Wednesday, February 28, 2007

TOEFL for American universities

Non- native speakers of English need to take TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language) to be accepted in American universities. TOEFL is tough, so students have to be prepared for it well. Universities say that this test will make international students ready to study English language. Therefore, these universities have a low score limit in TOEFL to get in based on how hard the university is. For example, Southern Illinois University is requires 520 score in TOEFL to attend the classes, which is very difficult for many students to get. So, some students and universities are wondering if TOEFL is useful for non-native speakers to help them learn English and get more opportunities to get in the universities. However, TOEFL should not be the condition to get in to American universities.

First of all, TOEFL is too formal which makes it difficult for international students. Furthermore, it is more formal in its contents than the university language. American students will not talk to you as formal as TOEFL, and that makes it not easy to learn. Lectures and articles in university do not using formal language. There is many important expressions that you do not learn in TOEFL are common in university. For example, “How are you?” in TOFEL that people used to say “What’s up?” Therefore, TOEFL should not be used to tell if non-native students can be ready for American universities.

Second, in SIU, they use the paper- based test which has only three sections listening, structure, and reading. It does not measure speaking skills. So, students who are good at speaking English complain that they cannot test their speaking in TOEFL. In addition, TOEFL does not measure writing skills. As the students who are good at speaking, the students who are good at writing like essays and summary responses cannot do well at paper-based TOEFL. Because these two important parts are not in TOEFL, it does not tell if the students are ready for the universities or not.

Third, the test time is too short for most students who are slow in reading even in their native language. First, the enough time in the test will help students to show all their skills. Next, students say that they can’t finish the test at the exact time. Therefore, most of the students guess the last answers because the time is up. So, if they have good luck they will pass the test without knowledge and many students complain that some lucky students pass the test while they have to take it again. This test is unfair for many students to measure their skills. As a result, TOEFL should not be the test for international students to get in to the American universities.

My opponents say that TOEFL should be used to decide if international students can get in American universities because it improves English. However, that is not true. TOEFL will not improve students’ language as they think. Even though TOEFL is tough test, it will not teach the students the common language. They can improve their language without studying for TOEFL, by attending normal English classes. Attending normal English classes is more beneficial than studying for TOEFL, because in class you will learn every thing about English and participate with your classmates in English. If we ask the students who took the test and who are now studying in the university if TOEFL benefited them, they will say not too much. So, TOEFL is not a good test to improve our English skills.

In conclusion, the formality of TOEFL is not the language we use in the universities. It is more formal than the university language. Next, testing only some skills like reading and listening is not fair for many students who are good in other skills like writing. Also, the shortage of the test is not allowing students to do their best in the test. Students want more time for the test because it is not their native language. Therefore, the universities should not require the TOEFL as a condition to get in the university unless they change it to be easier for non native speakers.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Should We Evaluate Our Teachers?

Teachers are responsible on students after their parents. Some people say that teachers are closer than some parents to their children. So, they have more effect on students than anyone else. Parents always think about their children in school. They like to know that their children are in the good place to learn and get benefits. Teachers should be ready to teach students; they have to be aware of all kinds of things that help students understand them. According to Pandey, (2006),“Boring theory classes make student dull and inactive.” (para. 5). Teachers have to be in touch with students’ parents to tell them about their children’s status in class. This will lead to good communication between school and families and tell students that schools are not closed from the outside life. On the other hand, collage students rely on themselves; they know what the good thing for them in school. Therefore, they should be asked to evaluate their teachers for their class time management, teaching way, and treading fairly with students. First of all, the class time is very important to spend it in the right way for teaching students. Some teachers waste class time. They have to spend the time in the right way. For example, they might repeat the subject without need for that then they will be behind the time and students will be bored. Other teachers come to class late without caring about the class’ time. If the class worth only 50 minutes, the teacher must come early to start on time. Furthermore, students learn from their teachers not only what in books but also their attitude. Because the students are care about class’ time, they should evaluate their teachers in time management.
Second, the teachers’ teaching way and using class material are common things in class. Teachers’ way in teaching must be good and clear for all students. According to Gregory (2002) “You need to understand the needs of each child and fill those needs appropriately,” (para. 5) talking to new teachers. Teachers have to care about all the importance subjects and present them easily for students to understand. For example, talking loudly or using difficult words that might some students do not understand them. Furthermore, not using class material or use bad materials will make students bored and maybe not understand. For example, using bad markers that might students cannot see from their chairs. Therefore, students should evaluate their teachers’ teaching and the materials they use.
Finally, treating students fairly in class one of the ways makes the teacher successful in his job. Some teachers like to treat the outstanding students better than the others. They might excuse them if they forgot to bring their homework, but not give the others any chance. Also, if they do badly in the test they will give them other chance to do better. On the other hand they will not give the less able students more time to do better. So, students will learn from their teacher unfair treating because they affect on them. Therefore, evaluating teachers from the students will make teachers treat all the students the same.
Opponents of evaluating teachers say that this could discourage teachers in their job because they think that students will not evaluate them fairly. This is untrue. Students are looking forward for good teachers who they can understand easily. College students need good teachers in their majors. They are adults, so they know what will benefit them in school to do better. They will not give the teachers, who are not good in class, good evaluation. Furthermore, they will not give the nice teachers bad evaluation. In addition, students are the closest people to evaluate teachers. No one can evaluate teachers fairly, but students. For example, who is the responsible to evaluate teacher’s teaching way? The answer clearly is “students” because they are the only people how are in the class and see teachers’ teaching. Therefore, teachers should be evaluated by their students.
In conclusion, class time, teaching way and treatment of students are the reason that makes evaluating teachers useful to improve them. First, using the whole class time in the best way for students is one of the students’ rights. Second, improving teachers teaching way is benefit to the students. Also, the good using of class material will make students understand the book subjects. Finally, treating students in the same way without any discrimination will lead to good relationship between teachers and their students. The good treating from the teachers will teach students how to be fair with their friends and relatives. Teachers should do their best in teaching and students to be fair in evaluating their teachers, so that will improve the education system which is the most important in the world.

Pandey, B (n.d.) How to make learning a pleasure: A guide for teachers. Retrieved February 03, 2007 from bin/articles/
Gregory, J (2005, September 17). Valuable audio resources for teachers. Retrieved February 03 2007 from

Alternative Energy or Fossil Fuel

In the article, “Alternative Energy,” the author wants Bush’s government to work more than talk about alternative energy strategy. According to the article the author says that Bush’s government spends millions on research for new energy because they are trying to not rely on foreign countries’ oil. However, the author states that money spent on researches are less than the money spent to encourage oil companies. Also, he states that Bush’ idea is to drill for more oil, but there are many people who do not want more drilling for oil because they want to keep the environment clean. So, the author encourages the government to spend more time in finding new energy. He gives an example of the car fuel E85 which people cannot find easily. The author suggested that working on improving alternative energy is better than talking.
The need of alternative energy is more common in these days. We are used to using the fossil fuels for our cars which cause air pollution and water pollution beside the cost of producing them. We cannot stop using fuels unless we find new energy that can do the same job. Because of the air pollution and many reasons, people prefer the alternative energy over fossil fuels. Therefore, we should increase the support of finding alternative energy. There are three reasons that make the alternative energy better than fossils fuel energy; less pollution, cheaper, and takes less time to make.
First of all, world pollution is increasing because of the fossil fuels processing. The increasing of oil production will cause air pollution and oceans pollution. The smoke that comes from oil factories pollutes the natural air which biosphere breathes. Also, the oil leakage into the oceans pollutes the water and covers the sea animals with oil, which causes their death. Furthermore, the pollution, which comes from oil factories, causes many health problems for people. Therefore, many conservationists complain on the increasing of oil drilling “Alternative Energy: Talk Is Not Strategy,” (para, 6). So, finding another clean alternative energy is better than fossil fuels. For example, using natural gas as a fuel for cars is more efficient and clear, so it will not pollute the air.
Second, oil and the fuels produced from oil are very expensive. The cost of drilling for oil cost too much money, which makes the prices increase. The prices keep increasing, so some people cannot pay for it. This is also might cause some businesses layoff because they rely on oil. On the other hand, alternative energy is cost less than oil, so it will be cheaper. For example, solar energy does not need much money to transfer it to electricity. Therefore, people can pay for it in the beginning. Alternative energy also has many opportunities jobs for people and this is good to increase businesses. So, it is better to use alternative energy instead of oil.
Finally, oil processing takes long time to be useful. It is hard to find fossils fuel underground then produce them to oil. Also, the transportation of oil to consumers takes long time. So, wasting time with this energy will effect on businesses and world economy. Again as examples, solar energy and alternative energy are easy to produce rapidly, so they are helpful for world economy. As a result, exploring new alternative energy will lead to keep world production’s time and this will improve the world economy.
In conclusion, the world must stop relying on fossil fuels. They cause the environmental pollution, which is harmful for people. Next, producing oil cost a lot, so it will be expensive to use. Furthermore, spending a lot of time to produce them is one of the problems might delay some businesses. Therefore, finding alternative energy is the best solution to these problems. Also, it will improve the world economy with clear environment and will give us trustful energy we can rely on for future.

Alternative energy: Talk isn't strategy. (2003, October 13). St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Retrieved October 15, 2006, from LexisNexis database.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Magic Shaybah Oil Field in Saudi Arabia


Monday, December 11, 2006

Study Habits

School scores and grades are always depending on the students’ study habits. Students are care about their scores in class, so they should study hard. They need to make good study habits to success in their struggling. The study habit is the way that students follow or use in their studying. There is some study habits that make students get good scores. However there is a bad study habits which make some students not able to get what is he looking for. Royane Real in his article “How to Improve your Study Habits and Remember Better,” gives some advices for students. The one I think is the most important is, remember your goal for studying. Keeping your goal always in your mind will encourage you to do your best in studying. Students need to care in choosing the good friend for studying, so they able to be better in class.
I wanted to find out study habits of SIU International and American students. I am wondering exactly what the deference between female students and male students in how often they study per week. Also, I like to know the relationship between nationality and feeling bored in studying. I wanted to know if International students are study with group as much as American students
Actually I like to see students study habits in colloge. I think that female students study more than male students. I believe that International students will feel bored more than American students. Also, I think that International students study in group more than American students.

I and two of my classmates made a survey that had thirteen questions. Every one of us distributed eleven sheets among SIU students. We chose students because our topic must be about students. We tried to be sure that we would distribute it among the same number of International and American students. Also we tried to distribute it among the same number of female and male students.
In the results male study more female: seven out of seventeen males (41.1%) are study more than six hours a week, while five out of sixteen (31.2%) of females studied more than six hours a week. Thirteen out of twenty International students (65%) say that they feel bored after start studying, while seven out of thirteen (53%) of American students don’t feel bored in studying. Seventeen out of twenty (15%) International students like to study in group, and eleven out of thirteen (15.3%) of American students study like in group.
I was surprisied that male students were study more than women, especially for how often they study every week. I thought that women would study more than men, because I think they care more about studying. It was not surprising me that International students feel bored when they study more than American. International students usually miss their families so they keep thinking about them and that is will be one of the reasons that make them feel uncomfortable. It was interesting to me that the percentage of Americans and International students were almost the same in studying with group or alone.
If I tried to make this survey again, I need to make more copies of the survey and I will make sure that is the survey is more general. I would like also to ask other students from other universities around. Also, I will ask high school students to see how are they defer from collage students if there is any deference.
Real, R. (2006). How to improve your study habits and remember better. from

Monday, November 13, 2006

Artificial Intelligence

According to Robert S. Boyd in his article “Machines are Catching up to Human Intelligence,” human intelligence is not going to be important because of artificial intelligence. First, the author states that technology’s brains are passing the human’s brains. Next, he gives an example which is evidence of the development of artificial intelligence such as 5 driverless cars had been made that month. After that he mention that this technology is almost everywhere in countries. Also, the author says that NASA has been helped by artificial intelligence. Therefore, he states that experts argue with people who understand that any new project made by artificial intelligence, they think that experts don’t do that much work to discover new things. Then, the author states the beginning of artificial intelligence in 1960s and explain its stagnancy between 1980s and 1990s. Finally, the author explains how the robotic cars work which considered one form of artificial intelligence. I agree with the author that we are using technology for many things today and for future.
First, there are many reasons that make artificial intelligence is more important in these days. One example is calculators in math and many subjects. Human brain can’t count the complicated numbers which calculators do in less than one second. Also, industrial robots make industry pieces accurately and quickly. Computers are controlling much important types of transportation such as airplanes, trains, and ships. So, we are in touch with technology every time and everywhere.
Second, artificial intelligence could make our life easies in in the future. In future we will need more technology in our life to communicate with each other. We will need more explorations in the universe around us to know more about what surrounds us. Also, technology will make our health system and bank security rustable. All these explorations need more artificial intelligence to make it easily.
Consequently, technology has great benefits for us. It makes our lives easy. For example, using artificial intelligence in industry and our daily tasks to improve our life. Also, in future artificial intelligence will be more important to many industries and space explorations. So, artificial intelligence will not damage our brain but will improve our future. As a result, we can’t stay away from intelligent machines today and in the future.
Boyd. R. (2005). Machines are catching up to human intelligence. Retrieved October 25, 2005, from Lexis Nixies database.

My favorite field

Industrial countries today are depend on engineering field. It has three main majors: chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is the one I am interested in. It is more general than the others. Also, it contains some kind of chemical engineering and electrical engineering besides a lot of mechanical tasks. It is difficult and hard job to be mechanical engineer. However, there are three factors make me chose this field: I like it, it gives good benefits for society, and it has suitable income to live with.
First, the most important thing to be successful in your job is to enjoy it. Loving your job encourages you to do your best at work. I like mechanical engineering because it contains my favorite subjects when I was in school. It has math, physics, and mechanical drawing. To be honest I wasn't that much intelligent in these subjects, but I like them more than the other subjects. I enjoy solving math exercises and listenning to physics discussions and spending a lot of time drawing. In addition to that, these subjects are used everywhere around us. Buildings, streets, pipelines, and more and more, are made by math or physics or drawing or by all of them. I prefer to be in touch with these subjects; therefore, I like this field.
Second, society needs engineers to build plants or to plan new projects or to solve problems. Mechanical engineers are able to do that. They can build plants by drawing and then make it on the land, for example, desalination plants, electricity factories and gas plants. Therefore, these projects give a good income for countries to make their people live better. No one can plan these projects except mechanical engineers and some helpers. These projects offer many jobs and good income to people.
Third, life today is more expensive than before, so you need to have good salary. According to, mechanical engineers salary in U.S. begins by $50,000 to $60,000 depending on where you work. In addition, there are some offers and awards for the engineer who makes a perfect project or solves some problem or gives a successful idea. Furthermore, I liked to have good income to depend on myself.
In conclusion, I chose mechanical engineering because it is difficult and fun at the same time. First, I chose it because of three main subjects math, physics, and drawing. Second, it is nice to be one of the inductive people on society, to build it. Finally, preparing for my future by choosing job with good income is one of my aims. Therefore, I recommend students who like math and physics to choose mechanical engineering field. Whatever its difficulty, it will be fun for them.

Salary wizard. (n.d). Retrieved November 14,2006, from

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Video Violence

According to the article “New Views on Video Violence,” by Dorothy and Jerome Singer, watching TV affects children more than reading. First, the authors state that the technology in TV makes the image of story, so you can’t imagine it. Second, children are spending a lot of time in front of TV’s screen, so it could affect them. Third, they state that the older children can read violent stories by themselves. On other hand children who aren’t able to read are watching violence on the TV. Finally, they point out that parents change the stories they read for their children to not be violent or scary. They state that there is big difference between watching violence on TV and reading it. I agree with them that TV has too much violence to children.

First, broadcasting technology can make the stories scarier. Directors have many ideas to do with violence using the technology they have. The modern technology in filming makes variety of showing movies or any show. Also, it changes the story to be real if it was not. They use music and some background for their show to make it real.

Second, there are some kinds of sports that have violence and fighting showing on TV. Boxing is one of the violent sports on TV. It teaches children how to use their hands and bodies in the wrong way. Also, there are some sports which have violence and bloodletting, for example, fighting and bullfighting.

Finally, fright night movies could frighten children who watch it. Scary movies make children wake up have bad dreams. These days there are a lot of those kinds of movies on TV. However, the producers of those movies don’t care about who sees their movies. Also, children sometimes watching TV alone at home, so children are able to see these movies.

In conclusion, watching TV is changing children’s mind easily. There are three reasons that TV is dangerous for children, the technology effects, violent sports, and fright night movies. The explosion of technology today makes the controlling of these reasons difficult. So, parents are responsible for their children to not let them watch TV with out controlling it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Taking The Heat"

I went to pbs on the web, which has the link "Taking the heat." This link has information about the movie " Taking the heat" which talked about four firefighter women in the U.S. Also, in this link there are some details about the four firefighter women. Their pictures and feeling sbout their jobs are under the link "In their own words." You can find some information about the filmmaker in this site. The site is organized very well.

I refused the idea for women to work this kind jobs before, but when I read their answers, I found out that I was wrong. It is hard for woman to be a firefighter, but it is not impossible. As I read in this site women can balance between work and their family. I don't mind if they want to work to help people or like this work, but not to act as a man. What is the problem if they like this job. If you like it you will do it, so women are free if they like this job they can get it.