Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An interesting article about Khmer superstitions over in Khmer440.  Much of this stuff is old news to me, but some of it is new. 
As the writer notes in his opening, every country has these superstitions, but what is interesting about Cambodia (from a Western perspective) is how strongly these superstitions are believed in, and how adamantly defended they are.  This is partly because the line sometimes gets blurred between what we Westerners would pejoratively call superstitions, and what perhaps should more accurately be called an animist view of religion.
The article is also, as the writer notes, only scratching the surface of the many strongly held beliefs in the supernatural in Cambodia.  (See also here, here, here , here, and here).

My initial reactions to these various Cambodian superstitions was to see this as some evidence against belief in the supernatural.  Or at least evidence that the human mind was perfectly capable of erroneously perceiving the supernatural when it was not there.

This is because of my Western Christian background, where the debate between spiritualism and materialism is largely dominated by the Christian / atheist divide.  Some people in the West strongly feel the presence of God in their lives, other people strongly deny this presence--and left purely to this dualism, it is difficult to arbitrate which worldview is correct.  If someone claims to have witnessed miracles, or had a spiritual experience, or otherwise felt God in their hearts, then how can you or I say what they felt or didn't feel?

However because the Christian worldview claims exclusivity, it is incompatible with the religions in Southeast Asia.  If monotheism is correct, then animism must be wrong.  And if animism is correct, than monotheism must be wrong.  And if monotheists and animists both claim to be having experiences (or visions, or feelings) which validate their worldview, then this to me indicates the faultiness of using subjective human experiences as a way to prove a religious worldview, and has caused me to think such experiences are more indicative of the frailty of the human mind than they are indicative of any real supernatural  presence.

An interesting counterview, however, is held over at Whisky Prajer [HERE and HERE], who is taking the wide varieties of human experience with the supernatural as indication that there might really be something out there that doesn't fit into a purely materialistic or monotheistic view of the world.  I'm not sure I'm entirely ready to make that leap, but it is food for thought.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Que Sera Sera by Doris Day--Will for Future Predictions


(TESOL Worksheets)
Google Docs Version Here
[This song is meant to practice using will for future predictions.  Students are given a copy of the song sheet with the missing words.  The teacher plays "Que Sera Sera" by Doris Day, and students fill in the missing words.  Afterwards the class discusses how will was used in this song.]
Que Sera, Sera
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
_____ _____  _ ___?
_____ _ __ ______?
_____ __ _____ _____?
Here's what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead?
_____ ___ ______ rainbows?
Day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother
______ ______ ___ ______?
_____ __ __ _________?
_____ __ ____ ______?
I tell them tenderly

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera



Answers
Que Sera, Sera
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be rich?
Here's what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows?
Day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother
What will I be?
Will I be handsome?
Will I be rich?
I tell them tenderly

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera

Monday, April 28, 2014

Find Your Partner: Past Forms

(TESOL Worksheets)
Google Docs Version Here

[Although I have mixed feelings about teaching too much meta-language too students, I was working out of a textbook which assumed students were familiar with the formal names of verb tenses.  So I decided it was beneficial for my students to learn the terminology so they could better understand their textbook.
This is a standard find your partner game.  It's divided into 3 parts.  In the first part, the students simply have to match the verb with the name by finding someone else in the class who has the matching slip of paper.  In the second part, they are given a worksheet and have to write the names in.  This is then reviewed in class by the teacher.  In the 3rd part, the students have to find groups of threes--one person with the example sentence, one with the verb tense name, and one person with the verb structure.]


I kicked the ball.
Past Simple
The ball was kicked by me.
Past Simple Passive
I have kicked the ball.
Present Perfect
The ball has been kicked by me.
Present Perfect Passive
I had kicked the ball.
Past Perfect
The ball had been kicked by me.
Past Perfect Passive
I was kicking the ball.
Past Continuous
The ball was being kicked by me.
Past Continuous Passive
I have been kicking the ball.
Present Perfect Continuous
The ball has been being kicked by me.
Present Perfect Continuous Passive
I had been kicking the ball.
Past Perfect Continuous
The ball had been being kicked by me.
Past Perfect Continuous Passive




Now, write in the forms for each verb tense.  The first one has been done for you.
I kicked the ball.
Past Simple
The ball was kicked by me.

I have kicked the ball.

The ball has been kicked by me.

I had kicked the ball.

The ball had been kicked by me.

I was kicking the ball.

The ball was being kicked by me.

I have been kicking the ball.

The ball has been being kicked by me.

I had been kicking the ball.

The ball had been being kicked by me.




I kicked the ball.
Past Simple
V2
I have kicked the ball.
Present Perfect
Have + V3
I had kicked the ball.
Past Perfect
Had + V3
I was kicking the ball.
Past Continuous
Was + Ving
The ball was kicked by me.
Past Simple Passive
Was + V3
The ball has been kicked by me.
Present Perfect Passive
Has + been+ V3
The ball had been kicked by me.
Past Perfect Passive
Had + been + V3
The ball was being kicked by me.
Past Continuous Passive
Was + being + V3
I have been kicking the ball.
Present Perfect Continuous
Have + been + Ving
I had been kicking the ball.
Past Perfect Continuous
Had + been + Ving
The ball has been being kicked by me.
Present Perfect Continuous Passive
Has + been + being + V3
The ball had been being kicked by me.
Past Perfect Continuous Passive
Had + been + being + V3