Marvelous Mexico City: Crappy Coffee and Confusing Cognates

The best part of waking up, is Nescafe in my cup. Hah. ūüėÄcoffeeInstant coffee is very common in Mexico. At first I was grossed out by the taste, but now its growing on me. The smell of instant coffee also reminds me of sitting around the kitchen table with Grandma and Grandpa for coffee and long john donuts. ūüôā

Today we attended an extremely beneficial lecture by the keynote speaker, Paul Seligson.

He has taught English for over 30 years in various countries including Algeria, France, Egypt, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, the UK and Spain. His teaching methodology was FANTASTIC!

He stressed the importance of listening and speaking in order to understand English. According to research by Seligson, we spend over 45% of our day listening and 30% of the day speaking. He wants to bring more listening activities into the classroom to help ESL students¬†with¬†English language comprehension. One activity he used involved the students bringing in a line of their favorite song with the word,¬†don’t.¬†Examples included:

¬†“And I’m on tonight. You know my hips don’t lie. And I’m starting to feel it’s right.” – Shakira

“Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light.”- Sting

“I don’t wanna close my eyes,¬†I don’t wanna fall asleep,¬†‘Cause I’d miss you, babe,¬†And I don’t wanna miss a thing.”- Aerosmith

We then had to SING the lyrics in order to teach each other proper pronunciation. It was a hoot! Hah.

Another focus was COGNATES, which are words that sound similar and share the same meaning.

There are OVER 25,000 cognates between our languages, which can be used to help Spanish speakers learn English.

For example, list becomes lista, artist becomes artista and salary becomes salario.

We also discussed FALSE COGNATES. These are words that sound similar, but have a DIFFERENT meaning.

The worst example is embarrassed. The word sounds like the Spanish, embarazada, but actually means PREGNANT! 

Overall, it was extremely helpful for those of us that plan on teaching Spanish speakers.

Last but not least, today ended on a WONDERFUL note!

Our former student, Leonel, gave each of us a gift today. He said he was grateful for all that we had taught him, so he wanted to give back. Yesterday he asked us what genre we liked to read and today he brought us each a handpicked book based on our interests. He brought me a Spanish novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, which won a Nobel Prize inLiterature. In the picture we have Jeremy, MYSELF, Leonel, Rebecca, Arturo and Matt.995075_10103363261992887_2660942114326680929_nAnother fantastic day in the CELTA world. Only 6 more to go!

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