Thursday, December 16, 2010

On English literature


One day like today, 235 years ago, a girl called Jane Austen was born. She became a famous novelist telling the world how British customs were at that period of time. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park are some of her most praised titles. Here you are another Austen's works, Emma. I hope you like it. Remember there's an even more interesting book as well! L.O.L.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Listening games

Hello! I've prepared this activity to practise your listening skills. You are going to listen to some people talking about Christmas. Follow the instructions and try to answer them.
It's very easy, you'll see.
CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS
LISTEN TO DARREN
HOLIDAYS
DIALOGUE ABOUT XMAS DAY

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Preparing for Christmas time

As you all know, Christmas is coming and both adults and children enjoy decorating their homes with colourful lights, garlands, firs and some mistletoe. Moreover, presents are given to the beloved people and year after year, they gather around a sumptuous table filled with exquisite delicacies. At this point you may wonder why you feel so overwhelmed with all that stuff. Don't worry! I've already thought about it. I'm providing you with a handy list to give you some ideas for this special festivity to make the preparations more bearable than they can turn out to be. I hope it will be helpful!



Christmas Carols 1 2 3  
Charles Dickens'  A Christmas Tale 1 2 3  
Decoration and ideas  1 2 3 4 5
Recipes  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 
Christmas stories with printables to colour 1 2 3 4
Useful Christmas resources websites:
http://www.northpole.com/
http://www.yuleloveit.com/ 
http://www.theholidayspot.com

Friday, November 26, 2010

Revision

Time is fast approaching when it comes to talk about exams. Here you are some extra help for this first term. Cheer up!

 
PRESENT SIMPLE 1 2
PRESENT CONTINUOUS 1 2
PRESENT SIMPLE vs. CONTINUOUS 1
GIVING INSTRUCTIONS 1 
PAST SIMPLE 1 2
PAST CONTINUOUS 1 2
PAST SIMPLE vs. CONTINUOUS 1
PRESENT PERFECT 1 2

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day


On the picture, the first Thanksgiving meal of the Pilgrims, at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

In spite of being a secular holiday, the origin of this festivity was religious. It was a time to give thanks for the first harvest after the arrival and settlement of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower. In those hard days, Native Indians taught the newcomers how to cook new staples and survive in a different country. Hence this celebration remains through years in order to express respect and gratitude in general.
Nowadays, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. The typical Thanksgiving dinner, a roasted stuffed turkey in cranberry sauce, baked beans, creamed potatoes with gravy and pumpkin pie gathers families and friends around. It is a tradition to send loving and best wishes messages to their relatives, classmates or colleagues at work. They often give presents to each other and taking advantage from the season, they decorate their houses with cornucopias, wreaths of fresh or dried flowers and leaves, cranberries, pumpkins, beans, corn and... turkeys.  That's the reason Thanksgiving is also referred to as Turkey Day! Where do you think wishbones come from? Do you understand the joke now? Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Traditional tale


Long time ago, I told you this tale from the Ivory Coast. As my new pupils don't know about it, I want them to share this experience with us. The picture, on the right, was painted by Paul Gauguin, 19th century.


Nowadays it's very common to study languages. But do we really know our mother tongue?


Zogloboló, an African king who took himself far too seriously, forbade his subjects to speak to him. They could only communicate with him through signs. One day, Zogloboló began a trip to meet with African kings in a nearby city. But he felt the urgent call of nature in his way and stepped aside to retrieve himself. As he was in a hurry, his cloak got tangled up and without realising it, he did it on himself.


When he returned to the road, there was great laughter: "Hahahahaha!"...His subjects tried to warn him with signs but Zogloboló didn't understand what they meant. So he appeared for the meeting with a foul-smelling "cake" on his cloak. The other kings began to hold their nose but Zogloboló, who didn't bat an eyelid, spoke: "I'm here to...", he began his speech, which was soon interrupted by another king: "You are a great leader, but I have to tell you that you have a "cake" on your cloak and we can no longer stand the terrible smell". Then, Zogloboló turned around and when he discovered it, he felt so embarrassed that he ran away from the group. Ever since, all his subjects had the right to speak and the king listened to them with patience and attention.

Fortunately, there's freedom of speech, but do we know how to speak and listen?
Source: Sofia Adalid's Collection of Tales of the World.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eid Mubarak

The feast of the Slaughter of the Lamb (in Arabic, Aïd el Kebir) is a very ancient celebration for Muslims. It is very popular in African countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria or Senegal, but it is also spread throughout other Asian and Oceanian countries.The origin of this festivity dates back to biblical legends and to Coranic scriptures.
It all began the day Ibrahim offered Ismael up, his first-son born from Agar, his first wife, to Allah as a proof of his endless love. However, his lord's mightiness replaced  Ismael with a great white lamb taken from paradise, forgiving Ibrahim his sacrifice and thereby, allowing the Arab people's preservation through the shape of a sheep. Since then, Muslims celebrate this feast of the lamb on the tenth day of the month of dihija, which comes seventy days after Ramadan festivity. This year these celebrations are taking place on 16th. November.
Source: taken from the magazine Derechos para todos.

Answer the following questions:
a-Where is the feast of the lamb celebrated? Find more countries apart from those ones mentioned in the text.
b-What does the sheep represent?
c-Who do Allah, Ibrahim and Ismael stand for in the Judeo-Christian tradition?
d-What does Eid Mubarak mean?
e-Do you know any special recipe for this festivity? Write it down with its ingredients and its making.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yummy!!!!!! =)


Bread & Buns:
How To Make Pumpkin Bread

Welcome to Ghost Island

All Hallow's Eve, Halloween, is a special date in many cultures to worship life in contrast to death. It also pays tribute to those beloved people who passed away. During these days, special meals are gathering families and friends around autumn recipes. However, this festivity has become a commercial lure, the right occasion to flood any shopping mall, pub or leisure centre with black and orange garlands, all these garnished with a halo of mystery, and in the end, to attract more customers. This is the case of the Isle of Wight Tourist Office that has launched a campaign to promote a series of spooky events at historic properties, chilling night-time tours and learn more about the myths and legends that have earned it the title GHOST ISLAND. If you are interested in this way of entertainment, just click on here.
There are many stories of haunted houses and ghosts on the Isle of Wight. This incredible supernatural activity seems due in part to the powerful unseen energy that run under this small Island creating some very haunted hotspots.
The haunted sites include Ventnor Botanic Gardens, once the location of The Royal National Hospital built in 1868. In 1969, the hospital was demolished, however the operating theatre proved to be very difficult to pull down and stood up to many attempts of mechanical demolition equipment. When finally two workmen broke through using sledgehammers, they were faced with a ghostly figure standing in the doorway. Residents nearby often comment on the weeping, moaning, groaning and misty shapes floating over the site as well as phantom nurses in old-fashioned uniforms walking the gardens.
Source: Isle of Wight Council Website.

This is my Halloween present for my Secondary students. There aren't any tricks, but many treats to fulfil. Answer these questions.
1-What does Halloween celebrate?
2-Why are there so many stories about ghosts on this isle?
3-What happened during the hospital demolition?
4-Do you know any legend in your town? Find it out! Ask for information and write a brief summary.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Working with accents

As we all know, the hardest of English is its huge variety of accents. Like everywhere, they can vary depending on the speaker's pronunciation. To challenge your listening and comprehension, I've taken this fragment from the famous TV series Gilmore Girls. The action takes place in a cafe where several characters talk. Pay attention to what they say and the funny situations created around them. Try to answer these questions:
a-Can you make a list of items taken out from the woman's bag?
b-What is the relationship between them?
c-What's the boy trying to do while he's talking to the girl?
Their dialogues are sharp so, please, don't forget to post the points you'd like to be checked. By the way, I hope you like this TV series. It's one of my favourites!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time to start again!


smile glitters It's September and holidays finished some weeks ago. We all know it's been a long time since you last opened an English book, but as you should remember, learning a language doesn't need to be a boring task. Right the opposite! You can go on travelling, discovering interesting places and meeting new people to share your experiences with by using the English language.  For this reason, I've chosen some exercises to help you for warming up. Are you ready? All aboard!!!!
 
PRESENT SIMPLE & CONTINUOUS         PAST           POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVES         LISTENING

Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer revision


Click here and check all you have learned for your September exam.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloomsday


All 16th June, Dublin remembers this same date in 1904 in Leopold Bloom's life, the main character of James Joyce's novel Ulysses.
This day is known as Bloomsday. The novel is the excuse for Dubliners and their visitors to relive Bloom's adventure which takes place during a day in different settings in Dublin. Thus, it's a tradition to visit his birthplace, have a walk along the Liffey or go down to the beach of Sandycove. If you go to the city centre, don't miss O'Connell Street, Belvedere school or Monto. These are remarkable landmarks in Joyce's life and novel and the scenery for many performances as well.
If you want to enjoy, a look on Ulysses is a great idea to start with.

More information, Bloomsday Festival 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

English test

Watch this video and answer the questions below.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Environment Day



LET'S CARE THE PLANET! Here you can find some tips for a good start!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Three Waves

Traditional Norwegian tale.
Once upon a time, there a was a young fisherman called Olaf who lived happily with his parents. He had mysterious powers to look beyond reality and in addition, he could make himself invisible just by putting his hands over his eyes.
One day, Olaf's father went out fishing, but he never returned. The young man grew up and a ship hired him as a crew member. Before sailing, the sailors went to have some fun...except for Olaf, who stayed as a guard. Then, he saw some black crows come on the ship. Olaf made himself invisible and listened what they were saying: "Nobody knows that we're witches, and when the sailors go to sea, three giant waves will come up and they'll die. Ha, ha, ha!", the birds laughed outrageously, and went on, "And what they don't know either is that to save themselves they'll have to throw a birch beam over each wave".
Olaf quickly went for the birch beams and put them on the boat. And as it was planned, when things were most peaceful on deck the enormous waves rose up. Olaf told the sailors to throw the beams, one after the other..., and that's how they were saved. They reached the island of the castaways where Olaf found his father and took him back home.
If you go to the beach, be careful of the tides and the jellyfish! Enjoy the sea!
Source: Sofia Adalid's Collection of Tales of the World.

Monday, May 31, 2010

No Tobacco World Day


Every year, many people suffer from diseases caused by the addiction to tobacco. This year, its campaign against has been conceived focused on Tobacco and Gender. What we cannot allow is being a passive smoker whenever we go out for some fresh air! A good health is a precious token. Good habits contribute to keep it.
Remember it's up to you. Decide and say NO.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Girl in the Portrait


The girl in the portrait
Traditional Baltic Tale

The natives of many cultures thought that if someone made a portrait of them, they were robbing their soul. Could there be some truth in this?
A young sailor found a phantom ship adrift. When he went on board, he came across a series of useless objects...except for the portrait of a mysterious girl who seemed to look at him from the bottom of her soul. The sailor hung the painting in his house and from then on, no longer felt so alone. The girl, apart from looking at him, cooked and did the housework when he was away. One day the sailor visited a witch: "If you want the girl to stay with you, wait until she steps out the painting, and then, keep the empty frame, under lock and key, in the basement".
The sailor followed her advice and a few days later, he married the girl. In nine months, they had a son who also became a sailor. They lived happily for many years until the old sailor died. That night, when the woman was preparing the shroud, she found the key of the basement. There, she discovered the frame and returned to the painting where she had always been. When the son came home after a long voyage, he looked for his parents everywhere, even in the basement, where he found his mother's portrait when she was much younger. Then, he understood everything: he hung the portrait in the ship so that she returned to the sea.
Maybe portraits don't have a true soul, but they do have something that unsettles and attracts us.
Source: Sofia Adalid's Collection of Tales of the World.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To all Twilight's fans...

Here you are the famous soundtrack for the motion picture Twilight. Do you understand everything? Make an effort and enjoy it! The story comes to its end soon.


Lyrics | Decode lyrics



From LYRICSMODE.COM lyrics archive
Lyrics | Paramore lyrics - Decode lyrics

Monday, May 24, 2010

Revising grammar

My dear students,
you can't complain now! Here you are lots of exercises to help you revise the grammar for the forecoming exams. Please, remember to check your answers and ask me what you don't understand. 

Good luck!
 
1st. ESO  Tests 1  2  3  4  5 
2nd. ESO Tests 1  2  3  4  5
3rd. ESO  Tests 1  2  3  4  5  6

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spicy Cajun Cod

Part of Creole's gourmet heritage. Just try and enjoy it!

Main Dish: How To Cook Spicy Cajun Cod

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Your name, please!

When we have to give our personal information to fill in a form, we have to be very careful with pronunciation. Here's a funny sketch where spelling and onomatopoeias are essential. You'll know what I mean after watching it. Have fun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Europe's Day

Listen to the European Union National Anthem, The Ode to Joy, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Surf the net and find more information about this famous composer.



Have a look to the Official website and find out:

  • the number of languages spoken
  • the flags of the member countries
  • their capitals
  • the name of the inhabitants of each country
  • the European Council composition
  • their rulers' names

The 27 member states which compose the European Union are those mentioned below. Can you locate them on a blank map?

1-Austria 2-Belgium 3-Bulgaria 4-Cyprus 5-Czech Republic (the) 6-Denmark 7-Estonia 8-Finland 9-France 10-Germany 11-Greece 12-Hungary 13-Ireland 14-Italy 15-Latvia 16-Lithuania 17-Luxembourg 18-Malta 19-Netherlands (the) 20-Poland 21-Portugal 22-Romania 23-Slovakia 24-Slovenia 25-Spain 26-Sweden 27-United Kingdom (the)


 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Carrot Cake

Prepare your skin to receive the sunbeams with this sweet recipe. Carrots are rich in beta-caroten, which prevents us from diseases such as some types of cancer. Its antioxidant effect delays the ageing of the skin and helps the tan. In addition, children will enjoy eating vegetables without noticing it! 
P.S. My blogger friend Marisa's recipe is delicious! Let's wait to upload hers A.S.A.P. Pleaseeeeee!


Cheap Recipes: How To Make Carrot Cake

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day




In Britain this day is associated more with ancient folklore than with the workers. In some villages the custom of dancing round the maypole is acted out.
The first kind of maypole dancing is probably extremely ancient and is thought by some to have Germanic pagan fertility symbolism, although there is a lack of evidence to support this conjecture. It is traditionally performed in the spring around the festival of May Day, but in Sweden it is during the midsummer festivities.
Source: Wikipedia.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Origin of the Koala


Traditional Australian tale

Living beings cannot survive without water. What will happen when this valuable natural resource begins to run out?
The aborigines in a village had such hard hearts that they paid no attention to Kubu, an orphan boy who could not speak and wandered the streets begging. So Kubu climbed up trees, his only friends, and watched the horizon tinted in beautiful colours so as to forget his hunger and thirst.
One fine day everyone went hunting, but first they hid their provisions, especially the water, so that the orphan couldn't take it away from them. But when Kubu was alone in the village, a tree began to move its branches in a strange way. Kubu understood its language and approached the trunk where he discovered the villagers' secret hiding place. He had a real feast and then climbed up the tree.
When the aborigines came back, they became so furious that they climbed up to the orphan and threw him out...and when Kubu woke up, he was on the ground surrounded by expectant faces. He didn't understand why they were looking at him that way, until he realised that his body was covered with hair and he had been turned into a small bear. The spirit of the trees gave him the gift of being the only animal that does not need water to live. And that's why he's called koala, "who doesn't need water".
Many times it's necessary to accept something tough to discover who we really are. It's painful but it's worth the trouble.
Source: Sofia Adalid's collection of Tales of the World.

Friday, April 23, 2010

World Book Day


This date commemorates the death of two universal writers: Shakespeare and Cervantes.


As an Indian proverb says,
a book, opened, it is a speaking brain;
closed, an
awaiting friend ;
forgotten, a forgiving soul;
destroyed, a crying heart.



Reading offers a wide range of possibilities to approach to other visions of the world, providing our minds with a thriving ground.
What are you waiting for? Join us!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

How could Lewis Carroll have imagined the impact of his story so many years afterwards? A tale that was based on a warm summer afternoon, during a walk by the Thames river. He was with Reverend Duckworth and the young Liddell sisters. They felt tired and sat by the riverside. Meanwhile Carroll would tell the girls a wonderful story about a little girl called Alice to amuse them. Several months later, he wrote what he had told them that day. Since then, many interpretations of his Alice's Adventures in Wonderland have appeared and because of that, his name will be remembered forever.
Here you are the lyrics of the main theme for the motion picture, Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. The singer is Avril Lavigne, so I hope you enjoy the song.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

With English accent



If you go to Paris, you can't miss the Shakespeare & Company bookshop. Situated opposite Notre Dame cathedral, on the left margin, it has become one of the meeting points for many writers and readers interested in English literature. Since 1951, Jack Kerouac, Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller...are among its guests. Even today, you can consult the writers invited to come on its website.

For more information, www.shakespeareandcompany.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

Revision

This is a brief summary of unit 9. You can check how much you know about:
ADVERBS 1 2 3
MODALS  1 2 3
VOCABULARY 1 2 3 4 5
Try to test your knowledge by now and expand your vocabulary as well. Good luck!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This time last year...

... I started a course about the use of new technologies in the classroom. Then, I realized how useful they are to learn a language. Since then, my students have another tool to work with and look more motivated! Thank you for trusting me!
Happy birthday glitters
Happy Birthday (HOT!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Listen and practise



Here there are some links to practise your listening skills. You only have to push on the topic you are interested in and listen carefully. Then, read the questions below and answer them.


SHOPPING
USEFUL EXPRESSIONS
MATERIALS
IN THE SUPERMARKET (Game)
SHOES AND FOOTWEAR (The hangman) 
SPORTS
EXTREME SPORTS QUIZ
GRAMMAR REVISION
Remember you can listen to them the times you need! Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Zogloboló



Traditional tale from the Ivory Coast.

Nowadays it's very common to study languages. But do we really know our mother tongue?
Zogloboló, an African king who took himself far too seriously, forbade his subjects to speak to him. They could only communicate with him through signs. One day, Zogloboló began a trip to meet with African kings in a nearby city. But he felt the urgent call of nature in his way and stepped aside to retrieve himself. As he was in a hurry, his cloak got tangled up and without realising it, he did it on himself.
When he returned to the road, there was great laughter: "Hahahahaha!"...His subjects tried to warn him with signs but Zogloboló didn't understand what they meant. So he appeared for the meeting with a foul-smelling "cake" on his cloak. The other kings began to hold their nose but Zogloboló, who didn't bat an eyelid, spoke: "I'm here to...", he began his speech, which was soon interrupted by another king: "You are a great leader, but I have to tell you that you have a "cake" on your cloak and we can no longer stand the terrible smell". Then, Zogloboló turned around and when he discovered it, he felt so embarrassed that he ran away from the group. Ever since, all his subjects had the right to speak and the king listened to them with patience and attention.
Fortunately, there's freedom of speech, but do we know how to speak and listen?
Source: Sofia Adalid's Collection of Tales of the World.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools' Day



It is traditional for people from UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, France, Romania and USA to play tricks or practical jokes on each other on 1st April. Children are the most enthusiastic about this custom, but even the BBC and serious newspapers sometimes have "joke" features on this date.
Its origins are not clear, but it may lie on the fact that when King Charles IX of France changed officially the first day of the year from April 1 to January 1, some of his subjects continued using the old system. In any case, All Fools' Day is celebrated to make people laugh. Friends, family members, neighbours, even enemies become targets of all sort of jokes that last all day. If you are an April Fool, just keep smiling, it's healthy!
Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Couscous salad

Here you are a very easy recipe to taste at Easter time. Now, we can resist the temptation to eat chocolates or other typical Easter dessert avoiding their side effects! This is the healthiest way to try sweet food without paying attention to the scales. Enjoy!

Cheap Recipes: How To Make Couscous Salad

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Era of Robots



Shot taken from the film I, Robot, based on Carl Sagan's homonymous bestseller.

Year 3090. In the society we live, technology ranges over a wide variety of fields. From Agriculture to Medicine, it remains present in our everyday life. Unless this situation changes, we can spend days without meeting anybody, just our robots! But are these steel creations worthy of our confidence?
On a normal day, once I get up, my butler-robot brings my breakfast to bed. Later, it does the ironing and cleans the house. If I ask it to do the shopping, the only effort is to dictate the shopping list that it will memorise automatically. Then I chatter with my talkative robot, due to the fact that I don't really have anything else to do, since my teleworker-robot does my job. Life is really calm if you have one at home!
Stress and heart attacks became diseases of the past ages ago. Reluctance arises when our health is on their hands, though. Can they be as secure as human beings? Well, after all, we cannot feel we are in danger unless we read a "Gosh, this is not going on as it should" expression on the dentist-robot's face.
On the other hand, we need human contact to develop social and communicative skills. Our ancestors had it easier. They used to deal with people almost for everything, everywhere. That is the reason we should wonder whether it used to be a better life or not. Perhaps they may have aspired to live a deadly dull life rather than being so busy. Nevertheless, we are in the opposite extreme, and we can complain if we feel like it. What is sure is that there is no accounting for tastes!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

Help the planet!!! Today many monuments in the world will turn their lights off at 20.30 hrs to save energy. You can contribute as well.
If you want to know more about this saving initiative in your country,click here.