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Sunday, December 17, 2017

THE ENGLISH HOUR project-Honing our listening skills



Honing our listening skills with THE ENGLISH HOUR

12  interviews


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Bored stiff with your English study time ... Put aside any dull homework... Try this project: El punt AVUI- THE ENGLISH HOUR interviews

Choose one of the following listening tests some students prepared for you.


TASK 1. For our first part, listen up to the minute written on the webpage/worksheet and answer the questions. 
TASK 2. Check your work with the key.

TASK 3. In pairs- Tell your partner about the person you listened to, then swap roles.
TASK 4. In pairs- Prepare a similar task (set of questions with answers)  




TEH_01 .  CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk with  Mary Nash
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Marcela Topor interviews Irish Historian Mary Nash. 
TEH_02 . SMALL TALK with Dr. Carlo Callucci
 TODAY at our listening test with The English HOUR, Barney Griffths Interviews Dr. Carlo Callucci, Ramon Llull Universisty Vice-rector for International Relations and Students 


TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Neil Stokes interviews Miquel Hudin sommelier, writer and wine expert Miquel Hudin

TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Marcela Topor interviews American artist Allison Malisnky


TEH_05  Going native with Giulia Valle
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Neil Stokes interviews musician Giulia Valle.

TEH 06_Small Talk with Ottar Martin
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Nicole Millar
interviews the Icelandic writer Ottar Martin.

TEH 07_ Small talk with Nicole Millar: Ketevan Kemoklidze

TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Nicole Millar interviews Ketevan Kemoclidze, musician and opera singer.

TEH_08 . SMALL TALK with Alex Ewing
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Nicole Miller Interviews Alex Ewing, English teacher and translator  (17/11/2017) 


TEH_09. CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk with Isona Passola
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Marcela Topor interviews Isona Passola-President of the Catalan Film Academy
TEH_10. GOING NATIVE talk with Tony Corvillo 
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Neil Stokes interviews actor Toni Corvillo (until minute 10:00)

TEH_11. CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk with Brandon & Caroline
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Marcela Topor interviews Brandon Jones i Caroline Wynne, del Festival Irlandès-Català.


TEH_12. Going Native talk with Graham Ward
TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Neil Stokes interviews Graham Ward the Head of English at the Fundació Collserola School.



    FOLLOW -UP   

1. Month Writing project. Interested? Keep on! and learn about education from an expert. Go ahead until you reach the subject matter. Now set 40 minutes ahead with no noise, no disturbances:

Do not stop the video now; explore the relevant 10-12 min to.... TAKE NOTES, and create a text (275 words) where you summarise wht you learned so far.


2.  Now, create a text (275 words) where you summarise what you learned so far.. in 50 minutes 

screen time for kids -Summaries at TED

Correspondent  Mª Lluïsa Caparrós
TEDtalks  -  8/11/2017  running time  11’51’’

TASK1. Summarise a TEdtalk in 300 words. 
TASK2. Observe 15 chunks at the script, and write them down



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1. Three fears about screen time for kids
—and why they’re not true 

( Sara DeWitt  @   TED_2017     here  )
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In her speech at TEDtalk, DeWitt considers the topic of  how adults see phones as a necessity in their modern lives but then they get as much worried as nervous about this fact when a three year-old takes one. In her talk she tries to persuade parents on shifting their fears to focus on the opportunities that phones can have for children. 

DeWitt convincingly states in a three-pronged approach those common fears that parents experience when they give a child a phone. Firstly, she adresses the common notion of ‘screens are passive’ and, how they keep children from getting up and moving. She truly believes that educational games for children promote physical activity due to their positive interaction and intrinsic motivation for learning. Secondly, DeWitt discusses the run-of the mill assertion that ‘playing games on screens it´s just a waste of time’. Everybody admits to playing games as a great stimulus to children’s brains and, that game-based learning could be useful when evaluating children cognitive development. She also promotes that playing games could help reducing test taking anxiety. Thirdly, she states that parents think that ‘these screens are isolating [me] from my children’. She clarifies that as a parent, she thoroughly understands the feeling of anxiety and a sense of guilt when giving a tablet to her child while preparing dinner; although, she firmly believes that this time apart from each other can be a great benefit for parents find out about their children’s interests and can connect with them in a better way. 

To conclude, DeWitt develops her views that when we adults focus on fears we forget that children live in the same world as them as both life and technology should go along no matter what. Therefore, she says, adults should fixate on the positive impact that these tools can have on children and see their potential for learning. 





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2.  A handful of  Chunks with Use of English
The phone that is most likely to be
It´s going to disrupt childhood
Can challenge this attitude
Can get [kids] up and moving
Have the power to tell us more about
Have the power to prompt
An unlikely champion for this cause
Harnessing the power of technology
The debate was raging about
See [his] influence across the media landscape
That is always within arm’s reach
The long-running-host of
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More real life-conversations

Pankaj Mishra - The opinionated man with a cause


Pankaj Mishra  may well be the right person who  might set the wheels in motion

Source:   Welcome to the age of Anger  ( article - The Guardian)




PART I 
The insurgencies of our time, including Brexit and the rise of the European far right, have many local causes – ...

but it is not an accident that demagoguery appears to be rising around the world.

Savage violence has erupted in recent years across a broad swath of territory: wars in ....

The conflicts, not confined to fixed battlefields, feel endemic (+++ years?)and uncontrollable.

Hate-mongering against immigrants and minorities has gone mainstream;

figures foaming at the mouth with loathing and malice are ubiquitous on old and new media alike.


PART II 

There is much dispute about the causes of this global disorder. 
 
Many observers have characterised it as a backlash against an out-of-touch establishment, explaining Trump’s victory in a handful of ways: 

– in the words of French economist Thomas Piketty –  “primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States”

The Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman admitted: “people like me – and probably like most readers of the New York Times – truly didn’t understand the country we live in”. 



PART III 

Here, Indian author Pankaj Mishra argues that we need to look again at the ideals that underpin democracy. 

Why are people so angry? Blame modernity


   BBC video



In Age of Anger, published in early 2017, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century, before leading us to the present.


TASK-  READ the short comments on his book and select four for next day. Below, my pick:

“Lucid, incisive and provocative…a panoramic survey of the populist wind roiling the world and a genealogy of the ressentiment propelling it….By recognizing the existential roots of politics and tracing its antecedents, Mishra has made perhaps the most valuable contribution to the understanding of our turbulent age.”–Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The National

     “The ideal writer to diagnose our current moment…We live in revolutionary times. In Age of Anger, Mishra has produced an urgent analysis of a moment in which the forgotten and dispossessed are rising up to challenge everything we thought we knew about the state of the world.”—Sebastian Strangio, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Bracing and illuminating…Mishra writes with…style, energy and incision…[He] dwells in the realm of ideas and emotions, which get short shrift in most accounts of global politics…A decent liberalism would read sharp critics like Mishra and learn.”–Franklin Foer, New York Times Book Review

“Riveting…Mishra paints in thick, furious strokes, then lingers on minute details…This book makes you feel smarter for having read it, even if you feel a little stupid first.”–Carlos Lozada, Washington Post

“Impressive…Our current situation is recapitulating some of the most violent and dangerous episodes in modern history….With powerful and worrisome insights, Pankaj Mishra has clarified our present.”–Michael S. Roth, San Francisco Chronicle














Saturday, December 16, 2017

TEH_12. Going Native talk with Graham Ward

TEH_12.  Going Native talk with Graham Ward

 TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Neil Stokes interviews  Graham Ward the Head of English at the Fundació Collserola School. 

(6/11/2017 - 23:38 min) Correspondent: Mª Lluïsa Caparrós



For our first part, listen up to the first 10 minutes, taking NOTES on these 15 questions: 
Q1: How many schools are in the foundation? How many students are in total?
Q2: Where are the schools located?
 
Q3: What is the origin of the school? When were they settled?Q4: What grades does the school offer? 
Q5: What was Graham´s first work position there? 
Q6: What job opportunity did the school offer him in 2013? 
Q7: What has the school done to improve the English program? 
Q8:  In what way  do the learners have to focus on exams in a built-in the school curricula? 
Q9: How does the school prepare children for Cambridge Assessment English exams (CAE)? 
Q10: What does the school offer to parents to make it easier to register online for exams? 
Q11: Why have the CAE exams have become so popular? How long does it take to prepare them? 
Q12:   Can you delve into the whole process? 
Q13: How many people have already taken these exams? 
Q14: Is it useful to hold a CAE certification? 
Q15: What are the benefits then? 


3 EXTRA questions: (10:00-12:25 minutes)
Q13: What do the children think of them? Are they enthusiastic about taking them?
Q14: What is a Cambridge presenter and that is its function? 
Q15: What position did he hold before that?




TEH_12.  Going Native talk with Graham Ward   ____  KEY

 Q1: How many schools are in the foundation? How many students are in total?
There are a group of 4 schools. Full schools,  in each of them the averages rounds up a thousand.  (0:56--->)
 Q2: Where are these schools located? [One]in Sarria and Tibidabo, and then one in Bellaterra and one in Sant Cugat, just outsise of Sant Cugat. (1:44--->)  
Q3: What is the origin of the school? When were they settled?Fifty years ago, the original one  was set up the Tibidabo school, and became a foundation with the Sarria Tecnical area. It took after the founder:  Frederic Mistral Tecnical Area. They joined to form the two schools. (2:08--->)  
Q4: What grades does the school offer?Tididabo, the primary school and that fits into Sarria, the secondary school. The other schools came along later: Avenç in Sant Cugat, and Ramon Fuster in Bellaterra, and they are a primary and a secondary school… (2:24--->)Also they actually start all the way down from P3 and they go up to 4º of ESO and from there they come to Sarria: the exclusive site for baccalaureate. It’s concertada schools -excellent schools. (2:43--->)  
Q5: What was Graham´s first work position there?He began as an extra school teacher maybe about 17-18 years ago. As an extra school teacher who had to organize the extra school program. And the Cambridge Assessment English exams, the Young Learners exams in primary (as they start to move as Flyers), First Certificate and Advanced in secondary schools during the extra school program. In fact, in the extra school program as extra curricula. (3:10--->)  
Q6: What job opportunity did the school offer him in 2013?In 2013, the main school needed to develop the program in a way it was built up on the one that they had- Someone to introduce the Cambridge Assessment English exams into the main curricula system because we were having considerable success in the extra school program. (3:42--->)  
Q7: What has the school done to improve the English program?The updated the offer to both,  parents and theoir children: opportunity to do the Cambridge Assessment English exams within the main curricula school day (4:12--->) 
Q8:  In what way  do the learners have to focus on exams in a built-in the school curricula?
Although the school don´t focus on the exams, the exams are offered (oral and written). They organize all the registration process and the exam day itself (4:34--->)  
Q9: How does the school prepare children for Cambridge Assessment English exams (CAE) ?They pre-test months before the exam. Second Bacchalaureate in November -learners are put through a full exam, (FCE, CAE or Proficiency -including the speaking part with  extra school Cambridge exams teachers (5:06--->)   
Q10: What does the school offer to parents to make it easier to register online for exams?Those results help to recommend -via internet system- to learn about dates, prices and timetables. With four clicks away, parents can matriculate their children for CAE! (5:35--->)  
Q11: Why have the Cambridge Assessment English exams become so popular? How long does it take to prepare them?
Indeed, the most recognized English exam in the world because of the validity of the exam. (6:41--->) To reach an exam takes two years to be prepared. (6:51--->)  
Q12:   Can you delve into the whole process?It’s a throughout process to take it from a question from a reading comprehension that may be planned in Cambridge: sent out around the world where its put through pre-testing. Results are analyzed and statistically checked. Exams are placed at the correct level... they are sent out again for farther checking. Cambridge Assessment English exam is  administered almost daily these days! An extremely complex throughout process. (6:57--->)  
Q13: How many people have already taken these exams?Five million people taking a CAE annually. In fact,  he has been to the warehouse in the UK where the Cambridge exams are kept: staggering! (7:45--->) 
 Q14: Is it useful to hold a CAE certification? What are the benefits?In order to graduate from University, B1 recognition is needed (= PET level). But, with the First Certificate exam if you score between 45-59 %, you have an official certificate of B1 level even though you’re taking a level B2 exam.  B2 certification is needed to graduate from university. (8:25--->)  
Q15: What are the benefits then?So first and foremost, it’s a big help as you get a certificate.  Later on employers and/or Erasmus, Government organization, agencies for migration want English qualifications and the Cambridge Assessment English certifications are the most recognized. (9:02-->) Besides your level of English but you also need to be able to prove it. Do the interview process and they are going to find out whether you have the level of English that you say you have. But in order to get through the door in your curriculum you need the qualification. (9:23--->) 

3 EXTRA questions: 
Q01: What do the children think of them? Are they enthusiastic about taking them?Ready for that Saturday in May, enthusiastic as their students recognize how important it is.  Cambridge Assessment exams are useful and serve a very genuine purpose. So, motivation is good from children…(10:05--->)  
Q02: What is a Cambridge presenter and explain its function to us?A Cambridge presenter, one of a team of just under 20 experienced people, it changes yearly. His team comprises Iberia and they travel around Spain and Portugal speaking at conferences or seminars putting out the word of CAE and teacher training: helping teachers to teach their students CAE but also general teaching of English. (10:55--->)           
Q03: What position did he hold before that?Before that he was a team leader for Cambridge Assessment exams which is monitoring and training examiners speaking. You can do computer based exams but the oral part remains face-to-face, so the examiners need training… they also need monitoring, high rigorous standards of CAE are enforced and the procedure is followed. A team leader for 10-12 years. Recently,  he become a presenter because they cannot do both roles. (11:48--->)




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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

TEH_11. CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk with Brandon & Caroline


TEH_11. CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk 
with  Brandon & Caroline

TODAY at our listening test with The English Hour, Marcela Topor interviews Brandon Jones i Caroline Wynne, del Festival Irlandès-Català.



 (25/10/2017)   Correspondent: Gemma Vila

For our first part, listen up to the first 11 minutes, taking NOTES on these 12 questions:
 
Q1_ Which are the origins of the festival?
Q2_ What is the Irish part and how was it involved?
Q3_ Why did they choose Creative Connexions name?
Q4_ How successful has it been?
Q5_ What do we learn about Caroline Wynne live in Ireland (lives, where from)?
Q6_ How many times does she come to Barcelona?
Q7_ What did you get about Brandon’s background?
Q8_ What kind of activities can you find in Creative Connexions festival this October?
Q9_ What makes the difference from other Irish festivals?
Q10_ What is up with the Casinos rivalry in Sitges?
Q11_ What calls the attention of the Irish people when they come to Sitges?
Q12_ How many people do participate in the festival?


If you enjoyed their talk, continue watching this interesting interview.

Follow up:

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And now, visit the October Sitges festival at http://www.creative-connexions.eu/




And now... check your answers below.

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TEH_11. CATALAN CONNECTIONS talk with  Brandon & Caroline __   KEY 


Q1_ Which are the origins of the festival?
(1.29) It was over a bar, a drink in my bar in Sitges […] In the small hours, Caroline told Brandon she had a company in Ireland about culture (poetry, dance...)  and the idea came up.

Q2_ What is the Irish part and how was it involved?
(2.05) She went back to Ireland and it was the year of Dublin hold the presidency of the EU. So the ministry wanted cultural proposals to spread  Irish culture. She met the 48 hour deadline to submit the proposal and... three weeks later it was approved!

Q3_ Why did they choose Creative Connexions name?
(2.50) She liked the name because the spelling and the sound of it is almost the same in all languages.

Q4_  How successful has it been?
(3.02) She proposed after the success of the year event to become a stand-alone event... and quite successful as they are five years running it now.

Q5_ What do we learn about Caroline Wynne live in Ireland (lives, where from)?
(3.30)  Although living in Dublin, she's from the North West of Ireland, a part close to Sligo, not very touristical. She lives near the airport in the capital.

Q6_ How many times does she come to Barcelona?
(4.14)  Four, five times a year, sometimes just for a quick meeting in Sitges.

  
Q7_ What did you get about Brandon’s background?
(4.45) He explains his family comes from South Wales. But he also mention that his grandmother was Irish, he is part Irish.

Q8_ What kind of activities can you find in Creative Connexions festival this October?
(6.40) There are over 60 cultural activities running on the three days. Theatre, dance, performances, poetry […] and for the whole family.

Q9_ What makes the difference from other Irish festivals?
(6.50) They wanted it to be an arts festival,  not just another Irish festival abroad but a festival that really engages another culture.

Q10_ What is up with the Casinos rivalry in Sitges?
(7.37) One is el Prado and another el Retiro, one represents the part socialist of the city and the other the conservative […] they are antagonists, but the festival has connected both. Succcessful at engaging them both.

Q11_ What calls the attention of the Irish people when they come to Sitges?
(8.28) When Irish people come over and they see the outdoor spaces and stages because they only have that in the large towns.

 Q12_ How many people do participate in the festival?

(9.34) There are over 40 professional artists, then some youth and semi professional actors [..] in total there will be 320 people performing at the weekend.