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Julie Blake

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  • Location
    Eastbourne, East Sussex
  • Interests
    Teaching A Level English Language (and a bit of A Level English Literature when they let me out of the Linguistics cupboard)

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  1. I'm still investigating the options but am working on the idea... For AS/A2 English Language podcasting seems to have much potential for giving students better access to spoken language data, and for encouraging them to save and store the data they collect themselves in a format they can share more easily than with nasty cassette tape retro-tech.
  2. I think that one of the impotant things that we teach students is how to use the internet, and for what purposes it is best suited. I find they tend to think rather indiscriminately that everything in the known universe can be accessed immediately and in a wholly digestible form entirely suited to whatever purpose they have. Whilst I think I would actually shrivel up and die without an internet connection, their perception is clearly not always true. So, I've devised a lesson that I'm really looking forward to teaching, based on an article I read in the newspaper (The Guardian, in case you'
  3. Of course I missed you! Hope you enjoyed inspection... I think I am the only mad crazy fool in the world who ever has enjoyed it, but I thought it was fun! However, it should be noted (a) that we had a fantastic inspector for English that we all wanted to join our team and ( she gave me the correct grades for my lessons and © I am the most competitive person in the world and I thought it was just like playing a really hard, wily game of tennis. I know, I need certifying... Anyway, thanks for the stuff on Old Bailey et al - I hadn't seen that site so was well chuffed to be pointed in its d
  4. The other experiment I'm conducting at the moment, in using ICT for teaching and learning, is in using the blog format (it's so easy to do!) as an online mechanism for supporting my A2 English Language students' individual coursework projects. It's too early to say how successful it will be, as we only started it two weeks ago, but early indications are that the students really enjoy using it, and it increases the quality of what I'm able to do. Each student is required to produce a 2000-4000 word report on an investigation into a specific aspect of language. I have 21 students in the class
  5. Here is my offering, though I'm a little uncomfortable about holding my own work up when its quality is a matter for other people to judge... http://languagelegend.blogspot.com I created this blog as an experiment to see what would happen. I teach A Level English Language (and Literature) in a sixth form college, and we are always trying to impress upon our students the value and importance of wider reading. I had long felt that although many of my students were perfectly keen, they didn't really know where to start with this kind of directive because their independent study skills are ge
  6. I'd have most of the songwriters nominated on the other thread (Johnny Cash is definitely in despite being a bit dead, plus we need a few women so let's add Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams for a start) then after dinner they could whip out their guitars and we could have an unbelievably cool session with no political/philosophical argument whatsoever but very very groovy music. I'm not going to get invited to this party again, am I??!!
  7. Ah well, being an English teacher, I have a whole head full of favourite quotations, with a definite penchant for the truly heartbreaking moments, but in this season of goodwill and sherry-fuelled merriment, my choice would be from F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night, when Dick Diver declares, "I want to give a really bad party. I mean it. I want to give a party where there's a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette. You wait and see." "'Teehee', quod she" to sneak a quick one in from Chaucer before the end
  8. Ah, the splendid Leonard Cohen, though I'd nominate Bird On A Wire myself. Hmm, now I'm thinking of a category, into which LC clearly belongs, of songwriters you can only listen to while lying on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniels...
  9. We definitely need a category for greatest writers of most hilarious bits of lyrics. My votes go to the following: Warren Zevon for Werewolves of London and sheer audaciousness! "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's Going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein Ah-oo, Werewolves of London" John Prine for Speed of the Sound of Loneliness and coming home curly! "You come home late and you come home early You come on big when you're feeling small You come home straight and yo
  10. I was on the phone this week to a very helpful soul from one of the nation's new and exciting e-learning resource suppliers. She was taking me on a guided tour of the features and facilities I might want to buy. I've promised to give my full verdict later, but when I said my immediate response was that it was all a bit flat - just chunks of text on a screen instead of a page, she replied "well, you can't do very much with English" and went on to explain the greater suitability of science to this medium - animated diagrams of the heart pumping, etc. I told her I didn't agree, and it's certai
  11. Well, I was going to say that I now feel a bit less like a freak as a result of these responses, but then I remembered Andrew Brown's piece from last week (he writes a column for subscribers to The Wrap, the Guardian's email news service). In it he argued that the internet was the greatest threat to global security, providing disaffected second generation immigrants with the opportunity to find an outlet for their disaffection in online communities that encourage terrorism. The problem, he suggests rather sweepingly, is that online communities do not have the same checks and balances that "n
  12. What me?... I teach English at A Level in a sixth form college. I specialise in English Language, but I'm a happy all-rounder who also enjoys teaching literature for a change. Though my teaching partners would tell you I'm not that much of an all-rounder as I always make them do the plays and I never teach child language acquisition. But apart from that... I maintain an English Language blog, posting twice a week in term time (a bit less in August) on stories in the news that raise language issues - http://languagelegend.blogspot.com.
  13. Hmmm, I always feel strangely as though I'm barging in on someone else's conversation here, but maybe that's just me getting to grips with the conventions of online discussion... Anyway, I'm sufficiently interested to get over myself in order to comment on one of the threads in Andrew's guide, this idea that the degree of openness and privacy in communication is shaped or supported in different ways by different technologies. This kind of line of enquiry is far more interesting than the "new words and smileys" approach that was putting me off teaching this topic. (NB "smilies" just looks al
  14. You can get a "word of the day" by email from the OED without being a subscriber. Sometimes these words are useful teaching material for language change, sometimes they're not, but if you sign up for the free email you can pick and choose.
  15. I answered Sian's original question about this on the English Language list offlist, which was really funny (and a bit sad) cos she only teaches down the corridor from me!! Haven't taught Lang & Lit for a while now (thank heavens, as I hate it...) but suggested the following light reading to her to help with the language change part. Crystal's encyclopaedia of the English Language pp83-97, and Robert McCrum's Story of English chapters 6 and 7. There's other stuff but that's a start on issues of development of American English, and Black English Vernacular. E-Julie
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