All posts by shef@dwc

Australian movie reports

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 08:  Actor and singer ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Here are the reports on Australian movies that students have emailed me. In future, perhaps students can make their own blogs and put their reports on their own blogs. Would you like that? All the movie reports make this blog entry very long, so I have cut it short. To read all the movie reports, click here.

  1. Japanese Story
    Australian film 2003       director; Sue Brooks
    actor; Gotaro Tsunashima    actress; Toni Collette
    Summary
    Sandy, played by Toni Collette is a director in Western Australia.  One day she has to guide a Japanese businessman Hiromitsu, played by Gotaro. At first, because of the culture differences, they can not understand each other. Sandy is angry about his behavior. Then they drive into desert and their car breaks down. They are lost in desert , but this difficulty makes their friendship deep. Gradually they understand and love each other. A few days later, Sandy and Hiromitsu go swimming and Hiromitsu dives into shallow water and…
Cover of
Cover of The Piano
New Zealand actress Anna Paquin.
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More than 1,200 people have contracted swine flu in Australia

More than 1,200 people have contracted swine flu in Australia – although no-one has died from it yet.

Read the whole report from the BBC.

The large numbers of people infected with the virus may mean the WHO will label the infection a pandemic.

What does pandemic mean? It means “global”. The origin of the word is

pándēmos common, public (pan- pan- meaning everything+ dêm(os) the people.

I don’t understand why it will suddenly become a pandemic, just because a lot of people in Australia get sick with the virus.

Nor do I understand why the WHO alert level is

currently at phase five of a six-level scale

when a) the virus is not getting stronger or more dangerous, and
b) more people are not dying of it.
The combined effect of using the word “pandemic” (which in English sounds like “panic”) together with the 6-level scale of “flu alert” is to frighten people and make it more likely that people will react in panic rather than rationally.
A BBC reporter points out:

BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh says
it is true that the word “pandemic” sounds scary. But it simply means a global epidemic of an infectious disease.  He says it is not a signal that the virus is getting more virulent – only a measure of its geographical spread…. The media must play a part here, emphasising the facts about this virus and not over-reacting

Yes, thank you, Mr. Walsh.

What do you think about the way the media have reacted to the swine flu?

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A young Japanese in Australia

Legend of Bacteria is the blog of a young Japanese man who has been in Australia for over a year, ever since graduating from university. I know him quite well, but I will respect his privacy and only refer to his handle name.

You can read his blog, in both Japanese and English, here: Legend of Bacteria

He has a dream. He is not in Australia just for sightseeing, nor for learning English. What is his dream? Visit his blog and find out.

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Interactive Writing session #7: June 5th, 2009

A Romany old woman from the Czech Republic
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  1. Rules for email, blog entries, homework:
    1. name and date on everything
    2. spellcheck
    3. blog entries and email deadline – by Wednesday 13:00
    4. one blog entry for each assignment
  2. Discussion:
    1. what are the merits and demerits of a blog?
      1. can edit any time
      2. classmates can read each other’s work
      3. can leave comments and receive comments from visitors
      4. can add hyperlinks and so add educational value
    2. Homework questions (when and where was Rumer Godden born and where and when did she die? Where are “the South Downs” and “Rye, Sussex“?)
    3. What are the themes of “Diddakoi“?
      1. growing up
      2. opening up the heart
      3. learning to trust
      4. prejudice and discrimination
      5. ethnic minorities (gypsies) in Britain
  3. Homework.
    1. Who/what are the Gypsies or Romany people? Where did they come from? What language do they speak? What is the origin of their language? What is their history? Write on paper or by email in 60-100 words.
    2. Correct and spellcheck your summary of and reaction to the Diddakoi story. Post to your blog (by Wednesday, June 10th, 13:00)
    3. Post to your blog your answers to last week’s homework (when and where was Rumer Godden born and where and when did she die? Where are “the South Downs” and “Rye, Sussex”?)
Rye_-_East_Sussex_dot map
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Street
Image by StormyDog via Flickr
View from the tower of St Mary's church, Rye, ...
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Location of United Kingdom
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Research in English Session #7: June 5th, 2009

Locator map for Australia
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  1. Movie reports: 6 students reported on Australian movies they have watched.
    1. Anyone who has not yet given a report can do it next week, but that will be the last chance.
  2. Show & Tell: 19 (out of 24) students gave a “Show & Tell” presentation on some aspect of Australia.
    1. Anyone who did not yet give a Show & Tell report can do it next week, but that will be the last chance.
  3. Comments on Movie Reports and Show & Tell: everyone wrote comments,
    1. a general comment about the movie reports and Show & Tell presentations, and
    2. a specific comment on their own presentation (if they gave one)
  4. Poster project (June 19th).
    1. On 1 piece of A3 paper
    2. Can be done alone or with a partner
    3. Should be more academic and require more research than the Show & Tell
    4. Tell me your topic today (or by email by Wednesday June 10th)
  5. Textbook Unit 2, Listening: we listened to the interview with the Japanese didgeridoo player, and filled in the blanks.
  6. Homework:
    1. Visit the class blog (here) and leave a comment
    2. Email me your movie report and comment
    3. Begin research for your poster project
    4. Unit 2 Part II worksheet
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Interactive Writing session #6: May 29th, 2009

Location map: United Kingdom (dark green) / Eu...
Image via Wikipedia
  1. Look at the MLA Guidebook on how to reference a book (page 1) and a movie (page 3).
  2. Go back to your blog entry where you wrote about a movie and a book
    1. Add a reference to the book and the movie USING THE MLA FORMAT (i.e. exactly the same as in the Guidebook).
    2. Print out your blog entry and show it to me.
  3. If you have not yet created your blog, create one and email me your blog address (URL): marc.sheffnerアットマークgmail.com. INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
    1. You can create a blog at Goo, Livedoor, or Blogger
    2. Do not use ameba because Ameba does not allow comments in Roman alphabet.
  4. Write a 50-word summary of Diddakoi AND a 50-word response. If you did not finish in class, email it to me before next Thursday, June 4th: marc.sheffnerアットマークgmail.com. INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
  5. Homework:
    1. Find a map of the UK and print it out or photocopy it.
    2. On the map mark the following:
      1. Where and when was Diddakoi author Rumer Godden born? Where and when did she die?
      2. The Downs
      3. Rye
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Research in English 1D Session #6: May 29th, 2009

A picture of the last four Tasmanian Aborigine...
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  1. We checked over the answers to the homework from session #5 (May 15th) – Unit 2 Part 1
  2. Movie reports
    1. 14 students gave a short, oral report about an Australian movie they watched.
    2. Each report was 1-2 minutes long.
    3. At the end of each report, the student said whether this movie was useful for learning about Australia or not.
    4. After all the reports, each student wrote 2 comments on looseleaf paper, and gave the paper to the instructor:
      1. a comment about all the movie reports in general
      2. a comment (反省)about her own movie report
    5. Those who did not give a movie report today can do it next week (June 5th)
    6. Attention: there are many Australian movies, but not all of them are useful for learning about Australian culture, history or society. E.g. parts of “The Matrix” were filmed in Australia, but we cannot learn anything about Australia from watching “The Matrix”. Please choose your movies carefully.
    7. I recommend these movies (other movies may be ok, e.g. “Australia”, but I have not seen them):
      1. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
      2. Walkabout (1971)
      3. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
      4. The Castle (1997)
      5. The Man from Snowy River (1982)
    8. Bonus: Watch this YouTube video of Hugh Jackman (star in the movie Australia) on Japanese television.
  3. Homework for session #8 June 5th:
    1. Answer the questions on page 16 of the textbook.
    2. Visit the class blog (here) and leave a comment about this website and the Research in English class. When you leave a comment, use either your given name or your family name ONLY (not both), in order to protect your privacy. (You can comment in either Japanese or English, or both).
    3. “Show and Tell”. Bring something Australian (or a picture of it) to show the class, and tell us about it.  (1 minute)
    4. Think about what topic you would like to do for your poster project (session #10, June 19th):
      1. A3 paper
      2. poster must include both written text (30-40%) and image/graphic/illustration/maps/tables, etc.
      3. Explaining your poster should take about 2-3 minutes.
      4. You can do the poster project ALONE or with a PARTNER.
      5. I will ask you for your project topic next class (session #8, June 5th).
      6. You can also email me your project title: marc.sheffnerアットマークgmail.com. INCLUDE YOUR NAME in your email.
    5. To think about: at the end of the passage “Tasmanian Aborigines” (page 15), it is written, “We can learn much from the Aborigines. Imagine a life where everything is shared, everybody belongs to a family, has a job, and respects the environment.”
      1. Aborigines have lived in Australia for thousands of years, yet their society never progressed beyond a nomadic lifestyle. Is it possible in today’s modern society to have such values as these and still keep our modern way of life (our economy, our material goods, our standard of living)?
The Super Pit, Australia's largest open-cut go...
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Australia, founded July 9, 1900.
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Australia, climate over 30 years (1961–1990).
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The Perth skyline viewed from the Swan River
Image via Wikipedia
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: (AUSTRALIAN  A...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife
The new parliament house in Canberra.
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The Central Business District of Sydney, Austr...
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Artist's rendition of Port Jackson, the site w...
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Thousands flee Australia floods

From the BBC news website:

Torrential rains and strong winds have left at
least two people dead and forced thousands from their homes on
Australia’s east coast, officials say.

Large areas of New
South Wales and Queensland have been declared disaster zones. As many
as 20,000 people have been cut off by the floodwaters. The flooding is the most extensive in the two states for 30 years.

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No classes May 22nd

No classes today, Friday, May 22nd, due to concerns over swine flu.

All being well, classes will resume next Friday, May 29th.

Interactive Writing class students should bring the reading book “Diddakoi” to the May 29th class.

Keep well, and enjoy the break.

how-swine-flu-spreads1

Source.

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Friday May 15th, 2009

CIMG0011
Image by sheffnermarc via Flickr

Today the Interactive Writing class created their blogs. You can see them listed in the sidebar.

If you were absent last Friday, please

  1. create a blog (I suggest using blogger, goo, Ameba, FC2,)
  2. make a note of your username and password (you will need this to write on your blog)
  3. make a note of your blog’s address (URL – “http://____”), and email it to me. DON’T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR NAME IN THE EMAIL.
  4. Login to your blog, and write/copy your movie + book report (the first one you wrote for homework April 24).
  5. Visit your classmates’ blogs. Leave a comment on at least one of them. (Remember to respect your own and your classmates’ privacy).
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