3.en.8. The Commonwealth Games: Glasgow 2014

This year Fonix’ topic will be sports and the Commonwealth Games. Have a look at these sites to find out more

When? Why? What? Who?

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3.en.7 Poetry and pronunciation: Shel Silverstein and Andrew Bird

Spanish people usually pronounce the word comfortable wrongly

This is a very funny poem by Shel Silverstein, an American writer, called twistable turnable man. After reading it and singing it, I’m sure you’ll always pronounce COMFORTABLE correctly.

The you tube video will help you understand the poem. It is like  tongue twister. You know what a tongue twister is, don’t you?

Let’s see if we can read it together. The words ending in “able” are highlighted in green

Here follows a version by Andrew Bird, a good musician who, on top of playing lots of musical instruments, is also a great whistler. Can you whistle? We’ll make a contest some other day.

You might want to visit Shel site. It is full of surprises! Look for some of his short animation videos.

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3.en.6 confusable words

Check the pronunciation of these two words that can be easily confused.

breath

/brɛθ/

–noun

1. the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.
2. respiration, esp. as necessary to life.
3. life; vitality.4.
the ability to breathe easily and normally: She stopped to regain her breath.
5. time to breathe; pause or respite: Give him a little breath.
6.

a single inhalation or respiration: He took a deep breath.
7. the brief time required for a single respiration;

a moment or instant: They gave it to her and
took it away all in a breath.
8.

a light current of air.
Look at this video and listen to the swimmer explanation on how to hold your breath.

Now have a look at the verb
/brið/ 
verb, breathed/briðd/  breath·ing.
–verb (used without object)

to take air, oxygen, etc., into the lungs and expel it; inhaleand exhale; respire.
–verb (used with object)

to inhale and exhale in respiration.
as you can hear in the background of this you tube video

Or maybe breathe as you can hear in the old Pink Floyd song.
Breath in the air
It is easier to learn new words if we associate them with our own experiences, with musicwith images or with things that are relevant to us.
Did you find the videos helpful to memorise the words and their pronunciation?

2.en.5 Asking questions?

Captura de pantalla 2014-01-26 a la(s) 2.06.46 PMOne of our goals this term is to be able to ask questions properly. Though accuracy is essential to make ourselves understood, asking good questions is not just a matter of grammar*, isn’t it?   We are currently using Tiny texts and news stories to pretend we are journalists. Last lesson you did a great job interviewing a diver who removed a hook form a dolphin’s fin. Hopefully, by the end of the year your journalistic skills will have developed, and questions will pop up effortlessly.

If you feel you need some revision on how to ask questions, click on the grammar* it will take you to a very good site to practice question asking. Take your time to read until you get to the bottom of the page, where you will find  6 exercises. Give me some feedback on how helpful you find them. Captura de pantalla 2014-01-26 a la(s) 2.25.35 PM

Now, we are going to try a different approach.  People are  different -age, background, looks, personality, life story-  Consequently, their responses, when  the same question is posed to them, are extremely varied and surprising. In this page you will find an experiment carried out in different cities “50 people one question”

Captura de pantalla 2014-01-25 a la(s) 11.07.14 AMI have chosen two examples Galway, Ireland and Brooklyn , New York to inspire you. The questions  are  What is your biggest regret?  and Where would you like to wake up tomorrow?

 

TASK I)
  Watch the videos.  Focus on 2 people (one per video).    Stop on the people who trap your attention and write a short description (name, age, nationality, looks). In the Brooklyn video people do not provide their names.  You can catch a screen shot to help you remember what the person is like. Do that on a document. You can include the pics. In the same document answer the following questions (make two columns, one for N Y and one for Galway) . Print the document and bring it to class. You can also copy  the answers in  your notebook if you do not have a printer. 

Which answer did you find

  1. most inspiring (made you think and reflect)
  2. unexpected (did not fit the image you had of the person being interviewed)
  3. funny
  4. sad
  5. disturbing
  6. silly
  7. honest
  8. cynical
  9. moving
  10. dull

Imagine a journalist approached you  at Plaza del Tubo when you leave school. What answer would you give?

TASK II)

Which aspects of life do people cover in their answers? Can you think of some headings to classify their answers?

TASK III)

If you had to produce a similar video in the streets of Palma, what question would you like to ask? 

TASK IV) to be discussed in class

Drawing on “50 people one question” Do you think we could produce a short video (around 6 minutes) in our school/city?  Suggestions welcomed. Maybe your art teacher, would like to participate. She is good at video editing.  What do you think.

2.en.4 Resources to work with news stories

We have been working with pieces of news since the beginning of the year. So far, we have used digital editions of well known newspapers. In this post you will find shorter texts to work with.  You can find them in a great site “Tiny Texts”, written by a Scottish teacher. They have been adapted for English language learners, but they are real stories. They are accompanied by audio and/or video. They include exercises, vocabulary and quizzes, as well as links to related articles.  They are about 100 words long and they cover a great variety of topics. So, no excuse for not improving your English. We shall use them to practice questions.

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1.en.3.Food paradoxes

Gonzalo Fanjul’s talk has raised awareness on food issues at world level. Here you can find some of the key words that were mentioned during the talk. Now it is up to you to organise your notes into a summary. You must structure your ideas in four  paragraphs covering some of the paradoxes Fanjul highlighted in his presentation. End your summary by giving your opinion. Captura de pantalla 2013-10-30 a la(s) 6.16.07 PM

In this link, you will find an interactive map of hunger at world level. It appears on the page of the The World Food Programme, which is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.By clicking on a country, you will be able to find out facts and figures to illustrate your comments.  Search the site and include in your summary any interesting aspect you like to share with your classmates. If you mention facts, figures remember to cite your source.

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1.en.2 Identity: Who am I? Stereotypes? Stereotyped?

Captura de pantalla 2013-10-27 a la(s) 8.15.35 PMUnit one revolves around  the topic of identity.  We have long discussed the issue and you all agreed that it is very difficult to find straightforward answers.  Genes? Education? Family? Environment? background?

In terms of personality, can a single adjective describe what we are like?  look at this poem  by  Ryan T. Bliss

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What do you think of it?

Stereotypes are commonly held beliefs, assumptions, or oversimplifications about groups or types of people. We all learn stereotypes about gender, race, class, ethnicity, religion, and age from the media, our peers, and families.

Stereotypes, whether supported by evidence or not, make it difficult to see people as individuals. Some stereotypes, both positive and negative, get translated into expectations from parents/guardians, teachers, friends, and society as a whole.

These are just some examples of stereotypes:

  • “people think I am a trouble-maker because I skateboard”
  • “people think I am good at maths because I am Asian”
  • “people think I like pink because I am a girl.”
  • “people think I am a rebel because I have piercings”

Read this “Just Because” poem written by an anonymous teen girl, San Diego, California.

Just because I am Mexican,
Doesn’t mean I speak Spanish
Doesn’t mean I am “illegal”
Doesn’t mean I’m illiterate
I am a good reader.

Just because I am a girl,
Doesn’t mean I like to shop
Doesn’t mean I am boy crazy
Doesn’t mean I can’t play sports
I am a loyal friend.

Just because I’m Catholic,
Doesn’t mean I go to church
Doesn’t mean I read the bible
Doesn’t mean I am better than you
I am a nice person.

Just because I am young,
Doesn’t mean I am naïve
Doesn’t mean I don’t care
Doesn’t mean I will “understand someday”
I am a human being

Now it is your turn to give it a try. Use the template and write your own “Just because “version of the poem.

Just because I am_______________________________________________________________,

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am__________________________________________________.

 

Just because I am_______________________________________________________________,

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am__________________________________________________.

 

Just because I am_______________________________________________________________,

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am__________________________________________________.

 

Just because I am_______________________________________________________________,

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am not_________________________________________________________________

I am__________________________________________________.  

In this site, you can find more Jus because poems written by American teenagers.

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Some images and music for reflection.

Some adjectives that might come in handy to boost your inspiration

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