Lesson Plans

About our last lesson together!

Just finished my plan. Have a look! My plan had been to devote the whole lesson to this, but then we had to move speaking performances to Wednesday, so you all will probably just get to read one of your stories, but it’s OK. Unless people booking for Wed. can come the previous Mon. and do it, so we get more time for this! ❤

c1_project_readingGNSFRG (1 Word page)

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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

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/

Announcements

Please, find some time to read my global assessment of levels and let me know what you think, if you kindly can.

Next week you will register for the June Orals. I’ll consider your preferences in terms of who with and do my best to make you all happy. The oral will be after the Written Exam and if Jefatura accepts our proposal, the info of the date will be published next Monday, and then when we finish our Registration to Oral sheet next week, they’ll publish the summoning times.

Mario will be summoned in “Convocatoria única” along with other absenteests/absentists unless he comes to class to register for the oral. I can’t accept registrations of people who do not come to me to register.

Remember to bring the Lexical Creativity workshop and the Functional Translation work next week, at least. Your LoM or “In class” list of items would be good for fitting comments here and there at plenary.

Remember to read the Guía before we part, to pose questions in class because I’m a more reliable source for answers than whatsapp groups, particularly if they panic. Don’t feel bad if I mention things like these because they occur. That’s why I mention them! 😀

About the adaptation for the listening exam, Karen, you will be doing your listening test at the same time as your classmates but in a different room, so we make sure have the perfect situation to take your test.

Please, keep practicing mutual support as you do, to help control fear, and overcome this terrible growth-preventer which is Exam Culture. Did you see the news today? About something our methodology works on? About the fact that the future (and this present time) is all about knowing how to learn? I suggested my School to get some of these books to have a look: http://www.arcix.net/tienda In case you’re interested. If you find articles on this topic, please, share.

Remember the C1 Materials blog has articles and stuff, too, posted and on the pages. If you feel insecure with vocabulary in reading materials, use this blogs or any source of articles to do tons of reading (not tons of looking up words, although you can look up some; but find a balance in training for global understanding too)

Next Friday 19 the School will be open and offering all kinds of activities in the different classrooms. When the program is published, please, have a look in case you find any of those interesting. I do hpe that you can have a look at our 25 Anniversary Multimedia Magazine, which will be presented this day or possibly later on. The evening of May 19 we’ll also go out for dinner. I think none of you is coming, but if you were interested, you would have to bring 29 euros on Monday and give them to Ana.

Well, in general, make sure you check out Novedades on the School’s website hereon! There’s tons of info coming!

Have a wonderful ever-learning weekend! ❤

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.

Lesson Plans Today & Your Pending Language Work

  • Two OPs that will be videoshot: Romina, on feminist fairy tales and Sergio (welcome to our blog! Better late than never! 😀 ❤ ) on language in the news
  • People adopting a book in support of our Education for Equality library (1 euro) – voluntary, obviously!
  • Listening PUC exam June 2016 + reading and writing tests too for further practice at home.
  • (After lesson) Pairs or groups of three come to get their Speaking Tests, if they like. I’m moving it here but we could do it in class if time allowed today. Otherwise, we can do it next week.

ABOUT MY CORRECTIONS AND YOUR UL WORK. I have language and textual comments to bring up in class from the pieces I checked this week, so if today we don’t have the time for that, I’m asking people with “In class” scribbled in their work to bring it to class next week. The problem here is when people miss the lesson, so I’d ask them to please post my “In class” points on this blog, so we can all learn about them. For instance, as so many people misused “due to” I suggested they gather useful language on the use of “due to” and related connectors and share that in class or on the blog, moment when I would give a final comment, to help you fix that in your mind, too. At the advanced level it’s best to have students do some work before the teacher repeats the theory, so that is why my work is dependent on your work, OK? But as it is complicated to have people do this (I really need to improve this for next year), I’ll tell you now about this item, but just the theory won’t help you overcome the fossilized mistake, but anyway!: “due to” CANNOT be followed by a Subject and a Verb, only noun phrases and -ing forms: “Due to strong winds” (because of strong winds, “because of” = cause), “Due to underfunding”. Most often, people making this mistake mean “because” (reason, not “because of”), as in “Because the winds were strong”, “Because the sector is underfunded”). Yes, you can say “Due to THE FACT THAT”. Actually, THE FACT THAT is what allows us to add a S + V (“that” introducing a clause with a personal form of the verb).

I thought you would arrange a date for bringing your Language Work of this kind? Well, feel free to do so. I can give you some time for sharing in small groups and listing things, and then we can have a plenary. Please, let me know so I can announce the lesson plan for that, OK? People who know how to use items other people misuse could also practice explaining that, and offering their examples. The more you use your English for different purposes, the better your English will get! 🙂 ❤

 

Diary for April 26. Fighting Exam Culture, Preparing Oral Exams

Today we started the lesson with me sharing some notions on teacher’s intervention when detecting problematic group dynamics, or people panicking and that panic mounting, which is typical and real when finals approach. You are fortunate to have me as a teacher, because although everybody says it’s useless, I always believe it can help. It can help to use our intelligence to control fears and destroy habits and behaviors that are destructive in terms of making us wiser, freer and all that! 😀

I also spoke about an issue I’ve been observing throughout my life because I’m a pacifist researcher on questions connected to violence. For many years and because I’m a critical thinker, I’ve found how hostile we are, culturally speaking, to questions: we don’t trust questions are just questions, and interpret them as sources of negative things we should avoid. That is why as a thinker I write in favor of people learning to be innocent, i.e., learning to clean their gaze! We have to learn to avoid judging and interpreting, and ask instead, pose clarification questions. Actually, people who have experience on internet communication always recommend that when you find a message that “sounds hostile” or is hostile, you simply take it as a non-hostile message and ask for clarification. Sometimes you realize the person had no bad intention and sometimes your question, your innocent question, which is to say your question refusing taking part in a violent exchange, brings out the best in the receiver, and the reader decides to take a different way, the way of dialogue. Nonviolent communication is a field of study, and by using our intelligence, learning to trust people, learning to know we all might make mistakes, and also that we are all capable of changing our opinions, our believes, and of course, learning to protect ourselves, but in a nonviolent way, not violently, not through that kind of violence we exert with prejudice, with doubting people’s intentions and all that, we can make the world or at least our personal lives a better experience.

So I hope you understand that my words here are not about particular messages we shared, but a long-life kind of analysis by an activist and a teacher.

Don’t be chickens with this absurd thing of exams that do not threaten anything important in your lives. Be loving towards yourself and others. We can change this old-time dynamics.

In case it helps, two practical cases. I told Marina I thought she would learn more if she continued working this year, and took this course again, because I have the feeling that if she could spend more time doing this kind of course, she would enjoy it and improve her English a lot. Of course, I will be happy to see her pass in June if that’s what she wants. Surprisingly, because her level is already advanced, Dessi is considering taking this course again, because she wanted to spend more time discovering things, working on things, developing projects, and this course is that open. Well, I would love to see her again next year, of course, but she’ll mull over this a bit more and finally decide freely. I’m just mentioning this in case it helps you all to take some more pressure off your backs. My frame of mind on this matter would be similar to Dessi’s, because it’s true that reaching a consolidated advanced level takes many years of use of the language and also because it’s hard to find courses offering so much freedom to explore the world and oneself through language. ❤

Finally, if you all pass I’ll be happy. If you all decide to take the course again, I’ll be happy too! (though the authorities will think I’m a hopeless teacher, of course! 😀 )

Well, today we did the C1 listening exercise on friendship, agreed on plans for next day (doing the 2015 June C1 Listening Test after listening to two different OPs and giving these people some feedback) and went through pending things we need to finish so we can work on in class (news extracts and functional translation).

We also devoted some time to your Writing Tests, and I highlighted some ideas for your Proofreading work and LoMs, like working on organizing ideas Before Writing (brainstorming, selecting and ordering ideas, outline), for the sake of textual structure, and checking subjects & verbs first including tenses, and all kinds of agreement (S-V, aux-V, adj-n, including this/these + n, that/those + n.).

A language question that came up was trustworthy / to be worth it / dependable / dependent / dependant.

I have a few other activities for whenever you are ready. Please, let me know. I do hope we can also watch a documentary called How Art Made the World, the episode on how we’ve represented the human body, which is an extraordinary episode. Or a neuroscience documentary on memory.

Finally, I gave out one test for Emilia and María José, and one for Karen, Lucía and Sergio, along with a copy of the test instructions for “parejas and tríos” (Mª José and Emilia, Karen has your copies). Other people need to talk about whether they want to find their partner or me to decide that, so don’t worry if you have no partner.

In the second half of May all of those of you who are sure to come to the Speaking Test in June, will register for this oral. This means, they’ll register in pairs or groups of three, and then I’ll assign a time for whichever date the Head of Studies establishes for the C1 Orals. People who are unsure of wanting to take this exam, shouldn’t register because if they failed to come, that would cause havoc! They won’t lose their right to come to the exam on the date of the oral. It’s just they’ll come at the time non-registered people are summoned (“convocatoria única”, it’s called), usually some time before the registered orals begin. In that moment, if other people come, we’ll form the groups and assign a time, probably after the registered students, or on another day. Another option for the examining board is to add each of the convocatoria única examinees to one of the registered pairs of students, forming groups of three in this way. This would happen if we could not use a second day for orals because our maximum time is four hours of oral exam giving a day (the law establishes we examiners have a half hour break after two hours).

NEXT FRIDAY: At 16.00 Toastmaster, at 18.00 the workshop on Emotional Intelligence. About your E.I. questionnaires: you can give it to Ana, the janitor, if you are not attending the workshop. You can also ask her for the Register for Book Adoptions (1 euro donation).

NEXT MONDAY is a holiday.

Work as hard as you can, and as joyfully as you can, and see you on Friday or next Wednesday! ❤

About yesterday’s talk: I felt priviledged to have the chance to attend a talk by Eulàlia Lledó tailored to what we had suggested.

  • I was really happy to see some of you there. Please, feel free to post about the talk, whatever it is you thought, of course!
  • For those of you who couldn’t make it to this talk, don’t worry! We have the video!
  • For those of you — if anyone is in this case — who did not come probably for being unaware of having an antifeminist prejudice, or a patriarchal heart, which dictates many of our likes and dislikes, and conditions our curiosity, I hope you can watch the video, too, when it’s published! You won’t regret it! 🙂 ❤
  • Some teachers told me how happy they were about my work in Coeducación because they were realizing they were actually developing a feminist intelligence! ❤ ❤ ❤ I couldn’t believe my ears! 😀 So I’m extremely happy because the world needs us all to be feminists, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote, right? 🙂 ❤

And as I’m on a roll, to celebrate all the good feminism is bringing to the world I’d like to share with you one of my favorite DNVAs (Direct Nonviolent Action), by a German feminist, two years ago on an 8 of March, the Sanitary Pad Street Action…

adnv_pads

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

Work in class tomorrow – Exam Training Work + Language Awareness

In case you can print the first 4 pages. Don’t look at the two last ones!

I prepared this language awareness workshop to review the use of tenses for your speaking and writing work and so you can be aware of the mistakes you make and overcome them (remember this needs oral drilling and finding examples in use, sentences, we can repeat out loud, because theory is not enough, you need to automatize accurate production and that’s why we work with lists of useful language too). I hope it’s useful.

We’ll read it out loud at plenary and you’ll discuss the examples and do the language awareness work in small groups, so you can also practice real communication for learning purposes.

C1spring_tenses01_reading (6 word pages)

If people have prepared oral work, they’re welcome to share it in class.

I’ll also bring your Writing Assignments, but my priority is we review these questions before handing them back to you. Then, we we move on to analyzing this work, we’ll continue reviewing language questions you need to master. But tenses comes first.

Lesson Plans for Monday

Dear all,

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

So — what’s still on is:

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely bilingual weekend! ❤

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!

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! ❤

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?

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.

Lesson Plans for Mon March 6

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

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

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.

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!

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews: Writing Methology Affecting Structure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on Language Range for Descriptions

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

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

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

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


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

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


About Writing Articles

As I explained we have two kinds of articles:

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

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


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

Diary for Mon Jan 20 & Some activities!

Today we did some rearrangin’! 😀

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

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

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

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

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

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

DICTATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Feb Assg in next post.

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

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

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

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

And mentioned that March would be about Exam Format Training.

Important! “Hidden Figures” – outing next Wed?

Dear all,

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

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

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

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

Lesson Plans for Next Week

Monday Feb 6

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

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

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

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

Questions & Proposals: on language, resources, plans…

Wednesday Feb 8

Deadline for January Writing Assignment

Reading aloud at Plenary: The workshop for rational discussions.

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

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

Monday Feb 13

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

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

Listening activity – to use later for retelling

Contingency plan: OPs ?- same

Oral Presentations on the Reading Projects

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

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

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

Diary for Mon Jan 30 – Guest Speaker from Scotland! & Lesson Plans for Feb 1

Today, after some confusion, we had a wonderful lesson. We managed to do Part II of the listening activity on climate change, and people had amazing results. Now your follow-up work should include listening again and retelling (click to hear). Please, do the cloze test at the end of the pack, in case we can fit it in some day. We’ll do Part III whenever we can, too. Does anybody remember how long it took us today to do Part II? Thanks.

Then Cristina R and Catherine, from Scotland, gave us the wonderful present of a talk in Scottish English! Scottish English is hard to understand JUST BECAUSE we hardly ever get the chance to hear it! So now we’ll be able to get used to it, because apart from today’s talk, Catherine allowed us to videoshoot. Our guest speaker told us about her country, her hometown, what it’s like, what university is like, too. And answered quite a lot of questions by students! She’s looking for a language exchange English-Spanish, so if you are interested or know of anybody who might be, I’ve got the contact info.

Next Wednesday we agreed to do this: Devote the first 45 or 60 mins to small groups checking the Collocations Worksheets (one at least). I’d like to ask you to share with your group which Useful Language you chose from that work. Remember that you need to say those sentences out loud to count on your ear and mouth memories too! Then, the rest of the lesson would be for Reading Projects. Please, don’t let your group members down! I posted here some of the questions I need answers too, so please read! ❤

The deadline for your January Writing is next Feb 8, but today some people already handed in their work. Next week you should ask me about the February assignment if you have questions.

REMINDERS

LoMs. Remember you should be good at knowing which your weak points are in terms of mistakes, so work on your LoM with feedback and corrections to oral and written work.

Listening to radio program(me)s. News and interviews. There are lots of podcasts you can download, to select one every now and then and listen to it again and again to improve your comprehension, fluency and accuracy. Now it’s the time, and until the end of course.

Weekly Learning Plans. Not to hand in, but to maximize your learning time! OK?

Today Dolores told me she had finished reading the C1 Resource Pack and that she found it helpful for her learning. She said she had arranged different groups of cards, to meet her needs. Thanks so much! Feedback on this is precious for me, so I can improve things, or at least know what’s most useful to students. I’d like to remind you all that the version which is now for a free download on TP (link above) is not the same as the one you have. And — I know I wrote it, but — I think you should buy the paper copy, because it’s only 12 euros and it’s a very special thing that might go out of print for lack of resources in public/state-run education! (There are only a hundred and something copies, and that’ll be sold in not that long!)

Finally, I’m getting orals people have been working on (retellings of Story of Stuff, Redesign My Brain…). Well done! I’ll reply with my feedback asap, and if you don’t hear from me, please, remind me of that. Video editing and preparing articles and listening exercises is taking up a great deal of my time these days!

Tips for your work. Overview of Lesson Plans by month

I’d like to ask people who make grammar mistakes (word order, morphology) or don’t listen enough to English, or who can’t follow this course well (= are not doing almost any of the activities they could be doing), to please use my podcast, or any podcast to practice Listen-n-Repeat with Useful Language.

Then, if you haven’t… Learn a poem by ear, practice retelling, re-using the audios we’ve already worked on, please! Repetition might be boring, but not if you focus on learning as many sentences as you can! So please, give it a try if you haven’t. Your English will improve a great deal in about a month.

Finally, one reason why we don’t use more classroom time for small groups is because whenever this is going to happen, people don’t seem to make it to class. Please, remember February 1 is for your Reading Projects, teamwork. On this day, you could also check one of the collocations handouts in teams, or we could do Part II of our listening activity on climate change.

The other reason why I ask you to speak at plenary individually is because if you do that in small groups, I can’t listen to you and give you feedback or at least know how you are doing. But if people are feeling they cannot speak in class because they’d rather do it in small groups, we can do that. No problem. Let’s do it!

On the second February week, we’ll be doing the same: small groups will check the second collocation worksheet and I HOPE YOU CAN ALL share in your small group the retelling of something you worked on with an audio, or a poem. Then we’ll finish the listening on climate change, and then people will train at home in the retelling of this radio programme.

If you need more classroom time for your Reading Project, please, ask! Don’t suffer in silence!

I’ll bring a reading exercise, too. Because in this part of the course, I’ll always be bringing reading and listening exercises for us to do in class. But this needs to be combined with YOUR SPEAKING AND TALKING ACTIVITIES. (Block letters for emphasis, not intended as shouting.) So please, let us know what you are ready to share in class.

Remember February includes your teamwork OPs. Next Feb 1 you need to work out when you’ll do your OP (last two weeks in Feb, but you can also book in March if you are not ready before that).

March will be Exam Format Training Month. (And pending OPs)

April: it depends on your needs. If there are not requests, I’ll come up with things. I’ve got tons of ideas! But I’d rather you suggested things or shared your work.

May will be Focus on Interactions, intensive practice in timed dialogues based on previous speaking tests.

Tutorías: please, book a counselling session if you are lost, feel down, or simply to talk to me.

Diary for Wed Jan 18

Today checking your answers to the two first pages of the Worksheet for Redesign my Brain took up the whole lesson because we also talked about techniques and the language items I had selected for the questions.

We have arranged the following plans for next week:

Monday

  • Finish page 3 of the Redesign My Brain activity
  • Do Part 2 of the Climate Change listening activity
  • Small groups to check the collocations handouts (8, 10)
  • We should also agree on a deadline for the January writing assignment. Considering it’s a book review, a travel guide entry or a travel brochure, or a brochure like the one I gave you on Women in Black, you might need the deadline to be in February? Just let me know what you think next Monday.

Wednesday

We’ll have the pleasure to welcome an acquaintance of María José’s, who is British but has lived in Cambodia. So he will be talking about whatever he likes in connection to his country or Cambodia. I’d like to ask you all to think of questions on these two countries, or language questions, too, the kind a someone who is not a teacher can answer. It seems he’s a tour operator, so this would connect really nicely with descriptive texts and brochures, and travel guides!

I’ve asked for a gift vochure for Teseo or olive oil for our Guest Speakers, considering we cannot pay them if they don’t have a CIF number or something I don’t understand they need to have to get paid.

I’m asking students to please prepare questions for our speakers, OK?

(edited) Diary for yesterday!! And lesson plan for tomorrow!

Sorry about that!

We listened to Soluna giving a very informative talk on Corpora, so that our advanced students are able to learn how to use words, and then we watched episode 1 of Redesign my Brain. We had time to comment a bit.

Next day (tomorrow!) small groups will check their worksheet on this, and we’ll have a plenary for questions and comments.

I hope we can also arrange a deadline for your January Writing, and that some people can read their amazing letter (Dec Writing). I also have your work records in the box, to give them back to you (diaries, LoMs I think).

Contingency plan? We could do Part 2 of our ongoing mega listening activity, too!

More things to check? the human rights brochure I gave out? Any questions or a retelling of what it is about? The collocation worksheets? Any OP on Story of Stuff? or other?

Feedback on Formal Letters of Request. Human Rights Project

In December, people had a formal letter of request (announced on Writing File above) and we decided to write a letter requesting or demanding somebody’s release from prison for human rights reasons.

December Writing Assignment – with resources

Next week I’ll be giving you your work back. You have one week to re-write it, if necessary or to type out your final copy to send in for publication! And after that, it would be good people who made mistakes told us about those, so we can check we are all OK with that or making good progress!

Contributions

Considering this Writing Assignment was so special, because it was based on real cases and on fighting for a respect for human rights, I’d like to ask all of you to send your pieces for publication. But please, feel free to say no. No problem.

My Feedback

  • After reading and correcting your work, I’m very happy you worked on your Before Writing stage. I can see you read various letters, because most people have used the “useful language” you collected correctly. Also, your selection of language was appropriate and well used in every other sense. So congratulations!
  • Some people had trouble with the structure, and you could see they hadn’t worked on a previous outline. Outlines are crucial to organize the info, also in paragraphs.
  • Some people did not do a good job proofreading their work, this is, in the After Writing stage.
  • About language mistakes, most people did not make many, and a few people had mistakes below the level. Mistakes in verbal phrases, for instance, including passives. Another area of mistakes was reference: be careful when you use your pronouns, because at times the noun it refers to is further back than some other noun, and that creates great confusion. One particular mistake: Meanwhile is not While, it stands on its own, so you cannot use it in sentences like this: “WHILE the legal procedure carries on…”
  • Most language ranges were very good, and a few were a bit more like a B2 or upper intermediate level, which is OK because we’re doing a C1 course now.

Outlines for Polite Letters of Request/Demand! / Human Rights Letters

  1. Address someone
  2. To-the-point beginning: Why you are writing: ask for somebody’s release/protection.
  3. Describe/Explain the case
  4. Pressure 1: Reminder of laws / commitments
  5. Pressure 2: your request again, considering previous paragraph
  6. Thanks/Goodbye

6 paragraphs, or more, but with this structure.

Addresses

A just-in-case note: We never include addresses in exams with a word limit. But read the instructions carefully because you should if there is a space for that or it is requested.

Useful Language

Prepositions

  • instigation to delinquency
  • accused of (a crime / sth: taking part in a peaceful demonstration)
  • charged with (doing sth)
  • sentenced to (a sentence)
  • put in isolation
  • held in solitary confinement
  • subject to an unfair trial
  • (sb) is opposed to violence / the use of violence
  • based on this evidence / events
  • commit to your promise/pledge
  • comply with art. … of … / respect art. …
  • was transferred to

Adverbs

Opening lined after the salutation (Your Excellency, Dear President …)

  • I am writing to request your assistance concerning (sb’s case) …
  • I am writing to request protection for (sb)…
  • I am writing to express my disapproval of the police misconduct in a demonstration for public education which was legally organized last Friday Jan 2 by the 15M citizens platform.

Firmer language (more pissed off!/wound up!):

  • I call on you to immediately and unconditionally release(full name) imprisoned solely for his/her peaceful political expression.
  • I urge you to immediately free prisoner of conscience (full names) imprisoned in … for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression / speech.
  • I urge you to free (full names) without delay.
  • I urge you to release (sb) immediately and unconditionally with all charges against him/her dropped.
  • I call on you to immediately halt the construction of a hydroelectric dam in…
  • Your country is known worldwide for the appalling treatment of albino people…

Diary for Wed Jan 11 – Reading Projects & Listening + Lesson Plans Next Week 1

Today we had an hour of work in small groups, on the reading projects. I forgot to collect (here “gather” is not an option, or at least I wouldn’t use it here) the group info from each group! But at least I updated group members on the page above called Reading Projects! We did agree on this: next February 1 we will hold the second session for Working Groups to finish up their OP. So on that date you should bring your contribution for the OP, to coordinate with the team. Then you will alll book a date for your OP and inform me about whether I can videoshoot someone or not.

Thanks, Karen, for your precious work contacting the three students we had questions for! ❤ And for the pics of the posters! I’ll be sending our Chimamanda Ngozi page and those pics as contributions for the multimedia magazine we’ll be publishing in the last months of the school year! Thanks to all, and if you wish to send something for this page, you can do so until Sunday this week.

Then we did our first listening in our Listening Techniques and Strategies workshop. I gave some tips, and people did well. There’s room for improvement, of course, but it was a good start. See this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Because people will be wanting to practice retelling of what can be learned/learnt from this Part 1 of the radio program(me), I’m posting the link to the mp3 audio. If you know where that is, hahaha, please, remember: don’t listen to part 2 and part 3 because those will be listenings to do in class in upcoming lessons, whenever we want to fit them in, OK? (probably, next Wednesday, when we check the Redesign My Brain worksheet and discuss the documentary, as Monday will be for an OP on Corpora and watching the documentary).

(Edited) Holiday Work! Starting Now!

😀 ❤

Tip: planning is crucial: draft your learning weeks because time flies! (the time you can devote to what when) Then adjust as you go.

It is fundamental that you listen to English every day, as much as you can, but also that you exploit those audios to further your learning in terms of understanding, speaking, and improving your language range and grammar or accuracy. At the same time listening allows you to expand your world, learn about the world, and all that. My proposal is you work with two documentaries we have already worked on, as follow-up work, and that you combine this with a new documentary we will watch in class in January. So check out the 3 new pages above: Docus: SoS, Docus: BH, and Docus: RMB

Apart from this focused listening work, it’s always important to listen to the news (on the radio, or on screens), to radio program(me)s where you have interviews or panels of people discussing matters, and your course TV series, the one you are following. You could also learn the poem Wild Geese, or a poem! Even a story. I have some good ones on Literature on TP or the TP Podcast.

  • Keep track of this work in your listening log.
  • Listening work always involves speaking work because you should listen-n-repeat to your selections, or listen and retell with an outline.

About writing, well, if you didn’t hand in your December Writing Assignment (a formal letter, requesting sb’s release for human rights reasons), it’s OK because the deadline is January 9. Check out Writing File here.

About reading, you’ve got your book and over a month to read it. Check out Reading Projects. And this blog, of course! ❤

Last, I almost forgot, some particular language awareness work: you have the two collocations worksheets, in case you want to do them.

I hope this homework is interesting enough to get you going, to help you find time for your English! ❤

The pack in in our School!
http://talkingpeople.net/tp/ra/c1/c1resourcepack/c1pack.htm

My Proposal for Last 2016 Lesson

OK, just to make sure everyone brings something: people coming next Wednesday should bring some story (fictional or actual, anecdote, whatever), a song, a poem, something to share through language. OK? You can read it, play it, say it. You can explain how to do something, tell us about your plans for the hols, whatever!

I’ll bring the videocamera in case someone doesn’t mind sharing later on on the internet!

The Baby Human Lesson

Becoming Happy Social Beings

Well, today not many people came to class, but we finally managed to start with one of my favo(u)rite lessons. I gave out a worksheet for exploiting To Belong (BH) and we watched the first 20 minutes twice. First we worked on textual structure (identifying the outline the documentary follows) and then sts did the fill-in-the-gap activity. Fortunately, they decided they were happy with watching it a third time next Monday, to gather more info to put together an oral summary of the experiments and the whole. So people who didn’t come today will have the chance to watch it at least once (note-taking for identifying the outline).

You can borrow a copy of this series from me, if you like. And if you did find it on the internet, please, let me know. I’ve only found certain scenes.

I have decided to give you all a documentary mission for the holidays (apart from Story of Stuff), because some people really need to listen to more English and learn to learn English from listening, because everybody at the C1 level needs to listen to lots of English and documentaries are amazing, and because it’s fun homework, at least you learn interesting things about topics people don’t usually discuss. So I’ll be giving out some paper copies next week, and I’ll explain it all here. It’ll be a documentary you can watch online, too. So next day we can relax, finish with this activity, with small groups retelling, and then have the Reading Groups talk about their reading projects. Today that was impossible because there were so many people missing.

Next Tuesday, at 6.00 pm, there’ll be an amazing talk on jazz on the second floor. I’ll be attending (until 7.00) and you are all welcome. It’ll be in English and it’s been organized by Juan. Try to make it there, if possible!

I pinned on the bulletin board your “notas” but as you know these don’t count for your Certificate Test. I gave a pass mark to people who I think or know are following the course. The important thing is the feedback I’m giving you on your English. As you have probably noticed, there is no one from last year, because just one student who followed the course failed. The exam results were extremely good, in spite of the fact that most people did not have a consolidated C1 level. But they worked very hard, and we worked very hard, and I worked very hard last year. I’m saying this because in my view some people would probably need two years here to reach a consolidated C1 level, but now it’s too soon to know, and it mostly depends on your use of English and the work you can put into learning this year. So I encourage you to work hard, joyfully better than because you have to, and if you need extra support or want me to assess your situation, supposing you’ve given me info on your English (work you handed in or shared in class), feel free to ask.

Just perhaps explain why three people who have not been coming to class have an Apto: I consider their English is at a good level, and I know they use it quite a lot, I can feel it when I listened to them in this first term. If I don’t get any more info, they’ll get a No Apto in this fake thing of “notas” trimestrales, but that won’t mean a thing. The only pass mark you can get is in June and September. So these Seneca notas are just a way of saying who’s following the course, and this info is irrelevant for evaluation in June and September.

Lesson Today

If we manage to overcome technical problems (I’m bringing an external DVD player), today we’ll focus on two things while watching a neuroscience documentary:

  • learning about textual structure in science documentaries
  • learning about the development of human intelligence

Then, groups can talk about their reading plans.

If things go wrong, we’ll watch another neuroscience documentary, but without a worksheet. But I’ll post the link to the documentary here plus the worksheet so you can use it at home for follow-up work.

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/

Lesson Plans for December 2016

Edited to include links to related Pages and Posts

Timed OPs and reciting poems (videos with poemsor reading out your writing assignments, please, all welcome, particularly retelling the Story of Stuff documentary, or any oral work based on listening work. Please, book in advance if possible.

Please, let me know about any pending matters!!

Monday Dec 5

  • Collocations: postive feelings and situations (pending: post key)
  • Friends 2×1: watching, language questions

Wednesday Dec 7
(Your Reasoned Opinions back to you. When to talk about them? When you finish working on them and we can then hold a plenary. I need you to tell me.)

  • Friends 2×1: small groups collect UL + lang. Questions (pending: groups sending in their work)
  • Dramatized Reading
  • Story of Stuff follow-up: small groups collect UL + retelling (pending: groups sending in their work)

Monday Dec 12

  • Reading the Human Rights Declaration: fixing sexist language?
  • Questions about the December Writing Assignment – letter writings , joining teachers’ Project?
  • Watching a neuroscience documentary – 1 hour – (note-taking) – Baby Human. Geniuses in Diapers (episode on how we learn to be social)

Wednesday Dec 14

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

Monday Dec 19

Wednesday Dec 21
(Tons of ideas, like Poem Day or teaching us how to do things, from silly to whatever! Videoshoots, too! But I’d rather you picked)

Thursday Dec 22: everybody at this School is invited: World Food Party on the second floor starting at 16.00 till 19.00 or 20.00 I guess.

About tomorrow’s lesson!

Tomorrow we can focus on gathering Useful Language in Small Groups: First on the Friends script. You can share it, discuss it and ask language questions.

And then on Story of Stuff — I forgot about this one when I wrote the diary yesterday. (So that’s why I’m posting this reminder now, oK?

Tomorrow, if any of you wants to give a (tops 5 min) OP or share the poem, you’re welcome. I’ve also got the video camera in class, to shoot whatever you are willing to shoot! 😀

Remember you would send me your teamwork UL lists by email, so I can check and publish, right? And I was thinking that we could contribute some of these to the EOI 25 Years Magazine! Some old Básico 1 students are putting together a list of Andalusian words and explaining them in standard Spanish, and I have volunteered to translate them into English! Just letting you know in case whatever! 😀

About your work this week for next week

Here is a list of things you could be doing:

  • Print the human rights declaration I prepared for you, to bring to class
  • Bring your collocations worksheet on positive feelings
  • Bring your copy of Friends episode 2 season 1
  • Listen to me reading the handout I gave you to expand on Story of Stuff (things we can do) as you read the handout. Listen twice: once to underline things you would’ve pronounced differently, and the other to collect UL for your teamwork next week on Story of Stuff.
  • Post your descriptions if you didn’t
  • Post minisagas
  • Gather info for me, about your work outside class in the past two months: list your mons, writings, listening log…
  • Read blog posts and Pages (notice Our Work in class by Month)
  • Listen to English: news, radio program(me)s; TV
  • Prepare a timed OP

Next week our lesson plan for Monday is:

  • correct collocations worksheet + Questions on Friends, and then watch + dramatized reading

Then, small groups on Story of Stuff, watching a neuroscience documentary in two days, one for note-taking and another to do a fill-in the gap activity. And… let me know what. Just now I simply can’t keep thinking on this! 😀 But we’ll be reading the human rights declaration and discuss issues.

PS: Before we part, you need to tell us the poem Wild Geese, too. I forgot!

Diary for Wed Nov 30 – Blog updates, projects, an OP!

Today it was meant to be the last day I would be collecting your reports on your work in the past two months, you rascalls! But only Marina handed in something, her wonderful listening log. Laura has been sending me info on this too — by email. Anyway, I don’t want to make you feel bad! I promise! It’s just I’m afraid people won’t be giving me info on their work at home, and I’d rather get some info on that, to design more lessons taking that into account! So please, try to hand in some info next week, OK?

The lesson plan was far too ambitious, so we have actually split it into two different lessons.

I started sharing info on blog updates, which was good to remind people of possibilities, both to read and listen, and post. I also mentioned the multimedia online magazine we’ll be publishing this year (it’s our 25th anniversary), and that I’d love to send in some of your work for sharing there. And I explained two things related to human rights: I asked students to print out these four pages for next week, so we can read out the declaration of human rights (legal and administrative texts), and I explained the project. I also told people about a project we teachers have (where we would welcome your contributions). I mentioned you could use your December writing assignment, a formal letter (to hand in in Jan 9), to join a letter-writing campaign of your choice, and that I could share links on Amnesty International’s or Prisoners for Peace by War Resisters’ International (people imprisoned for religious or political pacifism, meaning Jehova Witnesses or people like myself, but in prison for Direct Nonviolent Action, for instance). I mentioned cases as famous as Chelsea Manning’s (the soldier who shared info on abuse in wars with Wikileaks) and Leonard Peltier’s, an American Indian. I told people they could send me emails or post or just let me know about their preferences whichever way suited them best. Finally, I mentioned you might all find this audio useful if you plan to prepare your individual contribution this week for next week’s teamwork project on gathering UL from Story of Stuff.

By the way, I just got the final version of the C1 Resource Pack from the printer’s (it’ll be orange) and will be sending it back to them tonight, after revision, which means we might get the 200 copies before the hols. If you are interested in getting a copy, let me know, so I can ask for them.

Today we managed to check the collocations worksheet on negative feelings. We did so at Plenary, so that always means longer time spent in the activity because I’m such a story-teller and I keep interrupting processes to tell stories and comment language items! Anyway, the stories were related to Housing, evictions and the Spanish citizens’ movement PAH, against evictions, that Ada Colau and her amazing team started off, the controversial question of escraches. Are they nonviolent direct action, or violent?, a Travolta movie, smells, Pulp Fiction.

And Sergio did a brilliant OP on politics: building everything on historical information, he expressed his views on why Russia poses a threat to the world. His English was great to introduce people into some of the language we hear on the news. This also gave us the chance to review the ideas that Conclusions cannot include new points / ideas or examples.

What’s for next week? (so you can work this work at home) – see next post!

Lesson Plan for Wednesday Nov 30

So the plan for next day is the following:

OP by Sergio

Checking your Collocation worksheets in small groups + Plenary for questions. (Remember to get the new copies if you didn’t before. Some spares are on the bulletin board.)

Friends, episode 2 season 1.

  1. Your Language Questions on the script – it’s here. Read it to underline them!
  2. Watching the episode (?) – if necessary
  3. Dramatized reading: 2 or 3 times, so that everybody can read. Repetition might be less exciting, but it will help you remember more lines (fluency, accuracy, sounding natural!)

We also have to create the Reading Club groups (Reading a Book/Screenplay Project), but if we don’t manage it next day, we could use Small Group time next week for this. Just let me know what you prefer!

And if you haven’t posted your descriptions, remember to do it this week!

For plans next week check out today’s diary. Plus, we’ll watch another documentary, on the development of human intelligence.

Diary for Nov 21 – C-Day!

Today we had our first C-Day, and I went through the list of feedback on your October Writings. It’s here.

This took up all of our time!! But we managed to listen to Lorena and Clara, reading out their pieces.

I gave out two new handouts on collocations, based on things you need to learn: intensifiers and mitigators, and one on speak, talk, tell, say. If people do it before the winter hols, we might check it in class, but we might not, and then do it in January. In any case, I’d post the key here.

I also reminded people I’m expecting info on your work at home by the end of this month: LoMs (with request for language workshops, if you like), listening logs, learning diaries, whatever it is you worked on and want to tell me about. List your orals at home, and in class. And your writings so far, too. Also your reading work, if you like. I’m particularly interested in knowing if the C1 Resource Pack has helped you in any way (areas) and if you follow this blog and if it helps.

Next day: we’ll listen to people reading out their work, and then watch Story of Stuff for note-taking and retelling. Then if we manage it, we will check your questions around the collocation worksheets on positive and negative feelings. There might be one or two OPs too. Ambitious! ❤ Reaching for the moon! ❤

Excuse my not replying yet to your emails. I’ll be on that soon!

Remember next day is the deadline for your reasoned opinions, and for posting your descriptions — though for descriptions you can post them throughout this week.

Dinner’s ready and it’s “gambas al ajillo”!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ Yummy!!!!

Diary for Nov 16 – HOW TO not do a single thing we planned!! (& a poem)

Language tip: It’s “how not to do” (to be or not to be), but because there are “how-to’s”, it is also frequent to do this in this context: “How to + not do”

😀 Well, today lots of people came to class, and brought work they’d done (minisagas, November writing, Gender handout) and all, and we were all ready for C-Day, but —

I congratulated Cristina B for her in-depth analysis on the Gender questions and she agreed to share it when I give it back on this blog. I’m thinking of including a card on that, because I think feminism has done amazing analysis on this question and it seems that few people know about it, which is a pity, because knowing about it does not equal being brainwashed or anything, it’s just considering informed insight. Again, the problem is not disagreeing, the problem is — I believe — feeling threatened or attacked by viewpoints which are different. This hampers dialogue, and we should all fight hard to help people develop the ability to share their worlds respecting diversity and even realizing that diversity makes everybody’s life richer, more interesting.

For some reason I cannot recall, we started the lesson talking about the future, the ways English has to approach naming future events, and well, it’s one of the most amazing issues in grammar, along with the use of modals, so I sort of took people on a journey which included reviewing what they had learned about “the future” (on Functional Grammar at talkingpeople.net, there are some notes on this in case you want to have a look, “Expressing the future“) and reflections to understand why that happened, in the English-speaking mind (likelihood of occurrence; how different tenses and verbal and prepositional phrases are used to express different degrees of likelihood of occurrence). Two C1 items to master this year in connection to this language point are the “to be to-” structure, for announcing future events, and the future continuous for announcing plans we have kind of scheduled. Well, check this out in your possibly innumerable grammar notes everywhere! I’m trying to forget it all! 😀 Anyway, this led to modals, too, and we reviewed some uses of “will” as a modal, which is a universe, really, and some of “can” (mostly for requests) and “could” and “will” and “would” (for hypothetical). Well, have a look at “The Amazing World of Modals“, too, in case you find some proposal for work in class.

We agreed on the following (future projects: Language Workshops): people will pay attention to how futures are expressed in English and collect those examples, so one day we can hold a workshop on that, or develop a project for publication, like we did with our first session on Useful Language. You could do the same with modals, and in general with tenses.

Then Karen reminded us we hadn’t dealt with sharing our reading plans, so we did that, and 7 people are going to read PIF (they may place an online order for the books; groups organize themselves as they like), I’m so sorry! I can’t remember names now! And about 4 the Sherman Alexie Diary (Lorena will join in because she already read it/she’s already read it), same apology. Two plan to read High Fidelity, Germán and Dolores, I think. Cristina might join Romina, because Romina took the Feminist Stories, which Cristina read, or she might do a project on her own on a book she’s reading, unless she invites people to join her. Cristina R., you need to tell them about the book! (It’s certainly immaterial if I’ve read it or not, so please, your reading likes are the priority — feel free to read what you like!). I think Sergio took Orange Is the New Black, but I may be wrong, though he hasn’t decided yet. Please, people post about your groups or plans, if possible.

Germán reminded us we had to check the collocations worksheets.

When we were about to watch the documentary Story of Stuff, we remembered the Poem project, and well, I ended up playing Wild Geese and we ended up learning it by ear by heart on the spot (well, the first step!). I was somehow overwhelmed, because one cannot improvise reading poems in class. That needs getting ready for public reading, because poetry is so powerful it can move you deeply and that’s just what happened! Not that I cried, but visualizing all that beauty and being lulled by the music in the poem and its message, plus all the life experiences I connected to the poem was like an orange tree in spring! 😀 ❤

POSTING ON BLOG. We had a look at how you can all post as authors, but I think we’ve got some mysteries to solve, once everybody tries to post (not only comments, but posts). I wrote about this in some previous post here.

Anyway, we decided on plans for next week, and

  • I extended the deadline for the November writing to next Wednesday (descriptions to post here, and writing an-about-100-word reasoned opinion on a controversial topic, any, from deep and hypersensitive, like Is being a woman/man something cultural or biological?, to Are you for or against plastic shopping bags?).
  • On Monday we’ll do what we planned to do today: C-Day (my feedback, your LoMs, your sharing your work / reading aloud) + screening the documentary Story of Stuff, which, incidentally, you can all watch over the weekend if you like. I know some of you won’t be able to wait for so long! 😀 So you get acquainted with using the C1 Materials blog, the link is in “Other Audio & Video” (and then you’ll have the chance to see which other documentaries we’ll be watching).
  • On Wednesday we’ll listen to Sonia and Dolores, giving a 3-4 min oral presentation, and give them feedback. If somebody else has never given an OP in class, PLEASE, volunteer for this lesson. Book next Monday so we know how many of you we can fit into that lesson!. We’ll check the collocations handouts. And then whatever else you wish to do! Let me know on Monday!

LAST. I’m very grateful to your work, your questions and reminders in class, because you are helping us to do things we planned to do! Please, keep this up! I’m so flexible in class I can totally forget about other things we wanted to do! By the way, Cristina R., although I told you I would not number my fichas-fitzcherald, thanks to your proposal I realized I had to explain why, so I included a note in the card with the table of contents! ❤ I have also reflected on your gender worksheets to try to improve some of the things I explain in the C1 Pack when sharing my feminist intelligence. So thanks for that.

Diary for Nov 14 – OPs and Lesson Plan for Wednesday

Today I gave your checked writings back and reminded people of how to work with my corrections and suggestions today/tomorrow, and what to bring to class next day, so we can hold C-Day with my feedback (posted below) and your LoMs. Remember we can publish your work on talkingpeople.net – Your Stuff – Writing! And be grateful! ❤

We went through the ticks to the work you handed in or shared in class (Sept., Oct.) and people handed in the Gender Worksheet (here on Handouts, in case you want to do it), or a minisaga. Remember they’re not for evaluation, just as a reminder of what you worked on.

We had five wonderful OPs with feedback on language points.

Emilia spoke about unemployment, which allowed us to review useful language on the topic.

Karen spoke about mixed cultural backgrounds, and that was very interesting!

Image result for irish ringLucía gave a talk on an Irish ring in a true storytelling mode, with great work on language. I’d like to send you all of our support for your upcoming mission! ❤ ❤ ❤

Germán spoke on consumerism and happiness, and this triggered a new lesson plan for Wednesday: after the C-Day session, we will watch a 20-minute documentary which was key to educating everybody around how our economies and societies work in terms of production and human wellbeing.

And Dessi spoke about how to work to improve our listening comprehension performance in listening tests, based on the C1 Resource Pack and on another source I can’t mention because I didn’t catch its name! So we talked a bit about this crucial issue and I reminded people that to fulfill our learning plan, in these first months it’s crucial you listen to English every day for as long as you can, and practice re-telling. I forgot to give Dessi some feedback on her English: it was really good, so now I’m not worried about her not being able to make it to class as often as she’d like to.

By the way, she asked if she would be allowed to post things, so I’m telling you all: OF COURSE, you’re AUTHORS!!! Please, post away! ❤

Finally I updated people on the C1 Resource Pack. I really need to find time to finish its revision this week, to send in for publication! Wish me luck! 😀 ❤

Lesson Plan for next Wednesday

I’ll word the feedback I posted below, and you can add to that, ask, explain.

Then we’ll listen to people reading their piece.

We’ll watch Story of Stuff, a documentary, and then, depending on time available, you’ll reconstruct what you learned in small groups or we’ll do that at plenary. We’ll need volunteers as note-takers on the whiteboard!

Some people will hand in their Gender Worksheet or minisaga. Some groups will send in their pending Useful Language project. No rush but don’t forget to share! Optional writing: a review on the Ngozi essay.

Remember next Monday is the deadline for the November Writing Assignment. You should avoid making the same mistakes you made in the October piece. Next week we’ll watch our first neuroscience documentary, too, for note-taking and re-telling, but if you like, I could bring a listening activity I designed based on it. We also need people to book to do an OP next week. Please, people who have not done it should try to volunteer so that everybody has done at least a timed speaking exercise by the end of November!! If they don’t, other people are surely welcome!

Teacher’s Feedback (LoM) for Oct Writings

We can include other mistakes you made, if you tell us about them!

Today I’ll give you your checked work. Work on your personal LoM and bring to class on Wednesday, OK? Then I’ll go through this list, to check we all learn from what happened, and you can make your own questions. Finally, people will read out their checked work. You can make a clean copy now, typewrite it, and send it in for publication!

lom2016_10 (4 pages – Word)