Featured Post

401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

Source .   Loading...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Newspapers: Платье, которое проехало больше стран, чем вы

Газета

  (link to full article online)

Discussion:
  1. Summarize the theme and contents of this article in one or two sentences.
  2. Describe how this article is organized or structured.
  3. What is the voice and register of this article?
  4. What will you remember about (or from) this article in a week? A year?
  5. What additional information or context should the writer have provided?
  6. What changes does Prof. Rivoli hope to see in garment manufacture and trade?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Germany and Turkey exchange criticisms

Газета 401, 401В, 501В

(Link to full article.)
  1. Please summarize this article in one or two sentences.
  2. What do you know or believe about the countries involved in this situation that you did not know or believe before you read the article?
  3. What additional information should the writer have included?
  4. What audience does the writer have in mind?
  5. Is the article objective? Is there any apparent bias or favoritism on the part of the reporter or the publisher (BBC News)?
  6. How do the photos, captions, and subtitles (in the online version of the article) contribute to the effectiveness of the article?
Useful words and phrases:

taunt
no ifs, ands, or buts (and variations)
to woo
to reserve the right
to break a taboo
war of words
meddling in [another country's] internal affairs
acrimonious
to cross a line
to back
crackdown
to seek asylum

Monday, March 27, 2017

The U.S. Civil War and its lingering effects

Here's the presentation we made today as background for discussing the effects of the Civil War on American English and the ways we teach it.



In 1864, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president. On March 4, 1865, at the swearing-in ceremony marking the start of his second term as president, he gave the speech popularly known as the Second Inaugural Address, which included these famous lines:

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it--all sought to avert it.... Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

... Both [sides] read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered--that of neither has been answered fully.

The Almighty has his own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him? Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.

(Full text.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Obituary: James Cotton, Blues Harmonica Legend, Dies at 81

Газета 401


(Link to full story on newspaper's Web site.)

In preparation for our class discussion, consider these questions:
  • What are the traditional elements of a newspaper obituary? Are those elements all included in this particular article?
  • What will you remember from this article?
  • What parts of the article were the most informative or interesting for you? What were the least interesting?
  • Were there any aspects of the story that you feel were insufficiently covered? What questions might you have for the reporter?
Useful words and phrases:

an integral part
tenure
call and response
curiously, curiously enough
to embark on/upon
bills, billing, sharing bills
act (noun)
raucous
stint
under his/her/their own name
sharecropper
to take up
small change
in the employ of
to span, spanning
prowess
harp
common parlance
label
accolades
to induct, to be inducted
survived by
array
luminary

Here is James Cotton playing with the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards a few years ago, during a rehearsal for a benefit concert for fellow blues musician Hubert Sumlin:



... And finally, a photo I took of Hubert Sumlin and James Cotton about ten years ago:



Monday, March 20, 2017

Our visitor this week: Shawn McConaughey

Shawn McConaughey during his last visit to our Institute.
We are happy to welcome our friend and colleague Shawn McConaughey (head of the Teaching Abroad program among other things) to our Institute this week. Most of our students will have a chance to talk with him in our Wednesday classes, and all students are invited to meet him on Friday at our (rescheduled) tea after the fourth pair.

Shawn first visited our Institute in the year 2000. He and his wife Katrina both have experience in international education and work with refugees.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Angry men gain influence and angry women lose influence

Газета 401

Scene from Twelve Angry Men. Source.  
A new study from Arizona State University focused on jury deliberation behaviors demonstrates a distinct gender bias when it comes to expressing anger and influencing people. The study found that men use anger to influence others, but women actually lose influence when they allow anger into an argument.

Here's a link to the full text of the article.
  • Who wrote this article, and who published it?
  • What event or occasion prompted this article?
  • In brief, what does the author want to tell you?
  • What case or argument does the author make? Is it the author's own viewpoint, or is the author telling you about someone else's viewpoint?
  • What new information or insight will you remember from this article?
  • What additional information or analysis do you wish the article had included?
  • What audience does the author have in mind? How do you know?
  • If you had been the editor of the article, what changes would you have made?
Useful words and phrases:

representative of ...
to exert influence
in a word
jury deliberation
out of the equation
to be tried for
opening statement, closing statement
testimony
to purport to, purportedly
to allege, alleged
to script, to be scripted
to hold out; holdout (noun)
to convict, to be convicted (note the untypical usage in this article)
gender gap
governing body