Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week Beginning Monday 2nd April

This Week's Important News

The Easter Dog
Remember that there will be no class this week because of the Easter holidays. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again on Monday 9th / Tuesday 10th April.  Enjoy!

This Week's Homework

NB2: Complete the listening activities of CD4; finish work on "How I Met Myself"; try and do Lesson 6B Workbook and CD Rom. It would be a good idea to have a look at Student's Book P 56 for our next class.

NA1: Do Listening Test 2; work on "Dragons' Eggs"; prepare Grammar Bank P 140 - 141 Section 5C.

This Week's Feast Day: Easter

Easter Greetings by Kustodiev
The exact origins of this religious feast day's name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term "hebdomada alba", or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing worn by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as "esostarum" in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

If you'd like to learn more about the history of this holiday, click here. To find out how Easter is celebrated around the world, click here.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Week's In The News

It's often interesting and informative to find out how Spain is viewed outside of the country. Here is the report by the British newspaper, The Guardian, on the general strike.

This Week's In Need

This is one of 11 Siberian Husky puppies who are looking for a home. Can you help? If so, please send me an email.  Diane.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Week's Homework

NB2A and NB2B: Listening CD2 Ex 15 - 18; complete pages 1 - 3 of revision Unit 5; do "progress test 5" at the weekend, if you want.

NA1: Prepare SB P 81 Ex a and b; Ex c will be for Wed 28th March. Please do it well. Do the exercises on infinitive or gerund in our Supplementary handout for Unit 5.

This Week's News

Our May exams will start on Monday 14th / Tuesday 15th May. These exams are very important and are instrumental in deciding if you are promoted to the next course.

The proposed date for the Reading, Writing and Listening Exams for Certificación is Monday 4th June for Nivel Básico, Tuesday 5th June for Nivel Intermedio, and Wednesday 6th June for Nivel Avanzado. The oral exams will take place after the written papers.

Any student in NA1 can sit Certificación for Nivel Intermedio "por libre".

Monday, March 19, 2012

This Week's Nature

A newborn clouded leopard cub being hand-fed at a US zoo.
There are some beautiful images in today's The Guardian's "Week in Wildlife". Click here to see them.

Week Beginning Monday 12th March

This Week's Homework

NB2: Listening CD4 Ex 1 - 14; Oral activity. Revise Unit 5 (grammar and vocabulary).

NA1: Prepare Grammar Bank 5A (P 140 - 141).  The Writing assignment for Unit 5 is P 81. This piece of work should be done carefully and well and sent to me by Wed 28th March.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Week's Idiom

We have an expression in English “going to the dogs”. If something is “going to the dogs”, it means that everything seems to be getting worse and worse. There is a special sort of English person – perhaps you have met one – who will tell you that England is going to the dogs. He means that he doesn’t like the sort of clothes that young people wear, that he doesn’t like computers, that he doesn’t understand what an iPhone app does, that there are too many foreigners, that the Australians have just beaten England at cricket and that beer doesn’t taste like proper beer any more. It wasn’t like this when he was young. The country is going to the dogs! To continue reading, click here. You can also listen to the article.
Source: listentoenglishlearnenglish

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This Week's Winners

Rhododendron "Saint Valentine"
The winners of our Saint Valentine's Day Poetry Competition are:

Adela and Leti NB2A
Inmaculada and Mario NB2C
Dunia and Idaira NA1

You can read their poems on our noticeboard together with all the other entries!

Well done, everyone!

Monday, March 12, 2012

This Week's Science

"My atoms came from those stars"
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.

Source: Larry Ferlazzo

Week Beginning Monday 5th March

Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Week's Science

A massive solar storm is headed for Earth, threatening to disrupt flights and power lines. Solar flares have erupted from the surface of the sun, releasing the energy equivalent of billions of tonnes of TNT towards the Earth. Solar storms can cause communication problems such as radio blackouts, as well as affecting satellites, disrupting oil pipelines and making global positioning systems less accurate. Radiation caused by the storm is likely to be most intense at the poles. For more info, click here.

Source: The Guardian

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

This Week's Homework

NA1: Continue working on your Irish Project.

NB2A: Lesson 5C Workbook and CD Rom; Language Functions; Email; Start thinking about your next oral assignment.

NB2C: As above.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Important News for NA1

Consolidation Test of Unit 4 on Monday 12th March. We'll also do a formal listening test.

This Week's Oral Assignment for NB2

One of my favourite paintings is by Renoir

Work in Pairs. There are two parts to this assignment.

Part One: Talking about a favourite painting or photo.

Person A: You are going to interview your partner about one of his / her favourite paintings or photos for the school magazine.

If you interview him / her about the painting, find out:
  • name of the painting
  • who / paint it
  • what / know about the artist
  • what / be able to see in the painting
  • where / see it
  • why / like it
  • other famous paintings by the same artist
  • if your partner paints

If you interview him / her about the photo, find out:
  • who /take the photo
  • where / take it
  • when /take it
  • what / happen when the photo was taken
  • more information about the photo
  • where / keep it
  • why / like it

Person B: Answer your partner's questions.

Some advice: Be very careful with verb tenses when asking the questions. Have a clear introduction and conclusion to your interview.

Part Two: A Telephone Call.

Person A: Answer the phone.
Person B: Identify yourself and make a suggestion.
Person A: Reply.
Person B: Give a piece of advice. Make another suggestion.
Person A: Reply. Make a suggestion.
Person B: Agree. Conclude the conversation.

Please send me your recorded conversations by Monday 19th / Tuesday 20th March. If you  have a microphone for your computer, you might find vocaroo, an online recroding programme, useful.

Week Beginning Monday 27th February

Saturday, March 3, 2012

This Week's Photography

Camera obscura
There's a saying in English which goes: "An image is worth a thousand words." To celebrate 170 years of the camera in the public domain, The British paper, The Telegraph, has published an article which looks back over photographic images that have had a profound impact on the way we live today. Click here. (Some of them are very disturbing.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This Week's Feast Day

The Welsh flag
March 1st is Saint David's Day. St David is the patron saint of Wales, a very beautiful country in the United Kingdom. Although the people there speak English, they also speak Welsh. It's a Celtic language. You can find out about Wales here.

This Week's Writing Assignment for NB2

Our next writing assignment is taken from Workbook P73 (or P67 if you've got a different edition) Exercise 7B. (Reading and Writing Portfolio 2: An email with news.) We will do some preparation in class beforehand. Write about 150 words.

Please note the following:
  • Deadline is Monday 12th or Tuesday 13th March.
  • Use the format for an email.
  • Use an informal style with contracted forms of the verbs.
  • Use a variety of connecting words: and, also, What's more; but, however, though . . .
  • Use a variety of verb aspects correctly: present simple, present continuous, present perfect, past simple, past continuous . . .
  • Use modal verbs correctly: will, can, should, must . . .
  • Look at Sections 24 and 25 of our Language Functions handout to get some ideas about starting and ending a letter or email.
  • Check your work carefully for grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Be proud of your work; do it well.

This Week's Music

In NA1, we're busy preparing a project on "Irish Culture" for Saint Patrick's Day. Expedito has sent us this video of one of his favourite Irish groups to give us a foretaste. You can download the lyrics here.