Iris Arévalo Lancharro

Biografía Comentar esta biografía

Imagen representante IRIS AREVALO

Hello! My name is Iris Arévalo and I am a teacher degree student. I first studied Tourism degree, at URV too. I have been working in many tourism companies, such as hotels, call centres, etc. and I love communicating with people of other countries, in English and in French. Apart from languages, I also love nature (animals, plants, and do excursions in the countryside), music and sport, especially running. My dream is becoming a good primary teacher and help kids to find out their possibilities and aims.

Class 1. The Quiz Comentar esta sección

The first session is about knowing each other and learning some characteristics about English speaking countries.

I felt very comfortable in the first class of the subject, although I didn't know almost anybody in the class. That was because the activities (in group) were very adequate to meet people and to establish new relationships. I liked a lot the English culture quiz because we had the opportunity to learn more about English speaking countries. The other activity I really liked was watching the documentary video about the level of English in Spain. I think is very important to know this reality to realize our deficiencies and find solutions to solve them.

Class 2. Phonetics Comentar esta sección

I started studying English at 6 years old and I received different ways of teaching – learning the language. I’ve been working in hotels and call centres for many years and I thought I had a good level at the the pronunciation of English; I’ve been able to communicate fluently and clearly with English speakers. And suddenly I have realized that English language has a huge complexity in phonetics, as most of the time I do not pronounce correctly. I think it is very interesting to learn deeply about this aspect of the language, at least to notice our mistakes and try to solve them. I think each language is a present we have to take care of, and because of that we should try to use it as in the most properly way as possible. In this session we also played a game very useful to practice speaking. In groups, each one had a role/character. The group was in a shipwrecked boat. Each character had to defend his life by telling how important is he/she to the society, as only one of the character can survive. Finally, the group had to decide who to be saved. It is surprising how difficult can be take a decision like this!

Class 3. Greetings, phrasal verbs & slangs! Comentar esta sección

In our daily life we use greetings and goodbyes very often in English speaking situation. But most of us (English language students) use always the same ones: Hello, Bye, Good morning, see you, etc. In this class I discovered a lot of greetings and goodbyes I have never heard and I could learn how to distinguish the formal and the informal ones. Hopefully we are going to live different situation in which we will need to use the formal ways. We need to be able to adapt our speech in each case.

We talked about phrasal verbs as well. They are very common in English but very difficult to me to acquire them to my vocabulary. This is my challenge, to acquire as much as phrasal verb as I can in order to improve my production in English language.

It has been very funny to know the large list of Slangs that exists in English. At the school or academy, I have learned standard and formal English but I think is nice and useful to know this kind of words the English speakers use daily in their informal situations. I did not know most of the Slang words and I has been very surprising for me.

I enjoyed a lot this 3rd English Class.

Class 4. British vs American English Comentar esta sección

It has been very useful to learn how to distinguish British English from American English. Moreover, I have notice that I speak a mixture between the two variants. Maybe it is because listening music and watching films at the same time I learned British English at the school and at the academy. I hear both of them at my work as well, so it could be another reason why I have been confused.

Anyway, this knowledge permits a deep comprehension not only of the language, but of the culture, customs and styles of a society. And also, allows to enhance our vocabulary and to understand either British or American English. As more facts of the language we know more rich will be our acquirement and more communication abilities we will have.

Class 5. Idioms Comentar esta sección

At the moment, this 5th class about idioms is my favourite one. I love idioms in my languages (Catalan and Spanish) because they are part of our culture and they have always a surprising origin.

Knowing idioms of a foreign language brings your closer to it, to understand it deeply. It is a good way to feel comfortable and identified with the new language, it is relaxing and funny.

Some of them have a literal or almost literal correspondence in Spanish or Catalan and this make us notice that our cultures are closer to each other than they seem to be.

Although, it is a little bit difficult to memorize those they are very different and I need some time to incorporate them in my daily usage of the English language.

Class 6. Guided tour presentations Comentar esta sección

It’s amazing to see how some of my class colleges have an incredible imagination and communicating skills. The presentations of the guide tour have shock me a lot. Tokio one has been enthralling because of its originality and also because of the passion and enthusiastic that the group members have demonstrated in their speeches. They have been able to capture our attention, people was excited, surprised and expecting the following curiosity, joke or content.

Anyway all presentations have been very interesting and useful to know things about cities of the world but, overcoat, to learn other ways to expose and communicate. I definitely have learnt a lot watching my classmates’ projects.

Class 7. Easter session Comentar esta sección

Before holidays, children are so excited and they are not as concentrated as they should because they are thinking about the activities they are going to do during those days.

It is a good idea to propose game and ludic activities for the last day of class instead of doing a formal class. As the games can be related to holidays are more motivating and children learn new vocabulary, traditions, idioms about the holidays topic.

Moreover, I think the activities we have done are pretty funny and children get relaxed and interested in doing them as best as they can.

 

Class 8. Once upon a time... Comentar esta sección

On the storytelling class, first of all, we made a brainstorming about items we need to take into account to become good storytellers. As we are many people in class we suggested a lot of ideas, strategies, resources and methods which are quite important in storytelling.

As teachers, these items are so important not only when we explain a tale, but also when we need to do a normal class and explain other contents.

After that, we played a game with dices which had different pictures on each face. We were in groups and each member had to invent a part of a story using the picture she or he had. Then we had to write down that peculiar and funny story.

The other game we played was based on cards. It is called "Once upon a time" and it has concrete rules. The aim was to use all the cards before the other players by telling a story with your cards. This is a particularly complex game because you need to know very well how to use the cards, and the story has to make sense.

This kind of game makes the pupils think, use vocabulary, connectors, and grammar rules, so they improve a lot by playing and having fun.

Class 9. Cinema session Comentar esta sección

On the 9th class, we spent all the time watching the film Warhorse. Watching films is a fabulous way to practice the listening and to learn new vocabulary. And both children and adults like cinema, so we can use this resource in all levels.

In our case, we didn't choose the film, but I think it is a good idea to offer a sort of possibilities and let the students choose between them. I, and I think other classmates, did not enjoy the film at all because we don't like war films or those were people or animals suffer.

If the aim is to improve listening, vocabulary, and language, in general, doesn't matter which film do we see, so maybe we can see a most enjoyable one.

Class 10. Public speeches, mock interviews and discussion groups Comentar esta sección

Doing a brainstorming about public speeches is a nice way to start the session topic, because we are almost 40 people in class and we can propose a lot of ideas, comments and strategies we have to take in account to do a presentation or a public speech.

We talked about vocabulary, diction, expressions, body language, dressing, voice tone and other items that are quite important to capture the attention of the public.

After the brainstorming we played a very funny rol game. We had to act as we were sales representatives and we had to sale a very strange product by telling its characteristics and trying to convince people to buy it. We laughed a lot because we had to be very imaginative and creative.

It was the day before of Saint George, one of the most important festivities in Catalonia, so we celebrated it by doing a quiz of the history and traditions of this special day.

At the end of the session we did a debate about death penalty, which it was very interesting as we had to defend a position, in favour or against. Fortunately, I was in the against group, as it would be very difficult for me to defend the death penalty. I think all of us were against it, and because of that I admire the ones who had to defend it although their real opinion.

Class 11. Tales performances Comentar esta sección

On this session, we all could enjoy lots of traditional tales from over the world performed using different materials and resources which made the class very enjoyable. I have learned a lot of how to tell stories in different ways, depending on the content of the tale, on the characters, etc.

I love storytelling because is a moment of leisure and fun that relax children at the same time they are paying attention and learning without noticing it.

It is very important to program good activities to do after the storytelling in order to achieve the previous aims and keep on the fun. Children should participate not only in the activities but also in the storytelling by asking them questions, asking them to invent parts of the story, etc. This makes them be more interested and active in order to make them learn more.

Class 13. Some weird traditions and festivities all over the world. Comentar esta sección

This session was about festivities around the world. The first activity was about finding people in the class who know about some celebrations, who participate in local festivities, etc.

After this activity, we did a brainstorming about all the festivities we knew from Spain, Catalonia, and other countries and I was very surprised about how many of them my colleges knew.

The third exercise was a back to back dictation. In pairs, the two of us had the same text but with different sentences missing. We had to dictate to each other staying back to back, as we couldn’t see our faces. This kind of dictation is more difficult because we cannot see the lips which sometimes help you to distinguish between similar words.

Then we watched some videos of the most curios and surprising festivities around the world. Most of them are based on religious believes and I have to recognise that human can do crazy things to saver their souls.

The most difficult activity of this session was the listening. It was like a documentary about different festivities and we had to answer some questions about its content. It was not very easy to understand for me, they talked very quickly and I notice that I need to practice more my listening!

Finally, we did the funniest exercise of the session and one of the funniest of the whole course. We had to dub a fragment of “Finding Nemo” film, by making the different voices and according to the action. It was very funny and we had a very good time.  

Class 14. James and the giant peach test and last day refreshment Comentar esta sección

On the last session we took the book exam about “James and the giant peach”. It was a short test but I found it a little bit difficult because the questions were quite concrete, some of them about small details of the story.

Anyway I have to say that I enjoyed a lot reading the book. I found it very sweet and tender, and at the same time exciting and funny. The moral of the story, for me, is that friends are made when you have to share difficulties and bad moments; it is when you actually demonstrate your friendship.

And finally, PARTY!!! We took a refreshment with a lot of different appetizers and we enjoyed by talking and listening to music.

It has been a very nice course, which has given to me a lot of new resources, strategies and material. I have enjoyed a lot by taking these classes and it has been a very pleasant experience.