En este enlace podéis acceder a la presentación de la sesión:
También podéis escuchar el audio:
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced their decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family last week. As it happens, I am dealing with current affairs and the media in my C2 classes. And as of next week, we will be talking about diversity and inclusion, tackling some aspects of race relations. That is why I decided to use this news story as an excuse to design some activities to link both units.
2. Read the following opinion article on the treatment that the tabloids (and the media in general) have given to the couple, and especially, to Meghan Markle as mixed-race (source). Some sentences have been removed. Choose from sentences A-G the one which fits each gap (1-6) best. There is an extra sentence which you do not need to use.
The text includes a wide range of vocabulary, with some expressions which might actually be interesting to include in your wordstock; however, they may make it harder for you to understand the text. Should you have any trouble, you can click on this interactive version of the text on Thinglink:
3. Mediation in writing: You are a team of journalists working for El País in English. You have been asked to write a news story for their website on Harry and Meghan stepping down as senior royals.
El País is a serious newspaper. Therefore, they tend to use:
Read the following source https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10721340/queen-arrives-church-summit-meghan-harry/ and select the relevant information
Download the pdf version of the source article (text only)
4. Follow-up: Share your views on Twitter. Use the hashtag #Megxit to be part of the conversation. [I opened a shared Twitter account for my students so that they would not need to use a personal account. Using Twitter provides real online interaction, and it seems only natural to use social media when discussing ‘the media’ in 2020].
En este enlace podéis acceder a la presentación del taller “El Companion Volume y las tareas de mediación en secundaria”, celebrado el 8 de enero de 2020 en el CARLEE (Zaragoza):
En estos videos tenéis esa misma presentación junto con el audio de la sesión:
Estas son algunas tareas de mediación, que pueden servir como ejemplo (B1):
You may have heard of Januhairy, Veganuary, or Dry January. They are closely related to New Year’s resolutions, those challenges or pledges people tend to make at the beginning of every new year to better themselves. They are also labelled by some as ‘fads’ (intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived). Other such fads arise every year, however far-fetched some of those may be.
Listen to these clips from BBC Radio Jersey The two radio hosts discuss January fads related to New Year’s resolutions. Listen to the clips (1-7) and match each of the headings below to one of the clips. Then answer the questions on the google form below. Clip #0 is only intended as an introduction (there is no heading). There is one more heading than needed. You can listen to the clips twice:
You can finally listen again and read the transcripts:
Follow-up: You can also watch this clip from the Breakfast TV show Good Morning Britain, where two commentators discuss the convenience of this sort of fads and resolutions:
You can also try this listening comprehension exercise: Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions
The following tasks deal with the topic of charities, and they integrate mediation in speaking, spoken interaction and written production/interaction. They have been designed with groups of four students in mind, but can be carried out in pairs.
The context to the tasks is the following:
Your school is going to raise money for a charity by carrying out activities involving students and teaching staff. You have been appointed as class representatives, and have to decide which charity from the appeals your class group is going to support financially.
Each team member will listen to a radio appeal for a charity. They will have to take notes, and then, with these notes, be able to relay that information to the rest of team members.
This first task has been designed bearing in mind the following descriptors from the Companion Volume:
Using cooperative learning mats, students are assigned a number in their group. Then, all the number 1 students get together in the same group; all the number 2, and so on, to listen to the same clip, using their headphones and a headphone splitter:
These are the instructions:
Listen and take notes about your charity. You can listen to it twice. You will then have to report back to your team. Take notes on:
• objectives/goals of the charity
• sample problem mentioned
• what the charity has done for the individual mentioned
• how the situation has improved after the charity’s action
• what the speaker is asking of the listener
• key words related to money and charities
INPUT- AUDIO CLIPS- Taken from BBC Radio 4 charity appeals
These appeals tend to be around 3’50”-4 minutes long, and they always have the same structure, which is ideal for students to listen to different appeals over the same amount of time, and be able to report back to their groups.
Mediation strategies to be used:
2. Spoken interaction:
Once all the members of the team have enough information about all four charities, everyone has to argue in favour of their charity. They will have to reach an agreement at the end of their discussion.
They can prepare for 2 minutes individually, and they will discuss their views for 7 minutes.
They can use talking sticks/talking chips, to help students share the same amount of talking time.
3. Follow-up- written production: Write a leaflet for the charity of your choice, to convince the rest of students to donate money. You can use Canva or Piktochart to create it. Please remember to use persuasive language:
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:
The strategies I imagined students should be using are:
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.
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.
If you need to carry out a mediation task, either in speech or in writing, these formulaic chunks of language may help you relay your ideas and mediate your text more effectively:
More on mediation: