Jan 8 2013: We looked at the 2012 examiner report in class. If you have lost your copy, HERE IT IS : examiners report 2012 !!!! Note – this works much better if you download. Trying to open it from this link will take way too long.
Key words and phrases you should know. – if you have lost it, download it here : speaking exam key terms
Feb 29: Here are three short clips from elllo.org about food:
2. favourite food
Remember to listen without the captions, listen with the captions, then use the captions to try and speak along with the video. Because many of these speakers are not native speakers, there can be some minor errors in grammar but these will not stop you understanding what is said. Also, as they are close to one minute long, you can use some to model possible answers for the individual response question.
Feb 22: This episode of the Pulse touches on an issue that is becoming an increasing problem in urban areas: Stray Dogs You can access the text of the presentation – reading along will help your pronunciation as well as developing your ideas about a range of issues. If you select “Other episodes”, you can find other issues to read about.
Feb 17: A simple repsonse from ello.org on how to reduce crime. You can follow the text and speak along. How to reduce crime.
Feb 14: Using Twitter – social networking in its various forms is a hot topic. This episode from “Words in the News” is a little more difficult, but has some good vocabulary to learn.
Feb 10: This one On Thin Icehas a few words you can use to talk about sport.
Feb 7 2012
Count down to the exams … Remember – a little bit each day and you will be amazed with how your grammar and vocabulary as well as pronunciation develop! Start with this short BBC show : The art of gaming
Cycle 2 September 15 2011
In this cycle, we looked at some resources you can use at home to improve your speaking and listening skills. Remember, listening is a very important part of speaking.
The easiest is : http://www.elllo.org/video/index.htm There are over 1000 short videos you can watch. Aim to watch and listen. Then, listen again with the Closed Cptions (green CCbutton) on. Look carefully at the words you did not understand. Over the next few cycles, I will suggest a few to look at.
The second, more difficult resource is http://www.abc.net.au/btn/. In some classes, we looked at a process you can follow.
1. Watch and listen.
2. Listen and follow the text
3. Watch and listen. Stop to check sections you didn’t understand. This will help you listening as well as speaking.
In class today, we talked about the importance of good vocabulary and really knowing a word. For example, we looked at the bio/tech/ology (life / science / study). There is more to knowing a word than just knowing the English and Chinese meanings – as you can see in this slide show.
Knowing a word: the slide show
For homework, try to take one of the important words we looked at today and really “know” it. – “technology” is a good word to start with. I’ll put some more details on here later to help you.
You can also use the quizlet below to learn the definitions of some of the words from the reading today. This can be useful if someone asks “What do you mean? ” during a discussion.
Next cycle we will do set 6. This is on the topic of biotechnology. For some of you may of the words will be difficult. You can use these links to do some reading and thinking before the class. You can then focus on applying the skills we have been talking about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuUpnAz5y1g This short vieo is about the human genome project – Watch the first minute – It gives a nice picture of the DNA inside a cell.
http://tiki.oneworld.net/genetics/home.html Genetic Engineering for kids – don’t laugh! This uses cartoons to try to explain some of the more difficult ideas in genetic engineering.
http://tiki.oneworld.net/genetics/GE5.html starts to look at genetic engineering and changes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcG9q9cPqm4 – The invisible revolution – this shows many of the ways that new ideas from Biotechnology has changed our lies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm6_BBS_KE4 Tries to explain what biotechnology is
http://txtwriter.com/onscience/Articles/geneEng.html This article is a little more difficult but some of you may enjoy reading it!
Feb 14: Here are two videos from BTN that look at some issues related to the next unit. They will be useful for developing listening skills as well as key vocabulary and expressions.
January 6: You can access a word version of the Power Point summarising information from the examiner reports here: http://skhsslmc67.edublogs.org/ There are also some more detailed reports on the Form 7 page. Good luck with these. The examiners have said that many students do not use their recommendations. They will be looking for these things – take note of them during the exam.
This web site: http://englishplace.wetpaint.com/page/Study+Tips has some good tips for the English Oral and Section E papers. There’s also a page on general study tips including how to keep yourself in good physical shape during study time for the exam!
As we get near Christmas break and the exams to follow, make sure you have a good routine for ongoing learning of vocabulary as well as other skills. I’ve been listening to my Chinese tapes and I am slowly improving. A little bit every day! Set yourself a goal to do one of the Academic word list sets each week. Remember to go back and revise each set – that is where the real learning happens.
One way you can start to really fine tune your skills is to get some past papers – do the presentation – tape it and watch yourself in the mirror!
Cycle 6 October 25:
Debating: 6A – this is a reminder that you have some reading and thinking to do before the next cycle. You should read the handouts about the elements of a debate – Matter, Manner and Method. We will discuss these in more detail during the next lesson. You should also be preparing some arguments for both sides of the debate that you have been assigned to.
In the Cycle 7 lesson you will be told whether you are arguing for or against the motion. The Cycle 8 lesson will be used for the debates. These will take place in the English Centre.
September 16 2010: Long time no posting!!! (Cycle 2)
New classes and a new year. I have left the notes from last year on here temporarily. They will be replaced later. In the classes this week, we have focused on the key skills you need to be successful with English and in the exam.
Some things we noted from the Danny MacAskill video were
* Practice helps us improve
* We need to use English in many different situations
* We all make mistakes when we are learning
* Never give up
* The feeling of success at the end is worth all the hard work.
The skill areas we focused on were taking good notes and having an interesting opening for the presentation. The other thing that is important from Day 1 is that reading widely and being aware of what is in the media is important. You must be able to bring new ideas into the discussion.
To help you keep track of some of the issues in the news, I have set up a separate blog for discussion. You can comment on my entries or the entries of other students. Sometimes there will be links to further reading on the Internet or in newspapers. Do a little every day and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve.