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Author Topic: The Daily Quotation
Orincoro
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I teach 3 days a week at a private High School as an ESL and American/British culture lector, as many of you know.

I always try to come up with some "hook" for my lessons centered around the material, which is usually history, geography, culture, food, or daily activities of some kind or another. Recently I recalled that my English teacher in 7th grade had a nice system where every day, we would start out the class with 5 minutes of discussion about a chosen quotation, often about writing or language.

So I'm curious what people here think might be some good quotations for ESL classes from the lower intermediate to intermediate level. It's an "Obchodny Akadamie," which is sort of a "trade" or "economics" focused school, and I usually try to include in my lessons some useful lifeskills that my students can apply to their future studies and work. Many of my students are rich, spoiled and generally demotivated, many of them poor academic performers with problematic family situations, which is typical in this country- with a divorce rate in the top 5 internationally, meaning the majority of my students are in split homes.

Inspiration, wit, and comprehensibility would be the key factors here. Also brevity. I'm thinking of trying to get my students to discuss the quotes and arrive at what they believe is a suitable translation into Czech as well, so the quotes need to contain straightforward vocabulary and ideas.

Any suggestions?

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Uprooted
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It's not witty but I love this quote, if you don't mind the fact that it was pretty much invented out of whole cloth and then misattributed to Goethe: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
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Belle
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"It doesn't DO anything. That's the beauty of it."

*ducks and runs*

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Yebor1
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"It is pretty senseless for sheep to vote against carnivorism when the wolves will never agree."
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Phanto
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"Corporation, noun: An ingenious way to make individual profit without individual responsibility."
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The Rabbit
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"“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” Henry David Thoreau
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Tstorm
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"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history." Abraham Lincoln
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Nighthawk
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"I drank WHAT?!?" - Socrates
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Miro
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"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
- GK Chesterton

"The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention."
- Julia Margaret Cameron

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The Rabbit
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Mark Twain is always an excellent source for witty quotes that are likely to be useful in an ESL class. Here are a few examples, though I should add the disclaimer that I can't vouch for the authenticity of any of them.

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.

All good things arrive unto them that wait--and don't die in the meantime.

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.

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advice for robots
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He's dead, Jim. You grab his wallet, I'll grab his tricorder.
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T_Smith
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"Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make it's own judgement." - Zefram Cochrane
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Darth_Mauve
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi.

"Never underestimate the power and beauty of human stupidity." Jesse Blankenship--some guy you've never heard of.

"The enemy's gate is down." Ender.

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Tstorm
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T_Smith....that's rhetorical nonsense.

[Smile]

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adenam
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"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" Hillel the Elder
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The Rabbit
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"Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life." -- Herbert Henry Asquith

I love it, but your students may be to young to really appeciate it.

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Darth_Mauve
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"Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to TWEET now and remove all doubt."

The 21st Century Lincoln

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advice for robots
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I thought that was either Teddy Roosevelt or Mark Twain.
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AchillesHeel
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"I am what I am, and thats all that I am"
-Popeye

"The best defense is a good O-fence"
-Mel the cook on Alice

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