Sunday, 30 September 2012

SINGING TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE


Music motivates foreign language students and develops their language skills.
Here are some reasons why singing can support modern foreign language learning:
  1. Singing songs develops good pronunciation: music lends a natural rhythm to words and phrases, helping language learners to use good pronunciation. Melodies and rhymes guide learners to speak in a native cadence.
  2. Listening to song lyrics improves comprehension skills: a popular activity in foreign language classes is to listen to a rap or pop song from the target country and fill in blanks to the lyrics.
  3. Singing songs increases vocabulary and speech patterns: songs automatically put language into a context. Students will begin to pick up vocabulary and complex expressions they might not otherwise come across.
  4. Music aids memory: songs can help students memorize grammar and vocabulary. It is easy to use a familiar  tune and change the words. It is possible to create songs for any chunks of language that must be memorized.
  5. Music is fun:  music and  singing  liven up learning. When students are having fun, they are more motivated to learn!
Today let's sing along with Norah Jones! 



Tuesday, 25 September 2012

LEARNING ENGLISH WITH MISTERDUNCAN


Hi there! Today it's Tuesday and  it's time we watch some other  video lessons  with  Misterduncan! Come on, let’s get started!

In Lesson 9 we will look at “fame” and words connected with it; then in Lesson 10  our favourite English teacher will deal with the different ways to apologise; in Lesson 11 he will explain the meaning of the words “irony” and “coincidence”; finally, in Lesson 12  we will learn how to describe our “character”.
Happy learning!  






Monday, 17 September 2012

LEARNING ENGLISH WITH MISTERDUNCAN

Hi there! It's Monday again and  it's time we watch some other  video lessons  with our favourite English teacher, Misterduncan of course!
This week he will humorously address some  interesting questions about grammar and vocabulary, intonation and punctuation; he will also deal with the  differences between British and American English.
Happy learning!  




Wednesday, 12 September 2012

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IS TOMORROW!



It's back to school time!  Let’s roll-up our sleeves and get to work … there is much to be done! The new school year will bring with it many new challenges, as well as rewards. What exciting times ahead!
I wish all  teachers and students  a successful and productive school year!


I think Steve Jobs’ commencement speech to Stanford in 2005, one of the greatest reflections on life and education we have ever heard, is absolutely inspirational …


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

ANNIVERSARY OF THE SEPTEMBER 11 TERRORIST ATTACKS


During this day of contemplation and remembrance,  President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle marked the 11th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Surrounded by White House staff, the Obamas walked onto the South Lawn at the time the first aeroplane hit the World Trade Centre. Ceremonies were also held in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon for people who wished to remember the horrific scenes and commemorate the heroic acts that were carried out on September 11, 2001.


“When the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division. It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.”  ~ President Obama

“On this day, we honor the memories and the lives of those who were killed and the families who will never forget them. We also honor the first responders who bravely put themselves in harm’s way – many of whom never returned home. It is also our obligation and our duty to make sure that we will always remember.”  ~ Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York



Monday, 10 September 2012

LEARNING ENGLISH WITH MISTERDUNCAN

Hi there! It’s Monday today. It's time we watch some other  video lessons  with Misterduncan, our favourite English teacher! 
First off, in Lesson 3 we will look at different ways to say "please" and "thank you"; then in Lesson 4 we will look at replying to these sentences.
Finally, in Lesson 5 Misterduncan will explain the words “good” and “bad” and their general use  ... which is not that bad,  don't you agree?   Happy learning!



 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

HOW TO BECOME COMPETENT 21st-CENTURY TEACHERS


It is only a couple of days until going back to school! How exciting!  While surfing the Net I have just found a very good article about teachers’ necessity to broaden their horizons, especially as regards technology.  What a challenge!
As  the Roman philosopher   Seneca affirmed: "Men learn while they teach."



Saturday, 8 September 2012

THE KITE RUNNER

Set in Afghanistan and the United States, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, is a bildungsroman that illustrates the similarities as well as the differences between the two countries and the two vastly different cultures. It is the story of both fathers and sons and friends and brothers, and it is a novel about right and wrong and the nature of evil. Published in 2003 to great critical and popular acclaim, The Kite Runner is considered a contemporary classic.

The three most important aspects of The Kite Runner  are the following:
  • It is a historical novel about the pre-Russian invasion and pre-Taliban rule of Afghanistan, as well life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule and life in a post-Taliban Afghanistan. Although the story is invented, the information about the political, social, and cultural systems of this Middle Eastern country provides a contrast to the contemporary headlines about Afghanistan primarily being home to terrorist cells. The Kite Runner paints a realistic portrait of a country about which most readers probably know very little and enables readers to separate the people of a country from its leaders (the Taliban) and/or groups (terrorists) associated with it.
  • The Kite Runner  is a coming-of-age novel about finding one's place in a world of   chaos  and transition. It explores the difficulties of developing into an adult relationship with your parents while simultaneously exploring ideas about the human capacity for good and evil, and the relationship between sin, forgiveness, and atonement. Its setting in both Afghanistan and the United States illustrates the universality of its characters and themes. In addition to these topics, The Kite Runner also touches on social awareness, religion, and philosophy.
  • The combination of Hosseini's narrative technique (the combining of flashback and flashforward in a somewhat linear timeline), his character development (having even his best characters demonstrate flaws and shortcomings), stylistic devices (including the insertion of Afghani words, his sentence patterns and sentence structure, the use of rhetorical figures, as well as his subtle use of foreshadowing), and his extensive incorporation of symbolism resulted in both critical praise and popular success of The Kite Runner, a novel that is simultaneously embraced by academia and the general reading public.


Now  test your reading and comprehension skills!  

Sunday, 2 September 2012

LEARNING ENGLISH WITH MISTERDUNCAN


By surfing the Net I have just had the chance to come across an excellent English teacher, Misterduncan.  He is  an Englishman,  he has travelled to many countries and  quite recently he has decided to devote lots of time to teaching English.
For certain he is highly talented, his method of teaching is brilliant and his video lessons are really inspiring and entertaining! They are  specifically designed to increase your listening skills, learn and practise grammar, introduce new vocabulary, teach you how to speak English more naturally and ... hopefully make you laugh!

Let’s enjoy his first two video lessons! Happy learning!



Next week we will meet Misterduncan again. His video lessons are so enjoyable, aren't they?
Ta-ta for now!