Monday, 25 January 2010


Sixty miles from Haiti's devastated earthquake zone, luxury liners dock at private beaches where passengers enjoy jetski rides, parasailing and rum cocktails delivered to their hammocks. Oasis of the Seas, the world's biggest and most expensive cruise ship ever built docked as normal at Labadee beach in northern Haiti despite the deadly earthquake a week ago that devastated the Caribbean nation. 

Do you agree with Royal Caribbean's decision to dock in Haiti despite nearby devastation?

We will discuss the issue in class. Half of you will be in favour of the decision and the other half will be against it. Think of arguments to sustain your point.
The following articles might give you some ideas for the discussion:
The Guardian    Daily News    Sphere     Yahoo News    Cruise Forum
A couple of videos for and against

Sunday, 24 January 2010


I'm pretty sure you have heard of Stephanie Meyer, authoress of the Twilight Saga and some of you will have read some of her books, if not all. In the video below you can listen to her talking about her three books: Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. You will also have the chance to know a little bit more about her life. Watch the video and take notes of what you think is relevant about her interview. Further on I will ask you to answer some questions orally about what she says in the interview.

Don't despair if you don't get to understand every single word in the interview. A general idea of what she says should be enough to do your task later on.

Now it's time to take out your notes and answer the questions about the interview on the Voicethread below.

Questions and Answers Key

Feedback on Stephanie Meyer's Voicthread

Thursday, 21 January 2010


  Now that we've been studying modal verbs for a while, it's time for you to revise and make sure you have grasped them. Watch the following presentation and do the activities below.

Modal verbs-
View more presentations from amef0011. Watch the following video and use modal verbs to speculate about the trick
Do the some of the modal activities on the following websites for some practice English Grammar Lessons
Grammar Practice on Modal Verbs
  Now take the following challenge and tell me how well you know Modal Verbs:

Modals for the Past 1
Modals for the Past 2What could have happened?
Are you good at Modal Verbs now? What about basketball? Are you also good at basket? Prove it here.Try the Snakes & Ladders Game on Mixed Modals.

Finally, let's take the following competition game. Divide into two groups and try to get the highest number of points by answering the most difficult questions.

Monday, 18 January 2010


Listen to the following piece of news and fill in the gaps below as a comment. You may have to listen more than once.

The world's tallest building __________________ Dubai on January the 4th. The height of the 828-metre Burj Khalifa was __________________ the opening ceremony. It is twice the height of New York’s Empire State Building. Another big surprise at the opening __________________ the tower. The building had always been called Burj Dubai. However, Dubai’s ruler announced it would now be called Burj Khalifa __________________ Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s neighbour. The oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi helped save Dubai ____________________ collapse. The chairman of the company that built the Burj, Mohamed Alabbar, said the building gives "hope and optimism". He added: “The world has gone through …difficult times… this is the beginning __________________ forward.”

It is likely the Burj __________________ world’s tallest building for a while to come. Since the 2008 global financial crisis, there seems to be __________________ ambitious construction projects from property developers. The Burj’s owners, however, are confident the building will be a success. More than 90 per cent __________________ been sold. It cost $22 billion to build and has broken many records. The opening celebrations included the world’s highest fireworks, which __________________ the world’s tallest fountain. The building houses the world’s highest mosque and swimming pool, __________________ 158 and 76. Burj Khalifa has 1,044 luxury apartments, 49 __________________ and the 160-room Armani hotel. Around 12,000 people will live and work in the tower.

TALL BUILDINGS DISCUSSION. Ask your partner the following questions and make him/her speak as much as possible.
Student A's questions

Student B's questions

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Watch the interview Ophrah made to Penelope Cruz about the premiere of the film "Nine" twice and answer these questions about it.

1.- Had Penelope ever sung proffesionally before this film?
2,. How long did she rehearse for this film?
3.- Why is Abbey Road so famous?
4.- Why did she lock herself in a room the day of the song recording?
5.- When and how did she decide to become an actress?
6.- What's Penelope's mother's job?
7.- Why was she exhausted at the Oscar Awards Ceremony?

Sunday, 10 January 2010


WELCOME TO SNOWY 2010! Hey, everybody!! Welcome back in snowy 2010.
What shall we say, twenty ten o two thousand and ten? The issue has been raised to people in the following video:

Anyway, here we are again after the Christmas excesses that we have to try to burn off now. I can't help you with that but what I can do is help you to get off to a good start on Monday by inviting you to make your comments on the voicethread below about New Year’s resolutions. Hope we can all make it tomorrow and get to school safe and sound!!!


New Year, Fresh Start. The new year is here and it’s an opportunity to have a fresh start - to start something again (such as renewing a gym membership and using it regularly; how about that?).
‘New’ and ‘fresh’ sometimes have the same meanings. Yet, they’re commonly combined with different words:
New baby/location/version/technology/moon/release
Fresh snow/produce/paint/footprints/wound/memory
‘Fresh’ can have additional meanings (other then ‘new’) as well. Below are a few examples of those and their opposites:

fresh vegetables - canned/dried vegetables         fresh water - salty water
fresh breath - bad breath                                       fresh air - stuffy air
fresh bread - day-old/stale bread                          fresh shirt - worn shirt

Collocation refers to the way in which some words regularly occur together. There is no grammatical reason for this so there are no rules to learn. A bit like prepositions, you need to read a lot, expose yourself to as much English as you can, and when recording vocabulary you should make sure you write down collocations whenever you can.
In this post we're going to revise the collocations with the verbs studied in your book: set, raise and win.
  • Set is often cited as the English word with the most different meanings and, unsurprisingly, it's got a number of collocations. You can set concrete things like alarm clocks, watches, thermostats, for example. You can set a date or a time and you can also set a price or a rate for something (as in The Central Bank is responsible for setting interest rates). Set is also used with words referring to rules or standards such as conditions, guidelines, limits and criteria (as in Opposition parties have set conditions for peace negotiations to begin) and you can also set an example or set a precedent (as in Her behaviour sets a very bad example or This ruling will set a legal precedent). Set can be used with certain nouns to establish the way in which something is done, e.g. set a tone, a pattern, a fashion or a trend (Her opening speech set the tone for the whole conference). You can also set a table or set a record. In terms of the future, you can set yourself (or someone else) a goal, a challenge, an objective or a task. From the unfortunate student’s point of view, teachers can set homework, set essays and, worst of all, set exams.
  • Raise (not to be confused with its intransitive equivalent rise) has a lot of collocations, some of which are easy to understand such as raise your hand, raise a flag, raise a salary or raise your glass, while others are more idiomatic, e.g. raise a smile or raise hell (as in 'His jokes failed to raise a smile' or make people laugh, and 'They raised hell when they were told the hotel had no record of their booking', or got very angry and made a scene). In the sense of ‘create’, raise can collocate with a number of abstract nouns, for example raise doubts, raise fears, raise a question, raise hopes and raise expectations (as in 'We don’t want to raise your hopes at this early stage' or 'Doubts have been raised about the viability of the project'). If you raise your eyebrows, you show you are surprised at something. Raising your voice indicates that you are speaking in a loud voice, probably because you are angry. You can also raise the alarm if you want to draw people's attention to a problem. You can raise children o raise a family. .
  • Win-Earn-Gain. The three of them relate to getting or achiving something, but the nouns they collocate with are very different. Win: You can win a competition or a sporting event. For this achievement you might win a prize, a cup or a medal. You can also win a contract, win the right to do something, win support or approval. Earn: Apart from earning money or earning a salary, you can also earn your living in order to pay for everything you need. Gain: You can gain weight or speed. You can also gain an advantage as in "Some people try to gain an advantage by using their personal contacts). Gain also goes with acces, admission and entry. Other nouns used with gain are gain experience, gain time. And the good news is that there is one word that collocates with all three verbs: RESPECT. You can win respect, gain respect or earn respect, all of which meaning getting respect out of your efforts or behaviour.
Now make a comment with at least two examples for each of the three verbs.