Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Paul Newman

Hollywood has been mourning the death of Oscar-winning film legend Paul Newman (Jan 26, 1925 - Sep 26, 2008), who died of cancer aged 83. Tributes have been pouring in for him:

Robert Redford, said: "I have lost a real friend" while Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey said Newman was a "great humble giant".

Former actor, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, called him "a generous but modest philanthropist".
Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary described him as "an American icon, philanthropist and champion for children," in a statement.

The star's five daughters praised their father's "selfless humility and generosity" in a statement released to the press:
"Paul Newman played many unforgettable roles," they said.
"But the ones for which he was proudest never had top billing on the marquee: Devoted husband, loving father, adoring grandfather, dedicated philanthropist."

The actor starred in some 60 films in a career that spanned five decades.
He was nominated for an Academy Award 10 times - but it took him 33 years to win one, picking up the best actor trophy for The Color Of Money in 1987.
In May 2007, Newman said he was giving up acting because he could no longer perform to the best of his ability.
"I'm not able to work any more... at the level that I would want to," he told US broadcaster ABC.
"You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention."

In addition to his Academy Award for best actor, he was given an honorary Oscar in 1986 "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft".

In 1994, he picked up a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.
His philanthropic efforts included the establishment of summer camps for children who suffered from life-threatening illnesses.
He also donated profits from his Newman's Own food range to a number of charitable organisations.

Source: BBC News.

I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Pronunciation quiz

Everybody knows that there are many easily confused words in English as regards pronunciation. But don't panic, we are here to help you! Click on this link to do a pronunciation quiz. There are ten questions to test you and help you learn about English pronunciation.

Source: BBC Learning English.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Lunch in the pub in Britain

We all have an image of other nationalities, and for the British, it is very traditional with London and pubs. Are British people as traditional as we all think? What do they do for lunch on Sunday?Find out by doing these four listening exercises:

Exercise one: Pre-listening: Vocabulary.
Exercise two: Click on the words you hear.
Exercise three: Is this exactly what you hear?
Exercise four: Complete the text.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Aerosmith, "I don't wanna miss a thing"

And we start the new school year with music. Listen to this fantastic song by Aerosmith which is part of Armageddon's soundtrack. You've got the lyrics in English and Spanish.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Welcome back!

Hi students!
I hope your holidays were fantastic and you have a lot of energy for the new course which starts next Monday. You know that you will have the blog available this year again and we will try to use it as much as possible in order to improve your English.

See you on Monday!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations, usually known as the Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, most of which are former British colonies, or dependencies of these colonies (the exceptions being the United Kingdom itself and Mozambique).
No single government in the Commonwealth, British or otherwise, exercises power over the others, as in a political union. Rather, the relationship is one of an international organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status, and co-operate within a framework of common values and goals. These include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace, and are carried out through multilateral projects and meetings, as well as the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth II, known for this purpose as Head of the Commonwealth. This position, however, does not imbue her with any political or executive power over any Commonwealth member states; the position is purely symbolic, and it is the Commonwealth Secretary-General who is the chief executive of the organization. Elizabeth II is also the Head of State, separately, of sixteen members of the Commonwealth, collectively called the Commonwealth realms.
Adapted from the Wikipedia.
More information: Commonwealth Home Page.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Teenagers and Chores

Click on the image to enlarge.