Saturday, 5 December 2009
By the way...
I have recently become a little more understanding of the problems that my students have with the language. Why is this I hear you cry? Because I have started to have classes in Portuguese. For years I have been fudging my way through, basically speaking Spanish with a Sean Connery/Ukrainian accent (Shurely Shome Mishtake?), but have been embarrassed by my clumsy lexis and bitten the bullet. I am uncovering fossilised errors by the truck load (and saying thins like 'really, but I always thought...) and a whole host of false friends. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all those I have spoken to with such terrible language.
Portuguese is an odd language. Any fool can read it, but speaking! The nasal twang! Greek was easier, and that's including the different alphabet.
Back to basics then.
My computer's still broken but I have borrowed one as I can't really leave this blog idle while Acer try to unmelt my old laptop (I really should buy a new one, but am certainly waiting until after Christmas because they'll be cheaper and the shops won't be full). Some of my students are doing the mocks for their Cambridge exams today, and on Wednesday I'm doing some invigilation for the real things.
Thoughts on the exam I've had recently? Well, I am getting to like the addition to the CAE Use of English paper of the part where you have three sentences with the same word missing. CPE has had this for a while and I always thought it a bit harsh to drop it on students out of the blue like that.
Also, the CAE Reading paper, specifically the part which concentrates on matching paragraphs to spaces; this has to be over-taught as students really, really find this hard.
I'm finding it quite hard to type right now on an unfamiliar keyboard and with my two year old daughter trying to press the keys at the same time. She's getting excited with Christmas coming up, or at least because of the flashing lights and colour everywhere.
We're all of to Italy for Crimbo to see the in-laws...
I do hope I get my beast (read 'laptop') back soon!