Northern Cree prepare for their return to the Grammy Awards – Home | q | CBC Radio

Many Canadians are really not familiar with the traditional music of this nation but the members of Northern Cree have been drumming for round dances and pow wows since 1982!  According to their webpage, “the group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation but is made up of members from the Treaty 6 area, most notably the Frog Lake Cree Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, and the Poundmaker Cree Nation.”  All of the members have full-time jobs and other activities that keep them busy, like raising their families but the group is frequently present at round dances in the winter, pow wows in the summer, and award shows when they are nominated.  Tonight, they will be opening for the Grammy Awards, after being nominated for an award for the 7th time!  Take some time to listen to some of their contemporary and traditional music, as well as the CBC interview with Steve Wood (very slow and clear English).

Northern Cree’s Steve Wood discusses his group’s Grammy nomination and their upcoming performance at the ceremony’s pre-show.

Source: Northern Cree prepare for their return to the Grammy Awards – Home | q | CBC Radio

How to use the internet to improve your listening skills

Because I’m teaching in an English-speaking country, some students learn to listen and speak very quickly and confidently. However, I also teach many students who spend almost all their time outside of school communicating only in their first language.  Even if they work, they often work in a place where there is very little spoken communication.  Some of those students look terrified every time I open my mouth.  They don’t have any confidence at all about their listening skills.  Those students will need to do more listening practice outside of class.  Here are some great tips for improving listening, especially later in the post.  There are also great ideas for ESL teachers to introduce listening.

 

Are your students struggling with authentic listening activities? Below is a brief guide I wrote to help my EFL students overcome both confidence issues and poor strategic choices when doing indepe…

Source: How to use the internet to improve your listening skills

Some/Any/Every/No

One of the things that can be complicated in English is using “any/some/no and every”, both as part of compound words like everywhere or nobody, as well as on their own.  Take some time to watch a couple music videos to listen for the words, and take a good look at the grammar that is used.  Unfortunately, the video for “Everybody” that shows the band singing is very poor quality, so it’s easier to just listen to the song and pay attention to the words.  “Somebody to Love” was a hit by the super-group “Queen”.  Their songs were written by the lead singer, Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May.  Freddie Mercury died in 1991, so their songs are not new, but they’re still very popular.

 

STABILO LYRICS

“Everybody”
Doesn’t _______________ know how to walk ____________?
Doesn’t _______________  know what a radio is for?
Doesn’t _______________  wear their hair down low?
Doesn’t _______________  know? Doesn’t _______________  know?

Doesn’t _______________  hate it when the streetlight turns red?
Doesn’t _______________  want five more minutes in bed?
Doesn’t _______________, doesn’t _______________  have a letter to send?
Doesn’t _______________  wish they had just one more friend?

‘Cause _______________  wants, and _______________  needs
_______________  asks for one more piece
_______________  wants to hear someone say please
‘Cause _______________  takes, and everybody steals
_______________ cries when _______________  feels
_______________  is looking for the drug that heals

Doesn’t _______________  wanna take another shot at me?
Go ahead the gun is loaded and the bullets are for free
Doesn’t _______________  spray perfume to cover up a smell?
Doesn’t _______________  know where to go to get some help?

‘Cause _______________  wants, and _______________  needs
_______________  begs for self esteem
Why don’t you get your mind out of the past?
And _______________  takes and everybody steals
_______________ ‘s been kicked by other heels

Please raise your hands up in the air

Oh in the air yeah
Why don’t you raise your, raise your, raise your hands in the air?
Why don’t you raise your hands up in the air?

‘Cause _______________  wants

Doesn’t _______________  know how to walk _______________?
Doesn’t _______________  know what a radio is for?
Doesn’t _______________  wear their hair down low?
Doesn’t _______________  know? Doesn’t anybody know?

‘Cause _______________  wants

 

Somebody to Love

Queen

 

Can _______________  find me _______________  to love?

Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
(Take a look at yourself) Take a look in the mirror and cry (and cry)
Lord what you’re doing to me (yeah yeah)
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord!
_______________  (_______________) ooh _______________  (_______________)
Can _______________  find me _______________  to love?

I work hard (he works hard) every day of my life
I work till I ache in my bones
At the end (at the end of the day)
I take home my hard earned pay all on my own
I get down (down) on my knees (knees)
And I start to pray
Till the tears run down from my eyes
Lord somebody (_______________), ooh _______________
(Please) can _______________  find me somebody to love?

_______________  (_______________)…

 

https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/determiners-quantifiers-some-any-no.htm

Video

Edmonton transportation: videos

It’s interesting to watch videos and TV shows that are filmed in your hometown, when you can recognize many of the landmarks and objects in the video.  Here are some videos that were filmed in Edmonton.  They are very useful for reviewing a lot of the vocabulary that relates to different kinds of transportation.  Enjoy!

Edmonton Airport Below Zero

The TV show was all filmed during one day at Edmonton International Airport, and shows many of the different problems that happen at an airport.

Martin Kerr’s music video was all filmed on the LRT train system in Edmonton, as well as at some stations.  People from Edmonton should be able to recognize many familiar locations.

Immigrants say thank you to Canada | The Province

Thanksgiving is a unique holiday because we don’t give presents and there aren’t any large, public celebrations.  Most people use the time to meet family and friends for a large meal, as well as to reflect on the good things that have happened in the previous year.  Click the link to read and hear what the immigrants below say about their new lives in Canada

On Thanksgiving weekend, 11 recently arrived immigrants from eight different countries tell us why they’re thankful.

Source: Immigrants say thank you to Canada | The Province

Do you want to be happy on Blue Monday?

10904520_10205665140045840_578301724435178411_o

Somebody decided that today is the most depressing day of the year. I think it was a travel agent who wanted to sell winter vacations, but possibly someone thought that it’s very difficult to survive the winter, and people are very impatient by now.  In my opinion, today is a fantastic day.  As you can see in the picture above, the dark part of the day is already much shorter, since the sky was turning red at 0630 hours.  I exercised with friends before starting the day, walked to work, and my students are full of good news today!  These are 2 great stories that I saw about happiness today: one video, and one article.  What’s something that you can do to be happier about your life?  One thing that I recommend is to try to see new stresses and challenges as opportunities for learning and getting stronger.  When we look back on hard times in our lives, we can always find lessons that we learned, as a result of our difficulties.

http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_killingsworth_want_to_be_happier_stay_in_the_moment?language=en

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/scientific-proof-that-you_n_4384433.html

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen | Talk Video | TED.com

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen | Talk Video | TED.com.

TED talks are an excellent place to find short, clear speeches on many interesting subjects.  This 10-minute speech covers bad habits to avoid, good habits to use, a toolbox of communication skills, and public-speaking warmup.  The speaker is speaking UK English, and the vocabulary is at an academic level.

Watch the news at different levels

Watch the news anywhere!

Lots of students want to follow the news in English, but most news is at a university level, so it’s very hard to understand.  This website is great for learning some news stories.  You can listen to the news stories at 3 different levels, and you can learn new words at the same time.

http://www.newsinlevels.com/

How to improve your English with News in Levels:

 

 Reading

  1. Read all today’s articles and translate all words which you don’t understand.
  2. Read the articles from the day before and see if you remember all new words.

 Listening

  1. Listen to all today’s news.
  2. Stop the video after every sentence and repeat the sentence.
  3. Repeat point 2 for the news which you listened to the day before.

 Writing

  1. Answer the questions under today’s news and write them into the comments.
  2. Chat in the  Chat room for at least 2 minutes. You can write about today’s news.

 Speaking

  1. Choose one person from the SKYPE section.
  2. You can talk about today’s news or you can answer questions from  http://www.newsinlevels.com/questions/

If you want to know how to learn English effectively, please visit www.englishrestart.com.

Read more: http://www.newsinlevels.com/

Learn about speaking and listening

This article is written to teachers, to help them to encourage students to have good conversations.  I think that there are a lot of good tips for students, to help you to understand more about the art of North American conversation.  In my academic class, we recently talked about the large cultural differences in conversational styles.  In cultures like Japanese cultures, all speakers take turns, based on age and rank, and there isn’t the back and forth style that is common in North America.  In some cultures, it’s disrespectful to make eye contact with someone who is older or who has a higher rank, whereas here, it’s seen as a sign of boredom, disrespect, or dishonesty, when speakers and listeners don’t look at each other.

Time to communicate

Time to communicate

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-your-students-conversation-allen-mendler

 

Video

A polite song about Canada

Canadians are very proud of our astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, who has lived in space, recording music while he was there.  His brother Dave is also musical and they collaborated on a musical tribute to Canada.  They make reference to a lot of things that are uniquely Canadian, like our habit of ending sentences with the word “eh”!  Listen and enjoy, it’s a very pretty song.  Check out the other videos too!

Video

Abundance is our Future: Peter Diamandis TED talk

Most ESL language books have a unit about technology.  Often the focus is on gadgets or devices that are quickly becoming obsolete, like “floppy disks”.  Instead, I prefer to focus on how we use technology, and what we are able to do more easily, thanks to new developments.  This is a very interesting talk about new developments, and the impact that they’re having on developing countries.  There are English subtitles, and an interactive transcript, so you can focus on reading, or on listening, or you can combine the skills.  Tell me what you think about the talk!