Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh! those apostrophes!

I ran into this video through the @AdviceToWriters twitter account and I thought it was quite funny:

Deciding when to use an apostrophe is hard for learners of English as well as for native speakers. The most problematic one is definitely <'s>.

So just to make it clear, these are the three situations where <'s> is grammatically correct:

1) When it indicates possession: This is Christine's backpack.
2) When it substitutes the i in IS: Kevin's happy.
3) When it substitutes the ha in HAS: She's got a nice cat.

That's IT!! So, NEVER use <'s> for plurals!!! (you'll find plenty of those mistakes in the video)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let it snow!

Well, it will be Christmas this Saturday!

So, here goes our Christmas song for the year: Let It Snow. It's a traditional song and there are dozens of versions of it by many singers, from Boyz II Men to Frank Sinatra.

Here's a slow version by Kylie Minogue, with lyrics:

And here's a slightly different heavy metal version by Twisted Sister. This version is one of my favourite Christmas songs ;-)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Be precise!

Back to school!

Ok, we returned a couple of weeks ago, but I really didn't have much to post about.

This year I want to start with a video that's slightly harder than usual, but I think it's a great poem and it definitely stresses a good point --it's important to speak your mind clearly, and be precise!

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

Ps. If you want the full text of the poem, you can find it here

Monday, May 10, 2010

Before we watch Slumdog Millionaire

On Friday we will watch Slumdog Millionaire. But before that, we are going to check how much we know about the film and about India.

For the first questions, go to and answer the following questions:

a) What is the capital of India?
b) What is its population?
c) Which Indian language has the largest percentage of speakers?
d) Go to the economy section. What percentage of the population in Indian live on less than 2 dollars a day?
e) Go to the religions section. What are the two most important religions in India?
f) Search on wikipedia what Bollywood is.
g) Now go to How many nominations did Slumdog Millionaire have? How many did it win?
h) Watch the trailer. What can you tell us about the setting, the characters and the story?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reported speech (1): affirmative and negative sentences.

Ok, so here we have the presentation for the reported speech (estilo indirecto) for affirmative and negative sentences.

You can find some exercises to practice at

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Think outside the box

The expression "Think outside the box", in English, means that you have to think differently and be creative to be noticed.

I thought of this expresion today when I saw this article. It is about people who decided to make their resumes (also called curriculum vitae) a bit more interesting than the usual ones.

I know some of you are already thinking of looking for a job, so maybe this will inspire you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

do a test that's not for school!

The website blogthings has a lot of funny tests to do in English. If you want to practice English and have a laugh, why don't you give it a try?

You Have Your Life to Smile About

It's funny to ask you what you have to smile about, because you always have something that's making you happy.

You are a naturally smiley person, and you are happy with your life. You feel like you have to be.

You see happiness as something under your control. You don't think there are any big secrets to being happy.

If something isn't going well, you fix it. You're proactive in making sure that you're living the best life possible.

Friday, February 26, 2010

By popular demand, "Crawl", by Chris Brown

...ok, by "popular demand" I mean the class of 3B, and by "class of 3B" I mean, of course, Yaiza. XD

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The first conditional

Here is a summary on how and when to use the First Conditional.
At the end of the presentation, you will find links to exercises to practice, and a song :-)

Tomorrow I'll post another presentation on the second conditional- keep an eye on this space!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy, by Leona Lewis

Some of my students of 3rd of ESO are great fans of Leona Lewis, so I'm dedicating this song to them!

Notice how Leona uses a lot of contractions for common expressions in English, for example:

'cause =Because
gotta= have got to
wanna= want to
tryna= trying to
outta = out of

(This is because prepositions and connectors in English sometimes are pronounced with a weak sound, a sort of weak "a").

Some other linguistic notes:

safe as could be = as safe as possible

So what : (click on this link)

In vain (click on the link)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One for the future forms!

A summary of the future forms for my students of Primero de Bachillerato. Make sure you have a look at the activities and music videos at the end of the presentation :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

So, what is English made of?

The video below is a poem by the young poet Dizraeli. It is a bit difficult to follow if you don't have a good level, so concentrate only on the written words and on the rhythm of the poem.

In the poem, Dizraeli talks about how English is a language that is used by many different people around the world, in different media, spoken by a lot of people from different countries, and which borrows terms from many different sources.

(a special thanks to the Macmillan Youtube channel!) Ps. You can see the full text of the poem on pdf here

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A travel composition

Today we have looked at how to write a composition about traveling in Primero de Bachillerato. I have decided to post a powerpoint example about Scotland, I place I lived in in 1999-2000 as an Erasmus student (so long ago!)