Posts Tagged ‘Coyote’


More on American Indians and related issues

December 17, 2012

Here’s a Coyote story, “Coyote Kills a Giant.” Coyote appears in Native Indian stories and I’ve got a picture of him in a matriarchal tarot I bought in London — Coyote, the Trickster, it’s called.

Here are two poems by Indian women who I later found on the Internet!

  • The Housing Poem, by Dian Million and
  • Strange Fruit, by Joy Harjo – in this recording I try to explain why this poem is so poetical, meaning so powerful, so free — not that I’m happy with my words, really. I love poetry so much I simply hate to speak about poetry. It’s really hard for me! All I say about it sounds worse than keeping my mouth shut, so that’s why I seldom speak about poems, or poetry! 😀

The book that triggered all of this Native Indian reading I got into was this one: Reinventing the Enemy’s Language. Contemporary Native Women’s Writing of North America. The link I have on Talking People is broken, so that’s why I’m posting it here — eventually I’ll get into fixing that and working a bit more on the web page devoted to American Indians.

But anyway, on Talking People, the Native American section in (top right-hand side) in The World – People & Culture
Direct link

I know that talking about First nations in the world feels bad, because they’ve been abused. But today, more and more people are networking, getting in touch, wanting to learn from each other and live together respecting the fact we are all different, too, and this is positive. I mean, we should not look away when we have the chance to learn from other people, even if we belong to the culture that is responsible for all the harm done to other groups of people.

I’m not only thinking of North American Indians, or the indigenous population in Central and South Americas (watch Vía Campesina). I’m also thinking of Romas, in Spain called gypsies — people who were nomadic many years ago and came from India. Gypsie people nowadays are gypsies but lead sedentary lives like ours, have assimilated the alien culture (white’s) but keep being gypsies. I wonder if you would have some time to check all I say here is correct! If you find mistakes or improvable explanations, please, send me an email so I can fix it!)

In Australia, the government had the decency and the dignity to express an apology to the aboriginesSame news in The New York TimesLearning Activity based on this news. Words matter. Apologizing is something that more people should be free to do. Obviously, those words should only be used when we are willing to stop the abuse and when we are also willing to give the necessary support.

SORRY THIS BIT WAS MISPLACED!! THIS IS ITS PLACE: Apologizing to gypsies would be a good idea. However, in Spain, we haven’t even considered necessary to bury all the dead that the Franquist dictatoship refused to bury — something that had never been done in Western Europe, because after every war, the dead, regardless their ideology, were all buried!

David Harrison, in a book I recommended here some time ago (see post), posed the question of how sad it is for languages to go extinct considering they are knowledge systems. He mentions some First Nations or native peoples who have a unique knowledge of nature. A kind of knowledge technological consumerist societies do not have. Many indian languages in the USA have gone extinct, and now people are trying to preserve some of the surviving languages. In Spain we also know about language revitalization policies, because during the dictatorship various peoples who were also Spanish were persecuted, their languages were banned, and when we managed to start building a democracy we had to implement revitalization policies. Fortunately, some of those languages, like Catalan and Euskera (Basque) have been recovered. Euskera was in peril of becoming extinct years ago, but is now in good health. Apparently, it’s the only Iberian language that has survived!! All the languages around here belong to the IndoEuropean Language Family except Euskera! It’s so interesting! Strangely enough, in the Autonomous Community of Madrid it’s very difficult to learn any of the other languages spoken in Spain, for political reasons! That’s really sad, and I do hope some day this won’t be the case! We need a plurilingual world — through language we can build a more civilized society!


Lesson Plans for Intermedio 2 – Nov Week 3

November 12, 2012

Today in Intermedio 2 Mondays (Int 2 will get here next Thursday, I think) we worked on 2a — pages 20, 21, and Gr Bank 2a. First I gave out people’s school ID card, so you can use it to borrow a B1 (Intermediate) level book with an audio CD and start this little project so you can learn to read out loud and speak. Then I explained the pronunciation of the -ed ending (the shortcut version, and then the Pro version!). We also finished the listenings on page 20 (2.2) — btw, did you do the exercise of imitating those accents?! Next, we did L&R (listen & repeat) with useful language + noticing textual structure for a monolog on Stereotypes that you should all practice and home and do in class some day (pleeeeease!), or that you can record and send me. (If you have a microphone, you can download Audacity, record it, and then “export it” as an mp3. If you have a digital recording machine, it’s even easier, right?/isn’t it?) Then I presented the Reading Comprehension technique called Skimming and Scanning, while relating it to Reading Tests: I asked people to create a section in their notebooks to keep track of the time it takes them to do a Skimming of a whichever-number-of-words text, and then Scanning 1 and then Scanning 2. You got a copy of this a couple of weeks ago. Just do it, and one day you’ll see more clearly why! 🙂 And people read out loud the text on page 21 and we tackled the questions in the previous page, and the questions on p. 21 and the Grammar Bank.

We didn’t have time to do the Speaking activity on page 21, so please, practice speaking about that at home, on your own, or better still, meet your classmates somewhere and practice!

People’s homework for next Monday is doing pages 22, 23, and listening to audio 2.1 to learn to speak, and practicing a monolog on stereotypes. I’ll bring your checked Writings and we could listen to a few of them, pleeeeease!
Extra homework: If you have more time, listen to a podcast episode at the Talking People podcast. Here are some suggestions:


Practice your final “s” and dentals!

November 1, 2012

Today in Intermedio 2 we practiced the -(e)s endings /iz/ and the -(e)d endings /t/, /d/, /id/

Here are two links I recommended, in case any of you all want to do some reading aloud! You can listen and repeat, or listen to the whole story while jotting down sounds over the written words and then read.

This other episode includes modal-awareness

Oh, a third!!:

Today I recommend that if it’s hard for you to pronounce a final D (especially after V and N), you can say a T. It’s OK. Well, for those of you who wish, like Elena, to know when it’s a D and when a T, here is an explanation I can give in class, if you like.

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