2.en.37 Congratulations! your writing is gradually getting better

Even though Christmas vacation has not started, we have already started our second term. We have spent several lessons editing classmates compositions, blog comments and written tasks: a description of a person, a short biographical note, a description of  a photo, a review of an outing, a description of a gadget, a description of a building, a comparison of two schools, a comparison of past and present, a set of questions for an interview and a summary of a talk.

Your comments on the blog are often full of errors (spelling, choice of words, word order, cohesion, coherence, punctuation, syntax, register, tenses) but we all learn by writing and by making mistakes. Now, when we look at a text together, we can identify the type of error you make and that is good, it is the first step to correct it.

I will upload, as I did before, some examples of the work you do. Despite errors, they are a proof of your progress. As usual, if you find something in your classmate’s work that can be improved, post a comment to the blog.

Today we’ll  have a look at Àngel Blanch’s review of Chenoa’s visit to our school

Today Chenoa  came to visit us in the Ramon Llull music class, Aula Magna. She talked to us about her former life in the Ramon Llull. She talked to us about her life style and she told us anecdotes about her former friends and her bad actions…

I liked the talk very much because she told a lot of jokes and funny comments. She is a very happy person because she works doing what she likes most, the music.

She is a very good singer, and like all the singers and artists, she has another name, other than her real one that is Laura Corradini. The people that work with art have this artistic names because they need one to do all the public things, the informal one. It must  be a good sounding one, a new one that never anyone heard of it.

She was a little bit rebel in the high-school but she was a very good student. She repeated once but than she promised to her parents that she’d “gonna be” a very good student.

Her parents told her that if she did not get better better marks she couldn’t do music and she couldn’t be a famous singer. Before  being a singer, she was a ballet dancer but she decided to change the ballet for the music.

We’ll also  look at Daryl’s review of Ramon Lobo’s talk

Last week, we had the pleasure to have a talk with a journalist with a lot of adventures during his life. He is 55 years old and he is a journalist of the newspaper  “El País”. His name is Ramon Lobo.

I did not see him standing up, but  I think he is tall. He is overweight and without hair in his head. Where he has a lot of hair is in his beard. He is serious but also a funny man.

He was born in Venezuela, he did not know why he was born there. He went to Spain with his family because he had ashma. Since he was 12 he wanted to be a journalist and travel the world. He studied in the Complutense in Madrid.

After his studies in College, he began to work in other countries and in the Radio He went to Washington and London. But finally he found his place in the newspaper  “El País”. While working in “El País”, he travelled all over the world.

In his talk, he talked about the poor and unlucky people of the world. He narrated us a lot of  anecdotes, but the one that I can remember was about two boys, around of my age, who had f to sleep in a little house, sleeping in the floor. So, what Ramon did, was to buy food and shoes for their family.

A sentence that I will not forget that he said was that  “we are lucky to have water to spend and clothes to choose everyday”. I think, he was an inspiration, not only because he is a journalist and because he is always travelling, but because he taught us about life of other people and also about his life.

Finally you will be able to read Lovepreet’s contribution. Her review of Ramon Lobo’s talk

Last week we went to La Caixa Fòrum to listen a conference, given by a man who is a journalist Ramón Lobo.  He talked to us about the wars in the world that he had lived and also about his childhood. We went because in Catalan we are doing biographies, and we are reading a book “El nen”, that was written in the 1st  World War  and because we are going to focus in conflicts all over the world.

Ramón  is an elderly man. He is tall and strong, and a little bit fat. He is bald and he has a grayish beard, he  has a deep voice. He wore casual clothes. He said very entertaining, interesting  things. Ramón Lobo is a sensitive and caring man. He talked to us, as if we were close friends, in casual way. Ramón Lobo was born in 1955  in Venezuela. His family is scattered around the world. He wanted to be a journalist since he was 12 He went to a university of Madrid. He start edhis first journalism course 1975 and then he  worked in an agency called Pyresa and in the Intercontinental Radio as a writer of serial programs.  After some years being in Washington, he went to Sarajevo.In these  last 18 years he has visited many countries and he has been in many conflicts like Iraq, Bosnia, Haití and many other places. Now he is working in the newspaper “El País”.

He has published three books: El héroe inexistente,  which collects his travel experiences;  Isla África, which is about his vision of war and  Cuadernos de Kabul a  novel that reflects on the value of life and friendship. He has participated in two books: Los ojos de la guerra y Seguiremos informando.
He has received three awards: “ Cirilo Rodriguez”, “El Intercultural Coexistence” and “José Manuel Porquet”.

He likes very much to tell stories about the others, this is his passion. What impressed me most were anecdotes that he told us, some of them are funny, some are  interesting and some are sad like the anecdote of a baby that  died, and this is the sentence that Ramón said in that moment: “The child died without receiving the help of Unicef”.
I liked very much the conference and for me  it was an experience That I Had Never Lived.

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.
—Synonyms
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. 

—Antonyms
1.  dull.

1.en.19 4th outing this year: Explicar la guerra en temps d’internet

This year we are trying to open up our horizons beyond the boundaries of our city and of our country.  Today we’ll  go to a lecture given by Ramon Lobo   that will take place in La Caixa.  This will be the first of a series of  three that  will  give you  the opportunity to meet and listen to professionals who are commited to defend the most vulnerable people in different parts of the world.

They will give a first hand testimony of what life is like in a reality very different from yours. We hope you will profit the chance these encounters will give you to develop your awareness and to become better citizens at world level.

We are convinced that the Internet is a powerful means of communication and a powerful learning too. Ramon Lobo will talk about the impact of the Internet in wars at world level. He is also a convinced blogger, just as we are, so let’s hear what he has to say.

You can visit his blog here

you can see him being interviewed in this you tube video.