Thursday, May 26, 2011

Merriam Webster Visual Dictionary Online

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ESO Students,

We would like to recommend a very useful resource, the online visual dictionary by Merriam Webster. It is structured in 15 major themes to access over 6,000 images. In our opinion it is one of the few linguistic online tools which rivals Google Images.

The Visual Dictionary is designed to help you find the right word at a glance. Filled with stunning illustrations labelled with accurate terminology in up to six languages, it is the ideal language-learning and vocabulary dictionary for use at school, at home or at work.

When you know what something looks like but not what it’s called, or when you know the word but can’t picture the object, The Visual Dictionary has the answer. In a quick look, you can match the word to the image.
The Visual Dictionary is more than a reliable resource of meticulously labelled images—it innovates by combining dictionary-scale definitions with exceptional illustrations, making it the most complete dictionary.


The Visual Dictionary is an indispensable visual reference that goes beyond object identification to answer questions about function, significance and purpose. Ideal for teachers, parents, writers, translators and students of all skill levels, it helps the user understand a phenomenon and quickly grasp the meaning of a term, the characteristics of an object or simply learn something new.



No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Graduation Speech - ESO 4 - 3rd Term 2010-11 PBL #2

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ESO 4 Students,

This is your 2nd PBL assignment for the 3rd term. All of you have to WRITE and DELIVER your GRADUATION SPEECH.  You have to imagine you are going to stand in the school Assembly Hall before your teachers, classmates, parents and guests at your ESO graduation ceremony (to be held on June 23rd or 24th) and deliver your speech, which must be at least 350 WORDS LONG.

As of today, this is just an idea, but the best student will be offered the chance to deliver his or her speech at your graduation ceremony... in English!! Of course, he or she will get extra points in the final mark for that effort.

Delivering a speech requires previous work. First, you have to put together basic ideas and thoughts. Then, you have to draft, revise and polish your text up. Finally, you have to practise your oral presentation. It is a good idea to do this in front of some relatives or friends, in front a mirror or even to shoot an informal video of yourself using your phone or a webcam. Pay attention to both your "sound" and your "image". If you do this you will be able to find out your weak points and can try to fix them.

Points will be deducted not only for poor content, but also for bad spelling, punctuation and/or formatting in your written work. As you will have to do an oral presentation, points will also be deducted for bad pronunciation, poor fluency and rhythm. Clear, well-structured ideas, catching the audience interest, good pronunciation and a clear, loud voice and a little humour will boost your mark.

IMPORTANT: You must follow the same formatting rules as for the rest of school projects: The font must be 'Century Gothic', size 12; 1.5 line spacing, justified text, page numbers at the bottom centre of each page


This is your work schedule:
  • Monday 23rd May - Print this post at home and bring it to school to start working on it.
  • Tuesday 24th May to Friday 3rd June - You have to write and practise your speech. Each student MUST bring their own dictionary to class for those 5 sessions (electronic dictionaries, laptops, etc. are allowed; mobile phones, iphones or blackberries are not). It is also a good idea to print and bring to class some or all of the information contained in the links at the end of this post as well as any other information or help you may find useful.
  • Before 23:59:59 on Friday 3rd June your speech in a PDF file has to reach my e-mail. Your file name MUST be as follows:
Class_Number_Name_1stSurname.pdf - Example: 4A_1_Brais_Carballo.pdf

  • Monday 6th to Friday 17th June - You will have to stand before your class and deliver your speeches.

Here is an example outline of how your graduation speech should be. At the end of this post you can also find links with useful advice, hints and ideas:


1. Introduction (Present)
1.1 Greet the audience.
1.2 Thank them for coming.
1.3 Make some remarks about your feelings and how excited you are to be graduating.
1.4 Present an idea or motto connected with the school, education, life, etc.

2. About You (Past)
2.1 Tell a few short, important or funny childhood stories or anecdotes about yourself.
2.2 Talk about your role model(s) and how they influenced your life.
2.3 Tell how you could "not have got where you are without ____".

3. Thank You (Past)
3.1 Say you would like to thank a few people specifically for all of their help:
3.1.2 Thank your mother, your father and family... maybe some friends...
3.1.3 Thank  and acknowledge whatever mentor or teacher influenced you the most (in a good way).
3.1.4 Acknowledge your classmates' influence on you or even congratulate other students' for their performance/behaviour/personality.

4. Conclusion (Future)
4.1 Tell the audience about your expectations for the future.
4.2 Go back to your introduction and repeat your initial idea or motto.
4.3 Wish your classmates a happy and safe end-of-school trip.
4.4 Express your good wishes for everybody's future... and especially your classmates'.
4.5 Tell everyone to enjoy the snacks and drinks served on the schoolyard.
4.6 Thank everybody once again for being there and for their attention.

Useful links:
And now, a short video of a graduation speech that you will like, from the Twilight Eclipse movie, to get some inspiration:



This is the transcription:

"When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were things like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess.
When we were ten, they asked again and we answered – rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medallist. But now that we’ve grown up, they want a serious answer.
Well, how ’bout this: who the hell knows?!
This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. 
Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. 
Fall in love – a lot. 
Major in philosophy ’cause there’s no way to make a career out of that. 
Change your mind. 
Then change it again, because nothing is permanent.
So make as many mistakes as you can. 
That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won’t have to guess.
We’ll know."

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

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