One is for Cristina R, and it seems other people might be interested. I bought the Bedtime stories here. It’s got a 50% discount now. With shipping it’d be about 15 euros, without it’s 9 pounds, about 10 euros.
This one is for Romina and Desi, but you might be interested. It’s a poem I wrote when the heirs of June Jordan’s told me I could not share my translation of one of her poems and articles on mujerpalabra.net unless I paid them some money. I had written to them to offer them what I thought was a present, because the author is amazing and she’s not been translated into Spanish. When I explained why I thought they should not do that, they told me I was barking up the wrong tree, so I wrote this:
Mr Wrong Tree (copyright repression)
ARTISTS: PROTECT YOUR WORK FROM HEIRS
Mr Wrong Tree,
I’m not barking
It’s called ‘dialog’
It comes from caring
It’s wholly human
Sorry it’s so disturbing
Human, not like the money
you’re asking for: Ugly,
for all the rights it kills
for all the love it denies
for all the crimes it makes up
Hope you earn a living using her words
Your rights more vital than her work
for humanity — after all, you’re still alive
Still, we’ll mourn the silence you impose
and cry against it — and hope she survives
your suffocating love and protection
Your murderous enforcement of law & order, Mr Wrong
Well, tomorrow your results will be published. I already told you what I thought about your levels, and you must surely have a feel of what your level is, considering my opinion and your own and what you know about our work together and how people speak English.
I think the results are good. You know I don’t believe in the exam system as a reliable source to learn about people’s achievement and abilities, but I’m OK with the results. I wish people published their statistics, so we could learn about results elsewhere, but I would say that we are above average. About half of the group has passed the tests on the four skills in June, and 6 people have to do a resit for one of the skills, which is actually good news, because it gives them the chance to grow stronger in that skill this summer. The other overall fail marks are very few people with just two skills to resit in September. So there’ll be more vacancies for more people to sign up for this course. There are 97 applications and we register up to 27 students each year, but well, my prediction was that half of the people could be taking this course again next year (yes, I was exaggerating, but I prefer to be cautious) and that won’t be the case. I think we might have a maximum of three + 1 absentist staying for the new course.
Well, I hope no one gets an unpleasant surprise!
See you in “Revisión” if you failed any of the parts and/or at the dinner you all organized. And/Or have a lovely summer! Don’t forget to keep you level up and also to keep learning!
Find the info in this post! ❤
Best of luck tomorrow! ❤ Today, the tests for Intermedio were so interesting and lovely! and people were generally really happy! And everything was so well organized! 🙂 I’ve tidied up class, too! 😀 ❤
En este post, toda la información!
Teacher donates Zinn books to schools
The bound-to-be-formed DIF Working Group (Grupo de trabajo Desarrollando inteligencia feminista) is going to meet on June 29 or the 30th (Thurs. or Friday), in the afternoon or evening, depending on people’s preferences. Coming to this informal meeting doesn’t oblige you, so if you are curious or would like to join in, please, send an email to inteligenciafeminista AT gmail DOT com as soon as you can, so we can agree on a date and time! Thanks
Here’s the newly update Announcement Board, which you can actually read by clicking on the pic and using the magnifying glass! 😀
Well, today we just had two people doing the Speaking Test Practice, Desi and Romina, and they did great, and Maria José kindly videoshot them, so now we have a video example of a real speaking test (in terms of format). Thanks!
We started the lesson with María José’s Listening activity on Who Owns our Data, which was a challenge, but people did quite well. It was interesting too, and we had some comments by students.
I read out the summonings to orals, and thought they had been published on the second floor but it turns out not yet! I suppose it’ll happen soon. I stuck my copy on the entrance door, inside, for your information, anyway.
At the beginning of the lesson we also talked a bit about wordformation in English, and Lucía showed us her work gathering examples of what she had read! If next day people fail to come to do their oral practice, we might scratch some time off for this!
Next day is our last lesson together. We’ll read stories if we manage it, and I’ll invite you to join me in an end-of-month informal meeting in June, to see if you would like to volunteer some time for Education to Equality! I’ll give everybody our Coeducación brochure, anyway. I’m also interested in your contributions to English projects, once you pass and leave!
If you missed Eulàlia’s conference, now you can enjoy it! It will probably be a transformative inner experience. If you are lucky, something inside will click and your view on language will become wiser, this is, it will help you trash lots of common misconceptions and unconscious prejudice!
If you wish to read my statement, in Spanish, it’s here, below the graphic:
Today people kindly did a questionnaire on the Mediateque for the Head and because the two OPs were postponed, we also gave out some more Speaking Tests, and I explained how we will proceed in mid-May with registration for the Orals. I wonder if somebody knows whether the people not coming will be joining us in June, just for facilitating organization. But don’t worry because it’s OK if people come by surprise. It’s just to save copies and work out the orals (creating groups of three or not).
Then we did the June 2016 Listening test and I gave people the corresponding Reading and Writing Tests. (By the way, this Friday I’ll be in class from 4 to 8, so if people are interested in taking a listening test, you could come. Now, I’d have to look for stuff, or you could drop me a line with the info, cause I can’t remember what you wanted to do.) I thought people would want to evaluate their level, so I said they could do it timing themselves. For people more interested in using these tests for furthering their learning, I suggest the proceed like with the Speaking Tests you are preparing: have a look at the questions, read and listen on those topics, expand your vocabulary, review the theory on those kinds of writing tasks, gather ideas, knowledge, and then take the tests timing yourselves, too. Practice doing outlines too, and proofreading!, the before and after writing.
I forgot to ask you if you had passed this test, so please, let me know next day.
I also forgot to ask if anyone would like to donate 1€ and adopt a book! Incidentally, here is the brochure we’re presenting next Friday morning at the Education Fair (Expoeduca) in Málaga (Port 2, or something!) coed_diptico2017_conemail (4 A5 pages, to be printed in an A4 piece of paper so it looks like a leaflet, “díptico” in Spanish) It’s in Spanish because Coeducación uses this language to address the whole of our community and the general public. If you wish to translate it into English, that’ll be welcome! But first get in touch, because we could be changing the text, as I wrote this one for this ExpoEduca, a one-time thingy.
Last, I mentioned I was surprised by the fact that only 3 people in this course bought a copy of the C1 Resource Pack. I was told you had printed it. Well… I already knew, yes. You did so at the beginning of the course. Anyway, we’re in no economic trouble. So don’t worry.
For next week, we agreed our plans would be the following:
- People bring their Functional Translation exercise and their transcription of the News Extracts, so that small groups can practice communicating for real purposes.
- People bring their checked work to voice the “In class” notes I included, so we can review common mistakes to avoid.
- We’ll have Romina’s and Sergio’s OP, if possible.
And on Wednesday…
- we would work on morphology: using the Wordformation and Lexical Creativity workshop. Here is the page where you can download for free this amazing workshop: https://c1coursebymf.wordpress.com/creating-words/ Not as amazing as the work you’ll do in small groups. You’ll be surprised of how magical it is to create words together!
- More on mistakes people made, if Gema and Encarni can make it to class, too. Or any other person’s, of course!
- I would also like to watch an audiovisual, too, for subsequent discussion, and it could be something you suggested.
- Listen to radio program(me)s and use my podcast to improve your fluency and accuracy in useful language for speaking. I recommend the Communicative Strategies 1-3 episodes and generally speaking all the audios I have for advanced students.
- Read the C1 Resource Pack, the cards on textual structure in dialogues and all of those on tests.
- Consider the Writing File and whether you have questions on types of texts.
- You should also read at some point the Guía PUC for students, the one they just published.
- Two OPs that will be videoshot: Romina, on feminist fairy tales and Sergio (welcome to our blog! Better late than never! 😀 ❤ ) on language in the news
- People adopting a book in support of our Education for Equality library (1 euro) – voluntary, obviously!
- Listening PUC exam June 2016 + reading and writing tests too for further practice at home.
- (After lesson) Pairs or groups of three come to get their Speaking Tests, if they like. I’m moving it here but we could do it in class if time allowed today. Otherwise, we can do it next week.
ABOUT MY CORRECTIONS AND YOUR UL WORK. I have language and textual comments to bring up in class from the pieces I checked this week, so if today we don’t have the time for that, I’m asking people with “In class” scribbled in their work to bring it to class next week. The problem here is when people miss the lesson, so I’d ask them to please post my “In class” points on this blog, so we can all learn about them. For instance, as so many people misused “due to” I suggested they gather useful language on the use of “due to” and related connectors and share that in class or on the blog, moment when I would give a final comment, to help you fix that in your mind, too. At the advanced level it’s best to have students do some work before the teacher repeats the theory, so that is why my work is dependent on your work, OK? But as it is complicated to have people do this (I really need to improve this for next year), I’ll tell you now about this item, but just the theory won’t help you overcome the fossilized mistake, but anyway!: “due to” CANNOT be followed by a Subject and a Verb, only noun phrases and -ing forms: “Due to strong winds” (because of strong winds, “because of” = cause), “Due to underfunding”. Most often, people making this mistake mean “because” (reason, not “because of”), as in “Because the winds were strong”, “Because the sector is underfunded”). Yes, you can say “Due to THE FACT THAT”. Actually, THE FACT THAT is what allows us to add a S + V (“that” introducing a clause with a personal form of the verb).
I thought you would arrange a date for bringing your Language Work of this kind? Well, feel free to do so. I can give you some time for sharing in small groups and listing things, and then we can have a plenary. Please, let me know so I can announce the lesson plan for that, OK? People who know how to use items other people misuse could also practice explaining that, and offering their examples. The more you use your English for different purposes, the better your English will get! 🙂 ❤
Today we started the lesson with me sharing some notions on teacher’s intervention when detecting problematic group dynamics, or people panicking and that panic mounting, which is typical and real when finals approach. You are fortunate to have me as a teacher, because although everybody says it’s useless, I always believe it can help. It can help to use our intelligence to control fears and destroy habits and behaviors that are destructive in terms of making us wiser, freer and all that! 😀
I also spoke about an issue I’ve been observing throughout my life because I’m a pacifist researcher on questions connected to violence. For many years and because I’m a critical thinker, I’ve found how hostile we are, culturally speaking, to questions: we don’t trust questions are just questions, and interpret them as sources of negative things we should avoid. That is why as a thinker I write in favor of people learning to be innocent, i.e., learning to clean their gaze! We have to learn to avoid judging and interpreting, and ask instead, pose clarification questions. Actually, people who have experience on internet communication always recommend that when you find a message that “sounds hostile” or is hostile, you simply take it as a non-hostile message and ask for clarification. Sometimes you realize the person had no bad intention and sometimes your question, your innocent question, which is to say your question refusing taking part in a violent exchange, brings out the best in the receiver, and the reader decides to take a different way, the way of dialogue. Nonviolent communication is a field of study, and by using our intelligence, learning to trust people, learning to know we all might make mistakes, and also that we are all capable of changing our opinions, our believes, and of course, learning to protect ourselves, but in a nonviolent way, not violently, not through that kind of violence we exert with prejudice, with doubting people’s intentions and all that, we can make the world or at least our personal lives a better experience.
So I hope you understand that my words here are not about particular messages we shared, but a long-life kind of analysis by an activist and a teacher.
Don’t be chickens with this absurd thing of exams that do not threaten anything important in your lives. Be loving towards yourself and others. We can change this old-time dynamics.
In case it helps, two practical cases. I told Marina I thought she would learn more if she continued working this year, and took this course again, because I have the feeling that if she could spend more time doing this kind of course, she would enjoy it and improve her English a lot. Of course, I will be happy to see her pass in June if that’s what she wants. Surprisingly, because her level is already advanced, Dessi is considering taking this course again, because she wanted to spend more time discovering things, working on things, developing projects, and this course is that open. Well, I would love to see her again next year, of course, but she’ll mull over this a bit more and finally decide freely. I’m just mentioning this in case it helps you all to take some more pressure off your backs. My frame of mind on this matter would be similar to Dessi’s, because it’s true that reaching a consolidated advanced level takes many years of use of the language and also because it’s hard to find courses offering so much freedom to explore the world and oneself through language. ❤
Finally, if you all pass I’ll be happy. If you all decide to take the course again, I’ll be happy too! (though the authorities will think I’m a hopeless teacher, of course! 😀 )
Well, today we did the C1 listening exercise on friendship, agreed on plans for next day (doing the 2015 June C1 Listening Test after listening to two different OPs and giving these people some feedback) and went through pending things we need to finish so we can work on in class (news extracts and functional translation).
We also devoted some time to your Writing Tests, and I highlighted some ideas for your Proofreading work and LoMs, like working on organizing ideas Before Writing (brainstorming, selecting and ordering ideas, outline), for the sake of textual structure, and checking subjects & verbs first including tenses, and all kinds of agreement (S-V, aux-V, adj-n, including this/these + n, that/those + n.).
A language question that came up was trustworthy / to be worth it / dependable / dependent / dependant.
I have a few other activities for whenever you are ready. Please, let me know. I do hope we can also watch a documentary called How Art Made the World, the episode on how we’ve represented the human body, which is an extraordinary episode. Or a neuroscience documentary on memory.
Finally, I gave out one test for Emilia and María José, and one for Karen, Lucía and Sergio, along with a copy of the test instructions for “parejas and tríos” (Mª José and Emilia, Karen has your copies). Other people need to talk about whether they want to find their partner or me to decide that, so don’t worry if you have no partner.
In the second half of May all of those of you who are sure to come to the Speaking Test in June, will register for this oral. This means, they’ll register in pairs or groups of three, and then I’ll assign a time for whichever date the Head of Studies establishes for the C1 Orals. People who are unsure of wanting to take this exam, shouldn’t register because if they failed to come, that would cause havoc! They won’t lose their right to come to the exam on the date of the oral. It’s just they’ll come at the time non-registered people are summoned (“convocatoria única”, it’s called), usually some time before the registered orals begin. In that moment, if other people come, we’ll form the groups and assign a time, probably after the registered students, or on another day. Another option for the examining board is to add each of the convocatoria única examinees to one of the registered pairs of students, forming groups of three in this way. This would happen if we could not use a second day for orals because our maximum time is four hours of oral exam giving a day (the law establishes we examiners have a half hour break after two hours).
NEXT FRIDAY: At 16.00 Toastmaster, at 18.00 the workshop on Emotional Intelligence. About your E.I. questionnaires: you can give it to Ana, the janitor, if you are not attending the workshop. You can also ask her for the Register for Book Adoptions (1 euro donation).
NEXT MONDAY is a holiday.
Work as hard as you can, and as joyfully as you can, and see you on Friday or next Wednesday! ❤
About yesterday’s talk: I felt priviledged to have the chance to attend a talk by Eulàlia Lledó tailored to what we had suggested.
- I was really happy to see some of you there. Please, feel free to post about the talk, whatever it is you thought, of course!
- For those of you who couldn’t make it to this talk, don’t worry! We have the video!
- For those of you — if anyone is in this case — who did not come probably for being unaware of having an antifeminist prejudice, or a patriarchal heart, which dictates many of our likes and dislikes, and conditions our curiosity, I hope you can watch the video, too, when it’s published! You won’t regret it! 🙂 ❤
- Some teachers told me how happy they were about my work in Coeducación because they were realizing they were actually developing a feminist intelligence! ❤ ❤ ❤ I couldn’t believe my ears! 😀 So I’m extremely happy because the world needs us all to be feminists, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote, right? 🙂 ❤
And as I’m on a roll, to celebrate all the good feminism is bringing to the world I’d like to share with you one of my favorite DNVAs (Direct Nonviolent Action), by a German feminist, two years ago on an 8 of March, the Sanitary Pad Street Action…
This presentation is a great example of what an advanced learner is capable of. I want to thank students who, like Marta and Isabel, have allowed us to record their work because it is truly precious for everybody’s learning! ❤
Although our speakers make some mistakes, it is obvious their relationship to the language is very natural, at the advanced level, too, that they are able to analyze their experience with it, in complex ways. I mean, apart from the interesting points they make, apart from bringing in their worlds to the analysis (this indicates they understood what they were reading beyond “the language problem”), they can explain it all, complex ideas, in a natural way, and when they can’t find the words, they manage to find a way to make their point anyway.*
Use this to learn to listen to yourselves as you speak, so you can fix the mistakes you make which you can actually fix! And enjoy! It’s very enjoyable!
- (except with one word Isabel utters very quickly and probably makes up! 😀 😀 😛
I’d also like to invite you to listen to some writing by Angela Davis, one of the most brilliant and honest thinkers I have read, socially committed, too, because this philosopher is an expert in the prison system, and also an activist fighting it, to humanize our world.
- Are Prisons Obsolete? – a collection of essays on the topic. Here is one of the essays
- Chapter 1 of OITNB, which I recorded, in case you want to see how the memoir starts
- Also, here is a page where I share my work on language when I read this work by Piper Kerman, and some resource material I created for a workshop on “Crime and Punishment”, one of the topics in C1 tests
Finally, I believe the topic should be called “Crime and Justice”, really, but this is the world we have: we think that if we don’t use violent words or behave violently that means we are not doing anything against violence — a very patriarchal piece of thinking, in my view! Fighting violence and crime is rooted in VALUES and when the values a certain culture chooses are violent, then it’s all about nurturing the same problem. The only “punishment” a prison should offer is privation of freedom, and only for certain crimes, crimes against people (not so much property — if people were not subject to poverty, the only criminals we would have in prison are those corrupt people who steal and never get to prison), not all the other humiliating and terrible things it involves. While preventing those criminals to harm other people, prisons would be places to learn good things, to learn. But then, here and now, many of us would want to go there because of unemployment! 😀
Anyway… I hope some year we can have this workshop in this course. The kind of education based on not seeking becoming independent and resourceful, and absentism* have terrible impact every year, because we cannot count on people’s initiative, work, participation and collaboration. Teamwork is always utopia and there’s like no hope because it’s so justified we don’t have the time to work with others.
*(I do wonder why people think that you can tell people in one course you signed for that you cannot join them because you have to attend another course. I know I get to learn about this reason for them not coming to class only from people who appreciate me and respect my work, but it always hurts to see how anything is more important than learning in a course you wanted to do, right? I mean, if you have enrolled in a course, and don’t find time to follow it, why would you find time to follow another course? It’s funny how we find the most positive things for our learning, the least interesting to pursue, really. It’s like when we learn without suffering: people truly believe in practice that they learn more when they suffer in the process. Well, excuse my sharing this insight. Feel free to disagree! It could bring us hope! 😀
Today lots of people came!! And people had done their homework, so it was great. They were able to work in small groups on the gapped tenses exercise and then we had a plenary to doublecheck and answer questions. Keep working on the articles that follow, doing the exercises I suggest, and bring them to class. Use them for retelling, too!
We developed our language awareness on tenses, and modals.
Then we did the B2 listening ex. and discussed some language questions. And left the C1 exercise for next week.
We spent the last minutes talking about telling lies, lying. And Emilia told us a great story on this. And Cristina gave us a key idea about not being able to lie and social skills! I suggested people think (subjunctive, a remain, typical in US English) / people should think (UK) about the issue and put together a 3-min OP, to share in class next week.
Plans for Monday:
- Small groups will share their transcriptions of the news extracts. Then we’ll have a plenary to answer questions and comment the activity. Was it useful?
- People should bring their Writing File (all the writing they did, with their work before writing, on type of text and useful language). The idea is that in small groups or at plenary we review the list of writing assignments here, to make sure you know what to keep in mind if you have to write them.
- We should also review your Writing Test, and it’d be good if you all brought your list of mistakes and notes on how to improve your language range, to keep in mind when you brainstorm on language you can use in a particular assignment.
More things to do next week if you like:
- Designing Exams. Marta has been looking for materials and wondered if other people had. If anyone wants to take part in this project, please, feel free to discuss it in your whatsapp group, if you like, and present a proposal in class. I can also organize in class with you all. Or just design whatever with Marta! 😀
- Telling the teacher who is your partner for the Speaking Test Project. We can do this as I call your names when checking the roll.
- Doing the C1 listening exercise on friendship
- Checking the gapped text for the Pets listening activity?
- Listening to people telling stories in the past
- Listening to people speaking about lies and lying or holding a conversation on this
- Checking the Functional Translation exercise
UPCOMING VIDEO: I’m still fighting to upload the video on Marta and Isabel’s OP on Orange Is the New Black. You see, I had to empty my computer, clean it, install everything again, and the programs changed, and I’ve been spending a great deal of time on this, not managing to find my way yet! But I will!
DEADLINES. The Writing contest deadline is next Friday. Sergio needs to know which is the word limit, because it didn’t say on the paper I stuck on the door!
BOOKS. Today I got amazing books I bought, and if you want to read more, I’ve got proposals. I cannot donate these last ones to our school because I’ve already donated 300 euros! (12 books). Help me get this money back by taking part in next week’s activities in support of the feminist library we’re putting together. Your contribution could be 1 euro for a book you “adopt”, and your signature in our book on who adopted which book! I’ll post on this next Friday.
Today we did some work in language awareness around the use of tenses.
We agreed on the following:
For next day: people will try to solve the gapped text, so that next day you can all work in small groups and reach agreements, and also develop awareness on choices. We will also do the two pending listening texts, on the back of the worksheet for the Richard Burton listening we did last. Then it’d be great to check your work on the Listening on Pets — please, search “pets” here and get the key, but I’d like to listen to you all on this gapped exercise. And we could also check some of the sentences I gave for translation, and/or to listen to people narrating stories in past, where they can use the different tenses and modals in the past!
For next Monday: people agreed they would transcribe the news items we worked on the listening exercise before the spring hols. In this way, you would practice real communication and all that.
About more pending work, it’s up to you what we do in class. It all depends on what you manage to do. If time has passed, perhaps you could agree on your whatsapp group what you want to check the following day and then just send me an email so I know. I’m open to proposals. If there are no proposals, don’t worry, I’ll keep on as usual! Bombing you with activities you could be doing! 😀
I explained that the reason why we have pending stuff is because as I am shy to ask — because I always fear people did not do their homework, which is actually the case most of the time, or at least, nobody tells us in class, Hey, let’s check this or that — then I simply design more activities. But if we did half of what I’ve designed for you (I really need to stop working so hard at home, it’s mostly your turn now), it’d be great and enough, considering I work every week for you but never get to exploit that effort getting your work back! Of course, I’m generalizing, so if you do your homework, please, don’t take it personal.
For the rest of our time together my plans are:
- Language awareness (doing the Lexical Creativity workshop, too) + Writing feedback and your LoMs or questions or sharing your work on how you worked to overcome fossilized mistakes!
- Reading some more articles (crowdfunding, the internet, … )
- Doing another C1 Reading and Listening test (not the one on the Junta’s website, so you can do it in May or June, just before your exams)
- and Orals: you’ll work in pairs on an exam, and then come to class, do the monologues and the dialogues and getting feedback. I’ll asign a test for each pair. You decide who your partner is. And then we’ll book dates for sharing that work. If anyone had the time to coordinate all this, I could just print the tests and give them to that person. If no one has the time, it’s OK, of course! ❤ Listening to your partners will probably be as valuable as doing the exercise. We learn a lot from watching other perform! then, if any pair is willing to be videoshot, that’d be great for other students! Thanks!
Some tips are: if you feel you are not in the advanced level, now is not the moment to quit or fret. Just keep working, it’ll be good for your English and it’ll increase your chances to pass in June, or in June and September. In my view, to speak a language well takes having developed habits of using the language in various ways, on different kinds of topics. If you have managed to learn to learn, then if you pass and I think you haven’t reached the level, I wouldn’t feel bad, because I’d be sure you would keep the effort up and develop your command over the language. Of course, what I feel is immaterial, I just mean to say that the key to be a competent user of the language is a love for using the language and learning it, and not so much reaching a level. Levels change a lot throughout time depending on this, on use! ❤
And here is Querer a una feminista, in case you are interested! ❤
Considering a high percentage in this C1 group this year has a well development understanding of the importance of developing a feminist intelligence to reduce injustice and violence in the world, and considering we live in a town where both foreigners and locals seem to miss the human rights points, I’d like to request your active support in the task of spreading the word about this conference by Eulàlia Lledó Cunill, a linguist, a researcher, a teacher (+ educator for equality as well) and a feminist. Language is a tool we have at hand to change the world for the better because it is key for enabling us to think and key in helping us relate to people. All teachers should be truly interested in this talk, particularly all language teachers, but as language determines what we can actually think and how we relate, thinking about this huge topic is always healthy for everybody!
At EOIs, as people gradually drop out as a result of zillions of things (finding temporary jobs, not finding time for true language learning, not being able to bear the tension of finals), typical in adults’ lives, when spring comes, groups in general have decreased in size.
In my case, my groups next Tuesday are a semiprencial and because it’s semi, they only come to class on Thursday (from 60, 70 people enrolled, we just have 10 following the course! and just one came to Coral Herrera Gómez’s talk!!). And in my next group, 1ºC, health and work-related problems have taken a toll in an extraordinary group, really: just 6 or 8 people are following the course now. (Knowing who’s following the course is easier at lower levels because they depend more on us for their learning.) So we need you!
If you can spread the word or put up our poster somewhere (we can make a color copy for you — let me know!), we would be grateful! ❤
Here’s the link you can send out or post:
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! ❤
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!
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)
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!
- RC_Multiculturalism_withoutkey (2 Word pages)
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
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.
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!
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! ❤
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!
“Breaking the (patriarchal) Male Code”, Eve Ensler (V-Day, One Billion Rising), and 5 other guests (2 hours)
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!
How would you translate it? I can’t. “Fed up with having to do all the work and being invisible”. We were called “revolting bitches” but I don’t see why we should have been insulted. It’s very funny! It’s a pun and the stick to turn the masculine “o” into a feminine “a” is a CLEAN tampon, so — why would it be revolting? (Demented laughter)
More humor in feminist political action: Elöne, German artist / artivist
And this humor is admirable — for all the violence women get in this planet.
Have you ever read this classic text by Gloria Steinem? It was based on things that were learned in the 20th century in philosophy and other areas of knowledge, really! “If Men Could Menstruate“. Can you feel how belittling and humiliating it is to be bombed all day with the messages patriarchal minds send women?
Antifeminist people say women also use violence when they make fun of men, or use psychological violence, or verbal violence. (We all use verbal violence — words as physical blows and conceptual violence every day.) As if women were not human or men did not use apart from physical violence all the other kinds, including, traditionally, deciding over women’s lives, locking them up to serve them, mostly, or exploiting their work as if women were machines. But about violence — this is what I want to write about — let me say: the fact that men are allowed and encouraged in patriarchal societies to use physical violence AND the fact that women are not allowed to use it (a woman who kills is perceived as more evil than a man who kills; we fear her more), both show that using violence is educational, cultural. Because any human being is capable of using any kind of violence, or use their conscience and intelligence and not use violence on a daily basis. The patriarchal idea of physical strength is rather misleading.
So — Why are feminists obsessed with the period? Perhaps because it’s nowhere to be seen in History. Perhaps because all women’s issues have traditionally been irrelevant or disgusting? (Have you seen a true picture of what giving birth looks like? Lots of feminists had to posts messages in support of a woman artist, Ana Álvarez-Errecalde, who wanted to be taken a picture with her newborn for all the violence she was getting in social networks. She looks so absolutely happy! Why are women’s moments like these disgusting to see?)
Why isn’t feminist humor understood, or women who are feminists when they make a joke? And what they say is taken as if they say it seriously, so the reaction is so wild, ridiculizing them as thinkers, when the fact is they are making a joke? A political joke most of the times. Often an admirable joke. And when women reason, they aren’t listened to or red, because people in patriarchy can’t accept, can’t take it that they reason (we would have to get really upset about having made it so hard for them to help organize the world and solve problems), they can’t say anything which is worth it for us all — not as valuable as what a man can say, in any case. This is what history has told us. This is what we’ve been told for centuries everywhere. Women are bad at heart, particularly when they don’t do what patriarchy expects from them, like wanting to study, wear the clothes she likes, have sex with people she also chooses, drive, play football, have or not have bay bees, travel the world, write books, fight violence…
But women have always been here, not only patriarchal-minded women, also women-persons, or differently-abled-women! ( 😀 ) — like men who refused to become patriarchal men, or couldn’t — , and if we hadn’t had to fight so hard, we could’ve contributed more and in more varied ways, and mostly: we could’ve had a life of our own, for ourselves too, not only to help our community or family!
Humor has a role in feminism, particularly in Nonviolent Direct Action, but also just because feminists are human beings, too, and humor helps us survive! ❤
More and more women in the world, individually and in groups and network, with some men joining in, too, like those supporting women in a hunger strike in Sol, Madrid, are growing in numbres. So far it’s 48 countries!
- Carta a la administración sobre la realización de la huelga de MF, coordinadora de Coeducación EOI Fuengirola
- Read about it all on our Page in DIF for this
Old news: The Confederación intersindical changed its mind and they are not calling for the strike anymore, that is, trade unions are not joining in the 24-hour strike. They’re expressing their solidarity by doing what everybody can do everywhere: 10-minute, 2-hour strikes.
Today Charo, another English teacher, and I were designing more stuff for the English Departament’s video channel while uploading new videos by her Básico 2 students and suddenly it was eight pm and we weren’t ready to leave, but we managed to at around 8.15, so I rushed to María José’s exhibition, “Aventureras”, and I actually got there at 8.35, in spite of not knowing the shortcut, all sweaty and excited, and…
I went, I couldn’t see, so I left!
The exhibition room was absolutely PACKED! You could actually smell people! SO–
CONGRATULATIONS TO MJ and all the women artists whose work has created the exhibition “Aventureras”. I’m sure to visiti the gallery again, but — hopefully — when there’s actual physical space to see their works! 😀 We’ve got a month for that so, people, make sure you check this out. Here’s more info on the event.
I’d like to share with you some insight on speaking in public, as a teacher and a researcher on the topic, in case it can help you re-consider any trouble you might have with this issue.
Most people suffer a lot when they have to speak in public. However, most of us speak in public very often in the day — teachers, particularly, as part of the demands in their job.
So the question is: why do we consider ourselves unable to do it at times?
Overcoming fears and complexes are all efforts that, when successful, make us braver, more courageous. When we consider that people in class are unthreatening, our equals, nice people who will not harm us, it’s much easier to speak to them all in class, and this training allows us to control our fear when we need to speak in public in examinations or in particularly threatening work situations.
There’s also this other issue: we need to assess how private or emotional it is what we are saying. If it’s just an exercise, where our intimate world is not presented, we should really find enough strength to control our fear.
But perhaps the fear comes from being told we’ve made mistakes. In this case, we need to rationalize the situation and understand that mistakes are opportunities for learning, not something that belittles us, or humiliates us.
Sometimes we feel bad about our mistakes for transfer reasons: we transfer the feeling of guilt, or the shame, or the uneasiness we feel for having made certain mistakes in life that relate to our relationships or inner life, to other fields which would not have triggered that shame or uneasiness. It’s like in dreams: sometimes we change the image of the person the dream is about, because we cannot cope with that being the person we’re actually dreaming of. When we realize this is so, we liberate the burden on this other arena, and open up the opportunity to do something about the mistake we made that really hurt.
Guilt has never been a good resource in problem solving, because it freezes us. We don’t do anything about it because we’re overwhelmed, we feel so bad! In contrast, acknowledging mistakes encourages us to work more positively to avoid them the next time that could happen. In this way, it makes us better, more human, more intelligent.
We need to learn to be confident and humble at the same time. We need to stop putting this pressure on mistakes. Researchers, artists, creative people in all walks of life KNOW mistakes are crucial for learning and discovery and exploration and making progress!
Learning to learn, to perceive others as equals, to use mistakes positively, all of this works to our advantage in every way, in every realm of our life.
We should transfer our ability to speak in public in certain scenarios, to other scenarios which we feel are threatening. And above all, we need to learn to trust others. If we refuse to learn all the violence our culture teaches us, our being together can simply be a gift, a possibility to keep each other company the time we spend together, making the most of it all!
Change your viewpoint, your approach — you may discover things are way easier than you thought, that your skills and knowledge are greater than you thought, that people are nicer than you thought, that life is sweeter when we help!
Today we had a very productive and communicative lesson! It was fun, too, because we had some time to speak. (People, I’m watching Michael Moore’s latest documentary and it’s just on the bit on Education in Finland, and how I wish we had that! Do you know Fuengirola has one of those schools? If we could only find someone there who spoke English and wanted to come as a guest speaker.)
We started off by recording 4 articles of the human rights declaration. (I might have to ask for more volunteers if the French teacher who is now ill isn’t back next Monday, OK?)
Then María José told us about her upcoming exhibition. Check this out.
Then I told people about our Coeducación work and our need to attend things we organize because attendance is so terribly low most of the time! So here, how can you not attend these upcoming events? Read on…
We talked about fundraising: online platforms like teaming and crowdfunding projects, and then Cristina asked about public schools and their own fundraising to make up for all the underfunding. I suggested a classic: when we are told that something cannot be done (as civil servants) I always ask where that is said. People might interpret this as me troublemaking, but the truth is we need to know what the law says because public schools are all subject to law in all they do.
Last we moved onto language questions and checked page 3 of the Redesign My Brain worksheet.
Oh, and in case someone is interested, here are my notes and exercises on the Saxon Genitive (opens a word doc).
UPCOMING PLANS. We forgot to establish a deadline for your January writing but considering some people have already handed it in, I’d say February 1, the day you all need to gather in small groups for your Reading Projects. I suppose you already know but Cristina B won’t be making it to class till April. Still, she intends to audio record her work on that.
NEXT DAY. We’re priviledged to have a British man who lived in Cambodia and is married to a Cambodian espouse. I don’t know how long things will be, so just as a contingency plan, bring your worksheets on collocations. Depending on how long he plans to speak for, or your questions (please, interact, OK? ❤ ), we might be into checking one of the worksheets with him!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I’ll also bring small-but-strong video camera in case he allows us to shoot!
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning will be set free on May 17, after Obama reduced her sentence from 35 years to seven.
❤ Well done, Obama!
President Barack Obama has denied clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, dashing what may be his final hopes to ever see freedom again. Edward Snowden was not granted pardon.
Shame on you, Obama