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401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Keeping you in my heart...


To all my students in Institute groups 501 and 502, and School groups 201-206:

Thank you for a wonderful year. At the start of the year, I asked you to observe two simple rules:

1) be kind
2) try

and you did far, far more than the minimum required! I will think about you often, and hope to see you again soon!

Love,

Johan

Here are photos from the Institute's Last Bell concert

Thursday, May 17, 2012

For my ЕГЭ classes: Final tests began Friday!

Here is the schedule for the final tests of the 2011-12 year for my School classes:

Groups 204 and 205:
  • Reading, writing, and lexicon: Friday, May 18
  • Grammar and listening comprehension: Friday, May 25

Groups 201 and 202:
  • Reading, writing, and lexicon: Monday, May 21
  • Grammar and listening comprehension: Monday, May 28

Group 206:
  • Reading, writing, and lexicon: Wednesday, May 23
  • Grammar and listening comprehension: Wednesday, May 30

Please let me know if you cannot come on your "normal" day and need to take your test with another group, or privately.

Monday, May 14, 2012

200-level homework: Letter to Becky about homes in Russia

Last homework of the year! Give it special care!!

You have received a letter from your English-speaking pen-friend Becky who writes:
... In towns and cities in Great Britain, houses and flats are often quite small with only 2 or 3 bedrooms. I have to share my bedroom with my younger sister. What about you—do you have to share, too, or do you have your own room? Would you rather live in town or in the country? What are homes like in Russian towns and cities?

I have just come back from staying with my uncle in Wales. He's a dairy farmer with a herd of about 200 cows....
Write a letter to Becky. In your letter

  • answer her questions (with true answers or answers from your imagination!)
  • ask three questions about her holiday with her uncle in Wales

Write 100-140 words. Remember the rules of letter-writing. Be ready to read your letter in class or send it to me by e-mail or vkontakte.


Exercise adapted from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

200-level homework: Use these words from listening exercises

More practice with new words and phrases--this time from the listening comprehension section of Afanasyeva/Evans/Kopylova chapter 17. Use each word or phrase in a full sentence. You can bring your sentences to class or send them to me (numbered 1 through 12) by e-mail or vkontakte.

  1. geeks
  2. appreciate
  3. follow advice
  4. be myself
  5. takes longer
  6. no excuse for
  7. partly responsible for
  8. there's no point in
  9. nowadays
  10. suits [suitable for]
  11. have confidence in
  12. see eye-to-eye


Happy Victory Day! (Schedule notes)

  • Today (Monday, May 7), our School groups (201 and 202) meet as usual.
  • Wednesday's group (206) meets on Friday at 6 p.m. in Room 16. We'll follow the same schedule next week. If you'd prefer to meet with one of my other groups (Monday 4:30 or 6:00; Friday 3:00 or 4:30), it's fine with me.
  • Friday's groups (205 and 204) meet at our usual time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bobby "Boris" Pickett, "Monster Mash"

Here's a strange but impressive animation of this "classic":



Link to purchase track

Wikipedia article

And the lyrics by Bobby Pickett, Leonard L. Capizzi:

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

(He did the mash) He did the monster mash
(The monster mash) It was a graveyard smash
(He did the mash) It caught on in a flash
(He did the mash) He did the monster mash

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

(They did the mash) [etc]...
They did the monster mash

The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man
Dracula and his son

The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The Coffin-Bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, The Crypt-Kicker Five

(They played the mash) [etc]...
They played the monster mash

Out from his coffin, Drac’s voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?”

It's now the mash [etc]...
It's now the monster mash

Now everything’s cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

(Then you can mash) Then you can monster mash
(The monster mash) And do my graveyard smash
(Then you can mash) You'll catch on in a flash
(Then you can mash) Then you can monster mash

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homework: Use these phrases from Chapter 17

Homework for groups 204, 205, 206: Use these words and phrases from Afanasyeva/Evans/Kopylova chapter 17 in full sentences. You can bring your sentences to class or send them to me (numbered 1 through 12) by e-mail or vkontakte.

Exercise adapted from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.