Oct 26, 2013

Morning Glory: Expressing Opinions, Functional Language

This is a wonderful segment with multiple possibilities, especially if you want to talk about TV shows. Because TV is a controversial topic, I used it to make students practice expressing opinions in a genuine manner, not using the expression "I think...". I. Watch the movie segment and discuss these questions in small groups.
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RATINGS: a list of television and radio programmes showing how popular they are

 1. What were the changes she decided to implement in order to raise the TV shows ratings?

 2. Why did the ratings go up?

 3. Are there TV shows like the one in the segment in your city? What are they? Do you watch them? Why (not)?


 II. Let's practice expressing opinions without saying the expression "I think...". Of course that saying it to express an opinion is fine, but you can enrich your language if you use certain ways to vary your language production. This is called functional language. What can you say instead of "I think" ? I would say


In my opinion
To my mind
I am of the opinion that
I hold the opinion that
As far as I'm concerned,
I understand that
From my point of view, 
I'm not sure, but I suppose
That's an interesting question, 
I believe that


Now work in small groups and express your opinions about the questions below. YOU MUST NOT USE the expression "I think". You must also use all of the expressions above to answer the questions.


 1. Do you think TV ratings help improve TV programs or does it have the opposite effect, lowering the quality of TV shows?

 2. What do you think about her strategies to raise the ratings?

 3. Do you think that the higher the TV show's ratings are the better the show is?

 4. What were the best and worst changes she made in the TV show? Explain it.

 5. What's your opinion about this kind of TV show?

 6. Give examples of TV shows with very high TV ratings, but that you consider stupid.

 7. Give examples of TV shows with very high TV ratings, and that you consider extremely clever.

 8. What's your opinion about Brazilian (your country) TV?

WORKSHEET

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - MORNING GLORY

Oct 19, 2013

This Must Be the Place: Apologizing - Functional Language

Apologizing in English is functional language that makes a difference when dealing with native speakers of the language. I used this scene to lead in the topic. This activity can be used with any level. In the end of the instructions, there are apologizing functions, according  to the students' level of proficiency.



I. Discuss these questions with a partner:


1. Why is it important to apologize?

2. Does it matter the way you apologize? How so?

3. Is it hard for you to apologize? Or does it depend to whom you are talking?

4. How do you feel when someone does not apologize for something wrong they have done?

 5. Look at some reasons why you should apologize. http://stress.about.com/od/relationshipskills/a/The-Importance-Of-Apologizing.htm Don't forget to visit it. It is worth doing it. Decide if you agree with them and why.

Apologizing when you've broken a rule of social conduct -- from cutting in line to breaking the law -- re-establishes that you know what the "rules" are, and you agree that they should be upheld. This allows others to feel safe knowing you agree that hurtful behavior isn't OK. 

Apologies re-establish dignity for those you hurt. Letting the injured party know that you know it was your fault, not theirs, helps them feel better, and it helps them save face.

Apologizing helps repair relationships by getting people talking again, and makes them feel comfortable with each other again.

A sincere apology allows you to let people know you're not proud of what you did, and won't be repeating the behavior. That lets people know you're the kind of person who is generally careful not to hurt others, and puts the focus on your better virtues, rather than on your worst mistakes. 

  6. Look at some ways and reasons for apologizing:


 Expressing Regret – Saying, “I am sorry.”

Accepting Responsibility – Admitting, “I was wrong.”

Making Restitution – Committing, “I will make it right.”

Genuinely Repenting – Promising, “I will not do that again.”

Requesting Forgiveness – Asking, “Will you forgive me?”


II. Here are some ways of apologizing, according to the student's proficiency level:


Elementary

I apologize

I'm really sorry

I'm so sorry

I'm sorry

I'm sorry but...

Sorry


Pre-Intermediate


...is/was my fault

(I'm) sorry if...

I (really) must apologize

I hope you can forgive me (one day)

I really am so sorry

I wasn't doing my job

I'd like to apologize

Please forgive me


Intermediate

...was very...of me

(I know) my actions...

(Looking back), I (now) realise that...

(Please) don't be angry

I accept (full) responsibility

I am/feel (so) ashamed

I can understand how you feel (about...)

I do apologize

I don't know what to say

I really am most terribly sorry

I regret...

I take (all) the blame

Pardon me!

Please accept my/our apologies

Please excuse my behaviour/thoughtlessness/...


Upper-Intermediate


(I now realise that/I know) I shouldn't have done that

(I'm sure) you must be (very) disappointed in me

(Please) don't be mad (at me)/don't kill me

I accept that I am to blame/that it's my fault

I am (such) an idiot

I am sorry to have disappointed you

I apologize wholeheartedly/unreservedly

I cannot say/express how sorry I am

I have reflected on my actions and...

I know it was wrong (of me) (to...)

If I could turn back the clock,...

It was (a bit) insensitive of me (to...)

Please accept my sincere/sincerest apologies

There is (really/absolutely) no excuse for my actions/behaviour/inaction/laziness

You are right to blame me

You must forgive me



Advanced


(I know) I have let myself/you (all) down (by...)

(I know) it was thoughtless (of me)

I can see how you might be annoyed (by...)

I can't believe I...

I don't know what came over me

I don't know what got into me

I just want the ground to swallow me up

I take (full) responsibility

I think I went a bit too far

I am/was in the wrong

I messed up

I would like to express my regret

I'm happy to take (my share of) the blame

If I could take it all back, I would

It was inexcusable


It's unforgivable, I know

Please don't hold a grudge/don't hold this against me

Silly me!

video





1. Describe the scene.

2. Why do you think the driver decided to do that.

3. Role Play the situations below:


Student A: You are the driver. Apologize for what you have just done. You are truly sorry for what happened.

Student B: You are one the people running on the road. Accept the apologies politely.


Student A: You are the driver. Apologize for what you have done, but you think they should not be running where they were.

Student B: You are one of the people running on the road. Do not accept the apologies. You think the driver was very rude.


Student A: You are the driver. Apologize, but do not be sincere. You don't really think it was your fault.

Student B; You are one of the people running on the road. Accept the apologies, but give him advice for safer driving procedures.


IV. Read the situations below and role play the situation with a partner. Apologize for what happened.

1. Your friend traveled and asked you to water his/her plants. You forgot to do it and all his/her plants died while he/she was away.

2. Your friend asked you to take care of the dogs, but you can't do it because you are allergic to pets' fur.

3. Your friend asked you to take their of the children during the afternoon, but you forgot to feed the baby.

4. You asked for your friend's car while yours was at the mechanic. You crashed the car while parking it.

5. You borrowed some money from your friend. Now you don't have money to pay back.

6. You parked your car in the handicapped space without realizing it. When you finally picked up your car, someone on a wheelchair had been waiting for you to leave the parking space for one hour.

Oct 12, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful & Monster House: Personification - Figures of Speech


I love both movies. Monster House is an underrated animated movie, and Oz is the new version of the classic, Wizard of Oz. It is always recommendable watching classics.




Oz The Great and Powerful:


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Personification is the giving of human attributes or a personality to inanimate objects. Personification works well in children's stories such as these, as it gives a story a fun, fantastical element. It allows children to use their imaginations and expand their creativity. It is a figure of speech.

Personification can be simply an instance of human characteristic in an object. For example, a phrase such as, “The house frowned upon him” creates the idea of a house having a personality, without it being an actual character in the story. This sentence helps describe the scene and paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind. It is also indicative of the mood of the character “him.”

A sentence such as, “The sun dimmed disapprovingly” gives a characteristic to the sun that it does not normally have. It could be describing a lone character's interaction with his surroundings in a creative way.

Personification is a great fiction writing technique when it comes to characterization, describing scenes and creating story tone, and it can be used in both children's stories and adult fiction. Try personification in writing and develop your creativity.

Edited from: http://suite101.com/article/create-a-character-how-to-use-personification-in-fiction-writing-a336017



Watch the segment from the movie Oz The Great and Powerful and write three sentences describing  the human characteristics that you could notice in China Girl. Do the same with the monkey, Finley. Make sure you follow the example:

“The house frowned upon him” 
"The doll cried in pain"


CHINA GIRL:

______________________________________________________________ 
______________________________________________________________ 
______________________________________________________________

FINLEY:

______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________

Now watch the segment from the movie Monster House and repeat the process in the previous exercise.


Monster House:


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HOUSE:

________________________________________________________________ 
________________________________________________________________ 
________________________________________________________________


WORKSHEET 

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - MONSTER HOUSE


Oct 5, 2013

Anna Karenina: Other (s), The other (s), Another


When I started watching this film, I thought I would not like it. However, it ended up being an awesome surprise.



The mazur and mazurek (i.e. small mazur), or in English mazurka, are general terms for a series of Polish folk dances in triple meter, which originated in the plains of Mazovia around Warsaw.

I. Watch the movie segment and fill in the gaps with others, otherthe others, or another.

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1. Princess Kitty  and her fiance were wearing fancy white outfits. However, the ________________  couples were in different colors, such as blue, black and yellow.

2. Most of the gentlemen  were dancing the mazurka  with the ladies. _____________ were standing on the balcony, watching ______________ couples dancing.
3. During the operetta, Anna Karenina was asked to dance by Princess Kitty’s fiance, since the princess was dancing with ________________ man.

4. Anna Karenina was so  involved during the dance that she didn’t notice the ___________ dancers around them.

5. Princess Kitty was so jealous that she could not stop staring at her fiance dancing with Anna Karenina. ___________ couples also noticed her jealousy. ____________  did  not.

6. One lady looked at them with disapproval. _____________ one did not like Anna Karenina’s behavior. 
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MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - ANNA KARENINA


Answer Key:

Princess Kitty  and her fiance were wearing fancy white outfits. However, the other couples were in different colors, such as blue, black and yellow.

Most of the gentlemen  were dancing the mazurka  with the ladies. Others were standing on the balcony, watching other couples dancing.

During the operetta, Anna Karenina was asked to dance by Princess Kitty’s fiance, since the princess was dancing with another man.

Anna Karenina was so  involved during the dance that she didn’t notice the other dancers around them.

Princess Kitty was so jealous that she could not stop staring at her fiance dancing with Anna Karenina. Other couples also noticed her jealousy.  Others did  not.

One lady looked at them with disapproval. Another one did not like Anna Karenina’s behavior.