Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2018

STORY OF YOUR LIFE - a good read

Here is Ted Chiang‘s short story on which the movie Arrival is based: Story of Your Life (39 pages).
Story of Your Lifeis a science fiction short story written by author Ted Chiang, which is a part of his Stories of Your Life and Others collection, originally published in 2002. 
Alien lifeforms suddenly appear on Earth. When a linguist is brought in to help communicate with them and discern their intentions, her new knowledge of their language and its non-linear view of time (she remembers the future as well as the past) allows her to see future events and all the joy and pain they may bring.
Stories of Your Life and Others is the most entertaining and thought-provoking collection of science fiction stories I've read for a long time.
The story begins with the first-person narrator (Dr. Louise Banks) telling her child of the night she was conceived, and of the conversation between Dr. Banks and her daughter’s father. “This is the most important moment in our lives, and I want to pay a…

Mediation in CEFR

I've just come across this YouTube channel, Amigos ingleses. The only drawback is that they mix Spanish and English in their videos but I have to admit that they use translation in specific situations in a very efficient way. Highly recommended! Check this video, for instance:

Another interesting video from their channel:

FACT FILE: How languages are special (Answers)

Exercise a: 1 The woman is using the points of the compass when we would expect her to use an expression like Could you move up/along a bit? instead. 2 The passenger is not using the colour but instead is using the shade. We would expect someone to use red rather than dark in this context. 3 The man is giving an extremely precise definition. In English, fruit would not be defined in such detail. Saying A kilo of bananas, please would be sufficient.
Exercise c: 1 interpret 2 differentiate 3 distinguishes 4 illustrate 5 indicate 6 conveyed 7 embodies


Cambridge Dictionary: READ What I like about it:    - Level is specified  - Idioms and phrasal verbs related to the word
Oxford Dictionary: READ What I like about it: 
  - More examples available   - Synonyms
Longman Dictionary: READ What I like about it: 
  - Top spoken and written words code   - Examples with pronunciation   - Grammar patterns   - Thesaurus
Macmillan Dictionary: READ What I like about it: 
  - Activator-like   - Explore Thesaurus available   - Synomyms and related words   - Phrases and phrasal verbs   - Red words and stars for frequency of use: Lots and lots of games and resources

PODCASTS: Making English a daily part of your life


Can you name the European Cities by their name in phonetic alphabet form? Quiz

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 beforehand. 

British accents in 11 great films 

I say tomato, you say tomeito
From the film Shall We Dance (1937)



Why is English so hard to learn article. How hard is English? How weird? The Economist article. How to Speak English With Confidence in 9 Easy Steps


The History of English in 10 minutes (with English subtitles)

Subtitles can be disabled (check the image below).

History of the English Language: more info.

Keen on history? Check the following HORRIBLE HISTORIES videos.

Horrible Histories is a series of illustrated history books and a British children's sketch comedy television series that shows you the sides of histoy they don't teach at school. The names for the different historical periods are Ruthless Romans, Smashing Saxons, Stormin' Normans, Terrible Tudors, Vicious Vikings, and so on. You'll find yourself laughing into stitches!!!

Horrible Histories: The Anglo-Saxon report

Horrible Histories: Anglo-Saxon language

Horrible Histories: Historical Masterchef Saxons

Horrible Histories: Words we get from the Vikings

NO PAIN, NO GAIN - Proverbs in English

English Proverbs – Exercise 1 English Proverbs – Exercise 2 English Proverbs – Exercise 3
The 50 Most Useful English Proverbs

And you know what they say, "where there's a will, there's a way":
- meaning
- Supertramp song

- Lyrics


Do you want to improve your English pronunciation? Well, you've come to the right place. Tim's Pronunciation Workshop shows you how English is really spoken. It'll help you become a better listener and a more fluent speaker. Tim's Pronunciation Workshop

Macmillan REAL SERIES: Grammar, Vocabulary and Real World English

Do you have a couple of minutes a day to spare? I'm sure you do. That's what'll take you to practise grammar, vocabulary and real world English using the Macmillan Real Video series:

Real Grammar

Real Vocabulary

Real World English

BEST OF BE Alcalá de Henares 2018

Birmingham European Festival October 2018. Don't miss it!
BEST of BE FESTIVAL’s tour showcases three of the festival’s favourite shows. Birmingham’s BE FESTIVAL features a genre-bending selection of European theatre, dance, comedy, circus, live music & DJs, food, visual and performing arts.
Some theatres provide the opportunity to take part in workshops with the artist. Check with your local theatre for information.


/ɪtsnɒtðəseɪm/ For the whole EOI Laredo videocast series, click here.

Pronunciation dictionaries:
Read with a British accent


The leap to the C1 level is no small feat. If you really want to get there, there are important habits you must consider. Just coming to an English class is not going to be enough. Having a B2 level is quite good already, though. You might choose to remain there (I hope you don't).

• Communication depends upon mutual intelligibility. That is to say that it is only possible if the language forms produced by the speaker are identified and understood by the listener. It is, therefore, the responsibility of speakers to pronounce them as intelligibly as possible (pronunciation and stress patterns).
• A considerable enlargement of concrete vocabulary.
• The refinement of functional and general notional categories.
• Recognition and limited control of important register varieties avoiding excessive formality on the one hand and colloquial or familiar usage on the other.
• Increased ability to understand and produce longer and more complex utterances. 
• Interaction is less constrained and both…


How Marketers Use Social Media for Recruitment
An opinion essay (Look at the essay and do the exercises to improve your writing skills)
a. 2, 4, 3, 1
b.c, d b, c, d because it's goog to create interest (b, c) and introduce an issue objectively (d), but not stating an opinion before presenting the arguments isn't logical.
c.a, b, c a, b, c because the conclusion should not contain new information or arguments.

e.Also    What's more    Moreover    as well as    Above all    Besides    Furthermore
f.  g.  h.

MINI GROUP #7: Txtng: the Gr8 Db8

Texting, the great debate
TEXTING IS GOOD FOR THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE Prof. David Crystal debunks the myths (S1Ep2 ofIt's Only a Theory, 11 May 2013)

" ... and every one of those statements are a load of chicken droppings"
"nobody sends a text withoutnot being a point"
"why are they leaving the letters out?"
"... the more you text, the better your literacy scores"
"... abbreviations are new-fangled, cooked up by today's youth - not so". "textiquette" "... they'd look at me as if I am nuts."
"... there are downsides to texting"
2b or not 2b?(The Guardian)

Video games testing reading exerciseKEY: 1. d 2. a 3. b 4. b 5. d 6. a 7. c 8. c


Multiple-choice listening: Gregg and Todd debate the necessity of minimum wages. TIP: Make sure you hide the script and do the quiz and vocab exercises before you read it.
Now, let's see if this pic jogs your memory: With lyrics.
I AM TIRED BECAUSE I AM OVERWORKED The population of Britain is 51 million. 21 million are retired. That leaves 30 million to do the work. There are 19 million in school. That leaves 11 million to do the work. Of this total, 2 million are unemployed and 4 million are employed by the government. That leaves 5 million to do the work. 1 million are in the armed forces which leaves 4 million to do the work! From that total 3 million are employed by the County and Borough Councils

IT HAD TO BE MURDER - The short story behind Hitchcock's Rear Window

The novel upon which Hitchcock based the film  "Rear Window". The chilling and riveting story of a man immobilised in his apartment, observing the minutiae of life - and death - through his rear window. Most of Hal Jeffries's daily observations run to the mundane, until he plays back certain events in his mind and realises that they point to a murder.
What do you fancy doing? - Read the short story "It had to be murder" by Cornell Woolerich, 1942 (13 pages). - Listen to it on BBC Radio Reading. - WatchRear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
The Must-Read Short Stories Behind 16 Great Movies


Kaitiakitanga – guardianship and conservation

New Zealand Travel website
Sounds of New Zealand English
Environment (vocabulary and activities)

New fountains and bottle-refill points to tackle London's plastic waste (The Guardian)
ESL Video Quiz: (multiple choice) Green Growth : A New Model for Sustainable Development in Asia
Avatar: Environment, Sustainability

The Na'vi (in English: The People) are a race of extraterrestrial humanoids who inhabit the jungle moon of Pandora. They choose to live in harmony and natural equilibrium with their surroundings. If they become too numerous, Eywa, the intelligence they worship, may devise a way to limit their numbers before they cause an ecological imbalance, for she maintains the balance of life. Over the millennium, the Na'vi have developed a healthy respect and reverence for their surrounding environment. In return, Eywa may have affected the environment to provide them with sufficient food and shelter, creatures to ride for ground and ai…

Blue Gum Tree - a short story from New Zealand

Blue Gum Tree  - a short story by Pat Boyle.
Eucalypts: Trees of the Future? (New Zealand Geographic)

A report on a school trip abroad Look at the report and do the exercises to improve your writing skills.