C2 mediation in speech- Christmas in Spain

The mediation-in-speech paper in the EE.OO.II. in Aragón includes a cross-linguistic mediation task: students receive a text, infographic, chart…in Spanish, and they have to mediate it into the target language, in our case, English.

As we are dealing with Christmas-related topics these days in class, I thought of using two articles in Spanish around two controversial matters that have hit the headlines recently: the Nativity scene in Barcelona and the Christmas display in Vigo.

The context I provided students with is the following: These days you are hosting an Erasmus visit in your school. There are Greek, French and Turkish teachers in the group. The common language you are using is English. They have heard something about the news, but don’t really know what all the fuss is about, so they would like to know more about the subject. Help them understand what is happening, and what the controversy is all about. 

These are the CV descriptors I wanted to work on:

  • Relaying specific information in speech: Can explain (in Language B) the relevance of specific information found in a particular section of a long, complex text (written in Language A) (p.107).
  • Facilitating pluricultural space: Can mediate effectively and naturally between members of his/her own and other communities, taking account of socio-cultural and sociolinguistic differences (p. 123).

The strategies I imagined students should be using are:

  • streamlining a text
  • adapting language
  • linking to previous knowledge

Some possible language they can use can be found here.

After carrying out the tasks in class, I realised I could provide them with a WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like), a sample task which could work as a model for them to see what aspects they should have been concentrating on, and a possible mediation sample. That is why I came up with a Thinglink poster for the article on the nativity scene: First, I highlighted content and key words that I felt were relevant. Then, I took a screenshot of the text, which I uploaded to Thinglink. Then I added links with text comments, stressing what points were essential, and therefore should be mentioned, as well as some cultural points that may need explaining for the hearer to be able to get the full picture. Finally, on the microphone icon, I added a link to a recording of myself mediating the text.

 

Click on the image to open Thinglink (opens in a new tab)

Transcript of the recording here

To be honest, I am not sure this can be regarded as a ‘good’ mediation task. But hopefully, it will help students come to terms with the kind of strategies they should be using, and perhaps give them some idea of expressions they can use when faced with these tasks.

 

Christmas ads 2019

Christmas is around the corner. In the run-up to Christmas, businesses and brands release their very best ads, typically tearjerkers, to catch consumers off-guard and lure them to shop till they drop. I’m well aware of their persuasion strategies, of course. And yet, every year I find myself having a look at British Christmas ads, as they tend to be longer, and usually tell a story, which will allow me to exploit them in the classroom even further than ordinary ads. This is a selection of the ones I liked the most this year:

VISA

a rendition of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ by real shopkeepers struggling to survive in the high street.

Extended version

Alternative version- shopkeepers singing All I Want for Xmas is you

Sainsbury’s– Nicholas the Sweep

Set in Dickensian London, it showcases the story of a waif-an orphan child and chimney sweep, unfairly accused of stealing.

Resources: the ad is set in Victorian England/Dickensian London. Some related vocabulary may be useful to start with:

Click on the image to open the word cloud. Links to definitions can be found by clicking on each word.

  • What do you mean when you say that somebody is ‘rotten to the core’?
  • The story is told by a 3rd-person narrator. How would you narrate the story using 1st-person narrative…
          • a. from Mrs Sainsbury’s point of view? 
          • b. from Nicholas the sweep’s point of view?
  • Imagine the story were to be published as a book. How would you retell it?

John Lewis & Waitrose– Excitable Edgar

Resources to use the ad in the classroom:

Fortnum and Mason– What’s in a Fortnum and Mason hamper? (list of traditional Christmas foods and elements in Britain)

Watch the ad and write down as many foods, gifts and Christmas traditions as you can.

Aldi-Kevin the Carrot #4 (Let Me Entertain You):

Resources to use the ad in the classroom: The Literacy Shed

Sky– ET came home for Christmas

Joules– Wallace and Gromit

Iceland supermarkets– Frozen II

Lidl

M&S Christmas Food (Christmas market)

Smyths toys– If I Were a Toy

Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day– You may want to take part in this…

Further resources:

Black Friday and consumerism- resources

You can find below a collection of resources which can be used when dealing with Black Friday and consumerism:

  • Black Friday-US commercial:

  • Black Friday (BBC news):

Binge shopping:

How to differentiate deals from duds on Black Friday (B2):

Black Friday- consumer expert:

Black Friday online shopping and fraud: https://natalialzam.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/black-friday-online-shopping-and-fraud/

Cross-linguistic mediation: Easter-related idioms in Spanish explained in English

During the Easter break, I came across this post on Twitter:

Click on the picture to visit the authors’ blog.

So I thought that could be used as the input for a cross-linguistic mediation activity, to mediate communication, as well as the cultural and historical background involved in those Spanish idioms.

I started this padlet with those ten Spanish idioms. Then, I asked my students to give a short explanation of what they mean, intended for foreign students of Spanish. I asked them to record themselves using the Chrome extension/Android app Talk and Comment, which allows you to record short audio comments, and immediately creates a link. That way, their audio recording could be pasted as a link straight to the padlet, without having to upload their recording anywhere else and then create a link. They could also record it using any recording app, and then upload it to padlet.

Alternatively, students were also allowed to simply type a comment with their explanation.

(Open the padlet in a new window to see all the idioms)

Made with Padlet

Since the main reasons to mediate are to help the other speaker understand, to be helpful to them, and to be mindful of their needs (not those of the mediator), what I am asking from you now is: once my students have explained these idioms, can you give them feedback on how useful their mediation was? Was their explanation clear enough? Relevant enough? Please rate their mediation skills by giving them 1-5 stars. You can also type a comment providing constructive feedback under each explanation. Ideally, they should be rated by ELE students (Spanish as a Foreign Language) or non-native speakers of Spanish, but all contributions are welcome.

As you can imagine, there is no need for you to listen to every single comment on every idiom: just listen to the ones that catch your eye, or any you might see which has not received much feedback yet.

Thank you!

Red Nose Day 2019- its ups and downs

Last Friday 15th March it was Red Nose Day (RND) in the UK, this massive BBC telethon aimed at raising funds for the charity Comic Relief. (More about it here).

In the run-up to RND sponsors and partners filled supermarkets and British high streets with merchandise…

…and I was only too happy to oblige, by acquiring yet another red nose, and a ceramic travel mug.

So I felt terribly guilty when, first thing in the morning on RND, I woke up to this news:

There were also reactions on Twitter about the issue:


To make matters worse, RND fell on a Friday, coinciding with a Fridays for Future strike.

Anyway, I still sat down in the evening to watch the telethon live online. Needless to say, the spotlight of the evening was the sequel to Four Weddings and a Funeral, 25 years after its release. The cast includes most of the original actors and actresses, as well as Lily James and Alicia Vikander.

‘One Red Nose and a Wedding’:

Other sketches of the evening included a spoof of Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again, featuring Jennifer Saunders, Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) and comedian Miranda Hart.

 

Red Nose Day in the classroom

Comic relief is a British charity created in 1985 by British comedians. Their aim is to raise money for people in need, both in the UK and abroad, through entertainment and comedy.

Every two years, they hold a big event which takes place nationwide: Red Nose Day (RND). Apart from a big telethon on BBC, and a series of shows, the whole country is invited to take part, by doing something funny for money, either at home, school, or at work. These may include wearing a red nose (hence the name), or simply coming up with something silly / funny that you wouldn’t normally do, and then get sponsored for doing so.

bean

Click on the image to watch Mr. Bean’s Red Nose Day. It’s one of the earliest sketches to have been written for the event. It gives you an idea of what RND is all about.

Over the years, such comedians as Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), or Ricky Gervais (The Office), among many others, have contributed to the shows. In 2019 Red Nose Day will be on Friday, March 15th.

A very special feature has been prepared for RND 2019: to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the cast have reunited to show what the characters’ lives are like 25 years later.

Would you like some ideas to celebrate Red Nose Day in your school? Here are some fundraising (fun) ideas:

Wear something:

  1. Get sponsored to wear a fancy dress for 24 hours.
  2. Get sponsored to wear your PJs (pyjamas) all day at work or in school.
  3. Hold a fashion show and sell tickets for the big event.

Eat something:

  1. Get sponsored to eat nothing but red food for a whole 24 hours.
  2. Get sponsored to give up chocolate, biscuits or crisps.
  3. Hold a bake-off and ask for donations to taste your cakes or biscuits.

Stage something:

  1. Get all your friends together for a quiz night where everyone pays to play.
  2. Hold a talent show and sell tickets to watch all the acts.
  3. Have a karaoke night and get friends to chip in a donation to be allowed to sing.

Hair-do something:

  1. Get colleagues or classmates to sponsor you to wear a red wig for 24 hours.
  2. Give your friends a hairstyle makeover and charge a donation for your stylistic services.
  3. Get sponsored to have a hairstyle like Marge Simpson’s.

Dare something

  1. Get sponsored to be handcuffed to a friend or work colleague for 24 hours.
  2. Do a sponsored silence – a quiet classic.
  3. Can’t live without your laptop or smartphone? Get sponsored to ditch little luxuries for a week.
  4. Get active – get sponsored to walk to work for a week or give the lift the heave-ho and take the stairs.

Ideas from the Comic Relief website:

Pinterest board with ideas

Many of the materials (packs) they produce can be used in the classroom, either in isolation, as a part of a unit about RND, or to raise awareness about social issues and poverty…

If you’d like to see how it works:

(to download the video and English subtitles, you may use http://keepvid.com/, for example. Copy the youtube link, and then download both the video file and the .srt file. Then, if you give the same name to both the video and the subtitle file, and you play the video with VLC player, the subtitles will play automatically, and you won’t depend on -sometimes unreliable-internet connections).

Sometimes, artists record covers of oldies especially for the occasion, as One Direction did some years ago:

One Direction: One Way or Another (Comic Relief 2013)

(if you use Musixmatch you will get the subtitles for the song)

If you’d like to see how some schools in the UK have participated, you may have a look at, for example, Buxton School in Leytonstone, London.

Pupils of Buxton School in Leytonstone dress in red for Red Nose Day

Buxton

More examples of RND in schools across the UK:

Alternatively, you may also have a look at the official RND / Comic Relief twitter accounts

More on RND- possible reading comprehension exercises:

How could you use Red Nose Day in your classroom / in your school? Would you wear your red nose for school? 

(Updated 8th March 2019)

Calendario de celebraciones y días especiales

Hace tiempo recopilé en un calendario de Google distintas fechas de celebraciones de países de habla inglesa y francesa, así como de días internacionales sobre distintos temas. El objetivo era poder mostrar de una manera visual estos eventos que pueden ser una excusa para trabajar aspectos culturales y de valores en el aula. De este modo, se pueden planificar proyectos y actividades con cierta antelación.

He actualizado las fechas para el año 2019 de este calendario. Además de en esta entrada, podéis acceder al calendario en el menú superior del blog (cultura y lenguas extranjeras>calendario celebraciones).