Teacher donates Zinn books to schools
Related to the video “Who owns your data?” I posted yesterday (see Who owns your data?), here you have a pic of some of the using terms of the app Instagram. Please take a look at it. Maybe if we read the terms before accepting them, we won’t use the app!!
It’s got interesting vocabulary about contracts, terms, conditions… as well.
Which one do you think is the less acceptable?
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.
Then I read out people’s marks for the term. Well, this symbolic thing we do. Without having no one in mind, my guess is that most people will pass, but some might need June and September. In any case, don’t forget to be positive about learning and your learning this year: if you don’t have enough time for your English, don’t evaluate your results as if you had had, OK? It just spoils all the fun! 🙂 ❤ (your relationship to English and to learning). Our guiding star is learning English at the advanced level, not passing exams, right? Becoming competent lifelong learners who love using their English! ❤
- Today we checked the Ciclo Superior Reading Test 2006 and results were good!
Then I gave out two handouts with exercises:
- Listening “News Extracts” – we did it and the homework is you try to get the transcription of at least one news item. The audio is here.
- On the back you have two language exercises. Functional Translation and narratives in the past, I think.
- Listening. Profiency gapped listening exercise. Richard Burton (list of some of the languages he spoke). We did this one. And I forgot to finish jotting down all the marks, I think!
- On the back there are two exercises: an FCE (B2) exercise and a Proficiency (C1) exercise, which we will do after the spring hols!
There are spare copies in class, in case any of you wants to drop by to get them: tomorrow I’m there all afternoon, from 4.30 to 9.45 (you can just walk in and take them from the bulletin board) and on Friday plans changed so I’ll be in class from 16.00 to 20.00 checking your writing tests. My ambition is to start and finish (I just read them all) + take notes for language questions. Wish me the best! (The group that wanted to take the missed listening test will have to come on April 28 I think, because after the hols our teachers’ meeting has been moved to the previous Friday.)
If you want to pick up some common vocabulary in the news, check out this BBC website, Words in the News (some are articles, others audio or video)
Listening work – what I say on the TP website
A pacifist Belgian friend of mine (some of you listened to the story I wrote about her and me meeting one day in Madrid, “Dishwashers”) just send me news of a new antiwar network, World Beyond War, have a look at this: debunking myths justifying wars.
I’ll post more tomorrow or on Friday, so you get more ideas about working on your English. I hope you do find the time to do so, while enjoying it, of course!
Why the Dutch Election Matters (radio program, 28 minutes, with a panel of experts who discussed issues before knowing the results)
On the C1 Materials blog I have been posting interesting stuff throughout the year, in case you wanted to use it. I’ll repost a few of those materials, but let me know suggest some other reading and listening work.
This article is interesting because it’s about someone getting awards of late, and connects politics (the dramatic situation of democratic people in the USA today, with Trump’s election), to the role of art (critical thinking, solidarity) and gender issues (women’s status in society), the media /mi-die/ and TV series. It’s far too short, just 300 words, but there is a link to a long interview with the writer. Link: Margaret Atwood Cautions America “Against Dictators of Any Kind”. Notice that titles in English capitalize all the letters except articles and prepositions. This title, however, could also be considered a quote from the text, but as you will see the Huff Post treats it as a title. (Gather UL with “as” and “like”, for the April Language Workshops! ❤ )
Here is a radio program/programme you can listen to. Don’t read the transcript, if possible! It’s about a 2007 book she got published then, which people are talking about today. 5 mins. Take it down as a dictation! ❤
Last, here is a 2-page Reading Comprehension activity I prepared on Multiculturalism. I can post the answers when you are done, just let me know. We can also read it aloud in class, so we are sure you know how to pronounce all the words, and check it, of course! Enjoy!
- RC_Multiculturalism_withoutkey (2 Word pages)
This video is about something Coral talked about when she mentioned the role of the media in this bombing on what men and women are, the patriarchal stereotypes — and links to multiculturalism. Have a look
In case you want to be able to explain something about Brexit, here are some Questions and Answers (reading)
Remember what our Scottish speaker said about it? Watch her video, if you haven’t. And get used to the Scottish accent!
Read Brexit causes more stress to young, well-educated Scottish women. Brexit caused more stress to women, young people, better educated people, Scots and Londoners, according to The Physiological Society.
I certainly feel the UK have made a terrible mistake… But this is what you get when you mistrust progressist people and think conservatives are safer. Truly irrational.
Audio: Scottish independence after Brexit (8 min)
If you prepare a 3-4 min OP on any of this, let me know, so we can find some time in class to do that! Enjoy!
- Ushered into the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1935 [….], they acted as human computers.
- Called the West Computers, after the area to which they were relegated, they helped blaze a trail for mathematicians and engineers of all races and genders to follow.
- Built in 1917, this research complex was the headquarters for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)…
- Surrounded by the West Computers and other academics, it took decades for Shetterly to realize the magnitude of the women’s work.
- Growing up in Hampton, Virgina, in the 1970s, Shetterly lived just miles away from Langley.
Just in case you all forget, OK? Post here the sentences you spotted!
Have a lovely week!
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?)
I was predicting people were not doing much listening of the news or to radio program(me)s, and because being good at taking listening and reading tests at the advanced level requires having listened and read quite a bit, on a diversity of topics, and in order to encourage you all to keep a listening diary, this is, to make sure you listen to some radio program or other a few times every week (hearing one or two several times is crucial on a weekly basis: you see, you need to KNOW that the second and third times you do understand more, or much more), I started designing exercises, so we wouldn’t use up the real C1 tests, which you will take in March.
Daily listening work: So please, I’m asking you to listen to the news and radio programs every day. Work out your weekly listening plan, you can fit in 3 mins here, 6 mins there. I suggest you use some of the materials I post, too. There are some on the C1 Materials blog, and on this blog, too. Here is a radio book review on “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein (7 min). Next week I’ll bring some more listening exercises, including a dictation and identifying the outline (topic structure) of another radio book review.
Speaking: We started off with some students talking about the movie we watched last week. It was great because they gave their opinion, mentioned some scenes, talked about the people in the movie, too. I paraphrased some sentences they said for practice on fluency and accuracy. And we talked a bit about a few related topics. Then…*
Reading: And then went on to do my Reading follow-up activity on Hidden Figures. We had a little gapped activity as a warm-up, too. Homework: And I asked students to identify the present and past participle clauses in the article for next Monday (and I’ll probably forget about it, in case you can kindly remind us of this!) c1reading_hiddenfigures (2 Word pages). I also gave out a wikipedia entry for the Civil Rights movement, for further reading. But I do recommend Rosa Parks autobio. She was not a feminist because that was not possible at the time, but she does realize things as a feminist, and in spite of all the terrible pressure for the invisibilization of sexism.
Listening: We did a listening activity I designed, on Mars. I was insecure, thought it might be far too easy, but fortunately it was not! that’s why I always say that if you survive this course you’ll find the exam easy or relatively easy, hahahah… It included practice on self-assessment. People did well: most marks were 4/7, then 3/7 I think, well, that’d be a pass mark, right? Of course, you should reach for the moon! listeningonmars (1 Word page)
Well, congratulations, dear students, for surviving another lesson! 😀 Keep your work up! ❤
And please, remember it’d be great if there were people in class by 7.10, when Elva arrives! We’ll have guests, perhaps, and when we are back alone, we’ll listen to Dolores and Germán! ❤
*The mini-disquisition (it could’ve been never-ending! 😀 ) ! I also shared a couple of ideas which I think are good to reflect upon by us all: one is that our affections and interests are conditioned by culture. We tend to think it’s all about our freedom, our Self, but culture — intentional, non-intentional — determines we develop a greater interest in what men do, and little interest towards what women do, particularly in the areas they have always been banned from. The other idea I shared was about invisibility, too: how we tend to only see violence and struggle in specific events and how we fail to see violence and struggle in other events. And here’s the fact, in my view: as violence and struggle are things HUMANS do every day, but culture determines the how’s, we don’t see conceptual violence (we’re improving, though, now many people understand that women or black people or poor people are not less intelligent, or the like; or that a ruler has no right to rape, and murder, and enslave people), the verbal violence (e.g., invisibilization, misperceptions too and how we word that, e.g., the left-handed people and everyone else, piropos that actually terrorize women when uttered by unknown men in the street, or by an aggressive boss), which everyone of us uses and has to bear. We mostly see and only are aware of physical violence, and don’t allow it in women (we fear them even more than men when they use it, as if they were evil, much worse than the men who use it), culturally speaking — incidentally, that might explain why they can be so good at verbal violence. We identify struggle with the “necessary” or “justified” use of violence, but fail to see how we use nonviolent struggle in our everyday lives, and of course, the great development women have given this kind of struggle precisely because they were banned from the use of physical violence. (And Hidden Figures offers some great examples, and I hope people who did not come to see the movie, finally go.) Finally, I posed the question we all crave for: how we contribute to making people’s lives better and we don’t actually know, or can’t see it most of the times. This relates to our culture of violence and self-destruction, I believe. But we are human, and we can do amazingly good things. I wish they were seen, appreciated, acknowledged by more people because this would generate relevant change for the better in human cultures (but see the resistance to acknowledge women’s humanity, to mention just the largest human group subject to such terrible concepts as that of Woman in patriarchal culture), but there are people who do so. And how we tend to even make up the harm we do, or our lacks. When I realized this, as a middle-aged woman, I decided to quit what I call the network of gossip, which is not only done by women, but by men too. But the price of this is you don’t have certain information which is good to have! (not the vicious opinion sharing but other kinds, like someone is ill or the like). Well, dear all, I’m sorry about all this rambling. My intention isn’t to convince you of anything because I don’t believe in that, at least not the way that is understood. I’m trying to communicate, mostly! See if my points are understood by other people, what you all think. As you know, I’m trying to write about all this (and I’ve finally got A Room of My Own!), but never find the time!
How would you translate it? I can’t. “Fed up with having to do all the work and being invisible”. We were called “revolting bitches” but I don’t see why we should have been insulted. It’s very funny! It’s a pun and the stick to turn the masculine “o” into a feminine “a” is a CLEAN tampon, so — why would it be revolting? (Demented laughter)
More humor in feminist political action: Elöne, German artist / artivist
And this humor is admirable — for all the violence women get in this planet.
Have you ever read this classic text by Gloria Steinem? It was based on things that were learned in the 20th century in philosophy and other areas of knowledge, really! “If Men Could Menstruate“. Can you feel how belittling and humiliating it is to be bombed all day with the messages patriarchal minds send women?
Antifeminist people say women also use violence when they make fun of men, or use psychological violence, or verbal violence. (We all use verbal violence — words as physical blows and conceptual violence every day.) As if women were not human or men did not use apart from physical violence all the other kinds, including, traditionally, deciding over women’s lives, locking them up to serve them, mostly, or exploiting their work as if women were machines. But about violence — this is what I want to write about — let me say: the fact that men are allowed and encouraged in patriarchal societies to use physical violence AND the fact that women are not allowed to use it (a woman who kills is perceived as more evil than a man who kills; we fear her more), both show that using violence is educational, cultural. Because any human being is capable of using any kind of violence, or use their conscience and intelligence and not use violence on a daily basis. The patriarchal idea of physical strength is rather misleading.
So — Why are feminists obsessed with the period? Perhaps because it’s nowhere to be seen in History. Perhaps because all women’s issues have traditionally been irrelevant or disgusting? (Have you seen a true picture of what giving birth looks like? Lots of feminists had to posts messages in support of a woman artist, Ana Álvarez-Errecalde, who wanted to be taken a picture with her newborn for all the violence she was getting in social networks. She looks so absolutely happy! Why are women’s moments like these disgusting to see?)
Why isn’t feminist humor understood, or women who are feminists when they make a joke? And what they say is taken as if they say it seriously, so the reaction is so wild, ridiculizing them as thinkers, when the fact is they are making a joke? A political joke most of the times. Often an admirable joke. And when women reason, they aren’t listened to or red, because people in patriarchy can’t accept, can’t take it that they reason (we would have to get really upset about having made it so hard for them to help organize the world and solve problems), they can’t say anything which is worth it for us all — not as valuable as what a man can say, in any case. This is what history has told us. This is what we’ve been told for centuries everywhere. Women are bad at heart, particularly when they don’t do what patriarchy expects from them, like wanting to study, wear the clothes she likes, have sex with people she also chooses, drive, play football, have or not have bay bees, travel the world, write books, fight violence…
But women have always been here, not only patriarchal-minded women, also women-persons, or differently-abled-women! ( 😀 ) — like men who refused to become patriarchal men, or couldn’t — , and if we hadn’t had to fight so hard, we could’ve contributed more and in more varied ways, and mostly: we could’ve had a life of our own, for ourselves too, not only to help our community or family!
Humor has a role in feminism, particularly in Nonviolent Direct Action, but also just because feminists are human beings, too, and humor helps us survive! ❤
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.
Dear all, I’ve sent these blog pages to the editors of Collage 25 years, the multimedia magazine our School will publish at the end of this year to celebrate our 25 anniversary. This is the contribution called “Women Writers” and your page here dedicated to Ngozi is included. If you learn or read poems by women writers, we can include that too, later on.
LATESTS NEWS: C1 English students can just choose now between: art. 24, 27, 28. If any of you is interested, please, let me know which you want to do next Monday!
Listen, people, this is what we have, in French and German (by students): preamble, 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 29.
Updated Jan 18: + Dessi, art. 10 …
Friday Jan 20: New volunteer!!! Mónica is recording art. 30!!!
News Jan 20: French students: art. 2, 3, 5; 19, 21, 23, 24, 25
Would you C1s pick an article and post here the info, so others know what’s left? You could record it with my recording machine in class, by reading it out loud, after having practiced at home. As soon as possible (I can work on the video next Friday, or on Fridays, or a bit on this or that day), but if you’d do it, I’d wait, of course!
I just prepared / I’ve just prepared a kit, for 20 students, that includes a reading comprehension activity (of the kind Cloze Test) and a listening comprehension activity (fill-in-the-gap) in 3 parts (for three different lessons, starting tomorrow).
If you miss the lesson tomorrow, you could ask a classmate to get a paper copy for you. If we run out of copies, don’t worry: I’ll tell you where you can print it. I’ve also got the audios online, so if any of you misses a lesson, you would be able to do it at home, anyway.
I’d like to ask you not to do the listening activities I designed in previous years without checking with me first, in case I’m planning to use it in class, OK? 🙂 ❤
Watch your Story of Stuff documentary! It’s related. But now we’re moving on to Environmental Issues. Did you know that one of the most important causes of climate change is meat production? There’s a documentary on that somewhere! 😀
EXPLOITING MY R&L EXERCISES
As a business-as-usual kind of follow-up activity I’d like to remind you all taht we can use these activities, as well as all the audios we use, to train in different kinds of skills. I hope you can use my exercises to practice READING ALOUD AND RETELLING, so you can consolidate a good grammar, a good pronunciation, and learn about the topics we work on.
Today (I hope she will forgive me for telling you all), Mónica, an old student here, who I had the joy to meet in Avanzado 2, and then at our C1 course, dropped by for a visit!
Why am I telling you? Because she asked me about a book I recommended when she was a student, and considering it’s the end-of-year celebrations (Christmass for Christian believers), some of you might feel like getting a copy of it for yourselves or to give away. Prices go from 4 US American dollars to 100 euros, so make sure you compare prices. I usually shop books online, at Amazon (Britain, Germany or Spain, depending on prices) and at Iberlibro, a network of bookshops (make sure you compare shipping prices).
This is the book: Teaching and Learning Through Multiple Intelligences (3rd Edition) by the Campbells and Dickinson.
I bought an extra copy, although the book is expensive, because I tend to lend books and sometimes people forget to give them back. But now my extra copy is somewhere in Jaén, I think, as someone borrowed it some months ago. In any case, if you wish to have a look I can bring my copy to class, and you can also borrow it! (Demented laughter!) I can even read a beautiful story it has, on kinesthetic intelligence!
This book is an application of Gardner’s work as applied to primary, but I found a great deal of inspiration for the course I designed for you all, and for my methodological approach.
Here’s a list of the 8 kinds of intelligence the authors address, based on Gardner’s work: https://www.edutopia.org/your-multiple-intelligences
On our blog project, we just published a new section you might be interested in, Exercises We Design, both in terms of doing them and designing them!
Human language is what makes us human, in my view. It’s what shows the amazing power of our human minds to create, not only imagined worlds, but above all, realities. The 20th century, with its astounding development of human knowledge thanks to the development of a more observant and empathetic way to see the world (in social and natural sciences, in art — which started to look inwards and outwards in new ways –, in social movements, that flourished as a result of grasping the idea of human rights) gave us the precious idea that language is intimately connected to thought (we can’t think fully without words) and to human relationships (society). However, we still connect violence to specific realizations of violence, and continue to be blind about the power of language in the construction of nonviolent answers to problems and about the role of language in the construction of violence in our human worlds. This does not mean we are actually incapable of seeing all of this — we do, when we look, and meditate, when we communicate, too, at times.
Identity is a key issue for humans, and the world we have created is always judging and condemning identities, creating exaggerated images of the identity we support (myths, heroes, martyrs), which leads us away from a more realistic human world. We learn that people whose identity is different are a threat and not a source of curiosity, communication and negociation. It is as if we were not able to build our identity without comparing everything to another identity group and making it clear we are better, we are right, and others are wrong. As if life were that simple! In this way, “the Other” is a threat, and the less violent action we undertake is not a true nonviolent answer: we choose to ignore all about that group, we refuse to know and learn, to communicate and negociate. Violent answers take less time.
So we have to do a lot of thinking, a lot of learning about how we use violence through language in our everyday lives.
The other day stand-up comedians came up, and I mentioned Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues (and how she managed to bring up a taboo topic which unleashed a universe of topics that were silenced just because they related to women’s experiences and in patriarchy women’s issues are second-class interest topic for knowledge, politics, history!) and Lenny Bruce’s monologue on the viciousness of words. Here is the link to that monologue. The audio is just of the first part. Unfortunately we can’t listen to him saying the final part, which is — in my view — very powerful, deeply moving. See what you think.
How can we word our views to facilitate communication with people who have different views? And coexistence! Why and when do people feel offended and justified to exert which kind of violence in “self-defence”? When people’s reaction is a problem people have with listening to different views and when is it because our wording is violent? Why refuting somebody’s ideas is felt as violence? Is there a difference between refuting ideas and using verbal violence, or conceptual violence? How can we be violent in our use of language and how can we solve problems through a nonviolent use of language? Why don’t we pay attention to the positive power of language in our everyday lives and in how we organize coexisten, society, and allow instead the negative power of language to operate at all times (but we seldom want to see/realize that)?
If you wish to explore this topic, The Power of Language, you could attempt a reasoned opinion, if you like! ❤
Last, my position against what the Real Academia de la Lengua’s role (a prescriptivist institution) in our society parts from my criticism to its cruelty — a terrible kind of cruelty because it tells people something cruel and inaccurate about language and their language, which is to say, their identity, their status in society — because traditionally it has used language in classist ways, which is not something Modern Linguistics sets to do, in contrast! That’s why I included in the pack some notions about What’s correct, functional translation and functional grammar, all of which comes from Modern Linguistics, not RAE, of course.
An interesting book to read, by linguists, and perhaps you could choose a chapter/topic, is Language Myths. Check it out (I even recorded one of its chapters) and if you want to read one of its chapters, let us know. Perhaps we can design an activity.
In Coeducación (Education for Equality) we have been visited by a group of men (contra la violencia doméstica) who have posed questions which were ill-founded, placing feminists in positions they do not have. You can read that discussion on our Like Page on Facebook (check out the group’s side post, with an external link) and also in comments to some of the latest posts we have on our blog Desarrollando inteligencia feminista.
I’ve tried to write something to see if this could help people control our culturally-learned antifeminism, to make some progress in the question of how we understand we are addressing violence in the cases where this understanding requires some development of a feminist intelligence. I welcome any kind of comments, provided they don’t intend to hurt me personally or defame adorable people who could be wrong, but then they would just need to know why! 🙂 ❤ I can also adapt this text to collaborative writing, so feel free to analyze, too, if you like!
Human Rights and the Overcoming of the Patriarchal Sex-Gender System
The Question of Violence against Women and Human Violence
What we now call “gender violence” or “gender-based violence” is one of ways in which humans inflict violence. Violence among humans is justified and persecuted in different ways. With the feminist notion of “gender violence” we have come to understand that there is a kind of violence in patriarchal societies that women’s promotion to the status of human being has made us think is unacceptable: the violence men have been encouraged and justified to use against women to make them serve them,, obey them, or simply to use their bodies as objects.
Although Spanish laws are groundbreaking for there is a law addressing the social problem of gender violence, the feminist notion has been distorted to only include the cases in the sphere of domestic violence and personal relationships. The result of this is people’s general confusion about terms and concepts, and considering we have all been brought up in century-old patriarchal societies, the verbal lynching of people with a developed feminist intelligence, who try to clarify the situation. Feminists are mainly told, in rather violent ways, that women also kill and murder.
Because this is just a pedagogical text trying to clarify some of the key concepts, I will not discuss when killing or murdering people is justified or not. I will focus now in clarifying the following:
Gender violence is the violence patriarchal societies have told Man he can inflict upon women, as the master and leader of the group. In other words, gender violence is learned and relates to who has a say in human affairs, who leads their organization, and determines things that affect the group.
Domestic violence includes all the kinds of violence happening in the home, in the place where people who love each other are meant to share. This means domestic violence relates to gender violence (most cases are actually gender violence), but also the violence inflicted by a woman towards a man or a child, by a child or teenager towards an adult or elderly, and viceversa…
Violence against a person by another person who is not allowed to use violence (a citizen, for example) has always been punished by law. So the contention that gender violence should include the violence of women towards men is simply an antifeminist stance full of irrationality and hostility. If women kill, they go to court and if guilty, are sentenced for murder.
The fact we need laws addressing specific kinds of violence results from identified social problems: our society today perceives that gender violence, the violence of men towards women (at least in the domestic setting), is unacceptable AND a social problem. Our society today also finds we need specific laws to address other problems from violence: racist motivated violence, violence against children and teenagers.
But the existence of these more specific laws is not unfair to other groups, because violence by anyone [by people not allowed to use it in the scenarios our society allows (mostly by men, for women in the military are not allowed to work in “combat positions”)] is punished in our law system: we punish people killing other people, regardless their sex, gender, ideology, age, cultural identity… The fact that we need to reinforce these laws with others addressing certain kinds of motives or situations cannot possibly be considered unfair towards any human group, certainly not the group Man in patriarchy, who does not get almost any physical violence from women (the question that women are human and therefore capable of using all kinds of violence too, particularly if allowed, like Man in patriarchy, cannot be addressed here. Simply say that how women have developed the ability to inflict violence through words and attitudes is relevant information for an analysis of human and patriarchal violence). It is a questioning of the patriarchal gender system, and that is initially we reject it, but this challenge is consistent with us having finally understood the idea of Human Rights in the 20th century, this is, for a POSITIVE REASON — we’re trying now to help our society make progress towards a kind of social organization that respects everybody’s human rights, and this means abandoning the patriarchal sex-gender system which established a superiority and an inferiority in terms of two perceived genders and which ignored the diversity in human identities.
Just as a note to help people control antifeminist reactions in favo(u)r and to encourage the use of rationality and empathy: overcoming the patriarchal sex-gender system does not mean abolishing human identities. A man can feel he is a man beyond what patriarchy defines as a man. The same applies to women. Today we know not everybody has or feels their sex or gender identity as what patriarchy defines as being a man or being a woman. We are all kinds of things: men in different ways, women in different ways, humans in all kinds of ways, and we should stop feeling we can force people to BE the kind of identity we understand or have. Everybody deserves respect, unless their identity is built in torturing or murdering other people. Then we need to intervene, but not for reasons of making a certain identity compulsory, but for reasons of not allowing violence.
Here is a project you might be interested in. Let me know this week (in class or by email), in case we can use time in class for it.
human-rights-declaration-project (4 Word pages for you to print – if we read it in class and comment, I’ll have a few classroom copies)
Teachers at our school are planning to create a multilingual video where each will voice an article in this declaration in Spanish, English, French and German. Because they are 11 or so, they’ll probably welcome other people joining in, students, I mean! 😉
Mujer Palabra (an independent website) has sent the United Nations a request for updating the language in the Declaration of Human Rights in Spanish, to replace terms in the masculine singular with less excluding naming in terms of gender discrimination. If you wish to take part in this action, check out their Like page on Fb, where you’ll find a link to the UN email account in the post called “Acción derechos humanos”.
I just updated / I’ve just updated your In class page on talkingpeople.net, which is this one:
Path: talkingpeople.net – Enter – In class – C1 Course
Some things need revision but I think the basics for this course are there, including the School’s syllabus. In any case, if you find mistakes, or have proposals, please, let me know.
Today Karen told me something beautiful, that she was starting to consider language from a different point of view! ❤ Learning is about discovery, so that’s one of the most beautiful things that can happen! And how it does when we simply put our heart-mind into learning! ❤
The other thing I wanted to share with you is that I’ve been working like a maniac on the final version of the C1 Resource Pack. I wanted to express my deepest gratitude to you all who worked on the Gender Worksheet. You see, as a pacifist and a feminist, I’m in a very good position to do what I’ve been endeavoring to do all my life: find common ground so that people with different ideals, ideologies, lifestyles, passions, can agree on something that will enable us to move to a better stage of development, in terms of avoiding violence and injustice. So reading your work is allowing me to clarify what I need to be explaining in the pack on gender. Of course, there’s more to this: your English and finding out all the follow-up work we can do. And I found something that will help you start doing that at an individual level. On the C1 Materials blog, where I collected all the gender work we’re doing, I included an article with interviews to trans people, transgendered people, who are in an extremely insightful position to speak about gender, gender in patriarchy, and how gender feels. I hope you can find some time to read it. ❤
Apart from pulling my shit together on gender, for the pack, I’ve also done something which looks easy but has taken me many years. Because going simple is the hardest, like learning to see what’s there! I’m attaching the card, my very-much-loved ficha because I can’t wait to show you!
In case you want to continue meditating!
Feel free to ask or share or make proposals in class.
I just called / I’ve just called Elva, a woman from Iceland who I wanted to invite to class, as a guest speaker, so we can learn about the people in this country first hand! And she just told me / she’s just told me that she’s leaving for Iceland again in a week / in a week’s time, but that she would be delighted to come to class in January. We arranged we would get in touch then to arrange for a date and the kind of lesson we would have that day!
I had the pleasure of listening to Elva’s English last June, when she registered for the Avanzado Certificate Test. I was part of her speaking test examining board. Her English was consolidated at the advanced level, so a B2 certificate less than she could have actually certified. But as you know, it’s not possible to take the C1 Certificate Test as a freelance student (Libre). Yet (let’s cross fingers!). Anyway, although we don’t evaluate ideology, or ideas, just the language and textual and communicative matters, I was deeply impressed and moved by her monolog(ue), which was about refugees. So after the tests, I asked her about this idea of visiting our School to talk about Iceland. And she was generous in her reply! She’s even brought us some maps, already!
As you know, you have a reading assignment, which is two articles on Iceland which I posted here (Reading Articles, a Course Project). You should read them for January and work on ideas and language for your productive work (speaking, writing), which will also be positive for your reading tests!
Today people had the chance to work together!
First they dealt with sharing their work on Useful Language, and we agreed they would send their contributions to a team member, that this member would organize/organise them as a whole and then send it to me for corrections and publication on a page here: Lists of Useful Language by Sts. Lourdes’s team maximized their time and effort, for they did all that as they shared work! Bravo!
Then people checked the Collocations worksheets, here is the Key with comments, and I gave out two more, because I’ll be giving out two every month. Bring it to class in three weeks or so. After two weeks you can suggest when!
PACK. I reminded people everybody needs to read the C1 Resource Pack, at least the cards that speak about how to learn this year. And we agreed people would make sure the had done this by the end of this month. Meanwhile you can always ask in class.
COPIES. I know you have to do some printing, but this course gives you a lot of things for free, and you can always count on asking me for copies if you can’t afford it. Do so, if you need me to do that! Ask in advance, OK? In any case, I’ll always try to bring COPIES FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM.
UL. I reviewed why we work with lists of Useful Language, too. But the pack makes all this clear, I think, I hope! You need to tell me!
ORALS. I undertook a persuasive approach this time, and managed to find 4 volunteers for next week. This means two people per lesson. Please, let’s do something: if you realize you’ll miss a lesson where you would be giving a presentation, tell your classmates so someone else can prepare work for that day! ❤ I reminded people that each lesson without students doing timed OPs is a lesson lost in this valuable sense of you getting the chance to get feedback on timed speaking test formats. You see, if this were private education, you would be doing this once a week. Because we’re twenty-lots, and there are from 5 to 8 lessons a month… I’m not good at maths but, counting on not everybody volunteering, this means we should be listening to 3 people in every lesson for you to do ONE timed mon a month in class. Of course, at home you can do more, and practice the one you share many times, so that when you come to speak in public you feel more confident, and so you practice speaking at home. So please, watch my video on how to work on monologues at home, watch Lucía’s OP, too, read the part on the Speaking File in the Resource Pack. In any case, everybody should have done a timed OP in this first term, please! And in any case, remember that you can use part of your listening work to practice retelling! This would be a minimum if you want to improve your English.
REMEMBER I need to collect info on your weekly work at the end of this month, OK? As important is that you tell us about it in class, and ask questions, and make requests.
HOMEWORK: The importance of planning should not be underestimated, particularly if you don’t find the time for this course!
Your weekly learning plans should include reading blog posts & pages (the once-a-month shared reading of articles: see here), and watching our edited videos. Then the listening log is key (our videos, podcasts, radio, TV, movies…), to support your learning and speaking work at home, weekly. Finally, monthly writing assignments would be your writing minimum. If you didn’t manage to do the October Writing Assignment, make sure you don’t miss out on the next! Be patient, do what you can, and never quit!
POSTING ON THIS BLOG. I encouraged people to use the blog as Authors. You can post work, resources, questions. You can make comments, hold “conversations”, and you’ll get a free correction!! 😀 ❤ It’s great support for your learning outside classroom time!
Here is the idea: it includes an article suggested by Knitting Words and another one I found interesting too, on the same topic. I have underlined interesting language for you to learn, and included a Task Description on page 4. Please, print it and read the Task Description. Then it’s up to you all if we work on it in class, OK?
I recommend reading articles to people who don’t generally do! Because it takes a long time to get acquainted with the kind of language in the news, in press articles, in analysis magazines, and articles are always part of your Certificate Reading Tests.
So if you are not considering reading a book or more of those I suggest on C1 Materials, do consider reading articles at least! 🙂
news_iceland_genderrevolution (4 pages) – Connecting Skills: the language and info/ideas here will help you write and speak about gender issues, the construction of democracy, grassroots and social change, laws, employment, equalitarian societies… Consider how you can use what you learn from reading, for instance, in other kinds of exercises. Consider using other kinds of sources, here audio sources, for instance, (e.g., google news on gender issues) to check your progress and expand your knowledge.
As you can see, with one item or task we can build a whole unit, so to put it.
‘This changes everything’, Naomi Klein famously says of climate change. Has it yet changed us? How have antimilitarist movements responded to the challenge of current and future climate change? It’s a challenge that, yet again, uncovers enormous global power inequalities, with the activities of industrialised nations actively destroying communities all around the world, and especially in the global South, who have barely contributed to this problem. Industrialised nations in the north are turning to their militaries maintain the status quo (see our recent edition of The Broken Rifle on border militarisation).
(There’s an article about something that happened here in Andalucía)
We’re preparing a post on how to prevent rape for Nov 25, the international day against violence against women, a concept we call “gender violence” in Spain — in spite of the fact that the law just acknowledges as gender violence cases where a man in the family (namely the husband or ex husband) murders the woman he was supposed to love.
I read /red/ this article and I was wondering, Would anybody volunteer its translation, so we can publish it in Spanish?
To everybody, do you think the article is useful in any way?