It is only fitting that this week in class we discussed all things scary, terrifying, frightening, horrifying and creepy! All in the spirit of Halloween! We heard some scary stories to get in the mood and talk about fear. You can find some of the scary stories we heard in class at Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
For learners, try Mr. Duncan's lesson on fear and expressions to use to express fear or this dialogue about fear. Here you have another mp3 and transcript about the same topic. If you're looking for something a little harder, I recommend original version options such as How Fear Works or the short film Monster.
Now, on to something to read! There are options for learners like Afraid to Fly, or for more advanced learners, What Fear Can Teach Us. But don't forget there are lots of creepy things to read in original version. What about a webcomic like His Face All Red or An Old Man Looking.
The best way to write about something scary to imagine a frightening story, either fictional or someting that actually happened to you. Try to describe it with as much detail as possible, how did you (or your character) feel? How did they react to their fears? Use your imagination!
Happy Halloween and enjoy your long weekend!
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." --Franklin D. Roosevelt
Since last week we discussed cities, it only seemed appropriate to debate the pros and cons of country life this week. Some of you think it's easier to live in the city and some of you are rural at heart. In any case, it's time to do your homework, so here you can find several resources about rural living.
Learners should start with an Elllo dialogue about an English Village or a story about a small town called Tombstone Arizona. Those of you who would like a bit more of a challenge should original version options: a This American Life episode called Small Towns. Or, try your hand at listening to Bruce Springsteen's song My Hometown.
For reading adapted for learners, try a text about returing to your hometown or a description of a small town in Cambodia. If you'd like to try something in original version, you could read about City v Country, or even read up on my own hometown's complicated past: Bad Dirt and The History of Peyton Place.
For writing this week, please consider this prompt: Some people love small town life, while others insist they could never live far from the hustle and busyness of city life.What about you? Which do you prefer? Write a poem or essay about your preference.
Small towns harbor small imaginations. -- Stephen King
Rome, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Hong Kong, Delhi...This week's topic was about CITIES around the world, and what we love and hate about living in the urban jungle! We discussed lots of things -- from city services, what could improve city life, and which cities around the world have captured our hearts. To get your mind working, have a look at this infographic or cities around the world which will help to review a little grammar.
There are tons of interesting things to listen to in order to extend our work in class. For learners, Try American Cities, In Praise of City Living (you can select to hear it slow or fast), or London Tourist Attractions. For those who want to take it a little further, I recommend several interesting original version options: Radiolab's Cities episode or NPR stories about Tech Savvy Cities and Cities with Cameras (available with transcript).
You could try reading some city-related news adapted for learners like City Living Makes it Hard to Concentrate. There are several really fascinating articles out there in original version, like Cities of the Future, How to Design a City for Women, or any of the articles of at the Atlantic Cities.
This week for writing, you have a few different options. 1) Describe your city (Logroño, or another city you know well) in the future or many decades in the past. Try to describe with descriptive vocabulary its sights, smells, and sounds. You can read a model city description here. Or you could respond to this question: What would you do if you got lost in an unfamiliar city?
“For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feellike home.” - Simon Van Booy
This week we talked a bit about the fountain of youth and longevity. What will our world be like now that people are living longer? What can you do to increase your lifespan? As always, there are many things you can do to extend our class work. Check out some of the links below!
There are several listening options adapted to learners such as the article Blood Tests Predict When You Will Die (mp3 and transcript). The TED talk How To Live to be 100+ is quite fascinating, and like all TED talks is available with interactive transcript and subtitles in both English in Spanish. For something more difficult, explore the New York Times interactive Secrets of the Centenarians.
You can get an idea of your own life expectancy by using the Living to 100 Calculator. Learners may find interest in the articles Running Increases Life Expectancy or Slow Aging. For original version reading, try the story 'Doctor Heidegger's Experiment' by classic American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. You also have the change to listen along at different speeds.
Imagine yourself as a centenarian on your 100th birthday. What do you think your life will be like? Or, if you prefer creative writing, imagine that you are immortal. How would your life and choices be different? Write a short text or story.
This week was the beginning of the new school year. Time to start improving your English! This week for homework, I recommend you check out some of the general resources I recommend. Some are for learners and some are original version. Try to find some websites that you enjoy so that you can continue your work throughout the year.
There are plenty of websites out there both for learners and in original version that you can use to practice listening. Some that I recommend are:
Of course you could read a book (there are many in the office), an e-book (I have some on my computer if you would like) or magazine, but if you prefer to read online, why not try...
Every week I will give you a prompt to write about. This week is to please write about your goals for English and how you plan to accomplish them throughout the year! Remember, I am always happy to correct your work. You can bring it to class or send it to me electronically via email.
Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation
In class we will work primarily on speaking, but it's a good idea to review some grammar from time to try. Check out Road to Grammar, Grammar Quizzes, English Zone, Ego4U, Speak Speak.
For pronunciation, try BBC Pronunciation, Ship or Sheep, English Online, Pronunciation Exercises, English Central
And of course you'll need to study vocabulary. Try to review the vocabulary we generate in class, but there are also pages like British Council, IES(Easy, Medium, Difficult) which may help you.
Apps for your phone or tablet
I bet most of you have smartphones, right? This is a great tool to keep practicing English wherever you are! Some useful apps are Voxy, Speaking Pal, MyWordBook, Hello Hello, and EnglishGrammarInUse,
So, see if you can find any resources that are helpful for you, and don't forget that if you have any questions, comments, or work to correct, I am happy to help you out!
EVENTS IN ENGLISH
October 2nd 20:15
The Imposter at Filmoteca La Rioja
October 8th 20:15
The Dreamers at Filmoteca de La Rioja
Did you know?
There are lots of materials for you to use in the office: DVDs, books, ebooks, magazines, etc. Help yourself!
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