A little bird told me …

It is an idiomatic expression that means “someone told me, but I’m not telling you who it is”. This phrase is often used more comically than seriously, especially when the source of the information is obvious to both parties but neither is willing to say.

Various authors over the centuries, including Shakespeare, have made reference to birds, feathered or otherwise, giving messages. I have found an earlier version of this phrase: “A little bird has whispered a secret to me,” from 1833 on www.phrases.org.uk

Idioms are fixed combinations of words whose meaning is difficult to guess from the meaning of each individual word. For instance, If two people are birds of a feather, they are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together and join together. That is not the same as the separate meanings of their individual words.

“Do not complain about your friends. Remember, birds of a feather flock together. Your friends are just like you.”  These are examples of idioms, they cannot be taken literally.

Sometimes we use the features and cliches based on birds as a short way of expressing a more complicated idea. For example if “the student learned about the birds and the bees in his health education class at school” is a way of saying that he or she has learned the facts about sex and birth and life, the facts of life.

Also idioms help to make English a more colourful language: “An early bird” is someone who arrives someplace early or starts something early

“I am an early bird and I like to arrive early at work every morning.” If you wake up and get to work early, you will succeed, in this case we can say the proverb: “The early bird catches the worm”

Similes are expressions which compare two things, they always include the words as or like. You can use similes to make a description more emphatic or vivid, e.g. “as free as a bird” completely free, carefree. “Eat like a bird” to eat very little. The opposite would be “Eat like a horse”, and if he eats very unpleasantly and greedily with no table manners he “eats like a pig”.

Idioms are used to catch the reader’s eye, particularly those with strong images, e.g.: “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. This expression means that it is better to have an advantage or opportunity that is certain than having one that is worth more but is not so certain. The ‘bird’ we already possess is far more valuable than the ‘two’ we could possibly get. In essence, don’t be greedy and a “bird brain”, stick with what good things you already have, instead of going after something you’ll probably never get.

The Teacher, a very interesting and intelligent person, not a “birdbrain”, introduces us to three idioms connected with birds:

  • Birdbrain.
  • To have a bird’s eye view. (a general view from above)
  • A little bird told me.

The phrase “to kill two birds with one stoneIdiom 68 Kill two birds with one stone 2I do use it by habit, but I catch myself every time I say it. The expression is rarely used literally, no one really goes around throwing stones at birds these days. Again, because these examples are idioms, they cannot be taken literally. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the usage as a proverbial phrase meaning “to accomplish two different purposes by the same act or proceeding.” Or in other words: “to use only one action to complete two tasks”.

And this is what I hope I have done with this post, learn about idioms and expressions and about bird features.

Another video about birds idioms by  JamesESL English Lessons (engVid)

To learn more about Bird Idioms:

About idioms in general:

 

 

Are you studing English? If so, are you doing English or taking English ?

“Two nations divided by a common language” George Bernard Shaw.

Are you studying English? If so, are you doing English (UK English) or taking English (US English) ? Where did you go to school? the word school is different – for Brits refers only to primary or secondary school, whereas for North Americans, it can refer also to any form of higher education including colleges and universities. Even the word college has different meaning in UK English or US English.

The following blog post has focused on very general words and phrases related with studying. And not only does it describe the most typical systems in the UK and the US, but also explains some important differences between UK and US vocabulary.

 

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter​
studying_part1
Almost everyone needs to talk about education now and then, so this blog post looks at some useful words and phrases connected with studying. It describes the most typical systems in the UK and the US, and explains some important differences between UK and US vocabulary.

The very youngest schoolchildren have a reception year in the UK and a kindergarten year in the US. After that, Brits talk about year 1, year 2, etc., while US children are in first grade, second grade, etc. The word grade is also used in US English to talk about scores in exams or written work. British English uses mark: He always gets good grades/marks.

In general, the UK has primary schools for ages 5-11 and secondary schools for ages 11-16, followed by sixth form collegesfor ages 16-18. In the US, elementary schoolsteach grades 1-5…

View original post 431 more words

Cooperative Learning: Kagan Structures for English Language Learners.

The teacher no longer is the “sage on the stage” but rather a model and facilitator of learning

Why use this method of teaching?
The 21st century learning skills* require students to build reading, writing, problem-solving and application competencies. The teacher is supposed to teach less content and more skills. Cooperative learning is the perfect teaching methodology to teach students strategies and skills. It also a great model to show students how to apply those skills to study content.

*The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C’s: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond.

If you teach your students skills, they will become proficient, adaptable and life-long learners. And this works for ALL SUBJECTS. No matter the content, students who are skilled learners can study any subject, at any time and at any place. Cooperative learning also fosters a student’s ability to work in a team and to regularly reflect on his/her learning.

Groupings
The teacher* assigns students in groups with specific roles and jobs. After team members are organized into these small groups, usually of four people, and receive instruction from their teacher, students within the team cooperate with one another and work through the assignment until each team member successfully understands and completes it. Ultimately the shared goals are accomplished individually by each team member, and collectively by the group as a whole.
Teacher-selected groups have been proven time and again to be the best method of forming teams because it ensures a good mix and avoids friends from working together, which neglects to achieve the goal of improvement of social interactions among students who do not know each other as well.kaganpresentation

Team members.

Team members are responsible for their own individual learning as well as for their teammates learning. Members benefit from the contributions of the individual team members. Groups are heterogeneous are made up of high, medium and low academic achieving students. Team members acquire new skills and knowledge. Rewards are oriented towards individual and group.
Classroom Management
If cooperative learning is not accompanied with an effective classroom management system, serious problems are likely to occur. (Spencer Kagan)

Teachers usually provide verbal information along with worksheets, outlines and study guides during a cooperative learning lesson.
Students who are unfamiliar with the cooperative learning model will need to be taught about the model and be clear on their roles as well as the teacher’s expectations during this type of lesson
Reflection (group processing) is an essential part of the cooperative learning process. By clarifying and describing which actions and decisions were helpful and unhelpful the group continues the learning process and improves each members effectiveness when contributing to a collaborative group.
Researchers
The leading researchers of cooperative learning include Robert Slavin, Roger & David Johnson and Spencer Kagan, all of whom have slightly different approaches and emphases

The research of David and Roger Johnson, provides the foundation for how cooperative learning is structured in most of today’s classrooms. Their research shows that merely because students work in small groups does not mean they are cooperating to ensure their own learning and the learning of all others in the group.
Dr. Slavin suggests that cooperative learning is doubtlessly a great tool for handicapped and disabled students. Cooperative learning encourages these students and molds them to work in a professional environment. Cooperative learning of disabled and normal students is another great way of encourage disabled students. According to Slavin, when disabled and handicapped students work in mainstream and heterogeneous environments, they learn in a more productive and skillful manner.

Spencer Kagan has developed more than 100 structures to incorporate the basic principles of cooperative learning. “We are very clear with teachers that they should make cooperative learning part of any lesson,” Kagan says. “Ours is an integrated approach rather than a replacement approach.”

Kagan Structures
Kagan Structures are easy-to-learn and easy-to-use instructional strategies, ideal for promoting second language learning. In classrooms in which the Kagan Structures are used regularly, students for whom English is a second language learn both English and academic content far more quickly and far more thoroughly than when traditional instructional strategies are used. The Kagan Structures also promote language and content learning far more than does group work.

All of the Kagan Structures are very carefully designed. They are carefully structured to implement four basic principles of cooperative learning, PIESPIES

P  = Positive Interdependence
I  = Individual Accountability
E  = Equal Participation
S  = Simultaneous Interaction

For example, Kagan instructs teachers to use a “Timed Pair Share” structure. In this exercise, the teacher divides the class into pairs of students and poses a question. Within each pair, Student A talks about his or her answer for one minute, then Student B does the same.

The following examples illustrate a few of these instructional methods used:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Which Kagan Structures should I learn and use first?”, and “Where do I begin?”

Inside-Outside Circle: In concentric circles, students rotate to face new partners and then answer or discuss teacher questions.
Rally Table: In pairs, students alternate generating written responses or solving problems.
One Stray: On each team, one teammate “strays” from his or her team to a new team to share information.
Rally Robin: In pairs, students alternate generating oral responses.
Rally Coach: Partners take turns, one solving a problem while the other coaches.
Showdown: One teammate reads a question or problem aloud. Students work independently to solve the problem, then show their answers when a teammate calls, “Showdown!” They then celebrate the correct answer or coach to get the correct answer (Kagan 1994).

For more details about Cooperative Learning

On Kagan Institutes, workshops and conferences go to www.T2TUK.co.uk and www.Kaganonline.com

The “Round robin” technique

What is cooperative learning? SlideShare

Cooperative Learning Lessons Starter Kit

The Essential 5: A Starting Point for Kagan Cooperative Learning

FIVE COOPERATIVE LEARNING ACTIVITIES TO DO ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Kagan Structures for English Language Learners

Lost In Translation: Every language has its ready-made expressions

When an idiom, saying, proverb or ready-made expression is translated into another language and, because of differences of the languages, some of the original meaning is lost. Due to the original meaning can not be perfectly translated into the other language. So you have to rephrase or say what you mean in a totally different way.

The common and very familiar Spanish expression “contigo pan y cebolla” is used in Spain in a humoristic way to let your partner know “how deep is your love” but means literally “with you bread and onions“. The fact that a couple may not have a lot of money is not an obstacle for them to get married and live a happy life as long as they love each other. The idea of “contigo pan y cebolla” may be expressed in English with expressions like: with you through thick and thin, against all odds; If I am with you I do not need anything else; I’ll forbear any burden in life being with you. Although not any of those has the accurate meaning of the Spanish expression.

By and large we express what we mean with the help of proverbs, sayings or ready-made phrases, We often have the tendency to translate them word-for-word in the middle of the conversation with a foreign friend and without us being actually aware of it. That, instead of clarify the meaning, has an opposite effect. People who do that “no tiene dos dedos de frente” (literally: Not having two fingers of forehead, but it is used as: He/She is not smart) because you can make a big mistake or make a tactless remark: “meter la pata” (you can make a bit of a blunder).

Normally these remarks are innocent and never intentional, but can nevertheless lead to embarrassing and tense situations, and sometimes may even have some unpleasant consequences. More often than not, however, these type of mistakes and inappropriate comments have no major consequences and with time become funny anecdotes. Conversely, your interlocutor may think that you “estas como una cabra”. This is another commonly used Spanish idiom for when somebody is doing something bizarre or a little out of the ordinary. The literal translation is “to be like a goat” and the English equivalent is saying someone is a little nuts or crazy. So if you translate to a foreign friend Spanish expressions literally, you might say: “tu estás como una cabra.(you are a little crazy.) Or They might think you are “corto de luces” literally, “short of lights,” in English “not the brightest bulb on the tree.In this site you can find 100 ways to say “not the brightest bulb on the tree.

Those phrases, idioms or ready-made expressions, which, taken out of their original context, or to the ears of a foreigner, sound so very bizarre. When you think carefully about the words that make up these idioms, you realize there is a major leap from the literal meaning to the figurative meaning, and that’s where it gets funny.

On the other hand, people use them on a daily basis, but often don’t know about their origins. They may not stop to reflect on some of the expressions that come out of their mouth, but to other people, some of these idioms can be truly shocking. For instance “Estar en Babia” (to be in Babia) means “to be distracted or inattentive”, but where this expression comes from back in the Middle Ages, when León was a kingdom, the royal family lived in their palace in the city of León, but they used to come to Babia to hunt and fish. And when people requested an audience with the king, the chamberlain used to say he was in Babia, he was away of the bustle and noise of the city, he was absent, missing ….In Spain “to be in Babia” means having your mind in one place and your body in another.

babia

But to learn a language is better no tener pelos en la lenguanot to have hairs on your tongue”, meaning that someone is a straight shooter and will always speak their mind. And don’t Tomar el pelo (to take the hair) to your teacher, used when someone is tricking or making fun of someone else, but in a good-natured way: to pull your teacher’s leg.

Resources for Learning Spanish Idioms

15 Common Spanish Idioms

To be healthier than a pear: Funny Spanish idioms: Nice collection of funny Spanish idioms here, with many new ones.

Catalog of Spanish Expression Proverbs

Why do the Spanish “shit in the sea”?

Spanish Phrases That Literally Make No Sense

9 ridiculously useful Spanish expressions: Great post that also includes embedded sound files.

Sayings, Idioms, Quotes and Proverbs

A saying is a short, clever expression that usually contains advice or expresses some obvious truth. An idiom is a group of words in current usage having a meaning that is not deducible from those of the individual words. A quote (or “quotation”) is usually a short text written or spoken by one (usually famous) person and often repeated or at least known by others. And a proverb is a phrase expressing a basic truth which may be applied to common situations.

Many idioms originated as quotations from well-known writers such as Shakespeare. For example, “at one fell swoop” comes from Macbeth and “cold comfort” from King John. Sometimes such idioms today have a meaning that has been altered from the original quotation.

It’s high time we start with the examples because we haven’t got a “whale of time” and “Time is gold ….”

 Time is gold, don't waste it, don't take it for granted, always make the best of it... 'cause you never know when you might run out of it.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

It’s one of the most recognizable expressions around: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But besides the fact that it rhymes, which makes it fun to say and easy to recall, does it really have any value? Could the common apple honestly help a person to maintain perfect health? It’s unlikely that the saying would have maintained such popularity if there wasn’t some truth to it.

When the opportunity knocks I answer the door naked. 

You will only have one chance to do something important or profitable. Some say opportunity knocks only once, others say that opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it. But there is another formulation of the proverb: If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

“The world’s my oyster” William Shakespeare quote

If you boast that “The world’s my oyster” nowadays, you’re claiming that the world’s riches are yours to leisurely pluck from the shell. “The world’s my oyster” has become merely a conceited proclamation of opportunity and means that one rules the world, one is in charge of everything. 

“Better to walk without knowing where than to sit doing nothing” Tuareg Proverb

On the one hand, when we sit for long periods, circulation is constricted, metabolism slows, muscles shut off and connective tissue tightens…..uffff¡¡¡ Bad news for your health. On the other hand, and on  another quotation: “Keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths“. Walt Disney

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Confucius.

Everything has an intrinsic value. But the valuation is subjective, not objective. In others words or in other saying: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Different people have different ideas about what is beautiful.

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours; quid pro quo

This for that; giving something to receive something else; something equivalent; something in return.

No pain, no gain

One must be willing to endure some inconvenience or discomfort in order to achieve worthwhile goalsRelated terms:

If one takes no risks, one will not gain any benefits.

To be on cloud number nine

A state of happiness, elation or bliss; to be on seventh heaven (the outermost of the heavenly spheres; a dwelling of the angels)

Every cloud has a silver lining

Means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun.

Why? When we look more closely at the edges of every cloud we can see the sun shining there like a silver lining.

People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining to comfort somebody who’s having problems. They mean that it is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.

Sing Songs while you learn English

I am back again and I have missed this little blog and you all! I didn’t realize how much this little space on the internet actually meant to me until I kept apart for weeks. I felt a little guilty not posting more frequently and although I cannot find a good enough excuse, I have to say that It has been a busy few weeks. This post is to encourage you as well as me to undertake new projects to learn and teach second languages.
To begin with I would like to start very energetic and courageous with this quote: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can: positive thinking is half the work …”

Having said that, I would like to show you a new free on-line language learning tool that is particularly useful for students of foreign languages who want a fun and entertaining way to learn the correct pronunciation of words and it will improve their listening skills as students must identify words from a song. One of the best ways to learn English or any language is music. If you would like to know what the lyrics of your favourite songs say and, moreover, improve your English, playing Lyrics Training is a good alternative.

That is:  .

In LyricsTraining you can choose from a wide selection of songs and try to complete their letter while watching video clips. LyricsTraining also has a special Karaoke mode that lets you sing and enjoy the full lyrics.

There are three levels of difficulty Lyrics Training: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Depending on your choice, you have to hit a single word or directly the full track.

LyricsTraining helps you to learn new vocabulary and expressions, and reinforce grammar concepts through continuous exercise of writing the missing words.

But above all, LyricsTraining helps you train your ear to improve your capacity to recognize sounds and words of a foreign language in a very short time, training your brain almost unconsciously, whether you know the meaning of all the words or not.

Just try it and let me know your experience in this web application that allows you to read and listen to the lyrics from music videos and can be used as a fun and interactive way for language teachers and trainers to introduce new vocabulary and grammar to their students in a classroom setting.

Please write your comments or leave me a reply.

Pearls of Wisdom from Forrest Gump

The world will never be the same once you’ve seen it through the eyes of Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic comedy-drama film released in the  US on July 6, 1994, 20 years ago. The film won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, Best Actor for Tom Hanks among others.

While waiting at a bus stop at Savannah, Georgia in 1981, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) begins telling his life story to strangers who sit next to him on the bench.

¨You’ll Never Know What You’re Capable Of If You Don’t Try¨

His story begins with the leg braces he had to wear as a child in the 1950s, and as a result other children bullied him. His only childhood friend famously advised him to “run, Forrest, run!” when they began picking on him. He broke free of his braces and later enjoyed a successful career as a college athlete.Then he ran across the country for three years, but that’s another lesson you can find below. Always try. You may surprise yourself.

¨Stupid is as stupid does¨

It means that an intelligent person who does stupid things is still stupid. You are what you do. He lives with his mother (Sally Field), who tells him that “stupid is as stupid does.” His mother runs a rooming house and Forrest teaches one of their guests, a young Elvis Presley, a hip-swinging dance.

¨Shit Happens¨

“Así es la vida” or “C’est la vie”. Shit happens pay attention and keep your eyes open.
A universal religious concept:
Taoism: Shit Happens.  Hinduism: This shit happened before. Islam: If shit happens, take hostages. Buddhism: If shit happens is it really shit? Protestantism: Shit happens if you work hard.  Catholicism: Shit Happens, I deserve it. 7th Day Adventist:Shit happens on Saturday. Mormonism: Knock Knock, Shit Happens. Judaism: Why does shit happen to me? Krishnaism: Shit happens, ring a dingy ding. Jehovah’s Witness:People now living will see shit happen. Paganism: Each shit has its own name. Atheism: Bullshit! TV Evangelism: Send more shit. Rastafarianism: Let’s smoke this shit. By urbandictionary.com.

¨Be kind¨

After graduating, Forrest enlists in the United States Army, where he befriends Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue . Not only did they sleep back-to-back to avoid the mud, but after Bubba died, Forrest lived out Bubba’s dream of being a shrimping boat captain. Forrest was a good friend to Bubba because Bubba was so loyal to him. It’s simple: To Have Good Friends, Be a Good Friend.

“There’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off”

After earning a fortune, Forrest gave Bubba’s portion of the shrimping boat business to Bubba’s family. “There’s only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off,” he reasoned. “So, I gave a whole bunch of it to the Foursquare Gospel Church and I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre Fishing Hospital. And even though Bubba was dead, and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba’s momma Bubba’s share. And you know what? She didn’t have to work in nobody’s kitchen no more.” If you can share your wealth, it’s worth doing. It’s Great to Give Back.

¨You have to do the best with what God gave you¨

Mrs. Gump: You have to do the best with what God gave you.  The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company becomes a huge success due to the elimination of competition. Forrest leaves the company in the hands of Dan, who invests their wealth in shares of a “fruit company” (Apple Computer), making them both millionaires. Forrest gives Bubba’s mother a sizable check, causing her to faint, then to retire from her low-paying domestic job. From the outside, that must have looked foolish, but he didn’t care: He was always true to himself. Do What You Love, No Matter What.

 

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get 

 Forrest Gump: My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Expect the Unexpected and Be Open-Minded.

¨Dying is a part of life¨

“Momma always said dyin’ was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t. Little Forrest, he’s doing just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teaching him how to play ping-pong. He’s really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He’s so smart, Jenny. You’d be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can’t read it. I’m not supposed to, so I’ll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don’t know if Momma was right or if, if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there’s anything you need, I won’t be far away.”

To know more about Forrest Gump Quotes and its wisdom:

LTTLA: Language Teaching, Testing and Learning Acronyms

You might be confused by the all the abbreviations you see connected with teaching English. To start off with here are the most common abbreviations that you will surely already know about Studing English:

E is for English and L Language

but we can have three acronyms if you study them:

EFL-English as a Foreign Language. Used when a non-native English speaker is studying English in a non-English speaking country.

ESL-English as a Second Language. Used when a non-native-English speaker is studying English in an English-speaking country.

ESOL-English for Speakers of Other Languages. This term is more recent and is intended to be a more inclusive term (includes ESL and EFL).

T is for Teaching

If we add T + EFL: TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country, although TESL (teaching English as a second language) are often confused. The difference is, theoretically, that TEFL (or EFL) is teaching English outside of the English-speaking world, while TESL (or ESL) is teaching English to non-English speakers within an English-speaking country.

TESOL is a more inclusive term for teaching  ESL and EFL.

T is for TEST

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language – the most common English proficiency exam for North American universities and colleges, also accepted by some British universities and employers as proof of English proficiency.

TOEIC – The TOEIC (pronounced “toe-ick”) is a Test of English for International Communication.

Trinity College London ESOL offers the Integrated Skills in English (ISE) series of 5 exams which assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening and is accepted by academic institutions in the UK.

Cambridge English Language Assessment offers a suite of eighteen globally available examinations including General English: Key English Test (KET), Preliminary English Test(PET), First Certificate in English (FCE), Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Cambridge English Test

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

London Tests of English from Pearson Language Tests, a series of six exams each mapped to a level from the Common European Framework (CEFR) – see below.

Common European Framework (CEFR) .

Here are some more important abbreviations related to teaching, teaching certificates, and English exams:

BC – British Council

BEC – Business English Certificate – Cambridge business English exam certificate BrE – British English

CELTA – Certificate in English language teaching to adults (Cambridge/RSA Teaching Certificate also known as C-TEFLA)

DELTA – Diploma in English language teaching (Cambridge/RSA Language Teaching Scheme)

K12 – Kindergarten – 12th grade.

KET – Key English Test – The most elementary of Cambridge’s series of exams

L1 – Language 1 – native language  L2 – Language 2 – the language you are learning

MT – Mother Tongue

RP – Received Pronunciation – ‘standard’ British pronunciation

YLE – Young Learners English Tests – Cambridge Examinations for young learners

Wordle Applet Acronyms

Related Articles

Improve your English while reading

wsj

 

Improve your English while reading today’s Wall Street Journal. This is the motto of this great new(s) site for students to experience reading one of the world’s top English language newspapers.

Newsmart uses articles from the Wall Street Journal to promote learning English as a second language. It’s a slick site, and it’s free.

Students can select from a collection of news stories gleaned from the WSJ proper. While reading they can also complete mostly multiple choice questions on vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension, crafted by professional content creators.

Users pick an article, and then there are color-coded portions in it for vocabulary and grammar. Click on it, and you are given a question about the in-context grammar or vocabulary issue. You then accumulate points and badges.

Image

Newsmart is already a powerful tool for individual study and it has the potential to be a great classroom tool for teachers. There’s nothing simpler than emailing links to articles you’ve assigned for homework, not to mention there is already a scoring metric in place.

For a more extensive and comprehensive review of Newsmark visit: http://eslreview.wordpress.com/tag/newsmart/ by Mark Armstrong

 

 

Mandelas’ quotes about Education, freedom, wisdom, peace ….

These 10 quotes convey very clearly the greatness of this man who, whilst being a great leader and example of humility and tolerance, was above all a human being like the rest of us. But what a human being!

On Education
1Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.nelson mandela, quotes, sayings, wise, wisdom, education

On Courage
2I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

On Freedom
3. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

4. There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.

On Racism
5. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

On Leadership
6. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

On Peace
7.
 If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

On Society
8. There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

On Wisdom
9. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

On Death
10
Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.

Music video by The Special AKA performing Nelson Mandela:

I loved this song and danced many nights away giving very little thought of Mandela who had been a prisoner on Robben Island for 21 years

Thank you, Madiba, for the sacrifices you and your family made to make democracy and freedom a reality for so many people. I truly hope that the future generations will not let you down.