My favorite time of the year -- HALLOWEEN! We discussed all things creepy, unsettling, sinister, terrifying in this week's candle-lit class. Happy Halloween, everyone!
Learners can try several different listening comprehension activities about horror films or Zombie School: A Survival Guide. You can also learn about the history of Halloween.
For original version listening, try some creepy podcasts: Radio Rental, The Scaredy Cats Horror Show or HAUNTED PLACES or Spooked
Learners can try some reading from British Council, My Strange Obsession with Horror Movies, or How to Not Do Halloween.
For original version, I recommend reading something scary to get in the Halloween mood: Wikipedia's list of unusual deaths, or Edith Wharton's short gothic story, Afterward.
For writing this week, try some creative writing. Write a short scary story. If you need some ideas to get you started you can use one of the following prompts:
Prompt 1: It’s late at night, and you hear footsteps in the cellar—but you’re definitely home alone . . . or so you thought.
Prompt 2: You’ve put that doll in the cabinet, in the closet, in the attic, but no matter where you tuck it, it always shows back up on the sofa. On Halloween night, you come out to find it watching you . . .
Prompt 3: A bad-tempered businessman is driving home after a long day of work. He thinks he sees his kids trick-or-treating and stops to pick them up—but those aren’t costumes.
This week we discussed different indigenous groups hailing from North America: their culture, history, and art. We also discussed the recent push to celebrate "Indigenous People's Day."
Learners can try several different listening comprehension activities about keeping indigenous languages alive, and about a controversy regarding aboriginal bones.
For original version listening, listen to a couple of short pieces from NPR called Indigenous People's Day is Now a Holiday.or what the holiday means for Native Americans. Also, I highly recommend checkout out some fantastic podcasts produced by American Indians: Telling Our Twisted Histories, This Land, All My Relations
Learners can read try text from the BBC about Life for Native Americans.
For original version, there are countless texts and resources through the 360ºNative Vision from the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian: What Does it Mean to Remove a People? or American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges.
For writing this week, write a reflective essay about some of the points we unpacked in class:
October Week Three:
This week was a short week, but for those who had class we talked about the world of wine! Lots of vocabulary came up about the process, the tasting, the pairing, and the exultation of wine.
Learners can try a listening comprehension activity about choosing and buying wine or about wine chemistry.
For original version listening, check out a some videos from the youtube channel Spain Revealed which as videos about tasting Spanish wines: Ultimate Rioja Tempranillo, or Ribero de Duero Wine Explained.
Learners can read a dialogue of a tasting to get some familiarity with tasting vocabulary.
For original version, check out an article from the BBC, Could British Wine Conquer the World? or check out any of the many articles from the Guardian about Wine in their Food and Drink Section.
For writing this week, we are going to try some writing that is convincing! You could choose your favorite wine and write a review of it (remember to be very precise in your adjectives) or write a review of a wine-related activity or tourism event in La Rioja that you would recommend.
To start with, I wanted to share a humorous video about the confusing nature of English pronunciation: Dear English Language.
This week (with our goals newly established and back to routine), we faced our topic of the year: VOLCANOES! We talked about the current eruption in La Palma, but also about Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes around the world.
Learners can try several different listening comprehension activities about volcanoes: 6 minute English volcanoes, When Mt. St. Helens Came to Town, and The Birth of a New Island.
For original version listening, check out a video from National Geographic entitled This Is What It's Like to Live at the Edge of a Volcano. or the fantastic nature documentary Kilauea: Mountain of Fire .
Learners can read try a Reading/Use of English exercise from the FCE about a volcano in New Zealand.
For original version, check out an article from Time Magazine about the world's most dangerous volcanoes.
For writing this week, write an article about volcanoes. You can choose to write about the current situation in La Palma or explore another aspect of volcanoes.
October Week One:
Welcome back to class! It was great to see everyone after the long summer holiday. This week we got down to business and talked about our goals for English this year, and several aspects of language learning in general. Don't forget to check my website for general resources. The main goal for this week is to reestablish your English routine and the secret is to increase your contact with English as much as possible!
Learners can try a listening comprehension activity about learning languages from British Council.
For original version listening, check out a video about a teen who speaks over 20 languages and his polyglot tips to mastering languages. Or try a TED talk about the Secrets of Learning a Language with accompanying listening comprehension activity.
Learners can read try a very interesting article called 70 ways to improve your English.
For original version, check out an article from the New York Times: How to Say What You Need to Say in Another Language. Or a short story by Amy Tan entitled Mother Tongue (link to PDF).
For writing this week, write out a plan for how you plan to achieve your English goals this year. What are some of the ideas that we talked about in class that you think you could include in your routine? Now think about what obstacles you think you might come up against. How will you work around them?