Saturday, September 28, 2013

Plan of an Acceptable Oral Presentation

You are given ten minutes to compose a plan to present one of the notions, ten minutes to present it and a ten-minute interview with the juror. In terminale L "langue approfondie" you have the same amount of time to prepare but a thirty-minute exam: ten or fifteen minutes to present the file ie the notion, and an interview of about fifteen or twenty minutes to check how further you are able to go.
Needless to say you must handle the making of your structured plan as much as the notion you will have to present and answer questions about.

So here is an adaptable structure you may use for this oral exam. I used Myths & Heroes as an example.




Introduction:

  1. Define myth and hero.
  2. Announce your problem, for example "What is the importance of myths and heroes nowadays?"
  3. Announce your plan:
    1. The origins of the myths and the heroes.
    2. Myths and heroes have always been part of people's life.
    3. Contemporary icons and their influences in the present world.
Development section

  1. The origins of the myths and the heroes.
    1. Prometheus: the Greek mythological figure has had great importance throughout the centuries. It was an important figure in the ancient times but has inspired many artists: the creation of man, the use of the myth in modern literature (Frankenstein) and in the cinema.
    2. One can wonder whether some elements of folklore are accurate or not: King Arthur -- William the Conqueror & the Battle of Hastings -- Thanksgiving/Pocahontas/John Smith/the Plymouth colony
    3. Some popular myths and heroes are simply fables: dragons may be the representation of the early discovery of the remains of the dinosaurs, the early mythologies whether they are Greek, Egyptian, Roman, etc etc might be based on sand or the lives of people who had a great influence in their contemporaries' existence. Besides, these myths or beliefs and their characters were recycled throughout the centuries: Samhain became Halloween not to say this is just the time when nights are longer than days, the Winter solstice once celebrated as the rebirth of light which was used as the birthdate of Christ.
  2. Myths and heroes have always been part of people's life.
    1. For centuries, myths and heroes drove people's life: Christianity and other religions, the representation of Orthodox icons (Saints and holy figures), the fear of some unfathomable and legendary beings whether human or not: wolves, fairies, knights, religious people...
    2. The great achievements of the rulers, of the people who detained power, has always been a code of conduct for the population: Kings and Queens of England for example King Henry VIII, his daughter Queen Elizabeth I or Queen Victoria in the 19th century. American Presidents such as Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Kennedy -- one could mention Kennedy's death and the hoaxes and myths around it.
    3. These heroes have become mythical only because people made them so: the power of the media, the lack of education and/or hindsight from the common people, for example the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts in Scotland, Gold diggers in the 19th century in the USA  which was in fact just a way to have people move west of the country and occupy the new acquired lands: California, Oregon...
  3. Contemporary myths and icons and their influences in the present world.
    1. Religions are stepping back and have less and less importance nowadays, especially in the western world and developed countries (Europe, Canada, the USA...) but people need other centers of interest or guidance such as astrology, the paranormal, inventing new myths or heroes: alien colonization of the earth for example Roswell, wild or unreal animals inhabiting big cities, other myths such as the Yeti or Big Foot
    2. These representations of contemporary myths and heroes can be a way to show off the power of a nation: the myth of the perfect man like the Nazi Germany myth of Arianism, the creation of comics superheroes to counter attack these outrageous theories for example Superman created in the mid-30s.
    3. Today, people need new models, they find their icons in popular culture when they don't believe in religion or the political systems anymore: singers, actors, all kind of popular artists can become icons if not heroes, sport persons are probably one the best examples one can find, especially when we think of these sport persons who gets involved into charities sometimes even creating their own, like the American tennis man Andre Agasi and his foundation Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.
Conclusion
  1. Summarize your development
  2. Broaden your perspective with personal views or even better an open window to another problem (Are sport icons only myths?) or another notion (What is the importance of power in the sporting world?)




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Overcoming Nerves When Giving a Presentation

Some of you students showed all these anxiety symptoms when I first asked you to take the stage and present your first slide-show.
Some were even unable to speak in front of the class.
Watch this! It is nearly 10 minutes long but with the words written in the background so that I'm sure you can understand clearly what Deborah Grayson Riegel says. Enjoy!



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Épreuve orale pour la langue choisie comme enseignement de spécialité (langue vivante approfondie) en série L

Voici ce que dit le Bulletin officiel numéro 9 du 1er mars 2012. Il complète le BO numéro 9 du 30 septembre 2010 qui donnait les grandes lignes de ce bac nouvelle formule. Notamment en expliquant les différentes notions.

"4 - Épreuve orale pour la langue choisie comme enseignement de spécialité (langue vivante approfondie) en série L
Temps de préparation : 10 minutes
Durée de l'épreuve : 30 minutes
Le niveau attendu en référence à l'échelle de niveaux du CECRL est précisé dans la fiche d'évaluation correspondant à cette épreuve."

C'est le niveau C1 qui est attendu. Les fiches d'évaluation sont .

Le Bulletin officiel poursuit:

"Le candidat a choisi deux des notions étudiées dans l'année et a constitué pour chacune d'elles un dossier comportant deux documents étudiés en classe et un document de son choix qui illustre ou complète cette notion. L'examinateur choisit l'une des notions. Après 10 minutes de préparation, le candidat dispose de 10 minutes pour présenter son dossier et justifier ses choix. Cette prise de parole en continu sert d'amorce à une conversation conduite par l'examinateur, qui prend appui sur l'exposé du candidat. Cette phase d'interaction n'excède pas 20 minutes."

A aucun moment dans le texte il n'est indiqué que le candidat doive se baser uniquement sur les documents du dossier même s'ils doivent être ceux principalement utilisés pour construire l'argumentation et la réponse à la problématique liée à la notion.

En outre, il est à parier que l'examinateur ira justement chercher le candidat sur d'autres documents en lien avec cette notion et peut-être même le conduira vers une autre notion.




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn - Fall - Harvest... Some Words and their etymology

9/22/2013, Autumn, green trees fade to yellowish colours

autumnal (adj.)
1570s, from Latin autumnalis "pertaining to autumn," from autumnus (see autumn).

autumn (n.) 
late 14c., autumpne (modern form from 16c.), from Old French autumpne, automne (13c.), from Latin autumnus (also auctumnus, perhaps influenced by auctus "increase"), of unknown origin. Perhaps from Etruscan, but Tucker suggests a meaning "drying-up season" and a root in *auq- (which would suggest the form in -c- was the original) and compares archaic English sere-month "August." 

Harvest was the English name for the season until autumn began to displace it 16c. In Britain, the season is popularly August through October; in U.S., September through November. Cf. Italian autunno, Spanish otoño, Portuguese outono, all from the Latin word. Unlike the other three seasons, its names across the Indo-European languages leave no evidence that there ever was a common word for it. 
Many "autumn" words mean "end, end of summer," or "harvest." Cf. also Lithuanian ruduo "autumn," from rudas "reddish," in reference to leaves; Old Irish fogamar, literally "under-winter."

harvest (n.) 
Old English hærfest "autumn, period between August and November," from Proto-Germanic *harbitas (cf. Old Saxon hervist, Old Frisian and Dutch herfst, German Herbst "autumn," Old Norse haust "harvest"), from PIE *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (cf. Sanskrit krpana- "sword," krpani "shears;" Greek karpos "fruit," karpizomai "make harvest of;" Latin carpere "to cut, divide, pluck;" Lithuanian kerpu "cut;" Middle Irish cerbaim "cut"). 

The borrowing of autumn and the use of fall in a seasonal sense gradually focused the meaning of harvest to "the time of gathering crops" (mid-13c.), then to the action itself and the product of the action (after c.1300). Figurative use by 1530s. Harvest home (1590s) is the occasion of bringing home the last of the harvest; harvest moon (1706) is that which is full within a fortnight of the autumnal equinox.

gossamer (n.) 
c.1300, "spider threads spun in fields of stubble in late fall," apparently from gos "goose" + sumer "summer" (cf. Swedish sommertrad "summer thread"). The reference might be to a fancied resemblance of the silk to goose down, or because geese are in season then. The German equivalent mädchensommer (literally "girls' summer") also has a sense of "Indian summer," and the English word originally may have referred to a warm spell in autumn before being transferred to a phenomenon especially noticable then. Cf. obsolete Scottish go-summer "period of summer-like weather in late autumn." Meaning "anything light or flimsy" is from c.1400. The adjective sense "filmy" is attested from 1802.

amaryllis (n.)
autumn-flowering bulbs, 1794, adopted by Linnaeus from Latin, from Greek Amaryllis, typical name of a country girl or shepherdess (in Theocritus, Virgil, Ovid, etc.).

fall (n.)
c.1200, "a falling;" see fall (n.). Old English noun form, fealle, meant "snare, trap." Sense of "autumn" (now only in U.S.) is 1660s, short for fall of the leaf (1540s). That of "cascade, waterfall" is from 1570s. Wrestling sense is from 1550s. Of a city under siege, etc., 1580s. Fall guy is from 1906.

Fauvist (n.) 
movement in painting associated with Henri Matisse, 1915, from French fauve, "wild beast" (12c., in Old French "fawn-colored horse, dark-colored thing, dull," from Frankish *falw-, from the Germanic root of fallow (adj.)). Coined by French art critic Louis Vauxcelles at Autumn Salon of 1905. It was a reaction against impressionism, featuring vivid use of colors. Related: Fauvism.

xanthous (adj.) 
1829, from Greek xanthos "yellow," of unknown origin. Prefix form xantho- is used in many scientific words; cf. xanthein (1857) "soluble yellow coloring matter in flowers," Huxley's Xanthochroi (1867) "blond, light-skinned races of Europe" (with okhros "pale"), xanthophyll (1838) "yellow coloring matter in autumn leaves."

earn (v.) 
Old English earnian "deserve, earn, merit, win, get a reward for labor," from Proto-Germanic *aznojan (cf. Old Frisian esna "reward, pay"), from *azna "labor" especially "field labor" (cf. Old Norse önn "work in the field"), from PIE *aznon "to do harvest work, serve" (cf. Old High German arnon "to reap"), denominative verb from *es-en- "harvest, fall" (cf. Old High German aren "harvest, crop," German Ernte "harvest," Old English ern "harvest," Gothic asans "harvest, summer," Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis "autumn"). 

Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni "hired laborer, day laborer," Old English esne "serf, laborer, man." Related: Earned; earning.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Notion of Progress: To Go Further

So, yes, this is happening. As I said in class, some schools in the Netherlands are now using tablets to "replace" teachers. Sure, there is still an adult in the classroom to watch over the pupils, but this is happening, for real. You can read the very short article on BBC News Europe here and watch the video related to it. A good way to go further and train your ear to listening.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grilles d'évaluation STI2D-LV1

Comme promis au TSTI2D ce matin, le lien vers le BO n°45 du 6 décembre 2012 dans lequel vous retrouverez tout un chapitre sur l'enseignement technologique en anglais et surtout ce que les examinateurs attendent de vous. Il y en a tout un chapitre mais le plus utile pour vous est d'aller directement aux annexes 5 et 6 pour lire et vous approprier les grilles d'évaluation. Vous pouvez aussi le télécharger ici en pdf.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

About Heroes


I have waited for a long time before viewing Heroes, this TV series played on NBC from 2006 and 2010, counting four seasons and seventy-eight episodes.

I started watching it earlier this month and have almost finished the third season. I realized how a good illustration this series could be for the four notions the terminales have to deal with this year for the oral exam.

I suppose every one of you has already watched this series when it was played in France. Maybe some of you still watch it as it is now played on other channels in France and is easily accessible on the web in streaming.

So I'll be quick about the characters and the story just to remind you that a group of ordinary people find out they are fitted with supernatural powers which enable them to perform terrific actions, but can also reveal dangerous weapons in the hands of some of them like Gabriel Gray aka Sylar who uses his power to kill other people and to take possession of them. While other characters will try to control the world.

Myth & Heroes
  • Obviously as in any fiction, especially science-fiction, we are presented all sorts of heroes and villains, heroes turning anti-heroes, ordinary people revealing themselves heroes or able individuals, whether they are fitted with supernatural power or not (Noah Bennet, Ando Masahashi, Mohinder Suresh).
  •  Myth can also be seen in the many references to ancient and modern myths such as resuscitation (Clair Bennet's regenerative power), quest for identity (Peter Petrelli) or search for the origins (Gabriel Gray), good versus evil (Nikki Sanders and her counterpart Jessica), time travel (Hiro Nakamura reminding the novel by H. G. Wells The Time Machine)
  • The way the series in itself is constructed as a comic book and we all know how comic books have become increasingly important through the 20th century and how the cinema has taken possession of these stories over the last decades (1980s - 1990s - 2000s - early 2010s): Superman, Batman, Spiderman, The X-Men, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern, Iron Man, The Avengers, Fantastic Four, The Watchmen... Mythic characters.
  • Not forgetting that inside this series lies a mythology with many elements such as The Company, Isaac Mendez' paintings,  the legend of Takezo Kensei, other paintings of the future, superpowers and their origins, the Shanti virus, 9th Wonders! comic book...
Locations & Forms of Power:
  • There are again the supernatural powers of the various heroes of the series such as Hiro Nakamura's time and space control, Clair Bennet's cellular regeneration, Matt Parkman's telepathy, Nathan Petrelli's ability to fly or his brother Peter ability to mimic all powers.
  • Besides the obvious supernatural powers, there is the struggle between different forces, different groups of people, or between individuals. For example, Nathan Petrelli was a lawyer working with the District Attorney's office. The District Attorney wanted to expose the Mafia connections of his father's client, Daniel Linderman who sends his men to kill Nathan. Eventually Nathan runs for Congress.
  • The appearance of the police, or special forces such as the FBI, the NSA, or the army, can be seen as an obvious element of the plot but is of course a huge reference to what the US policy has been for the last decade and there are even echoes of the Patriot Act of 2001 (right after the 9/11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center) in the third season.
  • The many references to the American political system, the presidency, the actions taking place in New York or Washington.
  • Parenthood is also taken as an example: Arthur and Angela Petrelli with their two sons Nathan and Peter, Noah Bennet and his adoptive daughter Claire, Nikki Landers and her son Micah who is able to communicate with electronic machines.
The Notion of Progress:
  • It all starts with Mohinder Suresh, who opens the first episode of season 1, teaches lessons at University in which he exposes his father's researches about some human beings with capacities not yet revealed  His speech is about the theory of evolution, Darwinism, and questions about the universe.
  • In many episodes, especially at the end of season 2, the search for the origins, the control and the use by anyone of the powers some of these people have developed, are at the center of some of the character's preoccupations. The Company, Primatech or Pinehearst are all willing to control the heroes and their power.
  • The same character believes he can create a formula that will enable anyone to have super power and develop them. Something other characters in the series want to fight against. He will eventually injects a dose of the serum to himself which, after a few complications, will allow him strength and agility. Being a science-fiction TV series, Heroes, uses and abuses of scientific myth or urban legends, starting with the under use of the human brain which is said to be possible to b developed 90% more than it is nowadays. That's not true, brain mapping showing that all the brain areas have a specific use.
  • Regress can be spotted too, some of the fitted humans believe these powers are a danger to the nation (the USA) and to the world and want to eradicate all traces of these powers. Emile Danko - a special agent with an unclear past in Africa (probably as a mercenary) - wants them all dead and won't hesitate a minute to use them as targets and invent so-called proofs of their danger as when he places an explosive belt around Matt Parkman's chest and leaves him in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC. Just to show how someone can control others and take this advantage to question civil rights and put democracy and justice at risk.
Spaces & Exchanges
  • Though obvious, this notion in the series might not seem so evident to some of you. It is one of the first American series I can think of that span the five continents (and above as they make mention of aliens in season four), two of the main characters being Japanese and Indian, others spread out in all parts of the USA and the world (Haiti, Russia...)
  • Illegal immigration is also shown in season 2 when Maya and her brother two Dominicans enter the US territory with the help of Gabriel Gray (Sylar). As they cross the border, the "modern minute men" greet them with rifles and the usual violence against aliens.
  • Other illustrations such as the situation in Haiti or the wars in the Middle-East (Afghanistan or Iraq)
  • Eventually, within their circles, each character learn from the other, there is exchange in the sense that the characters interact all the time and swap their seat or role - one time leaders and heroes, the next anti-heroes.

Other links for your brain and pleasure.
http://www.nbc.com/heroes
https://www.facebook.com/heroes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_(TV_series)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Wood Industry and Eco-Housing Blog

I started a new blog for the 2.11 and all partners who will be willing to join us in this wonderful project about the wood industry and eco-housing in Europe.
Here is the blog

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11 -- Who will ever forget that awful day?

 
This video from the AP shows the progress of the construction of the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, New York. Everybody who was old enough to remember this terrible event on September 2001 will surely never forget the two planes crashing in the Twin Towers, then this other plane crashing into the Pentagon and the fourth one which was certainly aimed at the White House but that the passengers made to crash before it reached its target.

That same year, I was just starting my career as a TESL. The school year had started as early as it usually does (September 1) but being a trainee back then, I had only 6 hour-class a week.
We had prepared lessons with my tutor about the cinema, music, etc.

On September 11, 2001, I was driving back home after a day at school and I remember slowing down, as slow as 60 km/h on the ring-road (where the speed limit is between 90 km/h and 110km/h).
The shock was evident and even though the place was remote, it was as if we had all been stricken by the crash of these planes into the tower, we were all terrorized, certainly not as much as the New York citizens and the rest of the American people, but still stunned and horrified by what had just happened and so much violence.

On the following day, I was copying the worksheets we had prepared with my tutor two or three days prior to the event. When she came him, she said: "What are you doing? We're changing plans! didn't you hear what happened?" Of course I had, but I had been teaching for only a week and a half. We changed plan anyway and we had our students work on a fresco with all the images they had cut from newspapers and  magazines, and their words.

Two things came out positively out of this change of plan:
A. I learned how to improvise in my lessons when things don't turn the way they were supposed to be in the first place.
B. This lesson was for the students and for us a way to exorcise the effects this awful event had on us.

For all this, thank you Eliane!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A few reminders for some of you

Tomorrow, 2ndes 11, we are not having an English lesson but the AP (Accompagnement Personnalisé) Individualized Guidance as we could call it in English. Thanks for helping me on this one Casey ;-)
We will be discussing the eTwinning project that will start today. So, you'd better get ready for answering a few questions about Europe and its members, its history, etc.

Friday, remember we're having a little outing with some of your teachers, I'll be with you trekking in the mountain or, whatever Mr Papet will have scheduled. Hope the weather will be nice, let's keep fingers crossed!

Which means there won't be class for the TS3B and TS2A on that afternoon, for the BTS CIM 1 & 2 neither but you will be on your induction day anyway. Please, take care and be as wise as possible students!

TL LA, I did speak to Mr Bernard, so if everybody is OK with what was suggested by some of you guys, well! Let's move our Tuesday morning class to the afternoon. But no turning back!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

2.11 eTwinning Project


For the 2ndes 11, once a month instead of the usual English lesson, we will be working on an eTwinning partnership with Finland which will lead us to discover how important the wood industry, forestry and eco-housing are in our region and in this country.

This eTwinning project will involve some of your teachers, surely starting with Mrs Chaniac (French literature and language) who should make you work on stories, tales and legends related to the mountains, the forests, anything that links us to Finland.

Wednesday 11 September, I will introduce this project to you and together we will start thinking about what could be done throughout the school year and beyond.

Indeed, what I really expect and hope for is to work with your class on a Comenius partnership project. This project could drive us to be granted funds to visit our partners' countries next year (2014/2015) and the year after (2015/2016).

 There is the 2e2f agency  (Europe Education Formation France) which selects projects from all over France and provides grants to the selected schools to help them with their partnerships and students mobility. This does not mean next year will be time for us to pack and have fun in the sun. Not at all. First, because only a portion of students can travel. Then, because it is not a vacation but a study trip. Moreover, the destinations are situated in the North of Europe rather than the South. Last but not least, as I said, there is a strict selection, and we might hand out an application form which will look perfect to us but may not make it in the end. The agency has less and less funds from the European Commission and, as a result, has to be more and more selective as regards to the schools they grant the money.

Whether we manage to get a Comenius grant or not, the essential thing is that you will be in contact, even if it remains virtual, with students from other countries starting with Finland, but also Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain maybe, and who knows? Plenty of other schools from many European countries which we have not contacted yet.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Welcome Back

http://www.newswise.com
Hi students, Mr RUHLMANN's writing.

Well, yes! School started again and here is a way for you my dearest to have an online access to what we are going to study this school-year. On the right-hand side, you will find a link leading you to a page for each of your class and all the lessons we will be working together in class.

For now, you can find the blank lessons only; answers to questions, audio and video scripts and/or reports, links to go further, extra tasks, etc. will come as we progress.

You know you can also contact me any time at this address:
waru.english at gmail dot com (replace at and dot by the appropriate signs!)
Use it for any queries, as regards to the lessons you would not have understood, or missed, or anything you feel needs an answer. As I told you, I may not answer straight away, but WILL answer you anyway.

For the Terminales, as regards to the four notions which will guide our work all through the year, remember this one thing: all the documents that we are going to study in class are only the basis of your food for thoughts as we are going to meet as a task force. Yet, your own knowledge and culture are as important as what I am going to feed your brain with. POPULAR CULTURE IS CULTURE!
TV Series, films, comics, any books, your own experiences, commercials, anything you can think of can be useful to sustain your argumentation either for the oral exam or the final exam.

Hope we'll be working good and diligently and that this blog will help you and be one of the keys to your success. remember though, only hard work can make you succeed.

All the best