It might be something everyone can relate to these days…
Subtitled video here.
Original poster from Barter Books
The Apostrophe Protection Society (APS) has been forced to shut down, due to an alleged lack of interest in the subject. Listen to the news report below to find out more:
You can also read this article, or have a look at some ‘apostrophe catastrophes’.
This is no trifling matter. For example, should it be King’s Cross or Kings Cross? On the tube map, it says ‘King’s Cross’, but on the National Rail website, it does refer to the station as ‘Kings Cross’, which illustrates the insecurities in the use of the apostrophe over the centuries.
Some time ago, a grammar vigilante was claimed to roam the streets of Bristol late at night correcting bad punctuation on Bristol shop fronts.
With all this in mind, you could think of possible speaking points:
Follow-up to the story (Dec 9th 2019): Renewed interest in apostrophes after society closed down
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.
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:
Ideas from the Comic Relief website:
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.
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)
There’s something about messages in English on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, tote bags…that fascinates me. And I really believe you can use them in the English classroom. I love, for instance, puns and plays on words on T-shirts, like the ones I used for my #CLILphonetics courses some months ago (see below). The first examples are puns based on sounds and pronunciation; the last ones are related to semantics and double meanings.
Some months ago, I also found my friend Iván L.V. wearing this smashing sweatshirt:
On the other hand, you may also use T-shirts to help students spot mistakes. While browsing around in Zaragoza some weeks ago, I came across these T-shirts:
You will be able to spot the mistakes very easily. In the first case, there’s a pronunciation issue: you shouldn’t say “*an unicorn”, because you only use “an” before a vowel sound, and /ˈjuː.nɪ.kɔːn/ does not begin with a vowel sound, but with a semi-vowel. In the second case, the agreement between the plural subject (things) and the 3rd person singular verb (*happens) is not right (it should be “strange things happen”).
We might encourage our students to try and spot mistakes they might see in clothes, stickers, ads…Or maybe just find something that strikes them, to increase their awareness of English as a language that surrounds them!
Para comenzar este nuevo curso, comparto con vosotros este video de Kid President, una charla que pretende motivarnos a los profesores para empezar el curso con energías (en inglés, se pueden activar subtítulos en inglés):
[H/T to R.S]
Aunque habrá quien lo tome más bien así:
Me copio descaradamente de la entrada de mi compañera Silvia Hernández en su blog https://convivencia.wordpress.com, y comparto algunas fotos que hice estas vacaciones en la pequeña localidad medieval de Rye (Reino Unido), que parecen compartir ese espíritu de psicología positiva, o al menos, de pequeños detalles bonitos (click en las fotos para ampliar):