Archive for 2011

Lord Tennyson

( By Florencia)
Background music: Aenon by Celestial Aenon project
The literature network


The Victorian Web


Tennyson is best known for In Memoriam A.H.H., an elegy to a friend, Arthur Hallam, who died young. Written between 1833 and 1850, its tone of regret and lost reached a very wide audience in the second half of the century. When Queen Victoria became widow on the death of her husband, Albert, in 1861 In Memoriam became her favourite text, and Tennyson became the nation's favourite poet.

(By Maksym and Domingo)
Background music: First steps by Galdson.

Tennyson became the national poet and when something historic, like the Crimean War happened, it was Tennyson who wrote about it: The Charge of the Light Brigade (published in 1855).

The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava by William Simpson (1855).

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ESL Advent Calendar

Great activities for English students related to Christmas! Don't miss them!

Via twitter

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Great contribution by the students for our project on the 19th century:

Edwar Lear became famous for his nonsense poems, often in a rhyming form called a limerick. A book of nonsense (1845) was his most famous work, followed by many books of travel writings and by three more volumes of nonsense in the 1870 s.Lear´s poems are still read and enjoyed by many readers.A Form of Poetry? Limerick Poems? Limericks the genre?

The form of poetry referred to as Limerick poems have received bad press and the Limerick poems haven’t a good place in the 'cultivated poetry'. There are three types:• The content of many limericks is often of a bawdy and humorous nature.• A Limerick as a poetry form is by nature simple and short - limericks only have five lines.• And finally the somewhat dubious history of limericks have contributed to the critics attitudes.
Limericks - The History

he Limerick poems appeared on the 14th century. The poems were used in Nursery Rhymes and other poems for children but the Limerick poems are shorts and vulgars. The poems were used by drunkards for centuries.
Where does the term 'Limerick' come from?

The word derives from the Irish town of Limerick. Apparently, a pub song based on the refrain "Will you come up to Limerick?" where, of course, such songs or 'Limericks' were sung.
Limericks - The form

Limericks consist of five anapaestic lines.Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another.Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.Limerick

There was an Old Man in a tree,Who was horribly bored by a Bee;When they said, 'Does it buzz?'He replied, 'Yes, it does!''It's a regular brute of a Bee!'Limerick
There was an Old Man with a beard,Who said, 'It is just as I feared!Two Owls and a Hen,Four Larks and a Wren,Have all built their nests in my beard!'

Limerick created by some students
There was a boy from SpainWho goes with his courage by a trainBecause in the nightHe had a hard fightAnd now he feels pain

(By Fran Miranda)

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A brochure is a kind of leaflet advertisement. It plays an important role in the tourist industry as they have become one of the best ways of promoting a destination.

A good brochure includes the main attractions tourists will be interested in visiting and it must be attractive and eye-catching, with colourful pictures of the adverstised place and the different activities that people can do and enjoy over there. Geographical location, climate conditions, language etc can also be provided in order to help people prepare for their destination in advance.

The most common types of single-sheet brochures are the bi-fold (a single sheet printed on both sides and folded into halves) and the tri-fold (the same, but folded into thirds).
A bi-fold brochure results in four panels (two panels on each side), while a tri-fold results in six panels (three panels on each side).

Brochures are often printed using four colour process on thick gloss paper to give an impression of quality. Compared with a flyer or a handbill, a brochure usually uses higher-quality paper, more colour, and is folded.

Above, some brochure samples made by my students ( they were told to design just the main page).

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The Victorian Age

We go on with our collaborative project on the nineteenth century. This is the first English post for this school year.

For further information have a look at our wiki

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Free resources in the Oxford Halloween corner and below a powerpoint presentation that our language assistant from New Zealand, Natalie Kemp, created for our students.
I love her accent! Enjoy it and the pictures we took at our English Halloween breakfast!

(By Natalie Kemp)

Thanks Natalie for letting me post your work!

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The end of ETA

( By Natalie Kemp)

The Basque terrorist group ETA, which over 43 years has been responsible for 829 killings in Spain and France, announced on Thursday that it has decided to put an end to its violent struggle and called on the governments of both countries to initiate a dialogue that would lead to a peaceful political solution for a Basque independent state.

In a video statement published online by the pro-independence newspapers Gara and Berria, ETA said that it has taken "a clear, firm and definite commitment" to "end the armed confrontation."

The move comes just four days after an international peace conference held in San Sebastián, where the Basque nationalist parties and the region’s Socialist group were joined by six international mediators: former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan; former Irish premier, Bertie Ahern; Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams; Pierre Joxe of France, Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway; and Jonathan Powell of Britain.

The Spanish central Government and the conservative opposition party, Partido Popular, refused to attend and practically ignored the conference, declaring that there will be no negotiation or concessions until the terrorist group has announced its dissolution and given up its arms for good.

Meanwhile the radical pro-independence groups who took part in the conference showed their satisfaction at the conclusions reached by the international negotiators. As well as calling for an end to the violence these recommend that Spain and France agree to talk to ETA as soon as it makes a definitive declaration of the “cessation of all armed action”.

Addressing the nation, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero welcomed the announcement, but said that the victims and violence can never be forgotten.
"Ours will be a democracy without terrorism but never without memory," Zapatero said.

The ceasefire announcement is seen as a victory for Zapatero's outgoing Socialist government, which failed at behind-the-scenes negotiations with ETA after it called a ceasefire in 2006. Zapatero broke off the talks when ETA set off a bomb at Madrid's Barajas Airport killing two Ecuatorian nationals.
Since then, ETA has been dealt a series of blows by the governments of Spain and France, being four of its leaders arrested between 2008 and 2009.

Popular Party (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy called the announcement "good news" because it signifies that violence has disappeared from the lives of Spaniards.

It is a day to celebrate democracy's great victory," Rubalcaba said, calling on all the parties to unite and work together for peace in the Basque Country.
He also gave thanks to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for cooperating in the fight against terrorism.

Despite Rajoy's position, the initial PP reaction was not as positive. Ignacio Cosidó, the PP spokesman for interior affairs, said that the ETA announcement "wasn't worth anything" because the Basque terrorists have not said whether they will turn in their weapons.

In the Basque Country, Basque National Party leader Iñigo Urkullu said that the ETA ceasefire announcement was "the only news that we had been waiting for."
"At last we are going to be able to turn the page and wake up each morning without being frightened," he told reporters. Referring to the victims, he said: "The Basque Country has crushed violence. The Basque Country doesn't owe anything to ETA."

Answer the following questions using your own words:

1.What did the Basque terrorist group ETA announce on Thursday?
2. what does Zapatero mean when he says: "Ours will be a democracy without terrorism but never without memory" ?
3. Why did the Basque National Party leader say when he learnt about ETA announcement?

True or false? Justify your answers:

1. The Spanish central Government and the conservative opposition party attended the conference held in San Sebastián .
2. Negotiations with ETA got broken because four of its military leaders were arrested.
3. All the politicians have the same positive attitude towards ETA decision of abandoning its armed activity.


What's your opinion about ETA ceasefire announcement ?

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Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences was first put forward in 1983.

Gardner, a psychologist, researcher, educator and scholar at The School of Education in the University of Harvard began to explore his interest in human cognition in the context of Poject Zero. In his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, he challenges the standard view of education in the fact that it opposes the notion of intelligence as a unitary capacity made up of linguistic and logical-mathematical abilities exclusively; besides, according to this theory, intelligence is not a fixed capacity -something we are born with and we cannot do much about-, but rather a continually evolving process throughout a person's lifetime.

Investigations carried out by Gardner and his collaborators in the areas of cognitive science, of developmental psychology, and of neuroscience - he carried out studies with patients who had suffered brain damage, with talented people, with normal children and with people from different cultures - led them to some conclusions regarding the nature and characteristics of human intelligence that are becoming more and more popular nowadays although not completely accepted by everyone.
Among these conclusions we would like to emphasize the following ones that offer a global summary of his theory :

-Intelligence is made of distinct units of intellectual development that may function in isolation or in conjunction with each other.

-It is an amalgam of abilities that allow the individual to solve problems and situations

-It can be defined as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural settings" (Gardner & Hatch, 1989)

-Each person has a particular strength in each area and a singular, unique blend of dynamic intelligences

-All (eight) intelligences are needed to function productively in society

-It is an interaction between biological proclivities and opportunities for learning in a particular context; we are all born possessing the eight intelligences, but we differ in the particular intelligence profile we are born with; besides, Gardner is convinced that we all can achieve a reasonably high level of performance in all areas of intelligences with the appropriate stimulation, encouragement and instruction.

Would you like to find out the strongest aspects of your intelligence? Then, take one of these tests and tell me about it.

Accelerated learning. What is my personal learning style?

Birminghan grid for learning.

For further information visit:

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Foreign women coming for fertility treatment

(By Natalie Kemp)

Sun, sea and sand, food, festivals, cultural heritage... There are many reasons why foreign visitors have been coming to the Costa del Sol for decades. But these are not the only ones. In recent years a new attraction has joined the list: assisted reproduction. Every year around a thousand foreign women visit Malaga to undergo treatment in its fertility clinics.

According to data from the European Fertility Society, some 25,000 women travel to other countries every year for assisted reproduction treatment. Approximately a third of them, come to Spain, mainly to Madrid, Barcelona, Levante and the Costa del Sol.

The practice has become known as reproductive or fertility tourism (a term specialists are not fond of), and in some clinics the demand from abroad far exceeds that from local residents, reaching 70 per cent or 80 in some of them.

Spanish legislation (almost all techniques are permitted here, except commercial surrogacy and gender selection) and the growing prestige of the clinics are the main reasons behind the increasing numbers of foreign couples who turn to Malaga’s specialists to become parents.

They come from a wide range of countries: from Belgium, France, Norway or Germany and even Australia and the United States. However the majority are from the UK and, especially, Italy. In fact since the Berlusconi government banned the donation of both eggs and semen in 2004, the numbers of Italian visitors have increased. In the case of Britain, donation is permitted but a change in the law a couple of years ago meant that donor anonymity is no longer guaranteed. This has resulted in a fall in the number of receivers and especially voluntary donors and waiting lists are longer.

Carmen Calatayud, president of the National Association of Assisted Reproduction Clinics, states: “Although at first the main reason that brought foreigners to Spain for treatment was the Assisted Reproduction Law, which was much more progressive than in other countries, the quality of care, professionalism and good results from our centres have made the demand for treatment from foreigners increase”. The head of the Assisted Reproduction unit at Hospiten, Emilia Ocón, adds that “important infrastructure, hotel services and the climate combine to make Malaga the ideal place to come to for a few days for fertility treatment”.

The average cost of this type of treatment is around 5,000 euros. Nevertheless there seems to be no shortage of foreign couples prepared to pay the sum, plus their travel and accommodation costs. The success rate makes it worth it, the average is around 60 per cent, although this rises to 70 per cent in the case of donated eggs, the most effective and most common treatment among foreign patients, along with semen donation.

The majority of foreigners who come to Malaga for fertility treatment are heterosexual but there are also homosexuals and single women.

Carmen Calatayud points out that the women seeking treatment tend to be over 40 (the average age is 43) for egg donations and over 37 for other treatments. Patients over the age of 50 are not normally accepted, according to the recommendations of the Reproduction Commission.

Adapted from Sur in English

  1. Many couples wait to have a baby for a long time and when they want, it's too late. What do you think about it?.
  2. If you had problems to have a baby, would you undergo a fertility treatment?
  3. What will your life be like in 2030 ? What will you be doing? Where will you be working? Will you have a family?.

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"I don't feel like doin' anything"

Welcome to a new school year!

Let's start our classes by listening to this song by Bruno Mars and doing the following activities about it:

  1. Have a look at the photocopy below and fill in the blanks with the right verbs.
  2. In pairs, translate the song into Spanish.
  3. Tell us what you would feel like doing today.
  4. Sing along and enjoy!

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Have a nice holiday!

(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)

Woah Woman, oh woman, don't treat me so mean,
You're the meanest old woman that I've ever seen.
I guess if you say so
I have to pack ma things and go. (That's right)

(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)

well baby, listen baby, don't ya treat me this-a way
Cause I'll be back on my feet some day.
(Don't care if you do 'cause it's understood)
(you ain't got no money you just ain't no good.)
Well, I guess if you say so
I'd have to pack my things and go. (That's right)

(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)
What you say?
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.)
(Hit the road Jack and don't you come back no more.)

(don't you come back no more.)
you must be joking?
(don't you come back no more.)
what you trying to do to me?
(don't you come back no more.)
i came to talk it over
(don't you come back no more.)
i thaught we had a better understanding
(don't you come back no more.)
oh baby dont be so chicken
(don't you come back no more.)
you dont want to see me cry x2
(don't you come back no more.)
oh baby it isnt fair
ooh yeahh.

( By Ray Charles)

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Edgar Allan Poe

His life:

(By Elena, Raquel and Manuel )
Background music: Torley on piano.

Some of his stories:

(By Laura, Pablo and George)

(By Antonio Aguilar)

(By José and Laura)

Background music : Goneback by Owen

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Two weddings in Pride and Prejudice

After reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, one of the assignments to do was to design wedding invitations for the main characters in the novel.
Here, you are the ones made by Raquel and Clara.

(By Raquel Jiménez)

(Background music: Torley on piano)

(By Clara López)

(Background music: Rebirth by Greendjohn )

Their opinion about it
: Glogster

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Frank Miller's Frankenstein

Amazing contribution to our project by one of my students.

P.S Thanks a lot, Adrián. I really hope that some day your dreams will come true :)

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When talking about tourism, surveys play an important role, since they give us the opportunity to get to know our clients' likes, preferences and their opinions about different services with the aim of trying to improve them depending on the information collected through this kind of research.
That's why one of the projects for the English class in the VTC in Travel Agency was get the students to produce a questionnaire and ask travellers to answer it so that they could also practice questionnaire tactics and polite questions, but due to lack of time we had to make do with just the first part... next school year, perhaps.

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A bit of English. The Terminal

"A bit of English" is an interesting site to learn English. You can find videos with subtitles, songs, online lessons, tips...
Here, you can watch some excerpts from the film The Terminal starring Tom Hanks.
The film is about a man trapped at New York's John International Airport F. Kennedy when he is denied entry into The United States and he can not return to his country due to a revolution.
I think it can be useful for you to revise vocabulary and structures concerning airports.
Click on the image and enjoy!

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Activities on Frankenstein

Assignments on Wiki

Frankenstein in five pictures

Letter to Mary Shelley

(by Laura)

Background music: Ware Liefde (True love) by Kendra Spronger from Jamendo.
What they think about it: e- glogster 1 , e-glogster 2

The monster's diary

(by Vaninna)
Background music: Hope by Kendra Springer from Jamendo.Reflecting on it: e-glogster.

Some questions about the novel

Their opinion about the task: e-glogster Alineación al centro
All the activities by the students on our collaborative project

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About hotels (2)

See the activity here

The smallest hotels in the world

The most expensive hotels in the world

The most unusual hotels in the world

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She walks in Beauty

Another brilliant contribution to our project by some students from the Vocational training course in Sign Language.
I read the poem and they performed it in American Sign Language.

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!

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Oral exam

The final oral exam will be in May. Here, the questions so that you can have enough time in advance to prepare it.

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About hotels

For your next assignment, you have to choose one of the following options:
  • Imagine you are designing your own new two-or three-star hotel.

    1. Its location: beach, citycenter...
    2. The guests you are expecting: business people, families ...
    3. Facilities: 24-hour room service, air conditioning, minibar... tennis court, children's playground, restaurants, sauna, fitness center...

    By the way, what will it be called?
  • Use the internet to find information about places to stay.
    Get information about :

    * The smallest hotel you can find
    * The most expensive hotel
    * The most unusual hotel

    Don't forget to include pictures so that we can have a look at them!
Finally, share your descriptions and findings with us and post them on your blog!

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A widow bird sate mourning for her love

In this poem Percy Bysshe Shelley tells us about deep feelings through descriptions of the world of nature. The cold, the bare trees, the lack of motion, communicate feelings of waste because a love has died.

A widow bird sate mourning for her Love
Upon a wintry bough;
The frozen wind crept on above,
The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,
No flower upon the ground,
And little motion in the air
Except the mill-wheel's sound.

( by Vaninna)
(Background music by George Higgins and José Vera)

The video below is the poem being performed in American Sign Language by some students from a Higher Vocational Training Course in Sign Language. Enjoy it!.

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English and tourism

My students start blogging! I'm so pleased with them!

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Talking about holidays

The students had to do an assigment for the class concerning their favourite holiday and including the following information:
Kind of holiday
Means of transport
Value for money

Background music from Jamendo

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Designing itineraries

Another project my students prepared for the class was the design of a package tour. They had to make decisions about:

  • The name of the tour
  • Different possible dates
  • When and where it begins and ends
  • Places to visit
  • Type of accomodation
  • Places to overnight in
  • Services and meal included in the price
  • Activities
  • Basic price ...

Here, two amazing sample itineraries by Celine Fernández and Rosa Gaitán, respectively.

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Charles Dickens

Following a proposal made by Juan Ignacio Castro via twitter, we have carried out some projects so as to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens's birth.
We hope you like them!

(By María Leal)

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