I just published / I’ve just published my notes to help advanced students learn to learn to become independent and resourcesful lifelong learners!
Check it all out on talkingpeople.net!
I just published / I’ve just published my notes to help advanced students learn to learn to become independent and resourcesful lifelong learners!
Check it all out on talkingpeople.net!
Our first ebook, in case you are into stories told by teachers in class! 🙂 ❤
Stories from My Teacher. On the English Language, Lifelong Learning & Our r.evoL.ution!
Interviewing Howard Clark – video 2
by Mujer Palabra (June 2013)
Interviewing Howard Clark (Mujer Palabra June 2013)
Howard died last Dec 5, 2013
I’ll keep this one, which I kind of abused when I used it for what I intend to use this new one — stuff happening in class. This blog of Michelle’s Projects… was for all kinds of people, not just my students, but last year I did not have the energy to create a particular one for that and used this one instead.
This year I have had the inspiration to create a kind of Classroom-Support Blog and it’s this one:
Hope they’re useful for whoever finds them useful! 😀
A two-page document I’ve written for my students
One Crazy Summer at talkingpeople.net, with info on a 2011 documentary by a Norwegian director, on Black Power in the 60s & 70s.
In our next 2013-14 school year one of my Reading proposals (in state-run adult language learning) will be this autobiography by Rosa Parks, the US American Civil Rights activist. I hope you can relate this to the 15M movement and all the (pragmatic, meaning non–religious) nonviolent struggle happening today in the world. I have created three webpages on talkingpeople.net for this book.
Anyway, here are the links. Hope it’s useful and enjoyable!
by Rubén Mota (Source: COLLAGE magazine # 3: 2011-2012: article)
In the world there are approximately 1,250,000 animal species and there are many more to discover. Now I’m going to tell you some curiosities about animals that we know:
A mosquito can smell the human blood from 50 km away.
Animals can’t sleep on their backs.
The spider web is the most resistant material created by nature.
A giraffe’s neck has the same number of vertebrae as a human’s.
Worms have 10 hearts.
When an ant dies inside a house, it emits an odor that attracts other ants to find and bury it.
Ants don’t sleep.
The smallest fish in the world measures 8 mm.
A hippo can run faster than a man.
The quack of a duck hasn’t got an echo.
The koala is the laziest animal. It sleeps 22 hours a day.
Sheep don’t drink water when the water is moving.
A cow can go up stairs but it can’t down them.
Mosquitoes prefer biting children and people who have blonde hair.
An ostrich’s eye is the same size as its brain.
A crocodile can’t stick its tongue out and it can run as fast as a horse.
Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
The blue whale is the biggest animal in the world. It can measure 30 meters and it can weigh 180 tons.
Olivia StandingBear is the 2011-2012 English teaching assistant at the Official School of Languagaes in Fuengirola, Spain. She is from the Osage Indian reservation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has a degree in anthropology and Italian from the University of Kansas, and has spent her last few years in Spain teaching English to a wide range of students.
Pawhuska – Read article from COLLAGE magazine # 3: 2011-2012
So far I’ve learned a few things: EOIs in Andalucía are OK for teachers, as compared to the working situation in Madrid, which has evolved to all kinds of damage. For students, there are two very clear advantages: in Madrid the course costs about 300 euros a year, and in Andalucía, 50 euros. Most importantly, if you fail one of the four exams (skills) in June, you only have to do a resit for that skill. In terms of lessons, although it has been increased to 5 hours a week in two lessons (to have teachers working more teaching hours, as you know – 1 teaching hour = 3 hours of other kinds of jobs, according to the OIT, Organización International del Trabajo, at least what they used to say, wonder if that has been distorted too), LOGICALLY, there is a 15 min break per 2h30 lesson (so, yes, the lesson is 2h15′ — that’s ok, right?), which teachers and students can agree to take as best suits them. Another relevant issue is that in Andalucía they haven’t turned adult language education into a school-like thingy of exams every three months. They have February to teach about Exam Format and they CAN use past exams to do so, LOGICALLY!
Almost forgot: another key point is that Andalucía hasn’t imposed 6 years to certify a B2 or Upper Intermediate. They managed to establish Intermedio is just one year, so they have 5 years for a B2. As you probably know, 4 years is the usual time it takes to reach a B2 in English.
So it seems not all the Autonomous Communities have the intention of destroying public education…
PS: Some things changed for the worse, too, though: some Fridays, teachers have to go to the school just to pretend they’re working (because the fact is that teachers work long hours at home, where they have their own resources), which is humiliating and absurd, and then, there is no lesson reduction if you have to be the Head of Department. That is why nobody wants to be HoD!!! That is why it’s going to be ME!!! 😀 (roughly speaking)
Hiya, I’m back from the little town on the coast! I found a house! Half price the price it costs me here!!! And a much better life for me over there! So I’ll be moving out of this big city by Aug 1!!! I’ll be really busy but when I settle over there I’ll be back.
Bestest summer (or winter!) to you all!
Now that I’m kinda tipsy (celebrating the hols!) I’m going to show you something special!
What’s this? A 1938 Hogarth Press edition of Virginia Woof’s “Three Guineas”. The Hogarth Press was the publishing house Virginia and her compañero Leonard set up!
I got it in a little bookshop at Brick Lane Street Market in 1989. I’m still wondering why the book seller sold it for 10 quid (or less) to a foreigner just passing by. Oh, the pics are too small. Sorry! Anyway!
NEWS JULY 2013
Asun (2 stories so far), Rosa, Ana, and Helena are intending to write stories as Guest Teachers for this little ebook project! So their names will be on the cover. We would be publishing it in October 2013. If any English-speaker wants to help with the proofreading, let us know!
OLDER POST: 10 JUNE 2013
Putting together my first e-book of stories as an English teacher!!
I’m collecting (selecting, writing down, proofreading…) stories and idea-stories I’ve been telling people in class in these last year! Thanks to the eCampus I had till this last year!, where I wrote follow-up stuff on things that came up in class!
(From this year, I have Language Misperceptions, Don’t Buy Exams, So here’s a story about love, and The Casino Story... I’ll review these and see if I remember more… If you do, let me know! Oh, I’m improving these days Cruelty to Animals, too)
It would be downloadable for free but also with the request that if people like it they bought it for one euro.
I’ve designed the cover! Do you like it? 🙂
Patriarchal societies have been brutal to women – in all kinds of things, from denying them a human intelligence to denying them their own sexuality. First of all, they have taught men there is a connection between their own sexual pleasure and physical torture to women (rape). Then they have forbidden women to develop their own sexuality.
Fortunately, we’re changing this obscure and brutal world. Pleasure is not a sin, it is healthy and pleasurable! You can do it for yourself or share it with others.
Our societies are always showing patriarchally sexualized women everywhere, but then they say talking about sex is a taboo, something we should not do. It’s hypocritical but also damaging our intelligence, and the quality of our everyday lives. What is dirty and violent is using women as patriarchy does. Sex and pleasure are good for us. And when they are connected to love, people can even feel better.
We need to educate people to learn to relate sexually to themselves and to others. And here is a very informative documentary:
G Spotting: A Story of Pleasure and Promise (you can watch it in French, O.V.)
Segolene Hanotaux, Gilles Boyon, Canada / France, 2011, color, HDcam, 52′
I’m watching The Colbert Report, episode 103, Season 3 (wonder about the date), and I hear North Carolina is planning to tax?? electric car users because people using ordinary cars (whose petrol costs us all Wars, pollutions, traffic deaths and worse) pay more for petrol??????
Oh, yes! People getting electric cars are a threat to the species! Trying to save money and save the planet!!! How asocial!!!! They should be jailed! Tortured! Burned at the stake!
In Spain, a Minister (Industry, whatever) said “Don’t worry, the car industry will recover, we’re helping”. Like you help banks and The Market instead of the people who create wealth on the planet — and I’m not thinking of the rich, those just INVEST and take far more than their share, I mean, rob and exploit. I’m thinking of the people who do the work.
Shame on you! Why should they help the car industry? Wow! We feel much better now! We KNOW about the amazing benefits OIL/PETROL brings for people and peace and the preservation of the environment… ¡! We know we can’t create Jobs anywhere else, can we?!
They’re also spreading the word that sustainable sources of energy are not working, meaning of course, not profitable — the only world they can imagine (profit)! Of course, if you do not create policies supporting sustainable development and keep sustaining instead things that destroy us… Why don’t you make it cheaper for people to get electric cars? Those are also cars and they also create jobs. Perhaps because you wouldn’t be able to promise high speed, the Macho On the Road dream so many of us are absolutely uninterested in.
These people, the soldiers of the rich in democracy, now they don’t even pretend. They are convinced we’re idiots!!!
(edited by me… can’t ask her for permission!
I LOVE THIS POEM, so I’ve fixed it a bit in shape because it seems it was taken from a notebook and it’s not clear she wrote it in verses or in which verses — I LOVE IT BECAUSE… see how it connects (bridges) Death then to Life?? Amazing!!!)
Oh damn I wish that I were
dead — absolutely nonexistent –
gone away from here — from
everywhere but how would I…
There is always bridges
— the Brooklyn bridge
– no not the Brooklyn Bridge because
I love that bridge
(everything is beautiful from there
and the air is so clean)
Walking it seems peaceful
with all those cars going crazy underneath.
it would have to be some other bridge
an ugly one with no view — except
I like in particular all bridges
— there’s some-thing about them and besides
I’ve never seen an ugly bridge
I can’t believe it — Exam Month is over and we’ve survived! Furthermore, my work for public education in Madrid is over for good!
Today I thanked my adorable colleagues for a wonderful year. And now…
I can’t believe I’m going to start a new kind of life!
I hope you all manage to join the protest in defence of public education, because teachers, students and the whole system are being severely harmed by all the changes/policies we’ve been undergoing in these last years.
In any case, never forget speaking a language is far more than getting a certificate/passing a test! Don’t buy exams! Don’t comply with the Shrinked Head Slave Mind!
My best wishes for all!
Just typed in your marks, so have a look!
CONGRATULATIONS TO PEOPLE WHO PASSED! CELEBRATE! 😀
For people who failed the oral, remember I’ll be tomorrow in class (at 7.30 pm, I think –NO! IT’S AT 18.00H, ACCORDING TO THE INFO PUBLISHED IN MAY ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT BOARD-– it was on the bulletin board), in case you want to drop by to know what the Examining Board thought of your performance. Please, endure. Life is struggle, and it’s not always fair, but when life throws you lemons (as the saying goes), we need to MAKE LEMONADE! Use this opportunity to listen like mad to English this summer, and use it! CONSOLIDATE WHAT YOU LEARNED, IMPROVE WHAT YOU NEED TO BE BETTER AT, AND PLEASE, PLEASE — take the test in September, I bet you can pass it!!
FOR ALL — USE YOUR ENGLISH EVERY DAY, OR YOU WILL KIND OF TRASH ALL OF THESE YEARS OF STUDY. Now you are free to be a RESOURCEFUL AND INDEPENDENT LIFELONG LEARNER, LIKE ME!!! SO ENJOY THE JOURNEY — IT’S AMAZING!
PS!!!! Thank you for a wonderful learning year, by the way! 😉
Laura, here is the direct link! Everybody, check it out if you’re interested in games!
He tecleado los orales en la web de la escuela y aunque la fecha de publicación de notas es mañana, ya están puestas en el tablón también.
Revisión de orales es mañana, para quienes hayan suspendido y deseen pasarse. Tras revisión, si tenéis motivos para reclamar, que sepáis que tenéis dos o tres días, y que podéis confirmar fechas en Jefatura o Secretaría.
¡FELICIDADES A LA GENTE QUE HA APROBADO!
Y A TODO EL MUNDO: ESPERO QUE ESCUCHÉIS INGLÉS TODOS LOS DÍAS, Y DISFRUTANDO, SI LO QUE QUERÉIS ES SER COMPETENT USERS OF THE LANGUAGE, Y QUE NO DEJÉIS QUE LA MENTALIDAD EXÁMENES OS LLEVE A NO AMAR EL APRENDIZAJE DE DIOMAS, QUE ABRE LA MENTE A TANTOS MUNDOS!
¿Por qué en secundaria pueden reclamar un aprobado? Porque la nota puede afectarles poder hacer la carrera que quieren. Es decir, si tienes un 7.5 en algo y crees que eres de sobre, esa nota, 7.5, te puede estar impidiendo la elección de carrera. En secundaria cuenta la nota media numérica de esos años de estudio, por lo que es reclamable.
EOI no tiene ese caso: da igual la nota, sólo cuenta el Apto o No Apto y por eso en ningún certificado que se da en EOI aparecen las notas. Sólo aparece que tienes el nivel conseguido.
My colleague Asun has given me a most precious present which I’ll carry inside me from now on.
It’s not that usual that you get most precious presents, is it?
It’ll be included in the ebook we would like to prepare this summer for next year! Stories from My Teacher.
This means, yes, that at least she’ll be there as a Guest Teacher. She’s written another story, too, and I do hope she’ll write more!!
A FAIRY TALE
by Asun … (June 2013)
I love stories!! Far-away kingdoms, dragons and princesses, wizards and teachers… Teachers! Who is the most magical creature of all, who can turn emptiness into wisdom, or make Spanish students pronounce “vegetables” or say “people are”? Of course, teachers… So this is the story of one of those teachers.
Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a castle. She went to balls, rode her beautiful white horse… One day, after a big party at the castle, she met a hadsome prince and immediately fell in love. They got married and lived happily ever after…
Oops, oh no, I got it all wrong… Let me start again…
Once upon a time there was a woman who decided to make her world better. She fought to improve women’s rights, people’s lives, and particularly, English students’ lives.
One day, after getting over an illness, she arrived at a school where people were impressed by her knowledge and her experience. Both students and teachers gaped at her storytelling and always asked for more. That was when she decided to write a book. And from that day on she lived happily in her town by the sea…
Aghrr… yes, this is the story but… Ok, my last chance.
Once upon a time there was a fairy-woman who inspired people and tried to defend what was right, putting her heart and soul into it. You might agree or disagree with her, but she always turned your world a little bit upside down. Her spells reached further that she probably knew, because a hardworker full of enthusiasm is the strongest potion to heal the world.
And that’s the end of the story, or… is it?
hey, miX, see if you like this… (It’s me, Dakota)
Last night in the midst of being exhausted and fighting all kinds of work hardship (in the context of my-horrifying Exam Month), I visualized my students and their orals and then the weekend and… made up a joke!!! Here goes, in case it makes you laugh!
YES, WEE KEND!
Insólito que quien haya aprobado quiera revisar su examen y muy ignorante decir que de un examen de certificación, que es como una oposición, uno quiere ir a Revisión, habiendo aprobado, para ver qué errores cometió. ??? Revisión es una hora por grupo, considerando la ratio de estudiantes por aula… Y… y entonces a quienes suspendieran…?
Las oposiciones, el TOELF (EEUU), los certificados de idiomas de British Council, Göethe Institute, Alliance Française… emiten su dictamen sobre tu nivel y ¿te dejan ir a Revisión? ¿Te dejan reclamar siquiera?
Es lamentable que se insista en no querer comprender que en la enseñanza pública no se le regatean derechos a las y los estudiantes, sino todo lo contrario!! El ente público es donde mejor respetan los derechos! Y a eso se añade, el increíble compromiso del profesorado que hace más de lo que le toca hacer. Como por ejemplo dar explicaciones como ésta a pesar de que ya lo dimos en clase.
Para el Writing, por ejemplo, lo que se establece (y lo he explicado en clase varias veces) es:
Es más, para mayor justicia, después de haber hecho esto, el profesorado de la pública va a las y los compañeros con “Dudosos” para que otras personas corrijan esa compo y se verifique si coinciden en la evaluación.
Entonces, ¿de qué correcciones de profes va a aprender la persona que viene a revisión, para mejorar su inglés para la próxima? ¿No sería mejor que aprendiera cuando le toca, y no en el momento que no procede, ni legal ni racionalmente?
Y todo esto, no vayáis a pensar que es porque hay muchos suspensos. De dos grupos de Avanzado, en las tres destrezas que llevamos evaluadas, hay 3 suspensos, lo que es extraordinario y explicable por lo que comentaba abajo: el examen de certificación de Avanzado 2 este año estuvo ajustado a un B2. Como la gente lleva 6 años en lugar de 4 para alcanzar el nivel, y de hecho damos un C1 en clase, eso hace que la mayor parte de la gente apruebe tranquilamente en junio. Los ejercicios suspensos pueden ir de 6-8 por grupo cuando las cosas no se dan tan bien! O sea, qué hace la gente “preguntando” que por qué no puede ir a revisión? Es incomprensible!
Revisión de certificado es para ver si hay que poner una reclamación. Y NO SE PUEDE RECLAMAR un APTO!
Efectivamente, ayer posteé que hoy publicaba las notas en el tablón, pero me he adelantado un día, por lo que aunque podéis ver las notas en internet y en el tablón desde hoy (o anoche, para la web), Revisión es cuando dice en el anuncio que pusimos en mayo, mañana. Venid si habéis suspendido alguna parte, para que analicemos la situación además de que veáis que el examen está correctamente corregido.
Felicidades, con todo. Los resultados de los grupos son extraordinarios. Es cierto que este año el examen ha estado más ajustado al nivel B2, pero también que muchas y muchos estáis ya en la franja del C1.
Con todo, mucho ojo con cometer errores de gramática en el examen. Fix them if you do! Miraros los audios que he posteado en Orales a muerte ! Vamoooos!, y acordaros de todo lo que habéis aprendido estos años.
Y a disfrutar del oral!!!
I managed to type in your marks this evening, in case you have access to the School’s website. At our School, I’ll publish them, as announced, tomorrow afternoon on the 1.3 announcement board. Don’t take pictures of them. It’s illegal. We need to protect people’s personal information, and exam marks are very personal!
Most people have passed the three parts of the Written Test, as is usual in Avanzado 2. Congratulations! I hope you keep listening to English every day, anyway!! For the case of people who have failed any of the parts, please, come to Revisión. The info about this has been on the board sin the end of May and still is!! 🙂 You’ll be able to have a look at your exam paper, and see if you want to file a complaint or not. (Read post underneath this one.)
Aunque escuchéis a gente decir que se puede ir a revisión de exámenes de Certificación cuando se ha aprobado esto no es así. La gente dice todo tipo de cosas y lo mejor es siempre escuchar lo que dice quien os lo explica porque conoce el tema. Que existan profesoras o profesores que hayan enseñado el examen de certificación aprobado a alguien (si esto ha ocurrido, que yo lo dudo, pero si ha ocurrido será algo muy poco común) ha sido una deferencia de la persona. REVISIÓN significa “comprobar que el examen suspenso está correctamente corregido” (VER la prueba), como he explicado en clase varias veces, y se viene a Revisión con boli y papel para anotar respuestas incorrectas que se podría pensar que sería defendibles en una Reclamación. El hecho de que las y los profesores expliquemos por qué se ha suspendido un ejercicio se produce porque si sencillamente os enseñamos el cuadro de valores de cómo se ha calificado la prueba no os ayuda mucho a comprender, no porque sea nuestra obligación, ya que el derecho que da Revisión es a ver los cuadernillos.
Publicadas en el tablón de la 1.3 y en Internet (área privada, darle a Junio porque de entrada sale “No Apto”, el ejercicio, pues falta la destreza oral, es decir, ni caso y darle a JUNIO para ver las tres notas parciales). Quienes suspendan alguna pueden venir a Revisión a la hora indicada en el tablón.
Recordaros que la fecha oficial de publicación de notas es la fecha de cuando publiquemos las notas de oral, es decir, cuando en lugar de la copia guarrindonguis que hay ahora con tres destrezas veáis una copia fashion con las 4 destrezas, y firmada por mí y sellada con fecha. Es esa fecha a partir de la cual tendréis tres días para presentar una reclamación formal. Pero antes de eso, también podéis ir a Revisión de oral cuando indica el tablón.
About bell hooks
this is my personal call to join the group below.
As you may or may not be aware, the situation in Turkey is spiraling out of control. There is now an undeclared state of emergency in Istanbul. The crackdown is continuing in several cities.
Doctors are detained for treating people. Gendarmes joined the ranks of riot police. Hundreds of detained people are in hidden somewhere. 10.000’s marched towards Taksim from four different directions all night long, leaving behind distances of 20-30 km, despite police and army interventions.
We are at a very critical point right now. We need every little bit of support and publicity we can. The Turkish media is almost completely worthless right now.
So please, join the group International Solidarity with Occupy Gezi, read, pass the news on, contact journalists, organizations, MPs, whoever you think might be helpful.
Thank you and warmest regards,
Love is much more than what the ideological trash on TV shows.
Passion is never destructive, for instance. It’s a life force. We need passion to lead meaningful lives. And passion is not wild sex ending in tragedy. It’s what moves you. What gets you to do things in life, and share.
Love is about love, not war. So it’s never about violence. Violence comes because of patriarcal values and social structures. Patriarchy has a war against love. Why should loving end in tragedy, it’s an easy question to answer. It shouldn’t.
The only “tragedy” is death, or when love is not reciprocated. Love is about respect, about your curiosity or tenderness being totally interested, aware, involved. Love is about cooperation, enjoyment, developing one’s intelligence. Love is Rational empathy + passion. A unique way of knowing someone.
So when you watch a love story, try to track the real love in it — we’re so confused because of the ideological bombing. Clean it from all the patriarchal dogmas distorting it. Find the love. Focus in finding the love. And trust this: love is never compulsory. It’s never obligatory. And it can take all kinds of shapes and forms and contents. But it’s always about love, not about suffering, or sacrifice, or torturing, or hurting. It’s about loving.
FOR MY INTERMEDIO AND AVANZADO STUDENTS:
These days, total exposure to English (listenings) and as much LISTEN & REPEAT AS YOU CAN. IT’ll help you a lot!
The most important thing: avoid making mistakes you know you can avoid making! And if you make them, yes, relax, it’s ok if you… FIX THEM! Practice Useful language for that, in case you make a mistake. “Sorry, I mean…” (corrected version)
Communicative Strategies: Useful language
audios to listen & repeat – do Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3
Listen to the audios for Interactions, too
Learning to monitor your production as you speak
Watch the videos with my corrections, and repeat out loud the corrected sentence. By watching videos os this kind, you’ll learn unconsciously to fix your mistakes when you make them as you speak. Here are some audios too with corrections on the webpage:
Here, I didn’t do the Intermedios, but I did the Básicos and Avanzados (click on their Reproduction List and watch the ones with my comments)
More, here: including a mon on bullfighting for Avanzado (by me) and some ideas for potential problems during the interaction, so you can prepare useful language to be fluent and accurate (grammatically) while doing something to fix the problem!
I’LL PUBLISH INTERMEDIO 2’S MARK ON THE SCHOOL’S WEBSITE ON MONDAY EVENING. I’LL DO THE SAME WITH AVANZADO’S, THE EVENING BEFORE THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION ON THE SCHOOL’S BULLETIN BOARD.
This has been the first year when the Avanzado 2 Reading and Listening Tests were at the B2 level, with no C1 questions. As people did their Writing test some teachers corrected the Reading and Listening of one of my groups (because I don’t have enough days to do all the work I have this week – even though I’ll be spending this weekend checking Writing Tests), and everybody has passed those two parts (Avanzado 2 Tuesday).
Anyway, when people see their marks, if they have failed some part, they should come to revisión. Check the time and the date for that, and come, if you fail any part. I could be late for Revisión because I’ll be part of an Oral Examining Board the hours before, so wait for me keeping quiet if you are in the corridor.
At last!!! Finished preparing the screenplay of the movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!
It’s taken me two months because I did it whenever I had some free time!
I’ve prepared this screenplay for me to use in class next year with Upper Intermediate and Advanced students. Teachers are welcome to use it, of course. And if you are a lifelong learner, you might want to use at home to work on your English.
the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-bk13 (44 pdf pages – the two last are ideas for activities!)
As you know I published some videos of yours and do not have your written permission. Here is the link to the Form, in case you can print it, fill it in/our, and bring it to the school. If you can’t I’ll try to make some copies to leave in Conserjería, or in the Department if janitors refuse to be in charge of that.
If I weren’t at our school, and you bring it, you can leave it at Conserjería (each of us teachers have a tray). Thanks so much! I really need: Silvia’s, Laura’s, Roberto’s (minimum) but also that of Roberto’s classmates, except Juancar!
Thanks, Teresa, for reminding me of this! I had TOTALLY forgot!!! eek!!! 🙂
Well, it’s over! Congratulations for coming to the exam, and surviving the experience! 🙂 Fortunately, it was not too hot!! I was dreading that!
Let’s hope you get the results you expect to get. I’m also hoping the people I believe are ready for a new course pass, of course! I have my own little professional opinion! 😀 (It’s most of you, of course!)
Anyway, the exam is like a mined field. How I hate it!
I’m sorry I couldn’t be talkative and friendly. We’re exhausted, and this week is going to be my worst.
PUBLICACIÓN NOTAS ESCRITO + REVISIÓN. Remember I’ll publish the marks of the Written Part (Reading, Listening and Writing) at 19:30 (or later on in the evening, depending on the oral exams I have to give before!!! So please wait in class or in silence in the corridor if I’m late, OK?) on June 18. (BUT I’ll probably type in those marks on the private area of the school’s website the night before. This is not announced because I’m not sure I will be able to do that and as you know I have no legal duty to do that at this point, OK?) If you had failed any of the parts you would have to come to Revisión at 20.00. I’ll be in our classroom.
Then the orals are on the 20th, 21st, and 24th. You don’t have to come if you have failed any of the other parts, because the new law says you have to take the four-part exam again in September.
Please, prepare your oral well even if you think you might not pass the Written part. You’re here to learn English to communicate in life, not just to study a certain set of days “to pass an exam”. (I know this sounds crazy, but it’s a typical misperception among Spanish language students!) Total exposure to listening to English + listen & repeat (textbook audios, podcasts) + practice timed speaking. And practice fixing your mistakes as you speak, or better still, not making them! 😉 Think about scenarios where you might have communication problems and prepare sentences to fix them, too.
Hugs to all, congratulations again, and hopefully… see you soon! For those of you I won’t be seeing again (like wonderful Alba, who can’t make it to the oral anyway, or Felipe, who is on his end-of-course school trip), best of luck in life, tons of loving and solidarity!
Spread the word!
Learning should be like a journey, an event where exploration and discovery take place, this is, where limits dissolve and we move more freely and also beyond.
A learning year should never leave you untouched, as a person, as a Some One. It should allow you to be better, both as an individual and as a social being.
Exams turn out to be a thin slice of this cake. The least meaningful part. The red tape. ADDED LATER: Though, as you can see from my notes on talkingpeople.net and here, I use exams as excuses for some meaningful learning too! 🙂
Language learning is about communicating. Communicating is about learning about oneself and others, it’s about learning to live with oneself and with others, it’s about building realities (living, life) together. Whether we like it or not, whether we have such purpose or not, the fact is that through communication we build our society, the social mechanisms that have an impact on our lives. We should acknowledge such power and use it for the general good and also to improve the quality of our daily lives.
What do you think? What’s your experience? How do you relate to learning? How much learning do you think you do in life?
In Writing Tests, like the ones that are given at Spanish EOI’s (standardized in Europe — A2, B1 and B2 CEFR certificates), you are required to respect the TOPIC you are given and the KIND of text (e.g. a letter or email, an article, etc.) and the WORD LIMIT (non-complying pieces cannot be checked by examiners). About the three points you need to mention, whenever required to do so, if you don’t mention one, for instance, that lowers your mark, but examiners can proceed to check your work. In any case, ALWAYS mention the three points, even if you don’t know how to develop one properly.
All EFL textbooks from Britain have wonderful explanations and exercises on how to write each kind of text, and with Useful Language for formal and semiformal letters, for instance. So browse through your textbooks, just to consolidate a few ideas about what you are expected to write for each kind.
Here are some of the notes I give my students, especially at the Upper Intermediate (B2) and Advanced levels (C1). http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/writing.htm
When you have to speak about a topic, it is generally expected you fulfill certain communicative aims and you perform certain language functions, too. Have a look at this and see what I mean: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/brainstormingexample.htm
You will find more ideas for working on your Speaking here: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking.htm
But remember: listening to English is key. When you listen to English, you learn to speak, you consequently learn “grammar”, and you get used to understanding people, while developing comprehension strategies unconsciously too! http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/listening.htm
Here are some notes on differences between US English and UK English. As you know, there is no “correct English”, just different varieties generated by the sociological and geographical fact of communities in their locations (culture). In Spain, for instance, Andalucian Spanish (the variety used by Lorca, the poet, for instance, Victoria Kent, politician during La República española, and María Zambrano, philosopher) is as correct as Castellano Spanish (the variety used by Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, the writer and thinker, for instance, or Rosa Montero, the journalist and writer). In both regions there are people who speak badly and write worse, and people who speak and write perfectly well!
Back to English, then there’s the linguistic fact of a kind of International English, which is always about picking the most understandable choices in particular contexts.
Because there is no “correct variety” you can use any, but you should try to be consistent, particulaly in Writing Assignments or Exams, of course. Have a look. (I’ll improve these notes some day — it’s a complicated issue, language and identity — but for the time being, it’ll make do!)