Sunday, June 30, 2013

Spanglish: Low Self-Esteem

This is a great movie. Language teachers also enjoy it. This is a great scene to talk about self-esteem.

Self-Esteem - Pride in oneself; self-respect.

According to this informative and constructive site, these are the characteristics of genuine low self-esteem.

Social withdrawal
Anxiety and emotional turmoil
Lack of social skills and self confidence. Depression and/or bouts of sadness
Less social conformity
Eating disorders
Inability to accept compliments
An Inability to see yourself 'squarely' - to be fair to yourself
Accentuating the negative
Exaggerated concern over what you imagine other people think
Self neglect
Treating yourself badly but NOT other people
Worrying whether you have treated others badly
Reluctance to take on challenges
Reluctance to put yourself first or anywhere.
Reluctance to trust your own opinion
Expecting little out of life for yourself.

I. Talk to a partner:

1. According to the symptoms above, what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?

2. What do you think one can do to reverse that situation?

3. What can relatives do in order not to lower someone's self-esteem?

4. For one to have low self-esteem, he must have various of the symptoms above. Do you feel any of the symptoms above? How do you rate your self-esteem?

II. Watch the segment and discuss the questions.

1. What do you think about the teenager's self-esteem?

2. What exactly makes her esteem low?

3. What's your opinion about her mother's presents? How well did she mean? 

4. How effective is the mother's strategy?

III. Read the tips given by this awesome site to improve one's self-esteem. Then say how each one would help the teenager and what she could do about each of the tips.

Be true to yourself. Live your life doing what feels right to you, not what someone else thinks you should do. It’s ok to listen to advice, but in the end, make the decision that feels best for you. 

Change your mental diet. Read uplifting books. Listen to uplifting tapes and CDs and attend uplifting workshops.  Don’t focus on negativity. Stop watching the news. Avoid whiners and complainers. Walk away.

Upgrade your physical diet. Processed foods contain very little nutritional value when compared to raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Eat fresh produce rather than processed foods whenever possible. Drink plenty of water, fresh juices and smoothies instead of caffeinated beverages or energy drinks. 

Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not supposed to be like anyone else. You are you. You are the only one who can be you. 

Create an uplifting environment for yourself. This can be joyful colors, uplifting music, nature photos, plants, uplifting posters, open windows… you decide. Wear clothes that you feel good in.

Celebrate your successes. Even the small ones. Don't wait to get perfect. 

Create a list of accomplishments and review it often. We tend to get overwhelmed looking at what’s left to be done and forget to give ourselves credit for how far we’ve already come.

Don’t take yourself, or life, too seriously. Lighten up. Dare to have fun. 

Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it! Maybe a massage, a bath or nap. Take yourself out on a date. 

Do something nice for someone else. Volunteer. Being of service, without expectation of reward, feels really good.

Spend time regularly doing things you find joyful. What make your heart sing? Do more of it! 

Do something physical. Clean out a closet. Get out of the house. Go for a walk.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Melancholia: Apocalypse

Although many people criticized this movie, I really liked it. Thought-provoking, its two different stories hypnotized me until the last scene.

I. Work in pairs. Let's suppose that the Earth will be hit by another planet. Nothing can be done to stop the collision. It will be the end of days and there will be no survivors. The impact will be so hard that death will be painless and instantaneous. 

a. Apocalypse Abbr. Apoc. Bible The Book of Revelation.

b. Any of a number of anonymous Jewish or Christian texts from around the second century b.c. to the second century a.d. containing prophetic or symbolic visions, especially of the imminent destruction of the world and the salvation of the righteous.

          c. Great or total devastation; doom: the Apocalypse of nuclear war.

1. What would you do three weeks before the collision?

2. What would you do on the day of the collision.

3. Who would you like to be with when that happened?

4. Where would you like to be?

5. What would probably happen around the world on the day of the apocalypse?

6. Would people still go to work knowing the world would end within three weeks? What consequences would it bring to every one's lives?

II. Watch the movie segment and then discuss the questions that follow.

1. How did they decide to spend the last minutes of their lives?

2. What's your opinion about their decision?

3. Would you do the same as they did? Why (not)?

4. Do you think the world will ever end? If so, what would probably happen?

5. What's your view of the apocalypse?

6. Why is there so much speculation about doomsday? How afraid are you?


Monday, June 10, 2013

The King's Speech: Speaking in Public

This movie is a classic. Outstanding acting makes it an unforgettable experience.

I. Talk to a partner:

1. How do you feel when you have to speak in public?

2. How do your feelings change according to the audience you have?

3. How/When/In which situations do you feel most comfortable when speaking in public?

4. How/When/In which situations do you feel most embarrassed when speaking in public?

5. When was the last time you had to speak in public? How was it?

6. What do you do/ How do you prepare yourself when you have to speak in public?

7. What tips would you give someone who wants to be a successful speaker/presenter?

II. Read the tips given by the awesome site
Don't fail visiting it. Their tips are priceless.

Decide which steps you usually take before speaking in public, which ones are helpful, and which ones you would not follow. Justify your answers.

Steps to overcome the fear of speaking in public

Realize the source. 
The source of your fear is this: not knowing what will happen when you are in front of people, giving your speech or presentation. Your fear is not that you don't know your topic. It is that you don't know what will happen when you step to the podium or table.

Face Down Your Fears. 
If you feel your knees turning to jelly out of fear, remind yourself that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Almost certainly, whatever it is that you're frightened of won't happen.

Breathe Deeply. 
Practicing a breathing exercise before you go on will relax your body and mind.

Relaxing is the art of letting go.

Recognize that people can't see your nervousness. 

When you're walking out onto the stage toward the podium, no one knows you're nervous.


Speaking on a topic that you are not familiar with will increase your stress, and impede on your performance.

Buy some recording software, and record everything on your laptop. 

Review it to see where you can improve.


Make sure you know the material that you're going to cover. 

Keep it simple.

Avoid putting pressure on yourself by trying to communicate too many ideas or too much information. 

Think of it as a conversation.

Think of your ‘talk’ as just that, a conversation with more than person.

III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions that follow:

1. How did he feel before the speech?

2. How confident was he?

3. Which of the steps in exercise II did he take?

4. What can he do to improve the quality of his speeches?

5. How would you feel if you were in his shoes?

6. Have you ever felt the way he did when speaking in public?

7. What's your opinion about the technique that he tried after the speech?