This week's topic was communication, specifically the way we correspond with folks via whatsapp, email, and snail mail! This was an excuse to practice the grammar point of Reported Speech (check the grammar and your comprehension here).
For original version listening, listen to the episode of This American Life called My Pen Pal (audio and transcript available). You can also check out the Youtube Channel of the Post Museum.
Reading: Learners can read some examples of informal and formal emails which are great preparation for some writing practice. For a more conventional reading comprehension activity, try the activity about Foreign Exchange Emails.
This week we practiced giving advice, further putting into practice grammar structures such as ought to, she had better, I suggest + ing, etc.
Listening: Learners try an article from the British Council about getting advice. Do the listening comprehension activities, too!
For original version listening, try an episode from the advice column Dear Prudence from Slate. Recent episodes involve a listener getting too close to a work husband, a fiancee wanting three dogs (a pet the listener finds needy and expensive), and an acquaintance sending an inappropriate photo to a listener's teenage daughter.
This week we got back to in person learning! It was great to see your faces again. Once again, I would like to thank you for your flexibility during this period of restrictions! As we are back to the classroom, we are back to frequent ventilation, so make sure you bundle up.
Our topic this week was relationships -- family, work, friendships, romantic relationships.
This week we used the Experiments section of the fantastic website Google Arts and Culture. We spent a fair amount of time with the activity Which Came First? to talk about dates, history, and cultural relevance of different inventions, artworks and celebrities.
Listening: Learners can try any one of a series of listening activities form the British Council Word on the Street, Art Scene. There are several episodes available with transcript and activities. Or for something different you can try the listening activity, History of Architecture.
For original version listening, try some of the videos available on Google Arts & Culture Youtube Channel. There is tons to explore here!
Reading: Learners can read an article from Breaking News English about which came first, the chicken or the egg. Or, in line with our cultural commentary, how about a reading exercise about architecture, New skin for Buildings.
Writing: This week, please choose ONE piece of content from Google Arts and Culture. It could be a painting, an exhibit, an artifact, whatever you want. There are tons of options! Then write an article about the importance of this cultural artifact.
Don't forget about this week's extra activities: an online fermentation workshop on Friday February 12th at 19:00 which is open to the general public and Saturday February 13th film club discussing the movie Moonlight. Email me to sign up for events!
Writing: This week, please write your OWN newspaper article about some piece of positive news, something that we should be cheerful about. Remember to try to use the formal style used in journalistic reporting.
We are continuing online this week and have added more activities to our calendar! In addition to our yoga class this Sunday February 7th at 18, I am offering an online fermentation workshop on Friday February 12th at 19:00 which is open to the general public. Email me to sign up for events!
Now, on to the homework. This week we talked about news, newspapers, and headlines as the basis of our conversation.
Writing: This week, please choose one section of the newspaper (front page, police blotter, obituaries) and write an article for that section. Be careful crafting the headline, as we saw in class that many times they omit some verbs, articles, etcetera.
First off, I want to thank you guys for your flexibility this week adapting to the new classes online! For those who have decided to take a break this month, feel free to keep up with the emails and send me homework.
I also wanted to let you know, that this weekend I am going to organize an extra activity online for those who are bored at home! On Sunday January 31st at 18:30 we will connect to Happy Hour Trivia Night. If you would like to connect, just let me know!
Now, on to the homework. This week we focused on pronunciation, specifically practicing the different pronunciations of the letter S, particularly in plurals and third person verbs.
Listening: Learners can try a B1 level listening exercise called My Favorite Things from The British Council.
For original version listening, check out any of the many videos on Amoeba's youtube channel featuring What's In My Bag?
Reading: Learners can try a reading activity from British Council (page 2 of this PDF). Can you find the instances where the letter S is pronounced /z/?
For original version, check out one of the many articles from The Verge's series What's in Your Bag? such as
Writing: This week, please describe the articles you have in your bag, your fridge, or your trunk. The trick, though, is to be descriptive and also to explain the personal significance of some of these items for you!
Writing: This week, please write an article for NPR Life Kit about how to achieve and cultivate an important life skill! To get an idea, think about different skills you need for personal finance, health, habits, education, parenting, work, or travel.
Welcome back! This week we kicked off 2021 with a conversation about change: cultural change, lifestyle changes, trends, personal change, etc. It was a great opportunity to practice a variety of verb tenses such as "used to" and the third conditional.
For original version, try reading an article form the Guardian's series, One Change That Worked, about lifestyle tweaks that brought about welcome changes.
Writing: This week, please write an essay about one major change, in society, in your city, or in your life. Be careful about the grammar you use to describe the way things used to be and how things could have been different!
This was our last class before the holidays! We will be taking a break to celebrate Christmas and most importantly to celebrate the end of 2021! I wish you all a restful and pleasant break. Thank you for help making 2020 a successful year despite all odds!
Enjoy the holiday and see in January. Classes resume January 11th.