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lunes, 30 de enero de 2012

Gandhi - International Day of Non-Violence

The Gandhi Foundation has done the following slideshire of Gandhi's life. I am going to work with it on the International Day of Non-Violence.

On the following web you can hava a pictorial biography. The most important thing that Gandhi gave us was his own life, however, here you are some of his meditations.

And his most important legacy: His philosophy of Non-Violence.

Also in Teaching English by Fran | Martin Luther King

in Teaching English by Fran | St. Francis's Prayer

domingo, 29 de enero de 2012

Give It All Back

Claudia has done a great job working on the following song Give it all back by Noah and the Whale where we will comment the values of self-confidence and the accomplishment of one's dream.

(summer, influences, practice, performance, believe, audience, chord, old, grew)

1. Complete the song with the correct words.
Oh well the world never seemed bigger
Than the _______ of '98
Living out in the suburbs
Planning my escape
I ____ my hair to my shoulders
Formed a band with a couple of friends
And we called ourselves The Devils Playhouse
_______ like Bruce and the band

And we'd sing and play
Simple three _____ rock and roll
And miles away
The other kids would just grow _____
But we're making our own way out
Yeah we're making our own way out

Well we'd ______ every week in my bedroom
While my parents were working in town
And one morning in our school assembly
Played a cover of "Don't Let Me Down"
The ______ was nervous and awkward
But the passion was real and profound
And the kids in the _____ laughing
While the band just stared in the ground

But the victory
For the kids who ______ in rock and roll
I know for me
That performance lives, it never grows old
But we're making our own way out
Yeah we're making our own way out

Well I'd give it all back just to do it again
Yeah I'd turn back time, be with my friends
Yeah I'd give it all back just to do it again
Turn back time, be with my friends (x 2)


2. Translate the sentences.
1. I'd give it all back just to do it again.
2. The world never seemed bigger than the summer of '98.
3. That performance lives, it never grows old.

3. Order the words to form correct sentences.
1. out/ living/ suburbs/ in/ the
2. formed/ with/ band/ a/ of/ couple/ a/ friends
3. escape/ planning/ my

4. Correct the mistakes.
1. But she’re making our own way out.
2. While my parents was working in town.

I hope you have enjoyed Give It All Back!

Also in Teaching English by Fran | Forever Chris Brown Capella Cover Mike
In Teaching English by Fran | Lead the Way

viernes, 27 de enero de 2012

Australia Day II

Australia are having a long weekend and the aftermath of their National Holiday. We are having good news for Spanish sports. Our Mallorcan, Rafa Nadal will be on the final on the Australian Open. Here you are its web page for more details on the event. 
Tennis is important for Australian withouth forgetting cricket. We should also mention their organization of the Olympic Games in 2000. 

Here are some facts about Australia, that we will be doing in class. Some of them have already been revised, for instance we talked about the platypus,
from πλατύς (broad) y πους (foot ). The scientific name Ornithorhynchus anatinus is derived from ορνιθόρυνχος (ornithorhynkhos), which literally means "bird snout" in Greek, and anatinus, which means "duck-like" in Latin.

Personally, when I think about Australia, SHE appears on my mind. To commemorate her 25th anniversary on the music world and Australia Day, she has released a new version of the Finer Feelings.

Teaching English by Fran | Australia Day

Teaching English by Fran | Mardi Gras

jueves, 26 de enero de 2012

Australia Day

The quest for the celebration of a united Australian Day and the parallel search for an 'Australian identity' and sense of spirit commenced within a few short years of the First Fleet landing of 1788 and subsequent white settlement on this island continent.

From the earliest white settlement at the end of the 18th century, Australians have striven to celebrate a national day, and in so doing, define what it means to be Australian. January 26 has traditionally marked the landing of Captain Arthur Phillip at Port Jackson in present-day Sydney, thereby claiming Australia for the British Empire. Early settlers, perhaps naturally, marked the anniversary.
Australia Day has evolved from a small commemorative New South Wales holiday into a major national celebration. . Australia Day today celebrates diversity and tolerance in Australian society. Whereas once it celebrated the staunchly British nature of Australian society,  it now embraces multicultural Australia, including all ethnic backgrounds, racial differences and political viewpoints.
If you want to know more about this day in history just read it on the following web

Here you are some links to help you celebrating Australia Day
http://www.australiaday.org.au/ and http://www.australiaday.com.au/

This is Australia's national anthem

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free,
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share:
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

However the debate is open. Is Australia Day a day of celebrating or a day or mourning?

The Aboriginal Flag was designed by Harold Thomas, an artist and an Aboriginal, in 1971. The flag was designed to be an eye-catching rallying symbol for the Aboriginal people and a symbol of their race and identity. The black represents the Aboriginal people, the red the earth and their spiritual relationship to the land, and the yellow the sun, the giver of life.

miércoles, 25 de enero de 2012

Burns Night

Burns Night celebrates the man who is considered Scotland's most popular poet, Robert Burns (1759-96). Credited with the creation of the traditional New Year's Eve song, Auld Lang Syne.

Task 1 Watch the video and answers the  questions below?

1. When did Robert Burns begin to write songs to impress girls?
2. When did the red rose spring?
3. What was Burn's father job?
4. After being a farmer, what was Burns's job?
5. Burns wrote about the idea of the rich and the poor should be equal inspired in what Revolution? 
6. At what age did he die?
7. Name two of the most famous Burns's poem?

Burns Night is celebrated in grand style, with the haggis piped to the table by the piper dressed in traditional tartan kilt and sporran, and accompanied by plentiful supplies of "tatties" (potatoes), "neeps" (the orange root vegetable variosly called swede or turnip pureed with butter and freshly ground black pepper) and "nips" (shots of good whisky).

The haggis is toasted and "addressed" and the meal punctuated by speeches and recitations as it follows:

1. Piping in the guest. 
2. Chairman's welcome.
3. The Selkirk Grace: A short but important prayer read to usher in the meal.

 Some hae meat and canna eat 
And some wad eat, that want it,
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

4. Piping in the haggis.
5. Address to the haggis. (read the full poem below).
6. Toast to the haggis.
7. The meal: Simon Rimmer on BBC gives us the main course recipe. As a starter you will be served Cock a leekie soup and as dessert Clootie Dumpling.
8. The drink.
Photo by Manu Catman
9. The first entertainment.
10. The immortal memory.
11. The second entertainment.
12. Toast to the lassies.
13. The final entertainment.
14. Reply to the toast to the lassies.
15. Vote of thanks.
16. Auld Lang Syne

Address to a Haggis.

Address to the Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit!" 'hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

Task 2 Write and address to a Sobrassada!

Task 3: Enjoy your Burns Night!

Teaching English by Fran |Burn an' a' The Festival
Teaching English by Fran | St Andrew's Day

viernes, 20 de enero de 2012

St Sebastian

Today is a day off in Palma. It's St. Sebastian's Day. As good revellers, we went out yesterday for roasting not on an open fire, but on a grill. Although it was crowded at the beginning, Manu from cocinandoconcatman could find some room for us and started the roasting of bacon, "sobrassada", chops and other pork delis . In case you don't know, the slaughtering of the pig is pretty popular in Mallorca and starts before Christmas. If you want to know more about the tradition, just click here.
On this occasion our American friends, Jocelyn and Marisa joined us. I want them to have a nice impression of our traditions; even though it could be weird to be out with low temperatures, yesterday Sebastian granted us with a nice and not so cold eve. 
After eating, we walked around the different spots of the cities where we could hear music ranging from flamenco, to folk and the pop music of Maldita Nerea.
Thanks Pablo and Carlos for joining us once more. I hope trains were on time today ; )

Let's move on to the legend now. The most summarised version for my students I have found on the net is the following one from Domestic Church.

Sebastien seemed to have everything going for him. He was the son of a wealthy Roman family, with all the education, privilege and opportunities that offered. When he grew up he became an officer of the Imperial Roman army and captain of the guard. Not only that, he was a good friend and favorite of Diocletian the Emperor. Sebastien could have anything he wanted, had any kind of life he wanted.

The emperor hated Christians. He started a 'persecution' of Christians, which meant that they were arrested and executed if they did not reject God and Jesus Christ. Many brave and holy early Christians achieved their Heavenly reward by choosing to remain faithful to God and suffering martyrdom.

It is not clear when Sebastien became a Christian. He may have converted as a young adult, and kept it secret from his friends and family. But when Diocletian began his persecution of the Christians, Sebastien decided to end his secrecy. He visited his Christian brothers in prison, bringing them supplies and some comfort. Sebastien reported to have healed by making the sign of the Cross over the wife of a brother soldier.

This bravery and integrity in the face of persecution converted soldiers and a governor to the Christian faith. Obviously, the God and faith of the Christians was more important and more compelling than life itself. Eventually, he was discovered. Charged as a Christian, Diocletian asked Sebastien to deny his faith. Sebastien refused. He was taken outside the city, tied to a tree, shot with arrows, and left for dead. Much to Diocletian's surprise, Sebastien survived being shot with arrows. When he had recovered, he returned to reproach and preach to Diocletian. The emperor then had him beaten to death.

During the 14th century the unpredictable and random nature of infection with the Black Death caused people to compare the plague to their villages being shot by an army of nature's archers. In desperation they prayed for the intercession of a saint associated with archery, and Saint Sebastien became associated with the plague. 

If you feel lazy to read, you may also want to practise your listening with the following video narrated by Zach Barthel et alii.

This is the image that you can find in the chapel of St. Sebastian in the cathedral of Palma 

Have a wonderful St Sebastian's festival and remember if you don't have any exam to revise you can still go out to some more gigs or watch the spectacle of fireworks at Palma's bay.

Teaching English by Fran | St. Anthony the Great
Teaching English by Fran | The Cathedral of Lights/St. Martin's Lights

jueves, 19 de enero de 2012

Bleeding Love

Maria has chosen Bleeding Love for us to improve our English, and those are the exercises we should be do

1. Complete the song with the correct word.

Everyone – twice – true – crazy -  believe -  love – love – before – truth – face – falling

Closed off from ____
I didn't need the pain
Once or ____ was enough
And it was all in vain
Time starts to pass
____ you know it you're frozen

But something happened
For the very first time with you
My heart melts into the ground
Found something ____
And everyone's looking round
Thinking I'm going ____
But I don't care what they say
I'm in ____ with you
They try to pull me away
But they don't know the ____
My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I
Keep bleeding
Keep, keep bleeding love
Trying hard not to hear
But they talk so loud
Their piercing sounds fill my ears
Try to fill me with doubt
Yet I know that the goal
Is to keep me from ____

But nothing's greater than the rush that comes with your embrace
And in this world of loneliness
I see your ____
Yet everyone around me
Thinks that I'm going crazy, maybe, maybe

And it's draining all of me
Oh they find it hard to _____
I'll be wearing these scars
For ____ to see
I don't care what they say
I'm in love with you
They try to pull me away
But they don't know the truth
My heart's crippled by the vein
That I keep on closing
You cut me open and I

2. Translate the sentences
1.Thinking I'm going crazy
2.Once or twice was enough
3.But I don't care what they say I'm in love with you
4.But they don't know the truth

3. Put the sentences in the correct order
Love/ with / im / you / in 
Loneliness / world / of / in / this
Doubt / try / me / fill / with / to

I hope you have enjoyed Bleeding Love!

Teaching English by Fran | Without You
Teaching English by Fran | I'm Yours

martes, 17 de enero de 2012

St Anthony the Great

St Anthony the Great, or St Anthony Abbot is a great festival in Mallorca where... let's better read my student from St. Josep Obrer, Teresa

Tomorrow is St. Antoni. It is an important celebration for the Balearic Islands. Today is St. Antoni's eve. He was a person who liked animals. 
On the 17th people attend "the blessings" where you can bless your pet to give it health for the whole year. Both days, we roast meat, such sausages, sobrassada and botifarra.
Legend: St Antoni and the Devil were playing a game calle "thirty-one". As St. Antoni won, the Devil was very angry, so this is why the Devil walks the streets with fire and sparkles. To end the celebration, there are fireworks by the sea, "aiguafoc".

Following the death of his parents when he was about 20, Anthony insured that his sister completed her education, then he sold his house, furniture, and the land he owned, gave the proceeds to the poor, joined the anchorites who lived nearby, and moved into an empty sepulchre. At age 35 he moved to the desert to live alone; he lived 20 years in an abandoned fort.

Anthony barricaded the place for solitude, but admirers and would-be students broke in. He miraculously healed people, and agreed to be the spiritual counselor of others. His recommendation was to base life on the Gospel. Word spread, and so many disciples arrived that Anthony founded two monasteries on the Nile, one at Pispir, one at Arsinoe. Many of those who lived near him supported themselves by making baskets and brushes, and from that came his patronage of those trades.

Anthony briefly left his seclusion in 311, going to Alexandria, Egypt to fight Arianism, and to comfort the victims of the persecutions of Maximinus. At some point in his life, he met with his sister again. She, too, had withdrawn from the world, and directed a community of nuns. Anthony retired to the desert, living in a cave on Mount Colzim.

Descriptions paint him as uniformly modest and courteous. His example led many to take up the monastic life, and to follow his way. Late in life Anthony became a close friend of Saint Paul the Hermit, and he buried the aged anchorite, leading to his patronage of gravediggers. His biography was written by his friend Saint Athanasius of Alexandria.

Copyright © 2012Museo Nacional del Prado.

His relationship with pigs and patronage of swineherds is a little complicated. Skin diseases were sometimes treated with applications of pork fat, which reduced inflammation and itching. As Anthony’s intervention aided in the same conditions, he was shown in art accompanied by a pig. People who saw the art work, but did not have it explained, thought there was a direct connection between Anthony and pigs – and people who worked with swine took him as their patron. (source saints.sqpn.com)

Anthony's temptations

 Throughout his life he argued and literally wrestled with the devil. His first temptations to leave his ascetic life were arguments we would find hard to resist -- anxiety about his sister, longings for his relatives, thoughts of how he could have used his property for good purposes, desire for power and money. When Anthony was able to resist him, the devil then tried flattery, telling Anthony how powerful Anthony was to beat him. Anthony relied on Jesus' name to rid himself of the devil. It wasn't the last time, though. One time, his bout with the devil left him so beaten, his friends thought he was dead and carried him to church. St. Anthony the Great had a hard time accepting this. After one particular difficult struggle, he saw a light appearing in the tomb he lived in. Knowing it was God, Anthony called out, "Where were you when I needed you?" God answered, "I was here. I was watching your struggle. Because you didn't give in, I will stay with you and protect you forever." (source www.catholic.org)

Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth, United States

Teaching English by Fran | St. Sebastian
Teaching English by Fran | The Cathedral of Lights/St. Martin's Lights

domingo, 15 de enero de 2012

Without you

Could I be teaching without my students; I won't be do it this, if they were not part of my world. Noelia from 3ESO has done this exercise of filling in the blanks with David Guetta's Without You 

I can't _____, I can't reign
I will never win this ____
Without you, without you
I am lost, I am  ________
I will never be the same
Without you, without you
I won't run, I won't _____
I will never make it _____
Without you, without you
I can't _____, I can't fight
All I need is you and I
Without you

Oh, oh, oh
You, you, you
Without you, you, you
Without  you…

Can't erase, so I'll take _____
But I can't accept that we we’re _______
Without you, without you
I can't quit _____, this can't be right
I can't take one more sleepless night
Without you, without you
I won't soar, I won't _______
If you're not here, I'm living ______
Without you, without you
I can't ______, I'm so blind
I lost my heart, I lost my mind.

Have you enjoyed Without You?

Teaching English by Fran |Save the World
Teaching English by Fran | Lead the Way

miércoles, 11 de enero de 2012

First Conditional

After the hangover of Christmas holidays, and not having made so much money in El Gordo lottery, we keep on regretting and saying "If I ...", let us revise the use of first conditional sentences.
1. ELC Study Zone
So, if you have done them all, you have realised that the basic use of first conditional if you are attending an ESO course, is combining present tenses with future ones. The concept is rather extensive, but you are limiting right now to the use of


Here you are a video by perfect English where you can do some practice

Some other links 

2. English hilfen
3. Auto English
4. Saber inglés
5. English Grammar Secrets

Unless is another linking word that you may see when dealing with conditionals. It is basically an "If not". Watch the following video to clarify your ideas about the first conditional:

Teaching English by Fran | Second Conditional 
Teaching English by Fran | Presidents' Day 

viernes, 6 de enero de 2012

The Magi

On 6th January, we celebrate the Epiphany,...but who were really the Magi

Listen what abc.news tells http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7fggVO37eE
 Here you are the cartoon version of the story narrated by Mattew. 

I hope you get a lots of presents!!! Feliz Día de Reyes, Have a wonderful Magi Day!

Teaching English by Fran |Carols
Teaching English by Fran | St. Nicholas

lunes, 2 de enero de 2012

The Conquest of Granada

The Conquest of Granada

Their key to Granada's door was a young man called Boadil.. He was the son of the sultan Abu l-Hasan Ali, and as it sometimes happens with princes, Boabdil was restless to gain power. So, after a series of incidents between Christians and Muslims that shook Granada's stability, Boabdil named himself ruler of Granada. Of course, his words didn't take too long to catch fire. A civil war ensued in the emirate, weakening it and easing the way for the Christian troops.

Ferdinand and Isabella seized this opportunity and, while their troops were visiting Granada(more specifically, during the battle of Axarquia), abducted Boabdil and held him prisoner. Through means unknown to us as of now, he was turned into a Christian, an ally of his former enemies. They didn't, however, manipulate the royal ambitions out of his brain. That would have been a waste of one of the most powerful means to destroy a king: make his son want the throne more than his father.

Boabdil went back to Granada, decided to fight his father and his uncle for this throne. He was subsequently kicked out of it and returned to Ferdinand and Isabella for protection. Meanwhile, the power balance in Granada kept getting more and more complex. Different leaders kept popping up, the Muslims kept fighting each other and soon, cities such as Ronda, started to fall. Marbella became Spanish as well.

Granada seemed almost under Iberian rule. The conquest of Granada was about to become true.

The Final Confrontation

The end of Granada's turn as an Emirate was, however, extended by Boabdil's nonconformity. He had been promised and given beautiful and extensive lands in exchange for his treason, but he didn't like that they were in Castile and not in Aragon, for some reason. So he decided to do what he did best: rebel against whatever land he was in. He headed back for Granada, where he found that the ruler that had kicked him out had in turn been killed by the Catholic Monarchs. So he ignited the flame of war again. Maybe he was inspiringly driven by patriotism and idealism. But in reality, he was beating a dead horse: by then Granada had been reduced to a city and a mountain. Everything else was Spanish.

Boabdil desperately sought aid from every Muslim country at hand -- Egypt, Fez (current Morocco)... It didn't make any difference. Egypt was waging a war of their own against the Ottoman Turks, which made them friends with Spain; and Fez pretended they never got the message. Boabdil was in the battle... he was fighting against his enemies with the help of his former enemies.

This is symbolically true. But it was also true on a physical level. Since Granada didn't have coastlines anymore, it could not receive any aids or ammunition. Since Muslims and Christians alike were dying (no official records were kept at the time, but since the military was the main industry at the time, we can guess the body count kept adding up), the Catholic Monarchs decided to stop the fighting and just siege Granada in April 1491. They city fell into a painful decay for eight months and, on January 1492, surrendered to Spanish troops. Spain had won what today is known as the Conquest of Granada.

To this day, January 2 is a day of celebration (The Conquest of Granada) in the city. Junior foreigners staying at summer camps in Granadad (they seem to be really popular in the area) are told this story, with more or less detail, and it is part of the city's heritage.

Teaching English by Fran |The Sun Also Rises [St.Fermin]
Teaching English by Fran |Months and Days of the week