jueves, 21 de septiembre de 2017

Behold the King!

Hi there, mates! Today’s post is dedicated entirely to one of my favourite authors; Stephen King. Today is Stephen’s birthday. So, buckle your seat belts because we are going to know everything about this amazing writer. Let’s go!


Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Edwin King!

Stephen was born on September 21, 1947, in Maine, Portland. At the age of 2, his father left home and never came back. His mother had to take care of Stephen and his brother David. They moved to another city because they had serious financial problems. Years later, they went back to Maine. At the age of 11, Stephen saw how a train killed one of his friends. Many years later, he was playing in the attic with his brother, and he found a book written by H. P Lovecraft. Stephen said, “I knew that I'd found home when I read that book." 
Stephen went to university, and he got a Bachelor of Arts in English. Then, his daughter, Naomi, was born. To pay the bills, Stephen had to work as a janitor, a gas pump attendant, and at an industrial laundry. In 1971, Stephen married Tabitha (our hero). During that year, he worked as a teacher at Hampden Academy. Stephen continued writing short stories, and he sold them to different magazines.

Why do we love Tabitha so much?

In 1973, Stephen realised he suffered from a drinking problem and depression. He barely made enough money to live, in a trailer. Stephen wrote several pages of a book, and then, he threw it away. Tabitha encouraged Stephen to finish that book. The book was Carrie! Bravo, Tabitha! The rest you already know…


Facts about Stephen

Stephen suffers form Triskaidekaphobia which is the fear of the number thirteen. “The number 13 never fails to trace that old icy finger up and down my spine. When I'm writing, I'll never stop work if the page number is 13 or a multiple of 13; I'll just keep on typing till I get to a safe number. I always take the last two steps on my back stairs as one, making 13 into 12. There were after all 13 steps on the English gallows up until 1900 or so. When I'm reading, I won't stop on page 94, 193, or 382, since the sums of these numbers add up to 13.”

Stephens appears in almost every single movie or tv show of his books. He loves making cameos.

Stephen King used to write under the name of Richard Bachman. Later, King killed Richard. Cause of death: cancer of the pseudonym.


Stephen doesn’t remember writing some of his novels (in the 80’s) because of his alcoholism.

In 1999,  a minivan hit Stephen. He nearly lost a leg. King was really bad, but he finished his book, “The Black Tower.”

The book “The Running Man” was written  only in 10 days. By the way, the book is 300 pages long.



 Give Stephen a chance, you will not be disappointed. 

 Happy Birthday, Mr King! Who cuts the cake? 




Have a nice weekend :)

Links
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1357044/Driver-who-hit-Stephen-King-is-found-dead.html
https://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/20-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-stephen-king/95554

miércoles, 20 de septiembre de 2017

Students

 Hi, classmates! What a wonderful day. Spring is just around the corner. Today’s post is about how to cope with different kinds of students. I think it’s interesting to learn what types of students we are going to find, in the classroom.
This year is my first time teaching in secondary school. My students are amazing both in secondary and primary. I’m not an experienced teacher, so I can’t talk a lot about my experience. So, the next post is (more) about the investigation I have to do for this assignment.
The Clams
The clams are students that are indifferent. They have this “I don’t care attitude.” Clam students need teachers who really care. The teacher’s attitude is crucial here. If the teacher tries to get to them, they eventually will change. If the teacher does nothing, he/ she will prolong this attitude. No matter how frustrated their attitude can be, one should never give up on them. We have to understand that it’s not personal. So, if teachers really try it, students will show interest. Teachers can try to find their interests and passion. If students feel you care, they will, little by little, participate. Do not expect they become active students from one day to the other. This process will take time and patience.
Here some ideas you can try with these kinds of students

Turn Their Weaknesses Into Strengths

  • Create projects that tap into their innate desire to make a difference in their world.
  • This generation loves to interact. Capitalize on that by integrating instant messaging (MSN) and online bulletin boards into your assignments. They'll be so busy writing that they won't even realize they're learning!
Engage Students in Participation

  • Enlist students' opinions whenever possible. Involve them in the creation of assignment rubrics. Frequently seek their feedback concerning what is happening in your classroom.
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for student choice in the way they learn and in the ways they are allowed to demonstrate what they know. That will encourage them to take more ownership of their learning. Acquaint yourself with Howard Gardner's work in multiple intelligences and be open to project work that goes beyond the traditional.
Make Sure Structures Are in Place

  • Communicate clear, reachable expectations. Routinely provide benchmarks and rubrics at the beginning of an assignment, so students know what they have to do to achieve.
Meet Their Emotional Needs 

  • Consider publishing student work online. Nothing seems to motivate students quite as much as knowing their work will have an extended audience.
  • Ensure that learning is meaningful to the student. Whenever possible, make connections between the curriculum and their lives. Doing so will enhance their interest and make the learning (and teaching) easier.
  • Teacher energy and enthusiasm can be significant to getting disinterested students engaged in learning. Nothing is quite as captivating as a teacher who is continually on the brink of new learning discoveries -- students can't help being enticed to jump on board for the learning ride ahead!

The Complainers

You are going to encounter with complainers like it or not. The real problem is when you have chronic complainers. Dr. Kenneth Shore shares some useful ideas for us:
Praise the student when she makes an effort to solve a problem. Just as you want to ignore her/him when she/he is complaining unceasingly, you want to praise her/him when she/he is trying to solve a problem rather than complaining about it.

Signal the student when she complains. Chronically complaining students might not be aware of how frequently they make negative comments. Set up a private non-verbal signal with the student that you can use in class to alert her when she/he is complaining and to help her/him become more aware of her/his behavior.

Monitor the student's complaints. Keep track of the number of times she/he complains each day. Use the results to demonstrate to her/him how often she/he complains and to determine if she/he is making progress in decreasing the behavior.



 Have a wonderful day! :) 


sábado, 9 de septiembre de 2017

Learning resources and strategies

Hi, Pals! What a dreich day, don’t you think? With all these things about learning strategies, and all that, I decided to talk about my experience in learning a third language. Today I’m going to give you tips that work for me. Most of these tips you already know. Let’s start, shall we?



Immersion

In 2nd year, at the prof, we learned about the three essential conditions for successful learning: exposure, use, and motivation. Willis also mentions instruction which is the desirable condition. I think exposure is paramount for learning a language. In my case, I love going to different cultural events in Buenos Aires and meet wonderful people from different cultures. What’s more, thanks to technology is easier to learn a foreign language via online. You can learn almost everything without leaving your house. Last Sunday, I went to a Japanese event in Escobar, and it was amazing. I found some things related to Korea. I could also speak with a Korean woman, and she told me how to make a delicious kimchi. Korean food is spicy but tasty. Learning how to eat with chopsticks, that is difficult.



Mnemonics

When you learn by making associations, you use Mnemonics. This method is great for learning vocabulary. For example, in Korean  “mal” means horse, "mal" means evil in English. So I imagine an “evil horse” to remember it. I associate a lot when I’m learning. I know that that helped to pass “Política Institucional.”



Scriptorium

This exercise has to do more with writing and reading. It was developed by Alexander Arguelles. This method will improve your writing skill, and develop your working memory. First, you must take a sentence and read it aloud. Second, speak aloud again as you write it carefully. And finally, you must read the sentence aloud from what you have written. It is recommended to do sessions of approximately 15 minutes.



Shadowing

Well, we all know this technique very well. To start shadowing, you need to listen to words (or dialogues) in the target language, with your headphones, and you must repeat them. According to Alexander Arguelles, you should listen to these words while you are walking to maximise alertness and blood flow. This technique is excellent to learn vocabulary and improve your pronunciation at the same time.



Internet and Apps

When you are learning another language internet can be very helpful. Sadly, I couldn’t find books for learning Korean in bookstores. However, on the internet, I found tons of books to learn it. Actually, the book we are using in the course is available online only. I downloaded a Korean dictionary, and some apps to learn vocabulary.

 

If you are thinking of learning a new language, I strongly recommend you to use Italki. I have already used it but in English. I'm going to use this platform during the summer to continue studying Korean. How does Italki work? First, you select the language you want to learn. Second, you choose your teacher. It could be a native speaker or a tutor. Then, you contact your teacher to arrange your timetable. You have to pay, but lessons are usually cheaper than having a private teacher in your house. If you want, you can have lessons with tutors, they are usually cheaper than graduated teachers.  



Listen to music

Listen to music is one of the best things you can do to learn a new language. At first, I couldn't understand a single word of the songs. What I do is to read the lyrics as I’m listening to the song. Sometimes there are songs that I just love, so I write the lyrics and try to translate some of the words. Listening to music is a good way to remember vocabulary, and work on your pronunciation. In Korea you have the K-pop which is very catchy and addictive. Am I right, Emiliano? Got7, BlackPink, Twice, BTS, Red Velvet, Exid and J.Y. Park are great.



Watch movies and tv shows

Another way to improve your pronunciation is to watch movies in the target language. By watching Korean tv, you can learn vocabulary and learn about the culture, too. Actually, you can learn how the language works in everyday life. As I told you in another post, the Korean language has different levels of formality, and you have to learn them. It's not the same to talk with a friend than talking to your boss or an old person. K-dramas or Doramas are excellent because they are very short. They usually have 12 or 16 episodes. So, you can watch a lot of K-dramas, and learn a lot from them. My favourite Dorama, so far, is “The coffee prince.” My favourite Korean movie is a horror movie about zombies called “Train to Busan.”


Have a nice day, guys!

jueves, 31 de agosto de 2017

Short Stories

Hi, classmates! How are you doing? Now that we don’t have Game of Thrones, and we still have to wait for The Walking Dead, we can read something short and sweet. Today’s post is going to be about my favourite short stories. For me, the most important elements of a short story are the theme, the characters, and the style.

     The Raft (Stephen king)

As you know, I love Stephen’s work. This short story is very good.  The story is about a group of friends that decide to swim in a remote lake. What they don’t know is that in the water lives a creature that is waiting for his next victim. Their only chance of survival is a wooden raft in the middle of the lake.  I love the story because it’s full of suspense and action. What’s more, I’m afraid of the ocean and lakes. Sharks, octopus, and whales frighten the life out of me.




   Genesis and Catastrophe  (Roald Dahl)

The story is about a woman who has just given birth to a baby boy. The couple has had three babies, and all of them have died. According to the husband, the babies were all weak and died after a while. This new baby looks weak just like the others. What they don’t know is that this baby, in particular, will survive and change history.




   The Black Cat  (Edgar Allan Poe)

I read this story when I was 14, and I got really scared. I have to say that Edgar Allan Poe was an excellent writer. I think he is the only author who can change my mood with one sentence. This short story is very dark and cruel. The only thing I’m going to say about this story is that everything starts when an angry man kills his black cat, Pluto. From that moment all hell breaks loose.




      Suffer the Little Children (Stephen King)

Oh! Stephen, you did it again. This creepy short story is about teachers. Emily Sidley teaches in a primary school, and she loves her students. After an incident with one of her students, she decides to take a leave of absence. When she goes back to school, she notices that her students have changed. They are evil now. She starts thinking that her students are doppelgangers. If you have read “Zero Hour” written by Ray Bradbury, you can have a guess what would happen next. Actually, Zero Hour has a happy ending comparing to this one.  





      Lamb to the Slaughter (Roald Dahl)

This story is a mix of horror and humour. I have a blast reading it. Moreover, this story could be a script for an episode of Desperate Housewives. Mary is a pregnant woman who loves her husband, Patrick. One day he decides to dump her. Mary grabs a frozen leg of lamb and hit her husband with it. I’m not going to tell you how the story ends, but it is very funny. I love how the writer mixes horror and comedy so easily.





Have a nice day! 

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Books, my old friends

How are you, mates? Hope you are alright. I had a rough winter break. But today I want to talk about something nice: my favourite books. When people ask me about my favourite book, always freak out. I have a favourite cat: my lovely Peeta. I have a favourite colour: green. I have a favourite drink: scotch. But I don’t have a favourite book. 

So, here you have a list of inspirational books that have changed my life.  

    Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)

I have already mentioned Alice in another post. I think Alice is easy to read, but difficult to understand. There are a lot of essays and articles about this book. Alice is the only book I read every year. It is kind of like a tradition. I have it in both languages, Spanish and English. What I learned from Alice is that even you feel alone, you can enjoy life no matter what.

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)

Oh, Harry! The first time I read Harry Potter I was 15. I really fell in love with the story. I think the most important lesson I learned, with Harry’s story, is that we can all find happiness even if there’s dark around us. Life is not easy and sometimes is unfair. But we have to remember what J. K. Rowling says “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
"You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve."-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and the Half-Blood Prince



         Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton)

The first time I watched Jurassic Park, I was 10.  From that moment on I wanted to be like Dr. Grant. After watching the movie, I read Jurassic Park and The lost world. Both books are amazing. The second one has nothing to do with the movie. I think this book was very important for me because it made me read a lot about science. I went to college to become a paleontologist. After a year studying that career, I decided that I wanted to work with animals that were not extinct. This book inspired me to study the scientific explanation of life.

“Scientists are actually preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should do something.” ― Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park



       11/ 22/ 63 (Stephen King)

You should know I love Stephen King. I think Stephen is the best writer ever. It is difficult to pick just one book from him. This book, in particular, is not a horror story. I would say it is a love story. The story is about a time traveler trying to save JFK. Jake Epping has to go back to 1958 and try to save more than one life. The book is very different from other stories Stephen writes. I think that I love this book so much because it gives you an important message: "life can turn on a dime."

“A person who doesn't learn from the past is an idiot, in my estimation.”- Stephen King, 11/22/63


    Black Beauty   (Anna Sewell)

We are going to get emotional. I love this book so much. If you love animals, as much as I do, you have to read this book. Black beauty is the fictional autobiography of a talking horse.  I love this book because you can see how animal lovers take care of him. But it also shows how people mistreat animals. I don’t want to say much about the story, but this book will do for horses what “Hachi: A dog tale” does for dogs. I had my own Black beauty, named Alexis, and sadly at the beginning of this year, he passed away. Every time I remember this horse’s story, I remember my beautiful Lex. I always remember something black beauty’s mother says, “Do good and give your best effort always and everything will work out.”

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”-  Anna Sewell, Black Beauty



 Black Beauty made me investigate more about animals. Thanks to it, and a relative who has helped me, I discovered a great author: Vitus B. Dröscher. He was a zoologist and a psychologist. He made more than 51 expeditions and wrote a lot of funny stories about animals. Even if you know nothing about animals, his writings are very clear and funny. Vitus B. Dröscher has published 30 books. He sadly died in 2010. The first book I read from him was “Sobrevivir.” I love his writing style and his sense of humour. What’s more, I became obsessed with his work, and I wanted to have all his books, but sadly they are so difficult to find. I bought most of them in second-hand bookstores in Buenos Aires. They were not all in good shape, but I could read them anyway. 






Thanks to these books, I also fell in love with second-hand bookstores. Whenever I go downtown, I visit different second-hand bookstores.

Lucas Libreria Av. Corrientes 1247 (My favourite by far) 
Libreria Aquilea Av Corrientes 2008
Compro Libros Av Corrientes 1471 
L y L libros Mitre 3966 
Libreria Thesauros  Ayacucho 373

Book recommendations 

The list of books I can recommend you is quite long. There are books that we should all read like; Gulliver’s Travel, Don Quixote, 1984, Lord of the flies, Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Brave New World, Frankenstein, Robin Crusoe, Dracula, Animal Farm, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Les Miserables, The Three Musketeers, The Wizard of Oz, The Jungle Book, Oliver Twist, The Metamorphosis and To Kill a Mockingbird.
I think that what I love more about books is that there’s nothing like them. Books have stories that can make you change your mood and even your life. I strongly believe that we can all get lost in a book, and find ourselves in one of them at the same time.

“I know I should never feel lonely or powerless again. So because of books, I’m here today, happy, living again with a purpose and clarity, most of the time. So may books be always with you.”- Lisa Bu


viernes, 18 de agosto de 2017

아주 Nice!

안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo), friends! How are you? Are you ready to go back to the prof? Today’s post will be intercultural. I want to talk about learning another language. We know about this. I’m not going to tell you about the stages and all that. I want to talk about my personal experience so far. Two months ago I decided to learn Korean. You may ask, why Korean? I don’t know. I feel attracted to the language, the people and the culture. I really enjoy learning something new and challenging.


Am I too old to learn another language? Meh, I  think age is not a barrier to do something you like. I know I want to do a lot of things in my life no matter what. When I was I kid, I wanted to learn a lot about animals, science, and different cultures. Then I thought, “When I grow up, I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies. When I grow up, I wanna see the world. Drive nice cars. I wanna have groupies.” To quote the PussyCat Dolls. Actually, when I was a kid, I hated English. It was too complicated for me. Then, I’ve realized that all my favourite TV shows and songs were in English. So, I had a reason to learn it. I was very bad at learning languages at school. I had to learn English and French. In secondary school, I had a teacher that changed everything for me. He made me realized that learning English shouldn’t be a painful process. At the moment I started enjoying the lessons, I fell in love with the language. There are a lot of things that are important when learning a language, but motivation is the number one for me.



As I told you before, I am a person that needs to do something new because I get bored very easily. It’s not that I get bored learning English. In fact, English is helping me a lot with Korean. How would you ask? Well, learning the phonemes, places of articulation, and sounds in English, has helped me a lot. I feel so happy when I can use something from English with this new language.

The Korean Language

The first time you see the Korean alphabet (or Hangul) you want to quit. It looks really difficult. The first time I saw the alphabet, I found it challenging. In the first lesson, we studied the vowels.


It is important to say that the Romanization is not always exact. If you are studying from English to Korean, pay attention to the sounds. The same if you are doing with Spanish. For example, the consonant “” (b) could sound more like a “P” in English. In fact, certain names that start with “B” in Korean tend to sound like a “P” in English. For example, the last name Park should sound like Bark, but nobody would like to have that last name. What I do is to mix the languages up. Don’t tell my teacher. This is our trust circle. For example, the consonant “” sounds almost like the “dʒ” sound in English. In Spanish, we don’t have this sound, so I’m using everything I saw in Oral. In the consonant “” I can use the “tʃ” sound like the one in Nature. In the consonant “” I can use the “ch” like the one in Chancho. It is not cheating. 



What’s more, English has helped me to make my sounds more natural. For examples, the following consonants are all aspirated: (kh), (th) and (ph). Thanks to English I know how to make these sounds without much effort. There are other sounds that we don’t have in Spanish and in English.
But stop talking about the sounds and all that. Something that I love about studying this interesting language is the culture behind it. Do you know that are different levels of politeness when you speak in Korean? These levels show the formality or informality of the situation. In Korea, you have to be careful who are you are addressing to.

안녕하세요: anyonghaseyo: hello (formal)
안녕: annyong: Hello (informal)
Words also change according to the level of politeness.
아버지: abeoji: Father (formal)
아빠: appa: Dad (informal)
Some words change if you are a girl or a boy.
누나: Nuna: Older sister (if you are a boy)
: hyeong: Older brother (if you are a boy)
언니: eonni: Older sister (if you are a girl)
오빠: oppa: Older brother (if you are a girl)




Different from English, Korean makes no distinction for the choice of verb to be (am, are, is) between pronouns. You have only one form of the verb to be: 이다 . Again, this will change according to the level of formality. 

Speech Level
Plain Form
Formal Polite
Informal Polite
Formal Casual
Informal Casual
is, am, are
이다
입니다
이에요/예요
인다
이야/

Ok, now we need to talk about numbers. There are two numeral systems in Korean: the native system and the Sino- Korean system. The native numbers are used for numbers of items (1-99) and age, while the Sino-Korean system is based on Chinese numbers and are used for dates, money, addresses, phone numbers, and numbers above 100.



The first time I saw this table I was like...




You may think, I’m crazy, for learning this language. But let me tell you that it looks difficult, but once you've learned the alphabet, it is a piece of cake. Except the cake is on fire, and you're on fire and everything is on fire because you're in hell. Hahaha, I love it. I love learning something so unique. Whenever I do something right in Korean, it makes me happy. I also enjoy making mistakes because I’m learning. The first thing I learn in Korean was how to say: 배고파요 (be go pha io) (I’m hungry), which is a sentence we should all learn in every language. Just in case.




What’s more, I downloaded a Korean dictionary with pronunciation. It is really helpful. I’m reading children’s book in Korean to acquire more vocabulary. I’m watching TV shows in Korean, too. I used the language with my family a lot. They can’t speak Korean, but I should practice with someone. And they can’t understand me so is a win-win. As I told you in another post, I think that learning something new can help you to be happy and breaking the routine. In my case, it is working. I love it.




다음에 봐요: daume ddo bayo: see you again next time!




Links: http://www.sayjack.com/blog/2010/06/18/verb-to-be-in-korean/
https://zkorean.com/korean-alphabet-hangul
https://bijuarukei.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/korean-lesson-no-1-korean-alphabet/
https://hanguladay.com/korean-numbers/

Behold the King!

Hi there, mates! Today’s post is dedicated entirely to one of my favourite authors; Stephen King. Today is Stephen’s birthday. So, buckle y...