From a class three years ago. Outcomes of an interactive email assignment. Not irrelevant yet.

In what quality was Yudhisthira different from his brothers?

Yudhisthira could wait/pause to study the situation he was in. He was rational, reasonable in this sense. This capacity to wait despite the physical urge for water, which is shown absent in his brothers, distinguishes him from them. Also, he is calm and composed towards Yakshya’s warning about the fate of his brothers. His brothers got enraged at this life-threatening challenge, while he got ready to accept the challenge. Foremost, he lived up to his sensibility and carefulness by tactfully answering Yakshya’s queries, the qualities we can hardly expect his brothers to show in a condition of extreme thirst, tiredness and irritation.

You can think of other similar aspects.

Why do we need technical writing?

Simple. You need it to be able to communicate your works to a professional community. This also means being able to understand the language and content of the works of a broad circle of experts and specialists. If you go by the contents of your text book, you study TW to ensure clarity, conciseness, accuracy, organization and ethics of professional communication.

Why do we need to prepare a journal?

A simple purpose is to keep record of all the important activities you and your instructor do in the ENGT 101 course. It  includes both curricular and extracurricular works. In fact, the journal is intended to give you a satisfaction of doing at least one major assignment integrating a variety of plain, critical and creative tasks you accomplish as an undergraduate student of Kathmandu University.

Can you give a note on ethics? (Technical writing)

The concept of ethics in TW mainly refers to the ‘goodness’ of communication. Goodness takes a lot of important aspects ranging from morality, legality, credibility, acceptability, usability/usefulness etc. of formal writings and speeches. Moreover, it has to do with the correctness in information and appropriateness in etiquette and validity in follow-up and action. In simplest terms, ethics is about passing right message to right persons in right language and format.

In four levels, what are the things we have to write in assimilation?

I would particularly focus on what aspects of the text actually touched me, after reading it a number of times. I would try to be very frank about what I liked in the story/essay/poem/novel. I would say — “I never knew that American teenagers are so liberal about living together and having children without getting married. I can’t really imagine such independence to be helpful in my society. But I appreciate the priority they give to individualism, which is literally necessary to allow people to learn to face the difficult challenges of a highly commercialized society. The essay has been a window to understand the contemporary social life in America.”

Thus, you can try to state what you learn, know, understand, realize, think — to the level of being able to experience change in your attitudes, behaviours and plans of your life.

How can I give a better presentation? (As I get nervous easily.)

You must practice frequently after conscious preparation. In general independent presentations, speak what you know, and what you like to know. Try to know and speak what you enjoy knowing and sharing. In specific situations like formal presentations, work to know more than you need to speak. Get ready with necessary aids and back-ups. I am sure you can do best presentations. Nervousness is useful to the extent it makes you aware of the task. It is a problem if it dominates your expressions and acts. But ensuring a degree of familiarity in content and with the audience helps reduce nervousness to a large extent.

I’m very keen to learn English grammatically and fluently soon. How can I achieve success in this aspect?

There is no any sure-fire recipe for learning English but to practice speaking, writing, reading and listening regularly with commitment to update yourself every moment. What is the most interesting subject you want to read? What do you like to write (about) most? What kind of people you want to speak with and about what? What is the best time and method for you to communicate in English? Who is the person who appreciates your efforts to learn English? Do reflect these questions and look for the right book, method, person and time to start practicing. Come to me if you think I can be of any help, even beyond class hours. You should be benefited for being in KU and studying communication skills.

Technical Writing text book is okay for we engineering students, but why do we have to studyFlax-Golden Tales?

The Communication Skills course (ENGT) demands integration of four fundamental aspects of communication — Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (LSRW). Flax-Golden Tales includes all these skills, while Technical Writing focuses on Writing and Speaking. This shows the significance of Flax-Golden Tales. So, what will you read for pleasure, and to get sense of the best use of English without literary texts? What will motivate you to think about  the world and human beings but stories/essays/poems/dramas? What happens to you when you read a touching story, understand a haunting argument and listen a mesmerizing music? The answer is there — you get touched, haunted and mesmerized. You become a thinking and feeling creature. That is why we teach Flax-Golden Tales — to bring you back to the world of feelings and emotions, at least once a week and a few minutes in between!

I think this post from a blog I manage answers your question — http://kufit.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/dealing-with-the-thinking/ .

How can we develop good personality?

Grooming for what you are and can be. Try to make yourself a more knowledgeable, dynamic and respectable person each day. What are the ways of doing this? Well, not all of us are born with good personalities, but there may be enough opportunities to acquire desired/desirable qualities in us.You are in the University which, I believe, is ‘dominated’ by positive attitude. You need to wait but make sure to assimilate all the good things done by good people during your four-year stay. Or, see if you will be in the condition to ask me this question after a year. I will come up with more concrete ‘personality development’ recipe.

With the ever-growing influence of informality in writing, is it still very important to focus on all the complexities of technicalities and grammar of English language?

If you mean formal communication, I will tell you YES. Most of our writings, still, are read and used by a generation born and brought up with rules on decency and manners in communication. So long as you communicate with them, and know that you will be in a danger of tickling their sense of propriety, be on your guard. Put aside the urge for informality and ease, and write by keeping the frowns of the grey-mustached oldies in mind. After all, they  never intended to turn our fine world of communication into ashes by setting some strict linguistic and technical parameters. Perhaps, we are claiming to enjoy more anarchy in the name of ease and ‘workability’ of what we write.

What difference does the accent of the non-native English speakers make in spoken English?

It may make some difference in the long-run, in the same way as slang is born, or dialects come to exist.

What difference how you speak English makes to people around you — the non-native English speakers? This is important. I think the native speakers have long ceased thinking how the accents of the likes of you and me influence ‘their’ language. Perhaps, the English you use is meant for your own circle. The effectiveness of your accent matters to this circle. What goes beyond is debatable.

What are the possible banana peels in the 1st year ENGT101 course?

Well, are you thinking, early enough, about slipping?

It depends.The biggest slip will be faced by one who keeps believing that being able to speak and write English makes all the communication skills. The ‘write-as-much-as-you-know’ attitude gives you the first peel. ENGT demands some formula, some priority, some system. I will devote one class about avoiding the falls. There is much to say about people who have not learned to walk, and a few specific tips for those who make strides or take unsteady steps.

But I enjoyed answering the questions. All the best all of you.

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By hkafle

I am a University teacher, with passion for literature and music.

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