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Showing posts from 2019

Big Brother, the thought police, the two minutes’ hate, doublethink, unperson, 2+2=5 and the ministry of truth.

"It was a bright cold day in April," goes the first line of 1984, "and the clocks were striking thirteen" George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four opening sentence. Another 35 years have elapsed since then, and Nineteen Eighty-Four remains the book we turn to when truth is mutilated, when language is distorted, when power is abused, when we want to know how bad things can get.

Nothing but the truth: the legacy of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four(The Guardian)


THE TRUE SIZE OF COUNTRIES

THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF THE FAKIR

On the lookout for a non-mainstream film in English? This is the film I saw yesterday at Renoir Princesa (V.O.S.) which is an adaptation from the book The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobeby French writer, Romain Puértolas

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (original title) is a colourful, feel-good movie, the perfect fit for those who want to practise English with little stress. A delightful crowdpleaser!

LAST-MINUTE RESOURCES AND TIPS FOR C1 ENGLISH TESTS

Are you only days away from taking a B2/C1 English test? These links, tips and resources might help you make the most of your last-minute revision time: Last-minute resources and tips for C1 English tests

AT YOUR DESK OR ON THE MOVE

Down below are some podcasts you might like to listen to while you enjoy your jog in the park or your leisurely stroll down Calle Mayor on your way to your favourite place to savour a nice cup of café con leche. Take your pick: one or two are rather exam focused, but the others pivot around English in a more or less light-hearted way. Hope you enjoy them! (tip from C1 evening teacher, Martín) The English We Speak Better At English
Luke's English Podcast
Splendid Speaking Podomatic
VOA Learning English Podcast

More Podcasts



A NEW TWIST ON A CLASSIC TALE

On Friday, you asked me why all English teachers love Jane Austen. Why, indeed? "… the peculiar brilliance of Austen lies partly in what she focuses on, and what she ignores." (Times Insider).
It’s no wonder. She’s among the most revered authors writing in English. Her novels take a critical and often humorous look at life in the late 1700s. The tales of life, and love, are filled with irony, and a sense of realism about the era and the characters she wrote about. Besides, her work remains relevant. As the Jane Austen Society claims, "[Austen] is very pertinent even today".
https://www.digitalausten.org/node/50
Jane Austen in modern-day India. What do you make of it? Surprisingly delicious!

This is Gurinder Chadha's all-singing, all-dancing new Bollywood-Austen spin. She is an English film director of Kenyan Asian origin. She is best known for the films Bend it like Beckham (2002) in which we can see a very young Keira Knighley and What's cooking? (2000). If yo…

INTERESTING STORIES AWAIT!

Here you have a list of novels in English from different English-speaking countries  (mostly UK and US, though).
Take your pick and see you tomorrow!
Weird and offbeat: The Libreria Acqua Alta Bookstore in Venice

JUST A REMINDER - EXAMS

Click on the images below for more information:






Madrid's first anglophone poetry festival

The Unamuno Author Series Festival at Desperate Literature
To whet your appetite, one of my favourite poems:

A Short Analysis of William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’
William Blake Documentary
William Blake's radicalism  (The British Library)
And one of his most famous poems:
London by William Blake

MUM'S THE WORD

Mum's the word (idiom)
Mother's Day Spain: First Sunday of May, i.e. TODAY. Happy Mother's Day!!!
Mother's Day UK: Fourth Sunday in Lent Mother's Day US: Second Sunday of May (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well)
Why does Mothering Sunday’s date change every year and differ in other countries?
Mother's Day: Dates around the word

15 Fun Things to Do With Mom That Aren’t Mother’s Day Brunch


"If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" and other favourite mum's sayings we've all heard and... used!
Recommended TV series about motherhood:  Better Things (HBO) An actress raises her three daughters while juggling the pressures of working in Hollywood and being a single parent. On my to-watch list but I've been told it's absolutely brilliant. Better Things Season 3 Trailer
Gilmore Girls (Netflix) A dramedy centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Co…

BREXIT according to John Oliver

What happens next for Brexit: five scenarios(The Guardian)

Cultural references:
The Cranberries
The Troubles: The Northern IrelandConflict 1968-1998

Gogglebox (tv show) features a number of families and groups of friends from different places around the UK who react to British television programmes from their own homes. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gogglebox







ESSAY WRITING TIP

Here's the difference between an OPINION / ARGUMENT essay and a DISCUSSION / DISCURSIVE essay:

In the exam taskyou may be asked to give your opinion. In that case, your essay will state your view at the beginning, and support it in the rest of the essay by developing an argument that persuades the reader to agree with you. Nevertheless, try to offer a balanced view.
On the other hand, if you are asked to "discuss" an issue, you should write about both sides of the matter or two points of view, without trying to convince the reader of anything.
SAMPLE DISCUSSION ESSAY
Pay special attention to the use of cohesive devices and paragraphing. When you scroll down, notice the summaries for each of the paragraphs provided in the comments.

READING EXAM: Preparation is key to success

Rise up to the challenge!
Multiple choice reading: The Sahara Film Festival
Missing paragraphs: Renovating the Lymm Water Tower
Multiple choice cloze: How to have perfect posture Multiple choice cloze: Scotland Multiple choice cloze: The Microscope

WORLD LITERARY ATLAS

Literature map
World literary atlas PLACES, BOOKS AND AUTHORS: Discover what has been written about your favourite places. Participate posting new quotes
Remember we've agreed on a field trip to two of my favourite bookshops in Madrid. We'll visit them on May 10th around 10 am but in case you'd like to take a gander...
https://desperateliterature.com/
https://www.jandjbooksandcoffee.es/

As for today's lesson:

https://www.bustle.com/p/what-kind-of-reader-are-you-what-your-reading-style-says-about-your-personality-66810

CAN HUMANS LIVE TO BE 1,000 YEARS OLD?

Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D., Vice President of New Technology Discovery at AgeX Therapeutics, discusses the “Methuselarity” — the point at which technology enables humans to live to more than 1,000 years of age.  Dr. de Grey believes this could happen within the coming decades and posits that some people born today may live to be 1,000 years of age.  He further states that people who are 30 years old today have a 50/50 chance to live to be 1,000 years old. 

Ending aging 

How to age gracefully

POLITICS VOCABULARY (mediation)

IN HINDSIGHT, IT WOULD'VE BEEN BETTER TO...

Today's joint activity with C2.1 level students.  Thank you for having us!

WRITING A REVIEW: sample with teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Review
How good are you at the Writing paper? Do you have difficulty thinking of what to say? Do you pay enough attention to organisation? Do you often make silly grammar or spelling mistakes? Or do you think your writing is of a pretty high standard? Below you'll find authentic answers to some of the tasks that have appeared in Flo-Joe's Writing Class. Have a look and see how they compare to your own work.: Writing Class - Makeovers


Words on your mind – rave review (Macmillan blog)

HOMEWORK. Writing a book review (ANSWERS)

Exercise 2:
1. P
2. N
3. P
4. P
5. N
6. N
7. P
8. N
9. N
10. P
11. N
12. N

Exercise 4:
1. heroine
2. childhood
3. internal
4. unfold
5. protagonists
6. cope
7. moved
8. appeal
9. indifferent
10. narration

HOMEWORK. Writing a film review (ANSWERS)

Exercise 2
a) A film I've enjoyed
b) What made me want to see it
c) It was directed
d) it starts
e) is set
f) The problem is that
g) played by
h) Eventually
i) Things get really complicated
j) all ends happily
k) there are a number of …

TRICKS TO BEAT THE AFTERNOON SLUMP AT WORK

GYMOREXIA: Compulsive exercise

Compulsive exercise or gymorexia (a kind of new anorexia) is a new mental disorder where people get obsessed with working out so, the question is: how much exercise is too much?

LISTENING ACTIVITY.
Watch this video and do the fill in the gaps exercise below.

-Some men feel the need to look __________________ and for more and more men their ___________ is turning into an obsession.

- Asked about whether he is addicted, David Moore admits he is a _______________ and worries about calories whenever he misses a day in the gym.

-According to the reporter, gymorexia is due to ___________________ and the _________________ on young men.

-According to sport psychologist, what happens physiologically when you exercise is that the endorphins _________________ and if you miss a day your body feels it’s missing something.

-As the reporter says, the key is finding a balance. Some people like Mark , in fact, have no problems ___________________. He says that if he misses one day or two it’s not the _______…

SKILLS FOR WRITING 6D: formal emails

6D SKILLS FOR WRITING:
1. Speaking and Listening
b)





2. Reading
b)

3. Writing skills
a) 

b)

c)
d)


Formal letter of complaint about a music festival: 1. with regard to 2. Firstly 3. despite 4. until 5. In addition to 6. also 7. as 8. Secondly 9. although 10. When 11. so 12. so that 13. Thirdly 14. so 15. Furthermore 16. Finally 17. because of 18. yet