2.en.51. Leaf through “boy” in English on line

Many on line shops such as Amazon, give you the option to leaf through a book before you actually get it, as if you were in a bookshop: you can see the cover, read some excerpts and have a look at the illustrations.

You have already read “boy” with Magdalena in Catalan and we did a dictation of the homesickness chapter.  Now, you can flick through on line and find out what the book in English is like.

Homework: (Tuesday, 2nd March )

Read the first 3 pages of the book,when Dahl introduces his father and  tells us the way he lost his arm.

You will be able to check  the way the table of contents was translated into Catalan.

  1. Have you ever bought a book on line?
  2. Do you think is a good way to leaf through books?
  3. Buying on line or in a bookshop? What do you prefer? Why?
  4. Had you ever checked the contents of a book on line before?

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Google has also a tool that lets you flick through the pages of classics and even download them. However, remember you can only download books that are out of copyright. “Boy” is not out of copyright.

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2.en.47 Checking spelling and homophones: accuracy

Let’s see if we manage to use our whiteboard tools to correct the spelling mistakes in Roald Dahl’s letter to his mum.


Correct the mistakes in the following letters. Post the corrections to the blog and copy them in your notebook. Start by correcting one sentence each. Do not repeat the ones your classmates have already corrected. We shall look at them together in class.

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1.en.20. Biographies and interesting lives: from world war II to war in the time of internet

You are already familiar with the way we work in language lessons: we are connected, aren’t we? and this year the connections stretches to other areas, with Vicent and Diana joining us. In Catalan, you are reading a book from Roald Dahl, Boy, an autobiography.  In the book you will find lots of descriptions of the characters that appear in the book as well as many anecdotes. With Magdalena, your Catalan teacher, you had to write a composition including an anecdote. Yesterday, on our outing to La Caixa, we listened to a journalist, Ramón Lobo, who talked about his childhood, his family and his life.  He also ilustrated his talk with anecdotes, in fact he told us so many anecdotes that after an hour we were a bit lost. He has had a very interesting life, hasn’t he?  He talked in a very colloquial register, he was not academic, as if he was talking to friends.

In  Ramon’s  talk, war conflicts were in the background. He  talked about his childhood and about his family, and when he talked about wars and conflicts, he mentioned very often how children lived the experience of war.

If you only had seen a picture of Ramón, you could describe his looks and maybe guess some traits of his personality from his expression or the way he dressed. Now you have much more information: his voice, the way he talked and, of course the things he said.

You have to write a description of Ramón Lobo. You must include facts, such as age, job, looks, personality, and you must also talk about his life. Remember that when writing about someone’s life it is good to follow some kind of time line. You must also include some anecdotes and the parts of his talk that impressed you most.

Organise your writing into paragraphs, use the spellchecker, check the power point on descriptions and the one on adjectives and comparatives to make your writing more inteeresting.

Homework:  Friday 5th of November. You must write about 150 words. open a google doc and put a title:

Your full name followed by Ramon Lobo’s description and biography.

If you need more information you can read waht he writes about himself in his blog: http://www.ramonlobo.com/about/

Here follow some hints to help you write your composition.

In the description you must include:

  • Biographical facts
  • Looks and personality
  • Why you are writing about him
  • What were the aspects of his talk that impressed you most.
Hints to write a good composition:
  1. Write a draft/ diagram (guión, esquema) before you start writing.
  2. Taylor’s model will help you to remember that you must structure your writing into clear paragraphs. Do not mix different aspects of Ramon’s life, personality and work in the same block of information.
  3. Visit his blog, or run a search on the Internet to find out extra details you would like to include.
  4. Do not try to include everything he said in his talk.
  5. Follow a time line when you write about his story: childhood, school, university, first job, current job, plans for the future.
  6. Leave at least one paragraph to talk about the content of his talk at La Caixa, conflicts around the world.
  7. End your composition with a personal comment on his job and on the kind of person you think he is
  8. Do not write the composition in Spanish or Catalan and then translate it into English. Write in English from the beginning. Simple sentences first, then try to link them using connectors or relative clauses.
  9. Use the spell checker to correct mistakes, not the translator.
  10. count the words. (you have the tool in your word processor)
  11. when you write, activate a bilingual dictionary such as http://www.wordreference.com/ and a monolingual dictionary such as http://dictionary.reference.com/ This way, you can look for new words or expressions and avoid repetitions. For example, do not repeat interesting many times, try to look for alternatives.
1.  absorbing, entertaining. Interesting, pleasing, gratifying mean satisfying to the mind. Something that is interesting  occupies the mind with no connotation of pleasure or displeasure: an interesting account of a battle.  Something that is pleasing  engages the mindfavorably: a pleasing account of the wedding.  Something that is gratifying  fulfills expectations, requirements, etc.: a gratifying account of his whereabouts; a book gratifying in its detail. 

1.  dull.