Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), investigator of an ice-pick murder, is lured into a seductive game by prime suspect, novelist Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone). Dr. Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), police psychologist, warns him she is a psychopath.
Ο ντετέκτιβ Νικ Κάραν (Μάικλ Ντάγκλας) ερευνά τον φόνο με παγοκόφτη και η κυρίως ύποπτη, συγγραφέας Κάθριν Τρεμέλ (Σάρον Στόουν) τον προσκαλεί σε ένα παιχνίδι αποπλάνησης. Η Δρ. Μπεθ Γκάρνερ (Τζιν Τρίπλχορν), ψυχολόγος του τμήματος, τον προειδοποιεί ότι είναι ψυχοπαθής.
From the opening murder scene to the car chase and the graphic sex scenes, the movie carefully builds the tension. However, the ending was frustrating because it is not crystal clear who the murderer was, since every shred of evidence supports two different conclusions! Catherine is a great Hitchcock heroine; blond, icy, desirable. The infamous interrogation scene skyrocketed Sharon Stone to stardom.
Από την αρχική σκηνή του φόνου, στις σκηνές καταδίωξης και τις προκλητικές σκηνές σεξ, η ταινία προσεκτικά χτίζει την αγωνία. Ωστόσο, το τέλος ήταν απογοητευτικό καθώς δεν είναι ξεκάθαρο το ποιος είναι ο δολοφόνος, αφού κάθε στοιχείο υποστηρίζει δύο διαφορετικά συμπεράσματα! Η Κάθριν είναι μία χιτσκοκική ηρωίδα, ξανθιά, κρύα, επιθυμητή. Η περίφημη σκηνή της ανάκρισης έκανε την Σάρον Στόουν σταρ.
Starring: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Grammar is necessary. Absolutely necessary. You cannot learn a language without learning the patterns and the mechanisms of the language.
If you went to live in a foreign country and just hear the spoken language non-stop every day, you could probably pick up the language. But learning and studying a language in another environment with three or four lessons a week is a different story. But if you don’t stay in English-speaking countries, you’ve got to have an understanding of the mechanics of the language by reading the rules, understanding the rules,doing grammar exercises, going from theory into practice. The more you practise the better results you have.
The learning of grammar is considered as a time-consuming procedure which would deprive students from acquiring the skills necessary to communicate – or so some people think.
How can you produce a grammatical sentence when you ignore the mechanisms of the language? A grammatical sentence is one in which the meaning is made clear. If a sentence is grammatically incorrect, the meaning will not be made clear and communication will not be complete.
To sum up, communication depends on grammar. There is probably no way to achieve the former without having acquired the latter.
Aboard a cruise ship, Nigel (Hugh Grant) and Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) meet another married couple, Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner) and Oscar (Peter Coyote). Nigel tolerates Oscar’s obscene narration of his marriage, for a night with Mimi. When Nigel wants out, Fiona joins in.
Στο κρουαζιερόπλοιο, ο Νάιτζελ (Χιου Γκραντ) και η Φιόνα (Κριστίν Σκοτ Τόμας) συναντούν ένα άλλο παντρεμένο ζευγάρι, την Μιμί (Εμμανουέλ Σενιέ) και τον Όσκαρ (Πίτερ Κογιότ). Ο Νάιτζελ ανέχεται την αφήγηση του Όσκαρ για την σχέση του με την Μιμί, για μία νύχτα μαζί της. Όταν ο Νάιτζελ θέλει να ξεφύγει από το παιχνίδι τους, η Φιόνα παίρνει μέρος.
Without having read the same-titled book by Pascal Bruckner, I would say the story in its extremes is a parable about marital life. In flashbacks we watch a passionate love story turning into a marriage of convenience, with all the stages in between; the infatuation, the boredom, the power games (taking turns in humiliating the other), the cheating and the hardest reality of all; needing the other.
Χωρίς να έχω διαβάσει το ομότιτλο βιβλίο από τον Πασκάλ Μπρυκνέρ, θα έλεγα ότι -αν και υπερβολική- η ιστορία αποτελεί μία παραβολή για την συζυγική ζωή. Σε φλάσμπακ βλέπουμε μία παθιασμένη ερωτική ιστορία να μετατρέπεται σε γάμο συμφέροντος, με όλα τα ενδιάμεσα στάδια: την ακατανίκητη έλξη, την βαριεστιμάρα, τα παιχνίδια εξουσίας (εξευτελίζοντας ο ένας τον άλλον), την απιστία και την σκληρότερη αλήθεια, το να χρειάζεσαι τον άλλον.
We were developing a narcotic dependence on television, the marital aid that enables a couple to endure each other, without having to talk. – Oscar
Starring: Peter Coyote, Emmanuelle Seigner, Hugh Grant, Kristin Scott Thomas
Written by: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach, John Brownjohn, Pascal Bruckner (novel)
The global dominance of English means more and more parents want their children to start learning the language earlier. But teaching young learners is very different from teaching adults. For one thing, children learn much faster, but have far shorter attention spans. This means that teachers need to approach lessons in a completely different way, if they are to tune into the children in front of them.
One of the most important things to remember is that most young learners (from five to nine) will be in class at their parents’ request, not because they want to. Even older children (from nine to twelve), and those in national curriculums, will be there for reasons other than personal choice.
It’s vital therefore to make classroom sessions dynamic and stimulating for both learners and teacher. Lessons should be fun and based on the children’s interests and individual personalities.
Let me begin by explaining (briefly!) how children’s minds work. Children are totally receptive to the environment around them and they learn incredibly quickly. As they get older, the speed with which they acquire knowledge slows, but they learn faster than adults well into their late teens.
The reason is because they use all their senses. They are not just working in the cognitive sphere, which is what poor adults often end up doing. Unlike grown-ups, they have not yet selected their preferred mode of receptivity. All their senses of perception are open, and take in vast quantities of information.
Moreover children under seven have no preferences as to which side of their brain they use. Like the body, the brain has two sides. The left part of the body is described as feminine, the right masculine. In the brain, the left side is analytical, the right is creative. After children reach seven, the rigours and discipline of academic learning slowly erode the use of the right brain for acquiring knowledge.
Consequently, most information is taken in by the analytical half of the brain. But this need not to be a restriction. When children are playing or relaxing, it’s often the right side of the brain that is at work. Teachers can take advantage of this play-mode to impart new vocabulary or spellings. Physical actions involve all the senses and as such should be a part of many activities within a learning programme.
It follows that, to maximise knowledge acquisition, the classroom environment should be tailored to the needs and wants of young learners. Encourage them to bring in representations of their daily lives and collect pictures/posters of well-known local and international characters and musicians, places, family, sports, leisure and hobbies so the children feel totally at home in the classroom.
Colour is very important; pastel shades, such as gentle pinks, are very calming – excellent for unruly classes – as are plants at least once the “What’s that doing in here?” and “What’s it for?” have all died down.
Once you are confident you have created an atmosphere conducive to learning, you can concentrate on your teaching approach. Here, it’s very important to engender an idea of togetherness and similarity of environment that learners can relate to. Avoid focusing on differences, particularly cultural ones. Remember, children have only their small world as a point of reference – often they do not notice distinction between colour, race or custom, but merely accept them. Moreover distinctions are the creation of adults, so we should be careful not to inflict our preconceptions and prejudices on children.
Like everything else in the young learners’ class, the teacher’s approach to projects or “tasks” must be tailored accordingly. The task at hand, rather than the language, is always the focus for the child. Activities which are multi-sensory will help children use both hemispheres of their brain when completing tasks. Language is absorbed while involved in doing.
Tasks should not be long and laborious. Make sure there is a definite outcome, and that learners have the opportunity to be proud of their work and interested in its presentation and display.
Tasks should encourage laughter – after all, we readily remember things we associate with happiness – so use materials that are funny: pictures that cause laughter, poems and stories which are fun, and situations and themes which cause amusement.
There is no need with young learners to limit your space to a desk or table. Each element in the classroom can be used to enhance the learning experience of the children. So use the floor, share the board, and ensure that you keep your sitting-down time to a minimum. Remember that young children have an extremely short attention span, and a change of pace or environment, however small, is often all you need to re-focus the child’s attention. And attentiveness is vital if both parties are to gain the maximum benefit from the session in class.
Let the children take decisions as to what they want to do within your framework. This means being prepared for the session ahead, but also working as a team, not as a teacher. Remember that the child may choose not to respond to begin with. Don’t worry. Be patient and results, when they appear, will be good.
Finally, as a teacher of young learners, you will be faced with one last, and often major difficulty – the expectations of parents. Parents are often unaware of learning patterns of children, and will expect to see tangible progress in left brain work; grammar and writing. Your job will be to convince them that progress should be measured in terms of work done rather than results of tests. Be sure that the parents see their children’s work – present it visually and label it in English, as they are hungry to see that their child is making progress.
John Brown is a freelance trainer/teacher & EFL market consultant
When Laure (Rebecca Romijn), a jewel thief, is mistaken for widower Lily (Rebecca Romijn), she grabs the chance to leave Paris. Years later paparazzo Nicolas Bardo (Antonio Banderas) takes a photo of the wife of the new American ambassador Watts (Peter Coyote), of Laure that is.
Όταν την Λώρα (Ρεμπέκα Ρόμιν), κλέφτρα διαμαντιών, την μπερδεύουν για την χήρα Λίλυ (Ρεμπέκα Ρόμιν), βρίσκει την ευκαιρία να φύγει από το Παρίσι. Χρόνια αργότερα ο παπαράτσι Νίκολας Μπαρντό (Αντόνιο Μπαντέρας) βγάζει την φωτογραφία της γυναίκας του νέου Αμερικανού πρέσβη Γουότς (Πίτερ Κογιότ), δηλαδή της Λώρας.
If ‘femme fatale’ is a woman who is conniving, vengeful, drop-dead gorgeous seductress, and leads to his destruction every man she crosses paths with, then Romijn’s character has succeeded. But the movie –with the exception of the very good music score by Ryuichi Sakamoto – has failed; it gives the impression of watching fashion editorial rather than a structured, coherent movie with a plausible plot.
Αν με τον όρο ‘μοιραία γυναίκα’ εννοούμε μία γυναίκα δολοπλόκα, εκδικητική, αφοπλιστικά σέξι, που οδηγεί στην καταστροφή κάθε άντρα που συναντά, τότε ο χαρακτήρας της Ρόμιν είναι πετυχημένος. Όμως η ταινία –με εξαίρεση την μουσική επένδυση του Ryuichi Sakamoto- είναι αποτυχημένη. Νομίζεις ότι παρακολουθείς ένα εντιτόριαλ μόδας αντί μία δομημένη ταινία με αληθοφανή πλοκή.
Starring: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote
Of the four language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – most learners probably rate the last two as the most important. Being able to communicate verbally is the first aim of most students. In many cases, reading and writing are never mastered properly.
Contrary to its historic labelling as a “passive skill”, listening is very much an active process. Even non-reciprocal listening, where one is not required to give a reply, still demands that the listener comprehend, interpret, react and respond to what is being said. If we are to teach listening skills successfully, I believe we need to begin by focusing on why we listen in our own native language, and then apply these lessons to the language classroom.
Interest and a purpose are the main reasons we listen. It follows therefore that we are motivated to listen for the same reasons in a foreign language. But is this always taken into account in the language classroom? And, if not, could this be why many students find listening difficult?
To answer these questions, we need to know how students listen. In their book Listening (OUP), Anne Anderson and Tony Lynch argue that the process of listening involves two different types of knowledge: background – in other words, life experience – and linguistic. They compare listening to a process of “model building”, which involves the “active interpretation and the integration of incoming information with their prior knowledge and experience“.
If we agree with Anderson and Lynch, we can start to see the difficulty: that students from different cultural backgrounds bring with them different background knowledge. This can create various problems: for instance, if you tell a multi-lingual class that they are going to hear a conversation in which a teenage daughter asks her mother if she can go on holiday with friends, the students’ expectations about what will be said will differ greatly. One way to deal with this is to create appropriate pre-listening activities, which give students the opportunity to predict what they are going to hear. In this way we can ensure the class has common expectations of the content and so lessen potential interpretation and comprehension difficulties.
By the same token we should set tasks which reflect the content of the listening, thereby helping students orientate to what they are going to hear. If, for example, we prepare a listening activity in which little or no information is being exchanged, such as an informal conversation between friends, the task should involve discovering the relationship between the speakers.
Post-listening activities are also very important. As well as interpretation and comprehension, listening involves reacting and responding. Teachers should, therefore, provide students with a post-activity which gives them the chance to express their own opinions and ideas.
Students, of course, have a range of explanations as to why they find listening difficult. They tend to blame the linguistic elements of the activity. However, as we have seen, the subject matter, the task itself, and cultural considerations, can all create blocks to successful listening. Linguistic matters are just one element of a wider picture, and again the key is to provide as much support as possible.
We should ensure the linguistic content of each activity is graded according to the language level of the students. We can also provide additional assistance with tasks that address particular areas of difficulty in listening, for example, those which deal with phonological work or referring expressions.
In a building site in Tehran, Lateef (Hossein Abedini) is the tea boy and small Rahmat (Zahra Bahrami) carries cement sacks. Memar (Mohammad Amir Naji), the construction boss, decides the two boys should switch jobs. Lateef acts vengefully, until Rahmat’s secret is revealed.
Σε μία οικοδομή στην Τεχεράνη, ο Λατίφ (Χουσείν Αμπεντίνι) φέρνει το τσάι στους οικοδόμους και ο μικροκαμωμένος Ραχμάτ (Ζαχρά Μπαχραμί) κουβαλά σάκους τσιμέντου. Ο Μεμάρ (Μοχάμαντ Αμίρ Ναγί), ο εργολάβος, αποφασίζει τα δύο αγόρια να ανταλλάξουν θέσεις. Ο Λατίφ συμπεριφέρεται εκδικητικά, μέχρι να αποκαλυφθεί το μυστικό του Ραχμάτ.
Speaking last week of understanding the different, I picked to watch a film from the award-winning Iranian director Majid Majidi, whose films are known to have a poetic feel. Indeed, there is a certain poetry watching Lateef transform from a selfish, hot-headed teenage boy into a noble man through the power of love. In contrast to the western movies, it is light on dialogue. And yet, it is very powerful!
Μιλώντας την προηγούμενη εβδομάδα για το διαφορετικό, διάλεξα ένα φιλμ από τον βραβευμένο Ιρανό σκηνοθέτη Μαγίντ Μαγίντι, του οποίου οι ταινίες έχουν μία ποιητική αίσθηση. Όντως, υπάρχει ποίηση στο να παρακολουθείς τον εγωιστή, οξύθυμο έφηβο Λατίφ να μεταμορφώνεται σε ανιδιοτελή άντρα μέσω της δύναμης της αγάπης. Σε αντίθεση με τις δυτικές ταινίες, οι διάλογοι της ταινίας είναι ελάχιστοι. Ίσως όμως για αυτό να είναι τόσο δυνατή!
Starring: Hossein Abedini, Zahra Bahrami, Mohammad Amir Naji
They fill learners with dread and intimidate teachers. At first glance, they seem harmless, but they hide behind a plethora of different identities, and the appearance of just one can be enough to stymie all attempts to understand a seemingly obviously passage. Most dangerous are those which disguise their presence by spreading themselves so thinly across a sentence that even judicious use of a dictionary fails to unearth them. These are phrasal verbs, the scourge of the language classroom.
Students battle with phrasal verbs for two reasons: because their meaning is often completely different to the meaning of the individual words that make them up; and because of the way they work structurally with other parts of the language system. Teachers struggle to teach them systematically because they are daunted by the range of terminology in grammar textbooks and other reference material.
We’ll begin with a useful verb for beginners: to put. Students quickly learn this means “to move something into a particular place or position” (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary – OALD). They realise equally quickly that it’s followed by a direct object (for example, the book), and a prepositional phrase indicating the place where the object was put (for example, on the desk), thus: “I put the book on the desk.”
Later they will learn that by adding the word up after the verb, they create a new meaning – “to raise something or put it in a higher position” (OALD) – for example: “I put up some shelves yesterday.” If they’re on the ball, they may find out at the same time that the adverb particle is movable, and so we can also say: “I put some shelves up yesterday.” Anxious to practise their new knowledge, the students may attempt the following type of interaction:
Student 1: “I put some shelves up yesterday.” Student 2: “Where did you put up them?”
If their teacher overhears, he or she will point out an early rule about phrasal verbs: that the advert particle must come after the pronoun, thus: “Where did you put them up?” This rule will be reinforced in class by the teacher saying: “When you are ready, put your hands up”, or “put up your hands”. Consequently, the students should soon have no difficulty with the following:
Student 1: “I put my hair up yesterday”, or “I put up my hair yesterday”. Student 2: “Why did you put it up?” Student 1: “Because I was going to a party.
This is a very common pattern of phrasal verbs use which teachers would do well to point out and students would do well to note and practise. Sooner or later, our hypothetical learners will be reading a text and come across something like this:
“Sally rang her brother in London that evening. ‘Hi Jim,’ she said. ‘Listen, I’m coming to London tomorrow for work. Could you put me up for the night?'”
The students may fell perplexed and why Sally might want her brother to raise her into a higher position for a night in London! But it’s more likely that they will either infer the meaning from the context, or look it up in a dictionary, and find that it means “to provide food and accommodation for somebody in one’s own house” (OALD).
But that doesn’t mean they know all there is to know about that construction. Sooner or later they will realise that, in current British English, it’s more common to say: “I’m putting Sally up for the night“, than “I’m putting up Sally for the night“. Here, the students are dipping their toes into the deep waters of idiomatic English, quite far removed from the literal meaning of the words as used in “putting up a shelf”.
As time goes on, our putative students, now at intermediate level, may come across something like this: “The situation in the office gets worse every day – I really can’t put up with this any more.” The good learners may be able to work out the meaning from the context, but the others will probably be at a loss because the words themselves (put = head verb; up = advert particle; with = preposition) reveal nothing of the meaning. If they have a decent dictionary, they may find out that it means “to tolerate or bear something or somebody” (OALD). Here, the learners are coming across a third kind of phrasal verb which, like the previous example, is idiomatic in meaning.
By now we should be starting to realise the difficulties of comprehension facing our learners. After all, a student can plausible encounter all of the following within a very short space of time:
“Peter put up the shelves with his brother on Friday night.”
“Peter put his brother up on Friday night.”
“After Friday night, Peter can no longer put up with his brother.”
And still we are only scratching the surface, because “put+up” has yet other meanings!
It’s important that both teachers and students realise that if learners are to sound natural and colloquial in their speech, they must master phrasal verbs. What native speaker uses “tolerate” or “endure” when talking normally? “Put up with” is the term anyone who speaks ‘proper’ English uses. Moreover, once students have a good command of these tricky features, they will radically improve the quality of their English in general.
Unfortunately, there are no easy options here. The only way to get to grips with phrasal verbs is through hard graft – and this is particularly true of students learning English in their own countries, where they have zero exposure to these constructions outside the classroom.
Shooting from the lip
How can teachers help students and students help themselves to improve their understanding and use of phrasal verbs? I have constructed the following “advice table” for both teachers and students.
Don’t blind students with lots of complicated terminology, especially at lower levels.
Give students classroom tasks which will allow them to activate the phrasal verbs they know in an interactive way, rather than just through traditional gap-fill multiple-choice exercises.
Set tasks which allow students to read extensively and so come across phrasal verbs in context. Encourage inference.
Encourage students to create systematic notebooks or file sections*.
Don’t worry about the complicated terminology you will find in grammars and other reference books. It can wait.
Record the phrasal verbs you come across in a systematic way in a special notebook of section of your file*.
Try to find opportunities to use the phrasal verbs you know; periodically test yourself to see if you know the phrasal verbs in a particular section of your notebook or file.
Read widely and note down phrasal verbs whenever you come across them; always try to work out the meaning from the context before using a dictionary.
*Students are usually encouraged to record phrasal verbs by putting the head verb (e.g. “put”) at the top of the page, followed by phrasal verbs encountered, with examples. It may be much more helpful to list them under particles (e.g. “off”, “up”) so that the semantic similarity is evident.
David A Hill is an English Teaching Adviser.
This article first appeared in the Guardian Weekly.
Detectives (Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle) crash on their way to a crime scene, a couple (Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser) are carjacked, another couple (Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard) are pulled over by cops (Matt Dillon, Ryan Philippe) who abuse their power, two teenagers (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Larenz Tate) wander the city and steal cars, a small-store owner (Shaun Toub) buys a gun for protection and a locksmith (Michael Peña) tries to do his job and protect his family in an intolerant society. All those people are intertwined in a web of racial prejudice where the roles of victims and victimizers often reverse.
Οι ντετέκτιβ (Jennifer Esposito, Don Cheadle) τρακάρουν καθοδόν για τον τόπο ενός εγκλήματος, ένα ζευγάρι (Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser) πέφτει θύμα βίαιας κλοπής αυτοκινήτου, ένα άλλο ζευγάρι (Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard) γίνεται θύμα κατάχρησης εξουσίας από δύο αστυνομικούς (Matt Dillon, Ryan Philippe), δύο έφηβοι (Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Larenz Tate) περιφέρονται στην πόλη κλέβοντας αυτοκίνητα, ο ιδιοκτήτης ενός μικρού μαγαζιού (Shaun Toub) αγοράζει όπλο για προστασία κι ένας κλειδαράς (Michael Peña) προσπαθεί να κάνει την δουλειά του και να προστατέψει την οικογένειά του σε μία κοινωνία μη ανεκτική εναντίον του διαφορετικού. Όλοι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι μπλέκονται σε ένα κουβάρι φυλετικών προκαταλήψεων όπου οι ρόλοι του θύματος και του θύτη συχνά εναλλάσσονται.
With all those different plotlines I thought the film would be chaotic, difficult to follow. But to my surprise, the movie is great –totally worthy the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing. I loved how it approached the sensitive topic of racial prejudice without falling into the trap of thinking in terms of “either/or”. There is good and bad in every character and director and writer Paul Haggis is more concerned of understanding their behavior than judging them. Thus, the audience learns to focus on what we have in common; pain, for instance, is universal.
Με όλες αυτές τις διαφορετικές ιστορίες νόμιζα ότι θα έβλεπα ένα φιλμ χαοτικό, δύσκολο να το παρακολουθήσω. Προς έκπληξή μου, η ταινία είναι εξαιρετική – απολύτως άξια για τα Όσκαρ Καλύτερης Ταινίας και Καλύτερου Σεναρίου. Λάτρεψα πώς προσέγγισε το ευαίσθητο θέμα της φυλετικής προκατάληψης χωρίς να πέφτει στην παγίδα να σκέφτεται με διχοτομικούς όρους. Το καλό και το κακό ενυπάρχει στον κάθε χαρακτήρα και ο σκηνοθέτης και σεναριογράφος Paul Haggis ενδιαφέρεται περισσότερο να κατανοήσει την συμπεριφορά τους αντί να τους κρίνει. Έτσι κι εμείς οι θεατές μαθαίνουμε να εστιάζουμε σε όσα μάς ενώνουν. Ο πόνος, για παράδειγμα, είναι πανανθρώπινος.
It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.
– Det. Graham Waters
Starring: Don Cheadle, Jennifer Esposito, Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, Matt Dillon, Ryan Philippe, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Larenz Tate, Shaun Toub, Michael Peña