Which Helps Your Learn English More: CNN or HBO?

In recent years, one popular trend for people to enhance and continue to expand their English after completing ESL programs at Computer Systems Institute was to rely upon closed captioning available with certain media channels like CNN and HBO. In addition, both of these TV broadcasters enhanced the learning experience by offering mobile device access, as well as specific programming to assist people in expanding their vocabulary of the English language.
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HBO currently offers “mobisodes,” which are short episodes viewable on mobile phones. However, the only drawback to HBO’s offering is that it focuses specifically on Hispanic-speaking people and only teaches key English phrases.

On the other hand, CNN’s options are much more diverse and offer access to five different programs that focus on key English areas, including travel, legal, news, money and finance, and business. People watch subtitled videos, and then learn English vocabulary using a digital assistant. Each program also includes access to a pronunciation assistant and practice training.

Of the two options, CNN’s program is better, as it incorporates a diverse range of languages, not just Hispanic languages. Further, CNN’s program provides access to a wide array of features and options, like helping you learn English, not simply key phrases.

To enroll in ESL and career programs available at Computer Systems Institute, call us now at 1-888-652-2494 for more information. We offer a wide array of programs and options to help you succeed.

How Practicing English Communication Skills Factors into Success in College Courses


College students need to learn English now more than ever. Students are increasingly struggling to master basic English communication skills; the consequences of this are numerous and widespread, for students, businesses, and the nation at large.

There are many reasons college students need to hone their English communication skills. English is the accepted language in all of the top universities in the world. What’s more, one’s English skills will be put to the test, not only in the classroom, but also in the workplace.

English may be the second most widely spoken language in the world, but it’s the premier language of international business, computer science, and medicine. Students who hone their communication skills will benefit greatly from sharpening their English communication skills.

For students wanting to excel in college, being able to read and write effectively in English is fundamental.

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How the Study of Consumer Psychology Can Impacts Sales and Marketing Messages

Consumer psychology plays an important role in marketing by allowing marketing and sales managers to modify business practices to improve the consumer buying experience and increase sales. Any time you are creating a new marketing and sales strategy, you need to carefully evaluate how psychological factors should be incorporated into branding, whether you are selling products and services online or from a physical store.

  1. Motivation – What motivates consumers? Consumer behavior is complex, and each person will be motivated by different marketing messages.
  2. Experience – How much familiarity does the consumer have with the products or services you are selling? If they are not familiar, take the time to educate them about how your product or service will better benefit them.
  3. Beliefs – What do consumers believe about your products or services? Is the information you provide true and accurate, or could it leave them with feelings of resentment because you withheld information?
  4. Attitudes – The attitudes of consumers help influence their buying decisions, and what information they provide when sharing their customer experiences with their family and friends, as well as the rating and comments they leave on customer review sites about your business.
  5. Perception – Are they looking for a bargain, high quality, outstanding customer service, or a combination of these factors? How consumers perceive your products or services is often correlated to your marketing strategy and branding.

In addition to psychological factors, there are other factors that govern consumers’ buying habits, like how well you communicate with your customers. Effectively communicating with consumers by using a marketing message that mirrors the tone of the target market can improve your marketing and sales strategic efforts. To learn more about our skill building programs, contact Computer Systems Institute now by calliMarketing-Messagesng 1-888-652-2494.


Be Successful in an Office Environment by Improving Your Administrative Skills

Administrative assistants have to be able to effectively deal with a variety of situations in an office environment. Most admin positions require a diverse set of skills in order to be successful at the job and open up new opportunities for advancement. Improving your admin skills can easily be accomplished by completing skill building programs in areas you are not yet proficient.

Specific skill areas essential to administrative assistant positions include:

  • Communication Skills: Admins communicate with a wide range of employees, vendors, and clientele.
  • Writing Skills: Admins prepare written communications and emails on a regular basis.
  • Time Management: Admins have to properly manage their time to ensure tasks are complete when promised.
  • Planning Skills: Admins have to know how to develop processes and procedures for the office environment.
  • Technology Skills: Admins have to know how to use a variety of computer applications to perform their job duties.
  • Problem Solving Skills: Admins are tasked with scheduling, resolving conflicts, and developing new processes and procedures to improve operations.
  • Organization Skills: Admins have to be well organized in order to keep tasks moving along and still have time to provide administrative assistant tasks.
  • Management Skills: Admins may be required to oversee the management of office staff, supervisors, or other personnel.
  • Office Oversight Skills: Some admins are tasked with equipment and office supply management, and ensuring the office is properly stocked and everything is working correctly.

An administrative assistant must be able to successfully perform a variety functions in order to be successful. For more information about improving your administrative skills at Computer Systems Institute call 1-888-652-2494 to schedule an appointment with a representative.


How Improving Literature Comprehension Skills Prepares Students for College


Learning how to read and comprehension of what you read are two different skills you need to develop to prepare for college level courses. Reading involves the ability to sound out words and learn their correct spellings, proper usage, and sentence structures. Reading comprehension is the ability to understand the written text and define the meanings of the words, while gaining insight as to the author’s writing style and instructional methods.

By improving reading comprehension skills you are setting yourself up for academic success as many college courses contain a high emphasis on utilizing text books to gain further knowledge for the specified class.

Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension

  • Pre-Read the Text – Take the time to read chapter titles, subtitles, the introductory paragraph at the beginning of the chapter, the first sentence of subsequent paragraphs, and the last paragraph of the chapter. By pre-reading the text in this manner, it will give you a better idea of the concepts to be learned.
  • Review Important Concepts – Most student texts have key learning objectives for each chapter, as well as questions at the end of each section. Take the time to read these after completing your initial pre-reading.
  • Read the Text and Take Notes – As you read through the entire section, take notes and write down any words you do not understand. After reading, review your notes and look up the meanings to the unknown words.
  • Post-Reading – Read over each learning objective and question in the chapter, and verify you are able to answer these. If you are unable to fully comprehend specific areas, this will help you to realize what sections still require further review.

Most importantly, remember it takes time to fully develop reading comprehension skills, and requires continued patience and practice. For assistance in developing reading comprehension there are English programs for international students available from Computer System Institute. Call 1-888-652-2494 now to learn more about our ESL programs.

Portrait of happy teenage boy clenching fist while holding exam paper with A+ grade on university campus. Horizontal shot.
Portrait of happy teenage boy clenching fist while holding exam paper with A+ grade on university campus. Horizontal shot.

Utilizing Communication Skills to Improve Leadership Skills

An essential part of developing your leadership skills is improving your interpersonal communication skills. Communication is much more than just being able to speak. It requires building better interpersonal relationships by also being able to listen and comprehend what others say.

Communication and Listening Techniques

Listening requires pausing, and taking a moment to pay attention to what someone is telling you. While they are speaking, it is important to clear your mind and focus on what is being said. Avoid thinking about what your response should be while they are talking. Use the communication techniques of clarification and reflection to verify you properly understand what they said.

Clarification is asking the other person a question if you do not fully understand what was said. For instance, “What did you mean, when you said …? ” or, “I do not fully understand what you said. Could you please repeat it?” are common clarifying questions.

Reflection is a technique where you mirror or paraphrase what was just said in the form of a question. It lets the speaker know you are trying to understand what they are saying. Using reflective questions will help you better understand the meaning of spoken language.

In cases where you are the speaker, you can also use these techniques to ask other people questions to ensure they understood what you told them. Remember to pay attention to nonverbal cues, too, such as hand gestures, and maintain direct eye contact with the speaker and/or listener.

Communication and Encouragement

Use encouragement to make people feel like you are approachable. A kind word, praise for a job well done, or even a friendly and welcoming tone in your voice will help people feel more at ease. As a result, people will not hesitate to come to you when they have questions or need further clarification about something you have communicated, either verbally or through an email message.

By developing effective communication skills, your leadership skills will also improve. If you are looking for English training to further your communication skills, contact Computer Systems Institute today by calling 1-888-652-2494 to learn more about our available programs.

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Tips for Students to Balance School and Social Life

As a student, it’s important to find a balance between your schoolwork and your social life. In this article, you’ll discover a few helpful methods for time management that you can use throughout your education.

One of the most challenging aspects of the student experience is striking the right balance between your school and social life. Properly managing both your school and social life allows you to get the most from your education by letting you focus on school matters when necessary, while also providing your mind and body with the breaks they need to refresh and recharge. Learning to balance work and play is also a valuable skill that you will need long after you earn your degree to find fulfillment and enjoyment throughout your life as you pursue your chosen career.

Create a Time Budget

Just as you budget your expenses for school, rent, food, and more, budgeting your time can help you plan out your days and may even allow you to find time you didn’t know you had to devote to school and socialization. Sketching out a schedule based on upcoming projects and events is a great way to visualize each day and ensure you allow enough time to focus on both schoolwork and your family and friends. Keep in mind that your time budget should allow for flexibility—there is no way to guarantee that your homework will take exactly eight hours or that you won’t want to spend just a little extra time with your friends on your birthday. By leaving a bit of flexibility in your schedule, you’ll ensure you still find that perfect balance between school and socialization, even if some weeks might involve more of one or the other.

Find a Social Part-Time Job

Many students choose to support themselves financially during their education. If you are working and pursuing an education at the same time, it can be particularly challenging to find time for friends and socialization between your other obligations. Finding a job that allows you to socialize with customers and coworkers, whether in your desired field or even in a completely unrelated sphere, can help you strike a balance between school and socialization even if your time is very limited. Furthermore, a job that you enjoy attending will help you to stay motivated, improving your focus both on the job and in the classroom.

Take Care of Your Health

Poor health can make time spent either at school or with friends much less enjoyable. When you feel healthy and energized, you will be able to give your education and your friends the full attention and focus they deserve to make the most of your time, regardless of how you spend it. Aim to get eight hours of sleep each night and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Keeping your body on a regular schedule means you’ll have an easier time getting to sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle all the tasks ahead. Eating a diet with all the nutrients you need for good health will help you avoid becoming ill and staying home, rather than attending class or going out with your friends.

Balancing Your Family Life

It is difficult for a full time student to balance their family life, spouse and/or children. However, there are ways to balance the time with the kids and your husband or wife. This balance all starts with budgeting your time. The utilization of the time budget is essential if you want to make time for your family. Planning out when your classes are, how much homework you have and how much time you want to devote to your family is something that will make your life much less stressful. The visualization of your schedule makes it easier to coordinate your family time. Remember that your schedule may need to be a little flexible and communication with your family before you create your time budget is also very important. Show your family that they are still the most important aspect of your life, but that they will also have to make some small sacrifices in order for you to succeed in your college life and eventually in your career.

Finding the right balance between school and socialization means getting the most from your education while maintaining your mental health. Check us out online to explore our full range of available classes.

Advantages of Online Education, and Why Learning in a Classroom Is Just as Important

Both online education and classroom learning are important components of a well-rounded education. This short article outlines the benefits of each to explain why you should consider taking advantage of them both.

Online learning has transformed today’s educational system, offering students added flexibility and customization throughout their schooling. However, classroom learning still remains an important part of the educational process as well. By integrating both of these methods into your time at school, you can gain the most from your experience to build the technical and social know-how you need to succeed at your chosen career in Chicago.

Advantages of Online Education

The popularity of online education programs has skyrocketed since their introduction for many reasons. Online education allows students from anywhere in the world to attend classes virtually, taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of valued instructors and peers that may be far from your home. Even without the traditional classroom setting, students and teachers can still interact via email, messaging systems, video communications, and more to maintain human interaction during the learning process. Students can choose to learn at their own pace and often even watch lectures or complete work at a time that is convenient for them, allowing individuals who work or care for a family to earn the training and education they need without limiting them to classes held in a distant location on certain times and dates. Those who have no way to commute to classes or who live in areas that frequently experience bad weather may also find that online learning is more economical and even a safer choice for pursuing a higher education. Furthermore, students who have difficultly learning in a crowded room or find it hard to remain stationary during a traditional class session will discover their focus and comfort are improved through online education.

Advantages of Classroom Education

Classroom learning is, at its core, the best way to learn and develop your networking and interpersonal skills for success in your future career. Leaning in a classroom is a great way to engage in real-time discussions with face-to-face interactions that are not possible online. By learning to interact and work with others in a classroom setting, you’re gaining the skills you need to develop workplace relationships that will last you for a lifetime. Furthermore, studies show that students who struggle with certain subjects are more likely to learn better in person, as well as able to retain the information learned in a physical classroom for a longer period of time. Thus, classroom education is beneficial not only for its focus on social skills not usable over the computer, but also for its ability to address difficult or complex subjects in a way that helps students learn and remember this information for future success. Many careers also require hands-on training that is best performed in a classroom or lab setting, where instructors and peers can help with this process and learn from each other.

As a student, you deserve the options you need to find the educational program that best fits you. Our school is pleased to offer programs in ESL with top-quality, accessible campuses in Illinois and Massachusetts. All of our classes and courses are held on our campuses. You can stop by our website for additional information on our programs and options, or read through our informative blog to learn more about choosing the right educational experience for you.

4 Productive Habits to Practice Before Bedtime

Successful people know when to call it a day. They dedicate time before bed to reflect, detach from technology, and figure out where they want to go next. They meditate, read, and spend quality time with their families, because hard work should never come at the expense of health. This gives them the necessary space to unwind and prepare for a night of restful sleep. Below, we’ve listed four habits to keep in mind before getting ready for bed.

1. Put Thoughts on Paper:
To clear your head, sometimes it’s best to put your cluttered thoughts into writing. Once you’ve expressed that pent-up energy in words, you’ll be able to look at any negative or confused thinking with a level of distance, and reorient your mind accordingly. Personal writing not only helps with self-analysis and relaxation, but it also will sharpen your skills as a writer.

2. Determine Tomorrow’s Schedule:
After a long day, you probably feel exhausted, caught in the middle of an overwhelming workload. If you experience enough days like this in a row, you may start to lose sight of your greater goals. To avoid this, you should end every day by creating a short list of tasks you hope to complete in the next 24 hours. This approach helps to build confidence as you head into another busy day, to schedule your projects efficiently, and then adjust your workload in real time.

3. Spend Time Away from Screens:
Eventually, we all need to take breaks from our electronic devices. Whether that means you go for an evening walk with your partner, do some yoga, or just crack open a book for an hour, the most important thing is to put away your phone and computer. Remember, you aren’t a robot, so you need to balance ambition with downtime.

4. Think Long-Term:
Visualization is a powerful tool. There’s a reason why The Secret struck a chord with people. The more that you imagine a certain situation as your reality — whether it’s great grades in school, a promotion at work, or better luck in the dating world — the more likely you’ll see results. Before bed, imagine the ideal way you’d like tomorrow to pan out. Put yourself in that mental space, and you’ll find how powerful it can be.

On the Page: 4 Practical Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

Being consistent with your habits is the key to becoming a great writer. There are plenty of people out there who think of themselves as writers, but they spend months (or years) waiting for inspiration to strike, while never actually putting pen to paper. Like any other art form — music, painting, and filmmaking included — great writing requires lots of practice and dedication. While novelists and screenwriters are usually born with some innate talent, they don’t become successful without hard work. For students who aspire to become better writers, here are five practical strategies for improving your skills.

1. Don’t Censor Yourself:
You might think that people don’t want to hear your stories, but that unique perspective is precisely what separates you from other writers. Don’t try to write about subjects that you think people want to read, or what you think will be the most commercially viable. Remember, writing should be a personal endeavor — you’re trying to get at the heart of something, so you need to compose ideas without editing them in the moment. Later on, you can spend time mulling over details during the rewriting phase.

2. Write Often:
Writing for 20 minutes every week is a good start, but to become a great writer you’ll need to do it every day. That doesn’t mean you need to produce incredible art every time you have a writing session — you just have to put in the time and get a certain amount of words down. For successful writers, the word quota varies, but a good rule of thumb is around 1000 a day. If you have a busy schedule and the idea of writing 1000 words feels overwhelming, then at least set aside 20 minutes in between classes or work to have a consistent routine.

3. Try Journaling:
If you’re daunted by the prospect of writing fiction, a daily journal can be a great alternative. Some of you might’ve kept a diary in high school, chronicling crushes, friendships, and student gossip, but a journal can be as introspective or practical as you like.

4. Read for Inspiration:
The best way to learn writing is to emulate your favorite authors. Legends like Ernest Hemmingway would reverse-engineer the novels they loved by rewriting them on a typewriter. Successful writers are also voracious readers, soaking up the classics and more obscure works. If you want to become a greater writer, you’ll need to read just as much as you write.