Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Session: Summer is here!

Scenes from an Australian summer. The one with Santa is by markdavis. You can download this photo under a Creative Commons license only!.

Read the information on Creative Commons and answer these questions:
1. Can you publish this photo in your blog?
2. If yes, do you have to do anything special? What?
2. Can you change it?
3. Can you sell it?
As today is the last lesson of our course, I would like to ask you to complete a survey about how the course was delivered and what you think about it, Click here to take the survey. It will help us, teachers, design better classes for next year.
I also think it'd be a good idea for you to print this evaluation table about your work with blogs and podcasts and circle the section that best describes your level. This will help you assess your progress and give you goals for your future English learning.

Last Tuesday you were too busy preparing your oral presentations, so you didn't have enough time to do our blog work. Let's go back to last week's post and try and do the tasks there.
During your break from TAFE, come back to our class blog and use all the links. You can still use Time4English, write in our forum, even add content in our wiki.

This is a very good website where you can find lots of practice, Australia Network. One of their programs is Living English, a series of video episodes that are very good to practise your pronunciation (the language level is a bit too easy for you). Explore the site and find about all the other activities news, vodcasts, English bites, understanding writing, irregular verbs, etc)

One of my brothers found this video of my other brothers' group in Youtube. As I've been using their music for my podcasts, I thought I'd put it here for you to look at:
Hato de Foces & Angle Orus; Quimera.

Have a great summer break and I leave you with a new character from a totally new world.
Does anyone know what this is about?
You may see more of her next year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


What is this photo? Find about it and let everyone know in comments
Congratulations on a great podcast, Zee and everyone else in class last Tuesday. Listen to it here, Let's Talk! and leave a message there.

As we all know, there are many ways you can improve your English using technology like the Internet. Here is a very good website for ESL students, go there to learn more about phrasal verbs, Dave's ESL Cafe. You can answer the questions below by clicking on the letter of the alphabet for each phrasal verb:

1. What's the real meaning of this sentence?: The babysitter had a difficult time. The children acted up all evening.
a) The children were rehearsing for a theatre play
b) The children were very naughty
c) The children went upstairs to sleep

2. I don't get along with my brother's friend, John. This means:

a) I can't keep up with him when he's walking. He's too fast.

b) I don't have a friendly relationship with him

c) I can't be with him for a long time

3. Write a sentence in your own words for each one of these phrasal verbs:

have to do with, call off, take after, wear out

  • Today's forum is about racism. I though you may want to discuss this topic after it came up during our last class and also in preparation for our next podcast.

  • In our ESOL wiki: our volunteers from last week should be finishing the news about Sculpture by the Sea.

  • Also in our ESOL Wiki: in Agony Aunt there is a desperate person waiting for advice on a very weighty problem! Remember to revise the modals of advice in Time4English (last week's post).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sculpture by the Sea 2007

  • Our first task today is your assessment for Andrew. Open your TAFE portal and use your email account to find his email address there. Then follow his instructions to write him an email. You've got 30 minutes to write a draft, revise it yoursleves and send the email.
  • Check your our interview with Marielle here. Tell me what you think!
  • Last Sunday I went to Sculpture by the Sea.
    It was a great day. The weather was perfect, but there were so many people that it was impossible to take a photo of the sculptures without anyone around them! Check the link above and answer these questions:
    1. What is Sculptureby the Sea?

    2. When does it take place?

    3. Where does it take place?

    4. How do you get there?

    5. What type of art is it exhibited?

    6. Why does it attract so many people?

    Who would like to volunteer to write an article about Sculpture by the Sea in our wiki inthe news section (with the slide show) ?. Talk to me today.

    • Modals for advice. We are going to work on giving advice to others. Go to Time4english, Grammar, letter M and do the last exercise on modal verbs (should, ought to, had better, have to).
    • Go to Time4English, Upper Intermediate-Advanced and do 3P Advice column. What's the name they give to a section in a magazine where they give advice to the readers? What do I call them in our Kogarah & Liverpool wiki (check the side bar)? Read all the explanations and examples and write your advice for the last letter. You can email it to me or publish it in your blog.
    • Go to our Kogarah Liverpool wiki. Read the letter there and write your advice on that page.

    Outstanding work:

    • Remember to hand out or publish the article about Melinda

    • Read one of the short stories and write a comment in our wiki's book reviews section

    • Publish your report on how to improve your English with technology (like internet, etc)

    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Melbourne Cup Day

    Photos taken yesterday somewhere in Sydney. Do you know where?

    • Check your emails. You will receive and invitation to a party. Please reply following the structure that we learnt last week (refusing an invitation).
    • Today is Melbourne Cup Day. Do you know anything about it? Check the information in the Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Melbourne Cup, and answer the following questions:
    1. What is it?
    2. When does it take place? (time and date)
    3. What happens to the nation on that day?
    4. What is a sweep?
    5. What would you be looking for if you checked the milliners directory on the Racetrack Fashions link?
    6. How long has the Melbourne Cup been around (existed/taken place)?
    7. Which is Austalia's most famous racehorse? Why?
    8. What can you see in the National Museum of Australia?
    9. Who won the 2006 Melbourne Cup?
    10. What do you think about all of this?
    11. Use the answers to these questions to write a short report about the Melbourne Cup, with your opinion about it at the end. You can compare it to other celebrations or festivities in Australia or in your country of origin.
    • Last Tuesday Luisa Odelli, one of the college career counsellors, gave a talk about educational & vocational pathways. She showed us two very useful websites with course and work information: TAFE Find a Course and My Future. You should start thinking about your pathway for next year.
    • Last Tuesday we corrected all the answers of the webquest. Well done everyone and thank you to Marta for helping all of you.... Today you can write a draft of your report. Email it to me or print it and revise it before we can check it together.

    • Did you email your questions about Grant Mizens to me?

    • Today's ESOLForum question is about drivers. First do this short dictation in Time4English: Advanced 3L, Bad drivers!. Then go to the last entry of our ESOL forum and give your opinion. Don't forget to read everyone else's opinion before you write yours.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Reading Short Stories & Biographies

    Another Sydney corner that I love, Balmain Peninsula

    • We are going to start looking at writing invitations and refusing invitations. Visit this website, English Works! and read the notes on how to write invitations. Choose one of the three invitations and prepare a polite reply saying you can't attend the event. Hand the reply to me and we'll look at the language and structure together.
    • We have started looking at phrasal verbs in class. Go to Time4English and you will find a short text in the front page, This Weeek's Odd Spot, where phrasal verbs are used. Then go to the Grammar book and scroll down to P. Do the exercises on break into, break even, break down, break up, and break off.

    • Next Thursday you may be going to Grant Mizens' motivational talk. He is one of the Australians paralympians and the Student Association with the AMEP classes have been collecting funds to donate to the paralympians and help them go to China 2008 Olympic Games. Read about him in this leaflet prepared by Kylie, the Student Association Executive Officer. Write 6 questions about him and email them to me. We'll publish them with the leaflet for other students to practise their reading skills.
    • Short stories. Reading is a very good way to improve your English. It introduces new vocabulary and sentence structures in context, but sometimes it is hard to read a novel because it takes so long that you may lose track of the plot or get tired of looking up words you don't understand. That's why short stories are a very good idea for learners at your level. Visit this website East of the WebShort Stories from the UK.

    1. Choose a genre: children's, crime, horror, humour, fiction, non-fiction, romance, sci-fi

    2. List by length on the left of the page. You can choose stories by the number of pages

    3. Check the ratings (number of stars) and read the comments to pick a good story4. Read the story

    5. Write a review and publish it in our Kogarah Liverpool wiki in the Book reviews page