Back Home and Back to Work
Hello everyone! How are you on this fine Saturday? I am glad you liked the virtual safari of Yala. Now I’m afraid the holiday’s over and it’s back to work. My first day back is tomorrow. I mustn’t grumble though as I have had a month off – that’s probably about what most people get in a whole year, right? I do appreciate it, honestly. It’s going to be a busy but interesting week ahead as we have eleven new members of the teaching team to induct, most of whom have just arrived in Colombo. I like meeting people when they’ve just arrived and seeing their first reactions to things. They somehow manage to inject a fresh lease of life into the workplace and into my own life, as they help me see things from a fresh perspective again. I’ll let you know how it goes in a few days’ time.
Anyway, I thought that as I am going back to work, I would set you all back to work too so there are two challenges today! Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do both but if you could attempt one of them that would be great. It would help Marcos as well. Incidentally, Marcos, are you OK? I do hope to hear from you very soon, as I’m sure all the other bloggers do too. So, first of all have a look at this analysis of Marcos’ writing and see what you can learn from it and whether you can help him improve some of his sentences.
Marcos’ Fortress piece
My main focus here will be cohesion – looking at the ‘glue’ you use to ‘stick’ the pieces of text together to make it cohesive. First of all Marcos, look at the narrative techniques you use to take us from one place to another:“As I told you before...”
“A note before I continue”
“There are many places that I like to go here. One of these is…” (This is a good opening sentence to a paragraph. What we teachers like to call a ‘topic sentence’. It tells us exactly what the paragraph is going to be about. Your use of referencing in the second sentence is quite sophisticated too. You have avoided repeating the noun phrase from the first sentence by using the pronoun “these”).
“Today, this “bridge” is a touristic place where you can see the sunset.” (This is a nice closing/summary sentence to end the paragraph with too).
“Other place that I like to go is the” (this is a good follow on from the previous topic sentence but you will have to change the first word for it to work).
These introductions to your paragraphs help us to navigate your text and make it easier for us to absorb the information, which would otherwise be quite dense.
Now let’s see what other treats you had for us. This is a lovely, evocative image you have painted for us, Marcos. “…difficult for the sun to hide itself completely among the clouds”. The idea of the sun hiding and the fact that it found it difficult too is a powerful image. Well done.
This is perhaps your most cohesive paragraph and a great way to close your post: “So, we have many fantastic places to go, beaches and delicious food… But there is one thing that I really love in this city: the people. I have been lived here for 16 years and, everyday, the people here surprising me. They are friendly, funny, talkative and helpful. Here you are never be alone!”
Now see what you can do to improve these sentences:
1. I will talk about the city I live: Fortaleza. (This is a nice continuation of your initial sentence to this paragraph but see if you can spot the missing word).
2. They were interested in cultivate sugar cane in this region.
3. The French also tried to take the control of a part of the territory (Brazil).
4. estimated that lived in Fortaleza 2.473.614 inhabitants in 2008.
5. Additionally, there is the global warming. (This is not a good way to end a paragraph. You are introducing a new point and then you don’t elaborate on it. In the next paragraph you talk about the places you like to go to, which is completely unconnected to your mention of global warming. Apart from this however, there is a grammatical issue. See if you can spot it).
6. The best beaches of the Ceará is not in here in Fortaleza.
7. Unhappiness, I’ve never been in Jeri.
8. As Adriana remembered commenting the last post..
In the title to this post I have used two expressions with 'back' in. See how many other phrases you can find and use with 'back'. (This challenge comes fomr the fact that I got a Brewer's Phrase and Fable dicitonary for Christmas and I figured we could make use of it in these blogs).:)
Now over to some of the other bloggers…..
Gordana – I really enjoyed your post about your South Africa trip. You managed to use lots of the collocations I had introduced in my post appropriately and accurately. Well done. You included plenty of detail as well which added colour to your writing. I loved lines like:
“... so I got to see a cheeky monkey staring at me while I was having a bath”
“I must say that buffet meals are right up my street” (though here I have to say I differ from you. After my trip I am totally buffeted out! I don’t want to see another buffet for at least 6 months.:) Sorry to hear about your husband but glad that he recovered).
Toni, Guzin, YPW, Rene – thanks for your posts about your trips too. Rene, be careful about the form of the words you use though. Look at these examples of incorrect usage (not in terms of meaning, but form) of the collocations:
“Fortunately we are always banged on target”
“it bode well..”
Hyoshil – unfortunately, no we didn’t see any leopards but you know what, it didn’t matter. When I go to wildlife parks/nature reserves, I go with the philosophy that we may want to see lots of exotic animals but they generally don’t want to see us and the very fact that I know they are around somewhere fills me with anticipation and that high is enough for me.
Your use of vocabulary in this post is really rather good. Take these excerpts for example:
“The icing of the cake was when…”
“My son was ecstatic..” (Good use of the word ecstatic. How many other ways do you know to say ‘very happy’?)
I agree, 8 pounds does seem extortionate – nice use of this word by the way. How many other ways do you know to say ‘very expensive’? (This is not just a question for Hyoshil).
Right, finally before I sign off and get an early night in preparation for my first day back at work, here’s an explanation of the uses of trip and journey for you:
Here are a couple of examples to start you off:
Our trip to Yala was really exciting. (The whole experience – from start to finish)
The journey down to Una was uneventful. (The time we spent in the car getting there)
Trip – a pleasure excursion/specially arranged journey for a particular purpose
Journey – any travel from one place to another
Bye for now,
Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite :)
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