Month: March 2017

Lesson Plans for Monday

Dear all,

Just confirm that, yes, I won’t be able to bring your evaluated work + my collection of mistakes you all made for the Monday lesson. I’m doubtful I’ll manage to have it all ready for Wednesday, actually, so it’s likely we hold this Writing Test Workshop after the spring hol, after all!

So — what’s still on is:

Everybody speaks about a piece of news (or analysis) they read or listened to, to practice retelling and also interactions, if we are lucky and people have questions, comments or start up conversations on that news item.

After this, which will take up at least an hour, I suppose, probably more, we’ll do one of the listening tests I designed.

Then on Wednesday we’ll continue with past official exams given here or in other communities.

Remember to listen to English, work on your list of mistakes, your lists of useful language, your writing file, your speaking file, any of the wonderful how-to’s we have to use our English for conscious learning too!

Have a lovely bilingual weekend! ❤

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Pronunciation Questions: commonly mispronounced vowels

Son & Sun are pronounced the same; dAUGHTer, like bOUGHT, tAUGHT = OT /dótr/ /bot/ /tot/

Don’t say /o/ in these words, say /a/ – mother, Monday, money

More words, pay attention to where you might mispronounce:

a woman /wuumn/, women are /wimin/

About obesity, I don’t know if you all saw this documentary they showed last week about it. It was about obese kids whose life was at risk, but the kind of obesity that is an illness. And it was not the kids’ fault, really. Their siblings ate the same amount and did not put on that much weight. So it’s a truly complex issue, as anything that’s human, right? 🙂

Proud about this project!

Marianela, the head of studies, put together this video we contributed to! Enjoy!
We are the only ones who re-worded the declaration as it will or should be worded asap!, including women! ❤

Lesson Plans March 27 (cloze), L/R 2006, Writing workshop

You know about today. Today it’s you all speaking about your work and all that, considering tests, of course, about your reading and listening work, and we can check Multiculturalism, my cloze without key.

— We checked the multiculturalism cloze test, and people got a copy of Orwell’s.

About the second lesson this week, we’ll continue with Reading and Listening Advanced Tests.

This time we’ll do a Ciclo Superior (advanced) test that was given in Madrid, before the reform, so learn about other kinds of exercise formats. We’ll do the listening test in class, correct it and possibly listen again to check things, and you’ll take a copy of the reading test home.

The following is moved to the week after the spring hols:

Writing Workshops

Next Monday you’ll get your writings back and we’ll hold a session on Writing, strategies, and Language Mistakes. You’ll also bring your Ciclo Superior Reading Test, so we can check it.

Next Wednesday you need to bring your LoM so we can have questions and comments, and start working on a List for Brainstorming on Language Range. You should work on this checklist in your spring hols, and after those, I’ll bring mine. You should work on Reading and Listening exercises during your spring hols, using the materials I posted here and on the C1 Materials blog. Include retelling, so you practice speaking! And then do it in class, too! We’re interested!

Follow-up on Hidden Figures & news on upcoming podcast episodes & videos

I’m posting my personal notes on the reading activity we did in class, which included spotting participle clauses. As you probably know, some people posted here their answers and I gave them feedback. Feel free to continue doing so with any pending work we have, or any work you do on your own. (I hope to hear about this last point on Monday, anyway.)

I’m also creating a podcast episode with conversations on movies, about this movie — examples for levels Básico, Intermedio, Avanzado and C1!

And I’m trying to upload the one-hour video on Iceland! But I’m having lots of technical problems! It took me that long because I had to empty my computer and install everything again, and the iMovie interface changed, so I spent zillions of hours trying to finish editing this video. Now it’s so heavy it’s taking ages to upload. But that’s life! We’re lucky to be able to do this kind of thing! ❤

Lesson Plan for Monday

Lucía will kindly share a great OP on an Irish tradition, which is a good break for all this Exam Work we’re doing. And then I’m asking you to do some of the activities I posted here and on the C1 MAterials blog: both Reading and Listening. The idea is we’ll check Multiculturalism (it’s a cloze I posted here, with no key) and then if you bring other cloze exercises you did we can read those articles and talk about their contents in small groups. It’d be great some of you told us about the listening work you’ve done. Retellings and opinions.

I’ll collect your Writing Tests + Eval Sheets.

Enjoy your use of English! ❤

Comments & Questions – PUC workshops

Evaluation Sheet Exercises are not about you evaluating a classmate’s exercise. They’re about you getting acquainted with our evaluation criteria and tools, OK? Imagine your classmate’s exercise is your own. Don’t get distracted with what mark you’ll give the person. You’re not doing this for that. I’ll give them the mark. Just evaluate as if it were your own work and you’re just learning about evaluation.

About Dolores’s question on mistakes below level. The reason why there are no general lists by levels of mistakes that would mean someone has not achieved a certain level is that so far we cannot establish that. The mistakes I list in our pack are just examples, but they need a context, for instance, complementary info on how many mistakes, what kind of mistakes, how rich the language range is… Fossilized mistakes are those that are systematic, for instance, or mostly systematic, but we can say little more about them.

Examples. We can tell when people do not listen enough to English from certain mistakes, for instance, transfer mistakes in flawed structures coming from literal translation. Or when people forget their present simple 3rd person s’s. However, someone at the advanced level knows that native speakers can drop this suffix when speaking slang, like you hear in songs “she don’t love me anymore” and we use this kind of language in humo(u)r for instance! But this is also true: they would not be using this kind of language in an exam oral presentation, right?

So it’s not so much about not making mistakes. Or saying, If you make this particular mistake you fail. There’s room for mistakes, but you need to work during the learning year to make the least mistakes you can, and we have an excellent methodology for that. Here’re some examples:

  • It’s of paramount importance you learn to listen to your English to monitor your production and fix your mistakes on the spot. This is important both for exams and real life, because mistakes can hamper communication and all that. And that’s why I spend so many hours editing videos, so you watch them (anybody’s not just yours) and learn to do this because this resource helps you a great deal, mostly unconsciously, but also consciously when it comes to taking notes on what you learn and for your LoM. (And who offers English learners this resource? In private education this resource would make the course much more expensive for sure!)
  • It’s very important you learn to be good proofreaders of your written work because that gives you the chance to fix your mistakes on the spot, too, apart from giving you the chance to improve your language range. That’s why we have one assignment a month: so you do Before Writing work, and you develop the habit of proofreading after sitting to write the piece. This is, the During Writing and After Writing come in one same sitting. However, people tend to prefer to make clean copies of their work instead of learning how to be good proofreaders. Proficient proofreading involves reading the piece at least three times noticing different kinds of things in each. When you proofread your work you can also take notes for your LoM.
  • LoM’s are not about jotting down stuff, they are also about oral drilling. That’s yet another resource we have to work on overcoming fossilized mistakes and avoiding mistakes. When you know you make a mistake, that it’s fossilized, you need to do lots of listen-n-repeat so that your mouth, your ear, too, automatize accurate production. Because they have a memory and you have made that mistake zillions of time. (So I always wonder why people don’t devote some time a week to listen and repeat, really. It’s so easy and so efficient! And you don’t need to suffer, you can even be dead tired, or dead drunk! We’re so obsessed that only suffering indicates learning, that learning happens with that kind of effort, we forget that learning happens in all kinds of ways, including positive joyful ways!) And this also relates to gathering Useful Language. It’s all connected! It’s like this kind of maps.

Related image

OK, I think now I’m lost in outer space!! 😀 Please, feel free to ask or comment! Night night!

Poetry Day

Education for Equality has just published a post and a dossier on Rosario Castellanos, in Spanish, for people interested in helping us redirect human knowledge and culture to less unfair situations, such as the one we’ve had to bear for centuries. Links to more resources are included (Lorena, also to a publication by Milenta)

Feel free to spread the word!

https://coeducacioninteligenciafeminista.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/dia-de-la-poesia-rosario-castellanos/

Message to people who have work on Hidden Figures

I have finished putting together the Department’s report on the activities around the movie outing. I think (but I’m unsure) that someone wrote a review (?). Well, if anyone has donde or is doing something about this, please, let me know so I can include it asap!

https://englisheoifuengirola.wordpress.com/hidden-figures/

Traveling/Travelling. Passports

Every Passport Tells a Story, 6 minutos (practice retelling)

Perhaps this can inspire you to take part in the Writing Contest the Asociación Estudiantes Siglo XXI has organized (extended deadline – check out their blog or the many posters stuck everywhere in our School!) ❤

Politics & Literature: Orwell’s 1984

Today I heard on the radio sales of 1984 and Arendt‘s essay on totalitarism are soaring in the USA after Trump’s election. No wonder.

I hope that with this last post everybody finds some material to use their English and complement the other uses you are giving your English!

The key is on page 2, so don’t peep! It’s hard, but try to work things out (read out loud the sentences, think about language) using the Onion Layer Approach! 😀

readingorwell_cloze (2 word pages)

Have a wonderful bilingual weekend! ❤

Education: Raising children & overcoming patriarchal ideology

Ngozi has a new essay out. If you are interested, here is an 8 minute radio program (with transcript, in case you decided to take parts of it down as a dictarion)

How Do You Raise A Feminist Daughter? Chimamanda Adichie Has 15 Suggestions

Dutch Election / Election in the Netherlands

Why the Dutch Election Matters (radio program, 28 minutes, with a panel of experts who discussed issues before knowing the results)

You could exchange views here! Post your thoughts, if you like.

Diary for Wed March 15 – OP & PUC wkshp

Today Lucía came with realia and an OP to tell us about an Irish celebration this Friday. Unfortunately, we had scheduled what comes next and I feel really bad about not having had her speak. Because Lucía is doing something you should all be doing this year, really! Lessons should be mostly about this kind of sharing. I know Orals and projects are meant to happen once or twice a year, but I’m more ambicious and I’ll continue trying to get students to share every day in class things like this, things they learn outside the classroom because they love English and use it to learn about the world. So I do hope, Lucía, that you can share the story with us next week. Tell me, how long would it be? I think we can probably fit it in. I’d like to tell you that from what you spoke, I did not find mistakes I found before. I think you’re improving your accuracy! which means that with the fluency you have, you could be consolidating your C1 level.

To our plans…

We had a wonderful OP by Encarni, Gema, Lorena, Sonia and Luz, on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, by amazing story-teller Sherman Alexie, and illustrated by another genius, Ellen Forney, whose website I recommend! Encarni told us about the plot, Gema …, Lorena about the characters, Sonia shared some Useful Language, Luz compared this novel with two others the Alexie novel reminded her of, but which she liked much better.

All of them did really well in terms of contents. And I was really happy to see Luz speaking in public and not feeling threatened by this or the audience. This progress you have made is really positive!

I liked it that all of them offered some personal comment on the topics they spoke about. This is very much of this level. That people are able to posed topics, present information and offer their insight on that, or comment briefly, depending the kind of text they’re producing.

I loved Lorena’s outline on the characters (I hope you can send it in, or show me some day!) And Luz was very original in her approach: she compared the novel to two other books, offering also one of her fav quotes from each.

Sonia’s handout was outstanding work. I hope everyone one can read it out loud at home and learn from it. There are extra copies in class for people who missed the lesson today.

In terms of English, Sonia’s showed a very rich language range and great accuracy in her grammar. I was impressed by your vocabulary range. Your fluency was good too. Lorena also showed an advanced level of command over the language. Your spontaneity and fluency show you can actually speak English, so to put it, that it’s no effort. Although you made some mistakes you can continue identifying and working to overcome. Your improvement in terms of getting presents and pasts right in plots was apparent! (Remember I posted some help for that here? Encarni and Gema, please, use it to train a bit more on this). Encarni’s English was a consolidated B2 level, going for advanced, and I was impressed because the info I had on your English from some other writing you handed in was very different, if I remember correctly! Still, you had some mistakes under the level. And Gema, this exercise of yours was not as good as the previous (which was a consolidated B2 level going for advanced), right? Mistakes were frequent, in tenses for example, and the wording often came from literal translation, which is something you can fix with intensive listening to English to learn how natives word things, taking notes on UL and putting an end to all that translating (that’s one of the key reasons why we work with lists of Useful Language). I recommend you two to keep working on your English, more if you want to pass the exam in June, OK? Luz, you also need to work more on your English, if you want to pass in June, but if you don’t, just keep your work up, because I can see (and I hope you can see it too) that you are making progress and if you keep it up while enjoying it you might want to try September instead of taking the course again, but of course, it’s up to you. You’ll always be welcome! Your texts are more organized, the logical progression is better (in textual terms), but your grammar needs more true English coming in: do listening and retelling, and avoid translating from Spanish.

Here are some of the mistakes everybody needs to avoid (from different people in the group):

Confusing I think (creo) and I think so (creo que sí).

  • have for has and the other way round
  • haves ! becAmeS !
  • have to or had to?

a 14-year-old boy; not 14-yearS-old, because it’s a modifier, not the phrase: He is 14 years old, OK?

throughout the whole story (please, learn this wording), not during the whole history

  • She died, not She was dead (different meaning). Or perhaps you meant She was murdered (?) – Please, people with this kind of problem, pay attention to the passive.

Resources for becoming fluent and correct in the passive: I have a fantastic review I did for Intermedio, that might come in handy! It’s easy, just listen and repeat to automatize accurate production while you visualize the grammar! Episode 1 More here – it’s 6 episodes including modals in the past)

  • Forgetting the “s” in third person: his grandma passes /pasIs/, he realizes /rí-a-lai-sIs/
  • Forgetting the “a”: he was a teenager, he was a racist (like, I am a teacher, she is a vegetarian, he is an anarchist, she is a Christian, Are you a Leo?)

Interesting structures

  • He was not expected to survive surgery
  • We learn about life on a rez / We learn about what life is like on a reservation (not We realize that Indian lifestyle (?), We see that Indian lifestyle)
  • They were supposed to have had a fight over (not: People is supposed)
  • They understand that AS he WANTING to be white
  • a friend of the family‘s (double mark)
  • It is from that point on…
  • His grandma gave him good pieces of advice
  • His grandma gave him good advice
  • What I told you ABOUT before
  • a system intended to kill
  • he wanted to better (v) his life / to make his life better (too)
  • Ah, Sonia: not “nevertheless” but “in contrast” in one of the sentences you said.

How do you say:

  • Ay, ¿cómo se llamaba?
  • Para controlar este problema…

Well, it’s 3 in the morning, I really need to stop now! That’s why it hurt me so much to read that a 40% thought I could prepare my lessons better: I spend 2, 3 hours before work, then work, then come back and work till 3! It’s crazy. I really need to find a way of having a life! 😀

We also started the PUC workshops.

Homework. This month, reading and listening at home, and of course, repeating or retelling exercises to complement.

Reading & Audio Materials to work on

On the C1 Materials blog I have been posting interesting stuff throughout the year, in case you wanted to use it. I’ll repost a few of those materials, but let me know suggest some other reading and listening work.

This article is interesting because it’s about someone getting awards of late, and connects politics (the dramatic situation of democratic people in the USA today, with Trump’s election), to the role of art (critical thinking, solidarity) and gender issues (women’s status in society), the media /mi-die/ and TV series. It’s far too short, just 300 words, but there is a link to a long interview with the writer. Link: Margaret Atwood Cautions America “Against Dictators of Any Kind”. Notice that titles in English capitalize all the letters except articles and prepositions. This title, however, could also be considered a quote from the text, but as you will see the Huff Post treats it as a title. (Gather UL with “as” and “like”, for the April Language Workshops! ❤ )

Here is a radio program/programme you can listen to. Don’t read the transcript, if possible! It’s about a 2007 book she got published then, which people are talking about today. 5 mins. Take it down as a dictation! ❤

Last, here is a 2-page Reading Comprehension activity I prepared on Multiculturalism. I can post the answers when you are done, just let me know. We can also read it aloud in class, so we are sure you know how to pronounce all the words, and check it, of course! Enjoy!

This video is about something Coral talked about when she mentioned the role of the media in this bombing on what men and women are, the patriarchal stereotypes — and links to multiculturalism. Have a look


Politics

In case you want to be able to explain something about Brexit, here are some Questions and Answers (reading)

Remember what our Scottish speaker said about it? Watch her video, if you haven’t. And get used to the Scottish accent!

Read Brexit causes more stress to young, well-educated Scottish women. Brexit caused more stress to women, young people, better educated people, Scots and Londoners, according to The Physiological Society.

I certainly feel the UK have made a terrible mistake… But this is what you get when you mistrust progressist people and think conservatives are safer. Truly irrational.

Read How might Brexit affect the touring industry?

Audio: Scottish independence after Brexit (8 min)

If you prepare a 3-4 min OP on any of this, let me know, so we can find some time in class to do that! Enjoy!

Some feedback. February Writing Assignment (& Language Wkshp 4 April)

Please, whenever you have the time, supposing you are not following this blog regularly, list what’s in the posts that you need to work on, and bring to class, or ask your classmates, and remind me! The language workshops depend on your initiative mostly.

Language Workshop to put together!

(Do you have enough info from learning from your mistakes, or the work you did in your assignments to make requests or share what you learned/learnt?) I’d like to hold some language workshops in April, OK? So give this some thought, please!

DUE TO: For the language workshops, we need people to gather examples of their use of “due to” and bring to class so we can hold a language workshop on this and related connectors.

There are more and more destinations that are now being classified as ecotourist DUE TO their biodiversity (NOUN PHRASE) and BECAUSE they implement (S + V) sustainable development policies.
(Original: due to their activities and biodiversity)

Useful Language for topics like employment, tourism, economy…

To qualify as an eco-destination / as an eco-friendly location, a certain place should consider sustainable development, in terms of environmentally-friendly measures but also encouraging respect for the local population and its culture and lifestyles.
(Original: To be considered as ecotourism,)

Obviously, Spain is undergoing a severe economic crisis and regular and quality jobs are hard to find, or even non-existing! In any case, the questions would be, Is employment under substandard conditions better than nothing? / Is working in substandard conditions better than nothing?
(Original: It is obvious that Spain is in crisis and there are not many chances to get a job in no substandard condition. In any case, is this kind of employment better than nothing?)

Temporary low-paid jobs
Season work – high season / peak tourist season, low-season, off-seasons, off-season periods, timing your trip to avoid…,

Reading Articles (informative, magazines)

Please, read and work on this article (useful language):
https://thesavvybackpacker.com/choosing-when-to-travel-high-low-and-shoulder-season-in-europe/

LoMs
Your LoMs should have a section for grammar mistakes you really need to overcome and avoid, like misplacing words like “still”, “also”, “usually”, “always”, or confusing “used to (do sth)” with “usually (do sth)”
You should also have notes on textual matters, like how to end a piece, depending on the kind of format. Can you brainstorm on this and list a few examples and bring to class or post here? e.g. I suggested Sonia end her piece (US) / should end her piece (UK) on Ecotourism with a question that would connect the topic she developed to where she lives. Her article is informative, with headings. She presents a definition and the benefits of this kind of tourism in general and then tackles the question of the principles underlying this activity to end her piece with an example of countries who are good eco-destinations. There is something missing. A true ending. If one cannot include a new paragraph to assess the information presented before, one can certainly include a question pointing to subsequent reflections, and it is always helpful to use our own reality to make that connection, e.g. Will Costa del Sol manage to face the challenge?

We Should All Be Feminists

BLOG FROM THE MOON

Today we talked about Feminism in class. It’s a real shame we didn’t have the time to deeply discuss the topic, but now that you have more time at home you can watch the whole video -we only watched the first 5 min- and some quotes by Chimamanda Ngoci Adichie from the book “We should All Be Feminists”. Good food for thought.

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case. We don’t teach boys to care about being likable. We spend too much time telling girls that they cannot be angry or aggressive or tough, which is bad enough, but then we turn around and either praise or excuse men for the same reasons. All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to…

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Today’s Talk

Thanks for coming!

I thought nobody was going to come, and that would have been such a sad thing to do to  school projects like this, really. Also, we should really pay attention to constructive analysis that allow us to improve our living together, right? And it was our Grand Opening, you know, as people who have a groundbreaking feminist Coeducación project with followers in so many different places ( ❤ ), not only the beginning of our celebration of the 25th anniversary. Our second celebration will be on the 25th of April, same time, same place, but this time with Eulàlia Lledó Cunill, one of the most knowledgable people in this country when it comes to language and the r-evoLution feminism is bringing about on this planet! Love and language, as our Head of Studies pointed out in her intro. Two BIG topics where every single person can contribute to positive change. Empowering subjects, because they allow us to feel we can achieve change, as we exist and use our very lives for that, not weapons or destructive ideas, attitudes, words, actions.

So a big relief to find that almost 100 people attended. The head counted you all! And we were surprised to see so many adult men coming, too (not because they were accompanying a woman they loved, I mean! 😀 ) ❤

Any thoughts to share? ❤

The SWOT analysis task

Dear all, as I brought up the SWOT analysis issue, I think this worksheet could help us to organize our ideas regarding our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to English. SWOT_worksheetSWOT-analysis

 This analysis is nowadays commonly applied to business or marketing studies, and it serves to audit the present situation of a company or business, recognizing the internal factors (Strengths and weaknesses) and the external ones (Opportunities and threats). Here you can find more information about SWOT analysis. Hope it helps!

Margaret Atwood

C1 Course Materials - EFL Advanced (EEOOII - Andalucía - Spain)

One of my fav authors! On the Talking People Podcast I have two weeny texts, in case you want to listen to them!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tppodcast/?s=atwood&x=0&y=0

Here’s the page I created for her, to spread the word of her work, on talkingpeople.net: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/literature/atwood/atwood.html

And here’s a selection of things published about her in the past three months. Feel free to post your own! Thanks! ❤

Women’s Prize for Fiction: Margaret Atwood among finalists
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39203544

Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale [a black utopia or dystopia, a scifi novel] sales boosted by fear of Trump
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/11/margaret-atwood-handmaids-tale-sales-trump

Margaret Atwood Cautions America Against ‘Dictators Of Any Kind’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/margaret-atwood-cautions-against-dictators_us_586bf7f1e4b0eb58648ac551

Las mujeres rompen moldes en la ciencia ficción
http://www.agenciasinc.es/Reportajes/Las-mujeres-rompen-moldes-en-la-ciencia-ficcion

Página 2 – Entrevista a Margaret Atwood (TV) – Un día es un día (Lumen)
http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/pagina-dos/pagina2-entrev-margaretatwood-20130505-1945/1803027/

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Reminder! PUCs, 25th Anniversary Events & a Movie!

OMG! They’re showing The Fifth Element, one of fav movies! 😀 ❤ Have you seen it? Remember the scene when she starts learning about war on this planet?

Well, I hope what I posted announcing our exam practice encourages you to do tons of listening to things and gathering useful language!

I also hope you can make it to our amazing talk on love next Monday!

Enjoy your English! ❤

Lesson Plans – PUC Workshops: Round 1!

You can also use the C1 Resource Pack, the PUC cards, to check this information.

Reading and Listening Tests: June 2015

  • Listening Test: 60 min. On therapies (health) and on a referendum (politics)
  • Reading Test: 75 min. A film/movie review (politics) and on a festival

Writing Test: September 2015

  • Writing Tests: 120 min. An online request form and an argumentative essay

Lesson Plans

On Wednesday, March 15:

  • OP on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  • Listening Test.
  • Teachers reads out the answers and people share their results. But I have a request for this day: We need people to be very punctual, so we can do this, and even comment on techniques and strategies people used. If there were no time for this, we would have to do it some other day…

On Monday, March 20:

  • Reading Test
  • Small Groups work on their answers and discuss the texts
  • Teacher reads out the answers & Sts share their results
  • Questions and Comments on language and techniques & strategies people used

On Wednesday, March 22:

  • Writing Test
  • Teacher gives out the Evaluation Sheets and students exchange exams, for peer correction (you’ll find the Eval Sheet in La Guía, in case you want to get acquainted with its concepts)
    • On Monday March 27 students hand in their checked tests to teacher so she can evaluate everybody’s exam. Please, read this in Proyecto Educativo (page 30, ACLARACIONES SOBRE LOS DIFERENTES TIPOS DE EVALUACIÓN – particularly page 31 “Evaluación de la Prueba Unificada de Certificación y la Evaluación en Clase”), so you understand evaluating your writings is not checking them as I do during the course.

Pending (please, let us all think about this, too) When you take the Writing Test, we should rearrange the info on the Writing File here. I would like to do that in class with you all. You can start posting your preferences once you take the writing test.

March 27 & 29: we’ll take another listening and reading test, following the same lesson routine. I’ll announce it like I just did.

Updating Stuff

Hi there. I just updated the navbar (navigation bar) because it was too full. You will find the same pages inside other pages, so you’ll need to “display the menu”. Try and see. I also updated the news on the strike, because they did not match what I told you in class today. I hadn’t realized it was “old news” (March 1!)

I hope you feel free to help with the blog in any way, for instance, adding info that is missing! In January I posted more than 50 messages, but forgot to list what we had done, for instance. Anyway, it’s all here and Categories can help you find stuff, along with the search engine.

Diary for Mon May 6 – PUC Workshops + OP + Some Homework

Today it was sweet to have a little conversation on what this course is about and why we’re here and why we use the methodology we use. Dolores had a brilliant comment to share, to encourage people to face Exam Training Month positively. ❤ And as I totally agree with what she said, actually, that’s precisely what I wanted to speak about today, I’d like to ask her to post it on this blog, if possible! ❤ Perhaps we can use and re-use her words year after year!

I did explain you are underusing this blog, but that I didn’t want to put pressure on you. But that I think you should use it to share your questions, work, etc. You are authors! And although we use every minute in class for hard work, there’re always things we never find time to finish. This blog can help us there!

Exam Format Training Month. My presentation of this training month was about considering we need to keep fighting the Exam Culture by trusting our work, our learning, and protecting our relationship to English. I encouraged students not to use the tests we’ll take as level testers (but I know they’ll offer you info on this, yes, but you’ll have April and May to do some more work, so don’t take it as final), but as ground for putting into practice what we’ve been learning about being resourceful when working on the language. To use their curiosity, which is to say, to control their fear and complexes in a postive way, being this resourceful: knowing nothing is at stake, really. Meaningful learning gives us much more than certificates, and passing exams becomes a logical consequence.

Our conversation brought about a few things you need to mull over and write about for the end of this month, and as we make progress in our training:

SELF-EVALUATION. Deadline: end of month. Your strengths and weaknesses, in your own perception, allowing me later to give you feedback on this self-evaluation. Soluna suggested brainstorming using this framework: SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. Do this work in layers, in different moments, like working on a draft.

LEARNING AWARENESS. I asked students to be aware of all the work we’ve done (materials and developing our resourcefulness in terms of techniques and strategiest to do different kinds of tasks), what they’ve learned, so they can use it when we take exams this month:

  • underlining what when in which different ways in listening and reading tests and note-taking, arrows, writing outside the boxes or spaces for answers until doublechecking;
  • outlines and brainstorming on language (I’ll create a page so that you can all add items you would think of for this) before writing or speaking;
  • considering the useful language you gathered from listening activities, speaking and writing activities we’ve done, and all the reading, too (blog included);
  • considering what you learned on mistakes (and oral drilling to automatize accurate production) in terms of grammar, and textual structure and format, also communicative strategies. Practice your proofreading skills, which you have probably developed unawares!

EVALUATION QUESTIONNAIRE: we talked about what I mentioned above and Emilia made some interesting questions I answered. Then I explained that I always give students a questionnaire of my own in May, for feedback to design future courses, improve things, or find new ideas, and as I listened to people an idea came up: I’ve asked you all to tell me which questions you would like to be asked in a questionnaire assessing your learning in a certain course, particularly this one! So I’ll create a page here for that, but to protect your privacy, if you like, you can all send me your questions to my email in mid-April and I can just paste the question here, and then I can improve my questionnaire with your feedback.

OP on Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde: Marina, Emilia, Clara, Dessi and Soluna told us about this novel, its author and the movie, and shared a reflection on the question of stereotypes that we need to pick up later on. They also brought a fill-in-the gap activity and someone inthe group will be posting the answers because we won’t be meeting next Wednesday!

I’ll post an LoM in a separate post, OK?

I asked the group to send their work for publication on Talking People (other groups are also invited to do this, of course! I might have forgotten to tell them!), so we can also add Cristina’s work (which she sent as an audio from the UK!) and also so we can develop the topic of stereotypes by publishing your thoughts on that.

STEREOTYPES. Deadline: End of this month? (We can negociate this one.) As you think about it, remember to read and listen to materials on this, to pick up some useful languge. Then write (about 100 words is OK) or record something on this topic (1-4 mins is OK) and post it here or send it by email. Remember to tell me if you want to have your name (and which!) or a nickname or something.

Homework this month: plan your listening week! Apart from whatever it is you are doing, and considering future work, I’d like to ask you to include in your listening work (news, interviews minimum) my TP Podcast segment Useful Language, particularly episodes focused on Language Functions, because dialogues, conversations, discussions require you are good at those we need in conversations. And you will be working on your grammar, too (for speaking and writing). You might have already done this, then move on, there’s much more, but here is the start:

Part 1 external link listen Read here the sentences:
bullet Asking for Clarification & Getting More Info,
bullet Checking for Comprehension

Part 2 external link listen Read here the sentences:
bullet Inviting People to Speak
bullet Agreeing
bullet
Sitting on the Fence
bullet Showing You Follow & Making Comments

Part 3 external link listen Read here the sentences:
bullet Defending a Position
bullet Disagreeing & Challenging a Position
bullet Problem-solving, Reaching an Agreement, Recapitulating, Moving On

bullet Making Suggestions & Proposals
bullet Asking for and Giving Advice
bullet Giving Feedback

And if you collect more UL and you want me to record it, we can publish it as a podcast episode. Perhaps you could do it in small groups. Or you can start a post on that so other people contribute… Whatever suits you best!

Look! I also have episodes called Sentences for your Grammar! based on oral drilling I would do when making a certain mistake:

If you consider your mistakes and list sentences to overcome them, I can also record it as an episode.

Last, I did this for Intermedio, but you might find it a good consolidation tool and useful for brainstorming on language items for your speaking and writing work:

  • The passive and tenses

 

Lesson Plans for Mon March 6

  • The PUC Workshops. Presentation of the Training in Exam Format workshop and agreeing on joint work we’ll do – Reading & Listening Tests mostly, but then revision of what you learned or worked on for your Speaking & Writing Files. I’m considering you could take a true written test in class (2 parts) to make up for the February Writing Assignment most of you didn’t do (today you still have the chance to hand it in as I announced).
  • 1 hour? – The Pay It Forward Oral Presentation: Clara, Mª José (pending), Marina, Emilia, Dessi, Cristina B, Soluna (pending).
  • If time allows or later discussion with you all on this blog: Why was part of the course becoming “Authors” in the blog? About the use of this blog: posting your work for written interaction and feedback here (also with peers) – two kinds of work: joint exercises I gave and things you found or used that you’d like to share. I’ll ask you to post your learning diaries so you remember which bits you want to share and get feedback for.

cartel3webReminder: Next week all of our school will attend the first celebration of our 25 anniversary, which is a talk on love by an expert on the matter, held at IES Fuengirola nº1 at six. We need to arrange where to meet and make sure everybody’s going because it’s part of what the school offers this year in every course, OK? Considering people drop out whenever we organize amazing things like this event, you might want to bring someone along! 😀

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month happens in Education in the USA. So this is not in Spain. We’ve still got a long long way to go… But we might manage it some day… The USA average citizen is radically patriarchal and antifeminist. But feminists managed to get this to Education, so there’s hope we will rescue whatever we may of women’s history and learn to respect women as thinkers, artists, activists, too, not only as mothers and carers. ❤ Women are human beings. They can do anything!

https://www.facebook.com/DailyCupOfJane/

Reminder next Monday / next week

Dear all,

I hope you’re enjoying your use of English!

This is just to remind you that next week we’ll just have the Monday lesson, for I’ll be going on strike on March 8, to join the International Women’s Strike. The Monday lesson is important because it’s our intro to Exam Format Training month, so I hope you can all make it to class if you want to learn about this issue.

What you need to do/bring:

  • Please, read the last diary or the Guía because next Monday you can pose your questions on that Guía PUC. (See post below on this.) We’ll check the Junta’s website and the School’s website as part of resources with info on exams, and go through how Announcement Boards operate in June!
  • Bring the “Some Extras” section of the C1 Resource Pack, because we will have a look at the materials it contains about the PUC exams, to prepare our Exam Format Training this month, which will be focused on taking Reading and Listening C1 tests not so much to test your level as to get acquainted with formats and test if you are good at the skills (techniques and strategies) you’ve been working on as you followed this course. (The C1 Resource Pack this month will be a valuable resource, too.)

This month we will also consider some Speaking and Writing points addressed throughout this course, as revision, and I’ll introduce dialogues and you’ll practice the theory (but it’s all in the Pack, too and Focused Dialogue Practice comes in our last month together).

Because we’ll be taking sample tests all the time, you will be freer to decide what your work will be like at home, so consider this:

You need to work out a learning plan to be clear about what you wish to suggest and ask, make sure you know what you want to work on and that you find the time you need to do so. Ingredients: audios on news and interviews, tidying up your Speaking File and Writing File, to review things you learned/learnt, list your reading and useful language work, consider your List of Mistakes and what support you need for overcoming them.

Last, about your work outside the classroom and sharing your work, in class or on this blog, I’ll try and explain why we have a course blog, too, in case it helps. But if you’ve been following this blog there won’t be much new! 🙂

Have a lovely weekend and see you (on) Monday!

A conversation on gender violence (violence against women)

“Breaking the (patriarchal) Male Code”, Eve Ensler (V-Day, One Billion Rising), and 5 other guests (2 hours)

http://www.vday.org/node/3054.html#.WLmulbXVsfI

(Edited Worksheet 2) For your homework on Questions

Based on people’s mistakes, I asked students to improve their spontaneity, accuracy and fluency in questions, but I got no news anyone was doing any work on this, we’re always so busy in class!, so to encourage you all to do so, just in case, because it’s an issue you should be good at, here is a worksheet.

The ideal thing is you go throught this worksheet together in small groups and then tell me what you reviewed and all that because I might have the role of clarifying points or expanding your knowledge or understanding of the whys, too.

Remember you have the Talking People Podcast for listening and repeating different kinds of structures, including indirect questions. It’s the segment called Useful Language.