Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Teaching with horoscopes

By Chris Winnen

Horoscopes are great way to improve and practice your English. They are available everywhere and it is a subject that almost everybody likes to talk about. Why not organize a regular weekly meeting with some fellow students where you can look at your stars together. Try to analyze the language that is used in horscopes. Once you understand how they work, you will never be short of someone to practice with.

Everyone likes to have his or her fortune told, and it is great way to apply all the new vocabulary that you learn. Of course, you do not have to read only the stars. Sometimes it is much more convenient to read palms or analyze handwriting. All the same language rules apply.

Remember that most verbs you come across in horoscopes will be in second person imperative form. When you come across a new verb, categorize it byhow many words it contains (one, two or three) and record it with at least two other example sentences in your vocabulary book. Try using the new verb in different situations. Try first person past, second person conditional and third person negative, then get a teacher to check that your sentences are correct. Look for new adjectives. There should be lots of these that describe your feelings and emotions. Note how these collocate with other words and keep a written record of them. If you see some very general sentences that could really be applicable to anybody, then make a note of those, too.

These kind of vague statements come in very useful when you are telling fortunes yourself. Here are a few of the kind of sentences that I am talking about.

1. Don't lend money to friends or family.
2. This is a good time to join a group or a club.
3. Dilemmas can be overcome with open, honest communication.
4. Be careful not to upset someone you love.
5. Be careful what you eat.
6. Don't be afraid to make new friends.
7. You are very attractive to the opposite sex at the moment.
8. Don't be afraid to try new things.

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