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Amparo Bertram

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07:15 pm: The days grow longer...
For a while there the sun was setting before I left work, but at the moment it is graciously going down just as I'm walking home, so I get lovely views like this. This particular cloud seemed to fill about half the sky, and the bright moon right above it looked vastly more impressive in person.

Today was tiring, but not too bad. The main down point was my Listening class, in which we spent the entire hour on one single activity because *no one* could do it. Their textbook had sample phone messages (taken by someone's "roommate") with mistakes in them, and the students were supposed to listen to the original phone calls and fix the messages so that they're accurate. They listened to the messages about three times last class and once again this class, and still no one had a clue. I had to take the script and read every single phone call line by line, repeating each line and even acting it out multiple times, in order to get any answers out of anyone. And they weren't even that hard. By the end of class, I was ready to collapse at my desk. I was just glad it was *last* so I didn't have to do anything afterward.

One bright spot, however, was that one of the seniors who got one of the treats I took yesterday (I believe she picked the banana bread) brought me a present in return at lunchtime. Isn't that just sweet?

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[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
Were these real phone recordings? Phones always kill me when I'm learning a new language. I think it's the reduced frequency spectrum.
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2005 01:29 pm (UTC)
I can't tell for certain, because the students listened to them through headphones and I only had a script. However, judging from the recordings that I have heard, I would sincerely doubt it. They were probably just actors reading the script with a few sound effects thrown in.

Regardless, they still couldn't get the answers when it was just me reading the script. I'm pretty sure what was stumping them was trying to tell the difference between the caller and the person being called and (God forbid) any third party mentioned. For example, one caller says, "I promised to give Ruth a ride to work, but I have to go to the doctor. Can you give her a ride?" The students could not tell the difference between the caller and Ruth. This is one of the lines I had to act out and repeat about three or four times, slowly, stressing the key words, only asking for one piece of information at a time. (Who needs the ride? Where does she need the ride to?)

Even simple lines, though, like "Please call back," gave them trouble. They couldn't tell which person was supposed to be doing the calling. That's a pretty important bit of information to know in a real life situation.
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