Saturday, March 18, 2017

EL121 Quiz

If you want to do well on the upcoming EL121 Quiz, please click here to download a very useful document. I've summarized the skills you need plus included a very helpful exercise. I will give you the answer to the exercise soon.

Answer: Coming soon

Friday, March 17, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

EL121 - A Letter From Gaza

I hope you all read the story and enjoyed it as much as I did. The story is beautiful and very meaningful. Click here to download the notes.

P.S. The original (Arabic version) of the story can be found here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

But I Don't Have Time to Read!!

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard that excuse from my students whenever I tell them to read at home. Some other excuses include:

* I have a job
* I'm married
* I have kids

Your job, marital status and children should not come in the way of education and seeking knowledge. 

When people say they don't have time to read, what they really mean is they're not organizing their time properly. If you seriously feel that you have no time to read, you've got your priorities sorted out in the wrong way my friend. 

How is it that we have so much time for other things in life, but when it comes to reading, time suddenly disappears? How much time do we spend on our phones? On Whatsapp? Snapchat? Instagram and other such applications? How much time do we spend on the TV watching mind-numbing shows?

It's time for a change. 

Let me tell you something that has helped me personally. Keep in mind that I have a job, I work from home as well, I'm married, and have two little angels who constantly need attention. Nevertheless, I still find time to read everyday. Here's what I do:

Every day before I go to bed (and after putting the kids to sleep), I read for 15 - 20 minutes. My family now knows that this is my time. I do this EVERY single day without exception. Why is doing this every day important? Because if you include reading into your daily routine, with time it will become a HABIT. Habits usually last for a long time and are hard to break.

So pick a quiet time for yourself, it could be early morning when you wake up, sometime in the afternoon or before you go to bed. Give yourself 15 - 20 minutes and read any book of your choice. Do this daily and stick to it. The success of this method lies in your dedication to stick to it on a daily basis. 

Happy reading :) 

Monday, March 13, 2017

EL119 Grades [so far]

Click here to see your grades. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mr. Farran's Random Thoughts

Feel free to share your own if you wish to do so.

1. Three tips on finding the right partner (click here to listen)

2. Saying the right thing at the wrong time (click here to listen)

3. What is our purpose in life? (click here to listen)

4. Are you a Christian? (click here to listen)

5. The juice seller's dream (click here to listen)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Go Now!

Jarir Bookstore
Offer ends 2nd April
What are you waiting for??

Thursday, March 9, 2017

EL119: Online Practice

Some of you still haven't entered my code on the "Online Practice". You need to use the Teacher Codes below to join my class or else I won't be able to grade you. 

EL119 Sec. 201: C-943-848-0992

EL119 Sec. 202: C-420-474-0095

EL119 Sec. 205: C-590-739-0575

EL119 Sec. 206: C-475-081-0514

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Problem & Solution

Some students accuse me of ignoring their messages on LMS, if that is happening to you as well, it is probably because you have accidentally blocked me on LMS. Please unblock me if you wish to receive my messages. 

For those taking EL119, if you chose the wrong book for the "Online Practice", you'll have to email the support team and ask them to fix it for you. Their email is on the card at the back of the book. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Did you know?

Did you know that the world's oldest university and library was created by a Muslim woman? 

Fatima Al-Fihri Al-Quraysh founded a mosque-religious school / college in the 8th century and it's still operational until this very day under "The University of al-Qarawiyyin" in Morocco. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Have Fun Speaking!

So as you all know by now, I'm always trying to find interesting ways to help you improve your speaking. One fun way to do so, is by playing board games with friends and family members. There is a board game called Taboo which I highly recommend. 

It's a game where one person is supposed to describe a given word in one minute to others but without using 5 taboo words. For example, I have to let my team guess the word "fire" by describing it to them but I'm not allowed to use the words "flame, hot, red, heat and match." 

It's a lot of fun, it makes you more creative as you are forced to find other ways of describing the words and it improves your English with time. There is also a Taboo Juniors Edition for those who are not very fluent in English. 

You can find these board games in almost all toy shops in Kuwait and I've included other board games on the EL119 LMS front page as well. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Knowledge VS Thinking [Islamic Perspective]

The speaker in the file below is Nouman Ali Khan (a Muslim public speaker) and in it, he shows us the difference between Knowledge and Thinking according to the Holy Quran. The file is only a minute long but it really is interesting to listen to.

Click here to listen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Power of Setting

So in our last EL121 class, we talked about how setting can actually change our mood when watching a movie or reading a story. Moreover, with the right amount of editing and sound effects, a funny movie can be transformed into a horror one as shown in the examples below. 

Actual Movie Trailer

Edited Movie Trailer

This post was inspired by Shahed Al Ali, thank you for sharing that wonderful video with me on Facebook. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cleopatra [AA100A]

Cleopatra is indeed an intriguing character, probably the most recognizable female in history. She is an icon and her life has both been celebrated and studied extensively. 

Click here to read some interesting facts about her. 

Click here to see the timeline of events in her life which will give you a better understanding of that period in history. 

I found an interesting book (below) about her life as well as I was walking around in That Al Salasil the other day.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

EL121 - A Sound of Thunder

I hope you all read and enjoyed the story as much as I did, click here to download the notes.

The story talks about the "Butterfly Effect". Click here to see a short video to get a better idea. There's also a great movie called the "The Butterfly Effect". Watch it if you can.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

EL119 Reminder for Saturday Students

If you're taking EL119 with me on Saturday, please join one of my classes on Monday so that you don't miss out. Check my timetable on the right to know where and when. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

EL121 Day 1 Recap

So a lot of great ideas were brought up in our last class and I thought I'd share some relevant and interesting things with you regarding our very first unit.

Remember when we talked about imagination and creativity? The below picture speaks the truth.


We also talked about how the book was mistaken by associating "protagonist" with "good" because the word 'protagonist' only refers to the main character and nothing else (whether s/he is good is another matter). It is true that in most stories, the protagonist is a good person, but the protagonist doesn't HAVE to be good as we saw in 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Actually the protagonist can be a horrible and sadistic person as you will see in the examples below:

"Split" is a wonderful new movie (playing in cinemas at the moment) where the protagonist is a mentally disturbed man who has multiple personalities. Check out the trailer here.

Click here to also see an interesting list of Top 10 movies with villain protagonists.

Interesting questions to think about!

1. Do children have a wide imagination? Is it necessary for their development? If so, how?

2. Why does our imagination seem to shrink as we get older?

3. Can adults do anything to broaden their imagination?

4. What is the difference between how kids used to play in the past compared to today?

5. Is it ethical to kill those who kill others? Why do you believe so?

6. Is it acceptable for poor people to steal food? Why?

Monday, February 20, 2017

EL121: Unit 1 Quiz

Click here to do the quiz! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Use 'Ecosia' instead of 'Google'

'Ecosia' is a search engine equally as amazing as Google but the only difference is that by using 'Ecosia', you're actually helping the company plant trees. You can even check to see how many trees you've planted. Click here to know more.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Welcome AOU students!

On this blog, you will find a lot of useful information to help you with your courses. Please feel free to ask me any questions that might come up and please do give me your suggestions and ideas on ways to improve this blog. I want to hear from you all!

I hope you all have a wonderful semester!