Month: February 2017

Participle Clauses

Past Participle

  • Ushered into the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1935 [….], they acted as human computers.
  • Called the West Computers, after the area to which they were relegated, they helped blaze a trail for mathematicians and engineers of all races and genders to follow.
  • Built in 1917, this research complex was the headquarters for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)…
  • Surrounded by the West Computers and other academics, it took decades for Shetterly to realize the magnitude of the women’s work.

 

Present Participle

  • Growing up in Hampton, Virgina, in the 1970s, Shetterly lived just miles away from Langley.

Beauty and the beast (minisaga)

Once upon a time there lived a pretty girl named Belle who lived with her father. One day he was to go to a far-off place and on his way back he found a huge castle and he saw a beautiful rose for Belle. He stole it and the beast appeared.

Questionnaire assessing teacher’s work (dedicated to the 40%)

I had a glance (because I took home the batch of papers by mistake), and felt happy to read your Evaluación al profesorado. As I kept reading, I found something that upset me. Let me share the journey!

But first of all, what’s most important:

Thanks for your Evaluation, everybody’s. ❤ It’s quite encouraging! And a relief, for its one of the things we teachers look forward to and fear (considering that this kind of thing in public education does not threaten our employment, meaning, it’s just simply for our information). About feedback on improvable things, thanks. I’ll take it into account.

(But don’t forget the main problem here is the student’s lack of time, not so much the lack of effort on the part of the teacher. In any case, we’re always eager to help.) Just remember what I always say: if you want to do something, just do it, or let me know, or ask us in class.

Refuting a point in Evaluación al profesorado. A little mistaken perception, in my view, or simply unfair or uninformed, is the following: should I really devote more time to “preparing the lessons”? Isn’t my work on this good enough? How can that be improved? How would you know that I need to prepare lessons more or better? I am interested in all the answers to these questions, or other comments, so you can leave it with Ana and it can be anonymous, of course.

Considering I work really hard for the C1 course (it seems it’s really hard to understand that women know well how to do their jobs when they don’t obey the Exam Culture mandate), this piece of criticism really hurt because it’s a 40% that believes that — 6 people/15 (And within this, a 20%, 2 of these people, believes I really need to prepare my lessons better. It shocks me — how can they feel they can assess this point in such way?

Let me explain: teachers are paid to devote 10 hours a week to working at home, that add to the hours they have to spend at school. Well, I devote much more to preparing and managing learning in C1 courses and lessons. I’m not that incompetent. I spent the summer writing out how you should be learning this year, to put a related example. You’re lucky because you’ve got it all written down, and if you miss lessons, you can still learn to learn in this course. This blog is totally out of my timetable, too. It’s Must material for this course, too. And it’s extra support to your two weekly lessons, it helps you if you miss lessons, helps peole keep in touch. Just imagine you only had our actual lessons. In this course you’re getting extra support all the time thanks to the internet. That’s related to preparation of the lessons. And it’s a precious present. Here I word our shared experiences, I keep a diary!! Do you know how many hours that takes, and mental effort? And how crucial it is to preparing lessons? Perhaps the problem is you are not doing your part and that I have to intervene far too much. This blog is full of info and resources (tons of hours behind that, to prepare that) people saying I don’t prepare my lessons well or enough obviously don’t appreciate or use.

Doesn’t it show I spend ZILLIONS OF HOURS preparing your lessons? Teachers laughed when I told them this morning why I was upset. All teachers know that teaching without a textbook takes much longer in preparation than using a textbook, that’s why it’s not common to find this kind of courses! They laughed because it was unbelievable!

Hours trying to figure out how to move on considering all the work people can’t do, and that I have to make up for? Because this course is about you doing, sharing things in class, and working together.

I thought I had managed to explain the attitude in independent and resourceful lifelong learning in the C1 Resource Pack. This course is about learning that. If people want to do reading comprehension exercises, that kind of work, there are tons of textbooks, websites, with exercises including exams. That’s not the aim of this course: we have one year to do what is supposed to be done in two, and the effort needs to last. You are not appreciating I prepare my lessons because your idea about what class should be about is traditional, and unfitting to what we’re doing here. Isn’t it obvious that I’m offering quality teaching and learning spaces and experiences? As a teacher I’m a facilitator of learning, not someone who improvises senselessley, undiscernenly. When I improvise, it’s all within a framework I have actually laid out before your eyes in various places, including class.

Have you read the C1 Resource Pack? Not even marketing works with women authors! The Pack systematizes — makes a very practical guide — 28 years of communicative teaching experience — in the setting of a country obsessed with a very narrow interpretation of evaluation and learning, that of “Exams” and Exam Culture (the murderer of curiosity and self-confidence, of teamwork, of community, as some people mentioned in our talk on Iceland). You are lucky to have this Resource Pack (and for free!).

So what’s your understanding of your role as a learner in interactive courses where we don’t have a textbook so you can choose topics and materials and share your world? Don’t I suggest sources, give guidelines for learning, try to coordinate your participation, encourage you to bring your world to class, to teamwork, don’t I design activities for you, based on what’s going on outside the classroom, in the world? Don’t I adapt to you, all the time, and follow the plans I annouce?

If you can’t see this, it’s OK, but you are wrong. I suggest you open your mind to this kind of learning, because it’s meaningful, communicative, and very rich and effective, long-lasting, at least it lasts more than exam training.

Do you know how many hours it takes a teacher to prepare courses and lesson that are FLEXIBLE and allow students’ freedom to select topics and offer contributions? If you want to do exercises, the internet is full of that. Training in exam format is included in this course, as you should know, in the month of March, because training in exam format just takes doing a few exercises in that format. If you want to believe private courses that charge you 100-300 euros a month for 6-8 months of exam training, well… the fact is exam training just takes doing few exercises, and that’s something you can do on your own, too. The harder thing is LEARNING ENGLISH at the advanced level. It’s funny how people tend to agree when it comes to criticizing the education system but then how very few people consider alternatives and are capable of enjoying them, of using them to further their knowledge and sharpen their skills.

Dear students in the 40% who believe I don’t prepare my lessons well or enough, please, reconsider. What you tell us teachers is not accurate in this point.

The May 68 movement expressed it very clearly: We have the systems we generate, meaning, what most people believe rules. I’m very fortunate to have a precious 60% thinking I do prepare my lessons well, very lucky to have a 60% understanding this, because it’s not a kind of understanding that prevails in society, so good at harming good things and considering bad things inevitable.

If someone did not fill out/in the Evaluación al profesorado, you can ask me for the sheet next day, because DOFEI has extended the deadline. I promise I won’t have a look! 😀 DOFEI will analyze all the sheets and hand me the final report.

Well, for a good rest now! I refuse to prepare anything else for you this week! 😀 I hope the 60% will also make the most of what is probably proper learning for the 40% who can’t see how hard their teacher works for them: Exam Training Month next March! 😀

Enjoy your free time and your English! ❤

Radio interviews: TreTalk “podcast”

In case you want to listen to radio interviews.

Remember I suggest reading and listening materials at C1 Materials, so you are free to pick the topics you are more interested in, supposing you don’t have time to do all the listening and reading I do to prepare lessons for this course!

About the February Writing Assignment

Please, don’t forget to bring it after Semana Blanca, if you want to write that kind of text. (But if you don’t find enough time to work on your English, I’d suggest you not leave out listening to the news and interviews!)

And then, think about your preferences for the March, April and May assignments, OK? (while considering the Guía PUC, as I mentioned below, and the info I gathered on exams in my C1 Resource Pack — though we’ll go through that together, the “Some Extras” part, in March in our Exam Training Month). So we all know what each of you is going to write, and so I can select resources to help you learn about that kind of text (and I hope this time, the people who did not have a look at the resources I share to help you learn to write, find some time to do that, please. It’ll help you improve!)

See posts below for more info!

Diary for Wed Feb 22 + Suggested Homework

Today we talked a bit about organizational issues, so to put it. I explained blog updates, gave checked writings back, explained a bit my post and what you need to bring to class next day Homework: after the hol LoMs so we can tackle language questions, as my post of feedback is mostly on structure. Bring your writings too, or your LoM at large, and your questions on language!

And today we had two amazing OP: On OITNB and on TBEMH (see Reading Projects for more info) and I was allowed to videoshoot, which was really good news!

Tomorrow I’ll include here the link to the wonderful listening activity we did today. (Can’t access my mail just now.) And remember: Homework: for you all to design one or a few paragraphs like today’s so we can have every day someone doing that. You can copy it on the whiteboard, and then people can copy it in their notebooks.

When we meet again we’ll move on to Exam Training Month, so Homework: I’m asking you to read the Guía PUC, but not when I suggested, I got all mixed up: I meant, read it the Sunday before you come to class, or this week if you are capable of forgetting all about it next week! 😀

While you read the Guía PUC, consider our Writing File, and bring a clear idea of which writings you’d like to work on in March, April & May. Think of three I mean, and on whether you want to do the February Writing, too. I’ll ask you about this on our first lesson together.

Last idea of Homework: everyday a few people should tell a story, so prepare one in your hols. But please, listen to stories first. You can focus on one, and retell in your own words. It doesn’t matter if other people did that one too. Each person retells their own way.

Remember I’ll be on strike on the 8th. So please, try to come to class on the 6th.

Romina and Cristina will be booking a date for their OP, too. I’ll add the info on the page above Reading Projects.

Luz will post her homework on participle clauses and please, remember to check that out and post yours or post questions or whatever.

Please, remember this blog is also for you to post. So feel free to do so whenever you like, and particularly if you have things you’d like to check and we didn’t in class, OK?

paromujerescartoon

Romina Ferrer

If you are interested, check out facebook: it’s burning hot with resisterspeople spreading their support to the International Women’s Strike! I’m preparing a letter for that! Llamamiento al paro

OH, 100 students went to Hidden Figures with 4 other English teachers! We’ll be posting on that in DIF Coed.

Enjoy your English and your week!<3

Feedback Jan Writing Assig.: Descriptive Texts (Reviews, Travel Guides, Articles)

Based on work done by Marina, Dessi, Clara, Marta, Lucía, Lorena, Sergio, Karen, Gema, Encarni, Germán.

Out of a lack of time, I’ll focus in mistakes, OK? So please, read this with a constructive spirit! 🙂 Use what you need, I mean. If it’s not about what you do, simply read it for consolidation. ❤

LoM-Methodological Approach to Tasks. Walking in the Readers’ Shoes

  • Some people are still not allowing the reader to get all the relevant factual information on the assignment at the beginning of the text: full name, date, group, task description including word number. I think this should change.
  • It’s hard to write down corrections when there is no space between lines or no margins. Please, keep this in mind. Teachers always complain about it, but it’s like women’s invisibilization as human beings in patriarchy, consistently, people forget! 😀 (I couldn’t stop myself from introducing a cross-curricular point with Education for Equality! 😀 )

Reviews: Writing Methology Affecting Structure

Some people chose /chous/ to write a review (using a brochure format or in regular writing), but – excuse me for saying this – I wondered if they had read /red/ about writing reviews AND if they had actually read /red/ a few reviews before setting down to write one. Or supposing they did, it seemed they had missed the point of Why We Do that — what we need to pay attention to.

So here the mistake I’m particularly critical of is that you might not be using the month to prepare Before Writing working sessions (see Writing File here: all the texts are announced from the beginning of the course and you are always welcome to ask; when I post about them it’s just to arrange the date for a deadline or when there are changes in the plans) for a particular kind of text. This includes finding resources to write it well, and to use the assignment to learn MORE, to improve your structure and language range and accuracy. I suggest – if you know you did not do this – you review (bare infinitive for subjunctive with “suggest”) my video on How to work on your Monthly Writing Assignments. What I teach there will allow you to learn on your own once you stop having a teacher.

So — When you do research, consider my notes, I always post them when you ask, or old textbooks, or reliable websites, and consider jotting down things on structure (ingredientes for an outline in good order) and language items, and then put it into practice, I can give you the feedback of whether that worked or didn’t, apart from correcting the grammar and so on.

What’s a Descriptive Text, e.g. a Review? (Consolidation)

A review is a descriptive text that includes a recommendation. When we start it off, we have descriptive info for the title (e.g., the title of the work (obra) or place) and then basic factual information about it (no “Introduction” heading because it’s really shor and it’s obvious from the text).

Then comes the plot (for books and movies) in the present tense, to make the telling more vivid, or the description of the place (e.g., if it’s a restaurant, an exhibition).

Next comes an analysis of your own, that does not need to have expressions like “I like”. It needs rich descriptive language. I’ll develop this below.

Finally, a recommendation, including the closing line, of course (something that sounds like the ending of the article if it’s an article).

Articles and Novels include descriptive texts (descriptions of people, objects, places), not only narratives (actions), so training in this kind of texts allows you to improve a great deal of other kinds of texts! ❤

More on Language Range for Descriptions

Reviews/Travel Guides/Brochures…, articles including descriptions, mostly need lots of rich vocabulary and expressions for descriptions, so we really need to find different kinds of modifiers, as I mentioned:

  • adjectives like “it is enticing” or “uninteresting”, “dull” or “reliable”; adjectives modified by some other word: “somewhat tedious” “extraordinarily fast-paced” or noun phrases like “her parents’ home”, “a fast-paced thriller/narrative/evolution” which can also include prepositional phrases like “the woman in red” in “the times before the draught”…
  • relative clauses with or without ending prepositions, like “[didn’t expect] the girl WHO would be waiting for her”, “[had found dead] the person they were talking to”
  • present (-ing) or past particles clauses, particularly good for merging two simple sentences together and showing you understand transitions, like “Ushered into the L.M.A. Laboratory in 1935 to shoulder the burden of number cruchngin, they acted…” or “Growing up in H., V., in the 19702, Shetterly lived” from Luz’s homework on The True Story of Hidden Figures). Another example, consider this: “Pay It Forward was written by C.R.H. who is an American novelist with notable success. Her novels have won many awards and some have been bestsellers. / Pay It Forward was published in 1999 and is the extraordinary story of a perfect idea.” How can we improve this text?. Can you please post how you would improve it here? For instance, can we avoid starting the two paragrahps with the exact same structure/words: “PIF was…”? (Answer this one, OK?) Then, can we merge things?: “PIF (it’s good for the opening line to clearly state the topic of the text, yes!), written by CRH, an American novelist…, is the extraordinary story of a perfect idea”. Can you see what I did? What do you think? Can you come up with your own improvement?

Noticing collocations in reviews is really useful (collecting this kind of Useful Language), but for this we need to read quite a few reviews, to see which are typical collocations, like “breathtaking scenery”, “soaring mountains”, “outstanding performance”).

In the part where you analyze the work (and this part in the review is similar to reasoned opinions, or argumentative texts, of course, the difference is reviews use lots of modifiers, i.e., descriptive language), instead of saying you like this or that, in that way, you could explain reasons for using certain words to express you like/dislike the subject matter, to explain how interesting / funny / unsettling something was. Let me illustrate, as a follow-up on my point above: in the analysis in our review we usually point out what we liked and didn’t, but we’re advanced students and saying “I liked this because of that” is rather simply worded. If you read reviews, noticing language and its meaning, you’ll probably improve a great deal in this: instead of saying “I really like the actors. They were great” you would probably look for more sophisticated wording, “Most performances in this intriguing movie were outstanding”. Am I not saying that I liked it? But here my language range is richer.


Titles: all words are capitalized except prepositions and articles: Pay It Forward, Orange Is the New Black, Hidden Figures, Visiting Fuengirola, the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel…

Reference & Paragraphing: watch your use of pronouns, particularly at the beginning of paragraphs (something to avoid, because a paragraph needs to state the topic explicitly — it’s called the topic sentence, which can come first or second but needs to be at the very beginning), sometimes the referece is confusing, unclear, or simply wrong.


About Writing Articles

As I explained we have two kinds of articles:

Informative articles, like Travel Guides (descriptive articles) require HEADINGS, so if you are going to write about Fuengirola, for instance, for tourists, you need to visually sort out your topics by using a heading. This is better than bulleting. Just notice articles in magazines, OK? Bulleting is used for listings, not for sorting out topic sections.

Balance in topic presentation is key. You cannot write about Bioparc for more than 2/3 of the text and then mention some other topic, briefly. You have been writing minisagas and 100-word reasoned opinions to train in managing to fit things to a specific number of words.


I’m running out of time, and I’ve still got the LANGUAGE POINTS to go. But I want to give you your work back today, so I might have to ask you all to please prepare your LoM for after the holiday and please share your language points in class, for everybody to learn from them. Is it on? (That’d be C-Day, Composition Day, OK?)

Historias de micromachismos

Cuando acabé mi segunda carrera fui a pedir información sobre Oposiciones a una oficina de la Administración. El funcionario me dijo que con mis rasgos exóticos, para qué quería preparar oposiciones. Que abriera un salón de masajes. A mí también me ha pasado.

DESARROLLANDO INTELIGENCIA FEMINISTA

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Video: Catherine, on Scotland (Guest Speaker)

At last, I made it! Here’s a precious talk by a Scottish woman who we had the chance to meet thanks to Cristina! I hope you can find the time to watch the video, excuse the recording and editing mistakes, and enjoy all the learning this talk brings! ❤

Scotland & Scottish English, by Catherine (Guest Speaker)
Catherine, from Edinburgh, kindly accepted Cristina’s invitation (C1, 2016-17) to come to our School as a guest speaker and speak about her country, Scotland, allowing us to learn about its people and culture as well as to listen to the Scottish variety of English so we can get acquainted with its accent. We feel privileged to be able to offer this video to our community. Thanks so much, Catherine, and Cristina, for this precious gift! The video includes her about 15-min talk and then questions by students. We hope you all enjoy Catherine’s talk !

Evaluación al Profesorado

I totally forgot about this: I need you all to fill in a questionnaire about my work with you all. The School does this every year, and it’s anonymous. I don’t even have a look after students hand it in. I just get the “results” from DOFEI, the Department that collects this info and send us our report.

So PLEASE, next day help me remember!! It’ll take you 3 minutes, I think. ❤

Diary for Mon Jan 20 & Some activities!

Today we did some rearrangin’! 😀

I explained why I’d rather keep your checked work today — because I’d like to post some comments for your LoM’s, based on my corrections.

I announced an item to include in your work next week. I’ll post about it.

Then Germán finished his part of the OP, which included comparing the movie version to the original novel and questions on how to say things, whose answers were in the handout he had given out with useful language from the High Fidely novel.

We moved the Marigold OP to next Wednesday, and its members said I could bring my video camera, in case they eventually decided I was allowed to publish their work! Next day we’ll also have another amazing OP: one by Marta and Isabel, on Orange is the New Black.

Next we did a listening activity, took a dictation down. I’ll paste my notes for this and the key for Lorena and anyone who might have missed our listening activity on Mars:

Key to News on Mars: MARS. 1C, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6C, 7A

DICTATIONS

Students Seek To Recreate Ancient Beer Recipe Discovered In Pottery Vessels (1’49”)

Read the summary of this piece of news (about 30 words)

Archaeologists discovered a 5,000-year-old beer recipe by studying the residue of pottery vessels found in an excavated site in northeast China. Now Stanford University students are recreating the recipe.

Now listen to the news once, and then take it down as a dictation until “femented punch” (50 seconds, about 140 words). Leave gaps when you are lost, so you can just fill the gap out/in in the next listening.

Audio: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/09/514365570/students-seek-to-recreate-ancient-beer-recipe-discovered-in-pottery-vessels

Use US American spelling, and jot down the words pronounced in US American English.

As I presented the Dictation I explained how I use self-dictations (or doing transcriptions) to improve my English, the guiding star being use the same material several times in various ways, for different purposes. Repetition will do the rest! (including using our mouths and ears!)

Some worksheets: A note on this: about containers, in case you’re interested, I have a reading activity:  packaging and foodsyoucaneatafter. I created these activities so students could learn to speak about supermarkets and related issues.

Then we had Romina and Sergio, courageous peacelings, taking the dictation down on the whiteboard, and as we checked their very few mistakes (if any), we reviewed some interesting language items that led me to decide we could use this text in class, like the structure “have + sb + DO sth” (cf. “make + sb + DO sth”).

We reviewed the communicative spelling method (I have a podcast episode on this, when I present the ABC and talk about family names in different countries).

There were 15 mins left, so we decided to play the Speak-for-1-exact-minute game! It was great! We had Karen speaking about laughter, Luz speaking about kitchens, Sergio speaking about “orange” and Lucía speaking about magic wands! (I hope I didn’t forget anyone! ❤ )

Aventureras! – Have you visited this exhibition?

aventuras

Today I finally made it to the exhibition! I really enjoyed it. Numerous women artists (but I think there weren’t 23 works, were there?) dedicated one of their works to a woman who had explored some field, in life or in her work. I couldn’t find the catalog(ue), María José. I wanted to post on our innovative blog called Developing a Femin

ist Intelligence, the name of the artist and the woman she had chosen. And I wanted to ask you, María José, as one of the artists and as a contact person for the group, if you would be interested in sending a pic of the works and the texts accompanying them to our DIF blog “Historia de Ellas”, supposing you didn’t have a catalog(ue)!

Apart from that, this is also to invite you to visit the Centro cultural Mijas, which closes at 22.00 hours

. You’ll find artistic photos, two sculptures, a little installation, some paintings (ink, watercolo(u)r…) showing us the artist’s vision of women that did not made it to patriarchal history but who have been rescued since the 20th century. It’s well worth a visit! ❤

We haven’t missed women in history, and we need to learn to miss them, and to appreciate their contributions! ❤

Diary for Wed Feb 15 – Elva’s Iceland & High Fidelity

Today we had a wonderful lesson, with Elva and her two daughters, from Iceland, and Juan’s Avanzado adorable group, who also joined in when we had Warren speaking on Cambodia.

Elva, as someone who was brought up in a culture where community is more positively developed than in Spain, did not feel intimidated by the audience of eager listeners. She seemed to be at ease with us all, as if we were people, and not “the enemy” or “a threat”, as Juan pointed out. We hope students can learn from this, for their public speaking. Elva’s approach to her presentation was also different: she invited people to make questions. ❤ And people had lots of interesting questions to make! At the end, Clara taught us how to say thank you (Takk) and drew an elf, and Greta (?) drew the face of an elf and we took pictures.

We have a beautiful video to share with everybody, so I hope to find the time to edit it asap! I’ll keep you posted!

After Elva left we had a cozy session, exchanging impressions on different topics. Personally, I enjoyed it very much. ❤

Once our adorable guests had left, we had a wonderful Oral Presentation on the novel High Fidelity, by Dolores and Germán. I found it really well built, with bits of everything: author’s bio, plot or story, fav scenes, fav descriptions, useful language for improving your vocabulary range in terms of phrasals and for improving your accuracy with prepositions… The students’ Englishes were really good, in accuracy and language range. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, so we’ll devote some time to that next day. (Lesson learned: people, when you work out how long your OPs will be, consider people’s interruptions, this is, participation, hahahah.)

Finally, I asked whether there were OPs for next week, people thought I was telling them off, but it was just a question, hahahah, and then I said that I’d bring stuff and people were welcome to bring stuff, and that whatever we brought, it’d be for having conversations around it or for retelling, too.

Dessi and Germán stayed a bit longer and we had a very interesting conversation about prejudices in politics, and how ideas can be best expressed when we are critical of something, without saying authoritarian ideas that do not match democratic ideals. We talked about the Repúblicas, the Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship, the Transition to democracy and the attempts to heal this deep wound that does not allow our democratic culture to develop more positively. As it was 10!!, Germán suggested we go some day for a drink and a chat! And this lead us to our Hidden Treasures outing. Dessi was so surprised I had suggested going out for a drink when I had been insisting in my refusal to go out with students for a drink! 😀 True, true! But it was a special day: the movie was a school activity (Coeducación + English), but it was so wonderful and the company was so interesting that I couldn’t part that easily! 😀 I even had a bite!!, which is something I hardly ever do because I’m so nervous (or energetic) when I’m with people.

Well, night night! Use your English! Have an amazing bilingual week! ❤

Diary for Mon Jan 13 & Tips on Reading & Listening

I was predicting people were not doing much listening of the news or to radio program(me)s, and because being good at taking listening and reading tests at the advanced level requires having listened and read quite a bit, on a diversity of topics, and in order to encourage you all to keep a listening diary, this is, to make sure you listen to some radio program or other a few times every week (hearing one or two several times is crucial on a weekly basis: you see, you need to KNOW that the second and third times you do understand more, or much more), I started designing exercises, so we wouldn’t use up the real C1 tests, which you will take in March.

Daily listening work: So please, I’m asking you to listen to the news and radio programs every day. Work out your weekly listening plan, you can fit in 3 mins here, 6 mins there. I suggest you use some of the materials I post, too. There are some on the C1 Materials blog, and on this blog, too. Here is a radio book review on “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein (7 min). Next week I’ll bring some more listening exercises, including a dictation and identifying the outline (topic structure) of another radio book review.

Speaking: We started off with some students talking about the movie we watched last week. It was great because they gave their opinion, mentioned some scenes, talked about the people in the movie, too. I paraphrased some sentences they said for practice on fluency and accuracy. And we talked a bit about a few related topics. Then…*

Reading: And then went on to do my Reading follow-up activity on Hidden Figures. We had a little gapped activity as a warm-up, too. Homework: And I asked students to identify the present and past participle clauses in the article for next Monday (and I’ll probably forget about it, in case you can kindly remind us of this!) c1reading_hiddenfigures (2 Word pages). I also gave out a wikipedia entry for the Civil Rights movement, for further reading. But I do recommend Rosa Parks autobio. She was not a feminist because that was not possible at the time, but she does realize things as a feminist, and in spite of all the terrible pressure for the invisibilization of sexism.

Listening: We did a listening activity I designed, on Mars. I was insecure, thought it might be far too easy, but fortunately it was not! that’s why I always say that if you survive this course you’ll find the exam easy or relatively easy, hahahah… It included practice on self-assessment. People did well: most marks were 4/7, then 3/7 I think, well, that’d be a pass mark, right? Of course, you should reach for the moon! listeningonmars (1 Word page)

Well, congratulations, dear students, for surviving another lesson! 😀 Keep your work up! ❤

And please, remember it’d be great if there were people in class by 7.10, when Elva arrives! We’ll have guests, perhaps, and when we are back alone, we’ll listen to Dolores and Germán! ❤


*The mini-disquisition (it could’ve been never-ending! 😀 ) ! I also shared a couple of ideas which I think are good to reflect upon by us all: one is that our affections and interests are conditioned by culture. We tend to think it’s all about our freedom, our Self, but culture — intentional, non-intentional — determines we develop a greater interest in what men do, and little interest towards what women do, particularly in the areas they have always been banned from. The other idea I shared was about invisibility, too: how we tend to only see violence and struggle in specific events and how we fail to see violence and struggle in other events. And here’s the fact, in my view: as violence and struggle are things HUMANS do every day, but culture determines the how’s, we don’t see conceptual violence (we’re improving, though, now many people understand that women or black people or poor people are not less intelligent, or the like; or that a ruler has no right to rape, and murder, and enslave people), the verbal violence (e.g., invisibilization, misperceptions too and how we word that, e.g., the left-handed people and everyone else, piropos that actually terrorize women when uttered by unknown men in the street, or by an aggressive boss), which everyone of us uses and has to bear. We mostly see and only are aware of physical violence, and don’t allow it in women (we fear them even more than men when they use it, as if they were evil, much worse than the men who use it), culturally speaking — incidentally, that might explain why they can be so good at verbal violence. We identify struggle with the “necessary” or “justified” use of violence, but fail to see how we use nonviolent struggle in our everyday lives, and of course, the great development women have given this kind of struggle precisely because they were banned from the use of physical violence. (And Hidden Figures offers some great examples, and I hope people who did not come to see the movie, finally go.) Finally, I posed the question we all crave for: how we contribute to making people’s lives better and we don’t actually know, or can’t see it most of the times. This relates to our culture of violence and self-destruction, I believe. But we are human, and we can do amazingly good things. I wish they were seen, appreciated, acknowledged by more people because this would generate relevant change for the better in human cultures (but see the resistance to acknowledge women’s humanity, to mention just the largest human group subject to such terrible concepts as that of Woman in patriarchal culture), but there are people who do so. And how we tend to even make up the harm we do, or our lacks. When I realized this, as a middle-aged woman, I decided to quit what I call the network of gossip, which is not only done by women, but by men too. But the price of this is you don’t have certain information which is good to have! (not the vicious opinion sharing but other kinds, like someone is ill or the like). Well, dear all, I’m sorry about all this rambling. My intention isn’t to convince you of anything because I don’t believe in that, at least not the way that is understood. I’m trying to communicate, mostly! See if my points are understood by other people, what you all think. As you know, I’m trying to write about all this (and I’ve finally got A Room of My Own!), but never find the time!

About Next Wednesday: Iceland & High Fidelity

As Elva is coming at 7.10 to start her talk, and people in Spain are rarely punctual, I’d like to request students to try to be in class by 7.10 (“by” means “at the latest), please, or to pretend the talk is at 7.00. I’ll be in class at 7.00 sharp.

Also, I’ll ask you this evening, but… I think we should invite other groups, too. What do you think?

Elva’s talk would be from 7.10 to 8.10 (I think it could take up to 8.30 or even 8.45, where I’m setting the limit so we can listen to the High Fidelity OP by Germán and Dolores, OK?)

OPs (videos) by Students

I just created a page above, on our course navbar, so that you can find your videos on TP

https://c1coursebymf2016.wordpress.com/ops-by-students-videos-more/

This includes SSB’s page for her OP on Corpora! Part 1, for Part 2 is not ready yet!

http://talkingpeople.net/tp/yourstuff/youractivities/OPsbysts/2017_Corpora.htm

Reposted with Update (Guest Speaker from Iceland: Elva in February)

Update of Feb 9: Elva says, “the 15th is better for me from 7:10-8:10”, so this means the High Fidelity OP would start at 8.30 or 8.45. Would that be OK with Dolores and Germán?

Elva asks when would you like her to come. Her two possible dates are the 15th of Febuary and the 22nd. She’ll bring maps of her city and thinks the activity would take about an hour (without counting our questions?).

As a reminder, in case it helps you decide, these are our lesson plans for those days:

  • OP DATE FEB 15. Dolores and Germán, High Fidelity.
  • OP DATE: FEB 22. Isabel and Marta, Orange Is the New Black.

Please, post here your preferrences or tell me in class tomorrow!

 

Outing: Hidden Figures, a must watch!

Today we went to the cinema to watch this fantastic film that Lucía recommended. Thanks, Lucía! It was a beautiful experience! ❤

We all wanted to do some follow-up work on this film, so I’d like to invite students who’ve watched Hidden Figures to post here their thoughts and proposals. If you actually post, tick Movies/Films in CATEGORIES (on your right) and type “Hidden Figures” in the slot for TAGS. (I’ll do some posting like this, to share my contributions.)

In any case, remember to write down your thoughts or whatever, because one day we can share them in class. We need to tell the others about it all! You can send me an email with your plan and I’ll arrange things, if you like. Luz has the movie, so we thought about showing some fav scenes in class…

After the movie, some of us left, some of us went for a drink and something to eat. We shared stories and thoughts, and it was wonderful! ❤

As we took a photograph, to remember this day, I felt like it was a historic moment!, that we would keep growing and doing important contributions to a better world with our small lives. Great contributions! ❤ Because we’re walking r-evoLutions! The impact of who we are in life has always been relevant, in spite of all the bad ideas that have taught us women are not as intelligent, as courageous, as strong as Man, in spite of all the verbal violence, all the physical abuse…

More acknowledgements: Karen offered her mobile for the pic, someone found a young man who took the pic and then Karen sent the pics! Emilia invited us all for the drinks and the food! And Marta paid my ticket! Thanks so much, dear wimmin! ❤ And thanks to all the students who made this outing possible, too!  Oh, and thanks for allowing the School to include this picture on its website. I’ll paste the movie poster next to it and send it to our adorable Head of Studies! (see below!)16508160_10154855225240449_957483625114130161_n

salidac1cine

Today! & pending checked work

Today sts arranged to meet at Miramar Mall, where the movie theater is, by seven. I’ll be there at that time, too.

Yesterday I finished checking the work you people handed in in paper. (Everything is in the cardboard box.) But I haven’t finished checking the work I was sent by email, so my apologies for that. I’ll solve that this week for sure, so if you see that you did not get my reply at the end of this week, please, remind me by email, or bring that work to class. Thanks!

The head of studies asked me to please ask you if you would be so kind as to take a pic tonight and send it to her, for the website, to illustrate we do interesting stuff, like go to Hidden Figures! 😀 We’ve got a new school website and they are requesting that to everybody. If you don’t want to appear on a pic, I suggest you pose looking at the movie poster, so that nobody’s face is shown. But I suppose you’ll be OK about it, because these days people simply take pics and post them everywhere, right? 😀 Well, I’ll be too shy to ask, but I’ll do my best, this evening! Help me if you can! 🙂 ❤

Songs

About Heat Wave, I’m not posting Marilyn’s, but this other one! Enjoy!

Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, which I adapted to Causes Are… for an international pacifist meeting but — sorry, I made a mistake — it was not in Berlin when the wall came down. It was in Liege, Belgium. (Checked it here.) Hey, I didn’t do the sexy stuff, really. Too shy and feminist! 🙂 Lyrics below, sing along! 😀

The French are glad to die for love / They delight in fighting duels / but I prefer a cause that lives, succeeds and gives me… FUEL! / A kiss of the hand may be quite Continental / But Causes are a girl’s best friend! / A kiss may be grand but it won’t pay the rental / on your humble flat or make you nice when you’re a brat! / Find rich bores, affiliate ’em to your cause, / work all day and forget ’bout your debts / Your life will be sweet then / so high and so deep then / Causes are a girl’s best friend! / … / There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer / but causes are a girl’s best friend. / There may come a time when you can’t bear not smoking / Think you’re awfully nice and rush outside and have a drag! / Time goes on and youth is gone / but causes’re always there when you care. / So join in, ‘vrybody, and bring lots of money!!! / Causes are a girl’s best friend!

(I should record this for the TP podcast! Demented laughter!)

About the Feb Writing Assg

About the February Writing Assignment, please, check the C1 Resource Pack on Exams Formats for the number of words, and the page here Writing File for info on the article you need to write. The difference between an informative article and an argumentatitve writing is that the first is simpler in some ways, with informative heading on particular topics, and the second is about in-depth analysis, an argumentative text. Informative texts are not about opinions, thought most writing includes opinions! But keep them impersonal mostly. Argumentative texts can be passionate and persuasive, or a more balanced in the presentation of ideas and info and views, but should include a personal assessment of some sort. Both need an intro, a development and an ending (informative) or a conclusion (argumentative).

This presentation is for secondary, and we could word things differently but it might be of help so you understand the difference.
https://prezi.com/embed/f9xymf6sfrki/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE1UeThPdC81YzlnNk5JNU1hN0dVSWEwTW05ZXgwS3RvOWNtZTZmb0ErWT0&landing_sign=F8js8xHSF1VWnogHNyvxVeJrboymG34RaDkS08-hutk

In the C1 Resource Pack (and on my podcast) you’ll find some oral and written language for the language function of persuasion, in case some of it is useful for your assignment. But I believe that the best persuasive wording is that which reasons out things, because in my view expressing arguments is about allowing people to understand an analysis, a viewpoint, not necessarily convincing them to support it like you do. Good arguments might not change your views, but they do make your thinking, your knowledge richer, and therefore make a great difference.

Deadline? Well, I suspect most of you will want to hand it in after Semana Blanca, the last week in February. Let me know next Monday!

Diary for Mon Feb 6, Events & Feb Writing Assg.

Today we did lots of things! Elva can come any day, but Lorena would rather have her on Feb 13. Everybody wanted to go to the movies next Wednesday, and students will be meeting at the Miramar Movie Theater by seven. I’ll get there at 7.05 and if I’m not there then, Marta will leave the ticket for me at the ticket office.

Wed is the deadline for the January writing assignment, and people not coming to the cinema can leave it with Ana, the janitor.

Feb Assg in next post.

We re-arranged the Lesson Plans, deciding to leave the lesson on Rational Discussions, scheduled for next Wed., for further on, which means the lesson we scheduled for Monday is still on.

Some Reading Groups gave me their work for fellow students on their OP to check and prepare copies.

First we heard Part 1 & 2 of the Climate Change radio program(me), so sts could take notes for retelling. Then we did Part 3, as a fill-in-the-gap activity. We checked it and had some comments on language questions (register, useful language, cleft sentences for emphasis, ending prepositions). Next we checked the cloze test on Environmental Issues, too. Finally, people worked in pairs or groups of three to see what they had learned in terms of language and ideas to develop monologues on the topic. So now sts should try to find some time for an outline and speaking practice on a timed exercise, for a final version for their Speaking Files. You are all welcome to do this final exercise in class, or send it in for feedback.

Sts’ OPs: Germán spoke on Violence & Sports, and sts took notes. I gave some tips on Speaking Tests and topics of violence.

And mentioned that March would be about Exam Format Training.

Important! “Hidden Figures” – outing next Wed?

Dear all,

I know I posted our lesson plans for next week but…

Next Wednesday at 19.15, for 4 euros 40 cents, we could buy a ticket for Hidden Figures (read about the women the movie talks about), the movie Lucía recommended, and watch it all together.

But I wouldn’t want to do this if few people want to come, because the lesson is for everybody who plans to come! (I’m very “apretá” for things like this, sorry!) So my question is — can you discuss it on whatsapp and tell me on Monday if you’d like to go to the cinema? Thanks!

If we did, I think we should decide to do some follow-up activity, like talk about the movie while having a drink, after the movie! But if that were not convenient for you, please, think about what we could do, based on this movie, so we go ahead and do it! ❤

Lesson Plans for Next Week

Monday Feb 6

Listening: Part 3 of the Climate Change radio program(me).

Speaking: After this, you need to make a summary of the whole program, together, and then you need to listen to each member make a summary or give their opinion on the topic.

Reading: checking the cloze test on Climate Change in small groups.

OPs by Students (nobody booked, but you are welcome to do one). In 1-4 min, give your opinion about any of the documentaries or readings we’ve done; share your written work reading it out; speak about a relevant experience in your life, tell us about a favo(u)rite something (book, movie…)

Questions & Proposals: on language, resources, plans…

Wednesday Feb 8

Deadline for January Writing Assignment

Reading aloud at Plenary: The workshop for rational discussions.

Speaking: small groups discuss the information, and adapt the theory to hold a small group discussion on climate change at Plenary, so other groups can listen and learn. Pay attention to turn-taking, and practice taking notes with key words instead of interrupting other person’s turn. If there is no time for the actual discussion to learn from, we would do it the following Monday.

Contingency Plan: OPs by students. If nobody volunteers, we’ll do the 1-min speaking activity.

Monday Feb 13

Writing File: Jan Assignments back to you for follow-up work on LoM and sending clean copies for publication if you like. Decisions on Feb assignment.

Reading activity: We’ll read an article at Plenary, and then small groups will summarize it or reconstruct it together, list highlights in terms of language and idea (UL, lists of ideas), and give their (oral) personal opinions. I’ll give you a handout to fill in/out.

Listening activity – to use later for retelling

Contingency plan: OPs ?- same

Oral Presentations on the Reading Projects

Here is our latest info on Reading Groups and the dates they booked to present their work in class. More info on this project on our Reading Projects !! page above.

LIST OF WORKING GROUPS AND DATES THEY BOOKED FOR THEIR ORAL PRESENTATION

  • OP DATE FEB 15. Dolores and Germán will work on High Fidelity. There is a screenplay and a movie too.
  • OP DATE: FEB 20. Karen, Lucía and Sergio will work on the screenplay The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – the can also use the movie/film in their project.
  • OP DATE: FEB 22. Isabel and Marta will work on Orange Is the New Black. My work on this in case it helps in some way!
  • OP DATE: MARCH 6. Clara, Mª José (pending), Marina, Emilia, Dessi, Cristina B, Soluna (pending) will work on Pay It Forward. The movie is different in some ways to the novel, and can also be used in the project.
  • OP DATE: MARCH 15: Sonia, Gema, Encarni, Luz and Lorena with the Alexie Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. I have Smoke Signals, a related movie for this project and the screenplay in book format.

Diary for Wed Feb 1 – Small Groups & How to Work with our Edited Videos

Yesterday, before the class split up in small groups, considering I had just published a new edited video (on the EOI Teacher Sharing C1 Work Vimeo Channel, not the EFL LEARNERS SPEAKING ENGLISH YouTube Channel (EOI Fuengirola), which includes many more, on the C1 playlist – make sure you have a look!) I explained how you could be working with the video I edit for students. Here is a summary:

Watching videos where ANY student speaks and the teacher has included written corrections on the mistakes this person makes, is a very POSITIVE exercise you can do because:

  • We learn to monitor our production by monitoring other people’s production, in other words, we learn to listen to ourselves as we speak (in order to fix the mistakes we know we made) by listening to other people and noticing their mistakes. Like everything in life, learning this is a process that requires training. Learning to listen to yourself allows you to fix mistakes you might make which you can recognize, and this chance allows you to be more confident when you are nervous and you have to speak in public (at work, in any social situation, in exams).
  • This exercise helps you to understand how to work positively with mistakes, and informs your list, as mistakes are not only made by the person giving the presentation, but shared by most students.
  • It also gives you ideas on how to address different topics, and can help you put together lists of Useful Language for those topics.
  • Oftentimes, it helps you understand how important structure is, to allow people to follow what you say. How repeating things in other words is very natural and important. All that kind of stuff.

I reminded people about the posts on this blog, and listed the latest. About indirect speech, and indirect questions, here is what I have on the TP podcast, 3 wonderful episodes that will improve or consolidate your fluency and accuracy while helping you review one of the most important language functions.

For about half an hour or a bit more small groups checked the collocation worksheets: some people checked both worksheets, some checked one. I wonder if people shared their favorites, or selected UL to master the use of some of those collocations! I hope you can all tell me in class! If you didn’t do it, do it now. Select a few, visualize a context where to use them, and say them out loud every now and then! Then share in class! You can even record them for your Speaking File.

I would like to ask you, Have you found the Key to these exercises on the internet? Or should I copy the key of these two on the blog? Or can we have a plenary just to double-check your work?

Next, small groups worked on their Reading Project. I’ll update this page to include the dates they booked. If someone’s info is missing, please, send it to me by email if you cannot make it to class, OK? I’m including Marta and Isabel today too.

Fire Drill: I explained what might happen next week, so students know how to behave in a fire emergency and how we should evacuate the building. If you’re coming to class next week and you missed this lesson please, ask in your whatsapp group!

Work Back to You: Some people got their checked work from the cardboard box and some people handed in their January Writing.

And Marta borrowed Orange Is the New Black. Borrowers, remember I don’t keep a list, so it’s important things come back to me at some point, OK? No rush, but please, don’t forget!