Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Glitter Graphics

Christmas Glitter Pictures

- The history of Christmas
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Christmas Vocabulary
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The Elves Save the Day (listening/reading)
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Santa's Personalized Stories
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Santa's Computer Travels
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Christmas Games
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Christmas Carols
- ESL Christmas Activities

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens


A Christmas Carol is a novella by the English author Charles Dickens about a miserly, cold, unfeeling, selfish old man called Ebenezer Scrooge and his holiday conversion and redemption after being visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve. The book was first published on 19 December 1843 with illustrations by John Leech, and quickly met with commercial success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol remains popular, has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.

Plot summary:

Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old man who believes that Christmas is just an excuse for people to miss work and for idle people to expect handouts. He doesn't believe in all of the good cheer and charity that the season promotes and wants everybody to know it.

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business associate, Jacob Marley -- a man who was as greedy and cold as Scrooge is. Marley warns Scrooge that if he continues to live so selfishly, he will spend eternity wearing the chains that his greed has built.

Three ghosts visit Scrooge successively: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. They show Scrooge his error in valuing money over people. Scrooge is frightened by the bleak picture of his life and promises to change his ways.

Scrooge awakes on Christmas morning a new man. He becomes jolly and charitable, and truly turns into the man he promised the ghosts he would become. He carries the spirit of Christmas with him all the year round.

You can read touching novella if you click on this link.

Source: Wikipedia and Bookrags

Jim Carreys A Christmas Carol Official Trailer:

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

25th November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


On the occasion of the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”, our school has organized a series of activities intended to make students aware of the necessity of coping with this problem from an early age. Our intention is to make them react against any kind of violence.

I have just received by mail a link to an interesting teaching unit called "When love kills...". It has been made by Anna Aznar, a teacher from Lleida, in the north of Spain.

If you click on this link, you can do the unit step by step. It is worthwhile.


I Got Flowers Today

I got flowers today.
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said.
Because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today.
It wasn't our anniversary any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today,
and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
And it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
What about money?
I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten flowers...today.

By Paulette Kelly
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Don't wait until it is too late. This poem reflects many women's attitude when they are being abused. Don't let anybody hurt you. Ask for help.
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Sunday, 22 November 2009

English Challenge: win a class trip to London!!!

What is Next Stop London 2010 all about?

With its 3 levels and all new questions, Next Stop London is back and even more thrilling than last year. Face the challenge now and try your hand at the questions about language, history and culture. Naturally, the prizes for Next Stop London 2010 are awesome – the winning class gets a trip to London for the whole class and the runners-up will win cool language tuition classes.

My students have to register in the following links:
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Saturday, 14 November 2009

New Moon

The thousands of followers of the successful Twilight's saga are eager to see the premiere of the New Moon movie, the sequel to Twilight. The Release Date of New Moon is November 20, 2009, although in some countries, such as Spain, fans are luckier and will be able to see the film on November 18!!!

I am sure that most of the followers have already read Stephenie Meyer's New Moon, but although they know what happens in the film, they are looking forward to watching the film. The following counter tells you the remaining time for the official release date, November 20.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sesame Street


Sesame Street is an American educational children's TV series. It's a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, which combines both education and entertainment. Sesame Street is well known for its Muppets, characters created by Jim Henson. It premiered on November 10, 1969, and is the longest running children's program on US television. Thus, today we commemorate the 40th birthday of this popular TV series.

As author Malcolm Gladwell has stated, "Sesame Street was built around a single, breakthrough insight: that if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them". Sesame Street uses a combination of animation, puppets, and live actors to stimulate young children's minds, improve their letter and word recognition, basic arithmetic, geometric forms, classification, simple problem solving, and socialization by showing children or people in their everyday lives.

Apart from the previously listed, further instructional goals have been basic life skills, such as how to cross the street safely, proper hygiene, healthy eating habits, and social skills; in addition, real-world situations are taught, such as death, divorce, pregnancy and birth, adoption, and even all of the human emotions such as happiness, love, anger, fear, sadness, and hatred.
This program is undoubtedly an example to follow, a guideline for producers to create less violent and more instructional series for children.
Happy 40th birthday, Sesame Street!!!

Source and more information: Wikipedia.
Here you can watch a video to learn the letter "B":

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Nobel Prize

Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace.

The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.

Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award. These prizes are commonly regarded as the most prestigious award one can receive in any of these fields.

This year, Nobel Laureates in each of the fields are:

Physics:

- Charles K. Kao "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication".

- Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor".

Chemistry:

- Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome".

Physiology or Medicine:
- Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase".

Literature:
- Herta Müller "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".

Peace:

- Barack Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

Prize in Economics:

- Elinor Ostrom "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons" and Oliver E. Williamson "for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm".


The website "Nobelprize.org" offers a wide variety of educational games based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements. These games will teach and inspire you while you are having fun! If you want to play, click on this link.
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Sunday, 20 September 2009

PAU (Selectividad) Tests and Activities


The following link contains many activities and tests related to PAU (Selectividad). I find them really helpful for you to practise and I hope you find them useful too.

http://www.isabelperez.com/select.htm

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Welcome back to school!


Well, this comic strip shows some teenagers' feelings about the beginning of the new school year. I hope you have a very good start next Tuesday. Welcome back to school!
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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Hello everybody! I'm back and ready to go on posting on English is all around!
I hope you've had a wonderful summer and you've recharged your batteries to start working again.

Today I want to tell you how to make Shepherd's Pie, one of the most traditional British dishes. Also known as Cottage Pie, it consists of a meat pie with a crust made from smashed potato and beef.


British:
How To Make Shepherd's Pie

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The most famous of all meteor showers: the Perseids


The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus.

Meteor showers occur when Earth moves through a meteor stream. The stream in this case is called the Perseid cloud and it stretches along the orbit of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it passed by the Sun.

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years, with the first known information on this meteor shower coming from the Far East. In early medieval Europe, the Perseids came to be known as the "tears of St. Lawrence."

The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the greatest activity between August 8 and 14, peaking about August 12. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle's orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere.

(Source: Wikipedia)
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So, if you are fond of astronomy or if you enjoy watching a natural phenomenon or if you just want to wish upon a star, don't hesitate to go out to the countryside or a place out of the city and lie down to observe this amazing show. It's worth it!
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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Summer English exercises


I've found a site with many interesting exercises for you to review during the summer holidays. I hope you find it useful and practise for improving your English skills. Have a nice summer! (Sorry I'm a bit late as regards my wishes, but anyway, all the best to everybody!).

Englishexercises.org
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Sunday, 19 July 2009

Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

Everybody knows that "the king of pop", Michael Jackson, died on Thursday, June 25, 2009, after suffering a heart attack. There is much controversy on the real cause of his death, but I am not going to deal with it in this entry. I'm just going to talk about his legacy in terms of music as the following figures show:

Records and achievements of Michael Jackson.
List of awards received by Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson's album discography:

Got to Be There (1972)
Ben (1972)
Music & Me (1973)
Forever, Michael (1975)
Off the Wall (1979)
Thriller (1982)
Bad (1987)
Dangerous (1991)
HIStory (1995)
Invincible (2001)


The following video is probably regarded as the best video in music history.

"Michael Jackson's Thriller" is a 14-minute music video for the song of the same name released on December 2, 1983 and directed by John Landis, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jackson. The mini-film music video was broadcast on MTV three weeks before Christmas 1983. It was the most expensive video of its time, costing US$500,000, and Guinness World Records listed it in 2006 as the "most successful music video", selling over 9 million units. (Source: Wikipedia). For more information on "Thriller", click here.

"Thriller", parts 1 and 2:



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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Paris


We're going to Paris tomorrow on an end-of-year school trip and I would like you to do an activity concerning vocabulary related to tourism. You will need to use your English, so, why don't you practise by doing this activity?

Tourism-related activity.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

How To Make Spanish Tortilla

I have just found a very interesting site: http://www.videojug.com/. But what is this website about? I'll tell you, well, they'll tell you, this is their own description of the site:

"Whatever you want to get good at, Videojug can help. From cooking a curry or learning to dance to health, wealth, happiness and finding love. We’ve found the best advice out there and turned it into over 60,000 professionally-made video and article guides. We’ve also got a lot of great content made by our users, and still more from our many partner sites. Wherever you go on the site you’ll find a community of people just like you, with the same aims and interests, learning new things and sharing their skills and experiences. Getting good at life."


The following video shows how to make the delicious Spanish Tortilla. Follow the instructions and try and make one, you'll like it!


Breakfast: How To Make Spanish Tortilla
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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Test your level of English

Do you want to test your level of English? Click on these links, you've got different tests to know how skilled you are in the English language.



British council
Englishjet
World-English
English-online
Englishtag
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Monday, 18 May 2009

Eurovision Song Contest winner: Norway

I want to congratulate Norway and the singer Alexander Rybak for winning the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Fairytale. Although his song is not my favourite, he has received the highest number of points from televoters and juries from the 42 countries participating in the contest. Norway managed to gather 387 points altogether - a new record! -, followed by Yohanna from Iceland (my favourite one) with 218 points and Azerbaijan's AySel & Arash who collected 207 points. You can find the full results of the Grand Final here.
(Source: Eurovision Official Site)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Eurovision Song Contest 2009: Second Semifinal Results

This is the list of countries that qualified in the order they were announced during the Second Semi-final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Croatia
  • Ukraine
  • Lithuania
  • Albania
  • Moldova
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Greece

This video shows the official recap of all 19 songs competing at the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, in Moscow, Russia!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Eurovision Song Contest 2009: First Semifinal Results

The First Semi-final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest is over and these are the ten countries qualifying for the Final:
  • Turkey
  • Sweden
  • Israel
  • Portugal
  • Malta
  • Finland
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Romania
  • Armenia
  • Iceland

This means that 15 out of 25 participants of the Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest are known. The remaining 10 finalists will be known after the Second Semi-Final, which will take place on May 14th at 21:00 CET!

Which is your favourite song to win the contest? Write and tell us!!! This is one of my favourite songs: Iceland's Is it true?

This video shows the official recap of all 18 songs competing at the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, in Moscow, Russia!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Eurovision Song Contest Moscow 2009

In two weeks time, the Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Moscow. I am keen on this festival and I really like listening to the songs from the different countries.
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Since 2008, the Eurovision Song Contest consists of three live shows, aired prime-time to millions of homes across Europe. During two Semi-Finals, viewers and juries across Europe determine which countries will be represented in the Final.

The first Semi-Final will take place on Tuesday, 12th of May, 21:00 CET.
18 countries will be represented in the first Semi-Final; Andorra, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Israel, FYR Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

The second Semi-Final will be held on Thursday, 14th of May, 21:00 CET.
19 countries will be represented in the second Semi-Final; Albania, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

The Final is scheduled for Saturday, 16th of May, 21:00 CET.
Artists from 25 of the 42 represented countries will compete in the Final of the 2009Eurovision Song Contest. From each Semi-Final, 10 countries will qualify. France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and host country Russia are automatically qualified to take part in the Final.

The Spanish participant is Soraya, this is her song:


In the following preview video player, you can watch and listen to all the songs taking part in the contest:
Eurovision Song Contest - Moscow 2009 Preview Player
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Thursday, 23 April 2009

World Book Day 2009

World Book Day is held on April, 23rd to commemorate the death of Shakespeare and Cervantes, two of the world's most celebrated writers. For more information on this topic, click on this link, which will take you to last year's World Book Day entry.
Today, the members of the Spanish Language and Literature Department of our school have made a series of activities to commemorate this special date. These activities have been based on the American Romantic writer Edgar Allan Poe, 200 years after his birth. We have seen an exhibition of different projects made by the students about this author, together with a video of some of his tales. Moreover, every teacher has received a traditional gift in Spain this day: a rose. Thank you very much, my dear colleagues.
Read and listen to Poe's "The Raven" in the following video:

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Earth Day 2009

Time for reflection:
What would the planet look like if we reduced the entire population of Earth into a small community of 100 people, while maintaining the same proportions we have today?

Look at this video, think about it and leave a comment if you want to.

These percentages may vary since they are only statistics and they can change after a few months or years, but anyway, the video is shocking.



Appreciate what you have ...
and do your best for a better world

http://www.miniature-earth.com/

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Future in English

There is no proper "future tense" in English. However, there are multiple ways of expressing future time: Will, Be going to, Present continuous and Present simple.

Tense & Time
Tense is a grammatical category while time is a semantic one.
It is important not to confuse the name of a verb tense with the way we use it to talk about time. Look at the following chart to see how different tenses can be used to talk about different times.

Will, Be going to, Present continuous and Present simple for Future Time
Present continuous: Explanation and exercises
Present simple: Explanation and exercises
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Friday, 17 April 2009

"Happy Ending", Mika

I love this song! Do you like it too?
What is it about?


Song lyrics | Happy Ending lyrics

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Traditional British Recipes

Although the main aim of this blog is to help people to learn English, we cannot forget that culture is also a very important aspect to take into account when studying a foreign language. So, this post is intended for you to know some traditional British recipes.

British recipes:

CUSTARD
Custard is a range of preparations based on milk and eggs. Most commonly, custard refers to a dessert or dessert sauce, but custard bases are also used for quiche and other savoury foods. As a dessert, it is made from a combination of milk or cream, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Sometimes flour, corn starch, or gelatin are also added. (Source: Wikipedia)
Ready made custard is usually excellent but this recipe is based on how it used to be made a long time ago. It is easy to make and the only thing that could go wrong is that it might become too hot and curdle. If it does? Don't worry. Just whisk in an egg and it will return to normal. This can be served hot or allowed to chill in the fridge. For an 'extra special' custard stir in about 150ml or 5 fl oz of double cream at the very end of the heating process.

Ingredients:
25g or 1 oz caster sugar
300ml or 10 fl oz of boiling milk
3 drops of vanilla essence
2 large egg yolks

Method:
1. Beat the egg yolks
2. In a large bowl place the sugar, vanilla essence and the beaten egg yolks and mix together.
3. Now pour in the boiling milk, whisking as you pour.
4. Put the custard into a saucepan and, over a LOW heat, stir until the right constituency is obtained. Test by putting a wooden spoon in the mixture - it should cover the back of the spoon when the spoon is lifted out. DO NOT let the mixture boil or you will end up with sweet scrambled eggs.
5. If you want to add the double cream then this is the time to do it.
6. Remove from the heat and either serve immediately or allow to cool. Once cooled it should be covered and kept in the fridge for 2 days. Do not reheat once chilled.

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I hope you enjoy cooking traditional British food, if you try any of the recipes, please tell me.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day, although not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on a fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, the jokes only last until noon: like UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool". Elsewhere, such as in Ireland, France, and the USA, the jokes last all day. (Source: Wikipedia)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Verbs followed by Gerunds or Infinitives

When two verbs appear together in a sentence, the first verb determines if the second verb will be in the gerund form (-ing form) or the infinitive form (to+base form). But, how do we know if a verb is followed by the gerund or the infinitive? The only way is to memorize which verbs are followed by gerunds and which are followed by infinitives.

If you click on this link, you'll find a very useful classification of verbs requiring gerunds, infinitives or both: Pearson-Longman.

Once you've read it through, you can practise here.

Infinitive / Gerund:
Infinitive or GerundExercise 2 Level: lower intermediate
Infinitive or GerundExercise 2 Level: intermediate
Infinitive or GerundExercise 2Exercise 3 Level: upper intermediate
Infinitive and/or Ing-Form Level: upper intermediate

Tests on Infinitive and Gerund:
Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4

For more information and activities, click on this link: EnglishClub.com
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Saturday, 21 March 2009

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. (Source: Wikipedia).
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Friday, 20 March 2009

Listening and speaking practice

A colleague at school has told me about this site today: http://www.acapela.tv/. Here you'll find different characters which change the text you type into speech. It can be used as a greeting card or as a way of practising your language skills.

I have left a message for you here:
http://www.acapela.tv/Easter-1-bcd63538c5899
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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Saint Patrick's Day 2009

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Today thousands of people around the world celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. Although Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, it is a celebration that has spread to many countries all over the world.
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People wear green clothes, eat traditional Irish food or take shamrocks with them. There are parades, dance performances and fireworks display.
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For more information on this special day, click here. This site (Kaboose) contains links to Saint Patrick's crafts, games, history, activities, recipes, riddles and jokes, etc. You can't miss it if you are keen on Saint Patrick's Day!
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Sláinte!!!
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I have just found a very interesting lesson on Saint Patrick's Day. Enjoy it!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

As or Like?


AS can be:

- a preposition meaning in the capacity of / in the function of like in the sentence:
She works as a teacher.

- but it is usually a conjunction of manner and goes therefore followed by a verb form, for example:
When in Rome do as Romans do.

- It also appears in comparative structures:
Peter is as tall as a my brother.

- In the group such as it means like:
There are different ways of travelling such as (=like) walking, flying or driving.

LIKE

Is a preposition and goes therefore followed by a noun. It expresses similarity:
She feels like a rolling stone (=in the same way as)
It was like a dream (=similar to)


Like is a preposition and is therefore followed by pronouns in the object form.
They said they didn't want people like me in that group.

It can also be followed by a verb, in the -ing form
There's nothing like fishing from a boat.

In fact, when we want to ask about the description of something we use:
WHAT IS something LIKE ? which is quite different from
HOW is something /someone ? where we become interested in personal state, etc.

Source: http://english.baladre.org/sedaviwebfront/asliketheory.htm

Online quiz: As or Like?

Spanish explanation and examples.

More Spanish explanations: I and II.

As or like? Matching exercise.

As or Like Quiz.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

International Women's Day


Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues. This year's theme is "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls". Source and more information: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

My students have contributed to this day by means of a series of projects about women's work in the different fields.
The first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911. For more information, click here.

To read about some GENDER FACTS, click here. These are only some examples:

Networking ...
Women use 20,000 words a day while men only use 7,000

Business / Finance ...
Women spend more time researching before they invest than men do

Work ...
Women do two-thirds of the world's work but receive only 10% of the world's income
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Friday, 6 March 2009

Our trip to Gibraltar

Yesterday we went to Gibraltar on a school trip and all I have to say is that it was fantastic! We spent a great time there despite the weather. Luckily, it did not rain, but the wind was really strong. We went to Europa Point, we visited Saint Michael's caves and we stopped at the Apes' Den. An ape jumped onto my shoulders and I took a nice picture! Then we had free time to have lunch and go shopping.

My students' behaviour was very good and I want to congratulate them. If we have the chance, we will repeat the trip next year.

The solutions to the Gymkhana are the following:

1. Apes.
2. British.
3. Chocolate.
4. Duty.
5. Europa.
6. Frontier.
7. Governor.
8. Hindu Temple.
9. India.
10. John Galiano.
11. King’s Chapel.
12. La Línea de la Concepción.
13. Mediterranean.
14. National.
15. Ocean.
16. Pound.
17. Queensway.
18. Rock.
19. Saint Michael.
20. Trafalgar.
21. Utrecht.
22. Victoria Stadium.
23. Winston Churchill Avenue.
24. Phone box.
25. Yacht.
26. Zoo.


How many answers did you get right? Which was the most difficult question for you? Did you practise your English while doing the Gymkhana? I hope so.
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Monday, 23 February 2009

School trip to Gibraltar

Next week we are going to Gibraltar on a school trip. You know that you will have to work in groups and do a special Gymkhana during the visit. It will be really funny and it will give you the opportunity to be in direct contact with British people. You are encouraged to speak English with them and ask questions to complete your task.

Some questions are very easy but some others involve a deeper knowledge on Gibraltar. For this reason, you may want to have some information prior to the trip. I provide a series of links for you to start investigating:

Government of Gibraltar
Gibraltar: Wikipedia
Gibraltar: Tourism

Finally, when I was looking for a nice picture to show you Gibraltar's monkeys, I found something that made me feel really sad and terrified. It is a piece of news that announces that there has been and there is going to be a monkeys' cull (slaughter). They say that two of them have already been given lethal injections and vets have been ordered to kill another 23. The reason can be that some of these monkeys have vandalised hotel rooms and have run amok on a beach. (Click here and here for the news).

I am an animal lover and I consider that killing should be the last measure to take. These monkeys can be taken to a diffent place, a zoo for example, if they do not fit in The Rock anymore. I hope there is a better solution for this problem.
Look at these pictures, aren't they cute?


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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Thank you too! Let's go to Gibraltar, baby!


Thanks a lot, students from 1º Bachillerato A. The cake was delicious and the message really funny! You will enjoy your trip to Gibraltar, I'm sure.

I published a post on Gibraltar some time ago, click here to read it.

Lots of love,
Marisa.
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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Thank you!!!

My dear students, thanks a lot for the wonderful birthday party you made today for me!

I am really touched and happy! The cake was delicious, mmmm!!!! A chocolate cake!!! And thanks for the card and the chocolate bar!!!

Many kisses and lots of love!

Marisa.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Color word jumble

Read the colour of the words below, not the actual words. Try to do it as fast as you can. Is it easy or difficult? This is called the "Stroop Effect", named after J. Ridley Stroop, who discovered this strange phenomenon in the 1930s. For more information of the Stroop Effect, click here. (Wikipedia).


Saint Valentine's Cards at our school

First of all, congratulations for your contribution to the contest. We have more than one hundred cards in only three groups: 4th ESO A, 1st BACHILLERATO A and 1st BACHILLERATO B!!! You've done a great job!


I wish you all a Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Some Famous English Quotes III

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

“Smiles form the channels of a future tear.”
Lord Byron

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”
John Lennon

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible.”
Jane Austen

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Thursday, 5 February 2009

Saint Valentine's Card Contest

Make Your Own Saint Valentine's Day Cards

As you know, on February 14 we celebrate Saint Valentine's Day. I want you, my students, to show your feelings to your friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or even teachers. You are encouraged to make a Saint Valentine's card and hand it in before February 12. Remember to do it in English, you can include a poem, a quote, a drawing, etc.

The easiest way to make a Saint Valentine's Day card is to fold a sheet of paper in half and decorate it. Does it sound boring? Well, it doesn't have to be. There are several fun options for decorating cards.

Use your imagination to create fancy St. Valentine's Day cards and win the contest for the most loving, touching, shocking, fabulous, and above all, original Saint Valentine’s Card!
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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Saint Valentine's Day (14th February)



There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

Reading comprehension activity:
Click on this link for one of the stories.
Now, you can answer some questions on the story here.

Isabel's ESL activities and links
21 Reasons Why I Love You
Love calculator
I love you in various languages
Valentine's Day resources St. Valentine's cards

Monday, 2 February 2009

Joaquín Sorolla, "Walk on the beach"

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (February 27, 1863 - August 10, 1923), was a Spanish painter, born in Valencia, who excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land.
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"Walk on the beach" is one of my favourite paintings and, although it has nothing to do with English, I wanted to have it here and share it with all of you. I hope you like it too!
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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Imagine, John Lennon

Let's "Give Peace a Chance". Let's contribute to make a better world for everyone.
Some activities to commemorate the School Day of Non-Violence and Peace:

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Twilight

Lately, everyone has been going Twilight crazy, mainly teenagers. Twilight definitely has made a strong fan base with teenage girls worldwide. In fact, some of my students are really fascinated by the film, specially by Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen).

TWILIGHT is an action-packed, modern-day love story between a teenage girl and a vampire: Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

The film is based on the #1 New York Times Best-Selling series of four novels with over 17 million books in print by Stephenie Meyer: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

TWILIGHT is a cultural phenomenon, with a dedicated fan base that eagerly awaits this movie. There are over 350 fan sites devoted to TWILIGHT, and it has been chosen as the New York Times Editor's Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, Amazon's "Best Book of the Decade...So Far", Teen People's "Hot List" Pick, and The American Library Association's "Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults" and "Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers," among others.

Critically acclaimed director Catherine Hardwicke brings to life this modern, visual, and visceral Romeo & Juliet story of the ultimate forbidden love affair - between vampire and mortal.

Source and more information: Twilight: The Official Movie Site


Saturday, 24 January 2009

Reader 1st Bachillerato

I want to remind you, students from 1st Bachillerato A and B, the reader for next March, A Foreigner in Britain (Burlington Books). I am sure you will like it, the book is really interesting.