCE.IELTS

Learn more TOEFL Writing Tips (and how to construct an Agree/Disagree essay) on the CISL Blog.

Writing Prompt:

Do you agree or disagree with the statement below?

There is nothing that younger people can teach older people. 

Use specific examples to support your arguments. 

Would you know how to begin an essay on this topic? Learn how to write a great “hook” (first sentence) and you will not have this problem again!

Students Writing

A strongly written essay will also include conjunctions: learn about how to use them effectively in our article about Coordinating Conjunctions.

Using the hook in writing

A “hook” is given its name because it hooks the reader. It’s the first sentence, and it entices the reader to continue through the paragraph and essay.

There are many types of hooks. Let’s look at a few.

Hook 1: A Question

Begin your essay by posing a question to your reader. It gets them thinking!

Example 1: Have you ever had a teacher who was younger than you?

Example 2: We become wiser as we get older . . . but can we learn from those who have experienced less of life?

Example 3: Have you ever had a teacher who was younger than you?

Hook 2: An anecdote

An anecdote is a personal story. Writing sections of proficiency exams ask you to use specific examples to support your opinion: with an anecdote, you are beginning with one!

Example 1: I will never forget walking into the classroom and seeing Vlad: even with his kind face, I thought to myself, “How can I teach someone who is significantly older than me?.” It turns out, I could.

Example 2: I’ve learned so much from my teachers and professors in elementary school, high school, and college . . . but I may have learned the most from my experience as teaching assistant to small children.

Example 3: Can the students be the teacher? I certainly think so after volunteering at a local elementary school.

Hook 3: A fact

In a test setting, it might be difficult to remember an exact fact or statistic. However, this is useful if you are writing research essays at home and can access a library or a computer. Even without a computer, this can still be a possible hook: check out some of these examples.

Example 1: You must complete four years of college and two years of additional training to become a high school teacher.

Example 2: Most companies ask for “2-5 years experience” from applicants.

CAEwritingtipsCAEclassSanDiego

Familiarize yourself with the many prompts you can get in TOEFL with our article on the Types of TOEFL Writing Prompts.

Hook 4: Set a scene

Grab their attention: tell a story! The reader will continue reading just to hear your ending!

Example 1: Jason watched as George slowly typed on the computer keyboard, carefully pushing one key at a time while looking confused and dismayed. “Can I help you?” Jason asked. “Sure,” George replied. “I’m trying to email my daughter a photo, but I don’t know how to attach it. This email thing is so confusing to me.”

Example 2: Looking around the classroom, Anna completed her lecture. “And that is how you publish your own webpage. Any questions?” A student in the back, a middle-aged gentleman with wire-rimmed glasses, raised his hand. “Just one question,” he said. “How did you learn all of this before learning how to drive?” The class laughed, and so did Anna. “Well,” Anna said, “I studied programming in high school and was well-versed in coding before I entered college last year.”

Hook 5: A quote

Without access to a computer, it might be difficult to remember exact quotes from famous individuals. However, your quote does not have to be from someone famous.

Example: “Yoga until you’re 90,” Sindhu kept saying during our yoga teacher training. With this in mind, we learned the best ways to practice yoga without putting strain on our bodies. Little did I know, in a few months my students would actually be near 90: I was soon to take a volunteer position as a yoga teacher for a retirement community in my town.

Hook 6: Your thesis!

Your thesis is the main idea of your paper. If you don’t feel like writing a catchy or creative hook, then begin your paper with your thesis. This direct approach is often very effective!

To write a powerful and concise thesis, check out our article on How to Write a Thesis with Predictors.

Example 1: I am a firm believer that everyone has something to offer, regardless of age; therefore, it is my opinion that the young have much to offer the elderly in regard to education.

Student Studying Writing Computer

Do you know how to write a thesis? Check out our article Writing a Thesis with Predictors for tips!

Hook 7: A misconception

Example 1: Many believe that the youth of today are misguided, self-centered, and irresponsible, and therefore have little to offer in regard to educating the wiser elderly population.

For more information on CISL’s intensive TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge CAE and FCE classes, check out CISL’s website.

American Traditions Featured Grammar Holidays Listening Practice Reading Writing

Grammar Lesson of the Month: Irregular Verbs in Christmas poetry

December 1, 2016

One of the most difficult aspects of learning English is the language’s irregular verbs. These verbs make it tough for students to correctly use grammatical structures that require a past tense or past participle verb, such as the Simple Past, the Present Perfect, or the Passive. Students spend hours practicing long irregular English verb lists, but still have difficulties when speaking English.

The best way to practice? Learn these verbs while in use! This month we are looking at irregular English verbs in use through a famous Christmas poem: “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore. (Fun fact: this poem is more commonly called “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” which is the first line of the poem.)

For many American families, it is tradition to read this poem around the holidays. Enjoy this piece of American holiday culture (and the chance to practice these irregular verbs)!

 Christmas-ESL-SanDiego-San-Francisco

Irregular Verb Practice: Gap-Fill Exercise

First, read the poem below and see if you can complete the missing words with the correct form of the verb in parenthesis. If you need to, listen to the poem being read as well: the video is below.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were _____ (hang) by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there _____ (arise)  such a clatter,
I _____ (spring) from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I _____ (fly) like a flash,
_____ (tear) open the shutters and _____ (throw) up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
_____ (give) a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I _____ (know) in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they _____ (come),
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they _____ (fly) 
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I _____ (hear) on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I _____ (draw) in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas _____ (come) with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had _____ (fling) on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he _____ (hold)  tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That _____ (shake) when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon _____ (give)  me to know I had nothing to dread;
He _____ (speak) not a word, but _____ (go) straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And _____ (lay) his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he _____ (rise) ;
He _____ (spring) to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all _____ (fly) like the down of a thistle.
But I _____ (hear) him exclaim, ere he _____ (drive) out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

 

Answers: Irregular Verbs

Did you get the correct answers?
A Visit from St. Nicholas
By Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”