“Any teacher that can be replaced with a computer, deserves to be.” – David Thornburg

26 November 2010

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, a good read

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: read online (and free download) from Project Gutenberg, a site that offers hundreds of books that can be read online and downloaded free of charge because their copyright has expired.
A Christmas Carol: audio version
A Christmas Carol: online quiz
Remember that you should have finished reading this wonderful book by the second week of December in order to enjoy the different activities we, the Avanzado 2 teachers, are preparing for you (a lecture, film viewing and more).
A lot different adaptations have been made of this classic, not only films but also one-off episodes from popular TV series such as Doctor Who or Blackadder.

Doctor Who A Christmas Carol Official Trailer: 2010 Christmas special

Doctor Who: Official Website and Classic Series

Blackadder's parody of A Christmas Carol (Pleasant Ebenezer Blackadder is turned into a cruel and witty miser after seeing visions of his ancestors and descendants). Narrated by Hugh Laurie, here you can see an eight-minute clip.

Can I help?

[speaks with Scottish dialect] No thanks, no, no no... I just popped in to say `hello'. [shakes Ebenezer's hand] Spirit of Christmas; how do you do. Just doing my usual rounds, you know: a wee bit of haunting, getting misers to change their evil ways. But you're obviously such a good chap [pats Ebenezer on the knee], there'll be no need for any of that nonsense, so I'll just say `cheery-bye'. Cheery-bye! [turns to leave]

Well, can I get you a cup of tea or anything?

Whole script here.

Finally, for those of you who could be described as book lovers, here you have a direct link to the BBC Radio 4 Programme A Good Read, where guests are invited to discuss their favourite books.


In order to avoid frustrating memory loss and retain and recall more information you can click on the following links:

Memory improvement techniques
Memory improvement tips
Tips and techniques for memory enhancement
Boost your brain power: free brain games
Top 10 mysteries of the mind
Featured memory stories

Dominic O'Brien, aka memory man, has won the Memory World Championship eight times so I think it might be useful to listen to him, don't you?


How much do you really know about Thanksgiving in spite of the American
TV series invasion? Try this Thanksgiving quiz, if you dare.
If you want to know more, you can click here so that you can visit the November 26th, 2009 post I wrote about Thanksgiving last year.

17 November 2010


Hi, just a couple of links with some exercises that'll help you with this grammatical point.

Nov. 4th, 2009 EnglishWithoutEnd post
My Avanzado 2 colleague's blog

I hope you use this and make the most of it.

05 November 2010


As you all know, connected speech is a very important feature of the English language. I have happened to come across this wonderful song with clear examples such as:

Picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor.
It's a quater after one, I'm all alone and I need you now.
I said I wouldn't call but I lost all control.
It's quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you now.

Now, listen carefully and then sing along. I'm sure you can do it!

03 November 2010


Hey, everyone. As we are dealing with first day experiences, major changes and huge leaps, in this post you can find the first episode from The Inbetweeners, a British sitcom about a suburban teenager and his friends at a Comprehensive School. "First day" is the title of episode 1, in which Will (the main character), who previously attended a private school, has been relocated to a state school because of money problems.
The episode is divided into three parts and English subtitles are included. Have fun!
If you are in the mood for more, here you have a direct link to Martín's blog where you can find more videos on first days.
So, after the fun part, let's move on to the exercise part, shall we? You all know we use vague language or approximating expressions when we don't want to or cannot be accurate. In order to practise this specific speech feature a bit more, click on the following direct links:
The Flatmates (BBC Learning English website). Listen to the episode, then read the language point and do the quiz.