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

22 November 2015


Weird but quite clear videos of phrasal verbs in context. They are a bit long, though. Anyway, if you can spare some minutes.... They are going to carry on and on until you're dead!

If these videos go with your learning style, here you have more on the Papa Teach Me YouTube channel.

19 November 2015


(the American speaker gets them all wrong! Such fun!)

Please, when you are planning a trip abroad, avoid mispronunciations of the names of places. Just check the correct pronunciation of the places you are going to visit on forvo.com beforehand.

Anglophenia YouTube channel
(Anglo + encyclopedia)
Understanding British culture (for American speakers!!!) Illuminating!

Experts demand legal protection for accents: Reading activity
Should discrimination based on accent be made a legal offence?



For watching this video with subtiles, click here.
Doctor Who: The greatest show in the galaxy

So, name three Scottish inventions. Oh, and you're going to say they weren't invented in Scotland. Yes. I don't know; depends what you say! Well television's is always the one that's-- Ooh, ooh! Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "TELEVISION". --sort of claimed 'Cause John Logie Baird came up with one system He came up with one system, which wasn't used. Alexander Graham Bell robbed the telephone. Quite right, so certainly not Alexander Graham Bell. Haggis. Forfeit: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "HAGGIS". Haggis, no. Not even haggis. You'd think, wouldn't you? Haggis was invented in ancient Rome. Rubber tyres? Ah, rubber tyres you can have. Yeah. I'll give you that. Yes. Dunlop. Dunlop. I'll give you Dunlop. Yeah. Yes. Just to get through things that weren't: Kilts were not. They were Irish. And the word "kilt" is a Danish word. Hogmanay is a French word. Did you know that? Yeah. Anguillanneuf it's a French word. Whiskey was Italian. Really? Even before that, probably Chinese. Yeah. It's amazing, isn't it? What "Have you done anything in this bloody world?" you may wonder. I will now tell you what they've invented. Yes. Scotch inventions and discoveries include: Adhesive stamps, the Australian national anthem, the Bank of England, bicycle pedals, the breach-loading rifle--you'll notice I'm going in alphabetical order--Bovril, the cell nucleus, chloroform, the cloud chamber, cornflower, a cure for malaria, the decimal point, the Encyclopedia Britannica, fountain pens, fingerprinting, hypnosis, hypodermic syringes, insulin, the kaleidoscope, the lawnmower, lime cordial, logarithms, lorries, marmalade, matches, motor insurance, paraffin, piano pedals, the postmark, pneumatic tyres, RADAR, the reflecting telescope, savings banks, the screw propeller, the speedometer, the steam hammer, raincoats, tarmac, teleprinters, tubular steel, typhoid vaccine, ultrasound scanners, the United States Navy, universal standard time, vacuum flasks, wave-powered electricity generations, and wire rope! [clapping] Hey! Goodness me. Thank you. Well. Thank you. You should be, er applauding the, erm You should be applauding the inventive Scots. Yeah. And the population of the Scots has never been more than five million, so that's quite an achievement-- It is. --for that small-- Shortbread! Scotch eggs Scotch pancakes Dundee cake. "Dundee " Scotch tape. Yes. Sitting in doorways, erm, singing and crooning, in a weirdly--[deepens and drastically hoarsens voice, adopting Scottish accent]--"inexplicably husky voice, for some reason! I don't know why they do that. Where's that come from, that voice? Aye, aye! Oh " Why are there-- [points to Clive] "I know you, you gobshite!" [suddenly normal voice] That's, er sorry for some reason, what they say to me But, no. Alexander Graham Bell, that For all that we've, rather, introduced him, he did, er He was involved in SONAR, and he developed a hydrofoil, which traveled at 70 miles an hour in 1919. It was a He had a metal detector which was used to find the bullet on Garfield, the president, after he'd been shot-- Yeah. --by an assassin's bullet, and, unfortunately, it didn't work. They didn't find it. He said it was confused [Scottish accent] "by the bedsprings". Erm So Garfield died. So, there we are. Lots and lots of Scottish things.

Catherine Tate/Aga Saga Woman: Geordie nanny
"Children! Run for your lives! We're going to die! She's from the north!"

WILD WEST TV show (more Catherine Tate, now in Cornwall).
Episodes on YouTube.

Now, do watch the following videos for a feel-good boost of confidence: Spanish words English-speaking people can't say. Why do you think they felt reluctant to say the words "negar" (to say no) and "foca" (seal)?

For older posts about accents, do click here.

Gather 'round me, everybody
Gather 'round me, while I preach some
Feel a sermon coming on here
The topic will be sin
And that's what I'm agin'
If you wanna hear my story
Then settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewing
The attitude of doing right
You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
E-lim-i-nate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with mister inbetween
You got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
And have faith, or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene
To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, noah in the ark,
What did they do, just when everything looked so dark?
Man, they said, we better
Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
E-lim-i-nate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with mister inbetween

17 November 2015


The sounds of English (BBC Learning English). Videos for all the sounds. Really helpful! Example:

Useful tip: practise pronunciation using songs and sing along!!!

And Tell her by Kenny Loggins, with lyrics.

Finally, you know that when I tell you that English is a crazy language I'm not joking, hahaha...

12 November 2015


Book your flight to Middle Earth (video + transcript)

Grammar practice: INVERSION
- Rephrasing
- Loads of exercises

Inversion from Luiz Otávio Barros on Vimeo.

For a post about kiwi accent, please do click here.

TVNZ. New Zealand TV (video news)
Radio New Zealand
New Zealand Herald (newspaper)
New Zealand News

ABC Australia (news + transcript)

10 November 2015

PANTOMIME 2015: Peter Pan

We are going on Friday, December 11th at 19:30 but you can reserve tickets on your own here: http://madridplayers.org/pantomime/
Not to be missed!

Christmas pantomime is a musical-comedy play found in the UK. Traditionally performed at Christmas, with family audiences consisting mainly of children and parents, British pantomime is now a popular form of theatre, incorporating song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo. There are a number of traditional story-lines, and there is also a fairly well-defined set of performance conventions. Panto story lines and scripts typically make no reference to Christmas. Plot lines are often 'adapted' for comic or satirical effect, and certain familiar scenes tend to recur, regardless of plot relevance. (source: wikipedia)

Xmas pantomime Madrid 2014: Little Red Riding Hood
Xmas pantomime Madrid 2013: Aladdin
Xmas pantomime Madrid 2012: A Christmas Carol
Xmas pantomime Madrid 2011: Mother Goose
Xmas pantomime Madrid 2010: Alice in Wonderland
Xmas pantomime Madrid 2009: Robin Hood

05 November 2015


Six degrees of separation theory

Six degrees of separation is now three

This theory actually reminds me of a gripping TV series: Touch


For old posts about Guy Fawkes Night, click here.

Gunpowder Plot Game

ALCALÁ DE HENARES AND GUY FAWKES NIGHT: Six degrees of separation (click on the links inside the presentation to expand your knowledge)


Does the name of this London tube station come from "Infante de Castille"? 

Read this article to know.

The Tudors: Catherine of Aragon and her daughter, Mary