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Saturday, 26 November 2011

After couple of listens...

After a couple of listens, you'll probably get the gist of Anna's podcasts easily. This is just a question of practice. As the English idiom goes: "Practice makes perfect". So, there's no time to lose, the more podcasts you listen to, the better listener you'll become. It's like the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood: "Grandma, what big ears you have! All the better to hear with, my child."

Ok, then, going back to present time, let's move on and listen to Anna's podcast on Chores, which is also very related to the class topic on how to express hospitality. Here's the Chores handout and the mp3 audio for you to use as many times as necessary.

On the other hand, we dealt with the theme of  Education all through the past unit, and Anna helped us with her podcast on Starting to read, where you can drew the conclusion that learning to read is quite complicated, even for native speakers. (Starting to read handout, mp3 audio)
Sources:  http://acupofenglish.libsyn.com/starting_to_read_ and http://acupofenglish.libsyn.com/chore-time-

To conclude, I hope you find this post useful for your English practice, if not, please feel free to drop some lines, telling me how you feel about it. Your comments will be very appreciated, specially the positive ones. Anyway, just let me know how your English is going on.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Misunderstandings

Have you ever misunderstood anything that made you laugh out loud?


If you have and you wish to tell us about, please just send us your misunderstanding anecdote. This is the right writing section for learners to share and have a great time too. Our first learner, Manuel, is telling us about Peter and Alice’s confusion. I hope you enjoy it. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s put your English into practice and send us your anecdotes.

Here's another writer, Enrique, who's telling us his personal language misunderstanding. This is full of fun and it's well-written too. Thanks so much for your writing contribution.

On the other hand, before you write your first words, you'd better think about some good ideas to write about. However, this is not so easy at first and sometimes, you'll have to read something about the same topic. So, do you need any inspiration for your writing? Here's a love misunderstading by the BBC. A little bit of British humour:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The EOI-Santiago Book Clubs

Do you like READING?

Join the EOI-SANTIAGO BOOK CLUBS!

DISCOVER the pleasure of reading real books in English

SHARE your impressions and comments with other readers

IMPROVE your English and your language skills





GENERAL INFORMATION:

- The Book Club is addressed to intermediate 2 and advanced students. Former EOI students are also welcome. Meetings will be held once monthly.

Extensión de Noia: Tuesday, 22nd November at 8pm (language lab) jlago@eoisantiago.org

Extensión de Ribeira: Wednesday, 23rd November at 8pm (room 103) dpastoriza@eoisantiago.org

Extensión de Santiago (IES de Sar): Wednesday, 23rd November at 8pm (room 10) alosada@eoisantiago.org

Visit the book club blog: http://novelteaclub.blogspot.com/


  So, there's no time to lose. Why don't you read and comment on your best books ever? , exactly the same thing as the well-known movie: The Jane Austen Book Club. Come on, readers! Let's get your reading started.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a 2004 American romantic fantasy film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, scripted by Charlie Kaufman and directed by the french director, Michel Gondry. The film uses elements of science fiction, psychological thriller, and nonlinear narration to explore the nature of memory and romantic love. It opened in North America on March 19, 2004, and grossed over US $70 million worldwide.

Kaufman and Gondry worked on the story with Pierre Bismuth, a French performance artist. The film stars an ensemble cast starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Jane Adams, and David Cross.

The title is taken from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope, the story of a tragic love affair, where forgetfulness became the heroine's only comfort:
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
The film was a critical and commercial success, developing a strong cult following and receiving a myriad of accolades, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film was lauded by critics as one of the best and most thought-provoking films of 2004. 


In class, we watched the first half of the film and after that, we drew our own conclusions: there're so many flashbacks that it's sometimes hard to be followed and perhaps a bit aggressive too. However, I think we need to wait for the second part to understand the whole film. Meanwhile, I'd like to drop you some more lines on the same topic of our mind and memory. The following notes were taken from Straightforward Advanced Teacher's Book, by Roy Norris: "Cultural notes: Alzheimer's disease is a serious illness affecting the brain, which makes it difficult to remember things. It gets worse over time and affects older people in particular. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the film starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett. It presupposes that you can go to a clinic and have bad memories erased from your brain. In the film, Jim Carrey, whilst undergoing the treatment, fights against losing his memories. The moral is that memories are what make us what we are - even the bad ones.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Do you have a memory like an elephant?

Well, this question doesn't seem to be so easily responded at first. Memory is a quite complicated process, as it's depicted through this photo. There're many different steps and stages going on within the grey matter and thus, testing our intelligence quotient (IQ) may vary to a greater extent, depending on the assessing criteria to be applied. On the contrary, our mental capacities can be trained and improved. However, this is not only a question of numbers, tests or IQ, but taking into account that our brain is similar to another muscle of our entire body, though it's true that we need the right stimulations and environment to obtain our best potential and develop more talents and capacities. Finally, to quote an example, I'd like to recommend you to look for some information about Sir Ken Robinson. Here's a well-known video by him:


For further listening, (Handout, mp3), vocabulary, reading and speaking practice on Memory, please click on the appropriate words above.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Listen to this

Hey! Please, listen to this. Here's another listening task for Advanced learners of English. We're currently dealing with the topics of Mid-life crisis and Education. This time there's no noise at the background, but still some listening skills to be developed. So, there's no time to lose. Please, feel free to click on the handout and have a look at the activities, then, play track 7 and track 8 as longer as needed. Listening skills usually require time, patience and effort, therefore, that's exactly one of the benefits of this blog, that is, the classroom bell won't make you stop practising and you can also listen to it again whenever you feel like doing it, and thus you'll become a much better autonomous learner of English.

Word-building or Word-formation


Basically, we could start off by studying some basic word-formation suffixes and prefixes, which will help you to guess the meaning and grammar of English words.

So, here's your WORD-FORMATION theory and practice to do your best at your English school. Remember that there are not magical RULES for word-formation, and it's only a question of practice and loads of English exposure.


Let's put it this way...it's time for more words... - from Intermediate to advanced level.


Learning a language is like building a house. We need plenty of bricks to be able construct a venue with well-laid foundations and suitable enough for our living expectations: good sights, full of light, and comfortable for our family. By the same token, to produce a fluent speech, it’s necessary to manage a whole array of words, which must be assimilated, practised and used regularly, rather than only translated into the target language. Word-building takes time and what’s even more important: suffixes and prefixes must be recognized; otherwise you won’t make the most of your word-building. For further word-formation practice, you’d better click on words, words, words.