We never got the chance to have our session on questions about this, so I don’t know how you’re doing. Do post on this here, if you like. In case it’s of use, here is a proposal. Until we meet again, and while there is no substitute teacher (if there is, you can tell her/him about this plan, too), here is what you can work on:
October. The Ngozi Adichie Project
Skills involved: Listening / Reading / Speaking / Writing / Mediation
Find the talk here (listening) + get a copy of the printed essay (it’s just about 6 euros and you won’t regret it!)
Watch the TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists, 20 minutes, a must watch to develop a feminist intelligence! Watch it several times till you get used to Nigerian accent (you will!) and so you can take notes. Don’t read the transcript or the printed essay (or not at the same time) until you have watched it enough times so you can give your ear a chance to learn to listen! Then you can combine both.
After all your listening and reading work, consider highlighting/underlining (reading) and note-taking (listening):
- questions of useful language to improve your wordings in English (how you explain things, for instance) and
- your favorite quotes and passages: the question of ideas that can help you think better, more kindly, being less unfair to others. Try to see if you can relate Ngozi’s examples or anecdotes to your own experience, too.
You can also do some research on Ngozi’s bio and work.
What to hand in so I can learn about your work:
Reading. Listening. Writing. You need to hand in a text on how you worked on this project (in one single piece of paper, with relevant info on the top right-hand corner of page 1!) Extension: from half a page to two pages. Format: a log, a diary, a report with sections, a comic, you name it!
Writing. A personal commentary on a quote or passage you choose to comment (about 200 words, without counting the quote or passage, which you need to cite with the page number or minute in the video and preferably copy for me to read without having to look for it)
Speaking. What to share in class: A 3-4 minute presentation on Ngozi and this work of hers. If you can’t share it in class, record it in an mp3 file, but don’t record it until you have practiced it and remember NEVER PRACTICE SPEAKING EXERCISES WITH NARRATIVES, JUST WITH OUTLINES, because if you practice with a narrative you won’t be practicing speaking, just reading aloud, which is a different kind of exercise (a good exercise, yes, but called “Reading Aloud”, not “Speaking”! 😀 )
I’m giving you the outline, to help:
- Ngozi: bio
- [WSABF – form: the talk & the essay] – skippable
- content: Summary or Retelling (Mediation)
- My personal opinion (what I learned)
As an example, here is what I prepared to do my own OP and other written work:
Can you do all the other things we were meant to be doing? Of course!
- Watch the Friends TV Series (episodes 1-3 season 1 at least) and jot down UL to share later in class, so we can put together a podcast episode, too! Yes!
- Read the C1 Resource Pack, so you can learn about our methodology! YES YES YES!!!
- Keep a listening log and a reading log? Yes!
Please, copy and paste this post in a word doc and when you adapt it to your needs (you can move the items to other more convenient categories, if you like),print it. Include it in your Learning File. Post your answer to questions here, or volunteer them in class.
Keep my comments in mind when you speak or write, so you can avoid making these mistakes. If you order these mistakes in your own categories, please, share. You can post that here, or share in class (mini OPs).
Thanks to Ana, Marsha, Yani, Melania, Pilar, Marta, María, Rocío Difita, Francisco, Charlotte, Carmen, Maite?, Ruth, CAL: David, Alicia, Rocío for your mistakes! (16 students) They’ve inspired/informed this post!
Resources for your LoM: apart from using my podcast for L&R to gain fluency and accuracy (see previous post, please, Listening Log and my audios), you can browse this page to see if you find notes that help you understand some of the mistakes you make. If you do, please, share in class, tell us about it! http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/func_gram/index.htm
Collective LoM for Writing Task 1
- the dream of my whole life : find other ways of expressing this
- Compare: “And therefore I felt frustrated” with “so it was frustrating”. Register: when would you use which?
- What’s a mistake and what’s an error, do you know?
- Keyboard: Find where the apostrophe is! Most people use the wrong symbol.
- Word order is very important in English (syntax). Try to notice my corrections on this. For instance, we never say: I like very much this. The Object (this) is more important than the intensity (very much), so we say: I like THIS very much.
- Notice my corrections on paragraphing. It’s important. (Creating paragraphs, how we group things in a text. this relates to logical progression, transitions and connectors.)
- Learn to use the dash. Notice how we use it when you read.
- Capitalization: remember which words are capitalized in English! Which?
- Please, do not hyphenate at the end of the line. Check this out: http://talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/writing/noteswriting/capitalizhyphendash.htm
- About comparing your English to your classmates’ (always in the worst way possible, to disempower yourself and feed your fears and complexes!). Please, don’t do that! It’s loveless for everybody. It’s embarrassing. Enjoy the fact that people have different levels and learn to learn from all of them! Use them as inspiration for reaching for the moon!
MASTERING HOW YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LEVEL.
- English-speaking countries – English speakers: what’s the difference?
- English people or English-speakers? What’s the difference?
- I’ve never been to AN English-speaking country.
- to get better and better in my English (informal) – to improve my English (standard, semiformal, formal)
- to speak English perfectly/very well (not “talk” or “to speak
perfectlyEnglish”). We never “talk a language”, we “speak it”. We can talk (hold a conversation) in a certain language, though.
- I like talking. I like speaking English. When people speak too fast… Tell me, dear students, what’s the meaning of these sentences and can we use “speak” or “talk” in all?
- I got my B1 level CERTIFICATE.
- at the EOI (pronounced in Spanish) language school (not “at the EOI”) – the EOI school is a state-run language school in British English and a public language school in US American English, but these don’t exist in those countries. I think we’re the only country offering free language education to adults! Academy is not a good word for “academia”. It’s safer to say “a private language school”. The Academy Awards are the Oscars!
- To achieve my goals, to reach my goals, to fulfill my goals (not “
- My main ambition is to BE ABLE TO speak with native people / hold conversations with native people. (Why can’t we use “can” or say “
to achieve to speak“?)
- CLAUSES (RELATIVE CL., NON-DEFINING). This is my last year studying my degree at university,
thatWHICH means I have used English a lot… Can you explain my correction in class?
- ADVERBS. I can easily remember words I use but I tend to forget words I don’t use! (Surprise, surprise! Why is that?)
- Sounding more English: replace “So I can learn English properly” with “So I can become a profiecient user of English, while enjoying my learning and without being crushed by the pressure of exams!”
- Sounding more English. I tried to get my certificate at Trinity: I signed up for the C1 examination at Trinity.
- One of my strengths is I’m a very hard-working person! Another strength of mine would be I never give up! One of my biggest weaknesses is I’m afraid of speaking in public
NARRATIVES, CONNECTORS & TENSES
- But all we did in those days, or But all we used to do in those days, But all we would do in those days – speaking about the past
- C1 item!!! If I lose my job, it drives me crazy to think I (no podría) feed my children. How do you say “no podría”?
- Connectors: On a more personal note (instead of “Moreover” when you are actually going to change the subject to a more personal comment or event). Also, “On a different note” when changing the subject.
- Connectors. Be careful with using “Furthermore“. Someone is writing about why she decided to become a bilingual primary teacher and later she says:
Furthermore, The fact is almost all of our schools are bilingual today/nowadays.
- Tenses: compare the use of the PAST SIMPLE and the PRESENT PERFECT, and share your examples in class: let’s analyze these in class: e.g. I didn’t live /she never lived in any English-speaking country – I haven’t lived in any English-speaking country – I have never lived in any English-speaking country – Never (in my life) have a Iived in an English-speaking country!
- What’s the difference between: I never traveled abroad? and I’ve never travelled abroad? / I’ve never traveled abroad?
- Tenses: I have been to York – He ido a York, He estado en York
- have been TO (not: have been
have been toYork last year – definite time in past requires a Past Simple. I WENT to York last year / I spent time in York last year.
- the UK, the USA, Britain, British, US American, American from the USA
- At present, I feel I am out of practice and need to focus on my English again. You learn a langauge to speak it and if you don’t use it, it goes rusty!
- My weaknesses are my lack of time and my being tired most of the time (my job and family life is demanding!)
Expressing emphasis. C1 language function!
- EVEN. Where to place “even”:
EvenI EVEN had to teach Science…
evenI even failed English!
- STILL. I still have a long way to go.
VOCABULARY, USEFUL LANGUAGE
- Words. Persistent (better than “constant” for most cases)
- Verb phrases. SET TO DO sth: I always try to succeed in what I set to do! I never give up!
- Verbs we mix up! KNOW/LEARN ABOUT. I was able to learn about her way of life (not “to
knowher way of life”)
- “being positive“, “my being positive” This last one is a C1 item (not “my
- I made this decision not only because English is
the universal languagea lingua franca in the world / spoken all over the world.
- C1 item: I hope THERE comes the time when I’ll be able to understand everybody!
- FALSE FRIENDS: I have facilities????? Check this dictionary entry: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/facility
Say: I am good at English, or I have a facility for languages.
Sounding more English
- USE OF BE/HAS. Until today,
I did not have any problem in relation to this topicUntil today that has always been very helpful (positive approach).
- Range. I have low self-esteem. Also, My self-esteem is fragile.
- Likewise, I have brown hair – My hair is brown.
to get a better worldto make the world a better place (to live)
school year2019-20 school year.
- I was JUST a
child with only six yearssix-year-old child.
MORPHOLOGY (correct form or combination of words)
- UNDER-THE-LEVEL-MISTAKES! Agreement in frequently used verbal phrases: I have been
studiedstudyING. How can you learn to check your verbs are right?
- Agreement is key: S + V (in number: they are, he is, they have, she has; we don’t, she doesn’t, they do), so be careful with your ending s. Can you share some examples of this? And within the verbal phrase (sintagma verbal): Examples in the present perfect continuous: I have been listening to this song all day! He has been waiting for us for ages! Examples in the passive: I was mugged the other day! It was so scary! We were told you were in Paris. Would you like to improve your use of the passive?: listen & repeat to my 6 episodes on this! Episode 1 (then scroll down and you’ll find the rest)
- UNDER-THE-LEVEL-MISTAKES! Agreement and number in partitive structures: ONE of my strengthS IS (Not “one of my
strength” and not “One of my strengths ARE)
- Problems with OTHER, ANOTHER and the like? Check my notes here: http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/func_gram/gramwebs/other.htm
At last I’m over!!! A three days’ work! I hope you have a look and I hope we can go through your questions based on this list in class!