Dos and Don’ts at Bee’s Knees

CO SE NEŘÍKÁ / NEDĚLÁ

  • “To jsem vůbec nečetla.” / “To jsem si ani netiskl.” –> WHY OH WHY?
  • “Já nevím ani česky co říct.” –> YES YOU DO. USE YOUR IMAGINATION.
  • “My už jsme všechno řekly/řekli.” –> NO YOU DIDN’T. (SEE ABOVE)
  • “Tak tomuhle článku jsem vůbec nerozuměla.” –> WHY DIDN’T YOU ASK?
  • “Kdo chceš být? – Mně je to jedno. – Mně taky. – [minutové ticho]” –> OK, I CAN SEE WHY THAT HAPPENS, JUST KEEP IT SHORT.
  • Moment, jak to tam přesně bylo… [dlouhé přehrabování v papírech, následné studium relevantního listu ve snaze dopátrat se toho jestli dotyčná postava někde byla šest nebo sedm hodin] –> WHO THE #@$* CARES?
  • [jakékoli dlouhé tiché prohrabování desítkami papírů na úkor mluvení]

JAK SE NEPTÁ
What is the reason…? = co se vám nelíbí na “WHY…?”
So what happened? [ruce za hlavu, nohy za stůl – a vykládej, kolego]
namísto toho se průběžně pokoušejte o tyto typy otázek:

[VERY LONG QUESTIONS] What did you suggest that she should do after she found out that her husband had left the country without telling anyone? / Why did it matter that she was a freshman as long as she played well?

[VERY SHORT QUESTIONS] (He knew he should apologize) And did he? (She is sure that I would leave.) Would you? (Peter wants to be rich.) Who doesn’t? (Don’t worry, this plan is foolproof.) Is it really? (You are smarter than all of them.) Am I?

—————–

LEARN OUT LOUD: LEARNING ENGLISH THROUGH SILENT READING IS LIKE TRAINING FOR A MARATHON BY WATCHING ONE ON TV.

IF YOU’VE COME TO CLASS UNPREPARED, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE BOTHERED COMING AT ALL. NOT ONLY ARE YOU PROBABLY WASTING YOUR TIME, YOU’RE HOLDING BACK YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS AS WELL. (THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS READ THE STORIES.)

ASK ABOUT THINGS THAT DON’T MAKE SENSE TO YOU. THERE MIGHT BE A CRUCIAL CONNECTION YOU’RE MISSING, OR YOU MAY BE LEARNING FROM INCORRECT NOTES. (THE SMART MONEY’S ON MANGLED NOTES.)

YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE HIM DRINK. THE WATER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU BUT YOU’RE THE ONE WHO HAS TO DO THE DRINKING.

ENJOY TALKING. DON’T PROCRASTINATE. KEEP IT 50:50. BE NATURAL – YOU ARE THE CHARACTER. (DON’T PANIC RIGHT OFF THE BAT: THE FIRST COUPLE MINUTES TALKING IS JUST A WARM-UP PHASE. IT’S LATER, WHEN YOU START IMPROVIZING, THAT YOUR ENGLISH IS PUT TO THE REAL TEST.)

DON’T DUMB DOWN. TRY TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY. IF YOU OVERSIMPLIFY A THOUGHT, GO AHEAD AND REPHRASE IT TO MAKE IT MORE INTERESTING OR PRECISE.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF: USE YOUR BEST ENGLISH. USE THINGS YOU’VE LEARNED PURPOSELY. IF YOU REALIZE YOU’RE USING THE SAME ENGLISH YOU DID A YEAR AGO, IT’S BEEN A WASTED YEAR.

WHEN TALKING, DON’T SHOOT FROM THE HIP, GRAMATICALLY SPEAKING. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DEFEND AND EXPLAIN EVERYTHING YOU SAY.

QUICK EXCHANGES: WHEN TALKING IN PAIRS, DON’T HESITATE TO FINISH EACH OTHER’S THOUGHTS. AFTER ALL, THAT’S HOW NATURAL CONVERSATION WORKS. DON’T JUST SIT BACK AND LISTEN–INTERACT, CHIME IN.

QUESTIONS COME IN MANY SHAPES: GUESSES, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, REMARKS, OR EXPRESSIONS OF SURPRISE OR SYMPATHY.

DO THE FREEZE FRAME: DON’T RUSH IT, WALLOW IN THE SITUATION. LOOK AT ALL THE ANGLES. ANALYZE WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED AND DIDN’T. POINT OUT WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE AND WHY IT DIDN’T GET DONE (OR WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NOW AND WHETHER IT WILL). GUESS HOW THE CHARACTERS MUST FEEL.

the site has been put on hold. stick around all the same.

The site has been put on hold so that those of you who came late to this fountain of wisdom can catch up. Also, because I’ve got too much on my plate lately. Those who have already done all the catching up, take five. If you’re anxiously awaiting new posts, I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait or give up hope, giving up hope being the wiser of the two options.

IN CASE YOU’RE WONDERING WHAT THIS SITE HAS TO OFFER, HERE ARE SOME MAJOR FEATURES:

&#187 if you’re new to ER, here’s a good starting point. here’s another. since this site has been up and running for years, the archive is packed full of interesting posts.

&#187 if you’re a beginner, you may want to visit the groundwork section on basic English grammar. if you’ve grappled with English for years and still haven’t quite figured out how it works, these are answers to some of the questions that you’re likely to have.

&#187 vyslyšel jsem volání po přehledném seznamu všech gramatických kapitolek a následně jsem vyslyšel i vlastního volání po seznamu všech kapitolek, které teoreticky pojednávají o výuce a studiu angličtiny v této zemi.

&#187 v posledních měsících jsem pak nastínil, kterými směry by se ER mohlo ubírat dále. jako vzorové kapitolky jsem vybral stanley’s dressing-down, který přináší krátký výukový text a mrtě možností práce s ním. užitečný jak pro studenty, tak i pro nezabedněné učitele angličtiny. peevee playhouse je první ze série pojednání o frázových slovesech. ta jsou pro mnohé studenty nositeli magické síly, čímž je malinko přeceňujeme. v našem pojednání se proto při každé příležitosti vydáme vně této ohrádky. a nakonec rattus grammaticus je přímočarý překladový test s přidanou hodnotou vysvětlivek, srovnání, doprovodných příkladů apod.

&#187 whichever level you’re at, you’d definitely do well to check out the crucible (translation tests) regularly. those more advanced might be interested in grammar fills based on example sentences from this site.

&#187 I certainly hope you’re regular visitors to cat’s niece & bee’s whiskey, a fill-out site that’s updated daily. the audio page on ER is also well worth visiting. so are these video pages, for that matter.

&#187 then there’s the page of bee’s knees english social club, whose classes you might be thinking of joining. here is some of the stuff we’ve been using in the classes over the years.

&#187 for more print-outs, go to small black beetles (nice stories to learn from), or check out the reading room (includes transcripts of TV shows) or click your way to the hang-ups section (cool posters)

&#187 ambitious self-respecting teachers of English shouldn’t ignore marley bone coach, a site that promotes a different way of teaching the language. a good example of your sincerely’s take on this can be found here.

gail (8) transcript

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INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY

We’re finishing up with the final part of Gail, an eight-part series of audio posts. Named for one of its two major characters, the story is told by a middle-aged man named Warren. One night at a bar Warren quite unexpectedly runs into an old woman whom he used to know when he was a young boy and whom he hadn’t seen in decades. The chance encounter turns into a very powerful exchange of emotions and kind words. By the time they say their goodbyes, Warren find himself much richer for it, as does Gail, apparently.

The story, under the title ‘The Moor’, was part of a This American Life show. More importantly, it was featured in Angels on the Roof, a book of short stories written by Russell Banks, who also provided the narration. As in many other audio posts, I am aware I’m committing a copyright infringement by posting the audio and text versions on this website. In my defense, not much can be said, really.

driving home

The rest of the way we don‘t talk except for her giving me directions to her son‘s house, which is a plain brick ranch on a curving sidestreet up by the old armory. The porch light is on but the rest of the house is dark. It‘s late, I say to her. So it is. I get out and come around and help her from the car and then walk her up the path to the door. She gets the key from her purse and unlocks the door and turns around and looks up at me. She‘s not as tall as she used to be. I‘m very happy that we saw each other tonight, she says. We probably won‘t see each other again.

Well, we can, if you want to. You‘re still a very sweet man, Warren. I‘m glad of that. I wasn‘t wrong about you.

armory … zbrojnice
curving … plná zatáček
dismiss … propustit (nechat jít)
it’s all I can do to … jen tak tak že (jen s největšími potížemi…)
lean … naklonit se
Moor … Maur
plain … nezdobený, obyčejný
porch … veranda

I don‘t know what to say. I want to kiss her though, and I do. I lean down and put my arms around her and kiss her on the lips, very gently. Then a little more, and she kisses me back with just enough pressure against me to let me know that she is remembering everything too.

We hold each other like that for a long time. Then I step away and she turns and opens the door and takes one last look back at me. She smiles. You still got makeup on, she says. What‘s the play? I forgot to ask. Oh, I say, thinking fast, because I‘m remembering that she‘s Catholic and probably doesn‘t think much of the Masons. Othello, I say. That‘s nice. And you‘re the Moor? Yes. Still smiling, she gives me a slow pushing wave with her hand as if dismissing me and goes inside.

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Driving home, it‘s all I can do to keep from crying. Times come, times gone, times never returning, I say to myself. What‘s here in front of me is all I‘ve got, I decide. And as I drive my car through the blowing snow, it doesn‘t seem like much. Except for the kindness that I‘ve just exchanged with an old lady. So I concentrate on that.