The English Learners' Blog

A blog for English learners and their teachers everywhere, initiated in 2010 with the contribution of students from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. More about me on the On-line Profile below. Welcome!

The Day Has Arrived for Our Century’s Royal Wedding

My favourite quotes of the wedding day come from the speech given by Lord Bishop of London, Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres, during the royal ceremony. Of many words that have been said at and about the wedding, these are surely words to keep and nourish on at this time and in times to come. It is my pleasure to rewrite some of them below, to remember.

“This is a a joyful day! It is good that people in every continents are able to share in these celebrations. This is, as every wedding day should be: a day of Hope. In a sense, every wedding is a royal wedding, with the bride and the groom as  King and Queenof Creation, making a new life together, so that Life can flow through them, into the future.

“Spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life, in which we discover this:

the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul,

the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves, and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.

In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.”

“We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that  has been given to us through the discoveries of our last century.  We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence for life, for the earth, and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another a work of art. It is possible to transform, so long as we don’t harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coertion if the spirit is afloat; each must give the other the space and freedom.”

“As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relationships alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We’re all incomplete, we all need the love that is secure, rather than oppressive, we all need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive, but as we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us, and can increasingly fill our life with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which  the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit whose fruits are love and joy and peace.”

God, our Father, we thank You for our families, for the love that we share, and for the joy of our marriage. In the busyness of each day, keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life, and help us be generous with our time and love and energy. Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer.

We ask this in the spirit of Jesus Christ,

and we all say ‘Amen!'”

Filed under: 9►EXTRA, ■ Celebrations, ■ Compassion, ■ Leadership, ■ Richard Chartres, ■ Royal Wedding 2012

Fun Ways to Develop Your Brain Power

Do microbiology and bioengineering sound like fun?

Some of you may have studied either or both, while to others these fields may still be in the “uncharted” category.

To John Medina, affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, these fields have been a source of inciting discoveries in the field of the human brain.

Dr Medina  has studied the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorders and wrote two books that soon became well-read, acclaimed bestsellers. I would like to thank Mr Steve Lever for having recommended the Brain Rules books at the recently held conference for English teachers, “Leading the Way in Digital Education.” If you want to read more about these books, visit the Brain Rules site, an excellent compendium for anyone interested in putting  brain research results to practice.

As for the fun part, watch the video below about the role of schema in learning, as an example. Feel free to add your comment if you are not in hysterics by the time you reach the end:

Ok, now as the laughing subsides, let’s invstigate some of the topics you can read about on the Brain Rules site and the related blog:

From Rule 1 to Rule 12, you will find out what can make your brain more effective.

There is no secret that exercising the brain increases its power. People can continue their professional and personal development on a regular basis, regardless of age; they may choose to start one or, why not, several degree courses online, and keep fit physically and mentally.

There is no doubt that each and every one of us would like nothing more than to figure out what they don’t know, to explore.

Dr Medina illustrates rules like “exercise” or “explore” with graphs, charts and (links to) videos or audio recordings, which make the site dedicated to the Brain Rules all the more useful and accessible to anyone.

Here is one last example to enjoy for the time being: the blog post Kids Lie Every 90 Minutes – And That’s a Good Thing. I wonder why…

Filed under: 9►EXTRA, ■ Brain Matters, ■ Brain Rules, ■ Self Development Links, ►11.ON LINE▼

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