December 9, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner

Dear Students,
Time has really flown!You have already finished Prime 5 and Christmas is just around the corner. I would like to say that it was a real pleasure to have such a smart group of students like you. Each of you participated actively in class and you all contributed to the success of the course. It was a joy to watch you present your speeches, all of which were carefully planned. And I was also very happy to see all of you using new vocabulary in the oral test. I felt proud of you!!!
I certainly learned a lot from you guys, too. Please forgive me for the technical problems I had with the CD and the computer and for the moments I was unable to give a "perfect" answer to your questions. Challenging students like you make us teachers grow because you motivate us. Yes! Students motivate teachers too and you are great at it!!! Keep up the awesome work in Prime 6 and let's keep in touch through our blog. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
With love,

December 2, 2009

Fernanda's interview with Saramago

The weirdest interview that I have ever done was with José Saramago, who is a Portuguese writer. Saramago, who doesn't like paragraphs, commas or periods, has his own writing style. But his nice old appearance doesn't correspond to reality. Saramago,whose work gave him a Nobel prize years ago, is impatient and a little bit rude. He doesn´t like silly questions and at that time he answered them in a tough way. When the journalists that had just received his new book, the Cave, told him to say what the book was about, the writer yawned and said: Why don't you read it and you tell me? And for all the questions Saramago had agressive lines.It was hardly difficult to interview him because I like Saramago's books - blindness is my favorite book ever. At that time, I realized that some authors could stay at home without talking, only creating and writing. It's easier to keep our fantasies as we do when we read a romance. In conclusion, to meet an idol could be very frustrating!
By our journalist Fernanda

December 1, 2009

Helen Keller - Triumph over tragedy


Confronting Adversity

Speaking of adversity, I faced some this morning when the CD did not work and I had to change my original lesson plan. The listening task was totally spoiled! Well, I have talked to the course supervisor and he has already contacted the publishers about this issue. Other teachers have been facing similar problems with Summit CDs. Please accept our apologies!

Then we started working on the reading about Helen Keller, an extraordinary woman who overcame severe disabilities and learned to communicate despite being blind and deaf.
If you want to learn about someone who really fought against adversity, you must learn more about Helen Keller. The internet is packed with information about her life, which was transformed by a teacher, Anne Sullivan - the miracle worker!

November 25, 2009

What scares you?

Last class we talked about fears and I came to the conclusion I have a brave group of students! Fátima can keep her cool even when she gets stuck in the elevator. Why not relax, sit down and have a nice talk ?? Liliane enjoys experiencing turbulence during a flight!!!! It makes her sleep!!!
When Jerry was a boy, he liked to scare other kids when there was a blackout. What scares Fernanda, Cynthia and Chris the most? EATING IN A DIRTY RESTAURANT!!!!

We covered page 27 and started the reading on page 28 - Stranded climbers rescued by text message.

Don't forget our class tomorrow!

November 20, 2009


Yesterday we did an exercise on "adjective clauses" and finished page 25 (checkpoint:listening, vocabulary and relative pronouns). The last minutes of the class were dedicated to the introduction of unit 3:


November 11, 2009

Fernanda's speech on Cuba

It was a pleasure to watch Fernanda's presentation on her trip to Cuba. Through her own fantastic pictures, Fernanda showed us the contrasts of a country which fascinates many curious tourists. Fernanda was flabbergasted by their interest in getting simple pens.

November 4, 2009

Helping Others


OCtober 29 - Chris' speech day! A Nutritionist's Unforgettable Experience!

I was very frustrated in this particular class because the internet was not cooperative and I could not show my students a wonderful powerpoint presentation that Frank, the course supervisor, had added to our wiki. So we had a "traditional" class on adjective clauses and did the exercises on page 17. The last minutes of the class were dedicated to Chris' speech.

Chris decided to share a personal experience she had when she was doing her internship at HBDF. Chris was at the hospital visiting the patients and checking how well they had accepted their diets when something very unusual (At least to her!!) happened. Unfortunately, an old patient died in her own arms. It was definitely a very difficult situation for a young nutritionist to deal with.

Have you completed unit 1 in the workbook?

Speech time: A lesson on euthanasia

On October 27, Jerry delivered a speech on a controversial issue: euthanasia, a method or act intended to end someone's suffering and life by causing his/her death without pain. According to our current Criminal Code, euthanasia is considered a crime. Jerry, who is a judge, led us to reflect upon this issue by presenting the concepts of disthanasia (the artificial and ruthless prolongation of the process of death of a terminal patient) and orthothanasia (the interruption of medical procedures for terminally ill patients with no more prospect of a decent life). It is not easy for family members, doctors and law authorities to decide on what to do when the issue of euthanasia arises.

We are already in Unit 2! Before Jerry's presentation, we discussed the social uses of lying. We agreed that we live in a society in which we are often rewarded for lying and punished for telling the truth. If you arrived late at work, would you tell your boss you simply woke up late? Would you make up a nice excuse?
Do you think it's OK to lie to avoid hurting someone's feeling?

October 23, 2009

Cynthia Oliveira and the art of scrapbooking

It was a pleasure to hear Cynthia's speech on scrapbooks. She explained what a scrapbook is, what you need to make one (pictures, different paper, stickers, scissors, different ribbons, bottons, photo corners, etc.) and why she enjoys it so much. Scrapbooking is the art of organizing moments of the past so that they have meaning to future generations. Each page in a scrapbook tells a story. A scrapbook is the recognition that events make up lives, and it is a celebration of life. Cynthia pointed out that scrapbooking is the most relaxing thing she does in her life. She does it as a hobby and also to show her kids and future grandchidren that their moments together are very special. By looking at Cynthia's wonderful scrapbooks, we could easily understand her passion for scrapbooks. Cynthia's love for her kids is reflected in each page she designs. In short, Cynthia's scrapbooks are a combination of talent, love and motherly dedication.

Last class we wrapped up the lesson on the "Assistant Cruise Director" ad. After analyzing the profile of three candidates, the group decided that Marcos Ferrante was definitely the best candidate for the position. We also did an extra exercise to reinforce vocabulary related to job qualifications.
Fun for the brain: Extra exercise 1A (present perfect review)
I'll collect the exercise to save class time.

October 20, 2009

Pavement Preservation by Liliane Colares

We dedicated part of our class to workbook correction this morning. Then we had a brief introduction to page 10, "Discuss job qualifications and work experience". The listening exercise will be fully covered next class.
The last fifteen minutes of the class were dedicated to Liliane's speech. It was interesting to learn about pavement preservation from an expert! Liliane pointed out that driving on rough roads accelerates vehicle depreciation, reduces fuel efficiency, and damages tires and suspension. Age, weather, moisture, traffic, heavy trucks, and delayed maintenance cause roads to deteriorate. A road is constructed for the users, for the society, with the money that comes from the taxes we pay. Liliane also mentioned that although we only pay attention to new constructions, the top priority should be the preservation of the conditions and performance of the transportation system we have already built. As tax payers, we should be better informed of the quality and maintenance of our roads. If maintenance is done properly, major problems can be avoided and lots of money can be saved by everyone and the government itself.

October 16, 2009

An artist in our class: Maria de Fátima Genú

After talking about dreams, job qualifications and work experience, we had the pleasure to listen to Fátima's speech on her hobby: handicrafts. She enjoys her free time doing embroidery and making bijoux jewelry and Christmas decoration. Fátima enriched her lovely presentation by exhibiting and selling her original products.

Don't forget to feed your brain with nutritious English this weekend: Workbook pages 7, 8 and 9

October 9, 2009

Jane Goodall - A biography

Yesterday the class was dedicated to a text on Jane Goodall, a primatologist who has dedicated the past 40 years of her life to the study of chimps. The students read different segments of the reading, shared information, organized the sequence of the paragraphs, listened to the text and discussed it.
We also did the listening on page 4. The new CD worked!!!

Dear Students,
There will be no class on Tuesday, but you can practice your English by doing workbook pages 4, 5 and 6.
Enjoy the holiday!

October 6, 2009

Life choices and plans

Today we worked on vocabulary related to life choices and plans. Here are the key expressions:
Take up something you're interested in. Cynthia took up scrapbooking 4 years ago.
Decide on a course of study or a career. Fernanda decided on a career on journalism when she was working for her high school newspaper.
Apply for a position or an opportunity to study. Have you ever applied for a position at an embassy?
Be accepted to/into a school or program. He wasn't accepted into the program because he had been a poor student in high school.
Be rejected by a program or a school. Some kids were rejected by the school because there weren't enough vacancies.
Sign up for a course or an activity. You have to sign up for the workshop we are offering tonight.
Enroll in a school, organization, or program. In order to be a student at CTJ, you must enroll in one of our programs. The secretaries help students with enrollment procedures.
Switch to a new course of study or career. Jerry is very pleased with his job, so he is not interested in switching to a different field.
Well, we also worked on a brief review of the present perfect tense and prepared some questions with the target vocabulary of the lesson. Unfortunately, the listening exercise needed to be interrupted due to technical problems. We'll get back to it next class!

October 5, 2009

Dreams ComeTrue

On September 1st we used the presentation below to wrap up page 2, which is about The Global Voyager Magazine. We also talked about people we admire.
Prime 5 – Summit 2 - Unit 1
View more presentations or Upload your own.
Fun for the weekend: Workbook pages 1,2 and 3

September 29, 2009

The Gangs of Rio

This week in "The New Yorker" magazine, the reporter Jon Lee Anderson writes about gangs in the favelas, or shantytowns, of Rio de Janeiro. In this audio slide show, Anderson discusses how the gangs operate and what local police have done to curb the illegal drug trade. All of this just a few days before the next olympic games host choice...

September 17, 2009

Review Class

Here we are again! As I was away for a week, nothing was posted about the last three classes. There was a lot of talk about risk-takers and risk-avoiders and from what I heard, Fernanda has the greatest big "T" personality of our class. She has bungee jumped and done other crazy things in life! Brave girl!
Today the class was dedicated to a review exercise in which passive modals, reported speech and the order of modifiers were worked on.

September 3, 2009

Is Technology Killing Leisure Time?

Today the class was dedicated to the reading passage on page 116. We all agreed technology has invaded our free time and texting has become part of our daily lives.
Key expressions of the lesson:
Staggering use - overwhelming, very shocking or surpising use
Harry Potter was a staggering success when it first came out.

To go awry - to go out of the right course / to go wrong
Anything that goes awry in the classroom is blamed on John.

Barely - almost not / By the smallest amount
He barely passed the course. His final average was 70 and the passing grade is 70.

We also covered exercises C and D on page 115.

Intellectually stimulating activities for the weekend: Grammar exchange, page 115 and workbook pages 93 and 94.

September 1, 2009

A class on modifiers

Today we talked about hobbies and activities that can be creatively stimulating, intellectually or physically challenging, etc. We observed how adverbs can modify verbs and adjectives and how modifiers are organized in a given sentence.
Prime 4 – Summit 1B – Unit 10 Modifying adverbs
View more presentations or Upload your own.

August 27, 2009

Pearl - The little landlord

I couldn't post it. But it is the funniest video I've ever seen!

Hardnews// Daily Mail found the Loch Ness monster on July 1st!

An image was picked up by a Google Earth satellite... the monster or just a boat? The British newspaper said that was the Loch Ness creature!!!!

Found: The Loch Ness moster

By Eddie Wrenn (Last updated at 8:46 AM on 01st June 2009)

It roamed the English channel more than 200 million years ago. And now the prehistoric monster has surfaced once more - in the limestone of Lyme Regis's famous 'Jurassic Coast'.

Excited archaeologists discovered the Loch Ness-style creature on the beach and have spent months piecing together a giant jigsaw composed of dozens of old bones to reveal the 12ft-long plesiosaur.

Read more:

August 25, 2009

Free Time - Unit 10

Today we covered page 111. We did "Sound Bites" and worked on its key expressions.
Come to think of it, it's a good idea to display those expressions right here.
Get to - annoy
That guy really gets to me.
This kind of music gets to me. It really disturbs me.
Catch up on work/chores - Do things that need to be done that you haven't had time to do yet. I have to catch up on my English homework.

Up to one's ears - Deeply involved or occupied to full capacity: We are up to our ears in work.

R and R - rest and relaxation: I need some R and R. I am stressed out!

Suggested free time activity: Workbook 91 and 92

August 24, 2009

August 20 - We started a new unit! YOUR FREE TIME

This lesson was dedicated to speaking. We discussed how technological advances have affected our lives the role of technology in our free time.

August 18, 2009

Indirect speech was the main issue of our class this morning.

The first part of our lesson was dedicated to workbook correction (pages 87, 88 and 89). We also did a listening task which provided us with the opportunity to analyze some situations by using modals and adjectives related to certainty.

From Least certain To Most certain
Unsolvable _ questionable - debatable - believable - provable

Amazing Homework: Write about an interesting experience (workbook page 90)
The teacher is looking forward to reading it!!!! Enjoy the pleasure of writing!

August 13, 2009

The class was dedicated to writing a news article. We talked about today's news and worked on the basic principles of a news article. Our articles:

Next Tuesday, in the House of Parliament, Lina Vieira is going to talk about the meeting she said she had had with Dilma Rousseff. She was "invited" to talk about it because the senators want to hear Lina's version in "CCJ".
By Chris, Fernanda and Fátima

Two days ago, the mayor of Cascavel decreed the closing of all the city public spaces to prevent the swine flu from spreading among the population.
By Jerry and Liliane

Due to time constraints, the articles were really brief. However, they provide relevant information to the readers. What should you have in mind when writing a news article? Question words! Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? A news article usually answers information questions about an event.

Expressions of the day:
I'm sick and tired of what is going on in the senate.
I can't stand this talk about the swine flu. I'm fed up!

Entertainment for the weekend:Exercise C, page 107

August 11, 2009

Evaluating the trustworthiness of news sources

Entertainment: Workbook pages 87, 88 and 89
Today we talked about how skeptical we all are in relation to the news we gather from papers, magazines, the internet, etc. We watched some on-the-street interviews and agreed that one cannot fully trust any form of news reporting.
Here are some of the expressions we used today:
Proverb: Take it with a grain of salt.
To consider something to be not completely true or right .
I've read the article, which I take with a grain of salt.
Bias: A tendency to support or oppose a particular person or thing in an unfair way by allowing personal opinions to influence your judgement. Reporters must be impartial and not show political bias. (Cambridge Dictionary)
Rob puts too much faith in what he reads. (He believes it too readily.)
harmful # harmless - Do you think hoaxes should be considered a crime or are they harmless?
Credible source = reputable (able to be trusted)