Inner Galactic Orchestra

My son came home from school recently and said that his English teacher had done something new in class, something that in 10 years of classes, no-one had ever done. He played me a song – the video is below – and told me that he had finally understood what the ‘present perfect continuous’ actually meant. This may surprise some of you seeing as I’m an English teacher after all. However, I’ve always said that I want my two sons to grow up in a natural English speaking environment where I can simply be ‘Dad’ and not the irregular verb driller. This means that their comprehension and speaking skills are to a high level in terms of 2nd language acquisition, although some grammatical terminology still remains elusive.

Kutiman is an Israeli musician who decided to take a fresh look at how copyright was playing out in terms of the diffusion of social media and online media in particular. For the following piece – Inner Galactic Lovers – he used ‘Fiverr’ a freelance global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed.

The following composition is a collage of 23 different artists from all over the world who were enlisted to play their own individual piece for the song. Kutiman contacted them all through Fiverr, received the samples from the various contributors and then put those samples all together in order to create the song, through the use of a sort of living-room / bedroom orchestra.

Thinking outside the box?

You think about me, like I do you
You’ve been on my mind since that
time when we took off for the stars.

You’ve been thinking about me, like I do you

Have I been on your mind since
that time when we took off for the stars?

We are inner galactic lovers
loving flying through the stars
We are inner galactic lovers
We are inner galactic lovers
loving flying through the stars
We are inner galactic lovers

Do you think about me, like I do you?
You’ve been on my mind since that 
time when we took off for the stars.
You’ve been thinking about me, like I do you.

Have I been on your mind since
that time when we took off for the stars?

We are inner galactic lovers
loving flying through the cosmos
We are inner galactic lovers
We are inner galactic lovers
loving flying through the cosmos
We are inner galactic lovers

Into the love that we live in
If there’s no condition,
if there’s no confusion about who’s loving who
I’ve been feeling you
from planet since stars away
We are quantumly entangled no pulling away
Just that touching those vibes through you

We made it, we made it.

Online Learning … or not …

... on the look out ...

I’m always on the look out for sites that offer good solutions for English language students.I have to say that what’s available on the net isn’t very impressive, considering both paid and free content. There’s definitely something lacking online. Many sites offer very simple content, or content that seems to be simply scratching the surface of 2nd language learning. Other sites are better designed from a graphics point of view, but propose more of the same Grammar McNuggets as regularly described by Scott Thornbury. Grammar McNuggets being rigid, pre-packaged grammatical forms that don’t take into consideration the chaotic and fluctuating nature of language use.

I’ve recently turned my attention to the BBC Learning English website, which is one of the most famous and visited language websites in the world, due in no small part to the BBC’s global reach. I’ve spent some time on it recently and have tried to approach it from a learner’s point of view. I’ve found it to be a bit limited to be honest and have to say it feels a little disjointed. With the wealth of materials at their disposal (video in particular) something more innovative could definitely be done. One area I did like though, was the express English section. It’s a type of vox-pop that gives different speakers 1 minute to talk about various themes. I thought it useful because it’s possible to hear a variety of accents, and the English transcript is given too, thus aiding comprehension.

Give it a listen!

Technology Loop

Hello again,

I was finally able to find a version of this video which would play outside the U.S.

The video is a reflection on technology overuse nowadays, which is ironic given that I’m using technology as a means of helping your English evolve. The speakers are using American English. They are speaking quite frenetically (much more than you would usually find) and the conversation is quite dis-jointed for comic effect. It’s a good example of when people speak too quickly, which causes problems with comprehension.

Some language analysis for you to consider at different points of the clip can be seen under the video.

0.12 – ‘ one more text ‘  – meaning sms

0.14 – ‘I gotta watch these movies and I gotta return emHave to and have got to meaning something similar to Must and ‘em‘ referring to them. The object pronoun is sometimes contracted in English to give more fluidity to a sentence e.g. ‘I can see ‘im (him)’ / I can see ‘er (her)

1.18 – ‘Okay…what / should / we / do?’ – Question formation; should spoken very quickly.

1.31 – ‘Hey ..have you ever wondered…? – meaning – think about something to know more about it.

If you have other questions, either lexical or grammatical, simply comment on the clip.

Alan

Vowels – iphone / ipad / i / i: / i.e.

a e i o u

Hello again,  

I wasn’t going to post this week as I’ve been up to my eyeballs, i.e. very busy.  I’m not going to do too much grammatical analysis on the following piece. The creator of the video goes through vocabulary which identifies not only vowels, but vowel sounds and diphthongs, which are a feature of English pronunciation. All the words you hear pronounced in the clip are not simply vowels in the written sense, but are the representation of the phonetic alphabet, as seen in the picure in the top left-hand corner of the post.  

Videos that I had uploaded from non-youtube sources in the past seem to have had compatability problems with the iphone and the ipad. This is because the iphone / ipad don’t display flash technology without specific apps. New apple devices come equipped with built-in youtube readers, yet this doesn’t apply to other sites like vimeo, which deals with better quality video. I’ve uploaded this video in an ‘iframe’ format and would be interested to know if this plays on iphone and ipad, as well as playing on other browsers. So all you iphoners, ipadders and i-something or other, do let me know!   

Thanks.   

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