English teachers in South Africa
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English teachers in South Africa
Resources and ideas for English teachers in South Africa, courtesy of the Reeler Centre at Pinelands High School  (If you would like to receive a weekly newsletter of the latest items in this Scoop just mail me at avanzyl@phs.org.za)
Curated by Andrew van Zyl
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Reading Has Huge Lifelong Benefits I Newsy

Reading Has Huge Lifelong Benefits I Newsy | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

The act of reading books has benefits that last long after the final page of childhood. To build muscle or endurance, you lift weights, run, bike. You exercise. There's a way to bulk up your brain strength, too: Books. Reading is like doing burpees for your brain. Especially if you start young.

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HeartFirst Medical Solutions Is Proud to Present SHOK™: The Cool New Defibrillator For Gen Z - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

HeartFirst Medical Solutions Is Proud to Present SHOK™: The Cool New Defibrillator For Gen Z - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it
But SHOK™ is more than just a defibrillator. It’s a lifestyle brand that embodies the core values of this fast-growing consumer base. Gen Z believes in living life to the max. They don’t compromise or let little things like sudden cardiac arrest get in the way of achieving their goals. (Or, as they might say, “crushing it!”) SHOK™ helps these ambitious youngsters live their #bestlife by preventing them from dying their #worstdeath — and with a streamlined look that will appeal to style-conscious teenagers and emergency medical professionals alike.
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The facial prosthetics of World War I VOX

Published on Nov 8, 2018
Why World War I's wounded needed a sculptor. World War I’s horrors not only resulted in death, but severe disfigurement. When plastic surgeons were unable to heal the wounded, a unique solution came in play: sculpting. Facial prostheses in World War I were a new solution to a difficult problem, and sculptor and writer Anna Coleman Ladd led these efforts for the American Red Cross in France. She made more than 150 masks for the wounded in an effort to provide some semblance of normalcy after their severe injuries.

Andrew van Zyl's insight:

This video might be useful if you are teaching WWI poetry.

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The Horrors of the Grand Guignol: Crash Course Theater

Published on Nov 2, 2018
Prepare to be horrified, and to look into the face of inhumanity with the Grand Guignol. Mike Rugnetta teaches you about one of theater history's most horrible chapters. The Grand Guignol was a French theater based in Paris from the late 19th century until 1962. The troupe, led by writers like Andre de Lorde and Alfred Binet put on dark, violent, bloody shows that were a precursor of the horror media that we love to consume today. You'll learn about stage effects, makeup, and maybe even why humans like to stare into the darkness and terrify themselves.

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Throw in the towel: The English We Speak I BBC

Published on Nov 20, 2018
Neil claims he has too much washing to do so why does he want to wash just a towel? Or could this just be another confusing English expression? Luckily Neil and Feifei are here to explain what 'throw in the towel' really means.

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Please Feed the Lions by Es Devlin | Google Arts and Culture

Published on Oct 25, 2018
Behind the scenes of Please Feed the Lions by Es Devlin, a public installation combining design, poetry and artificial intelligence at London Design Festival 2018. Cast in 1867, the four monumental lions in Trafalgar Square have been sitting silently at the base of Nelson’s Column for the past 150 years. On Tuesday 18 September 2018, a fifth red lion joined the pride. This new lion was not silent: it roared poetry, and the words it roared were chosen by the public.

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Meet the KGB Spies Who Invented Fake News | NYT Opinion

Published on Nov 19, 2018
In Episode 1 of Operation InfeKtion, we reveal how one of the biggest fake news stories ever concocted — the 1984 AIDS-is-a-biological-weapon hoax — went viral in the pre-Internet era. Meet the KGB cons who invented it, and the “truth squad” that quashed it. For a bit.

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Why the Victorian mansion is a horror icon I VOX

Published on Nov 13, 2018
Haunted houses are often depicted with similar features: decaying woodwork, steep angles, and Gothic-looking towers and turrets. The model for this trope is the Victorian mansion, once a symbol of affluence and taste during the Gilded Age - a period of American history marked by political corruption and severe income inequality.

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The Woman Dies | Aoko Matsuda I Granta

The Woman Dies | Aoko Matsuda I Granta | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

2 Nov 2018

She dies to provide a plot twist. She dies to develop the narrative. She dies for cathartic effect. She dies because no one could think of what else to do with her. Dies because there weren’t any better story ideas around. Dies because her death was the very best idea that anyone could come up with.

‘I’ve got it! Let’s kill her off!’

‘Yes! Her death will solve everything!’

‘Okay! Let’s hit the pub!’

And so, the woman dies. The woman dies so the man can be sad about it. The woman dies so the man can suffer. She dies to give him a destiny. Dies so he can fall to the dark side. Dies so he can lament her death. As he stands there, brimming with grief, brimming with life, the woman lies there in silence. The woman dies for him. We watch it happen. We read about it happening. We come to know it well.

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The 2018 Award for Poetry: Meet the 6 Finalists I Brittle Paper

The 2018  Award for Poetry: Meet the 6 Finalists I Brittle Paper | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

The shortlists for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards were announced in October. Begun in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, the Awards aim to recognize the finest, original pieces of writing by Africans published online.

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Read the First Review of Chigozie Obioma’s New Novel, An Orchestra of Minorities I Brittle Paper

Read the First Review of Chigozie Obioma’s New Novel, An Orchestra of Minorities I Brittle Paper | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

4 Nov 2018

What we have waited for months: the first review of Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities. Originally slated to be called The Falconer, the beautifully titled novel is, according to The Bookseller, “about the life of a troubled young poultry farmer who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves,” and is narrated by the protagonist’s chi, his personal god in Igbo cosmology. The book has been hailed by its publishers as “an epic of Igbo civilisation.”

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Wordsworth, Coleridge and the Poetic Revolution I Gresham College

Published on Oct 22, 2018
'The sense of a new style and a new spirit in poetry came over me', wrote William Hazlitt, recalling the day in 1798 when he heard William Wordsworth reading aloud from Lyrical Ballads, 'It partakes of, and is carried along with, the revolutionary movement of our age'.  Jonathan Bate will explain what Hazlitt meant and why Lyrical Ballads, the product of Wordsworth's intimate friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is one of the greatest and most influential volumes of poetry ever written.

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BOOK HAUL � from Ake Arts and Book Festival - BBC Africa Book Club

Published on Dec 9, 2018

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Dada, Surrealism, and Symbolism: Crash Course Theater #37

Published on Nov 23, 2018
Watch. Dime. Develop. Powder. Pantry. Dirt. That's right, it's time for a dip into the random, because we're talking about the Dada theater that grew out of Symbolism, and the Surrealist theater that followed Dada. You'll learn about Maurice Maeterlinck, Paul Fort, Lugne Poe, Andre Breton, and Alfred Jarry and his infamous play, Ubu Roi.

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Pretentious, impenetrable, hard work ... better? Why we need difficult books | The Guardian

Pretentious, impenetrable, hard work ... better? Why we need difficult books | The Guardian | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

10 Nov 2018

This year’s Booker-winner Milkman has been criticised for being challenging. But are we confusing readability with literary value?

“Odd”, “impenetrable”, “hard work”, “challenging” and “brain-kneading” have been some of the epithets chosen. They have not been meant, I think, as compliments. The chair of the judges, Kwame Anthony Appiah, perhaps unhelpfully, humblebragged that: “I spend my time reading articles in the Journal of Philosophy, so by my standards this is not too hard.” But he added that Milkman is “challenging […] the way a walk up Snowdon is challenging. It is definitely worth it because the view is terrific when you get to the top.”

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Object - Finding Freda I RUTV Journalism

Published on Nov 19, 2018
Told from a 13-year-old’s perspective this is a personal film about a family rocked by unemployment, trying to make do with what they have until they end up with nothing over the festive season. Through the young woman's eyes one witnesses the family in this difficult time. Through Ubuntu a stranger provided the family with a Christmas miracle which is remembered.

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Oxford Word of the Year - 2018 I Oxford Dictionaries

Published on Nov 14, 2018
The announcement video for the official 2018 Oxford Word of the Year.

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Our Friendship is Transitioning to a Paid Subscription Model - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Our Friendship is Transitioning to a Paid Subscription Model - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

20 Nov 2018

We have a responsibility to ourselves and our subscribers (who are also us) to shift gears and restructure our companionship to reach new, unprecedented levels of tolerability.

That’s why I’m introducing Friendship Plus. For just $9.95 a month, you will have the same access to me that you’ve always enjoyed, but at least I’ll have a reason to keep this charade going other than a profound sense of guilty obligation.

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Facebook is listening I The Feed

Published on Nov 18, 2018
Ever get the feeling Facebook is spying on you to serve you ads?

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Revised for Modern Civilization - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Revised for Modern Civilization - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

14 Nov 2018

Physiological and Connection Needs

A smartphone with a solid data plan and/or reliable internet access has been added to the list of basic needs that included air, water, food, sleep, shelter, clothing, warmth, and sex in Maslow’s original model. New research shows the sickness, irritation, pain or discomfort an individual feels when they are separated from their smartphone for just one hour is equivalent to what a person experiences after five days without water.

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Weekly Word Watch: sex and gender, xuan fu tiaozhan, and nationalism I Oxford Dictionary

Weekly Word Watch: sex and gender, xuan fu tiaozhan, and nationalism I Oxford Dictionary | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

26 Oct 2018

It’s another Weekly Word Watch — and another week of words addressing some of the biggest themes of our times. We’ve got the politics of identity and the identity of politics in this batch, with some conspicuous consumption and social media thrown in for good measure.

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ENOUGH: My Body Is His Lesson I The Rumpus

ENOUGH: My Body Is His Lesson I The Rumpus | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

Sometimes I Stare At the Trees Right Before a Storm & Think

My
body
feels like a forest,
full of mysterious valleys
and holy fire. My body is a rare
song, open and vulnerable to invasion.
My body is where the endangered sleep at night.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Turns 15 I Brittle Paper

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Turns 15 I Brittle Paper | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

“It wasn’t the first novel I wrote,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie told the audience at the University of Nairobi. “I wrote other bad novels which I hope nobody ever sees. But Purple Hibiscus was the first one that I loved.” When she began sending out the manuscript, seeking an agent, she got many rejections, most of which weren’t about the story but about its setting. One agent told her: “I like your writing but nobody knows where Nigeria is. So why don’t you consider setting the story in America and”—this is her favourite part of the email, she said—“use the African material as background.”

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‘Inventing New Ways to Be’ | by Mark Ford

‘Inventing New Ways to Be’ | by Mark Ford | English teachers in South Africa | Scoop.it

Although Adrienne Rich (1929–2012) never considered herself an epic poet, it’s hard to think of a more apposite definition of her vast and varied oeuvre than the phrase with which Ezra Pound summed up his concept of the modernist epic (speaking, in his case, of The Cantos): “a poem containing history.”

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