2/29/2012 6 Comments
February Week 4
Firstly, thank you to everyone who came to last week's extra activities!
This week we incorporated music in our classes. Depending on people's preferences, we looked at one of five songs, "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles, "Born to Run" by Bruce Spingsteen, "Someone Like You" by Adele, "Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes" and "Times They are A-Changin" by Bob Dylan. As always, I encourage you to continue your work at home.
For listening, you could check out a website designed to learn English through music called Lyrics Training. Another idea is to listen to a podcast for learners about Bob Dylan, Pop and Jazz Music or watch an interview with Adele. And don't forget that you could always track down some of your favorite music in English to listen to and read the lyrics!
For reading, you could read about recently deceased music icons Whitney Houston (with mp3) or Don Cornelius (with mp3). More advanced students should spend some time checking out music websites like PopJustice, All About Jazz, or Rock's Back Pages, a compendium of classic music journalism and interviews. If you'd like to practice writing this week, you could describe a song or musician that changed your life and how, or write an album review. Creative writers could base a story on a character from a song (such as Eleanor Rigby).
Have a great week!Kelly--After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. -- Aldous Huxley
2/21/2012 0 Comments
February Week 3
First things first, a reminder about this month's extra activities. This Friday February 24th at 19:00 I will hold a CV workshop for those who are interested in writing their curriculum vitae (resume) in English. Space is limited, so please RSVP if interested. Also, on Sunday February 26th at 20:00 we will meet at the Taberna de Correos in the Laurel for a tapas crawl in English. As always, the extra activities are optional and you are welcome to bring English-speaking guests.
Also, just to clarify, I will have normal class on Monday February 27th. If you are a teacher and have the day off and would like to change to a different day next week, I'm happy to arrange that.
So this week we talked about friends and friendships. For listening, try "Finding Friends on the Internet" or "Friendships Vocabulary Study". More advanced learners may enjoy Uncommon Friendships.
For reading, try an article about whether or not friends help you live longer (easier or harder versions have transcripts and quizzes). Are you surprised by these scientific findings? For advanced reading, check out Can Man and Women Really Be Friends?
And don't forget writing! You could try writing a description of your best friend or recount an amazing or hilarious moment that you've shared with friends. Or, check out this infographic and respond to the question, are friendships changing in our new technology-driven society? Is this a good or bad thing?
Last but not least, music lovers may enjoy listening and reading the lyrics to songs about friendship. Some possibilities are With a Little Help From My Friends by the Beatles (video and lyrics), We're Going to Be Friends by the White Stripes (video and lyrics) or Thank You Friends by Big Star (music and lyrics).
Next week we will be working with music in class, so if there are any suggestions for songs you're interested in learning about, send me an email!
The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. -- William Blake
2/15/2012 0 Comments
February Week 2
_First things first -- this month's extra activity will be a tapas crawl on Sunday February 26th at 20:00. We will go out for a few tapas and speak in English! As always, you're welcome to bring friends or partners who are committed to speaking English with us, but please RSVP so I know how many people to expect. Also, I am offering a C.V. and resume workshop on Friday February 24th at 19:00. Space is limited, so please confirm if you're interested.
This week we talked about celebrities, and both the pretty and ugly sides of fame. There are many things to read online, for example How Charitable are Today's Celebrities? and the top 10 celebrities and the charities that they support. Take a look at this infographic about how well educated hollywood celebrities are. Are you surprised? Some groups talked about the recent Grammy awards, and advanced readers may enjoy the article about the science behind Why Adele's "Someone Like You" Makes Everyone Cry.
In regards to listening, at Famous People Lessons you can read and listen about celebrities. There are many to choose from, such as Angelina Jolie (mp3 transcript and quiz) or Bob Dylan (mp3, transcript, and quiz). Or why not watch a video about pop diva Whitney Houston and practice listening and repeating.
Don't forget writing! Go ahead and write some fan mail or hate mail to your most beloved or hated celebrities. Or try writing about a day in the life of _____.
Last but not least, you may be interested in some original version cinema. This week they are showing Melancholia in original version with Spanish subtitles at the Cañas cinema on February 17th at 20:00.
Fame is proof that people are gullible -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
2/8/2012 0 Comments
February Week 1
This week one student asked about how Hollywood portrays America and Americans which got us talking about stereotypes, tropes, and culture.
For listening, you could try an activity about stereotypes with MP3, transcript and quiz. Another interesting resource is this website with audio concentration games. For pronunciation, you may like the Daily Pronunciation Practice (listen and repeat).
For reading, take a look at some of the most common movies cliches (for example, about men and women). Can you think of any others? Or try reading 100 movie cliches that won't die. More advanced readers may like the article Hollywood portrays women... or the Know Your Female Character Flowchart.
There are many possible writing activities. Try describing a common character in films or TV shows, or explain why some of these characters are problematic. Check out this map of European stereotypes according to Spaniards. What do you think about them? For creative writing, you could write an alternative ending to a movie you love.
This week there is original version cinema in town. They are showing the documentary Inside Deep Throat Wednesday Feburary 15th 19:30 at Centro Cultural Caja Rioja Gran Vía (note that this film is not appropriate for all ages).
Also, it's time to organize our February Extra Activity. Please fill out your preferences in the online form. In next week's newsletter I will announce the final decision.
Last, but not least, don't forget that if there are any particular conversation topics you are interested in, let me know!
Wishing you a great week,
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. -- Margaret Mead
2/2/2012 0 Comments
January Week 4
This week in honor of the Super Bowl, we talked about sports in most of the groups. Some of you are sports fanatics and others would rather they didn't exist. Whatever your perspective is, there are many ways to work on this topic at home this week.
First off, listening. For easier listening, try this one about the superbowl (mp3 with transcript and quiz) or this video from VOA about Jai Alai. More advanced students may like The Toughest Guys on Ice about the violence of hockey.
Now don't forget to do some reading this week. You can read (and listen) about the Ancient Olympics or the history of football. For more advanced students, I recommend the article Do Sports Build Character or Damage it?
Lastly, for writing. If you'd like to practice the conditional, you could try writing about what the world would be like without sports. What would we do instead? Or you could try describing an important game from the perspective of one of the players.
And for those of you who aren't sports maniac, maybe you would prefer to watch the Puppy Bowl instead of the Super Bowl.
Kelly"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting." - George Orwell