Coming up: A Business English/ ESP blog carnival

As announced by Larry Ferlazzo, coming up on 1 November, there’ll be a blog carnival – that is, a round-up of posts submitted by bloggers for the purpose – dedicated to the teaching of Business English and English for Special Purposes, here on this blog.  If you’re a blogger, please use this form to submit your post. If you’re not a blogger (yet) but would like to write an article to share, I’d be most delighted to have you guest blog here.

This particular blog carnival came into being when Carl Dowse was rounding up blogs dedicated to Business English in a links list for BESIG, the Business English Special Interest Group of IATEFL. The conversation brought to light that there are just a few blogs that focus completely on business, like Evan Frendo’s “English for the Workplace“, Jeremy Day’s “Specific English“, the Business Spotlight blogs by Deborah Capras, Helen Strong and Robert Gibson, or Jeffrey Hill’s “The English Blog: Business“. But even writers for and teachers of Business English will treat non-business topics in their blogs; just think of Vicki Hollett’s “Learning to speak ‘merican” or Karenne Sylvester’s “Kalinago English“. Then, teachers of general English are highly respected and much read in the BE/ ESP community, like Alex Case of “TEFLtastic“, Larry Ferlazzo of “Websites of the Day” or Jamie Keddie,  etc. etc. Plenty of teachers – including many readers of this blog! – cross over on a daily basis between teaching young learners, giving general English classes and handling business English groups, and they must have interesting lesson ideas to share to introduce themselves to a more specialized, business-focussed readership. The round-up of blogposts will also be published on the BESIG website – so new readers are guaranteed!

So I’d like to extend a very warm invitation to all of you, from the specialist to the generalist, to contribute to this upcoming event. Just make sure that your entry is indeed geared to Business English or ESP, that is: the English people need at work. Have a look at the form, please, and let me know whether you’ll be joining us.

Bhutis Blogwichteln!

Freu, Freu! Frau Bhuti is hosting this year’s Secret Santa blogs. Blogwichteln is guest-blogging on someone else’s blog secretly and them never figuring out who you are! So much fun. Last year the most charming blogger you could ever wish for gave me a delightful entry. Herr Hollemann was running the show, but he’s moved on. Still, the community wants to blogwichtel again, so Frau Bhuti has come to the rescue. Dankeschön!

The rules:

  • Register by 27 Nov. on her site, or by email: blog[ät]bhuti[punkt]de
  • Soon after she’ll be sending you the address of the blog to write for
  • Man sollte Deutsch schreiben können, sonst fällt es halt doch sehr auf!!
  • Your blog contribution must be handed in to Frau Bhuti by 11 Dec.
  • All contributions are published on 15 Dec.

Na, wer macht mit? Dolcevita, Du?

Anne in Wonderland

You simply must see the great Disney exhibition at Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich, which traces the European images that inspired the look of Disney’s films. I had some surprising insights. And the gauches, pastels, oils and paintings on celluloid produced in the Disney Studios are just delightful. (Exhibition through 25 January 2009.)

As I was walking through the exhibition I came across artwork for Alice in Wonderland (1951) by Mary Blair (1911-1978), the Disney background artist who gave that film its distinctive “new look”. (Illustration by Mary Blair taken from the catalog, Walt Disneys wunderbare Welt und ihre Wurzeln in der europäischen Kunst, Hirmer, 25 Euros at the exhibition.)

I’m thinking back on my first year as a blogger and writing for online readers, which is just coming to an end. And so, looking at these pictures, I find myself identifying with Alice. She knows what it’s like. On unfamiliar terrain, always trying out whatever is available as she goes through quite a few changes – just like me this year. There’s so much to see on the other side of the Looking Glass. You can make mistakes and get into trouble, sure, but for the most part it’s a great adventure. And you know, in the end, all that amazing technology, all those exciting tools are just a … “a pack of cards!” Alice will always remain Alice. Thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me on my trip down the rabbit hole.

Here is a song from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” which resonnates with a backend beginner like me. It’s called “Painting the roses red”.

Thank you Dolce for the initial spark and for hours and hours of work (!) and Dolcevita for your encouragement. Thank you Eamonn for taking me on based on almost nothing. Thank you Helmut for dragging me away from the computer. Thanks, everyone, for your ideas and comments.

Blogwichtl aka Secret Santa

I found the following very charming “Secret Santa” or “Wichtel” in my in-box. Thank you so much, Unknown Wordler and Help-Shift-Happener (and thank you, Hollemann, for running the show):

Liebe Anne, or should I say
dear Anne?

Your lovely Blogwichtel war ja schon ein bisschen estonished, als mir Dein Blog – I have to admit I didn’t know it bis dato – zugelost wurde.

Doch frei nach dem Motto der kommenden re:publica dachte ich mir “Shift happens” und löste das Sprachproblem kurzerhand mixing the languages. Nicht ohne errors in der einen oder other language einzubauen, what your heart as an english teacher sicherlich höher schlagen lässt, as you can count the Fehler an kreid them to me on.

From the first moment, als ich mich in dieses mir unbekannte Blog einlass, I knew that yo are a very nice person. Du hast Dir sogar die Mühe gemacht, den Blogwichtel, also mich, mit einem eigenen Blogartikel zu begrüßen. (O that was a long part in german, I will compensate that with a nearly egual long english part, but please don’t put this on the Goldwaage). Back to what I wanted to say: Nett von Dir, Dich in die Situation des Blogwichtels (also in meine) hineinzudenken. Mit Deinen Worten hast Du genau das getroffen, was in mir vorging, als ich auf ein englischsprachiges Blog stieß:

If a blogwichtel kommt daher and reads this blog and thinks “o, jemine, o graus, das ist ja ois änglisch” please don’t worry, I can also read German.

Doch frei nach dem Motto, don’t use a joke for too long, verlasse ich nach diesem Satz auch schon wieder den intercultural language mix, denn man kann’s ja auch übertreiben and it’s never good to ride too long on a joke. Abschließend möchte ich Dir aber noch ein kleines Geschenk machen, das Dir Dein Blog so vor Augen führen soll, wie Du es vielleicht bis jetzt noch nicht gesehen hast, nämlich als Wortwolke, sozusagen als Wichtel-Wordle:

So sehen sie aus die Worte, die Du mehrheitlich – die einen mehr, die anderen weniger – seit etwas mehr als vier Monaten, seit August 2008, in Dein Blog geschrieben hast. Vier Monate “The Island Weekly” in eine Wichtel-Wordle-Wolke (WWW) verwandelt. Dies ist die handgearbeitete Version mit dem Text Deiner Artikel (bei Wordle auch in groß zu sehen!), und jenes ist der eher schnöde eingewordlete Feed, der viel weniger aussagt. Kein Vergleich, deine Wichtel-Wordle-Wolke ist doch viel aussagekräftiger, oder was meinst Du? 😉

Dein unbekannter Blogwichtel

P.S. Versuche gar nicht erst herauszubekommen, wer Dich bewichtelt hat, das kriegst Du – zumindest nicht ohne den Hollemann zu bestechen – nie raus. Ich hoffe aber, Du und Deine Leser haben ein bisschen Freude mit diesem Blogwichtel-Artikel.

Dear Blogwichtel,

Ein großes Dankeschön for your lovely and gracious blog entry, dear Blogwichtel. And yes, the handmade version (and I do love handmade things) is far more meaningful. It proves that you need to go into detail if you want to get the big picture.

Warm regards and season’s greetings,


Phillip Toledano: Days with my father

Beautiful, touching photos and text. Also see Phillip Toledano’s website.

This makes me think of my father. And my mother. Would be great to portray her. I still have my dad’s old Voigtländer. Lots of guesswork, but it gets beautiful results.  I’ve shied away from digital cameras because of the wait between click and snap. OK, dear Voigtländer, you can go back into the museum now.

Blogwichteln: Secret Santa blogs

A Mr Hollemann – Nice to meet you, I’m Anne – is organizing “Blogwichteln“, a blog Secret Santa. You write an entry for another blogger, and someone else does the same for you. Interesting bloggers are involved, and it’s a lovely challenge, so I’ve been boldfaced enough to sign up. You too? Register by 8 December. Write to hollemann[ät]gmail[dot]com.