Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ideas for this week

Even though there are no lessons this week, I thought I'd give you some ideas of what you could do.

You could write a review of a film, book, etc, and put it on the blog. Then comment on what others have written about it (I'm sure you had time to do at least a little bit of reading or found time to watch a film!) Here you could specifically work on comparing, contrasting, agreeing and disagreeing. There is also a register transfer involved since the review is in a different style than the comments would be. Play around with the language, make it expressive!

Here's another idea. Some of you have already sent me youtube videos, which I gladly put on the blog (it's quite easy - just take the coding that says 'embed' and copy it into the post). Then you can write about why you chose it, maybe summarize quickly, and then the others should comment on it! (I'm still waiting for comments on my free hug video!)

You can even make a Spingdoo message and paste the link into a post in the blog.

What I'm trying to do is to stay active, communicate and help keep the blog alive!
I also hope that you will continue to use the blog even after the course is over. So many wonderful classes end and then that IS the end. It would be cgreat to keep sharing, maybe even sharing personal blogs - and it's a great way to keep up your English!

So I'll start.
I saw Pirates of the Carribean 3 with one of my sons.
It was quite fun to watch. After having read the reviews I was expecting a bore of a show, but, in fact, it was an entertaining evening.
Jack Sparrow's band of pirates has set out to save him from the end of the world with the help of a rather voodoo-istic woman with black teeth, and the help of Pirate Barbaros, against whom Jack fought in the first film (nothing personal, I guess). They need him in order to win the fight against the really evil in this world- the British Armada led by a cold-hearted man - the real villian of the film
The obscure division of personality which poor Sparrow had to endure was, depending on your point of view, full of depth and philosophy, or just simply obscure. The ending has the makings of yet another Pirates film. Who else has seen this film? How do you think it compares to the others? Was there anything you particularly liked or disliked?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hug Day the video

Hug Day

I was sent a fitting story for the almost last lesson of our English class.

Read the story that goes with the video. Free hugs: http://www.freehugscampaign.org/


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Nearing the end

Well, the end is near and I've given over the decisions for what to do for homework to you.
I was really happy to see that a few of you recorded yourself and I will give anyone else who wants to give it a try extensive feedback. Since this is also new to me, you might get it in different ways.

And if you have wishes for the last two lessons, leave a comment on the blog or send me an e-mail!

Here are some ideas for homework:
  • Work in the course and workbook
  • Work in the exam book (I'll try to find material to work with outside the exam book, but we will do all the listening tests left in class)
  • Practice speaking by recording yourself and then send it to me.
  • E-mail me and organize a time to skype for further speaking practice
  • go to the splendid speaking podcast http://splendidspeaking.podomatic.com/ and listen
  • go to flo-joe http://www.flo-joe.com/cae/students/index.htm and do exercises there
  • do a writing task and send it to me
And now a bit of fun!

By the way - doy ou speak English?

Friday, May 11, 2007


Since several of you would like to practice the speaking by way of Springdoo, here are a couple of tasks from the book.

For part 2 - picture C8:

Compare and contrast 2 or 3 of these situations, saying what significance the flowers might have for the people concerned.

The second question to the other person would be: Who do you think has taken the most care in choosing their flowers?

Picture C10:

Compare and contrast 2 or 3 of these pictures, saing what the people might be observing, and why.

Second short question: Who do you think is shoing the most interest in what they are observing?

Remember to hypothisise on what you see!

Also listen in to Splendid Speaking

You will get more than a few models. The speakers are doing tasks similar to that on the CAE and there are comments about their good points and what needs improvement. Note the second newest topic: speculating and hypothisising.

And don't forget flo-joe for exam practice. There you will also find flo-joe radio - which deals specifically with the exam.

Now here comes the next challenge - anyone willing to try Skype? This could be a valuable extra bit of practice with others.

It's easy to download and you don't need a camera - just a microphone is enough. Let me know if you want to try and we can arrange a time.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

summary of 1. May lesson

Hi everyone
Here's a great video for you from Regina (she didn't make it, she just sent me the link ;-) )


While I'm here, I might as well add the homework from Tuesday.
We looked at teh english in Use parts 2 and 6.

Part 2 - that's the one where there are 'little' grammatical words missing, such as articles, prepositions, linking words, reference words, etc. You need to skim the text to get an idea of the content first. Then you need to read the entire sentence where there is a gap. Sometimes you even need to read more. After reading the wole sentence, you should have an idea of the necessary word. Try the exam book exam 3.

Part 6- This is similar to the reading task 2. You need to use the textual structure as well as the content to figure out which phrase or clause goes where. Begin again with skimming to find out what it is about.
First, look at the possibilities and decide which are phrases and which are clauses
- a clause has a verb, generally with an accompanying subject. You can usually make a sentence out of it
- a phrase doesn't have a sentence-like structure and cannot stand alone
So read through the possibilities and define them as clause or phrase, then read the text again and define whether a clause or phrase would be most appropriate. This will limit your choice. The rest is related to the context, so read the whole thing through one more time to make sure it makes sense!
You can also try this in exam 3 in the exam book.

Speaking - a couple of people have already tried springdoo (see last blog post), and now I'm trying to figure out where I put that thing :-/
Here is some advice for part 2 - focus on the situation, remember the task and integrate it into the targeting of the pictures you are talking about.

More homework was to finish unit 11. Also look at the writing from the exam. Can you improve on it in any way? Feel free to send it to me again if you make any changes. I'm convinced that you will profit from re-drafting.

So, I hope the video shows up. Any comments?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

voice e-mail

Hi everyone
Last time I told you about a program to practice speaking. It's called Springdoo and is very easy to do. Having said that, I have to admit that you haven't heard one from me because I'm having problems sending them (my computer, not the program) - NOT making them, though!
But now I have one for you:

It's very simple to send it by e-mail, but as you can see, you can also send the link to people :-)