Author Archives: mcargobe
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?
Among many other benefits “reading aloud can help your pronunciation. Even if you already know how to pronounce the language pretty well, it is hard to fit your mouth and tongue around the foreign sounds. Reading aloud gives your vocal organs the exercise they need to speak without getting tired or stumbling. If you are still fuzzy on pronunciation, use texts with recordings on CD or MP3 files, and repeat after the native speakers. But following along in the book will give you added input over simply listening and repeating. Try to copy the intonation and rhythm as well. You will be using eyes, ears, vocal apparatus, and of course, brain — all at once!”
SOME APPS CAN HELP YOU DO THIS WORK WHENEVER YOU DON´T HAVE THE RECORDING: READINGS ON YOUR TEXTBOOKS, GETTING READY FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS, ETC….
- DO YOU KNOW ANY OF THESE WEBSITES OR APPS ?
- WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
- CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY SIMILAR APPS?
You can paste the text.(SUITABLE FOR IOS &ANDROID)
TIPS TO IMPROVE PRONUNCIATION WHEN YOU´RE READING ALOUD
(BY my colleague JAVIER SANTOS ASENSI)
Step 1: Find CONTENT WORDS in the fragment you have chosen and make sure you know how to pronounce them.
- Even if meaning is different for different speakers, there are certain word categories that are usually more meaningful and therefore commonly stressed. They are often called content words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, negative words, pronouns (demonstrative, possessive –mine, yours…, reflexive –myself, yourself…, reciprocal –each other, one another , interrogative –who, what…), question words (where, how often, etc), intensifiers (too, much, quite, etc.) and modifiers ( numerals, cardinals, etc.)
- Pay special attention to those words you are very familiar with. Are you positive you have not made a habit of mispronouncing them? Check their pronunciation in your print or online dictionary or CD Rom
- First locate the stressed syllable (long words usually have a secondary stress as well)
- Then make sure you use weak vowels / Ə / and / I / in unstressed syllables
- Is there any consonant or vowel sound that you have problems pronouncing?
Step 2: Check the pronunciation of GRAMMAR WORDS (also called function words)
- Most times grammar words are not stressed. These include articles, determiners (the, some, each), auxiliary and modal verbs (do, have, be, may, will, etc.), one-syllable prepositions and conjunctions (to, from, of, and, but, etc.) If they have a weak pronunciation form, use it instead of the strong form you might be familiar with (check the pronunciation of these words in your reference chart)
Step 3: Are there any words you can contract?
- Remember that contraction is a feature of spoken language. You do not usually contract words in more formal written texts. If you are reading aloud you should try to contract whenever possible even if you do not see the contraction
- Revise the most common contractions: in the reference chart your teacher will provide you with.
Step 4: Connect unstressed words to meaningful stressed ones in a logical way
- First connect words into phrases (noun or prepositional phrases, etc.) in a logical way to avoid reading word to word and stressing every single word. These connected groups of words are often called thought groups
- Then try and connect phrases into short sentences
- Contracted forms as well as Word linking (connecting words ending in a consonant with the next word starting in a vowel or else words ending and beginning with vowels) will help us do it. In British English final “r” will be pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel (linking “r”).
- As a result the number of words in spelling and pronunciation will be absolutely different.
Step 5: Make sure you respect punctuation marks: pauses and intonation
- Periods (full stops) , commas, colons, semi-colons, parenthesis and the kind are realized as pauses in oral speech. These pauses will allow the listener to follow our utterance and ourselves to breathe. Moreover, if you run over the sentence limit, your utterance will make no sense at all for listeners, for they mark the end of an idea, a piece of explanation or clarification, an example, etc.
- Question and exclamation marks are realized as intonation patterns. Avoid flat intonation patterns, otherwise it will be difficult to make out your speech intention
RECORDING YOURSELF WOULD BE THE FINAL STEP AND PLAYBACK…. BUT WE´LL TALK ABOUT THIS IN ANOTHER POST…..
YOU are going to watch a short extract from the Graham Norton show, where the actresses Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman discuss their birth names. Play from 0:00 until 2:50. (THANK YOU TO MY COLLEAGUE CRISTINA CABAL FOR SHARING THIS ACTIVITY)
- Meryl Streep was named Mary at birth. How did she end up being called Meryl?
- Is she happy about her surname? How does she wish it to be different?
- Why is Nicole Kidman called Hokulani? Who is she named after?
Ask students whether they think a name can shape their personality and refer them to this website where they’ll have to write their name in the space provided and read about their personality.
You can always ask them to read their horoscope, but this is “old news”, so I thought this might better spark students’ interest.
At home, students go to the website and find out about their personality based on their names. They look up any new words they don’t know, especially personality adjectives, as they will need to share this analysis with their classmates and say whether they agree or disagree with it, giving reasons.
Spanish parents win battle to name their newborn son ‘Wolf’
After a very public campaign, a couple from Madrid have been told they can name their son ‘Lobo’. Ignacio and Maria have won the battle to name their son, who was born on July 12th, Lobo – meaning wolf – after collecting nearly 25,000 signatures supporting them.
The couple had made their fight public after officials initially refused to allow them to register their son with the chosen name, initially because “it was offensive to the child” and then under the rules that it was only to be used as a surname.
The issue has made headlines in Spain and sparked debate over parents’ rights to name their child whatever they like.
But on Wednesday, the director general of the national registry announced that the name Lobo would in this case be allowed.
Javier Gómez Gálligo said the name Lobo was “considered socially acceptable” and therefore would be allowed. He also said the official criteria would now be reviewed.
The couple, from the Fuenlabrada suburb of Madrid, had referred the case to the Ministry of Justice and launched a petition on change.org that garnered more than 24,000 signatures.
“Do you, like us, think it is unfair that the criteria decided by an official has more relevance when naming a child than parents who will educate, guide and love that child for the rest of their life?” the couple wrote in the change.org petition calling for support.
The case had even won the attention of politicians with Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the Podemos party, speaking up for the parents.
“Wolf seems to me to be a beautiful and dignified name,” he tweeted. “If you can be called Paloma (Dove) or León (Lion) then why not Lobo (Wolf)?”….
SHOULD PARENTS BE ALLOWED TO NAME THEIR CHILDREN AS THEY PLEASE? HAVE YOUR SAY!
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF “THINGLINK“?
THINGLINK invites students to connect audio, video, images, and text in one cohesive presentation. Students will dig deeper into content through research to present knowledge and ideas as they learn, practice and demonstrate digital literacy skills in image creation, selection, content , creativity, tagging and sharing.
INTERACTIVE “GETTING-TO-KNOW-ME “ PHOTOS
THIS IDEA IS NOT MINE. I HAVE YO THANK THE BLOG “STOP & LEARN ENGLISH”
Use Thinglink to create interactive photos.
Students choose a photo on their mobile. Each student should upload his /her image and add tags to help others get to know him or her. For example, create a tag or a link to a photo, video or audio file to describe his / her:
- favourite subjects
- hobbies or sports
- maps with places they´ve lived or visited
- favourite song, band or group
- favourite TV show, website or game
CLICK ON THIS PHOTO TO HAVE A LOOK AT ONE OF MY ATTEMPTS …..
THERE ARE APPS FOR YOUR MOBILE TOO….
COME ON!! HAVE A GO!! I´LL BE WAITING FOR YOUR THINGLINKS!!!!
LISTEN TO PABLO IGLESIAS SPEAKING IN ENGLISH LAST WEEK. WHAT DO YOU THINK HIS PROBLEM IS?
LOOK AT THIS CHART.
THESE ARE THE SOUNDS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. AS YOU CAN SEE, THE CHART IS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS: VOWELS,DIPHTHONGS AND CONSONANTS.
LET´S CONCENTRATE ON THE REVISION OF ENGLISH VOWELS.
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW OR THE PICTURE ABOVE TO USE AN INTERACTIVE VERSION OF THE CHART:
YOU CAN ALSO WATCH THIS VIDEO:
IF THE LINK DOESN´T WORK, TYPE IN “IPA VOWELS” ON YOU TUBE AND YOU´LL BE ABLE TO WATCH THE VIDEO. OK?
THIS IS ALSO A USEFUL LINK TO LISTEN TO THE VOWELS BELOW:
NOWADAYS THERE ARE MANY APPS YOU CAN DOWNLOAD TO PRACTISE PRONUNCIATION:
- SOUND FOUNDATIONS (there is a free version)
- ENGLISH FILE PRONUNCIATION (you have to pay to download)
FOR INTERMEDIATE STUDENTS AND ABOVE, YOU CAN ALSO VISIT THIS WEBSITE:
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE? WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?
I HAVE TO THANK CRISTINA CABAL FOR THESE WONDERFUL IDEAS!!
Look at the mosaic above with the faces of some well-known celebrities and, bearing in mind what you know about them ,write a description based on their physical description / personalities. Make sure you use suitable adjectives. Do not mention the name of the celebrity you are describing as your classmates aim will be to find out who you are describing.Please, don’t be too flattering or too hard on people. Remember that “not all that glitters is gold” (REMEMBER TO USE ADJECTIVES ON vocabulary bank pages 150/151))
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE ? (PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION)
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE? (PERSONALITY)
Let’s have some fun. How would you fancy converting text to music? This funny programme allows you to type any words and it sings them back to you. Try typing some personality adjectives and listen to them sung by different people. The site is called Text to sing.
WHAT IS A “VOKI”?
Voki is an educational tool that allows users to create talking characters by using their own voice.
CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO LISTEN TO AN EXAMPLE FROM A STUDENT:
YOU JUST HAVE TO….
- DOWNLOAD THE APP ON YOUR MOBILE (APPLE STORE OR GOOGLE PLAY) IT´S FREE & YOU DON´T HAVE TO REGISTER
- SELECT AN AVATAR
- CUSTOMIZE IT
- ADD YOUR VOICE ( LIMITED TO 1 MINUTE) SPEAKING ABOUT YOURSELF
- PICK UP A BACKGROUND
- PUBLISH & SHARE ( by emailing it tome so that it can be published on my blog)
I´LL BE WAITING FOR YOUR VOKIS!!
WHO IS YOUR TEACHER THIS YEAR? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ME? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
“EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY” AND AS “A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS“…..ALL THE PHOTOS BELOW CONTAIN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ABOUT ME. WHAT´S THE LINK IS BETWEEN THE PHOTOS AND MY LIFE? AM I 29 YEARS OLD? DID I MARRY TWICE?…ETC….
CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE TO HAVE ACCESS TO THIS YEAR´S UPDATED AND INTERACTIVE PREZI PRESENTATION. UNFORTUNATELY I CAN NOT EMBED IT DUE TO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH WORDPRESS.
1B2 (QUESTIONS & ANSWERS)
1B1 (QUESTIONS & ANSWERS)
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH QR CODES AS I MENTIONED IN A PREVIOUS POST?
CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO SCAN ALL THE QUESTIONS THAT MATCH THE ANSWERS OF MY PREZI SLIDE
PRESENTATION. (LET´S TALK ABOUT ME 2017-18)