Thursday, November 23, 2006

Summary 21.11.06
November 21st 2006
21st November 2006

We started our English lesson with the following riddle:

I C U R YY 4 me

After that, we had to do a puzzle about punctuation in groups. Then Illya explained us the importance of writing out dates (like I did in the title).
Afterwards all corrected the Punctuation letter, which we did as homework. Next, Illya told us to look to the Punctuation in books we are reading.
After having done an additional exercise to train our Punctuation in the book on pg. 48, we looked into an application letter and listened to five people, who spoke about the interviews they attended.
Before the break, we talked about our personal experiences of interviewing or being interviewed. Markus can still remember his conversation about the relationship to his sisters ;-)

Which language is used to introduce advice and problems in the tape script? The examples we did, are a guide to finding the right information during a listening.

At the end, we received a map of life. Our task was to find out a suitable story about Tony Wood’s life. But, Tony or no Tony, we learned a variety of expressions like: take the usual path, take the first step towards, were at a crossroads….

Now I am coming to the end of the road.

Lastly, the homework:
- Draw the own life map on blank paper
- Write the explanation on a separate sheet
- pg. 51 grammar
- pg. 52-53 reading
+ underline expressions with time
- Workbook pg. 32 open cloze
+ underline phrases and document it (Wiki, cards, notebook…)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The teaching challenge

Last week we watched a video about a teaching challenge, and about punctuation. Now I have to admit that the benefits for your own punctuation may not be great, but you certainly will have gained an awareness of the damage that can be done with false punctuation.

Even more interesting I find the cultural differences between the school in the video and our schools.

You will find the video by clicking on the book or quicktime and I hope you will be able to watch it on your computer. Or you can find the site with other possibilities besides quicktime HERE.

I also hope that you will take the chance to discuss by using the comments function.

Things to think about:

What did you gain for your own punctuation knowledge?

How well did Lynne Truss do in your eyes? Do you agree with the teacher?

What differences do you see between that school and your school? Can you go beyond just the superficial?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

CAE summary, 14.11.06

At the beginning Illya gave us a riddle and we made some conditional exercises.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a funny lesson. Illya brought three different english games which we played in groups. Game number one was about the conditional, number to was linked with a little writing task and number three was an exercise in talking.

After the break we had a look at punctuation rules. We wrote down the following rules:

Capital letters: titles, nationality

Apostrophes: genitive plural s, for missing letters

Hyphens: often with certain prefixes, when words change meaning, descriptive phrases used as an adjective

Commas: around descriptive clauses, phrases, comments; after introductory words and longer phrases
NOT: When a clause starts with `that`, before defining clauses, after phrases like: On Monday...

Next, Illya gave us our homework and showed us a short movie where we found out how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence.

1. punktuation sheet
2. worksheet conditional
3. CAE book pg 46, 47, reading task
4. Workbook pg 34, 35, report

Regina Steiner

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Brave New World

The “Brave New World” becomes true…
My secret ambition is to give myself a very special shot which can copy or split up my life several times…What about cloning myself into a couple of people?

Markus A would enjoy the easy way of life. He would do things what he never had enough time until now. He would immerse himself in taking pictures and developing them to black and white photographs. Maybe he would become good enough to exhibit them…

Markus B would work hard at school as he has always done. He teaches rebel teenagers a easily. In addition, he would do extra work with enjoyment, such as help promote the school’s reputation and enhance method skills.

Markus C would take care of his three children all the time. He would do all the chores and help the children with their homework or other children’s hitches. Of course, he would also plan useful activities for the family and himself.

Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a better life.The major problem would be that the cloned Markus wouldn’t be the same age - because they have to grow up first.Another recurrent problem would be that all three Markuses must have a reunion in order to coordinate all things well.Last but not least, how would all my family members and friends cope with or react to three Markuses?All in all, it is much easier to be three men in one and try to wind down from time to time!
written by Markus M

Thursday, November 09, 2006

CAE summary 7.11.06

To warm up, we exchanged homework from the listening text “gathering information” (p.31):

- Agreement: yes, I do go along with the fact that,…(note: you can use do to emphasize sth)

- Comparison: men often exaggerate…, whereas women tend to do the opposite.

- Phrases not topic related:

  • It’s a completely different matter…
  • I wouldn’t go that far.
  • Let’s face it,
  • Oh, without a doubt,

- Useful words like immerse yourself, to blend into, subconscious, stay ahead, in turn,…

Today’s topic: Ads

How effective are ads?

  • Egg carton with 7 eggs… a car ad from VW!
  • Another ad: The best teachers are learners themselves!

Metaphors or similes

A car is like an egg carton…

A car is as protective as an egg carton

As fun as…

Teaching is the same as all those jobs rolled up together (into one).

Some useful words:

  • An all-rounder = a teacher juggles with all job
  • A six-seater = size of a car
  • Accessories for cars
  • cramped = too liitle room to move around
  • Junk (mails) = useless stuff (not really trash or garbage)
  • Cynical

Informal expressions

Formal expressions

A really good time

An interesting, enjoying time

A lot of good things

I gained much useful information


  • Six-year-old boy (with hyphen: one adj.)/ six years old (each word stands for themselves)
  • Mails = e-mails, you receive it on the computer/ mail (box) = letter, newspaper

What’s more? We did another good speaking task: How influenced are you by ads???

Furthermore, we carried on a special reading task such as “gapped text” in course book p.36.

There are some useful tips in the blue box on p.36!

Moreover, we listened to an interview about the minority languages.

We answered some questions after the first listening, than we finished the multiple choice task on p.38.

Writing: reports on p. 34/ 35

Voc: advertising hoarding = billboards = poster boards

pithiness = succinct = to the point = clip and clear

Tips for a good report

  • Good structuring with paragraphs is essential
  • Use of headings as well (introduction, topic title, recommendation)
  • Variety of linking words/ connectors (however, on the other hand, nevertheless,…)
  • Adjectives goes to nouns (look at p. 25 language focus)
  • Specific voc (larger range)
  • Formal
  • Passive structures (impersonal approach)


  • Finish reading task in course book p. 36-38 and p. 44-45
  • Grammar look into passives
  • Wb voc p. 22-23
  • Complete unit 3 incl. review
  • 0n the blog are some useful formal phrases

To sum up, the lessons were changeable, fruitful and an effective. The eve flew in no time once again.

Have a fruitful week…

Written by MM

Monday, November 06, 2006

Summary of 31st October 06

Firstly, we built groups of three then we discussed about our solutions on the sheet of Union Jacks. After a few minutes we started to bet on our solutions. We had to decide whether the flag is written right or wrong. If the flag was wrong, we had to consider which verb tense might be the right.

Secondly, we read a worksheet about tenses in context. Afterwards we added the different verb phrases on the timeline. Illya gave us some examples of sentences in which the time tenses also differed. Then we shortly played those situations like in a theatre. It was really funny!

Thirdly, we heard the listening about ethnography on page 31 in the coursebook. Furthermore, we talked about convenient adjectives which go with gathering information. In order to this we discussed about the advantages and disadvantages in different ways of obtaining information.

Finally, Illya gave us our homework for the next tuesday. We have to do the writing on page 26/27 in the workbook. On page 33 laguage focus 1 and page 34 word formation in our coursebook. In addition, we have to do the worksheet 53 and 54 with key. On page 227 we can read the text of the listening (voci).

Sabine Britschgi

(Note: If you have questions about the tenses, you can ask them by using the comment function!)