“Homework”

Today’s lesson & Plans for next week (the last!)

Today we had to rearrange plans, but we’re experts in that, so it was OK!

I gave some feedback, based on writing I checked, on the differences between B2 and C1 sentence structure or wording, thanks to work by Encarni, Gema and Marina. I forgot to ask Luz to show you all her Writing File, which is great!

We just had one exam practice performance, by Marina and Sonia. I really congratulate Marina for the progress she’s made this year! You did good work with the task, and you did not make many mistakes. You need to be more confident, less hesistant, but that’ll come if you keep working, strengthening your connection to the language. Sonia also did great work with her assignment, and she would certainly pass a C1 test. Still, keep the good work up!

I gave Karen, Lucía and Sergio my pending feedback. But I can’t tell you about it now, because I’m so tired and I’ve got so much to do! Excuse me!

I addressed the questions Soluna posed, and we analyzed a bit what happened in Soluna & Lorena’s performance, and it felt weird because none of you, dear women, came to class today. So — we considered what we can do when our role is mostly ask and the other person’s role is mostly to explain. I wonder if any of you can post ideas we mentioned or that you have as comments to this post! We mentioned: recaps at the end to allow the person speaking less to balance the amount of language offered, expaning points in questions by making personal comments or telling anecdotes (travel agency: questions, long answers, final explanation by customer on how happy she is because she booked that package holiday, for she loves the country, she’s read so much about it and … and they were saving for this for years! and so on).

Ideas for scenarios you could encounter while taking a speaking test: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/commstratsindex.html

Particularly the following pages:

bullet Check out Useful Language for Conversations/Interactions + Communicative Strategies with audios
bullet Developing Communicative Strategies for various scenarios: Questions to help you find scenarios to develop useful language to overcome problems while communicating.
bullet Communicative Strategies: What’s the word for…?
bullet Beginning Dialogues
bullet Oral Textual Awareness & Communicative Strategies + Tips for Speaking Tests (madrid)

Orals: Karen and Lucía explained why they were sad I was taking Sergio away, so I suggested Romina take her oral with Mario. This means Dessi and Isabel would be together without Romina. I really think they’ll enjoy it. But — next Monday I’ll confirm things.

I’d like to comment something I told Germán, because I’ve witnessed his progress since 2013-14, when we met in NI (Intermediate). His work in this course has been extraordinary and his progress since we met, too. Now I know better because when we met in 2013 as he was so silent but did exercises so well, including speaking, of course (we used a textbook), I thought perhaps he already had a good level. Now I think you’ve made the most of your time with us. You’ve always worked really hard at home. I’ve seen traces of what I teach in your work throughout this year. Once you get your certificate, I think you’ll be free to make a more intimate emotional connection and enjoy the language even more! Well, I could be wrong, perhaps you already have it! It’s just an impression.

Some homework:

Read my Lexical Creativity workshop so that we can create words next Monday! https://c1coursebymf.wordpress.com/creating-words/

Read Fundraising – Crowdfunding before Wednesday next week, please. It’s here: https://c1materials.wordpress.com/articles/

I mentioned I thought you underused my materials, too.


Plans for next week – updated!!

Monday

  • I’ll bring the summonings to orals that will be published on the Department’s Board and in class. That’ll be it!
  • We’ll do a listening activity Maria José designed.
  • We’ll have two oral exam practice performances: Cristina and Clara and Dessi and Romina.
  • We’ll make up words! So please, read my lexical creativy workshop, all of it. And then small groups in class will use the affixes worksheets to review morphology and make up words. You can also use other wordformation resources to create words. This is such a beautiful workshop! I hope you can read it and read the work students did some years ago. And of course, if we manage to devote some time to this, I’d like you all to post here the words you created. I’d copy them some day on talkingpeople.net.

Wednesday

  • We’ll have three speaking test practice performances: Dolores, Marta and Cristina R.; Isabel and Germán; Gema and Encarni.
  • And then… I’ll speak about this book and each person will read one of the one-page stories! Then I’ll give away 4 books. I’ll present the book and then you can write a name on a piece of paper so that person gets it! I’ll see who has more votes and then we’ll give it to him or her.

Image result for good night stories for rebel girls
Image result for good night stories for rebel girlsImage result for good night stories for rebel girls

I’d be grateful if some of you allowed me to videoshoot your reading aloud. If you encountered a word you did not know how to pronounce, it would be OK to ask and I’d say it and then you could simply read the sentence again with the word. I also think we should try to take photos next week for the photo collage for this banner. But perhaps you could do that later. Whatever! But remember to send me the pics!

This book costs 20 euros, and I’ll be buying it with next year’s budget for our school. I want to buy three copies in English and one in Spanish, the languages the book is in. I’m telling you this in case you wish to collect 1 euro from different people and buy one, which you could all sign for our Biblioteca Desarrollando Inteligencia Feminista! but please, don’t feel obliged! I’m just asking in case you want to do that! 😀

https://www.iberlibro.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=22307994244&searchurl=kn%3DGood%2BNight%2BStories%2Bfor%2BRebel%2BGirls%26sortby%3D17

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About today

Today we reviewed some language points, and I said I’d post examples on “suggest” and check “recommend”, “advice”… I will. Soon-ish!

We had to rearrange plans, as Dolores told us her classmates were not coming. So we moved that performance for our last lesson together, when after listening to them, and giving them feedback, we’ll celebrate the end of the course read each of us a story from an amazing book I just bought online. I’ll also give you a brochure of our courageous proyect Desarrollando inteligencia feminista.

So today we listened to Lucía, Karen & Sergio, who did really well! ❤ And there were very funny parts too! Next day I’ll comment mistakes so you all see what we notice most. They would probably pass, the three of them, but Lucía and Karen made some mistakes I think they could avoid next time!

Then we listened to Soluna and Lorena, who made interesting mistakes now they will probably avoid when taking the exam, which is good news! ❤ Soluna would probably pass, but she needs to be more aware of balance in the amount of language each of them offers, and Lorena could pass but she needs to speak more, finish her sentences, and avoid mistakes.

Avoiding mistakes takes lots of monitoring one’s production, so I recommend you practice listening to yourselves, and use my edited videos, because they will help you develop this skill. As you watch the videos and read my notes on mistakes, jot down whatever is useful for your own monitoring.

Speaking Exam Summonings: I reviewed my draft document, trying to find a solution to the situation of us having more people come in June to the oral. Just now, I’ve written to Lourdes, to see if she’s coming. And I’ll send an email to Mario, too. But the idea is to have Sergio and Mario together. The thing is I can’t put them together because Mario has not registered for the oral and I need to see if he comes in “Convocatoria única” to assign him a time and a partner.

Last, we did not manage to read the intro to the lexical creativity workshop, so please, read it, print it all and have a look. If we don’t manage to read it in class, anyway, I’d like you all to create words in English next Monday. So work on this this week. It’ll help you with wordformation, which is interesting for whenever we don’t understand a word, for instance.

I gave some writings back, and there are more to go. You can’t hand in writings next week, so keep this in mind! If I don’t manage to finish (today I need to write out my defence for the sanctions for going on a strike last March 8 because tomorrow is my deadline! And I have so much work to do I’m not sure I’ll manage it all for Wed), you’ll all get your work back next Monday for sure.

Please, read the C1 Resource Pack on Speaking, to consolidate things we’re considering these days: not speaking Spanish or explaining what it means, balanced turn-taking, balanced production (as balanced as possible), having an intro and an ending, asking, making comments, follow-up language…

Diary for May 15, International CO Day! (nothing to do, though!)

Today it felt really good to have some time to get a feel of your psychological emotional state in the face of the end of course and exam month. Thanks! I’m so happy the Lorena-alarm was not our Lorena! ❤ Phew! My mind was blown to pieces! I couldn’t understand a thing! This comes from students not informing of their level or group! So now I’ll try to solve the other crisis! My adorable other Lorena must be wondering who Soluna is! 😀

We reviewed what June 8 will be like, and I could see the group is offering mutual support, so I hope everybody can feel confident on what is to come and on our performance! I reminded students of some key things they should bear in mind while doing the Reading, Listening and Writing test. We can talk some about this as you find your questions and also your suggestions.

So we couldn’t do Functional Translation and unfortunately Soluna left and I hadn’t realized, so we had to move her and Lorena’s performance to some other day.

I was very happy to learn that you had all considered coming to our dinner party. Now I can tell teachers C1’s did consider, but decided not to join us because it was a bit too dear! See? I suppose it was a coincidence but my Básicos are not coming either so it’s like I had not told my groups or something! 😀 Not that anything would happen to me, really. My colleagues are adorable! But because I’m so anti-socializing people could consider I had a role there! 😀 AnywayS!

We had a speaking test practice session with Luz and Germán and it was really good. I gave them a souvenir too.

I recommended EM-PHANATICALLY (lexical creativity) total exposure to the language from now on, diversifying the kinds of oral texts, and also some time every day to listen to my Useful Language episodes at the Talking People Podcast (another path is to go to TP – enter – Useful Language, where the transcripts are), so you can improve your fluency and accuracy, particularly for conversations!

I asked people to consider allowing me to videoshoot their performance, particularly the conversations, because we have no sample of that and it would be helpful for other students.

People booked for their performances, and also registered for the June oral. Unregistered people can also do this next Wednesday. Then, I hope I can give the Head of Studies the summonings on Friday, instead of waiting till next day.

I suspect the HoS will be publishing dates tomorrow. In any case, if your Written part is on Juen 8 (right?), the oral would be on the following Monday, but she needs to confirm this first, so this info is not official yet.

Plans for next day are: first oral practice (we have some people there) and then Functional Translation, but I’d also like to read the intro to the lexical creativity workshop so that the following week you can start creating words (Monday) in small groups. I’d also like to do Maria José’s listening activity, but I suppose that needs to move to next week now. I’m sorry! ❤

Finally, please, keep in touch with worries and joys, because I need that kind of communication to avoid worrying when I get panicky emails, OK?

We also talked about going out for a drink, Publicación de Notas y Revisión, and about next Friday, the climax of our celebrations around our 25th anniversary. I hope you can join us before the dinner party, at our School. There’ll be so many things going on! You can take part in any of them.

And help me with the lesson plans, because this month your needs are a priority.

Romina, here is the link to some examples of how I learn vocabulary when I read (the C1 Resource Pack has examples too).

From this page: https://c1coursebymf.wordpress.com/read-n-watch-prisons/This doc: Chapter 1 (Resource): How to work on the vocabulary of the first three chapters: OITNB_chapter 01 (4 pdf pages)

When I find some time, I’ll include that on this blog I created precisely for that kind of work: learning language from reading: https://languagelearningfromreading.wordpress.com/

I welcome contributions, for once you’re in outspace without a teacher! 😀

Last, some LANGUAGE IN THE NEWS, in case you are listening to the news, but don’t forget to listen to panels, interviews, on the radio:

https://c1coursebymf.wordpress.com/language-in-the-news-writing-essays/

Sobre las PUCs

A ver si podéis postear el link a este post en vuestro grupo whatsapp porque hay gente muy perdida, y a ver si podéis preguntar en clase o en este blog y no individualmente,  porque la info exámenes la doy a todo el mundo por igual.

Primero: tenemos una página aquí con info de fechas de escrito y link a Guía, ademas del diario de toda la práctica que hemos hecho para examen. Está arriba en EXAM TRAINING.

  • CERTIFICAR EN JUNIO. El C1 tiene una prueba terminal de certificación (PUC) en junio, con la posibilidad de recuperar destrezas sueltas que se pudieran haber suspendido en junio en septiembre, tras los meses de verano.
  • El C1 además ofrece la posibilidad de repetir curso una vez.
  • OTRAS POSIBILIDADES DE CERTIFICAR. Y suponiendo que no se quiera o pueda, el certificado de C1 se puede conseguir en la enseñanza privada que celebra exámenes trimestrales de nivel para certificar.

PUCS NO ES EVALUACIÓN EN CURSO C1. Las autoridades publican una Guía para las pruebas, que quien pudo leyó en marzo aunque era la Guía del curso anterior, porque en marzo iniciamos nuestro mes de EXAM TRAINING, que no fue poneros yo exámenes (“evaluación” no significa sólo poner exámenes trimestrales; siempre os he dicho que las notas que me decíais eran sólo para saber, no servían para promocionar o certificar; está en nuestra programación, lo he explicado en clase, y está en la web donde os podíais descargar el C1 Pack y la programación: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/ra/c1/eval.htm), porque las notas trimestrales que metemos en Séneca (2ªeval está aún en la pared al fondo de la clase) no son notas que sirvan para nada porque en los cursos de certificación la única NOTA es el Apto o No Apto de las pruebas de junio y septiembre y porque para saber si vais bien, tenéis mis correcciones y comentarios en el día a día, es decir, la Evaluación Continua que yo practico en este curso es a lo largo de todo el curso en función del trabajo que compartís o entregáis y no os sirve para certificar, y no influye: el Tribunal evalúa el ejercicio que hagáis ese día, como es lógico en este sistema.

El link a la Guía PUC está en la página que hemos ido haciendo de arriba llamada EXAM TRAINING, como la lista de todo lo que hemos hecho para entrenar en formato exámenes de avanzado.

Respecto a ORALES de ahora, los que estáis preparando por parejas no son examen, como expliqué en todos los espacios, físico y online. Son excusas para aprender más, ampliar vocabulario, reforzar estructuras, y demás. Son una práctica en tiempo real con compañía como la que tendréis en el oral.

A los ORALES PUC DE EXAMEN EN JUNIO se convoca en una fecha a todo el mundo (“convocatoria única”) y se forman las parejas en situ, se asigna hora y se hacen los orales. Sin embargo, como he explicado, el Departamento de Inglés de este centro ha determinado organizar los orales de presencial de una forma que ayude a que no se produzcan largas esperas en los pasillos, con el consecuente daño a quien espera y a la gente que está trabajando (tomando o dando exámenes) pues todo el mundo se ponía a hablar en los pasillos impidiendo la buena audición en las aulas.

Y por eso EN MAYO hacemos una lista con la gente que se va a presentar, puesta en parejas o tríos, y con una hora fija asignada, y luego a quienes no están listadas o listados, se les convoca en “convocatoria única” antes de estos orales, para ubicarlas en los espacios que haya, y si no hay espacio de tiempo, sumarlos a algunas parejas con hora ya. Por tanto, REGISTRO A ORAL de JUNIO es algo que haremos esta semana y hasta el lunes de la siguiente (EN TRES CLASES) (y no tiene nada que ver con las prácticas de ejercicio oral en formato examen que estáis haciendo), y es sólo que quien vaya a hacer el oral en junio me lo dice, y apunto a la persona para formar yo las parejas y asignarles hora, información que se publicará 15 días antes del oral, como establece la ley. Que consideremos vuestras preferencias de pareja o a veces de hora, no es una obligación, y sí es un apoyo para tranquilizaros. Cualquiera que se haya mirado la tabla de fechas de exámenes (escritos) que pegué además en nuestra página de arriba en MARZO (porque tanto la web del centro como yo hemos ido informando en blogs/webs también de toda la info según salía publicada) y se haya leído el asterisco, sabrá que los orales se pueden convocar antes o después del escrito pero que esa información la publica el centro, jefatura de estudios, en los tiempos que marca la ley.

Si tenéis preguntas o dudas, por favor, formuladmelas a mí, NO INDIVIDUALMENTE SINO EN CLASE O EN ESTE BLOG, por favor, y preferiblemente sin meter comentarios o juicios de valor autodestructivos (practicando el apoyo mutuo y autorespeto).

La irracionalidad agobia, ciertamente, porque estamos educadas y educados a ser autodestructivas por los valores imperantes en la sociedad. Así que os animo a conversar y racionalizar las cosas desde la empatía y el respeto a una misma/o y el resto. En realidad, esta PUC no tendría por qué agobiar porque son opciones que tenemos la suerte de tener, y que enriquecen nuestras vidas, y no condenas u obligaciones de la esclavitud, y nuestra sociedad nos ofrece vías múltiples además para perseguir ese interés como he mencionado arriba. Los nervios hasta cierto punto son normales. De lo que soy crítica es de que en lugar de controlarlos y apoyarse, dejéis que os y nos arrastren a la irracionalidad.

Repito lo de que las fechas de orales se sabrán cuando las publique en Tablón (y aviso en web) Jefatura de Estudios. Y obviamente, nos enteraremos todo el mundo y yo las postearé aquí también. Así pues, seguimos ayudándonos con información útil y relevante. Podéis confiar en que el profesorado del centro y su directiva tiene el proceso muy bien organizado y medido.

La fecha del escrito lleva publicada desde que salieron publicadas hace tiempo ya, y la tenéis arriba aquí, además, en foto del BOJAN y todo. Y la guía describe todo lo que necesitáis saber del examen (para el caso de que no vengáis a clase, o vuestra profe no explique bien las cosas), porque hay gente que se presenta por libre también, y en la pública se respeta que todo el mundo tiene derecho a información, la gente de presencial no tiene más derechos en este sentido, es sólo que recibe un curso que no realizan las personas que se presentan por libre. Por eso las autoridades publican ejemplos de exámenes pasados, también.

Espero que este post sirva para ayudar a que planteéis preguntas con libertad y para que podáis controlar el miedo irracional destructivo! 😀

Will you share with 2017-18 learners?

Dear all, I’m exploring here. I thought you might want to share something about your experience this year with new students next year. Have a look at this, and tell me what you think. I can change it or delete it, of course, and any posting on your part would be precious, I believe! ❤ If you are interested, if you like, you could post once you finish your exams, but also now, of course. Whatever!

My idea is if you can post things that could help other learners to make the most of this course and their learning year as a whole.

https://c1coursebymf2017.wordpress.com/words-by-2016-17-learners/

Diary for Mon May 8 – wow!

Well, today it was amazing to see everybody in class, almost! It’s true all of the people coming have been following this course this year, some more regularly, some as they managed to fit it into their lives, but I haven’t seen all of you together since the beginning of the course! So thanks for coming! So there might be hope some day. Perhaps some day we’ll manage to have most people coming every day, regular work being fundamental for small groups and workshops and stuff.

So thanks for this present!

Today I finished giving out all the Speaking Tests of that year. And two groups have already booked dates for their performance. Come to me to book, after the lesson. We can have 4 groups every day.

We learned/learnt Mario will join us, and I reminded people we’ll be creating the pairs and groups of three next weekish, I believe, for final registration to the June orals.

When I asked, just 5 people had worked on transcriptions of the news extracts, so we had to make do and exploit the activity some other way. We did the oral transcription of the example (financial crisis) and reviewed some language questions, mostly to make our range richer and consider register.

Then we tackled the functional translation exercise and managed to do quite a few, with language work too as above.

Finally, I BEGGED people to transcribe a news item so that next day small groups can work together and interact on top of everything. After that lesson I’ll publish my transcription of all of the news items, OK?

And we agreed we would HAVE Romina’s OP at about 8.50 next day and Sergio’s would be before that.

I also gave back tons of written checked work and people handed in more work. Remember to check the tray next day.

I also asked for donations for our library, but I think people forgot, so please, remind me next day. I can bring the piggy bank and register next day for you all.

I reminded people to read this year’s Guía, because you would rather ask me than start up panicky messaging on your whatsapp group once the course is over! 😀

In case I forget, if you’ve read my notes on Dialogues, I’d like to do a listening/speaking activity on complaints for dialogues. I’ve got 19 copies, but I’ll risk it. 😀

Oh, I also borrowed Dessi’s mobile phone to take a picture of you all, well, a few, but then 3 more people arrived so we might try again next day. I recommend the two OPs we have, because one is on the language used in the news and the other on storytelling! ❤

See you soon!

(Edited) Diary for Wed May 3, C1 Pack Blues, homework & lesson plans

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.

Homework:

  • 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.

(edited) Fighting Pressure: A Rational Approach to Exam Taking

What’s the pressure with the Certificate Exam? Why did you sign up for an advanced course? Do you enjoy learning English? What does this language bring to your life? Can you be kind to yourself? Can you work with your community in mutual support? Are you willing to experience what it is to fight Exam Culture by developing a courageous or constructive approach to the red tape of exams? 🙂

Exams cannot evaluate your knowledge and skills, really. They’re just an exercise we do on a particular moment, and a lot of variables are involved, including concentration and luck. But here are the facts:

Supposing you failed one, two, three or the four parts of the test, what’s the big deal? You’ve got another chance more than two months later, months when you can use your English to keep learning.

Then, supposing you failed some part in September, and you needed the certificate, there are private schools that give these tests for a fee, which means you could take the test somewhere else, a few months later, too. Apart from being able to enjoy another almost-free year of learning in this course.

Consolidating an advanced level takes time and a great deal of effort. What you have before you are OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE, not a nightmare.

Post your fears, if you like. I’ll try to do my best to help you out! ❤

Please, work to take off pressure, not to pile up pressure and suffer for something that with a bit of rationality can be prevented. ❤

Please read: Social responsibility & Self-destructiveness

I’d like to call you to your senses, not to follow the path of panic whose outburst made you think that taking exams in class was a far better option than teamwork designing listening and reading exams, or that what you need to be doing daily: listening/reading and retelling in class! It’s such an uninformed and destructive idea, I haven’t been able to sleep well tonight. And then people say it’s the school system. Well, it seems we help. Turning our back to constructive approaches to learning is not what we want to do in our course/school.

I’m asking people interested in taking exams, with little free time and who in my view underestimate the power of meaningful learning and communicative methodology (because they don’t believe that is as effective) to please stay home and do all the exams they like. Teachers in our School (who, incidentally, offer information people simply don’t read), have put together a page full of links — in case the reason for asking this teacher to give more exams in class is you don’t know how to find exams on the web. The path is eoifuengirola.es – Certificaciones, and here is the link: http://eoifuengirola.es/certificaciones-1 I hope you make good use of it.

Still, I don’t recommend you get obsessed with this. I never recommend taking lots of exams, that’s why exam format training is done in a month. If you do, have a look at the tests but controlling your fear because taking tests gets us nervous and panicky (because we still believe tests are monsters, it’s a trauma, an irrational event in our minds) and we don’t learn English then, we just learn to be victims. If you’ve done what we did in class, you’ll be OK. Put your effort in keeping calm and enjoying your use of English. Consider we are always training too for exams, even if it doesn’t look like it! 🙂

Whatever you do — but please, I appeal to your social responsibility: don’t hurt the group by showing how nervous you are, bby spreading panicky ideas, feelings, etc. — be certain this will not influence my profesional skills when evaluating your work in June or September. I evaluate absentists as I evaluate people who followed the course, because I’m a profesional and my task in PUCs is to determine whether the State can certify that somebody’s exercise has reached an advanced level. The exercise and my evaluation remains filed for everybody’s supervision, so coming to class, doing homework, making progress or a big effort are things I can’t consider when evaluating your performance in PUC exams. Those things are good to help you learn, of course, but not something that counts in the Evaluation Sheets we use to evaluate your performance.

For us, your passing is a consequence of having the level in that particular excercise, not of how much effort you put into it, because this is adult education and we are the public system certifying a level. And I am very scientific in my professional work. You should know. Exams in Avanzado 1 or Básico have nothing to do with this because they are not PUCs, they don’t give people certificates. There teachers can design their own evaluation systems, as I do with my Básico 1’s, and we don’t have exams, we have listening diaries and orals every week. And we have a wonderful Writing File and the Celebration of Learning Orals in May. And we do train in exam format in spring, just for the kicks, not to pass or fail.

When we decide to consider information not in your PUC is only for positive reasons. So I mean, there is no “manía” or negative attitude in examiners when it comes to PUCs because these are certification exams.

It’s April, and we’re having a group panic here, which threatens to destroy all the work we’ve been doing. So please, control your fear, and stop this now, if it is not because you understand learning in this course, be it because you don’t want to harm your classmates, OK? Don’t use the excuse of exams to make up for the work you couldn’t do, because it doesn’t make up for it and you simply harm yourself and others.

As I warned you before, whatsapp groups are not a good to place when adorable students become soldiers of Exam Culture waging a war. They spread panicky feelings. Just remember our mirror neurones. Of course we can fight that with our rationality and empathy. But if you’ve started panicking in April, imagine the whole month of May of panic and destructive approaches to learning! You’ll be worn out before you take your exam. (The good thing of being exhausted is that self-destructive mechanisms don’t work as well!)

As I know well from experience, and from theory, this course prepares people to go to their finals with a positive approach, with resources to control their fear and be confident on their skills. But if you doubt or refuse to do this, please, stay home and do what you consider best. There are zillions of textbooks, with exercises, test books, websites…

If you wish to come to your senses and follow this course, and you want to intensify your use of English, please, do more of what I suggest, don’t feel that taking exams is doing something crucial for your English because it is not. For example, designing a listening exam entails listening to a lot of audios, and then working intensively in some. You cannot design a listening test out of a transcript, even if you use a transcript in the project. Designing a Reading test takes a lot of reading and thinking in English. This Project is not only about you creating an exam: its development involves the use of English in many different levels, and helps you spend more time using your English. Remember the format of the listening of Pets? Or that of part 2 of the PUC we did? Well, teamwork to design that would mean lots of people listening and listening, and lots of exercises designed, out of a same effort.

But we don’t even have to do that Project. If you simply did what I’ve been asking you to do all the way, listen and retell and share in class, read and retell and share in class, along with OPs and (overdue) monthly writing assignments, you would be doing far more for your English than spending time in class taking exams and then me reading out the key and you “failing” or “passing”.

Exam Format training in this course is perfectly enough for allowing people to pass a PUC exam if they have the level. And as I told you, we still have one more Reading and Listening test (apart from the exercise next day), we have to continue training in timed orals and focus on interactions (next day we could form the first speaking test teams), and you’ve got a full C1 PUC on the Junta’s website, to do at home when the exam draws near.

I’m going to have breakfast and stop of feeling so bad. I hope you understand what I mean and feel free to comment, of course. When I say I’m open to feedback or proposals I mean it. But I will certainly contest what I see as unfair feedback (as I did when a 40% of the class evaluated that I didn’t prepare my class that well) or proposals that work against the kind of teaching and learning we pursue in this course in the School.

Important: psychological training and plan for Wed

Dear students, please, trust your English, trust your work, trust this course, trust your life knowledge and common sense. Common sense is great when we read exam instructions! ❤ Exams are small matters we amplify absurdly. The important thing is learning, becoming independent and resourceful, enjoying our language life, which is precious.

The idea of doing exams in class for the rest of the course is cowardly and absurd. You can do that at home, if you can’t control your fear. Exam formats don’t need much time to learn. The thing is learning English at the advanced level. Now it’s no time to panic and fret, but to intensify our use of English and make the most of the little time we have together. After that, you’ll be on your own, and if you don’t use your English and keep learning, your level will drop. Don’t underestimate our work together, or the C1 Resource Pack and all of the resources we’ve offered you. They’re precious for your learning. Watch the videos, listen to the radio, listen and repeat for fluency and accuracy, read articles, notice language.

I’ve just come from meeting Eulàlia. I can tell you lots of amazing stories but we don’t have much time. Anyway, I hope you can make it to her talk tomorrow. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! The train is passing by, jump on it! ❤

Next day we can do the listening exercise and you can bring your Writing File and we can continue with that and please your questions and comments on mistakes in your Writing Test or other assignments!

And bring one euro, if you can spare that! I’ll bring the LIBRO DE DONATIVOS for our amazing feminist library. You can go to the second floor and see the exhibition of the books you can be adopting!

Night night

Sleep tight

Don’t let the Exam Culture bite!

PUCs. Preparing Oral Work for May & La Guía 2016-17

I made a copy of all the Speaking tests given two years ago (because you’ve got the 2016 speaking tests on the Junta’s website) and I have a table ready for pairs and groups of 3 book a date for their perfomance. I’ll give out the tests next Wednesday to the pairs or groups of three (we need at least one group of three), after you tell me about pairs or teams and dates for your performances in May (so talk about this, please!).

There are 4 people who are not coming to class (ever), and these people could join us in June because absentists don’t lose their right to take the PUC in June and September. If you know any of them, who came at the beginning of he course, Mario and Lourdes, but I don’t know the other two. My guess is that Mario and Lourdes will come in June, but not the other two. It’d be good to know, so if you know them, please, ask! The remaining other two people who dropped out fortunately cancelled their registration, so they won’t be wasting the exam opportunities this year (no les correrá convocatoria, por tanto).

Last, the Guía para PUCs 2016-17 was published two days ago, I think. You should read it all, and ask me any questions you might have before lessons end at the end of May.

Today and Plans for Monday

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.

(Edited to fix mistakes!) Coordinating efforts. Homework, Lesson Plans & More Stuff!

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! ❤
http://www.mujerpalabra.net/quereraunafeminista/index.html

Talk next Tuesday, April 25: on the importance of naming women too

Dear students,

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:

Diary for April 5 – lots of training!

Then I read out people’s marks for the term. Well, this symbolic thing we do. Without having no one in mind, my guess is that most people will pass, but some might need June and September. In any case, don’t forget to be positive about learning and your learning this year: if you don’t have enough time for your English, don’t evaluate your results as if you had had, OK? It just spoils all the fun! 🙂 ❤ (your relationship to English and to learning). Our guiding star is learning English at the advanced level, not passing exams, right? Becoming competent lifelong learners who love using their English! ❤

  • Today we checked the Ciclo Superior Reading Test 2006 and results were good!

Then I gave out two handouts with exercises:

  • Listening “News Extracts” – we did it and the homework is you try to get the transcription of at least one news item. The audio is here.
  • On the back you have two language exercises. Functional Translation and narratives in the past, I think.
  • Listening. Profiency gapped listening exercise. Richard Burton (list of some of the languages he spoke). We did this one. And I forgot to finish jotting down all the marks, I think!
  • On the back there are two exercises: an FCE (B2) exercise and a Proficiency (C1) exercise, which we will do after the spring hols!

There are spare copies in class, in case any of you wants to drop by to get them: tomorrow I’m there all afternoon, from 4.30 to 9.45 (you can just walk in and take them from the bulletin board) and on Friday plans changed so I’ll be in class from 16.00 to 20.00 checking your writing tests. My ambition is to start and finish (I just read them all) + take notes for language questions. Wish me the best! (The group that wanted to take the missed listening test will have to come on April 28 I think, because after the hols our teachers’ meeting has been moved to the previous Friday.)

If you want to pick up some common vocabulary in the news, check out this BBC website, Words in the News (some are articles, others audio or video)

Listening work – what I say on the TP website

A pacifist Belgian friend of mine (some of you listened to the story I wrote about her and me meeting one day in Madrid, “Dishwashers”) just send me news of a new antiwar network, World Beyond War, have a look at this: debunking myths justifying wars.

I’ll post more tomorrow or on Friday, so you get more ideas about working on your English. I hope you do find the time to do so, while enjoying it, of course!

Nightie night!

Designing Exams – A teamwork project

Today I presented this new workshop. The class will split up in two groups. Each group will design a minimum of 1 Reading or Listening Task, chosing the format of one of the tasks in your C1 Test.

Everybody should listen to audios and read articles, and then pick one to bring to class on April 24th. Bring the transcript of the few selected audios and the paper copy of the articles, but also remember to keep at hand the links that people could use to check those items.

Groups will gather and after assessing what you have, we’ll have a plenary to make this decision:

Can each group design different tasks, so that we can get a final complete Reading Test and Listening Test? If both groups just want to do the multiple choice format, then it’s OK, but it’d be grand to have a complete test designed by you all.

You would be the first generation of C1’s here to design C1 Exams for future use by other students!

Why design tests?

  • Because walkin in your “enemy’s” shoes is a great source of information.
  • Because this is a great excuse to use your English more at home, because you really need to increase your time with English from now on.
  • Because teamwork is fun and its results are always amazing!
  • Because it’ll be fun to take the test the other half of the group gives you! 😀 Then you can tell me whose is harder: the ones we give or the ones your classmates design!! 😀

To end this first session, groups will decide among of all their materials, agreeing to work on one audio and written text, and what to bring for the second session.

Post your info on team members and your questions here, please. I’ll make it a sticky post!

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! ❤

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.

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?

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!

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.

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

 

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!

(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.

Participle Clauses

Past Participle

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

 

Present Participle

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

Radio interviews: TreTalk “podcast”

In case you want to listen to radio interviews.

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

About the February Writing Assignment

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

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

See posts below for more info!

Diary for Mon Jan 13 & Tips on Reading & Listening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

OPs (videos) by Students

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

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

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

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

About the Feb Writing Assg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some homework: watch & learn!

Better late than never! Here is Gema’s work with my language notes. Please, use it to work on your Lists of Mistakes, but also in your UL to improve your language range! Thanks, Gema!

Oh, remember that when you work on listening and speaking, you are also working on improving your writing!

Teacher’s UL on episode 1, Redesign My Brain

Why did I jot down most of the sentences below? Yes! It’s more expressive language! Intense, expressive of emotions! Can you say these sentences spontaneously and accurately? Watch again and practice!

  • to win or draw
  • holding moves in his mind
  • a remarkable achievement
  • I’m on a quest for a better brain!
  • I’ll be pushed to my limits!
  • I’ll try to expand my mind power!
  • I’ll try to turbocharge my brain / to turboboost it!
  • Strap yourself in!
  • Down to work!
  • … how you operate at your limit
  • Brain training
  • The more practice the better you get
  • The better you get, the harder it’ll get
  • juggling – increasing thinking speed
  • Balls look more achievable (than knives!)
  • If you say it, it’s easier!
  • I seem to be getting the hang/feel of this!!
  • Practice is the key
  • Aiming your eyes at something doesn’t mean we see it
  • There’s room for (significant) improvement
  • It’s been years since we lost anybody!
  • They can even get away with magical murder!
  • Sneaky magicians!!
  • Multitasking is a phallacy
  • You’re walking through the world with blinders on
  • We see with our brains!
  • You can improve peripheral vision and also get better at what you see
  • the food in front of them
  • What kind of name is that?!
  • Rumour has it that you actually memorized two whole decks!
  • this is the person-action-object technique
  • It’s easier to recall a strong visual scene than numbers…
  • This is really doing my head in!!
  • To be honest, I’m slightly (:D) stunned! – oxymoron
  • I’m completely shocked!
  • The thing I’m most amazed at is —
  • You worked really hard at this to get this advancements!
  • I’m feeling so anxious!!
  • mental athletes
  • This is a collection of some of the most interesting people I’ve ever seen!!!
  • Look at them! You can see the mental toll this seems to take on people
  • No admittance (reminds me of No attendance – No pude asistir a clase)
  • I’m absolutely thrilled!
  • It’s been amazing for me to do this
  • He experienced it first hand – a first hand experience
  • I feel so energetic!
  • Even my sleep has gotten better!

Improving your vocabulary range (edited – adv)

Other ways to say… high frequency used words!

You may be finding them as you read your book/screenplay, so pay attention to jot down and repeat them in context as you find examples of their use! ❤

otherwaystosay_c1

A different model with a same intention!

http://www.instantdisplay.co.uk/shadessynonyms.pdf

(6 pdf pages)

I’m adding these collocated adverbs, so you also gather useful language like this for your Vocabulary section or in your collected sentences. Remember that an adverb is to the verb what the adjective is to the noun, so we say “I’m a good girl” (!) good modifies girl, a noun, but “I behave well”, well modifies behave, a verb. He cleans very well. I’m slow (I = slow). I eat slowly (eat = slowly).

adverbs-of-manner

First Jan 2017 post! We’re back!!!

Today it was a wonderful lesson because 18 people came back! ❤
We celebrated the publication of the C1 Resource Pack and 2 people bought a copy!

Unfortunately, we did not have time to listen to everybody today, which was my ambition, :D, but the lesson was full of different kinds of things, and here goes:

1. We planned lessons for this week and next week and clarified questions on work people had.

Reminders on the Speaking File and proposal you audio record your classroom oral performances for your saving or remembering better the feedback we give you. What do you have in your Speaking File? Well you should have your timed OPs (orals you did in class at least), and the same-length or longer pieces, the orals where you retell things, like the summary of the Story of Stuff documentary. And then I suggest you learn a poem by ear by heart, or a story (stories on TP; or any other, but with an audio!). I suggest: Coyote Killed a Giant (American indian humo(u)r is something I love. See what you think?) I know it’s possible because last year África did so. We were thrilled and impressed. If more people did this same exercise we would also learn about oral storytelling. Or The Fun they Had. Cat in the Rain. A Telephone Call. The Debutante (Surrealism story). A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud. Or a challenging one, Black American English by a 13 year old. Finally, remember some of you also have videos, these count, of course!

Plan your listening-to-speak time, so you can get more done — always use listening time to practice speaking (L&R, retelling, reading aloud). Planning helps!! You can listen to a few stories, and then decide which to choose.

Questions on the Writing File: a descriptive kind of text: a review, a brochure, a travel guide. I gave out a brochure, which is on human rights work by a women’s group, but it was intended for human right month (Dec.) Anyway, it may serve you as inspiration for designing a brochure. But look at other models, particularly those on exhibitions, or tourist sites. Next week, when I give you your Dec Writing Assignment back, we can agree on a deadline.

The plans for upcoming lessons are:

Next Wednesday: last day for handing in the December Writing Assignment. People will be bringing their reading materials and groups will be gathering and brainstorming and all. I posted a first draft on this (I think it’s on the Reading Projects! page above), but things might change, depending on ideas we bring up next day. I suggested Cristina R. and Romina to work together, because they both borrowed the feminist storytelling book and might be able to communicate and design a joint OP! Then Isabel will be working on her own on Orange Is the New Black, in case anyone else wants to join her or something. I’ll include these two case on the Page above as an update. I’ll bring a listening activity which is hell to make sure you realize how important it is to listen to English every day! (demented laughter)

Next week: On Monday Soluna will give a very interesting OP on Corpus/Corpora. This is a key resource for advanced language learners, so don’t miss it. She’ll bring a handout which she’ll previously send me for corrections. And then I’ll say, it’s all perfect, and she’ll make copies for you all! ❤ She’s allowing us to videoshoot so more people will be able to profit from her talk. Thanks so much, Soluna!

Then we’ll watch Redesign My Brain – Make Me Smarter, the documentary you might have been watching over the hols. As I hope you’ll experience, you’ll see how watching the same thing again and again helps your English greatly. Just imagine why I know! ❤ Because everybody will bring the listening activity I gave out in December and which you can print if you check out a Page above on this documentary,  as people watch they’ll be doing different things: doing the listening for the first time, doublechecking their answers, taking notes on useful language, practicing taking notes to create an outline to speak from… Never feel bored: find ways to profit from the activity! This will last an hour, so that might be it for the day. But we could have some time to listen to Germán, who did some outstanding work on this over the hols.

On Wednesday we’ll be listening to you all retelling, talking about the documentary, whatever. And of course we have the worksheet to check, too, so bring it! this will have me wanting to comment on language questions till the end of time, so let’s hope you can help me manage time — that’s why I’d rather leave it for later, after people have finished sharing their work! Think of what you want to do this day and bring something to share: you highlights of useful language, your retelling, your anecdotes on trying some of the exercises, your thoughts on things…

2. Something else we did was listen to people telling us about their holidays and their work with English.

We listened to Dolores, who told us about Napo ❤ and then shared with us great work on explaining a primary teacher’s job, students’ learning and their classroom routines. Soluma told us about her new home and how she misses a garden now, and about her awesome holidays, spending quality time in the good company of her family, somewhere nice so they could all relax. Lorena, told us about her stay in Asturias, how it feels to be back home, how the body adjusts so well to the Andalusian weather, the joy of meeting her feminist friends, and her grandma’s 91st birthday, and here we had an interesting conversation about monarchy and republicanism! It was interesting and well conducted by participants: we managed to listen to different viewpoints without anyone getting upset, as always happens in most other contexts in life! (or is that just my impression?) And what’s most interesting about this is that people also shared relevant info they had on things. Most often, a different viewpoint implies we can’t listen to the info shared either. ❤

Language Questions: I’m sorry, Lorena, for having corrected you because yes, it’s what Soluna checked, and Romina wondered, the word has two very different meanings. People, check this out: Republicanism in the UK. Note points 4 & 5 to train in argumentative texts! (About the issue of monarchy being expensive, remember Karen’s research on the cost of different monarchies in Europe.) Read about Republicanism in Spain here.

You might want to prepare a 3-4 min OP on Monarchy/Republicanism. And I’ll try to prepare some reading or listening activity for later on, as a follow-up thing.

We continued the “sharing what we did” activity with María José, who told us about how much her mind and body needed a rest, and about her trouble understaning not Colin Firth but Colin Farrell (I had to look him up! I’ve seen him, yes, in some movie or other). Cristina R told us about her having just bought a house and moved in and told us she might be preparing an OP on the topic! dangeroustapaAnd Laura told us about an exhibition she had greatly enjoyed, that showing Mark Ryder’s work in Málaga. He designed Michael Jackson’s cover for Dangerous and I mentioned it reminded me of Bosch’s Garden of Delights, and yes, look what it says on his website: “Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art.” Precisely, yes, pop art is also there!

Here’s the amazing animation I saw based on Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights!

Laura came to say goodbye because she’s cancelling her registration, as she’s moving out and about to have her bay bee! Best wishes, dearest Laura! Keep as happy and outraged with injustices as you are! And see you some other year. ❤

Cancelling your registration is a good idea to keep all your exam opportunities. Now Laura has enjoyed learning about what this C1 course is about, but will keep her two course years for whenever she wishes to join us again! I wonder if Beatriz N. cancelled, because she told me she would (she couldn’t make it to the course), but I think she still appears in my lists. This comment is not so you all cancel, hahahah. It’s just to say that depending on situations, it’s often better to cancel registration because one might waste one or two years. So just remember to talk to me if in doubt.

Unintended Talk by teacher! Then something happened and I got carried away speaking about something. Something I would like to write about, for sure, in the book I never get time to write on violence and nonviolence from a feminist understanding. It’s about how we are taught to build our identity in patriarchal societies. In Spanish I call it “la ideología de los binomios contendientes donde uno debe prevalecer”. It’s this obsession with reducing life, reality to two blocks, which exclude each other, and whereby one needs to prevail. Day/Night, Man/Woman, Coke/Pepsi… Well! My thesis is we build our identity by comparison and pretending to be in the right group. We cannot simply live and let live. Take gender. Why is it so terribly important to stigmatize people who don’t share their view on gender, or whose bodies are not like most people’s, or whose sexuality is different? Why are you a man/woman? There are so many answers to this question. Life is diverse, and human identity is as diverse as life, because it’s nature, nature is like this, very varied. It plays all kinds of games. I think a classroom is a priviledge space where people are more likely to listen to people who have different ideas than what happens outside the classroom, mostly because people are in the mood of learning, come here to learn, to expand their worlds.

By the way, print and bring the Workshop on Rational Discussions (see Handouts above) because some day we should be reading that and choosing a few topics to work on in a few sessions.

Oh, yes, just remembered, all this came up because Laura told us about a painting where the person depicted was wearing a meat dress, like Lady Gaga once. I asked about the meaning and it was a message about how we treat animals. So I spoke about veganism and the animal rights movement, and put it as an example of this: even if one doesn’t share the view of other animals being our siblings (for instance, Romina posed a question I’ve also made in our discussion on facebook), it is undeniable that vegans are doing relevant research on a great many topics which should be of people’s interest For instance, we should all be really worried about meat production, the food industry, for the torture it imposes on animals, all the suffering, and for our health. Or learn about animal testing, because it seems there is a great deal of suffering that has no justification. But we can’t even listen to them, these people who devote zillions of time to doing research on how we treat animals (they’re like feminists, do tons of research, but people rather listen to a biased opinion and just take it in, than to a vegan or a feminist, because they’re perceived as dangerous people. When will people come to their senses!) because our identity group involves not listening to other identity groups. Well, I’m not making much progress in explaining this! But I’ll keep trying!

I’ll prepare some listening activity on veganism and animal rights, so we can train in just listening, making questions instead of being judgemental, and reasoning out things. What do you think?

A tip on Approach. When Dessi asked about saying the poem she’s learning instead of doing an OP because she had such a hard time doing OPs in public, I suggested she replaced thinking she’d be speaking in public, with thinking she’d be sharing something with adorable people. And somehow this lead me to a related idea. When I am afraid, I switch into (the) Curiosity Mode. It’s helped me lots in life, because life is dangerous and we often have good reasons to fear! Think of a situation where you feel fear, and try to see how on earth you could switch into the curiosity mode. Share in class! 😀

Oh my gosh! It’s 2.00!!! That’s all! 😀 ❤

Celebrating and Making Questions about the HR Declaration

Today the reading aloud of the HR declaration took up the whole lesson, and we didn’t even get to the end. I hope you can all finish reading it and comment next day, if you like. You can also feel free to exploit this activity as you like. You could also practice/practise speaking at home to put together a personal opinion of the document or the activity. If you record it in the mp3 audio format, you could send it to me for feedback.

I really enjoyed us talking a bit about some of the articles. I love reading in groups, and just talking, because lots of things come up that allow me to expand my world! I hope the activity was useful for you all, too, in this way. Remember to collect some useful language typically used in this kind of legal texts. And thanks so much for celebrating human rights today! ❤

The plan for today included watching a one-hour documentary. Considering the plan for next day is this:

Wednesday Dec 14

Last week: Please, feel free to make requests or proposals!

… next day we’ll start with the documentary, adjusting to just note-taking instead of doing the listening activity, and depending on the time Reading Groups need, we’ll do or not do the listening activity, OK?

Check the overview of our upcoming lessons to express your preferences next day, OK?

I published your Aptos on the announcement board in class, and if you have any questions about feedback on your English please let me know. These Aptos are just saying you are following the course in some way. What’s important for assessment is the feedback I give you, the feedback you get from classmates when you communicate, and your own assessment.

Remember

  • To ask any questions about the December writing assignment in class or here, under the post for that.
  • To publish your mini sagas or other writings here, if you like.
  • To listen to English every day and try retelling or listen-n-repeat. This is very important, OK?
  • There are checked writings in our cardboard box in class.
  • And to check out the Story of Stuff page above during the time we won’t have lessons!

The Story of Stuff Project – from Nov to Jan

Here is the plan, after events in class. Make it your key mission over the hols! 😀 ❤
https://c1coursebymf2016.wordpress.com/the-story-of-stuff-project/

Timed OPs: Balanced Diets, by Cristina B

Dear all,

I just finished / I’ve just finished recording Cristina’s work. We hope it’s useful. Find this and other OPs by students here: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/listofperformances.htm

Talking People is chaotic, there are also OPs (teamwork, mostly) here: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/yourstuff/texts/oralpresentations/index.html

On this page I included both links, to remind me of the need to merge these pages or something: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralpresentations.htm

So I really need to spend time tidying up the site! But I never find the time!!! Sigh! Any ideas will be welcome!

Anyhow, bear with me! 🙂 ❤