Posts Tagged ‘proposals’

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More oral performances by students

April 25, 2013

with teacher’s feedback to read as you listen

Gema, María and Elena (Avanzado 2) discuss the proposal of closing pubs at 10.30PM (well, they turned it into a law, but well — the dialogue is great and there are a few mistakes on complex structures that will give you ideas on where to improve / oral drill)

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2dialpubs.htm

This week I’ll keep publishing orals and written pieces, so remember to check us out!

The Table of contents for Oral performances is here, at talkingpeople.net – enter – skills – speaking.

The audios with Listen and Repeat material (Useful Language) are at talkingpeople.net – enter – useful language – for conversations/interactions.

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NI2M – Example 8 – Making suggestions

February 13, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity. Based on Student 8‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This letter is in a semiformal style. In your Certificate Exams… (read more on this in Example 1) British English.

  • The words in bold are more of a B2 level
  • The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer
  • The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

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Dear teacher,

FOLLOWING YOUR REQUEST, I would like to suggest ways that might improve the lessons and make them more participatory and interesting.

Firstly, it would be great to practise more speaking activities, especially dialogues with different classmates. It would also be good to hold discussions in small groups, for instance after watching a film, and then at Plenary, TOO.

Secondly, we might find more ways so that you can* give individual feedback if we hold a plenary on this. WE REALLY NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS IN CLASS.

Finally, I would like to congratulate you for the oral activity we did last week. It was a great idea to speak in groups about the recording we had heard before.

I really enjoy your lessons because I feel I am learning a lot.

Take care and see you in class!

(127 words, too short, so I’ve included 13 words in block letters)

* “so that you are able to give” sounds as if the problem were the teacher’s Skull. “Can” indicates here possibility.

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NI2M – Example 7 – Making suggestions

February 13, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity. Based on Student 7‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This letter is in a formal style. Formal style in a letter to a teacher nowadays is rare, but it is a safe option (it shouldn’t be so, but… In your Certificate Exams… (read more on this in Example 1) British English

  • The words in bold are more of a B2 level
  • The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer
  • The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

——————————————————-

Dear Ms Ford,

I am writing to you to make some suggestions for our lessons. I hope they are useful.

Firstly, I think that we should do more speaking activities because we need to use our grammar knowledge in communicative practice. In my view, we spend too much time doing grammar exercises in class.

In addition, it would be important that we could have some time for individual feedback. You might find time for that while we are working in small groups. There are some students who have great difficulties and this would be great support for their learning.

Finally, I would like to congratulate you for the activity we did last week. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it. We could do more activities like that because, in my view, we learn more and better.

Yours sincerely,

V.

(141 words)

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NI2M – Example 6 – Making suggestions

February 13, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity. Based on Student 6‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This is a good letter, written informally, and using International English. In your Certificate Exams… (read more on this in Example 1)

  • The words in bold are more of a B2 level
  • The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer
  • The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

——————————————————-

Hi teacher!

This year I’m really happy about my English classes because English is easier than I’d thought! In any case, I’d like to make some suggestions to improve a little next term.

First, we could do more speaking activities with different students in class, and we could set up a rota to book a date for our oral performances. The idea of an Exam Area for our timed speaking practice is wonderful, becauseit helps us psychologically for our finals! It’s very intimidating to speak in front of an Examining Board!

I would also like to suggest you have some time for individual feedback. You might do this while students are working in small groups checking their homework.

Last, I would like to tell you that this course is surprising because you are giving us a lot of tools to enjoy our learning! Congratulations for your work!

As you know, I’m the student rep, so please count on me for anything. We are a team!

Kind regards,

C.

(175 words, far too long, so I crossed out 14)

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NI2L – Example 5 – Making suggestions

February 12, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity.

Based on Student 5‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. The student was HAVING A BAD DAY, and on top of that, she doesn’t feel she can write. So here is what you can do to survive a Writing Test with the task mentioned above. Based on her own writing, which was incomplete and that would have made her flunk, but which could have been enough to pass if she had done something like this with that material…. (Find more examples on the Intermedio 2 page)

The student is using British English

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Dear teacher,

[How are you?]

I’m having a bad day. But here is the letter I promised last week, with suggestions on how to improve our lessons. I shouldn’t delay this more.

Firstly, [I think we have become silent as a group.] I suppose we’re all very tired. In spite of this, I would like to speak more in class. I think this would wake us up, so to say! 🙂 One idea for this could be to establish a routine: every Monday we could speak in pairs after preparing a speaking card. Then, in every lesson, we could speak with a different classmate.

About individual feedback, I’ve been trying to think about it, but I’m blank. I hope other students can help you more than me* in this!

But what I can do just now is tell you I loved last week’s lesson! It was fun and we had a laugh watching that TV episode!

Well, see you tomorrow!

S.

(168 words, a bit long, so I’ve crossed out a few words, but I can’t cross out words here, so they are in square brackets)

Can this letter pass the Writing Test? Yes. It’s true it doesn’t develop the second point, but structure, communicative target, tone/register (informal), and its English are perfectly OK.

Notice the tenses (present continuous, past simple, present simple, polite “would like”, conditional (hypothetical) “would”, present perfect continuous, imperative.
Notice the modals (“would” can also be considered a modal in some of its uses, anyway): shouldn’t (moral obligation), could (suggestions/proposals), can (ability).
Other stuff: “hope” + present (modal or ordinary verb), “how to” + verb, “after” + -ing verbal form, good use of “other”, a comparative “more than me*”, a Saxon Genitive in a time expression! (wow!)…

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* than I or than me? Well, when the word is a Subject Pronoun, it’d be I, and if it’s not, if it’s an Object Pronoun, then it’d be “me”. In this case, the issue is kind of tricky. It should probably be: “I hope other students can help you more than I [can help you] in this.” The fact that we omit the clause, doesn’t erase the fact that “I” would be or IS its subject. However, at a B1 level we cannot consider this ambiguous case a mistake!

TO SURVIVE THE WRITING TEST YOU NEED TO WRITE THE AMOUNT OF WORDS YOU ARE ASKED TO WRITE, WRITE ON THE TOPIC, WITH THE COMMUNICATIVE TARGET YOU ARE REQUIRED, AND MENTION THE THREE POINTS YOU’RE GIVEN.

IF YOU CAN’T WRITE ABOUT A POINT, FUCKING MENTION IT!!! :D, FOR GOODNESS SAKE! SEE EXAMPLE BELOW! (POINT 2)

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NI2L – Example 4 – Making suggestions

February 12, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity.

Based on Student 4‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This is a very good letter, in the semiformal style (no contractions, but not formal). In your Certificate Exams … (rest of text in Examples 1-3)

The words in bold are more of a B2 level: see Example 1. Can you do the same? Identify the language items?
The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer.

The pink words indicate good vocabulary range
The student is using British English

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Dear teacher,

I am writing to you because I think it is a good idea that students suggest different ways to improve our lessons.

Firstly, from my point of view, it would be a very good idea to do more speaking activities like pronunciation exercises, monologues, or dialogues. As you know well, the more we practise, the more we learn. Besides, BECAUSE WE SHOULD ALSO PRACTISE AT HOME, it would also be a good idea to use programmes like Skype to try to speak with foreign people. I am improving my German in this way because I have two German friends.

Secondly, I agree with you about recording our monologues and sending them to you by e-mail. Your feedback could be very useful.

Finally, I would like to congratulate you for your work. You are one of the best teachers I have ever had.

See you tomorrow

A.

(140 words. It would be easy to include a few more, so I did, in block letters)

More…

HOW MANY TENSES AND DIFFERENT MODALS DID L. USE?

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NI2L – Example 3 – Making suggestions

February 12, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity.

Based on Student 3‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This is a very good letter, in the semiformal style (no contractions, but not formal). In your Certificate Exams if the instructions do not mention whether you should use a formal or an informal register, teachers at EOI schools generally recommend you use a formal register. I disagree with this, because I believe examiners should include that information in the instructions, because people have all kinds of relationships to teachers and bosses, ranging from very informal to fairly formal.

The words in bold are more of a B2 level: see Example 1. Can you do the same? Identify the language items?
The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer.

The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

The student is using British English

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Dear teacher,

I am R.O., a student in the NI2L group. I am writing this email because I have some ideas for improving the next lessons in class.

Firstly, in my opinion, we need to perform more speaking activities, like dialogues between two or three students, and monologues. The most difficult skill to develop is Speaking, so I believe that we need to increase that practice.

Also,* it is important that you can** listen to all the students, individually, (in order) to make for corrections and give us feedback. One possibility is to listen to us individually in class, but I know that we are a lot of students and that is very difficult, so I suggest we (should) record a monologue and send it to you for feedback and corrections. With this method, we would be able to work on our own List of Mistakes.

Finally, I want to congratulate you about congratulations for the Exam Format Practice lessons. This is a very useful exercise for us to improve our exam techniques.

See you next day in class.

R.O.

(180+ words, cut down to 160+)

*Also, = Además,

I am also here = también
I am here, too = también

*can, not “are able to”, because it more about an actual possibility than about the person’s ability.

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NI2L – Example 2 – Making suggestions

February 11, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity.

Based on Student 2‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This is a good letter, written informally. In your Certificate Exams if the instructions do not mention whether you should use a formal or an informal register, teachers at EOI schools generally recommend you use a formal register. I disagree with this, because I believe examiners should include that information in the instructions, because people have all kinds of relationships to teachers and bosses, ranging from very informal to fairly formal.

The words in bold are more of a B2 level: see Example 1. Can you do the same? Identify the language items? HOW MANY TENSES AND DIFFERENT MODALS DID L. USE?
The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer.

The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

The student is using British English

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Dear teacher!

I’m writing to you because the other day, after the lesson, some of us talked a bit about our learning. We came up with a few good ideas and decided to send them to you in case they’re helpful!

Firstly, we think it would be good if we practised more speaking activities in class instead of doing so many reading activities.

Another good idea we had is this: when we are speaking in small groups, you could come for a visit and stay a few minutes listening to us. Then at Plenary, you could tell us about all the positive things you had heard* /herd/ and also comment on students’ mistakes.

Apart from this, we wanted to say that the speaking activity we did last week was fantastic! We have learnt a lot of new vocabulary and expressions. Thanks you so much!!

See you next Monday

L.

(151 words)

* you would say (hypothetical, more tentative; with “could” it’s a proposal) the things we did well and comment on our mistakes

CHALLENGE: HOW MANY “THAT” (= 0, meaning “conjunction”) DID I OMIT?

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NI2L – Example 1 – Making suggestions

February 11, 2013

B1 Writing Task: 150 words sending suggestions to language teacher, mentioning three points: more speaking activities, some individual feedback, congratulating on a previous activity.

Based on Student 1‘s work, with corrections and suggested alternative wording. This is a good letter, written informally. In your Certificate Exams if the instructions do not mention whether you should use a formal or an informal register, teachers at EOI schools generally recommend you use a formal register. I disagree with this, because I believe examiners should include that information in the instructions, because people have all kinds of relationships to teachers and bosses, ranging from very informal to fairly formal.

The words in bold are more of a B2 level: present perfect continuous, indirect questions, none of us = singular (that’s why “speak”, not “speaks”). So it’s very positive they are included, of course! 

The underlined words are language items you can include to make your range richer: purpose infinitive, comparative of superiority, comparative of inferiority, That’s the real problem, modal of obligation, conditional tense (hypothetical language), -ing adjective, modal for proposals/suggestions, correct place for “also”, “if you agree, we could” (mixed conditional sentence, with a modal), “hope” + present (for real things to happen), connectors (By the way,), polite “would like” (+ infinitive), “It” subject, correct use of “a lot” (without “of”).

The pink words indicate good vocabulary range

The student is using British English

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Hi, teacher!

How are you?

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how we can improve our oral skills to become more fluent and make less mistakes.

I realise that every day none of us really speak. That’s the real problem! We have to solve it!

I think we need more time to speak in small groups every day. It would be good to create our own speaking cards, with new topics and clear instructions. The textbook is good but this would be more exciting/engaging. We could also use the Listen & Repeat technique, to improve our fluency and accuracy!

Because we need your feedback personally, if you agree, we could record our monologues and send them to you by e-mail. Then, you could reply to us with your feedback or corrections.

I hope these ideas are useful!

By the way, I would like to say “Congratulations!” to you about our last lesson.* It was great and I learnt a lot.

Take care.

See you next Monday!

I.R.

*I would like to congratulate you about our last lesson.

Reminder: The days of the week, like months, and names of languages are always capitalized in English, and people keep forgetting about this, so please, include it in your Lists of Mistakes (LoM). By the way, do you have one? Do you use your mistakes are opportunities to learn more? 

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