Monday, 8 October 2012

6-Things To Do To Commemorate Indigenous Peoples On Columbus Day.

Commemorating Indigenous Peoples On Columbus Day


I posted up an earlier resource today on Christopher Columbus. On the 12th October, 1492; this well known explorer was said to have arrived as an immigrant to "the New World." 

I follow an organisation called 'Cultural Survival' and I would like to present their viewpoint on the discovery of the New World. Cultural Survival say that Christopher Columbus did not "discover" America. Indeed, there were native people already living there and the territory belonged to them as it was their homeland.




This reminds me of the issue of who discovered Macchu Picchu in Peru (see previous blog post on Macchu Picchu and the Macchu Picchu Multi Media Project). 

On Friday 12th October, let's remember and celebrate the People who are native to the America's. The above picture is a memorial tribute to the Indians in Chile.   Click on the title link and discover 6 things that you can do to support the causes of these people on Friday.  Activities vary from further reading, to making donations or simply spreading the word to your friends and followers so people around the world are better informed of indigenous issues.      

Report Warns Global Hunger is Imminent

Report Warns Global Hunger is Imminent

by Tara Banwell, English Club

  • development of vocabulary around topic of global hunger
  • mp3/audio file based on the Beddington Report
  • gap fill exercise
  • comprehension exercise
  • discussion idea

Organic Foods Have Same Nutritional Value

Organic Foods Have Same Nutritional Value

  • develop new and test existing vocabulary around the topic of food 
  • listen to an audio/MP3 file on the nutritional value of organic foods
  • complete a gap fill exercise
  • answer comprehension questions on the audio and written text
  • idea for discussion with fellow students, friends and colleagues

This Week In History

This Week In History



Christopher Columbus led the First Europeans to sail across the Atlantic.  On 12th October, 1492; he reached the New World or the current day Bahamas.






Click on the title link above and:-

  • listen to and read a short transcript about Christopher Columbus
  • test out and learn new vocabulary 
  • take a quick quiz

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Phonemic Chart

Phonemic Chart

Follow the title link.  If you are a beginner/pre-intermediate English learner and following the British Council Elementary Podcasts I suggest for the time being only trying to focus on the consonant part of the chart. If you are a higher level learner or feel confident to do so; you could go on to the single vowel sounds and then the dipthongs (double vowel sounds) last as they are the hardest!

Download the phonemic chart and refer to it frequently. It will help you to improve your pronunciation.  Check out the exercise 'Using the phonemic chart for autonomous learning'.  It will help you a lot!

Try the other pronunciation activities, they are all very good and if you have an iPad there is a 'Sounds Right' application available to download for free.

BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

by Alex Bellem


Click on the title link to:-

  • find pronunciation tips on voiced, voiceless and other consonants
  • posters on each consonant
  • video on each consonant
  • listen to individual sounds
  • download the full phonemic chart

Famous Female Mexican Painter

Frida Kahlo

An Introduction

In the British Council Elementary Podcast Series Programme 6,  the famous person discussed this week was Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican Painter.  She is truly a fascinating woman and here are some sources of information to help you understand her work and  her life.













The above website incorporates:
  • 6 biographical videos and a written biographical page. You may like to write your own biography on her life after you have read, listened to and watched these video's.  This could be a small group project where you take a small part of her life story each.
  • information, facts and the chronology of Frida Kahlo's life. You could assemble the information into a time line using this link - http://www.dipity.com/
  • a paint gallery  with over 70 self portraits to scroll through by Frida.  Perhaps you could arrange and edit these pictures into a Favourte 10 Frida Kahlo Painting PowerPoint Presentation, writing a summarising sentence about each painting and what it means to you.
  • A selection of quotes taken from what Frida said in her lifetime and her diary which she kept for the latter part of her life.  These could be made into a pocket book of Frida Kahlo Quotes.

My Favourite Quote


Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

In her diary she also wrote:

"Laughing and letting go and feeling lighter give one strength. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing "man" has, and I am sure that however much animals "suffer", they never exhibit their "pain" in open "theatres" or "behind doors". Their colours are truer than any image that any man may "represent" as painful.”

After her experiences in life, I am truly inspired by this incredible woman and her words.  It is a miracle that a person who suffered so much, had this amazing gift of valuing and living her life so fully. Awe inspiring!

The Film - Frida

Frida Kahlo's life was made into film starring Salma Hayak and Alfred Molina, as her husband Diego Rivera (the famous Mexican muralist).

Here is a film trailer to view at:-



And here is a written, online review for the film from Alex von Tunzelmann (The Guardian)




British Council Elementary Podcast Episode 6

TEFL Vocabulary, Grammar and Communicative Skills.



If you are a beginner (A2 CEFR level) these British Council Podcasts are excellent for getting you started.  As the week progresses I will post up other related work which will be appropriate for different levels of student ability.  If you are an Intermediate level of student you may want to use this resource to revise and then extend your knowledge.  Advanced students may just want to dip into the additional and other resources added during the week.

Go to: 




Find the audio link (MP3) right click and save it so you can listen to it whenever is convenient for you. The podcast comes with a support pack and transcript which is 22 pages long.  Use this link:
Download and do the exercises.

Main Contents of Podcast This Week

  • Telling a story - 'being late'.
  • What famous person would you like to meet and why? Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican painter
  • Vocabulary quiz - words beginning with (single consonant sounds)
  • Kazakhstan - a comparison of 'old' and 'new'.  Astana (capital city) versus traditional mountain scenery.  'Berkutchy' - a traditional eagle keeper or modern occupations.
  • Expressing an opinion - how 'green' are you?
  • Dialogue of Carolina from Venezuela when she is at university deciding what societies and clubs to join.
  • Telling/retelling a joke
Here is a summary of the main language points of the podcast. Try to get more practise with these language points during the week if you can:
  1. Use of the word 'like' as a verb, preposition and informal conversation filler.
  2. Informal language and phrases.
  3. Giving information to others.  For example: phone numbers, addresses.
  4. Use of the phrase 'as well'
I will follow up with work that is related through the week.  This work will be graded for different levels of student ability.

Friday, 5 October 2012

BBC World Service - Witness, Fifty years of the Beatles

BBC World Service - Witness, Fifty years of the Beatles




Click on the title link above and listen to Beatles music clips (Love, Love Me Do; Please, Please Me and she Loves You) with an interview led by Simon Watts in 1962.  

The four young Beatles (Ringo, George, John and Paul) are interviewed as are George Martin and Brian Ebstein (their manager and stage manager respectively).  

Their 'natural sense of  humour' and 'love for fun' comes through really well in the interview as indeed do some of their 'character flaws'. 

The interview was conducted in a very different time era where musicians did as their manager and stage manager told them.  They dressed in suits as directed by Brian Ebstein instead of the jeans and leather jackets they had originally turned up for audition in.  

Very informative. Listen, sing along and enjoy!


Allergies and Genetically Modified Cow's Milk

Milk Allergies in Human Babies



This BBC podcast is concerned with genetically modified food and allergies.  Minor to severe allergies are described.  For example; hay fever, nut, egg and cows milk allergies in babies. The resource is suitable for advanced TEFL students.

James Gallagher has studied the immune system, body cells and allergy culprits. The podcast is based on his scientific report.

In baby cow milk allergies, the protein 'beta lacta globulin' has been found to cause RNA interference.  

Cows in New Zealand are now injected with a substance to stop them from producing the protein.  Their milk is therefore genetically modified but deemed suitable for babies to drink.


What do you think about genetically modifying cow's milk for babies?


Do you think it is a spectacular or unethical practise?



Listen to the debate on this podcast and form your own opinion.

If you need an online dictionary please use one of the following links:



Learning English - Words in the News - Life's big questions?

Learning English - Words in the News - Life's Big Questions?


Why have I been born?
- ponder life with a drink in a chair which utter words of wisdom







Click the title link and watch this interesting video story from a bar in Corigliano d'Otranto, Italy and become familiar with new English vocabulary. 


Vocabulary

philosophy, ponder, utters, in demand, catch on




Shawshank Redemption “Cadena Perpetua” « TEFL Iberia

Shawshank Redemption “Cadena Perpetua” 

« TEFL Iberia


An excellent film about men serving 'life sentences' and their lives inside a US prison. 
Click on the title link and listen to Morgan Freeman's speech about 'rehabilitation'. 













Check out the meaning of the words in 'italics' using these online dictionary links.

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/

  • In your own words, explain what a 'life sentence' is.
  • What does a 'rehabilitation programme' involve?
  • Find out what are your friends, colleagues, teachers and relatives views on 'life sentences', 'prisons' and 'rehabilitation'?
  • Do you think that a life sentence should mean that the sentence lasts for life or is there ever a case for 'early release on the grounds of good behaviour'?
  • Do you agree with the 'death penalty'? Explain your reasons.
  • What crimes do you think 'warrant' life sentences and what crimes do not? Complete two lists.

Click on the title link and think again about Morgan Freeman's response to the question of whether he thinks he has rehabilitated.

  • Do you think prison rehabilitates a person? Or do you think a person can feel that 'remorse' for himself or herself in his own time?
  • Does prison have other purposes such as a punishment, isolation .......? Discuss with your colleagues, family and friends.

Finally, think about the phrase 'prisoner of war'.  What does it mean?


"A famous prisoner of war was Fran├žois Mitterrand. He was a French president who was captured during the Second World War in 1940".

How many times do you think he escaped before arriving home in December 1941?


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Play online, learn online and feed the hungry | Freerice.com

Play Online, Learn Online and Feed the Hungry | Freerice.com








A win/win learning activity.


Test your English vocabulary and help donate grains of rice to feed the world's hungry

Multiculturalism - EFL CLASSROOM 2.0

Multiculturalism - EFL CLASSROOM 2.0

David Deubelbeiss



Culture

Find out what young people in the UK think 'culture' is.  Follow the title link and listen to young adults/teenagers from London (a multicultural city) express their opinions on multicultural issues, stereotyping and culture in a video. 

Make yourself up a mind map to summarise the video.




Then, make your own mind map up in English to develop and expand your vocabulary awareness around this topic. Explore what you think 'culture' is. 


Talk to your friends and parents and define culture from their viewpoint. 

Are their definitions the same or different to yours?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

MyWordBook

MyWordBook




Click on the title link  above and download the above mobile learning application from the British Council.


An Invaluable Tool in Improving Vocabulary Knowledge


  • Learn, practise and quickly review your English vocabulary knowledge daily.
  • Use MyWordBook 2 every day to build your vocabulary and improve your English. Add new words as you meet them so you never forget them
  • Create your own flashcards and add images, sounds, notes and translations.




English for Medicine - A Doctor's View

English for Medicine - A Doctor's view


Another excellent resource from the Learn English British Council website.




Listen to an interview with a retired doctor, Rajan Mehta, about his life working in the UK.

What do you think a paediatrician is?






Follow the title link

  • do the preparation task and match the words to their correct descriptions
  • put the questions in the order they were asked in the interview
  • listen and locate specific information from an audio file 
  • rewrite a postcard that Doctor Mehta sent to India in 1967


Biotechnology

Biotechnology


An excellent resource from the British Council Learn English website in which two students, Ann and Frank debate their opinions on genetically modified food.





  • familiarise yourself with technical/scientific vocabulary associated with biotechnology and more complex words and phrases from an academic debate.  

  • listen to an audio transcript of a conversation between 2 students, Ann and Frank.  

  • answer true/false questions on the information you have listened to or read.

  • do a comprehension task to test your understanding of the audio script and written text.




What do you think about vegetables with a higher vitamin content or bananas with vaccines built into them?  

Do you agree with the manufacture of genetically modified food?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Past Continuous and Past Simple

Past Continuous and Past Simple

An exercise to introduce you to two forms of the Past Tense.  The exercise is a gapfill one where you convert the designated verb to it's past form (continuous or simple). This resource is suitable for A2 CEFR students.  Grammar support points are on the right hand side of the web page.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

TEFL Global Grammar Resources

The Simple Past Tense - Regular and Irregular Verbs


Grammatical information on the context, form and uses of verbs (regular and irregular) in the Simple Past Tense.  There are also exercises to practise skills and a short reading and writing task in each resource.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Cat That Walked By Himself

The Cat That Walked By Himself


Which pet do you prefer? A cat or a dog.

A lovely poem by Rudyard Kipling which rhymes, has rhythm and a theme already introduced in the podcast comparing cats and dogs. 

Familiarize yourself with the vocabulary, read and listen to the poem and test your understanding of what you have read through the comprehension activities.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular Verbs


A list of approximately 60 or so irregular verbs with the base form, the past simple tense and the past participle in table format.  This resource could be used as a reference tool or you could start trying to memorize the verbs as they are commonly used in English.

There is also an exercise to do here.  Again keep your eyes out for news of my new website where I will incorporate a lot of this type of materIal.


Present Perfect

Present Perfect 

A B1 CEFR exercise on the Present Perfect Tense suitable for Pre- Intermediate level TEFL learners.  There is a combination of questions and sentences to complete for this gapfill exercise.

The Present Perfect Tense Slideshow  can be found on the grammar page of this blog. Check it out as it goes into more detail on the formation, meaning and uses of the present perfect tense.  It is interactive and there are exercises to do as you watch it.  I would say this is for those of you who may be meeting the present perfect tense again and can understand a little bit more detail this time (Intermediate level).

Keep your eyes open here as I am developing another website which will be more of a static one and will include more grammar exercises as they are proving to be popular.

British Council Elementary Podcast 5




TEFL Vocabulary, Grammar and Communicative Skills.



If you are a beginner (A2 CEFR level) these British Council Podcasts are excellent for getting you started.  As the week progresses I will post up other related work which will be appropriate for different levels of student ability.  If you are an Intermediate level of student you may want to use this resource to revise and then extend your knowledge.  Advanced students may just want to dip into the additional and other resources added during the week.



Find the audio link (MP3) right click and save it so you can listen to it whenever is convenient for you. The podcast comes with a support pack and transcript which is 22 pages long.  Use this link:




Download and do the exercises.

Main Contents of Podcast This Week

  • Describing cats
  • What famous person would you like to meet and why? Didier Drogba
  • Vocabulary quiz - words beginning with (single consonant sounds)
  • New Zealand - the landscape and scenery
  • Expressing an opinion - Which do you prefer cats or dogs?
  • Dialogue of Carolina from Venezuela when she meets her new flatmates in Newcastle.
  • Telling/retelling a joke
Here is a summary of the main language points of the podcast. Try to get more practise with these language points during the week if you can:
  1. Regular and irregular verbs
  2. The base form, the past simple tense and the past participle in the present perfect tense
  3. Informal phrases.
I will follow up with work that is related through the week.  This work will be graded for different levels of student ability.





Sunday, 16 September 2012

[ THE DRIFTER and the GYPSY ]: Interview: ModCloth

[ THE DRIFTER and the GYPSY ]: Interview: ModCloth


If you are interested in women's fashion ModCloth uses 'vintage inspired designs from independent designers'.  Susan Gregg Koger was the founder of this internet based company at 17 years of age and is totally self taught in the business.  The resource is a transcribed phone interview. Read on and find out about Winston, the pug who is the company mascot!

[ THE DRIFTER and the GYPSY ]: A heart-shaped meadow

[ THE DRIFTER and the GYPSY ]: A heart-shaped meadow

An inspirational short love story.  We have a proverb in English 'true love never dies'.  I think this story and photograph are testimony to that!



Do you know of any true love stories? Do you believe in true love?

Leave a comment here or on our facebook page.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

How to Say Different English Numbers - English Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson

How to Say Different English Numbers - English Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson


How to say numbers in different contexts.  For example in dates, when telling the time, with money (for British currency simply substitute pound for dollars and pence for cents), when scoring a football game etc.




How to Say Numbers 100-1 trillion - English (ESL) Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson

How to Say Numbers 100-1 trillion - English (ESL) Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson


Following from the last video posted here are some larger numbers.


How to Say Numbers 0-99 - English Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson

How to Say Numbers 0-99 - English Vocabulary & Pronunciation Lesson


Practise the correct pronunciation of numbers from zero to 99.



More Music Collaborations from the British Council




Watch this film and learn about musical projects between British musicians and artists and performers from around the world.   Five international musical pieces were developed representing all five continents of the world.  The music was performed at a spectacular weekend event of free music on the River Thames ('River of Music, July 2012').


Ondatropica: British Council

Ondatropica: A Sound Journey from Colombia to London | British Council



Ondatropica is a British Council Musical Collaboration with Mario Galeano and Will Quantic. The project merges classic and modern styles of Colombian music. 

Watch this video  and meet Michi Sarmiento, composer and arranger of many of the biggest hits in tropical music.
http://www.britishcouncil.org/arts/ondatropica-sound-journey

You can find out about the places and people behind this musical collaboration by watching all 12  short videos, the links to which are posted in the web page above.

Hong Kong Bun Festival

Hong Kong Bun Festival


Find out more about this week long festival that occurs in Spring time in Hong Kong.  Follow the link above and read about the history, the culture, the ceremonies and activities that occur for the festival.  It really is very fascinating!

Either click on the PDF document and download or print the lesson. It is a reading comprehension. Enjoy!

Bob Marley


3 Resources to Find Out About the Man Behind the Legend


"He was a musician, a spiritual leader, a ladies' man, a smoker of heroic amounts of ganja, a political force and a religious icon. And, 31 years after his death, Bob Marley is still a chart-topper: His Legends album sells 250,000 copies a year, even now".

source:canada.com
Excerpt: BERLIN - 

  • April 2012 saw a film released about him.  Below is a trailer, you can also access the film on demand at:- 


http://www.bobmarley.com/marley_the_movie.php#ondemand







Students could role play an interview about their father with another student. Students may like to compare their fathers to Bob Marley and discuss the 'role model' of a father. There could be quite different opinions on this and it generates a good opportunity for students to express their opinion about Marley's way of life.  Students will have strong opinions on this and they are likely to vary a lot!



  • Finally, his famous song 'One Love'.  The message of his beliefs and philosophy are held within the lyrics of his song.  He was a 'rastafarian' by religion, I personally think there is a lot of truth in what he says in the song!




One thing for sure, he was a very controversial and rebellious character!

As Ravi says in the British Council Podcast if Bob was alive today what question would you like to ask him?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Free E-learning Lesson from Macmillan - Inside Out Series

Two Countries

This is a Macmillan Inside Out Series TEFL learning resource I would suggest is probably at Intermediate level (B1). It may also be suitable for Pre-Intermediate TEFL learners (A2) It contains:-

- A reading gapfill exercise about the country of Bhutan

- Answers requiring questions to be formed for them

- Facts about another unknown country.  Try to guess which country it is.  Remember it begins with 'B'.




Some Additional Websites to Research


Official website of the Bhutan Tourism Corporation, containing interesting facts and photos as well as conveying a sense of the government’s ambivalence towards tourism.

Facts about Bhutan from the US government’s Central Intelligence Agency website.

A guide to B----- from National Geographic, with photos, facts, map and a video


Other Lesson Resources

There is a teachers guide/answer key at:- 
http://www.insideout.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/NIO513T-Two-countries.pdf

And a glossary of useful vocabulary for the exercises at 
http://www.insideout.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/NIO513G-Two-countries.pdf

Charades | Macmillan Readers

Charades | Macmillan Readers



A brilliant resource by Macmillan explaining the game of charades, the rules and what the hand signals mean.  Learn about Shakespeare Plays by trying to guess what the actor is miming in the 3 short videos. Once you get the idea you could play the game with friends/colleagues either sticking to the topic of Shakespeare's work or trying another author perhaps Charles Dickens.

English Slang – FREAK · engVid

English Slang – FREAK · engVid


I heard many people in England call Michael Jackson 'a freak' when he was alive.  

Do you think this was a compliment or an insult?  

Watch this video and become familiar with the uses and meaning of this slang word.




Thinking about Michael Jackson, a great many respects have been paid to him and his music since his death.  With the benefit of hindsight (this means looking back in time with the benefit of what is known today), I wonder what those people would call him now?

A 'freak' or a 'legend'?


Slang in English – SUCK · engVid

Slang in English – SUCK · engVid

Another video with James from engVid similar in format to the last video posted 'blow'.  


James explains the origins of the word 'suck' and it's social history.  The word emerged in the 1920's/1930's  in Jazz Clubs in America.  Jazz instruments need the player to blow into them.  If you have a good blow you tend to be a good player.  

However if you suck the air in instead of blowing it out it doesn't work and the instrument sounds flat and awful.  And so people who are not good at doing things got the nickname 'sucker'.  

What do you think? 

True or false.



Slang & Vocabulary in English – BLOW · engVid

Slang & Vocabulary in English – BLOW · engVid


The presenter maps out and explains the different uses of the verb 'blow' in a spider diagram: a useful technique when exploring a word that has different uses and meanings.

Quick Slang – Talking About Being Excited!

Quick Slang – Talking About Being Excited!

This week the British Council's podcast introduced 'informal language phrases'.  For example - 'What do you fancy?' instead of 'What would you like?' which is more formal. 

Here is another resource that focuses on slang or informal language. There is a quiz at the bottom of the resource to do after you have watched the video. Just click on it and you can test yourself on what you have learnt.

Learning English with the News – Improve your vocabulary and comprehension

Learning English with the News – Improve your Vocabulary and Comprehension



Some very good, practical advice is incorporated in this video from EngVid.  

Reading newspapers online, listening to news reports, buying and reading an English magazine or newspaper are very good ways of expanding your vocabulary. If possible do these activities daily.

When you do this develop your comprehension skills by asking yourself the following questions:-


Who?

What?

When?

Where?

Why?

How?

Inspirational Shakespeare

Speech by King Lear


Listen to a speech from Shakespeare's King Lear and a commentary given by Andrew Marr on why he chose this extract as the piece of Shakespeare that most inspires him.
http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/myshakespeare/myshakespeare_20120522-1700a.mp3

Learning English - Words in the News - Stagecoach

Learning English - Words in the News - Stagecoach

What do you think they use old trams for in Mexico City?





A BBC short video that firstly introduces 5 new words, the presenter then makes the video report explaining what the Mexicans use old trams for.  The 5 words are subtitled as they are used.  The video is then replayed with a full transcript which you can read. Finally you have the opportunity to use the 5 words learnt in a new context as a gapfill exercise.

Keep a note of the new vocabulary that you learn in your vocabulary book.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Verb + Preposition (it depends on)

TEFL Global Grammar Resource

Verb + Preposition ('it depends on') Exercise

'What does success depend on?


Grammatical exercise suitable for an Intermediate level of TEFL student.  This exercise looks purely at the verb and prepositional phrase 'it depends on'.  

Match the jumbled up questions and answers.