Friday, September 30, 2011

Urdu Text Archive

Urdu Text Archive is a collection of texts from different online sources of Urdu Unicode data. The aim was to collect raw text as first step towards creating an Urdu corpus. As there is no viable grammatical tagger for Urdu available yet, this data can only be used to create word lists or for computational linguistic purposes. The data is not sampled very well because we had least choice in data collection. The biggest source is news reports of various online Urdu news papers. The data was retrieved and freed from html programmatically using regex or html parsers in C#. The genres are typical to news domain. There are articles, news reports, columns, letters to editor, editorials etc. Another major genre is books. The books have been collected from Ejaz Akhtar’s copy left archive of open source Urdu Books. The books have data from various fields of life e.g. Poetry, Literature, Religion, Quarnic Translations, Ahadith and online editions of some magazines. The data from books section is proofread and in good quality. It can be used right away for any further development. But data from Urdu News Papers and online resources, is not so good. It is raw text with spelling errors which needs review. There are problems of space, sometimes additional spaces are introduced, other times spaced are omitted and the spellings are non standard in some cases. So a full sweep out of such error is required before creating any further resource based on this data. In present condition, the limitation of genres is also a problem for this data. The scope of data collection needs to be expanded from news papers to other fields of life as well.


The data of Urdu Text Archive can be downloaded from this link of The sources used for this data collection are Jang Online Edition, Nawaye Waq Online Edition, news reports and Articles,, AalamiAkhbar Online Newspaper and Urdu Books Archive by Ejaz Akhter. The estimate of words in this archive is 1,82,43,149 words approximately, which will be grown in future hopefully.

Future Plans

  • Expanding the archive e.g. Jasarat Online is a good source.
  • Adding more genres e.g. Urdu Chat Data, Urdu Forums Discussions after anonymization, Urdu Blogs.
  • Development of Urdu resources based on this data e.g. spell checking words lists for Urdu.
  • Refining the data and eliminating formatting. language and spelling problems.
  • Finding trends of Urdu writers on Internet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sword of Truth AND Wheel of Time

I am not clear, whether it was the action of reading WoT first, or the reading of SoT. Now I am in a hollow and a fix kind of situation, drifting here and there. I want to read something, but I cannot because SoT is strikingly similar with WoT. The basic plot has lots of commonalities and I cannot help the feeling that Terry Goodkind has copied something from Robert Jordan. The story drifts apart from WoT’s world ending scenario, but the core remains strikingly same. And after reading reviews about the the similarities, I cannot help myself to read it. But my fantasy loving nature is urging me to do something (actually to listen something). Its just like some heroinchi feels bone crushing need of a cigarette when he can bear no more. Same is with me, I am in a need to read something but don’t know what to read. I’ve tried to read Brother’s Karamazov once again (actually copied in my mobile) but couldn’t develop interest just after a few minutes. What a Shame!

Well, I’ll find something to read, perhaps SoT once again, but let us see a few basic similarities between SoT and WoT. The main purpose of this barely post was to add to the clutter already floating online showing the open secret to the already knowing world. Winking smile


Keeper Dark One
Creator Creator, Light
The Gift One Power
Male Haan Sidiene
Femal Haan Sidar
Great War Breaking
3000 Years Passed since Great War 3000 Years Passed since Breaking
Palace of Profits White Tower
Sisters of Light Eye Sedai
Sisters of Dark Black Sisters
Prelate Amyrlin Seat
Richard Rand
Baka Ban Mana, Daharans Aiel
The Imperial Order Seanchan
Sword of Truth Callandor

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Creating an Urdu Translation Glossary with C#

After a long time I have come back to C#. My limited skills allow me to do some things only with text processing and as I trained my self, my little silly looking C# scripts deal with file operations, getting word frequencies, getting counts from different text files etc etc. As I use C# as Python or other scripting language should be used, to write small programs to do tiny miny things, so I consider myself less of a programmer. But still I am in between a layman and a programmer, and can write a few bits of code. This time, after several months when I came back to C#, it was the urge to create an Urdu Glossary which can work with OmegaT. OmegaT is an open source translation memory tool, and I use it for most of my translations. And I need dictionary constantly as well, but the dictionary I use Urdu Web Lughat which is written in C# 2 and fits my purpose very well, when I add this Lughat File instead of default file which has only a few thousand words. This file has 92661 words and expressions which usually provide me insight for the correct translation, not to mention several other Urdu lughats have been merged with original few thousand words file to create this file. Well it serves the purpose, but it creates problem as well. I have to type each word in its lemma form i.e. if it is a verb in with third form e.g. got, I’ll have to write fist form get to get the meaning. Other problems are with the application.
Urdu Web Lughat
As the picture shows, capability to search the desired word from Google, Wikitionary, and Urdu Wikipedia as been added to it. This is done by default Internet Explorer Engine provided for C# 2005, but it creates problem while using in higher versions of Windows e.g. Windows 7. Each time I seek a word, it will show 2 or more dialogue boxes showing this error.
Urdu Web Lughat Error
I think I’ve the source code and can fix the problem by simply disabling this feature. But my other problem remains, that is typing the word each time, it takes too much time. So I was seeking for a solution. The solution I figured out was simple, put the lughat file in OmegaT somehow. And that’s possible through dictionary or glossary setup of the program. I find the dictionary process of OmegaT quite complicated (it requires Star Dict format). So I think its more feasible to put a glossary file instead (which is in this format word-tab-meaning). This was easy for me. I wrote a regular expression to match the lughat file’s xml and to extract each word meaning node (Don’t tell me it would have been easy with xml parser, I do not know it so regex was best for me). So here is the code I used to convert the nodes of xml in tab separated text file with each word meaning pair on new line.
public static void test ()
            string match = "\\<I\\>\\s*\\<w\\>(?<Word>[^><]+)\\</w\\>\\s*\\<m\\>(?<Meaning>[^><]+)\\</m\\>\\s*\\</I\\>";
            string text = File.ReadAllText(@"G:\Software\Dictionary\dictionary.xml");
            MatchCollection m = Regex.Matches(text, match);
            StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(@"G:\Software\Dictionary\Glossary.txt", true);
            string word = "";
            string meaning = "";
            for(int i=0; i<m.Count; i++)
                word = Regex.Replace(m[i].Groups["Word"].Value, "[\\r\\n]+", " ");
                meaning = Regex.Replace(m[i].Groups["Meaning"].Value, "[\\r\\n]+", " ");
I know it could be improved a lot, but it did the work and did it pretty soon. I put the glossary file in OmegaT project folder as it was required (/project/glossary/Glossary.txt) and that’s done.
OmegaT with Glossary 1
I was able to see the word meaning for each sentence in the glossary box in lower right box. It was quite a help for me and reduced my time. But then came the other problem: I still had to go to dictionary and type the lemma forms of verbs and plural nouns, so there was no meaning available for worked, working, works but only for the 1st  form i.e. work. This was quite frustrating for me because the actual problem was still there. So I decided to add the other forms of the words which had more than one forms. I decided to add new lines in the glossary for each form of verb, and add lines for plural forms of nouns as well. The idea was simple enough, but to accomplish it I had to grab a lemma list. Fortunately, being a corpus linguistics student, I know one out on internet. E_Lemma.txt has been created for Word Smith Tools, but I used it for my purpose. The code I used to extract lemmas of each word, and add them to new glossary file is below.
public static void Main(string[] args)
            string[] lines = File.ReadAllLines(@"G:\Software\Dictionary\Glossary.txt");
            string[] lemmas = File.ReadAllLines(@"F:\Corpus Related\e_lemma.txt");
            string word = "";
            string meaning = "";
            string lemma = "";
            StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(@"G:\Software\Dictionary\Glossary2.txt", true);
            int count = 1;
            foreach(string line in lines)
                Console.WriteLine(count+" of "+lines.Length);
                word = Regex.Split(line, "\t")[0].Trim();
                meaning = Regex.Split(line, "\t")[1].Trim();
                lemma = giveLemma(word, lemmas);
                    foreach(string lemma1 in lemma.Split(' '))
        public static string giveLemma (string word, string[] lemmas)
            string toReturn = "";
            string lemma1 = "";
            string lemma2 = "";
            foreach(string lemma in lemmas)
                lemma1 = Regex.Split(lemma, "->")[0].Trim();
                lemma2 = Regex.Split(lemma, "->")[1].Trim();
                    toReturn += lemma1 + " " + Regex.Replace(lemma2, ",", " ");
            return toReturn;
As it can be seen, the task is pretty simple.
  • Get each line from previously made glossary file.
  • Split the word and meaning.
  • Pass the word to another function, along with the lemma list (got from e_lemma.txt file) and return all possible forms of a verb or a noun.
  • At the end write a new line for “word-tab-meaning” pair for each lemma form of verb or noun.
  • And if there is no lemma, simply write the original word meaning pair.
The task was simple but the code was quite inefficient, so it took a long time to do this task. It took almost 1.5 hour to do it. But it was done and worked like a charm. See Smile
OmegaT with Glossary 2
So a glossary for Urdu Translators working with OmegaT is available. And of course it can be downloaded from here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Discourse Analysis of English Fantasy Novels

Well, its good to be back. Back from a long journey with Richard Cyfer and his lover Kahlan Amnell. Winking smile  You know, it’s hard for me to be away for long from such stories. In last few years I’ve found these English high fantasy novels quite attractive, more precisely kind of seductive for me. I can’t stop reading stories like Harry Potter, Wheel of Time, Codex Alera, and now it is Sword of Truth. I was away from internet, actually coming online just to complete translation that I’ve to deliver to Khawar on daily basis, otherwise I was in winter sleep with handsfree in my ears listening SoT 1: Wizard’s First Rule.
Wizard's First Rule
The Sword of Truth
Richard Cyfer and Kahlan Amnell
SoT Series
The story is quite pleasant. It has all the elements I need in a story. It is mysterious and full of weird things. The author has made his imagination wild, as wild as he could and grabbed the things which get attention of a reader like me, bind me to the book and urge to complete it. The story is full of suspense, breath taking suspense that you dare not stop listening. It is full of magic, strange worlds, strange powers, a sizeable villain and of course, the hero and heroin. You see, everything is in place, the story is a master piece of author’s imagination, a full fledged fantasy novel (series actually) with all the ingredients a fantasy novel can have.
The hero is a rare person, a unique character who is descendent of an ancient wizard family, he is meant to rule, born with power i.e. the gift. The heroin is unique of her kind, she is a confessor, from an ancient magic bearing lot of women who could use their power to capture the mind of anyone with a touch only. She is last left of her kind, others are killed. Ohh yeah, there is a reasonably good villain as well. As all villains do mostly, his father was villain so he is raised to be a villain, two steps ahead of his father in cruelty. And there are good supporting characters. The hero’s old friend, the great old wizard, the boundary warden, a warrior, and other minor characters. The hero and heroin can never be one because of the power she possess, she if she touches him he will loose his personality and become a pet to her. This really creates a sympathy for them. Well, they manage to be together at last, after all heroes are meant to find ways to meet their beloveds (it’s a universal truth Open-mouthed smile).
I really like such novels but after listening (not reading but listening, I like audiobooks for English) at least 3 series and over 20 books, I think I can figure out a common pattern under each such story. They might have a technical name for them, but I’ve observed and then formed a theory to explain the structure of these stories (the fantasy ones I read so far). Apart from the strange and weird worlds they create, they have lots of things common. Perhaps that’s needed because story needs something to move on, a motive, so the motive is provided through a certain pattern. Well we are going to discuss that pattern, or in more precise terms lets have a look on the overall Discourse of such novels (Harry Potter, Codex Alera, Wheel of Time, Sword of Truth).
  • The names e.g. Wheel of Time, Sword of Truth an like, they seem to follow same pattern (although not true for all).
  • The story starts with the world being tore apart by evil forces. They are getting strong, the end of time is near.
  • The world of the story is totally strange and weird. In cases like Harry Potter, it’s built upon ordinary familiar world as a hidden part, otherwise its totally unearthly with commonality of basics of life (characters are humans, there are trees and animals etc.) but other things are different, additions by the wild imagination of the author. All main characters are human (as far are these 4 series are concerned) with addition of other magical, unearthly creatures.
  • The world has a Creator, but he doesn’t interfere with the matters of humans. So they have to save the world on their own. But he usually provides the the ingredients , to be precise the hero of the story.
  • The hero is—as said earlier in the discussion of SoT—a person who is gifted with special powers. He is ordinary person in the beginning. He doesn’t know how to use the powers, mostly he denies to be the world saver, he runs away but the evil forces give him hard time, try to kill him, they tease him so much that he finally becomes an angry cat from a running mouse. Winking smile So he fights back, he learns to use his powers, and becomes lion from angry cat and plans for the final fight. ( I am tired of these final fights, but as you can see this is the discourse structure of such novels, they cannot deviate, so final fights are must for a hero).
  • The heroin, how can a novel be without a heroin Smile. So there is always at least 1 heroin or otherwise as much as the hero thinks he should have Open-mouthed smile (refer to Wheel of Time, the hero has 3 heroines and he loves them all simultaneously). I am quite a jealous of all heroes Winking smile. The heroines are not ordinary females, they’ve an important part in the novel, they possess a unique power which aid the hero several times in the story. They fight side by side with the hero in battle with the evil. One might say they share battle and bed simultaneously, and this adds to the soft side of story, the urge to read on. Well, that’s a debatable thing whether heroines should have such liberties Smile.
  • The villain is a wicked person or thing (non-human entity) who want to rule the world. So he taps the thousands of years old dark powers, he try to get the powers, to be a ruler and to become immortal. During his struggle he fears the hero and tries to kill him or lure him to his side, and thus the story starts, the old conflict of good and bad starts which will end at the end.
  • The story goes on for several books. Each book is a new struggle for the hero and heroine. The hero especially has a hard time, but he develops and gets mature, he becomes wiser and masters more powers, prepares for the final fight with the villain. During the progress of story he might loose some people (minor characters) but heroine should be with him till end (otherwise at least I would not read such a story, that’s why if there is a suspicion of any kind I have a habit to confirm that the royal pair is alright, safe and sound at the end of novel, hope so you understood how do I do this Winking smile).
  • The last novel of the series is the climax. The hero and villain are in hand to hand combat. They fight, use powers of that world, try to kill each other. As you know hero is a person with not so complete knowledge, the villain is master of powers but hero is rather raw as compared to him. But the hero manages to defeat him because villain is a damn fool full of pride who misses trivial things. Thus the hero wins and the world, which is usually a mess now, starts recovering under the holy command of the hero and, of course, the heroine.
  • Another commonality is the presence of one or more supporting characters which help the hero learn to use powers. They may be permanent or temporary, friends or foes, they help him learn somehow. As he is unique and rare, so he manages to learn quickly enough which can save his guts and the world.
Well, perhaps this is not a Discourse Analysis. But it is an analysis, the purpose was to seek a common structure of such stories. I don’t know if I was able to get the goal, but this much is sure that you would enjoy this post. And if you have something to add, most welcome, comments are always welcome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Killer Topics for Blogging

Bloggers are writers, but unlike traditional writers they are not supposed to be writing only when they have “mode”. If you are in the market, if you want to survive and if you want your readers to continue coming on your blog, you’ve to keep on pushing yourself. Blog posts get old in hours so you have to build new. Posts are read and forgotten, and then they demand more. Same as today people eat, and then demand more to eat. So the experts create “stimuli” for the land to produce quickly and efficiently i.e. fertilizers, they create medicine for cattle and chicken to “produce” faster whether it is milk or eggs or meat. So bloggers are like a commercially breaded commodity, they are supposed to produce, and keep on producing. This process of pushing themselves hard, writing more frequently even if one has no desire to write, extracting every bit of creativeness from the mind creates a hollow effect in the mind. Blogger does not spend much time in writing as much he spends on thinking what to write. The problem is not to create a post, problem is to create a topic around which the post will be woven. Don’t worry, I am with you in this barren land of blogging. When it is “blossom” or “spring” on me, I keep on writing, the topics keep on popping up in my mind and I keep on flowing on the fertile waters of this season. But the “spring” is not always like this. There are times, as there are times for Pakistan now rains are killing then drought will be killing, so there are times when “spring” ends, the springs of water become dry, rains stop pouring down, the sky is hot and bitter, and mind is barren. At these times a blogger feels helpless, or let me admit, I feel helpless, lonely, empty handed, drifting in a void, having a hollowness within me and visiting my blog’s admin page time and again, clicking on New Post button, sometimes opening it writing a few words and closing the opened tab, other times closing the browser just after clicking on new post, shutting down or putting away the PC, looking for a refuge from this emptiness, to seek something, anything to write about. Well, these are hard times for a blogger or perhaps a writer, he wants to write but he does not know what to write. So folks after this long, sad preface which most probably was not able to make a similar effect around you Winking smile, I would like to share a few ideas to write blogs posts on.

  • Surf the waves. Write on the HOT TOPICS. Write about what people are crazy about this time. Write on an update, a new OS, a new gadget, a new phenomenon, a new website, a new service. But make sure its hot for a wide variety of people, its not that you are having a hot thing behind your house and you start writing about it. Open-mouthed smile
  • Review a new gadget, OS, Linux Distribution, Smart Phone, Mobile Application or a Programming Language.
  • Write about a problem you encountered, and managed to solve.
  • Write your reactions what you see around you.
  • Write about your life experiences, reflections, professional life and about your city, province, country.
  • Read, read and lots of read then react and analyse what you have read.
  • And if you can’t do it, go to Google and search killer topics for blogging Winking smile

So if you were hoping for a magic, this isn’t anything like that, there is no shortcut to success. It’s a long way full of hardness, one has to suffer for a good creation same as a mother suffers for her baby. Posts are like children, and children are not purchased ready made, they are part of your soul, parted from you not so easily. If you do not write this way, then you are not a true writer, hence not an original blogger. Enjoy Blogging!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why I don't like Unity [Ubuntu]

Well people have written pages long posts about the pros and cons of Unity, the Shuttleworth born Ubuntu GUI which replaced classic Gnome. People like it, I admit. People use it, love it but the case is that I do not like it. I was never comfortable with Unity and I, sorry to say, had to quit Ubuntu due to this Unity thing. I am an occasional user of Linux, but I used to have 1 Linux system standby with Windows one. For a long time, I've never tried to install Ubuntu. On every new version I download and write the CD, boot and see how desktop looks like and then reject it. Thanks to Linux Mint somehow I've a reasonable desktop. But I do not like it either, the hybrid nature of this distro, half Ubuntu half customisation often look distasteful to me. I DO NOT like Unity. Because: (a few points only :-) )
  • It thinks that every person in the world is left handed.
  • It changes the routine and standard desktop usage. I can't go every time on left to close or open a window. I've built a habit to have close, min, max button on right side for 10 years now. Its hard to break the habit.
  • It thinks that everyone is a Mac user. By God I've never seed a Mac running system in my whole life (well, a iPad 2.0 is another thing I happened to see one ;-) )
  • The launcher is pathetic when it comes to customization. For God sake give some room, give some choice, everyone does not want that God Damn launcher on left side.
  • It was meant for netbooks and now Ubuntu is promoting this "thing" as Microsoft is promoting new version of Windows, the 8th one. These hours could be used to enhance kernel integration, driver development and for Gnome enhancements. Even if they had created customization options, perhaps it could be acceptable.
Well little bit emotional. :-/. But I really don't like Unity. I hope in next version there is an option to revert back to classical Gnome, or I am switching to KDE even if it is not well supported. :-(

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to Improve Your English Pronunciation

Correct pronunciation is considered essential for language learners. It is true that 100% native like pronunciation is not possible for a non native speaker but one should try for maximum accuracy. A language is best learnt from its native speakers. So for the sake of good English pronunciation, the best sources are the native speakers of English. English has an advantage that a hell lot of supporting material is available, along with multimedia resources that can be used easily to make your English language abilities better.
The pronunciation and listening or in other words speaking and listening are interconnected. One cannot speak if s/he hasn’t listened. Listening is input for you, listening is the base on which the building of your speaking abilities is built. So good listening can not only improve your comprehension abilities but it ultimately helps you improve your pronunciation and speaking skills. If you are a good computer and internet user and spend your some time online, there are a lot of resources available online which can help you improve your pronunciation. Here I am going to discuss a few resources that I, being an English student and Language Teacher, found and got benefit from.
  • Use free dictionary to get meaning and pronunciation of an English word. Click on speaker icon present next to the word.
  • Use Google Translate to get English to Urdu (or your language) translation as well as pronunciation of English word.
  • Listen to podcasts.
  • Listen documentaries and other clips posted on It will not give you pronunciation of specific word but your general listening and speaking will improve.
  • Watch English movies. is a good place to get pirated versions of English movies. Older movies (2 to 3 years old) usually have good quality as well as a subtitles file with them. This can help a lot initially to understand the words spoken by native speakers, and thus improve your pronunciation.
  • There are not only movies available, but there are TV Series also available. A TV series is good as compared to movie in various ways, in my point of view. It has a long story, a TV series can last for several years, viewer can have better understanding of story, context and characters. A TV series is usually in Standard English (while movies sometimes get characters which do not speak in Standard Accent). So you may select a TV series of your own choice and get it downloaded, and watch an episode whenever you get time. You’ll feel that you’ve developed an interest, love the story and characters, and understand what the characters say. I love to watch Science Fiction series like Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Stargate SG1. And it has helped me a lot in improving the pronunciation as well as listening comprehension.
  • Listen Audio Books. If you love to read books, then do not read but listen. There are audio books available for every popular novel or story of today, and  you can get them from I love to listen fantasy stories like Wheel of Time, Harry Potter, Codex Alera. This not only gives you very good pronunciation and listening practice but also improves your expression and vocabulary.
  • The traditional sources: use Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary or Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The CDs can be purchased from market or installation files can be downloaded from torrent websites. OALD is my favourite for pronunciation of different Standard Englishes. Currently it provides British and American English pronunciation which can help a beginner to distinguish the pronunciation differences.
  • Real communication has no alternate. If you happen to have a friend in North America, Australia, Canada or England and s/he speaks English. Do contact her/him and ask for voice call on Skype or Google Talk. A spontaneous interaction with native speakers will increase your listening and speaking abilities alike. And you may get a very close net friend as well. Smile
So these were a few tips to improve pronunciation and listening skills. I would write a few tips for vocabulary improvement and other areas of language development in up coming posts. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rank Shifting in Systemics Functional Grammar

Rank Shifting is a major concept in sentence analysis in Systemic Functional Linguistics and Grammar. The concept of Rank Shifting helped us a lot to learn how a unit of different level can be brought down to create interesting linguistics structures. The concept of Rank Shifting does not exist in traditional grammar of English. Although it exists in all modern grammars of English in their own particular way. e.g. Phrase Structure Grammar labels a rank shifting clause as a sentence. This model does not recognise or label the concept as Rank Shifting but it acknowledges the existence of bigger units within/ at the places of smaller units.

Rank Shifting can be at various levels. It can be at word level, at phrase level, at clause level. The best example of Rank Shifting can be seen at qualifier position in a noun phrase. e.g.
The candidate of the minority won the election.
The candidate who was living in that city for long lost the election.
The italicized parts show rank shifting at word level from two different levels. Example 1 shows that a phrase is being used as a qualifier. At this place there should have been a single word but a group of words was used.
The second example shows how a clause can be rank shifted at qualifier level. This is also an example of rank shifting at word level.

Rank Shifting shows us how the grammar of language works with minimal possible labour to produce unlimited number of sentences. The concept of systems within systems can be seen while analysing a Rank Shifted Unit, when a whole system has been brought down to create density in language. It can be seen that Rank Shifting can be used to create complexity in structure of one's language. This concept can be useful while studying the style of an author. Rank Shifting can be a very good tool for an author to use creatively in his/her piece of literature.

Add Open DNS in PTCL Broadband

PTCL Broadband sucks? Yeah it does. I am suffering from last two days. I cannot open a web page. Firefox just "Looks up" and Chrome tells me there is "dns resolve problem". I call them and file a complaint. After a few hours it gets restored but the next day same problem. It really sucks when you are in a mood to work and there is not internet despite of no loadshedding. So this time I changed the DNS server to Open DNS. It provides good functionality including content filtering and network stats etc. You can manage your home network very well through Open DNS. So go to and get their registered (its free!). Select Home for account type and then proceed with registration. Afterwards it will guide you to setup open DNS on your computer, router etc. Follow detailed step by step guide with screenshots and get rid of your ISP's crawling DNS service.
PS: If you are already a geek and know how to change DNS these are the addresses. Go to your network properties, IPv4 properties and change DNS server address to these:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pakistani Blog Aggregators

Once upon a time when I was a new blogger and didn't know very well about promoting my blog. And there was less trend to use Facebook, Twitter and the like to promote your blog and create reading community. People used to say that Blog Aggregators are the way to get traffic and reach wider audience. So for my Urdu Blog, and for this English one as well, I always searched for Blog Aggregators. The main focus was to get Pakistani Blog Aggregators but at times I tried to find other aggregators as well e.g. an aggregator related to Linguistics and ELT. During all this time searching for Pakistani Blog Aggregators I've found these (so far) which can help new and old bloggers to promote their websites. Because the way is old, but the effectiveness to reach wider audience is still there. People like things centralized, they don't want to visit blog to blog for updates so a Blog Aggregator is a good place to tell your reader that here is a new post. :-)
Ok let's come to business and start reviewing the Blog Aggregators I know so far. 

Actually this is the very first aggregator I encountered while running my Urdu blog back in 2007. And until recently I was unaware of anyother ones. (That's another story that a Google search revealed a handful of them which we are going to discuss here, shortly.) This blog aggregator is good one and for a long time I've been a fan of it. I used to go to its link in my free time and read what English "Pakistanis" had to say. ;-)

  • Simple and clean interface
  • Listing of posts, no categories so reader can see every post regardless of category or blog type
  • Rating Like or Dislike
  • A ranking for top blogs
  • Highlights in terms of top posts
  • In beta stage for a long time.
  • No response to emails sent though (I've asked to add my English blog several times, didn't find an answer).
  • No automatic way to submit your blog.
  • No RSS feed icon visible

Tea Break

Well this one I got while maintaining Khawar's news website. As I work as a translator for this website, sometimes I've to post the news as well. While visiting the website I found out the link backs in comments from Tea Break Pk and followed the link. That's not to mention that I immediately submitted both of my blogs here.

  • Interactive interface and good looking
  • Featured posts
  • Popular posts and comments
  • Proper website navigation
  • About, Join us, Bloggers everything needed by a new visitor
  • RSS feed icon visible and present
  • Feedback, Twitter and Facebook links
  • Categorisation to choose for the reader
  • I felt difficult to go through segmented parts because I want to read everything until I am saturated. So might not be a negative point in your opinion.

Pak Positive: Pakistani Bloggers

Well this one I got from Google. It looked a kind of elite to me, when I saw appraisal notes from New York Times etc on the header of it. But that's my perception, let's see what it has to offer.

  • Interactive and rich looking interface
  • Positive reviews from world class newspaper and news agencies.
  • Guest posts
  • Member blogs
  • Join us link
  • Post snippets instead of mere listing (more appealing)
  • Email subscription
  • Social media i.e. food for Facebook, Twitter addicts on their very account on social media
  • A collection of professional looking Pakistani Blogs.
  • Kind of restrictive and draining policy to submit your blog e.g. blog should be 3 months old, at least 25 original posts, place the linking badge where it is visible. Well, I should admit I was little bit annoyed on this much work :-D. As I am an easy going person, this may be a fault of mine not the blog aggregator.
  • No RSS link. I cannot survive without an RSS, so I do not subscribe to Pak Positive.

Pakistan Blogs

Well this one was a surprise for me, perhaps you may find yourself amazed as well to see what they've done. I got to this one through google of course. The unique thing for it is that it is created using blogspot. I cannot imagine a more innovative use of a free blogging service. It is still unclear to me how the admin updates the posts, as a blog aggregator should update automatically and blogspot does not allow any such facility. If you know please leave a comment clarifying how does it work actually.

  • Innovative use of Blogspot, a free service
  • Presence on Social Media
  • Email subscription
  • A cool AJAX based interface to read blogs. Click on Read Full Post icon and it will open actual blog suing AJAX. I loved this feature.
  • Comments, Tweet and Facebook Share for individual posts on the aggregator
  • No RSS. When I tried to use default blogger RSS (just add /rss after a blogger/blogspot address, it'll lead to the rss feed of the blog), I got the link but the subscription didn't go well. As this is not using a dedicated hosting and aggregating software, the feed is not well formatted and readable. You don't know where the blog title ended and post title started and where did the body start. So I had to abandon it, and use Pak Blogging instead.
  • Looks like manually updated, since blogger/blogspot does not provide auto-update features (apparently).

Pak Blogging

Perhaps got its link from Cric Nam, or google but it looks promising. And more is that I sue its feed to read latest activities of Pakistani bloggers.

  • Simple and clean interface. The one I like, list of posts no categories scroll down and read whatever you want.
  • Contact, Badges, all the stuff a new visitor needs.
  • Straightforward Submit Blog link. No worries, no restrictions.
  • Categories and Recent Posts widgets for ease of browsing
  • RSS feed link, the one I love to subscribe instead of emails
  • Well I suppose nothing is perfect so they should have something here as well. So Too Much Commercialization and adds on first page ;-)
Well I guess that would be all for today. I would suggest all of my readers to submit their blogs to these aggregators and every possible feed aggregator they come across on Internet (provided that it relates to their blog's field, origin and title :-D ). And do not forget to add to this list if I've missed something. Comments are always welcome. Have a nice day folks. :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Google+ Wishlsit

Ok you might find 100 pages on google search containing g+ wish lists. But as a unique entity, I like to voice my opinion and add a tiny miny wish list to existing ones.
  1. I hate animated gifs. There should be a way to block such posts. Mind it, the posts not the person. ;-)
  2. There should be a way to connect my blogspot blog to G+ account. So I can share my feed on it automatically. And it should NOT be like Buzz, which copies whole post as a new entry. I hate such solutions, I want people on my blog not that they read all of it on their G+ stream.
  3. There should be Applications. :-D Well, some might say it will add only crap as it does on Facebook. But it feels good to have Applications. You consider yourself having more liberty and choice. :-)
  4. There should be a groups kind of thing. Or at leas they should integrate existing google groups in g+. I am afraid that won't be a good idea though. Google groups are not meant to be integrated, they are stand alone service.
  5. There should be Professional Profiles or Pages. So the sites or brands can promote their business. But it looks like as Google's real name policy is kind of strict, its not gonna happen so easily.
  6. I want Translation of Comments and Posts on the fly. I hate when my foreign friends write in their native tongues and that is shared on my stream. What the HELL, if I can't understand those posts why they appear in my stream (same with Facebook activity feed, but they are gonna add on the fly translation support for comments). Damn Google Translate is the best freely available translation software I've ever known. They can easily integrate G+ with Google Translate service.
  7. A descent way to Send Messages. Yeah yeah I know that one can send your friends email based messages through their profiles, they'll appear in gmail as a profile message. I don't like half solutions. There should be a way to interact with someone who is not in your circles. You should be able to send him/ her a message, or at least ask him/her why s/he bothered to add you in his/her circles. That's not possible through gmail based service.
Ops lucky seven :-). I am unable to remember any further 'wish'. Well, technically it should be in G+ feedback. But just to change the way, let them search on Google what their users say about their + service ;-).
Enjoy Googling and Enjoy G+.

How to Add Pics in Table in Blogger

The new Blogger interface is really cool and provides lots of features to handle image uploading. But the editor is still a pity and you cannot arrange the images. Last day I struggled for 1 hour to arrange a few pics in my post. The aim was to arrange 2 or 3 pictures in one row so they may be looking nice and cleanly arranged. But I could never do it in Blogger's post editor. You can change the size, you can change the alignment but you cannot change the position of the picture from 1 row to another. I tried another solution, i.e. to put each picture in a table cell and thus to arrange them. But again, we cannot insert a table, if we create one using HTML mode we cannot put our pictures in it easily. That's for geeks folks. So for an easy way to put pics on blogger. Follow me.
  1. Download Windows Live Writer.
  2. Install it, afterwards you will be asked to setup blog account.
  3. Enter your credentials and setup for the blog you want to post on with Live Writer.
  4. Now open up the pictures folder in a new Explorer window.
  5. Start writing a new post in Live Writer name it Test Post.
  6. Go to Insert tab (the interface is familiar for Office 2007, 2010 users: Ribbon Interface).
  7. Here you'll find Table function. Click and it'll open up a new dialogue for table configuration.
  8. Select number of cells and rows as per your arrangement scheme. Select cell width, default width worked well for me by the way.
  9. Click OK and a table is inserted in the blank post body section.
  10. Now Drag and Drop each picture (from pics folder) in each cell. The picture will be automatically adjusted as per cell width.
  11. When you are finished. See in Home tab, second separator Publish. There is an option Post Draft to Blog. Click it and Live Writer will start publishing your draft post to your blogger account. It will not minimize but you can do other things in meanwhile.
  12. As soon as it is finished, go to Posts section of your blogger dashboard, and see there is a draft named Test Post.
  13. Click on Edit and the pictures are in front of you arranged cleanly in table cells. You can see the Preview to make sure that they'll look nice on your blog. And now you have two ways.
  14. Continue editing this draft, rename it and add your other content and Publish it.
  15. Or you can copy the pictures code by clicking on HTML mode in post editor and paste that code in your original post (of course through HTML tab). And you are done :-)
You may decide to use Live Writer as your default post writing tool as well but I like to do online things in my browser and leave it if it is absolutely necessary. Enjoy Blogging!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My City Faisalabad

I am listening to instrumental Bansuri and enjoying rain which is hitting my room's door. It is one of the fortunate moments when Faisalabadis get rain. This Moon Soon was one of the fortunate rainy seasons that we got rain frequently. Normally we do not expect much rain even in moon soon. There are a few times in a rainy season when rain lasts more than an hour, and our streets are flooded with knee deep water. But that is for a few times only, it does not happen frequently. So I am listening to music, enjoying the rain, and writing this post about my city Faisalabad. But before going forward, see the beautiful sky of Faisalabad just before the rain. I am not a good photographer but the natural beauty is self explanatory.
Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (2) Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (3)
Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (4) Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (5)
Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (6) Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (7)
Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (8) Faisalabad-Sky-before-rain (9)

During my struggle to align these images, the rains is over. The clouds are thundering their good-bye sounds. The weather is pleasant, feels like the last days of October with gentle cold breeze and an urge to sit in a warm place. It is in those fortunate days when we have no loadshedding because the demand of power decreases due to cool weather. It almost seems like good old days when there was no load shedding, the days of school when we had no interruptions in power supply. Well, let's put it aside and talk about Faisalabad a little bit. :-)

Business and Livelihood

Faisalabad is situated in center of Punjab. It is almost 3 hours distance from provincial capital Lahore and considered one of major cities of Pakistan. Faisalabad is known for its textile mills. There are, indeed, hundreds of textile mills surrounding this city. This is the reason why they call is Manchester of Pakistan. Due to lots of mills, the overall mood of the city is "labour-type". Labourers from all over Punjab and sometimes Pakistan come here to seek a job in Textile Mills. Once upon a time, these mills were very generous to offer jobs. The mill owners and industrialists of Faisalabad were considered among the rich people of country. It was said that Faisalabad's annual revenue exceeds even from Karachi sometimes. But electric and gas loadshedding has ruined everything. In last few years we have seen lots of mills closed down, power looms shut down and ginning and thread making factories abandoned by their owners. So Faisalabad is not so generous now, and lower class labourers are the most disadvantaged people in all this scenario. Some "pillar" type of companies and corporations still stand, they buy other factories which are being closed down. But they also struggle due to rising costs and decreasing profits due to gas, electricity and other expenses and shortage.

Apart from textile mills, there are other businesses as well. We have Kashmir Ghee Mills in Faisalabad, which produce the well known Kashmir Ghee. There are a lots of brands of Washing Soaps which are produced in Faisalabad, hopefully all remember Gaye Soap :-D. Some exceptional cases like Rafhan Maize Products are also present but they are only a few and ordered to leave the city due to laws restriction and city expansion.

The city is a hub for trading activity. It consumes a lot and it works as a junction to supply different goods to other cities.Trading of Sutar Mandi Faisalabad is an example of textile dominant society. Sutar Mandi is basically used for trading cloth and thread, Sheikh and other purely business minded communities dominate this commodity market. The 8 Bazars and Clock Tower, are traditionally considered trading center of the city by laymen. This, being the oldest part of the city, is still called "sheher" (city) by local citizens. The old style of city has been long gone, but still open sewerage ducts can be seen in some old parts of city, or in newly established facility-less poor towns and muhallas.

People and Life Style

The city was being started building in 1900 by the British. Formerly this area was called Sandal Bar. This was not an arid area, so was irrigated by a canal Rakh Branch. In 1900s people were allotted lands in this area, government encouraged people to settle here so the city of Lyallpur, now Faisalabad came into being. The very foundation of this city is based upon the settlers coming from other areas of Punjab. The city does not have a grand past, like Lahore or Karachi type of cities have. So the life style of people is pretty much simple. Every year thousands of settlers add to Faisalabad and this rate is increasing with the passage time. Once this city was smaller than Sargodha (a neighbouring city) and was part of Sargodha Division. Now it has more population than Sargodha, even from any city in Punjab except Lahore. So this thing made the overall behaviour of the city.

People have come here, and coming here largely for business opportunities and jobs. So the city have been developed in a way as it was required by the settlers. The main way of living for Faisalabadis is the business and jobs. But here the divide of rich and poor should be discussed. There are people who live in old Muhallas or recently built so-called towns (communities of lower middle and lower class). They live to earn money so say they may be go on pushing their life. Even on eids their recreation opportunities are least. On the other hand, there are people who are rich they are mill owners, middle or upper middle class job holders, highly qualified professionals etc. They live in posh areas, they have ample opportunities for recreation, and even if there is none, they know how to produce such opportunities.

There is a clear divide among population according to lifestyle. The old Muhallas, some new ones have narrow streets,  and the so-called towns still lack basic facilities like sewerage, water and gas. There are areas in the city which cannot be recognised as a part of a "city" if one happens to wander in their streets. On the other hand there are posh areas which are well guarded, separated with boundary walls with facilities, parks and elite lifestyle. The streets, roads, buildings and houses of these high class areas represent the "good" image of this city.

The city has least number of parks and recreation areas for the public. The old Bagh-e-Jinnah, Canal Park and other of such kind can be counted on fingers. The lower class areas of city are almost park-less, they have barely space for buildings and congested houses, due to lack of planning there are no parks or grounds, and if there were, they are consumed in building schools or other government buildings within those areas. The elite areas are feature rich with parks and grounds, but the cost of living is high their. So youth from Muhallas etc travel to such areas where grounds and parks are available to play cricket, or they tend to play on streets and roads between moving traffic.

The education rate of the city is increasing with passage of time. There is a hype to have a degree, but these degrees are for white collar jobs e.g MBA, M Com, Engineering, ACCA, ACMA etc. The trend of technical education is not so popular yet, although textile designing and other textile related areas are included in the curriculum of local institutes. Education is a business and provide livelihood for thousands in the city. There are private schools, colleges and universities, coaching centers and home tuition providing individuals who earn from selling education. There are government schools and colleges, there are private schools and colleges for lower middle and lower class and there are elite class Cambridge system schools and colleges. The city has two public sector universities Govt College University Faisalabad (established in 2001) and old one The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. Along with it, several private universities are working e.g. Faisalabad University.

The linguistic situation of the city is diverse even if it is a Punjabi city. Punjabi is spoken by old people, lower middle and lower class and among close peers on informal occasion. Like other major cities of Punjab, people of Faisalabad are also trying to pass on Urdu to their new generation instead of Punjabi. So they tend to speak Urdu with babies, children and youth. The children of lower middle class and lower class learn Punjabi in streets and among friends, but this language is being wiped out from elite class. English is also being popular with hundreds of institutes offering spoken English courses. Other languages e.g. Pashto is also spoken by Pakhtoons who have settled in Faisalabad during last 2 or 3 decades.

The overall mood of the population towards traditional festivals is bored, they tend to sleep on eids, ride bikes with removed silencers on 14 August, firing in the air and playing songs in loud voice at basant etc. The wearings among youth are pent shirt and shorts, older people tend to wear traditions Dhoti Kurta, Shalwar Qameez etc.


View Larger Map

The city is surrounded between several small cities and towns. Jaranawla, Khurriawala, Jhumra, Gatti, Dajkot, Samundari are some of the small cities surrounding Faisalabad. The city is expanding rapidly due to new settlers from rural Punjab and other small cities. So the surrounding villages and towns which were once outside the city are now a part of the city. Gokhuwal, Makkuana, Char Chak, Gutwala are a few examples of such reclamation by the expanding city.  New towns, muhallas and colonies are being built all around the city. So once green areas around Faisalabad are now Jungles of Concrete. The expansion divides the rich poor distinction of the city. Canal Road is considered an elite area of the city, because the underground water is not drinkable except those areas which are within 1 to 2 kilometer range of Canal. So the rich has taken responsibility to build their houses and housing schemes around the Canal, while poor housing schemes are being pushed away from Canal. There are some old Muhallas near Canal e.g. Mansoorabad, but its rarity now to build a Muhalla near Canal.

Faisalabad is having a harsh plain weather which is due to its land locked nature. It receives low rainfall even in rainy season. The summers are very hot here. Temperature rises to 45 degree centigrade sometimes. The winters are dry and harsh. Specially December and January are too cold, the temperature falls to 0 degree centigrade. The dry winter causes flu, cough and other chest related problems, which are eliminated only if there are reasonable winter rains (2 to 3 rains in season). February, March and April are spring months and the weather is pretty much pleasant. From April to June, the summer rises to its peak. The rise in temperature creates dust storms which make weather pleasant for a few hours. The months of July, August and sometimes September are considered rainy season months when there are less or no winds blowing and occasional rains. The 24 hours presence of clouds in the sky create a humid weather which by interacting with hot sunlight create a kind of unbearable situation. Although the temperature is low in these months but humid weather creates problem for children and older people especially.

Development, Roads and Facilities

In last reign of Mian Nawaz Sharif, this city was granted ample funds fro the development of roads. So all the major roads are professionally built in two way fashion. But flyovers have been built time to time to contain traffic, roads are being constantly widened and newly built but the rapid expansion of the city is causing problems. The increase in traffic, the hype to purchase a bike and then a car, is increasing traffic and the city's road are becoming narrower day by day due to it. Especially the traffic junctions e.g. Millat Square, M Tax Square, areas around 8 Bazars and roads like Canal Road, Satiana Road are being over crowded due to traffic. There is a serious rise in problem of parking in rush hours specially in 8 Bazars, Satiana Road etc. The trend to build 4 to 5 story plazas on famous roads, with no parking facilities of their own, is also worsening the situation.

The city seriously lacks an Urban Transport Service. Initially there were Tongas which were replaced with Rikshaws and they were replaced with wagons almost 20 years ago. In round about 2000, the local government started a scheme to run local urban transport bus service. Two companies were allotted different routes in the city, and they were given loans to buy reconditioned buses. The old wagons were replaced, and provided routs outside the city. After a few years the bus services died away because of less income as compared to expenses. Those buses are standing in parking lots of the owners or the banks, or being used by textile mills to carry their staff. While the local transport is run by a new generation of Rikshwas called CNG Rikshaws, and Trolly Rikshaws (pulled by an 80 cc bike usually a Suzuki or Qingqi) called Chingchee locally. Due to more demand and less supply, old wagons are permitted to operate within city once again but that's not a solution. The ever expanding city is making the transport problem worse day by day.
Drinking water is a problem for the city. For last few years, Water and Sewerage Authority is not working well in this area. Water was being supplied from pumps installed alongside Canal, and from pumps installed near Chenab River. But water supply network of WASA is old and water pipes are rusty, and contaminated. The rehabilitation of water supply lines was started by adding new pipelines but due to lack of fund, or interest of the government, most areas are now without drinking water. So the supply is being fulfilled by water suppliers who supply water in textile chemical cans, or (if they are charging 3 to 4 times more) they use transparent plastic bottles. The sewerage system is so so, but rainy seasons creates real problem when water tends to stand on roads for several hours.

Places to Visit in Faisalabad

There are no monuments like Lahore Fort of Lahore, or Mazar-e-Qauid or Clifton Beach of Karachi in Faisalabad. It is an industrial city with least beauty for outsiders. But still there are some places which are worth seeing if you visit Faisalabad.
  • Clock Tower and 8 Bazars
  • Jinnah Garden, Jail Road.
  • Chenab Club, Sargodha Road.
  • Canal Park, Samundari Road.
  • D Ground, Peoples Colony.
  • University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
  • Wild Life Park, Gutwala, Faisalabad.
  • Hockey Stadium, Sousan Road
  • Iqbal Stadium, Jail Road
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Auditorium, near Iqbal Stadium.
Well that's all, I will expand this list if for any other suggested places, or if I could remember another worth mentioning place.


Faisalabad is my city and I love it. :-) I've tried my best to describe about Faisalabad without adding my own opinion. You may ask any questions in comments if you want to know more about something. And I'll keep on posting about Faisalabad in future as well. Just stay tuned.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eclectic Approach in Teaching English

Introduction to Eclectic Approach
Larsen-Freeman (2000) and Mellow (2000) both have used the term principled eclecticism to describe a desirable, coherent, pluralistic approach to language teaching. Eclecticism involves the use of a variety of language learning activities, each of which may have very different characteristics and may be motivated by different underlying assumptions. The use eclecticism is due to the fact that there are strengths as well as weaknesses of single theory based methods. Reliance upon a single theory of teaching has been criticized because the use of a limited number of techniques can become mechanic. The students, thus, cannot get benefits of learning. Relativism i.e. to emphasize the context of pedagogical situations is also criticized because it leads towards dissimilarities rather than similarities between teaching contexts. The use of eclecticism does not mean to mix up different approaches randomly. There must have some philosophical backgrounds and some systematic relation among different activities. Usually it is recommended to mix structural approaches with communicative use of language.
The kind of eclecticism we tried to implement here is a mixture of traditional reading based approach and some conversational practice for students. We have tried to see language based on structures but which cannot be acquired without reasonable practice by communication and conversation.
So the main postulates of this approach can be as follows.
Theory of Language
Language is based on structures which are used to convey meanings, which perform functions.
Theory of Language Learning
We see language learning as a combined process of structural and communicative activities.

Objectives of Current Lesson Plan
We shall try to teach the students about past simple tense by a combination of different traditional reading, writing and conversational activities.
Teaching Material
Teaching material is different worksheets and black board.
Role of Teacher
Here we are adopting the role of teacher roughly equal to CLT. We consider teacher as a facilitator: who facilitates the learner, as a guide: who guides the students, as a slightly higher rank official: who uses his authority to conduct the class and make the process of teaching and learning systematic.
Role of Learner
Learner is seen by us as the center of teaching learning activities. His participation is very important. So teacher will always try to involve the learners. As well as the learner's role in class should be cooperative and they will be allowed to communicate, self correct each other and ask questions about the substance provided for teaching learning activities.
Lesson Plan
In this lesson our focus is on Past Simple Tense. For this purpose we shall try to present a series of activities which will provide the learners' opportunity to practice the structures with in context with conscious and unconscious state of mind. The students are supposed to be class 6 students.

  • Activity 1: Reading of Passage (10 Mins Approx)
  • Activity 2: Question Answering about Passage (10 Mins Approx)
  • Activity 3: Fill in the Blanks (10 Mins Approx)
  • Activity 4: Past Simple Practice (10 Mins Approx)
  • Activity 5: Story Writing (10 Mins Approx)
    Activity 1: Reading of Passage (10 Mins Approx)
Miss Wajeeha will present a passage for reading. The purpose is to provide a context for next activities.

The Lady With the Lamp

Florance Nightingale was a young girl, in the early part of the nineteenth century. At that time, the hospitals were not as good as they are now. The doctors and nurses were not trained about healing wounds. Many poor soldiers died because of this in result of war. So she wanted to be a nurse. But her father did not want that. He sent Florance to travel many countries. She did not forget and visited hospitals. She worked in convents where nurses were trained. She worked in the hospital and improved the system. She worked day and night. She looked after the wounded soldiers. She used to walk around the hospital with a small lamp. So the hospitals became clean and nurses were much more skillful. She stayed at hospital till the end of the war and saved hundreds of lives.
That's why today, nurses all over the world remember “The Lady with the Lamp”

Activity 2: Question Answer (10 Mins Approx)
  The purpose is conversational practice in a controlled situation as well as to remind what students previously read. It will allow the students to remember the new vocabulary items specially the content words used in the passage. As well as students will unconsciously practice past simple tense.

Q1:- Who was Nightingale?
Q2:- Are hospitals today better or worse than in Florance Nightingale's times?

Q3:- Why did many soldiers die? 

Q4:- Did her father wanted his daughter to be a nurse?

Q5:- Why did she want to learn about nursing?

Q6:- What she did for the improvement of the system of hospitals?

Q7:- Why she was called “The Lady with the Lamp”?

Activity 3: Fill in the Blanks (10 Mins Approx)
 The purpose is again to let the students interact with the teacher and to memorize the vocabulary items.

Fill in the blanks with appropriate words.
  1. Florance was a _________ girl. (Old, Young)
  2. She wanted to be a _________. (Nurse, Doctor)
  3. She visited _________. (Hospitals, Saloons)
  4. Florance is called ____________________. (Lady with a Piano, Lady with a Lamp)
  5. Florance was in the early part of _____________. (Twentieth century, Nineteenth century)
  6. The hospitals were not so _________. (Good, Beautiful)
  7. But his _________ did not want that. (Brother, Father)
  8. She worked in a ___________. (School, Hospital)
  9. Andy many _________ soldiers died because of that. (rich, poor)
  10. He sent Florance to travel many ________. (Countries, Villages)
  11. She worked in convents where ________ were trained. (Teachers, Nurses)
  12. She improved the system and worked ___________. (Day and night, for a month)
  13. She used to walk around the hospitals with __________. (a lamp, a piano)
  14. Hospitals became _________. (clean, ugly)
  15. Nurses were much more __________ now. (reasonable, skillful)
  16. She stayed at hospital until the end of ________. (war, dinner)
  17. Nurses all over the world __________ “The Lady with the Lamp”. (remember, forget)
Activity 4: Practice of Past Simple Tense (10 Mins Approx)
The purpose of this activity is to convert the previous unconscious knowledge about the past simple tense to conscious one. The definition and structural formula will be presented in traditional way and then the sentences will be practiced in substitution tables.

The Simple Past Tense
The simple past tense is used to talk about actions that happened at a specific time in the past. You form the simple past of a verb by adding -ed onto the end of a regular verb but, irregular verb forms have to be learned.
Practice of to be statements in Past Simple. Positive and Negative Sentences.

was not
were not


Practice of regular verbs in Past Simple. Positive and Negative Sentences.


did not visit


did not improve

the system.
Practice of to be statements and regular verbs in Past Simple. Interrogative Sentences.




the system?

Activity 5: Story Writing (10 Mins Approx)
  The purpose is to let the students use their minds and provide linguistic output in desired form i.e. past simple tense. A picture will be presented and then the students will be asked to write a story according to their perception of the picture. Reasonable guide and clues will be provided by the teacher after the students having brainstormed.