Buscar este blog

jueves, 31 de mayo de 2012

Sound of Music

Someone you should know by far or at least you have tasted one of his spectacular, amazing, savoury dishes is also a fan of this music. This person claims to know all the lyrics by heart. I won't have the chance to check it out as we are going to watch in Palma at Palma Auditorium.
The show is going be in Spanish.

I am not doing a review by n ow, not even spoiling you the plot, in case you are one of those you still haven't seen it. Here you are the official web page of the spectacle taking place in London.
I learnt this song when I was in kindergarden, long time ago. The version in English came to me later. Enjoy it

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do

I will let you know how it was and some pictures!

miércoles, 30 de mayo de 2012

Burn an' a' that Festival

The festival, running from Wednesday 30 May - Sunday 3 June, is in its 11th year and pays tribute to Scotland’s National Bard over six days with an eclectic range of events held at a clutch of venues around Ayr town centre, including Ayr Town Hall, Wellington Square Gardens and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway.
For a full list of events, visit their official web page. The programme boasts an unmissable line-up of live music, film, drama, comedy, arts & culture, literature, food & drink and family entertainment that the bard himself would be proud of!

If you feel like refreshing your knowledge of Burns Night, just click here

I let you with one of his poems

A Red Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June; 
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while! 
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

domingo, 27 de mayo de 2012

Memorial Day

Photo by Fran Muñoz
Historically, Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War, honoring fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. Not until the 1970s, however, was it moved to the last Monday in May to become part of a three-day weekend. In 2000, Congress passed a  resolution establishing a national moment of silence to be observed at 3 p.m. Memorial Day.

"What is Memorial Day mama? Didn't have the heart to tell her the truth. War, death, sacrifice. How can we all co-exist peacefully?" (Marcia Cross)

There will be some events such as concerts or the Indianapolis 500
Photo by Fran Muñoz

By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

If you want to know more about Remembrance Day, another day to remember the fallen at wars, just click here.

Photo by Fran Muñoz

jueves, 24 de mayo de 2012

Eurovision Song Contest

I remember 1996, when the Eurovision Song Contest had lost its halo. I was an Erasmus student then in Bristol, and Spain was represented by a flamenco singer which wasn't understood in the rest of Europe; the extended Europe as I prefer to call it as this year in getting as far as Azerbaijan! 
I personally love the Armenian music (their neighbours on the left, just in case you are lost in your geography), as they collaborate frequently with Greek musicians and the result is touching, moving. An example could be Haig Yazdjian with Eleutheria Arvanitaki.

You would be wondering by far what are the connections between teaching English and the Eurovision Song Contest. Well, I have been using the voting  to revise European countries, as they are read in both English and French. It's a good practise for your first cycle of ESO. 
On the other hand if you are teaching adults, they could always be from another nationatity (I give them flags ramdonly) and talk about typical things they know about it, or the quickest things that appear in their minds so we get to talk about culture differences.

The second connection would be that we can understand right now all the countries as English has become the lingua franca in the festival. It is less personalised in my opinion, but that the way it is. Nevertheless, Spain is still participating in Spanish (the present year with Pastora Soler and Quédate Conmigo (Stay with Me). The further we have gone is taking Rosa to one of the Baltic Republics to sing Europe is Living a Celebration .

And the last one: it has always been a classic among my friend to gather for an European Contest Dinner, where you should cook something from a country. If you know me a little bit, you will already know that I don't take fish 'n chips, as the aspects of the chips will be disgusting when arriving at the meeting; however, they never miss my moussaká.

To finish this entry I will let you know the British and the Irish partipants. Don't feel embarrassed by any of them. The first one is a classic in the British music and the twins will have participated twice with this occasion.

Some history of the Festival could be found on their web page, where you will find out they have been doing it for 54 years up to this entry.

jueves, 17 de mayo de 2012

International Day against Homophobia


Obama gave an interview published on May 9, 2012, in which he said he had made a personal choice to support same sex marriage because he believes that people should enjoy equal rights irrespective of their sexual orientation. He said that he came to his decision after a period of personal reflection on the issue, but that he believes it is up to states to introduce same sex marriage legislation. Read the full story at ttp://www.hrw.org/node/107062

The State Department will also support their employees around the world by hosting panels and discussions in embassies and government facilities.

Atlanta’s Alternative Perspectives is organizing three days of activities to mark this year’s IDAHO. The theme of the celebrations is "Sexual Diversity in the Workplace - It Pays Off!"

Toronto is celebrating this year’s IDAHO with a YOUnique Ties event on May 11. Themed "We’re all different; We’re all connected", the event is aimed at raising awareness about the effects of bullying and discrimination by celebrating people’s unique sexual, cultural and social differences. Guests are asked to show their creative flair with a neck tie, bow tie, hair tie or scarf. Prizes will be awarded for the best ties.

To end up this entry, although it is not fortunately the last action around the world, I present the debate on Prayers for Bobby, that COLEGA-JAEN is organising

In the following link, you can read the full Declaration of Montreal 

Second Conditional

We have already learnt how to use First Conditional, also called Real Conditional; I teach it to my students using percentages (C2) and as running a hurdle race, where the height of the hurdles increases with the lack of possibilitiy of the conditional to happen. Clear enough?? Never mind, if not, the typical example of 
 If I study, I will pass my English test. 
always works. 
Right now, we are learning Second Conditional and the pattern is as follow.


We insist that commutative property also works for conditionals, having in mind that there could be some changes in referencing. 

Some games that I do with my students to revise second conditionals are 

  • What would you do if you won a lot of money? Check my pp about money, clicking here. In general, what would you do if....
  • If you were the Prime Minister... what would you do? We all love to change the world into a better place, don't we?
  • We play IF YOU WERE, for instance, an animal, an object, a precious stone, a feeling, a famous person... let your imagination fly. You can even play If I were a boy by Beyoncé.
  • You can make them do a couple of sentences using a big font and them separate each clause, shuffle them and read them ramdonly mixed with someone else's clause. If they are imaginative, the results could be hilarious.
  • Play Madonna's song Superpop.

Some exercises that you can practise could be found on the following links:

  1. Web2.uvcs.uvic.ca
  2. English Grammar Secrets
  3. Perfect English Grammar
  4. English Grammar Lessons
  5. Better English
You may want to end with a mashed-up of songs.

miércoles, 9 de mayo de 2012

Europe's Day

To start with Europe's Day, we are listening to the European anthem.

"United in Diversity"

On 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union. He read a declaration to the international press in Paris, calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool their coal and steel production as "the first concrete foundation of a European federation". It is remarkable that only five years after the end of the most dreadful conflict in Europe, the Second World War, he proposed the creation of a supranational European institution, to take charge of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which had made the war possible. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other, and reconciliation was a brave thing to imagine at that time.

With the following map, we are going to work on C3 matching the name of the countries, her capital, currency (if you know the former one, add it please) and language. 

If they find it difficult, just click on the following web and play as you like. I have chosen capitals without a hint. And remember a perfect European should be... with this topic, we are going to discuss common places among the Europeans; you can have a look at the poster, which I saw for the first time at my language school in Bristol or watch the video.

As homework we are going to do the following webquest.

1. When was the European Community / Common Market established?
2. Where does the European Parliament meet?
3. How many countries are there in the European Union?
4. How many languages are spoken in the EU?
5. Which are the official languages of the EU?
6. When did Spain join the European Union?
7. Which are the largest and the smallest member states of the EU in terms of population?
8. Which are the largest and the smallest member states of the EU in terms of size?
9. Name at least five of the many institutions in the European Union?
10. What are the symbols of the European Union?
11. What is the European Emblem?
12. Who is the composer of the European Anthem?

martes, 8 de mayo de 2012

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Discovering Earth – Fossil Festival 2012
Fossils have played a pivotal role in the birth of the earth sciences. They’ve helped scientists to understand that our earth is billions of years old, that life forms evolved and continue to do so, that much of the earth and stone we walk upon was created when sediment was deposited on the bottom of ancient sea-beds, and that this sea-bed – indeed the whole of the earth’s crust – is moving all the time.

Humans have always been puzzled by and sought to explain fossil remains. While some clearly resembled known plants and animals, others did not, and the question of how they could come to lie on the ground in some places and be buried so deep in others was a mystery.

Why do some types of fossil exist only in one layer, or one type of rock? Ammonites in general are in many different layers, but they evolved rapidly, and so are ‘zonal fossils’. The particular type of ammonite can tell you a great deal about the age of the layer of rock that it’s found in, anywhere in the world. When scientists realised that the same types of fossils were found on the coasts of continents thousands of miles apart is was one more piece of evidence that helped to prove continental drift, and the fact that our earth was once one great supercontinent (Pangea) that broke apart.

If you still want to know more about fossils...

lunes, 7 de mayo de 2012

Mother's Day

photo by F.Muñoz
While in Spain, Mother's Day is on the 1st Sunday in May, in the USA is on the 2nd one, also in May; whereas Mothering Sunday in the UK is on the 4th Sunday during Lent. Mothers always encourage us to do our best, this is why I have chosen the following video since Olympic Games will be held in London in 2012.


We are going to start writing a poem to our mothers using their own letters acrostic. For instance, in my case would be

Here is the history of the origin of the holiday. After  viewing it, you should answer the following questions

  1. What goddess did the Roman worship as the Mother?
  2. Explain the origin of Mothering Day.
  3. Who was Anna Jarvis?
  4. What was her mother's favourite flower?
  5. Did she have children?

Love your mum, think of her and wish she were with you and remember

At 4 years old "Mum knows everything"
At 8 years: "Mom knows a lot"
At 12 years " it seems that Mom does not know much"

Red for the living mothers and white for those who passed away
At 14,"Mom does not know anything."
At 16, "Mom does not know".

The ballot will evolve when independence is gained, is flown from the nest and now it seems we need the help of the mother who bore us:
At 25, "Just Mom knows this,"
At 35 "before deciding, just ask Mom, "will not be that ...". 
At age 45, "What Mama think of this?".
And 75 years: "How I wish I could ask you this ... Mom."

We will be doing the following alphabetical order activities for mum's day
With each carnation leaves, we will use an adjective to describe our mums.

To end up we are going to match the baby animals with their mothers.

These are some of my students works:

Cute, beautiful, there are a lot of 
Adjectives to describe
These beautiful person, but
Always, I
Like to say to you
I love YOU, please
Abandone me! by Teresa C.B.

My mum is the best for me,
A person that loves me,
Really, I love her too.
Great mum for a son,
A mum that loves you. by Andreu P.

I love you
Always I think of you. by Alex L.

Sorry I don't know to express myself
Using your memory
Stop mum, don't talk
Are you a rose?
No, you are much more
And you are beautiful.  by Haize S.B.

A message for you,
Never forget this poem.
Always love you.

Mornings and nights
Always remember you.
Remember this poem
It's a present for you.
Always love you. By Anabel G.

Too much courage you've got, you're an
Excellent mother, you
Rock a lot.
Explain to the world how you're
Such a good person
And wonderful mother. By Tolo G.

Ooh Yeah! mum
Never say never mum.
I love you mum
Always will I be yours! By Antonio R.M.

From my heart, I promise you, the 
End of our problems.
Rich or poor you are my mother and I will not 
    change you for 
Nothing in the world.
Always I loved you, and always I will
Never forget you
Doing anything for you
And you are always on my mind. By Aldana G.R.

Always attentive for me
Never let you go
Always will share my objectives with you.
 By Ainhoa Bernabé

Patient and adorable mum
I would like to say to you
Love me forever
As I love you
Remember it!

sábado, 5 de mayo de 2012

Cinco de Mayo

The holiday of Cinco De MayoThe 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16. 

Setting The Stage
The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. Mexico had finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and a number of internal political takeovers and wars, including the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy.
Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian

During this period of struggle Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment. Similar debt to the U.S. was previously settled after the Mexican-American War. France was eager to expand its empire at that time, and used the debt issue to move forward with goals of establishing its own leadership in Mexico. Realizing France's intent of empire expansion, Spain and England withdrew their support. When Mexico finally stopped making any loan payments, France took action on its own to install Napoleon III's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico.

Mexico Confronts The Invasion

Map showing Veracruz, site of the French invasion
France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz (see map) and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles. Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza

Gen. Zaragoza
Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance near Puebla at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a smaller, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men were able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country. The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived. Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon III had found an excuse to send more troops overseas to try and invade Mexico again, even against the wishes of the French populace. 30,000 more troops and a full year later, the French were eventually able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and install Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico.

Maximilian's rule of Mexico was also short lived, from 1864 to 1867. With the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French, after which Maximilian was executed by the Mexicans. So despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza's smaller, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

I am doing the following word search about Cinco de Mayo with my first cycle of ESO and I am going to do some games for instance, we are playing Benito Juarez says, "...".

There is no festival without nice food, English language is full with borrowing from Mexican-Spanish language for food. In our case, we have made fajitas at home and this is how they look like. They were just yummie!

jueves, 3 de mayo de 2012

World Press Freedom Day

Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

3 May was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the twenty-sixth session of UNESCO's General Conference in 1991.

It serves as an occasion to inform citizens of violations of press freedom - a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.

It is a date to encourage and develop initiatives in favour of press freedom, and to assess the state of press freedom worldwide.

It serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

This entry is for my brother who is the closest member to press in my family, as he used to work for a radio station

We are going to listen to the message by UNESCO Director-General Ms Irina Bokova on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day 2012

martes, 1 de mayo de 2012

May Day

The first day of the May is known as May Day. It is the time to celebrate spring and the coming of summer. It once marked the time when livestock was moved to the hills to graze after a winter in the lowlands. 
It is costumary to dance around the maypole, a surviving pagan symbol of virility from the festival of Beltane.
Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival (the other being Samhain). Celebrated approximately halfway between Vernal (spring) equinox and the midsummer (Summer Solstice). Beltane traditionally marked the arrival if summer in ancient times.

If you look at the sky, at Beltane the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, whereas winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. (extra info @ Witch Vox).

Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.

Traditional English May Day celebrations include the crowning of a May Queen, the human replica of Flora
the Roman goddess of the flowers, and the young blushing bride, and the princess of the fairies. She is Lady Marian in the Robin Hood tales, and Guinevere in the Arthurian cycle.
She is the embodiment of the Maiden, of mother earth in all of her fertile glory.
As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the Mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. Once more the dichotomy of good and evil, good weather versus bad weather, light versus sun that we already mention in our Easter entry.

Houses are decorated with flowers, and the young girls washed their faces in morning dew for a beautiful complexion.
There may be processions and Morris dancing.