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

17 December 2013



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.

10 December 2013


Invictus (2009)


05 December 2013


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:


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

28 November 2013


Listen to English and learn English with pie - the podcast site for learners and teachers of English.

Choose the level, the topic and enjoy while improving your English. Why don't you try n. 91 On yer bike ?

25 November 2013


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.

08 November 2013


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

06 November 2013


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.

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

05 November 2013


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

24 October 2013


Don't miss this year's The Madrid Players pantomime!! It'll have you in stitches!!

What is a pantomime or panto?

23 October 2013


"I wasn’t doin' nothing bad with it, George. Jus' strokin' it"

Of Mice and Men reading guides:

 (bringing books to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music)

The author: John Steinbeck

The Great Depression facts

Broadway revival of 'Of Mice and Men'

03 September 2013


Voice recognition technology? In a lift? In Scotland? (for subtitles click "choose language")

04 July 2013


  The History of English


Language Timeline
England and English History
Ages of English Timeline (BBC)


From Vikings to Normans:

The Saxon Report: William the Conqueror: Norman Family Tree Song: Normopoly: Words we get form the Normans: The Roman invasion of Britain report:

21 June 2013


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:

29 May 2013


AUSSIE ACCENT (Australian):


09 May 2013


Check this out... video lessons, music, slideshows and so on.

For previous posts on crime, click here

08 May 2013


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 strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Horrible Histories
Victorian work song (poor Victorian kids had a fate worse than school!)

Now, with lyrics: School, glorious school! Wonderful school! Marvellous school! Wish we went to schoooooool!

19 April 2013


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.)

11 April 2013


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 again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (from Romeo and 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'll no longer be a Capulet.
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Are you up for more Lauren Cooper? Lauren and her school mates and preparing to go on a field trip and like all teenage girls, that's no excuse to ignore fashion and style. Lauren's teacher, however, doesn't agree.

God, what is she wearing?
Looking forward to a slice of culture?
We are all in for a treat today.
Are you a Christian, miss?
Is the Lord your shepherd?
Have you got Jesus in your heart, miss?
Are we your flock?
Get your things together or I shall suspend you from this trip.
Am I bovvered?

And finally, Lauren's famous sentence is thrown back in her face...

I'm here for work experience.
Ryan had this party last night and he didn't invite me or nothing.
Is he a Prime Minister?
He's on a very important call so you just take this in and come straight back out.
Was that someone famous?
Who is the most famous person you've ever seen?

09 April 2013


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

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] No.
Rob: [still pointing] You, no--
Stephen: Mm. No.
Rob: [points to Alan] And you . . . no! No. "What is the difference?" The only thing I have knowledge of is the sheep ti— . . . no, no, I  me— . . . sorry, I have knowledge of Cardiff! I don't . . . Well, I'm not really aware what . . . what a "Carlisle Surprise" is, other than the shock of finding yourself at Carlisle, erm . . .
Alan: Sounds like, sort-of, an ice cream, I'd have thought--
Rob: --which, surely is more of a delight, than anything else--
Stephen: Yes, a total delight.
Rob: Erm, a Reverse Canterbury . . .
Stephen: The full name is a "Reverse Canterbury Pleasure Place Double". It's an ancient English pastime.
Bill: Erm . . .
Rob: A Morris dance. Is it . . . is it a type of Morris dance?
Stephen: It's not Morris dancing, no. It has musical nature--
Rich: Break-dancing.
Stephen: It's not a dance. It's really big . . . as big a musical instrument as you could ever find.
Bill: A whale. See, with a whale, you just put your hand over the blowhole; You--[mimes playing a whale, with whistling and bass noises].
Stephen: He's making jokes about Wales!
Rob: [points at Bill in an "I've got your number" way]
Stephen: Erm, no.
Bill: Cheeky.
Stephen: The name for this pastime comes from, originally, the Latin for "countryside", but a particular part of the Latin countryside called Campana. And so it's--
Bill: Oh, bells, bells.
Stephen: --called Campanology.
Bill: Ah, it's bells.
Stephen: Absolutely right. It's bell-ringing.

03 April 2013


Where's Miranda?

Miranda, Series 2 Episode 4


Stevie 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?


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!





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!

09 March 2013


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 vests: guests].
They're all three stops down from Plaistow [Barking (on the London Underground): mad], but never mind, let's Georgie [Georgie Best: test] their orientals [oriental bazaars: buzzers].
Bill: You want me to Ursula Andress [press] me Jenson [Jenson Button: button]?
Phil: Would you like me to Eartha [Eartha Kitt: hit] my Dingly [Dingly Dell: bell]?
Stephen Fry: Now, tonight, any flamencos [flamenco dances: answers] you give in Pyong [Pyong Yang: slang] score Barney [Barney Rubble: double]. And I'll also give you two Sundays [Sunday joints: points] if, at any nickel and dime [time] . . . you woman [woman-who-does: buzz] in and want to lubricant [lubricant gel: tell] me . . . what I'm on about.


Error icon Couldn't find nuffink for ya this time. Try searchin again

26 February 2013


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.

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? And she scared the living daylights out of all of them, didn't she? Lovely British accent, by the way. Did you notice?

25 February 2013

'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 Effect review

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

Oscar 2013: As it happened (The Telegraph)

19 February 2013

Page 1. it really began with Andrew Jackson "

Book Drum is 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.

13 February 2013


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.


Elementary, dear Watson
                                quote history
                                newspaper interview

11 February 2013

07 February 2013


  • 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 warily warned the weary warrior.
  • Xerxes Xenon expected to xerox extra x-rays.
  • Yolana Yvonne Yarger yodeled up yonder yesterday.
  • Zigmund Zane zig-zagged through the zany zoo zone

06 February 2013



LYBIO.net is the largest community of text-script-video blogging service

On this website you can find a complete collection of accurate speeches, text, words, quotes and lyrics

An example: