Grandomastery, a portmanteau of Grandom (grand random) + mastery, is the skill of solving creative problems with the aid of generative or reactive improvization techniques and integrative thinking. With the help of 30 different tasks, Grandomastery.com is a platform that teaches students of English, as well as native English speakers, how to develop their improvisation and integrative thinking skills. They can be applied to speaking activities for ESL students as non-trivial tools for improving their speaking skills, so ESL teachers can make use of grandomastery easily. Here are the descriptions of Grandomastery activities, and the corresponding links.
Our corporate world tempts us to reorder company names in amusing ways that reflect the true nature of organizations, without the gloss of marketing and the shallowness of client-oriented relationships. Our Grandomasters have been challenged to concoct a pitch for a new original, unique and profitable business as well as to provide their own notes to prospective angel investors as part of the task.
In addition to being the most intricate activity in Grandomastery, it is also the most core activity.
In order to compare two abstract nouns, we have gathered thousands of abstract nouns. In this exercise, the grandomasters are tasked with finding points of tangency between two abstract nouns and to find the similarities between them. Bisociation, Koestler's principle, is the source of motivation for this activity. A concrete idea is bundled up with specific and inflexible facets that conflict one another, whereas an abstract idea is unencumbered. Abstractions are therefore easier to combine and compare.
The study of social cognitive and affective neuroscience indicates that abstract thinking is correlated with brain regions that focus on vision, while concrete thinking is correlated with regions that focus on tasks needed for completing a goal. Since abstraction is an important step for learning, we designed a hybrid brain teaser in which Grandomasters have to illustrate the connections between the two random abstractions by using examples from their own experience. In the article "Abstraction and the Acquisition of Complex Ideas" in the International Journal of Educational Research, it is predicted that knowledge applied to abstract situations leads to a move from abstraction to concretization, and that generalization leads to new knowledge. In essence, it means that stronger and more complex reasoning skills are necessary for constructing complicated analogies, showing advanced knowledge, or using language at the highest level. In this sense, abstract thinking introduces new pathways to aesthetic and intellectual pleasure. By disassembling a structure into random abstractions, we can reassemble it into something new. Through a lateral and creative thinking process, we create a new knowledge structure. In summary, abstraction serves as the link between higher-level knowledge structures and greater and more elaborate cognitive functions. Growth arises from learning.
Perhaps you have already completed the Grandomastery Story Chains task, in which you grouped together a dozen seemingly unrelated points. In turn, the Random Emojis Activity was about coming up with a literary tale based on emojis. When you participated in the Random Acronym activity, you probably also discovered what your name says about you. Combined these three activities, we now present you with Random Acroloanword. It consists of pre-set quotations or phrases associated with random concepts or objects. No matter how dissimilar and bizarre the concepts are, the original pre-set word must be explained using their corresponding concepts.
There are often suggestions that we could make use of even more advanced vocabulary, so what could be better than English?
There are language-specific universals in other foreign languages that do not require translation - for example, universal Latin terms. An English learner can, therefore, improve their vocabulary by even having a basic understanding of Latin.
A name can tell you a lot. Through Grandomastery, acronyms finally acquire their true meaning. This term comes from the Greek roots acro- and -onym, meaning highest or topmost. Please take an extended look at the name which most matters to you - your own. We will not ask you to recall any supposedly positive qualities that begin with each letter in your name, such as those in those cliched and juvenile psychological tests. We won't begrudge you the exercise of thinking up an acrostic just for the sake of it. Instead, His Grandomness will assign word meanings to the letters of your name that are deemed to be representative of your true character.
To endorse a product or advertise it well, you do not need to be familiar with it. As part of this task, Grandomasters receive a randomly selected product that is visible only to their Grandominister. Grandoministers need to ask a range of questions about the object for a good idea of what it might be, such as: “Is it appropriate to give it to my best friend for her birthday?”, “Would this protect me from muggers?” or “Is it allowed to be brought on board as hand luggage?”. When explaining how Grandomasters can use the revolutionary item that they are advertising, they need to be confident and creative.
Our article selection is wide and varied - mostly from Wikipedia - and about various phenomena, paradoxes, and principles. Answering the questions about the content of the article involves skimming it and thinking about the points made. As with the abstraction task, the activity is designed to teach participants how to understand non-standard ideas and relate them to their own experiences.
The purpose of this activity is not just to test your knowledge of geography;
You will be tested on your ability to adapt to any country you are randomly placed in, as well as how well you can survive. If you've never heard of a particular country before, you will need to exercise your imagination in order to sound solid, logical, and natural.
The storytelling and content-generation tools of today are numerous, but very few of them use emojis - these ideograms, which have become a key component of modern, text-free communication. There are several types of emoji, including abstract, archetypal, and descriptive. We have removed the more obscure symbols in Grandomastery's Emojis activity so that only its widely recognized symbols will be used.
Several different types of narration and flashbacks are possible with the Emojis, which depict the central characters or aspects of a story. Additionally, we have included a wide range of literary techniques, themes, moods, styles, and elements to help you energize your story - with each activity you receive a technique or theme which needs to be used in the composition. You can complete this task offline - even handwritten - and share it either via our Reddit page or directly to us. It may seem daunting at first, but it can be accomplished. The piece you will create will be honored in our collection.
We look forward to attending some truly dazzling events as the post-COVID period approaches. There is an increasing need for brand awareness among big businesses, and they will be looking for ways to increase that awareness. However, what makes an event truly exceptional? Why is it held? In what environment? With what focus? Could it be a mix of all three? Let us explore!
In addition to Chinese learners, this task is designed for anyone interested in hieroglyphics and ideograms, which are integral parts of many ancient languages. Ideograms may be formed by combining two unrelated hieroglyphs in the same manner as some English phrasal verbs, though Chinese ideograms could also represent nouns or verbs. The concept of forming an ideogram with a new meaning is what our Grandomasters have to explain, linking the new notion to personal examples or experiences. Quite amusing, in fact!
IELTS Speaking Task 2 is used to identify candidates' coherence and cohesion within their responses. Candidates usually have one minute to prepare, then two minutes to answer. Thousands of cue cards have been assembled, and an audio spectrogram has been added to check if students make any pauses during their talking.
It is our observation that most students find analysis of paintings and other pieces of art to be boring and monotonous. Our aim was to break this stereotype by selecting ambiguous and sometimes bizarre paintings, especially from contemporary art, that will be memorable and will challenge participants beyond traditional analysis when answering questions regarding each painting.
Scientists believe that subconsciously, the mind prefers to focus on the positive over the negative. As part of this activity, participants are required to find something to be happy about in even the most frustrating situations - a technique know as the "Glad Game". As part of this assignment, we have compiled a formidable array of seemingly insurmountable issues in addition to a number of those pesky First World issues.
Working in a field that no one knows about would be exciting. Think of being approached by a leading magazine to do an interview about what you normally do in your job, creating the opportunity to get an outside perspective of your role. How would you go about it?
Once upon a time, we used to make magnets for our students. Making them was quite a tedious and time consuming task, but was still fun to do. It is a task that demands the students to recompose four proverbs that may be unfamiliar to them, and the objective is to produce new ones that are grammatically correct and entertaining at the same time. As a result of students' opportunity to display their expertise in language and vocabulary structures, they will possess a greater ability to employ their grammar and linguistic flexibility in various writing styles.
We all have manias of varying severity, whether we admit it or not. How do people cope if they have two equally severe and persistent manias? When a person has two manias at the same time, it is easy to guess what might have caused it? No matter how taboo they may be, how can we gain anything from manias and addictions? Let's find out for ourselves!
Objects can indeed be humanized, but the reverse is also true - we possess characteristics in common with a soda can, a teapot, or an eraser. Actually, we share a lot of attributes. Check out this exercise to find out how you might be similar to diverse objects.
The age of Randonautica has enabled people to enjoy being in unusual locations. What if you traveled to a place a thousand miles away from home without having access to the amenities that you're used to? Can you imagine how you would react in that situation? Are there any reasons you could give for being there?
It is unlikely that we are immune to phobias, regardless of how rare or unlikely they are. Our grandomasters use the Random Phobia activity to explain how one mishap can simultaneously lead to two persistent fears. There is also a suggestion that the two phobias are linked psychologically.
People have used random Google Street View more since the pandemic began, as the desire to wander and explore - essential activities for cognitive flexibility and integrative thinking - has decreased. Using random street view, the activity uses www.randomstreetview.com, a well-constructed randomizer of Google Street View. We present a more inventive answer to the conventional question of whether you'd choose to live in a particular area for 10 years if given $5 million. If you were a real estate developer, what changes would you suggest making for the improvement of the given area? Are there situations in which natural spots with pristine wilderness would be harmed with any level of development? Conversely, would any benefits felt by locals or visitors lead to greater protection of the natural environment, e.g. through eco-friendly tourism?
You will find in this task many unique selections of poetry: the poems are short and sweet, the pages are yellowish, and the fonts are old-style, so they preserve the authenticity of being printed in old-fashioned books decades ago. Narrating these poems should be done in the manner dictated by the task - to use an accent or to envision yourself in a situation which would change your voice or style.
Even a prudent and sensible person may find himself in embarrassing situations, but our psychology allows us to repress embarrassing memories. With this task, you are asked to explain why you did what you did, as well as what your motives and actions were. This is a fun activity, since the script is entirely unpredictable - we made sure of that.
If you have always worked in a single field, and you find yourself at a job interview trying to explain why you are seeking a position that is radically different from your previous experience, how would you explain your decision? Is it really so different?
Often, they appear to be parodies of actual proverbs. There are times when they mean very little - "The cat may look at the cat". If you want to interpret it, you can consider all the possible ways, because the task calls for funny, witty, and plausible explanations. Bisociation can create humorous effects. According to Arthur Koestler, a funny text is composed on two different levels of meaning. At first, the audience or reader only knows one of them. A second level is revealed so abruptly that laughter ensues. It is the unexpected shift that makes the point. The proverbs are generated using Markov Chain algorithms.
There are thousands of questions in this section from around the globe. Putting them together took years. Since the launch of Web 1.0, it hasn't stopped. In many ways, our questions are random, similar to the questions in Speaking Task 3 of IELTS, which requires both examiners and candidates to switch topics rapidly. We decided to expand "ESL Random Questions", after discovering that certified IELTS trainers were using the application.
It's interesting to note how most people prefer to use intensifiers like "really" or "absolutely" rather than comparisons? In addition to the fact that clichéd phrases such as "as white as snow" or "as busy as a bee" are boring, it's difficult to find a meaningful and unique simile, since trying to come up with one usually requires more time than necessary. Your speech will be boosted with the help of Random Simile as you will be asked to find some new, funny analogies.
Aspiring Grandmasters and ESOL/EFL students often state, "I can't even explain this idea in my native tongue, much less in English." Brainstorming and idea-generation can be difficult without visual aids. In publications dealing with this issue, it is recommended to use a 'discussion clock', which provides space for 12 main points. The new version contains 32 points, and the central task features contradictory statements that can be discussed from three different perspectives—at the very least.
Although this concept is not new, ours has been raised to an entirely new level. To make the task more relevant and enjoyable, thousands of key terms have been added from sources such as Google Trends and Instagram. Each selection of keywords has been made as random as possible. One of the most interesting parts of this task is that our Grandomasters cannot see what will come next until the Grandominister opens it - it is a mystery to both of them. The Grandomaster has to make something up on the spot that connects the two keywords, such as if he is speaking about "Girls" in a spontaneous speech and then is given the new chain element "Musician".
The TOEFL examinations have undergone a recent change that has left only one independent speaking task. In contrast to TOEFL preparation materials, Speaking Task 1 questions may be unpredictable. Previously, oral assessments followed traditional formats and are usually based on typical situations covered by TOEFL preparation materials. After just 15 seconds of preparation, students have 45 seconds to make their answer. To make it easier for both students and trainers, spectrograms have been introduced with a timer. This is an opportunity for students to practice their responses to a wide range of speaking task questions, which will help them reduce pauses in their speech and increase fluency and cohesiveness of their answers.
The tongue twister is an amusing and useful type of articulation practice, which can help to improve our ability to speak clearly in everyday situations. As the nervous system coordinates the articulation of words, sounds produced by similar muscles (such as tongue twisters) can be confusing to our brains. By strengthening these muscles, our speech becomes more coherent and clear.
The Spectrogram aims to minimize the amount of time participants spend pausing before speaking their monologues. Based on the amount of pause permitted, there are five difficulty levels. Whenever there is a long pause in speech, the "Game Over" dialogue appears. It has proven to be extremely helpful to students who want to practice speaking tasks for IELTS and TOEFL on their own.
Developing morphological skills as an ESL student often requires learning numerous rules and techniques that are related to word formation. Identifying the relationship between words that are based on the same root has always been the most difficult obstacle. Grandomastery has developed an activity which helps learners familiarize themselves with word formation patterns for ESL and EFL students. It starts with a thought-provoking statement that introduces key words, with an accompanying table that provides examples of additional words related to the family. English language exams are often intended to test the ability to form words, and this could be helpful for ESL learners.
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