Thanks chị Yến, Truong and Kitty for the notes. The idea of breaking the daily challenge into smaller parts for different groups and doing two pages each day–one for discussion on national affairs and one for English challenge–is good.
But here is my thinking:
I am thinking that we need to go into the “English only” mode. In the discussions (in English) we may be able to achieve the English training naturally, simply by discussing things. That is the best way to learn English. You learn “live” English, which is absorbed naturally, just by living it. And EVERYONE can be involved in the discussions.
The daily challenge has some obstacles to “live” English–relying too much on translation, “dictionary English”, and Vietnamese as the bridge, which keeps the mind stuck on Vietnamese grammatical logic. And it seems I have not been able to break out of this operating mode and move into the English-only mode. I am thinking that this may become a detriment rather than help.
In addition, we can’t create more activities without additional help. Do we have one or two English teachers willing to work with me on the Daily English Challenge?
OK, while we are discussing on this, let’s continue our daily challenge until we have come to a final conclusion.
Below is a very famous poem called Psalm 23, a Psalm of David. It is from the Bible. I have explained earlier why I keep giving you Bible excerpts.
David was a farmer boy and he played music. I think he played the little harp. He killed the giant Goliath in a battle and later became the greatest king of Israel. He wrote a lot of songs and they are the Psalms in the Bible.
The Psalms contain very beautiful English. They are simple and picturesque, and have very high emotional impact. Psalms are among the most beautiful poems in human literature. Abraham Lincoln learned beautiful language for his famous speeches from the Psalms. His mother used the Bible to teach him English. I read the Psalms to learn the power of beautiful simple English. Many friends have asked me: “How to learn to write English beautifully?” and I have answered: “Read the Psalms, even if you are not Christian.” I used to read many books just to learn English. I used to rank Kalil Gibran top on my list, until I studied the Psalms–I dropped Kalil Gibran.
Psalm 23 is the most famous Psalm. If you watch movies, when soldiers are under heavy enemy pressure, they may read Psalm 23.
Here it is. Please translate Psalm 23 below into English.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Have a wonderful day.