17 December, 2010

Success in your learning journey

You can choose success in your learning journey. Do you believe you can?

If you do not, then you have already decided to choose a different path and success will not be the goal in your study!

If you choose success in your learning journey and taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal. You will not let anything stops you until you get there!

If you choose success in your learning journey, you will learn to remove whatever is holding you back.

Reflect upon your learning journey for the last 5-10 years, has something happened in the past affected your self esteem and your learning attitude?

If you do not choosing success in your learning path, it is very likely that simple problem will block your ability to overcome and change your learning path.

In study and learning. to remove any obstacle and mentle block you must have focus.

To have focus you must first have a dream or goal of where you want to be.

Only when you have defined that dream or goal of success can you start to focus on it.

Focus intently that everything you do is done with your dream and goal in mind.

Only then can you move toward that dream and achieve the goal.

Choose to live your success in your learning path and make the dream and goal a reality in your learning journey!

Dexterine Ho

16 December, 2010

Be content with a little ...

"Beware of undertaking too much at the start. Be content with quite a little. Allow for accidents. Allow for human nature, especially your own."

- Arnold Bennett

Be content with a little learning at a time. You cannot digest the whole elephant within a meal by yourself.

Knowledge in any field is too much for our mind if we wish to know and acquire it in total instantly.

No one can do so, hence you just demand yourself too much if you were to force it upon your mind from the beginning.

Working very hard the night before the examination is only helpful if you have good understanding throughout the course of study.

Beware of undertaking too much at the start or at the end. Be content with a little learning daily.

Allow for mistakes made in your journey of learning, especially your own, learn from it and you will be a better problem solver then!

Hence give yourself time for making errors and corrections. Learning from your own mistakes, and move on...

Understand that you have human nature and simply things like dullness and tiredness will happen in your learning journey.  Take some time to rest, recharge and reset your body.  With a break and some rest, tune it back to learning mode is a pleasant experience.

Learning a skill or a subject is like growing a plant, overloading your mind by undertaking too much at one time is like watering the plant whole day, it will kill your mind like the way too much water is killing the plant.

Just be content with a little...

Dexterine Ho

30 November, 2010

Ask for success ...

Perhaps the most important word in success and happiness is the word, 'ask.'

-- Brian Tracy

In any study and learning, asking question is the starting point of clearing your doubt.

Once you are able to answer or find a way to resolve it, you are on your way to success.  With that learning is a joyful and happy journey!

Dexterine Ho

25 November, 2010


The following quotation tell use what is truth about life and it is the same in the process of learning:

Economic disaster begins with a philosophy of doing less and wanting more.

-- Jim Rohn


There are no shortcuts. To be a big success, start a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later.

-- Brian Tracy
There are two ways of attaining an important end, force and perseverance; the silent power of the latter grows irresistible with time.

-- Anne Sophie Swetchine (1782-1857)

24 November, 2010


The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.

-- Lee Iococca

In any study, concentration and focus is the key to success.  If you are able to focus and use your time well, you do not need to repeat your work.

If you do not exercise your ability to concentrate, or to use time well in class, you are unable to do the homework without the help of tuition teacher.

If the work you do is not directly from you, it may not be with you in your comprehensive mind or long term memory even if you have done it.  All learning will be a painful process of recall and confusion!

On the contrary, if you are able to listen in class with full concentration and understand the lesson, you do not need to attend remedial class or have tuition after classroom hours.

You will use your time to build something new upon something you know well. 
If your foundation is good and stable, you can excel with new acquisitions of knowledge, and learning become interesting and stimulating. 

With that, your learning become part of you!

Learning something new is not difficult and you will always find it joyful to add new understanding!

Dexterine Ho

20 November, 2010

To seek the mountain view

When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new.

This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In learning, we are renewing our interest in the subject by adding something new to explore everyday. 

If you stay where you are, you will get tire of what you already know. 

Only when you climb one level up, you are able to seek a better view. No primary school pupil likes to repeat primary one every year!  You will like to be promoted to primary two and three etc. 

Learning is hard, yet no learning is dull! 

Repeating something you already learnt is easy, yet it is not meaningful for you and that may drive you and lock you in a "restless" mode.

Without external force, the natural craving in you may spurs you to explor and climb new height, and learn someting new in order to have the mountain view of the knowledge world.

The education system just design the path for your to walk through systematically.  If you have your own way to seek the mountain view, you need not follow the present system or path in your country or society. 

If you have a choice, would you like to be in secondary school after your PSLE, or repeating primary six years after years?

Mia Hamm said "Celebrate what you've accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed."
When you are tired of the known facts and knowledge, will you seek and explore for new information and understanding?

It is up to you, anyway!
Dexterine Ho

18 November, 2010

Learning English: some tips for Chinese educated

沈春華Life Show : 搶救英文能力 提昇職場競爭力 (2/5) 20070731


This Chinese programme hosted by Ms 沈春華 invited Professor Lai 賴世雄 and other guests. Their pleasant characters and sense of humour make learning English natural and interesting!

If you like the programme, just follow the link from this page on youtube and view all the five parts.

Knowledge vs wisdom

To attain knowledge, add things every day.

To attain wisdom, remove things every day.

-- Lao Tzu

When we are reading to gain new information and learning to gain new knowledge, we are doing the adding task!

When we are exercising our thinking mind, we need to know how to untie things and remove the obstacles blocking our way!

Have great knowledge do not necessary make one a wise person.

To have wisdom, we need to unload the knowledge that burdening us and look at the core issue in life.

Study skills is to master the tools to access and accumulate knowledge.  It may not help one to gain wisdom.

Dexterine Ho

09 November, 2010

See the door which has opened

"When one door closes, another opens;

but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

- Alexander Graham Bell

No one learns the same way, no teacher teaches the same way too.

If one access or one methed of acquiring the subject knowledge is closed or not accessible from one's way of learning, use another which is opened.
We often look so long and so regretfully upon the futile attempt that we do not see or try the one which may open a new way of learning!

"Alternative" is alter your way of solving the same problem.  "Creative" is creating or applying something new and unknown to you.

If learning something the old way is an futile attempt, try and use other new ways.

Do not waste time on futile method when you have try and proved that it is not working for you. 

Use the same time to test something new and you will find a new horizon in your learning landscape!

Dexterine Ho

06 November, 2010

Attains eminent success

No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him;

it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.

-- Charles Kendall Adams

05 November, 2010

Success and enthusiasm

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

-- Sir Winston Churchill

Enthusiam is the key to any success!
With it, failure is just a process, and not an end!

Success is from failure to failure first, follow by success at the far end.  Enthusiam is the fuel that allow you to face it without losing hope and see light at the far end!

Dexterine Ho

04 November, 2010

Acknowledge a mistake

It is important to acknowledge a mistake instantly, correct it, and learn from it.

That literally turns a failure into a success.

Success is on the far side of failure.

-- T.J. Watson (1874-1956)

In the process of any study or learning, it is a journey of collective "correction".

We acquire new learning when we know our mistakes in the past and unlearn it to go further and move forward.

It is not possible to acquire 100% right knowledge at any stage of our learning and study. It is always something we learn now add to our understanding of the subject domain.

Failure or have some mistakes in any learning is not a big issue. 

Have the courage and attitude to acknowledge it and correct it is what makes us different today as compare to what we were yesterday!

That attitude will turns a failure into a success as you know success is on the far side of failure.

Dexterine Ho

13 October, 2010

Retain things you learn!

I was alerted by Technology Integration in Education Group Members group-digests@linkedin.com to the following article:

"Effective Ways to Retain Everything You Learn!" Posted by Bhanu Priya at

Here are some points I pick up:

*We sometimes get stressed out with ‘over learning’ because of which there is a tendency to forget some important things.

*Reasons for forgetting:
  • Lack of interest
  • Lack of proper understanding of the concept
  • Disuse – Memories do not stay for long when not reviewed or visited frequently
  • Increased preoccupations in the mind (both necessary & unnecessary)
  • Mental tensions

* In order to avoid these causes of poor retention, one must effectively plan his / her method of ‘internalizing’ learning, so that it can be retained for a longer time.

* Some simple techniques that will help:

  • Identify a clear purpose for learning
  • Get a thorough understanding of the material / information that you need to learn
  • Build a strong background on the subject matter
  • Avoid mental overcrowding of immaterial / unnecessary things
  • Be determined to implement whatever you learned in practical life
  • Divide the learning into manageable bites
  • Make a habit of writing while learning – Notepad helps
  • Exercise your brain – This keeps your mind fit just like body fitness

* Apart from these techniques, there is a concept called “visual learning”, which involves learning from seeing a task performed ... is more interactive and engaging as it includes pictures, diagrams, graphics etc., that help in remembering concepts for longer period.

To read the complete article, please click on
"Effective Ways to Retain Everything You Learn!" Posted by Bhanu Priya at


01 October, 2010

Re-order your thinking

You can take control of your own thoughts, actions and emotions, which means you can take control of your life. The best way to deal with problems is to re-order your thinking and see them as opportunities to grow or mature.

-- Zig Ziglar

30 September, 2010

To remove mountain?

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

-- Chinese proverb

If you can carry away a few small stones from a mountain today and do it everyday, you may remove a mountain in years to come. 

If you can study for a few minutes and understand a word today and do the same thing everyday, you will be a good language learner after six years of primary education.

A language expert is someone who does it ever after university education.

A mountain can be remove slowly, any subject knowledge can be acquired with a bit of effort each day!

It is not difficult to someone who did it, yet it is not easy for everyone to do it!

Simple tips is easy to acquire, yet perseverance and hard working is the key to any success in study!

Dexterine Ho

25 September, 2010

What little thing can you do today?

It's the little things you do that can make a big difference.

What are you attempting to accomplish?

What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective?

You are probably only one step away from greatness.

-- Bob Proctor

Learning is one lesson at a time!

Primary school is six full years! 

Each day is scheduled with many lessons, one after the other!

Secondary is four years, and you only get a degree after 16 years of learning!

No learning is a like cooking instant noodle, so do not expect instant learning the night before examination.

Dexterine Ho

24 September, 2010

Making friends

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

-- Dale Carnegie

23 September, 2010


People are like sticks of dynamite. The power is on the inside, but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit.

-- Mac Anderson

If you are like the stick of dynamite, your intelligent and your power is on the inside, but nothing happens to your intelligent and power until you find something worthwhile to fuse and lit it up!

Dexterine Ho

No one can force you to learn

When someone asks you a question, answer him or her sincerely, and when you are not asked, do not force your teaching upon others.

-- Jae Woong Kim, "Polishing the Diamond"

You may have the best teacher in the world around you, yet you will not learn anything if you do not have any interest to learn.

When you are interested in learning, you will ask question sincerely and the learning journey will take you to the best teacher you need!

Good teachers do not force their teaching upon others! 

To learn something, you need to be a willing learner! 

When there is a will, there is a way!

Dexterine Ho

Dream and reality

Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

-- Belva Davis

Learning something and mastering something maybe a dream.

If you can really dream about it at night, you have the ability to make it a reality!

Dexterine Ho

24 July, 2010

Just do it

What you want to do, you do. The rest is just talk."

- John Cleek

You can plan what you like to do for days, yet if the plan is not executed, it is still a plan and you will not see any result from your planing!

Plan, Do, Check, Re-do, and the change will take place and you will harvest what you had planned for with doing, checking and Re-doing to meet your goal!

Dexterine Ho

22 July, 2010

One step at a time

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.

-- John Wanamaker

Any subject, any study is like a mountain when you start to explore.

In exploring, it is always one baby step at one time.

We start our learning in nursury, kindergarten, primary, secondary, pre-u or junior college, polytechnic, university and then continue with post-graduate study.

No one, however intelligent, can skips most of the steps and be good in any field of study overnight!

If one is intelligent and hardworking enough, it just takes lesser in time!

Still, it is one step after another that makes one a GCE"O" level holder, GCE"A" level holder, Degree holder, Masters Degree Holder, Ph. D Holder etc...

Fast food is to fill your hunger, slow and traditional cooking is the one that makea the food taste best and more valuable in term of nutrition and health!

Evening with all the study and learning tips you have learned so far, it is still a step by step approach that makes you a good learner with strong foundation in the discipline that you like to pursue futher!

Dexterine Ho

20 July, 2010

Difficulty and problem solving skills

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.

-- English proverb

If you do not encounter any difficulty or face any problem in your learning and study journey, you will never have problem solving skills!

The way school design learning now based less on text book teaching, but more on project work, case study or simulation of work place problem solving.

Unlike the text book teaching method, answer is not given.

As the problems and answers may be multi-facet, they, may only be explored and derived from your own research and discovery with group work and brain storming.

The learning in school, polytechnic and university nowadasy is not to make you a learned person, but gloom you to be an independent learner, yet capable communicating with others, able to find information needed, think creatively and solve problems along the way. It is to equip you and prepare you for a real life journey!

A project work is to let you finding room to "project" your thinking, your view and your ways of problem solving. There is no standard answer, and that is the reason such an assignment is being called "Project Work"


Dexterine Ho

11 July, 2010

The rule of success: 10,000 hours

The following quotations are from Daniel Levitin, a neurologist and the author of "This is your brain on music":

"The emerging picture… is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again."

"Ten Thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years"

"No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it need to know to achieve true mastery"

I think 10,000 hours is just an approximation, yet it seems to reflect reality.
Three hours a day, seven days a week, is about 10,000 hours — in 10 years.

Malcolm Gladwell, the author of "The outlier" also mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", and claims that the key to success in any field is practicing a specific task for 10,000 hours:

"To become a chess grandmaster also seems to take about ten years. And what's ten years? Well, it is roughly how long it takes to put in ten thousand hours of hard practice. Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness"

If one wants to be the best at anything, beside the special talent one is gifted, it's also about putting in the hours of practice daily for years!

Talent along will not make one outstanding if one has not put in the time to practice and perfect it.

It is practice that makes perfect!

Dexterine Ho

10 July, 2010

You become what you believe yourself to be

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.

If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it.

On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it.

I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.

-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

If you think you will fail your examination and do nothing about it, you will fail definately!

If you set your mind to do well in your study, set a goal for yourself to achieve, you will head toward it and get your goal nearer to you every time you add a little bit of effort.

Goal setting and work toward it, you will have higher chances of getting it!

If you aim for nothing, you will get what you aim for!

Life and study is that simple!


09 July, 2010

Success is not based on luck

When I thought I couldn't go on, I forced myself to keep going.

My success is based on persistence, not luck.

-- Estee Lauder

Success is not based on luck, it is perserverance and persistence that make it!

In work or study, if you do not have the endurance power to persist, you just have no luck of success!

Dexterine Ho

08 July, 2010

Time management with a long term perspective

Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures forlong-term values.

-- Joshua L. Liebman

Study skills is time management with good allocation of limited resources, ie., time at you disposal.

Time management with a long term perspective only come with maturity.

If you are not able to control your child-like thinking and place pleasure before study, you will not gain much in your study in the long run.

You need to exercise your choice and your success is, indeed, in your hand!

Dexterine Ho

22 June, 2010

If your cup is already full

The cup that is already full cannot have more added to it.

In order to receive the further goodto which we are entitled, we must give of that which we have.

-- Margaret Becker

When you share your learning and knowledge of the subject you "EXPERT" in, you will feel very light and fulfilling in giving what you have. In the process of doing so, your mind is able to create new room for new input.

It is good to share and enrich other! You are doing so not just to benefit your friends and others, but to enrich your mind too!

Reflecting on my library and teaching work experience, I must say that I benefited and learned a lot from those who have the big heart in sharing, and I try to mirror them in my life!

I find sharing knowledge, skills and experience a way to unload and refresh my memory on the subject matter. It is very encouraging for me to see the smile and feel the joys of colleagues and students when they hear or experience something they like to acquire!

So, do so if you feel that you cup is rather full and cannot have more added to it. Just remember that in order to receive the further good to which you are entitled, you must give of that which you already have!


Dexterine Ho

07 June, 2010

Do your best today

"You better live your best and act your best and think your best today,

for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and

all the other tomorrows that follow."

-- Harriet Martineau

No sure how to excel in your study?

Just do your best for today and you are sure to have a better tomorrow than if you idle away your time today!

Dexterine Ho

23 May, 2010

Common sense

"Common sense is not so common."

- Voltaire

We have to acquire common sense with uncommon efforts!

At the age of 30, if you have acquired and retained some "common sense" in most of the subjects you study in primary and secondary school, you are a person not so common!

We learn and we forget, that is the reason for us to keep learning and retaining what we had already acquired. If we can build something on top of what we retain, we can be name "expert" in that particular field.

It is that simple.

Yet, simple things are not easy to acquired!

Dexterine Ho

16 May, 2010

The quieter ..., the more you can hear

The quieter you become the more you can hear.

- Baba Ram Dass

In study, the quieter you mind become, the more you can read with understanding.

In a learning environment like a study room or a library, quietness is well received by reader or learner who are busy communicating with their own mind. Hence, exteral noise is not welcome!

Dexterine Ho

25 April, 2010

Expert knowledge

"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less."

- Nicholas Murray Butler

If you like to be an expert, try to learn more about a small object or subject. Focus on something minus, and you will have a better chance of knowing more than your peers/others and be an expert in that field!

Dexterine Ho

21 April, 2010

To success

There are no shortcuts.

To be a big success, start a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later.

-- Brian Tracy

06 April, 2010

All achievement is desire

The starting point of all achievement is desire.

Keep this constantly in mind.

Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.

-- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

01 April, 2010

Determination to concentrate

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.

-- Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

05 March, 2010

Spelling: Synonym

Do you have problem with this words:


I overcome the problem this way:

S and non are the letters I can remember easily.

Syn is hard for me!

I have to convert Syn to Sin, and the sound of sin help me to remember the word.

nym is also hard for me!

I have to convert nym to nim, and the sound of nim help me to remember the word.

As "non" is the one that connect and overlap, hence

Sin + "non" + nim = Sinonim, I then convert the "i"s back to "y"s


It is a round about way, yet it works for me!

You may find your own way!

Just keep trying!

Dexterine Ho

04 March, 2010

Spelling: Egypt

Do you have problem with this word:


I remember how to spell it now:

E and t, are the two letter that I can remember as ET is a movie title that I remember.

gyp is hard for me.

I have to convert gyp to gip, and the sound of gip help me to remember the word.

With E + gip + t = Egipt, I then convert the i back to y

E +gyp + t

Egypt is now in my mind!

Dexterine Ho

03 March, 2010

How To Read a Book You Hate But Have To Finish

Finishing a terrible book may seem impossible, but there is a way to conquer the task.

This is a very practical guide and I think you will get some reading done if you follow the advice!

02 March, 2010

How To Speed Read

I attended speeding reading class some time back and the basic pricinples are very similar to the following video.

How To Speed Read

Improve your efficiency by learning how to read up to three times faster with these proven speed-reading techniques.

After learning the method, discipline and constant practice is the key to mastery of speed reading!


Dexterine Ho

01 March, 2010

Gagne's "Nine Events of Instruction"

Here is a review and simplification of Dr Robert M. Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction, which can be used to teach anything, inside or outside of a classroom. Try it with your children!

Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction

The nine events of instruction are:

1. Gaining learners attention
2. Informing learners of the objectives
3. Stimulating learner's recall of prerequisiites

4. Presenting the stimulus materials
5. Providing learning guidance
6. Eliciting the performance

7. Providing feedback
8. Assessing performance
9. Enhance retention and transfer

If you have problem applying Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction, view this video and see how a music teacher teaches C major scale this way!

Demonstration video of Gagné's Nine Events of Instruction and theory of Instructional Design. Created for: Psychology 450, Learning Inquiry Project, Harlaxton College Fall 2008

In summary, it is

T : Talk about your objective
E : Exchange knowledge
A : Aid learning (examples)
C : Check learning (tests)
H : Help fit into learner's mind

Dexterine Ho

06 January, 2010

Nothing glory comes easy!

If you want a place in the sun, you had better be prepared to put up with a few blisters.

--Abigail Van Buren

Nothing glory comes easy! Likewise, good results in any field of study are obtained through a lot of hard works!

Dexterine Ho

05 January, 2010

Hard work pays off

We all know that hard work pays off, but motivating yourself to do the hard work is the trick for all of us from time to time.

My trick is, if I have no other choices, I will make all decisions based on what I love to do. After enjoying what I like to do, I am more motivated to do what I should do in study/reading/teaching.

If you are unlike me and prefer to choice an opposite path. It is good to know that it works too.

If you prefer to reward yourself later, you can do what you should do, with the anticipation that what come next is something lovely worth waiting for.

Cheers your day with something you like to start with or end with.

Just put in your efforts and work hard to make it happen the way you like!

Just remember: Hard work pays off and you can reward yourself first or later!

The choice is in your hands!

Dexterine Ho

04 January, 2010

Applying various learning methods

It would be wise not to rely on just one learning method or tip.

If you encounter some difficulty in learning something new with an old method you, don't become too depressed if it does not work the way you wish.

There may be other methods or tips for you to apply.

Invest some time in exploring new learning methods or tips after you fail with the old one, learing new tips maybe something you neglecting lately.

We all need constant reminder...

Dexterine Ho

02 January, 2010

Bookmarks and blogs your learning sites

Learning online is fun, yet searching for URL from memory can be frustrating!

If you use web for quick reference and like to go back to the same site from time to time, the tip will served as a good reminder.


Use your browser’s Favorites (in Internet Explore) or Bookmarks (in Mozilla Firefox) capabilities to organize those sites and pages you want to find on the Web again.

By creating specific folders for various aspects of your study, you can get information you need very quickly.

For example, I created a “Learning tips” folder for general study tips and e-learning sites, a "Spelling” folder, and other folders such as a “School displays” folder and a “DDC” folder ... the list goes on.

It is important to go through your favorites/bookmarks at least monthly or re-organize as you need to.

To save time searching, you may move frequently used favorites/bookmarks to the top of the lists within each folder, and the most frequently used folders to the top of their hierarchy.

If the items in some of the folders is growing, it is good to create sub-folders to keep them in sub-groups. Most of us get lost if the list run beyond 10, so it is good to keep less than 10 items within each folder.

When I have too many bookmarks in my system, I started to put them in my blogs and add some annotations.

When I published it on my blogs, I can review it from time to time. As the date I collate or review the sites is recorded on the blogs, it is very easy for me to do the update. Only those sites that are still accessible will be kept and republished.

It is nice to share with other and keep my bookmarks organized at the same time.

To keep the sites manageable, I will review my blogs at least monthly and as ease of access is invaluable to me in terms of time management and reduction of frustration.

01 January, 2010

Stay... longer

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.

-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)