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jueves, 28 de junio de 2012

Gay Pride

What are the origins of the Gay Pride celebration? On the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village. Although police raids on gays bars were common, the bar's patronage, as well as more than a hundred spectators who gathered outside the bar, decided enough was enough -- they fought back. It was the first time that queer people stood up to police on such a large scale, and is often cited as the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement. 

Some others think that gay people were mourning the death of Judy Garland and police and police attacked them for illegal gathering. 

With Judy or not, some gay expression are taken from The Wizard of Oz, such as "being a friend of Dorothy" and the song Over the Rainbow which also inspired one of the gay symbols. 

The first rainbow flag made its debut at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978. Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, the original flag was hand-dyed and consisted of eight symbolic colours: Hot Pink (sexuality), Red (life), Orange (healing), Yellow (sunlight), Green (nature), Turqoise (magic/art), Blue (serenity/harmony) and violet (spirit). Pink and Turqoise were dropped later on.

Obama has something to say about the issue of Gay marriage: 
http://youtu.be/73oZ_pe1MZ8, so the British do.

This is the performance that Kylie played at Sydney Mardi Gras to celebrate gay pride's events.

Enjoy Gay Pride and be proud of it!

Perhaps you are interested in

Teaching English by Fran | International Day Against Homophobia
Teaching English by Fran |Human Rights
Teaching English by Fran | Mardi Gras
Teaching English by Fran | Australia II 

domingo, 24 de junio de 2012

A Midsummer Night's Dream

We have been translating, probably the best-known comedy by William Shakespeare, a Midsummer Night's Dream as "El Sueño de una Noche de Verano". Does it mean any one? No, it doesn't. The answer is St. John's night, therefore a perfect translation into our language would be "El Sueño de una Noche de San Juan".
What do we do on a night like this? We take our tiki, candles, our pareos, paper and lighter and of course some food and we head to the beach. After laying our towels, we surround them with the candles. If it is windy, a paper bag won't be a bad idea. At midnight, write your wishes to the moon and then burn them utterly; go to the shore and jump over three waves, or if you are brave enough, just dive into the sea and have an experience of your lifetime. Some drinks and food would be a perfect companion, but, REMEMBER!, clean afterwards and leave the beach as you would like to find it in the morning.

Going back to Shakespeare, we love to refresh the comedy's plot. A couple is in love, but her father, king of Athens, doesn't accept the lover. Therefore, they must run away to the forest. Another couple follow them to help the writer with the misunderstandings. In the fairy world, the fairies are mischievous and they are in their own fight too. In the meantime a play is being reahearsed for the king's wedding.
I love dichotomies, and A Midsummer Night's Dream is an good example for them. The main one seems very clear, the city versus the forest, a perfect symbol of the ruled versus the unruled, the real versus the magic. Being awake versus the dream. In what area would you like to inhabit?

Also in Teaching English by Fran | Shakespeare

Teaching English by Fran | Valentine's Day

domingo, 17 de junio de 2012

Fathers Day

Fathers Day is the third Sunday in June in the UK, Canada and USA and the first Sunday in September in Australia and New Zealand, whereas in Spain it was made to coincide with St Joseph, Mary's husband, on March 19th. 

Origins of the observance day:

  • On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event  in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah.
  • The next year, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to get support for her idea, and she was successful.
  • Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.

Teaching English by  Fran | Mother's Day
Teaching English by Fran | International Day Against Gender Violence

sábado, 16 de junio de 2012


Photo by Fran Muñoz

Bloomsday, which happens on June 16th, 1904, is the day on which James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses takes place. It is named after the main character in the novel, Leopold Bloom. Bloomsday and the 90th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses. On the official web page, you will find links to all activities that will be taking place and where all around the world.

At lunchtime it's traditional to stop off for a glass of burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich at Davy Byrne's Pub on Duke Street, just as Bloom did. In the afternoon the Ormond Hotel is the spot for an afternoon pint, where Bloom was tempted by the barmaids in "The Sirens" chapter.
 Don't be freak out if you even see people dressed as they used to do it at the beginning of past century!

I had the chance to visit Ireland for the first time and one of the obliged stop was the Writer's Museum. I took my copy of the edition of Levin, H. The Essential James Joyce, Penguin, 1948 where I could enjoy some of the chapters of Ulysses: "Nestor" "Hades", "The Wandering Rocks" "The Sirens" and "Penelope".

The chapters division is as follow: 

Book I – The Telemachiad – episodes 1-3 ]
1 – Telemachus – “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan”
2 – Nestor – “You, Cochrane”
3 – Proteus – “Ineluctable modality of the visible”
[ Book II – The Odyssey – episodes 4-15 ]
4 – Calypso – “Mr. Leopold Bloom ate”
5 – Lotus Eaters – “By lorries along Sir John Rogerson’s”
6 – Hades – “Martin Cunningham, first”
8 – Lestrygonians – “Pineapple rock. Lemon platt, butter scotch”
9 – Scylla and Charybdis – “Urbane, to comfort them”
10 – Wandering Rocks – “The Superior, the Very Reverend”
11 – Sirens – “Bronze by gold heard the hoofirons”
12 – Cyclops – “I was just passing the time of day”
13 – Nausicaa – “The summer evening had begun to fold”
14 – Oxen of the Sun – “Deshil Holles Eamus”
15 – Circe – “The Mabbot street entrance of nighttown”
[ Book III – The Nostos – episodes 16-18 ]
16 – Eumaeus – “Preparatory to anything else Mr Bloom brushed”
17 – Ithaca – “What parallel courses did Bloom and Stephen”
18 – Penelope – “Yes because he never did a thing like that before”

So remember if you are around Ireland, Bloomsday celebrations  feature readings of Ulysses, James Joyce lookalike contests, various other semi-literary activities, and a good excuse for hoisting a few Guinnesses.

Trooping The Colour

The Trooping of the Colour is a military parade attended by the Queen on her official birthday. The name is due to the different colours of the regiments. The traditions dates back from Charles II in the 17th century when this parade was created in order to make sure that every single man would recognize his own regiment. After 1748, this parade would mark the King/Queen's official birthday.

Since 1987, The Queen has attended in a carriage rather than riding, which she did before that on 36 occasions, riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped. The regiments take their turn for this honour in rotation as operational commitments permit.

viernes, 15 de junio de 2012

Glyndebourne Festival

Founded in 1934 by John Christie and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay, Glyndebourne is committed to presenting opera of the highest quality, commissioning new work, developing new talent and reaching new audiences. Crucially, Glyndebourne has remained financially independent since 1934.

Although it receives valued Arts Council support for the Tour and some educational work, the Festival receives no public subsidy. Glyndebourne is a registered charity, funded by box office income, its members and supporters.

The Glynderbourne Festival presents six productions each year in a 1,200-seat opera house built in 1994. Glyndebourne on Tour
, founded in 1968, takes three productions around the UK each autumn. Together, Festival and Tour present about 120 performances a year to an audience of around 150,000. Glyndebourne’s widely respected Education programme, established in 1986, hosts over 230 community and outreach events a year. And Glyndebourne has pioneered using recordings to bring its work to a worldwide audience through broadcasts, cinema screenings, DVDs and internet streaming.

jueves, 14 de junio de 2012

Flag Day

I have written about the American Revolution on 4th July entry and learn part of the American anthem, Spangled Star Banner. Banner is a synonim of flag. The current symbols of the Stars and Stripes Flag are the thirteen stripes (7 red and 6 white), representing the former thirteen colonies and fifty stars (five points ones) for each one of the American states, with the exception of Puerto Rico that has not the same rights as the others. 
The first American flag has only thirteen stars in a blue blackground representing a new constellation. It was called the Union Flag.

The first Flag Day observance was on June 14, 1877, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the flag.

viernes, 8 de junio de 2012

UEFA Euro 2012

Football or soccer, name it as you want it; no matter what your decision is, soccer unties frenzy. Use examples with football if you are a teacher and your success will be granted.

  • If (name favourite team) won the league, I will go crazy!
  • Unless you finish your homework, you won't play football during the break. (Conditional sentences)
  • We are playing football at 7.00 (Present continuous for future arrangements)
  • What team will win the league? (what as a subject and will for predictions)
  • El Niño Torres scored a goal at UEFA Eurocup 2008.---- A goal was scored by el Niño Torres at UEFA Eurocup 2008. (Passive voice transformation)
And so on... the result will be neverending. 
Once more, why are at TE talking about UEFA Euro 2012? Well, although I am Spanish and my heart is with "La Roja" (aren't they dressing in blue for this competition?) (check out for Group C), my soul is Greek (Group A); on the other hand, two English speaking teams are taking part in the competition: Ireland in the Group C and England in Group D. I could have the chance of taking the Dis-united Kingdom, at least in terms of soccer.

If you statistics, here are the lastest winners of the competition and of course the current champions are SPAIN!!

2008 Spain
2004 Greece
2000 France
1996 Germany
1992 Denmark
1988 Netherlands
1984 France
1980 Germany
1976 Czechoslovakia (they want make it anymore)
1972 Germany
1968 Italy
1964 Spain
1960 USSR
This is the official song of UEFA 2012

Teaching English by Fran | Health
Teaching English by Fran | Food

miércoles, 6 de junio de 2012

Melitzanosalata [#DiaDeLaEnsalada]

Para la versión en español, just scroll down!

Manu from http://www.cocinandoconcatman.com/, thought about declaring #Díadelaensalada (Salad Day) on Jun 6th. Una vez más Manu ha organizado un evento twittero y aquí estoy tomando parte en él!! After having chosen the best and nicest aubergines at the market, wash them, get them dried and put them on fire. We need to roast them, really roast them, so if you still have one gas cooker and are not afraid of cleaning afterwards, do not use a pan and roast them on a fire; taste will be better. Other choice could be putting them on a barbecue. On the other hand, if you have an electric cooker, try there using a nice roasting pan. 
The important thing is that once they have cooled down a bit, you can remove all the burning skin using your fingers. You should have a lemon previously squeezed in order to avoid aubergine oxidation. If some small pieces of the skin are left, don't worry, Greek people love this taste which bitters a little bit the mixture. Well, smash all the aubergines with the lemon using preferably a wooden fork and then add the rest of the ingredients as it follows
(Thanks to Javier from Pasar del Aire for this beautiful logo)


  • Four aubergines
  • Lemon juice
  • Feta cheese (I love using Dodoni, which can be found on a big Spanish store and even in SYP or Makro; please make sure you are not going to use Dutch feta!! it is not the same. It must be Feta in brine!Yummie!!) Dodoni has 400 gr. containers which two pieces of cheese. Half of one of them should be enough at least you love it and want to add some more.
  • A clove of garlic mashed in the garlic press.
  • some almonds also previously crushed.
  • 20 ml of milk
  • A bit of crumb of bread
  • Oil, vinegar, black pepper and salt.
Mash everything with the wooden fork and keep it on the fridge. Serve on your favourite bread. Enjoy it!
I learnt this recipe from Maria a Greek theatre actress who I met on a bus in Mallorca once she was on holiday on our beautiful island. She cooked at home and we had a wonderful eve!

Spanish version

Asa las berenjenas, quítales la piel quemada. No te preocupes si quedan pequeños trocitos; los griegos adoran ese sabor que amarga un poquito. Añade el zumo de un limón para que no se oxiden y después el resto de ingredientes.
  • Queso feta (me gusta Dodoni! Préguntame dónde conseguirlo)
  • Un diente de ajo picado
  • Unas almedras picadas.
  • 20 ml de leche
  • Un poco de miga de pan
  • Aliñalo con aceita de oliva virgen, vinagre, pimienta negra y sal.
  • Dísfruta sobre tu pan favorito!


01.- Cocinando con Catman: La Tentación de Eva
02.- Soul Kitchen: Ensalada de quinoa y Sandía
03.- In my little kitchen: Ensalada de queso de cabra y vinagreta de miel
04.- Pasar del aire: Kartoffel salat
05.- Pasar del aire: Karottensalat
06.- Pasar del aire: Wurstsalat
07.- Cuisine4you: Ensalada de patata
08.- Os cuento: Recopilación de ensaladas
09.- Fácil, rápido y sano: Ensalada de rúcola, tomatitos y emental
10.- Espe Saavedra: Ensalada de pasta
11.- La niña pimiento:
12.- ¿A que huele mi cocina?: Ensalada de judias blancas al curry
13.- La cultura del tupper: Ensalada tibia de judias verdes
14.- Lo blogs de María: Pimientos asados aliñados
15.- Magdalenas de Chocolate: Ensalada de piña, queso fresco y nueces
16.- Cocina y algo más: Ensalada de lentejas
17.- La cocina de Nesi: Ensalada de pollo y salmon 
18.- La cocina de mis amigas: Ensalada de Pollo, espárragos y mahonesa al vino
19.- Cooking day by day: Kebab de ensalada de pollo y salsa de yogur
20.- Pinchos y canapés: Ensalada de Patatas con bacalao
21.- Xiringuito Neptuno: Ensalada Xenia
22.- Cangrejo Grande: Ensalada de Pasta
23.- La luna en dulce: Ensalada de tomate y mozarella
24.- Cocinar y Salir: Ensalada design-fusión
25.- Delantal o Mandil: Ensalada de Patata
26.- De camino a mi cocina: Ensalada thai. Ensalada Larb
27.- Dulzes con Z: Ensalada de Garbanzos
28.- The spanish food: Ensalada césar
29.- Olé tus fogones: Ensalada de canónigos, jamón de pato y vinagreta de frambuesa
30.- La república de mi cocina: Ensalada tíbia de chipirones y gulas
31.- La niña pimiento: Ensalada Circo
32.- La encimera azul: Ensalada de brotes, queso y pipas
33.- La hora de tupper: Amanida de endivies, tomaquet, poma y carabassa
34.- Tapas 2.0: Ensalada templada de vieiras, timbal de gulas con virutas de jamón
35.- Milhojas: Ensalada de tomates multicolor
36.- Comer con poco: Ensalada china de endivias
37.- Una enfermera en la cocina: Ensalada del Lilly's
38.- Cocinarte: Ensalada de de albaricoques y queso feta
39.- La cocina del aficionado: Ensalada 3 arroces con langostinos y mango
40.- Webos fritos: Bizcocho de aceite en cazuela
41.- Lazy Blog: Copa de ensalada de vieiras al romesco
42.- Mi puchero: Ensalada moruna
43.- Directo al Paladar: Ensalada de tomates sobre un lago de albahaca
44.- La cuchara curiosa: Ensalada tibia de gambas, rape y piñones
45.- Comoju: Ensalada de Patata
46.- Simplemente mi cocina: Ensalada de la casa
47.- Un rincón de mi cocina: Ensalada de pato y setas
48.- Directo al paladar: Lo mejor de Directo al paladar para el día de la ensalada
49.- El blog de Coicna y recetas: Ensalada de pasta
50.- @Roseta_BCN: Strudelnensalada
51.- El Mapache feliz: Ensalada mapache feliz
52.- @Maleka_mlk: Ensalada Caprese
53.- @Galletanas: Lentejas con vinagreta de vegetales y pesto
54.- Comer de todo: Libro de tomate
55.- Sabores y Momentos: Ensalada de cogollos
56.- @davidmonaguillo: Tabule de frutas

57.- Por mis perolas: Ensalada tierra y mar
58.- Sabriosía: Ensalada de Pan italiana (Panzanella)
59.- Campofrío: Ensalada patata rúcula y pavo
60.- @terrazaLaCala: Ensalada de frutas con almíbar y lechuguitas
61.- Mis utensilios de cocina: Ensalada de pepino y gambas
62.- Garum: Ensalada de espinacas frescas
63.- Recetas Chef: Ensalada de Pasta
64.- Qué salá es la dulce Ali: Ensalada marinera de pasta con salsa de yogur a la mostaza
65.- Ni mata ni engorda: Ensalada de Boruja
66.- Come y Habla: Mi ensalada preferida
67.- Cocinando con Marian Rodriguez: Ensalada de langostinos con calabacín salteado y papaya
68.- @Barriltapeo: Ensalada de langostinos
69.- @xtl81: Ensalada de pasta
70.- @latahonasg: Pan polar con atún, lechuga, tomate y mayonesa
71.- Cocina a tiempo parcial: Ensalada Gossip Girl
72.- Arroba de naranjas: Ensalada de naranjas
73.- Cocinar rico y sano: Taboulé
74.- To be gourmet: Tartar de berberechos y aguacate
75.- Grupo Gam: Ensalada de melón, prociutto y menta
76.- @lasirena: Salpicón de marisco
77.- @agramoxtweet: Ensalada de queso de cabra y jamón serrano
78.- La cocina de Serrats: Cogollos de bonito del norte y vinagreta de miel
79.- Monsieur Cocotte: Ensalada de Rúcula y aguacate
80.- Bake Street: Ensalada de Mango y Salmón
81.- Josihno_74: Ensalada de mezclum d lechugas con variedad d tomatitos cherry, queso de cabra, nueces, canónigos y pan de cereales”
82.- Rezetas de Carmen: Espirales con  jamón y piña
83.- Atractivas: 5 tipos de ensaladas ricas y sabrosas
84.- Los tragaldabas: Ensalada de canónigos y miel
85.- Delicietas: Ensalada tibia de arroz integral
86.- Todo para tu cocina: Nueva ensalada de judias
87.- rincn_mi: Ensalada de pasta con un montón de cosas
88.- RKudrow: #díadelaensalada
89.- La cocina de Toni: Ensalada de tomates asados y queso
90.- Azafrán y Pimentón: Greek salad on a Snack

martes, 5 de junio de 2012

Red Earth Festival

Red Earth Festival is a celebration of Native American Art and Culture. It is held in Oklahoma City from June 8th to 10th. There will be example of beadwork, basketry, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, paintings, graphics and cultural attire during the juried art show and market. Dances are also important trademark on this date. There is a special competition for mothers and daughters

There are about 2,8 million of Native Americans and the majority live in the oriental half of the country, mainly in California, Arizona and Oklahoma. The most numerous tribes are Navajos, Cherokees, Choctaw, Algonquins, Irokies and Sioux. The speak both English and their native language.

Why in Oklahoma? Because OKlahoma is home for more Native American tribes than any other state! Oklahoma is the 46th state and it is found at the same distance from the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The name "okla humma" means in Choctaw "red people". Here you are a complete list of them.
And why red? If you have ever read the  Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, written by herself you will learn the dicothomy between the Red, meaning the Indians, and the White meaning the European, where the adjective Bad is connected to the first ones and the Good to the second ones.

lunes, 4 de junio de 2012

Past Perfect

Past perfect is a tense which is mainly used to express and action or state which happens before another past tense, in this case expressed in past simple; i.e. if you have two consecutive actions that could be or not connected and you want to mark a sequence of events, just use past simple. However, if you want to connect both past actions and want to show that one happened before the other with a consecuence on the second one, the first one should be written in past perfect.
  1. English Zone (FitB)
  2. Web 2 (FitB)
  3. Ego 4 U (worksheet)
  4. Learn American (FitB)
  5. Englisch hilfen (FitB)
  6. BBC (drag)
Remember you must use the past of HAVE ( HAD) + the Past Participle (-ED form or the third form of the verb, it it is an irregular one)
An example,

When I entered the class, my students...
  • had already done their homework.
  • had handed in their assignments.
  • had already opened all the windows.
  • had brought out their stuff.

sábado, 2 de junio de 2012

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

Dear students, being close to the end of this academic year in which we have been going through so many emotions, you should know by far who Elizabeth II is. 60 years ago, her father George VI died while she was in Kenya on February 2nd . We have also celebrated her real birthday on April 21st, although the official one will be late on on June 16th.
From February on, Diamond Jubilee's events have been taking places in different parts of the UK; for instance, on March 20th, she paid a visit to the Parliament at Westminster. On Saturday  May 19th, the Armed Forces paid a tribute to HM in Windsor Castle. Here is the address to the Parliament, where the Queen  thanked the nation, looked back on her reign, re-pledged her allegiance and praised her loyal family... and before her time was up, she even squeezed in a few jokes.

To check the full list of events taking place during this long weekend, just click The Diamond Jubilee web page, where you can revise her life as a queen, get information about past jubilees and even taking some interactive games.
To finish our class, we are going to check how much we know about the queen (including the teacher!!) on the following quiz

Lots of artist sang on Monday evening by Buckinham Palace, among them:

For more videos on the whole celebration, visit The Telegraph