Monday, August 27, 2018

(Writing) Writing in English



Writing in English

(Advanced) What writers really do when they write



When I write, “Bob was an asshole,” and then, feeling this perhaps somewhat lacking in specificity, revise it to read, “Bob snapped impatiently at the barista,” then ask myself, seeking yet more specificity, why Bob might have done that, and revise to, “Bob snapped impatiently at the young barista, who reminded him of his dead wife,” and then pause and add, “who he missed so much, especially now, at Christmas,” – I didn’t make that series of changes because I wanted the story to be more compassionate. I did it because I wanted it to be less lame.
But it is more compassionate. Bob has gone from “pure asshole” to “grieving widower, so overcome with grief that he has behaved ungraciously to a young person, to whom, normally, he would have been nice”. Bob has changed. He started out a cartoon, on which we could heap scorn, but now he is closer to “me, on a different day”.
How was this done? Via pursuit of specificity. I turned my attention to Bob and, under the pressure of trying not to suck, my prose moved in the direction of specificity, and in the process my gaze became more loving toward him (ie, more gentle, nuanced, complex), and you, dear reader, witnessing my gaze become more loving, might have found your own gaze becoming slightly more loving, and together (the two of us, assisted by that imaginary grouch) reminded ourselves that it is possible for one’s gaze to become more loving.

- George Saunders, author of the Man Booker Prize winning Lincoln in the Bardo

1. What would you say is the key word of this extract?

2. What doe the writer do with his first sentence?

3. How does he start the second paragraph? Why?

4. What trick does he use to start paragraph three?

5. What is the writer trying to say about the process of writing?

  


Try this:

and then x 2      this      When       then        and add       that         and
____ I write, “Bob was an asshole,” ____ , feeling ___ perhaps somewhat lacking in specificity, revise it to read, “Bob snapped impatiently at the barista,” ___ ask myself, seeking yet more specificity, why Bob might have done that,  ___ revise to, “Bob snapped impatiently at the young barista, who reminded him of his dead wife,” ____ pause ___, “who he missed so much, especially now, at Christmas,” – I didn’t make  ___ series of changes because I wanted the story to be more compassionate. 


Read the whole article here:

What writers really do when they write



(Intermediate) Phrases for agreeing and disagreeing

Related image


Sort these phrases into "agreeing" or "disagreeing":


  • I agree with you 100 percent.
  • (strong) I'd say the exact opposite.
  • Not necessarily.
  • That's not always true.
  • That's not always the case.
  • (weak) I suppose so./I guess so.
  • You have a point there.
  • I couldn't agree with you more.
  • That's so true.
  • That's for sure.
  • (Colloquial) Tell me about it!
  • You're absolutely right.
  • Absolutely.
  • I don't think so.
  • (strong) No way.
  • I'm afraid I disagree.
  • (strong) I totally disagree.
  • I beg to differ.
  • No, I'm not so sure about that.
  • That's exactly how I feel.
  • Exactly.
  • I'm afraid I agree with James.
  • I have to side with Dad on this one.
  • No doubt about it. 
  • Me neither.
  • I was just going to say that.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

(C1.3 Student Writing) Places to visit


Image result for Alins



Errors in bold

If I have to write about a place that I love it, would be the Alins. It is small-isolated village located in the middle of the Pyrenees at the north of Spain. It only has seven rustic and bucolic houses and no one live there for the whole year any morethey families who lived there before have moved to the surrounding localities, or in some cases, they emigrated to the colossal and overpopulated cities. Alins is the village where my mother was born and I spent my childhood going there almost every summer.

At first sight it could seem that it’s an inhospitable place in the middle of nowhere, and yes it’s true. There are not shops or any kind of social activity in the place. Also, as I said before, there are not to many neighbors so you could think that it’s the most boring and lifeless place where you could spend your holidays. But once you open your eyes and realize where you are all these thoughts disappear.

This modest village remains over a hill, which smoothly flows into several verdant fields that are laboriously worked for the few remaining farmers and their sheep. In contrast sharp and hilly mountains emerge around the fields and village. Finally a meandering river cuts the relive, creating a narrow and abrupt canyon where it’s in contact with the hardness calcite rock formation and a small valley when the pure and crystalline water encounters the moldable sandy layers. If you take a look at the whole landscape the vision can make you think in a natural castle, whit their walls (the mountains) and their pit (the river).



Image result for Alins



Corrections


If I had to write about a place that I love, it would be Alins, small isolated village in the heart of the Pyrenees at the north of Spain. Alins is the village where my mother was born, and where I spent my childhood summers. It only has seven rustic, bucolic houses and no one lives there year round anymore - the families who lived there before have moved to the surrounding areas, or in some cases emigrating to the colossal overpopulated cities.

At first sight it could seem an inhospitable place in the middle of nowhere, and yes it’s true; there are no shops or any kind of social activity in the place. Also, as I said before, there are not too many neighbors, so you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s the most boring and lifeless place to spend your holidays. But once you open your eyes and realize where you are, all these thoughts disappear (nb: disperse, vanish, evaporate also possible here).

This modest village stands over a hill, which slopes gently into verdant fields that are laboriously worked by the few remaining farmers. A few sheep graze around. Steep mountains emerge in sharp contrast above the fields and village. A meandering river cuts a narrow and abrupt canyon out of hard calcite rock and down onto a small valley where the pure and crystalline water encounters the malleable sandy layers. If you look at the whole landscape you think of a castle, with the mountains as walls and the river as a mote.


What vocabulary have I added or substituted here?

Can you see where I have separated some ideas out into new sentences?

Can you see where I have combined others into one sentence? 

Why?






Image result for Timisoara


Errors in bold:

Places to visit – Timisoara
Timisoara is the biggest city in western Romania but also the most beautiful one. If you enter the city center you will find many cafés which are located in huge public squares with beautiful fountains and well-designed flower beds. This prosperous city center is surrounded by historical buildings, which date back to the 18th century. After spending a few hours in your favorite café, it is necessary to visit one of Timisoara’s gorgeous parks. It is a nice place to have a picnic with your friends, or just have a walk through the park, looking at all the majestic trees and flowers. Not only can you visit Timisoara at daytime, but also in the night it is a great experience to go to many different bars and restaurants, which are actually quietmodern and hip.

Let’s talk about the people in Romania. There is a big difference between urban people, most likely to find in big cities like Timisoara or Bucharest, and rather traditional people from the countryside. People from the city are open minded and most of the time very friendly. Especially the younger society is most likely to be found in shopping centers, bars and nightclubs. The people you’ll meet at the countryside are way different. Most of them are also friendly but quiet conservative and very religious. In those places, poverty is a big issue, because most of the people there are farmer, so their income depends on the yield of their crops. Also the pensions are extremely small, what makes it even harder for them to buy food or pay for their monthly costs.

I’m usually driving every year to Romania to visit my grandparents, who are living in a small village next to Timisoara. Every time it is exiting for me to see all my relatives and acquaintances. It is a totally different world compared to my home in Germany, because in Romania you get a feeling like the time is standing still and nothing changed since fifty years. Living here is less complicated and not as stressful as in Germany. The people living here have a different mentality and priorities. Every time when I see how the people here are managing their lives but still are so humble and friendly, I realize that you don’t need much money to be happy.


Image result for Timisoara

Corrections:

Places to visit – Timisoara
Timisoara is the biggest city in western Romania, and yet somehow manages to be the most beautiful. When you enter the city center you will find many cafés in huge public squares with beautiful fountains and well-designed flower beds. This prosperous city center is surrounded by historical buildings dating to the 18th century. After spending a few hours in your favorite café, it is essential to visit one of Timisoara’s gorgeous parks. These are nice places to have a picnic with your friends, or just have a walk through, gazing at all the majestic trees and flowers. Timisoara is fabulous by both day and night.  It's great to spend an evening hopping between the many different bars and restaurants, which are actually quite modern and hip.

Let’s talk about the people in Romania. There is a big difference between urban people, most likely to be found in big cities like Timisoara or Bucharest, and the more traditional people of the countryside. City Romanians are open-minded and very friendly by and large. The younger society is most likely to be found in shopping centers, bars and nightclubs. The people you’ll meet at the countryside are way different. Most of them are also friendly but quite conservative and ultra religious. Poverty and hardship is a big issue in rural Romania, because most of the people there are farmers and their income depends on the yield of their crops. Also the pensions are extremely small, which makes it even harder for them to buy food or pay for their monthly costs.
I drive every year to Romania to visit my grandparents, who live in a small village next to Timisoara

Every time it is exciting for me to see all my relatives and acquaintances. It is a totally different world compared to my home in Germany, because in Romania you feel as if time is standing still and nothing's changed for fifty years. Living there is less complicated and nowhere near as stressful as in Germany. People have a different mentality and priorities. Every time I see the way the people there are managing their less affluent lives, but still stay so humble and friendly, I realize that you don’t need much money to be happy.


Why did I change the first sentence?

Where have I changed relative clauses into participle clauses? Why?

Where have a I left the relative clause? Can you see why I did that?




Image result for general belgrano buenos aires salado

Errors in bold

I was born and raised in a small city called General Belgrano, situated in  Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 1 ½ hours away from the chaotic never-sleep Buenos Aires city, my hometown is a quiet, own-paced town, where it seems that nothing happens and it’s (more or less) 30.000 inhabitants lives at their own rythms. Quite an ideal place to live if looking for tranquility. 

If you visit General Belgrano, you will definetly drive around the Salado (salty) River coast, surrounded by mainly counstryside, this river comes all the way from the north of the country, flowing for more than 600km. to run into the Atlantic ocean, passing trough my city, giving life to vegetation, hosting fishes, ducks and birds,creating a refreshing, peaceful full of clean air environment where you can just go and sit in the green grass coast with the only purpose of being in silence admiring the nature, or waiting for the sunset.

This river has different branches and you can follow the boulevard along one branch and then go back to another branch going back just where you started, so one of our favouriteactivites consists in driving around with our friends or families, just talking about life, or singing or just contemplating the board views. People enjoy to use the river boulevard with all kind of purposes: jogging, skating, rollerskating, cycling, as well as taking someone on a “date” that is basically inviting someone for a ride, with the intention of have some privacy to talk or kiss (due to the small population, if you take someone to a café everyone would know it the day after) ; the coast of El Salado is used to play football, volleyball, drinking mate or beer, or simply to hang out, ideally on a Sunday afternoon.

I have a lot of memories in the river, I’ve spent unaccountable hours in the river’s sorroundings, in all kind of scenarios, I really enjoyed to grab my bicycle, my backpack filled with my mate equipment, a good book, no phone, and some cigarretes, and simply stop where I feel to, and start reading until being interrupted forsome friend, or acquantainces that were there for same of different reasons, but finally we end up joining the other one’s plan. The more the better it is said.

Image result for general belgrano buenos aires salado


I was born and raised in a small city called General Belgrano, situated in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. 1 ½ hours away from the chaotic never-sleep Buenos Aires city, my hometown is a quiet, slow-paced town, where it seems that nothing happens and its  more or less 30,000 inhabitants live at their own rhythm. An ideal place to live if looking for tranquility. 

If you visit General Belgrano, you will definitely drive along the Salado (salty) River bank, surrounded mainly by countryside. The Salado comes all the way from the north of Argentina, flowing for more than 600km to run into the Atlantic ocean. As it passes through my city, it gives life to vegetation; hosting fish, ducks and birds, and generating creating a refreshing clean air environment where you can just go and sit in the green grass by the river with only the purpose of being in silence, admiring the nature, or waiting for the sunset. 

This river has different branches and you can follow the boulevard along one branch and then follow another branch back to where you started. One of our favourite activities consists in driving around with our friends or family, just talking about life, or singing, or just contemplating the broad vistas. People enjoy using the river boulevard for all kinds of things: jogging, skating, rollerskating, cycling, or taking someone on a “date”. This is basically just inviting someone for a ride with the intention of having some privacy to talk or kiss. Due to the small population, if you take someone to a café everyone will know the day after. The lands by El Salado are used to play football and volleyball, drinking mate or beer, or simply to hang out, ideally on a Sunday afternoon.

I have so many memories of the river - I’ve spent unaccountable hours in the it's environs, in all kind of scenarios. I especially enjoyed grabbing my bicycle and my backpack, filled with my mate equipment, a good book, no phone, and some cigarettes, and simply stopping where I feel like it. There I'll start reading until I'm interrupted by some friend or acquaintance who's there for the same or some other reason. But finally we end up joining the other one’s plan. The more the merrier, it is said.





How many sentences?

If you visit General Belgrano, you will definetly drive around the Salado (salty) River coast, surrounded by mainly counstryside, this river comes all the way from the north of the country, flowing for more than 600km. to run into the Atlantic ocean, passing trough my city, giving life to vegetation, hosting fishes, ducks and birds,creating a refreshing, peaceful full of clean air environment where you can just go and sit in the green grass coast with the only purpose of being in silence admiring the nature, or waiting for the sunset.


How many sentences?



If you visit General Belgrano, you will definitely drive along the Salado (salty) River bank, surrounded mainly by countryside. The Salado comes all the way from the north of Argentina, flowing for more than 600km to run into the Atlantic ocean. As it passes through my city, it gives life to vegetation; hosting fish, ducks and birds, and generating creating a refreshing clean air environment where you can just go and sit in the green grass by the river with only the purpose of being in silence, admiring the nature, or waiting for the sunset. 



Image result for Graz


Errors in bold


If you are travelling to Austria you definitely have to visit the marvelous and beautiful capital of Styria which is called Graz. Graz is also the second sizeable city of Austria and its historic centre was even added to the sensational UNESCO World Heritage List. To get a stunning view over the city you have to visit the Schlossberg, a giant hill in the middle of the charming city. The history of the Schlossberg goes back to the 10th Century and nobody was ever able to conquer its well-built castle. Nevertheless a monstrously large part got demolished by the Napoleonic armies. Only the admirable clock tower and the bell tower were spared after the people of Graz paid a high ransom. Inside the clock tower you can find the ancient Liesl, the heaviest bell in Austria. 

The Schlossberg is not only an admirable place-to-visit to get an astonishing view, but also you can spend the night visiting the Kasematten, a gorgeous open-air stage for world-class concerts and performances. From time to time there are also some tremendous parties held in between the Schlossberg which is called “Dom im Berg” and is visited by a numerous amount of locals as well as nonlocals.


Image result for Graz

Corrections

 
If you are travelling to Austria you definitely have to visit the marvellous and beautiful capital of Styria: GrazGraz is the second largest city of Austria, and its historic centre was even added to the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. 

To get a stunning view over the city you have to visit the Schlossberg - a giant hill in the middle of the charming city. The history of the Schlossberg goes back to the 10th Century. Nobody was ever able to conquer its well-built castle. Nevertheless, a monstrous section of it was demolished by the Napoleonic armies - only the admirable clock tower and the bell tower were spared after the people of Graz paid a high ransom. Inside the clock tower you can find the ancient Liesl, the heaviest bell in Austria. 

The Schlossberg is not only an admirable place to visit to get an astonishing view, but you can also spend the evening visiting the Kasematten - a gorgeous open-air stage for world-class concerts and performances. From time to time there are also some tremendous parties held in between the Schlossberg which is called “Dom im Berg” and is visited by a huge amount of locals and non-locals.



Two texts were written by Spanish speakers, and two were written by German speakers. Discuss the differences is style between them.









(Upper-Intermediate - conversation) Proxima B



The nearest habitable world beyond our Solar System might be right on our doorstep - astronomically speaking. Scientists say their investigations of the closest star, Proxima Centauri, show it to have an Earth-sized planet orbiting about it. What is more, this rocky globe is moving in a zone that would make liquid water on its surface a possibility. Proxima is 40 trillion km away and would take a spacecraft using current technology thousands of years to reach.

Earlier this year, the billionaire venture capitalist Yuri Milner said he was investing $100m in studies to develop nano spacecraft that could be propelled across the galaxy by lasers. These would travel at perhaps 20% of the speed of light, shortening the journey to a star like Proxima Centauri to mere decades.

 Read, listen and watch:

Proxima B

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Ghost Cities 2011 vocab review











s-rp-ss-d












m-gn-t-de












hard to gr____














Y__ another example














the picture isn't so r____y

















-ns-ttl-ng













signs of cr_______ng neglect



















some staff have been k--- on as cleaners and maintenance people














the t__ts pounce as soon as you arrive













economic / weather f-r-c-st











-v-rs-pply












b-tt-rm-nt










wildly ___ of k-ilt-r












a _____ly reminder









l--m-ng

(Pronunciation) 'r' and 'l'

I worked rate and I didn't alive home until 10 o'clock. I was very wet because of the lane. Then to my supplies, my key didn't fit in the rock. So I looked closely at my keys and saw that they were the long ones. I had left my house keys at work. So I got back on my motorbike and load back to the office to correct them. I got home really tired, so I went to bed, led for half an hour, switched off the right and went to sleep.


Monday, August 20, 2018

C1.3 Unit 4 - Urban Issues


What do these words and phrases mean?
















free reign
















at a premium





















bubble wrap

















unchecked

















eerie























social engineering




















unsanitary















quarters















What's the difference between...



















costly and pricey
















altogether and on the whole

















admittedly and honestly















in contrast and on the contrary















measure up to and measure up















collapse and tear down

Sunday, August 19, 2018

(Advanced) The Grenfell Inquiry

Image result for grenfell tower

The Grenfell public inquiry opens tomorrow, exactly three months on from the fire which took at least 80 lives. The judge heading it, its remit, its powers and the time it will take, all have been sources of controversy. So how can it succeed? Or is it doomed to failure?

12 collocations

Watch report:

The Grenfell Inquiry

How long ago was the fire?

What do these things have in common? the judge, the remit, the powers, the time it will take

How many died in the fire?

What is the main criticism survivors have of the people heading in the inquiry?

Why is it problematic that the inquiry is being held along with a criminal investigation?

Why offer indemnity to witnesses? Why do some people disagree?


Saturday, August 18, 2018

(Advanced) How architectural innovations migrate across borders


As the world's cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city's residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity.

Watch here:

Across borders

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Speak easy - various topics and tasks








Draw your favourite dish








Draw something you hate





















Draw your best friend













Draw your house







Draw your country's leader






Can you ride a motorcycle?










What colour is best for a sports car?










Can you change a tyre?










If you are buying a car, what do you need to know?










Do you always wear a seat belt? 












gravel












a blind bend













a dead end












a roundabout













a T-junction











a dog leg












an on ramp













a bipass












a tollgate











a speed bump










Image result for road signs





















Image result for road signs











Image result for road signs















Related image
















Image result for road signs














Related image


















Image result for road signs












Related image




















Image result for road signs

































Related image


Why are stop signs hexagonal?












Does your mother have a driver's license?










Who taught you to drive? Were they a good teacher?










Why do we sometimes say "shotgun" when we are going somewhere in the car?







Gestures





How do you say this with only one hand?


What do you want?





Why?





To eat





I think




Are you scared?




Many people




You are crazy!




Well, dummy




I cannot stand him





delicious




Wat! Stop





I swear




Slowly, slowly




Cut! Switch off




I will kill you





I will bet you





I'm angry





Straight





This and that




So and so




I forgot




What did you say?




Get to the point




You must go




I don't care




Let's go




Talk





Beautiful





Perfect



Now Watch:



Do people from your country use their hands a lot when they talk?






















What to have on toast















Kitchens





















Eggs 




















Pasta 















































Favourite sauces





















What to do with ice cream


















Rice 






















Lemon 






















Green or red grapes? 


























bread 
























food processors 























chop sticks 

















soy sauce 





















How much mustard?





















oysters 


















cocktails
















avocado 





















Red or white wine?















How to do potatoes 















almonds

















Draw computers of the future











Draw your favourite car









Draw your favourite band







Draw a new super hero