Monday, November 13, 2017

Wonderful Commercial

Thank you for sharing Ghadeer

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kuwait Book Fair 2017 [Updated]

The 42nd Kuwait International Book Fair is taking place in the Mishref Fairgrounds from 15th - 25th November in Halls 5, 6 & 7

482 publishers from over 30 countries will be there. Please don't miss this wonderful opportunity! 

The opening hours are:
Saturday to Thursday: 9AM - 1PM & then 4:30PM - 9:30PM
Friday: 4PM - 10PM

~ Prices are not fixed with most publishers so haggle with them
~ On the very last day (25th Nov), the prices are usually reduced 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Life-Changing Books [from students]

The link below contains a personal book recommendations list from my students. These are books that have had a profound effect on them and changed their lives in one form or another. 

Click here to see the list. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

EL121N Notes + HW


The Lottery Ticket [Link]

The Unknown Citizen [Link]

Trifles [Link]

Professions for Women [Link]

A Rose for Emily [Link]


Day 1 class notes [Download Link]

Day 2 class notes [Download Link]

Day 3 class notes [Download Link]

Day 4 class notes [Download Link]

Day 5 class notes [Download Link]

Day 6 class notes [Download Link]

Day 7 class notes [Download Link]

Day 8 class notes [Download Link]

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to Answer Part B on the EL121 MTA

After receiving some messages from my students, I realized some of you are having problems understanding how to answer the questions in Part B.

If you want to do well, please keep the advice below in mind.

Okay so the first thing you have to do is understand the nature of the question itself. Part B is a Close Reading section which means you need to focus your attention on the passage given and not the whole story.

One of the biggest problems I find when students answer this question is that they don't do the above. They talk about the WHOLE story when clearly this question is asking them to focus their thoughts and ideas on the given passage. So please be careful on the exam and do not make the mistake others have made before you.

To do well on this type of question, we also have to go back to the skills we talked about in class. Do you remember Critical Reading and Thinking?

Critical Reading means you approach the text carefully like a detective looking for clues, you read between the lines and try to understand why the author wrote what he did. You're interested in only only what is written but also HOW it is written. Critical Thinking means you ask questions and approach the text with an open mind.

So when you read the passage on the exam, focus on that passage only and read it carefully with an open mind. Remember every passage (no matter how small) reveals something about the setting, characters, theme, plot and many other things as well.

Just be sure to read the question carefully and give us an appropriate answer.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Calling all Book Lovers

Used Book Fair Event this Friday & Saturday 3rd & 4th November 
from 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: 'Little Nest Cafe' in Sanabel Tower in Sharq [Google Maps]

Friday, October 27, 2017

EL121N Quiz Marks

To be honest with you all, I am a bit disappointed with your marks because I was hoping you would all do much better. I have a feeling that some of you are not working hard enough and not doing the homework I am giving you. Some of you have very poor English and there's nothing I can do personally in that area. You MUST all work harder and take things more seriously if you wish to do well. I will show you your papers in class. 

Click here to see your marks. 

Sunday, October 22, 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 am 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. Yes EVERY day. 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 and habits stick and are usually 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 :) 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

True & False Question

When you keep all your options open. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Writing Session

If you're interested in improving your writing skills, please attend the event below held by the English Literary Club (ELC). 

The ELC is a wonderful group of dedicated students who are honestly making a big difference in our college. If you want to learn, have a good time and meet some amazing new people, then I highly suggest you join the ELC. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

EL119 Grades [so far]

Click here to see your grades. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

EL121N Quiz

On Tuesday 24th October, we will have our in-class quiz which will cover everything in the first four classes we had. Download the sample from the link below.

Click here to download the sample EL121N quiz. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Improve your Writing!

Click on image to enlarge 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Beautify your Thoughts

If you'd like to turn your personal thoughts and quotes into beautiful, inspiring images, look no further than Quozio.

All you have to do is write your quote in the box with your name and it will do the magic for you.



Tuesday, October 10, 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.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Painting My Dad Rejected

In class, I once spoke about the time I decided to suddenly test my artistic abilities and start painting. When I enthusiastically showed my dad my very first painting (below), he wasn't really impressed and told me to "not waste my time" and "focus on other things in life". I still paint until this very day. 

Click on pic to enlarge

P.S. I know what you're all thinking...I'm sorry it's not for sale. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

EL121N Critical Reading Exercise

If you want to do well on the EL121N Midterm & Quiz, you must know how to critically read and think about a text. I gave you all an exercise to do for homework, please check out the links below.

Notes: Click here 

Answer: Click here

Bonus: Click here to know the difference between "Thinking" & "Critical Thinking"

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Join Toastmasters

Toastmasters is an officially recognized international organization that has clubs all over the world to help members improve their communication skills and increase their confidence. 

Our Toastmasters club in AOU consists of teachers and students who meet regularly for one hour every Wednesday from 5 - 6pm in Room FE202. Join Toastmasters and give it a chance, you have nothing to lose and will eventually see the difference it will make in your life.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Why You Should Buy A Kindle

If you are a book-lover like me, then I strongly recommend you buy a Kindle Paperwhite. A Kindle is an electronic device built specifically for reading. Unlike other tablets, you can look at the screen for hours without hurting your eyes thanks to the e-ink technology in it that makes it similar to reading a physical book. It will change your life, seriously. It's the one item I always have on me (with my wallet and phone). Wherever I go, you will find my Kindle on me.

Some of the reasons that make it such a wonderful device are the following:

+ Device is small, compact and lightweight (perfect for travelling) 
+ Electronic ink display (read for hours without causing eyestrain)
+ Built in light (read comfortably at night)
+ Stores over 1000 books
+ Built in dictionary
+ Supports PDF & DOC formats
+ eBooks are cheaper (lots of free eBooks available online as well)
+ Allows you to highlight your favorite sentences/passages
+ Allows you to write notes on your eBook
+ Long battery life (I charge my device once every month)
+ Reasonably priced (48KD straight to your door with Mr.Babu)

Kindle Paperwhite

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mr. Farran's Voice Notes

Unit 1: First Impressions - Meeting my wife

Unit 2: Taste & Nutrition

Unit 3: Success & Failure 

Unit 4: Change

Unit 5: Who is responsible?

Unit 6: Coming soon

Unit 7: Coming soon

Unit 8: Coming soon

Unit 9: Coming soon

Unit 10: Coming soon

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Buying Books Online

So a lot of the times, I recommend or talk about interesting books which cannot be found at any of the local bookstores here in Kuwait.

I personally use the websites below to get books that don't exist in Kuwait:

1. Mr Babu - The great thing about this website is that it has everything! It takes all the books (and everything else) you see on amazon and adds a fee to them for shipping and delivery. Even if it's one book you want, Mr Babu will deliver it straight to your door. It usually takes around two weeks for the books to arrive so this is one website I highly recommend.

2. Jamalon - Another great website for books is Jamalon. Originally located in Jordan, this website offers a wide selection (English and Arabic) and ships books all over the world. Their books are reasonably priced but take longer to arrive.

3. KinoKuniya - Based in Dubai, this is probably one of the biggest bookshops you will ever come across. They have branches all over the world and their Dubai website will deliver books to Kuwait.

4. MaGrudy's - Another one from the UAE, this website has a great selection (English & Arabic) and are reasonably priced as well. They have a lot of the new books and will help you find books that are difficult to find.

5. PageTurner - A humble little website from Kuwait, they have a small selection of books but nevertheless they have all the popular titles. They will probably expand with time and become a more prestigious bookstore.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Dangers of Sugar

Our theme in Unit 2 (Taste & Nutrition) inspired me to share this video with you all. It's an eye opener (English subtitles available as well). 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Improve Your English!

If you want to improve your English / Arabic please buy stories like these. These stories are written in both English and Arabic (side by side), so if you don't know what a word means or if you don't understand an idea in one language, you can always look at the other side of the page and understand what is meant using the second language. 

You can find these books in Jarir Bookstore in Hawally. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

MTA + Final Exam Schedule

MTA Schedule [Download Link]

Final Schedule [Download Link]

Note: Please discard any schedules you downloaded earlier as the ones attached here have been updated and are the latest ones. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

EL119: How to upload voice recordings on LMS

On the main EL119 page on LMS, you will see a link to upload your voice notes.

Watch the video below for more specific instructions.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

EL119 Online Practice Class Codes

Please note that the above codes are only for the sections mentioned. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

80% off all books!

The underground bookstore in Hawally currently has a crazy sale on all their books. 80% off everything! They have a lot of classics, non fiction titles, tons of kids books, a good collection of educational material and popular titles. Even if you have enough books, just go for the experience, seriously. They will continue selling books until the sell out.

They open from 9:00am - 7:00pm (closed on Fridays)

Location: Click here
(Right next to the bakala, located in the basement)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Currently Reading

Highly recommend this book written by the very talented Kuwaiti author Saud Al Sanousi. It's available in both English and Arabic and I started reading the first few chapters a couple of days ago and I'm having a hard time putting it down (almost done actually). The level of English is easy to understand and for those who have seen the TV series, please don't compare it to the book. The series does not do the book any justice, the book is a hundred times better.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

English Major (New Study Plan 2017/2018)

Click here to download the new study plan. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Welcome AOU students!

On this blog, you'll find a lot of useful information related to the university and your courses. Please feel free to share you ideas, thoughts and questions with me if any should arise. I want to hear from you all!

Wishing you all a productive and fruitful semester.