11/29/2015 0 Comments
November Week Four
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In honor of this classic American holiday of happily overeating, we focused our conversation this week on food, cooking, and all things related to your kitchens and diets.
And speaking of cooking, I would love to do a Christmas Cookie Activity in December. If anyone knows of an affordale kitchen to rent (or maybe a merendero?) we would need an oven and a big table to decorate cookies. Get in touch if you have any ideas!
This week, learners can try listening to an easy apple pie recipe, lasagna recipe, dinner recipes, or breakfast recipes.
For original version try the Freakonomics episode Food + Science = Victory! or check out some podcasts devoted to food and cooking: America's Test Kitchen, The Menu, The Spendid Table
Learners can read about how processed meat causes cancer, or Banana Protein May Be Virus Killer, or if Teff May be the Next Supergrain.
For original version, check out some of my favorite food blogs and websites: Smitten Kitchen, Serious Eats and NYT Cooking.
Or check out the fascinating National Geographic site Future of Food.
You've got a couple of options this week. You could write out a recipe of one of your specialty dishes (watch your vocab! Use words like slice, dice, shop rather than cut.)
Or you could try writing a letter of complaint about a bad restaurant experience.
11/22/2015 0 Comments
November Week Three
This week I took my inspIriation from a WNYC project called Bored and Brilliant which challenges to reevaluate the role technology has in our lives. Are you up for the challenge?
This week, learners can try listening to a Randall's Listening exercise about smartphones or a rising new tech company that produces cell phones.
For original version please give a listen to any of the Note to Self episodes about the Bored and Brilliant project: The Case For Boredom, What 95 Minutes of Phone Time a Day Does to Us, or Challenges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
Learners can read an article about cumpulsive Internet Disorder or the history of the Internet.
For original version, read some of the articles from the Bored and Brilliant project: 5 Reasons you Want to Be Bored and Brilliant, or What Your Phone Stats Say About You.
So, of course I challenge you to join me in the Bored and Brilliant challenge and write about it. How did it make you feel? How do you imagine your relationship with technology in the future?
11/15/2015 0 Comments
November Week Two
This week our topic turned to different social problems prevalent in our society: homelessness, unemployment, alcoholism, and drugs, to name but a few.
This week, learners can try listening about Homelessness in California or an interview with a homeless person.
For original version listen to a story about how Colorado's Pot Industry Looks to Move Past Stereotypes or the award-winning documentary Homeless in America.
Learners can read about homelessness in Zimbabwe, or Alcoholism: Russia's National Disaster.
For original version, read Invisible Child about the 22,000 homeless children of New York. Or read an article about Vancouver plans to end homelessness by 2015.
Try some creative writing this week. Choose one of the relevant social issues we discussed this week and write a text from the perspective of someone suffering from one of these social problems. What is their day to day like? How do they feel? What is their future?
11/5/2015 0 Comments
November Week One
This week I forced you not to be lazy and to really practice the interrogative form and question tags. We also made a big effort to make comments to get the hang of real conversation dynamic.
Before doing the homework, you may want to check some of your question formation abilities: question formation quiz, question formation word rearranging.
This week, learners can try listening to a BBC Grammar Explanation about Questions with Like or listen to an ELLLO survey about habits.
For original version try giving a listen to a clip from one of the best interview radio shows Fresh Air or WTF with Marc Maron. Another option is to check out one of the Great Interviews of the 20th century.
Learners can choose one of the topics of questions and read through the survey. Try answering some of the questions out loud!
For original version, read some of the interviews between celebrities from Interview magazine.
This week you have a couple different writing possibilities. You can select a famous person from history, someone you admire or a celebrity and write out some thoughtful interview questions. Be creative and try to write some complex questions!
Or you can write a survey that you would like to give out to poll the general public on a topic of your choice.
11/1/2015 0 Comments
October Week Five
Happy Halloween everybody! This week we told scary stories and got in the creepy mood of one of my favorite holidays.
This week, learners should try a scary story to get you in the mood of Halloween or a listening activity about ghost hunters (mp3 and transcript)
For original version check out the podcast Limetown, I recommend starting with season one episode one or some readings of Edgar Allen Poe.
Learners should try some adapted texts about the Salem Witch Trials or an article called Do You Believe in Ghosts?
For original version, try a scary folktale like ghosts in the alley or you might want to peruse the collection of creepy things that seem real but aren't about modern urban legends.
Try writing a horror story about a haunted house. Start with this prompt and continue the story:
The estate agent meets you by the gate. She seems nervous.
“It’s a lot bigger than in the pictures,” you say, looking over the house looming in the distance. A single ash tree, its limbs bare, totters in the yard.
“But such a great price, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” insists the estate agent.
You sign the papers, and the house is yours.