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

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Couselling Services

    This is where last week's photo was taken. It's on the coast line from Audley to Bundeena, in the Royal National Park south of Sydney.
    Next Tuesday we are going to have an information session given by one of the St George TAFE counsellors, Luisa. To prepare for it, I asked Luisa to send me some words that you should understand before her talk. Print this worksheet Counsellor's Talk Vocabulary. I also thought it'd be good for you to read a bit about the counselling services and discuss possible questions with your classmates. Work in small groups, but first print this worksheet, Counsellors.

    This is the lotus seed pod I used on the sandstone photo posted last week. Many of you guessed what it was! Read the comments about it in last week's post. Jin wrote a very good one, but we have lost it! Maybe you could write it again, Jin.

    It is very early for bushfires, but the seeason has already started due to high temperatures. Andrew asked me to get you to look at the NSW bushfire website. Write six steps they give you to protect your house from bushfires.

    Thanks for the emails last week. I'm going to hand-them back to you for further corrections. Read them and if you see anything that can be improved, do it and return the email to me.

    Please continue writing your Webquest answers! Print them when you are finished. Very soon you'll need them to write your report in class.
    Photos taken last Friday when I took two young Spanish visitors on a tour of Sydney

    Have a break and add yourself to our frappr map!

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Sydney Corners

    Welcome back!

    I hope you've all had a great holiday and are ready to tackle work for the last few weeks of term.

    Today I'm going to ask you to finish up a bit of work from level 3 and then we'll get right into level 4 work.

    Level3 work:

    • Check your email. I have sent you a message about the holidays and I would like you to answer it today. This is the last assessment for level 3. You can use your dictionary to compose your email.
    • Write a report about Bundeena.
    Level 4 work:
    • There are some things to be finished from last semester, but they are already level 4 work:
      • Write an article about Melinda, after having listened to her podcast
      • Finish the webquest and write a report on it
    Other bits and pieces:
    • Check emails from Liverpool and answer them
    • Complete your wiki page, if you haven't done it yet

    So you went to Bundeena...Report wiriting

    Can you guess what this photo is?

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry I can't be with you f2f, but Andrew will help you with your work today. To make his job very EASY, please read my instructions carefully. Don't rush!

    First of all, congratulations to Marta for another great podcast! She interviews a childcare worker this time. It's very interesting and very clear: Marta: The Rainbow.

    First do some catching up work, if you need to*:
  • Listen to Emile's podcast
  • Publish your writing about the sleeping girl in your blog
  • Answer any Liverpool emails
  • Write on your wiki page.
  • Write your opinion about gender roles on the forum (only one person did it last week!)

    You went on an excursion to Bundeena with AMEP classes. Complete the following activities:
    • Publish a recount about the excursion in your blog.

    • Read the article that Sally links to in her post, Bundeena excursion and do this worksheet, which includes writing a report. By now you know the structure of a report (information text). Write a draft and let me check it (you can email it to me).
    • Listen to Melinda's podcast. Read the post carefully before you listen. You should print the listening worksheet to get help with the listening. Do all the exercises and writing on the worksheet.
    * Remember that you've got one week to do all this work, but that it becomes too much if you leave it undone and then you have to catch up.

    Lifestyle choices: Travelling around the world (Week 9)

    Lisa and Marta receiving their prize (a yummy technological prize: a chocolate mobile phone!) for their achievements with wiki & podcasting.
    • Listen to your introductory podcast in Let's Talk or in our wiki (in Kogarah students). Write a commnet in Let's Talk about it.
    • Write your opinion about the article I gave you last week with the photo of a little school girl sleeping in the middle of a busy street. Publish it in your blog.
    • Go to our forum and answer Marion's question about gender roles.
    • If you have received emails from Liverpool, answer them.
    • Type your comment in our wiki map (in Kogarah & Liverpool wiki, Kogarah students)
    • Continuing with our lifestyle topic, listen to Emile's podcast and do the worksheets. When you finsih, show them to me, please. I want to keep track of your work in our blog assessment grid.
    • For those of you who know Spanish, this is a good place to practise your questions
    • Have a look at this bubbleshare*. You can subscribe and create your own! Just follow the steps or ask Eva and Summer, they learnt how to do it last week!

    *bubbleshare ceased to funciton in 2009. You can use,, photobucket, flickr,animoto, etc to create slideshows or mini videos

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Week 8

    Two weeks ago there was a total lunar eclipse. Did you have a look at it? It was spectacular, especially when the moon was totally covered by the earth and you could see it like a dark red ball.

    These are some photos we took from our house back verandah.
    Congratulations to Marta for her podcast. She recorded it and edited by herself! You can listen to it in Let's Talk.

    Congratulations to Lisa too for her page in our Kogarah & Liverpool wiki. She was the first student to create her ownpage in the wiki without any assistance! Summer has also published her own page and told us about your excusion to Bundeena. Well done!

    Today you can continue working on your wiki pages and the world map.

    Other work to be completed:
    • Forum: old forum: Marion's topic on gender roles & ESOLforum: quickly add a topic or two to talk about.

    Check this vodcast (videos) site out: Living English . It's like a TV series and there are about 4o episodes. The level of language is not very high. Every episode has some listening exercises and grammar explanations. The best thing of all: it's Australian!

    Listen to Lois talking about her earliest memories

    Now listen to Aaron about growing up as a kid in Australia

    Think of your own memories and childhood. Prepare a talk about it. We will record it in class.

    Visit this website and do the punctuation exercises on commas. They will help you with your writing.

    Check your Webquest answers with me and publish them in you in your blogs if you want.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    APEC week (7)

    Welcome back!

    Here is a view of the Sydney we want the rest of the world to see this week. It's going to be a bit hard to get close to it during the APEC week, so I thought you may like a reminder of the beauty of our city while you work away on your assignments.

    I hope everyone is working on your webquest and final report. We will do more work on report writing in the afternoon, but keep checking the previous posts for ideas on structure and language.

    Today I would like to work on our exchange with Liverpool. We will work on email writing and our wiki. Most of you should have received mail from one of the Liverpool students.
    • Check your emails if we haven't done it yet and start preparing an answer. This is part of your unit of work Developing literacy using technology. Write a draft and feel free to ask me for help if you need it. When it's ready, send your reply.
    • Some of the students from Liverpool have already written about the type of topics they would like to discuss in our forum. Go to ESOLforum and give us your ideas. Read everyone else's first and agree or disagree.
    • Go to our Kogarah & Liverpool wiki. By now you know what a wiki is (basically a collaborative website). Today you are going to create your own page and write in it. There are two things I would like you to do:
      • First go to the voicethread world map (it's in the page Kogarah Contributors in a link called Kogarah Students). You can listen to my recording as an example of what to do. To be able to write, you have to register with voicethread. Most of you have already done it. Type your name and where you come from. You can draw a circle or a cross to tell us where your hometown is. Tell us something interesting about your hometown. If we have time, we'll try to record again, although I haven't heard from our IT person who was working on it last week.
      • Then ask me for the wiki password. You need it to be able to create a page and write on the wiki. First read the suggestions on what to write as an introduction. You will find them below the big picture of the Sydney Opera House. Click on the tab called New Page. Give it your name and link it to your name on the student list. Write an introduction about yourself. Add a couple of links to an interesting website about your country and hometown or anything that intersts you (hobbies, music, etc). At home you will be able to add a photo, etc. I'll be around to assist you if you need help, but you'll see how easy it is!

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Yesterday was a beautiful day in Sydney. You could already smell spring in the air. I went to one of the most iconic beaches this city offers, Balmoral Beach. There were people swimming, sunbathing and sitting under the huge fig trees that line the promenade along the beach. The cafes and restaurants were full and it was only Monday! If you have never been there, make sure you go and have a walk, a picnic or a swim. Every summer there is a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream , Twelfth Night or The Taming of the Shrew at the Band Rotunda on The Esplanade opposite Balmoral Beach. Who wrote these very famous plays?

    Congratulations to Svieta, Winnie, Cindy, Jin (I couldn't see the photo) on their voicethread slide shows. Check all your classmates' voicethreads:

    Marta, Eva, Lisa, Summer, Svieta, Winnie, Cindy and Jin.

    • Write a quiz for all the slide shows your classmates or Marion's classmates have created. Each one of you has to look at 2-3 slides shows by your classmates and write at least 2 questions for each one of them. You are also allowed to ask 1 or 2 questions from your own slides. For example: Who says ..... Where did ..... go last ...? Who took a photo of....? Email me your questions and we'll put them together in our wiki fro the Liverpool students.

    • Continue working on your webquest and look at the notes I added on how t write a report or information text.
    • Forum: Go to ESOL forum and quickly add a topic or two to talk about.
    • Go to our other forum and read the latest topic that Marion set up for her class. It is very interesting, they discuss women's and men's roles and jobs. Read what her students wrote and add your opinion.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    Webquest (Week 5)

    Congratulations to Eva, Marta, Lisa and Summer on your own Voicethread slide shows! I'm so impressed that you created them by yourselves and added written comments and your voice. Well done!

    Today you will only have a new piece of work to prepare and a webquest:

    1. Write a short presentation about yourself to record it on our Voicethread for the wiki we share with Liverpool TAFE ESOL students. It doesn't have to be very long, but make it interesting. Tell us where you come from and something you love about your hometown/country or something that you think other people may find interesting.

    2. Once you've done that you can start this Webquest about our blog. A webquest is an information searching activity, where all the info is found on the Internet. Today's webquest is based on Our Class 2007 blog. You will only have to find information contained in the posts published since the beginning of this term. It will help you catch up with the work done and get to know our blogs, wikis and podcasts a lot better. Then you can use them at home to practise your 4 skills (reading, writing, listening & speaking) and improve your English while connecting to lots of people here and in the wide world.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Week 4

    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to Fadwa and Zhi. You can visit their blogs on the student blog roll on the sidebar.

    One of you, (sorry-one of Marion's students!) WeiYun, has seen where the koala in the slide show from last week is. Here is a link to a site that explains who the architect was and what the building is. You can have a look at it in 135-137 Macquarie Street.

    • We've been reading and writing about twins, listen to this short podcast, Twins, and answer the questions. What's the difference between this set of twins and the ones we read about? Tell us in your blog.

    • Today I would like you to give ideas about possible topics for our forum with Liverpool. Go to ESOLforum and start giving us ideas.

    • Listen to Andrew's podcast. Answer the questions in your blog.
    • You chose the topic of Health & Lifestyle. Read this advertisement for a Kogarah council fundraising event, Walk Run Swim. Answer these questions. You should answer them online. First click on the options and choose the correct one and then you can print the worksheet and write the rest of the answer with your own words. If you want to learn how to type the answers on the computer, ask me in class.
    • Sydney through foreign eyes is waiting for you to add your comments in writing or recording your voice. Some of you have already done it in one photo. You can add more comments to other photos. Think of these questions before you do it:
    Have I been there? What do I think of the place? What do I know about it? Would I take my overseas visitors there? Why? Why not? Would you like to go?
    Have I seen this animal? Where? What do I know about it?

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Week 3

    Welcome back!

    Well done to all the students who answered the questions on the Australian animals on the previous posts. You guessed their names (visit Summer, Marta, Eva, Jessica's blogs and the posts comments for the answers) and Summer guessed where the bat picture was taken, but she didn't know the exact name of the park. Does anyone know?

    Well done too to the students who wrote their opinion about the twin sisters story. Those of you who haven't done it should try and publish it today.
    • Today you can spend time creating your blogs if you didn't do it last week.
    • This week we are going to start looking at the topic of travel, as leisure is one of the topics you chose for this semester. Sydney is a beautiful city for tourists and residents to explore. Leave a comment in this slide show of photos from different Sydney spots. Have you been there? Have you taken any overseas visitors there? What did they say? What do you think about the different places?

  • Listen to Patricia's (one of the librarians at St George college of TAFE) podcast and answer the questions.
  • Did you do the listening on arguments are linked to heart attacks? This week we'll start working on exercises related to travel and tourism. Go to Time4English and in Vacation English Course, TOPIC TWO - Australian Cities & Places to See do the exercises on Geography of Australia (V2.1) and the first text, Uluru (V2.2).
  • Write a post in your blogs about Uluru as a possible tourist destination for you and your family or friends. Use your own words! You can link to interesting websites a bout Uluru, but you must use your own words to tell us why you would /wouldn't chose Uluru as a place to visit .
    • If you travel around Australia you may hear words and expressions that only Australian people use. Do you know the meanings of these Aussie words and expressions?
    dunny, tucker, Waltzing Matilda, g'day, off one's face

    You can find out in Aussie Slang.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Welcome to our second class

    Hi everyone!
    Sorry that I can't be with you f2f (face to face: in person) today. You can follow my instructions and have an interesting session with Andrew's help.
    • Those of you who created your blog last week can help the others start their own. Remember to go to Blogger. Then go to create your own blog and follow the steps. Please write down your URL (the www..... that will be your blog address), your username (which is your email address) and password. It's so easy to forget them!
    • Once you have your blog, write a post introducing it to the rest of the class. Write where you come from and put a link to an interesting website about your country or hometown. If you can, add a photo. Don't worry if you can't, I'll show you next Tuesday.
    • We still haven't got a complete answer to the animal photos from last week....I bet you know today's animals!
    • Write another post with your text about the article we read about twins.
    • Thanks everybody for taking part in the forum last week. If you wish, you can visit it again, read your classmates entries and respond to them (write about what they say, for example: I agree with you, Rosa....The same thing happened to me, Samira...).
    • Go to Time4English and listen to THIS WEEK'S STORY, Arguments lead to heart attacks. Do the exercises on articles if you didn't do them last week.
    • Finally, listen to the podcast on Patricia, one of our librarians. Do the library exercises. You can print the questions and hand the answers to me or you can write the answers in your blog. There are spare headphones in the filing cabinet top drawer. Remember to buy your own and to bring them to class on Tuesdays.
    • Can you tell me the meaning of these words: icon, pop-up, cursor, monitor, hardware, software, to download, to surf the net? If you can't, go back to last week's post and in the games you will find the answers.

    This is a new project that you can start thinking about. We'll come back to it next week.

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Welcome to Our Class 2007!

    Hi to all the new students for semester 2, 2007 and welcome to our class blog.

    Before we get going, you should think a bit about good computer habits. It is very important to get used to having a good posture when you are working on the computer so that you don't get back pain, etc. You will find very useful information and some language exercises here: Computer Health. Read the information first and then answer the Computer Health quiz. When you finish answering the quiz, print it and keep it in your folder in the blog section.

    Remember to get a ring folder to be well organised with your class notes. Anderew and I will be asking you to look at things done in previous lessons.

    These photos are from my holidays. Can you tell me the name of the animals shown and where my brother (who is on holidays from Spain) took the photos? You can write the answers in the comments of this post (click on the comments button below). Don't forget to write your name.

    I'll give you clues if it's too hard!

    This semester we are going to do work with a group of students from another TAFE college in Sydney, Liverpool. Their teacher Anna and I thought that it would be good to start with a topic that everyone knows about: your first impressions of Australia. Go to ESOLforum (on the right sidebar). Read the question and start writing. You will need the password and user name. Ask your teacher.

    If you have time, look at Time4English and go to the grammar book. Do the exercises Articles 1 - Countable and Uncountable Nouns & Articles 2 - Uncountable Nouns. Ask me for the user name and password.

    Now try this game to learn about computer words. You can also do this other game with more computer vocabulary in English.

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    For the Holidays

    If you get time to look here during the holidays, I'll be posting interesting things.

    Check out this video site: videojug. . There are many videos on how to do things (instructional or procedural texts). The health section has great gems. They are good for your English, but also for good advice for everyone in the family!

    One of the best video series is the Food & Drinks/Classic (with lots of recipes). They have a video showing you how to prepare and cook everything plus the recipe with the ingredients and method. The recipe appears below the video when you visit the site itself.

    For winter time, try this Cream of Chicken Soup.

    VideoJug: How To Make Cream Of Chicken Soup

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Our last class

    Today we had our last class in the computer room.

    This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog

    We learned how to create a slide show. Have a look at your classmates' great work:

    Jane's families

    Sharon's Sydney show

    We also had a surprise visit from Anastasiya, a former student. She did level 4 last semester and is doing a Real Estate course at our college. Listen to her story Anastasiya: On Her Way Now. I think you will find it inspiring.

    Don't forget to listen to Jennifer if you want to find out more about possible course to do after ESOL 4.

    Thanks for the lovely lunch you prepared on Wednesday! Andrew and I loved all your dishes: the vegetables, chicken, dumplings, sticky rice with bean paste and coconut, the beautiful hot small noodles and the very different transparent non-rice noodles. We had very good melon, mandarins cake... and very healthy green tea!

    This is a photo from the day, with a very young new student on the left.

    Have a great holiday!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Last Day of Our Course

    This week we say goodbye to each other after a semester working together. Last week everyone was saying how quickly time has gone.

    • Last week we had the pathways session to help you with your choice of course for next semester. One of the speakers was a teacher from CEEW, Jennifer Julian. Listen to her talking about her course in the podcast, Jennifer: Empowering Women. It may help you decide what to do next semester if you are still unsure.

    • As promised, let's play with slide shows. You can use bubbleshare, slide, photobucket and many other image hosting free software. You will have to join, though. Today let's use bubbleshare, as it allows you to write captions and later at home to record your voice on each slide. Remember that a few weeks ago Marion's students started playing with slide shows. Have a look at what they did in their blogs (all linked in Marion's class blog).
    • You can choose your own work from Time4English today. I recommend you to try the highest level.
    • Publish your opinion text

    I hope you all have a great future in this country, no matter what course of job you do. Good luck!

    Tuesday, June 5, 2007

    Slide Shows

    A forest of... guess what!
    Two weeks ago Marion's students started playing with slide shows. Have a look at what they did in their blogs (all linked in Marion's class blog)

    Today, if you are interested, I can help you try too. It's very easy, you just follow the instructions in bubbleshare. It's good practice for your reading skills in following instructions (also known as procedural texts)

    • Also related to reading instructions and computers, see if you can follow these instructions on how to use WordArt in a Word document. When you finish, print your work and show it to your teacher.
    • Listen to my interview with Carol Dilley. Print the worksheet after a first listening. It will help you a lot. You can also watch the video clip with the same interview. As with Nikki's interview, don't panic if you don't understand everything. Once you do the listening exercises you will get nearly everything. As work for this week, write an article on Carole as indicated in the worksheet.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Pathway Talks

    Well done, Sharon! You can listen to her radio program about dreams in Let's Talk. Everyone was very interested in the subject and you all did a very good job talking about a topic that can become very personal at times. Thank you.

    If you want to take advantage of the recordings we do in class, you can listen to all the bits in which you talk, write everything you say and try to think of ways to improve it. It can be your grammar, your choice of words, feedback or pronunciation. Check with your teachers if you have any doubts. Show me your script with the corrections and practise your pronunciation.

    Today we are going to attend an information session about possible study pathways for each one of you, once you finish your English course. The speakers are teachers from other sections, like Communications (English section), and the counsellor will be here too. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to all of them, or at least the ones that you may be interested in.

    • To help you start thinking about it, go to Time4English, Intermediate and listen to Education in Australia 1 & 2 (4L, 4M).
    • Also in Time4English, Intermediate listen to Grammar lady 5 & 6. She is talking about the use of would with wish and if.
    • Go to our forum and take part in this week's topic.
    • Listen to Katarina who used to be the multicultural education coordinator at this college. She may also give you ideas about your future.
    • Next week we will listen to an interview with a dancer. You can start by watching the videos at home. You'll find them in Sydney's People Podcast. Remember that we can't access them at TAFE, so it's better to view them at home before we do the listening exercises in class.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    Library Week

    Last week was Library week at our college. I hope you had time to go and have a look at their resources and entered their competitions and quizzes.

    I took part in a lunch conversation about Web.2, which is things like blogs, podcasting, wikis, etc. The library launched their brand new St George library wiki. Check it out, especially their podcasts and their Virtual Library Tours (a slide show with voice), which you can listen to in different languages (including Mandarin and English).

    Some of you are worried about your pronunciation. This is a good website to help you with pronunciation of individual sounds: Pronunciation Chart, but remember that when we talk sounds change a bit.

    After having discussed fashion, thin models, cosmetic surgery in our forum and in preparation for Annie's radio program on fashion, I would like you to listen to Nikki's Podcast. Print the first worksheet, listening checklist, and use it while you listen. It will help you follow what Nikki says. Then you can do the comprehension questions, . I think you will understand much better after having done these exercises. I've prepared a short movie with a shorter version of our interview and with some footage of the 2007 fashion parade where 2 of her designs were shown. You'll have to watch it at home, because we haven't got access to youtube at the college.

    If you want further practise with articles, go to Time4English and in grammar, letter a, do the 2 exercises on articles. They were still the main problem in your report writing!

    Listen to This Week's Story, Healty People: Unhealthy Environment. It links two of the topics we've been discussing in class in the last few weeks: health and the environment.

    For further practice on So do I, neither do I, etc check these websites:
    Explanation about agreement with something another person says.
    Using either, neither & too
    Intermediate English Grammar revisionQuiz: So do I & Neither do I
    Neither... nor/either ...orAuxiliary verbs

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Living in Australia

    Autumn in my garden
    Last year Melinda Gleeson (from Time4English) produced some activities for students who had just arrived in Australia. Although many of you may already know about car insurance, I thought that it'd be good for you to do the activities in order to be able to talk and write about it.

    As I told you last week, you will find them in Time4English Intermediate 7 (7a-7I).

    Later this afternoon you will write a report or information text on Car Insurance in Australia. I will give you the facts, so don't worry about memorising any of it. Concentrate on understanding the vocabulary, verbs used and how they are used (present tense) and the structure of a good report:

    • General statement

    • Description of part 1

    • Description of part 2

    • Description of part 3

    Look here for a quick revision of Report structure and linguistic features.

    Two weeks ago I interviewed Nikki, a young 20 year old girl who is doing many different things. If you are curious, go to Sydney's People Podcast and listen to our conversation. There are photos and there will be a video with some of the fashion parade with her designs!

    Tuesday, May 8, 2007

    Assessment time

    Dan's radio programme has been published! Listen to him interviewing Yvonne, Annie and Winnie in Let's Talk. Thanks to the four of you for doing such a good job for our first program of the semester!

    Let's have a break from new work and concentrate on completing your tasks for your assessment portfolio (check the 5th meaning) for level 4.

    • Listening:Answer the questions on the podcast Patricia: Librarian. You can publish them in you blogs or hand them to me.

    • Reading: Complete the readings and worksheets from last week's post on health matters ( Better Health Obesity: Obesity & Better Health Skin Cancer: Skin Cancer)

    • Writing: summarise the articles you read and listened to in Time4English about Hot Chips cause Cancer (7J) and Take-Away Food Dangerous (7Y). Give your opinion.

    • Writing : Write your opinion about the topic Thin models.

    • Writing: publish your movie review.

    • Writing: publish your report on an object of importance in your culture.

    • Speaking: prepare a draft for your radio program in which you have an introduction and questions on your chosen topic. You can show it to your teacher for correction.

    • Study: Prepare for next weeks' assessment (writing a report in class). Go to Time4English and do all the exercises on Car Insurance. You will find them in Intermediate 7 (7a-7I).

    Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    Health Expo 2007

    This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
    • On Wednesday 16th May the Student Association is holding Health Expo 2007. There will be some fund raising activities, like the lunch prepared by the AMEP students. There will be raffles and good prizes to be won. The money raised will go to the paralympic athletes. It is a very well organised event, please go and visit all the information stalls and talk to them about what they offer. To help you with the vocabulary and content of your surveys and podcasts, check the following activities:

    1. Go to Time4English, News Library 7J. Read the article Hot Chips cause Cancer. It's a good idea to read the three levels, it will help you with vocabulary and comprehension.

    2. Now read the article 7Y Take-Away Food Dangerous. Read the three levels.
    In your blog write a summary of both articles and tell us what you think.

    3. Check the following links to help us prepare for Health Day:
    Better Health Obesity. Do the worksheet Obesity. (You can print it or do it online This is part of your reading assessment for level 4)
    Better Health Skin Cancer, download the worksheet Skin Cancer.(You can print it. This is part of your reading assessment for level 4).
    They have a BMI Calculator. You just enter your height and weight and it'll tell you your BMI and if it's healthy or not. (Thanks Marion for the tip!)
    Check their health quizzes to get more ideas for yours.

    • And talking about health and fashion, did you know that Spain decided to ban models that are too thin?. Read about it in the Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC7news. Write your opinion in our forum.Look for the topic called Thin Models and read everyone's opinion before adding yours.

    Answer theses questions and then write an article in your blog, including your opinion:

    1. What triggered the ban?
    2. What's BMI?
    3. What BMI should a model have to be allowed to participate in fashion parades in Spain?
    4. What's the average height, weight and BMI of a runway model?
    5. What are the arguments for and against?
    6. Check the meanings of gaunt, emaciated and wan. You can find many dictionaries on the Internet (just write dictionary into Google). One of them is the Merrian-Webster
    7. How can you calculate someone's BMI?
    • When you have time, you can listen to last year's student podcasts on the Health Expo 2006. They interviewed many of the doctors and health staff on the day. There are links to all their podcasts here.

    To do at home

    • Forum: Read all the opinions from last week's forum about fashion. Write an opinion text in which you present the different points of views and at the end you give your personal opinion in a conclusion. Before writing it, look at the explanations and examples in your text book (Unit 18).
    • Go to Time4English and in the grammar book, letter a do the two exercises on articles.
    • We were talking about noun groups fro the writing of reports and we did an exercise on how to order the adjectives in front of the noun (size-quality-age-colour-place/origin). As it is quite hard to remember, I thought you may like to do extra practice on it. Here are some more exercises: The order of adjectives & Adjective order. If you want to know more about them you can visit this site, Adjectives, where there is a more complete table (they add material and a couple of exercises.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Expresing opinion

    • Congratulations, Lei! You were the first one to find out the name of these native flowers. They are known as flannel flowers (Actinotis helianthii is their scientific name). I have seen them amongst eucalyptus trees in Sydney reserves and national parks in sandstone areas. One was never able to enjoy them at home before. As you know, you are not allowed to pick wild flowers from the bush, but now they are growing them commercially and are found in flower shops in spring.

      I'm preparing an interview with a young Sydneysider, Nikki, who is involved in many things. As fashion is one of them, I would like you to give your opinion about fashion and other topics related to it in this week's forum.
    • If you didn't have time to listen to Vukosava's podcast in Splendid Speaking last week, do it now. We will be working on it later on.
    • Listen to another movie review from Time4English. You can start a list of verbs and adjectives used in these reviews. It will help you with your own review writing and it will help you with your spoken activities and radio programs.
    • Also in Time4English, in the grammar book, go to the letter i and do the ED / -ING exercise. You will find a list of adjectives useful for your movie review.
    • Then go to the letter p, do the exercises for plenty of, a lot of , a little, a few. It will reinforce what we did in class last Tuesday.
    • Finally in English Lessons - Upper Intermediate / Advanced do the first Tenses quiz.

    Sunday, April 8, 2007

    Welcome back!

    Hi again and I hope you all had a great break. I spent last weekend in a beautiful part of New South Wales, the south coast. The place where we were staying was visited every day by lots of kangaroos, galahs, rosellas and other Australian birds. Have a look at some of the photos I took there.

    To prepare for your radio programs, go to Time4English and then Movie Reviews. Choose one movie you have already seen and listen to the review, do the exercises and study the vocabulary to be able to talk about it. Write your own review in your blog.
    When recording our radio programs, often we will be expressing our opinion on different topics. Listen to this episode of Splendid Speaking, Expressing and justifying opinions, where Vukosava talks about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Listen to it a first time to get the gist of it (the main idea, a general impression). Listen to it a second time with the script in front of you (ask me for it).
    Print this worksheet about expressing opinions and we will work on it this afternoon.
    Highlight the language that Vukosava uses to express her opinion and to introduce examples that help her justify her opinion. Prepare a short talk about the same topic. Record it in Audacity.
    Remember I told you about lists of common words in English. Go to Time4 English and you'll find the 100 most common words in the main menu. Do you know all of them? I bet you do! Copy them and make sure you know them all and their spelling.

    IF you thought that is too easy... here are the 1000 most common English words. The good thing about this list is that you have explanations about how to use prepositions and articles, which always give us trouble. Put this website in your favourites at home and visit it regularly. You can write 5 sentences each day using words from this list until you have used all of them!
    I had lots of problems using the new blogger (with Google account) at home, so I had to create another blog to prepare for our class today. I've put a permanent link on the right sidebar, below Our Forum & Our podcasts. If blogger is not working, I will prepare the class there!

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Agricultural show & Winner of What country is this?

    Today we'll concentrate on speaking practice and learning how to use Audacity.

    Some of you wanted a tutorial on basic blog functions. You can find a tutorial, Adding links and images on the right sidebar. It is a video that you have to download to your desktop. If you want a printed version, you can read/print this worksheet on how to add pictures or this one on how to add links.

    Before we start with Audacity, listen to your very first podcast in Let's Talk: Introductions from Semester 1, 2007 FT students. William's students are going to listen to it and they may even try to send us recorded messages. Read his instructions here. It's very exciting, isn't it? Good work!

    • Later we'll correct the language of our Forum. Thanks to all the participants. It was very interesting to read your thoughts on such an important topic (multiculturalism).

    • But first....... IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

    We've got 2 winners of our picture guessing competition, What country is this?. The first absolute winner is Marta and she is not even in our class! Marta used to be in Marion's class last year and had her own blog with links to our class blog. That's how she heard of the guessing challenge. You may remember her from her visit to the computer room last Tuesday. She's been working at this for days. Read her emails or post entries below.

    The other winner is Dan from our class. He's also been working very hard at trying to find the answer. I think he enjoyed the ride and we may ask him to set up a pictorial guessing game for us, as he is such a good photographer.

    Please read Marta's emails and blog entries from the past 2 weeks.

    Congratulations, Marta!

    These are links to your blogs,
    including Dan's blog, with the answers you gave:

    Congratulations, Dan!

    • The Easter show is approaching. If you want to go, you can plan your day trip beforehand by visiting their website, Easter Show. And if you have time, you can do this worksheet from last year: Easter Show by one of our teachers (Nadia).
    • Splendid Speaking is a podcasting site form the UK. Its master (the person who publishes it) has asked me permission to publish a link to our Let's Talk podcasting site, so that his students can contact us. I said yes. It's a great way for ESL students to communicate with one another across the world. It will help you improve your listening and speaking skills tremendously!
    Do you know the names of these flowers? Which one is an Australian native?