十月, 2013 的封存

What would you do? (WWYD)

Posted: 2013 年 10 月 31 日 in Speaking

From Wikipedia:

Primetime: What Would You Do? is an American television news magazine and hidden camera show broadcast on ABC since 2008 as part of the Primetime series. The series is hosted by news correspondent John Quinones. In the series, actors act out scenes of conflict or illegal activity in public settings while hidden cameras videotape the scene, and the focus is on whether or not bystanders intervene, and how. Variations are also usually included, such as changing the genders, the races or the clothing of the actors performing the scene, to see if bystanders react differently. Quiñones appears at the end to interview the bystanders about their reactions. As the experiment goes on, psychology professors, teachers, or club members watch and discuss the video with Quiñones, explaining and making inferences on the bystanders’ reactions.

WWYD is ideal as topics of conversation. Teachers may guide students to have a speaking activity based on the issue provided in each scenario.

  1. Ask students the target question and collect their potential responses.

  2. Play the video in Chinese or English caption.

  3. Play the video again without captions.

  4. Group students to discuss the video in depth.

  5. Group students to write and role-play their own script.
  6. Assign homework based on the characters at issue, such as the homeless/homosexual/transexual/racist/minority, etc.

  7. Provide more links of WWYD for after-school learning.

Lists of WWYD: http://bit.ly/HtrDwL


What would you do if a man is denied service simply because he is homeless?

What would you do if a stranger collapses on the street in front of you?

What would you do if you witness adopted kids harrassed and bullied for having gay/lesbian parents?



Posted: 2013 年 10 月 29 日 in Listening

Lyricstraining is a multilingual website to learn languages for free through music videos, lyrics, and karaoke in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch. It is an MV-based listening-typing game which involves the audience in language learning interactively. In this web-based personalized training program, songs are categorized into three levels (easy/medium/hard) with three modes (beginner/intermediate/expert). Learning with Lyricstraining demands attention, memory, speed, flexbility, and sometimes problem solving. With an account, learners not only track changes in performance but also create their personal songs. Statistically speaking, this website may be the most popular one on this blog.

Lyricstraining: http://www.lyricstraining.com

How to use Lyricstraining

Carol Brown is a cynical song by Jemaine and Bret, describing how girls dump their boys. In fact, the idea originates from a classic song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon. In other words, Carol Brown is an homage to the Paul Simon’s song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, in which the singer suggests a number of ways that a man can escape an unwanted relationship.

In the MV, Jemaine pretends to play a small videotape editing console with a guitar neck attached to it. Bret plays a similar contraption consisting of a bass guitar neck attached to a video mixer console. Jemaine is accompanied by a chorus of women playing his ex-girlfriends. They sing about his many deficiencies as a boyfriend.

Teachers can ask their students in groups to complete the following missions.

  1. Write down the girls’ names in the MV.

  2. Describe how or why the girls dump the poor guy.

Carol Brown (Choir of Ex-girlfriends)

Exercise: Please watch the video of “50 ways to leave your lover” by Paul Simon. Figure out what is wrong with Jack, Stan, Roy, Gus, and Lee.

Somehow, the above two songs remind Ben of a Taiwanese song The Revenge of the Renewed Man by The Chairman. (新男性的復仇/董事長樂團)



Using apps to learn English

Posted: 2013 年 10 月 27 日 in Technology
標籤:, , , ,

This is an edited reblog from “9 Most Popular iOS and Android Apps to Learn English Languagehttp://bit.ly/16Ca0WH and “ESL Apps: 15 English Language Learning Apps for iPhone and Androidhttp://bit.ly/113kyLW written by Anastasia Koltai

1. Intro to Letters takes you through every letter in the English alphabet. Students can tap a letter they want to learn about, and the app will tell them what the letter means, examples of how it is used and what it sounds like in different words. Then you can do exercises, flashcards and puzzles with each letter. To help students write the letters, the app offers a tracing program for practice.

2. Hello-Hello English was built in part by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. It uses a teaching method called Mobile Immersion to create a virtual environment that guides learners visually to develop functional language skills. It comes with 30 conversational lessons based on real-life situations. Animated lessons, games and exercises allow students to practice speaking, writing, reading and listening skills.

3. SpeakingPal English Tutor is an interactive app that uses a mobile phone’s speech recognition capability. It features a series of 5-minute mini-lessons, dialogues, interactive exercises, role-playing and language activities. Using the speech recognition technology, this app provides instant feedback on the students speaking performance and a review mode for later. It is available on iPhone and Android for free.

4. Conversation English features 20 lessons, each with video dialogue, conversation listening and reading, comprehension, vocabulary and sentence completion. The app follows an ongoing storyline about a group of friends and their relationships. By following the story, students learn English idioms, expressions and vocabulary. This is a great app for students who wish to practice more conversational English. Its available for download on iTunes.

5. Supiki English Conversation Speaking Practice app is an iOS app to improve your conversational skills.

6. Busuu is an app featuring comprehensive vocabulary, dialogue and interactive tests, students will learn more than 3,000 words and expressions. It covers 150 topics using day-to-day situations. This app is suitable for both beginning and advanced students. It is available for download on iPhone (including iOS 4, optimized for retina display), iPad, iPod touch and Android. It comes with 20 free learning units, with full content available for purchase.

7. ESL Daily English features a podcast for ESL students for beginning to advanced English learners.  Each podcast episode can be translated to native language and comes with a detailed learning guide. You can socialize and comment with other students to discuss the episodes. Available for Android only!

8. Sentence Builder, an iPad application, is  one of the most popular ESL apps for younger students, according to Edudemic.com. It provides vivid images and videos, then shows various words and phrases you can piece together to form the right English sentence to go with the image.

9. Voxy is suited for both the beginner and advanced learner. It creates personalized lessons which adapt based on the student’s level, interests and goals. It features skill-based lessons based on specific goals. Students can take private lessons with a certified, native English-speaking tutor to improve their speaking skills. Tutors provide detailed feedback on student performance. Tests focus on the words and phrases students are exposed to throughout the course and if they pass, they get an award. It can be downloaded for free on iPhone and Android.

10.  LearnEnglish Audio and Video features English learning podcats and videos, which is a good way to get English immersion.

11. LearnEnglish Grammar helps users improve their grammar skills.

12.  MyWordBook 2 is described as an “interactive vocabulary network” from which users can download word lists.

13.  Wordshake is a game that resembles Boggle; it gives users a grid of letters and a time limit in which to find as many words as possible.

14.  Their vocabulary apps include free and paid apps about phrasal verbs and a series called English Vocabulary in Use for elementary, intermediate, and advanced learners.

15. Cambridge offers grammar in the form of English Grammar in Use, which includes Activities, Tests, and Essentials at several levels.

16. Kids English Vocabulary is an app designed for students just beginning to work in English. This app is a great introduction for beginners just starting to learn vocabulary basics.

17. English Verb Trainer offers education and practice on common English verbs. This app is particularly handy because it can run offline, so students don’t need to have a connection in order to practice. This app can help students learn how to conjugate that pesky ‘be’ verb and many others.


Posted: 2013 年 10 月 27 日 in Comprehensive

Reblogged from http://patty102.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/using-cnn-student-news-in-class/comment-page-1/#comment-184

Voicetube is a very useful website that provides English subtitles and vocabulary practice. You can click on any words that you don’t know while listening. The words you choose will directly be added to your wordlist. What’s more, you can take word quizzes based on your chosen words, including word dictation, definition matching and Chinese to English translation. I am very impressed by this customerized function, because it can easily cater for learners of different levels. With an account, you have an access to your own learning record, your word lists and various videos of different genres and levels. You can also intereact with many Taiwanese learners here. There are more than 1,6000 Taiwanese using it to learn English now. Waste no time and join them!”


Voicetube tutorial

War with the West

One of the first foreigners to recognize Taiwan’s economic potential and to advocate its outright annexation was Dr. William Jardine, co-founder of the powerful British trading firm Jardine, Matheson, and Co. Jardine became alarmed when China took up arms in 1839 to suppress the British opium trade in Canton. He informed British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston: “We, must proceed to take possession of three or four islands, say Formosa (臺灣), Quemoy (金門) and Amoy (廈門), in order to secure new markets and new footholds in China.”

When the first Anglo-Chinese conflict, or “Opium War,” broke out, it further antagonized the strained relations between China and the West. Crews of British vessels subsequently shipwrecked off the coast of Taiwan met with even harsher treatment. The ships were plundered, then broken to pieces and burned. The crews were stripped naked and forced to walk painful distances to capitivity.

The British were not the only foreign power that showed interested in Taiwan during the 19th century. Several American traders and diplomats also advocated annexation of the island. They included Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who realized Taiwan’s strategic importance in the Far East. Gideon Nye, a wealthy American merchant and a leading member of his country’s expatriate community in Canton, proposed in 1857 that “Formosa’s eastern shores and southern point…in the direct route of commerce between China and California and Japan, and between Shanghai and Canton, should be protected by the United States of America.” Nye also had personal reasons for his proposal: he suspected that his brother Thomas, who mysteriously disappeared on the opium clipper Kelpie in 1849, had been captured and killed in Taiwan.

The Treaty of Tientsin (天津條約), which ended the first Opium War in 1860, opened four Taiwanese ports to foreign trade: Keelung and Suao in the north; Taiwanfoo (Tainan) and Takao (Kaohsiung) in the south. During the ensuing decade, foreign trade in Formosa grew by leaps and bounds. Most of the activity involved British and American firms. Primary export products included camphor, tea, rice, sugar, lumber, and coal. The sole import, which sometimes exceeded exports in value, remained opium.

By 1867, 25 foreign traders lived in northern Taiwan at Tanshui and Keelung, and another dozen lived in the south at Taiwanfoo (台灣府). Trade boomed, doubling in volume in 1869 and doubling again in 1870. Colorful expatriate communities flourished around the ports. They maintained close ties with their counterparts in Hong Kong, Canton and Amoy. Unfortunately, the perennial problems of legal responsibility and political authority continued to plague Taiwan’s foreign relations much as they do today.

A negative aspect of the trade boom was the increased frequency of violent incidents, corresponding to the greater number of foreign trading vessels that called at the island’s ports. Brawls between drunken European and American merchant marines and the lcoal Chinese usually ignited the violence. The inevitable vendettas followed. Local magistrates refused to take action in such cases, insisting that the foreigners petition authorities in Peking. But because of Peking’s lack of influence and interest in the island’s affairs, nothing ever got done through such “legal channels.”

The situation was further aggravated by the arrival of foreign missionaries in the early 1870s. Zealous missionaries from the various sects of Christianity fanned out over the island and staked out exclusive “territorial domain.” That created more confusion than the tenets of their conflicting religious doctrines. The missionaries, backed by their native countries, competed for exclusive domains in much the way traders competed for monopolies of major exports. The periodic attacks on foreign missionaries and their Chinese converts led to the same futile wrangling between local magistrates and foreign officials as did the incidents in the commmerical sector. Only displays of force produced settlements.

Yet one thing was clear to all the squabbling parties. Taiwan was indeed an alluring beauty. It was rich in resources and strategically located. But it was also untamed. There was a need for law and order that Peking could not provide. Expatriates clamored for the home governments to step in. The Japanese did just that.

Opium War (6:33)

Opium War lecture (23:31)

Opium War BBC documentary (57:32)

6. Oxymora

Posted: 2013 年 10 月 24 日 in Logology

Oxymora refer to a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. For example, The word sophomoric is literally “a wise fool” because such a student hasn’t the complete foolishness of a freshman or the complete wisdom of a senior.

I. Single-word oxymora composed of antagonistic elements

  1. sophomores→ wise fools

  2. preposterous→ before-after

  3. pianoforte→ soft-loud

II. Single-word oxymora composed of independent morphemes

  1. bridegroom

  2. bittersweet

  3. ballpoint

III. Literal oxymora

  1. benign neglect

  2. elevated subway

  3. one-man band

  4. open secret

  5. original copy

  6. random order

  7. working vacation

IV. Pun-based oxymora

  1. jumbo shrimp

  2. even odds

  3. death benefit

V. Parts of speech

  1. press release

  2. divorce court

  3. building wrecking

VI. Dead metaphors

  1. awfully good

  2. damned good

  3. barely clothed

  4. clearly confusing

VII. Artful oxymora

  1. little giant

  2. same difference

  3. global village

  4. accidentally on purpose

VIII. Literary oxymora

  1. concord of this discord (Shakespeare)

  2. darkness visible (Milton)

  3. falsely true (Tennyson)

  4. fearful bravery (Shakespeare)

IX. Doublespeak oxymora

  1. mandatory option

  2. virtually spotless

X. Partisan oxymora

  1. business ethics

  2. nonworking mother

XI. Technological innovations

  1. paper tablecloths

  2. metalwood

  3. plastic glasses

  4. green blackboard

  5. plastic silverware

XII. Other oxymora

  1. almost safe

  2. artificial grass

  3. backside

  4. bigger half

  5. career gambler

  6. clean coal

  7. deciding not to decide

  8. final draft

  9. free with purchase

  10. historical fiction

  11. holy war

  12. modern classic

  13. numb feeling

  14. sight unseen

XIII. Oxymoronic statements

  1. Never say never.

  2. When you fall and break both your legs, don’t come running to me.

  3. If you don’t get this note, let me know immediately.

  4. I pride myself on my humility.