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Ultimate Vocabulary Software Evaluated By Range Of Reviewers

July 21st, 2014

Ever wonder what people who speak with such ease and charisma have done to become so influential and alluring? More often than not, their vocabulary has great depth and breadth, and they’ve mastered language use and enriched their language with concepts, ideas, and nuances so they can make every sentence accurate, colorful, and vibrant.

A speaker is effectively a painter. The more competent you are in mixing verbal colors, creating new variations and hues, the more impressive the end result will be. This means that the more constricted your word palette is, the less colorful and interesting your speech becomes.

Ultimate Vocabulary™ is like a variegated palette that equips people with the colorful words they need to speak accurately, masterfully, and above all effectively.

Ultimate Vocabulary™ is developed by eReflect, a leader in self-education software. The program has been evaluated by numerous high-profile organizations and companies. The reviews provide proof of the software’s effectiveness.

Top Ten Reviews editors award the 2014 Excellence Award to Ultimate Vocabulary™

A trusted software reviewer, TopTenReviews.com, has recently published its vocabulary building evaluations and has announced that Ultimate Vocabulary™ is at the top. The software was awarded both the Gold and Excellence 2014 awards by the editors of

TopTenReviews, proof of its unrivaled effectiveness.

With an overall rating of 9.9, the editors praised the software’s interactive, fun games, its breadth of lessons and activities, its cutting-edge, user-friendly technologies, and of course its larger than usual word database of over 142,000 words.

Word-Buff gives a verdict on Ultimate Vocabulary™’s effectiveness

Word-Buff is yet another established and trusted education-related specialist. Ultimate Vocabulary™ remained high on this reviewer’s list as well. The site’s owner, Derek McKenzie, teases apart every feature and tool of the software, mentioning both the pros and cons of the vocabulary builder only to finally conclude, “Compared to other programs Ultimate Vocabulary is by far the most sophisticated vocabulary builder I’ve used to date.”

Ultimate Vocabulary™ helps people expand their active vocabulary

In an in-depth interview with Marc Slater, managing director of eReflect, the company that developed Ultimate Vocabulary™, Slater discusses the advantages of owning a rich lexicon, and concludes that one way people can make a timeless investment in their own self-improvement is to improve their vocabulary with the help of a vocabulary builder.

The combination of ready-made, expert-developed word lists and the ability of each user to create their own word lists gives learners the both essential guidance and free rein to have the ultimate learning experience, one that leads to new vocabulary mastery.

Cross-posted on the Vocabulary Improvement blog.

Different Speed Reading Software Reviewed, Find Out Who Ranks #1

July 14th, 2014

Do you ever wish you knew how to read two, three, or even more books in a matter of hours? People who’ve mastered the art and science of speed reading have done so, thanks to one speed reading program.

Several software reviewers have evaluated a range of speed reading software systems that help students learn how to speed read, and the decision is unanimous: 7 Speed Reading™ by eReflect is by far the most comprehensive and effective speed reading software on the market.

TopTenReviews names 7 Speed Reading™ its Gold Award Winner

One of the most thorough appraisals 7 Speed Reading™ has ever received comes from the TopTenReviews editors, who gave the software an overall rating of 9.95. The editors concluded that this software is a feature-rich and user-friendly speed reading program.

The TopTenReviews editors highlight other advantages of 7 Speed Reading™, such as its progress monitoring tool and its multiple user account capacity.

For 2014, Top TenReviews finds 7 Speed Reading™ the most effective and comprehensive program available. Compared with the features, tools, and technologies of other speed reading improvement programs, 7 Speed Reading™ seems to defy every one of its competitors. Its suitability for people of all ages and reading levels is another hard to miss benefit of the program, say the reviewers.

As the TopTenReviews editors point out, 7 Speed Reading™ offers a targeted yet balanced learning solution for people who wish to speed read, ensuring learners improve both their reading speed and reading comprehension.

Spreeder praises 7 Speed Reading™ for offering a personalized learning experience

In a detailed review of 7 Speed Reading™, Spreeder analyses the software’s progress tracking tool, revealing the ways in which it’s more than just progress monitoring. Its ultimate goal is to offer each learner a premium, customized learning experience designed to boost their reading speed. More specifically, as the Spreeder editor reveals, “In testing their product, eReflect discovered that this customized learning approach increased results by over 163%, and reduced the required effort of students by over 221%.”

Typing Lounge confirms 7 Speed Reading™’s premium quality

Typing Lounge is a typing skills authority, but the editors are concerned with all aspects of language improvement, including reading. The site has released a series of speed reading software reviews in which the top position is reserved for 7 Speed Reading™, eReflect’s reading and comprehension improvement program.

The review by Typing Lounge is objective and thorough; the editors pick apart all its features, sorting them into pros and cons for their readers’ convenience.
The software’s user-friendly interface, its wide variety of games and activities, and finally its ebook library that numbers more than 600 ebooks are the main highlights Typing Lounge emphasizes in their review.

After an evaluation of the program’s features such as its training modules, the touch typing video tutorials, and its progress tracking technology —all of which contribute to an accelerated reading speed — Typing Lounge remarks, “7 Speed Reading™ software is perfect in every way.”

The overall rating 7 Speed Reading™ received from Typing Lounge is 9/10.

So far, 2014 has been a star-studded year for 7 Speed Reading™, and it has been receiving appraising and approving reviews by many respectable organizations and review sites. The combination of features, the latest technologies, and the developers’ passion for educational technology all contributed to 7 Speed Reading™ becoming a top ranking speed reading program.

 

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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Five Key Attributes For Hiring: What Business People Should Consider In Employees

July 7th, 2014

What qualities should you look for in a potential candidate? Should they have amassed geek-level knowledge in their field? What about the qualities of being morally resilient and empathetic? Do you really need people with leadership skills, or candidates that can be proactive and tech-savvy?

The truth is, every business requires a specific set of attributes they are looking for in a candidate. We’ve narrowed it down to the five key attributes that all candidates ideally should exhibit, no matter the business or field they’re in.

Self-knowledge

This seem like a generalized attribute, but it’s an important one to look for in candidates. People who are aware of their limitations, weaknesses, and strengths are more flexible and eager to improve upon them.

If a candidate cannot stand up and own up to their mistakes, how can you expect them to correct a mistake, and learn to avoid it in the future?

People with increased self-knowledge are often aspiring, honest individuals that don’t seek to cover up their mistakes. Instead, they acknowledge them and make an effort to correct them. This is the kind of individual you want  to be part of your business.

A disposition and ability to learn

Always opt for candidates with a disposition and ability to learn. People who feel they know everything already are less likely to want to sit down and devote time to learning more. Their know-it-all attitude impedes future self-development and they won’t be adding any value should you integrate them in your team.

Those with a learning ability and eagerness for the process, however, are full of potential human resources. They are willing to devour new knowledge and skills because they strive for excellence.

Emotional intelligence and humility

It’s okay to be ambitious and assertive. But if these attributes are an employee’s only qualities, then that’s not enough. In fact, it can be a negative. Businesses need to look for people who can exhibit emotional intelligence in the form of humility, no matter their personal or professional aspirations.

Those people who are always after credit, rewards, and applause will do anything to keep themselves in the spotlight. They will always overshadow the efforts of others because of their unquenchable thirst for recognition.  Pursuing success is commendable. Humility, however, balances things. It reminds people when the time is right to step down, to interfere, or to give others an opportunity to try.

It takes emotional aptitude to know when to take a step back and when to claim glory. It takes courage and self-confidence to admit to your own mistakes. These are the attributes that a progress-focused company should want its employees to exhibit.

Failure

Yes, you want the most promising perfectionists to be part of your business, but the problem with people who never fail is that their learning opportunities were very limited in the process.

Failure means people taking risks, people believing in their visions and striving to make them come to life. More importantly, failure equals learning. It’s only through trial and error that we achieve success.

So don’t look for people who never fail. First, anyone who says they’ve never, ever failed are probably not telling the truth. And second, finding out what happened to a person after a failure is a way of learning about their resilience and whether they have that essential won’t-stop-trying attitude that will help your business keep moving forward.

Lastly, people who don’t claim to be all-successful are those who tend to be wiser. Their mistakes were life lessons that guide their future efforts and they demonstrate their tendency to take accountability for their failures and not blame others for them.

Enthusiasm

If you cannot see passion and enthusiasm in a candidate’s eyes, move onto the next person. Without enthusiasm, there’s no way an employee-to-be will be a good, long-term asset for your company.

People need drive and passion to excel, and if the candidate you’re looking at doesn’t have these, don’t expect them to excel at what they do.

Self-knowledge, an ability to learn, enthusiasm, humility, and the resources to cope with failure are the five key attributes you should be looking for when interviewing for your business. Of course, other qualities and skills will also make it to the list depending on the industry your company belongs to, but these five are the essential attributes you’ll want your future employees to absolutely have.

Time Management Skills – The Pomodoro Way

June 30th, 2014

Are you a master of time management, or do you find your to-do lists overwhelmingly unrealistic?

If you’re honestly trying to be more productive and time-efficient, but you find that distractions are hard to resist to and you cannot seem to focus for more than 15 minutes straight, no matter the task, you’re probably frustrated and overwhelmed.

Does this sound familiar? If so, then you should try the Pomodoro technique. It’s a unique time management technique that boosts your productivity and makes task completion fun and rewarding.

Pomodoro is a straightforward time management technique that’s free and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or investment. In fact, you can start practicing the Pomodoro technique right now.

But first, let’s see what it entails.

Essentially, you need a kitchen timer set to 25 minutes. You’ll use the timer to create a time period – a “Pomodoro” – during which you focus your entire attention to the task designated. It’s that simple!

However, six parameters need to be in place for you to become a true Pomodoro technique master. These six objectives need to be mastered one by one. You shouldn’t jump onto the next without fully mastering the previous, to ensure best results.

  • Pomodoro Task

Decide on the task you’re going to Pomodoro. How many 25-minute chunks do you need? Plan this according to the effort it will take, the complexity of the task, and your own productivity on any given day. These will help you make a good estimation of the time involved.

  • Protect your Pomodoro

Know your enemies. Is it Facebook? Your parents calling for the 7th time this morning? Protect your Pomodoro from these distractions!

  • Pomodorize your activity

How many Pomodoros are needed for a specific task? 2 Pomodoros? Half a Pomodoro? Examine your task and estimate the time it will take to complete it. The more specific you can be, the better.

  • Recapitulate and Review

Ensure you don’t spend your Pomodoro(s) all on doing the task itself. It’s also important to allow time for recapitulation of the task and reviewing what you’ve done to make sure each goal is met and each project completed in its entirety.

  • Create your to-do timetable

Plan a timetable according to your to-do list, or whatever other method you find most useful (for example, an hourly schedule). Just remember that when you’re making a chart or list, you need to make it a Pomodoro-based timetable with the exact Pomodoro number for each task. If you’ve made sure to allot enough Pomodoros to each task, you will be fine.

  • Set a personal goal

What’s your ultimate goal with any given task? Preparing a top-notch report? Finishing your dissertation before June 25th? It doesn’t matter what your objective is as long as it’s a personal one aiming at helping you become a better, more efficient or skillful person.

The Pomodoro technique was developed back in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo as a way to achieve better time management. The defining characteristic of the Pomodoro technique is the many brain breaks you take between tasks.

Breaks

For each Pomodoro completed, you need to take a 5-minute break. For every 4 Pomodoros (100 mins) you need to take a 15- to 20-minute break.

The idea is that the more brain breaks you take, the more motivated and focused you will be at a given task.

A break triggers your mind to rest and come back more resilient and effective.

The brief focus on a task completely unrelated to a project (you can wash the dishes for your five-minute break, for example) and this change in focus helps you return to a project with a clear mind and a can-do attitude.

How does it improve time management?

The Pomodoro technique keeps you focused and ensures you don’t linger on unrelated distractions. It allows you to work at the most efficient pace possible.

Having a timer next to you provides a subconscious sense of urgency, encouraging you to get focused.

In addition, you become accountable. Since every task is quantified according to how many Pomodoros it takes, you are forced to stick to your schedule, something that also boosts your productivity and efficiency.

By learning to respect work flow you’ll manage to accomplish more in less time without necessarily damaging the outcome. Try it!

Summer Speed Reading: Ease Your Boredom & Become More Knowledgeable

June 23rd, 2014

What are you reading this summer? Or don’t you plan to read at all? After all there are many other pleasurable distractions in summer, like beach parties, barbeque parties, vacations, and mouthwatering cocktails.

But even with these pleasurable activities, there are instances when summertime can get a bit dull and repetitive. For example, what do you do while you’re sitting fishing on the dock, or killing time while in the plane boarding lounge? These hours can be filled with a great book. Besides, not every summer day is vacation day, and you need to do your best to ease your boredom and stay knowledgeable so that when autumn arrives you won’t have lost any of your edge.

Here are our top 10 books you can speed read this summer.

Think Like a Freak: How to Think Smarter about Almost Everything

Levitt and Dubner follow up their success with the book “Freakonomics” to show you how to adopt a new way of thinking — which sometimes mean thinking and acting like a child would!

Buck

A book inspired by a true story, “Buck” tells the story of a kid going against all odds in life and succeeding. This coming-of-age memoir by M. K. Asante perfectly illustrates the key role played by education and literature to inspire, heal, and move us closer to personal fulfillment.

Tomboy

A graphic memoir by Liz Prince, this is an excellent demonstration of how many girls and boys struggle with gender ambiguity in their first years of development and later in social settings, caught between the standard “girly” and “boyish” predilections on play, dressing and being.

Liz Prince gives us a glimpse into her psyche and how we live in a paradox of rejecting gender roles and at the same time fully embracing and championing them. Suzy X from Rookie Mag comments, “It’s not very often you read a goofy coming-of-age comic written with an astutely critical lens… and then there’s Liz Prince’s ‘Tomboy.’”

American Afterlife

Before you declare this book too creepy for the beach, hear me out. It’s a testament of how Americans are commemorating their dead, what rituals they follow, and what this eventually means for how people mourn, move on, and become more resilient. By Kate Sweeney.

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.

This book by Wallace J. Nichols explores the ubiquitous but often overlooked role that water plays in our physical wellbeing and sanity. A great tribute to how water influences our mood, mindset, and health. Wallace is a marine biologist infatuated with water’s magnificent power.

The Working Memory Advantage: Train Your Brain to Function Stronger, Smarter, Faster

Tracy and Ross Alloway give us this masterpiece on memory improvement and how we can make the most out of this unique human capacity we all share. A must-read if you never seem to remember to return your mom’s calls.

Eating Wildly

This book by Ava Chin takes you by the hand and shows you what foraging for food in New York looks like. This memoir expresses our universal need to be connected to and in harmony with nature, our most natural habitat.

Naked Imperfection: A Memoir

A heartfelt, inspiring memoir by breast-cancer survivor Gill Deacon. With brutal honesty she shares with readers her struggle and ultimate victory. A bit heavy for summer perhaps, but a great read nonetheless that puts life into perspective.

This One Summer

This book will certainly make your summer unforgettable. If you expect the protagonist’s summer to be just like every other one, you couldn’t be more wrong. A heart-throbbing story of a girl’s coming of age by Mariko Tamaki.

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Chris Peter is a consulting psychiatrist for many organizations and firms, including the national English Football team. With this book on mind programming, he shares the Chimp Paradox model, and explains how he helps individuals take full control of their mind and unlock their true potential.

Cross-posted on the 7 Speed Reading blog.


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Better Blogging For Better Business

June 16th, 2014

Are blogging and social media an integral part of your marketing practices? If not, they should be. Blogging is a vital component of your online client relationship building and retention. That’s why you ought to give it the time and effort it deserves to help grow your business and reach new audiences.

For blogging to work for your business, you need to put some effort into it. There are certain practices you shouldn’t ignore if you want your blog to become an overnight sensation.

About Us page

A quick Internet search will help you realize how important the About page of your blog is. It’s the most visited page on blog sites, because visitors want to know who’s behind these words. They want to know what you believe in, what you think about different topics, and what your overall mindset might be.

For some blogs, depending on what the blog is about, there’s often another page that gets at least as many views: one that provides the details related to the business. For instance, a photographer’s site will have the gallery or portfolio pages getting the most views; a technical blog site will often get the most clicks through to its FAQ page.

Put some thought into how you structure and enrich your About page. Set the tone for your blog, tell people who you are, give them a reason to stick around and read more, and then give them the final reassuring pat on the shoulder by providing testimonials and other forms of proof about what you’re claiming to be and excel at.

Even if it’s a business blog it should get personal. The use of narratives is not an approach exclusively used for personal blogs. Share a story and people will pay attention. They will empathize.

Keep it short and sweet

Resist the temptation to cram your sidebar with unnecessary pages.

Focus on a couple of things besides your frequent new blog post. It should be kept clean, minimal and only with what really matters. Don’t repeat things people can find on your official business site.

Don’t create junk keyword posts for the sake of ranking

Your blog should offer real value to your visitors. Give them insights, highlights, and top-of-the-line information that’s also keyword-rich.

There’s no reason to create meaningless posts for the sake of SEO. If you offer good, quality content, your content will eventually become popular and rank well.

People get frustrated when businesses get obsessed with SEO and offer nothing but information-light content stuffed with keywords. Stand out by offering relevant, informative content your visitors will benefit from and will want to share with others. This way your online community will expand, and the ways they engage with your business will improve.

Proofread

There’s no bigger turn-off than bad grammar. People who don’t pay attention to grammar mistakes are seen as careless, or not well educated. In both of these cases you’re not being a good advertisement for your business or yourself. Grammar matters, and even if you’ve got a more casual approach to your online content, make sure it’s free of mistakes in language or spelling.

A business blog reflects the company it represents, and so the language used does affect public opinion about the company. It would be a shame to lose your hard-earned authority status due to an easily-fixed grammatical mistake or misspelling. Proofread your content diligently and always double-check your posts before publication to avoid embarrassing situations.

7 Things To Remember When Blogging For Business

June 9th, 2014

Online business marketing requires a comprehensive strategy if it is to have any chances of increasing sales and profits. One often overlooked aspect of business marketing is blogging, which if done strategically can boost your online presence, make your brand more relevant, and of course encourage lead generation and sales.

To be successful, business blogging needs to follow the foolproof tactics that big firms are using and which have been proven to work. Business size is truly irrelevant, as the Internet is an equally accessible tool for marketing your business online.

So what’s worth implementing and what’s no longer efficient when it comes to business blogging rules?

Offer relevant, significant insights, ideas and tools.

Don’t advertise your company or small business. No one likes a shameless advertiser. Rather, actively and substantially create content that’s meaningful and significant to your readers. Think about it. If your content is first-class, your followers won’t think twice, they will spread the word, simply because they find value in your blogging.

Become your industry’s ambassador

Rather than focusing on what you do and what you’ve achieved, it’s more worthwhile to share with your followers what your industry does and where it’s heading.

Give them access to facts, strategies, and ideas otherwise inaccessible to them. Becoming a reporter on your own niche or industry offers much more value than simply sharing one single perspective. Focus on the wider picture, give your readers a sneak peek into your industry as a whole – its trends, its new tools, the long-forsaken approaches, the promising new potentials.

By committing to providing persistently valuable content that’s sharable and valuable you ensure your blogging efforts will pay off.

Prove your value as an industry expert

There are many, many bloggers out there. To stand out, you have to establish yourself as an industry expert. This of course cannot be done overnight; it requires commitment, passion, and a plan.

What sets expert bloggers apart from the crowd is that their followers automatically turn to their blog as a resource of valuable, up-to-date content; readers know they blog about significant and tangible issues. An industry expert is a passionate professional who’s always ahead of trends, in line with current approaches, and has sound, fact-based viewpoints on their industry’s future. These are reasons why expert bloggers develop a solid, ever-increasing following.

What’s more, an industry expert shares ideas or insights bound to overhaul their industry or the way people conceptualize it. Can you be such a blogging expert?

Be part of your community of readers

Blogging is not about accentuating hierarchical differences or the consumer-business relationship.

If you advertise your product constantly, you drive your readers away; if you interact with them you increase engagement. Dial down any loud differences, don’t demand, don’t dictate. Instead, share, inquire and respond to your readership. Efficient blogging rests on the idea of you being a true part of the community you’ve created.

Encourage reader engagement

Bloggers tend to lose readers because they assume a falsely superior stance in relation to those readers. Expert bloggers, on the other hand, are the ones who creatively, persistently and strategically engage with their readers. By doing this, they tend to increase their readership and encourage follower loyalty.

Follow back your readers, comment on their reactions, share their ideas, answer their questions and overall engage with them at every level possible through your blog platform and other social media to ensure they will continue reading your blog.

Don’t just assume you know what readers want. Listen to their ever-changing needs, eavesdrop on what they’d like to read about, and provide it to them. And don’t forget to reward followers and readers with special, super-great quality content through email newsletters, exclusive free downloads, or promotions of ebooks and products  that might be of use for them.

Be unique, fresh and unconventional

Don’t just recycle others’ ideas, find new perspectives to look at things from, and stretch out your scope of issues to discover new approaches to existing ideas.

Do your share of curation; show your readers other trusted resources for valuable content similar to yours. Show your skills in critically processing different viewpoints or approaches and your ability to express a uniquely different, but equally valuable, interpretation.

But don’t forget to provide unique, fresh content regularly on your own site. This is what will establish you as an authority and the go-to blog for the latest developments in your industry or niche.

Engage with leading experts in your field

Don’t shut yourself out of the world. Doing interviews, holding mini webinars, or having giveaways for dedicated followers is a great way to strengthen the reader-blogger bond and consolidate long-term loyalty.

Invite guest bloggers to your site. It increases both blogs’ exposure to new audiences and it provides new ideas and strategies, all the while reminding your readers of your active involvement in your industry. Ask top bloggers to be featured in their blogs as a guest blogger or encourage others to do the same at yours.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Vocabulary blog.

How To Become Proficient At Typing

June 2nd, 2014

How many practice hours does it take to become a competent typist? How long will it take to start typing at 120 words per minute if you’re a beginner at the keyboard?

There’s no one answer to these questions. How fast and accurate a typist you’ll become depends on factors such as your determination, your resources, your knowledge of typing rules — and, of course, how much you’re willing to practice.

Here are 3 tips to help you become proficient at typing.

Track your progress frequently

It’s important to monitor your progress at frequent intervals. After a few sessions of typing practice, take an online typing test to check how much you’ve improved. Keep track of your best words-per-minute rate and next time, try to break it.

Tracking your typing efficiency will keep you motivated to practice more consistently and it will help you fine-tune your typing skills in no time.

Keep a public or personal journal

Do you have something to rant about? Keep an online journal or better yet, get your own blog. Update it frequently with whatever you’re passionate about. It can even be work-related, or devoted to the novel you’re working on. What matters is that you use it as a way of improving your typing skills. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll get an online international audience while you’re at it.

Don’t think of typing as a skill

Think of it as the means to an end. If you’ve got this attitude, you’ll approach typing confidently and won’t regard it as yet another task on the to-do list, right up there with cleaning the house. Of course you will need to learn about ergonomics, correct wrist placement, key-finger correspondence, monitor distance and other rules, but what’s almost equally important is to have fun while learning.

The initial training period to learn these rules is actually very short, and it’s possible to learn all the principles of touch typing in only a few hours. The rest is all practice. The more you practice, the more refined your typing efficiency will become.

So how do you not think of typing as a skill to be studied, or worse, a chore? By making it fun. Online chatting, online typing games, PC-based instant messaging, or IMing through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media give you ample space and time to practice. What’s more, you’re killing two birds with one stone by using this approach: you’re improving your typing skills and also communicating and networking with people!

With simple tweaks to your approach to typing you can become proficient in touch typing effortlessly and quickly, and get the skill you need.

Cross-posted on the Ultimate Typing blog.

Low Cost Private Schools For The Poor Advocated By Dr. Pauline Dixon

May 26th, 2014

Armed conflict in developing countries, combined with poverty and starvation, leave no room for proper funding of education. Yet education, especially low-cost private education, might be the answer in providing affordable yet quality education in the developing world and end up by helping to eliminate the conflict and poverty often present in many regions.

Dr. Pauline Dixon, Senior Lecturer in International Development and Education at Newcastle University, UK, asserts in her book “International Aid And Private Schools For The Poor” that the solution to providing education to impoverished, conflict-ridden countries is to make the switch from state-run education to privately run, low-cost schools.

UNESCO, the UN’s organization for Education, Science and Culture, suggests that education is the key to providing tangible skills to impoverished youth. Education is what allows people to cope with an often harsh reality, understand the absurdity of conflict, and seek ways to offer themselves and their families better life choices. Education can encompass a variety of skills, from sexual education to learning to be self-sustaining as farmers, and even to entrepreneurship attempts.

Dr. Dixon advocates that lack of education is why children are so readily engaging in armed conflict. As she explains in a recent article at WorldReview.info, armed conflict is a result of the lack of education; people fight one another in the street not in battlefields because they don’t possess the critical skills to understand what’s really to their benefit.

Her painstaking research in the educational system of India suggests that state-run schools are bleeding resources due to improper money management and insufficient, underperforming school systems. Exposing the insufficiency of state-run schools, Dr. Pauline Dixon wishes to warn educators, policymakers and organizations about the current problems, and inform them about the alternative solutions to state schooling that currently exist and are more results-oriented.

Her research is carefully backed by census data, surveys and assessments of low-cost, for-profit schools that prove to be the alternative, best solution for educating the poor. Privately held schools have solid, transparent and efficient management, the three necessary pillars for providing smoothly running and decent education for the poor.

The apparent lack of education and literacy doesn’t stem solely from insufficient education funding. What’s excruciatingly aggravating the situation is that millions of dollars are wasted in poor management and funneled away by corrupt officers who don’t make good use of the financial resources available. The result is that state-run schools use dated, insufficient approaches, letting millions of education funding dollars go to waste, and not giving impoverished communities what they need the most: education that equips them with tools to cope with and overcome their poverty.

Showing how it all starts from education, Dr. Dixon explains the reasons why uneducated parents cannot offer their children a better future. She emphasizes in particular that educating young girls means offering them a better life as mothers and as individuals. An educated woman is more likely to have fewer children, offer those children better nutrition and culture, and encourage them to receive education themselves. Once activated, the cycle of education will have a long-lasting effect in transforming the developing world.

Lack of education makes young impoverished people more prone to propaganda and more easily swayed to engage in conflict and acts of violence. Basic literacy skills such as reading and writing open up a window of opportunity for conflict-shaken communities. Such skills allow young people to make informed decisions, develop critical thinking, and build a worldview and mentality that’s not easily malleable.

Dr. Dixon proposes a private, for-profit educational system in impoverished sub-Saharan countries, India, and other conflict-afflicted countries. Education is what will get children out of poverty. Giving them the skills and tools to provide from themselves seems a much better use of funding rather than just giving them food.

Based on her research, Dr. Dixon asserts that low-cost private schools are on the rise and that initial findings suggest how efficient this approach can be. She mentions, for instance, the growing popularity of this education model in India, where 6 out of 10 students attend low-cost, privately-run schools at the moment.

The key is keeping private school education low-cost. This way parents are more interested in and likely to send their child to a private school, as there’s the general impression that private schools offer more than state-run ones.

While laws and other bureaucratic hindrances still hold this education model back, initiatives from social venture companies seek to remedy this grim image by offering loans and experts to help run these private schools efficiently and sustainably.

While this will be a slow process, there’s hope and tangible proof that a privately-run education system model is what will allow millions of impoverished children access to education and the ability to use it to protect themselves from the dangers of poverty, starvation and disease.

Food  can ease their stomach, but education will show them how to find sustainable solutions for feeding themselves and their families long into the future. Education will make teenagers realize joining a gang won’t provide security for their family but put them all in greater danger. Education is what will let young girls understand how to protect themselves from HIV and avoid sexual activities that would put their and their children’s health at risk.

Why Improving Your Vocabulary Will Make You Happier And More Successful

May 19th, 2014

Regardless of where you want to go in life, good vocabulary is just one of the skills that will help you get there. This is especially true if you’re after a new job or promotion, as research has found a high link between corporate success and vocabulary.

In the 1930s, a scientist named Johnson O’Connor began exploring just how important vocabulary is to success, and it’s a project he worked on for many decades. His studies found a relationship between executive success and an extensive vocabulary.

Later on, studies in the 1980′s and 90′s found that more than 88% of Fortune 1000 executives scored well above average on vocabulary tests, with 71% of managers scoring above average.

Vocabulary doesn’t just help you climb the corporate ladder, though; there’s also a correlation between a student’s vocabulary in 12th grade and the likelihood they will graduate college. There’s even a connection between the student’s vocabulary and their income level in the future. That’s because vocabulary size works to estimate not only your skill in reading, writing and speaking, but also your general knowledge of science and history.

While the link between vocabulary and economic success is a great reason to start improving your own vocabulary and that of your children, vocabulary can also help improve happiness, too. Words are how we communicate with others, as well as ourselves internally. They are the instrument by which we grasp the thoughts of others, and influence the way other people think, and they have a great deal of power. By improving your ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings, you can improve your self-esteem and relationships. You’ll also feel good knowing you’re doing something to better yourself, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

Because vocabulary is so strongly related to economic success, it’s important to begin early to help our children develop this skill. There are many ways to do this, including a curriculum that presents new words in a familiar context to help students identify the correct meaning unconsciously without trying to memorize long lists or forcing schools to spend a lot of time on word study.

You can also work to improve your vocabulary simply by watching television shows like The Daily Show and Frasier, which sprinkle in unfamiliar words in a natural setting. Reading enjoyable, well-edited books also helps students and adults alike absorb new vocabulary.

Developing a large vocabulary is really one of the easiest and best things you can do to improve your success and happiness in life, and that of your children. It can be as easy as reading a new book, changing the sort of programs you watch on TV or using a games-based vocabulary improvement program, so the experience doesn’t have to be unpleasant.

Language is one of our greatest gifts, and any opportunity you have to improve your language skills will put you on the path to a brighter future and fill you with the self-confidence that comes from working to better yourself as a person.