sábado, 31 de julho de 2010

Prime 6 - Self help -- The Secret

In one of my classes, we are talking about "self-help" books, workshops, etc.  The whole industry of "Gurus" trying to sell the steps to success, the rules for being happy, the all-curing diet... You get the idea.  The underlying question is, with this type of self-help material:  Does it work; is it real?

The book "The Secret" is one of these types of best sellers.  It was a movie first, and then the book was released.  Here are three links:

(1) To some wikipedia information on the book:

(2) To the movie trailer:

(3) To a CBS debate between two experts with opposite views of "The Secret:"

quinta-feira, 29 de julho de 2010

3B - Stomach bug -- norovirus -- on cruise ship

Here is the link to a TV news video on the norovirus on a cruise ship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNw2oIH_fU   Can you try to understand the story?  If you read about the topic first, it will be easier to follow the video. Here is an article about the norovirus in the UK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7169347.stm

Youth Ambassadors Program

Ok, Folks.  This is the link to the American Embassy's Youth Ambassadors Program:  http://www.embaixadaamericana.org.br/ya-index.php?action=materia&id=9215&submenu=ya-materia.php&itemmenu=10

This is a program that takes a few Brazilian students to the USA every year, and this year they are bringing American students here to Brazil.  Brasilia is one of the cities they will be visiting.  Check it out!

4A - World Pass / So... What's the story with learning English?

In one of my classes this week we talked about the different meanings of the word "STORY" in different contexts.  In the following sentences, for example, "STORY" means different things:
  • I don't believe her.  She is always making up stories. (lies)
  • So what's the story with the car.  Are you going to buy it or not? (the deal/the decision)
  • According to the suspect's story, he was not at the crime scene at the time of the crime. (version of events/testimony)
As you can see, context plays a big role is determining the meaning of a word.  In  the same class, we also talked about how important it is to find ways to use your English beyond the classroom to speed up your learning  and to make it more interesting, more real.  Trying to understand song lyrics is an excellent way to do that.  Song lyrics are fun, and trying to understand them is an excellent way to improve your listening comprehension,  your vocabulary, and your pronunciation.

There is a song I like by Maroon 5 called "Nothing Lasts Forever."   In this song, the guy is talking to his girlfriend, and it is all about their relationship.  Can you listen to the song a few times and try to figure out what the story is with their relationship?

Here is a link to a Youtube video of the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKLchJPx70g
My suggestion is that you NOT READ the lyrics right away.  Listen to the song a few times first and try to understand it without reading.  Once you have done that,  then, read the lyrics.  Here is a link to the song lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/nothing-lasts-forever-lyrics-maroon-5.html

So,  what's the story with their relationship?  It seem to me that the feeling here is that the guy is actually asking the girl,  "So what's the story with our relationship?"  Do you agree?  Why or why not?