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Started by ddeubel in Websites / links / access to new resources / communities.. Last reply by Nadeem Nawaz Jul 16, 2019. 102 Replies

We are now in our 3rd edition of "Site of the Day"! Hundreds of the best sites for teaching/learning. See #1 and…Continue

Tags: collection, list, web 2.0, resources, websites

ABCs - Alphabet Resources or Ideas?

Started by NEWS NOW in Teaching and Methodology. Last reply by Amelia Meirizka Jun 20, 2019. 73 Replies

I guess the alphabet is our bread and butter.Got any good ideas for teaching it or using it…Continue

Tags: children, abc, kids, phonics, reading

Learning Designs

Started by Elise in Teaching and Methodology Mar 27, 2019. 0 Replies

I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue

A NEW way to teach PHRASAL VERBS so that your students understand and remember them

Started by Andromeda Jones in Teaching and Methodology Dec 31, 2018. 0 Replies

Phrasal verbs are a verb + preposition, adverb or particle. Teaching…Continue

Tags: prepositions, teach, verbs, phrasal


A Star is Born (this time in Scotland UK)

I'm sure most of you have already watched Susan Boyle's live -unexpectedly brilliant- performance, if not you are missing someting today.

The problem is that recognition of her talent is directly proportio...

Downloads: 52

Comment by Ellen Pham on April 18, 2009 at 6:28pm
I like this response...

What if Susan Boyle Couldn't Sing? by Dennis Palumbo

Like millions of viewers, I was thrilled and moved when 47-year-old Susan Boyle wowed the judges and audience on Britain's Got Talent with her superb singing. As everyone knows by now, the unmarried, "never been kissed" woman from a small village was greeted by both the audience and the talent show's judges with derision when she first took the stage. Looking matronly in her somewhat frumpy dress and unkempt hair, her appearance initially elicited smug, condescending and even cruel smirks, smiles and chuckles. What could this "un-cool," plain-spoken woman have to offer? What right did she have to share the stage with all those young, pretty, talented people?

Then Susan opened her mouth and sang. And her voice was so powerful, so achingly beautiful, so full of yearning, that even the usually heartless Simon Cowell was blown away. As were the other judges, and the audience, all of whom gave Susan a standing ovation. And now, online and elsewhere, Susan's voice, and the story of her triumph on that stage, are known throughout the world.

There's even news of a record contract, and the odds-makers who track these things believe she's the current favorite to win the competition. More tellingly, everyone is talking and blogging about her "inner beauty," and how Susan reminds us that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, etc.

I'm happy for her. She appears to be a solid, decent person for whom, God knows, some good luck is long overdue.

But I can't help wondering, what would have been the reaction if Susan Boyle couldn't sing?

What would the judges and the audience have thought, and said, had her voice been a creaky rasp, or an out-of-tune shriek? Would she still possess that "inner beauty?" Would we still acknowledge that the derisive treatment she received before performing was callous, insensitive and cruel?

The unspoken message of this whole episode is that, since Susan Boyle has a wonderful talent, we were wrong to judge her based on her looks and demeanor. Meaning what? That if she couldn't sing so well, we were correct to judge her on that basis? That demeaning someone whose looks don't match our impossible, media-reinforced standards of beauty is perfectly okay, unless some mitigating circumstance makes us re-think our opinion?

Personally, I'm gratified that her voice inspires so many, and reminds us of our tendency to judge and criticize based on shallow externals of beauty. What I mean is, I'm glad for her.

But I have no doubt that, had she performed poorly, Simon Cowell would be rolling his eyes still. And the audience would have hooted and booed with the relish of Roman spectators at the Colosseum. And that Susan Boyle's appearance on the show would still be on YouTube, but as an object of derision and ridicule.

So let's not be too quick to congratulate ourselves for taking her so fully to our hearts. We should've done that anyway, as we should all those we encounter who fall outside the standards of youth and beauty as promulgated by fashion magazines, gossip sites, and hit TV shows.

We should've done that anyway, before Susan Boyle sang a single note.

When are we going to acknowledge that one of the most destructive behaviors, because it is so generalized and acceptable, is discounting/ devaluing a person because of the way they look? If you are on the losing side of this proposition, it never goes away. Every time you go out the door. The flip side is less immediately painful, but doesn't have such great results either. Women, especially, are valued and 'loved' (outside of our families and classrooms, of course) according to the shape of our bodies, smoothness of skin, blah blah blah. And you know the consequence of that? We are not taken seriously, on any level. Not given appropriate recognition for our work, not not not...

I'm really, really tired of it, and I want everyone to just knock it off. It is so stupid, such a senseless waste to damage people like that, over nothing.
Comment by Ellen Pham on April 18, 2009 at 6:42pm
I could be more cheerful about this, I could say we like her so much because she affirms what we know deep down inside to be true, that a person's value does not come through her/ his looks.

Comment by Deák Ildikó on April 18, 2009 at 10:53pm
Thank you for voicing your ideas about how much good looks count nowadays, especially at work. You're ridiculed if you aren't wearing ' the right' clothes and age shows. My self- esteem hit the lowest ever when I overheard some of my students' ( teenage girls!) cynical remarks about my looks. They aren't the brighest ones, of course. In my experience, women are the main culprits. They seem to have a very short memory when thinking they will never get old. Girls in their early teens already talk about plastic surgery, not to mention their going on slimming diet and wearing top fashion clothes. I don't believe they realize that happiness can't be attained by just looking gorgeous. What really upsets me is their parents enforcing these false ideas by even encouraging them to worship appearances. Shallowness is in and the world is getting poorer and poorer. Anyway, I consider myself lucky to have been born after the war and not been spoilt by the world of media that has generated such a crooked image.

Comment by ddeubel on April 18, 2009 at 11:55pm
Wow, talk about how the world gets its info in one shot! A friend showed me this yesterday. Then we went out to dinner and it was on the TV at the restaurant. Now I come online here and Lola is telling us about it!

Good point Ellen and a good opportunity for us to be reminded about that. It isn't about "being good at something" in my opinion -- it is about "being good". But yes, so much shallowness that is two faced. On one hand we think we are decent and respectable but then on the other hand, we assign value to people beyond their own "actions" and for just looking/being/thinking/seeming something..... A real important lesson for our students and the kernel of creating a great classroom is to do exercises which promote the individual worth and value of each student. Everyone is good! Let's drop asking ourselves for every one to be good at something!

Comment by Ellen Pham on April 19, 2009 at 1:33am
You know, David, it is very hard to really, really not judge people by their physical appearance. At all, in any context. Honestly, I am far enough beyond most on this one that people think I am great, but I know... I know every little feeling I have that way, when I have it. So I deal with it the same way I deal with any prejudice I recognize inside me... I acknowledge that it is happening, that I am thinking/feeling it, and then I withdraw all energy from the thought, so it is harmless, no power.

And I imagine once you get beyond this one, you go onto the next... working on the false judging that we do. But this one in particular, that is so acceptable in all modern societies, is especially painful for me, and it's not my fault. This happened before weight and age, those are just extras on top of it :D I mean shit, if you're not going to fit the mold, you might as well go for it! Really explore that experience! Except I can't get off the train when I want to.

So pervasive and so little at the same time, not like lopping off arms with machetes, and the things people do. Lopping off something that we really could be, though, if people would stop doing it to each other. Oh well, onto something else until the next time.

Comment by ddeubel on April 21, 2009 at 10:01am

You are right (as usual). But just because it is "so hard" , doesn't mean it should be and we shouldn't fight it.....
I think there is a lot we just get "resigned" to and don't try to change. As adults, we form these kind of "unspoken societies " or tribes that harbor and nurture a lot of bad stuff. That ranges from the political to the social. Humans have an inner need to belong, to form a group and that impulse I think, leads to a lot of evil and demonizing, castigating of others....the only group that should matter is the "life group"....

Anyways, we do what we can. Make a difference with small things, your own friends/family.....

There are a lot of korean teachers online here -- here is a version of the video with subtitles, might be useful.

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