City or countryside?

This is a question that most adults ask themselves at some points in their lives. Both offer many advantages as well as disadvantages, but which one is better? Of course it depends on many factors, starting with your own situation.

Image result for city or countryside

This week’s discussion post requires your participation. OntinarTalks would like to hear from you. In the comments section, you can write a little essay. The length, content and structure is totally up to you, but if someone needs a  bit of help here is a structure example:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Point 1 – Back up this point.
  • Point 2 – Back up this point.
  • Conclusion.

We can’t wait to read your essays. If you are not sure about participating because you are not very confident in your English, we encourage you to do it! Remember: we all have been there and practice makes perfect!

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Common Mistakes, part 1

Hi, guys! Welcome to Common Mistakes!

I was asked a few weeks ago to write a weekly summary about the most common mistakes that Ontinians had during our talks. This is the first of many posts about how you could correct little errors when practicing English.

Since we’ve had several meetings before I started this blog, I’d like to use the first few posts on this section to have a little recap about the summer.

Context:

During one of out first meetings we talked about people who moved to the Pyrenees and inhabited (not inhabitated) some abandoned villages. During this conversation it was mentioned that some of them  chopped trees (it isn’t cut trees) and we wondered whether it was legal or not.

Then, Ontinian #1 said that they “should ask for a permission”. This sentence is wrong but, why?

It’s very simple. When using an indefinite article such a/an you need to make sure that you are using a countable noun. When the noun is uncountable we don’t use the indefinite article.

So, according to this explanation we have two options:

  1. They should ask for permission.
  2. They should ask for a permit. (Because we can count the number of permits).

New vocabulary:

  • Chop trees (cut trees).
  • Inhabitant.
  • Inhabited (inhabitated).

 

Thanks for reading, hope you enyojed the article!

Every kid needs a champion

A story about how teachers should inspire children in the classroom.

The options that the education system provides to teachers and students -and also parents- nowadays have never been so wide.

We still can find some schools following the traditional method where students and teachers follow a textbook, but due to technological development and its constant changes, the education system has been modified too. We are talking about the use of computers, tablets, and other gadgets along with books, and also about schools where books have been eliminated completely in the classroom. Concepts that a few years back would have been impossible to think of.

What is clear is that things in the classroom change, and they change fast, but there is something that should never change and that’s the way teachers approach and treat their students.

If you don’t know Rita Pierson I would like to introduce her to you. She followed her parents’ career as an educator and was a teacher for 40 years. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago, but she didn’t go unnoticed since she touched millions of lives before her early departure. One day a coleague told her: “They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed”, and her response was: ‘Kids don’t learn from someone they don’t like’. And that is true.

She agreed to participating in the famous TED Talks to share her story and give her opinion on the subject. She gave a speech about education and educators, and talked about some of her personal experiences . She explained the way teachers should be in the classroom, they should inspire students instead of merely teaching a meaningless class. Because every kid needs a champion.

I would like to share her words with you. Thank you, Rita, for such a beautiful speech, and for encouraging and inspire so many students, teachers, and parents around the world.

 

Participation forum open. Share your opinion with us!

World Food Day

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) celebrates  World Food Day (WFD) on October 16th.

This year the theme is ‘Change the future of Migration. Invest in food security and rural development’. It is one of the most celebrated events in the UN, and its goal is to promote the awareness of hunger around the world and to make sure that everybody gets safe and nutritious food.

This year’s theme focus on people who are forced to leave their homes due to current events such as wars and political inestablity. According to the FAO’s website, we haven’t seen this number of people forced to move since World War II and, as a consequence, hunger and poverty have increased considerably.

Furthermore, they say, climate change is not helping to fix this any faster. As stated in the FAO’s Website: ‘Between 2008 and 2015, and average of 26.4 million people were displaced annually by climate or weather-related disasters’.

Even though there is a long way ahead before #ZeroHunger has a worldwide reach, there has been a lot of progress.

If you’d like to read more about this subject you can visit the FAO’s Website.

Ontinar Talks would like to have your participation in our weekly discussion post. What do you think of all this? Are you doing something to improve this situation? What do you think could be done to reach #ZeroHunger faster?

We value your opinion.

Welcome!

Hi everyone!

I would like to use this first post as an explanation of what “Ontinar Talks” is.

It all started in August when, thanks to an idea that an anonymous “Ontinian” (this is how the group agreed to call someone who lives in Ontinar) presented to the Organization Ontinar Sostenible, we were born.

The objective was to promote the use of the English language in the village, and it was decided to start a monthly meeting where everyone who wanted to practice their spoken English would be welcomed.

Since the first meeting was a complete success, we decided two things:

  • Meet every Friday at 20.00 in Bar Breton, situated in downtown Ontinar.
  • Start a blog that we could use as a support to improve our English where we’d post the most common mistakes heard during the meetings, and as a forum where we could discuss different topics. .

We would define ourselves as an open group of random people who like to speak in English. I’m pretty sure that at this point you are asking yourself, “yeah, that’s great, but cut to the chase and tell us what you do”. Well, I’d like to make it simple for you: we like to have fun.  We leave our shy-selves (you got me, I just made that word up, but doen’t it sound cool?) at home and start speaking, although I’d like to add that since we are in a bar it is easier to “warm up” to speak a bit more fluently (wink, wink).

Our English is not perfect, but we meet every week and start talking about anything you can think of and, before we realize it, two hours have gone by. What I personally love about these meetings is that you talk with all kinds of people who share with us all kinds of interesting stories. In addition, you learn things about someone you already knew that you wouldn’t get to know otherwise.

We love people. We love stories. We love English. We love to have fun.

Do you have the best spoken English mankind has ever heard? We welcome you!

Are you fluent in English? We welcome you!

Are you starting to learn/speak English? We welcome you!

You don’t feel comfortable speaking English, but would like to come and listen? We welcome you!

Are you curious about this project? We welcome you!

 

We’ll be meeting next Friday.

Are you in?