Tag Archives: Teaching

Tips

Language Tip 10 (2014-15)

“bare” vs. “bear”

Both of these words have several meanings, but “bear” is the one that means “to carry”; “bare” is normally used when referring to someone or something devoid of clothes, plants, etc.

A few examples:

Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bare Mountain” (or “Night on Bald Mountain”)

Barenaked Ladies (the rock band that composed the music for “The Big Bang Theory”)

“I can’t bear it!” (I’ve had enough!)

“Bear with me…” (Put up with me…”)

“Grin and bear it” means something very different from “grin and bare it.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

Tips

Language Tip 8 (2014-15)

Who vs. that

Some people claim that relative clauses which relate to persons should only be introduced by “who” and never by “that,” although the latter option is in fact very common.

According to this logic, the following is WRONG:
“The person that gave me the advice was mistaken.”

It is not wrong. It is just as correct as:
“The person who gave me the advice was mistaken.”

Tracking down the “some people” who/that claim “relative clauses which relate to persons should only be introduced by ‘who’” is difficult. Perhaps because it’s a silly made-up rule.

That said, a fair number of English speakers get irritated when ‘that’ is used for persons, and if the person reading your grant/job application is one of them, consequences may be grave rather than silly. If you don’t know your audience (or you know they are grammar Nazis) and the outcome is important to you, stay on the safe side, otherwise feel free to use whichever you like.

For more on this topic, see: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/who-versus-that

Of course, never use ‘which’ in place of ‘who’ – “That is that woman which [sic] sits beside me in class” begs for a little ‘discussion’, not unlike here:

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

Tips

Language Tip 4 (2014-15)

Once upon a time, one of us had a job teaching sugar-charged Mexican kids English. “Maestro” was the charming term they used (as in, “Maestro, Pedro won’t stop hitting me!”).

Slovenians have their own difficulties with “teacher” or “professor,” so please read these tips carefully.

1) Teacher vs. professor: In English, only university teachers are ever called professor. For generic situations “teacher” is a better expression to use. If you’re not sure, ask your instructor.

2) In e-mails, both “Dear professor X” and “Dear prof. X” are wrong. Do not abbreviate, but do capitalize “Professor” in e-mails.

In other words, capitalize “Professor,” just as you would capitalize “Mr.” or “Dr.” (for more on this, see Tip #73 at http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/101%20Tips%20-%20BLAKE.pdf).

3) Realize, please, that “Mr. Jason” or “prof. Uroš” verges on the barbaric. At the university level this gaffe is inexcusable.

4) According to the Chicago Manual of Style, abbreviated titles before a full name are more common than only before only a last name (e.g. “Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand” vs. “Senator Gillibrand”). “[W]here space is tight,” the abbreviation “Prof.” “may precede a full name.” E-mails do not qualify as cramped writing quarters.
(At the risk of harping, in the last ten e-mails one of us received, only a single student managed to get the salutation right. This is a little matter that matters a great deal – if you botch the “Dear” in a scholarship or job application, rejection is almost guaranteed.)
Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

Events Tips Various

102 English Tips: Another Quick Guide to Avoiding ‘Slovenglish’

Spoštovani člani in članice društva SDAŠ,

na portalu issuu.com si lahko ogledate novo knjigo “102 English Tips: Another Quick Guide to Avoiding ‘Slovenglish” (Jason Blake in Andrej Stopar, 2014). Knjiga je nastala na podlagi jezikovnih nasvetov, ki ste jih lahko spremljali tudi na društvenem blogu in na društvenih FB straneh.

102Tips

 

Tips

Language/Writing Tip 37

Avoid using the same conjunctions again and again. “But” and “as” are two main culprits here.

Showing contrast:

“The academic year is almost over, BUT that doesn’t mean I have stopped already. Some students are tempted to stop, BUT I am not. BUT this is not a desire that is limited to students.

Showing causality:

“AS the moon goes around the earth, and AS the earth goes around the sun, we can conclude that the moon goes around the sun. AS I do not have a telescope, I have to take this on scientific faith.”

Fresher:
“ALTHOUGH the academic year is almost over, it doesn’t mean I have stopped already. Some students are tempted to stop, BUT I am not. This, HOWEVER, is not a desire that is limited to students.”

“BECAUSE the moon goes around the earth, and AS the earth goes around the sun, we can conclude that the moon goes around the sun. SINCE I do not have a telescope, I have to take this on scientific faith.”

[“AS the moon goes around the earth, and AS the earth goes around the sun…” or “BECAUSE the moon goes around the earth, and BECAUSE the earth goes around the sun” would of course be pleasant parallelisms.]

Another note: starting with “Because…” signals causality from the outset. In other words, there’s none of the ambiguity that might spring from “As…”

“As I was walking…” can continue:
a) “…I was obviously not driving.” (causal)
b) “…down the street, I saw a duck.” (temporal)

All of the tips to date are available at:
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/LW%20tips.pdf

Tips

Language/Writing Tip 36

The semi-colon is a wonderful half-break in a sentence; a fine way of not-quite stopping the flow of words.

And that sentence is simply wrong.

There is no call for a break before the fragment “a fine way…” It is a continuation of the copulative “is.”

Remember that the semi-colon is a substitute for a period.

That is a simple way to remember how to use the semi-colon; [sic] an easy rule of thumb.

(Never use a semi-colon instead of a colon, such as when you are introducing a quotation.)

Tips

Language/Writing Tip 29

The author and punctuation.

1) Instead of “the author,” just write the author’s name.

E.g. NOT “The author’s novel…” but “Hemingway’s novel…”

Two more details:
i) remember, in literature papers, to avoid Slovenian-style initials – NOT “C. Dickens” but “Charles Dickens” or just “Dickens”
ii) “author” sounds odd in visual arts. Picasso was a painter.

2) If your quotation has sentence-ending punctuation, there’s no need to add another period.

“And then,” Sally exclaimed, “I ran to the waterfall!”. (sic)

Larry asked, “So what?”. (sic)

On a similar note, if your sentence doesn’t end, chop the sentence-ending punctuation:

“This is the end.” (sic) is how the song starts.

The rest of the tips are available at:
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/LW%20tips.pdf

Calls Events

Izzivi poučevanja in raziskovanja tujih jezikov stroke

Vabimo vas, da se udeležite konference SDUTSJ (http://www.sdutsj.edus.si/) z naslovom Izzivi poučevanja in raziskovanja tujih jezikov stroke.
Konferenca bo potekala 7.. februarja 2014 na Fakulteti za upravo (FU) Univerze v Ljubljani, Gosarjeva 5, Ljubljana, predavalnica P5.
Konferenca SDUTSJ je namenjena izmenjavi izkušenj in strokovnih znanj ter predstavitvi raziskav na področju poučevanja tujih jezikov stroke
v srednješolskem, višješolskem in visokošolskem izobraževanju. Konferenca predstavlja izvrstno priložnost za izmenjavo mnenj, zato vas vabimo, da sodelujete s svojim prispevkom, in o dogodku obvestite tudi kolege, ki bi jih srečanje zanimalo.
Več informacij: klik.
Events Tips Various

The Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning – TA

A piece of news for anyone thinking about “The Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning – TA”:

For the past 15 years the TA team has been developing an approach to language teaching and learning that allows for an integrated development of language and thinking skills (The Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning – TA). Nowadays the TA is being used in many European countries and has trained over 500 teachers across Europe. You can find more details about the TA here:

http://www.thinking-approach.org/ (description of the approach and materials for teachers of English)
http://www.ta-teachers.eu/ (a community of teachers using the approach)
http://www.ta-parents.eu/ (materials for family learning based on the approach)

A residential week long TA course for language teachers will take place in Riga in March 2013. This course is included in the official catalogue of the European Commission, therefore all costs associated with the course can be covered by an EU grant (including travel and accommodation). Detailed information about the course, including feedback from the previous course participants, can be found here:
http://www.ta-group.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86%3Acourse-1&catid=47%3Aresidential-courses&Itemid=81

This is a link to the course page in the EU catalogue where you can also see the preliminary course programme:
http://ec.europa.eu/education/trainingdatabase/index.cfm?fuseaction=DisplayCourse&cid=37808

The deadline for the EU grant application is 17 September. The applications are to be sent to the National Agency of the applicant’s country. The list of the Agencies can be found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-programme/national_en.htm