Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Welcome to day two

Yesterday we made a start. I hope most things went smoothly for you all. If not, then try to relax and gradually find solutions to any problems you have. Let me know if there is anything that I can help you with. I see that you are all supportive of each other, and that is great!

I wrote yesterday that we would be having 4 computers - well, there are only three so far, but I'll work on that. However, we only have four connection points, so that may be our limit.

You did some writing for me on Monday. As I said, I shall ask you for that every day if I remember. I looked at your work and gave you a 6, 7, 8 or 9 out of 10.

I was looking at what I termed 'fluency' but what I should have termed 'preparedness to write'. I wanted to see how easy it is (or isn't) for you to put words on paper. If you got a 6 (or if you were too shy to hand anything in) then that shows that you need to loosen up. You are too self-conscious, perhaps, or maybe you worry too much, or maybe you can't think of anything to say (at least in English). If I gave you a 7 then that is okay, but you can certainly improve.

We can all improve, even the people I gave 8's and 9's. But for them, they don't have as great a writer's block as others. Other aspects of their English will be more important for them to improve.

Let's start today with some more dictation. I'll play some more of the tape I used, but you'll hear another speaker. This will lead into today's topic: Danger!

You looked for some topics in the Computer Suite yesterday, and I jotted down some of your addresses. Today I will get you to choose which topics you would like to work on in the next couple of weeks.

We have to be quick to complete our dictation, listening, speaking, reading and writing before conversation hour from 11 until 12. The writing I would like you to do is to do a second draft of Monday's writing. Write it all out again, but this time correct any grammar errors.

Finally, I will remind you (and myself) about the compulsory aspects of our class. I shall add to these as I assign you various activities. At the moment, please remember to:

  1. Read my class blog daily
  2. Hand in one piece of writing every day (keep it together in one place)
  3. Keep a separate notebook for new vocabulary, pronunciation problems, grammatical errors you make, and so on.
  4. Individual work (I will advise you about this later)
  5. Keep a reading log of everything you read outside of class
Are you still relaxed? I hope so! Don't do anything too dangerous!

If you do have a zest for danger, then you could take a look at this on-line ESOL activity:
Sharp objects allowed back on US planes

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