Monday, January 31, 2011

This Week's Art

Remember Banksy? Well, here is a link to other creative street art. Feel inspired?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 24th January

This Week's Homework

Don't forget that the deadline for your magazine article is Friday 4th February. See Student's Book Page 65 for an example article and task. Write about 140 words.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Week's Festival

Haggis is traditionally eaten on Burns Night

Burns Night 2011
The date of Burns Night 2011 is Tuesday 25 January. Burns Night falls on the Scottish Poet Robert Burns' birthday.

What is Burns Night?
Burns Night is a regular date in the Scottish calendar and celebrates the life and works of their national Bard, Robert Burns. Celebrations amongst family and friends are conducted during a Burns Supper which includes a number of traditions such as piping in the guests, the Selkirk Grace and piping in the haggis.
Burns Supper Traditions
A traditional Burns Supper includes the following traditions:
Piping in the Guests
The Chairman's welcome
The Selkirk Grace
Starter course of the Burns Dinner
Piping in the haggis
Address the haggis
Toast to the haggis
The main Burns Dinner
The immortal memory
Toast to the Lassies
Reply to the toast of the Lassies
Performance of Robert Burns' songs and poems
Vote of thanks
Auld Lang Syne


Monday, January 24, 2011

This Week's English Speaking Country

26th January is Australia Day, which commemorates the first convict ships that brought immigrants to the continent to start the country. A Good Day to be an Australian is a slideshow by The Wall Street Journal showing us what Aussies get up to on that day; National Geographic has a feature on The Land Down Under; Discovery has a video on The Great Barrier Reef; The Guardian newspaper has an interactive map about the flooding there. Stories of the Dreaming tell us aboriginal tales from the continent.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Week's Art

"Inside Lascaux: Rare, Unpublished" is the title of a curious slideshow by Life magazine.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 17th January

This Week's Idiomatic Expression

Are you a "bossy boots"? Are you always telling people what to do? Do you know anyone who is a "bossy boots"? Is your teacher one? Or your partner?

Find out what happened to Miss Bossy Boots by clicking here. (Incidently, she sounds very like the Queen of England!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

This Week's News

Proposed timetable for Advanced One Exams. January 2011.

Do you study intensively before an exam? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses in English? Don't forget these tests are to help you in your learning process.

Monday 24th January at 18:00 and Tuesday 25th at 16:00:   
Written expression and interaction.  105 mins.
Task One: reply to an email. 150 words. See SB Page 17 to revise format.                                                         
Task Two: opinion essay. 250 words. See SB Page 49 for model.

Wednesday 26th January at 18:00 and Thursday 27th at 16:00:         
Reading comprehension.  90 minutes.
Task One: True / False / Doesn’t say.
Task Two: inserting a paragraph.
Task Three: inserting a word in a text.

Wednesday 26th January at 19:40 and Thursday 27th at 17:40:                                     
Oral exam for 2 candidates.
Task One:  monologue - 4 minutes.
Task Two: interaction - 6 minutes.

Friday 28th January at 18:00 and Tuesday 1st Feb at 16:00:                
Listening comprehension.  45 minutes.
Task One: matching activity.
Task Two: gap fill.
Task Three: choose correct option.

Friday 28th January at 19:00 and Tuesday 1st Feb at 17:00:                              
Oral exam for 6 candidates.
Task One:  monologue - 4 minutes.
Task Two: interaction - 6 minutes.

Monday 31st Jan at 18:00 and Thursday 3rd Feb at 16:00                   
Remaining oral exams.

Themes include: the future, personality, psychic power, health, stress, national stereotypes, clothes and fashion, air travel, travel in general, crime and punishment, weather, taking risks and the environment.

This Week's Homework

Tuesday / Thursday class: please make sure you have completed your workbook up to the end of Unit 4A. Do Grammar Bank 4A pages 138 - 139 in your student's book. Make sure you have done SB P 52 Ex 1d. Do Grammar Handout 4A Unreal Conditions. Prepare Reading SB P 57.

Monday / Wednesday class: as above.

Writing assignment for both groups is SB Page 65: "Write an article for your school magazine about how to be safe if you go walking in the country or the mountains." 140 words. Deadline 4th February.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Week's Sport

The acrobat, Paul Steiner, wingwalking
We've been talking about taking risks. Anyone fancy wingwalking? Click here for more details.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Week's Art

A Land of Plenty by Carl Warner

British photographer Carl Warner creates amazing foodscapes: landscapes constructed entirely from fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, fish, meat and grains. At first glance the landscapes look real, and it is only on second glance that the viewer realises that the scenes are made entirely out of food. If you'd like to watch a short video about his work, click here.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 10th January

This Week's English Speaking Country


People in southern Sudan began voting on Sunday on whether they want their independence. The are expected to vote "yes" on that question. You might find this link from The New York Times interesting. The BBC has provided us with a helpful Question and Answer Page about the referendum and its consequences. The Wall Street Journal  has an interactive explaining Sudan's turbulent history. Listen here to discover how the charity Plan International is retraining former child soldiers and other young people in skills such as building, mechanics and carpentry so they can build new lives.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Week's Word


Wassailers in England singing to the apple trees

In class, we learned about the Engish tradition of "wassailing", where people, (wassailers), visit the apple orchards on Twelfth Night - January 5th - and sing to the trees there and beat them in order to ward off evil spirits.

But "wassailing" can also refer to the tradition of going from door to door singing carols. There is a very well-known carol called "The Wassail Song". Curiously, unlike other Christmas carols, it does not celebrate the birth of Christ. Instead, it makes direct reference to the hugh social gap that exists in the land between the rich and the poor. Listen to it here. You can read a variation of the lyrics here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This Week's Listening

Your thoughts on 2010; your wishes for 2011?

Listen to how some passers-by on the streets of Washington, DC, many of them visitors from other countries, responded to this question.

This Week's Festival

"Twelfth Night" is a free, annual celebration held outside Shakespeare's Globe in London to mark the end of Christmas and welcome the New Year.

You can read the Twelfth Night program on the official website but this the gist:
1. The Holly Man arrives by boat on the River Thames.
2. He and the actors toast the people, the River Thames, and The Globe Theatre.
The actors, knowns as Mummers, perform a funny play by Bankside Pier.
3. Cakes given out at the end of the play have a bean and a pea hidden in two of them. Those who find them are hailed King and Queen for the day and get a crown.
4. King Bean and Queen Pea lead the people through the streets to the historic George Inn in Borough High Street to warm up with storytelling, the Kissing Wishing Tree, and more dancing.

This Week's Video

BBC's life in slow motion. Click here to see how slow motion transforms a moment into minutes and simple actions into incredible events.

This Week's News

Our programme of work for our first week back after the Xmas holidays is as follows:

Monday 10th / Tuesday 11th: class activities.

Wednesday 12th: finish Unit 3. We will do our FCE type listening exam between 7.05 and 8.00. If you belong to the Tuesday group and you were unable to do this test, you are very welcome to join us at this time.

Thursday 13th: start unit 4.

Friday 14th (Monday / Wednesday Class): do the consolidation test on Unit 3 in small groups during the first hour of class. Do a composition under exam conditions in the second hour.

Please also note that the unofficial starting date for the "Pruebas de Dominio" is Monday 24th January. More news on this topic later.