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

The Road To Impact – BioLite

I have mentioned previously that I’m very excited about my BioLite cooking system that I use for camping and for BBQ. As soon as I saw this great new innovation, I needed to have it! In the beginning, it was a little bit frustrating, because you need to use wood for your cooking, and the wood at a campsite is often wet, and hard to start. However, I learned to carry dry kindling with me, and once a fire ignites, it is easy to keep the fire going with the generator and fan. Food cooks and water boils quickly and conveniently, and I don’t need to buy or carry fossil fuels, in order to enjoy my camping meals. This video shows you a little bit about how the technology is being used to improve the lives of families in developing countries, where cooking is often a dangerous and difficult activity. When I think of creative solutions, BioLite is often one of the first products that I think of.

IMG_6230

Ready to make a dried meal

An honest look at the business of change and what it takes to bring Energy Everywhere. Learn how your purchase has a direct impact on our mission.

Source: The Road To Impact – BioLite

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Entering a new country: Customs & Immigration, Student Writing & Videos

Palm Springs Airport, California

Palm Springs Airport, California

Travelling by air from one country to another usually means that you will need to understand some English.  English is the international language of transportation, and it is used on most international flights, as well as in the airports.  Here are some of the stories that my students wrote about their air travel.

 

A Trip that you took by airplane:

I’m from Brazil. I came to Edmonton. The date of the flight was March 17, 2015. I departed from Brazil at 11:00 A.M and arrived in Edmonton at 3:00 P.M the next day (March 18). I bought a one-way ticket, because I’m staying in Edmonton for a long time. I had connections from Belo Horizonte to São Paulo, São Paulo to Toronto, and then from Toronto to Edmonton. I used a travel agency to book my flights. After I made my reservations, I needed to request a new passport and a visa to stay in Canada. It took 45 days to release my visa for a four-year stay. I needed to go to a doctor for an exam and send my documents to the Canadian Embassy. My immigration interview was in Toronto. I needed a new check-in and to have a conversation about why I’m staying in Canada. My permission wasn’t possible for a long time because I don`t speak English. This is important for immigration.   The pre-flight instructions in Brazil were the same as in Canada. When I arrived at the airport, I needed to take my baggage to the check-in counter and get my boarding pass with my passport. After that, I went through security and I wasn’t allowed aerosol, dangerous materials, or smoking on the flight. For security, we had to turn off all electronic devices and put on our seatbelts before departing from the airport.

 

1/My last trip that I took by airplane was last week when I went to Vancouver.

My departure was from the International Airport of Edmonton. For this travel, I took WestJet airline, and it’s a Canadian company.

I arrived early at the airport because I like to take my time. My flight was on time. I took my luggage to the check-in counter and I got my boarding pass. I ate something in the departure lounge.

When I arrived in Vancouver Airport, I took a taxi to the city’s downtown. During my visit, I took a ferry to Victoria city. It’s a very beautiful and peaceful city!

2/I travel a lot, and for me it’s in America where the immigration staff control a lot. So when I travelled to San Francisco for a road trip in California, I spoke to a customs officer and immigration. I showed them my passport and I answered all the questions.

 

I’m from Harbin, China. I left China and came to Edmonton on April 27 by myself because my husband had to work in Edmonton. At that time, I couldn’t speak English. I could speak Chinese in Beijing International Airport and the steward on the flight could speak three languages. I felt ok about that. However, when I arrived in Vancouver, I had to visit the immigration officer who spoke English. They had to ask me some questions, but I didn’t understand. They showed me some papers and I had some answers in Chinese. I showed them my passport, immigration paper and answered the questions. Luckily I was allowed to enter Canada, and I could go to my next flight to Edmonton. A friendly guy did me a big favour. He helped me go through security and I arrived at the departure lounge. I saw my husband when I arrived in Edmonton. I had good luck on my trip. I met a lot of friendly and helpful people on my trip

My trip to Marrakech, Morocco: I went with my friends for a presentation project at the University Cadi Ayyad competition of International Marketing Days. On Sunday, I departed, and we met each other at the airport. I took the train to go the airport. Before that, I got up at 6:00 because my flight was at 9:30. I arrived at the airport, and I saw my friends so we took our suitcases to the check-in counter. Then we went through security and sat down in the departure lounge. After the announcement at our departure gate, we got up, and we passed by an agent, and showed him our boarding pass.

When we arrived in Marrakech, after showing our passports to the customs officers, the school delegation met us, and then we went to the hotel.

 

My flight

In December when I went to visit my boyfriend, I took some planes, and my flights were from Guadalajara City, Mexico.

In Guadalajara my flight took off at 7:45 pm and I had to arrive two hours before, so that I could take my luggage to the check-in counter and pass through security. When the hour arrived, I went to the gate where my plane was departing from. Then I showed my boarding pass to the agent and got on the plane. I had a good flight but that night was very long, because I didn’t sleep in a bed. I was in the airport all night, I had to take my luggage to the check-in counter at 3:30 am for my other flight.

 

3 weeks ago, I arrived at Edmonton International Airport from Spain.

The flight attendant gave me the immigration documents. I wrote them in French because I don’t know English. In the airport, the agent spoke English and he asked, “Do you speak English or French? I answered, “No. I don’t speak English or French”.

The agent asked why I was visiting Edmonton. I answered, “Because I’m visiting my boyfriend”.

How much time will you visit Edmonton? “I will return to Spain on September 2”.

What is your job in Spain? “I don’t have a job, I’m studying”.

I didn’t go to immigration at the airport.

 

My flight

On June 25, 2015 I arrived at the airport in Gdansk, about an hour before my flight at 1300 hours. I had a flight to Munich, Germany. In the airport I received a boarding pass and I went to the gate. In the plane, the flight attendants were very friendly. I really liked this flight. In Munich, I didn’t have enough time. I had to go to the gate very fast. My next flight was to Toronto. It was a very long flight, but I wasn’t bored because I read my book. In Toronto, it was very hard because I had a conversation with an officer. I had to go to pick up my suitcase because next flight was a domestic flight to Edmonton. It was very bad because I sat next to an awful girl. The girl coughed and bounced around all the time. It was late and I wanted to sleep. I was very tired and she gave me no rest! I was very angry. When I arrived in Edmonton I went to arrivals to pick up my luggage. My aunt was waiting there already. She drove me to my uncle’s home. My uncle couldn’t pick me up because he was at work, about 800 kilometers from Edmonton. It was very late and I went to sleep.

 


 

When you fly to a new country, you will have to go through several interviews, especially with Customs and Immigration Officers.  This is often very stressful since you may not understand the questions you are being asked.  Stay calm and pay attention.  Sometimes, another passenger or officer can help you to answer your interview questions.  These videos will help you know what to expect.

This video takes you through all of the steps when you are entering the United States.  It’s not an ESL video, so some of the words may not be familiar.  However, they are words that officers may use, so it’s useful to check words you don’t know.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see an audioscript.  Repeat sections that are confusing.

This is a video by a Brazilian ESL teacher.  She speaks slowly and clearly, and many of the questions and answers are written on the screen.  The only problem was that she pronounces the word “customs” like “costumes”, clothes that you might wear for Halloween.

Here’s a short and simple set of questions and answers.

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WOW!!!!! Most amazing video yet, by OK Go, filmed by drone

I’ve been really impressed with the music videos that OK Go makes, since their early video on the treadmills.  They have an amazing sense of timing and visual imagery.  This video is like nothing that you’ve ever seen.  It appears to have been filmed in Japan, but I’m not too sure.  Probably somebody who watches will recognize the environment a bit better than me.  Please leave a comment, with your reaction to the video!

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Video that shows Edmonton’s beauty and diversity

This is a really lovely celebration of life in Edmonton, and I’m so happy that almost all of these locations and festivities are within a couple of kilometres of my apartment.  Weekends in Edmonton are especially lovely, and the fall colours are amazing this year.  Get over to the legislature or Churchill Square, take a ride on the streetcar, go shopping at the Farmer’s Markets.

Enjoy!

Focus on your goal, not on obstacles! HCMC crazy traffic video

When we work towards a goal, it can be very easy to focus on all of the obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of achieving your goal.  I often hear people start by saying “I should…”, and soon after that, they will say “Yeah, but…”.  No matter what we want to achieve, there will always be things that make it difficult.  Keep in mind that whatever you focus on will become bigger, and that will be what you put your energy towards.  Therefore, it’s necessary to have a very clear view of where we want to go, and to keep focussing on that goal, not on the obstacles.  Here’s a great blog post that explains this idea in more detail.

http://successify.net/2013/08/28/avoiding-the-obstacles/

After reading the blog, watch the video of the crazy Ho Chi Minh City traffic.  I love this video, because it really demonstrates the energy and enthusiasm of Viet Nam.  To a North American, the traffic just looks like insanity, and it seems impossible that there aren’t fatal accidents all over the city.  There are fatal accidents, however, within the city, the traffic flow is usually amazingly smooth, amid the chaos.  I know this firsthand, because I biked everywhere around the city on my bicycle during my 3 years in Viet Nam.  I only broke one little pinky finger in all of that time!  Everyone focusses on where they are headed, and they (almost always) flow around obstacles like water flowing around a rock.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/32958521″>Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/kwhi02″>Rob Whitworth</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What can you do to increase your focus on your goals, and to avoid obstacles that interfere?

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Videos about environmental issues

You can improve your academic vocabulary and also your knowledge by watching videos about environmental issues.  The Canadian video addresses the issue of importing food, versus eating locally, and all of the waste and costs associated with this practice.  The video in Viet Nam (watch Dirty Water, Dangerous Fish on Vimeo) shows the practices for fish farming in that region, a practice that is associated with many environmental and health concerns.  I recommend that you watch each video once to get the main idea, before trying to analyze the vocabulary and content in more detail.

 

Learn Brazilian English and watch RIO on Vimeo

 

Watch a fantastic timelapse video of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!  One of the fantastic things about having a blog is that I get so many interesting visitors here from around the world!  It gives me a chance to see all of the other interesting things that other bloggers are doing.

The biggest country in South America

RIO on Vimeo on Vimeo

via RIO on Vimeo.

 

http://wp.me/3Niaz

The Talking Violin blog includes short audio clips in Brazilian English about many subjects that will interest you a lot if Brasil is your home.  Check it out!

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Video to explain “to be” verb forms

A famous line from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet said, “To be, or not to be?”.  In English, we use the “be verb” more often than any other verb, and it’s the most irregular verb, so it’s worth taking time to learn the different forms very well.  The Holmswood videos explain grammar very nicely, using very clear speech.  Watch the video and then think about your family and who is who in the family.

Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics! | English Harmony

Tip for YearOfEnglish.com Subscribers: Learn English Song Lyrics! | English Harmony.

Robby, from English Harmony or YearofEnglish.com says the following:

If you’re anything like the average foreigner out there, I guess I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that you normally don’t pay attention to English song lyrics; you just allow the music wash over your ears and touch you emotionally rather than with the actual meaning of words.

To tell you the truth, my friends, I don’t even pay conscious attention to words when I listen to songs performed by my fellow country-men (or women for that matter!), and sometimes it’s next to impossible to decipher those lyrics regardless of the language! :grin:

My new blogging friend, ElleninTokyo, also an ESL teacher recommended some other videos by Robby, because he’s a non-native English speaker (Latvian, living in Ireland).  He’s posting new videos every day with recommendations for improving your English fluency.  It’s great that he uses idiomatic English, including many common expressions in his videos.  He strongly recommends that you learn all new vocabulary in context, and I’m seeing more and more information about how valuable this is, as well as how helpful it is to sing new words in English.  Therefore, learning lyrics to English songs, finding out more about some of the words and phrases in these songs, and then singing the songs will be very helpful, in many different ways.  I suggest that you watch the video and look for more of Robby’s ideas on his blog and YouTube channel.  And while you’re at it, find a good song to learn and sing!

Melting Arctic ice called ‘economic time bomb’ – Business – CBC News

As the world continues to consume petroleum products in huge quantities and as forests are being logged out, there are some frightening consequences ahead.

Melting Arctic Ice

Melting Arctic ice called 'economic time bomb' – Business – CBC News.