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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WR 8.1. Our Quest for English > Quest – a history and a story


WR 8. Our Quest for English                              

WR 8.1 Quest – a history  and a story                                    level 4-5     15-20 minutes

GOAL. To find style resources to add to your composition.
How did it take place in the first place?
In this sheet we will see how the process of writing evolves in shaping an interesting text. The

LEAD IN  
TASK 1. Here you will consider whatever stylistic devices you can include in a text. Answer the questions below.
Q1. Would you consider the language quality successful if it displays expressions like these?
very successful / quite succesful / a bit successful / difficult to include in the body
wise knights gathered  /  set off for the quest of the grail, / It is written that ... /
the adventures those knights carried on have brought + complements
Centuries have gone by / small kingdom  ....  the most important
in the quest of English language knowledge. 
without swords, without horses, without bloody battles but with pencils, books, disks, ..
not anything material, but a more useful tool

Q2. Which resources you included in your last compositions? Underline them:
a) proverbs             b) quotation from prominent writers  c) inverted commas             d) reported speech e) sources  from other texts      f) italics for emphasis  g) capitalisation (warning)            
others: ........................................
Q3.  If you were demanded to write a 200-word composition about The quest for English,  Which resources would you include in your composition? Underline them:
a) proverbs             b) quotation from prominent writers  c) inverted commas             d) reported speech e) sources  from other texts      f) italics for emphasis  g) capitalisation (warning)            
others: ........................................


LANGUAGE STUDY.
You will study the creative process of a learner as he elaborated on the idea of  ‘My personal Quest for English’.
TASK 2. Read the text on next page and answer the question below.
Q1.  The task demanded was write a 200-word composition about The quest for English. Do you consider it a successful text? ..............................................................................................



#1. In old times, wise knights gathered around a round table and decided to set off for the quest of the grail, the holly goblet. It is written that they spoke English, not the modern one but the ancient one.
#2. Nowadays, we know that the Grail was but a symbol, but the adventures those knights carried on have brought us many good pages of literature, the basis of modern novels and a reference to English language. Centuries have gone by and that language that was spoken by the inhabitants of a small kingdom has become the most important one in the world, the international language, and many citizens around the world are in the quest of English language knowledge. It’s a quest without swords, without horses, without bloody battles but with pencils, books, disks, .. The goal is not anything material, but a more useful tool, the knowledge of a language, English in this case.
QUEST …An old fashioned or literary word. A Quest is a long and difficult search for something, especially something that you value.*
  * Definition from COBUILD COLLINS Dictionary



Q2. Formally the text has three parts. The content evolves with past time, present time and the quotation from a source. Do you think they are well connected? How successful are they in getting the reader interested? Does the text ends abruptly? Elaborate.

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Q3.  Could you split the paragraphs in a different line? Where?
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Q4. Can you integrate de reference in the text in a different way? Rephrase it. 
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Q5. Perhaps you can we improve the ending with ‘which I will explore in our next assignment’. Would you agree?  .......................................................................................................................

LANGUAGE STUDY.
TASK 3. Answer to the underlined parts that are not fully understood at the first reading.
1# In old times, wise knights gathered around a round table and decided to set off for the quest of the grail, the hol[l]y goblet. It’s written that they spoke English, not the modern one but the ancient.
Q1. Can we write it somehow more precisely? ............................................................................
2 # Nowadays, we know that the Grail was but a symbol,  but ...
 Q2. but ... but? Unclear. Can we write it somehow more precisely? ..........................................................................................................................................
3 # ... but the adventures those knights carried on have brought us  <3> many good pages of literature, the basis of modern novels and a reference to English language.
Q3. How many  things did it bring us, according to the writer?  Can we improve the write it with better punctuatuon or something? .....................................................................................

4 # Centuries have gone by and that language that was spoken by the inhabitants of a small kingdom has become the most important one in the world, the international language, and many citizens around the world are in the quest of English language knowledge.  
Q4. Couple of things related to syntax. Three subjects, reference: the use of ‘and’ twice (see underlined items);  the item language is present 4 times (see italics)  Can we improve the write it splitting it in two sentences  keeping as close to it as it gets? ..........................................................................................................................................
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5#  many citizens around the world are in the quest of English language knowledge
Q5. Semantics: ends and means. How to relate English language with ‘citizens and knowledge’? Agents (Citizens) use the tool (language) to aim at a goal (knowledge).
Try to improve the wording with something along ‘while learning it ...’ / ‘by using it ....’ / cleft sentence .................................................................................................................................................
6 #  It’s a quest without swords, without horses, without bloody battles but with pencils, books, disks, ....
Q6. Grammar.  ‘but with 1,2,3, ...’ doesn’t balance the three repeated prepositions. Can we show a better style?  .......................................................................................................................
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7# The goal is not anything material,but a more useful tool, the knowledge of a language,English in this case.
 Q7. Nice sentence. Can you rewrite it in your own words? ............................................................
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8 # QUEST …An old fashioned or literary word. A Quest is a long and difficult search for something, especially something that you value.* Definition from COBUILD Dictionary
Q8. Cohesion.  The use of the source does not fits smoothly in the text. Do it your way:
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ROUNDING OFF
Compare both versions below and decide if you approve all edited changes.
Task. Write a 200 word text about The Quest for English

In old times,wise knights gathered around a round table and decided to set off for the quest of the grail, the holly goblet. It is written that they spoke English, not the modern one but the ancient one.

Nowadays, we know that the Grail was but a symbol, but the adventures those knights carried on have brought us many good pages of literature, the basis of modern novels and a reference to English language. Centuries have gone by and that language that was spoken by the inhabitants of a small kingdom has become the most important one in the world, the international language, and many citizens around the world are in the quest of English language knowledge. It’s a quest without swords, without horses, without bloody battles but with pencils, books, disks, .. The goal is not anything material, but a more useful tool, the knowledge of a language, English in this case.

QUEST …An old fashioned or literary word. A Quest is a long and difficult search for something, especially something that you value.*
*Definition from COBUILD COLLINS Dictionary
by Jordi G.


EDITED Text A.


The Quest for English 
In old times, wise knights gathered around a round table and decided to set off for the quest of the grail, the holy goblet. It is written that they spoke a local tongue, not Shakespeare’s variety but the Anglo-saxon one. Nowadays, we know that the Grail was understood as a symbol, but the adventures those legendary knights carried on have brought us some unmistakable landmarks: many good pages of literature, the basis of modern novels and a reference to English language.
Centuries have gone by and that minor language that was spoken by the inhabitants of a small kingdom has spread worldwide, becoming the most important lingua franca in the world. By learning it, many citizens around the world are in the quest of English language knowledge.
It’s a peculiar quest you ride with no horses, neither swords, nor bloody battles but equipped with light luggage: pencils, books, modems, USB pencils and so on. The goal is nothing material, but a more useful tool, the knowledge of a substancial resource: English in this case. Talking of which, I browsed my COBUILD COLLINS Dictionary and found this: “QUEST …An old fashioned or literary word. A Quest is a long and difficult search for something, especially something that you value”  and will unveiled my personal quest for English in our next assignment. 
by Jordi G.





FOLLOW UP
For a lovely adventure with English and music read José Miguel’s report (next page)

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