Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This Week's Curious But True

Today is 29th February, a date in the Gregorian calendar which comes around only once every four years. In English, we have a rhyme to help children learn the lengths of the months of the year. It goes like this:

Thirty days has September, April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except for February alone,
Which has twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine in each leap year.
The rhyme goes back to the 15th century at least, and the term leap year is even older.

Someone born on 29th February can only celebrate their birthday on the actual day on which they were born once every four years; the plot of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance revolves in part around the fact that the hero Frederic was born on this day and must therefore serve out his apprenticeship to the pirate band until he reaches the age of 84.

The word leap has its origins in Old English; an infrequently used alternative to leap year is the Latin-derived bissextile year.

Source: Macmillan blog

This Week's Homework

NA1: reading comprehension 4; start work on your Irish project!

NB2: perfect your "love poem" and send it to me; learn "language functions"; look at Workbook P 72 - 73 (or P 66 - 67, depending on the edition you have.) We will do the activities in class but please note that Ex 7a and b will be done at home. The deadline for this assignment is Monday 12th / Tuesday 13th March.

Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week's Nature

Polar bear and cub
Monday 27th February is International Polar Bear Day. To celebrate it, here is a look at the day-to-day life of those magnificent animals, as they try to acclimatise to the dwindling of their habitat.

Source: The Guardian newspaper

This Week's News

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in class again on Monday 27th or Tuesday 28th February. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Week's Street Art

Very large glasses with one arm made from a streetlamp. The rest is drawn on the snow


Moscow's Banksy: the street art of P183 – in pictures

A Russian street artist who created a giant pair of glasses from a streetlamp has been dubbed 'the Russian Banksy'. The mysterious figure, known only as P183, creates eye-catching works around Moscow. P183 reveals little about himself except that his name is Pavel, he is 28 and that he studied 'communicative design'. For more images, click here.

Source: The Guardian

Week Beginning Monday 20th February

Thursday, February 16, 2012

This Week's In The News

Faces of Syrian Change
This past year has been a period of death and hardship for the people of Syria. Here is a link to give us a western point of view of what's going on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Week's Competition

If you'd like to enter our Saint Valentine's poetry competition, give your love poem to your teacher. It can be written in any language. Deadline is 29th February. There's a fantastic prize which you'll be able to share with your classmates if you win!

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Week's Grammar

Predicting the future
In NB2 this week, we're going to look at the modal verb, "will", to predict the future. Here are some explanations and exercises you can do to help you.

This Week's Science

Sunday 12th February is Darwin Day, the 203rd anniversary of the brith of Charles Darwin. The LIfe and Times of Charles Darwin is an audio show from the British newspaper, The Guardian; Darwin's Brave New World looks like an interesting resource from the Canadian Broadcasting Company; here's an amazing game about Darwin's theories.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo

This Week's Cultural Corner (Basic Level)

In many English speaking countries, especially Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, the first day of Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday. (martes de carnaval?) On this day, it is the tradition to eat pancakes. Listen to the first part of this video. Complete the list of ingredients. Write the numbers.

____ grammes of flour
____ egg(s)
a piinch of salt
a tablespoon of sugar
 ______ ml milk
 ______ml water
______ grammes melted butter

extra butter
castor sugar
_______ lemons

Now, watch the rest of the video. Put these steps in order.

Step _____: Garnish the pancakes
Step _____: Cook the pancakes
Step _____: Serve the pancakes
Step _____: Get the ingredients together
Step _____: Toss the pancakes
Step _____: Mix the batter

Why don't you try making some English pancakes at home?

Source. OUP España

This Week's Treasure Hunt (Advanced)

Go to Can you find the answers to these questions:

In Dominica, the carnival is a mix of two traditions. What are they?

What kind of battle do they have in the Nice carnival?

What do people sing about in the Cádiz carnival?

What do they bury in Ash Wednesday in Santa Cruz de Tenerife?

Which two instruments are played in the Fasnacht carnival in Switzerland?

Which town in Germany has straw bears in their carnival?

What kind of music can you hear in the Trinidad and Tobago carnivals?

What’s special about the giant heads in the Barranquilla carnival in Colombia?

What kind of fights do they have in the Oruro carnival in Bolivia?

How long does the Montevideo carnival last in Uruguay?
Source: OUP España

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Week's Nature

If you're visiting the British Isles during Carnival, watch out for the snowdrop. Despite its delicate appearance, this little flower shows its head in late winter or early spring. Sometimes, you can even see entire forest floors decorated with this herbacious plant.

This Week's Art

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night as you've never seen it before!

This Week's News

The School will be closed from Monday 20th to Friday 24th February (inclusive) because of Carnival. Enjoy!

This Week's News for NA1

Timetable for Oral Tests

Monday 13th Feb:
6.50 pm  Sergio and Daida
7.20 pm   Rosario, Lorena R. and Expedito
8.00 pm  Antonio and Susana
8.20 pm   Lorena N. and Desirée

Wednesday 15th Feb:
6.50 pm  Ana Elisa and Pedro
7.20 pm  Jose and Carla
7.40 pm  Alicia, Irina and Fermín

There will be no class on Wed 15th, but you are very welcome to come and look at your exams - assuming I've finished marking them! - between 8.00 and 8.30 pm.

Remember that the interview consists of two parts. In Part One, you are invited to talk about a specific theme for 4 minutes. You talk to your partner, not to me. Part Two is where you interact with your partner, perhaps to give some advice, or arrive at an agreement, or compare and contrast ideas. Again, I do not intervene. The second half of the interview lasts for about 5 minutes.

The themes for the topics of conversation are taken from our textbook, units 1 - 3.

I am required to record the oral exam.

This Month's Listen and Read

NB2: Our second reading text with CD is "How I Met Myself". You can buy your copy from Ana. It costs 6 euros. You can get the worksheets from me. Deadline is 9th / 10th April.

NA1: Our text is "Dragons' Eggs." You can also get your copy from Ana - cost 8 (?) euros. Get your worksheets from me. Deadline is 16th April.

This Week's Homework

NB2C: Complete listening exercises for CD3; do Lesson 5A workbook and CD Rom; study handout on "the Future"; start "How I Met Myself"; learn the phrases from "Making Suggestions" on our "Language Functions" handout.

NB2A: Complete listening exercises for CD 3; do Lesson 5A workbook and CD Rom; study handout on "the Future"; start "How I Met Myself"; learn the first 8 phrases about "Making Suggestions." (See our handout on "Language Functions".)

NA1: Do Reading Comprehension 4; start "Dragons' Eggs".

Week Beginning Monday 6th February

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This Week's Homework

NA1: SB Page 65 Ex C for 10th Feb; Reading Comprehension 4 for Wed 29th. As we are doing oral exams for the next 3 days, there will be no class until Wed 27th Feb. (Carnival holidays are from 20th to 24th Feb inclusive.)
NB2C: Listening exercises 16 - 20 (CD 3); start work on the handout on "The Future". (Try to complete this handout by Friday 17th in spite of the fact that we do not have class on this day.) Learn the first 8 structures on making suggestions.

Remember that class starts again on Thursday 9th Feb at 6.40 pm.

NB2A: Listening exercises 11 - 15 (CD 3); start work on the handout on "The Future". (Try to complete this handout by Friday 17th in spite of the fact that we do not have class on this day.)

Class starts again on Wednesday 8th Feb at 5.00 pm.

Week Beginning Monday 30th January

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Week's Holiday

February 2nd is Groundhog Day in the USA and Canada. Watch the video to discover what a groundhog is and the history behind this tradition. (Unfortunately, the narrator speaks very quickly but . . . )