Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maleficent & Thinner: Curses

Most people have not seen this scary movie, Thinner,  but it is great and based on a Stephen King's story, so you must trust it. King is a genius and this movie is terrifying. The scenes here, though, are okay for classroom use. Make sure your culture allows this kind of discussion in class. Maleficent is a popular tale/movie and I really enjoyed it. It is a much lighter scene.













I. Talk to a partner:

1. What do you know about curses?

2. Do you believe them?

3. How are curses seen your culture?

4. Have you ever heard of a curse that has affected someone you know (or someone famous)?

5. Do you think curses are commonplace in sports?

6. Are there curses that people make use of to hold a partner or break up other people's loving relationship? Why do you think that happens?


II. Read the definition of a curse below and discuss the questions that follow.

A curse, from a biblical perspective, is any undesirable matter that emerges from an utterance, statement, pronouncement, invocation, oral or written vocabulary that expresses ill will or misfortune to an individual, animal or object. This is a definition based on biblical analysis. It won’t be found in a dictionary because secular dictionaries do not use the bible for definitions.

Definition provided by this religious site.


Work with a partner and decide if your beliefs match with what characterizes curses:


1.What distinguishes a curse from other unpleasant matters is in its expressive nature. It needs to be uttered whether verbally or in writing.

2. It’s not just a bad thought, feelings of anger or hatred towards someone.

3. Curses are not telepathic or psychical.

4. Curses can't be received through a dream, vision, apparition, or any spiritual phenomena.

5. Curses can only be expressed in the physical or earthly realm, not spiritual realm.


III. Watch the segment from the movie Thinner. Then discuss the questions about it.


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1. Describe the segment.


2. What did the gypsy do to the Caucasian man? How did he curse him?


3. What happened to the fat man in the next days of the week?


4. What do you think of this curse?


5. What do you think has happened for the gypsy to do that?


6. What do you think will happen next?


IV. Watch the second segment from the same movie and discuss the questions:


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1. Describe the scene.

2. How different is the main character now? How does he feel?

3. What is the other curse the gypsy throw?

4. What are the consequences of this curse?

5. How does the cursed man's wives react to it? Does she believe in curses now?

6. Do you think these kinds of curses are possible?

7. Do you think the segments show prejudice against gypsies? Explain it.

8. How different/similar are both curses shown in the segment?

9. According to what was described as curses in exercises I and II, are they actually curses? What are some of the lacking characteristics of curses?


V.  Watch the scene from the movie Maleficent and discuss the questions.


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1. Describe the scene.

2. What is the curse Maleficent bestows on the princess?

3. Why did she do it?

4. According to what was described as curses in exercises I and II, are they actually curses? What are some of the lacking characteristics of curses?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Love and Other Drugs: Sales Techniques

This is a nice movie with food for thought. It is funny and dramatic too. Very well-balanced drama and humor. I used this scene to have student talk about sales techniques.




Sales technique is a method used by a salesperson to persuade costumers to buy. It is a presentation of goods, and closing of sales. glossary of marketing.com

 
I. Watch the movie segment from the movie Love and Other Drugs. Observe the main character's selling strategies and techniques. Then read the skills and attributes a salesperson must have and check the items you think he has. Make sure you give examples that you saw in the segment that support your viewpoint. If you can't spot the skill in the segment, say it. Then check the DONT's items he committed.


MUST HAVE QUALITIES


l. Job satisfaction.

2. Product knowledge.

3. Enthusiasm.

4. Formal and up-to-date sales technique training.

5. The ability to ascertain the customer's needs.

6. The ability to fit the product to the customer.

7. The ability to recognize the customer's problems, e.g. shortage of money, shortage of time.

8. The ability to recognize the time to close the sale.

9. A likable and friendly manner

10. Last, but by no means least, a clean and smart appearance.



DON'Ts

l. Don't be aggressive, avoid the hard sell.

2. Don't talk about yourself, it holds no interest for the customer.

3. Don't approach the customer smelling of alcohol, cigarettes or anything that the customer may find the slightest bit offensive.

4. Don't ever argue with the customer, simply ask questions.

5. If you get a positive buying signal from the customer, cease your sales presentation - to continue can lose you the sale.

6. Don't criticize others.

7. Don't criticise other manufacturers' products.
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II. Discuss the questions that follow:

1. Can a salesperson be actually trained? Explain it.

2. What's your opinion about Pfizer's workshop?

3. What are some of the techniques they teach there?

4. How motivated are the participants?

5. What are the company's main goals?

6. How does Pfizer motivate their salespeople?

7. Do you consider the main character an effective salesperson? Why (not)?

8. Do you think you are a good salesperson? Why (not)?

9. Would you like to join workshops like the one in the segment? Why (not)?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - LOVE & OTHER DRUGS

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bangkok Dangerous, The Blind Side, The Last Song, Breakfast with Scot & Wimbledon: Sports

We always talk about sports in EFL/ESL classes. These segments are all great and perfect to brainstorm the topic.








I. Talk to a friend.

- Do you play any sports? Are you a good soccer player? Basketball player? Baseball player? Tennis player? Swimmer?

- Do you like to exercise? How often do you do it?

- Do you like to watch sports on TV? Which ones?

- Do you like watching car races?

- Do you think athletes earn enough money, not enough money or too much money?Explain it.

- Do you think everybody should practice sports?

- What do you think is the most popular sport in the world?

- What is the most dangerous sport?

- What is the most expensive sport?

- What sports do you hate to watch?

- Which sport would you not let your child play? Why?


II. Watch the movie segments below. Then answer the questions about each of the segments you will see.

1. What is the sport in the segment?

2. How many players does each side have?

3. Describe, using your own words, how the sport is played.

4. Describe the scene?

5. What are the most exciting and the least interesting features of the sport?

6. Have you ever played it? Would you like to play it (again)?

7. How popular is this sport in your country?

8. Do you know any famous athlete who plays it?


SEGMENT 1: Bangkok Dangerous: Muay Thai (Thai Boxing)


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SEGMENT 2: The Blind Side: Football

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SEGMENT 3: Breakfast with Scot: Ice Hockey

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SEGMENT 4: The Last Song: Beach Volleyball


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SEGMENT 5: Wimbledon: Tennis


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 MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BANGKOK DANGEROUS

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - THE BLIND SIDE

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - THE LAST SONG

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - BREAKFAST WITH SCOT

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - WIMBLEDOM







Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Curse of the Jade Scorpion: Hypnosis, Unusual Situations

This is Woody Allen's funniest movie, in my opinion. This scene is great and it is very nice to talk about unusual experiences and hypnosis.



I. Work in pairs Check the alternatives in which you believe is true about hypnosis.

1. It is a form of mind control

2. It is capable of taking over other people's free will.

3. It is brainwashing.

4. It is capable of controlling a person's behavior and judgment.

5. It is caused by the hypnotist's power.

6. Hypnosis is possible only upon weak-minded individuals.

7. Hypnosis is used to treat obesity, anxiety, depression, phobias, fears and habits, such as quitting smoking.

8. Hypnosis is used to alleviate the pain associated with cancer and other chronic illnesses.

9. Hypnosis is used to alleviate the pain associated with cancer and other chronic illnesses.

10. Hypnosis is also used in dentistry to decrease anxieties and make patients feel more comfortable with the dental experience.

11. Hypnosis is used to treat skin diseases.

12. Hypnosis is used in the educational field to increase memory and learning capacity as well as focus and energy.

13. Hypnosis is also used to improve self-esteem and confidence.


II. Divide the class in two big groups. Group 1 reads the text in blue and group 2 reads the text in red. taken from the amazing, resourceful site- Hypnosis Fact and Fiction - from Articles Base - The Free online Articles Directory

I will start by addressing the misconceptions of hypnosis and tell you WHAT HYPNOSIS IS NOT. Hypnosis is not a form of mind control despite its portrayal in movies as such… you know, the guy dressed in the black tuxedo with big, bushy eyebrows that can swing his pocket watch as a pendulum before people’s eyes to make them cluck like chickens upon the snap of his fingers… No, hypnosis is not capable of taking over another’s free will. Hypnosis is not brainwashing and is not capable of controlling a person’s behavior and judgment. Hypnosis is not caused by the hypnotist’s “power”, as this would allude to the possibility of “mind control” of which there is no hard scientific evidence. It is also a big misconception that hypnosis is possible only upon weak-minded individuals. In actuality the ability to enter a hypnotic state has nothing to do with one’s intelligence. The hypnotic state can be reached by any individual through self-hypnosis techniques however the ability to be hypnotized by an outside party (hypnotist) is dependent more upon genetic factors. Neither is hypnosis dependent upon individuals with vivid and overactive imaginations.

Now I will delve into what hypnosis is and real world applications of hypnosis. There is a plethora of ways in which hypnosis has been and still is used today in treating mental, physical and social problems. Hypnosis is used to treat obesity, anxiety, depression, phobias, fears and habits such as quitting smoking. Hypnosis is used to alleviate the pain associated with cancer and other chronic illnesses. Hypnosis is also used in dentistry (hypnodontia) to decrease anxieties and make patients feel more comfortable with the dental experience. Hypnosis is used to treat skin diseases through a practice known as hypnodermatology. Hypnosis is used in the educational field to increase memory and learning capacity as well as focus and energy. Hypnosis is also used to improve self-esteem and confidence. Altered states of consciousness such as relaxation, meditation and sleep have been achieved through hypnosis.
III. Each student from group 1 pairs up with one student from group 2. They tell each other what they read and check the answers to exercise I.


IV. Watch the movie segment from one of Woody Allen's funniest movies The Curse of the Jade Scorpion and answer the questions that follow.


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1. Describe the scene.

2. Which items in exercise II apply to the segment?

3. According to the reading you have just done, do you think the hypnosis is real? Explain it.

4. Do you believe it is possible to hypnotize someone like it happened in the segment? Why (not)?

5. Would you like to be hypnotized? Why (not)?

6. If you could be hypnotized, what would you like to happen?

7. In your opinion, is hypnosis really possible? Why?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION