Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Most of these shows I didn't even watch regularly, but I am still nostalgic for them because I remember all the commercials and marketing.  But I still get taken back when I see them again.  Strange thing nostalgia.
But others of these shows (Peter Pan and the Pirates, Batman, Animaniacs, The Tick etc... ) I did regularly watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Describe a Flag Project

(TESOL Worksheets--Projects)
Google: docs, pub

Group Name:________________________

Which flag will you do?________________________

Flag history (when was it designed, how designed it)

What colors are in it?
What do the colors represent?

What is the pattern or design?
What does the pattern or design mean?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Past Perfect Board Race

(TESOL Worksheets--Past Perfect)
Google: slides, pub

(I used this lesson to supplement English World 6 Unit 5, and it follows their format of always having the past perfect embedded in the "that" clause.)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Fascinating video.
I know, of course, that one has to take everything you hear on the Internet with a grain of salt, because there are a lot of crackpots out there.  But this video lines up fairly well with what I learned from the Yale University lectures on the Old Testament by Christine Hayes.  (If you haven't checked these lectures out yet, they are absolutely fascinating.  Highly recommended.)

In her 3rd lecture, Christine Hayes talks about the creation story in Genesis, and claims that the writers of Genesis were making a deliberate choice to contrast their creation story with the other more violent creation myths of the Middle-East.  And it was a choice because the rest of the Bible clearly indicates the ancient Hebrews had not one, but several creation myths.

And don’t think the biblical writers didn’t know this motif of creation following upon a huge cosmic battle, particularly a battle with a watery, dragon-like monster. There are many poetic passages and poetic sections of the Bible that contain very clear and explicit illusions to that myth. It was certainly known and told to Israelite children and part of the culture. We have it mentioned in Job; we have it mentioned in the following psalm, Psalm 74:12-17: “O God, my king from of old, who brings deliverance throughout the land;/it was You who drove back the sea with Your might, who smashed the heads of the monsters in the waters;/it was You who crushed the heads of Leviathan,” a sea monster. Other psalms also contain similar lines. Isaiah 51:9-10: “It was you that hacked Rahab” — this is another name of a primeval water monster — “in pieces,/[It was you] That pierced the Dragon./It was you that dried up the Sea,/The waters of the great deep.” These were familiar stories, they were known in Israel, they were recounted in Israel. They were stories of a god who violently slays the forces of chaos, represented as watery dragons, as a prelude to creation. And the rejection of this motif or this idea in Genesis 1 is pointed and purposeful. It’s demythologization. It’s removal of the creation account from the realm and the world of mythology. It’s pointed and purposeful. It wants us to conceive of God as an uncontested god who through the power of his word or will creates the cosmos.

I mentioned this before as something that interested me in the Bible Trivia game, but I couldn't find a question to get at it.

Happy Song (Fingerprints 3 p.78)

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--Fingerprints 3)

Google Drive HERE
Lesson Plan: docs, pub
Pictures for Happy Song: docs, pub
Spelling for Happy Song: docs, pub

As kids filter in
Turn and learn ABCs--they guess the object.

Hello Song
Hello Super Simple

Make a Circle Song

Sit on Blue
Check with the T.A.
Elicit rules from them.
Rule Flashcards--4.  Show them--elicit--kids stick up on wall
water please
toilet please

Circle Time
2 circles.  Demo with T.A. first
Chant. (knee, knee, clap) “What’s your name? What’s your name? My name is....” etc.

If You're Happy Song
Play, and have them do motions whilst watching
Then, sit them back on blue
Introduce Vocab

Group receptive
Islands--stick flashcards around the room.  Get the T.A.s to demo.  Put on music, students dance, stop music  They all have to run over to the flashcard, and do the action that corresponds.  Repeat a few times.

Individual Receptive
Slap the board--two different teams (2 teams of 7).  Don’t need to say anything at this time. 

Group productive
Sit them on blue.  Drill the sentences.
Silly drilling---quiet to loud.  high and low.  Angry and sad.
Extension--repeat if correct.  Only repeat if correct.

Individual productive
Musical chairs.  (keep the others involved--hold flashcard).  Kid that’s out says the flashcard. 
Hold flashcard.  Kid who is out says it.  Whole class drilling afterwards.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Incredibles 2

(Movie Review)

Background--The First Incredibles
I was already an adult when the first Incredibles came out, so I can't claim childhood nostalgia for this series.  Although I agree with Mike Ryan, who writes:  "It’s one of those movies that kind of feels like it’s always been around. As family movies go, The Incredibles is canon."

I didn't see The Incredibles right when it first came out.  I waited a couple years, and then, once I began to get wind of all the praise the film was gathering, I finally caught it on DVD.  (I think I must have seen it somewhere around 2006--before I started my movie review project).
Like everyone else in the world, I was impressed.  The opening scene was so action packed, and yet so funny at the same time.  I couldn't believe all the great jokes and one-liners that they crammed into a pretty impressive opening action scene.
The ending climax also impressed me.  The pace of the action just kept increasing and increasing.
(I feel like this film was even more impressive when I first saw it 12 years ago, because I think since then the ending climax scenes in animated movies have just kept getting bigger and bigger, and The Incredibles doesn't stand out as much as it used to.  But maybe that's just me.  What do you guys think?)

...anyway, onto
Incredibles 2

* Everyone knows we have too many superhero movies nowadays.  But what makes The Incredibles so fun is that it's not just another superhero movie.  It's a brilliant mash-up of retro 60s kitsch.  It's Dr. No, plus Johnny Quest, plus The Outer Limits.  (I'm not claiming special insight for noticing these--the movie wears it's influences on its sleeve.  Johnny Quest and The Outer Limits are even in the movie itself, but I think the stylistic influences are also throughout the movie, not only in the brief scenes in which The Outer Limits and Johnny Quest play on the TV.)

* Related to the above point--the animation in this film is great.  Not only from a technical standpoint, but also great from a stylistic standpoint-- perfectly recreating the mood of that 60s kitsch I mentioned above.  Not only great mood and lighting, but also great retro style flying jets and secret lairs.
And that fight in Screenslaver's apartment was perfect eerie moodsetting.

* The ending climax of this movie was really exciting.
I think the director was cheating slightly.  The quick cuts and dramatic theme music made it seem as if the action was more intense and exciting than it actual was.  But...  if it works, then it's fair game.  I felt like it was a really exciting climax.

* Perhaps not quite as funny as the first Incredibles but... some good laughs were had along the way.

The Review
Most of the reviews I've read about this movie are really positive.  Although a few are bitterly negative (for example this guy HERE, whose opinion I normally agree with).
In my opinion, The Incredibles 2 did the best job it could with the hand it was dealt.
The problem was that the original Incredibles was a premise that was only really good for one movie to begin with.  All of the wonder, and all of the laughs, in the first movie came from setting up this family of zany superheroes and their world.  A superhero struggling through a midlife crisis at an insurance company was comedy gold the first time around.  But then once that joke was used up, it was gone.
We can't go through the fun of rediscovering these characters again.  The only thing that the sequel possibly could do was send these already established characters out on a new adventure.
So, given that this was the only option the movie had open, I think they did a fantastic job with it.  What a great second adventure for these characters.

Other Notes
* Some interesting philosophical discussions in this movie, huh?  Pretty deep stuff for a kid's movie.
Brad Bird is (according to the Internet) a devotee of Ayn Rand.  As I wrote in my book review of Ayn Rand, I don't agree with her, but I don't hate her completely.  I do like the part of her ideas about the individual being valued.

* Since The Incredibles is set in the early 60s, before everyone had laptops and smartphones, Screenslaver seems a bit anachronistic.
But, I read an interview with Brad Bird (forgot where) in which he says that when he was a kid back in the 1960s, parents and teachers were always telling them not to watch too much TV.
Indeed, the dawn of the television would probably be when people were most concerned about the effects of the television screen.  Now television is just normal.
So in that respect, the 1960s is a perfect setting for Screenslaver.
(Like most people of my generation, I am an addict to the television screen.  Even though I hate myself for it.  As I've often blogged about.)

* See Whisky's thoughts on the first Incredibles movie HERE.  As always, Whisky provides some interesting food for thought.

Rating :
9 out of 10 Stars. (Not as good as the original, but the best sequel that could be hoped for.)

Video Review
Video Review HERE and embedded below

Link of the Day
Finished: Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz  (I'm 3 books behind on my reviews at the moment.  This book, Speaking, and The Martian Chronicles.  So I've got some catch up to do.  But hopefully a review will be coming soon.)

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Joke A Day Part 2

(TESOL Worksheets--Comprehensible Input)
Google Drive Folder HERE
Slideshow: slidespub

4 years ago, I posted my "A Joke A Day" project.
At the time I said I would add to the list as I got new ideas.  But shortly after posting that, my schedule changed, and I lost my class of 10-12 year olds.  (10-12 years old is right about the perfect age for corny jokes.)
I've gone back to these jokes a few times over the past few years, particularly when doing a last minute cover.  I turned the collection of jokes into a PowerPoint, and turned that PowerPoint into a full lesson.  But I haven't really been adding to my collection of corny jokes.

But, now I'm once again teaching 10-12 year olds.  So it's once again time to bring out the corny jokes.  (I'm a huge believer in using jokes for ESL.  I think learning to play with the language is the perfect way to remember the vocabulary).

After using all the jokes from my old PowerPoint, it was time to create new ones.
These are all the ones I've come up with so far, but it's still an ongoing project (i.e. I'm still adding new jokes to this slideshow every lesson.)
So.... If anyone knows any good jokes, let me know.  As you can see from this slideshow, I'm already running out of good ideas, and have had to resort to some really awful jokes.

None of the jokes are mine.  Some of them are old chestnuts.  Others I've stolen from various places on the Internet.  All the pictures and illustrations are also stolen from the Internet using a Google Images search.

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 6)

Google Drive Folder HERE
Unit 5 Vocabulary Slideshow: slidespub
Quizlet Handout: docspub

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 5 Vocabulary

Thursday, June 14, 2018

TEFLology: Episodes 66-76 (And an End to Regular Reviews)

(TEFLology Podcast)

TEFLology Episodes 66-76

So, over the last few months, I've gotten super behind on my regular TEFLology reviews.  (I'm currently about 10 months behind).  Which indicates to me that perhaps its time to end this little project.
In fact, in retrospect, perhaps it was never that great of an idea to begin with.
I mean, sure, LISTENING to TEFLology is a great idea.  (I've picked up loads of interesting little tidbits from their podcasts.)  But REVIEWING every episode?  What's the point of that?
I had been telling myself that it was for my own professional development.  But upon reflection, perhaps I was lying to myself. I think the real reason I wanted to keep doing regular reviews was because of my obsessive completist urges.  Once I had posted a review of the Podcast, it bothered me that my review was incomplete, because the podcast was still ongoing.

But writing up a review of every episode is time consuming.  (The actual reviews are usually pretty short, but I sometimes waste a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to write.  And I often listen to each episode several times over to make sure I catch everything.)
I've decided it would be better for my professional development if I would listen wider rather than deeper--that is, instead of going over every episode of TEFLology in detail, I want to start listening to some of the other TEFL or linguistic related podcasts.  (My immediate next step is to catch up on The Ling Space).

However, I still want to help promote the TEFLology podcast, so here's the new plan going forward: I'm going to link to each new episode from this blog.  I'm not going to write reviews, but if I have anything to say, I may add one or two short sentences.  But that'll be it.


While I'm talking about this, I might as well get something else off of my chest.  The truth is, since I posted my original review two years ago, I've been feeling guilty that I may have been too critical of TEFLology.  And I may have said some things that were too harsh.

The line between honest criticism and bad manners has always been in debate.  But it seems to be generally accepted that you are allowed to harshly criticize the professionals.
For example, in my book reviews, I will often have harsh criticism about an author's writing style.  Despite the fact that I myself could never write a novel.  But they are published professionals, so I'm allowed to be super critical.

I've never been sure how to categorize TEFLology.  Are they professionals, or are they colleagues?

To the extent I was openly critical, it was because I viewed myself as criticizing professionals.  (If the rule of criticism is: "You can punch up, but you can never punch down."--then I viewed myself as punching up.)

But I've since had occasion to feel guilty that my criticisms were were uncollegial.

(I'm probably making too much of this.  I've poured out thousands of words critiquing TEFLology over the past couple years, and I've had mostly positive things to say about this podcast, and very few negative things to say.  But to the extent I was occasionally critical, if I crossed the line even once, then I apologize.)


Below are my quick fire comments on all the episodes I missed the past 10 months.  (These kind of short quick-fire comments are the kind of commentary I'm going to be doing in the future.)

Episode 66:
* Research Relevance for Teachers-- I've got so many thoughts on this, I don't know where to begin.  So I think I'll just skip it.
One quick observation; this debate is nothing new.  In Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition way back in 1982, Krashen was already complaining about the relationship between researchers and teachers.
* Textbooks--another subject that I've got a lot to say about.  The short version is that I hate textbooks, but at the same time I have to admit I'd be frightened of doing a course without a textbook.

Episode 67
Cambridge Main Suite Exams, Mental Health, and The Committee of 12--all interesting subjects.  I have nothing to add.

TEFL Interviews 34: Mario Saraceni 
Another great interview.  There was a LOT of interesting stuff in here to chew on.
* Much of this, particularly the discussion of Braj Kachu and the circles of English, overlapped with the book I read recently: Teaching English as an International Language by Sandra Lee McKay.
* I thought it was interesting when Saraceni said that the moment you classify different varieties of English, you open the door for someone else to rank them.  I hadn't thought of that before.

Episode 68
* I don't really know that much about John Dewey, but his name comes up a lot.  (Chomsky often references him.)
* I actually had some interaction with the author they mention--Neomy Storch.  At the University of Melbourne she helped guide me through some of the paperwork necessary for filing my thesis.  She also guest lectured once in our class on collaboration.

Episode 69
* Learning Styles--I've been skeptical of learning styles ever since I saw Russ Mayne's presentation on it.  Link to Russ Mayne's blog HERE.  (And to give credit where credit is due, I found out about Russ Mayne via TEFLology.)
* Steven Pinker got mentioned in this episode--my review of his book HERE.
* The British Council--this was interesting.

TEFL Interviews 35: Steve Mann 
* Interesting. I don't have any particular comments, but it was interesting.

TEFL Interviews 36: Reiko Yoshihara and 37: Hugh Starkey
I was intrigued by both of these interviews in which the participants talked about bringing political ideologies (feminist pedagogy and human rights education respectively) into the ESL classroom.
As someone who was once an idealist, I find this attractive.
In my 20s, I tried to integrate peace education into my ESL classrooms.
At a JET conference, I led a workshop on Educating Global Issues in the Classroom.
In my adult English class, I used “Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can’t Kick Militarism" as a the set textbook.  I talked about that in this post here
And my interest in applying for the Peace Boat (even though my application was ultimately unsuccessful) was motivated by the same concern.

BUT... over the years I've also developed concerns about this mixing ideology and ESL.
Firstly because ESL often involves a native-speaker going abroad to teach in a foreign country.  (It's dangerous enough to politicize the classroom when you're in your own country, but it becomes much more problematic when you do so in a foreign classroom.)  There's a real danger that foreigners too quickly develop a missionary zeal.  Their primary concern (especially in their first year in the country) should be to listen and try to understand, not try to preach.
Secondly, ESL often involves adult education.  And teaching adults about human rights, or feminism, or peace education, can easily become patronizing.  There's a danger that the 23 year-old ESL teacher may think that they are morally entitled to teach 50 year old Japanese people people about human rights simply by virtue of being their language teacher.  (At least I was guilty of this in my youth.  And I know plenty of colleagues who have also been guilty of this.)

TEFL Interviews 38: Forum Discussion
A really interesting discussion.  My only complaint is that it was way too short.  (I wanted it to go on longer).  But I imagine there must have been some sort of external time constraints with the conference schedule.
Some of the concerns I brought up above were addressed a little bit.

Episode 70
* Banning English--an interesting little piece (I hadn't heard the news about Iran).  The relationship between teaching English and Western values is an interesting discussion, but it's too complex for me to get into here.
* Dynamic Language--I don't really know anything about this, so no comment.  Interesting to hear that Diane Larsen-Freeman is involved in this, though.
* I didn't know about Randolph Quirk, so this was really interesting.  Interesting to hear about his connection with David Crystal.
Like the TEFLologist, I had heard somewhere about the Quirk-Kachru debates (although I didn't know who Quirk was at the time.)  I don't remember where I heard about these debates.  Possibly a previous TEFLology episode?  (Did they cover this before?) Or possibly it was in Teaching English as an International Language by Sandra Lee McKay.

Episode 71
* Stephen Bax--I knew nothing about Stephen Bax, so I found this section very informative.
* Latin--As someone who studied Latin in high school and college (video HERE), and as someone who is still interested in ancient Roman history, I have a fair amount of sentimentality towards the subject.  But I'd be hard pressed to come up with a good practical reason why anyone else should study it.
Also--I studied Latin for 4 years (including two semesters at college) and I never got to the point where I could read authentic Latin literature.  By the last semester, there were some authentic Latin texts in the coursebook, but me and my classmates couldn't make heads or tails of it without the professor explaining everything to us.  So unless you study the language for years and years, you can forget about reading authentic historical texts.
* Negotiation of Meaing--I'm familiar with Mike Long's work on this (via Long being summarized in other authors), but it was interesting to hear the TEFLologists' much more expansive discussion.

TEFL Interviews 39: Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli
Another fascinating interview.  I don't have anything to add.

Episode 72
* Richard Schmidt--I've never read Schmidt directly, but his noticing hypothesis comes up in many of the books I've read.  Most recently in Uncovering Grammar by Scott Thornbury
On language teachers and language learning... I did a good job learning Japanese, but I've done a horrible job with both Cambodian and Vietnamese.
* CAMTESOL--ah, good old CAMTESOL.  I used to go to this every year when I worked in Cambodia.
I won't get into all my thoughts on CAMTESOL here.  Other than to say that I actually like the 30 minute time limit.  (Just when you're starting to get bored, the session ends.  And you can fit much more sessions in per day).
* PHD--this depresses me, to be honest.  I know I probably need a PHD to get job security in this field, but I don't think I have it in me to do one.  The Master's degree just about killed me.  I don't think there's any way I could do a PHD.

Episode 73
* N.S. Prabhu--N.S. Prabhu and the Bangalore Project is something that is often mentioned in the books I've read, but I really knew nothing about it.  So this section was interesting.  (Like one of the TEFLologists, I had also had this confused with the Madras Snowball).
When I was reading Task-Based Learning by Jane Willis, Jane Willis briefly mentioned Prabhu.  So in the bookclub Facebook page, I recommended this TEFLology episode to my Bookclub--as I mentioned in the notes.

TEFL Interviews 40: John Fanselow on Teacher Observation
I've never heard of John Faneslow before, but he is on this episode, and then he pops up two episodes later in another interview.  He's a very interesting guy.  I agree with him on some stuff, and I disagree with him on other stuff, and I'll leave it there.

Episode 74: Research Trends, Otto Jespersen, and Action Research
All interesting topics.  I don't have anything to add.

Episode 75: ExcitELT (Live)
There's a lot of interesting stuff in here.  I don't have much to add.
The comment that resonated with me the most is John Faneslow's comment about how we as a profession read too many books. I've noticed this myself.  I tend to view my own professional development in terms of how many books I can read.  But I've noticed there are a lot of teachers in my staffroom who are much less well-read than I am, but who are much better teachers.  Because they have been working on picking up practical classroom activities instead of reading books.

TEFL Interviews 41: Gary Barkhuizen on Language Teacher Identity
An interesting interview.  I have nothing to add.

BONUS! TEFL Interview 42: Eric Hawkinson on Augmented and Virtual Realities
Again, I don't really have anything to add.  But this was interesting.

Episode 76
* Linguistic Complexity: This was interesting.  I've been hearing people mention this theory in connection with Diane Larsen-Freeman.  But I had no idea what it was.
* Linguaphobia: I wonder if I have a case of Linguaphobia.  I did alright learning Japanese, but I've been doing terrible learning Vietnamese.  In part because mastering all those tones scare me, so I often give up.
The TEFLologists also discuss the second definition of Linguaphobia, which is connected to Xenophobia.  This has been in the news a lot lately, but it's actually old news.  See this paper I did back in 2010.
*  M.A.K Halliday--This was interesting.  I had heard the name of M.A.K Halliday before, but had no idea about his work.
The TEFLologists admit to being a bit out of their depth on this one, and I'd have to include myself in that category as well.  But what they discuss seems to broadly relate to The Language Instinct and The Language Myth.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Project: Write About an Endangered Animal

(TESOL Worksheet--Projects)
Google: docs, pub

Group Name:________________________

Name of Endangered Animal:________________________

Where does it live?

What does it eat?

Interesting Facts:

Why is it endangered?

How many are left now?

What can we do to help save it?

Finished: Speaking by Martin Bygate (Review coming soon...hopefully)

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Lesson Planning Templates

(TESOL Worksheets--Lesson Planning)
Google Drive folder HERE
Flowchart PDF HERE
Flowchart PDF Black and White (for printing) HERE
Productive Skills Lessons: Speaking/Writing Template: docs, pub
Receptive Skills Lessons: Reading/Listening Template: docs, pub
Systems Learning: Grammar / Vocabulary Template: docs, pub

This is designed to help new teachers with their lesson planning.  The Flowchart PDFs are NOT mine.  They were developed by a colleague.  My only addition is to convert these Flowcharts into a Google Doc where teachers can write out their activities and plan their instructions in a table format.  For more of my colleague's materials, please see HERE.

Friday, June 08, 2018

I'm reading Facebook, and I'm a bit surprised at how much Anthony Bourdain meant to people.  (He was someone I knew from TV, but that's about all the emotional connection I had to him.)

But since everyone is telling about their Anthony Bourdain influences, here's mine.
I live right next to the Lunch Lady in Saigon.  And I've eaten at her stall, simply for no other reason than because Anthony Bourdain made her famous.

Anthony Bourdain the Lunch Lady of Saigon

(See also: Bourdain eats fetal duck egg on air )

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Via Phil--We Have to Stop Pretending That Solving Climate Change is Complicated
This article needs to be read by everyone.  Phil's commentary on it is also worth reading.
From TYT:
Trump Scolds Trudeau For Canada Burning Down White House (They Didn't)

I've learned over the years to be careful about over-generalizing my own experiences to all American schools.
But here's my own experience--tell me if this jives with your recollections or not.

In school, I learned nothing about Canada's involvement in the war of 1812.  (I'm using "Canada" here to refer to the geographical region, even though the political entity of the country of Canada did not yet exist.")

I was therefore confused then in college when my Canadians friends would refer to this incident.  In the course of some playful joking around about which country was better, my Canadian friends would tell me, "Well, we kicked your ass in the War of 1812."  
I had no idea what they were talking about.  "You guys weren't in that War," I would say.  "It was the British."

I've since heard from many Canadian friends that Canada's role in the War of 1812 is one of the highlights of their history curriculum.  And I'm given the impression that a lot of them take pride in the burning of the White House.  
The Mormon Kingdom on Beaver Island, Michigan--Interesting Random Facts
My 5th Grade teacher did a whole unit on Michigan's history, in which he included the Mormon Kingdom.
Ever since then, it's been one of those strange little tidbits from school that I've kind of half remembered, and occasionally wondered if it was a real thing or if I was just remembering it wrong.

So I Googled it just now.
Wikipedia article on The Mormon kingdom on Beaver Island.
And an NPR show How a Mormon king shaped a sleepy island in Lake Michigan
More People Arguing About Star Wars

[The subtitle for this is something about how I  know I spend way too much time online, and I'm trying to get my bad habits under control.  But since I've already watched these videos, I'm going to briefly blog about them.]

Boy, people on the Internet really love to argue about Star Wars, huh?  That debate about The Last Jedi is still going back and forth.
I was very generous to The Last Jedi.  (10 out of 10 stars).  The amount of hate this film has gathered has caused me to occasionally doubt myself.  But then, it's gotten a lot of praise from people to.
Shaun, a youtuber I've stumbled upon recently, and really like, has released a new defense of The Last Jedi.

Why I Love The Last Jedi

In other Youtube News:

* Jenny Nicholson (another Youtuber I love) has a video about Solo.  She hates it.  I loved it.  But I enjoyed her video nonetheless.   (If someone is very good at articulating their opinions, it can be enjoyable to listen to them even if you don't agree.)

* Movie Bob (another Youtuber I love) has a video about why Solo bombed at the box office, and how we nerds on the Internet completely lost perspective on things.  This video was a much needed wake-up call.

* And Lindsey Ellis (another Youtuber I love) on The Ideology of the First Order.

Reported Speech Commands Board Race

(TESOL Worksheets--Reported Speech)
Google: slides, pub
[I made this to supplement English World 6 Unit 4, and therefore I followed the distinction that book uses between "asked" and "told"--if you use "please" in the direct speech, then you use "ask" in the reported speech.  I know in real life this is a bit artificial, but I wanted to follow the textbook so that it wouldn't confuse my students.  Anyone else using this can feel free to adapt it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Stumbled onto this article whilst surfing the internet today. From the good folks at the AVclub:
The almighty righteousness of Jesus Christ Superstar

I really liked it, because the article said so many things that I've always thought myself:

Always somewhat culturally marginal, even at the height of its original popularity, the strange countercultural take on the Synoptic Gospels known as Jesus Christ Superstar has gone in and out of acceptability since its release—at times considered cool, at others utterly beyond-the-pale lame—and grown increasingly forgotten by all but the most extreme theater nerds, which as far as I can tell are the only subcategory of the music-fandom population that has always worshipped it.
Okay, small nitpick--it's not only the Synoptics.  The dialogue that Jesus has with Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar actually comes from the Gospel of John.
But that nitpick aside, he's right.  Jesus Christ Superstar has always been a bit oddly on the margins of popular culture.

But the fact is that, despite what most rock music fans may think (either because they hate Broadway musicals, religion, or both), Jesus Christ Superstar is not a corny attempt at hippying up the Bible, like its vastly inferior, non-rock Broadway musical contemporary Godspell, nor is it an example of that lamest of rock genres, born-again fundamentalist Christian rock. What it is, on the contrary, is a truly great rock record, and a fantastic movie—one that deserves to be pulled off the shelf of pop-cultural history, dusted off, and listened to again. It’s the perfect thing to play this time of year. And it’s best played loud.
Again, so true!  I've always felt this musical never got the recognition it deserved

In a word, the film is awesome. However wildly misunderstood (accused, for example, of being anti-Semitic because of the villainous Pharisee priests, the film was, in reality, directed by the same guy who made Fiddler On The Roof, Norman Jewison) and however dated stylistically (everybody’s dressed, to put it baldly, like hippies) it remains immensely powerful. The scene where the jeopardy of Roman-occupied Judea is conveyed by a line of tanks coming over the horizon line is still startling, Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene has the voice of an angel, and the climactic musical number is a showstopper by Carl Anderson. And the sequence where Neeley sings “Gethsemane” contains one minute and 20 seconds in a row that are not only a high point in the history of rock vocals but one of the most dramatic moments in any movie I know.
There’s a reason that vicious punk bands like Scratch Acid and Cows covered songs from JCS—they fucking rock, and hard. “The 39 Lashes” alone is one of the punkest things you’re likely to see in a major motion picture, and this was all from before punk. Yes, the music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who would go on to create some of the most annoying (and un-rocking) Broadway hits of the ’80s, what can I tell you? Apparently the guy only had one masterpiece in him. But a masterpiece it is.

My thoughts exactly!
(I've previously spoken of my fondness for Jesus Christ Superstar here. )

Ted Neeley is good, but for my money, Ian Gillian rocks a bit harder

Part of the genius of Jesus Christ, Superstar is that it's a secular treatment of the story, but not a sneering atheist approach.  They don't seek to diminish the story.  Instead, they realize that there's still a great potential for drama behind this story, even if you don't believe in the supernatural element of it.  This comes through perfectly in the 39 Lashes song.  It's a secular treatment of this story, but it still manages to wring more pathos, and drama, and tragedy, and feeling out of it than any Christian version I've seen.

Friday, June 01, 2018

English World 6 Unit 4 Vocabulary

(Supplementary Materials for Specific Textbooks--English World 6)

Google Drive Folder HERE
Unit 4 Vocabulary Slideshow: slidespub
Quizlet Handout: docspub
Crossword Puzzle: drive
Crossword Puzzle answers: drive

English World 6 Unit 4 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 4 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 4 Vocabulary

English World 6 Unit 4 Vocabulary