Teaching Tips 71
This week we're looking at a few common
sound problems. You need to match up the sound problem,
the technique for helping learners with this & the
nationality that this refers to (among others).
As the text newsletter doesn't take the
phonemic script we have used /../ for sounds where we
can, & '...' where the sound is represented alphabetically.
For answers to the task, click the link
at the end.
|1. /b/ & /v/
as in 'Thank you bery much'
|a. Std says /u:/ & then the schwa, then put
them together with /w/
|2. /s/ & 'th' as in 'I sink you're wrong'
||b. Get the std to bit the bottom lip – her
|3. /r/ & /l/ as in 'He's got a yerrow yorry'
||c. Std holds a paper in front of the mouth, says
/b/ but blows so that the paper moves.
|4. /s/ & /es/ as in 'I come from Espain'
||d. Std isolates 'sh', isolates /t/, reverse this
/t/ + 'sh' = 'ch'
|5. /v/ & /w/ as in 'Ve vill valk & vin'
||e. Std puts her finger on the alveolar ridge,
touches the finger nail with the tip of the tongue
& then replaces the finger with the tongue.
|6. /b/ & /p/ as in 'A biece of baber'
|f. Spanish speakers find it difficult to start
the word with /s/ Move your hand & student says
the /s/ sound all the time until you stop. Then
make the hand movements shorter & shorter until
they are just coming out with the /s/
|7. 'Sh' & 'ch' as in 'She goes to schurch
||g. Std says /i:/ , & then the schwa, then
puts them together for /j/
|8. /j/ & 'y' as in 'Have jou seen him'
||h. Std puts teeth almost together, blow out &
teacher shows position of the tongue.
|9. /s/ & 'sh' as in 'He travels
||i. Std puts her finger across her lips & then
wets finger with tongue.
||ix. French & Spanish
It is generally accepted these
days that there are differences between the way women &
the way men handle conversations. These are essentially
the dominance of men in certain contexts through the use
of non-cooperative strategies & the cooperative &
more sensitive nature of women's conversation.
Should this concern us as teachers?
Well, it depends on your outlook to start with. If you do
feel there is an unfair balance then you will be concerned.
If, however, you feel this is the nature of things, then
it will be less interesting. Then there is the argument
that female conversation is in fact more successful in general
& that it is only in certain male-dominated environments
that this is an issue ie. the situation is an issue more
than the discourse. In certain counselling situations, women
tend to be considered more sensitive & skillful.
And our students? Would incorporating
an awareness of this in class help our learners become more
sensitive communicators? And would it help our female learners
become more successful communicators in English. I would
say so. Our learners might well find themselves as disadvantaged
due to their language proficiency in situations & so
an awareness of what is actually happening in conversation
will help them to manage it better, no matter what aspect
is being looked at.
Here are a few ideas to use in
awareness - find a text where gender is being used to
advantage & help the students to notice what is
going on. Whenever you notice this in texts you are
using, make a point of drawing it out.
discuss how gender differences are manifested
in the students' native speaker speech. (Is this automatically
transferable to English on reaching an advanced level?
Not even advanced - I have seen groups dominated by
the men from very low levels.)
analyse, with the
students, the target situations they will find themselves
in, with respect to this issue.
think about how you might be perpetuating
the gender bias in the materials you use & the interaction
you 'allow' in the classroom. With a mixed group, carry
out an experiment to see if & how much the group
is dominated by the men, & how are they doing it.
Share your results with the group & possibly create
a more democratic environment.
It's an interesting & complex area & we are only
touching the tip of it here. Clearly you need to be sensitive
yourself to the learners' cultural background & tread
carefully so as not to cause offence. However, awareness
is half the battle won, they say.
to the contents
We're well into the Olympics now & as it
only comes every four years, it makes an interesting lesson
or three for all. Here are a few ideas & materials:
Follow the Olympics with some blogs, getting
your students to read them outside of class & discuss
them each lesson - what has happened, what did you find interesting
US swimmer Scott Goldblatt's blog from the Olympics - catch
it now while it's still online as unofficial media is banned
at Olympic Games. Luckily Scott hasn't been officially told
to stop so on he goes.
BBC World producer Stuart Hughes is blogging from the Olympics
Journalist Robert Scheer's Summer Olympics blog.
Below are some interesting Olympic facts from
About.com - an excellent information site - which could be
used very nicely as an information gap task. Give out 1 or
2 facts to each student, they read, digest & write in
the relevant section on their charts, & then all mingle
& fill in the remainder of the charts with as much info
as they can glean from each other with the purpose of deciding
on the top three most interesting facts. Clearly, grade the
facts & number used to suit.
Interesting Olympic Facts - from About.com
The Official Olympic Flag
Created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1914, the Olympic
flag contains five interconnected rings on a white background.
The five rings symbolize the five significant continents
and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to
be gained from these international competitions. The
rings, from left to right, are blue, yellow, black,
green, and red. The colors were chosen because at least
one of them appeared on the flag of every country in
the world. The Olympic flag was first flown during the
1920 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Motto
In 1921, Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern
Olympic Games, borrowed a Latin phrase from his friend,
Father Henri Didon, for the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius,
Fortius ("Swifter, Higher, Stronger").
The Olympic Oath
Pierre de Coubertin wrote an oath for the athletes to
recite at each Olympic Games. During the opening ceremonies,
one athlete recites the oath on behalf of all the athletes.
The Olympic oath was first taken during the 1920 Olympic
Games by Belgian fencer Victor Boin. The Olympic Oath
"In the name of all competitors, I promise that
we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting
and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true
spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and
the honor of our teams."
The Olympic Creed
Pierre de Coubertin got the idea for this phrase from
a speech given by Bishop Ethelbert Talbot at a service
for Olympic champions during the 1908 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Creed reads:
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games
is not to win but to take part, just as the most important
thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The
essential thing is not to have conquered but to have
The Olympic Flame
The Olympic flame is a practice continued from the ancient
Olympic Games. In Olympia (Greece), a flame was ignited
by the sun and then kept burning until the closing of
the Olympic Games. The flame first appeared in the modern
Olympics at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. The
flame itself represents a number of things, including
purity and the endeavor for perfection. In 1936, the
chairman of the organizing committee for the 1936 Olympic
Games, Carl Diem, suggested what is now the modern Olympic
Torch relay. The Olympic flame is lit at the ancient
site of Olympia by women wearing ancient-style robes
and using a curved mirror and the sun. The Olympic Torch
is then passed from runner to runner from the ancient
site of Olympia to the Olympic stadium in the hosting
city. The flame is then kept alight until the Games
have concluded. The Olympic Torch relay represents a
continuation from the ancient Olympic Games to the modern
The Olympic Hymn
The Olympic Hymn, played when the Olympic Flag is raised,
was composed by Spyros Samaras and the words added by
Kostis Palamas. The Olympic Hymn was first played at
the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens but wasn't declared
the official hymn by the IOC until 1957.
Real Gold Medals
The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely
out of gold were awarded in 1912.
The Olympic medals are designed especially for each
individual Olympic Games by the host city's organizing
committee. Each medal must be at least three millimeters
thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold
and silver Olympic medals must be made out of 92.5 percent
silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of
The First Opening Ceremonies
The first opening ceremonies were held during the 1908
Olympic Games in London.
Opening Ceremony Procession Order
During the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the
procession of athletes is always led by the Greek team,
followed by all the other teams in alphabetical order
(in the language of the hosting country), except for
the last team which is always the team of the hosting
A City, Not a Country
When choosing locations for the Olympic Games, the IOC
specifically gives the honor of holding the Games to
a city rather than a country.
In order to make the IOC an independent organization,
the members of the IOC are not considered diplomats
from their countries to the IOC, but rather are diplomats
from the IOC to their respective countries.
First Modern Champion
James B. Connolly (United States), winner of the hop,
step, and jump (the first final event in the 1896 Olympics),
was the first Olympic champion of the modern Olympic
Women were first allowed to participate in 1900 at the
second modern Olympic Games.
The First Marathon
In 490 BCE, Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from
Marathon to Athens (about 25 miles) to inform the Athenians
the outcome of the battle with invading Persians. The
distance was filled with hills and other obstacles;
thus Pheidippides arrived in Athens exhausted and with
bleeding feet. After telling the townspeople of the
Greeks' success in the battle, Pheidippides fell to
the ground dead. In 1896, at the first modern Olympic
Games, held a race of approximately the same length
in commemoration of Pheidippides.
The Exact Length of a Marathon
During the first several modern Olympics, the marathon
was always an approximate distance. In 1908, the British
royal family requested that the marathon start at the
Windsor Castle so that the royal children could witness
its start. The distance from the Windsor Castle to the
Olympic Stadium was 42,195 meters (or 26 miles and 385
yards). In 1924, this distance became the standardized
length of a marathon.
Because of World War I and World War II, there were
no Olympic Games in 1916, 1940, or 1944.
Winter Games Begun
The winter Olympic Games were first held in 1924, beginning
a tradition of holding them a few months earlier and
in a different city than the summer Olympic Games. Beginning
in 1994, the winter Olympic Games were held in completely
different years (two years apart) than the summer Games.
Tennis was played at the Olympics until 1924, then reinstituted
Russia Not Present
Though Russia had sent a few athletes to compete in
the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games, they did not compete
again until the 1952 Games.
In 1960, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Squaw
Valley, California (United States). In order to bedazzle
and impress the spectators, Walt Disney was head of
the committee that organized the opening day ceremonies.
The 1960 Winter Games Opening Ceremony was filled with
high school choirs and bands, releasing of thousands
of balloons, fireworks, ice statues, releasing of 2,000
white doves, and national flags dropped by parachute.
Motor boating was an official sport at the 1908 Olympics.
Polo, an Olympic Sport
Polo was played at the Olympics in 1900, 1908, 1920,
1924, and 1936.
The word "gymnasium" comes from the Greek
root "gymnos" meaning nude; the literal meaning
of "gymnasium" is "school for naked exercise."
Athletes in the ancient Olympic Games would participate
in the nude.
The first recorded ancient Olympic Games were
held in 776 BCE with only one event - the stade. The
stade was a unit of measurement (about 600 feet) that
also became the name of the footrace because it was
the distance run. Since the track for the stade (race)
was a stade (length), the location of the race became
An Olympiad is a period of four successive years. The
Olympic Games celebrate each Olympiad. For the modern
Olympic Games, the first Olympiad celebration was in
1896. Every four years celebrates another Olympiad;
thus, even the Games that were cancelled (1916, 1940,
and 1944) count as Olympiads. The 2000 Olympic Games
in Sydney will be the Games of the XXVII Olympiad.
Student chart to complete whilst
The Official Olympic Flag
The Olympic Motto
|The Olympic Oath
|The Olympic Creed
|The Olympic Flame
|The Olympic Hymn
|Real Gold Medals
|The First Opening Ceremonies
|Opening Ceremony Procession
|A City, Not a Country
First Modern Champion
|The First Marathon
|The Exact Length Of A Marathon
|Winter Games Began
|Russian Not Present
|Polo, an Olympic sport
Below are the dates of where the
Games have been held. For lower levels, this again could be
made into an information gap task to practise years, numbers
& capital cities. http://history1900s.about.com/library/weekly/aa081000a.htm
1896 - Athens
1900 - Paris
1904 - St. Louis
1906 - Athens ("Unoffficial")
1908 - London
1912 - Stockholm
1916 - Not held
1920 - Antwerp
1924 - Paris
1928 - Amsterdam
1932 - Los Angeles
1936 - Berlin
1940 - Not held
1944 - Not held
1948 - London
1952 - Helsinki
1956 - Melbourne
1960 - Rome
1964 - Tokyo
1968 - Mexico City
1972 - Munich
1976 - Montreal
1980 - Moscow
1984 - Los Angeles
1988 - Seoul
1992 - Barcelona
1996 - Atlanta
2000 - Sydney
There is an interesting article
for advanced learners that looks at why athletes shouldn't
take drugs to enhance performance:
The Olympic games begin in Athens
on Friday, bringing together 10,000 elite competitors from
around the world - and a host of officials trying to catch
drug cheats. But is it really so wrong for an athlete to use
performance-enhancing substances? In a controversial essay,
sports academic Lincoln Allison argues that those who strive
to be the best should do so by any means necessary.
Some quotes from the Olympics:
"For too long
the world has failed to recognise that the Olympic Games
and the Olympic Movement are about fine athletics and
"It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that
drives people not only to compete but to improve, and
to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the
athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness
the athletic dedication."
"Being an Olympian is the ultimate test of one's
"To be part of that winning team and standing
in the ring for the final decision to be announced is
something I will live with for the rest of my life."
"Olympism is not a system - it is a state of
mind. This state of mind has emerged from a double cult:
that of effort and that of Eurythmy - a taste of excess
and a taste of measure combined."
Pierre de Coubertin
"The swimming and diving were held in part of
the old moat ... it was the clammiest, darkest place
and the water was frigid. It looked bottomless and black"
Alice Landon, American Diver, on facilities at the Antwerp
Games of 1920
"I was not talented enough to run and smile at
the same time"
Emil Zatopek, champion Czechoslovakian distance runner,
when asked about unusual facial expression when running.
"All I've done is run fast. I don't see why people
should make much fuss about that"
Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold
medals at the 1948 Games
"To anyone who has started out on a long campaign
believing that the gold medal was destined for him,
the feeling when, all of a sudden, the medal has gone
somewhere else is quite indescribable."
Sebastian Coe, after losing the 800m final in 1980.
Reading text - The History of the
Olympics - from About.com
History of the Olympics
According to legend, the ancient Olympic Games were
founded by Heracles (the Roman Hercules), a son of Zeus.
Yet the first Olympic Games for which we still have
written records were held in 776 BCE (though it is generally
believed that the Games had been going on for many years
already). At this Olympic Games, a naked runner, Coroebus
(a cook from Elis), won the sole event at the Olympics,
the stade - a run of approximately 192 meters (210 yards).
This made Coroebus the very first Olympic champion in
The ancient Olympic Games grew and continued to be
played every four years for nearly 1200 years. In 393
CE, the Roman emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished
the Games because of their pagan influences.
Approximately 1500 years later, a young Frenchmen named
Pierre de Coubertin began their revival. Coubertin is
now known as le Rénovateur. Coubertin was a French
aristocrat born on January 1, 1863. He was only seven
years old when France was overrun by the Germans during
the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Some believe that Coubertin
attributed the defeat of France not to its military
skills but rather to the French soldiers' lack of vigor.'
After examining the education of the German, British,
and American children, Coubertin decided that it was
exercise, more specifically sports, that made a well-rounded
and vigorous person.
Coubertin's attempt to get France interested in sports
was not met with enthusiasm. Still, Coubertin persisted.
In 1890, he organized and founded a sports organization,
Union des Sociétés Francaises de Sports
Athlétiques (USFSA). Two years later, Coubertin
first pitched his idea to revive the Olympic Games.
At a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques
in Paris on November 25, 1892, Coubertin stated,
Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers
into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the
future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the
cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally.
It inspires me to touch upon another step I now propose
and in it I shall ask that the help you have given me
hitherto you will extend again, so that together we
may attempt to realise [sic], upon a basis suitable
to the conditions of our modern life, the splendid and
beneficent task of reviving the Olympic Games.
His speech did not inspire action. Though Coubertin
was not the first to propose the revival of the Olympic
Games, he was certainly the most well-connected and
persistent of those to do so. Two years later, Coubertin
organized a meeting with 79 delegates who represented
nine countries. He gathered these delegates in an auditorium
that was decorated by neoclassical murals and similar
additional points of ambiance. At this meeting, Coubertin
eloquently spoke of the revival of the Olympic Games.
This time, Coubertin aroused interest.
The delegates at the conference voted unanimously for
the Olympic Games. The delegates also decided to have
Coubertin construct an international committee to organize
the Games. This committee became the International Olympic
Committee (IOC; Comité Internationale Olympique)
and Demetrious Vikelas from Greece was selected to be
its first president. Athens was chosen for the revival
of the Olympic Games and the planning was begun.
1896 - Athens, Greece
The very first modern Olympic Games opened in the
first week of April 1896. Since the Greek government
had been unable to fund construction of a stadium, a
wealthy Greek architect, Georgios Averoff, donated one
million drachmas (over $100,000) to restore the Panathenaic
Stadium, originally built in 330 BCE, with white marble
for the Olympic Games.
Since the Games were not well publicized internationally,
contestants were not nationally chosen but rather came
individually and at their own expense. Some contestants
were tourists who happened to be in the area during
the Games. Athletes wore their athletic club uniform
rather than a national team one.
Pole vaulting, sprints, shot put, weight lifting, swimming,
cycling, target shooting, tennis, marathon and gymnastics
were all events at the first Olympics. The swimming
events were held in the Bay of Zea in the Aegean Sea.
Gold medalist, Alfred Hoyos Guttmann described it: "I
won ahead of the others with a big lead, but my greatest
struggle was against the towering twelve-foot waves
and the terribly cold water." (Guttmann, pg. 19)
Approximately 300 athletes participated, representing
Ideas on using the theme of Sport in class from
My sons are delighted at the prospect of skateboarding becoming
an Olympic sport in 2020. (whatever are the Olympics coming
to?) Deciding which sports to include could make for a lively
discussion - synchronised swimming?? skateboarding?? monopoly??
Jesse Owens - the official site
Official Website of the Olympic Movement
ResourceShelf Olympic links
to the contents
the Past Teaching Tips