After failing to attend the first two English classes in April, I’ve gone today to my Intermediate 2 English class in Escuela Oficial de Idiomas of Santander. The class had already strarted the Unit 7, Education last week. This unit has three lessons with the following grammar, vocabulary and “can do” objectives:
Lesson 7.1 Learning from experience
Grammar: subject and object questions
Can do: describe a learning experience
Lesson 7.2 Great Teachers
Grammar: used to/would
Can do: describe a teacher from your past
Lesson 7.3 It’s never too late
Grammar: modals of ability, past and present
Vocabulary: old age
Can do: talk about abilities in the past and present
I guess they did the first three exercises of the Lead-in section last week (more on that later) Today we started with the Vocabulary exercise of Lesson 7.1:
3 Complete the phrases and expressions with the words and phrases from the box.
(here is a box :))
steep – by doing – heart – fast – perfect – strict – deep – up – bring
(end of the box)
1) a ___fast___ learner.
2) a ___strict__ teacher.
3) Practice makes ___perfect___.
4) It’s a ___steep___ learning curve.
Ways of learning
5) learning by ___heart___. (to memorize)
6) learn ___be doing___. (to learn from experience, as apprentice for example)
7) pick (something) ___up___. (to learn without effort)
Ways of teaching
8) throw someone in at the ___deep___ end. (to teach by brute force)
9) ___bring___ someone up to (do something) (to teach by explanation)
NOTE: Exercises 1 and 2 of the Listening section have been done last week.
Then we practice in pairs question/response, the “Can do” and “Grammar” of lesson 7.1, by doing the following exercise:
5 Think about a good (or bad) learning experience you have had.
(NOTE: The teacher asked us to think of a bad/good learning experience and then put questions bellow to our in-front-of-us partner; I thought of my peculiar English learning experience by hearing short wave radio stations with my old vintage and almost forgotten radio)
a Make questions from the prompts below.
1 What/learning? Why?
– What were you learning? Why?
– Why was the experience good/bad?
– How did you learn it?
4 Learn/in a group/on your own?
– Did you learn in a group or on your own?
5 Easy/difficult to learn?
– Was it (then) easy or difficult to learn?
6 How/you/make progress?
– How did you make progress?
7 You/learn/useful techniques?
– Did you learn useful techniques at the end?
bAnswer the questions. Take notes.
1 I decided to learn English on my own, because I had an old vintage radio in which I heard short wave radio stations from many countries and they spoke in a foreign language that I knew it was English most of the time and I didn’t understand a word! It became a good experience.
2 Because I managed to learn English almost on my own and felt the pleasure of learning something step by step by myself and most of all being able to understand what other people in other countries thought and talked about!
3 I started to hear short wave radio stations that I found almost by chance moving carefully the dial. At first most of the radio stations had a very noisy reception which made even more difficult to understand a word. But soon I learnt that at night the reception were better and I fixed some very interesting radio stations like Voice of America or BBC World which had special programs to learn English!
4 I learned on my own.
5 At first it was very difficult to learn anything because of the poor reception of the transmissions and my scarce knowledge of English.
6 I was able to record some of the radio programs y replay them many times until I understood more or less the meaning of the sentences of words the speaker said. Then a friend of my mother was an English teacher and some weekends I went to hers with my recordings and she help me to understand the most difficult sentences and words. But that resource was the last chance to understand the recordings. Most of the time I managed to decode all the messages in real time!
7 Of course! Once I found out that there were a language to represent phonetically the English words. And in English dictionaries, the words were written also in that language. So I learned to transcribe the words I heard in the radio to those letters and then I tried to find out a similar word in the dictionary. I learned a lot of useful word with that technique!