Tuesday, September 8, 2009

<<< LESSON 51 >>>

September arrives, almost too soon. This year has really flown by! It really is ironic that the more you do, then the faster time goes by. This has been very true during the past two months. July and August seem like a blur to me. A non-stop routine of writing, filming, editing, and then more writing. The task of remaking my early lessons became an obsession for me. I was pleased the I managed to remake lessons 2, 3, 4, and 5. having done that I decided to return to the continuation from Lesson 50. Once again I made the decision that the later lessons should be more involved and contain much more information and new words. The filming for Lesson 51 took over 6 days to complete, with some shots being created as tests. In fact I probably spend a quarter of the production time making test shots, which will never be seen by my students. These serve a very important role by making sure that when it comes to filming the real scenes, everything will look right and there will be no serious issues with things such as lighting or added effects. There were quite a few special effect scenes in lesson 51. The opening shot of me sitting on the globe and the lesson title sequence, with the hand holding the microphone and my character of Dick Sharpe popping up took a total of five days to make. and they only appear on screen for no more and 35 seconds in total.

This lesson was different in many ways. It is the first one where I have added extra light and colour elements to some of the shots. Each new lesson is a challenge for me, and there is nothing I enjoy more than a nice juicy challenge.

This latest lesson is all about giving your opinion. This may seem like a simple subject, but on closer inspection I realised that I would need to cover more than the aspect of what one person thinks. It would need to also encompass the way we think as groups or nations. I have always been wary of discussing politics in my lessons, but this time I would have to grab the subject and approach it head-on.

I was conscious of not appearing to favour any particular political view, so I decided to use the USA political system as an example of how party politics is set up. The other area I felt conscious of was making a point about far-right ideology. I knew at the time that this may get me into trouble, but I went ahead and mentioned it. However I resisted the temptation to drag myself into discussing particular far-right or far-left politics as individual ways of thinking. In fact I did not mention far-left politics at all. Does that make me a communist? Well of course not. Had I not mentioned far-right thinking, would that have made me a Nazi? Maybe some people will try to find an agenda in this lesson. But I can assure you that there is no bias on my part in this lesson whatsoever. But if anyone wants, I can make a whole lesson on the negative aspects of Socialism and Communism and Leninism and Stalinism.

There is a phrase in English...'Never discuss religion or politics.' This is mainly due to the fact that they represent definitive divisions between us. But to me they are just another area of opinion and thinking. This was the point I was making at the end of the lesson . We may agree to disagree, but at least we are talking.



Cristina said...

So we're waiting for a nice juicy lesson about Socialism and Communism and Leninism and Stalinism :))
Joking apart, thanks for all your interesting lessons!

Anonymous said...

In the lesson 51, You gave some new words with explaining what they mean - it is very very very useful for us, your students!
It is a quality and motivating lesson!
About politics views: I think perhaps it is not good idea to discuss the topic about "Socialism and Communism and Leninism and Stalinism" I am afraid there are so strong stereotypes in the west about it. :-)

vito said...

Hi Misterduncan... Are you ok? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so! :-)

Thank you very much for your very useful lessons.


From Italia...
Vito Iacono

Anonymous said...

Hi mister duncan.
I am real grateful to find you teaching English for free on youtube. your lessons are very interesting and helpful for both students and teachers especially new ones. By the way I am a Moroccan guy looking for a job in Marrakech as a teacher for English in language centers.it was a good coincidence to find a great teacher like you. I've really got many tecniques from you; how to speak, how to make facial expressions, and so on. I like the way you work and I know how hard it is and how you make the visual effects. nowadays iam working on your video-lessons and the are very helpful especially for a fresh teacher like me.
ta ta for now
Mohamed Elmeski

Anonymous said...

Hi Misterduncan! You are so fun! Your lessons are very usefol for me!
Why don't you write something about animals?
I don't know if you already did it because I haven't seen all your lessons.
It will be cute.
I love animals, and you?
I have two lovely dogs.
Bye-Bye for now...

Maria (from Italy)

Luanderson said...

Hi Mr. Duncan!!!!Are you ok?I hope so!...hahahaa..I'm a English student from Brazil and yesterday I found your videos on youtube...Wow!!!You're really a amazing English teacher...now I'm your fan and when I grow up I wanna be a English teacher just like you!!!Ta ta for now!
From Brazil

borbag said...

i think that your lessons is a greate event in my life.
I heve been learning English for long-long years, so i can propely estimate your labour,your skill, your dignify etc.
the first time i have met such clarify and deep lesson.
i have a greate pleasure having contact with them.
best wishes
RF Saint-Petersbourg