viernes, 22 de junio de 2018

Goodbye For The Summer 2018

One more week to go and teachers will be on holidays. Our students are already enjoying theirs. The end of this school year has been, once again, exhausting....But there are two months ahead of us to recover so.... let us make the most of our summer.

Dear students, for those of you who need to do something about improving your listening skills, what about watching series in the summer? If English is too hard for you, try watching each episode twice, the first time with the audio in English and the subtitles in Spanish and the second time changing the subtitles into English. If you do this on a regular basis throughout the summer, hopefully, you will be able to understand much better by the beginning of the next school year. 

Here are my recommendations:
  • 13 Reasons Why (Th1rteen R3asons Why, Netflix), an American teen drama.
IMPORTANT: This show is rated MA for mature audiences, it covers many issues including depression, sexual assault and suicide. If you are struggling, this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult.

  • Atypical, a series that will help you understand what the world is like for people on the autistic spectrum.

  • Ackley Bridge, a school drama series that takes place in Yorkshire, UK (thus, a very strong British accent): everything revolves around the lives and cultures of the largely divided white and Asian community.

Enjoy your summer!

martes, 19 de junio de 2018

The Importance Of Learning a Second Language

This video explains the reason why students should learn a second language:

martes, 5 de junio de 2018

Reading: Poetry

In this video, American author Jason Reynolds shares his opinion on how poetry can encourage people to read, specially youngsters who find literature daunting.

Watch the video first (it has got subtitles in English), get its message, make sure you understand the sentences - you need´t understand every single word but you should be able to understand the idea in each sentence. Then, play the video again and read it along as a pronunciation and intonation exercise.


domingo, 27 de mayo de 2018

Farewell 2º BAC 2018

With my best wishes and with lots of love

sábado, 26 de mayo de 2018

A Taste Of My Students´Speeches 2018

Gloria´s speech a couple of months ago, including the introduction by her friend Santiago


Thanks, Gloria!

viernes, 11 de mayo de 2018

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers

In June 2013 The Smithsonian Institute started a Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center Program to make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible. The program consists of scanning handwritten documents from the 19th century or earlier and  transcribing them; the goal is to crowdsource  the transcription of material that a computer cannot decipher. 
This is an example of the work: the first image is a letter from Georgia O´Keeffe and the second is a transcription of that letter

And these are the steps of the process:
The program offers volunteers projects in different themes, such as Biodiverse Planet  (which consists of transcribing specimen labels and field notebooks), Mysteries of the Universe ( which covers astronomy and astrophysics), historical contributions of women in science, technology and art...
Click here to read more about this
Will you volunteer? 

martes, 8 de mayo de 2018

The Days Of the Week: Origin Of Their names

Have you ever wondered how the days of the week got their names? In this video you'll learn the etymological origin of their names, how these names are related to ancient mythology and to the planets. ('Etymology' is the study of the origin of words)

Watch the video as if it were a listening comprehension exercise; as you watch, write down the origin of each name (= which God it honors and  its meaning), then check and correct your answers with the transcript below the video.


Hi. I'm Gill at, and today we're going to be looking at the days of the week and the origin of the names of the days, which are obviously different in different languages, but in the English language, the days, a lot of them, apart from the sun and the moon, a lot of the days are named after gods. Not... Not god, not the Christian god, but before Christianity came to the UK or to Britain, we had these... It's called pagan gods. "Pagan" just means before Christianity. So, there were these not just one god, but a group of gods, and a goddess as well, a female god. And the days were named after them. Okay. So let's have a look through the days of the week and I'll tell you all about how the day got its name. Okay. So, this goes back hundreds of years, so that's why it's a little strange.

So, "Sunday", the main religious day in the Christian world, but before Christianity in the pagan times, Sunday-obviously, "sun"-was named after the sun. Sun's Day. Because, obviously, you look up into the sky and the sun is the brightest thing there, and it keeps you warm and all of that, so everyone knew the sun was very important for human life to survive, so they named the first day of the week after the sun. Sun's Day. And just to make a link, here, with the German language because we share a lot of similar words with the German language: "Sonntag", so in German as well, the sun... The word for "sun" in German is in the name of the German word for Sunday. Okay. Right, so that's Sunday, Sun's Day, the day dedicated to the sun.

Next day: "Monday". It's not totally obvious, but it's named after the moon. Moon. "Mon", "moon", so there's a little moon. And again, because the sun, most important and then after that you look up in the sky at night and you see the moon, so it's like the second most important thing that you see. So, Moon's Day, Monday. And in German: "Montag", so that's the moon in German. But also, the example from French because in French the word for "moon" is "lune", "la lune", so in French, again, the day is named after the moon and it's called "lundi". So even in French, which has a different word, it's still connected with the moon. Okay. Right, so that's the sun and the moon for the first two days of the week.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. "Tuesday" is named after one of the pagan gods called Tiu, T-i-u. Tiu's Day. Okay? And he came from the sort of North European group of gods. Okay? And Tiu was the god of war. He represented war or... And the god of the sky, generally. And the link, here, with the Southern European gods which come mostly from the Roman gods. So, the French name for Tuesday, and the French words come from the southern group of gods, the Roman god of war is Mars. Okay? Like the planet... There's also a link with the planets, and that's the red planet, Mars. So, in French, Tuesday is called "mardi" because it's linked to Mars. So, in the northern group of gods we have Tiu's Day and he's the god of war, and in the southern group of gods we have mardi, Mars, and Mars is also the god of war in the Southern European gods. Okay. Whoops, sorry. Right.

Moving on: "Wednesday", which is always a tricky one to spell, difficult to spell. It's Wed-nes-day, but we pronounce it: "Wensday". That's named after Woden. Woden's Day. Okay? And Woden was the sort of chief god in charge of all the other gods. He was the top god. Woden's Day. Okay. In the southern group of gods, in French, Wednesday is "mercredi", which is named after Mercury. But in this case, Mercury is not the equivalent of Woden. So, sorry, that's a bit not very... Anyway, that's the way it goes. We can't change it. "mercredi" in French is named after Mercury, who was the messenger god. Okay. And again, there's a planet named after Mercury as well. So, anyway, Northern European, Woden's Day. Wednesday. Right."

lunes, 7 de mayo de 2018

Verb Tenses in English

Watch the video below about the 12 possibilities of verb tenses in the English language. Choose the subtitles in English, if you need them.

Once you have watched the video, do this multiple choice comprehension exercise


domingo, 6 de mayo de 2018

Free Interrail Tickets

Discover EU 2018
Online applications will be open from 12-26 June 2018.
Selection, by a jury of European Commission officials, will start on June 27.
Winners will be notified in early July.

Conditions for applicants

18 years old on 1 July 2018.

National of one of the 28 EU Member States.

Individuals or as a group of up to 5.

Starts in one of the 28 EU Member States.
Between July and September 2018.
For between 1 and 30 days.
To at least 1 and up to 4 cross-border destinations.

Motivation to visit at least one European Cultural Heritage site.
Applicants need to respond to a quiz on EU cultural heritage, European Parliament elections and Youth.
Want to become a DiscoverEU Ambassador

More information: click here

lunes, 30 de abril de 2018

Spanish Slang

Slang= very informal language, sometimes restricted to a particular context or group of people

In this video, Antonio Banderas explains some Spanish slang expressions; doing this is very difficult because the literal meaning of the expression quite often has nothing to do with the real meaning. Watch the video and think about the way how you would have explained them - by the way, there are a couple of them I did not know, probably because, as Antonio Banderas says in the video, they are very frequent in the south of Spain, but not so much in the north, where we live.

Thanks to Esther Martínez for the tip!

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