Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BYU Nominated for Powerhouse Entrepreneurship Courses!

The nation’s top entrepreneurs don’t come from one place — not one Ivy, one city or one incubator. Sure, schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University have a reputation for churning out revolutionary ideas and battle-tested founders, but top-flight companies sprout from universities and entrepreneurship programs all across the country.
Case in point: Jan Koum, the co-founder of mobile messaging company WhatsApp, which recently sold to Facebook for $16 billion, isn't an Ivy League MBA. Instead, he got his bachelor's from San Jose State University.
To get a better feel for the college entrepreneurship landscape today, Mashable parsed through graduate and undergraduate rankings and syllabi to root out the top universities for entrepreneurship in the U.S.
The rankings we scoped judge schools on their faculty, course offerings, teaching principles and extracurriculars, and also on how many businesses they've helped launch and how many of those companies are still around.
Coming in at Number Two is Brigham Young University for Powerhouse Entrepreneurial courses offered:
Business School: Marriott School of Management
Entrepreneurship center: Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
Year center opened: 2003
Program: Undergraduate and graduate courses
Course sampling: "Fundamentals of Intellectual Property" (undergraduate) and "Mobile Application Development" (undergraduate and graduate)
Notable alumni: Dave Bateman and Ben Zimmer (founders, Property Solutions International) and Jonathan C. Coon (co-founder, 1-800 Contacts
If you are a foreign student who wants to study entrepreneurship in the United States at BYU, there's no better place to start your climb to the top than Nomen Global Language Centers!  

The ‘Magic’ of Provo!

In the startup world, places like Silicon Valley and New York City are sharks in a pond full of smaller fish. Yet despite being dwarfed by the sharks, many of the smaller fish are swimming along just fine.
“From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Alley in New York, it may seem that those areas have cornered the market on tech genius, but don’t be fooled,” Entrepreneur.com reported in 2012. “The Internet is decentralizing business, allowing entrepreneurs to build smart, lean businesses in far-flung places.”
On the Rise
SpareFoot went fishing to find out which of these “far-flung places” are rocking the boat. We wound up netting a list of America’s Six Fastest-Growing On-the-Rise Startup Hubs.
To be considered for our list, a metro area had to:
  • Have a population of less than 1 million as of July 31, 2013.
  • Be among the top 20 metro areas for venture capital activity per 100,000 residents in 2012, as ranked by the Martin Prosperity Institute.
  • Post one-year population growth of at least 1 percent from 2012 to 2013, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau.
All six of the metro areas on our list are home to major universities. Furthermore, three of the areas on our list recently ranked among the top 10 areas in the U.S. for overall well-being of residents, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
We often publish lists that highlight places where people might want to move, such as the six startup hubs on this list.
The ‘Magic’ of Provo
John Curtis, mayor of the top-ranked place on our list, Provo, UT, said people are moving to his city to be part of “the magic that we’re experiencing here.”
“Our city was founded on the entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s still present,” Curtis  told The SpareFoot Blog. “The citizens are motivated by improving the quality of life for themselves along with others around the world.”
Curtis said people outside Provo don’t realize it’s the “polyglot” capital of the world, “meaning we have more people that speak more languages in one city than any other.” That stems, in part, from the presence of Mormon-backed Brigham Young University; many students there take two-year breaks from their studies to serve as Mormon missionaries around the world.
“Most of our residents have spent time in other places and have a deep sense of stewardship in making life as enjoyable as possible,” the mayor said. “It’s the same reason we are first in volunteerism and rate the highest in well-being.”
Six Hot Startup HubsWith Provo leading the way, here is SpareFoot’s list of America’s Six Fastest-Growing On-the-Rise Startup Hubs.
1. Provo, UT
One-year population growth: 2.2 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 550,230
July 31, 2013, population: 562,239
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $30.7 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 9
Major university: Brigham Young University
2. Fort Collins, CO 
One-year population growth: 1.7 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 310,686
July 31, 2013, population: 315,988
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $15.9 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 14
Major university: Colorado State University
3. Boulder, CO 
One-year population growth: 1.6 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 305,297
July 31, 2013, population: 310,048
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $86.9 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 3
Major university: University of Colorado
4. Santa Barbara, CA
One-year population growth: 1.2 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 430,426
July 31, 2013, population: 435,697
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $59.1 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 5
Major university: University of California, Santa Barbara
5. Lawrence, KS
One-year population growth: 1.1 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 113,043
July 31, 2013, population: 114,322
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $40.8 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 6
Major university: University of Kansas
6. Madison, WI 
One-year population growth: 1.1 percent
July 31, 2012, population: 620,740
July 31, 2013, population: 627,431
Amount of venture capital per 100,000 residents: $11.5 million
Ranking for venture capital per 100,000 residents: No. 20
Major university: University of Wisconsin
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Martin Prosperity Institute 

Pham The, Our Valiant Vietnamese Valedictorian.

18-year old Pham The will be leaving Nomen Global Language Center, here in Provo, Utah, next month in May for the adventure of a lifetime.  He will be serving for two years as an LDS missionary in the Anaheim, California, Mission.
Pham The grew up in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where his parents worked in the pharmaceutical business and then went into real estate.  He came to the United States two years ago to begin learning English so he could attend college in the United States and improve his career prospects in his home country.  While staying with his sister in Houston, Texas, he decided to embrace the LDS faith, and then decided he would attempt to enter Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  He moved here about a year ago, but was unable to enter BYU immediately, and so decided to attend Nomen Global to polish his English skills. 
Deciding three months ago that he wanted to serve a mission, he spoke to his Bishop, and, just last week, he was given his assignment to Anaheim, California.
Needless to say, The (as he likes to be called) is very excited about his upcoming change of scenery and lifestyle.  In the meantime he will continue with his ESL studies at Nomen Global, and, in his spare time, he will continue to play his favorite Starcraft computer games.  When he returns from his proselyting, he hope to be able to enter BYU at last. 

We wish him Godspeed and good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2014

An ESL Teacher's "Ah-Hah!" Moment.

Before I came to work at Nomen Global Language Center, in Provo, Utah, I worked as an ESL teacher in the kingdom of Thailand.  
One steamy tropical afternoon, as my classroom full of 12-year-old Thai public school mathayom students struggled to both stay awake and stay interested in our English conversation module, I had a break-out moment.  Tired of drilling them on Mr. Brown’s interest in knowing what time it was and where students lived, I suddenly turned to the nearest pair of students to ask:  “Do you know Sally?”
There was a stir of interest in the classroom; the teacher was departing from the textbook!  This didn’t happen very often in mathayom (grades 7 -12).  I repeated my query, and the nearest pair of students, who had been reciting textbook English conversation to each other in a bored monotone, made bold enough to say in unison “No, we do not know Sally!”
Now the fat was in the fire.  I had abandoned the standard text to ask about some mysterious Sally, so now what would I do?  I took the plunge, with the old American tongue twister.
“She sells sea shells by the sea shore!” 
My students were transfixed by my unprecedented struggle to spit out that ancient tongue twister.  In Thai culture the teacher cannot make a mistake or show imperfection, or, rather, cannot admit to making a mistake or being imperfect – but here I was tripping all over my own tongue in my own language!  A few of the boys in class gave a clandestine giggle, and I decided to press forward into unknown (for me) territory.
I wrote on the board “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers”, and let the students absorb the words for a few seconds before repeating the phrase slowly and carefully.  Then I asked them to repeat the phrase, which they did with perfect ease; Thais have no problems with voiced bilabial stops.  When I tried saying it at a faster cadence I completely blew it, and my students, who a moment before were wilting with disinterest in the English language, were now politely demanding what was the meaning of “Buggy” and “Bumpers”, as well as pleading with me to teach them some more.  This was a 45 minute block, and we had but a scant ten minutes left, so I abandoned my lesson plan to revel in my own childhood games of alliteration and shibboleths.  First we did:
“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”
Then we moved on to: 
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
 The bell rang and my students gathered up their papers and textbooks, happily telling each other about Peter Piper’s pickled peppers as they exited. 
For the rest of the school year I had a great motivational tool at my disposal.  I promised my ESL students that if we finished our regular lesson early, we could spend the extra time learning new tongue twisters.  I rarely had to nag the children to do their set lessons after that.  They were anxious to try their young tongues on “Roberta ran rings around the Roman ruins” or “There was a minimum of cinnamon in the aluminum pan.”  It was always stimulating to see who would stumble first, one of my students . . . or me!  Tongue twisters not only helped their enunciation but really expanded their vocabulary.
I have found that tongue twisters are a great way to warm up a cold ESL class, and, once the students have bought into the game, it’s a great, and greatly relevant, motivational gambit to help students of all ages get through their assigned lessons. 

And if I’m not speaking the truth, may I be stuck saying “toy boat” in rapid succession for the rest of my life! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

You CAN Transfer Schools With NO Problem, When You Deal With Nomen Global Language Centers!

5 Facts for International Students on F1 Visas in the U.S
The F1 visa category is reserved for academic students enrolled in colleges, universities, high schools, language training programs, and other academic institutions. The first step for a prospective student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school (University/College) which is SEVP certified. 
Nomen Global Language Centers created this list of the most common questions from and for international students on rules and regulations regarding the F1 student visa:
What are the requirements for F1 student visas?
§  You must be attending an academic institution or a language-training program;
§  You must be enrolled as a full-time student;
§  The school must be approved by the USICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to accept foreign students;
§  You must show sufficient financial support to complete the study;
§  You must prove that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residency.
Can I travel outside the US?
Yes.  You may return to the US after an absence of no more than five months. You must have a new F1 visa if your original one has expired. Have your designated school official sign your I-20 before leaving the US.

Can I transfer to a different school?

Yes, absolutely! It is extremely easy.  It is your legal right to change schools for any reason you wish, or for NO reason at all!  You must notify your current school and work with the designated school official (DSO) to transfer your SEVIS record.  They cannot withhold your SEVIS record from you and your new school for ANY reason! You also need to obtain a new I-20 from your new school, and give the completed I-20 to your new DSO within 15 days of transfer date.  Call Nomen Global Language Centers for the latest information on this important subject, at 801-377-3223.
Can I work in the U.S.?
F-1 visas are intended to enable foreign students to study in the U.S., hence, there are strict work restrictions. Students with F-1 visas are generally allowed to work on the campus of the university at which they study for up to 20 hours a week. There are also two training programs that F-1 students can get permission to work under.  F1 students should always seek advice from the DSO (or foreign student advisor) before seeking employment in the United States.

How long can I stay in the U.S. with a F1 visa?

When you enter the US, an immigration officer at the port of entry will issue you an I-94 card that indicates your non-immigrant status (F1) and your authorized stay. It is typically “Duration of Status” or “D/S” on a student’s I-94 card, meaning that you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in the school to complete your academic program. After the program ends you will have 60 days to depart the U.S. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Punctuation Post

Punctuation is the system of symbols (. , ! - : etc) that we use to separate sentences and parts of sentences, and to make their meaning clear. Each symbol is called a "punctuation mark".

Summary of Punctuation Marks
Click on the link for each punctuation mark to find out more.

Punctuation Mark
full stop or period
I like English.
I speak English, French and Thai.
I don't often go swimming; I prefer to play tennis.
You have two choices: finish the work today or lose the contract.
This is a rather out-of-date book.
In each town—London, Paris and Rome—we stayed in youth hostels.
question mark
Where is Shangri-La?
exclamation mark
exclamation mark
exclamation point (AmE)
"Help!" she cried. "I'm drowning!"
slash or forward slash
Please press your browser's Refresh/Reload button.
double quotation marks
"I love you," she said.
single quotation marks
'I love you,' she said.
This is John's car.
Have you read War and Peace?
round brackets
I went to Bangkok (my favourite city) and stayed there for two weeks.
square brackets
The newspaper reported that the hostages [most of them French] had been released.
One happy customer wrote: "This is the best program...that I have ever seen."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet Jessica Hercules, a Veteran Teacher at Nomen Global!

Jessica Hercules and her husband Pete.

Jessica Hercules is a perky brunette, who enjoys teaching English as a Second Language.  Prior to starting work at Nomen Global Language Centers at the beginning of 2013, she was a student at Utah State in Logan, Utah, where she majored in Second Language Teaching.
She is originally from Provo, Utah, and lived most of her life in Sandy, Utah, which is the sixth largest city in the state of Utah.  Sandy is home to the Rio Tinto Stadium, the only soccer-specific stadium in Utah.  Jessica is not only a big fan of soccer, but an even bigger fan and participant in women’s lacrosse, a team sport originally played by the Iroquois Native Americans.  She currently coaches a girl’s lacrosse team in Provo.
Her husband, Pete Busche, is a former anthropology major at Brigham Young University, and is currently studying for his Masters in Public Administration at the University of Utah.  They plan on staying in the area after he graduates; he will work in local government while Jessica continues with teaching English as a second language.
One of the things Jessica enjoys most about teaching English is observing the students making progress in the language and watching where they take their knowledge of English.  She is currently teaching students at Nomen Global Grammar 2, Critical Reading, and Current Events. 

Her favorite word in the entire English language is “onamonapia”. (Don't worry, we had to look it up too!)