Before we get on to the homework, I wanted to let you know that if you are interested in summer session (July 9th-August 15th), please sign up with the online form. I will confirm your place in class ASAP.
Also, it is exam season! If anyone is preparing an exam (EOI, First, etc.) and would like to practice or needs extra help, please let me know! In addition to my office hours (Monday 17:50-18:25 and Wednesday 16:45-17:45) we can make a special appointment if you need help.
So, now onto your homework. This week we extended last week's conversation about crime to punishment and we talked about appropriate punishments for different crimes, the death penalty, etc.
For listening, try Death Penalty Abolution (mp3). For original version listening you may like one of the TED talks related to prison: Lessons From Death Row Inmates or The Pyschology of Evil or a fascinating Radiolab segment called Reasonable Doubt.
You could try reading about Prison Guards, Robot Prison Guards in N. Korea or about weird laws from around the world. For original version reading, you may enjoy the article called Anatomy of a Prison.
Don't forget about writing. Try responding to this question: Should criminals be sent to prison or should they do something else as a punishment? Explain your opinion.
Bill Gate's mugshot
This week we talked about crime. You may want to review some of the vocabulary about crime and try some exercises.
For reading, check out the stories of A Murder Suicide A Theif on the Sidewalk or in original version about the most dangerous countries, the most dangerous city in the world or about H.H. Holmes, America's first serial killer from my home town.
For listening, try the activities about Why People Kill, Security Systems, or Street Safety. For original version listening you may enjoy one of the many Frontline Documentaries (available with subtitles) such as Death By Fire, which is fascinating.
For writing, you could try writing a story of a crime that you have heard of, or you can make it up. Or what would you do if someone accused you of a crime you didn't commit?
For those who are music fans, maybe you would like listening to a song about crime or criminals such as Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal or Shoplifters of the World Unite by the Smiths.
A few students have asked me about the end of the course. FYI, our standard conversation groups run through the end of June (the last classes are June 25th, 26th, and 27th). However, if anyone is interested in the summer session, please email me to begin making arrangements.
This week we worked a bit with reported speech (a.k.a. indirect speech). You may need to review some of the rules. Check your grammar with this quiz.
For listening, try the activity from a segment of The Purple Rose of Cairo or the short clip Is he a slob? and relay the information in indirect speech.
For reading, try Telling Stories or Guess Who I Bumped Into. For original version reading you could check out some He Said/She Said relationship advice or some online celebrity gossip magazines like TMZ or Jezebel.
Now, last but not least, for writing. Please write some sentences regarding things you were asked or told to do in the following situations:
This weekend is our Extra Activity, a guided hike around Trevijano on Sunday May 12th at 10:00 (people will meet for carpool at 9:20 in Logroño). Please sign up online if you are interested.
For listening, try the activity about Generation Gap or Millenials on the Score (mp3 and transcript). For original version listening try Clash of Ages: How Technology Divides Workers (with transcript).
For reading, try the article at Breaking News about Facebook Depression or a short text on the generation gap. Is this something people from your generation suffer? For original version take a Generation Gap poll to see how your views and values compare to your generation and others. For original version reading try the article Say Anything about the generation gap in terms of how much we reveal about ourselves online or about defining moments of our generations.
For writing try a few of these questions:
1. In your opinion, does age make you wiser?
2. What happens when people grow old and dependent in your country?
3. Can generation gaps cause social stress?
4. Does generation gap make communication more difficult?
5. What are priorities and goals for people who have just left school?
6. What is the advantage/disadvantage of been born today compared to been born 100 years earlier?
7. What lessons have you learnt that you like to pass down to your children?
8. Do you think that older people leading in public and private sectors set good examples in our society? Why or why not?
9. Does character and morality matter to today's youth?
Have a great week!
Please fill out your preferences for May's extra activity (guided hike in Trevijano!, I would like to confirm the date ASAP.
This week we talked about numbers and practiced saying and speaking about phone numbers, dates, fractions, decimals, prices and times.
For listening, try this activity to try to understand the difference between tens and teens. Or do some listening quizzes intermediate 1 and 2). For original version listening try the Radiolab episode Numbers.
For reading, you can check out some of the BBC's numbers resources or an article about world explorers. For original version reading, try The Power and Beauty of Mathematics.
For writing, you could try looking at a statistics site such as You may enjoy the website My Life in Numbers and describing with words some of the numbers you see. Or write some statistics about your own life!
This week there is original version cinema! Next Wednesday May 8th at the Filmoteca La Rioja they are showing The Mill and the Cross at 20:15.