Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Danish National Birds: SWANS

Firstly, ı want to give some information about the national bird of Denmark: the Mute Swan

The National Bird of Denmark is the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) or Knopsvane (of course), made famous in the story by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Ugly Duckling".
In the 1920's the Mute Swan was nearly extinct, until in 1926 it became a protected species and has now regained its population and is seen all over Denmark and most of northern Europe.
They breed in colonies all over Denmark and are a magnificent bird to see.
At an early age the Mute Swan or cygnet is not always white and is usually an off-white, grey or brownish tint. Their beaks/bills are black and it is not until after their first year that they turn all white and the beak/bill gets its orange color.
This is where the Hans Christian Andersen story has its origins. Many Mute Swans are ugly ducklings – some cygnets are white, but most are not - but all Mute Swans are white when they mature.
And that is the story of the National Bird of Denmark.
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is the national bird. Chosen by thousands of Danes in 1984 in a national election initiated by Danish Television. This beautiful and majestic bird is the largest bird here in Denmark and very common throughout the country.
    I learned the swans are national birds of Denmark during my trip to the Port with Nazlı. One day Nazlı and me were so bored that we decided to go for a walk to the port. Also we took some bread to feed the ducks. To our surprise, we encountered with many swans and one of them was sitting in the middle of the road and it was too stubborn to walk away. However, there were cars, bicycle and a truck and they weren't able to move because of that swan. When we saw that scene, we couldn't help laughing and then Nazlı took some bread and run towards the road like a hero and convinced the swan to move. All the drivers said "tak" and went on driving. There were many swans on the seashore and it wasnt normal to see them on the seashore and in large numbers. However, that time the weather was freezing cold and snowy and all the birds( seagulls, swans, and ducks) were about to faint of hunger. we fed them with some bread that we brought from home but it wasn't sufficient and we left there for a while and went to a market and bought some bread and came back. we came across with some people who were feeding them and they said that they were members of Vordingborg Kommune and they moved to another city, so they couldnt feed the birds and requested us to feed them daily during cold weather. we accepted and they gave a lot of bread to us. Moreover, many people are afraid of swans and they think that they tend to attack and bite :) Anyway we did our responsibility even though in times we didnt have any time :) it was very interesting and entertaining(sometimes painful) to spend time with swans :) They were pulling our hair and laces of our shoes and biting when they got angry :)


Nazlı and me have been in Paris on  vacation for a week and it was very amazing. we saw many plcaes there and ı felt as if ı was in Turkey in terms of streets, people, cafes, etc. French people were very nice and friendly to us. Although they cant speak English, they tried to help us whenever we asked sth. The funny part is that everybody we met asked whether we are from Spain, Italy or portugal and even some people stopped us to ask this question. Anyway, paris is really city of art as you can see many statues or old buildings in everywhere. The Louvre Museum is really very big and it took our whole day to see works like statues, paintings, Mona Lisa, and the flat of Napoleon Bonaparte. The next day we went to The Eiffel Tower and also many other places. we walked a lot in the streets of Paris and when we got tired, we stopped in one of the amazing cafes to drink coffee. I hope one day ı can go to Paris again...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Teaching practice or observation :)

ı want to talk about our teaching practice.
we went "Iselinge"School for our teaching practice. it was a really fantastic week for us. we had the chance of observing Danish schools. Firstly, there is a very comfortable atmosphere in the classrooms. Children can call their teacher by his first name. however, sometimes ı couldnt believe that how children can be so nice and listen to their teacher without making noise. pupils in one of the classes that ı have been were so nice and we were able to communicate in English with most of them. Martin ( the teacher ) said that some of the students were very willing to speak English. They were able to make long sentences and even one of the girls read all the series of Harry Potter in English. moreover, their social relationships is very good. They are very good at group or pair works and they help each other. ı hope ı can have pupils like them :) Also, the general atmosphere of the school is very relaxing. students can wear whatever they want and walk around without shoes. ı think they can express themselves perfectly in this way. All of them has their own styles and they can reflect themselves in their clothing. They can lie and sit on the floors. at first, nazlı and me were very surprised and then we touched on the ground with our hands and the floors are very very clean.
     As for lessons, we observed math, English and music classes. ın math class, students made paperflies for learn how to measure. they made their own paperfly but they worked in pairs. while all of the students were flying their paperflies out of the classroom , two students were doing sth else in the classroom. when we asked them why they stayed in, they said that they forgot to do their homework and they wanted to finish their homework and then they would participate in flying paperflies later. ı was very surprised that they knew their own responsibilities and they did this without their theacher's saying anything about that.
   ın English lessons, they listened a story and studied on this story. After they listened this story, they read the story from their books and wrote the story again with their own sentences and filled in the blanks in their books related to the story. Also, students knowledge of vocabulary is very good.
  Most amazing lesson was music lessons. younger students were making rhythmes with their hands and with some instruments and playing games and older students were playing instruments and singing songs. Martin also made some classes listen classic music at the end of the lesson and they all lied on the ground and closed their eyes and took the pleasure of relaxing.
  one more thing is that school was full of posters that studetns made. ı think they are really good at task based works and their products are amazing. they choose their topic and they prepare their demonstrations how they want.
 All in all, it was a fantastic teaching practice. ı have a lot to tell but for now ı could write my first impressions.