Thursday, October 20, 2011

Human Castles in English Class

Our HUMAN CASTLE completely assembled: a Five (number of members locking arms at the base) of Two (number of levels), the rest of the class made the BULK.

Wearing the traditional sash

Our RISERS getting into position

Another band of Human Castle builders studing their position.

It started as 3 of 2

But ended up as a 4 of 2 with a huge BULK of twelve or fouteen.

DISMANTLING  our human castle.

This bodily-kinesthetic activity -in terms of Multiple Intelligences theory- was meant to fulfill a number of purposes:

  • Not just learning new vocabulary -sash, riser, rider, bulk, etc...- but also linking these foreign words with the emotional content of our own traditions in an attempt to expect a better assimilation of the new code.

  • Provoking real emotions of surprise, hesitation, fear, interest,challenge, enthusiasm and satisfaction to express one's feelings with the right language and idomatic expressions -which is an important part of the syllabus.

  • And of course, bringing the group together in a collective feat which might unconsciously apply to our goal: making an effort to learn a foreign language; then again, adding a little bit of variety and fun to our classes. 
    We guys at the base only carried over one person on our shoulders and we agreed it was quite an effort already, so we just could imagine the tremendous strain of holding six, seven or eight people on top!!

    Another base about to be formed
    Base and upper level into position
    There it is, we made it!!
    A nice perspective from the inside of the base and bulk
    dismantling our castle
    to start all over again!
    And complete another gigantic castle of emotions and fun!

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Additional Class materials

    Additional Materials


    For those of you who would like to read the transcript of the first episode, follow this link;

    Optionally, you can complete some of these activities;
    and finally, check it out in the answer key.

    Hope you enjoy it, remember transcripts are not intended to understand the plot, but just to familiarize yourself with the linguistic content and, therefore, being able to understand a higher percentage of vocabulary.

    Be realistic with your expectations, obviously, if you are not used to do much listening practice with original version films, it will be harder to understand, but if you really have pleasure with it, you'll do it again, and improve your skill.

    using ict

    Previous link leads to a short Power Point presentation on the topic, follow this other link if you would like to read the complete article.

    Unconscious Dynamics of Gender Inequality

    gender parity

    Click on the picture to read this article on gender parity, we will have a Guided Debate on this issue in Unit 3 Looking Ahead.

    Monologues for second and foreign language acquisition

    Coursebook Listening Activities

    Audio tracks from coursebook.



    Monologues for Auditions -that is, memorizing a piece of text and reciting it with the proper pronunciation, entonation and stress- is obviously intended for movie and theatre casting selection; however, its application in second or foreign language acquisition can have amazing learning advantages.

    Fresh monologues to surprise your audience are not easy to come by -or else try to google it. Publishers expect future stars to buy them; nevertheless, our coursebook and workbook provide perfect monologues for our practice and enjoyment.

    First, memorize at least two sentences from any speaker; once you've learnt them by heart, listen to every detail carefully and play with words, emphasizing different parts. Try to assume you are not you, but an actor or actress auditioning for a play.

    From a psycholinguistic perspective, the entonation pattern learnt out of those few sentences will be unconsciously applied to any speaking output. It won't happen overnight, but it should if done systematically. Besides, it makes sense to test your speaking skill for accuracy instead of fluency and vocabulary as we normally do.

    First rehearsal will be next Monday and Tuesday, October 17 and 18.

    Break your leg!

    Rowan Atkinson as Devil

    Hello. It's nice to see you all here.
    Now, as the most perceptive of you probably realized by now, this is Hell and I'm the Devil.
    Good Evening!
    But you can call me Toby if you like,
    we try to keep things informal in here as well as infernal.
    That's a little joke of mine; i tell it every time.

    Now you are all here for... Eternity, which I hardly need tell you it's a heck of a long time.
    So you'll all get to know each other pretty well by the end.
    But for now I'm gonna have to split you up into groups.

    Will you stop screaming? Thank you.

    Now murderers, over here,
    looters and pillagers, thieves if you could join them,
    and lawyers you're in that group too.
    Fornicators if you could step forward.
    My God there're a lot of you.
    Could I split you up into adulterers and the rest?
    Male adulterers if you could just form a line infront of that small guillotine in the corner.

    The French, are you here?
    If you could just come down here with the Germans. I'm sure you'll have plenty to talk about.
    Atheists, over there, you must be feeling a right bunch of nitwits. Nevermind.

    And finally, Christians. I'm afraid the Jews were right. If you could come down here that would be really fine. Are there any questions?
    No, I'm afraid we don't have any toilets. If you read your Bible, you might've seen that it was “Damnation without relief”,
    so if you din't go before you came, then, I'm afraid you're not going to enjoy yourself very much, but then I believe that's the idea.

    Well, it's over to you Adolf, and I'll catch you all later at the barbacue.

    My Blackberry is not working

    Customer - I bought sth from you last week and I am very disappointed.
    Shopkeeper - oh yeah, what's the problem?
    • my blackberry is not working.
    • What may be? It ran out of juice?
    • No, no it's completely frozen!
    • O yeah, i can see that, i'll tell you what, let's put it on Orange.
    • That's got a few black spots, you see?
    • Oh dear, yeah, sorry Benet.
    • So what will you do to get my blackberry working?
    • it could be an application issue, the way you install that blackberry.
    • it was on my desk top.
    • You could try using a mouse to drive the blackway to the trash, and after you've done that, you might wanna launch the blackway from the desktop.
    • Well, I really tried that a few times, I mean, and all I did was a mess up Windows.
    • Well, it might be worth waiting a couple of weeks, they've got the lightiest blackways coming in then.
    • Could you give me a date?
    • Certainly.
    • Let me put that date in my diary.
    • Anything else i can help you with?
    • Yes, I also have a problem, to be honest, with my Apple.
    • Oh Dear, that's an old apple, isn't it? When did you buy that?
    • Last week.
    • Last week? I've got two new apples since then. What's the problem with it?
    • Well, I tried to put my Dongle in it and it won't fit,
    • Oh yeah. How big's your Dongle?
    • Well, I don't know much about these things, but my wife's seen a few dongles in Giants and she says a little bit on the small side.
    • Well there's not a lot I can do about it.
    • Tell you what, let me try booting it. nize crashed. Anything else I can help you out with?
    • Well, finally, yeah, my grandson's birthday's soon, you see? he's already got an Apple and a Blackberry. I mean, have you got anything else he might just like?
    • Well, I do have a special offer on these, i'm an archaid fan myself but the kids seem ta like it. an eggs box (XBOX), three sixty.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Squash Championship at Servei d'Activitat Fisica of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

    Congratulations to everybody involved in organizing the championship
     and to all players taking part, I was only 8th of 16 contesters but I enjoyed my games anyway. Best wishes of success to everybody!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Love Story

    Our other Conversation Assistant comes from California, her personal profile included the love affair between her Biology teacher in high school, a Spaniard, and the assistant's mother, then divorced.

    Her fantastic presentation pointed out:

    • class structure and political colors in the USA,
    • minimum wages in both countries,
    • minimum income required to provide for a family of four in USA ,
    • renting costs in different parts of the country and different times,
    • the structure and costs of USA higher education:


    We concluded that the American dream of the 50's and 60's had deteriorated with
    economic crisis.

    October 4th


    HOMEWORK: Workbook, expressions with GET, we'll provide a worksheet with more.
    VOCABULARY pg. 12. 1, 2, 3 and 4.
    Exam on Irregular Verbs classified by morphological and phonological criteria,
    we interchanged them when they finished them, and should mark them as homework.


    HOMEWORK: Workbook, expressions with GET, we'll provide a worksheet with more.

    VOCABULARY pg. 12. 1, 2, 3 and 4.
    GRAMMAR pg. 12. 2 and 3 as speaking activities.
    Worksheet on Irregular Verbs classified by morphological and phonological criteria, as homework.