Archive for the ‘LoM’ Category

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C1 Resource Pack!!

January 10, 2017

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!

Direct link

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Beginning of the learning year – some tips for learning English

September 3, 2013

A two-page document I’ve written for my students

LEARNING2LEARN

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Shipping and Transport, an Intermedio 2 interactive presentation!

June 6, 2013

Thanks, Roberto, and thanks to the students in his group, for taking part!

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Interactions (dialog, Intermedio 2). Again! But they did so well!

June 5, 2013

I’m surprised I didn’t include more “Well done!”‘s  and “Awesome”‘s!

(At the moment I’m finishing Roberto’s interactive presentation, which I hope to upload in a couple of days.)

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New video!: What Leads to Success?

May 30, 2013

A wonderful presentation by Juancar, who in spite of being an Intermedio 2 student (B1), shows an Upper Intermediate or B2 level in this outstanding exercise! You will learn or clarify some key concepts that lead to a good life! Come on, listen to him! And if you like it, remember to send the link to more English learners! The exercise of listening and reading corrected mistakes helps you develop the skill of listening to yourself and fixing your mistakes as you speak.Thanks, Juancar, impressive work!

Btw, I posted a note under the video, on the correction included about the phrasal.

PS: I’m not sure I’ll manage to edit the videos I videoshot in the Avanzado 2 group… 😦 But I’ll try my hardest. I’ll keep you posted, don’t worry!

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Useful Language (+audios)

May 29, 2013

Some with audios to listen and repeat

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/usefullanguage/index.htm

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An interaction (a friend’ll visit Madrid) with teacher’s comments!

May 28, 2013

With all my love, as usual, and hoping you’ll all enjoy it. If you find it useful for learning English, remember to share the link. In this way, people will see that it is possible to learn languages in public/state-run adult language schools! In defense of public education!

* defense or defense?

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Avanzado 2 Interaction: Banning pets in city centres?!!!

May 15, 2013

I’m sorry about delays publishing people’s work. I’ve decided just to jot down SOME corrections. Otherwise, it takes me many hours!!!

Here is Ainhoa, Laura and Pablo trying to tackle the card-activiy on banning things

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Our first contribution to the School’s YouTube channel!

May 15, 2013

On EINSTEIN!!

Thanks, Juancar!! I hope it’s useful for you too. I corrected all the minor mistakes. There were no major mistakes. I’ll bring a copy of this AUTORIZACIÓN PARA SUBIDA DE VÍDEOS! 🙂

This post also occurred because of Juancar: how to read Einstein’s equation

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Two mons. on The Internet

May 9, 2013

by Intermedio 2 students (scroll down a bit, please!)

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/listofperformances.htm

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5-min mon. on The Elderly

May 9, 2013

by an Avanzado 2 student, who practiced the monologue three times, avoiding the mistakes he had made previously, and who did not write it down, as I keep asking students! (because practicing Speaking is not practicing WRITING!! eek!)

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/na2_elderly_mon.htm

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“to be worth” + -ing

May 7, 2013

For your List of Mistakes. This LoM material came up in Complaint Letters written by AVANZADO 2 students:

“to be worth” + -ing – IS it WORTH leanING?

“Consequently, we concluded it would BE WORTH boardING the plane first.” (Very formal, too risky to use because then you need to sound this formal in the rest of the letter. This is why I always recommend you use semiformal language.)

“So we thought it would BE WORTH gettING on the plane first” (This can be used also in semiformal letters, like semiformal complaints at the B2 level. And it’s also OK for informal conversations, of course.)

With “it” it is very common in informal language, when you know what “it” is referring to. “It” operates as a reminder of an action you have mentioned before (ellipsis).

“So we thought it would BE WORTH IT” meaning “So we thought it would be worth getting on the plane first.”

Discussion

Can we say “So we thought it would be WORTH IT TO get* on the plane first”?

Answer: In theory you can’t, but… It is common to hear (people speaking)/read (newspapers) — although not in British English

“So we thought it would BE WORTH IT TO get…” — The “it + infinitive” is not the case of…
“So we thought it would BE WORTH TO get…” — I think this is not ever heard anywhere.

So why do we hear “worth it to” if it’s meant to be wrong? Here is my guess: in this case people tend to combine it with the infinitive because (although this is not a grammar rule) intuitively they tend to associate the infinitive to present and future events (including future in the past), and the gerund to past events (as in “Hello” = Nice to meet you; “Good bye” = Nice meeting you” or the verbs that change their meaning depending on whether they are used with infinitive or gerund, like “remember”: Pres/Fut = “Remember to get the bread”, Past = “I remember spending hours with my cousins when I was a child”). This means that even though their Grammar Mind knows you should say “So we thought it would be worth getting on the plane first” considering “getting on the plane” is here a future in the past, they might then use “So we thought it would be worth it to get”

Then, there are more meanings and uses of “worth”, so post your questions if you have any on that.

Native speakers, linguists and teachers can also post freely to discuss the matters I address here!!! Thanks! 🙂

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Felicia’s mon on The Elderly

April 29, 2013

Avanzado 2. Listen to her 5-minute February Exam Practice exercise! Thanks, Felicia!

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Interaction by Avanzado 2 students: Free parking space at weekends

April 29, 2013

Thanks to Sara, Alberto and Fernando!

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Monica’s monolog on her grandma (Intermediate, B1)

April 29, 2013

Well, I was waiting for pics and the transcript, but Mónica found a job as a journalist!!! So I’m publishing her wonderful two-minute monologue so that you can all enjoy it! It’s inspiring!!

A little tip: if you have to say (when you’re talking to people) “continue (doING something)” say “KEEP (doING something)” — it’s more natural!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2monica_grandma.htm

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Resources collected by my admired colleague Rosa

April 28, 2013

Rosa and I worked at EOI San Fernando de Henares from 2004 to 2006. From her, I learned a great deal of things, and one of them was to organize the Writings with specific dates to be handed in each month. In this way, students would have  a month to learn to write a certain kind of text and then I would be able to jot down stuff for a List of Mistakes based on common mistakes in the groups. Most importantly, we would have a C-Day (Composition Day) where students would read out their work, and I would share info on Writing Strategies and for people’s LoM. Sometimes Writings were so many that we spent a few lessons doing this. And I tell you — people learned a lot. This year I haven’t followed this plan because of the teaching and learning circumstances at present. But if you’re a teacher and would like to learn a bit about that, download the Program/Syllabus I designed for Avanzado 2 when we were free to design courses — according to the Constitution we are still free, but the truth is Schools are imposing that all teachers pick the same textbook and stick to it so they can “teach the same things”!!! As if learning were that simple! http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/ra/avanzado2/index.htm

  • Anyway, Rosa uploaded some unit (listening) tests for Upper Intermediate (B2) over here: http://ficus.pntic.mec.es/rgoc0026/Index_A.html
  • And then she has some interesting notes on Formal and Informal language here: http://ficus.pntic.mec.es/rgoc0026/Index_A.html Just in case you can’t read it: For formal and semiformal texts, please avoid BIG (large, high, … it depends on context! A big problem = a SEVERE /sevír/ problem), HUGE (very large, considerable…), KID (child), STUFF (what do you mean?). In formal texts you should avoid MANY. Use “numerous” instead, for instance. Brainstorm on examples. Also in semiformal texts, you can also use “a great deal of” to avoid using “many” too many times!
  • And Rosa has some podcast listenings here: http://ficus.pntic.mec.es/rgoc0026/Index_A.html
  • I have some podcast listenings here: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/audio/podcasts/episodesinclass.html AND my apologies for Silvia for the delay in fixing the broken the links. I’ll be doing this right now. It might take me a few hours, but hopefully they’ll be working tomorrow! 🙂
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More audios (L&R)

April 17, 2013

Learn while you’re lying on a couch or bed! 😀

In case you missed this audio!
Useful Language for Speaking Interactions

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Indirect Questions – audios – L&R

April 17, 2013

Listen and repeat while visualizing the grammar of these indirect questions. You will improve your fluency and accuracy with this kind of structures!

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Chufings! (chú fings)

April 5, 2013

I have just typed in people’s absent marks for March. Next the Head of Studies will issue the lists of people who would lose their Old Student status if they had missed over a 30% of the lessons (pérdida de la oficialidad). I know you know, but just in case — In no case do people lose their right to take the exam, so don’t panic.

List of Mistakes. I can’t remember if I shared this with you. I wrote it in the English Department while talking to my colleagues, and getting their feedback. It includes Politeness issues, too. List of Mistakes (2 Word pages)

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Spanish speakers and the use of ‘will’ – or the question on expressing the future

April 4, 2013

“Spanish speakers and the use of ‘will’ – or the question on expressing the future” by michelle ford[1] (talkingpeople.net, 2013 – copyleft, just quote this line: authorship and website project)

This article is meant to be one in a series intended to explain why Spanish-speakers, particularly Spanish people, may sound impolite in English, particularly in Britain or Ireland – my explanation being it’s a language (& culture) problem. For EFL Spanish-speaking learners this article will help them improve their use of English and overcome this communication problem.

One thing is certain: English speakers, especially British speakers, have a way of approaching the notion of future action that is completely different to the Spanish-speaking way of approaching the future! For one thing, English speakers do not have future tenses (except the “Future Simple” or “Will” future), just different ways – based on verbal and prepositional phrases – to indicate – mark my words here – the degree of likelihood of occurrence of a future event. In other words, whether we can expect an event to happen and to which point. This entails a kind of commitment, too – when expressing plans or intentions, English speakers indicate a commitment to that happening. And that is actually why English speakers have this sophisticated system of expressing things about future events.

For the Spanish-speaking mind, none of this applies. In Spanish grammar, there exists a complete set of future tenses, but Spanish speakers do not feel committed to the future happening or not for their choice of tense! The use of a tense doesn’t mean anything in terms of how likely it is for the action to happen – at least as if compared to the case in English. The use of futures in Spanish is similar to the use of prepositions in Spanish: we have a great deal of prepositions, but manage with a few, which means, we’re not particularly concerned with accuracy. And this is something that relates to culture: if English-speakers rely on language uses and structures to mean a great number of things, Spanish-speakers rely on paralinguistic features (stress, rhythm, pitch, intonation) and body language including facial expressions. To illustrate this, in Spanish we can use the imperative with social relationships (the woman working in the neighborhood/neighbourhood bakery) and be perfectly polite, even affectionate.

So let us now consider what happens when Spanish speakers confront the task of having to express a future event. Even if their teachers explain how the “system” works for the futures (see my notes for Elementary/Pre-Intermediate students at http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/func_gram/gramwebs/future01.htm), it will take them time to assimilate the information, time and practice! – which is understandable, because the frame of mind in terms of understanding “the future” is completely different in both languages. Until they reach the stage of deep understanding, they will tend to use “will” for expressing any kind of future. This puts them in awkward situations:

British host family: “Would you like to visit the British Library tomorrow?”

Spanish reply: “Yes, I will go.”

This is puzzling to hear for a number of different reasons. First, the way to reply to Invitations/Offerings (this is the language function that we need to consider) is not correct. For “Would you like…?” questions we can use “I’d love to,” “I’m terribly sorry. I can’t,” “Yes, please,” “No, thank you,” but not “Yes, I will.”

Then – what does this “Yes, I will go” mean? Is it indicating a spontaneous decision? The context is not quite right, so that’s not what would be understood in a first impression.  Is it indicating a promise? “Yes, I promise to go.” It doesn’t sound right either! It’s kind of extremely dramatic! For the Spanish-speaking mind this is the future tense, just indicating a future, but for the English-speaking mind this, if sorted out it must be a future, is a future for predictions, and replying with a prediction on your involvement in the action when you are invited or offered something sounds awkward, or impolite.

Spanish student in Britain, to British host family: “What will you do tomorrow?”

This can be puzzling to hear, because it could be interpreted as connoting things the Spanish speaker doesn’t really want to mean! The unmarked question for adults about their future actions is always with “going to” because we know that adults have plans and intentions. If we use “will” this could feel like we think those adults are incapable of having plans or intentions! These are OK sentences:

To a child: “What will you be when you grow up?” (here, “will” is not exactly about a future very much ahead, as Spanish speakers tend to interpret when they manage considering proximity in time, but as a future we know is just wishful thinking! (Actually I think adults should never ask this question to children!)

To a teenager in her/his last year of secondary education: “What are you going to do when you finish your studies here?” If you ask them, “What will you do when you finish here?” it’s because you know the person has no plans and intentions and you just want to know about her/his predictions!

To an adult: “What are you doing tomorrow?” or “What are you going to do tomorrow,” never “What will you do tomorrow?” if we’re thinking of ordinary life situations.

My mother to me when I told her I was going to travel the world when I was in my twenties: “Where will you sleep?” etc. This meant she knew I did not travel like tourists do, but like wanderers do!!

Well, I’ll stop here. Please post your comments, especially if you disagree with any of this, or you wish to add to it in some way, and feel free to post your questions, too!


[1] I am an EFL teacher in Spain, in public/state-run adult language education, and although I’m a Spanish/US American English speaker, as a I live in Europe, I have to include British English in my curricula.

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A monolog on Beggars with visual corrections by teacher

April 4, 2013

and a final comment

Telling people about things we read /red/!

Spiro Freire, a woman writer in Spain, had written an article on beggars with was totally uppity and cruel, and which is what Rebeca, an Avanzado 2 student, tells us about. I write a final comment on that, but you need to press PAUSE the moment you see it because there won’t be enough time for you to read it.

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So — “dissecated” is not an option!

March 12, 2013

stuffed animals dissectedThanks to Alicia (Avanzado 2 Martes), we all found out I was wrong when I used “dissecated” today in class, to name animals that are dead and stuffed and dried! 😀 Never trust a teacher! 😀 😀 The funny thing is, I didn’t doubt! I thought that was the word! Not like at other times when I know I don’t know a word and I make it up!!! 😀 😀 (See if you can get me in one of these!) 😀

Alicia heard the word and looked it up! And she told me during the break. She’s that nice! She’s that intelligent! And of course, I suggested she contribute that information in class!

In a network of looking up stuff, Alicia contacted Ana, and Ana found that “dissect” had two meanings, though in specialized language, for science. “Dissect” meant split open an adorable animal to see what it had inside, and also stuff an animal.

I could’ve shut up just then, but I didn’t! Instead, I got further confused! I saw a dissected frog in my mind, and simply changed the topic: “Oh, yes, “dissect” — I knew the word, promise! I dissected frogs when I was a kid!” — So yes, I was confirming I had no notion about “disecar”!! 😀

I think Alicia will appreciate the post I found, full of STUFFED ANIMALS, DISSECTED!!

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Inviting Av2 (B2 – Upper Intermediate) students to do Oral Presentations

March 4, 2013

Some years ago, Raúl gave an OP on his Learning to Listen experience. I hope he inspires you!

Raúl mentions “garden paths” but that is not the name of the kind of mistake. My wrong, so sorry about that! What happened to him, what he misheard, that kind of mistake is called “mondegreens” in linguistics. Here is a worksheet I wrote a few years ago explaining Mistakes by Native Speakers, to cheer students up! Anyway, in some group this year I mentioned a very famous mondegreen, based on one of Dylan’s songs, “Dead ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind” 😀

lexical_mistakesbynatives (1 Word page)

Oh, you can base our OP on your adorable textbook, on the language you learn from it, I mean!

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The World of AS & LIKE (2)

March 3, 2013

Comparing

Traditionally, we EFL teachers in Spain have explained when to use “as” or “like” in the following way:

  • “LIKE” when what follows is a noun phrase (including pronouns and –ing nouns, of course). Examples: I’m like you! I’m as you are!
  • “AS” when what follows is a clause, meaning a Subject + Verb. Examples: I do the same(not so much: I do like you). I behave exactly as you do! Me, exactly like you! Exactly as you said!

However, in today’s English – because languages are ALIVE, never forget this, meaning They are constantly changing — native speakers have started to use “like + S + V” in informal spoken or written English. Examples: I’m like you are! I behave exactly like you behave!

What should you do in exams? (written or spoken). Well, if the situation or context for your task allows the use of informal language, you can use either of the two, but if the language you produce requires a more formal register, stick to what you always learned/learnt!

So — more on this last point:

British and US American Englishes

You can keep to the theoretical guideline explained here under “Comparing”, if you take the “like” below as part of the verb, “look like” (not “look” + “like”).
(And yes, there is another meaning to “look like” for both US and UK Englishes:
The girl looks like her sister. The girl and her sister look alike.)

LOOK LIKE / LOOK AS IF

  • US: The girl looks like she’s going to cry
  • UK: The girl looks as if she’s going to cry / The girl looks like she’s going to cry

However, we can use “like” like this, instead of “as if,” with other verbs: it sounds, it feels, they talk…

  • He’s acting as if he is in charge / like he’s in charge (informal)
  • He’s acting as if he was/were in charge (more unreal) like he was in charge (informal)
  • It sounds as if you were really upset about it (guessing = more unreal/tentative) / It sounds like you are really upset about it (more real, informal)
  • It feels as if it’s going to snow / as if it were going to snow (less real) / It feels like it’s going to snow…
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The World of AS & LIKE (1)

March 3, 2013

In class, I’ve been clarifying a few things about “as” and “like” in Intermedio 2. I’m posting them now in case they’re of use to more people!

AS for roles

  • I earn a living as a teacher
  • Uma Thurman as Sissy Hankshaw in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues!
  • She worked as a neuroscience researcher in Greece for two years
  • When I was very poor, I used to use a sock as a percolator! To filter my coffee!
  • As your best friend, I think you should quit relationships that do not treat you well.
  • It was amazing – they were using pens and lids and things like that as musical instruments!
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Weeks 3 & 4 February: moving on in Exam Format Practice Month

February 18, 2013

The agenda of weeks 1, 2 and 3 that is on the Bulletin Board in class is also here.

The new items are that today and tomorrow I’m explaining how we will proceed with the Speaking and Writing tests on the Educamadrid site.

Week 3 – Update

AT THE END OF THIS WEEK, you should have consolidated a knowledge of the kinds of Reading & Listening tasks (and Writing tasks, for the groups getting feedback in class about Politeness et al.) and you should have reduced your fears, developed your confidence in terms of Exam Format. Hopefully, you will have been using the underlining technique, notetaking including skeleton of meaning, some phonemic transcription, skimming and scanning, proofreading your work…

SPEAKING

Get your copies of the sample tasks on the Educamadrid site. You will have time in class to prepare them with your classmates: practice/practise speaking about those topics freely, brainstorm on language, and then practice timed speaking at home. Meanwhile I’ll be calling out people’s names to come to Exam Area. YOU SHOULD NOT WRITE DOWN YOUR MONOLOGUES OR DIALOGUES. You should practice SPEAKING on the same topic over and over again, till you feel confident, using your detailed outline and your jottings from brainstorming on language.

Then, after you have done it again in Exam Area, when I call your name (I’ll use your list numbers), you can record your sample monologues, so that you can listen to them again throughout the rest of this course.

So now you have two areas of Speaking activities to work on in class and at home: the ones based on units 1-5, so that you use the language learned/learnt from using your textbook audios and other exercises; and the timed tasks covering all of the sample cards you have (work on one a week, for instance).

WRITING

Once I’ve given you back your Practice Writing (Intermedio 2’s), work on your List of Mistakes, and start working on Task 1 of the Sample Writing test on Educamadrid. You should be handing it in in the second week in March. Once you get it back, work on your LoM and then do Task 2.

As unit 5 depends on your work at home, remember that you can also hand in your Writing corresponding to unit 5, but only once you have learned to do that kind of writing from your textbook. Considering dates, both Task 2 of the Sample Writing Test and Writing 5 will probably have their deadline just after the spring holidays, perhaps just before them! We’ll see.

Week 4 – Finishing Exam Format Practice Month

We’ll continue doing orals in class, I’ll comment on people’s mistakes, so we can learn to put grammar into use. And we’ll pay special attention to pronunciation, too.

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Uses of “you” that sound rude, impolite

February 18, 2013

  • Don’t say “I don’t understand YOU,” !! It’s enough to say, “I don’t understand” or “I don’t understand the last part”
  • Don’t say “I can’t hear YOU.” It’s enough to say, “I can’t hear (properly/very well).”

In proposals to professionals, when you are not a professional of that field (e.g., when you are a learner addressing your teacher),

  • Don’t write things like “Here are some ideas which YOU could improve” (!). It’s better to word it like this, for example: “Here are some ideas that MIGHT/COULD help US improve our work in class.”
  • Don’t say “I hope YOU think over my recommendations,” it almost sound like a threat! 😀 Say, “I hope my recommendations are useful!”
  • Don’t say “I hope that all these things can help YOU to improve the lessons”! Say something like “I hope my proposal can help US in class” (it’s adult students who need to do something about not volunteering in speaking activities), or “I hope my proposal is helpful”.
  • Compare these two sentences:
    1. I am writing to suggest some new things that you can do to make lessons more attractive and interesting
    2. I am writing to suggest activities that could make lessons more participatory.
    2′ (higher level of English) I am writing to suggest activities that might (polite) encourage learners to speak in public.

    • Which do you think is a better kind of wording, less risky (to avoid sounding impolite)?

Some advice for tasks where an adult learner should suggest ways in which to improve a language lesson: Don’t make the YOU=teacher responsible for what is not their responsibility. Try to use more indirect statements, not involving anyone, or involving your group, the group of learners who need to improve their behavior/behaviour in class, in terms of speaking. (Adult learners in Madrid should try to acknowledge the responsibility they have in not practicing/practising speaking in public in class. EFL teachers actually do zillions of things to encourage them to do so. Still, adult learners keep making teachers responsible for their lack of practice, and this is ill-focused, meaning this will never allow those people to tackle their problem successfully and overcome it!)

(more to come)

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LoM (incl. Politeness) – Example 1, for Intermedio 2 (CEFR B1)

February 14, 2013

You shouldn’t make any of these mistakes, and even though you know the grammar, you make them when you speak or write, so it is VITAL that you always PROOFREAD your writings and LISTEN TO YOURSELF as you speak. In this way, you will correct your own mistakes:

List of Mistakes

  • Adjectives are INVARIABLE (except demonstratives “this/these, that/those.”
    different places” is correct. Bad mistake: “you can visit differents places.”
  • You cannot make the mistake of not knowing the verb “to be” or “to have.” This kind of mistake is called “agreement S-V” (concordancia S-V).
    We were talking about…” is correct. Bad mistake: We was late.”
    He has a sister” is correct. Bad mistake: “He have a sister.”

Politeness Mistakes – For proposals, suggestions… when you are not going to present critical thinking (a well-reasoned argument that sustains your critic)

  • Use “I would like to make a proposal.” Don’t say I want to make a proposal” (Polite “would like”).
  • Use “We could do (this or that).” “could” is the modal for proposals. “can” is also an option, but it’s more straightforward and it’s better for letters to friends visiting your city, to say things like “We can do this or that”

WARNING!! about using “should.” “Should” has two very different meanings/uses. You learn that “should” is for adviceand this is the only use of “should” you need to know about for the time being (Here is a reason why it is not very positive to be using a B2 textbook, really, in my professional opinion as a language teacher.) At the B2 level you also learn that “should” is used for strong obligation. But you should be very careful (advice by teacher) because its use is restricted. The authorities use this “should” when they inform us about our duties with taxes, for instance. We also use it more personally when we feel morally obliged to do something. Consequently, if we are not in a position of “giving advice” (for instance to your teachers, even if you are also a teacher, because in this context you are not the teacher), for instance, to professionals about how they should do their job, even if you consider your opinion is important, even if the teacher or the professional shares this, you should not (strong obligation) use “should” because even if you mean it as advice, it will sound as strong obligation, and therefore, arrogant, patronizing, intrusive.

This is one of the reasons why so many of your writings sounded rude (except when the “should” applied to students, not to the teacher), improper at the least. So —

Don’t say We should do (this or that)” to people who are professionals when you aren’t in their group (if you aren’t a professional of the same field). However, you can apply it to the people in your same group, when you feel your equals and you have a moral duty you are not living up to! Example: “We could do more speaking activities (proposal to teacher), and as students we should make an effort to volunteer.”

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TP Pod: Alba’s mon. on sb she loves (Intermediate)

December 7, 2012

Here’s is Alba’s work with the teacher’s feedback in block letters in the transcript. Hope it’s useful! Thanks, Alba!

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tppodcast/2012/12/07/oral-activities-by-learners-someone-i-love-by-alba-intermediate/

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Yabba Dabba Doo! Finished!

November 24, 2012

Yabba dabba doo! is Fred Flinstone’s cry, yes! Well, the link is NOT taking you to the Flinstones, but to a much nicer video!

Anyway, sorry for the enthusiasm! It’s taken me ages to publish Irene’s work on the Talking People Podcast. First because I had tons of Writings to correct. Then because I was trying to use the iMovie program to create a movie where you would listen to Irene’s voice while reading my feedback! As we did in my previous public school (Here is one example so you know what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzd009NtDW4 ) BUT — I was using a movie editor that I could manage! Sigh!
Anyway, while you listen to Irene on this podcast episode, make sure you check out the List of Mistakes and Good Things. It’ll help learn to monitor your production which means it’ll help you to learn to listen to yourself as you speak, which is of paramount importance because it gives you the chance of fixing your mistakes — and consequently, pass your Speaking Test or in real life, succeed in communication.

And now, I’m going to burn up my weekend! Yabba Dabba Doo!

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Your recordings + My feedback

November 19, 2012

Dear students,

I’m finally back to working on your recordings (yes! I finally checked everybody’s Writing 1!). Today I’ll be working on Irene’s (Int2 Tues) because she’s donating her work to the Talking People Podcast, so to say! 🙂 This means we’ll be publishing a new podcast episode with an Intermedio 2 student’s speaking activity (Speak about someone you love). Here is the new section on the Talking People website — it’s called “Oral activities by learners with feedback from their teacher“. (Yes, you are all welcome to offer your oral work for this project! 😉 )

Then, not for the TP Pod but for students’ private use, I have Lara’s monologue and a little interaction she did with Isabel (both in Int2 Mon) and Isabel’s monologue, too (if you send me an email!!!).

And then — here’s where I’m kind of confused: I have audios by other people, but they haven’t sent me an email, which means I can’t be working on that till they do! I don’t mind working for you all, but I hate to work for nothing, and when people don’t comply with this little and adorable requirement of: “Please, send me an email with your Group in the subject line and your name in the message box” I refuse to do that work for them. I hope you understand what I mean. 🙂 IF you did send me an email and you are not mentioned here, my apologies!!! Will you send me an email again? Thanks so much!

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LoM from Intermedio 2 Writings 1

November 17, 2012

This list is based on the First Writing Assignment by my two groups of Intermedio 2 students.

  • The first and most important mistake MOST people have made is not complying with the requirements. If you ignore this in your June Certificate Exam you’ll fail. When you do this in exams, we teachers are not allowed to correct your exercise. So please, pay attention to the instructions you are given. If you can write a type of text, you can certainly write your name or a task description!

So my “Well done!”, “Excellent”, “Good work” only refers to your English in the Writing Assignment, unless you have ticks in the rest of the requirements. Don’t feel bad about having made methodological mistakes — just do it right the next time, if you want to develop this ability and if you wish to make sure you won’t forget about the requirements in your final test! 🙂 Here is the link to the Writing Guideline I posted here in October and pinned on the Bulletin Board in class, too.

  • like/miss + O + a lot / very much: I like it a lot, I miss you very much
  • writing/written: double consonant makes the previous “i” short. /ráitin/ /rítn/
  • Sorry for taking so long to write to you / Sorry for not writing earlier / in such a long time / Sorry for not having written earlier. Listen to a TP Podcast episode on apologies.
  • hope/wish: I hope you can come for a visit (that can happen!) – I wish you could come for a visit (that won’t happy, the person actually can’t!)
  • hope/wish: I hope everything is OK (present) / I hope everything will be OK (future)
  • furniture: I haven’t got much furniture; I need to get a few pieces of furniture for my new house.
  • Proposals: We could do this or that. We can also do this other thing…
  • so vs very/really: It’s been so tiring! I miss you so much!It’s really tiring. I really miss you
  • US write you – UK write to you – but you don’t have to mention who to, in sentences like: Please, write soon.
  • know/meet/learn/see/visit: 1) … so you can SEE/VISIT (not KNOW) the most important sites / the most interesting sites / the most culturally-relevant sites. 2) … and then I MET (not KNOW) a gorgeous girl. 3) …
  • How vs. what … like: 1) I’m writing to know how you are and what your new life is like. 2) I’m writing this letter to let you know what my life is like now/today! / so I’m going to tell you about my new life.
  • Time clauses (no WILL): When you come for a visit, we could… (proposal)
  • Situated: only for formal and semiformal. My house is in Leganés vs (tourist guide: The museum is situated/located next to…)
  • have gone/been to: I have been to a psychic vs. She has gone to a psychic (she is not back yet)
  • nothing/not anything: I have nothing new to tell you / I don’t have anything new to tell you.
  • How about you? – cannot initiate a letter. It implies someone asked you first. It’s good in conversations.
  • , if you like: (better than “if you want”)
  • Spanish?!: I have thought (that) + Proposals ? – There’s no need to write this just before a Proposal. Examples: Instead of “I’ve thought we can/could (do this or that – Proposal modals)…”, just say: “We could (do this or that)… You can use “I have thought” with “about what you told me yesterday”, “I have thought about applying for a job in London”. If you are shy or uncertain of what the reaction to your proposal might be say this: “If you decided to stay at my place, we might go out together. I could show you around — we could visit the Prado Museum, this or that place”.
  • Connectors: “On the other hand,” implies you are now consider a different kind of point in an analysis that has two sides, so to speak (pair: On the one hand – On the other (hand)). “En otro orden de cosas” (Moving on to other issues, On other matters, On another front,  and similar ideas, like “Cambiando de tema” (Changing subjects / Changing the subject), “Otra cosa que quería contarte” (Something else I wanted to tell you about is, Another issue I wanted to tell you about), “Ah, se me olvidaba:”, “Also,”* (Otra cosa, Además) … NB: Remember that “Also,” is not “also”.
  • Vestirse de (disfraz): to dress up as a … ; aunque to dress up = vestirse tipo 31Dec.
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LoM (Lists of Mistakes)

November 4, 2012

You should have a section in your notebook where you register your mistakes (crossed out in red) and the correct form (underlined in green), and you should use this list before practicing your speaking activities and before doing your writing assignment. For instance, how do you spell “writing”? Well, there you are! How many people spell it with two t’s?! “Written” has a double t and that’s why the “i” is short: /rítn/ “Writing” has one “t” and the previous “i” is long: /ráiting/

The example in class is this one: https://projects4englishlearners.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/example-of-lom-list-of-mistakes/

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