jueves, 29 de noviembre de 2012

Three and a half people.

This year has brought a change for me. I have taken over from my partner Sonia at her own English school in our small town, and left - with some regret, and not necessarily forever - Workshop in Santiago.

I'll miss the adult groups and the freedom to teach largely what, and how I like. On the other hand, I won't miss the commute and the longggggggg days away from Sonia and Jamie.

The main reason for this move may be visible in the Jan van Eyck photo below.

So I've got a bit less autonomy - I have to do a lot of recovering the local schools' curricula - and less chance to do dogme. Students mainly come so that they can get through exams. End of story.

I hope to do a bit of  brainwashing students into communicative learning in general, and specifically IPA, decent note-taking and function-fluency. I'm pretty sure none of them will have come into contact with any of these before.

However I intend to keep writing up post-plans and my usual assortment of worries, failures, triumphs and half-baked ideas.

And here, for the moment, is where I'd like your valuable opinion.

I made these cards to practice compound nouns with an upper-int group. I brought them into class and... er, nothing much happened. We made a few compounds up, but there was no dynamism, nor any inspiration on my part. What brilliant ideas have I missed? How can we turn these scraps of paper into a scintillating lexical activity?

Oh, to be filed under off-topic....

I've been test-driving Puppy Linux, yet another Linux variant, which is so small and light that you can carry it around on a pendrive. When you boot up with the pendrive in, it installs in the RAM of yer computer, not yer hard drive!!!  It gets touted as ideal for old computers, and since I run a rest home for tired and abandoned PCs, it was only a matter of time before I got round to trying it out.

And first impressions are that on my two senior citizens it runs like greased lightning. Rocket-powered greased lightning. On amphetamines.

 And also you can use your own operating system on somebody else's computer without leaving a trace after you've gone. How cool is that? I'm thinking it might be hell of a useful for people who have to do a lot of conferences using other people's gear.

Internet it found instantly - wired and wireless; multimedia and general stuff seems to work flawlessly. I haven't had the time (see first photo above) to try out printing and scanning yet, or how to install other software, but watch this space. Especially if you have a PC that predates the Iron Age.