Archive for 2012

Leaving a message

Watch the videos and complete the message pads with the right information

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ETC English to communicate

My students from the Vocational Training Course in Secretarial Studies have already started blogging! I'm very proud of them !. They chose the template, design ... and they are so eager to learn English that it will be of great help to all of us!.

Have a look!

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Visitor profiles

"Your partner is going to be a visitor at  Greencities Sostenibilidad. Write a short Visitor profile about him/her for the Greencities Special Edition". 

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2º PCPI is a course made up of teenagers who didn't finish Secondary and come back to school so as to get the Certificate. The thing is that they are quite motivated to obtain it, but the problem is that they are difficult students: their level of the different subjects is quite low, they aren't used to studying, they don't want to try hard and to make matters worse, they don't come to classes regularly. So, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to get them to work!.
Anyway, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so, let's get on with it, everything has a start and this is ours: their first podcast.

Background music: La plume Sans Elle by Whiteyes from Jamendo

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There are so many students in my class that I find it quite difficult to evaluate their oral production. Thay's why, from now on, speaking will be assessed through podcasts. Quick to do and easy for me to correct their participation, later on, at home!.

Here, some of my students in their first year of Bachillerato.
Aim: Describing themselves. Personal appearance and personality.

(By Paula, Saida, Nacho, Leia, Maksym, Michael, Eva, Cande, Lucía, Andrea, Regina, José Luis, Angel, Alba, Juan, Elisa, Gianina and Carolina)
Background music: Panaholva by Gustavo Crochenci from Jamendo

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Amanda Todd

The other day, reading the newspaper, I was terribly shocked by this tragic news. Watch Amanda's video, read the article and tell me your opinion.

"Amanda Todd, a Vancouver-area teenager who posted a story to YouTube last month about being cyber-bullied, was found dead Wednesday night in Coquitlam, Canada. Authorities believe she committed suicide.

Amanda's video tells a heart-wrenching story of the bullying she was subjected to -- both online and off. "In 7th grade," she begins, sharing her message on cue cards, "I would go with friends on webcam [to] meet and talk to new people." At one point, a stranger flattered her into flashing the camera.

One year later, a man contacted her on Facebook, threatening to send around the picture of her topless "if [she] don't put on a show." Terrifyingly, the stranger knew everything about her: her address, school, friends, relatives, and the names of her family members. Soon, her naked photo had been forwarded "to everyone."

Amanda developed anxiety, depression, and anxiety disorders, she says in the video, followed by a path into drugs and alcohol.

She changed schools and found a new group of friends in an effort to leave behind the bullies. Then the man created a Facebook profile, using her uncensored photo as his profile picture. "Cried every night, lost all my friends and respect people had for me... again... then nobody liked me," she wrote in the video.

Soon after, the bullying started again and she began to cut herself. Amanda moved to yet another school, where, after a boy began flirting with her, a troupe of girls from her first school came and beat her up. "Kids filmed it," she writes. "I was all alone and left on the ground."

"Teachers ran over but I just went and layed in a ditch and my dad found me." When she went home with her dad, she drank bleach in an attempt to kill herself, but was saved after a rushed trip to the hospital.

Amanda's bullying continued despite moving to a new city. Anti-depressants and counseling did little to combat the severe depression. The description on her YouTube video reads:

   " I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply. I'm not doing this for attention. I'm doing this to be an inspiration and to show that I can be strong. I did things to myself to make pain go away, because I'd rather hurt myself then someone else. Haters are haters but please don't hate, although im sure I'll get them. I hope I can show you guys that everyone has a story, and everyones future will be bright one day, you just gotta pull through. I'm still here aren't I?"

"It is a very sad case," Paul McNaughton, a principal at CABE, the high school she'd moved to in Coquitlam, told the Vancouver Sun. "I can tell you we feel we tried everything we could to help her when she came to us."

"She was quite connected here. The staff and the students here are very much impacted. She had some very strong ties in the school and to staff in the school."

A Facebook page titled Rest In Paradise Amanda Michelle Todd had nearly 11,000 likes at the time of this writing. The wall features countless messages of condolence."
                                                                                                                        (Taken from here)

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International exhibition


Greencities Sostenibilidad

Date: From 07-NOV-12 to 09-NOV-12

It will take place in Malaga, Spain for three consecutive days. In this international trade show energy efficiency in building will be given supreme importance. The main purpose of this expo is to make the renewable energy industry aware of the latest and advanced developments which are taking place in this sector. This event will attract the leading industrialists related to renewable energy industry from all over the world.
Greencities Sostenibilidad will give a wonderful opportunity to the professional experts to improve and enhance their knowledge. The improvement in knowledge will help the renewable energy industry to adopt the latest techniques which are required for energy consumption. Latest energy saving techniques will also be highlighted in this expo.

Venue: Trade fair & Congress Center of Malaga, Andalucia,Spain.
(Taken from here)

Task to do:

Your partner is going to be a visitor at  Greencities Sostenibilidad. Write a short Visitor profile about him/her for the Greencities Special Edition.

The deadline for the assignment will be the 22nd of October 

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American idiot

It's about time I started blogging!. The beginning of the course has been very stressful and I've been rather tied up. Anyway, here I am again ...with new challenges and projects ahead, so, without further delay, welcome to my classes and let's get started!

Last night on earth by Green Day as well. Enjoy it!


Last Night On Earth

I text a postcard sent to you
Did it go through?
Sending all my love to you
You are the moonlight of my life every night
Giving all my love to you
My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
I'm sending all my love to you

With every breath that I am worth
Here on earth
I'm sending all my love to you
So if you dare to second guess
You can rest assured
That all my love's for you

My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
I'm sending all my love to you

My beating heart belongs to you
I walked for miles 'til I found you
I'm here to honor you
If I lose everything in the fire
Did I ever make it through? 

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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Glog Summary

Main characters

A letter to Mr Hardy

(By Fran Miranda)

Background music: Catharsis by SaReGaMa from Jamendo

True or false?


Important places in Tess

(By Nacho, Auxi, Antonio and Raquel )

Background music: Next to you by Frithjof Brauer from Jamendo

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Viva la vida by Coldplay

Nice summer and see you in September!

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
"Now the old king is dead, long live the king!"
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you'd go there was never,
never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever wanna be king

I hear Jerusalem bells were ringing
Roman Cavalry choirs were singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know St. Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Whoaaa (x4)

(Whoa...) Hear Jerusalem bells were ringing
(Whoa...) Roman Cavalry choirs were singing
(Whoa...) Be my mirror, my sword and shield
(Whoa...) My missionaries in a foreign field
(Whoa...) For some reason I can't explain
(Whoa...) I know St. Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Oooh Ooooh Oooh Ooooh...

"...The song's Spanish title, "Viva la Vida", is taken from a painting by 20th century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which translates into English as "Long Live Life." When asked about the album's title, referring to Frida Kahlo's strength, enduring polio, a broken spine, and a decade of chronic pain, Chris Martin said: "She went through a lot of shit, of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said 'Viva la Vida', I just loved the boldness of it."

"...When asked about the song, bass guitarist Guy Berryman said: "It's a story about a king who's lost his kingdom, and all the album's artwork is based on the idea of revolutionaries and guerrillas. There's this slightly anti-authoritarian viewpoint that's crept into some of the lyrics and it's some of the pay-off between being surrounded by governments on one side, but also we're human beings with emotions and we're all going to die and the stupidity of what we have to put up with every day. Hence the album title..."
(Taken from wikipedia)

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The last night that she lived by Emily Dickinson

Great contribution for our collaborative project by students from the Vocational Course in Sign Language.

The background music is  Far away de Frithjof Brauer from Jamendo

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Vanity Fair

All the activities are based on the graded reader Vanity Fair

The secret life of Becky

(By Héctor)


True or False?

Questions on the novel

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Taking a telephone booking

You are the receptionist at the Apricot Hotel. Answer the phone and follow the different steps in taking a booking.

Booking a hotel room

Hotel reservations

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Wuthering Heights

Living conditions in 1800

(By Lorena and Rocío)

The moors in Wuthering Heights

(By Lidia and Maite)

Background music: Just an old 8mm film by Enzo Carlino from Jamendo

Wuthering Heights in five pictures

(By Carlos Báez)

Background music: Max Bruch- Selections from eight pieces, OP. 83 VIII. Moderato from Jamendo

Questions on Wuthering Heights

Background image

True or false?

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Booking a holiday

T= Travel agent
C= Customer

T: Good morning. Can I help you?
C: Yes, I hope so. We are looking for a honeymoon holiday, we want to travel to an exotic destination.
T: Ok, great! Have a seat and we’ll see what we can do. What exactly would you like?
C: We would like to get a good offer , we want something not too expensive… Can you show me brochures of exotic destinations?
T: Ok, let’s see these brochures… I would choose Rivera Maya or Cancún because you can get a special offer now and the Mexican culture is fascinating.
C: What do they include?
T: All is included.
C: Oh, perfect! We want to relax on the beach but we like to be active on holiday too.
T: In my opinión you should practice sports there. How about practicing ‘’snorkel’’ in the Caribbean sea?
C: That sounds good. How can we do that?
T: Your best option is to contract the special services in the hotel. You can choose the activities that you want to do in Mexico.
C: Ok.
T: Have you thought about visiting the most important monuments in México? If I were you I’d visit Chichén Itzá. It’s amazing!
C: Oh, yes! That would be great! We are going to think about all. Thank you very much! You have been very helpful.
T: You’re welcome, I hope to see you soon!

Image from here

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Enquiry letters

Look up the address of an English-speaking travel agency in the UK, The USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand and write to them requesting information about a holiday you might like to go on.

Writing tips

  • Explain clearly what information you would like to receive and what you want the reader to do in response to your letter.
  • Use a separate paragraph for each request.
  • Use simple rather than complex sentences
  • Be precise and concise and delete unnecessary information.
For further information on enquiry letters click here

Sample letter of enquiry:

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A visit to the airport

Here you are the recording and pictures of the guided visit in English to the airport of Málaga. Sorry for the delay! Rather tied up all this time.
I hope you like it!

We learnt may things about airports and travelling, don't you agree?

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The Victorian period

Are you a 'civilized' person, suited to the Victorian period? Click on the picture and play the game!

Charles Dickens animation

Click on the picture and find out more about Charles Dickens's life and his work.

Can you survive Charles Dickens' London? Play the game!

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Reading David Copperfield

It's a pleasure to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth with this collaborative podcast: Juan Ignacio's students from Dionisio Aguado Secondary School in Madrid and our students from La Rosaleda in Málaga, reading some excerpts from David Copperfield.

(By Nacho, Flor, Vero, Auxi, Gonzalo, Alba, Antonio, Laura, Sergio, Fran and Yogesh)

Download it

Background music: Spring by Christian Dalmont from Jamendo

A special thank you to Juan Ignacio and his students for their contribution.

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I told my students to describe a tourist destination using the following information:

  • Location and geographical features
  • Climate
  • Main attractions
  • Other information
And, here, you are...

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Role playing job interviews

Activity that gives the students a chance to practice their conversational English skills using discussion and role play.


Well done!

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A worthy new year's resolution: find your truth

(By Natalie Kemp)

New Year’s resolutions so often fail because they are statements about altering behaviours in order to accomplish something. “I want to stop overeating and to lose twenty pounds,” or “I will to be more attentive to my spouse,” or “I will be a better parent,” are admirable goals, but they are commonly forgotten by February.

Why? That’s because resolving to achieve something ignores one central fact: You are the person who has been running your life while you gained weight or disregarded your spouse ... and since you are still the one in control, it’s unlikely you will be able to arrive at your intended destination without examining your self—the inner set of emotions and beliefs that define your self-concept and the way you experience and understand the world around you.

See, the real hurdles between you and anything you want isn’t just “stick-to-it-ness” or determination. It’s also about finding out the truth about why you have strived in the past and fallen short.

There are people who can’t lose weight because they don’t think they’re worthy of being fit or attractive.

There are people who can’t start a business because the family lore was about people who had tried to do it and failed.

There are people who can’t show enough love to their children because they have never admitted they weren’t loved well-enough themselves and want to avoid reproducing the past.

A single New Year’s resolution may be the silver bullet that changes your life forever: Resolve to find your personal truth.

Resolve to start admitting what you really feel about people in your life.

Resolve to start admitting what you really feel about yourself—even the negative things—so that you can identify the areas of strength you can build on, and others you genuinely need to change.

Resolve to start saying more about what you really believe—spiritually and politically and ethically and morally—because to the extent that you declare your truth, you start living with honesty and conviction. And an honest person with conviction, who admits that being 30 pounds overweight is a sign of complacency, is a person who truly is ready to get fit. And once she decides to change her life in accordance with the truth, her physical fitness will become contagious to every aspect of her being.

This journey toward one’s own truth won’t be easy, but it is the most important journey you can take in your life.

Take just one step in the direction of your personal truth and you may get hooked on the whole journey. It’s the silver bullet you have been looking for that can slay the dragons of indecision and self-defeatism you have been fighting all your life.

Adapted from Fox News

Answer the following questions according to the information in the text. Use your own words:

1. Why do New Year's resolutions often fail?

2. What should you do so as to change behaviours you don't like?

3. According to the article, What's the most important journey you can take in your life?

Fin in the text synonyms for the following words:

Firm decision
Escape from

Topic to discuss in class

New Year's Resolutions


It is important to get to know yourself in order to be happy and enjoy life. What do you think about it?

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My favourite holiday

It's difficult to practice speaking when you have so many students in class. So, podcasts have become a very useful tool since they give us a great chance to learn English and improve this important skill.
I usually suggest a topic to them and then, we work on it, practice the pronunciation, record it and finally upload the recording to sites such as  Ivoox.

 On this ocassion, they had to talk about their favourite or last holiday including the following information:

1. Where, when and how they went.
2. Who they went with.
3. How long it was.
4. What they did over there.
5. What they bought as souveniers for family and friends.
6. If they had any problems.

(By all the students)

(By Cris)

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