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Woof! Woof! (to intermedio 2’s)

January 9, 2013

Liebe Studenten!

Intermedio 2 students can send in their mini sagas for publication, yes! When I have a few, I’ll create a webpage on Talking People (Your Stuff – Your WritingMini sagas) and publish them there. You can type them and send them to my email michelle at talkingpeople dot net. I’ll just write your (first) name, your level and group, and the year, OK? You can also tell me to use a nickname of yours. Whatever!

I think I have sent you all your recordings with my feedback, but I’m not totally sure. If you did a recording in class and I haven’t sent you my feedback, that might be because you didn’t send me an email with your group (day) and level on the subject line (and in the message box whichever message you wanted to send me) or because I forgot! So please, send me an email. And sorry for the hassle! 🙂 Finally, if you did a recording at home and sent it to me for feedback, to my knowledge, I’ve replied to all of them. Get in touch if that’s not the case! About publishing your audio recordings on Talking People, I need your written permission, so send me an email allowing me to do that. So far, I created this web page on Skills – Speaking: Oral activities by learners with feedback from their teacher.

Pronunciation. One of the questions today was about the difference between “good” and “would” or “wood.” We did some barking (dogs in English go bow wow, but also woof!) and people with previous problems with this managed to get it! Well done! But now you need to practice lots! Say “good” and “would” tons of times. Try also this: de paraas, end it in “ud”, paragüud, güud.

This week all Intermedio 2 students should be listening to audio 3.13 (and the others on page 43, if you like) a few times every day, OK? I would like you to discover that what I say is true: in listening exercises you are not expected to understand the bits that are harder for your level, but you can understand other bits if you don’t work against your mind — you just need to practice being relaxed as you listen, focusing on the words that are more clearly pronounced, and learning to know if any of those can help you reconstruct an answer! I love this audio because it’s very clear that he’s harder to follow except on the key words in his message. The technique I call Skeleton of Meaning is truly useful here (I’ll write it down and publish it on How to LearnHow to Listen on TP… soonish…). And this in turn will help you understand people better. The other benefit of doing this exercise is that you’ll learn to say/explain things, just because you’ve heard it 20 times! And this is the joy of learning to listen: it helps you stop translating. When you hesitate it’s mostly because you are translating things, and that means you don’t listen enough! Good listeners can utter chunks fluently just because they’ve heard so many times and in so many different situations the same combination of words!

The other thing you should all do is try to finish unit 3 this week (the answers to some of that is here on Key Intermedio 2, thanks to Sil’s request a couple of weeks ago) and try to be clear about what you need to ask me to do in class, or just ask me about. Each group is free to tell me, “No, michelle, we want to do the complete unit in class,” even if this means we won’t finish the textbook. That’ll be OK. However, the present proposal is that you work at home on a unit a month, as I suggested at the beginning of the course, leaving key listening exercises for us to do in class (not the ones in unit 3 anymore, for the month has passed).

I cannot teach you, really, but I can help you learn. You should be getting excited about learning English, you should start enjoying it, wanting to listen to it every day because it helps you so much! It’s 2013!! 😀 Come on! (link to Chuck Berry’s song) Go for it! You can make it! (this means “Puedes conseguirlo”. More: You can make it happen = Puedes hacer que ocurra. You can make it true = Puedes hacerlo realidad)

There is no way you can learn a language without making it part of you daily life. That’s why it’s such a good idea to start loving it.

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