Monday, March 9, 2015

Eminem - The Monster (Explicit) ft. Rihanna

A Wall of Words

Watch Video: A Wall of Words

Comprehension (After listening only) What do you think is happening in this video? What's the setting?
(After Watching) What are some common themes in the quotes people shared?

How long have they been married?
Who did her words come from?

What are you never fully dressed without?

Fill in the blank
01:06 So Just living in the ____________ and _____________ the day

01:22 Let the choices you make today be the choice you can ________ ________ _______.

01:27 A smile is ______________________

01:40 They ____________ ___________ who we are and they should ________ _____ __________.

Dictation (dictogloss style):
In a small group, work together to transcribe  the portion from 00:33 ~00:56
Works with your partner(s) to transcribe what is being said as accurately as possible. (transcription below)


Language learning

  • To make/give a toast:
    Here's to...
  • Best man: Maid of Honor, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids 
  • Live in the moment, Seize the day, carpe diem : 
  • Infectious: 
  • Post-it note, sticky note: 
  • Viewpoint, mindset:
Discussion Questions

  • Which of the quotes in the video did you especially like? 
  • What are your favorite quotes or sayings? 
  • What advice have you gotten that touched you or changed your viewpoint? Who gave you that advice to you? When? 
  • If you were to give a toast at the ENG250 opening reception, what would you say?
Speaking Practice
  Introduction to Google Translate using Minimal Pairs and Pronuncation Practice Sentences
  Try speaking the section that you wrote in the dictagloss into Google Translate.

Thirty years ago when we got married my grandfather was our best man and the toast that he gave after the wedding was “May you live as long as you love and love as long as you live”.

I wrote “Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle” because it came from a teacher who was struggling with cancer and  I figured if he could say a quote like
that then I can have a viewpoint like that with the small problems of life.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Song Analysis: The Monster (by Eminem and Rihanna)

One of my favorite new workout songs is 'The Monster', a duet between Rihanna and Eminem
Aside from the powerful rhythm and beat, the lyrics have a lot of depth and useful language phrases.

Useful Language:
  • 'beggars can't be choosy' (or beggars can't be choosers):   When you're given something, it's not right to be picky
  • for wanting my cake and eat it too:  to want things both ways - in this case fame and privacy
  • I'm getting so huge I need a shrink: 'so huge' means so popular.  'shrink' means a psychologist or mental therapist. 
  • My OCD is conking me in the head:  OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, conk means to hit. 
  • Don't shoot the messenger:  is used to tell someone not to get angry at the person delivering bad news
  • Maybe I need a straight jacket, face facts, I am nuts for real:  A straight jacket is a type of restraint used for patients in a mental hospital. 'face facts' means to confront the truth of a situation. To be 'nuts' is to be crazy. 
Discussion Questions
  • Who is 'the monster' in this song?
  • Who are the voices inside of his head saying?
  • What voices do you have inside your head?  What do they say?
  • Would you be willing to trade your privacy for fame?
  • What would you like/hate most about being famous?

Short Video: It's not about the Nail!

Many people feel there are gender differences in the way men and women discuss problems and how they hope their partners respond.  This video pokes fun at some of these differences.

Useful language phrases: 
  • right up on me
  • relentless:  something or someone that doesn't stop or give up
  • sweaters are snagged:  to snag something is to catch or tear (something) on a projection.  image
  • See, you're not listening now :  In the situation 'see' can be used to mean "That's an example of what I'm talking about"'. 
Discussion Questions: 

  • Have you experienced this kind of situation with the opposite gender?
  • If it's not 'about the nail', what is it about?
From   and

Complete Transcript: 

It’s just, there’s all this pressure, you know. And sometimes it feels like it’s right up on me and I can just feel it, like literally feel it in my head and it’s relentless and I don’t know if it’s gonna stop, I mean, that’s the thing that scares me the most, it’s that I don’t know if it’s ever gonna stop.

Ya. Wha-you do a have a nail in your head.

It is not about the nail.

Are you sure, because, I mean, I bet if we got that out of there —

Stop trying to fix it.

No, I’m not trying to fix it, I’m just pointing out that maybe the nail is causing —

You always do this – you always try to fix things when all I really need is for you to just listen.

No, see, I don’t that is what you need, I think what you need is to get the nail out –

See you're not even listening now!

Ok, fine. I will listen, fine.

It’s just – sometimes it’s like – there’s this achy. I don’t know what it is. And I’m not really sleeping very well at all. And all my sweaters are snagged. I mean – all of them.

That sounds really hard.

It is. Thank you.


Oh come on – If you would just –


Friday, February 27, 2015