comment 0

Save the date!

Our annual seminar for English teachers will take place on 4 May in Oslo. Stay tuned for the programme and registration, but save the date!

What: Free seminar for English teachers in VGS
When: 4 May 2018
Where: Gyldendalhuset, Oslo

“I was born in London but I no longer recognize this city. I don`t know if I love the new London or if it frightens me: a city where at least 55 per cent of people are not ethnically white British, nearly 40 per cent were born abroad, and 5 per cent are living illegally in the shadows. I have no idea who these new Londoners are. Or even what their London really is.”

comment 0

Christmas adverts and the art of persuasion

In December, we find our cynical selves, usually alert to the danger of commercial manipulation, wiping away an unexpected tear while watching a… television advert. They hit on key elements of the human psyche, triggering strong emotions like joy, sadness, excitement or endearment. A company’s use of effective visual layout in advertisements can greatly add to the viewer’s evaluation of it. Emotion is also a great shortcut to virality. The adverts become the talk of the town. Consequently, the credibility of the company increases and we are more likely to buy their products.

Study these adverts from two popular British household names with your students.

  1. Ask your students about their favourite adverts? Which ones are they? Why?
  2. Watch the films together.

Marks and Spencer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfaSxIkLslE (1:35)

John Lewis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw1Y-zhQURU (2:10)

  1. How do these adverts play on viewers’ emotions?

Making use of the rhetorical mode of pathos means triggering the feelings of your audience.

  • Use vivid language
  • Tell a story
  • Use anologies and metaphors
  • Show pictures
  • Use humour
  • Be confident
  • Vary the tone of your voice
  • Use music and images to evoke feelings
  1. Which of the Christmas adverts is your favourite? Why?

Time: 30 minutes

  1. Wish to see more? The Telegraph, amongst others, has ranked the best Christmas ads of all time:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/0/the-10-best-christmas-adverts-of-all-time/

comment 0

Discussion task worksheet: Fix the Men!

Invite your students to discuss aspects of gender inequality, based on Binah Shah’s text Fix the Men! from E2.

Download the worksheet here

Teaching suggestions

Relevant competency aims:

  • understand, elaborate on and discuss lengthy discourses on general and specialized subjects
  • elaborate on and discuss a number of international and global challenges

Approximate use of time: 25-30 minutes, depending on class size.

Required reading: Binah Shah’s text “Want to end sexual violence against women? Fix the men!” (page 47-48 in E2).

Possible follow-up activities: The arguments gathered in the class discussion might serve as a starting point for a discussion on other aspects of gender inequality as found in E2, as well as a broader discussion on the topic of #metoo. The groups might be invited to invent their own strategies for combatting gender inequality and the related problems presented in the midst/in the wake of #metoo.

Hanna Kvalem Oltedal, Sørumsand VGS

 

comment 0

Dirty Money: Panama Papers

Tax avoidance – a multibillion-dollar industry

Since the late 1980s, several multinational companies have been criticized for avoiding taxes by jumping through different European tax loopholes. A system called the “double Irish”, for instance, has made this possible. This is how Apple has used and enjoyed the
system:

Through a scheme literally called the “double Irish”,
a company can create two Irish subsidiary companies,
and the first Irish company (usually in the Cayman
Islands) licenses everything to a second Irish
company, the upshot being that the mother ship
is not considered a tax resident anywhere thanks
to differences between the US and Irish definitions
of residence. The result of all this is that Apple had
a “head office” in Ireland with no premises, no employees
and no real activities. But because they had
pulled the double Irish, the European commission
has ruled, Apple deprived the EU of $14.5bn over
the last 10 years.
                       -Mike Daisey, The Guardian, 7 September, 2016

Tax evasion is illegal. It means not paying, or underpaying, taxes. It has been estimated that about 5.1 per cent of annual world GDP is lost to tax evasion. Tax avoidance is the use of legal methods to pay as little tax as possible. Although a given tax avoidance
scheme could be strictly legal, it is usually in contradiction with the intent of the law. In this video you can learn more about tax avoidance (YouTube).

Instead of studying the technicalities of European tax laws, we would like you to focus on the effects of the loopholes. In groups of 3–4, choose either Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft or Starbucks as your case study.

• How much has the company paid in corporation tax
in EU countries in recent years?
• How is the company’s tax-avoidance case
commented on in the media?
• In your own opinion: How fair is the system? What
would be a reasonable level of corporate tax for
“your” company? Make sure you support your
claims with concrete evidence based on reputable
sources.

Create a collaborative document, for instance in Google Docs, and write a few paragraphs where you present your findings and views.

This task is taken from E2 International English. You can read more about E2 here.

comment 0

Why care about English?

Motivation is the key to learning. We asked two successful Norwegians about their incentives for learning English. Perhaps their stories can help students reflect on their own experiences and language skills? Perhaps they might even inspire them to put in that extra effort.

You can download the text here

“Two bullets of vanilla ice-cream, please”

Brede Hangeland: rachael-gorjestani-154906

The answer to this question may not be obvious to all students, as it is to me now. Personally, I enjoyed my English lessons at school, and despite the fact that my mother was an English teacher, it took me a long time to fully understand the importance of having good English skills.

My first encounters with the English language were endless repetitions of vocabulary and grammar, a giant puzzle that slowly fell into place. I remember how I made the leap and started talking, as best as I could, both in class at school, and on holiday abroad. You should try not to worry about possible mistakes, as nobody can learn English without making some. On the contrary, take pleasure in the laughable situations that sometimes occur. Like when a friend of mine ordered “two bullets of vanilla ice-cream, please”!

Read More

comment 0

International English – A visual presentation

A new school year is upon us. This teaching resource helps your students get acquainted with the content and aims of the course International English, using the cover of E2.

Are you planning to use E2 in class this year? Here is our suggested year plan. It may prove useful.

Good luck with the new school year!

Lesson plan – A visual presentation of International english

Suggested Year Plan for E2

Varieties of English in E2

Print

According to Statista, 1,500 million people speak English worldwide. Only 375 million of them are native speakers. This partly explains the subject name International English and it also justifies the competence aim: “enable pupils to give examples of other varieties of English than those that are used in the Anglo-American core area, and reflect on their distinctive character”. E2 includes:

Read More

Filed under: E2