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CHRISTMAS UNWRAPPED

EOI ALCALA CHRISTMAS CARD CONTEST WINNER 2013-14
THE HISTORY CHANNEL: Christmas Unwrapped. Watch the first 10 minutes of this video and answer the following questions:
What’s the origin of the Christmas Tree? How long did the Norse celebrations last?  What were they characterized by? What two celebrations were there in Ancient Rome? What did they consist of? What does the narrator say about the date of Christian celebration? How did the Church adapt pagan traditions? What was Puritan England’s attitude to Xmas celebrations?

5 strange Christmas traditions around the world:

For older Christmas posts, click here.


SCHOOL TRIP 2013-14

"IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT'S DONE" Nelson Mandela

INVICTUS Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley (1875)
BBC History: Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013 - interactive timeline(A remarkable life)
Nelson Mandela: biography
Nelson Mandela: southafrica.org
Nelson Mandela: champion of freedom (6-minute video)
South Africa timeline
South Africa fact file
For a previous post on South Africa, click here.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)
Invictus (2009)

INTERNATIONAL MEETING POINT IN MADRID

Would you like to boost your confidence in spoken English? Would you like to practise your spoken English outside the classroom but you don't know what to do or where to go?

Have you ever heard of MadridBabel? Why don't you check their website? Plenty of activities to choose from, aren't there?

Meet people from all over the world in Madrid, practise languages absolutely free & make new friends through our wide range of international activities:

http://madridbabel.weebly.com/

Please, do remember: you cannot learn to swim without getting wet

PODCASTS IN ENGLISH

Listen to English and learn English with pie - the podcast site for learners and teachers of English.http://www.podcastsinenglish.com/index.shtml
Choose the level, the topic and enjoy while improving your English. Why don't you try n. 91 On yer bike ?

WACKY INVENTIONS

Inventions Fact Files

Have you ever heard of  FLYKLY?

The phrase “This changes everything” gets thrown around a lot, but in the sustainable commuting sphere, an invention out of New York by a group of bike enthusiasts just might actually change everything. The Smart Wheel by FlyKly Bikes is a motorized bike wheel that can fit on almost any bike, instantly turning a regular bike into an electric one, opening up the options of who can bike commute, where, how far and in what terrain. Bike commuting in urban areas has the potential to combat an enormous number of problems: traffic congestion, air pollution, gas consumption, and commuting affordability. But would-be bikers are often limited by various constraints, including weather, physical condition, cost and time.
Bicycles remind me of ... post.

ONE WORLD OF ENGLISH

Look what I came across! Here you can practise grammar, vocabulary, listening, phrasal verbs, idioms,... so, as George Clooney would say, what else?
OneWorldOfEnglish
My choice:
Grammar exercises with YouTube videos
Listening comprehension C1 level (exam practice)


REVISE VERB TENSES WITH SONGS

Multimedia English: unit 10 lesson A
Verb tenses exercises

REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night? video

Guy Fawkes protest on central London on Bonfire Night: video

Bonfire mistaken for fly-tipping by council: article

Fireworks display warning over firefighters strike: article

Has the fire gone out For Guy Fawkes Night? article

Stay safe on Bonfire Night: video

For the 2012 EnglishWithoutEnd post, click here.

James Blunt - Bonfire Heart song:

THE TUDORS: tv show


For Tudor history, click here.

HORRIBLE HISTORIES
Terrible Tudors: The Wives of Henry VIII and the Tudors songs

COLLOCATIONS DICTIONARY

Check this out! Great online dictionary of collocations to help you improve your writing: ozdic

CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME MADRID 2013

Don't miss this year's The Madrid Players pantomime!! It'll have you in stitches!!
What is a pantomime or panto?

OF MICE AND MEN

Of Mice and Men reading guides:
Book Drum (bringing books to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music)
Sparknotes
(Watch the Of Mice and Men Video SparkNote)
The author: John Steinbeck

The Great Depression facts

Broadway revival of 'Of Mice and Men'
2014

LISTENING PRACTICE

YOU ARE SIMPLY THE BEST

Congratulations, everyone! You are an all star:


Nothing is gonna stop you now:


You must be walking on sunshine:

because today it's a beautiful day:


All in all, you're simply the best:

She

MORE ON ACCENTS

AUSSIE ACCENT (Australian):


KIWI ACCENT (New Zealand): SCOTTISH ACCENT:ENGLISH ACCENT (North): INDIAN, CANADIAN ACCENT:WELSH ACCENT:

MY FAVOURITE DICTIONARIES

PHRASAL VERBS

EDUCATION FOR ALL

US society divided over gun control after Conneticut massacre:   Massacre prompts bulletproof vest range: video with transcript

Previous Education posts here.

           "The mediocre teacher tells.
            The good teacher explains.
            The superior teacher demonstrates.
            The great teacher inspires."
                  ~William A. Ward~


Multiple choice listening: School Report
Lots of exercises about school (vocabulary, reading, listening, idioms, etc.)


Baggy trousers official video: THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, art. 26:
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the s…

Harper Lee sues for copyright of To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee sues for copyright of To Kill A Mockingbird  (don't forget to watch the video "Take a tour of Monroeville, which inspired Harper Lee's classic novel).

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird turns 50


JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED

English idioms: Health & Fitness

20 idioms based on Health

Compulsive exercise post: listening practice and vocabulary

Healthcare post: vocabulary and healthcare debate

Parodies of "Need You Now", "Dynamite" and "Bad Romance" for a school project about universal health care (beware: not professional singers but the lyrics are worth reading, anyway.)

CAN YOU ADAM AND EVE IT? TONY BLAIR ISN'T BOVVERED!

Catherine Tate Show characters
In the following video with English subtitles, you can learn more things about Cockney such as when and where it originated (17th century, can you adam and eve it? (believe):


Now, this is the video we saw in class this morning (with English subtitles too). Please, do notice the examples from Old English Lauren uses:
for sooth (indeed)
thou (subject 'you')
thee (object 'you')
thy (possessive 'your')
looketh (look)
wench (girl or young woman)
You'll take the high road and I'll take the low road (from a traditional Scottish song):



Oh, ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road,And I'll get to Scotland afore ye;But me and my true love will never meet againOn the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (from Romeo and Juliet):

Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I…

IF ONLY...

WELSH ACCENT

February 1st, 2011 post on British accents: Welsh

QI is a comedy panel game in which being quite interesting is more important than being right. Stephen Fry is joined week by four comedians to share anecdotes and trivia and to answer some questions as well.
QI: Welsh racism with comedian Rob Brydon

Stephen: Rob, what's the difference between a Carlisle Surprise, a Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, and a sheep tied to a lamp post in Cardiff? Rob: Now, this is another example of the institutionalised racism-- Stephen: That's true. Rob: --which is accepted when it's directed towards . . . the Welsh. As it has . . . Is this a reference to the joke about the . . . about: "What is a sheep tied to a lamp post in Cardiff? . . . It's a leisure centre." Now, because . . . because-- Stephen: It's awfully good-- Rob: [pointing to the audience, who is laughing] No! No! No! No! No! [points at Stephen] And . . . and you, no! Stephen: [puts on stern face and pushes glasses to face] N…

OFF TO MEET TAMARA, ARE WE?

Where's Miranda?Miranda, Series 2 Episode 4BBC TwoStevie is angry about Miranda having a new friend:
Miranda: Right, I am off to the restaurant. Stevie: Off to meet Tamara, are we? Miranda: What do you mean "are we"? I'm just going to meet Tamara for a coffee. Stevie: Going for a coffee with Tamara, are we?
Remember that sometimes we use an affirmative tag after an affirmative statement to express anger, interest, surprise, and so forth. Once again, intonation is very important here.

You can find different exercises about question tags here, here or here.

Fancy some grammar review?


EXAM PRACTICE

Did you find the reading exam more difficult that you'd expected? Well, this means you need more practice. Make the most of the next two months before you have to take the real exam in June!
http://www.flo-joe.co.uk/cae/students/tests/pt1index.htm

http://www.examenglish.com/CAE/cae_reading1.htm

http://englishtests.ucoz.com/index/0-31

http://www.usingenglish.com/comprehension/certificate+in+advanced+english.html

Listening practice also available in the above-mentioned links and here:
Listening (multiple choice)
Listening (fill in the gaps)
Listening (multiple matching)

So if you are not going to the theatre tomorrow with the rest of your classmates, you'll have plenty of free time in the morning. Use it well!

INTENSIFYING ADVERBS

COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG

A beginner's guide to Cockney Rhyming Slang
Dictionary of Cockney
Cockney rhyming slang list

The Brit List: 15 Cockney Rhyming Slang Terms Cockney rhyming slang explained
Cockney rhyming slang: contextual examples (The trouble's been shopping again) MY WIFE
Money slang (so that you can understand the picture above). More money slang here.
Some phrases have entered common British speech and are used daily without any awareness of their Cockney origins. Examples include: use your loaf (loaf of bread = head)have a butcher’s (butcher’s hook = look)cobblers – rubbish (cobbler’s awls = balls)porkies (pork pies = lies)donkeys (donkeys’ ears = years)QI: Cockney Rhyming Slang: A Lesson with Stephen Fry - BBC Transcript here

Explanation of the Cockney rhyming slang used in this episode:Stephen Fry: Tonight, we're talking Cockney rhyming slang, so without further tea for [tea for two: ado], let's have a butcher's [butcher's hook: look] at our four bulletproofs [bulletproof ves…

FREEDOM THE PLAY

¿POR QUÉ EN LA EOI?

ACCENTS I

BBC Voices
BBC Voices recordings
BBC Inside Out programmes
Learning accents: sounds familiar?


Well, now, here you have a video Jorge found. Sandra Bullock is interviewed by a British reporter on the red carpet (Oscars 2013). She talks about her new film with George Clooney and she also says how much she loves British accent and how it makes British people look smarter and more respectable.
http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2013/02/25/exp-pmt-sandra-bullock-oscar-red-carpet.cnn
Guess what? When I saw this video the British reporter looked really familiar. I knew I had seen him before and I've just remembered where. Do you recall Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent? He was a member of the jury that evening and he was stunned by Susan Boyle's performance as everybody else, of course. Who would've guessed. (Please do notice Susan Boyle's Scottish accent)

If you're up for more surprising videos, here you have another one. Enjoy! Isn't she adorable? An…

'Side Effects': one pill makes you murder

Side Effects is an old school psychological thriller (you never quite know who to trust...) directed by Steven Soderbergh. It stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum. It was released in the US on February 8th, 2013. An edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Side Effectreview

BBC Talking MoviesDirector Steven Soderbergh bows out of film with thriller (listening exercise)

Oscar 2013: As it happened (The Telegraph)

HE WHO AVOIDS COMPLAINT INVITES HAPPINESS

Page 1. it really began with Andrew Jackson "
Book Drumis the perfect companion to the books we love, bringing them to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music.

To Kill a Mockingbird beyond the page.


ELEMENTARY, DEAR WATSON

Speculation and deduction

Exercise 1 (with videos)
Exercise 2
Exercise 3
Loads of modal verbs exercises

After looking at these pictures, comment what you think must, may, might, could or can't have happened.


deduction
More PowerPoint presentations from EUGENIO MONDEJAR
Elementary, dear Watson
quote history
newspaper interview



PANCAKE DAY

PANCAKE DAY (SHROVE TUESDAY)
It's nearly Pancake Day video: Jamie Oliver
Olney Pancake Race 2012 video
Pancake Day in London: What is Pancake Day?



MARDI GRAS
How Mardi Gras work?
Mardi Gras history
2006 Mardi Gras highlights (New Orleans Carnival)
Mardi Gras: Let the good times roll (The Washington Post)

PRONUNCIATION OF schwa

TONGUE TWISTERS

Angela Abigail Applewhite ate anchovies and artichokes.Bertha Bartholomew blew big, blue bubbles.Clever Clifford Cutter clumisily closed the closet clasps.Dwayne Dwiddle drew a drawing of dreaded Dracula.Elmer Elwood eluded elven elderly elephants.Floyd Flingle flipped flat flapjacks.Greta Gruber grabbed a group of green grapes.Hattie Henderson hated happy healthy hippos.Ida Ivy identified the ivory iris.Julie Jackson juggled the juicy, jiggly jello.Karl Kessler kept the ketchup in the kitchen.Lila Ledbetter lugged a lot of little lemons.Milton Mallard mailed a mangled mango.Norris Newton never needed new noodles.Patsy planter plucked plump, purple, plastic plums.Quinella Quist quite quickly quelled the quarreling quartet.Randy Rathbone wrapped a rather rare red rabbit.Shelly Sherman shivered in a sheer, short, shirt.Trina Tweety tripped two twittering twins under a twiggy tree.Uri Udall usually used his unique, unusual unicycle.Vicky Vinc viewd a very valuable vase.Walter Whipple war…