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News for all

December 4, 2012

Hiya!

Absent Marks: I just typed in your November absent marks on the School’s Website, so please, don’t forget to check the site out for possible mistakes — this week! By the way, I don’t use the email I have over there, mostly because I don’t know how to use that platform, but also because I just check it out at the beginning of the month, when I have to type in your absent marks.

Message for Beatriz H (Intermedio 2 Lunes): I have your audio file + my written feedback saved on October 30. I thought I had sent it to you. I have searched the forlder in my email account but I can’t find your email — sorry about that. Can you send me an email, with your Group Code (or this “Int 2 – Lunes”) on the Subject Line (título) and your name, Bea H, plus a note about what it’s for (e.g. my Oct audio), so I can send you both files?

For People following this blog: First of all, thanks for subscribing. If you are not students of mine, double thanks! I’m not sure what you might expect from this little blog — I understand it might have to do with activism or with learning about people in Spain! Anyway, I have good news for you all. Clicking here and there I failed to find the list of who is following this blog 😦 but I managed to set this blog to send out just one message a day, a message which would include the things I posted in the last 24 hours. This also means you won’t get the info in real time, but it’ll be daily. It’s set to send the message out at 4.00 am (Spain).

Feedback. Considering I’m an explorer (meaning I improvise a lot) and multi-chaotic (meaning I improvise a lot), if you find anything here which you find useful or like, it’d be great if you digged it (for my students, “I dig it” means “I like it”) and/or even posted a comment. Don’t feel obliged (no os sintáis en un compromiso), in any case — I am using the widget “Top Posts…”, which helps in this way.

Designing the Avanzado 2 course Together: Although people didn’t comment in class the proposal I posted a few weeks ago, I think, today, in Avanzado 2 Lunes, we’ve talked a bit about it. People will be thinking about the two possibilities I think we have, and we’ll talk about it again next Monday.

The favo(u)red option, it seems, is: you students work with the textbook at home every week (a weekly learning plan would help you lots!), doing one unit a month. (There’s no way we manage that in class.) The textbook is a very good resource, and then you can have our time together to interact and exploit me on language questions, and techniques and stuff. As you would be getting the same input at a similar pace, you would be free to ask questions in class, including making the proposal of checking together some of the exercises. But you would be responsible for learning from the textbook and selecting what to do in class, or asking questions on that.

Then I’d pick the speaking activities and the most important listening activities, and we’d do that in class, plus me checking your writings and oral work.

This would allow us — people working in overcrowded groups — to spend the lessons interacting — while putting into practice what you learned/learnt in the textbook –. And then we would also have more time to listen to selected podcast episodes I’d bring (news, interviews), documentaries, or other. Of course, I’d tell you about language, and culture, and other stories.

Now we’re trying to do it all, but it’s not practical. It’d be amazing for your English if you could find more time to devote to your learning at the advanced level.

In any case, I’m scheduling December to include a lesson on the Alexie novel (I’ll bring a listening, you bring the novel and your willingness to speak about it and share stuff), another on TV series (including dramatized reading), and perhaps… ? another based on viewing a documentary.

Otherwise. You see, if we don’t agree on something, what will happen is this (the other option): we won’t be able to finish unit 3 in December (we’ve got so few lessons together!), and it would take us January too. We’d start unit 4 in February, but — I’d like you to practice exercises in the exam format, esp. listening and reading exercises… Considering they don’t allow us to use previous exams, just the June 2009 example (!), I’m designing some more exercises. And I’d also like to show you at least one of the Ciclo Elemental and Ciclo Superior (old system) exams, to see what you think about the level tested in each kind. So we’d finish unit 4 in, say, mid March, and then we’d have a month for unit 5… Then there’s the spring holiday, right? And then — I think our last month together should be devoted to intense speaking activities (timed monologs, timed dialogs)– which also might include listening (documentaries for discussion in small groups and at plenary).

So — you see? Please, don’t take me wrong: I’m an experienced teacher, a professional, I mean. I can organize all of this on my own. But I believe in teamwork and also in human communication! 🙂 I think what we do together is kind of amazing, as compared to what we can do on our own. I can certainly assist you in your final year with a teacher, I can also help you to become independent and resourceful lifelong learners, to understand the importance of language and languages and how culture is connected to individuals and groups. But in the end it’s all about you and your English. 🙂

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