Pub talk and Lisa Hannigan

I know you need it to break the ice but… I hate small talk. I love pub talk. Life is jut too short to waste on banal subjects, and it is just so marvellous to meet people and find common interests. That’s why I enjoy going to the pub to meet friends, colleagues, acquaintances. Eamonn wrote a nice if sad blog post a while ago on Irish pubs closing that included this lovely video by Lisa Hannigan:

What I’m doing with this

In one of my classes I’ll be using Eamonn’s text and the Lisa Hannigan video, and we’ll be putting the lyrics, cut up in strips, in the right sequence. There are slight differences in the lyrics that you hear in this performance and the ones on the strips/ in the handout, so students will “correct” the lyrics on their worksheet and think about differences in meaning. I’m using this text and song as a springboard to talk about what my students like to find out about others, and what they think crosses the line into intimate territory, and how to ask the right questions to keep the conversation going (using softeners and response questions to make questions less direct). The chunk they’ll have to sing along with and make a hand movement to is “I am game!” Here’s the handout.

learning english with songs :-) englischlernen mit liedern

The Moth Ball

The Moth Ball (video report NYT) is an annual benefit evening for the Moth, a NY-and-LA-based organization dedicated to the art of live storytelling. Several times a month there is an event in some bar, café, community center, and people from all walks of life are invited to tell a true story. The Moth Ball, raising money for the events, honored Salmon Rushdie and featured slam storytelling. Storytelling is much better than small-talk (ugh!), says Jonathan Adler. Storytelling is mind-expanding rather than soul-destroying. On the Moth website you can listen to stories.