English for Wizards
Win prizes just for speaking your mind
By John Moore
His most recent task was to fill in the blanks on our own special English for Wizards online survey. And I hope you will participate, too. Please go to st.japantimes.co.jp/engwiz-survey/, and tell Peter and me your ideas about this column.
There are two reasons for you to do this. First, you can express your opinion and help make this column more suitable for your interests. If you have an especially good suggestion or comment, you might even see your name printed in the paper later, as long as you give me permission to quote you.
The second reason for filling out the survey is simply to practice your English. That's right. After all, a survey form in English is similar to a quiz at school, except that there is no pressure and no right or wrong answers. Just have fun and see if you can understand all 12 questions.
Actually, there is also a third reason for doing surveys on the Internet: Some of them offer cool prizes or even money. You might just get a telephone card or a T-shirt. Or you might get a one-in-a-million chance to win a car or a trip to London. Doesn't that sound like an exciting way to practice your English?
Believe it or not, there are certain people in the world who don't have a regular job. They spend all day answering opinion surveys online, and they make their living like that. I do not recommend this, especially because some online surveys are really scams. They just want you to view their ads, or they want your e-mail address so they can send you spam.
But surely there must be a few good contests and surveys out there! You might find some at a Web site called Grandma Jam's Sweepstakes Guide (www.grandmajam.com). This friendly looking site offers lists of free stuff and discount coupons as well as big prizes — just for filling out a form or solving some kind of puzzle. There are trivia contests and story-writing contests, too. And Grandma Jam provides tips to help increase your chances of winning.
But let me warn you again: Do not get your hopes up too high. The best way to win is just to use these online surveys as a fun homework assignment, and the prize will be a higher score on your next English test. Is that good enough?
Shukan ST: June 20, 2003
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