Tuesday, July 31, 2018

English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

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

Google Drive Folder HERE
Unit 7 Vocabulary Slideshow: slidespub
Quizlet Handout: docspub

Quizlet English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

Quizlet English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

Quizlet English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

Quizlet English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

Quizlet English World 6 Unit 7 Vocabulary

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Golden Bird: The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--The Brothers Grimm Fairy TalesStory Time ESL Listening)
Worksheet: drivedocspub
Video 1: HERE, Video 2: HERE, Quizlet: HERE

I took this version from a public domain version on Project Gutenberg HERE.  Project Gutenberg has this as the first story in their Brother's Grimm collection, so I followed their lead.  Even though this is supposed to be story number 57 in the authentic order.
I copied the text directly from Project Gutenberg, and then tried to edit it and simplify it.  I probably didn't simplify it enough.  In most cases I gave in to the temptation to leave the original wording as it was, because I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it.  (In the future, I might try re-writing the fairy tale without the original in front of me, and see if that results in any simpler language.)
I ended up recording two videos for this one.  The first time, I messed up a couple sentences, and thought maybe I could do it better, so I re-recorded.  Alas, the second time, I still messed up a couple sentences, but they were different sentences.  But I'm going to go with the second video.
The first video is HERE.

Video: https://youtu.be/nS1qg5NWhpc
Quizlet: https://quizlet.com/_51wjwu

Suggested Use:
Step 1: Look at the vocabulary. Check any words that you don’t know in your dictionary.
Step 2: Listen to the video. https://youtu.be/nS1qg5NWhpc (Listen only.  Don’t look at the reading yet).
Step  3: Practice the Vocabulary on Quizlet https://quizlet.com/_51wjwu
Step 4: Watch the video again. https://youtu.be/nS1qg5NWhpc  This time look at the reading. Read and listen at the same time.
Step 5: Practice the vocabulary on Quizlet again: https://quizlet.com/_51wjwu
Step 6: Listen one last time.  The last time, don’t look at the reading. https://youtu.be/nS1qg5NWhpc

able, advice, afraid, afterwards, ahead, animal, apple, arrow, asleep, bank, bath, beg, behind, business, bone, bottom, bow, cage, capture, care, careful, castle, celebrate, certain, climb, cool, count, country, court, dance, daughter, deep, deserve, dig, dinner, dirty, disguise, door, drop, easy, exactly, fall, fall asleep, fast, fast asleep, feather, fly, follow, foot, forest, fox, free, freedom, front, garden, gardener, gate, golden, grab, groom, grow, guard, happily, hear, heir, horse, however, hurt, inn, inside, journey, judge, jump, kill, king, kiss, leather, lie, lie down, lift, lost, loud, loudly, luckily, matter, meanwhile, midnight, miss, missing, moment, moreover, near, nearby, noise, none, notice, o’clock, offer, old, once, once upon a time, opposite, pass, perfectly, pity, poor, princess, prisoner, promise, punish, pure, push, quickly, quietly, reach, ready, refuse, relax, resist, rest, ride, ripe, riverbank, robber, rustle, sad, saddle, save, scold, scream, search, secretly, sentence, set out, shake, shall, shoot, should, sing, snore, soldier, sorry, stall, stay, steep, still, stretch, strike, stupid, suspect, tail, take care, take prisoner, tear, temptation, thankful, tight, till, towards, tree, uncomfortable, unless, upon, view, village, wake, wealth, whether, whole, wide, wind, wise, wooden, worried, worth, young

Once upon a time, a certain king had a beautiful garden, and in the garden stood a tree which had golden apples. These apples were always counted, and about the time when they began to grow ripe it was found that every night one of them would go missing. The king became very angry at this, and ordered the gardener to keep watch all night under the tree. The gardener set his oldest son to watch; but about twelve o’clock, the oldest son fell asleep, and in the morning another one of the golden apples was missing. Then the second son was ordered to watch; and at midnight he too fell asleep, and in the morning another golden apple was gone. Then the youngest son offered to keep watch; but the gardener at first would not let him, because he was afraid that something bad might happen to him.  However, at last he agreed, and the young man laid down under the tree to watch. As the clock struck twelve he heard a rustling noise in the air, and a bird came flying. The bird was made of pure gold; and as the bird was eating one of the apples, the gardener’s son jumped up and shot an arrow at it. But the arrow didn’t hurt the bird. The bird only dropped a golden feather from its tail, and then flew away. The golden feather was brought to the king in the morning, and all the wise men of the kingdom were called together. Everyone agreed that the feather was worth more than all the wealth of the kingdom. But the king said, “Just one feather is of no use to me. I must have the whole bird.”
Then the gardener’s oldest son set out. He thought he would find the golden bird very easily, and when he had gone but a little way, he came to a forest, and by the side of the forest he saw a fox sitting.  So he took his bow and got ready to shoot at the fox. Then the fox said, “Do not shoot me, for I will give you good advice. I know what your business is, and that you want to find the golden bird. You will reach a village in the evening, and when you get there, you will see two inns opposite to each other, one of which is very nice and beautiful to look at. Do not go in there, but rest for the night in the other inn, even though it may look to you to be very poor and uncomfortable.”
But the oldest son thought to himself, “What can such an animal as this know about the matter?” So he shot his arrow at the fox; but he missed it, and the fox ran into the forest. Then the oldest son went on his way, and in the evening he came to the village where the two inns were; and in one of these inns there were people singing, and dancing, and eating; but the other inn looked very dirty, and poor. “I would be very stupid,” he said to himself, “if I went to that dirty inn, and left this nice inn.” So he went into the nice looking inn, and ate and drank and relaxed, and he soon forgot all about the bird, and he even forget about his country too.
Time passed on; and as the oldest son did not come back, and no news of him was heard, the second son set out, and the same thing happened to him. He met the fox, who gave him the same good advice: but when he came to the two inns, his older brother was standing at the window of the nice inn where a big party was happening, and called to the second son to come in; and the second son could not resist the temptation, so he went in, and forgot about the golden bird and his country in the same way as his brother.
Time passed on again, and the youngest son too wished to set out into the wide world to search for the golden bird; but his father would not listen to his wish for a long while, because he liked his youngest son very much, and he was afraid that something bad might happen to him, and stop him from coming back, just like his brothers. However, at last he agreed that his son could go, since his son would not stop asking.
The youngest son set out, and he too came to the forest, and he too met the fox, and heard the same good advice. But he was thankful to the fox, and did not try to shoot the fox as his brothers had done. So the fox said to him, “Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.” So he sat down, and the fox began to run, and they travelled a long way as quickly as the wind.
When they came to the village, the youngest son followed the fox’s advice, and without looking around him, he went straight to the poor and dirty inn and stayed there all night. In the morning the fox came again and met him as he was beginning his journey. The fox said, “Go straight ahead, until you come to a castle. In front of the castle there will be a whole group of soldiers fast asleep and snoring.  Take no notice of them, but go into the castle and keep going until you come to a room where the golden bird sits in a wooden cage.  Nearby the wooden cage, there is a beautiful golden cage. But do not try to take the bird out of the wooden cage and put it into the golden one. If you do, you will be sorry later.” Then the fox stretched out his tail again, and the young man sat down on the fox’s tail, and they travelled a long way as quickly as the wind.
When they got to the castle, everything in front of the castle gate was exactly as the fox had said it would be.  So the youngest son went in and found the room where the golden bird was sitting in a wooden cage, and where nearby was the golden cage. And nearby the golden cage,  there were the three golden apples that had been lost before. The youngest son thought to himself, “It would be a pity to bring away such a fine bird in this poor cage.” So he opened the door of the wooden cage and took hold of the bird and put it into the golden cage. But the bird let out such a loud scream that all the soldiers woke up, and they took him prisoner and carried him before the king of the castle.
The next morning the court met to judge him; and when they had heard everything, the court sentenced him to die, unless he could bring the king a golden horse which could run as fast as the wind; and if he could do this, then he would have the golden bird given to him for his own.
So the youngest son set out once more on his journey.  He was very sad and worried, when suddenly he met his friend the fox.  The fox said to him, “Do you see now what has happened because you didn’t listen to my advice? I will still, however, tell you how to find the golden horse, but you must do as I tell you. You must go straight until you come to a castle. In the castle the golden horse stands in his stall; by his side there will be a groom, who will be fast asleep and snoring. Take away the golden horse quietly, but be sure to put the old leather saddle on the golden horse.  Do not take the golden saddle that is close by it.” Then the youngest son sat down on the fox’s tail, and they travelled a long way as quickly as the wind.
Everything was just as the fox had said it would be.  The groom was sleeping with his hand upon the golden saddle. But when the youngest son looked at the horse, he thought it was a great pity to put the leather saddle on it. “I will give him the good one,” he said. “I am sure he deserves it.”  As he took up the golden saddle, the groom woke up and cried out so loudly that all the guards ran in and took the youngest son prisoner. And in the morning he was again brought before the court to be judged, and was sentenced to die. But it was agreed, that, if he could find and bring back the beautiful princess, then he could live, and have the bird and the horse given to him for his own.
Then the youngest son went on his way.  He was very sad, but the old fox came and said, “Why didn’t you listen to me? If you had listened to me, you would have carried away both the bird and the horse. But yet I will once more give you advice. Go straight on, and in the evening you will arrive at a castle. At twelve o’clock every night the princess goes to the bathing-house. Go up to her and give her a kiss, and she will let you lead her away; but take care not to let her go to say good-bye to her father and mother.” Then the fox stretched out his tail, and away they went travelling a long way as quickly as the wind.
When they came to the castle, everything was exactly as the fox had said it would be, and at twelve o’clock the young man met the princess going to the bath and gave her the kiss, and she agreed to run away with him, but she begged with many tears to go and say good-bye to her father. At first the youngest son refused, but the princess cried still more and more, and she fell at his feet, till at last he agreed.  But, as soon as the princess came to her father’s house, the guards woke up and the youngest son was taken prisoner again.
Then the youngest son was brought before the king, and the king said, “You shall never have my daughter unless in eight days you dig away the hill that stops the view from my window.” Now this hill was so big that all the people in the whole world could not take it away; and when the youngest son had worked for seven days, and had done very little, the fox came and said, “Lie down and go to sleep; I will work for you.” And in the morning the youngest son woke up and the hill was gone.  So he went happily to the king, and told him that now the hill was gone, and that the king must keep his promise and give him the princess.
Then the king had to keep his promise, and the youngest son and the princess went away. And the fox came and said to him, “We will have all three: the princess, the horse, and the bird.”
“Ah!” said the young man, “that would be a great thing, but how can we do it?”
“If you will only listen,” said the fox, “it can be done. When you come to the king, and he asks for the beautiful princess, you must say, ‘Here she is!’ Then he will be very happy; and you will get on the golden horse that they will give you, and shake hands with them to say goodbye.  But shake hands with the princess last. Then lift her quickly on to the horse behind you, and ride away as fast as you can.’
The youngest son did everything the fox had told him to, and everything went perfectly.  He was able to ride away with the princess. Then, afterwards the fox told him, “When you come to the castle where the bird is, I will stay with the princess at the door, and you will ride in and speak to the king; and when he sees that it is the golden horse, he will bring out the golden bird; but you must sit still, and say that you want to look at the bird first, to see whether it is the real golden bird; and when you get the bird into your hands, ride away fast.”
This, too, happened as the fox said.  They carried off the bird, the princess got on the horse again, and they rode on to a great forest. Then the fox came, and said, “Please, kill me, and cut off my head and my feet.” But the youngest son would not do it. So the fox said, “I will still give you some good advice.  You must be careful of two things: do not save any robbers, and do not sit down by the side of any river.” Then the fox went away. “Well,” thought the youngest son, “it should be easy to keep that advice.”
The youngest son rode on with the princess, until at last he came to the village where he had left his two brothers. And there he heard a great noise; and when he asked what was the matter, the people said, “Two robbers are going to be killed.” As he came nearer, he saw that the two men were his brothers, who had become robbers; so he said, “Isn’t there any way to save them?” But the people said that the only way for him to save his brothers was to buy their freedom with all the money he had.
The youngest son did not stop to think about it, but paid all his money, and his brothers were freed, and they all left the village together and started travelling back towards their home.
And as they came to the forest where the fox had first met them, it was so cool and nice that the two brothers said, “Let us sit down by the side of the river, and rest a while, to eat and drink.”
The youngest son forgot the fox’s advice, and he said, “Yes,” and he sat down on the side of the river. And while the youngest son was relaxing, suspecting nothing, his brothers went behind him, and pushed him off the river bank and into the river.  Then they took the princess, the horse, and the bird, and went home to the king, and said, “All of these things we have won by our hard work.”  Then there was a big party and everyone celebrated. But the horse would not eat, the bird would not sing, and the princess cried.
Meanwhile, the youngest son fell to the bottom of the river.  Luckily, the river was not deep, but his bones were almost broken, and the riverbank was so steep that he could find no way to climb out. Then the old fox came once more, and scolded him for not following his advice.  “If you had only listened to me, none of these bad things would have happened,” said the fox.  “Yet, I cannot leave you here, so grab hold of my tail and hold tight.” Then the fox pulled him out of the river, and, as he got up upon the bank, the fox said to him, “Your brothers will kill you if they find you in the kingdom.” So the youngest son disguised himself as a poor man, and came secretly to the king’s dinner party.  As soon as he came inside the room, the horse began to eat, and the bird to sing, and the princess stopped crying. Then the youngest son went to the king, and told him all about the bad things that his brothers had done.  And his brothers were captured and punished.  And the youngest son was given the princess again, and moreover, he was named heir to the king, which meant that he would become the future king after the king died.
A long time after that, he went on a walk one day in the forest, and the old fox met him, and the fox asked him to kill him and cut off his head and feet. And at last, he did so, and in a moment the fox was changed into a man, and it turned out that he was really the brother of the princess, who had been missing for many many years.
And they all lived happily ever after.

Lesson For Quantifiers on Countable and Uncountable Nouns-- any, a few, a little, a lot of, not many, not much, some, too much, too many, enough and not enough

(TESOL Worksheets--Countable and Uncountable Nouns, adjectives)

Google Drive Folder HERE
Lesson Plan: docs, pub
Countryside Versus City Slideshow: slides, pub
Countryside Versus City Worksheet: docs, pub
Many, Much Scrambled Sentences: docs, pub
Quantifiers Sorting: docs, pub 
Slideshow for Feedback on Quantifiers Sorting: slides, pub
Describe a Picture: slides, pub
Quantifier Cards: docs, pub
Make True Sentences: docs, pub

[A lesson on quantifiers:  any, a few, a little, a lot of, not many, not much, some, too much, too many, enough and not enough.  I used this to supplement lesson 5A Recycling p.58-59 of the Life Pre-Intermediate Textbook, and the selection of language is influenced by the language the textbook highlighted.  Some of these materials are self-plagiarized from here, here and here.

The Tiger who Wore White Gloves, or, What You Are You Are by Gwendolyn Brooks: Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video HERE

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Brothers Grimm Biography: The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Story Time ESL Listening)
Worksheet: drive, docs, pub
Video 1: HERE,  Video 2: HERE Quizlet: HERE

* The information was gathered from several different websites.  I probably should cite my sources, but I didn't keep track of which websites I was visiting.
* One of the interesting things I found out during my research was that there was a big difference between what the popular image of the Grimm Brothers and the reality.  The popular image is that they were collecting stories directly from the real village people.  The reality is that they were primarily just going to their friends--other educated middle class people.   They were also shaping the stories to fit their narrative.  This video here does a good job of explaining it.

...but, since the goal of ESL is to simplify everything, not complicated, I just went with the myth.

* I actually did two recordings for this.  The first time, there was an ungrammatical sentence in the transcript (something that I had missed in proofreading).  "although some of the stories were told are very old".  The first version is HERE.

Video: https://youtu.be/Izg61MezOEE
Quizlet: https://quizlet.com/_51osk1

Suggested Use:
Step 1: Look at the vocabulary. Check any words that you don’t know in your dictionary.
Step 2: Listen to the video. https://youtu.be/Izg61MezOEE (Listen only.  Don’t look at the reading yet).
Step  3: Practice the Vocabulary on Quizlet https://quizlet.com/_51osk1
Step 4: Watch the video again. https://youtu.be/Izg61MezOEE  This time look at the reading. Read and listen at the same time.
Step 5: Practice the vocabulary on Quizlet again: https://quizlet.com/_51osk1
Step 6: Listen one last time.  The last time, don’t look at the reading. https://youtu.be/Izg61MezOEE

able, add, adult, although, area, beauty, besides, born, collect, collection, complain, consider, country, countryside, creature, cruel, culture, dwarf, edition, educated, education, effort, elder, enjoy, entertain, exactly, exist, expensive, extra, European, eventually, fairy, fairy tale, final, finally, folk, folklore, follow, generation, German, Germanic, graduation, grow, history, hood, however, intend, invite, join, kingdom, land, law, library, literature, lost, magic, magical, mostly, neighbor, nowadays, ordinary, parent, poor, popular, prison, professor, program, project, public, publish, refer, represent, respect, retell, riding, robber, save, several, sick, snow, storyteller, storytelling, suitable, tale, television, themselves, thief, traditional, uneducated, unfortunately, unimportant, university, village, violent, whole, worried

Proper names:
Names of people: Cinderella, Friedrich Karl von Savigny, Hansel, Jacob, Gretel, Grimm, Rapunzel, Wilhelm
Names of countries: France, Germany
Names of continents: Europe

The Brothers Grimm
The “Grimm Brothers” or “Brothers Grimm” refers to two brothers named Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm.
Jacob Grimm, the elder brother, was born in 1785.  His younger brother, Wilhelm Grimm, was born one year later in 1786.  The brothers grew up and lived in the area that we now know as Germany.  (Although at the time, the country of Germany did not yet exist, and the land of the German speaking people was made up of several smaller Germanic kingdoms.)
Jacob and Wilhelm came from a large family.  Besides themselves, they had seven other brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, their father got sick and died when Wilhelm and Jacob were only ten and eleven years old.  This was the beginning of hard times for the Grimm family.  At that time, there were no government programs to help the poor.  Without their father, the boys had to find a way to get money for their family by themselves.
The two boys studied very hard, and eventually got into a very good school.  The other children in the school were from rich families, and they had had a better education than the Grimm brothers.  But the Grimm brothers worked extra hard to catch up to the other students.  Their teachers began to respect their efforts.
After graduation, the boys went to university.  Jacob, the older brother, went first, and Wilhelm joined him the following year.  Their mother wanted them to study law so that they could get a good job.  But the brothers were also interested in history, literature, and folklore.  (“Folklore” means old traditional stories.)
At university, the boys had a favorite teacher--a young professor named Friedrich Karl von Savigny.  He got the brothers interested in German history and culture.  He also let the brothers use his library.  Back in those days, there were no public libraries, and books were very expensive.  So most ordinary people weren’t able to read a lot of books.  Being able to use the library opened up a whole new world to the brothers.
The brothers were interested in great literature, but they also became interested in old folk stories.  These were the stories that were told in the countryside and in the villages.  Often, these stories were told by uneducated people who couldn’t read or write.  The stories were never written down, but they were told and retold so often in the villages that they had been remembered for many generations.  People learned these stories from their friends and neighbors, and children learned these stories from their parents.
Before the Grimm Brothers, very few educated people were interested in these stories.  They considered these stories to be unimportant, because they weren’t great literature.  But the Grimm Brothers thought that these stories were important, because they represented the culture of Germany.  In some ways, they thought these stories were more important than great literature, because these were the stories that most of the people knew and enjoyed.
However, since no one was writing these stories down, the Grimm Brothers became worried that these stories might one day become forgotten.  They wanted to write down these stories, so that they could save them for future generations.  So they started a project to collect all the stories and folk tales that they could.  They went to the libraries, they asked their friends, and they travelled around Germany and Europe.  They invited famous storytellers to come to their home, and wrote down all of their stories.  They even went to the prisons, and talked to the thieves and robbers in the prisons.  They wanted to write down all the robbers’ stories exactly as the robbers told them.
In 1812, they published a collection of stories.  In English, these stories were called: Grimms' Fairy Tales.
 “Fairy Tale” is the English name for old traditional stories.  No one knows exactly where the name “Fairy Tale” comes from.  “Tale” is another word for “story” in English.  “Fairy” is a magical creature, so maybe the name comes from a magical story.   (Many, but not all, of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales have magic in the story.)
When the Grimm Brothers first published their stories in 1812, many people complained.  They said that the stories were violent, and cruel, and not suitable for children.  It is true that many of the stories were violent and cruel, but it is also important to remember that many of the stories were never intended for children.  In the days before television, storytelling was used not only to entertain children, but also adults.  Many of the stories were told by adults, for adults.
Throughout their lives, the Grimm Brothers would work on their fairy tale collection.  They added new stories, and they also changed some of the old stories to make them less violent and more suitable for children.  Finally, in 1857 they published the final 7th edition, with 211 stories.
The Grimms’ Fairy Tales were mostly from Germany and France, although some of the stories were very old and were popular in many European countries.
Many of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales are very famous nowadays, such as: Cinderella, Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and many more.  But if the Grimm Brothers had not written these stories down, they might have been lost to history.
Today, the Grimms’ Fairy Tales is the most famous collection of folk tales and fairy tales in the Western world.

The Dentist and the Crocodile by Roald Dahl: Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

The Crocodile's Dentist by Shel Silverstein (1974): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

"Your Grace"

(Grammar Questions I Couldn't Answer)

Recently my Vietnamese wife has gotten really into the historical drama "The White Princess".  (A sequel to the historical drama "The White Queen"--which I had previously reviewed on this blog).

My wife noticed that the characters frequently used "Your Grace" or "Your Highness" as a way to acknowledge the supremacy of the king or queen.  But she asked, since the intent is to show that you are acknowledging the king or queen as being superior to you, shouldn't it be "my grace" ?  As in "You are graceful to me" ?

I floated this one around the office yesterday, but nobody was able to answer it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Crocodile by Roald Dahl (1983): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

The Boa Constrictor Poem by Shel Silverstein (1974): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

The Grimm Brothers' Fairy Tales: Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Story Time, Listening, Reading, Extensive Reading, Comprehensible Input)

Google Drive Folder HERE
Quizlet Folder HERE
Youtube Playlist HERE
Slow Speed Youtube Playlist HERE
Normal Speed Youtube Playlist HERE

The Brothers Grimm Biographydrivedocspub, Video Slow Speed, Video Normal SpeedQuizlet
* The Golden Birddrivedocspub, Video Slow Speed, Video Normal SpeedQuizlet
* The Frog Princedrivedocspub, Video Slow Speed, Video Normal Speed, Quizlet
* A Cat and a Mouse Living Togetherdrivedocspub, Video Slow Speed, Video Normal Speed, Quizlet
* Lady Mary's Childdrivedocspub, Video Slow Speed, Video Normal Speed, Quizlet
Story Listening in the Style of Beniko Mason--The King of the Golden Mountain

This is a continuation of the Story Time project I started earlier this month.
Up until now, I've only been adding audio to old material that was already in my reading lesson archives.  (Jack and the Beanstalk,  Peter Pan Part 1Peter Pan Part 2Peter Pan Part 3,  For Whom the Bell TollsSlime IntroductionSlime Part 1Slime Part 2Slime Part 3Slime Part 4Slime Part 5,  Slime Part 6Slime Part 7Slime Part 8Slime Part 9).
From now, I'd like to start creating new material for this project.
But what to do?  That is the question.

The most obvious thing to do is to start using beloved fairy tales from the public domain.

...but in fact it's too obvious.  So obvious that there are hundreds of people who have already created ESL listening exercises using old fairy tales.
Truth be told, I wanted to start a project like this years ago, but held off because too many people had already done ESL material based off the Brothers Grimm.  Better to do something more original, I thought.

However, since I've failed to come up with any better ideas in the past couple years, I've decided it's better to do something rather than nothing.  While I wait around for better ideas to strike me, I'm going to try to get the ball rolling on this using the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales.

And, as I mentioned in the previous post, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales are something I've been meaning to read through anyways, so this will kill two birds with one stone.

There's a lot of Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, so to create ESL materials around them all might take me years.  But it's something I plan on working on gradually while I also try other projects.

(Sidenote: Jack and the Beanstalk doesn't count.  It's an English Fairy Tale and not one of the Brothers Grimms'.  That's just a fun bonus factoid for other Fairy Tale nerds).

My eventual goal is to create an archive of material that I can use to give my students extra homework outside of class.
I'm hopeful that this will solve a practical problem that has long plagued me.  I'm always telling students that they should do a lot of extensive reading outside of class, but I have very little material to give them.  (For example in my current school, we have a lot of graded readers in the school library, but the students are not allowed to take them home.)
Many students have also asked me in the past where they can get extra listening practice, and until now I've not been able to help them out much.  (Part of this is just due to my unfamiliarity with material that is already online--but I'd just assume create my own material that I have complete control of.)

I'd like to view these as vocabulary building exercises as well, so I want to include quizlet vocabulary exercises to supplement the fairy tales.
I'm using the The Online Graded Reader Text Editor to help me spot potentially unknown vocabulary.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I've spotted some bugs in the Online Graded Reader Text Editor.  So I run the text through 2 filters.  One is for the New General Service List level 1, the second is for General Level 5 (Early Elementary: 400 Headwords).  As far as I can tell, General Level 5 is just internal to the Online Graded Reader Text Editor.  So I don't know exactly which headwords are in the 400, but it seems to be working relatively well at catching difficult vocabulary.
I take the vocabulary that is outside of either list, and put them into a wordlist at the top of story.

I'm going to suggest the following order for my students:

Suggested Use:
Step 1: Look at the vocabulary. Check any words that you don’t know in your dictionary.
Step 2: Listen to the video.  (Listen only.  Don’t look at the reading yet).
Step  3: Practice the Vocabulary on Quizlet 
Step 4: Watch the video again.  This time look at the reading. Read and listen at the same time.
Step 5: Practice the vocabulary on Quizlet again
Step 6: Listen one last time.  The last time, don’t look at the reading.

Is this the best way to do it?  I don't know.  It makes sense to me.  Let me know if you have a better idea for a suggested study order.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Started: Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Just a couple notes here--I'm going to attempt to work through the Grimms' Fairy Tales as part of my new ESL Story Time project.  And I'll post about that separately in the next post.
But I've also been meaning to read the Grimms' Fairy Tales cover-to-cover for years now, so I'm also going to count this as one of my reading projects.  And I'll just make a few quick notes about my interest here.
As a kid, I always thought the Grimm Brothers were like Mother Goose-- a catchall name for an infinite amount of children's stories.
But I became more interested when I learned that the Grimm Brothers were real historical people.  And although their collection of Fairy Tales was massive (200 Fairy Tales, plus ten legends), it was not infinite.  You could buy their collected works and read the whole thing cover-to-cover.
I've been interested in this in part because of my general interest in working through the classics.  (In my never-ending quest to achieve the status of being a "well-read man"). 
But more specifically, I've been interested in the Grimm Brothers since I've learned about their connection to 19th Century history and politics.  (For years now, I've considered 19th Century Europe -to be - my pet historical interest). 
Jacob and Wihelm Grimm lived during the Napoleonic Wars, and were influenced by the burgeoning German nationalism that resulted from Napoleon
Jacob Grimm was politically active, and actually popped as one of the political commentators and players in Revolutions of 1848 by Priscilla Robertson.  (Which I read 10 years ago.)
The Grimms' Fairy Tales are not simply timeless tales which exist in some sort of historical vacuum. Rather, the impulse to collect folk tales from the villages was part of the romantic movement of the 19th Century.  And the impulse to collect and cultivate and preserve folktales from the German speaking villages was part of the emerging German nationalism of the 19th Century.

On another note, the Grimm Brothers were also linguists, and their research on the original Indo-European language actually shows up in some of the books on linguistics I've been reading.  (An Introduction to Language--among other books).

So, anyways, those are all my reasons for being interested in this collection generally.  I wanted to write that here to get it all out of the way before I post about what I plan to do with the ESL Story Time Project specifically. 

The Battle by Shel Silverstein (1974): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

The Ant-Eater by Roald Dahl (1983): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video: HERE

Started: Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sick by Shel Silverstein (1974): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video HERE

Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz

Subtitle: The Cairo Trilogy Volume 2
(Book Review)

Started: January 25, 2018
Finished: June 20, 2018

This is the second book in the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz.
I reviewed the first book in this trilogy--Palace Walk-- last September.  In that review I talked about the history behind this trilogy, and how I got interested in it.  So I suppose that there's no point in re-hashing all of that again.  If you want more background, see my original review of Palace Walk.  Or read the Wikipedia page on the Cairo Trilogy HERE.

The key points are:
1) This trilogy was originally published in Egypt in the 1950s, and is a huge classic in Egypt and the Arab world.  (I have an Egyptian friend who confirmed this for me.)
2) I first heard about this trilogy via Grant Voth's lectures on The History of World Literature in the "The Great Courses" series (A--recommended, by the way), and my own analysis is heavily indebted to Grant Voth.

I'm also going to try to avoid repeating myself too much from my review of Palace Walk about the tone and general tenor of the trilogy.  Much of the what I said about Palace Walk in terms of the general reading experience and pacing is true for the sequel as well.  I'm going to try to contain myself to talking about what is unique about the sequel.
And I'll also be giving away a few spoilers.

The Review
This book starts out 5 years after the end of Palace Walk, and continues the chronicle of the life of a middle-class Egyptian family for several years during the 1920s.

This was a politically turbulent time in Egypt's history.  (Egypt was still trying to secure independence from Britain, but also within Egypt itself factions were beginning to fight for control.)

One of the reasons I was interested in this series in the first place was because, as a history geek, I thought I'd pick up some history from it. But unfortunately I picked up very little.  The characters make a lot of passing references to political figures and events, but it's not really explained.  (I suppose Naguib Mahfouz was not originally writing for an American audience--he was writing for Egyptians who already knew the history).  You get some sense of the turbulence happening during this period, but you don't get any details, and it doesn't really impact the plot all that much.
The good news is, you don't need any of the history to understand the plot.  Although history geeks (like myself) will be disappointed that the book doesn't give a better history lesson, all you really need to understand the story is how the current events affects the emotional state of the characters,  and this is always narrated directly.

Much more relevant than the politics is the changing of Egyptian society which is happening here.  Although it's still happening slowly.  (There are hints that the younger generation is getting new ideas, but the old generation is still firmly in control).

Another big theme of the book is aging, and how time gradually destroys people.
Grant Voth had mentioned this in his lecture.  So I had known to look out for this theme.  But actually, it's so obvious you really can't miss it.  Right from the first chapter the narration pretty much hits you over the head with this.  Characters are thinking about how they are getting old, and how they are slowing down.

The patriarch of the family, Al-Sayyid Ahmad, is 55 at the start of the book, so he's right at that age where he is transitioning from middle-aged to old age.  And his body is catching up with him.  In the previous book, he had been infamous for his romantic affairs, and for his constant partying.  But now it is harder for him to attract women, and the partying is beginning to take its toll.
It's sad to see such a strong vibrant man beginning to lose his strength.  But at the same time, the reader knows that it is useless to lament this too much, because this is only natural.  (Or maybe it's more tragic precisely because it's natural? I don't know.)
Fellow blogger Blogging the Canon opens up his own review of this book with a long lament on his own aging.  And I almost feel obligated to launch into a similar lament.   It seems almost hypocritical to talk about aging as if it were something that only affected other people.   (I'm 40 now, but the way time is rushing by, I'm worried 55 will be here before I know it.  After all, it seems like only yesterday I was writing this blog post lamenting that I was turning 27, and those past 13 years just sped by.)

But actually, that's the thing, isn't it?  The reason books like this are noteworthy is that aging happens in real life more than it does in fiction.  We age in real-life, but fictional characters usually don't age.  For example Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes stories for 40 years in real life (1187-1927) but although the writer and the readers aged during this time, the character never did.  (Okay, if you want to be technical there is one story with an elderly Sherlock Holmes, but that is the exception--you get my point).
Of course Naguib Mahfouz is not the only writer to deal with aging and the passage of time.  There's a long literary history of documenting changes in families over time.  (Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann just off the top of my head.  And I'm sure a million other books)   But I'd still argue that it is comparatively rare.

Meanwhile, while one generation is fading out in Palace of Desire, another one is rising to take it's place.  The eldest son Yasin, now 28, is taking up his father's mantle with a vengeance, and doing all the womanizing and partying that his father once did.  (The individual decays, but society progresses--Grant Voth had highlighted this as another theme of the trilogy).

But the biggest change is the youngest son, Kamal.
In the previous book, Kamal was just a little kid, and the least interesting member of the family.

At the start of the second book, however, Kamal is 17.  And he's an intellectual now.  He's suddenly gone from a little kid who only got into mischief to a young intellectual with goals and desires.  (Kamal is roughly the same age that the author Naguib Mahfouz was during this same period of history.  So I suspected--even before I read it on Wikipedia--that Kamal was somewhat based off of Naguib Mahfouz's own youth).
As Kamal advances in age from 17, 18 and 19, Palace of Desire also perfectly captures what it is to be around this age.  Because of the stream of consciousness narration style, the reader is able to get intimately into Kamal's head.
On the one hand, Kamal's obsession with philosophy and ideal love make him seem pretentious and arrogant.  He is so full of himself that occasionally he is almost unbearable.  And yet on the other hand, it evoked a nostalgia in me for the time when life was seemed to be about pure ideals that were big and important, and that made you feel big and important because of your attachment to these ideals.  Somewhere in adulthood, you lose this feeling, and life just becomes about the day-to-day grind.
Kamal's romantic obsession is the same way.  He is obsessed with a girl.  The reader realizes very early on that Kamal has elevated this girl to such a pedestal that he could never possibly possess her in real life.  She has become such an object of reverence and worship to him that it is impossible to imagine him actually making a move on her.
(And, boy oh boy, does this ever characterize my own adolescence to a tea!)
Then the inevitable happens, and she winds up marrying another boy.  Leaving Kamal to wallow in self-pity for several pages on end.
On the one hand, it makes Kamal a very pathetic character.  And yet at the same time, once again, it made me nostalgic for the time in my life when you had these big emotions--when this idealization of romantic love seemed real, and there were emotions and ideas in the world which were pure and bigger than yourself.

A significant portion of this book (several chapters) is dedicated to Kamal's romantic obsession.  Since the ending is entirely predictable, some readers find this frustrating or boring.  (I read a couple reviews of this opinion.)
I personally thought that these sections could get a little tedious at times, but overall I was charmed enough by Kamal's young romanticism to forgive it.

Kamal's idealism also causes a crisis of faith, and by the end of the book he has lost his faith in religion (although he still believes in God).
There's an irony here, in that Kamal was one of the few members of the family who ever took religion seriously to begin with.  His father and older brother pay lip service to Islam, but they also don't think to seriously about it, and break the rules every night with drinking and adultery.  They are culturally Muslim, but don't take the tenants of the faith seriously.  And so consequently they are never bothered by the intellectual contradictions of the faith
But it is precisely because Kamal takes the faith so seriously that he can't handle learning about the contradictions.  When he finds out that the famous Muslim saint al-Husayn is not actually buried at the local Mosque (as he had been told all his life) he is devastated.

One of the more interesting parts of the book is when the father finds out about an article on Darwin that Kamal had published.  (Grant Voth highlights this part as an illustration of how the generation clash, and how the ideas of the younger Egyptians were conflicting with their elders.)  His father asks angrily "What sect does this Darwin belong to? He's an atheist, his words are blasphemous, and reporting his theory's a reckless act. Tell me: is he one of your professors at college." (p.357)


This book is a classic.  (At least in the Arab World it's considered a classic.  And among university literary types like Grant Voth.  So I'm counting it as a classic).  But it also has all the appeals of a trashy soap opera.  So you can satisfy your high-brow and your low-brow cravings at the same time.
There's a lot of household quarrels that escalate into really big drama.

But there's also some interesting plot twists in the father and son relationship.  Both Yasin and his father end up falling in love with, and sleeping with, the same girls.
I initially read this as just cheap trashy sexual drama that somehow snuck its way into classic literature.  (And to give credit where it's due, it did make the story very interesting).
But The Washington Post review (LINK HERE) points out that this is an echo of The Brothers Karamazov, and that's probably not an accident.
Now I'm embarrassed that I didn't catch that on my own.  I read The Brothers Karamazov just last year, and should have remembered that.

...actually now that The Washington Post got me thinking about it, I'm beginning to realize there are a lot of echos of The Brothers Karamazov.  
Just like in The Brothers Karamazov, this family originally had 3 sons.  Just like in The Brothers Karamazov, each son has a different personality.  And, just like in The Brothers Karamazov, the father is a sensualist, and one of the sons is also a sensualist, and it is precisely the sensualist son that ends up competing with the father for the same women.
That, plus Kamal, as the intellectual son who also becomes the religious doubter, is a parallel for Ivan Karamazov.
All of this is probably deliberate on the part of Naguib Mahfouz.
(Of course, the parallels don't go all the way.  There's no exact parallel for Alexei Karamazov, and in the Cairo Trilogy, one of the sons is already dead.  But there's enough parallels to detect an influence).


There's actually a lot more themes in this book that I haven't gotten around to, but I think I'll end this review here.  I think I've hit on the things that struck me the most.
See Blogging the Canon's review of this book here.
I had also talked about this book briefly before back in April in the vlog: The Books I'm Currently Reading .

Video Review
Video review HERE and embedded below:

Link of the Day
Chomsky on Moral Relativism & Progress


(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video HERE

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Today, in Hey, I know that Guy!
The Making of Dream Station BBC Media Action

Turns out BBC recently did a profile of a new Cambodian show that a former student of mine, Sreysros Lim, is involved in.  See from 5:26 .

Started: Vietnamese Stories for Language Learners by Tri C. Tran and Tram Le

Episode 78: World Cup, Jim Cummins, and Critical Thinking

(TEFLology Podcast)

* Fascinating.  I had no idea that Ned Ludd wasn't a real person.  But I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it turns out this is correct.

* Regarding the question of whether Google Translate is going to put us all out of business---I've been teaching in the developing world (Cambodia, Vietnam) and the big reason people learn English here is because they want to be able to study abroad.  I think this is something that Google Translate is going to be able to replace anytime soon.

* Critical Thinking--I agree with the TEFLologists completely on this.  For years now, I've also been annoyed by the use of "Critical Thinking" as a buzzword in ELT.  For precisely the reasons the TEFLologists mention.  Not only in Japan, but also in Cambodia and Vietnam, the buzzword is often used in ELT to imply that Asians have no critical thinking skills, and need to be taught critical thinking by their Western English teacher.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Slime Part 9: Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Story Time ESL Listening)
Story Transcript: drivedocspub
Youtube Video HERE

...So, this is the last installment of Slime.  It's finally done now.  I had some reservations when I started this, and the reservations just continued as I kept working on this. 
This was probably not my best idea--this story is not good for ESL.
But, whatever.  It didn't cost me anything to do this.  (Youtube is completley free).  So if someone finds it useful, then great.  Otherwise, no harm done.

Youtube Playlist HERE

My Rules by Shel Silverstein (1974): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video HERE

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stumbled upon these videos, and I thought I'd repost them here, because they also express my pain learning Japanese.  I agree that there is a case to be made for Japanese being the most difficult writing system in the world.  For precisely the reasons the video mentions.
Chinese has thousands of characters, but each character only has one pronunciation, so although the task of memorizing thousands of characters may be daunting, it's at least relatively simple.
But Japanese....? Kanji are so complicated in Japanese.

Japanese isn't all bad, however.  The phonetics of Japanese are very simple.  So it's relatively easy to get to an elementary level or pre-intermediate level of Japanese.  (I considered myself, at the peak of my studies, to be somewhere in the upper-intermediate level).  Having lived in Cambodia and Vietnam, I now have new appreciation for how simple and easy Japanese phonetics are.
Despite the frustrations the video mentions about Hiragana or Katakana, they are actually pretty simple to learn, because they line up with the English sound system quite nicely.  You just have to learn which characters match the sounds that you already know.

In Cambodian or Korean, the writing system is based off of a lot of distinctions between various vowels we don't even have in English.  So I couldn't even get off the ground with those writing systems, because I couldn't even hear the difference between the characters.  (My ear couldn't hear the difference between Cambodian vowels, so I couldn't master the writing system, which was based on the vowels.)
So in that respect, Japanese is easy.

But to get to an advanced level of Japanese, you need to crack the Kanji.  And this is nearly impossible.  For all the reasons the video mentions.  50,000 Kanji, two-thousand of them in general use, on-yomi and kun-yomi readings for each kanji, and in most cases multiple on-yomi and kun-yomi readings depending on context.

I once had ambitions of studying history in Japanese.  But I remember the day I gave up.  I brought in a popular history book to try to study with my Japanese tutor.  (A native Japanese speaker who had spent all her life in Japan).  It wasn't even an academic book, just a popular history.  But we gave up on it when my tutor didn't know how to read much of the Kanji in that book.
If native Japanese people can't master the Kanji in history books, what hope did I have?

The Hardest Writing System! - an animated rant about learning Japanese

Kanji Story - How Japan Overloaded Chinese Characters

Slime Part 8: Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Story Time ESL Listening)
Story Transcript: drivedocspub
Youtube Video HERE

Youtube Playlist HERE

Messy Room by Shel Silverstein (1981): Poems ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Poems ESL Listening)
Transcript: drivedocspub
Video HERE

Slime Part 7: Story Time ESL Listening

(TESOL Worksheets--Story Time ESL Listening)
Story Transcript: drivedocspub
Youtube Video HERE

Youtube Playlist HERE

Started: Teaching Speaking: A Holistic Approach by Christine C. M. Goh, and Anne Burns