Liebster Blog Award

My good friend Angelus, who has a very good blog called Tembladeral de Sílabas, has awarded me with the Liebster Blog Award. This award consists in the mentioning of the person who gave it to you and the link to their blog. As you receive it, you are due to presenting it to five of your most beloved (that is the English for German "Liebster"), the only rule is that it should  have less than 200 (in order to promote new blogs which is the aim of this Award), so here comes my list:
Thanking again Angelus, I hope the mentioned blogs continue this award so that we get to know the best blogs in the net. As I should, I am now going to leave a commentary on their blogs to let them know that they have won the award.

What do you think of the award? And of my list?
Leave your comments and tell us!!!


What is there...?

Health for All
My students of first of ESO are working now on food and are learning how to say "there is something" or the contrary and to ask. We also get the chance to review what they eat and if they eat in a healthy way or not. There is a lot of information about how to eat healthily, you can find some at the National Health System of the UK's website.

I have made a brief  sketch to help you:

Countable singular(1)    Countable plural (+1)       Uncountable
Affirmative There is a/an...

There are some...

There is some...

Negative There isn't a/an...

There aren't any...

There isn't any...

Interrogative Is there a/an...?

Are there any...?

Is there any...?

I would like you to tell me what is on the table and what there isn't on the table that you would like to see. You can look for the vocabulary on this complete Visual Dictionary site.

You can do some more exercises on countable and uncountable  nouns at the study zone of the University of Victoria or at this page of English Grammar Exercises.
Leave your comments and tell us!!!


World Book Day 2012

On the 23rd April 1616, two of the greatest writers of our world died, within 24 hours. One of them was William Shakespeare and the other was Miguel de Cervantes, who died during the night from the 22nd to the 23rd. As a result, this day has been chosen by the UNESCO to celebrate the World Book Day. Every year they centre the Day on some aspects related to books and this year they focus on copyright and translation because it is the 80th anniversary of the Index Translationum which is the world's bibliography of translation. A person who knows a lot about translation and has a very good blog is my friend Ángel. 

There is a very interesting proposal to celebrate this Book Day in the new social network called Pinterest in which people can post the picture of their favourite book and explain why they like it, they have called it The Wall of Books. If you want to, you can tell us which is your favourite book too. At the present time, mine is The House of the Special Purpose by John Boyne.

What is your favourite book??


What a wonderful world!!

Many people celebrate Earth Day on the 21st of March and many others celebrate it on the 22nd of April. It's a day to think about what we are doing with our planet, our home. My friend Ricardo sent me this beautiful video from the BBC and I wanted to share it with all of you.

In this video by Sir David Attenborough, a great British naturalist like other naturalists such as Jacques Cousteau or Felix Rodríguez de la Fuente, who made people aware of nature conservation a long time ago; we can see the amazing beauty of our world. We should never forget how it is and try our best at maintaining it just as magnificently as we can see it in the video.

What can we do to maintain the world in "good shape"? We can do things at home that will really make a change. You can get some ideas here. For example, if you close the tap while you are brushing your teeth, you will be helping our planet. 

Can you write one conditional to help  our planet?


How to post a comment in this blog?

Many of my students have been asking me how to post a comment in the blog.
As it seems a little difficult for many, I am going to try to explain it with images:
First of all you have to go to the entry and click on the word comment (next to the envelope):

A white rectangle will open where it says Enter your comment:

Write your comment clicking on the rectangle and, especially if you are a student of mine, leave your name and surname and class. (If the comment is not appropriate I can help you  write an appropriate one, so it gets published.)

It is easier if you choose Anonymous for your identification, you can also use your Google Account if you have one or any of the other possibilities, but, as I said, it is easier with Anonymous. If you have a blog in Blogger, the easiest way is to enter through your own blog.

Once you have choosen the profile,click on Publish and a new white rectangle will appear with a Preview, it tells you to write two words, write them:

You have to click on Publish again:

If you have done it successfully, a message will appear on screen: Su comentario será visible tras la aprobación.

This means that I will see it and decide whether to publish it or not, in this case, you can see the comment accepted:

I normally publish all the comments that are sent to to the blog, I will not publish them in the following cases:
  • If they have rude or nasty content.
  • If they talk about people of the class or other people I do not know and are not relevant to the entry.
  • If they do not correspond to the entry they have been published in.
  • Any other cases I consider.
I will welcome any comments from other students or also people and friends who want to write on the blog.

I hope this is helpful for you. Let's see how many of you can leave a message...
Please try to leave a message saying: 
I understood!!


What would happen if bees disappeared?

Bees have lived for 80 millions of years and their population is decreasing alarmingly even up to 50% of the  bees are disappearing. I have heard lately that Einstein said something like: "Should bees disappear, the human race wouldn't outlive them more than four years". There would be no pollination, some vegetal species would not survive, therefore, some animal species would vanish as well and all our food chain would be altered.
 We have been working on conditionals and this post is written in the second conditional because it is an unreal or improbable situation. Let's see a quick review:

 Zero type
 If present simple, present simple.
 Habitual results.
 If you heat water up to 100º, it boils.
 Type I
 If present tense, will+infinitive.
 Probable results.
If it's sunny, we'll go to the beach.
 Type II
 If past tense, would+infinitive.
 Improbable, unreal situations. Also advice.
 If I won the lottery, I would travel around the world.
 Type III
 If past perfect, would have+ past participle.
 Impossible situations because they refer to the past.
 If I had listened to my mother, I wouldn't have been so miserable all my life.

 You can practice a little bit at English Grammar 4U online or at Perfect English Grammar.

What do you think? What would you do if bees disappeared?
Leave your comments and tell us!!!Use the second conditional type!!
Just in case you get too negative, you can listen to this song by Beyoncé which is one of my favourite songs, especially because of the lyrics. (it is written using the second conditional because she talks about how she would behave if she were a boy)

Beyoncé's  If I were  boy:

You can learn more about conditionals in this other post of the blog.


Model composition: What did you do last weekend?

Helping and motivating our students to write is part of our work as teachers of a language, it is hard work because it implies correcting and assessing lots of compositions...

A good way to make it easy is to give them  a model composition, and then, ask them to follow the model with their own information. Here follows an example that answers (in part) the question in the title:

Last weekend I had a great time. On Saturday morning, I went to Córdoba with my family by train. First, we went to the train station and bought the tickets. Then, we got on the train and arrived at Córdoba very quickly. After that,we visited the Mezquita. Next, we went to a very famous restaurant and ate very well. Finally, we took the train back to Seville. It was a fun and interesting day!

Depending on the level of our students, we can give them the model taking out more or less information; we can give them the verbs they would need or the sequence connectors and so on. Thanks to the Digital Interactive Whiteboards we have in our classes nowadays, we can directly erase the information in class, in this way, it is more visual for our students and therefore, easier to rememember what information  they need to complete their compositions.

Students usually like to write about real, personal topics, it is easier for them because they do not have to imagine anything. In addition to this, they get to know and respect  their mates when they are allowed to read or listen to their mates' compositions.

There is a nice story-maker at the British Council for kids.

So, what did you do last weekend?
Leave your comments and tell us!!!


Oxford or Cambridge?


We all know that these are the two most famous universities in England, very near one to the other and very beautiful both of them. Not only Oxford, but also Cambridge are not more than an hour and twenty minutes far from London, the capital city of the United Kingdom.

But today I'm not talking about these two wonderful British cities but of the legendary rowing race that takes place each year and that two crews from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford compete in since 1829, it is one of the oldest sports competition in the world. Many famous people have participated in the race, such as the well-known Dr House (Hugh Laurie) or the Winklevoss twins, who were the beginners of the idea of Facebook together with Zuckerberg.

This boat race is held on the river Thames in London every year (except for the first one) and there is a great excitement around it. Oxford has won 76 times and Cambridge 80. Many of my friends have rowed for many years, some of them are Spanish champions of their cattegories and I hope they like this post.

Which crew do you think will win today?
Leave your comments and tell me!!!

Finally, after a disturbed race with a person in the river and a broken blade in the Oxford boat, too much for only 6.8 km!! Cambridge has won the 158th boat race!!!


What if...?


April Fool's Day

Spaghetti harvest, 1957
April Fool's Day is celebrated in many countries in the world on the 1st of April every year. It is not a bank holiday but people are used to making jokes to relatives and friends. Also, the television and radio take part in this festivity making jokes to their audience. In 1957, the BBC explained how families in Switzerland picked spaghetti from the trees as you can see in the photo. If you want to see the complete video, you can.

What is its origin?
 The origin of this festivity is not really clear but it has its oringins in Roman times. Nevertheless, the closest to truth that we know may be related to the changing from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar which started in the 16th century but which, due to the bad communications system of the time, wasn't accepted in England until 1752. In the Julian calendar, New Year was celebrated on the 1st of April and in the Gregorian on the 1st of January. It seems that people who started celebrating it on the 1st of January laughed and played tricks on people who celebrated it on the 1st of April on this same day. Even though all of this, there are references to this celebration in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales which dates back to the 14th Century!!!

If you want to learn more about this celebration, you can go here. Do we celebrate April Fool's Day in Spain? What date do we celebrate something similar? Leave your comments!!!