Coronavirus in the news

Sadly, we are surrounded by news related to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having an effect on people’s health, obviously, but also on the economy, on jobs, even on the environment. Instead of writing a blog post every time I find something which might be relevant for students in terms of vocabulary, I thought I had better start a Google site. In it you can find extracts from radio shows with their transcripts as well as annotated articles. I will be updating it as the days (and the lockdown) go on.

[I originally started a Padlet, but in the end, for different reasons, I decided to swap to a Google site]

Click on the picture to visit the site

ICT tools and apps to record/promote spoken production and co-production/interaction

(Updated 13.4.20)

English idioms which might be offensive to vegans: same language mediation in speech

There was a news item in the UK recently on the fact that vegans are complaining that they find some English idioms offensive, and are suggesting alternative idioms. Can you see their point? How do you feel about their proposals?

  1. Listen to this clip dealing with why vegans object to some idioms and suggest alternative idioms instead:
Source

You can also read this article about the same story.

2. Look up the idiom(s) you have been assigned. Then, a) find a picture which describes it visually; b) record a short explanation of what the original idiom means. You can use Talk and Comment, or any voice recording app.

  • Let the cat out of the bag
  • Take the bull by the horns
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat
  • Flog a dead horse
  • Bring home the bacon
  • Put all your eggs in one basket
  • Be a guinea pig
  • Has the cat got your tongue?

Upload both the picture and your explanation to this padlet:

Made with Padlet

Once the padlet is complete, listen to your classmates’ explanations and pictures. How effective was their mediation? Is the meaning clear for you now? You can rate their contributions on the padlet. You can also add further comments (text or audio comments).

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!

New Year’s resolutions (year 1)

These are your New Year’s resolutions. I hope you can stick to them until the end of the year!

Made with Padlet

 

Made with Padlet