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SOPODIVA  ENGLISH DEPARTEMENT

Welcome to SOPODIVA TRAINING CENTER.

STC is a correspondence school that teaches English via the Internet. STC teachers are men and women who live in Benin, the United States, Canada, and other English-speaking nations. The STC course is conducted in English because you cannot learn English efficiently through another language. It is written for students who have studied English at least three years. The vocabulary and grammar studies range from late Elementary to Early Intermediate levels. Beginners may find the course difficult. Advanced students will find it easy.

Please read this Introductory lesson carefully and, when you are ready, take the Introductory test. Submit your answers. One of STC teachers will review your answers, and within 72 hours your graded answers will be sent to you. Subsequent lessons will only take 24 hours to grade because your teacher will assist you through the entire course.

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You must score 70% or higher on the Introductory test to be confirmed as a student. You may take the Introductory test as many times as you wish until you achieve a score of 70% or higher. Your teacher will assign STC Basic Grammar Lesson 1, the Basic Reading Assignment 1, and the instructions for studying these lessons.

Each time you complete a lesson, it will be graded by your teacher, who will determine if you are ready for the next lesson or if you need to repeat the current lesson until you have mastered it. There are 21 lessons in STC’s Basic course. You must average 70% or more on the 21 exams to receive STC Certificate for the Basic course

Many students want to hear, understand, and speak English as well as to read and write the English language.  If you are interested we will start sending material to you for this purpose. But you should ask before getting them. In that case your computer should be equipped for sound, and your Internet connection must have sufficient bandwidth. If you meet these requirements we can send some Audios to you with their text.

You may listen to each Audio while reading the text on your screen.  If you play the recordings again and again while you practice pronouncing the words as you hear them, you can learn to speak English.

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The Introductory Grammar Lesson

In order to understand English, a person must learn why English think as they do. From the beginning, English culture has been influenced by the Bible. For example in U.S coins are stamped with the sentence, « In God we trust. » The pledge of allegiance includes the phrase, « one nation under God. » To help you to understand the lessons, STC has used popular stories from Holly Scriptures to illustrate points of English grammar (It means that if you know the Coran or the bible stories it will make the comprehension very easy for you. If not you will make more effort in reading and reading again)

English grammar is the correct use of English words in sentences. It is the art of using the English language to express thoughts clearly and effectively. By studying grammar, we learn to connect words so that other people can understand what we say.

English grammar has two main divisions:
(1) The Parts of Speech, and
(2) The Sentence.

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The Parts of Speech

All words in the English language may be divided into eight main groups or « parts of speech »:
nouns,
pronouns,
adjectives,
verbs,
adverbs,
prepositions,
conjunctions,
and
interjections.

  1. A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, condition, feeling or event. There are
    (a) common nouns and
    (b) proper nouns.

    a. A common noun names any of a class of persons, places, things, conditions, feelings, or events.
    Examples: boy, girl, city, state, country, mountain, river, love, joy, peace. A common noun never begins with a capital letter except at the beginning of a sentence or when used with a proper noun. Examples: Snake River, Lincoln Middle School.
    b. A proper noun is the official name of a person, place, or thing.
    Examples: David, Mary, Dallas, Texas, Egypt, Everest, and Amazon. A proper noun always begins with a capital letter.

  2. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun.
    Examples: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, them, this, that, these, those, who, which, what.   Sentence:  « I love you. »
    The pronoun « I » is always capitalized.
  3. An adjective is a word that describes or limits a noun or a pronoun.
    Examples: a, an, the, one, my, our, your, her, his, its, their, red, big, good, evil, tall, short.  Sentence:  « Your mother is a good woman. »
  4. A verb is a word that expresses action or state of being.
    Examples of action verbs: run, walk, fly, teach, learn, eat, sleep, work. « They walk to school. »
    State of being verbs: be, is, am, are, feel, appear, sound, seem.  Sentence: « They are tall. »
  5. An adverb is a word that describes or limits a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
    Examples: then, today, now, tomorrow, soon, here, there, everywhere, quickly, beautifully, carefully, well, barely, nearly, completely.  Sentence: « They walk quickly. »
  6. A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between a word that comes before it, and a noun or pronoun that follows it.
    Examples: in, at, by, near, to, from, into, before, after, during, until, like. Sentence:  « John ran to school. »
  7. A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, or clauses to one another.
    Examples: and, but, yet.  Sentence:  « The son was hungry and needed money. » The conjunction « and » links the first part of the sentence with the second part.
  8. An interjection is a word, or group of words, used to express sudden and strong feeling.
    Examples: Ah! Oh! Wow! Oh no!   Sentence: « Oh! How I want to go home! »
    By learning the eight parts of speech and their meanings, you have taken a big step toward mastering the English language.

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The Sentence

Now let us look briefly at the second major division of English grammar-The Sentence.
A sentence is a group of words joined together to express a complete thought.
Every sentence is made up of two main parts:
(1) the subject, and
(2) the predicate.

1. The subject is the part of the sentence that tells who or what the sentence is about.
For example, « God is love. » In this sentence, « God » is the subject. He is the person being discussed.

2. The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells what the subject is or does. The predicate always includes a verb. In the sentence above, « is love » is the predicate. That is what is said about God.

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Types of Sentences

Sentences are divided into four classes according to the way they express a thought:
(1) declarative,
(2) interrogative,
(3) imperative, and
(4) exclamatory.

  1. A declarative sentence makes a statement about something and ends with a period (.).
    Example: « A man had two sons. »
  2. An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark (?).
    Example: « What does all this mean? »
  3. An imperative sentence makes a request or gives a command, and ends with a period or an exclamation point (!).
    Examples: « Hurry! » « Bring our best calf and kill it so that we can celebrate. »
    In imperative sentences, « you » is understood: (You) bring our best calf. »
  4. An exclamatory sentence says something with force and emotion and ends with an exclamation point (!).
    Example: « My son was dead, but now he is alive again! »

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Your Assignment

Now read the story of the son who left home. This is the world’s most famous short story. After you read the story, please answer the questions on the Answer Sheet.

Story of the Son Who Left Home

A man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, « Give me my part of all the things we own. »  So the father divided the wealth with his two sons.

The younger son gathered up all that he had and left. He traveled far away to another country.  There he wasted his money like a fool. He spent everything that he had.  Soon after that, the land became very dry, and there was no rain.   There was not enough food to eat anywhere in the country.  The son was hungry and needed money.  So he went and got a job with one of the people of that country. The man sent the son into the field to feed pigs. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food that the pigs were eating.  But no person gave him anything.

The son realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, « All of my father’s servants have plenty of food.  But I am here, almost dead because I have nothing to eat. I will leave and go to my father. I will say to him, « Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am not good enough to be called your son. But let me be like one of your servants. »

While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.  The father felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him.  He hugged and kissed his son. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am not good enough to be called your son. »

« But the father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring the best clothes and dress him. Also put a ring on his finger and good shoes on his feet. Bring the fat calf.  We will kill it and have plenty to eat.  Then, we can have a party.  My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found! »  So they began to have a party.

The older son was in the field. He came closer to the house.  He heard the sound of music and dancing. So the older son called to one of the servant boys and asked, ‘What does all this mean?’  The servant said, « Your brother has come back.  Your father killed the fat calf to eat. Your father is happy because your brother came home safely. »

The older son was angry and would not go in to the party. So his father went out to ask him to come in. The son said to his father, « I have served you like a slave for many years.  I have always obeyed your commands.  But you never even killed a goat for me.  You never gave a party for me and my friends. But your other son has wasted all your money on prostitutes.  Then, he comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him! »

But the father said to him, « Son, you are always with me.  All that I have is yours too.  We must be happy and have a party because your brother was dead, and now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found. »‘

Application
This famous story teaches us some important lessons about God and about ourselves.

  1. People seek happiness in the wrong places. The younger son thought happiness was getting away from his father’s control and being free to have fun. In the end, he was miserable because he was looking for happiness in the wrong places.
    People in today’s world are making the same mistake. They are seeking happiness in money, drugs, alcohol, sex, thrills, education, power, fame, beauty. But selfish living does not lead to joy. It leads to suffering and shame.
  2. God loves us and does not want us to be ruined by evil. The younger son represents any person who turns away from God to seek fame, fortune, and pleasure. The father in the story represents God. When the younger son returned home, the father ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him tenderly. That means that God loves us. When we turn away from evil and come to God, he forgives us, welcomes us, and restores our dignity and honor.

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Comment

In this Introductory Lesson, we have learned something about English, about ourselves, and about God. We sincerely hope you have enjoyed the study.

EVALUATION

First Demo QuestionThe younger son left home and _______ his money.





Second Demo QuestionWhen the younger son realized that he had been very foolish, he decided to ____________.







LISTENING COMPREHENSION EXERCICE

Now you are invited to listen to the following audio. Take note and let us have your test. We will grade it and refer to you.

1st-audio

LET US EVALUATE YOUR WRITING SKILLS by answering this question with many details as possible, using your own words.

Why did the older brother become angry when he heard the sound of music and learned about the party ?

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