Tuesday, 30 June 2015

how watching films can help your english

What's your favourite film?

This is considered 'the best':
Jay Doubleyou: what's your favourite film?

But there are other opinions:
Jay Doubleyou: what's your favourite film - we love lists of favourite films...

What about different genres?

Jay Doubleyou: utopia ... dystopia
Jay Doubleyou: the mockumentary
Jay Doubleyou: blockbusters don't have to be stupid
Jay Doubleyou: the movies and ... travel, shakespeare, race, violence, inspiration, gender, business...

Here's a very difficult film to classify:
Jay Doubleyou: fight club: how many film genres in one film?

An action movie?
Fight club TRAILER - YouTube

But the director and actors didn't think so:

Marketing executives at 20th Century Fox faced difficulties in marketing Fight Club and at one point considered marketing it as an art film. They considered that the film was primarily geared toward male audiences because of its violence and believed that not even Pitt would attract female filmgoers. Research testing showed that the film appealed to teenagers. Fincher refused to let the posters and trailers focus on Pitt and encouraged the studio to hire the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy to devise a marketing plan. The firm proposed a bar of pink soap with the title "Fight Club" embossed on it as the film's main marketing image; the proposal was considered "a bad joke" by Fox executives. Fincher also released two early trailers in the form of fake public service announcements presented by Pitt and Norton; the studio did not think the trailers marketed the film appropriately. Instead, the studio financed a $20 million large-scale campaign to provide a press junket, posters, billboards, and trailers for TV that highlighted the film's fight scenes. The studio advertised Fight Club on cable during World Wrestling Federation broadcasts, which Fincher protested, believing that the placement created the wrong context for the film.[46] Linson believed that the "ill-conceived one-dimensional" marketing by marketing executive Robert Harper largely contributed to Fight Club's lukewarm box office performance in the United States.[51]
Fight Club - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

> An anti-consumerist movie?
Deliver Me - YouTube
Futures Forum: Transitioning from a Consumer Culture >>> to Sustainable Consumption
Jay Doubleyou: fight club and anti-consumerism

> A movie about 'masculinity'?
Jay Doubleyou: exploring gender: masculinity and 'fight club'

> But others think that 'Fight Club' is all about Hollywood just playing with the issues around 'gender':

It's not surprising that people lament that Fight Club is about pounding people's faces in. And certainly, feminist and Freudian analyses of the film abound as well. But all this gender analysis is missing the point. Although Fight Club will be remembered as a film about masculinity, it has nothing of any interest or coherence to say about it. The real focus of its concern is the dehumanizing impact of the three big Cs: consumerism, corporatism and capitalism. Fight Club is a political and philosophical film about human identity, a condemning critique of the way most Americans live meaningless, half-dead lives. Perhaps framing that in a gender context was the only way a) to garner Hollywood interest in the film and b) to make trashing the American way of life palatable to a mass audience.
The Movie Fight Club Uses Aggression and Masculinity as a Vehicle for Class Warfare - Yahoo Voices - voices.yahoo.com

How can watching films help us learn a language?

We can learn to speak like a native from films:
Jay Doubleyou: learn english from movies

This is real English:
Jay Doubleyou: how to learn english from movies

Films can move us... or even change us:
Jay Doubleyou: "i think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently."

Should you watch with or without subtitles?
Jay Doubleyou: how to learn english from movies - some tips

With this example, the subtitles actually destroy the moment:
Does the director want you to hear what is being whispered?

The Godfather - First Scene - YouTube

The Godfather opening scene english subtitles - YouTube

Monday, 29 June 2015

what is art?

What is art?

This is the Google Art Project:

Google Art Project - YouTube

And this is the website:
Google Cultural Institute

Is Wei Wei's output 'art'?
Jay Doubleyou: art

Is Britian's most famous artist producing 'art'?

Jon Snow explores whether Damien Hirst's art is a 'con' - YouTube

Is graffiti 'art'?
Jay Doubleyou: art questions
Jay Doubleyou: the disappearing banksys
Jay Doubleyou: banksy is not only provocative - he's very popular...

But perhaps this TV series from 1972 is the most provocative:

A BAFTA award-winning BBC series with John Berger, which rapidly became regarded as one of the most influential art programmes ever made. In the first programme, Berger examines the impact of photography on our appreciation of art from the past.

Ways of Seeing is a 1972 BBC four-part television series of 30-minute films created chiefly by writer John Berger and producer Mike Dibb. Berger's scripts were adapted into a book of the same name. The series and book criticize traditional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. The series is partially a response to Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series, which represents a more traditionalist view of the Western artistic and cultural canon.

John Berger / Ways of Seeing , Episode 1 (1972) - YouTube

from narrow reading and listening to fluency

Everyone wants to get fluent in the language they are learning - the question is how...

'Narrow reading is a good idea':
Language Magazine Cutting to the Common Core: The Benefits of Narrow Reading Units - Language Magazine

Here's a very good technique from gofluency.com:

Narrow Reading and Listening: How to Get Natural Repetition in English

(Note: If you want to reach a high level of English, click here.)
Repetition is key in English learning.
It helps you internalize grammar and remember new words and phrases.
Most English learners don’t do enough repetition, mainly because it can be boring.
In this video, I talk about how you can get more natural repetition (in a fun way!) through narrow reading, listening, and watching.
Watch in HD!

How to Get More Natural Repetition in English

The more you see a word, listen to a word, and use a word, the more you will be able to use it in the future.
But as I said in the video, most learners don’t get enough repetition.
Narrow reading and listening (and watching) can help with this. Narrowing reading and listening is…
When you read, listen to, and watch things in English on a specific topic.
In the video, I talked about diet as an example. To be more specific, you could choose the Paleo diet and decide to read a book about it, watch a film about it, and then listen to a podcast about it.
The variety of sources (context) will help you use the new grammar and vocabulary when speaking.

Choosing Your Topics

Choose topics that interest you. This is because:
  • Like I always say, you need to have fun while learning English
  • When you use English, you are more likely to talk about topics that interest you with others
Do this for research too. When you are researching your next holiday, get natural repetition by doing all your research in English.

What to Do Now:

1. Tell me what topic you are going to choose to use this method with. Leave your answers below…
2. If you haven’t done so already, download your FREE Guide and to receive English learning advice from me.
I hope this helps you with your English learning journey!
Narrow Reading and Listening: How to Get Natural Repetition in English - To Fluency

Friday, 26 June 2015

transcribing english text to phonetic transcription

Here's a useful tool:

PhoTransEdit (English Phonetic Transcription) Home Page

There are other tools out there:
English Phonetic Transcription http://upodn.com/
http://lingorado.com/ipa/ is not available

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

john taylor gatto - best teacher ever

This blog has looked at John Taylor Gatto a few times:
Jay Doubleyou: dumbing us down
Jay Doubleyou: john taylor gatto: on video
Jay Doubleyou: education issues
Jay Doubleyou: social engineering
Jay Doubleyou: the hidden curriculum
Jay Doubleyou: education: dumbing us down

Here are some particularly good videos:

Published on 18 Oct 2014
Get a FREE article at www.JohnTaylorGatto.com . John is "The World's Most Respected Teacher." RON PAUL wrote the Foreword to his NEW Book. 2015 Release! New York State Teacher of the Year, John Taylor Gatto, is featured in a mini-documentary about his revolutionary approaches to education.

Mini-Documentary - John Taylor Gatto - MUST SEE! - "Classrooms of the Heart" - YouTube

And a shorter version:

Classrooms of the Heart - John Gatto (1991) - YouTube

He has won awards for his teaching:

The Guerrilla Curriculum - BEST TEACHER EVER! - John Taylor Gatto - YouTube

This is from his book 'The Underground History of American Education':

John Taylor Gatto 14 Principles of an Elite Boarding School Curriculum Build a better you - YouTube
The Underground History Of American Education- John Taylor Gatto, full.wmv - YouTube
Elite Boarding Schools' Curriculum - Mark D. Carlson

And to finish:

Published on 30 Mar 2012

John Taylor Gatto (born December 15, 1935) is a retired American school teacher with nearly 30 years experience in the classroom, and author of several books on education. He is an activist critical of compulsory schooling, of the perceived divide between the teen years and adulthood, and of what he characterizes as the hegemonic nature of discourse on education and the education professions.

Gatto was born in the Pittsburgh-area steel town of Monongahela, Pennsylvania. In his youth he attended public schools throughout the Pittsburgh Metro Area including Swissvale, Monongahela, and Uniontown as well as a Catholic boarding school in Latrobe. He did undergraduate work at Cornell, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia, then served in the U.S. Army medical corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Following army service he did graduate work at the City University of New York, Hunter College, Yeshiva University, the University of California, and Cornell.
He worked as a writer and held several odd jobs before borrowing his roommate's license to investigate teaching. Gatto also ran for the New York State Senate, 29th District in 1985 and 1988 as a member of the Conservative Party of New York against incumbent David Paterson. He was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. In 1991, he wrote a letter announcing his retirement, titled I Quit, I Think, to the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, saying that he no longer wished to "hurt kids to make a living." He then began a public speaking and writing career, and has received several awards from libertarian organizations, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Award for Excellence in Advancement of Educational Freedom in 1997.

He promotes homeschooling, and specifically unschooling. Wade A. Carpenter, associate professor of education at Berry College, has called his books "scathing" and "one-sided and hyperbolic, [but] not inaccurate" and describes himself as in agreement with Gatto.

Gatto is currently working on a 3-part documentary about compulsory schooling, titled The Fourth Purpose. He says he was inspired by Ken Burns's Civil War.

What does the school do with the children? Gatto states the following assertions in "Dumbing Us Down":
It makes the children confused. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials that programming is similar to the television, it fills almost all the "free" time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again.
It teaches them to accept their class affiliation.
It makes them indifferent.
It makes them emotionally dependent.
It makes them intellectually dependent.
It teaches them a kind of self-confidence that requires constant confirmation by experts (provisional self-esteem).
It makes it clear to them that they cannot hide, because they are always supervised

John Taylor Gatto - The Purpose Of Schooling - YouTube

Sunday, 21 June 2015

"The use of technology – for children above all – needs to be interrogated: Is it convivial?"

Ivan Illich's ideas on 'free' education are being taken up:
Jay Doubleyou: "As the market develops … education will become organically linked again into … family homes, workplaces, sports centres, town halls, reading rooms in pubs, debating chambers, book stores … but you won't see the youth ghettos we call schools and colleges"

Here is another view on Illich's views from last year:

Michael Gove, please don't go into futuristic overdrive

Coding is just the latest facet of a rush to embrace technology in education that risks cutting children off from the real world

'When children learn outdoors, studies show improvements in their self-confidence, independence and social skills, better focus, memory and language.' Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian Graham Turner/Guardian

"Hooray! No more contact with the vile earth!" Thus said FT Marinetti in hisFuturist Manifesto, promoting technology and loathing nature and the past. A flavour of Marinetti's technophilia is apparent in the current debate on the use of technology in education; on Monday night Radio 4 will be broadcasting a special programme on it. And 2014 is the "Year of Code", according to Michael Gove: from September computer coding will become a compulsory part of the curriculum for every child over five.
If the technophilic line has a futurist feel, the technophobic narrative can seem like nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. My position is neither of the above. The use of technology – for children above all – needs to be interrogated. The internet is unsurpassable as a way for the mind to follow its curiosity paths, taking new turns, following diversions, self-directing. But technology should answer yes to the question "is it convivial?", in the specific sense that Ivan Illich defined in his seminal work Tools for Conviviality. Does this technology enhance freedom and autonomy? Does it aid imagination and promote creative relationships between people, and people and nature? Or does it reduce us to mere consumers?
Social scientist Juliet Schor shows that extensive screen time encourages consumerism, leading children to value money and brands. It induces depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, and harms children's relationships.
Anonymous users of social media goaded 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson to self-harm: screens turned them off from accountability and empathy, and she killed herself. Toxic technology fails to teach the core curriculum of the human heart: kindness, generosity, self-control, courage and sensitivity.
Children are being treated for addiction to technology, and there can be a fetish quality to their relationships with gadgets. Their animistic imaginations are wrested away from living things to synthetic ones, and cumulatively the authentic world takes second place to the artificial world.
For the Radio 4 broadcast, panellists were asked to sketch an ideal classroom. Mine includes internet and cameras for children to film their imaginations; plus dens, darkness, dogs and trees. Dens (children's DIY classrooms) are good places for thinking; darkness is helpful for reflection. Nature is vital in education: according to David Ingvar, professor of neurophysiology: "It is necessary to be outside for our brains to be stimulated from the flow of sound, light, shapes and colours."
Authentic education includes the human body as part of how we think, through the senses. To check the validity of an argument we say "it makes sense", touching the tactile world and being touched by its contact. When children learn outdoors, studies show improvements in their self-confidence, independence and social skills, better focus, memory and language.

Children playing a computer game on an iPad tablet
 'Children are being treated for addiction to technology.' Photograph: Iain Masterton/Alamy

Introducing the Year of Code, Gove's speech made 54 references to the future, speaking of the new, a vanguard of change, transformation, innovation, progress and jobs. This is part of the ideology of progress whose facile prejudice is that the future is preferable to the past. By that logic, Jeffrey Archer is a better writer than Shakespeare. Newer technology is (usually) an improvement on older, but the deeper question is whether it is used to foster a worldview so out of touch with the real world that its future effects (from extinctions to climate change) are far from improvements, or whether its use may be convivial, helping to create a world more humane, wiser and happier, with a sensibility – and an ethic – of authenticity.
Hooray! More contact with the live earth
Michael Gove, please don't go into futuristic overdrive | Jay Griffiths | Comment is free | The Guardian

"As the market develops … education will become organically linked again into … family homes, workplaces, sports centres, town halls, reading rooms in pubs, debating chambers, book stores … but you won't see the youth ghettos we call schools and colleges"

Ivan Illich has been quite an influence on ideas in education:
Jay Doubleyou: deschooling society
Jay Doubleyou: ivan illich on education and health
Jay Doubleyou: education issues
Jay Doubleyou: social engineering
Jay Doubleyou: the hidden curriculum
Jay Doubleyou: education: dumbing us down

His influence is still being felt:

Professor James Tooley: A champion of low-cost schools or a dangerous man?

'I want to see private schools emerge and then the state just move aside from education,' says James Tooley, professor of education at Newcastle University

James Tooley

 James Tooley … has remortgaged his house and invested savings in private shools for the developing world. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian Christopher Thomond/Guardian
In January 2000, James Tooley, then working as a consultant for an arm of the World Bank, left his five-star hotel in Hyderabad, India, to see the Charminar, described in the guidebooks as the city's "must see" attraction. As his autorickshaw proceeded through middle-class suburbs, he was struck by the ubiquity of private schools. But the Charminar, a triumphal arch built in 1591, stands at the heart of the old city slums. And, to Tooley's surprise, the private schools didn't thin out as he passed through poorer areas. When he continued his journey on foot, deeper into the slums, "there seemed to be a private school on every street corner".
These were not, with a few exceptions, philanthropic concerns run by charities. They were private, profit-making enterprises, run by local entrepreneurs and charging rock-bottom fees to poor parents. Nor, it turned out, were they confined to Hyderabad. As Tooley went elsewhere in Africa and Asia – to Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, even China – he found similar schools. He ventured down stinking alleyways, stepped through open sewers, tramped to remote villages. Poor parents, exasperated by the failings or even non-existence of state education, had exerted "people power" and achieved what Tooley calls "grassroots privatisation".
In nearly every case, he discovered, these schools, though they relied largely on unqualified teachers receiving minimal salaries, outperformed the state schools. Most remarkably, state education officials and aid agencies denied their very existence. Yet many schools had started at least a decade earlier and, in India, similar schools existed 200 years ago, only to be wiped out by British colonialists.
In and around Madras in the 1820s, according to documents Tooley found in London archives, a "deep-rooted and extensive" education system covered 25% of the male school-age population, a level then comparable to most European countries. Around Bombay, "hardly a village, great or small" lacked a school. Even more amazingly, Indian schools used an "economical" teaching method whereby older pupils taught younger ones. This method was supposedly invented in Britain by Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster. But as Tooley tells it, they plagiarised it from India.
Tooley, now professor of education at Newcastle University, tells the story in his book The Beautiful Tree – the title is from Mahatma Gandhi's metaphor for indigenous Indian schooling, which he accused the British of uprooting – first published in 2009 and just out in paperback. It is written with verve, humour and suspense. When I met Tooley in Newcastle, I said his views echoed those of the de-schooler Ivan Illich, whose work excited the western left in the 1970s. In a lecture in 2005, Tooley said that "as the market develops … education will become organically linked again into … family homes, workplaces, sports centres, town halls, reading rooms in pubs, debating chambers, book stores … but you won't see the youth ghettos we call schools and colleges".
Tooley told me Illich had indeed been an influence. At a Bristol comprehensive in the 1970s, from which he eventually dropped out without completing his A-levels, he was taught by "a radical de-schooler who started a folk club where I wrote anti-school songs". Though his parents were Conservatives, he was a lefty as a young man and once joined the Labour party. After eventually taking his A-levels privately and then a maths degree at Sussex University, he travelled to Zimbabwe to teach and to assist, of all people, Robert Mugabe, in building socialism.
Tooley, 54, is charming, jolly and generous, and nobody who knows him doubts his sincerity and his genuine enthusiasm for what are, rather ambiguously, called "low-cost private schools". Nor would anyone now seriously dispute the existence of such schools or even their frequent superiority to neighbouring state schools, though the scale of the superiority is disputed.
But some would say that as far as state education is concerned, Tooley is a dangerous character. He has been described as "the high priest of privatised education in Britain" and, by Stephen Ball, a professor at London University's Institute of Education, as "a policy entrepreneur par excellence". The Beautiful Tree misleads the reader – Tooley insists this was unintentional and blames the editors – into thinking that, in 2000, he was still a socialist by conviction who had somehow drifted into working for the World Bank and was converted in Hyderabad to the glories of private education. In fact, he was already a leading advocate of privatisation who founded the education unit at the rightwing Institute of Economic Affairs in the mid-1990s.
Though he described the Hyderabad visit as "my epiphany, when the bits of my life came together", the Damascene moment, he said, occurred much earlier at the Institute of Education in London when, during PhD studies, he read EG West's Education and the State, a sacred text for free marketeers. It argued that, long before the 1870 Education Act established compulsory state education, the majority of English children were literate, thanks to private and voluntary schools. Tooley found private schools in Hyderabad because he wanted to find them, having accepted the West thesis that, in the early 19th century, they were doing a brilliant job in England and would do so again if the state stepped aside.
Now he has become an investor in private schools, remortgaging his house and sinking his savings into schools for the poor in the developing world. He initially linked with Orient Global, founded by the New Zealand-born billionaire Richard Chandler who specialises in investing in developing economies, to work in China and India. He soon broke with Chandler, but refuses to talk about the details – except to say, in future, he will be more wary of men with Boeing 737s – and concentrated on building Omega Schools with a local partner in Ghana. The company opened its first schools in 2009, and now has 40, with 20,000 pupils. Tooley predicts 100 schools with 50,000 pupils next year.
Last year, Pearson, owner of the Financial Times and the world's biggest educational publisher, took a stake in the company, allowing it to expand throughout Ghana. Pearson's chief education adviser is Sir Michael Barber, formerly a top aide to Tony Blair and an old friend of Tooley's from when both men were teaching and building socialism in Zimbabwe.
Tooley is cagey about the business model, but says he hasn't taken any money out of the company and doesn't draw a salary. Nevertheless, he is "relaxed" about his partner becoming rich and thinks Pearson "is excited by this market". He insists that the daily fee, the equivalent of about 40p per child, is not only affordable to poor parents but no dearer than state schools. "It covers everything, including lunch, two uniforms, workbooks and a bag. The state schools charge for extras, so many parents see the costs as identical." They choose his school because it is better value, with the average pupil's reading (according to Tooley) well ahead of his or her peers in government schools.
"They see teachers arriving at the government school at 11am and leaving at 12. They see them sitting outside and not actually teaching while the children are sent on errands. In a private school, there's an owner and, if the teachers don't turn up, they'll be fired." As in the private schools he discovered, Tooley's teachers are largely unqualified and on low wages. "They are typically high school graduates. Some are saving up to go to university or doing it for idealistic reasons as I was in Zimbabwe. We create everything they need centrally – lesson plans, workbooks, exercises – and give them a three-week crash course."
Tooley believes this bargain-basement education offers the best hope for the future of the developing world. Aid agencies, he says, should switch funds to supporting such schools rather than subsidising state systems which, despite the billions poured into them, still fail.
These views are bitterly contested. Education, critics argue, should be a right, not a commodity for which parents pay. The biggest educational gains in Africa and Asia followed the spread of free public education; the future lies in spreading it further and making it better, not in propping up a private sector that can never guarantee universal coverage, equity or consistent standards and usually excludes those in the most extreme poverty. "Every dollar households spend on school fees," says Prof Keith Lewin of Sussex University's centre for international education, "is a dollar less to spend on health, clean water, food and shelter. So fee-paying private schools increase poverty directly."
An exhaustive study of the evidence, recently completed by Claire Mcloughlin, a senior research fellow in international development at Birmingham University, reports that, while rigorous studies such as Tooley's find privately educated pupils doing better than peers in government schools, even after socio-economic background is taken into account, "other [albeit fewer] studies find the opposite". The findings, Mcloughlin says, "are inconclusive".
Nevertheless, private school chains are spreading across the world. Pearson has also invested in Kenya's Bridge chain, which opens 2.5 schools a day and now has more branches than any other Kenyan business.
Tooley believes that countries such as Britain should learn from India, Ghana, Kenya and others. We, too, could have low-cost private schools if they were run commercially, as established schools such as Eton and Harrow are not. With bigger classes, more modest buildings, less experienced teachers and more technology, they could charge less than £2,000 a year per pupil.
"I don't support Michael Gove's free schools or US charter schools," he says. "I'm a purist. The government shouldn't privatise education because it will make a mess of it, as it did with the railways. I want to see private schools emerge and then the state just move aside from education."
He is unfazed when you suggest that, in a schools market, as in energy, banking, retail and a host of other markets, we would end up with a handful of big chains, some controlled by hedge funds or foreign conglomerates, spending more on sales, marketing and shareholders' dividends than on teaching children, and restricting choice rather than widening it. He says that school chains with names such as EasyLearn or Virgin Opportunity could, to parents, carry similar guarantees of quality and reliability as those of Sainsbury's or Boots. But he also says there should be and will be room (without quite explaining how) for more local school enterprises.
Fanciful ideas? Perhaps, until you think how rapidly they are spreading across the developing world and how private capital is making inroads to higher education both here and in the US. I like Tooley but, if I were a highly qualified teacher working in a publicly funded school, particularly in Newcastle ("a good place to start a low-cost private school," he says), I would be afraid of him. Very afraid.

James Tooley: A champion of low-cost schools or a dangerous man? | Education | The Guardian