lunes, 31 de octubre de 2011

/ə/ - SCHWA

It is the most frequent of all English vowels because historically it has replaced many unstressed vowels. It has a restricted distribution: it only appears in unaccented syllables.

a. Description: it is very shortand weak. The middle of thetongue lies in a relax positionand the lips are neutral (neither spread nor rounded).b. Spelling: this sound only appears in unaccented syllables and it may be spelt with any single vowel or combined with consonants:-"a": aboutwoman, chocolate-"e": sister, the-"i": impossible-"o": synonymphotograph-"u": suggest, SaturdayVowels are distinguished by distribution: /ə/ can only appear in unaccented positions and /I, ʊ/ in both accented and unaccented, the rest of the vowels always requiring some kind of stress.
1. Watch this video about how to pronounce schwa and practice several times with the examples given in this webpage:

3. Pronunciation practice:
 3a. Open this chart, click on vowels-monophthongs, then click on central: listen and practice the schwa.
     3b.Watch this video and practice.
     3c. Listen, read and practice in this webpage.
4. Visit this    ESL pronunciation web page  and do the exercises provided to practice the schwa.

domingo, 30 de octubre de 2011


How many times do we meet a written word and we don't know how to pronounce it? Everyday, I'm afraid. That makes learning English difficult. However we have phonetics to help us. Phonetics is an essential tool to learn English. Here you have a webpage with a test on phonetics.


Learning Oral English Online is finally available on the Web. It is an online conversation book compiled for intermediate ESL learners who want to improve their listening and speaking skills.
Each sentence in the book is linked to a sound file.


Speaking English lessons:

You can choose among different levels: Link HERE to start.



Enjoy learning conversational  English online. Link HERE


When is All Saints' Day in Spain?

All Saints' Day is celebrated in Spain on the same day as in the rest of the world - on November 1.

How do the Spanish Celebrate All Saints' Day?

The most obvious sign that it is All Saints' Day is that you'll notice the graveyards to be unusually full of flowers. The Spanish remember their dearly departed on All Saints' Day and bring flowers to the graves of their loved ones on this day.

If you can get to see a performance of Don Juan Tenorio on All Saints' Day, seize the opportunity. The play is the most famous (and the most romantic) story about the mythical Don Juan and is performed each year on All Saints' Day.

There are a few traditional sweets that the Spanish eat on All Saints' Day. The most common is Huesos de Santo (literally 'saint's bones'), which is made of marzipan and 'dulce de yema'. Another is 'buñuelos de viento'.


Buñuelos de Viento (Wind Puffs)No one knows exactly when these sweetened dough fritters, which are usually filled with cream, chocolate, pudding and anything else, began to be elaborated. But given that the Royal chef of Spanish king Felipe II made some references to this pastry in some of his recipes towards the beginning of the XVII century, has raised them to be one of the traditional culinary desserts to celebrate Dia de Todos los Santos, as tradition states that when you eat a buñuelo, a soul is released from purgatory.

Huesos de Santo (Saints' Bones)These oddly named sweets, which are made of marzipan dough rolled into thick thumb-size tubes, do not actually resemble a bone in shape, so do not fret over its unappealing name. Its name derives from the final coloring it acquires after its baked in a syrup covering: a bone-like beige hue. Huesos de Santo were also traditionally filled with a sweet egg yolk concoction, but nowadays are elaborated with all types of filling (from chocolate to coconut shavings to marmalade, banana, etc) to being sold in an assortment of colors that hint away at its flavor.


A Few Points to Keep in Mind  ( Use this as a check list)

ü      Use connectors to link your ideas logically and correctly. ( see list below )
ü      Use the appropriate style. Avoid contractions (don't/isn't/ hasn't etc)  in formal style.
ü      Use a varied vocabulary.
ü      Pay attention to the punctuation and to capital letters.
ü      Pay attention to the grammar.( For example, check the verbs, singular and plural, 3rd person singular -s, count and non-count nouns etc. )
ü      Don’t forget to skip a line between the different paragraphs.           
ü      While writing a draft, underline words or expressions you are not sure about.
ü      Rewrite (if necessary) and this time check with your dictionary.
ü      Count the words to see that you have not written less than you have to. Don't write more than you have to.
ü      Write legibly.
ü      NEVER hand in work without re-reading it carefully TWICE!!! (if you have time)


Look at this video. Can you make a jack-o-lantern?. If you can't, don't worry, here you can find out how to do it.

sábado, 29 de octubre de 2011



clockChanging the clocks
In the UK, we all change our clocks and watches by one hour, twice a year.

Last Sunday in March
We add an hour and go onto what is called British Summer Time (BST).
Last Sunday in October
We put our clocks back one hour and adhere to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
clockWhen do the clocks change in the UK?
         2011: the Sundays of 27 March and 30 October
         2012: the Sundays of 25 March and 28 October

clock What time do the clocks change?
The clocks are always changed at 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST).

In the Autumn (October), as we are on BST (British Summer Time) before the clocks change, we change the clocks at 02:00.
In the Spring (March) we are already on GMT so change the clocks at 01:00
clock When is the UK on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)?
November to the end of March
At 2 am (01:00) GMT on the last Sunday in October, clocks move back by one hour for the end of British Summer Time. (We move our clocks back one hour from 2am to 1am)
clock When is the UK on British Summer Time (BST)?
April to the end of October
At 1 am (01:00) GMT on the last Sunday in March we move our clocks forward by one hour for the start of British Summer Time.
Summer time is from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October.
clockWhy do we change our clocks?
We've been changing our clocks forwards and backwards in the UK since 1916. It's all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a man called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent (near our school).
William Willett first proposed the idea of British Summer Time in 1907 in a pamphlet entitled 'The Waste of Daylight'. Willett had noticed that the summer mornings light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward. After campaigning for years the British Government finally adopted the system a year after Willett's death.
clockWhen do other countries change their clocks?
European Union - Most countries change their clocks on the last Sundays of March and October.
North America and most of Canada on the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.
EgyptNamibia and Tunisia are the only African countries who observe daylight saving.
New Zealand and parts of Australia are the only countries in Oceania that currently put their clocks forwards and backwards.

viernes, 28 de octubre de 2011


This famous sculpture celebrates 125th anniversary since it was a French gift for Americans in 1886. Besides, to commemorate this event, 125 immigrants from many different countries have become American citizens in honor to the statue's symbol of hope.

If you are more interested of its story, click STATUE OF LIBERTY

domingo, 23 de octubre de 2011


Lady Jane Grey was the first Queen of Britain, but her reign was the shortest in British history and maybe the shortest in the whole world. She was a Queen during nine days and after that period she was executed in the Tower of London by her cousin Queen Mary. She was beheaded on the 12 of February of 1554.
We don't know for sure if the above picture is  her real portrait, but she is shown with a book and historians tell that she was a a learned person, the most learned of the women of her time, they say.



Creedence Clearwater Revival (sometimes shortened to Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums.
The group consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed country rock and swamp rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they positioned themselves as Southern rock stylists, singing about bayous, theMississippi Rivercatfish, and other popular elements of Southern iconography.
Creedence Clearwater Revival's music is still a staple of American and worldwide radio airplay and often figures in various media. The band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone. Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. They were ranked at 82 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest artists of all time.

viernes, 21 de octubre de 2011


English language pronunciation practice with minimal pairs - simply mouse over to hear

martes, 11 de octubre de 2011


"Over the Rainbow" (often referred to as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") is a classicAcademy Award-winning ballad song with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.[1] It was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz, and was sung by Judy Garland in the movie.[1] Over time it would become Garland's signature song.

The song is number one of the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The American Film Institute also ranked "Over the Rainbow" the greatest movie song of all time on the list of "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs".

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's album Facing Future, released in 1993, included a ukulele medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World". The song reached #12 on Billboard'Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).
This version is used in several commercialsfilms and television programs including Finding ForresterMeet Joe Black50 First DatesSnakes on a PlaneSouth PacificCold CaseER,Life on Mars and Horizon. In the USA, the song was certified Platinum for 1,000,000 downloads sold. In Switzerland, the song received Platinum, too, for 30,000 copies sold.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby ii ii iii
Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me ee ee eeh
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops thats where you'll find me oh
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,why, oh why can't I? i iiii

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying, I...I love you
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more
Than we'll know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world (w)oohoorld

Someday I'll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me
Oh, Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?
I hiii ?

domingo, 9 de octubre de 2011


Watch the video from National geographic about Christopher Columbus.This video is here to remember the long and difficult journey that Columbus made from Spain to America (although he died without believing that he had discovered a new land).
As you already know we celebrate  this journey on 12 October.Follow the link if you want to learn more: BBC famous people:his life.


Spain's National Day (Día de la Hispanidad) is celebrated on 12 October. With the advent of democracy in Spain, 12 October, a date that commemorates the discovery of America by Cristobal Colon in 1492, became the National Day of Spain.

Spain’s National Holiday, known as Hispanic Day or Fiesta Nacional de España or Dia de la Hispanidad, is celebrated every October 12. This national holiday commemorates the day Christopher Columbus first set foot on America. It is thus related to the Columbus Day celebrations held on the same day and for the same purpose across the Americas.

During National Day, there is a parade led by the military (usually held in Madrid) presided by the Spanish King. The Presidente del Gobierno has a special role in the ceremony, only second to that of the King. Then a wide array of authorities, from foreign diplomats deployed in Spain to members of the autonomous governments, are invited to attend the parade and aerobatics performed by the Spanish Armed Forces, typically by the Patrulla Aguila. In the Autonomous Community of Aragon, this date also honors Our Lady of the Pilar, their patroness. It is also observed by the Civil Guard.

jueves, 6 de octubre de 2011


Columbus Day 2011 falls on the second Monday in October, this year 10th october — as it does each year. This day is remembered in the U.S.A to pay tribute to the 1st journey to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus.

In the past schools have taught that Christopher Columbus found America. Looking at this from better hindsight we see that all of the areas he found had people living in them already, meaning he didn't discover it for the first time. It can still be claimed as a discovery but solely from a Europe standpoint — not a native one.

Columbus Day 2011 can find its origin from the initial 'celebration' in 1792. At the very least this is the earliest recorded remembrance of Christopher Columbus's grand unveiling of America. It was 300 years after the 'New World' was found that the Colombian Order prepared a service in New York City to pay credit to Christopher Columbus marking his 'first landing'. In New York 1866 on October 12th the Italian residents planned the initial observance of the finding of 'America' as a whole. Then, in San Francisco 1869 Italian residents also honored October twelfth. In 1892 President Benjamin Harrison, 400 years after Columbus' first journey, gave a public statement in memory of the 'New World' being discovered. It was 1905 when the initial State Colorado respected an official 'Columbus Day'. From 1920 Columbus Day was observed each year. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 declared all October twelfths as 'Columbus Day' but it was proclaimed by Congress as a national holiday on each 2nd Monday in 1971. That's why we have Columbus Day 2011!


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