Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and the S.F. Giants

One of my ESL students writes one essay a week for writing practice for our class. This was a busy week and he had much to write about: Halloween, Hurricane Sandy, and the San Francisco Giants World Series celebration.

He had an interesting observation. He was surprised that in light of the devastation experienced on the East Coast due to Hurricane Sandy, the City of San Francisco proceeded with their parade and celebration for the Giants, this year's winners of the World Series.

He commented that in his home county, Japan, people would show restraint. A large celebration would not occur if something as catastrophic as Hurricane Sandy had occurred.

What are your thoughts are. Should San Francisco have canceled or postponed their celebration? Or was it alright for them to go ahead?

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Beat Around the Shrubbery"

I just finished watching an episode of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. As you may know, Poirot is a fictitious detective. Much to his dismay, many people mistake him for French because of his accent, but he is actually Belgian.

Poirot's English is very good, but he does use an "unnatural" order to his words at times. He also makes mistakes with his use of expressions and idioms.

In tonight's episode, there were two "errors." He said, "It is dried and cut," and "Let's not beat around the shrubbery."

The correct order for the first error is "cut and dried." When something is "cut and dried," that means it is clear and obvious.

"Beat around the shrubbery" should be "beat around the bush." To beat around the bush means to avoid the subject or approach the subject indirectly.

These mistakes are amusing when they come from Hercule Poirot who is a fastidious perfectionist about everything else. I love him!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Cambridge Offers CELTA Courses Online

In September, 2011, Cambridge started offering CELTA courses online. Sort of.

The practicum component of the course must still be done at the center offering the certification.

If you opt for the online CELTA course, you can earn the same certificate as if you did the course entirely at a center. There is no difference to the award you will receive.

The online option allows a student to take longer to obtain the certificate and to work at his or her own pace. According to the Cambridge site, "courses run over a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of an academic year."

The online materials achieve the same objectives as face-to-face instruction, according to Cambridge.

Unfortunately, as of this date, there are no centers offering online CELTA in the United States.

If you need a completely online TESOL certificate, then you will need to consider a different type of certificate. See TEFL or CELTA: Which is Best? for further discussion.