Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Week's Homework

Tuesday / Thursday class: kindly correct your consolidation test if you haven't already done so. Prepare Grammar Bank 5A.
Monday / Wednesday class: as above plus Grammar Bank 5B Pages 140 - 141. Do Ex 5A of the Supplementary Grammar Worksheet.
Everybody please note the deadline for the writing activity (SB P81) is Friday 4th March.

Don't forget about your third and final reading task - the book review. It should reach me by March 14th.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Month's Competition


Advanced Level.

When we meet people from other countries, or when we travel abroad, we are often asked about where we live. Can you describe your island eloquently?

Take half an hour to have a look at the wonderful photographic exhibition about Gran Canaria in our School. It was prepared by Javier Gil Léon, an English student of NB2. Then, do three of the activities below and give them to your teacher before March 16th. Perhaps you will win a fantastic prize!

1.    Choose the photograph you like best. Make a note of the title and the number of the panel where it appears. Give the photo a new title. Imagine that you are going to send it to a friend who lives in another country. Use your imagination to write a text of between 90 and 120 words to accompany this photo and which covers these points:
·     reasons for sending this photo in particular;
·     in what way it represents / does not represent the island of Gran Canaria;
·     why you like it.

2.    You are a journalist and you work for Island News, an English language newspaper for people who live in the Canary Islands. You have been asked to write a review of between 120 and 180 words regarding the exhibition. Use a formal style. Here is the suggested format:
·         an introduction in which you give background information;
·         a main body consisting of two paragraphs in which the main features of the exhibition are mentioned;
·         a conclusion in which you recommend or do not recommend the exhibition giving reasons.

3.    The Tree Speaks is the title of a poem by the Irish poet, Cathal O’Searcaigh. In it, a tree that is about to be felled talks about its life experiences. Choose a tree from the exhibition. You are that tree. Tell us about what you have witnessed on these islands.

4.    You have been asked to write an article for an adventure magazine about how to be safe if you go walking in the Canarian countryside. Think of a good title, and one or two introductory sentences. Write down a few tips, for example, what to take with you, when the best time of year is to go walking, where to go and what to avoid. Then divide the tips into two or three groups and put them into a logical order. Write between 120 and 180 words. Use a neutral or informal style.

5.   Prepare a 15 minute monologue for your classmates and your teacher telling us about one of your hiking experiences in Gran Canaria. Speak about the route you followed, why you liked it and if you encountered any difficulties. Use a PowerPoint to illustrate your talk, too!

6.  Work with a partner. Person A: you work for Let's Go Canarias! an English-speaking television programme which informs people who speak this language about Canarian matters. You have been asked to carry out an interview with the photographer of this exhibition. Person B: you are the photographer. The interview should last about 6 minutes. Record it and send it to your teacher.

This Week's Language Corner

Sometimes on our blog we have a feature on English-speaking countries. (According to Wikipedia, there are some 54 countries where English is an official language and three where it is the de facto language.) However, very few languages carry the same prestige or economic power that English does. If you've got a moment, check out this map by National Geographic on disappearing languages. Remember, when a language dies, a whole culture dies with it.

This Week's Essay


During the first fortnight of February the population of Tejeda always celebrates the popular holiday “Almond in flower”. In it you can taste typical products made of almond.
Ayacata is situated between Tejeda and Tirajana. It´s the town most visited by painters and writers because they´re usually surprised by a strange, orange light which appears under the foot of Bentayga late afternoon.
You can visit Ayacata by bike or on foot and when night falls you can find a rural hotel. At this time it´s easy to confuse these almonds with gorses but when you are nearer you can see the flowers and you can guess what they really are.
Ayacata means peace, relaxation and nature for foreigners.
Visit it and have a good time!

NA1 May

Monday, February 21, 2011

This Week's In The News

Libya under Muammar Gaddafi

Ian Black charts the recent history of Libya, from the rise of Gaddafi to Lockerbie to a thaw with the west. This is a most informative video published by The Guardian newspaper.

Week Beginning Monday 21st February

This Week's Homework

Tuesday / Thursday class: complete Grammar Handout Page 171; SB Page 62 - 63 (Reading) Ex 5a, b, c and d.  SB Pages 66 - 67.  We'll do our Consolidation Test on Thursday.

Monday / Wednesday class: Grammar Bank 4C; Reading Pages 62 - 63; Vocabulary Bank P152. Do Mini Grammar in our Grammar Worksheet; prepare P 66 - 67; continue working in our Workbook. We'll do our Consolidation Test on Monday 28th; we'll complete Unit 4 and do a listening test this Wednesday.

Remember that your next written assignment is for March 4th. It will be the formal letter activity suggested in our SB on page 81. Obviously, we will do some preparation in class beforehand.

This Week's Strange But True

Did you know, the more you are attracted to someone, or want to be accepted by them, the more you imitate their grammar and vocabulary? And the less you like them, the more divergent your speech patterns become? This is known as "Accommodation Theory". You can read about it here.

So now you know!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week's Poetry Corner

In class last week, some of us saw a magnificent rainbow. It brought to mind this poem by the Afro-Guayanese poet, John Agard.

A limbo-dancer on a London street

Rainbow - by John Agard

When you see de rainbow you know God know wha he doing -
one big smile across the sky -
I tell you God got style the man got style
When you see
raincloud pass
and de rainbow
make a show
I tell you
is God doing
the man doing limbo

But sometimes
you know
when I see
de rainbow
so full of glow
and curving
like she bearing child
I does want know
if God
ain’t a woman

If that is so
the woman got style
man she got style

This Week's Quotation

A portrait of Emily Brontë by her brother

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same". These words by the 19th century English novelist and poetess, Emily Brontë, have just been voted the best romantic line in English literature in a poll commissioned by Warner Home Video. If you would like to improve your romantic English, click here.

This Week's Festival

Chinese Lantern Festival

In 2011, February l7th “is observed as the Lantern Festival – the 15th and final day of Chinese Lunar New Year festivities. The holiday is the most important annual celebration in China, when the nation largely shuts down as families gather together for reunions and feasts. More than 2.5 billion passenger trips by air, rail, bus or sea are taken around the holiday, according to the Chinese government. The Lantern Festival, or Yuan Xiao Jie, will complete the welcoming of the Year of the Rabbit – from the Chinese zodiac, indicating a year of caution and calm, with a quiet underlying strength and determination.”

For more images, click here.

Source: the Atlantic at

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Week's Nature

The Guardian newspaper has an especially beautiful presentation of nature photos this week. Click here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 14th February

This Week's Homework

Monday / Wednesday class:  SB Pages 62 - 63 Reading. Pages 130 - 139 Grammar Bank 4C. Page 152 Vocablary Bank "The Body".

Ideally, we're looking at a Consolidation Test for Wednesday 23rd, although I think we might be a little bit pushed. Let's see.

Of course, everyone is doing the corresponding activities in the Workbook.

Your next written assignment is for March 4th. It will be the formal letter activity suggested in our SB on page 81. We will do some preparation in class beforehand.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Week's festival

Gustav Klimt's Kiss for the Whole World

Find out about the history of St Valentine's Day here. Listen to and read a discussion on the positive and negative side of "Hallmark Holidays" here. Try a gap-fill here. Try a St Valentine's crossword here. Discover naturally occurring and man-made heart shapes photographed from the air here. Top Ten Memorable Kisses here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Week's News

NO class today (Monday 14th Feb) or tomorrow (Tuesday 15th Feb). Why not use the time constructively and get your interviews organised and recorded for "Atlantic Landscapes"?

Class as usual on Wednesday and Thursday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Week's Photo Essay

Biblioteca España, Medellín, Colombia
 Sarah Park celebrates Library Lovers' Month with these 15 photos of extraordinary library design.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This Week's Vocabulary

Check out this stimulating link by the Macmillan English Dictionaries webzine which focuses on false friends.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 7th February

This Week's Homework

For Monday 14th / Tuesday 15th: FCE Reading Test.

Monday / Wednesday class: prepare Reading Page 57; Grammar Bank 4B Pages 138 - 139.
Tuesday / Thursday class: do grammar worksheet on Past Modals; prepare Grammar Bank 4C Pages 138 - 139.

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Week's Nature

Getting ready for St Valentine's Day? Check out this magnificent video with Sir David Attenborough to see what the Australian bowerbird does to attract his mate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This Week's Festival

February 2nd is Groundhog Day in the USA. Find out about its history here. See the world's most famous weather forecaster here. Watch and listen to what happened when an imposter appeared on the scene here.

What's Happening in Egypt?

The News in Australia has a five-minute guide to what's happening in this transcontinental country and major power in Africa.