The Awesome 552 Class

A virtual learning space for practicing English and interacting with everyone in the class.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Spooky Week

Last week It was hard to have concentration just because my dearest graduating students thought I looked so nice on Tuesday!
Check out more photos

Anyhow, we reviewed the idea of using HAVE as arrangement and result.

We worked on exercise 6, page 114.
...has me yawning
...has me tearing my hair out.
...has me biting my nails.
...has me cringing with embarassment.
...has me complaining.
...has me jumping for joy.


Murilo HAD me LAUGHING the whole class with his funny stories. (result)
I HAD the students COME to an extra class. (arrangement)

On page 116, we talked about Nelson Mandela, Mohammad Ali, and Geri Halliwell. Then, everybody read about decisive moments in their lives.

COMPOSITION: first draft - DUE TOMORROW (Sunday) by mail.

Homework: workbook pages 63 and 64 (grammar), page 65 (vocabulary)

See you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Today (October 25th), we reviewed the vocabulary from last class:

Skim Milk
Spin Doctor
Road Rage
Veggie Buger
Bad Hair Day
Quality Time

Then, there were three listenings (page 109) and we started working on the grammar point, the use of

WHATEVER - WHATEVER you do, I'll always be by your side.
WHICHEVER - WHICHEVER job you take, it will be a step forward to your professional success.
WHEREVER - WHEREVER I go, I see him.
WHOEVER - WHOEVER calls today, tell him/her that I am sick.
WHENEVER - WHENEVER I go on vacation, I always go to the beach.
HOWEVER - HOWEVER long it takes, I'll be waiting for you here...

Some points to consider:

when you include the suffix -EVER, it means, in general "it doesn't matter how, what, who" or "anything that/any time that/any person who".

WHICHEVER involves a choice between a member of a group of things or people: You can take WHICHEVER room you want, the double room or the family room.
Or used to say that it does not matter which thing or person is chosen because the result will be the same: WHICHEVER way you look at, things are pretty bad.

HOWEVER - not used in the same way we learned in unit 10. Here it is not a connector. It is a relative pronoun. After HOWEVER you'll have, in general, an adverb or adjective, and its meaning is "It doesn't matter how...". Example: HOWEVER MUCH chocolate she eats, she doesn't put on weight/HOWEVER hungry I am, I never finish off a pizza/When I like something, I'll buy it HOWEVER much it costs.

An example without being followed by adverbs or adjectives: HOWEVER he did it, I guess it was not legal.

For the ones who were not in class, do page 110. I'll go over with you next class.

Homework: Workbook pages 63/64, Grammar n. 1 and 2.

By the way, Fettes and Macfarlane were back to class today! Tomorrow I'll send by mail the part we read in class for the ones who couldn't come today.

For extra practice on -EVER, check try the following online quizzes:

Have fun!

Don't forget to send me an email with the answers to the international students!

See you next class.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

WORDS - unit 12

Last class we first checked the test. In general, you guys did a fantastic job! I'm really proud of you. For the ones who didn't do so well, I'm sure you'll do better in the last part if you make an effort.

We learned a little bit about PALINDROMES and PORTMANTEAUS .

Some examples of palindromes:
dad, radar, refer, noon, sees, nun, pop, level, civic

Some examples of portmanteaus: camcorder, brunch, avionics, bit, electrocute, internet

We also played a bit with making fun poems that rhymed. Laughing was part of the activity! Just read of what some of the groups wrote:

After the test went red
Everyone got sad
And wanted to be dead
The teacher was very bad
And my mom and dad got mad.

My teacher is more than a preacher
She is richer than a fisher!

When I found a Kaleidoscope
I had the hope
To buy a soap
To write this note

Our teacher is the new-age preacher
She says thtT a tattoo is
no longer a taboo
Her boss doesn't allow her to show
but yet we know
Blackmailing is so nice
if we fail she's fired.

Nice, isn't it? I love your creativity.

Well, then, we worked with the vocabulary in the book (page 108):

veggie burger
spin doctor
quality time
road rage
skim milk
snail mail
bad hair day

Then, we checked their meanings on page 109.
Homework: workbook page 64, vocabulary 1 and the two words that form the portmanteau BLOG!

Now, have fun with this WORD GAME!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Interaction in English Makes a Difference in Learning!


Don't miss this great opportunity I and Dennis are doing our best to provide you with. Interacting in English with people who live abroad gives you the right cultural perspective, and it is a meaningful and authentic situation where the second language is used as the means of communication.

So, try, explore, take risks, and learn!

International Exchange


Unit 11 - All Kinds of Funny Stories

I'll never forget Paula's Urban Legend in the restroom, and Murilo's fantastic Religious story. Guilherme has proved to be an incredible storyteller. Andrey was always suspiciously laughing! How about the spiders urban legend? A funny one! Well, If I hadn't laughed, I would have convinced you with Katrina's Theory of Conspiracy. :=))

I had a great time with you in this unit.

Let's check the main points.

Topics of Class Discussions:

Childhood memories about storytelling
Fables - Androcles
Fairy tales
Urban Legends
What makes a good story (introduction, background, problem, comment, resolution) and a good storyteller
New Year's Eve stories
Things that didn't live up to our expectations
A change of plans
When things worked out much better than you'd expected
Telling lies


Compound Adjectives



live up to my expectations
fall through
pull off
on the verge of
get its act together


The Future Seen from the Past

I was going to the movies, but I received a phone call that got me to change my mind.

I was supposed to go to the movies, but I received a phone call that got me to change my mind.

I was due to go to the doctor, but I postponed it.

I was to go to the doctor when I heard that terrible news...

I was on the verge of doing something stupid when my friend called me.

Well, that's it!!!

Have fun, study for the text on Tuesday! If you have any questions or doubts, contact me.

See you then,


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Unit 10 - Our Classes and What you should know

My dearest students,

After some time without updating our blogger and knowing that some of you DO check it, here I am again! Well, I am really sorry. There are no excuses for not updating it, although I have many! Life has been hectic, I am involved in so many different projects that sometimes I feel dizzy with so much information being processed in my mind. Anyhow, I´d like you to know that I DO care for you, and here is my latest news on the class subject:



Discourse Markers to Contrast Ideas - But, However, Whereas

I like eating bananas, but I hate apples.
I like eating bananas. However, I hate apples.
I like eating bananas, whereas my sister loves apples.

Remember that...
but and whereas contrast ideas WITHIN the same sentence.
whereas is not used when you are contrasting ideas using the same subject.
however contrasts ideas in different sentences.

Refer back to pages 90 and 91, student book and do the exercises in the workbook, page 51.


get + noun = receive/obtain ( I got my first car when I was eighteen.)

get + adjective = become ( I always get nervous before taking a test)

get + gerund = start ( Let´s get moving. Otherwise, we will be late for the game)

= persuade/cause when you want to emphasize the activity ( I got them working hard)

get + infinitive = succeed/have the chance/have the opportunity/manage/ask/persuade ( I got my sister to lend me some money)

get + past participle = passive ( I got chosen to be the class representative)

get + object + past participle = passive causative/get passive ( I get my hair done every week)


high profile
against the clock
exact details
loyal fans
armchair auto racer


at first

first and foremost

first lady

from first to last

first aid



first language

first light

first night


last for

get up the courage

spring to

ask out

run around

pick up

be off

Topics of Class Discussion

Being first

Different types of auto races

Doing something for the first time

Well, this is the summary of the unit. A study guide for you.

Don't forget to refer back to the book, the workbook, and the extra handouts.


Friday, September 09, 2005

SEPT 8 - A new Stage Begins

Dear students,

We checked the test. Some were happy with the result, some not so enthusiastic, but you all did a good job. The test is just a hint of areas that you still need to work on. Now, the second part begins and I'm sure we will still have much fun together.

I assigned the next composition. The guidelines are all on page 50, Workbook.

Remember to organize your ideas.

Paragraph 1 - introduction about crimes and repeat offenders in general
Paragraph 2 - statistics about crimes
Paragrapha 3 - causes of crimes (you have to extend the analysis of the data provided in the workbook)
Paragraph 4 - conclusion - suggestions on how the government could work this out

Use the connectors suggested in the workbook.

For next class, bring quotation and sayings related to the word FIRST

In class, we read the second part of "The Body Snatcher". For the ones who were not in class read the second part of our suspense...I'll send an email with the attachment.

See you on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


There will be two possibilities of GRAMMAR HELP:

ONLINE - Write down your doubts in the "comment" area for this post, and I'll answer it. Let's use this area so that we can share our doubts with everyone in class. Also, you can use skype or msn messenger to talk to me. My username is carlaarena.

FRIDAY - I'll be available at the Main Branch from 10:00 to 11:00 am to solve your doubts. You are welcome to show up and discuss any problems you may have! There will also be a special Grammar Help Session with Patricia Fleury, from 10:00 to 11:00, tomorrow, Friday.

So, there are no excuses! The only possibility you've got is to get 100!

Write your question in the "comment" popup.