Archive for October 2011


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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