Monday, November 24, 2014

Get Around To It ... Eventually

I know, I know. Not blogging for months is not a good way to keep a blog alive. I've honestly thought about killing it. But with new life changes on the way soon, I may need it more than ever! (No, I'm not pregnant.)

Quick updates:
Still teaching English and loving it!
Still healing from the car accident
Still not back in the pool. Maybe in 2015?!

I'm currently working on an ESL presentation that I am happy to share with the word once it's ready. Stay tuned ...


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get Back In the Pool

I think I'm finally at the point in my physical therapy journey where I can get back in the pool. However, to make sure I don't over do it, I won't bring my goggles and I won't bring my swim cap. But gosh, it will be nice to get back in the water.


Friday, June 27, 2014

It's Always Nice To Be Thanked

At the end of the last semester one of my very sweet students gave me this:










and this:






While all of my students thank me at the end of each class, it did feel nice to get an extra thanks at the end of the semester.

Is there someone you are thankful for? Saying thank you may just make their day.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Get Back To It

Have I really not blogged for two months? Well, time flies when you are having fun. Let's see, since we talked last I have:

* been to Madrid, Spain for a great family vacation
* taught American English pronunciation for 7 hours a week at Clark College for 6 weeks
* got hit by a car while driving my car
* went to numerous doctor's appointments to find out what is now wrong with my shoulder
* learned that a frozen water bottle feels great when held against my painful rotator cuff (shoulder)

I've also read some books, watched way too much TV and spend time outdoors. The English program I followed for class was amazing. I've signed up to teach it again once Clark's summer classes begin. Depending on who shows up, I will start from the beginning or just continue. Either way, it'll be a great experience.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Use It Or Lose It

My Spanish class in high school put together a special year book. Here is my page from it.






I wrote this 22 years ago, and have no idea what it says. I had to look up some of the words in a Spanish dictionary. Why? Because I don't use Spanish every day and therefore I have lost a lot of what I learned. So, when you learn a new language, you'd better use it or you will lose it!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Love Your Butt

March is ... well, was Colon Cancer month here in the United States. The Colon Cancer Foundation was showing a video to promote medical screening. But I see it as a video with 15 different ways to say butt!



1. booty
2. bottom
3. derriere (French)
4. tuchus
5. bum
6. behind
7. tushy
8. caboose
9. keister
10. rump
11. buns
12. patooty
13. fanny
14. money maker
15. gluteus maximus

Yes, there are many more words to say butt. And yes, there is one that is used quite a lot. (It rhymes with grass.) But it can't be said on certain American television channels, so it was not included.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Say Thank You




I recently send this email to Judy Gilbert, author of Clear Speech and Clear Speech from the Start. And because I love teachable moments, I wanted to post it so you could see an example of an actual email sent from one American to another. We don't know each other, so it is more formal than an email I would write to a friend.

 ---------------------------
Dear Ms. Gilbert, (I don't know her marital situation, so I am using Ms.)

I have been teaching ESL/EFL for a year. My TESOL certification program did not teach me anything about pronunciation. But I have had many students complain that people couldn't understand them and they didn't know why. I was shocked to learn that the local community college doesn't teach pronunciation. In addition, the TOEFL requires clear pronunciation, but I don't see many resources for learners that include feedback from a native English speaker. So I find myself gravitating towards teaching pronunciation.

I started working on making their pronunciation more clear, and that is going well, but teaching vowels has always confused me. Last night I was at my wit's end. How can I teach all of these vowel sounds to my students if they don't even make sense to me? It just didn't make logical sense.

I eventually came across the prosody speech you did at The New School (on YouTube) and my cloud of gloom lifted. You spoke of everything I have learned or thought in the past year. How important pronunciation is, how native English speakers will give up speaking with a student after a few tries, and how my students can feel isolated because of it. And it explained why the teachers avoid it.

In addition, you gave me a path to move forward. I went to bed excited and renewed. So I wanted to thank you for your speech, it really lifted my spirits.

Thank you,
Lia Hollander

---------------------------

I will let you know if she writes back! But even if she doesn't, it made me happy just to write the email.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Remember Four Things

Here are four things to remember when you are learning English. Or any new skill or task.

1. You are not alone. Ask for help.









2. Practice it every day.












3. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.








4. If you fall down, get back up and try again.












You can do it!