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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Poems Have A Mind Of Their Own

Almost a month ago, on December 21, I wrote about a new series of poems I'd started writing to illustrate the fact that multi-word verbs are metaphors.  My first effort included phrasals with the preposition "up" used in a business-meeting setting.

The next group of rhymes was supposed to feature the preposition "down", again in a practical setting.  Unfortunately, I had started reading the wonderful book "Grammar for a Full Life" by Lawrence Weinstein.

Here's the result.

The Old Mosaic Floor and Run-Down Path

The rules of grammar pave my way
Throughout the rooms with grace and style
Between the bookshelves, down the aisle,
Familiar patterns guide my day.
Across the hall and out the door  --
The colored tiles pour down the stairs.
A few are cracked; could use repairs.
I'll glue them down. Revise once more.

The paving stones across the lawn
Are rules laid down long, long ago.
In gentle arabesques they flow
With  commas, quotes; they travel on;
With patterned grace the norms unfurl.
What would I do without this lane
That lets me cross the rough terrain
As I write and dance and swirl and twirl?

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Vowel Sounds Matter

Cartoon from "Non Sequitur" by Wiley Miller

      originally posted by The Heinlein Society

      reposted by Rex Alexander in the My Color Vowel Community on Facebook.



Thursday, January 13, 2022

What Was the Question?

 The "Color Vowel Basics One" class has already paid off in terms of teaching my current students more effectively.

One of the class requirments is reading the book "Teaching Pronunciation Using the Prosody Pyramid" by Judy B. Gilbert".  This book suggested a listening exercise in which the teacher reads an answer. Then, based on the intonation and word stress, the students choose an appropriate question.  

Of course I created this as a game. Take a look at it.  

Since my most advanced student has just asked for more help on English intonation, having this all ready to go is a bit of serendipity!

So far I've found my students don't do nearly as well at this game as I thought they would.  They have been using the color vowel system to hear and replicate the syllable stress in a single word successfully, or even in a short line of a poem or chant.  However, our practice sessions have not been enough for them to hear the stress in a sentence or group of sentences.

I need to give them more, more, much more!


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Finally Completing the Second Half of Class

Since the Color Vowel® Basics One course can be taken in two parts to save on both time and money, I took the Part I last summer immediately when I first discovered it.  It's name, "FAST", is very appopriate because you can do it totally online in however many hours it takes you to watch the videos, read the downloaded material and complete the quizzes.  If you dedicate all your waking hours to study you can finish over a couple of long weekends.

The second half, which includes in-person-online classes, has been more difficult to schedule.  I finally got it launched yesterday morning.  This is the more "fun" half because it includes hands-on projects, instructor input and class discussions.  For me, an added benefit is that the projects involve recording videos, something I haven't been able to do very successfully and need a lot more expertise on.  After numerous tries I got the first one created and submitted last evening.

I'm sure I'll be posting more about the class as it progresses.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Grammar or Conversational Fluency -- Which Is More Important?

 To Correct or Not To Correct




Thanks to Peter Spraggs on Facebook at ESL English Teachers (Off2Class Official)

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A Phrasal Verb Metaphorical Poem

All words are defined in terms of other words.  Everyone has looked up a word only to find a synonym we also don't understand.  So we look up word #2.  And what is the definition?  Word #1!  The chain of definitions can be longer than that, of course.  When you are frustrated, Google images can save the day.

I've finished the book "Metaphors We Live By" which deals with "conceptual metaphors". This term refers to the understanding of one idea in terms of another. Cambridge.org points out that often this involves mapping between an abstract concept and a more concrete concept.

Well that's often true of poetic metaphors, too, isn't it?  

Here's my first attempt at a poem using multi-word verbs metaphorically.  It uses the phrasal verbs "bring up" and "take up" and it compares a problem to a very large stone.


To Bring Up a Subject & To Take Up a Problem

The department had a problem
Weighing heavy on my mind.
I put it in a canvas sack;
Never left the thing behind.

I brought it to the meeting;
Heaved it up onto the table.
My friend said, "Glad you brought this up
Since I just wasn't able!"

The boss said, "Take this up right now!
We can't just sit and drift!
All grab onto the edges, tight.
And one, two, three -- we lift!"



© Copyright , Margaret R. Jones