30 Apr 2011

Question tags; line dancing

Hello guys!

I hope you're having a great weekend, although it's apparently going to rain a lot... (fingers crossed!!).

Last week we talked about Easter holidays and we also had a special activity with Chanelle and Lauren, who prepared a quiz about the differences between Canada and the United States. I hope you learnt a lot!!

We also learnt a bit of line dancing. Here you have the video; I'm sure you're dying to show your family and friends! :) It's a bit old, but it's the easiest dance we could find!


19 Apr 2011

The Canterbury Tales

Hello everyone,

During these days I'd like you to read The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer. I know it's a book you have to read for the Escuela, but, please, don't read it with a feeling of obligation: I want you to enjoy the book, and to appreciate the real treasure you have in your hands. It's one of the best works ever written in English, a veritable masterpiece, and don't forget that Chaucer is known as the Father of English Literature.

Some of you might not like reading, but, trust me, The Canterbury Tales has something for everybody's taste: some stories are deep, some others are hilarious, some are a bit bold/dirty, others are a lesson of morale... And they portray a perfect picture of 15th century England.

As I said in class, the context of the tales is that of a group of pilgrims travelling from London to Canterbury Cathedral to visit Thomas Beckett's tomb; they are people from all the levels of society, from a miller to a knight, from a squire to a priest. The original idea was for every character to tell four tales, two on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. But, instead of 120 tales, the text ends after twenty-four tales.


17 Apr 2011

Jack the Ripper

Hello everyone!

Last week you presented your advertisements in class and, oh boy, how original they were!!! We had a potion to pass English exams, removable heels, products against baldness, hotels, holidays, language courses, books... Great job!!

I said it in class, but I tell you here again: thanks a lot for your effort, and congratulations on your hard work and dedication :) It's a real pleasure to do things with you guys.

On Wednesday/Thursday we talked about murders and Jack the Ripper. After the Easter holidays, we'll continue investigating the case a little bit more, and we'll watch several scenes from the film "From Hell" (2001, starring Johnny Depp). If you want to watch it during the holidays, click here for the link.

As for grammar, we finished reported speech and we corrected some final revision exercises. Please, have a look at them during the holidays and make sure you've got the grasp of it.

I hope you make the most of these days in the way that suits you best: spiritual, relaxed or simply normal holidays. I'll see you all again on the 25th / 26th, and we'll start our final push towards the end of the academic year!

9 Apr 2011

Reported speech; listening practice

Hi! Good morning everyone!

I hope you're all enjoying this warm, sunny weekend! :)

Here you have the usual summary at the end of each week. We continued with the topic of shopping and we did a listening about a girl who wanted to buy a present for her father. Click here if you want to listen to it again.

We also did an activity about "some real English sounds". I hope you all enjoyed it!! Remember to use "ummm", "uh-huh"and "huh?" in class (no more "eeees" in the oral!!), and of course, feel free to use any others! (yummy!, duh!, ouch!, oops!...).

As far as grammar is concerned, we worked with Reported Speech. The process is actually very mechanic, but I understand it needs practice. If you need to revise the "theory", click here for a very detailed explanation. If what you want is practice, then try the following links:
  • Click here to report statements ("normal" sentences).
  • Click here and/or here to report questions.
We also learnt the different between say and tell. You can revise the difference here, or... go straight to some exercises!

Finally, we talked about complaining and we listened to three people complaining in three different situations: a taxi, a hotel and a restaurant. Intermediate F practised with Chanelle on Thursday; Intermediate E will do a communicative activity on Monday.

See you all next week! :)

2 Apr 2011

The world of advertising

Hello there guys!

How's the weekend going? I hope you're all feeling more relaxed after the exams and, especially, after your marks! I'm relatively happy with the results, but I'm sure we can all do better in June :)

The most problematic area continues being the "listening", so we'll continue doing as much practice as we can in class, but it's of the utmost importance that you also listen to English at home. Please, have a look at the labels "videos", "listening" and "words of advice"; you'll find very useful practice there. And remember that it's better to listen to 5-10 minutes of English a day, rather than spending a whole evening doing listening practice. Languages, like sport, are a matter of perseverance (constancia).

Last week we started the topic of shopping and supermarkets. On Monday / Tuesday we talked about advertising and we discussed the following commercial from Sussex Safer Roads:


The Simpsons

Hello guys!

How's the weekend going? :)

I hope you are all more relaxed after the exams and receiving your marks (notas)! I'm very happy with the results, but I'm sure we'll all do even better in June :)

Last week we started talking about neighbours, and we watched an episode from the Simpsons: "The Lemon of Troy" (season 6, episode 24). If you want to watch it again, you can download it here. And click here for the subtitles in English.

On Wednesday we went to a theatre play by Andrew Marshall. Could you more or less understand him? And did you like it? I think we all had great fun seeing him dance and doing his work-out!!