In 2009, some students from our school who are now in 2n year Bax had the opportunity to take part in a series of meetings with journalists with first hand experience in areas of conflict all over the world. All the students felt they had learnt a lot from those meetings and that is reason why we have decided to include it again in our programe this year.
Gervasio Sánchez will be the first journalist you’ll have the opportunity to meet. He won several awards as a journalist and as photographer. He has published books and is committed with many humnitarian projects, among them, one that tries to put an end to using land mines. Also, he has been in Afghanistan several times. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is again in the agenda, tension is building up and Gervasio was there last September. You can have a look at the diary he wrote while he was there last September. http://blogs.heraldo.es/gervasiosanchez/
But, above all, he is deeply concern on raising awareness on the devastating effects of war. In this power point you can read the speech he gave when he was given an importan photography award a couple of years ago.
You are already familiar with the way we work in language lessons: we are connected, aren’t we? and this year the connections stretches to other areas, with Vicent you learnt about migration flows and city development. In Catalan, you are reading a book from Roald Dahl, Boy, an autobiography. In the book you will find lots of descriptions of the characters that appear in the book as well as many anecdotes. With Magdalena, your Catalan teacher, you had to write a composition describing your mother. When we go to La Caixa , to listen to Gervasio Sánchez, he will give you details about his life as a journalist and you will also have the chance of meeting him live and observe how he talks, the way he looks and the kind of language he uses.
In Gervasio’s talk, war conflicts will be in the background and he will mention very often how children lived the experience of war. With your Catalan and Spanish teachers, you will be reading books set in the past, during great wars.
In Roald Dahl’s Boy,War War I is in the background too. John BOYNE’s The boy in the striped pyjamas , the book you will read with Emili, is set in War War II .
If you only had seen a picture of Gervasio Sánchez and read about his work, you could describe his looks and maybe guess some traits of his personality. But, after meeting him and having the opportunity to ask him questions, you will have much more information: his voice, the way he talks and, of course the things he will say.
You will have to write a description of Gervasio Sánchez. You must include facts, such as age, job, looks, personality, and you must also talk about his life. Remember that when writing about someone’s life it is good to follow some kind of time line. You must also include some anecdotes and the parts of his talk that impressed you most. Imagine that you are writing a review of his speech, but you must also include some information about him.
Writing does not come out of the blue, you must think about:
- what kind of text are going to write? a review, a personal impression, a summary, an interview
- Who is your writing directed to? target audience
- What is the structure of your piece of writing? number of paragraphs, content you want to include
- What is the purpose ? What do you want to achieve.
Organise your writing into paragraphs, use the spellchecker, check the power point on descriptions and the one on adjectives and comparatives to make your writing more inteeresting.
Homework: Thursday 20th October. You must write about 150 words and paste it in a Google doc I will share with you.
If you need more information you can look in the Internet or visit his blog or in the internet: http://photo-historia.blogspot.com/2011/04/vidas-minadas-por-gervasio-sanchez.html
Here follow some hints to help you write your composition.
Write a review of his talk. A review that could be useful for other students. Would you recommend his talk to other groups? Do you think he is an interesting person?
- Explain the connection with the topics you are dealing with in class
- Why you are writing about him
- Biographical facts
- Looks and personality
- What were the aspects of his talk that impressed you most.
Hints to write a good composition:
- Write a draft/ diagram (guión, esquema) before you start writing.
- you must structure your writing into clear paragraphs. Do not mix different aspects of Gervasio’s life, personality and work in the same block of information.
- Visit his blog, or run a search on the Internet to find out extra details you would like to include.
- Do not try to include everything he said in his talk.
- Follow a time line when you write about his story: childhood, school, university, first job, current job, plans for the future.
- Leave at least one paragraph to talk about the content of his talk at La Caixa, conflicts around the world.
- End your composition with a personal comment on his job and on the kind of person you think he is
- Do not write the composition in Spanish or Catalan and then translate it into English. Write in English from the beginning. Simple sentences first, then try to link them using connectors or relative clauses.
- Use the spell checker to correct mistakes, not the translator.
- count the words. (you have the tool in your word processor)
- when you write, activate a bilingual dictionary such as http://www.wordreference.com/ and a monolingual dictionary such as http://dictionary.reference.com/ This way, you can look for new words or expressions and avoid repetitions. For example, do not repeat interesting many times, try to look for alternatives.