Posts Tagged ‘fluency’
Faço vocal coaching com alguns cantores que querem aprender a cantar corretamente em inglês (sim, existem os que se esforçam!) e ensino a eles vários truques para “destravar” os músculos faciais e emitr os sons com mais facilidade.
Falar um outro idioma é como ir à academia nos primeiros dias, temos dificuldade para fazer alguns movimentos, os músculos ficam doloridos e requer condicionamento e persistência para conseguir resultados positivos.
Eis aqui um vídeo que eu sempre uso com eles e que vai ajudar na sua pronúncia. A Rebecca Linquist trabalha com redução de sotaque de estrangeiros falando inglês e traz dicas super interessantes aqui. Check it out!
See you tomorrow!
Geralmente aprendemos que ao acrescentar a letra “y” a certos substantivos, os tornamos adjetivos. Por exemplo com comidas (salty, spicy, greasy, juicy, etc.) e com palavras relacionadas ao clima (sunny, rainy, cloudy, foggy, etc.)
O runner-up do programa American Idol, Adam Lambert, disse que sua performance de Black and White, de Michael Jackson, foi um tanto shouty (gritado).
Há vários substantivos que, ao acrescentar o “y”, tomam um significado completamente diferente.
ANTSY - very nervous, anxious or unpleasantly excited: It was a long drive and the children started to get antsy. / I always get antsy about meeting my husband’s boss.
BAGGY - (of clothes) hanging loosely because of being too big or having been stretched: baggy trousers / My T-shirt went all baggy in the wash.
BEEFY – 1. describes someone who looks strong, heavy and powerful: a beefy footballer; 2. powerful and effective: I want to buy myself a beefier computer.
BONY – very thin: She has long bony fingers.
BOSSY – authoritative, always telling people what to do: She’s very bossy. She keeps telling me what to do all the time.
BRAINY – clever, intelligent, smart: She’s a very brainy young lady.
BUBBLY - (especially of a woman or girl) attractively full of energy and enthusiasm: Who’s that bubbly girl over there?
CHEEKY - slightly rude or showing a lack of respect, but often in a funny way: She’s got such a cheeky grin. / Don’t be so cheeky!
CHUBBY – (especially of children) fat in a pleasant and attractive way: chubby legs / chubby cheeks
CHUNKY – 1 describes clothes that are thick and heavy, or jewellery made of large pieces: a chunky sweater / a chunky necklace; 2 describes a person who is short and heavy
CLASSY – stylish or fashionable: What a classy car you’ve got!
CLINGY – 1. an emotionally dependent person: Her boyfriend is so clingy, he never leaves her side. ; 2. clothes that show off your curves: That dress is really clingy, my boyfriend will never let me wear it.
CLUMSY – 1 awkward in movement or manner: The first mobile phones were heavy and clumsy to use, but nowadays they are much easier to handle. / My attempts to apologize were very clumsy.; 2 describes someone who often has accidents because they do not behave in a careful, controlled way: That’s the third glass you’ve smashed this week, – you’re so clumsy!
COCKY – describes a young person who is confident in a way that is unpleasant and sometimes rude:
He’s a bit cocky for my liking.
COMFY – comfortable: a very comfy chair
CORNY – 1. (especially of jokes, films, stories, etc.) lacking new ideas and sincerity; too often repeated and therefore not amusing or interesting: corny jokes / I couldn’t watch the whole movie – it was just too corny.; 2. overly sentimental: That song is so corny…
CRABBY / CRANKY – easily annoyed and complaining: You’re very crabby today. What’s upset you?
CREEPY – strange or unnatural and making you feel frightened: a creepy film / a creepy smile
CUDDLY - liking to cuddle, or making you want to cuddle: a very cuddly child
CURVY – containing a lot of curves: a very curvy road
CUSHY – (usually said of a job) very easy: That was a very cushy job.
CUTESY - artificially attractive and charming, especially in a childish way: She sent me one of those awful birthday cards with a cutesy kitten on it.
Este post vai ser em português pois uma coisa que me irrita profundamente são professores negligentes.
E sinto muito, mas conheço uma quantidade imensa de colegas de língua inglesa que pararam no tempo e reclamam que não têm dinheiro para fazer cursos de aperfeiçoamento e bla bla bla.
Bom, como eu sempre digo, a Internet está ai para ajudar-nos e fuçando no nosso amigo Youtube, achei um canal com uma infinidade de vídeos de metodologia, GRÁTIS!
Dêem uma olhada no vídeo abaixo que é sobre o ensino de gramática contextualizada e acesse a lista de vídeos do Bridge TEFL.
I was reading a little article by AJ Hoge: The Key to Excellent Speaking, and he brings a very interesting way for us, teachers, to improve our speaking skills using movies, check it out:
Only watch one scene or segment per week (maybe 2-3 minutes). Follow this method:
a) First, watch the scene with subtitles in your language. This will help you understand the general meaning.
b) Second, watch the scene with English subtitles. Pause. Use a dictionary to find new words you don’t understand. Write the new sentences in a notebook.
c) Listen to the scene a few times, with English subtitles. Do not pause.
d) Listen to the scene a few times, without subtitles.
e) Repeat a) – d) everyday for one week.
How do you watch movies? Do you have your little vocabulary notebook beside you? If not, then do it! Every new expression is important!
See y’all soon!
Alex Mackenzie, from the Mackenzie School of English very kindly allowed me to reproduce an article he wrote about CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning, a very interesting trend in teaching (not only languages). Check it out and you can also e-mail Alex for your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How should CLIL work in practice?
by Alex Mackenzie
Anyone who is anyone in the EFL world these days is talking about CLIL. The general consensus is that it’s the way forward but there is much debate about how it’s going to work in practice and how it’s going to be integrated into EFL schools. There are many high-schools across the world who actively run CLIL programmes but as of yet it hasn’t really entered the private EFL sphere.
As Academic Director in a school that offers CLIL courses and implements its principles in General English too, my aim in this paper is to give my own ideas on the matter; ideas that are working in practice as we speak. To begin with, let’s have a look at the underlying principles behind CLIL.
Principles of CLIL
- Content and Language Integrated Learning- pretty much does what it says on the tin- it’s dual-focused education where attention is given to the topic as well as the language. Personally, I like to think the topic is more important, English is simply the medium used. Very often the subject in the EFL classroom is the language itself- wouldn’t you prefer it if your students could leave being able to speak about rainforests rather than relative clauses! Whether the topic is a school subject or another, the principles are the same. The fact that importance is given to the topic and the language gives a more integrated methodology of learning and teaching, drawing attention to the educational process as a whole as opposed to just how languages should be taught.
- Making content/context king means that the student is actively involved in the language; they are immersed in it, surrounded and engulfed in it. They are using the language but the context, theme and task are the driving forces. When the students are engaged and interested in the topic they are more motivated to use and learn the language needed to communicate. It also promotes a more natural use of language; simply because the scope of the language is so much wider than the constraints of a traditional EFL lesson.
- CLIL has been called ‘education through construction, rather than instruction’ which again puts the onus on the student- they learn, they build their language because they are put in the position where they have to, not because they are being taught to. CLIL is based on language acquisition rather than enforced learning. Some people are of the opinion that students often learn despite their teachers; with CLIL teachers take much more of a facilitator role than instructor.
- Fluency is more important than accuracy. The nature of CLIL lessons means that the students will produce (and be exposed to) a vast array of language, the focus is firmly on communication and accuracy comes with time. Making mistakes is a natural process in language learning, and as we all know, language doesn’t have to be accurate to be communicative. CLIL exposes learners to situations calling for genuine communication.
- CLIL promotes critical thinking and collaboration skills as well as language competence. It produces life-long learners and students are sent out with real-world skills and enhanced motivation and self-confidence.
CLIL is sometimes called ‘English across the curriculum’ which I think narrows the scope of it a little. CLIL can be a Geography lesson conducted in English but it could also be a lesson on another subject such as ‘film’, ‘literature’ or even ‘sports’. The principles are the same.
Putting it in to practice
CLIL is not a new concept, the name has been around since the early nineties, but people have been learning languages in this way for centuries. Migrants, economic or otherwise, have learnt this way since time began. Let’s take the example of the recent influx of eastern Europeans to the UK, many of them without any formal language education background. On a day-to-day basis, they put themselves in the position where they have to converse, deal with situations and ‘do tasks’. The contexts of these situations force them to not only use but also develop their language. Obviously, learning this way can lead to somewhat of an imbalance in their language skills in certain cases but there is no denying that it works. How many of us, as language learners, can say that we have learnt a language this way? I, for one, certainly can. It’s a natural, proven way to learn a language- the question we have to ask is how can we replicate (and improve on) this in our language schools.
I’m going to look at four different aspects of integrating CLIL into EFL classrooms: Syllabuses, In the Classroom, Teachers and Grammar. This is obviously not exhaustive; merely four factors I believe should be discussed.
Before I go into this I’ll give you a little background on my school, The Mackenzie School of English. We specialize in year-round education, culture & activity programmes for groups of high-school students. We run content-driven, task-based General English classes as well as CLIL lessons based on traditional school subjects. Both these modes of tuition operate using the principles of CLIL stated above.
Our General English syllabus is thematic and based around topics which appeal to teenage students such as cinema, sport or boys & girls. All tasks in the lessons revolve around this theme and include things such as role-play, games and project work. The lessons consist of extensive integrated skills and encourage students to feel more confident about speaking English without the pressure of accuracy. The tasks and themes lead the way for the lessons; the language taught stems from them rather than the other way around.
The CLIL syllabus follows the same pattern only the topics are traditional school subjects. Again the lessons include group work, tasks and are heavily skills based. This syllabus can actually run in conjunction with General English to provide a bulkier, more academic programme. I see these lessons, in my school, as being an extension of the students’ curriculum back home not something that by any shape or form replaces or works in tandem with it. Obviously with extended CLIL programmes this would have to be rethought.
In the classroom
Tasks are all important and lessons are skills based. The theme of the lesson is adhered to throughout. Students are encouraged to explore topics and their own knowledge of the world is essential. We acknowledge that learners are well-informed, creative individuals and encourage them to bring their own personalities and backgrounds into the lessons.
Very often there are end products to lessons, or a block of lessons, such as videos, magazines and reports. Our lessons are motivational, engaging and entertaining. Language is picked up and mistakes are looked at but the themes and topics lead the way. What the students can actually produce is the language which is worked with and extended. I wouldn’t say this is level specific; even post-beginner and elementary students have enough grasp of the language do this. Vocabulary and Grammar is revised and recycled on a regular basis and students are encouraged to ‘notice’ language.
I have to say we have been overwhelmed by the students’ feedback on the courses we have run so far. They recognise that this is a different way of learning and teaching; they find it intriguing, rewarding and fulfilling. We try our best to instil a ‘can do’ attitude in our student and we’re doing a pretty good job!
Obviously for the General English classes we employ enthusiastic, suitably trained EFL teachers. Our teachers are both energetic and energising. For the CLIL courses we look for teachers who hold an EFL certificate as well as a degree related to the subject they are teaching- as EFL teacher s have degrees in everything but language it isn’t too difficult.
One potential pitfall is the way teachers are currently being trained; this article is not the place to go into the failings of this but many teachers, even experienced ones, can be quite against changing their ways. To adopt this style of teaching you have to be open-minded and confident about running a class in this manner.
We have our own in-going training programme at the school; we open teachers’ eyes to the possibilities of this type of teaching and, so far, it has been very successful.
We’re all aware of the endless debates there are about grammar- how best to teach it, can we teach it at all, etc. One thing I think we can all agree on is that focusing on single (or even 2 or 3) grammatical structures and practicing them intensively in class doesn’t really do the trick. The minute the student walks out the door they will, more than likely, be making the same mistakes. We, in the industry, have been looking at grammar in this way for years; think of it from a student’s point of view- they look at the same language time and time again. By the time a student reaches upper-intermediate, for example, they might have studied certain forms three or four times. It’s true that learners need to know different things about the same grammar at different levels but I feel that you often reach the point where you are going through the motions- you teach grammar simply because you think you should.
CLIL is not language teaching without grammar; it’s present and it’s contextualized too. The idea that grammar can be dissected into individual chunks doesn’t really work in my opinion. Grammar, I believe, should be looked at in a more holistic sense- using contexts and functions to lead the way- using the students own language competences as a starting block for what to teach- using grammatical awareness raising activities like in TBL.
The Future of CLIL
I’m not going to hypothesise on the future of secondary school education throughout the whole world and whether bi-lingual schools and tuition is the way forward but I will say that I believe CLIL has a lot to offer us, as EFL teachers. It’s a methodology which presents student-centered lessons, recognises that the students are worthwhile individuals and allows students to really communicate in a classroom environment. It is a move away from how things are presently done but, I believe, it’s a positive shift.
As language teachers we should always be looking forward, always looking for ways to better our teaching and for ways to make the language learning process easier and more enjoyable for students. The principles behind CLIL do just that.
I very much hope you have found this paper informative and thought-provoking. It’s not intended to be a rant, sermon or bible, but is my opinion of how things should work and how we are going about it in my school.
CLIL Matrix: Central Workshop Report 6/2005 Marsh et al.
Profiling European CLIL Classrooms Marsh et al.
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at School in Europe Eurydice Survey
Content Based Instruction: A Shell for Language Teaching or a Framework for Strategic Language and Content Learning? Fredricka L. Stroller
CLIL Content and Language Integrated Learning Lena Tidblom
Teaching is a wonderful experience and sometimes students come up to you and say, “Teacher, how do you say ‘farofa’ in English?”
Then, what do you do? You tell them there’s no ‘farofa‘ in English, right?
Well, some very Brazilian words have rough correspondents in English. Let’s check them out:
Bife (de cutícula) – a chunk of skin
Boca-livre – free food
Brochar - to lose one’s erection; go limp
(algo) brochante - a turn-off
Brocha - a limp-d**k, he can’t get it up
Fazer cafuné – to run one’s fingers through one’s hair
Fiu-fiu (cantada) – catcall
Xaveco - a come-on; a pick-up line
Folgado - (oportunista) brazen; (preguiçoso) a slacker; (que vive dos outros) a freeloader
Frescobol - beach paddleball
Ter jogo de cintura – to be able to think on one’s feet
Nota fiscal – (mercadorias) tax invoice; (serviços, varejo) tax receipt
Peteleco - a finger flick
Cascudo - noogies
Do you know of any Brazilianisms and want to share them with us? Write me at email@example.com!
See ya next time!
Yo, people! How’ve you all been?
I’m going to be teaching this pronunciation course next month via Aulavox and I have done a lot of research and come across some very interesting sentences to practice some sounds. They’re like tongue-twisters.
Voiced T practice
Betty bought a bit of better butter. But, said she, this butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it’ll make my batter bitter.
Joe’s weather machine shows a sharp drop in air pressure, especially offshore.
Ships in motion on the ocean should be sure to use caution.
A German judge and jury have charged and jailed a strange giant, who sat on the edge of a bridge throwing jelly onto large barges.
Well, these are only some examples. Want some more? Sign up for my newsletter on my website to have news on the Pronunciation Course in March.
Now, as I’m a very generous guy, click here for lots of tongue twisters.
Take care, y’all!
Guys, I’ve found this series of teacher training videos by the University of Oregon and they cover core areas of teaching as Reflexive Teaching, Contextualizing Language, Peer Observation, among others.
Here are the first video for you to check out!
Tell me if it has been valuable for your teaching or if you used any of the activities or concepts expressed in the videos.
See you next time!
Let me share with you guys an activity I learned many years ago in a workshop I attended.
Its aim is to raise awareness of how much English is used in students’ lives and they don’t even realize it.
1. Ask students to write down all the words in English that they use in their everyday lives they can think of. Lots of computer-related words will come up.
2. Now, ask them to write a paragraph, a crazy or silly one, using all the words. The paragraph should be written in Portuguese.
3. After they have finished writing the paragraph, ask them to re-write it by replacing every English word with a Portuguese correspondent.
This is a fun activity and can be used on the first day of class, and it works nicely with older students (14-year-olds on).
Try this activity with your students and e-mail me to tell me how it went!
Now, check out this Mafalda’s comic strip about foreign words.
See you next time!
Yo, sup everybody?
ELLLO (English Listening Language Lab Online) is a must-see!
There are hundreds of listening practice exercises, with transcripts, exercises, slides, quizzes and it is updated every week, so there’s always something new.
I use it a lot with my intermediate and advanced students because it brings a plethora of accents and they talk about so many interesting subjects.
You can also print out activities and download the audio files to your computer.
In a nutshell, it’s a gem!
See you next time!
Guys, how’ve you all been?
I came across this very good workshop on teaching kids, by a British teacher in Japan.
He’s very lively and motivated and we can learn (and review!) a few things about kids. There are six parts and the first one is here for you.
Check it out and tell me what you think!
See you next time!
I’m reading this very good book, “Eat that Frog” and it talks about how to stop procrastinating and getting things done.
In a particular chapter the author, Brian Tracy, writes about the role of learning in our personal growth.
I have found some interesting things and I quote,
“Continuous learning is the minimm requirement for success in any field.”
“Everything is learnable. And what others have learned, you can learn as well.”
“The more you learn, the more you can learn. Just as you can build your physical muscles through physical exercise, you build your mental muscles with mental exercises. And there is no limit to how far or how fast you can advance except for the limits you place on your own imagination.”
That’s fantastic, isn’t it? I got so pumped when I read it and I hope you get too because as teachers, we’re always students.
Take care and see you next time!