Thursday, 13 May 2010

DESCRIPTONS (adjective order)

Here is a nice and clear explanation of the correct order of English adejectives in the sentence.

On the last sessions we have worked on describing people. Therefore your next written assignment is to produce a description of a friend of yours, a member of your family or a celebrity that you admire including the vocabulary that you have learnt. Use 175-200 words including
-how long have you known him/her
-where did you meet
-what is special about them
-their character/personality and appearance.

Remember to use structures that you have learnt this year: passive voice, past perfect,modal verbs, conditionals, comparisons, relative clauses, etc (you don't have to use them all).
Here is a very basic video on description, however you might find some useful expressions for your homework.

You can email me the composition or hand it to me in class.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Are Computers Student's best friends?

Last week we work on vocabulary related to computers. Along the year you have many times refered to computers/PCs as one of the greatest invention of all times, and a technical device that has changed your life.
Would you then agree with this picture?

One of the many devices PCs have is a spell checker. According to the wikipedia "In computing, a spell checker (or spell check) is an application program that flags words in a document that may not be spelled correctly. " However, things are not as easy as they seem. Here is a poem on the topic found on Internet - author unkown. So, do you think you can beat the machine and be a better spell checker than the PC? Please post on the comment section your "spell checked" version of the poem and have fun while doing it. 

"Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marques four my revue
Miss steaks I can knot sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It  nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error write
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I'm shore your pleased two  no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew."

Book assessment

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, will be assessed by means of a quiz. We will divide the class into 2, 3 or four groups (depending on the attendance of the 20th May). Each team will be asked a set of question and will be getting points according to their answers. There will be a team leader and a maximum of time will be stablished for each answer.

As a writing assessment, you will also have to answer to at least one of the questions on the book using 175-200 words. We will distribute the questions in class next Tuesday. The compositions will be due on Thursday 20th  May and I will collect them before we start the quizz. Have a look at the questions:

1. Why is Christopher fascinated with illustrations, diagrams and maps? How do they help us understand him?
2. List three things Chris like and three things he dislikes. Explain his reason for each like/dislike listed.
3. How does Christopher’s father show him love? Why?
4. What makes Chris feel safe? What makes him feel unsafe?
5. Why does Christopher find people confusing?
6. What causes Christopher to become violent? Give an example.
7. Why does Christopher believe he’d make a good astronaut?
8. Christopher lists his behaviour problems on chapter 73. Which of the behaviours do you consider to be “normal”? Which behaviours do you think put stress on a family? Explain.
9. What are A-levels? Explain. Do they exist in your country? Compare situations.
10. Christopher has difficulties with rhetorical questions. What is rhetorical question and why would he have trouble understanding them?
11. Explain Christopher’s colour preferences. How do colours help him deal with the world?
12. How does Christopher discover his mother is alive? What is his reaction?
13. After he arrives at his m other’s house, Christopher keeps insisting that he needs to take his A-level exams. What is his mother’s reaction to his demands? Explain.

Monday, 26 April 2010

New Language Assistant!!!

Dear all, we have a new Language Assistant at the Official School of Languages. Tamar Shartok will be helding Conversation Clubs. If you are interested you can attend her sessions on Tuesdays 19.30 to 20.00 (room  5) and Wednesdays 19.00-20.00 (room 9).

Hope you make the most of it!!!!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Book review

On Thursday 8th, we worked on book reviews ( I have sent you by email the handouts we used in class).
In case you are wondering what a book review or a film criticism/review is, click on the key words to get more information.
In the article two books were mentioned: Author! Author! by David Lodge and Almost Famouse by Cameron Crowe (later to become a film). Here you can find the covers of both books and the trailer of the one that turned into a movie.

Have a look at the trailer

Feel free to post your film or book review on the comment section.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Passive Voice

Here is a nice video presenting the passive voice.

Want some practice? Click here and find activities on passive voice.

Monday, 8 March 2010

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia and the countries of former Soviet bloc). In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them in a way somewhat similar to Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day mixed together. In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
Please write on the comments section a woman you think was/is important in History and justify for answer. You can also add a quote, I will do the first one for you.
Hope you like the video I found on women throughout History.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Grammar revision:Conditionals

We have covered lesson 5B, 6A, 6B, 7B, 12A and 12B on conditionals. Here is a video that summarises the grammar and the three types of conditionals. Have a look at it:

We also worked in class with the song "With a little help from my friends" by the Beatles. Three different versions (the original and two cover versions) were played in class and the students decided that this one was the best of them all.

But this is not the only well know song where conditionals are used, have a look at this video clip where you have lyrics and grammar prompts (you may have to play pause in order to read all the information written on the presentation). Were all the songs familiar to you?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

And the oscar goes/went to.....

 The Academy Awards or Oscars are awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The formal ceremony at which the awards are presented is one of the most prominent film award ceremonies in the world. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself were conceived by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio boss Louis B. Mayer.
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held on Thursday, May 16, 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928. It was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. DeMille.The 82nd Academy Awards honoring the best in film for 2009 will be held on Sunday, March 7th, 2010 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood with actors Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. 

Here is a video where you will hear all the nomenees

Tonight is the Oscars Award Ceremony, I will publish the outcome ASAP.

A special day in your life.

The Day That Changed My Life
Choose an important moment in your life so far and describe it using 175-200 words. It doesn't have to be about something as drastic as the title above suggests; any important moment will do--whether it really changed your life drastically or just slightly. Also, it's not necessary to write about true events. You can always make it all up.
Here are  some prompts to help you:
-What happened?
-What had happened before?
-What were you doing at the time?
-How did it change your life?
Remember to check for grammar or spelling mistakes, cohesion, coherence, vocabulary, and so on, before you hand in your composition.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

St Valentine's Day material

Here is a couple of trailers of films related to St Valentine's Day, some are comedy approaches, others consider it from a different angle.

Don't know what to get your partner for Valentine's Day? Check this video and have a look at the worst 5 St Valentine's Day presents....and have a laugh

Do you want to practice some vocabulary related to love? Click here. If you want to write your own love poem try this drag and drop activity designed by Isabel Pérez clicking here.

Click here to read a poem by Susan Polis Schutz on what love is. Do you agree? Can you give a definition of what love is for you? Please do so and leave a comment.

Friday, 12 February 2010


The Offical School of Laguages, in collaboration with Mairena del Aljarafe Town Council invite you to the cinema. The film chosen for the ocassion is INVICTUS.  Twety years ago, on 11th February 1990, Nelson Mandela, a South Afrcan anti-apartheid leader, was finally realed from prison after serving a 27-year sentence in Robben Isand and Polsmoor. We thought that no better occasion than this to invite you to go to the cinema with us.
The film is based on "The Human Factor", by  John Carlin and is directed by Clint Eastwood. The film tells the true story of how President Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country. Watch the trailer here:

We are meeting on Thursday 18th February at 4.30 p.m. at the Avenida Cinemas ( Marqués de Parada Street).

If you are interested in the apartheid issue watch this video.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

As you have probably heard, the Super Bowl took place on Sunday 7th February, as it always takes place on the first Sunday of February. Let's get to know more things on this sporty event.
In professional American football, the Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL). The game and its festivities constitute Super Bowl Sunday. Over the years it has become the most-watched U.S. television broadcast of the year, and has become likened to a de facto U.S. national holiday. In addition, many popular singers and musicians have performed during the Super Bowl's pre-game and halftime ceremonies. Super Bowl Sunday is the second-largest U.S. food consumption day, following Thanksgiving.
Television broadcast rights of the Super Bowl are held exclusively each year by only one major network (currently, CBS) in the United States, and the annual broadcast is famous for having the most expensive commercial airtime space of year. As a result, commercial watching during the Super Bowl has also proceeded to become one of the sub-cultures of the annual event.

This is the first spot broadcasted during the 1979 Superbowl.

Monday, 25 January 2010


Dear all, time has come for you to develop and put into practice your oral skills. Starting Tuesday 2nd February, one of you will kick off the lesson with an exposition every day. You are free to choose the topic and the lenght is a maximum of 5 minutes. Try to choose a topic that motivates you so it makes it easier for you to address the class and deliver your presentation.
Please click here to have a look at the schedule and if you alreay have a date of  your, send me an email and I will book the date. Volunteers are welcome!

English courses

-Learning English in Salamanca? Could that be possible. Clik here to know more about it.
-If you are a techer and are interested in "Estancia de inmersión lingüísitca" click here to get the imformation.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Update and info

1)Dear all, in case you are interested in taking the "pruebas de certificación" or "pruebas libres" for a different language that you are currently studying, ckick here for information. Deadline for applications is 15th February 2010.
2) Do you need the definite school calendar? Click here to check it or download it.
3) Interested in music? Here are two great sites for you:

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Decisions and choices

On lesson 6A we talked about decisions, choices and making one's mind up. Here is a clip based on the introduction of a cult film "Trainspotting", it is all about choices. Do you think we might be overwhelmed with choices in life? Have a look at this video.

Here is another clip on how to make decisions. It is very short and simple, therefore, can you write on the comment section:
1) Where is the lady from? 2)The name of the company 3)the three steps she suggestes in order to make good decisions.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birthdate of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15th. It is one of three United States federal holidays to commemorate an individual person.
King was the chief spokesman of the nonviolent civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated in 1968.
The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.
If you are in a hurry this is a fragment of the speech and you can check the full text by clicking here.

If you have time, you can listen and read King's full speech:
(part 1)

(part 2)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

How to make a successful yard/garage sale?

Have you ever heard the term garage sale or yard sale? It's a very peculiar aspect of American culture. Yesterday we talked in class about sorting stuff out and which things to keep, which things to throw away and which things to give away. Another option is selling them.
Here is a video to help you out on planning a successful yard sale. Watch it carefully.

Did you find it interesting? Hope you did. If you want to know more on the subject click here and read the wikipedia entry on the topic. After watching the video and reading the article feel free to do this activities (I   will post the activities asap*)

asap= as soon as possible

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year's resolutions

-I am sure most of you started the year with the best of intentions and a great list of New Year's Resolutions.
-According to the wikipedia: "A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until fulfilled or abandoned."
-Most of the New Year's Resolutions deal with these topics: lose weight , get organized, save money, improve grades, get a better job, get fit, eat right, drink less alcohol , quit smoking, reduce stress , take a trip, volunteer to help others, etc.
-Have a look at this document and you will find nice tips in order to write your New Year's Resolutions.
Please, after careful thinking, write on the comment sections your New Year's Resolutions.... ok, I will go first.

In order to get some ideas, have a look at this video