Monthly Archives: March 2011

Things to Do When You’re Blue: #13 Festival of Tearjerkers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tearjerker = a very sentimental story (Portuguese equivalent = dramalhão)
wallow = to let yourself be taken by emotion (Portuguese equivalent = mergulhar na tristeza)
gut-wrenching = that hurts you deep inside (Portuguese equivalent = angustiante)

“52 Silly Things To Do When You are Blue”, is a cute little deck of cards written by Lynn Gordon and illustrated by Susan Synarski. Ms. Gordon has written several wonderful books and decks of inspirational cards, that you can find and purchase here. Please pay a visit to this website and enjoy her work!

When you get blue on Sunday afternoons, just drop by for some ideas on how to lift your spirits! (I’ll help you out with any difficult vocabulary)

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Filed under Fun fun fun!, Things to do When You're Blue, tips

A Star is Gone

When I opened my inbox today I got pretty down to learn that Elizabeth Taylor had passed… such a beautiful face, such a talented actress.

 

Read the article sent to me by The New York Times.

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Things to Do When You’re Blue: #12 Costume Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

costume = an outfit or a disguise worn on Carnival, Halloween, or similar occasions (Portuguese equivalent = fantasia)
makeshift = temporary, not very well done (Portuguese equivalent = improvisado, caseiro)
thrown together = improvised (Portuguese equivalent = improvisado)

“52 Silly Things To Do When You are Blue”, is a cute little deck of cards written by Lynn Gordon and illustrated by Susan Synarski. Ms. Gordon has written several wonderful books and decks of inspirational cards, that you can find and purchase here. Please pay a visit to this website and enjoy her work!

When you get blue on Sunday afternoons, just drop by for some ideas on how to lift your spirits! (I’ll help you out with any difficult vocabulary)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun fun fun!, Things to do When You're Blue, tips

Things to Do When You’re Blue: #11 Dance, dance, dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tunes = songs (Portuguese equivalent = melodias)
to be in the mood = to want to do something (Portuguese equivalent = estar a fim)
outrageous = extremely unusual or unconventional (Portuguese equivalent = gritante)
outfit = clothes (Portuguese equivalent = traje)

“52 Silly Things To Do When You are Blue”, is a cute little deck of cards written by Lynn Gordon and illustrated by Susan Synarski. Ms. Gordon has written several wonderful books and decks of inspirational cards, that you can find and purchase here. Please pay a visit to this website and enjoy her work!

When you get blue on Sunday afternoons, just drop by for some ideas on how to lift your spirits! (I’ll help you out with any difficult vocabulary)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun fun fun!, Things to do When You're Blue, tips

World Read Aloud Day

LitWorld, an American non-profit organization founded in 2007, is celebrating World Read Aloud Day today. It is an attempt to show people around the world the importance of literacy and words to guarantee better life conditions to everyone, but especially to children.

To celebrate this day, there will be a 24-hour Read Aloud Marathon in Times Square, among other activities throughout the United States, and The New York Times has posted several texts taken from their pages that would be good if read out loud.

What about you? How will you celebrate World Read Aloud day? How about giving it a try? Get any text you have lying around, in whatever language, and read it out loud to someone, or even to yourself. And while you’re at it, think of what you would miss most if you could not read or write.

Literacy is a right, and as every right, it should be universal.

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ICAO Level 5: an achievable goal(?)

When pilots were first tested by ANAC and rated according to ICAO’s language proficiency requirements, most of them just aimed at reaching level 4, the so-called “Operational” level, which would allow them to start/continue flying abroad (and yes, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile are abroad). Lots of pilots were rated level 3, some level 5, a handful were awarded a 6 and a significant number reached level 4.

Of those pilots who were considered Operational, most of them were slap happy; after all, this meant that they’d be able to start making international flights – or that they’d be be able to maintain their positions as international pilots. But some of them were quite disappointed. “Why”?, you may ask.

They were disappointed because they were sure they’d get at least a level 5 (dubbed “Extended” on the ICAO Rating Scale). Most of them were even awarded 5 in some criteria, but as we all know, the lowest score is considered the final score of the test. “But why aim at 5 when a 4 already certifies you as a safe English speaker?”, you may ask.

Well, a level 5 gives pilots an autonomy of 6 years, as opposed to the 3-year period for recurrent testing when they have reached level 4. This alone represents an advantage, especially now that the tests cost pilots an average of R$500. But a level 5 also represents a personal accomplishment, the result of an investment of time, attention and financial resources in the study of a language that they don’t always love, but that they made a conscious effort to learn and master, because they knew how important it would be in their career.

It represents the official recognition of an ability acknowledged by their peers, who often praise their fluency and resourcefulness when dealing with foreigners, both inside and outside the cockpit. It crowns a long career of international flights twisted by circumstances beyond their control, such as the bankruptcy of an airline company or two tall buildings being destroyed by planes. It may also represent the opportunity to stand out from the crowd when applying for a better job – or even their first job (some companies will not allow applicants below level 5).

But before you set your hopes too high and set yourself up for another disappointment, check those topics from the list below that you feel are true for yourself to find out whether you are eligible to achieve level 5:

  1. My pronunciation and articulation are clear and my accent is very light;
  2. When I speak,  I am able to clearly differentiate Past, Present and Future Tenses, both simple and continuous;
  3. I use First and Second Conditional well and at the appropriate moments;
  4. Present Perfect makes sense to me;
  5. I try to use Third Conditional, Past Perfect and inversions, but I’m not always successful;
  6. My vocabulary is varied, and precise;
  7. I don’t usually have to stop to remember words, because I am able to explain what I want in different ways;
  8. I use some idioms naturally;
  9. I feel quite  comfortable talking about my work;
  10. I use words and expressions to help my interlocutor understand my message;
  11. I have no major problems understanding different people talking about aviation, even when I have never heard that situation before;
  12. I am always able to follow a conversation, I usually understand what the interlocutor wants from me;
  13. Discussing a topic in English feels almost as natural as doing it in Portuguese.

Topic 1 is about Pronunciation; topics 2 – 5 have to do with Structure; topics 6 – 8 deal on the criterion of Vocabulary; topics 9 and 10 concern Fluency; topic 11 regards Comprehension, and topics 12 and 13, Interactions.

You must have checked ALL of the topics above in order to be eligible to achieve level 5. If you are not sure about any of them, you should be assessed by a language professional, preferably using the same tools as will be used to assess you in your ANAC test (the Santos Dumont English Assessment).

Another important aspect to consider is test training. As every pilot knows, just reading the aircraft manual and the SOP does not enable you to fly an aircraft. Likewise, speaking English well may not be enough to guarantee you a level 5. Simulator training is essential to give you a better understanding of the flight operations, and of the test format.  It is essential to prepare specifically for the test, especially when aiming at a higher level; knowing the test’s pitfalls and being prepared to deal with them will certainly increase your odds of getting that level 5. The best way to do that is by undergoing several mock tests (simulated tests), until taking the test becomes second nature.

Having said that, remember that each test is a unique experience, and it’s like a Polaroid picture of your English proficiency. This means that if you are not well-prepared on the day you take the test, you may well lose your 4 instead of getting a 5. So, make sure you fit the criteria to try for a 5 before you book your test.

And above all, don’t feel upset if all you get is a 4 again. A test is just a test, it shouldn’t define you or your English. After all, we all have the same goal in mind: improving the safety in the skies worldwide.

Good luck!

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Things to Do When You’re Blue: #10 Nursery Rhymes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to head to = to go to (Portuguese equivalent = dirigir-se a algum lugar)
Mother Goose = a traditional book of children stories (Portuguese equivalent = Mamãe Gansa)
nursery rhymes = limericks or short poems for children (Portuguese equivalent = rimas infantis)
to take a shot at (doing something) = to experience doing something for the first time, not knowing if you’ll be good at it (Portuguese equivalent = tentar)

“52 Silly Things To Do When You are Blue”, is a cute little deck of cards written by Lynn Gordon and illustrated by Susan Synarski. Ms. Gordon has written several wonderful books and decks of inspirational cards, that you can find and purchase here. Please pay a visit to this website and enjoy her work!

When you get blue on Sunday afternoons, just drop by for some ideas on how to lift your spirits! (I’ll help you out with any difficult vocabulary)

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun fun fun!, Things to do When You're Blue, tips