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

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  • 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.