Language for resolving conflict

This episode(90) is related to soft skills in the office but can also relate to personal conflicts with relatives, friends, neighbors etc.The language here is for how to approach conflict diplomatically to allow for a return to normalcy and productivity. How we say something, and the language we use can have an enormous impact on how quickly or effectively we resolve issues, difficulties and ultimately conflicts in the office. How do you resolve conflict?

Anything I miss? Check out part 2 on this topic: Neutralize the situation(91) Where I discuss even more language for approaching this situation.

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Painful learning lessons in Polish

I’ve tried to stay consistent but now with March under way I am finding it harder and harder as winter slowly reaches the finish line. My daily 40min efforts have lost their charm and now I am satisfied if I can get 30min in about 4-5 days a week. The dative case was boring – this is the case that focuses on the indirect object in a sentence, basically a lot of practice with the verbs ‘help,give, prevent, lend, introduce, to be against sth’ as you can imagine it’s as interesting as Polish politics. I finished it licking my wounds and have been now stuck on the Accusative case(Biernik) for over a month. It’s pretty bland and tasteless without any smiles to be had. I am crushed!

Listening my way out of boredom

It was during one of my conversation lessons I do with a friend where I expressed my frustration at all the exercises and how I was running out of patience and momentum with the diligent studying. He then mentioned that I should shift to more listening. Instantly I realized that it was a brilliant idea. My listening is absolute garbage, considering how long I’ve lived in this frozen tundra. So I inquired about some resources and BOOM there are some podcasts online that are available with a tape script too. Time to get my listening up to par.

Pushing through the A2 boundaries

I’m really hoping that this listening combined with my continued efforts on the exercise book will produce some damn fruit. A2 has kept me in lockdown and it’s been a struggle to reach B1 but I am going to keep fighting. I have a couple of advantages working here:

  1. I am a stubborn bastard
  2. I have left the easier cases for last 🙂
  3. I generally consider myself a good listener
  4. I am a stubborn shit

SO, as you can tell I have all the necessary tools and weapons to produce the desired results. Destiny awaits and I will be there to welcome it and give a fist pump in return. In the meantime, I have to figure out all these pronouns, plural endings, prepositions, as well as the perfect and imperfect aspect. Load of shit! but great fun! Sort of….

I own you Mianownik! – learning the Polish nominative case

So much damn fun

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement. It’s the nominative case so it’s meant to be the most straightforward. Most of the exercises for A1,A2 and B1 in Polish are becoming familiar with male,female and neutral gender nouns and then of course how all the endings of nouns, adjectives and verbs change based on the gender and of course if it is singular or plural. Doesn’t that just sound like so much damn fun? It isn’t. Ok just a little when you realize how many changes are taking place it’s hard to fathom what is really happening.

Smooth sailing at the start

Because of the A1 start the nouns are very easy at first as you can probably image, they are covering the very basics and having lived in Poland for so long it was easy but that didn’t mean I knew how the endings changed or what gender all the nouns were so that was the eye-opener. However, the authors of my grammar book are easing you into the language so it was nothing too mind-bending. That is, until I got to ‘podoba sie’ ouch!

It pleases me

That is podoba sie, but it has many variations and is used in sentences in a way that doesn’t translate to English easily. It’s actually fucking important too because it’s what Polish people use to express likes and dislikes so I kind of have to know it and be able to use it. I got pissed off initially with this, and though I did the exercises more than once I can firmly state that I don’t really know how to manipulate this saying properly yet, pathetic honestly!

Moving on

I am moving on to my fourth case now – Celownik! It’s komu? czemu? which to you means the dative case. It’s meant to help identify the object in the sentence, it’s crap basically but I am extremely motivated and determined. As a language teacher myself I am acutely aware of the high stakes language learning entails and so I am not shying away from komu czemu, Let’s do it!

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Culture Lesson: Greetings

This week’s episode focuses on culture and specifically ‘Greetings’. These are my favorite kind of episodes because culture is such an integral part of learning a language and most language courses don’t cover it properly. There is not much language in this episode and that is on purpose. With culture it’s about raising awareness with certain communication made in the language that culture speaks. The most important factor is not only how English speakers greet but also how it can vary from country to country and even regions within those countries. I have provided the examples I have come across in my time traveling and working as a teacher of English. The essence here is that ‘How are you?’ in English is not a real question like it may be in other languages and cultures. In Poland for example, this is a real question that requires coffee and a sit down chat to answer. While in English this question simply means ‘Hi’. The same applies to other greetings. What’s up? How are ya? You alright?(Br) How ya going? (Australia) Yo, Hey, How ya doing? Etc. This awareness is important because my students have expressed frustration with this when initiating a conversation with someone or just simply acknowledging them. So I thought it would be important to cover it. I hope you find it valuable and share your thought on other cultural differences you have encountered in the comments section.

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Teaching quality in English – ESL lesson idea

This episode covers language and lesson tips for ESL teachers to adapt in their classroom. Versatile, flexible and for many different levels this topic is easy to discuss and teach and also incredibly fast to prepare. If you need additional info on this lesson idea you can find a written step by step description of the lesson and more here. Also, here is a spidergram with all the relevant vocabulary on this topic.

Vocabulary

superior/inferior, outstanding, top, durable, reliable, unique, long-lasting, poor, genuine, handmade, brand, well-designed,

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Speaking about the future: ESL lesson ideas and language

Living in the information age, makes this lesson idea a no-brainer. It means that every ESL teacher should be doing it and just adapting it for their class accordingly. All students will want to contribute and have something to say about this and teachers can cover numerous areas regarding technology, discoveries, inventions and what might be possible in the not-too-distant future. The idea here is speaking and vocabulary of which there is plenty!

This episode covers topics, language and activities an ESL teacher can use in a lesson about the future. No materials needed and extremely effective for students to extensively practice expressing the future correctly. Any of the ideas can be used on their own and the lesson idea provides a further outline. Enjoy and hope it’s helpful.

Language covered: Future tenses, future expressions, words for planning

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Dopełniacz has been vanquished – well, sort of

This is chronicling my attempt to learn the Polish language. You can find my first post here.

The battle rages and the fight continues. Dopełniacz the hardest case to learn as far as I am concerned has temporarily been defeated and subdued.

It took me over a month to complete the A1,A2 and B1 sections of the case in my Polish grammar book. The exercises were constant and seemed to be never-ending. To top it off, the endings for this case are also never-ending! Jesus! I kept getting hammered night after night, my 40min routine has now become a ritual after about 3 months. Dopełniacz kept fighting back telling me ‘Quit dude, this shit aint for you! I am too complicated and my rules are well, I got no rules fool! So get lost’.

It was, sometimes quite humorous while doing the exercises, especially on food items and how their endings change depending on the amounts you wish to buy, weight, liters etc. Those endings were absolutely insane but I was rewarded towards the end of the unit when I came to learning the endings for numbers and months when referring to dates and times. That was a piece of cake since it all ends in -ego. Fun!

Finally, I got to cover the family tree and all the extended family members which was quite straightforward. With that said, the war is just heating up and I’m on my way to Mianownik now. I’ve been forever altered mentally with my Dopełniacz experience and I am also fully aware that I must return to it for revision sooner rather than later, otherwise I, will become the vanquished and there will be no comeback.

I am a fighter! I got endurance and eat healthily. This language is kicking me in the nuts but my confidence hasn’t wavered much, it has been shaken at times. Some evenings I question the purpose of this self-inflicting damage but I always come back for more.

Mianownik, I’m ready and standing by for more!

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Security and Privacy lesson

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This episode(98) covers vocabulary that can be used for an ESL lesson idea. The topic is incredibly relevant and current while also providing plenty of opportunity for speaking practice expressing personal preferences, justifying opinions and debating issues.
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