Monday, June 23, 2014

Dr. Ralf & His Pupils Battle the Bad Grammar Zombies

As move on with your writings/blogs/essays/readings, you need to pay lots of attention to your spelling and your grammar. There are many words which are commonly misspelled, but they are spelled as other words, thus your spell checker does not pick up on those mistakes.

As if spelling weren't enough trouble, there is all that punctuation that must be taken care of. Rules here, rules there, rules everywhere.

Now, I'm afraid I have some bad news and some good news for you.

Check SpellingThe bad news is that you MUST apply and follow the rules. The good news is that you have Doctor Ralf on your corner! I know it goes without saying, but having Doctor Ralf on your corner (when facing English Grammar) is like El Santo at your side when facing mommies (from Guanajuato or anywhere else). You know, like having that fully loaded shutgun when you need to battle zombies. Chainsaw-wielding, gunshot-toting English-teaching-machine Doctor Ralf is here next to you as you face The Bad Grammar Zombies. Furthermore, we could say that it is like having Gandalf if you are a hobbit going into Mordor. It has been said that it is like knowing Batman is coming as your facing grammar's Joker... I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point by now.

So it is very clear that I am here to help you, but you have to roll up your sleves and join the struggle... do your part. Kill those zombies. As it would be said in a movie "They ain't gonna kill themselves", but there are things only YOU can do for YOURSELF.

Here are some links to help you along the way.
  • Another area of difficulty for many is the correct use of the apostrophe. some people think thay are for plurals... others just don't think about it at all.

  • On a more serious side, The Grammar Book has rules and quizzes to check how well you have learned the rules.
Now you have a chainsaw to start cutting grammar zombies in half. You just need to pull the chain and start shredding. Have fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The present of what was the future in the past

Watch the video from 2008, and take notes about what this futurist has to say. How many of these have come true?

I also want you to pay attention to how he speaks in public, and take notes on how he does this.

Pay close attention to what he says, we will discuss it in class.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

TOEFL reading

Follow the links and practice:

4 Tests
or Test Magic to continue practicing structure.

You have a week to practice.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bourdain On Mexico

Read what the great Anthony Boudain has to say about Mexico. Once you have finished reading, do this:

  • Write a 300 word essay (introduction, body and conclusion - NOTE; do not indicate "introduction, body and conclusion", that should be clear ) with your opinion.
  • Include a glossary (in English) of the words you had to look up (remember we have the very useful Dictionary. com). 
  • I want to read your ideas in English, so DO NOT copy and paste or translate. 
  • You will print your writing (NO cover page please) and bring it to class on Tuesday. In case you have no ink, remember you can print at school or at a cybercafe. 
  • There will be no extensions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You must never lower yourself

On Wednesday we had quite a talk. I found this video by one of my musical heroes, Henry Rollins. This man is quite an extraordinary person, and on this video he has a lot to say to young people such as yourselves.

Listen to Henry talk, as many times as you need to, then write me an email telling me what you take away from it, or if agree, or if you don't.

* Where he says "your President" he is talkig about Obama, not the president of Mexico.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Talking about the past

We have been talking about the past this week. For today's activity you have to write a story of something that happened to you in the past. For this activity you need to follow these rules:

  1. Use the grammatical forms we have seen, AT LEAST ONCE (present perfect, simple past, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous).
  2. A minimum of 400 words. A maximum of 500 words. NO less, NO more.
  3. Use vocabulary from all the units we have seen.
  4. Be very careful with spelling and grammar.
  5. Save it in a Word document and mail it to as an attachment with the title ThePast_FirstNameLastName [for example, ThePast_RafaelOrtiz].
  6. DO NOT use translators.
  7. I will only grade documents sent by 5 p.m. NOTHING after that time. 
  8. The work counts as your attendance to class. Consequentely, no work means no attendance.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Backpacking versus Flashpacking

How would you like to go backpacking or flashpacking around the world?
You are going to research online in order to build an itinerary for a 2-month backpacking trip, and another one for a two-month flashpacking trip in your designated area. Both itineraries must show the true difference between these concepts.


  1. Every thing has to be in the budget; food, entertainment, transportation (from San Luis Potosí and back) and accomodation.
  2. No clubbing. Take a cultural interest in the cities you are visiting; museums, real restaurants, cultural festivals, sightseeing, and one sporting event if possible.
  3. Include real schedules and fees for transportation.
  4. You can not use translators or copy and paste your text. 
  5. you must explain your choices and decisions.
  6. Your itineraries must be saved in powerpoint presentations saved as Backpacking_team#, and Flashpacking_team#.
  7. Both itineraries have to be mailed by the end of the class to
  8. Look at the Travel Channel and the Food Network for recommendations.
  9. Don't waste your time.
  • Team 1. Australia: Fridé, Luz, Sophie
  • Team 2. England, Scotland & Ireland: Paco, Sandra Rubio
  • Team 3. New Zealand: Lalo Castro, Betzabeth, Alex
  • Team 4. India. Gustavo, Karina, Tony
  • Team 5. Malasya and indonesia: Lalo Mejía, Saide, Dulce
  • Team 6. Vuetnam and Thailand: Jorge, Sandra, Julio
  • Team 7. Russia: Edgardo, Michelle, Victoria
  • Team 8. Finland, Sweeden, Norway: Esther, Vernice