Two nights in Manila

If you can visit another country, you should do it! I had the chance for a very short visit to Manila in the Philippines and it was really interesting. My friend and I visited Guam Island for a week and we transferred planes in Manila so it didn’t cost any more money to stay there for 2 nights.  We stayed at a hostel near the airport and we arrived pretty late in the evening. The next day, we spent the whole day looking around Intramuros, an old Spanish walled city, the museum and main park, as well as Mall of Asia (a lot like West Edmonton Mall)!  We travelled by jeepney, which was very cheap, to get around the city. We saw very poor areas and we also took a train to visit a big mall with very expensive stores. There was a lot of history in the city and there were also many American businesses. I was very surprised to see so many guns because every business and building had guards with guns. For a short trip, I saw a lot!

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

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Winter words: vocabulary for winter equipment

This gallery contains 36 photos.

Edmonton winter can start very early some years, and very late other years.  However, this year, our winter has already started! On Friday, the beginning of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, the snow started to fall, all the way from Edmonton … Continue reading

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

Rediscovering One of Edmonton’s Oldest Neighbourhoods Through Pokémon Go – The Yards

Since the launch of Pokémon Go a few weeks ago, all of the public areas around the city are much busier than usual, with “trainers” searching for Pokémon and picking up the necessary weapons to play the game.  The legislature grounds are continually full, and people wander back and forth on the Victoria Promenade (100 Avenue, east of 116 Street), as well as the Railtown trail, where 110 Street would be.  People love to share their stories and tips with strangers that they meet while playing the game.  It will be interesting to see if this remains a popular activity, once the days get shorter and colder, but it’s definitely helping people to discover what’s in their neighbourhood!

A gamer finds neighbourliness and heritage, alongside Drowzees, Zubats and the elusive Aerodactyl. Plus: Oliver’s top five Pokémon hunting grounds.

Source: Rediscovering One of Edmonton’s Oldest Neighbourhoods Through Pokémon Go – The Yards

3 Ways Pokémon GO Can Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities | EdTech Magazine

Pokémon GO has only been available in Canada for about 10 days, but it’s become extremely popular, in a very short amount of time.  Players should pay attention to their surroundings, and they should be considerate of people who live and work near Poké Stops & Gyms, where you collect weapons and have battles.  Unlike other video games, players have to get out and move around their communities to play Pokémon GO.  It’s very interesting to see how much exercise players are getting, and how much interaction is happening, when players meet each other.  So many strangers have given me advice about how to play!  Think about some skills that you want to learn and how you can use Pokémon GO to help you learn those skills.  Prepositions are one area of vocabulary and grammar that are often difficult to learn.  Ask for advice and give it about where to locate Pokéstops, gyms, and monsters! Find new places around your neighbourhood, as well as when you go someplace new.

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A Pokémon gym in Fort Assiniboine, AB, also the world’s largest wagon wheel & pick!

Educators from around the web offer ideas for incorporating Pokémon GO into the classroom.

Source: 3 Ways Pokémon GO Can Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities | EdTech Magazine

Reading Print Books versus E-Books: Student Writing

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My students asked me to choose a topic for them to write about, so I found the subject of e-books versus printed books, a common topic for a standardized language test.  We read an amazing article for inspiration, and that may have influenced everyone’s choice, but you can see that there were many perspectives offered on the subject.

We cannot say that e-books can completely replace printed books. With technology, there is a big change; in fact, a revolution has come into our lives. Some people say that in the future, printed books will vanish because of eBooks. Electronic books are more convenient and more efficient. In some ways, e-books seem more useful but it’s hard to collect them for a long time while print books are collectable. And if you really love books, you don’t want to lose your collection. Print books are always favorites and famous because of the different experience of reading them and owning them. Attractive and beautiful covers and lots of details on the book, make it easy to select a good printed books. In short, for book lovers, print books are always their first preference.

Printed books are not going to die.

 

Some people say that we are not going to use printed books in the future, because we need to care for our environment, and because computers will replace paper books as well. However, I think printed books will never die, due to several reasons.

First of all, printed books are collectible and reviewable, while e-books are not easy to collect or review. Sometimes, people choose physical books because of the beauty of their book covers; meanwhile, e-books do not have physical beauty. We can review printed books easily, however, if we need to review an e-book, it is not easy to find a particular passage.

Second, printed books have provenance and we can share them. We are able to use old or valuable books, which have belonged to someone else. In addition, we can borrow or lend paper books if we want to share them. However, we cannot possess any e-book for a long time even if we really like it.

Overall, there can be many benefits to using e-book or computers, such as avoiding deforestation and instant access to information. However, there are many advantages to having printed books such as collecting, sharing and having some memories. Therefore, paper books cannot be replaced by e-books.

Printed Books vs e-books

I like to read printed books rather than e-books. Printed books are always convenient for people because they don’t need any electronic device. Readers don’t need to spend money on the internet or find a charger. Lots of people look at a book’s front cover. If there are good cover pictures, they like to choose that book. So the front cover also helps readers to choose the book. Some people like book collections too.

Printed books last longer. They can stay in the family from one generation to the next generation. People read those books with great interest and passion. We have one Ayurvedic book, which my grandmother’s dad used. He gave that book to my grandmother, she gave it to my dad and my dad gave it to us [my brother and me]. It is not in good condition but some words are written in it by my great grandfather and we like to see his handwriting. So, books can always last a long time, with great memories.

Some people like to collect books. There are so many different kinds of books we can see on the shelf. We can also find a mini library . We can read those books anytime and anywhere. Sometimes we can get good solutions from these good books. If we read print books, they give us satisfaction.

Blind people can read books, which are written in their language (Braille). They cannot easily use electronic devices. It is good for them to see the world by books. If we see a book lying on the table, no matter whether we are interested in reading that book or not, we will take the book and flip the pages. In this way, people can create interest in reading and writing.

I prefer printed books for school students because otherwise they can become distracted by electronic devices. Some people are not familiar with e-books, so for them also, printed books are like a heaven. Considering all these points such as printed books last longer, interesting cover pages, as well as passing books from one generation to another, I am strongly in favor of printed books.

Printed vs. digital books

Since the first appearance of e-book readers in the year 2000, a battle embarked between the sales numbers of printed and digital books. Even though digital copies bring certain advantages to our lives, especially with the future possibilities of technology, physical copies will still remain in people’s lives. Perhaps they will have different or extended purposes other than only reading their content.

One of those reasons is that printed books can be collected. The collection does not only incorporate the simple possession of books it also contains the possibility of keeping memories and stories in connection to these books. A novel that was read to someone by a loved one who has already passed on, a documentary read on one of your travels around the world, or simply a book you enjoy while sipping your coffee on cold winter days next to your fireplace.

Furthermore, printed copies not only allow you to read them, they also give you the chance of marking and highlighting important passages, paragraphs or interesting quotes. You either want to keep them as a reminder but also to share them with other interested parties. This is also one of the magical impacts that a physical book has on the experience of a reader and the way that people can build special and personal relationships with these books. These books can be reminders, give you comfort or make you laugh in times when you are sad.

Moreover, the process of selecting your book in a bookstore is like walking in a meadow of flowers. The shelves are full of different publications, where each one looks more interesting than the other and still you have to make a choice. The different and exciting criteria that fall into a readers’ consideration can only be found in printed versions. For example, a book’s cover, the chosen paper, the paper’s thickness, the fonts used for the copy text, the book’s weight and smell are attributes that make them individual, when compared to others.

Despite the fact that e-readers and e-books are constantly on the rise, paper books bear a certain value for readers that digital copies will never be able to replace. This could be either the remembrance of special happenings, the former possession of your relatives or a keepsake or comfort to go to in difficult times. Not only the possession of books brings the readers enjoyment, it is also the strolling through libraries and bookstores, smelling the air of used paper and carrying the weight of old stories that will make most bookworms smile, bring a sparkle to their eyes and force them to keep them for a lifetime.

 

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.

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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

Eating Right Can Save the World | Outside Online

If you want to read some very good quality writing, as well as learning about all kinds of amazing adventures around the world, then I highly recommend that you look for “Outside Magazine”. This article is very long, and includes a lot of information that might be confusing, but it’s the best analysis that I’ve seen for how various eating choices affect the environment. If you are planning to take a language proficiency exam, or if this is an interesting subject for you, I recommend that you read this article. Maybe you might want to read a couple of paragraphs/day, instead of trying to read the whole thing in one sitting. Get the main idea first, and then look up words that are unfamiliar to you.

The endless cascade of nutritional information—about localism, vegetarianism, veganism, organic food, the environmental impact of eating meat, poultry, or fish, and more—makes the simple goal of a healthy, sustainable diet seem hopelessly complex. We talked to scientists, chefs, and farmers to get the ultimate rundown on how you should fuel up.

Source: Eating Right Can Save the World | Outside Online

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5 Spots in Alberta That Will Blow Your Mind

From lakes to mountains to glaciers, the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada, really do have it all. Check out some of the most beautiful spots in Alberta here!

Source: 5 Spots in Alberta That Will Blow Your Mind

If you only have a short time in Alberta, you could actually see all of these places in one day. However, you should take your time, if at all possible, and enjoy them in stages. The Lake Louise Alpine Club Hostel is an amazing place to stay if you want to visit these gorgeous mountains and lakes. The roads (especially up to Moraine Lake) are not open year-round, so plan your trip for the best views. September and October can be really gorgeous because the Larch/Tamarack trees turn golden yellow at that time of year.