12/21/2011 0 Comments
December Week 3
Naturally, as the year is drawing to a close, this week's conversation leaned toward discussing the important events of 2011. You can watch Google video's year in review as perceived through our searches, or read about the best albums and best movies of the year. For writing, why not describing one of these powerful images from the news this year, or write a story about a memorable moment for you this year.
In honor of the holidays, you could try listening about Christmas gifts or watch a video called A Short History of Santa (click CC for subtitles in English). Advanced students can listen to story by comic writer David Sedaris' Santa Diaries (with transcript) or read his hilarious short story Six to Eight Black Men.
This week in class, some students asked about the correct pronunciation of -ed verb endings. You can read an explanation here and try a quiz.
Well, I'm off to the States to celebrate Christmas! Have a wonderful holiday and see you after the New Year -- don't forget, the first day back at class is January 9th.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and see you in 2012!
12/14/2011 0 Comments
December Week 2
This week we talked about various topics. Some extended last week's discussion about travel to the topic of culture. If you would like to try some listening, check out this TED video about endangered cultures (available with subtitles and interactive transcript).
Or you could read about British and American food culture. Speaking of reading, this week I found another good website to practice reading and some grammar: The Study Zone. Take a look and let me know if you like it as a resource!
Other groups discussed health. Watch this animated video about the one thing you can do to drastically and easily improve your health with only 30 minutes per day. Do you agree with this doctor's suggestion? Also, you can read this article about health and kids.
Time flies!! We're coming to the end of the first trimester of our English Tertulias. This is a great time to think about your progress so far. Why not write a short self-evaluation? Think back to the first day of class. How do you feel you've improved over the past few months? How have you found a place for English in your day to day? What are your language goals for 2012? Are you enjoying the conversation groups? Do you have any comments or suggestions to improve them?
Some students have requested a short evaluation from me to check in about your progress. Don't worry, this is not a report card, just a quick note about how I see you're doing. If this is something that interests you, let me know, I would be happy to oblige!
Remember, some of you have signed up for extra classes on Thursday and Friday, so I will see you then. If you haven't signed up but would like to come, please email or call me ASAP*.
Last but not least, mark your calendars with the following events:
*ASAP = as soon as possible
12/7/2011 0 Comments
December Week 1
I hope all of you are enjoying your time off this week. In honor of the national holidays, in most groups we talked about travelling.
One of our tertulias students recommended a great website for listening at home, Randall's ESL Listening Lab. Why not try a listening exercise about travel? Try easy, intermediate, or difficult.
There are certainly plenty of writing topics to consider. What has been your biggest travel disaster? Why is travel stressful? How will travel change in the future?
For creative writing, write a story about being in a foreign country where you don't speak the language...and you've lost all of your belongings (cash included). How do you deal with this situation?
Why not try reading some travel blogs? There are tons out there, but you could check out the Lonely Planet Blog, The PerrinPost, orTravelEtiquette, which has lots of information about how to not put your foot in your mouth abroad.
About extra stuff: because December is a short month (there will be no class between Christmas and "King's Day") I will.be offering extra classes to anyone interested on Thursday December 15th and Friday December 16th at 18:30. Please confirm if you would like to attend. Also, the extra activity form is still available to fill out online, but so far there is not much interest and everyone has different schedule preferences. December is a tough month to coordinate. If more people fill out the form, I will keep you posted, but in any case, I am planning on having a Christmas get-together after the last class before Christmas break, on Wednesday December 22nd at 20:30 at the Continental Cafe. I will bring pumpkin pie!