Posts Tagged ‘communication’

“Should cell phones be allowed in the classroom?”

7 October 2018

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

The debate is still there. Should we share teacher´s talk and the interaction with students with a third party? Would anyone be sure that students do not distract from the classroom activities? Read the text from Oxford learning, if you please:


“Should cell phones be allowed in the classroom?” (Oxford learning, @oxfordlearning on Twitter)

“These days, more and more students are bringing cell phones to class. Even elementary school-aged students have cell phones in their pockets and backpacks.

But should students have cell phones in school?

It’s a debate that many parents and teachers (and even students) have on a regular basis.


Students check their phones in the classroom an average of more than 11 times a day. That can add up to a lot of time spent distracted from schoolwork. And when students are distracted, it’s a recipe for extra stress, frustration, and catch-up time for everyone.

With students spending up to 20% of their in-class time texting, emailing, and checking social media, it’s no wonder the debate about cell phones in the classroom is alive and well.” (…)

Read the whole text below:



Essential websites for English language practice

30 October 2017

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

London, 196o (@historyinmoment)

* dialogues, communication.-creative site


2. Learn English Feel Good: exercises, choice.- attractive pages


3.eslfast: dialogues, audios.- ideal for communication


4.rong-chang: short, easy texts, big letters.- reading


5.BusinessEnglishSite: specific website on Business English.-plenty of practice


6 ways to improve communication in an interview (English)

10 May 2017

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

  1. Use functional language, that is, say things such as “I don´t think so”, “yes, please”, “if so, let me know”
  2. Make sure of knowledge of basics: the time, the alphabet, formulaic language-say thanks, respond to thanks, introduce someone, spell words-, say numbers
  3. Be good at grammar, namely verbal tenses, conjugations, elements in a phrase, connectors, etcétera
  4. Learn, save and master plenty of vocabulary (words, expressions, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, varied adjectives, demonstratives)
  5. Be curious about idioms, false friends, acronyms, Latin abbreviations, mottoes, Slang expressions and Cockney
  6. Manage an acceptable standard pronunciation

Eugenio Fouz.- 100517




Proverbs, sayings, idioms, adages

22 November 2016

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


NOTE 25.05.2017

I have just realized there is a duplicate of this post under the title: i´ve got a crush on language mannerisms (efnotebloc, 25.05.2017)

I copy the disclaimer from here:

“The content of these sites (NO ads, advertisement, popups) were provided with the greatest possible care. A warranty, liability, or a guarantee for the correctness, topicality, or completeness of the content provided is excluded. This applies also to all other websites, which are referred to via a link.
The content of this internet appearance can be subject to changes or additions of available contents without announcement!
These web-sites do not employ Java, Java-Script or Cookies.
Since the popular “Like”-Buttons from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media focused websites, provide their “creators” with a lot of data about the person who uses them, they are absent on this domain. My apologies for any inconvenience!
Dr. Heiko Possel | Heresbachstraße 12 | D-40223 Düsseldorf | “


Note the excellent definitions found out on the net via


What are … Proverbs, Sayings, Aphorisms, Idioms, Puns, etc.

via smart–words. org


Here is a list of definitions (with examples), which helps to understand the difference between these terms.

It is common to find different words existing in English to represent similar ideas. It is an frequent characteristic of a language with a long history. There are a number of specific types of saying, of which proverb is probably the best known. However, the distinction between them is often pretty vague.

Adage.-An aphorism that has that has gained credit through long use.

Example: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Aphorism.-A tersely, memorable phrased statement of a truth or opinion; an adage.

[from Greek aphorismos, from aphorizein, to delimit, define. Apo- (1. Away from; off; Separate. 2. Without 3. Related to) + Horizein (limit, boundary)]

Example: He’s a fool who cannot conceal his wisdom.

Cliché.-An overly commonplace, banal or trite saying, expression or idea. Sometimes the terms stereotype or platitude are used as a synonym.

Clichés can be defined as preconceived twists, hackneyed and worn out by too frequent use of images, modes of expression, speech and thought patterns. These are often used thoughtlessly and without individual conviction.

Example: All Americans are very open.

Epigram.-A concise, clever, often paradoxical statement, thought or observation; sometimes expressed as a short, witty poem.

Example: The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

Epithet.-A descriptive term (= word or phrase) used to characterize a person or thing, that has become popular is commonly understood.

Example: The Great Emancipator — as a term for Abraham Lincoln.

Folklore.-The term in the narrower sense means oral lore of a group of people. In the broader sense folklore describes the totality of ” demotic ” traditions. It often has religious or mythical elements.

See also: myth, (urban) legend, tale, oral tradition.

[From Old English – folk = “people” and lore = “tradition” or “knowledge”]

Therefore folklore literally means “knowledge of the people” or “tradition of the people”.

Gnome.-A pithy saying that expresses a general truth, fundamental principle or an instruction in a compact form (usually taken from ancient literature or poems); an aphorism.

[Greek: from gignoskein, to know]

Example: Moderation is the best thing (by Cleobulus of Lindos; circa 600 BC)

Idiom.-An expression that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of the words. Quite a few idioms are language specific, and thus diificult to translate.

Example: A cold day in Hell

Hyperbole.-A figure of speech (or any rhetorical device) in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, mostly beyond credibility.

[Greek huperbol, exaggeration, from: huper (= beyond) and ballein (= to throw)]

It is encountered in casual speech, as in — “I could sleep for a year” — “This book weighs a ton.”

Mantra.-Originated in the Vedic tradition of India; a mantra is now a religious or mystical sound, syllable or poetic phrase used in prayers and during meditation.

Example: Haro Hara [huh’-roh huh’-ruh] — bestows knowledge of intuitive truth.

Maxim.-Compared with its approximate synonyms: saying, adage, saw, motto, epigram, proverb, aphorism, the term maxim stresses the succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct.

[Latin: maximus, “greatest”, via the expression maxima propositio, “greatest premise”.]

Example: Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Motto.-A brief statement used to express a principle, a motivation, a goal, or an ideal.

Examples: Be Prepared (Girlguiding UK); Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity (FBI).

Phrasal verb.-An English verb and one or more following particles (e.g. a preposition or adverb); the combination creates a meaning different from the original verb thus acting as a complete syntactic and semantic unit.

Example: The new teacher passes for a linguist.

Proverb.-A simple and short saying, widely known, often metaphorical, which expresses a basic truth or practical precept, based on common sense or cultural experience.

Example: Honesty is the best policy.

Pun.-This is a form of word play that exploits multiple meanings of words (or of similar-sounding words) for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect.

Example: A fool with a tool is still a fool.

Quip.-A clever or witty observation or remark, with a tendency to descend into sarcasm, or otherwise is short of point.

[Latin: quippe = “indeed” – meaning: smart remark]

Example: Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Quotation.-This is a repetition — literally taken over from another text or speech and explicitly attributed by a citation. Quotes, whose original context is lost and can no longer be reconstructed, are named fragments.

Example: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln)

Saying.-A short well-known expression — a pithy remark of wisdom and truth or a general advice.

Example: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Saw.-An old familiar saying that is commonplace, longstanding and occasionally trite (sometimes through repetition).

[Old English: synonym for “saying” – meaning: uneducated wisdom, often based in superstitions]

Example: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Slogan.-This is a memorable motto or phrase used as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. Also called tagline or one liner.

Example: Make learning fun.

Winged Word.-A popular saying which can be attributed (as a citation) to a specific source. These phrases have found entrance into general usage. Among them are often terse descriptions of complex matters or those of life experiences.

Example: Writing on the wall (Biblical book of Daniel)

Witticism.-Witty remarks can be intentionally cruel and are more ingenious than funny.

Lady Astor said to Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea,” Churchill replied “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

Axiom.-An axiom (or postulate) is a principle of a theory, scientific model, or an axiomatic system that is and cannot be justified from within the system or derived by deduction.

Example: Law of the Excluded Middle [also: principle of the excluded third – this is the third of the three classic laws of thought; it states, that any statemet or proposition is either true or wrong]

In everyday language, the term Axiom is used to describe a fundamental simple truth; like a circle is round.

Dogma.-A Dogma is a principle or set of principles, which serve as a definition or as a basic (normative) doctrine. Its inherent truth claim cannot be refuted, without affecting the very system’s central paradigms and the (belief) systems stability. The content of a dogma has at least no proven or recognizable counterpart in reality. It is also often laid down by an authority as an incontrovertibly truth.

Paradox.-A paradox is a statement that seemingly or actually contains an irresolvable contradiction. Thus it contradicts itself and yet might be true.

Example: All Cretans are liars. [from Epimenides (a Cretan) who made this immortal statement]

Nota bene: Self-referentiality or self-reference, is a term that describes how a symbol, an idea or statement (or a model, image, or story) refers to itself.


Teach & test

19 December 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

One girl, Penélope C., was asked to draw her classroom and two students writing sentences on the board. This is what he did. The guy on the left must be me ;-)

One girl, Penélope C., was asked to draw her classroom and two students writing sentences on the board. This is what he did. The guy on the left must be myself 😉

I have just tried a different type language test from a new different teaching style. My focus is mainly on meaning. I want my students to understand what they are doing.

Among other activities in the test, the students must complete English words from which they are provided one or two initial letters and their Spanish meaning. We work with blocks of words by means of packs of photocopies. My students have to study and learn words and their meanings by heart.

Some of my students wrote their opinions about the new tests on a sheet of paper days ago. They confessed that some questions were not easy to understand. Also they noticed their lack of vocabulary to understand all  exercises. We both (students and teacher) must work harder with words and dictionaries.

Another point was grammar. Most students said that there was little room for grammar. And they are right, maybe I should have included a few more grammatical exercises.

The exam was too long, that´s true. There were too many exercises to do and not enough time. . This is something to be reconsidered.

The exercise on English culture was the most unpopular activity among students because they could not admit that learning the Christian name of the Queen of England or the author of Ulysses were interesting issues. On the other hand, I have the impression that they loved an exercise where they were asked to draw things such as their own desk, our classroom or their favourite gadgets, for example. (And some kids were really good at doing this).

The new tests included an English original text to be translated into Spanish language as well as short sentences to be translated into English.

There was an episode in the test named Classroom diary after our daily routines in class. I think this is important. The students see the relevance of paying attention to teachers and taking active part in class life.  There were questions on “functional language” or useful phrases and a short essay on a current topic, e.g. “write a note to your friend that you are leaving later from school” or “ advantages of having a mobile phone”.

Two more points were a reading comprehension text with questions on form and meaning and a strict exercise titled Basics focused on elementary aspects of language such as writing ordinal numbers, telling the time, listing the past participle forms of verbs, quoting all the possessive adjectives, etcetera.

Something that I have not included in these new tests was a listening comprehension text, namely a listening recording or a short dictation. I think this must be included next time.

Latest message to students of 3 ESO for their feedbacks on the English classes

16 January 2010

Hello! This is Eugene. If you are reading this note you are a good student. I think so.

This note is to report that I have just read all your feedbacks on our classes of English. I liked most of them. Thank you!

I remember now that somebody wrote that classes were in good humour and I never got angry with my students. Well, umm, sometimes I get angry but I am not guilty for that, maybe a disobedient pupil drives me crazy and I lose my temper.

I think I am going to speak more slowly, make my words on the board bigger and try to play audios more times. If I can, I will ask you to perform like actors.

Have a nice week end.



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