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Getting there


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sitting here in my tatami room on the most glorious Sunday afternoon blithely ignoring the cherry blossoms outside, I am beginning to remember why my students were so great last year as I mark the first of the vocabulary sheets....I was devilish severe about looking over their papers and not giving credit from misspellings (goverment bonds; a corpolation tax; disicion making, trustworthly), , mistranslations (deficit=Department for Education and Employment; dazzler=a person that be distinguished by one's absence), made-up examples (I made a plan easy of accomplishment) , non-economic terminology (list= the fact of a ship leaning to one side;stun=The punch stunned me for a moment; latrine; swear like a lord; mire+ nukarumi, to which latter i suggested "a mire of debt" would be ok) ...looking them over today, hawkish, armed with my red pen, taking hours, slowly but surely.

I notice that I'm more webby now, I'm going to give them the addy for the Meriam Websters: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary.htm and talk a bit more about the thesaurus function, otherwise students are just memorizing tortuous definitions for very little useful application in the third section of my vocab sheet, and my aim there is to promote useful repetition of language for discussion purposes, or even for writing, so that students can be a little varied in their lexis while addressing a similar meaning. Plus it has the audio function for listening to pronunciation, and there's a top ten web search results where they can look for a snappy example.

Googled cell phone tower to get some of the words...been in Japan so long the new vocab leaves me behind, and found that they're digital mobile base stations, phone towers, cell towers or RadioFrequency(RF) transmitting towers, and that we speak of radiofrequency radiation, or mobile phone emissions and cell phone signals. Amazing what a quick google can do. This is also a technique I need to share with students, did so during the presentation year last term, but this year is fresh and new.

So for the first part of my lesson before the vocab checking I need to run through the fact that students haven't countersigned sheets, haven't added up the totals, and some haven't added student numbers, and after the vocab checking I need to introduce the dictionary and thesaurus....and talk a little bit about being careful making up your own sample sentences cos I've had some really unusual and unused stuff, which also have nothing to do with economics: The car scatter poisonous gas. A glass turn to fragments. We are in entire agreement with you. (I even checked in the Economist Bank of English corpus for "entire", the entire country, the entire industry, and the entire population came out tops for collocations, and in full or broad agreement were the tops for "in agreement". No wonder it's taking so long.)

Ah well, back to marking! The red pen hides the mountains of black and good learning!