Tag Archives: technology

Autumn Look Book

I luuurve autumn!

I know, some of you are still clinging holding on tightly on to the last sunny days but I am a bit warped strange like that. I really look forward to the weather changing and I  am on the look out for beautiful leaves which have fallen to my feet in a range of colours. The sky does amazing things and the best thing of all is, when the mist accompanies me on my way into the city of Berlin to my language learning ladies.

autumnlookbook Source: Dollar Photo Club  Continue reading Autumn Look Book 

Language Practice Paralysis

So this week we have had a junior school French exchange student here, staying with us as part of a fabulous school initiative, only the problem is that I don’t really speak much French and the 10 year old girl, G does not speak much German yet either, or English. Both of the children have only been learning German and French respectively since late summer last year. Talk about ‘in at the deep end!”.
Continue reading Language Practice Paralysis

Girl Gadgets To Go

This girl never ‘got’ Barbie, wanted a voodoo doll called Ken and used to hate the itchy twistedness of dresses, but I have to confess, there is one element of being a girl that makes me very stereotypical – I luuurve accessories.

IFACollage

IFA Berlin was an unmissable opportunity although originally I was looking for new approaches to create and deliver learning content in video, audio, app or other formats but of course that is software – earth to Corinne!

So in a desperate attempt to escape the whiter than white glare of those gruesome domestic appliances I found myself being seduced by bags, headsets and speakers that any connected girl on the go would find hard to resist.

My first OMG moment hit me when I came across these very cool bags, a French company, with a strong bias towards camera equipment had diversified to accommodate flater technology. Case Logic is their name and I was particularly taken by the gorgeously purple messenger bag. Functional in a funky colour, that works for me.

The Golla stand was creating quite a buzz, so of course I was drawn in too, their bags are just too delicious not to stroke and were the only bags at the IFA that coincidentally managed to be functional, the designs were to die for in natural colours, beautiful soft browns, blues and a hue of mustard. Corinna Crone who told me about the companies Finnish origins, had the cutest little ‘barest essentials bag’ with easy access to your phone and enough space for keys, a mini stash of cash and a credit card and perhaps headphones. Very discrete and mimimalistic.

Holland‘s fresh n rebble brand made a more colourful impression, I was kinda taken by the loud speakers on a climbing clip, this one was in hot pink but there were others in green, grey and baby blue.

Now as you know I like to combine language learning with sport to lubricate the brain and give us an excuse to get outdoors for a change of scenery so it will not come as a surprise that I was drawn to the pathetically disappointing sport area and the Fitbug stand. They have created a device to track movement, and even sleep so if you like it is like a digital coach to keep me on track. What I liked about it is that I can wear it on my wrist but if I prefer I can also wear it as a necklace, in my pocket or even attached to my underwear. I’ll update you in another blog about how I get on.

Having taken a break from bright shiny objects, I checked out the stand for the Deutsche Start Ups, to listen to a panel discussion about start ups. It was interesting to hear what they had to say about giving start ups more presence in Germany and I was inspired by the question “Why aren’t kids learning to code at school?” valid point. As I was leaving, there was something I was taken by. Now I am not always very disciplined when it comes to charging my devices and perhaps you ought to know that I like to be in touch with nature from time to time, I’m an outdoor kinda girl.  So what caught my eye was a way to charge your devices on the go by using a solar panel on a key ring, now that addresses my kinda planning style.  Check em out Click – Store – Charge can be found at clicc.de after I really ought not neglect the German tech teams.

For those of you that listen to podcasts or music from your phone in the way home,  with your phone clinched to your chin or shoulder like you have a stiff neck, well help is at hand. I think you’ll love listening to these little creatures, they are just a tad bigger than a golf ball and plug into your device for a fun and upbeat way to listen to music or podcasts – perhaps the members of the Byte Sized English Club podcasts and webinars on the go. The Kitsound crew kindly gave me an owl to escort me home which I have already become quite attached to. They are really colourful and upbeat, with winter designs coming out soon in case you are looking for stocking fillers, including an alien, fox and snowman.

So although I went with other intentions, I had a good day exploring, hope you enjoyed my little IFA update from a non techy and slightly girly perspective. I had hoped to report on Jugend IFA but quite frankly it was too dull to warrant a blog post, better luck next year.

#ifa #technology #device #fitness

Rain Idioms to describe your project

As I sit here pondering on the sanity of going camping in the pouring rain, I started chuckling about one of those crazy conversations that I had with my students not so long ago.

You see on a rainy day, on the corporate English circuit as language trainers grab their brollies (umbrellas) to make it across the city for the next group or one to one coaching session, I as a Brit couldn’t help but cringe as I walked in the door to be greeted to some groan inducing remark about ‘typical English weather’. Now being a Brit “Stiff Upper Lip” and all that, I was raised to smile and ignore and don’t get me wrong, I am all for small talk, in fact my students know that I insist on it, and have even been known to walk out of the room for absence of it, but my mid afternoon, the joke’s wearing pretty thin and the need for a coffee is stronger than ever.

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So one day in Munich, my last teaching gig of the day was at Roland Berger and I make no qualms about it, these were my favourite students at the time, I used to really enjoy this lesson! It was my favourite afternoon but I was determined to fast track past the ‘typical English weather’ comments, so before anybody could say anything, I said,

“Oh my goodness! It’s raining cats and dogs out there!” to which the mog (affectionate name for cat) loving secretary, whose English wasn’t at it’s best, looked horrified. Now of course there weren’t really cats and dogs falling out of the sky, but the drops were mighty big, like they can be in Munich.

The head of department did me proud and without a bat of an eyelid (without even thinking) said “It never rains, it pours!”, now this was fabulous, I desperately searched my human hard drive for more rain idioms to fuel our silly dialogue and came up with “But, it’s ok, don’t worry about me…”, with a theatrical attempt to get my frizzcharged curls under control, “I’m as right as rain” (meaning I am perfectly fine).

Now, the timing couldn’t have been better, but in came a consultant and said without even realising that we were having a rain idiom banter, “Think we need a rain check on the beer garden idea!” to which I asked, egging him on to go along with our impromptu sketch “But you will let Walther know when you’ll meet, won’t you?” with eyebrows in a frenzy “Come Rain or Shine!” (no matter what, come what may, in any case).

I thought I had escaped but then just as the consultant left, in came another colleague I used to teach and said “Perfect weather for you Corinne!” Agggghhhh. But the tears of laughter mixed with the splashes I had yet to control minimised the groan factor and we went on to talk about other idioms

It turned out that the youngest girl on the team hadn’t saved for a rainy day and was in a fix after her car had failed the MOT or regular safety checks. That tied in perfectly with my topic of the day, conditionals.

In terms of technology it might feel odd using idioms yourself when you are originally introduced to them, I feel the same with German ones, particularly as I don’t want to get the prepositions wrong but as you become more familiar with them and hear them being used more frequently, they won’t sound so unfamiliar and you can have a lot of fun with idioms.

Technology project tasks sometimes have to be ‘put on the back burner’ or put on hold whilst another part of the project takes priority and that is when we are likely to say that we’ll have to take a rain check on going out for a drink after work.

HOW TO GET MORE ENGLISH PRACTICE

If you want to start using your English more actively without having to join a regular evening class, or ask for training at work, then why not try out an online chat/discussion forum like the one that we have in our facebook group. Even though you are not actually ‘speaking’ English, as you post more often, you’ll automatically start to type faster so you’ll start using a more authentic writing style that makes speaking a lot easier because it is very similar, but you still have the ‘safe haven’ of being to able to go back and edit anything before you post if you want to.

The FB Byte Sized English Bar is a great way to boost confidence in your language skills without anybody at work having to know that you are getting help with your English, so if you want to ask whether the way you have written something is correct, then share it with us and we’ll help you get it right before you send out the email, we’ll find a diplomatic way for you to explain for instance that the project is to far down the line to accept new change requests or that the fees involved are not negotiable. You can also work on your grammar through the regular quizzes and other activities or join in on the career specific discussions that come up.

A lot of the time we are there without an agenda or purpose, it is more like a girlie tech zone for us to be ourselves, communicating and helping each other in English at a time and space to suit us. Why not try it out for just €1 by filling in the form below