Sunday, December 30, 2012

This Week's Lost and Found

Mestisay and Taburiente were looking for Valentina last night at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus. Do you know anything about her?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ths Week's Composition

The Little Sound in the Rubbish Bin

This story isn’t a famous story and it isn’t about a famous character. It’s about an event that happened to me.
It was a cold day in San Mateo where I live. I was walking with my two-year-old daughter, María. As we were passing behind a big rubbish bin, we heard a little noise. We were surprised because it sounded like a little cat that was crying. I tried to listen to the sound again, and then I decided to jump into the rubbish and look around.
Suddenly, the noise stopped and I continued taking the rubbish out and then, when I was very dirty and smelt very bad, I found the most beautiful little dog that I have ever seen. She was a female dog and I think that she had been born on that very day because she had a little bit of blood on her body and her eyes were still closed.
When I showed the little dog to my daughter, she was very happy and we decided this was the first day of the dog’s life.
Now, she lives in a big country house and her name is Mila, from Milagro.

Mª Isabel NI One

Friday, December 21, 2012

This Week's Message

A dog is for life; not just for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Answer Key NI Two CD2

1C  2A  3C  4B  5A

1  1987  2  (BBC) weatherman  3  hurricane  4  (weather) forecast  5  lunchtime

1F  2A  3C  4B  5E

1  15th July  2  over 300 years  3  tomatoes  4  (special) gloves  5  in the crowd

Monday, December 17, 2012

Answer Key NA2 CD2

9. 1 handwritten  2 documents  3 autographed document signed  4 has passed away/has died  5 particular events  6 wait outside  7 fan clubs  8 letter or photograph  9 genuine
10. 1 £12 million  2 4 years/over 3 years  3 £250 a year  4 recycled  5 filter and purify
6  lighting  7 25% (at least)  8 natural (building) materials.

11. 1 electronic means  2 computer discs  3 distort/change  4 traditional musical instruments  5 mechanical  6 (intensely) personal  7 replace  8 performer  9 electronic instruments

12.  1F  2D  3G  4A  5B  6G  7A  8F  9C  10D

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Week's News

Here are the PROVISIONAL dates for the January "pruebas de dominio". Be careful! Things might change!

Intermediate One A (Mon and Wed)
21st January: Listening and Writing
23rd January: Reading and Orals
28th & 30th January: Orals

Intermediate One B (Tues and Thurs)
22nd January: Writing and Orals
24th January: Reading, Listening & Orals
29th & 31st January: Orals

Intermediate Two B
22nd January: Writing and Orals
24th January: Reading, Listening & Orals
29th & 31st January (5th Feb?): Orals

Advanced 2
21st January: Writing & Orals
23rd January: Reading and Listening
28th & 30th January (4th February?): Orals

Week Beginning Monday 10th December

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Week's Confusing Words: finally, at last, in the end, at the end

Check out the difference here. Get it right!

Answer Key CD2 NI Two

1A  2B  3C  4A  5B

1  landmarks  2 (British) engineer  3 competition  4  1754   5  9.5 metres

1F  2D  3C  4B  5A

1C  2A  3B  4C  5B

This Week's Language Function (2): Opinions

Expressing Opinions:

Personally, I think that . . .
To be honest, . . .
In my opinion, . . .
In my view, . . .
I'm quite sure that . . .
I'm convinced that . . .
I suppose that . . .

Asking for Opinions:

What do you think?
Do you think that . . . ?
What's your opinion of . . . ?
I'd like to know what you think of . . .

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Week's Language Function: Agreement


I (entirely) agree with what you are saying.
You're right.
Of course!
I think that's a good idea!
I must admit that's a good idea!

Typical error:  I'm agree with you


No way!
You must be joking!
I'm sorry but I don't agree with you.
I'm sorry but I think you're wrong.
I disagree with you.
I'm afraid I see things differently.
Hmm. I'm not so sure.
I'm not very keen on that idea.

This Week's "Welcome to Our World"

A warm welcome to our youngest student! Little Candela was born on 2nd Dec. Congratulations to mum, too! Adela, from our Intermediate One A class, is doing well and is over the moon with this little bundle of joy!

Answer Key CD2 NA2

5. 1 Britain  2 surface area  3 thin layer  4 equal parts  5 (imported) bonsai soil  6 nutrient  7 (the time) autumn (arrives)  8 the same species  9 1 cm (wide)  10 reposition branches

6.  1 mermaids and (sea) monsters  2 coffee/about ¼ hours  3 seafood  4 Pre-Roman towers  5 Plaza Hotel  6 10.30 pm  7 (about) two hours  8 meal vouchers

7.  1 “Breakfast Magazine”  2 advises and informs  3 tennis camp  4 French and Chinese  5 employment and financial  6 Tuesday (morning)  7 an appointment  8 ground  9 (Barford) 22446

8. 1A  2E  3F  4C  5D  6E   7A  8C  9H  10F

This Week's Stories

In our Intermediate One classes, we've been looking at the theme of stories. Here is a collection of sacred stories from different religions of the world. It's a British Library Collection. Click here to access the link. Why not switch on the subtitles, too? That way, you can listen, read and learn new vocabulary.

Source: Ferlazzo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

This Week's Video

This Month's Festival

Read the text below and answer the questions:

An Ancient Holiday

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.
The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.
In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

  1. What did Europeans celebrate long before the birth of Jesus?
  2. Why did people celebrate during the winter solstice?
  3. Who celebrated Yule from 21st December in Scandinavia?
  4. How did fathers and sons mark the return of the sun?
  5. Up to how many days was it possible for the Yule feast to last?
  6. What did the Norse believe that each spark of the fire represented?
  7. Why was December a good time for celebrating?
  8. Why were German people terrified of the god Oden? How did they show their fear?

Now, read this text and find the answers to the questions below.


In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun.
Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra's birthday was the most sacred day of the year.
In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

  1. What did Saturnalia celebrate?
  2. How did Roman society change during Saturnalia?
  3. In what century did the Church decide to make the birth of Christ a holiday?
  4. What was the problem with choosing the date of Christ’s birth?
  5. Why was 25th December chosen?
  6. Why do some churches celebrate Christmas on 6th January?
  7. What was the main disadvantage for church leaders of holding Christmas at the same time as other winter festivals?
  8. In what way were Christmas celebrations during the Middle Ages similar to those of Roman times?
Now read the third section.

An Outlaw Christmas

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.
The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.
After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

True or False?
  1. Oliver Cromwell took control of England in 1645.
  2. Cromwell and his Puritan forces encouraged the English people to celebrate Christmas.
  3. When the monarchy was reintroduced and Charles l became King, Christmas was celebrated again in England.
  4. As a result of the puritan Pilgrims coming to America in 1620, Christmas was not a holiday from 1659 to 1681.
  5. In Boston, from 1659 to 1681, anyone exhibiting ’Christmas spirit’ (= publicly celebrating Christmas) was fined five shillings.
  6. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday in the USA until 26th June, 1870.
Source: onestopenglish

Week Beginning Monday 3rd December

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Week's What's On

It really is worth going to; there's some exquisitely beautiful pottery from the islands!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Week's Message

This is part of an email I received this morning. Any comments?

Ayer celebramos una reunión del STEC-IC con el director general de FP y de Adultos, José Moya, y nos informó de que a nivel estatal (a nivel MEC) se plantean que las EOIs sólo impartan el nivel avanzado y el nivel "C" y que los niveles Básicos e Intermedio se impartan en los IES.

. . .

Le dijeron al dr. gral que no lo contemplarían ahora en el texto de la LOMCE, sino posteriormente en un desarrollo normativo. La aplicación sería para el curso 2014/15, si no lo evitamos.       

. . .   

Informarles de que a finales de febrero está prevista una Mesa sectorial de los sindicatos CCOO, UGT, ANPE y STEC-IC con el dr. gral de personal y con el dr. gral de FP y Adultos para aprobar temas relativos a las Escuelas. (oferta educativa, nueva Resolución de las EOIs,...)

El STEC-IC entiende que no podemos permanecer impasibles y contemplativos ante la posibilidad de desmantelamiento de las Enseñanzas de estas EOIs.

Saludos cordiales,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Listening Key CD2 NA2

Ex 1. 1 rock and roll music  and cars  2 over 100 Cadillacs  3 express trains  4 the Beach Boys  5 the car  6 narrow, twisting lakes  7 “Imagine”  8 biggest/largest

Ex 2. 1 8 o´clock  2 £15,50  3 most famous tragedies  4 £5  5 in the courtyard  6 about an hour and a half  7 children under 16  8 £5

Ex 3. 1 about 100 miles  2 sunset  3 sleep near the summit  4 extra oxygen  5 two  6 at first light  7 tents and equipment  8 very fast  9 satellite phone links

Ex 4. 1F  2B  3A  4G  5D  6B  7D  8E  9A  10G

Listening Key NI One CD1

25. 1B  2C  3A  4C  5C  6A

26. 1 125  2 cook  3 video  4 (our) chefs  5 1868  6 (Scottish) food

27. 1A  2B  3A  4B  5B  6A

28. 1C  2A  3B  4C  5B  6A

29. 1 5 days  2  four  3 each floor  4 opera  5 dinner  6  Wednesday, 10th August

30. 1A  2B  3A  4B  5B  6B

Week Beginning Monday 26th November