How has technology changed society?

Life is constantly changing and the reason why is technology. Technology always has been connected with human life and their society and it has progressed since then in many different ways, especially during the last century where it has been created a world that long time ago it couldn’t be imagine. Before that life was so hard to live.
This technology has improved our life’s quality for example in the access to electricity, transports, medical research or communication and now we can say that we’re living in the globalization era where everything and everyone is connected. However these innovations can also hide negatives aspects that can damage our world like pollution, deforestation or animals in danger of extinction.
For these reasons it is important to promote a clean technology with a perfect balance between progress and sustainability. All of us can participate and help in this process by recycling, using white technology or similar to make a better place for us to state and for the people who will come.

Technology is not only the research of microchips, bits and bytes. Each age in human history has his own “technology”. The prehistoric human beings learned how to sculpt rocks to use them for hunting bigger animals or to defend their families. Later, at the Iron Age, metal devices were used to improve agricultural processes, hunting methods and war techniques. So, we can say, society has been changed by technology since the ancient times.
            Getting close to our times, the Industrial Revolution changed completely our lifes. The steam machine transformed the society. Lots of handmade works were transformed into industrialized processes. Cities grown up because of the exodus of rural people. Workers formed the Labor Unions to claimed for his rights and new political tendencies appeared (socialism, fascism,…) with two World Wars as a result. Industrial Revolution had the most important influence for the life style of the XXth Century.
            The computer research was as important as the Industrial Revolution. Computers have changed the way we work and recently, the way we interact with other people. Besides from making easier most of calculating tasks, computers have transformed our social skills. We can now meet someone who lives in the other part of the world and everybody can access to any information he desires. Everything and everybody is closer than ever, but, at the same time, we are getting far from each other with the excuse to communicate with more “new friends”. Our way of life in the XXIst Century will be determined by the future develop of the social networks. What will be the next step, 3D communications, holograms, teletransport,…? Who knows.

In our attempt to analyze how has technology change our lives, we need to consider a fact that depending on the way of usage, technology is beneficial or harmful to society. We treat technology as a family member, even if that is a little co-dependent. It´s certainly made aspects of our lives easier. We´re no longer forced to send letters through the postal service, book vacations through travel agents, shop in stores, visit the library for research material, or look for a better way for our photos to be developed. Thanks to technology, all of these activities, can be performed either digitally or online.
At the same time, though, technology, can be more complicated, especially when something  doesn´t work right or doesn´t do what it´s supposed to.
Say for instance a GPS, device tells you to turn the wrong way on a one way street, or a computer erases all of your important data.
Unfortunately, it´s not always easy to understand how a product service works. It might be preferable to hold off adopting it until a better thing comes along.

Jose D.
In the last twenty years, the tecnology has created a big change in the society, in some cases it has make better and in other it has worsened.
The use and the accessibility from this tecnology has change a lot in the last years.
  The tecnological more important has been clearly Internet. This has change the comunication and the society forever. It allow us to talk with
persons that they were too far, you could know a lot of people around the world, you can know a notice that it happens in another part of the
world far from where you live. There have been new movements of the people through internet that have created strikes, manifestation. The mail, the
social networks, the skype, they are a new ways of comunication. Other important thing is the archieve transfer, the legal and the ilegal tranfer has change
the society. In the work you can send to other partners necesary documents to work, this make better the work and the efficacy. The ilegal transfer has
worsened the culture because anybody go to cinema, buy books or cds and this in the future will change the culture. Now in Internet the possibilities
are infinite, you can watch the Tv, read a book, talk with other person, play a videogame with a person that is in another country or continent.
  The second thing that I think thas is very important is the mobile phone. Although fifteen years ago We didn´t have any mobile phone and We didn´t need
it, now We can live without a cellular. This make life easier and some moments is very neccesary. Now with your mobile phone you can make a lot of things
you can send emails, watch Tv, internet. Other tecnology things are the electric cars, the mp3 player, the ebooks, this things also are changing the society
and the story. Finally I think the tecnology has helped rather the society but it has created a great dependence that is very dangerous for the children and in
the future I think We will be more impersonal and introvert persons.

Technology has evolved a lot in the few last years. And this evolution has a great influence in our lives.
When I started working 20 years ago, the office I worked in had 3 computers for 20 people. Now a day everybody has their own computer with a flat screen. The idea of working without a computer is inconceivable. Besides most people have computer at home, even portable computers. With all this the accessibility to the information (via Internet) is easy for everyone.
In addition mobile phones have become part of our lives. Everybody has one at his pocket, and the evolution of these devices has been incredible. Listening music, reading books, filing photos, playing games, and communicate with others is now possible through different applications from the mobile phones.
All this technology has changed our lives. But it is important to be aware about them, requiring a great effort. We have to be renewed or die.

Maria Jose
Here are some examples of how internet has changed the world.

Personal relationships
Thousands of people know new friends; even they can set up romantic relationships, through internet. Now it is very common heard that an American has a friend in China without knowing physically. Internet is not only used as a communication tool but as a means to set up all kind of social relationships. More than 46 percent of users claim that they have established new personal relationships through the network and more than 61 percent claim that they have continued these relationship out of the network.

Electronic commerce
Trade between companies is being more and more used and this provides more direct commercial relationships between company and supplier.
Concerning the relationships between companies and final customers Internet allows consumers to buy products according to their preferences in a short period of time. They can find and compare prices before making a purchase. 

The media
To read a newspaper before it was necessary go to a kiosk and buy one. Now we can read newspaper through Internet and not only national newspapers but newspapers from all over the world. Before it was not possible to stay in Paris and read the English edition of a Japanese journal. Today this is possible.
Internet develops very quickly and it is possible that in the not very distant future the scenario has changed again.

World wide web (WWW)
Internet was created in 1960 by Tim Berners-Lee.
First of all I would like to write about the vision of our great grandfather who lived in 1912 (a century ago), and appeared one morning in front of you. Would enter living  a schock the early hours of the morning of a day? .

Everyday our  habits start plugging our mobile, ipad, .., checking our daily tasks, messages from the boss, looking for the latest addition to our friends on facebook, then we feel our feet on the ground and we start walking.
It's too late so I put a glass of milk into the microwave.The underground stop is at 50 meters from my house, I will be introducing in a tube at 150 km speed. The headquarters of my company is in a building of 35 black box called elevator is waiting to take me to the top floor. In the meeting room, two Japanese engineers are talking to my colleagues through a  videoconference, a large screen shows the latest advances in a robot that is able to speak.

Finally  our great grandfather starts to cry , holding our  hand tightly and says: beings of another planet have arrived ,back with me to 1912.
Now choose , which would you take technological advance  to the past?.

I think we have two way on “ how has technology changed society”. The positives things are: we can see an expansion of communication with the whole world. We feel closer thanks to technologies like Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp. Those kind of technologies set up a social network. Today, on the market we have infinities options to buy and to sell products or services. For companies it’s a big resource to launch a product or service. Everybody can know their product or service. Our society is moved faster and we can save more time.

But we can become addictive to technologies and we can feel distant of other people, because we live inside of it. Abilities of communication can die or be damaged. For companies that means more competition and they need to innovate all the time if they want to survive. Technology can be stressful because we want the answers at the moment and the information overload.

As a conclusion, technology can be good or bad for us. That depends what do you want to be. An addicted and to have a worth health. Or you can choose to use the best side of technologies. You can reach progress, to grow thanks to opportunities that it can offer to us. Do you want to live for technologies or use technologies for live?
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Things I Can't Live Without

I couldn’t live without…
Medical Research: It’s really important this kind of investigation for improve our heath now and in the future and obtain a better quality of life making new medicines.
Transports: Subway, cars, planes…They are absolutely necessary for people to travel around the world and get on time to their meetings or jobs.
Elevator: For me it’s very useful when you fell so tired during the day and don’t want to waste your time going upstairs. Also it’s so good when you want to go up a heavy purchase.
Washing machine: In a word: amazing. Think about cleaning your towels, sheets or pants yourself, I don’t want to imagine that. Only in 35 minutes you get your clothes ready.
Dishwasher: I love it! I hate washing plates with my hands and this electrical appliance it’s so quickly and leave it all so clean and brilliant.
Radio: Differents programmes, interviews and good music...What can I say? Probably you´ll never get bored if you have a radio at home.
Mobile phone: Nowadays it’s essential to have one if you have a problem like an accident or whatever and of course just to get in touch with people you like. Also you can enjoy the newest applications.
Cinema: One of the best places to have fun watching a good movie and with 3D technology it’s like if you were inside!
Internet: Email, youtube, free music and movies... It’s the right place to find everything you really want and chat with all your friends.

Maria Jose
First of all, I have to say that all devices with which we live are really important and without only one of them our lifestyle would be completely different. I cannot imagine my house without refrigerator or heating.
It is very difficult to choose which Technology is the more important, so I will speak only about two examples of technology which have completely revolutionized our way of life in the last years. I mean Internet and cellular phones.
Internet is essential not only in our work life but also in our private life. Even though Internet joined working life not very long time, nowadays no company can survive without a website and an e-mail. I wonder how it was possible working without internet only 20 years ago…  Also internet is an essential part of our private life. Today everybody has a computer at home because we cannot conceive studying without internet or going walking to our bank to make a wire transfer. Even in the development of our social relationships Internet has modified our behaviour because today everybody uses messengers to communicate with friends or chats to meet new people all around the world. Buying in Internet is more and more used and any kind of information we need is accessible searching on Google. Life is easier now thanks to internet.
Telecommunications world has changed our lives too. We cannot conceive our life without our cell phones. Those wonderful cellular phones which are more than a phone. Today with our cell phone we can do more than do or receive a call. We usually listen to music, take pictures, take notes and store information, music and videos, sometimes we watch TV or listen to radio, and every day we search in Google, send messages with different applications and send and receive mails with attachements.
I wonder how upcoming mobile phones will be.

I can´t live without Sports
            The first time I played football was when I was nine years old. This was at school. Before that I was always running and riding my bicycle with my friends. Then I played football all over my school years. Later, when I begun my studies at the university I met a friend of mine and we begun to practice running every weekend. At the same time, my group of friends of the university used to spend a couple of weekends per course to go outside to disconnect from the university stress. We took the opportunity to do rafting, to ride horses, to ski, etc. A few years ago, my friend and I begun to participate in popular races in Madrid, First, we made 10 km, then half marathon, and, who knows what will be our next challenge… Our experiences were incredible with all the people around us: no competitive spirit, comradeship, good feelings… I think a life practicing sports is much more than a life!

--List of ten things I can´t live without—
  1. Refrigerator
  2. Cell phone
  3. Computer
  4. Internet
  5. Car
  6. Radio
  7. E-mail
  8. Stove
  9. Washing machine
  10. Microwave oven

And don´t forget the POWER SUPPLY for all of them!

Jose D.

Refrigerator: I think this is the most important appliance because It save the food and maintain in a good state.
Oven: It is very necessary to make the food
Washer: I need it to keep clean my clothes
Computer: It is very useful for me because I use it to find a job, to work, to play videogames and I download movies or series.
Mobile phone: I use it to comunicate with my family and my friends, I also use it to find a job.
Media Player: It is a hard disk portable, When I download movies or series I copy them in the Media Player and I can see them in my TV
TV: I don´t see the public o private programmes except the soccer or basketball matches because I prefer see my movies or series
Stereo: Although I listen music in my computer or in my mobile phone, I relax in my room listenig to music and reading a book or a comic
Iron: I don´t iron very often, but I think it´s important that the clothes seem arranged
Dishwasher: It is vey comfortable, but I think that is not very necessary because You can wash the dishes manually.

1. Fridge 2. Wash machine 3. Computer 4. Television 5. Microwave 6. Dish washer 7. Dryer  8.Oven 9. Vacuum cleaner 10. Iron
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Writing Paragraphs in English- Student Stories

by Elena
My mother’s once told me a really funny story about a partner who she was working with. They have been very closed friends since there because they worked together for the same company during more than fifteen years. One day Isabel told my mother, a curious experience that she had had while she was younger. She was working for another company as a personal assistant but she really wanted to get a better job. After a couple of months there, she finally had the opportunity to make it possible. There were a few vacancies in the office to be part of the director’s team and of course she decided to apply for this job, but first she needed to pass an exam.

During the next weeks she started studying all the topics and subjects: economics, law... Apparently everything was fine, but when the big day was coming she was more and more nervous. That was very normal because it was the first time that she was making a proof like that.
Finally, the day had come. She was preparing everything for the text when her house mate, who she was living with, told her that it would be better if she took a tranquillizer just to be a little more relaxed during the exam. She accepted without a doubt because she wanted to be calm down.

After that, she took the subway, like everyday. There she started to fell a little bit tired and sleepy but continued going to the place where the exam was. She didn’t know how, but finally she arrived to the right place. Then she entered into a big class and sat down where an old man told her. The exam was given to her but before she could begin, she needed to clean her glasses first. She took them out from her bag and with a lot of calm and very, very relaxed, she started to clean them.
Isabel began to read the two or three first questions when the same old man said: “Ok. Time is over. Give me your exams in order, please”. She couldn’t believe these words. Time was finished and she hadn’t started to read just the first page yet. She was so relaxed that didn´t realize that she had spent at least 45 minutes just cleaning her glasses!! Of course, she didn’t pass the exam, but at the end she learned two very important things: Not to take any pill she doesn’t know from her friends and how to pass a good time just remembering this memorable story!!

by María José de Alarcón
Two months ago I bought a ticket to Tenerife South, at the beginning the price was 160 € but, at last, it raised up till 300 €. At first, I could have never guessed that Ryanair was so expensive due to the fact that on entering their website in order to look for cheap flights, you can find low cost tickets, but the reality was another one.
First of all, the price was completely disappointing but, next, I had to pay an extra cost for a priority boarding in order not to queue for over an hour to get a good site in the plane. Then, I also had to pay for having a larger space in my seat since my husband has long legs. Finally, I thought there would not be more setbacks but when the time of arriving to the airport came, I discovered I had forgotten to print my boarding cards and, astonished, I had to pay another extra cost. In the end, I was penalised too for exceeding the exact dimensions, regarding size and weight, of my cabin baggage.
Looking back on it, I think next time I go to Tenerife I will fly with Iberia since I am convinced that it gives their customers better services and, over all, no surprises concerning additional prices.

The lost city of Machu Picchu.
by Iñigo A.
Once in a raffle during the tourism fair in Madrid won a plane ticket to Peru.
There are seven wonders in the world, Machu Pichu in my opinion is the most amazing for several reasons. The first thing you'll see is the sacred valley, your eyes will open an uncontrollably. Second you can do Inca route for three days and  understand the harsh conditions  the inhabitants who lived 800 years ago.
Finally, one morning at sunrise climb to Machu Pichu and discover what nature is able to keep hidden for so long, your heart beats too fast for hours and and would be eternal that vision in your brain eternal . For this reason I believe that the journey to the lost city is something no one should miss.

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Student Profiles

María José
Married, one only child

Civil servant for the European Commission since 1989

English courses attended
·         Upper intermediatye 4A at Bristish Council, 2011
·         Upper Intermediate 4B at Bristish Ccouncil, 2012
Goals to be reached in 2012-2013
Improve my knowledge of English . I need to speak English in my work life. Our two working language are French and English now, but  I need develop my skills in spoken English because French is being  replaced by English.
I like reading books, go to the movies and listen to music. My preferences are classic rock and pop rock.
I do yoga two days a week.

Laura Natali

Where you have studied English: at school, at academy, while traveling, at home with a teacher
What your Hobbies are: I like running and any extreme sport like climbing
What inspires you: Hope and the way of thinking of each person
Something that is unique about you: "You need to fight and strongly believe in what you do, if you want to reach your goals"

My name is Begoña. English people usually call me Begonia, like the flower. But the name Begoña is nothing to see with the flower. It’s a name from the Basque Country and means something like “place in a dominant hill”. When I was younger I didn’t like my name a lot, but now I found it has some character.

From Monday to Friday I work as a civil servant for an International Institution. I like the work I do, even if I have been doing it for long. It is in financial field. Mainly in accounting and award procedures for public contracts.

8 years ago I could reached one of my life dreams : my first son was born, and two years later my second son. Today they are the best in my life, even if they give me a lot of work to do. I have so fun with them. I really love to see how they grow up and learn.

As I am very busy with work and family, I don’t have much time for hobbies. Anyway I like reading, listening to music and playing sports. Now, I am going to start some paddle-tennis classes. I also ride bike as frequent as I can. Besides I love culture world : cinema, theatre, photography and art in general.

But in my opinion the best in life is travelling around de world. I dream to visit Italia, Paris, NY, Argentina, China, and Tanzania with my kids and good friends.

What you do…
I´m studying History of Art at Universidad Complutense. I love especially ancient civilizations and contemporary art.

Where you have studied English?
I began to study English when I was at school with nine years old and after that I continued in highschool. There I have good and bad English´s teachers. Some of them didn´t know very well how to teach and made a usuful class (there usually were too boring!), so when I went to university I decided to go to CSIM, a kind of academy who is associate with Universidad Complutense. I made only two courses. The first one was really great, everything was perfect: teacher, classmates, books… and I learned a lot, but the second one was just horrible. I didn´t get his way of teaching class and everyday was a huge mess. So this summer I was looking for a better place to start and finally I get here hoping to learn as much as I can and trying to do my best!!

What your Hobbies are?
One of my favourites hobbies is going to modern art exhibitions like the ones that usually are in Mapfre Foundation or in Thyssen´s Museum. They are just amazing like the last one about Hopper´s American paintings. When I´m there, I enjoy listening people´s comments, especially old people who most of them don´t understand very well what they are watching and it could be really funny. But if I have to choose my great passion, without any doubt, it would be cinema. Yes, it´s my weakness. I love all kind of movies: drama, comedy and of course thriller, like the ones who makes David Fincher.

What inspires you?
Like it is said in American Beauty: “It’s hard to stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world”: beautiful landscapes, the sea, art, family, everything can inspire me, but sometimes what it is really hard is trying to focus on the good things that we have around us and forget the bad ones.

Something that is unique about you…
Well, maybe my skills for cooking. When I have time I like to create differents courses and I shouldn’t say that but I’m really good at desserts. My chocolate cake and my lemon sponge cake are famous at home. They are just delicious!

Iñigo R.
I have studied English in many academies during a long time when i was a child, but my favorite experience with the English was when i went to USA to live some months.
I stayed just for 6 months, but I learned too fast (more than I could imagine). when I arrived to Atlanta´s airport I had no idea of English and less about the pronunciation of this place. In the next two weeks, I could speak more or less normal with the native people without too much problems. the worst thing was the vocabulary because I needed to explain the word than I didn´t know and too many times I lost the thread of conversation.

My hobbies are more or less like the regular people. It´s mean, i like listen music, read a good book, go parties and disco and play soccer with my friends in the amateur league of my neighborhood. I think the thing that makes me diferent of the regular people is than I play a lot of diferents sports like hockey or skate.
Another of my hobbies is the speed. I use to drive a kart or a motorcycle regularly, one time at month more or less, because I need to burn some adrenaline in a safety place and no in the road.

The thing that inspire me are the melodic music like chill out or other kinds of relaxing techno music. I use this music for studying and doing the homeworks because it makes me feel motivated. For relax me I love lose me in the montain for a couple of days with good company. I think than is the best way to get away of the city and from the routine and so to get a new prespective of the things.

Civil engineer looking for some new projects.
I started studying English at school when I was a child, since I was six years old to eighteen years old. Then at the university we had two courses of English, but, basically, it consisted only in technical vocabulary. Later, in my first job I used to attend European meetings and worked with Europeans standards, so I improved a lot my English. Unfortunately, in my last job, last six years, I only had to speak in Spanish so my English level failed. I am looking for recover my old level and, if I can, to get a better one.

Hobbies? I used to play football with my friends (I played on the school team and with my friends in the university competition) and I also used to go to the movies, but since I had my children hobbies took a second or third place in my life. Now the children has grown up and I´m recovering some of that habits. I have changed thrillers and adventures movies for animation and cartoon movies. And football matches for popular races. But this year my oldest son plays on a football team and also he likes to run, so I´m sharing with him football trainings and matches and some popular races. It´s fantastic!

What motivates me most is to have a goal to reach. It can be professional or personal goals. It´s a challenge to accomplish all the tasks and to do it better than the time before. I like to learn something new every day and I also like to improve every day.
I like to face life and try to get the positive aspects that it has. If I find negative aspects I try to turn it into a positive one. Everything has something good inside it, you have just to discover it. I don´t know if this makes me unique, but it makes me happy.

Jose D.
What you do: Now I am looking for a job.
Where you have studied English: I studied English in my school, in a academy.
What your Hobbies are: My hobbies are going cinema, reading books and comics, playing video games.
What inspires you: A good song inspires me, my family also inspire me
Something that is unique about you: Despite being a men I can do a lot of thing at the same time 

Life:    I’ve studied  Telecomunication Engeneere in University of Alcalá de Henares(Madrid).
Actually I´m working in Atificial Intelligence and electronics payments proyects, once a month teach Leadership and managing skins in a master at Economics School in Alcalá University. Also served as consultant  to the NGO World in Harmony. ( directed by the Queen Sofia.
Everyday I¨m waking up with three wonderfull daughters(eight years older, two years and three months the baby) ;sometime i wonder why i didn´t start to have children before.
English:    The first contact with the english World was in high school,alter i¨ve been improving  in a Business meeting Only, and the last january i had decided to change all by the way,and i started to learn in International House Academy then i began intrnsive conversation course in september  here in Institute International (With Juan Irigoyen- teacher¨s class next door-).
Hobbies:         My free time always is getting a mix:Social lunch and playing guitar with my old university collages.
Twice a year i ¨ve  been travelling around the World  for Business or tourism .i already know the five continents and I¨ve visiting 53 countries, i would like to get knowing every  culture in the planet.
Perhaps at the end i will be working at  U.N. (O.N.U.). (if the train  stop in front of me I'll be ready to take over.)
What's inspire you?: My favourite quotations:
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”
“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”         (Theodore Roosevelt.)

Álvaro Yáñez

I’m 23 years old and I’m studying Physical Education and Sports in the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

I began to study English when I had 8 in my school. Probably the method didn’t have the best but I got a base to learn this language. I kept studying English until I started high school. I decided then that I didn’t have high level of English and I started to go to an academy with a personal teacher.

I realized later two intensive courses in The British Council and when I started my degree in the University I started to learn English in the International Institute, this will be my fourth year.

In my free time I do a lot of sport. I practice handball, football, skiing, climbing, bodyboard… I had a lot of injuries in my body but I can’t stop practice this sports, I love it.

Also I like listening to music and go to a concert. Go to the cinema and have dinner out. Of course, I love traveling. I only travel a across Europe and I want to travel to America an Japan.

This is a little of me and my life, if you want we take a coffee and talk. See you.
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Setting up a Blog for your Class

I set up the blog for my High Intermediate class.  It took me a few sessions of blogging to get it all together, but it wasn't too hard since I have done some of the learning curve with this blog.  I created the blog, then looked for a template that had a pretty clean design because I wanted my students to be able to navigate it easily and not be distracted with too many bells and whistles.  The template I chose is a blogger template called Simples Azul.  I did not spend a lot of time on the design, just the basics.  Like having a blog and website list that my students could go to for exercises and information.  The rest I used pretty much the same way as the template had it.  When I created this blog I spent a lot of time on the design and functionality and it took away from the writing.  I might, when I have time, tweak my class blog more, but for now it works. So far I have had 50 page views from a class of 10 students, so I think we are doing OK.  I have written 9 posts so far.

Keeping the Blog Private

I chose to keep it private because I am experimenting right now and I don't want any surprises.  It also helped my students feel more confident when they have to enter information into the blog.  To keep your blog private so that only your students can see it you need to go to your settings in your Blogger Dashboard. There you need to define who can see your blog.  In Permissions select Add readers.  You will have the choice for Anybody Only blog authors or Only these readers.  Select Only these readers and in the window at the bottom you can enter the emails of your students.  I tried this but it wasn't working for me, so I pressed the button Choose from Contacts and this worked.  This means you need to have your students in your contact list before you can add them as readers.

Writing the Posts

I write my posts soon after class or that same day.  If I have an idea for a post and I know I wont have time in the near future then I write a draft post so that I don't forget my idea.  In the draft I put any links I might have generated the idea.  My posts are mostly about whatever we are discussing in class.  For example we are in Unit 1 so I have made a post of the vocabulary we are covering in the book.   I looked up the words in the The Free  I like this dictionary because it has an extensive list of the different uses of a word.  If there was a sound available for the word I put in the blog so that students were able to hear the pronunciation.  Of course I sourced The Free

I also posted about our Language lesson which gave a brief explanation and listed several sources that Students could go to online as well as videos they could watch for further clarification.  Students have different ways of learning for some it's easier to visualize it.

I also posted about "ed" endings because I saw that some of my students were having problems pronouncing these and it is something they should already have mastered in their Intermediate class.  I might end up having to give a short lesson in class, but since it is not part of my syllabus I am going to try to see if it works just to reference back to the blog those students that are struggling with it.

I posted our syllabus so that it is handy for them from where ever they are. I also post about events that they might be interested in.

Getting Students to Use Blog

I sent all my students a link to the blog and asked them to check it out.  Of course they had not tried it until the night before our next class since they knew I would ask again.  I decided to assign their writing assignments to be written into the class blog.  I wan't sure how to go about this. I could make them all authors and have them write their assignments as posts.  The problem is I don't know them very well yet, so I wouldn't want a surprise written all over the internet.

I chose to write a post with just the title of the assignment and have them write their assignment as a comment to that post.  This way I get them into the blog to try the other resources and I have all their writing in one place where we can then go over them in class.  I would then write a comment in the post myself about general things I saw in every one's writing and address individual problems with individuals.

Another way I am going to try is to have my students subscribe to the blog so that they can be notified by email when I put up a new post.

I am going to try this and will let you know how it goes.  If you have other ways you have tried to get students into your blog. Let me know would love to get ideas.
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Intercambios: Great Way to Practice Your English

Intercambios are a great way of practicing your English with native speakers.  You have a chance to do an Intercambio right here at the Institute with students from some of the universities that are housed at the Institute.  These students want to practice their Spanish and you get to practice your English.  To try it out come to one of these Intercambio events.
Mondays and Tuesdays
Every Monday and Tuesday from 20:30 – 21:30 in room 302 there is a group language exchange between SUNY students and IIE students.  No need to sign up previously.
October 17 and November 7
There will be group language exchange activities with students from the Accent program on the following days from 18:00 - 20:00: Wednesday, October 17th and Wednesday, November 7th.  Sign up sheets will be provided in class the week before each event. 
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Pronunciation of "ed" endings

The pronunciation of "ed" endings can be challenging and even when we have mastered some of them and can pronounce them well new ones come up and it's confusing to know how to pronounce them.  Here are some basic rules on how to pronounce them and various online resources you can check, so that you can finally master them.

There are 3 ways to pronounce the -ed ending.

/Id/, /t/ or /d/

If the base verb ends in the unvoiced sound of t or d we pronouce it /Id/ sound
If the base verb ends in the voiced sound of p, f, s, sh, th, ch or k then we pronounce it with a /t/ sound
All other sounds, for example pay, follow, nag we pronounce with the /d/ sound

A voiced sound is a sound that vibrates as you say it.  If you place your fingers in the front of your neck try the f sound -fff - can you feel the vibration?

An unvoiced sound does not vibrate.  Try the "z" sound.  There is no vibration.

Here are some examples:

/t/ or /d/ (unvoiced)
voiced sound
all other sounds
 neglected  helped  covered
 needed  kicked  received
 shouted  wipped  moved
 rested  dropped  shivered

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Class Syllabus

General Course Outline              

Week 1 Introductions                     Unit 1: What's the story?
Lesson A: The story of my life
Grammar focus: review of the simple past and present perfect
New vocabulary related to stories and storytelling
Listening for details & note taking

Week 2 Lesson B: Tell me a story
Reading a horror story:  “The Monkey's Paw” by W.W. Jacobs
Writing : Sequencing events using time expressions.
Communication: Interviewing a partner and reporting information          
Week 3 Unit 2: Technology
                                Lesson A:  Technostress
                                Grammar focus: review of the passive voice
New vocabulary related to technology
Listening for cause and effect
Saying you're able/not able to do something

Week 4 Lesson B: Techno-shopping
Reading  an article about new technology (Skimming for main ideas)
Writing: Writing about the advantages and disadvantages of a topic

Week 5                Unit 3: Personality
                                Lesson A: Are you a morning person?
                               Grammar focus: Adverb clauses of contrast, purpose and time
                               Listening for gist, key words and personality types.
                               Communication: Making general statements      
Week 6                Lesson B: What type are you?
                                Reading: Reading about Chinese astrology 
Writing : Organizing a paragraph using a topic sentence
Week 7               Unit 4: Make an Impact
                                Lesson A: Change your world
                                Grammar focus: Modals and phrasal modals
New vocabulary related to generational differences
                                Listening for gist and details in an interview

Week 8 Lesson B: Take a stand
Reading:  Reading about a socially-conscious advertising foundation
                                Writing: Expressing opinion.
Week 9 Review of all units                          

Week 10              FINAL EXAM (Units 1 to 4)

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Vocabulary Unit 1 - What's the story?

Vocabulary Focus

Note: definition is chosen according to what meaning is given in the World Pass book.  Words can have other meanings.

al·ter   (ôltr) v. al·teredal·ter·ingal·ters

1. To change or make different; modify: altered my will.

cov·er  (kvr) v. cov·eredcov·er·ingcov·ers
b. To be responsible for reporting the details of (an event or situation): Two reporters covered the news story.

go after
pursue an idea

go over
2. To examine or review: go over the test scores.

make up
4. To devise as a fiction or falsehood; invent: made up an excuse.

piece together
figure out what happened (World Pass-Upper Intermediate)

ver·i·fy  (vr-f)  tr.v. ver·i·fiedver·i·fy·ingver·i·fies
2. To determine or test the truth or accuracy of, as by comparison, investigation, or reference:experiments that verified the hypothesis. 

Additional vocabulary
change a  / one's story - to change the details of a story
kill a story - to not publish a story that was ready to be printed or aired on TV.

con·se·quence  (kns-kwns, -kwns)
Something that logically or naturally follows from an action or condition

ex·pec·tant  (k-spktnt) adj.
1. Having or marked by expectation: an expectant look; an expectant hush.

fam·i·ly  (fm-l, fmln. pl. fam·i·lies
a. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.

fate  (ft) n.
a. The supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events.

magic charm  (chärm) n.

4. An item worn for its supposed magical benefit, as in warding off evil; an amulet.

sol·emnly  (slm) adj.
1. Deeply earnest, serious, and sober.
2. Somberly or gravely impressive.

sor·ry  (sr, sôradj. sor·ri·er, sor·ri·est
1. Feeling or expressing sympathy, pity, or regret:

stormy night - 
storm·y  (stôrm)
adj. storm·i·erstorm·i·est
1. Subject to, characterized by, or affected by storms; tempestuous.

vis·i·tor  (vz-tr) n.
1. a person who pays a visit; caller, guest, tourist, etc

wish  (wsh) n.
1. A desire, longing, or strong inclination for a specific thing.

loss  (lôs, ls) n.

1. The act or an instance of losing.
Your loss is my gain. 

Source: The Free

Telling stories:
I'll never forget the time...
A couple of years ago...
Last summer...
It happened when...
One night...
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