Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sarah Robb O'Hagan: "I Learned to Win By Failing" (with test link)

Газета 401: Зачёт; 401V, 501V

(Link to full article and accompanying video. Link to PDF document.)

Group 401: This is the text for our online test.

Some of these words and phrases may be on the test....

to breathe new life into
to bring to light
to be vulnerable
edge, at the edge
to suck
the lead part
to push, to keep pushing
grit (noun)
yeah, so
to get going
pear-shaped, to go pear-shaped
over one's skis
to do one's own thing
learning (noun)
to crush it
to be (stay) in front of
on me (it's on me)
grind (noun)
to trigger
to screw up (trans. and intrans.)
wrong turn
to hone
to be well rounded

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Grief for educators, part two

Warmest thanks to our colleagues for your great stories and dialogues, excellent questions, and helpful comments on the survey form. Here's a slide show based on the vocabulary presentation we gave at our last session:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Roll Over Beethoven


(Click here for original article with links to music. Download PDF version.)

For discussion:
  1. Summarize this article—how does it go beyond a simple obituary?
  2. How did the author organize his material? How does he develop his theme(s)?
  3. For what audience is he writing?
  4. What will you remember about this article after you have forgotten the details?
  5. What should the author have included or left out?
Words and phrases:
iconic, iconically
scorched earth
to lay out the stakes
on deadline
to break through
to harness
mission statement
to double as
to reverberate
radio play (noun)
to fill in the blanks
to nag
precious few
tectonic shift
to dispense with
to cover
to relegate, be relegated
star was receding
dash (noun)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tiny family-run newspaper wins American journalism's most important award


(Link to full article on Guardian site. Link to PDF file.)

  1. Summarize this article in one or two sentences.
  2. How is the article organized? (What elements of “story” do you see in this article?)
  3. What will you remember from this article after you have forgotten the details?
  4. What do you wish the writer had included or left out?
  5. Who is the intended audience?
  6. What is the role of journalism prizes such as the Pulitzer Prize?
Useful words and phrases:
to take on
to challenge assumptions
to hang out
fueled by
crash (noun)
to pander
dogged (dogged coverage)
to covet, coveted
to draw
to disclose, undisclosed
gut (in his gut)
to vindicate, to feel vindicated

Monday, April 17, 2017

Good Grief for educators, part one

(Link to the excerpts in PDF format: part one, part two.)

Words and phrases drawn from today's workshop:

Judy compiled some of the errors from last week's homework and summarized them using this slideshow:

Finally, we watched this brief BBC Trending feature: Learn Jane Austen, 'thug' style.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Teaching respectful terms for others

This workshop was based on my article for the Institute's conference in 2013.

The Michele Berdy article mentioned in the presentation is posted here.

Some of the interesting words, phrases, and metaphors used in today's presentation:

to lose faith
bling (or bling-bling)
to make allowances (for)
to hunt down
to give offense
to make allowances
to stop to wonder
marginal, to marginalize
teachable moment
out of date
it’s up to us
faintly odd
to prescribe
patch (noun)
to rewrite around
fastidious, fastidiousness
not to mention

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Newspapers: More on the shifting fortunes of publishing


(Link to full text and podcast version of original program.)

  1. What type of article is this? How was it “published”? How does this affect the voice and register of the text?
  2. What is the main theme or argument of this text?
  3. What is the point made in the first paragraph by Brooke Gladstone and the following two paragraphs?
  4. What factor often determines a successful publishing season, according to Carolyn Kellogg?
  5. What contributes to the success of audio books? What does Kellogg mean by “crossover point”?
  6. Why should we ask Margaret Atwood where her books belong? (What point is Kellogg making here?)

Words and phrases:

something of a …
marked (as in “marked growth”)
to drive (sales, etc.)
to do in
to wheeze
not so fast
to air
to overturn
to level off
boost (noun)
to come out of nowhere
to tout
to ding
vinyl record
to hit a groove
profuse, profusely
to ramp up (transitive and intransitive)
make a (big) push for
to come on strong
to get (something) noticed

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Newspapers: Remembering Yevtushenko

Газета 401, 401В, 501В

(Link to full article.)

For questions relating to the obituary of a famous person, take a look back at this article.

We will also look at this article: "Five reasons why Yevtushenko deserved a Nobel prize."

Words and phrases from the Associated Press article:

to acclaim, acclaimed
to denounce
to pass away
to undergo
to snowball
to gain notoriety
to pack, packed (audiences)
to rise to prominence
showpiece (noun and adjective)
perennial, perennially
to feature
pronounced (adjective)

Other obituaries include:

The New York Times:

The Guardian:

Monday, April 3, 2017

Let's get down to work (don't worry, it will work out)

We began today's class with this presentation:

More work with phrasal verbs, and reviewing the words and phrases from previous classes:

1. For each blank, choose a word from the list below. Some of the words are completions of phrasal verbs based on the verb work. Some words in the list might be used more than once; some might need to be changed to the correct tense:

“Detective Jose Chang here,” I heard myself say. It was my first day at work. I didn’t even have a contract yet. The sergeant had only said that “we’d work ____ the details later.” Like whether I’d be paid overtime or not… But it was a job, and I was happy to have it. I needed the ____, such as health insurance.

The interview had been tough. They had really worked me ____, especially on why I had been out of a job for six months. I had worked ____ a list of reasons for it, but at the end, I just tried to ____ it all over by mentioning that I needed time with my family. Except I hadn’t spoken to my family in five years. In our family, we all have a lot to work ____.

I hadn’t mentioned that I had been trying to work ____ my anxieties with booze. And then stopped. So, yes, I had tried to ____ the issue. It worked.

I do hope this job will work ____. What will I do if it doesn’t? I had ____ it badly in the homicide division in Chicago. It wasn’t just my own case I had destroyed; my mistake had nearly thrown a wrench ____ the works. I had really messed up. Even Mrs. Babsen, my sweet elderly neighbor with six cats, had told me I had ____ it all on myself.

I hoped moving home to Tucson would ____ my career, which it needed, badly. At least in Tucson they wouldn’t ask me about my name. Everyone would assume my father’s family came to work on the railroads, and my mother’s when the river still had water in it all year and the country was named New Spain.

You just knew I would work ____ that last bit, about how the U.S. stole a third of Mexico’s territory in the Mexican-American War, didn’t you? I can get really worked ____, thinking about it still.

over   bring   gloss   up   benefits   out   blow  into   in  through  evade   jump-start

2. Homework:

Please create a dialogue using 10 of the words/phrases in the list below or the phrasal verbs in the exercise above.

larger trends at work
punch line
over the top
To pull any/your punches
to overstate the case
bent [entrepreneurial bent]
to channel
to streamline
job security
word of mouth
the more the merrier
to jump-start
to make [the, a] case for
what they wanted out of life
to be struck by
to pull clear (of)
to settle (an argument, a question)
setting themselves up (for)
to face the risks
special interest groups
to plug in
dead-end job
to end up

(You can download a PDF version of these exercises from here.)