Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week's Wedding

The BBC have a webpage on royal wedding matters; click here., of course, is a minefield of info; click here. For an audio slideshow of royal wedding dresses, click here. To see The Guardian's selection of key moments from the wedding, click here.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Week's History

At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan linked the great trading routes of ancient Iran, Central Asia, India, China and the more distant cultures of Greece and Rome. The country's unique location resulted in a legacy of extraordinarily rare objects, which reveal its rich and diverse past.

Nearly lost during the years of civil war and later Taliban rule, these precious objects were bravely hidden in 1989 by officials from the National Museum of Afghanistan to save them from destruction. The surviving treasures date from 2000 BC to the 1st century AD and include everything from opulent gold ornaments found at a burial site of a nomadic tribe to limestone sculptures of a Greek city set up by a commander of Alexander the Great.

Now, at the first exhibition of its kind to be seen in the UK in 40 years, these treasures are on show at the British Museum in the Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World exhibition.

Source: the Guardian newspaper

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Week's Homework

Monday / Wednesday class: do SB Page 102 Ex 4 a, b and c; prepare Grammar Bank 7B; Do essay assignment. See SB P113. Please note that the deadline for this assignment is Friday 6th May. This is a strict deadline.

Tuesday / Thursday class: do Grammar Worksheet 7A; prepare Grammar Bank 7B; do Reading SB page 104 Ex 1a, b and c; do essay assignment (SB P113). Strict deadline is Thursday 5th May.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This Week's Nature

There's nothing like a good tickle in the morning. Click here and you'll see why!

Source: Larry Ferlazzo's websites

Saturday, April 23, 2011

This Week's Photography

We've been looking at the use and omission of "the" in class, and we saw how we DO use the article with mountain ranges, rivers, seas, deserts and island groups (the Himalayas, the River Tagus, the Caspian Sea, the Sahara Desert, the Canary Islands.) We do  NOT usually use the definite article with individual lakes and mountains (Lake Como, Mount Everest.) But have you ever wondered what the view would be like from the top of  the world's highest mountain? Click here for a specatular panoramic view!

This Week's What to Wear

One of our assignments this term was to write an article on safe walking in the Canary Islands. In case any of you are going hiking in cooler climes, this interactive will advise you about what clothes to wear and what equipment to take.

This Week's Astronomy

Ham getting ready for lift-off. (He returned!)
The Early Days of Spaceflight is a most informative slideshow by the BBC.

This Week's Festival

An effigy of Judas Iscariot hangs from a bamboo during Holy Week in Masaya, Nicaragua, Thursday, April 21, 2011
It's Easter. Explore Holy Week around the world here; The New York Times finds out how women are finding a place in the Easter processions in Spain here; The History Channel investigates the Easter holiday here.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo's websites

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Week's Astronomy

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight. The Guardian newspaper offers us a film tracking his journey. Click here.

This Week's Science

Your brain on Shakespeare

"Creative language keeps our brain alive". This is the opinion of Professor Philip Davis of the University of Liverpool. He feels that so much language nowadays is totally predictable, and  "you can often tell what someone is going to say before they finish their sentence. This represents a gradual deadening of the brain." (And I'm sure he has never even heard of Belén Esteban!) This is one of the reasons why he suggests Shakespeare has been so successful. This Elizabethan poet and playwright used a range of 17,677 words in his works, and he invented 1,700 of them. His "lightning-fast capacity for forging metaphor created a theater of the brain," says Davis, and this it what caused a huge impact on readers and audiences. Read the full article here.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo's website

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Week's Environment

A civic amenity site in the UK.

In Firgas this month, the local authorities have placed containers in our community for the disposal of cooking oil, clothes and other household waste. These containers are scattered throughout the townland. However, in the UK, it is more typical to find everything concentrated in one place. These areas are called Civic Amenity Sites or Household Waste Recycling Centres. In informal English, they're known as "dumps" or "tips".

This Week's Homework

Monday / Wednesday class: FCE Reading test; Grammar Worksheet 6B; Grammar Bank (SB) Pages 142 - 143 6A.

Tuesday / Thursday class: Grammar Worksheet 6A; Prepare Grammar Bank (SB) Pages 142 - 143 6C.

Don't forget that the deadline for your report is Friday 15th April. See SB Page 97.

This Week's Nature


Bolivia: Fighting the climate wars

John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day. Their president has called for an urgent 50% cut in emissions - action that is essential for the country's survival. Click here to watch the video.

Source: The Guardian Newspaper

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Atlantic Landscapes (3)

This is a photo of a shepherd, Juan Alonso.

Juan is fifty-three years old. He was born in Juncalillo but now he lives with his wife in Artenara.

He gets up very early every day from Monday until Sunday. He gets dressed and doesn’t forget his hat. Then he has a cup of milk with gofio and cheese for breakfast. He has a hundred and twenty sheep and he goes to the fields with them every day. He sits down and takes care of his sheep. In the evening, he milks all the sheep with his wife and she makes cheese to sell.

He likes walking and practising “the jump of the shepherd” with his friends. He doesn’t like cutting the wool of the sheep.

Juan is a special person because he keeps the Canary tradition.
Yolanda García de la Fe  NB1

If I were a mother, I would look after my children
If I were a clown, I would make them laugh
But I am a tree, I can only wait and stare

If I were water, I would be rain
If I were the sun, I would warm up the world
But I am a tree, I can only wait

If I were a king, I would stop wars
If I were a rich man, I would give poor people a hand
But I am a tree, I can only cry

Carmen Rodríguez Díaz  NA1

In my opinion, the piece of music that could accompany the photographs is the music of Gladiator BSO. The song is "Now we are free" because it is very relaxing and strong too . . . and this music stimulates the senses. This piece has many musical instruments  a symphony orchestra), some strong instruments (horns, trumpets, percussion...).  I like the brass instruments for this. The composer of the soundtrack of gladiator is Hans Zimmer. He was nominated for an Oscar for his music in this film. The singer of Gladiator is Lisa Gerrard. She is Australian.

The music makes you think and reconsider many things. You can feel the immensity and power of nature, your life and the lives of others.

Natalia Ónega Hernández  NB1

Dear Roberto,

Thank you for your letter. I’m very happy that you’re coming to stay with me in March. I’m sure you ´ll have a good time.

I’m sending you these photos so that you know better where I live. I know you like agriculture and these photos speak a lot of the hard work the farmers here do.

The island territory is very mountainous and difficult to create land for agriculture. The farmers have to imagine how to exploit the natural resources.

I like the photo in the top left-hand corner because it is of a very mountainous area which has been used to grow vegetables and fruit. They use rainwater for irrigation. They have broken the rock and incorporated the land. This work has been done with their hands and animals for generations.

Agriculture is integrated with the landscape. I think it is possible to operate in the territory to good use.  

I also like the photo in the top left-hand corner because it is also a rural area and has been used by farmers for several generations for the cultivation of cereals. These cereals are not irrigated because water is not available in this place. The green dots you see in the picture are almond trees that grow on the edges of the land. The house you see in the picture makes the landscape bigger.

The two photographs were taken from a plane, from an overhead view. There are other interesting things you can see too when you come.

I hope you like them because I live here!

Warm greetings


Javier Gil León, NB2

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week Beginning Monday 4th April

This Week's Homework

Prepare SB Page 97 Ex a and b; SB Page 142 - 143 Grammar Bank Ex 6B (not 6A, yet). FCE Reading Test.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For the Love of Man . . .

Japan's Nuclear Rescuers: "Inevitable some of them may die within weeks".

You can read the article from here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This Week's Nature

Crab hiding

"Wild, and run with it" was the photographic theme for March's Guardian readers' photographic competition. Threre are some wonderful shots here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

This Week's Idiom: "Sour Grapes"

In our Monday / Wednesday class, we're still debating the difference between "sour" and "bitter". But have you heard the expression, "sour grapes"? We use it to refer to a person's attitude when they pretend to despise something because they cannot have it themselves. Look:

A: "Well, perhaps a ferrari isn't such a fantastic car."
B: "That sounds like sour grapes to me."

The origin of the phrase comes from one of Aesop's fables, The Fox and The Grapes. It's also the title of a collection of early poems by the American physician and poet, William Carlos Williams.  For other expressions with "sour", click here. For a curious use of "bitter" as a noun, click here.

This Week's Architecture

I'm sure you've heard the expression, "Walls have ears". But do you know that they sometimes have eyes? Take a moment to check out this slideshow by the British newspaper, The Independent, entitled "Houses that look like people".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Week's Atlantic Landscapes (2)


This has been my life since I was born until the day of my death.

I was only a seed when a boy called Sam planted me behind his house in Artenara in a great meadow. He took good care of me and every day, he visited me after arriving from the school. Then, he used to tell me about his day, if he had had a good or a bad time and sometimes he sang to me his favourite song “Islas Canarias”. I was very happy every time I saw him. He watered me and saw how I grew more and more every day.

I couldn´t see anything yet because I was a sapling, but Sam used to tell me all the things he could see from that place (Roque Nublo, the Fraile Rock and even the Teide when the day was sunny) and he used to repeat: “When you become a tall tree you will see the same things than me”.

A couple of months later, Sam started to lose hope because I didn´t grow as fast as he wanted. One day, he asked his father: “Daddy, how long does a seed need to become a tree?” His father smiled and answered: “Oh Sam, a seed needs a long, long time to be a tree, but don´t worry, we can go to the bookshop and  buy a book about trees in Gran Canaria, so you can know more about them”.

Ten years later...

During all this time, Sam came every afternoon to read a book sitting in my shade. From there,  we looked at the beautiful landscape that was in front of us. Moreover, we felt the different smells and how the breeze touched us. Everything was fantastic. However, one day Sam found out that  a housing estate was going to be built where I was. I knew it but Sam never told me not to hurt me. That was the last day Sam saw me.

Two days later, when Sam wanted to visit me, I wasn´t there. Instead of me, he found a truck, a crane and a big hole in the place where I used to be. The lanscape was never the same.

                                                           Carmen Rosa Torres García  NA1

This Week's Atlantic Landscapes

A Piece of Music for the Acusa Plateau by Alicia Rodríguez Barrio (NB1).

The dance of El Vivo is a very ancient piece of music. It is an ancient piece of traditional music from El Hierro. They played it with a drum and castanets. The author is unknown, but Benito Cabrera took the score and made a version for the timple. Later, he sent it to the British composer, Peter Hope, who finished the work. It appears on the recording, “Ethnic”.
Benito Cabrera is a composer who was born in Lanzarote. He is a Canarian timple player, and he lives in Tenerife. He studies classical music and traditional Canarian music. Benito Cabrera makes a renewal of the Canarian music for the timple. He mixes musical elements from Celtic folklore and pop.
This piece of music reminds me of the ancient past when people lived more in accord with nature. It was a time when the landscape was not destroyed and people lived from the land. But at the same time they were difficult times to survive.
The echo of the music seems to repeat itself in the high mountains and it takes me to a distant time: the fight between the aborigines and the European conquerors of the island.

I don't know how to dance El Baile del Vivo, but if I knew . . .

The Goatherd by Guillermina Afonso Perez. NI1

My name is Juan Alonso. I'm not sure about my age. My parents were illiterate and lived very far away, in Artenara. Still today, I live in Artenara with my wife and my two children. I am a goatherd in the highest village in Gran Canaria. I've got about four hundred sheep and goats, and two dogs that help me take care of them. My favourite one is Negro; its mother is very old. It's obedient, lovely and very hard-working. The other day a tourist was here and he took a photo of me with my dog. It was cold but the sun was shining, and I was thinking about my wife and children.

My wife is able to write and read a little bit (I have no idea) but I would like my children to go to a high school and, why not? to a university. They will be the new Miguel Hernández.

Goatherds on the Cuchillos Road, Gran Canaria in 1928.

This Week's Current Affairs

Listen to and watch a video about the current situation in Libya. (Activate "subtitles" to help you understand.)

This Week's Economics

Don't forget that the French Department at EOI Arucas has organised a solidarity campaign against poverty. Take any clothes and non-perishable food that you'd like to give to the poor in our own society to our school before 14th April. Also, you might like to check out this Animated Map by Christian Aid which shows where poverty and prosperity have been most present over the past 200 years.


This Week's Star

Ellizabeth Taylor, the English-born American actor and activist, died last week. Read and listen to her story here.

Source: VOA News