Friday, 22 February 2013


You were surely surprised when you heard the news about Oscar Pistorius being charged with murder, especially after reading about him in unit 3 in your books, where he was portrayed as an amazing athlete.
South Africans are in shock after their sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius competed in the London 2012 Olympics as the first double-amputee track athlete.

Watch the following interview, listen to my questions and answer them orally by sending me a VoiceMail. Try to give as many details as possible.

Deadline: Tuesday 26

Some more information about the social situation in South Africa.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013


You've been doing lots of listening practice by watching videos in English Central, CNN News and other videos we've worked with in class.

I'm going to give you another chance to practice for the hard listening test this term.

Click on the image and go through the test. It can't take you more than 20 minutes. That means listening to each clip no more than twice. When you finish you must email me your results. Don't forget your name and email. 

To be able to interpret your results, you can click here where you'll find a chart with different assessment frameworks.

Good luck!!

Sunday, 10 February 2013


How do we feel when we are in love?
What effects does love have in our brain and body?

Discuss the following questions with your partner:

We are going to watch a short documentary film called "The Love Competition". What could it be about? Do you think some people can love more than others?

The Love Competition from Brent Hoff on Vimeo.

  • 1:27': What's the competition about? What are the rules?
  • How do you feel when you're in love? Do yo feel more or less...stressed     alert   motivated   sad   attractive   afraid   obsessive   aggressive  anxious    trusting?
  • Checkthe brain graphic document which shows the different emotions we feel when we love. Is there anything surprising in the graphic?

  • 8:04' Write down the following information about the seven contestants.Name/Age/ Type of love/ How they feel after the experiment
  • 13:37': Who do you think the winner is?


Valentine's Day is one of the most famous holidays in the world. It is the traditional day for lovers to express their love to each other.

We're going to listen to two different people expressing their opinions about this festivity.
Listen and try to fill in the gaps. Who do you agree with?



Now check the following collocations with the word "love" and try to fill the blanks:

Check more Love Expressions and try this quiz

You'll be posting love messages on the wall during this week. Notice there are different types of love and your messages can be about any of them. They are all welcome as long as you're respectul.

Finally, look at this nice infographic with 12 love idioms

Monday, 4 February 2013


We are going to practise your oral skills by debating some controversial issues, which usually leads to spontaneous language production.

Watch the following video where useful advice is given:

Each group of 4 or 6 of you will be given a topic and time to think of arguments and reasons pro or con.You can research the topic, look up vocabulary... Then we'll follow the next scheme in the debate:
  • 1) Pro Team introduction and reasons;
  •  2) Con Team introduction and reasons;
  •  3) open debate; 
  • 4) audience questions; 
  • 5) Pro Team conclusion; 
  • 6) Con Team conclusion.
The audience will determin the winners based on the group which presents the most convincing argument,
on who communicated more clearly and refuted the opponent’s arguments best.
Check useful expressions to introduce your case.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


I know I'm running a bit late with your homework this week, but I'm sure you won't mind...

Your next task has to do with news. Luckily for students of English, nowadays there are thousands of websites where you can listen to real English. The one I am presenting today, CNN StudentNews, is especially interesting because it contains real updated news for students. And the good thing is that if there's something you can't understand you can always read the script.
Each one of you will listen to one piece of news for one particular day twice and will comment about it on the following VoiceThread so that the rest of us will also know about it. Record a one-two minute summary of your news and give your personal point of view about it. Use your own words. Do not read from the script.

Click on the following link for the news distribution.

I can't wait to hear about your news in the VoiceThread below: 

Deadline: Friday 8th February