Videos

Feminist Fairy Tales for a Better World, by Romina

Better late than never! I hope you can all watch this OP by Romina, so insightful and resourceful in terms of using English to communicate ideas. It’s got various resource cards and written notes, too. I hope the DIF Working Group manages to pull together a Storytelling Group that can do and share some research on the questions Romina brings up!

If you can’t watch the video just now that’s because it’s still uploading. It’ll be ready today, anyway!

“I make grammar mistakes when I speak English…”

In this video, you’ll discover the three simple steps to learning English grammar so you use it correctly and automatically, and become a confident English speaker faster. 🙂https://youtu.be/uzYxx3ibwlU

I recommend you to subscribe to his channel on youtube!! Have a wonderful summer holidays! 🙂

Outing to celebrate your achievement & Recalling Generation 1 & 2

Today quite a few people dropped by to say hello or have a look at their exam, and then we went out for dinner together. We missed the people who did not make it to this outing, so let me send them a big hug from us all. We hope you have a wonderful bilingual summer! 😀 ❤ It’s been a pleasure to meet you all, and have the chance to work with you. This third generation has had amazing results, really. So thanks for that! It will also be inspiring for newcomers!

I’d like to dedicate this post to you three generations of C1’s here because each and every year has been intense and fruitful in many ways.

The First Generation, where less people followed the course, was full of people who loved learning English with freedom, so perhaps that explains why they felt at ease with the methodology and made the most of it. I’d like to share here the videos I was allowed to shoot:

The first C1 video was by Rocío, a journalist, and she gave us this precious present:

Paco’s was the second video-donor! 😀 His English was amazing anyway, and he loved music and is a talented DJ. In case it helps other people, he failed the listening test in June but of course passed it in September. Here, he’s reading his favorite chapter of the Alexie Diary… because I asked people to read this book and share their highlights.

This year, small groups worked on an OP based on work listening to the news, for December. We have the video recording of an OP on Science, and I’m sure you will be surprised, interested and enjoy it a lot!

Miguel, a most passionate learner, allowed us to publish two of his amazing OPs:

Paqui, who loves books, prepared this power point presentation she used in class to celebrate World Book Day.

Paqui, Noelia, Marisol and María del Mar learned a poem for one of our assignments.

The Second Generation had a majority who had a lot of pressure to get their certificate for work reasons or because it was their second year taking the course, and this put a lot of pressure in replicating the methodology of Exam Culture. But we all worked really hard and people contributed amazing work. Here are the OPs we recorded.

Poetry: Silvia read a powerful poem by Ghada Al Atrash, “Imagine”, which I also posted on our blog English Women Writers…

And Natalia, also a music teacher in secondary, learned a complex poem, putting together this amazing OP: The Owl and the Pussy-cat.

Andrés, another secondary teacher, helped us conmemorate November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women.

Yolanda H, whose English was really good already, and in spite of that kept following the course, shared with us one of the assignments I suggested based on listening work on the news:

And here is an unprecendente project: the second generation of C1’s worked on Herstory and Feminist Analysis. Their research and analysis was impressive, I did suffer lots editing their video work for zillions of hours, to try and help many of them with fossilized mistakes and grammar mistakes. In any case, they all got their certificates except one who unfortunately decided not to take the September writing test, and that was mostly for their very hard work that year.

The other two feminist intelligence OPs were very interesting, too. I’m sure you will enjoy them:

They contributed more work: audios and writings you’ll find on Talking People.

What about yours? I need to finish some pending videos. And then I’ll post about you all! 🙂

So if you hear people say public language education is no good, remember these people and your own experience. The fact is language learning never ends, and that’s why this course makes the point of helping people broaden their resourcefulness on how to learn, how to use your English in various ways with all kinds of materials! Language learning depends an 80% on the learner. No teacher or course can teach, really. Language is very complex. But teachers and courses can offer some precious support, provided the person does love using the language and learning of course!

Hope you enjoy your summer! ❤

 

(edited) Speaking/Listening Practice

Some pronunciation/listening tips

Notice step 3. You can also do that for recapitulation, or when you have not interacted much because you cannot come up with comments or questions to what your classmate said.

Make sure you make questions, follow-up questions, or “need-more-info” questions. Show you care about what the person is saying, that you are following.

This one’s easy, but THINK as you listen.

Practice language you need for interactions. Remember you’ve also got my podcast (the Useful Language segment).

This one’s fun! But avoid “screwed” and “fucked” in exams, even if it’s an informal interaction. Well, it’s just an idea!

Notice transitions & signal words, how they organize their text, how they introduce questions to allow us to follow, not only the vocabulary on travel, I mean!

Openings, then beginning a point and ending it. Always clear: but you need to see the structure in your outline, of course, that’s what the outline is for. Extras: transitions for moving on: connecting previous to subsequent.

Enjoy your weekend, listening and repeating and imagining scenarios for interactions, and speaking about topics. Practice introducing topics/points “About my second point, …” (it’s like how we start paragraphs)

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the connected world

Hi, everyone!! How is it going? I watched yesterday a really interesting documentary about internet, technology and its impact in our future as human beings. I couldn’t make it to find the hole one, so I’m posting the trailer.

It would be great if anyone could find the complete version and post it here, in the blog.

Hope you enjoy it and find it as interesting as I found it.

Best wishes!!!!

Assange Interview

Just finished. It was Assange in English, Gabilondo in Spanish, on TV, but here there’s simultaneous translation, so if you find it as in the original, please, post the link!

My notes on two ideas Assange mentions:

Assange, interviewed by Gabilondo

G: Fear of going to prison being accused of major crimes?

A: Perhaps at the beginning, but then he thinks and feels it would be exciting – a new world, lots to learn

His fear is that of not being engaged

Dystopias are more unlikely than utopías

Comparing Novels and Movies

In about an hour, you’ll be able to watch this very useful video, with Desi’s performance, comparing Pay It Forward, the novel, to the movie version. I included five cards at the end with tips on how to do this kind of assignment, but the example you can learn most of is Desi’s work, really! Notice how well she uses relative clauses, to include background info on things she mentions. And the other points I comment. ❤

Talk on language

If you missed Eulàlia’s conference, now you can enjoy it! It will probably be a transformative inner experience. If you are lucky, something inside will click and your view on language will become wiser, this is, it will help you trash lots of common misconceptions and unconscious prejudice!

https://coeducacioninteligenciafeminista.wordpress.com/nombrar-a-las-mujeres-por-que-el-lenguaje-importa-conferencia/

Who owns your data?

Hi everyone!!! I would like to share with all of you a video I found on Youtube today about our online data. I think it’s really interesting to know this issue, that’s becoming a real one, better. Moreover, it has useful vocabulary and expressions about internet, digital world, digital data, big companies, apps, cookies…

Hope you enjoy it!!!!

At last! Wonderful Presentation on Orange Is the New Black & On Prisons and Learning

This presentation is a great example of what an advanced learner is capable of. I want to thank students who, like Marta and Isabel, have allowed us to record their work because it is truly precious for everybody’s learning! ❤

Although our speakers make some mistakes, it is obvious their relationship to the language is very natural, at the advanced level, too, that they are able to analyze their experience with it, in complex ways. I mean, apart from the interesting points they make, apart from bringing in their worlds to the analysis (this indicates they understood what they were reading beyond “the language problem”), they can explain it all, complex ideas, in a natural way, and when they can’t find the words, they manage to find a way to make their point anyway.*

Use this to learn to listen to yourselves as you speak, so you can fix the mistakes you make which you can actually fix! And enjoy! It’s very enjoyable!

  • (except with one word Isabel utters very quickly and probably makes up! 😀 😀 😛

I’d also like to invite you to listen to some writing by Angela Davis, one of the most brilliant and honest thinkers I have read, socially committed, too, because this philosopher is an expert in the prison system, and also an activist fighting it, to humanize our world.

  • Are Prisons Obsolete? – a collection of essays on the topic. Here is one of the essays
  • Chapter 1 of OITNB, which I recorded, in case you want to see how the memoir starts
  • Also, here is a page where I share my work on language when I read this work by Piper Kerman, and some resource material I created for a workshop on “Crime and Punishment”, one of the topics in C1 tests

Finally, I believe the topic should be called “Crime and Justice”, really, but this is the world we have: we think that if we don’t use violent words or behave violently that means we are not doing anything against violence — a very patriarchal piece of thinking, in my view! Fighting violence and crime is rooted in VALUES and when the values a certain culture chooses are violent, then it’s all about nurturing the same problem. The only “punishment” a prison should offer is privation of freedom, and only for certain crimes, crimes against people (not so much property — if people were not subject to poverty, the only criminals we would have in prison are those corrupt people who steal and never get to prison), not all the other humiliating and terrible things it involves. While preventing those criminals to harm other people, prisons would be places to learn good things, to learn. But then, here and now, many of us would want to go there because of unemployment! 😀

Anyway… I hope some year we can have this workshop in this course. The kind of education based on not seeking becoming independent and resourceful, and absentism* have terrible impact every year, because we cannot count on people’s initiative, work, participation and collaboration. Teamwork is always utopia and there’s like no hope because it’s so justified we don’t have the time to work with others.

*(I do wonder why people think that you can tell people in one course you signed for that you cannot join them because you have to attend another course. I know I get to learn about this reason for them not coming to class only from people who appreciate me and respect my work, but it always hurts to see how anything is more important than learning in a course you wanted to do, right? I mean, if you have enrolled in a course, and don’t find time to follow it, why would you find time to follow another course? It’s funny how we find the most positive things for our learning, the least interesting to pursue, really. It’s like when we learn without suffering: people truly believe in practice that they learn more when they suffer in the process. Well, excuse my sharing this insight. Feel free to disagree! It could bring us hope! 😀

Proud about this project!

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your English! ❤

A conversation on gender violence (violence against women)

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

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

Video: Catherine, on Scotland (Guest Speaker)

At last, I made it! Here’s a precious talk by a Scottish woman who we had the chance to meet thanks to Cristina! I hope you can find the time to watch the video, excuse the recording and editing mistakes, and enjoy all the learning this talk brings! ❤

Scotland & Scottish English, by Catherine (Guest Speaker)
Catherine, from Edinburgh, kindly accepted Cristina’s invitation (C1, 2016-17) to come to our School as a guest speaker and speak about her country, Scotland, allowing us to learn about its people and culture as well as to listen to the Scottish variety of English so we can get acquainted with its accent. We feel privileged to be able to offer this video to our community. Thanks so much, Catherine, and Cristina, for this precious gift! The video includes her about 15-min talk and then questions by students. We hope you all enjoy Catherine’s talk !

OPs (videos) by Students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some homework: watch & learn!

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

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

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!

About speaking in public

I’d like to share with you some insight on speaking in public, as a teacher and a researcher on the topic, in case it can help you re-consider any trouble you might have with this issue.

Most people suffer a lot when they have to speak in public. However, most of us speak in public very often in the day — teachers, particularly, as part of the demands in their job.

So the question is: why do we consider ourselves unable to do it at times?

Overcoming fears and complexes are all efforts that, when successful, make us braver, more courageous. When we consider that people in class are unthreatening, our equals, nice people who will not harm us, it’s much easier to speak to them all in class, and this training allows us to control our fear when we need to speak in public in examinations or in particularly threatening work situations.

There’s also this other issue: we need to assess how private or emotional it is what we are saying. If it’s just an exercise, where our intimate world is not presented, we should really find enough strength to control our fear.

But perhaps the fear comes from being told we’ve made mistakes. In this case, we need to rationalize the situation and understand that mistakes are opportunities for learning, not something that belittles us, or humiliates us.

Sometimes we feel bad about our mistakes for transfer reasons: we transfer the feeling of guilt, or the shame, or the uneasiness we feel for having made certain mistakes in life that relate to our relationships or inner life, to other fields which would not have triggered that shame or uneasiness. It’s like in dreams: sometimes we change the image of the person the dream is about, because we cannot cope with that being the person we’re actually dreaming of. When we realize this is so, we liberate the burden on this other arena, and open up the opportunity to do something about the mistake we made that really hurt.

Guilt has never been a good resource in problem solving, because it freezes us. We don’t do anything about it because we’re overwhelmed, we feel so bad! In contrast, acknowledging mistakes encourages us to work more positively to avoid them the next time that could happen. In this way, it makes us better, more human, more intelligent.

donotfearmistakes_milesdavisWe need to learn to be confident and humble at the same time. We need to stop putting this pressure on mistakes. Researchers, artists, creative people in all walks of life KNOW mistakes are crucial for learning and discovery and exploration and making progress!

Learning to learn, to perceive others as equals, to use mistakes positively, all of this works to our advantage in every way, in every realm of our life.

We should transfer our ability to speak in public in certain scenarios, to other scenarios which we feel are threatening. And above all, we need to learn to trust others. If we refuse to learn all the violence our culture teaches us, our being together can simply be a gift, a possibility to keep each other company the time we spend together, making the most of it all!

Change your viewpoint, your approach — you may discover things are way easier than you thought, that your skills and knowledge are greater than you thought, that people are nicer than you thought, that life is sweeter when we help!

Outing to the movies?: “Hidden Figures”, Don’t miss it!!! (Lucía’s proposal)

Today Lucía told me about this movie. She was deeply impressed. ANd I replied that if people knew about Women’s History, or Herstory, they would all be feminists, for sure! Gerda Lerner, who studied both these topics, says so, too, in her book “The Creation of Patriarchy”. I’m reading it in English, and it’s on our wish list for the Feminist Library we’re trying to put together. Anyway, here’s the info Lucía also sent me for you all:

“Hidden Figures” takes us back to 1961, when racial segregation and
workplace sexism were widely accepted facts of life and the word “computer”
referred to a person, not a machine. Though a gigantic IBM mainframe does
appear in the movie — big enough to fill a room and probably less powerful
than the phone in your pocket — the most important computers are three
African-American women who work at NASA headquarters in Hampton, Va.
Assigned to data entry jobs and denied recognition or promotion, they would
go on to play crucial roles in the American space program.

Info on the movie at Miramar Cinesur – wonder if it’s OV

Collage. Reblogging 2 pages

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.

https://englishspeakingwomenwriters.wordpress.com/poems-we-learn/

https://englishspeakingwomenwriters.wordpress.com/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie/

(Updated Jan 20) The Human Rights Declaration!

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!

Teacher’s UL on episode 1, Redesign My Brain

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

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

Last 2016 Lesson! Sharing Stuff!

Today we had our Goodbye 2016 lesson and it was a journey of discovery! (Demented laughter).

Karen, Lucía and MªJosé brought yummy things to eat and drink, and as usual, I totally freaked out because I’m so shy, but these students took the initiative and we all had this lovely snack together, as we talked about all kinds of stuff!

I gave out the humongous listening activity I prepared once on the neuroscience documentary I hope you’ll work on the following week. (See above, “Holiday Work” to download the doc and watch the documentary) and two Christmas songs I love: White Christmas and my favo(u)rite, Let It Snow! Here are the lyrics I prepared for Básico 1 (with my translation and a karaoke video).

I asked if anyone had learned/learnt this amazing poem, Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver, which I’m always asking students to learn, and NO, nobody had! What a bunch of chickens, really! 😀 BUT — people brought stories to class. I hope I can remember everything. Here goes…

Karen shared a preaching on Jesus she really loved, after telling us why she had thought of this, and we reviewed some language points. She’ll be posting it because it’s full of adverbs modifying adjectives, superlatives, interesting collocations…

Germán shared the link to the BH documentary – To Belong (it’s not scenes, it’s all in scenes! See page above in a few days, “Holiday Work”), made a language question (to be to) and was going to read a minisaga, but we kind of got lost in some complex conversation, as usual! (People, you can help me, you know, hahahah — help me shut up, I mean! 😀 ).

ringdoveMarina shared one of her minisagas, and told us how she had come up with the idea. It was a very good example of story-telling, in 50 exact words! It was so interesting because it started as if she were talking about a human baby but then it was a bird, and the human in the story was herself!

Mª José gave us the recipe to the cake she brought! And I can say it was lovely! Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • a glass with yoghurt
  • an envelope of baking powder
  • 3 glasses of flour
  • 2 of sugar
  • 1 of olive oil

Mix the eggs and the sugar, add the yoghurt and the oil, then the flour and the baking powder. When it’s all blended, rub butter into a baking pan, pour and put in the oven at 150 degrees for 30-35 minutes. She also added chocolate and nuts.

Sergio told us a story about a seagull and a word he mislearned! 😀 And people asked him questions about it.

Cristina brought a very old poem, the Beautiful Dreamer, and we found its song on youtube and then she played the audio were the poem was read by probably someone from India. But it could be someone from Africa. I would need to listen to it again. As I had trouble understanding the poem — while trying to strangle Cristina for picking poems I could not understand and not learning those I prepare for you all (demented laughter) — I kindly requested assistance, and Cristina told us what she interpreted it meant, and Karen did too, and then Mª José gave what was my favourite interpretation! 😛 ❤ But if you click the link above, it does seems there was some dead person or other!

thedreamer

I talked a bit about rhymes, too. But more on this in February or March.

To compensate Cristina for my teasing about this poem, here is a little present:

Audio “The Dreamer”

Laura read her minisaga on magic, and she told us why she had written it, and what she usually does when she wants to give presents to friends.

This triggered a conversation about tales, and patriarchal authors like Perault and the Grimm Brothers distorting tales from the oral tradition that had very different message (check this out). We also talked about motherhood and I mentioned “Room” by Emma Donoghue, the movie version, I watched last night, how impressed I was with how different the message and the movie was in terms of depicting women, women’s courage, intelligence, strength, and how just with a question by a journalist it made such a good point on how patriarchal ideology cannot see the strength, courage and intelligence in what women do, better said, the movie shows women do this. It’s a feminist vision, in a movie about love and resilience and life when all the odds are against us. How life grows in spite of it all. About 5 students had read the novel when Marta was their teacher. They said it was hard, and now I hope that my words help also to enhance the beauty of the story-telling, because that is precisely what we are trained not to do. But life is full of hardship, suffering and terrible horrifying things, and what this story tells us is that in spite of this, we can create life, establish relationships. This is obvious in countries at war, for instance. The hurt is the hurt, the damage the damage, and that is why war is a crime against humanity, but life and our human minds are amazing, they resist, persist, exist!

partridge_in_a_pear_tree_m-61_105Lucía brought this song, Twelve Days of Christmas, and it made me laugh to listen to the lyrics because as I didn’t know what they meant, they sounded so surreal to me! So Lucía helped and explained what she thought they meant! This connects again with the issue of rhymes we’ll come back to some day. (Provided I don’t absolutely forget about it.)

Please, feel free to correct me or complete this!

Testing, the unimaginative version of Evaluation

I am not against evaluation or feedback. Every learning attempt and process needs to be interactive in different ways, and we all need feedback from all kinds of sources. But “exams” are an unimaginative, anti-learning answer to the issue of evaluation.

Limiting all this universe to what we know as “Exams” is negative and we have enough information about this. Courses should be exam free at least till the end (when passing them would be a logical consequence of having learned during the learning year) because we would need to be developing learning and this requires all the energy and work term “exams” suck out of us, weakening us, making us even hate what we are meant to want to learn. Oftentimes, people find time for exams and no time for joyful learning, and this is all wrong.

It’s funny now we’re back to this obsession, because when I was at university most teachers gave us assignments, projects, not exams. And we learned much more, for sure!, including how to work with other people, in teams.

We need to find ways to fight this anachronic procedure, to favor the development of a society of knowledge, a civilized society that loves learning, and collaborates for learning purposes. ❤

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.

Useful Language for Ob/gyns & Eve Ensler

So here is the follow-up on “ob/gyn” in episode 2, season 1 of Friends.

Even Ensler was a stand-up comedian who decided to put together a monologue for a show on “vaginas” because that was a taboo word. She started asking women about the topic, and none wanted to speak. Initially. But once they got started, they couldn’t stop. So Eve went on and on, interviewing women, and from all of those interviews she did not create a monologue, but lots of them. I’ve got the book she published with them all in class, in case you want to borrow it. But I’ve got a better proposal. Considering many of the monologues are — just imagine the unnamed cruelty women have had to face around their vaginas, it’s still taboo to name because the engine of the violence is Man — well, hard to read (in many ways, not only in one way), I suggest you read one that is really funny, and great to learn to name things at the ob/gyn, “My Angry Vagina”. On Talking People you can download it and also watch a few performers (black and white) doing it. Enjoy!! ❤

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/library/scripts/vagmon/VM_scripts.html

Oh, Eve Ensler ended up triggering a world movement. Check out what it’s all become, V-Day (Vagina Day) and the city of joy, against violence against women and girls.

Updates on Talking People

Dear students,

I just updated / I’ve just updated your In class page on talkingpeople.net, which is this one:

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/ra/c1/index.htm

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.