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October 19, 2014

Mobile mania


Today some very useful phrasals related to the pone from HotEnglish Magazine. Listen to the text by clicking here!


October 16, 2014

8 questions that help determine your life span

San Francisco Bay Area, Calif. Best Place for Eating Right. The "farm to table" movement began here. The region's bounty of produce and year-round growing season make eating healthy—and local—a natural.
Americans can now expect to live longer than ever, a new government report finds. That’s largely because death rates are declining for the leading causes of death, like heart disease, cancer and stroke.
How long will you live? These eight basic questions, calculated by two researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, are some of the most predictive of American life expectancy. “Those are the most important risk factors that we have solid evidence for,” Lyle Ungar, professor of computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania, tells TIME.

The one missing factor? “If you’re in a happy marriage, you will tend to live longer,” he says. “That’s perhaps as important as not smoking, which is to say: huge.” So feel free to give yourself a little bump if you’ve got a happy relationship.
Find out yours in the quiz below (and if you’re on your phone, turn your device sideways):

October 15, 2014

8 Ebola terms

Here are some terms terms in English related to Ebola and a video about it as well: 
  • Incubation period: The time between exposure to a virus and when symptoms start to present, which is two to 21 days in Ebola’s case.
  • Symptomatic: A patient becomes symptomatic when they present symptoms of Ebola, which include fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Contagious: People with strains of the Ebola virus in their blood are only contagious when they are presenting with symptoms (see above). The virus cannot be transmitted before a person is symptomatic, which means that people on the same airplane as Thomas Eric Duncan could not have caught the virus from him.
  • R0: Also called R-nought, it refers to the “estimated reproduction number for infectious diseases.” Put more simply, it’s a formula predicting how contagious a virus is. NPR has a handy graphic on their site showing that Ebola has an R0 of 2, meaning the likely number of people infected by one patient. Measles, by comparison, has an R0 of 18. It is relatively difficult, as we have shown, to spread Ebola.
  • Contact tracing: This involves the laborious process of tracking down anyone whom a patient may have exposed to Ebola. It requires trained public health officials who ask a series of questions about where the patient has been, and how many people he might have interacted with, either face to face or in a room or other contained setting. In West Africa, this is being done by local volunteers who are trained by public health experts.

Source: Time

October 12, 2014

"Heforshe" speech


This is a vindicative speech at the UN for gender equality. Emma Watson raises important issues, don't you think? Would you like to know more about the Heforshe campaign?

October 10, 2014

American Cities


As some of you couldn't find the reader by Gina D. B. Clemen Blackcat readers (Vicens Vives), I asked the editorial. They told me you could order it online on this link and then you'll have it sent to our homes in a couple of days.

How much did the Dutch pay for Manhattan Island in 1614? Where is the world's blue jeans headquarters? Who can you meet in the 'Malibu Colony', near Los Angeles?

New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans are America's most distinctive and exciting cities. Similar in some ways and yet completely different in others, they fascinate everyone who visits them. Open this book and find out why.

October 09, 2014

C1 level


As we commented in class, this is the petition for the Official Schools of Languages in Madrid to certify the C1 level.

Sign up clicking on this link:

October 08, 2014

Weird trivia


Why not practice some Reading? and listening at the same time?
Source: Hot English Magazine

October 06, 2014

NI1 Objectives


These are the objectives meant for students at the B1.1 level according to the 31/2007 Decree of 14th June for the Community of Madrid. You may get an overwiew of what is expected from you at the end of the year.

1. Objetivos Generales

El Nivel Intermedio 1 tiene como referencia el nivel B1.1 del Marco común europeo de referencia para las lenguas. En este nivel el alumno se adiestrará en:
• Utilizar el idioma como medio de comunicación y de expresión personal, tanto en la clase, como en situaciones habituales y sobre temas conocidos.
• Comprender, interactuar y expresarse en esas situaciones, oralmente y por escrito, con alguna fluidez, de forma adecuada, sacando partido de un repertorio lingüístico sencillo, pero amplio.
• Incrementar el conocimiento de los aspectos socioculturales relacionados con las situaciones habituales, así como con los que se refieran al propio ámbito y utilizar las fórmulas sociales, registro y tratamiento apropiados en esas situaciones.
• Interiorizar los recursos lingüísticos adecuados y necesarios para las actividades comunicativas previstas, a través de la práctica funcional y formal.
• Fomentar y diversificar el uso de las estrategias que agilicen la comunicación y el aprendizaje.

October 05, 2014

Kerry James Marshall


Have you visited Kerry James Marshall's exhibition on the Retiro Park (Velázquez Palace). Have a look at some info and we'll comment on it in class.

Kerry James Marshall (1955) is an artist born in Birmingham, Alabama. He now lives in Chicago where he taught at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a 1978 graduate of Otis College of Art and Design. Marshall is known for large-scale paintings, sculptures, and other objects that take African-American life and history as their subject matter. His work often deals with the effects of the Civil Rights movement on domestic life, in addition to working with elements of popular culture.


You may want to listen to his speech at Reina Sofía Museum last summer.

September 30, 2014

Welcome to this new course!

Dear all,

I'd like to welcome you to the 2014-2015 course. This year we are going to learn English at the B1.1 level. I hope we can create a wonderfully rich learning community with the experiences of every student in class.

Our coursebook will be: New English File Intermediate (Third Edition) from Oxford University Press.
There is also the Workbook with the key that will give you extra practice. The book's web page brings plenty of activities for you to explore.

This blog is intended to help you keep learning English outside the classroom. There are frequent posts for you to develop different skills, but mainly the listening and reading ones. Feel free to comment on anything in the blog and try to formulate a personal opinion in English about the various topics on it. The links on the right side will let you keep learning English and are there for you to explore and often visit. There is also some important school information such as the calendar and school guidelines on the first block.

Finally I'd like to tell you that I'm afraid I won't be able to attend the 1st day of class on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd because my mum is going to be operated.
I'll be with you in class on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th though. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Have an awesome new school year full of inspiring learning experiences!
Ms Bermejo

September 29, 2014

Happiness quotes


How about 21 happiness quotes? Do you agree with them?
  • Which one is your favourite?
  • Which one you don't agree with? why?

September 25, 2014


This week’s language tip helps with the verb avoid: 

Avoid is never used with an infinitive. It is followed by a verb in the -ing form:

Avoid to use long quotations unless really necessary.
Avoid using long quotations unless really necessary.
✗ A survey has found that most smokers would avoid to eat out if smoking were banned.
✓ A survey has found that most smokers would avoid eating out if smoking were banned.

Macmillan language tips

September 20, 2014

Would you have founded this ugly sweater company?

Another Shark Tank program about Tipsy Elves, an entrepreneur duo reinventing the Christmas sweater. Would you have backed Tipsy Elves? 


September 17, 2014


This week’s language tip helps with using the patterns that follow the noun risk. The noun risk is not normally followed by an infinitive. Use the pattern the/a risk of doing something:
✗ Smokers themselves have a high risk to get cancer.
✓ Smokers themselves have a high risk of getting cancer.
✗ If you eat too much you run the risk to have serious health problems.
✓ If you eat too much you run the risk of having serious health problems.
Risk can also be followed by a simple prepositional phrase:
  • The risk of a major nuclear accident must be taken seriously.
  • The President runs the risk of assassination with every public appearance.
In certain circumstances, risk can be followed by an infinitive:
  • You may have to be self supporting for quite a while, which is a big risk to take.
  • Hoping that everything will go right is quite a risk to take with your oral health.
Source: Macmillan Language Tips

September 14, 2014

The deep web

the deep web also the dark web (noun)

A part of the Internet that cannot be accessed with conventional browsers or search tools, often used for illegal activity.

'The underbelly of the Internet, known as the deep web, is 500 times the size of what we call the surface web – that which can be searched and indexed by the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Bing.'  
SC Magazine UK 18th July 2014 
'A senior RAF airman who served in Afghanistan has been jailed for making … weapons and then selling them on the dark web.'  
The Telegraph UK 2nd July 2014
It seems that the Internet is a bit like the sea – there's the frothy bit on the surface that everyone sees and routinely uses in daily life, but below it lies a gigantic chasm with hidden depths, only explored and utilized by a handful of specialists. It's this virtual underworld which is now sometimes described as the deep web or the dark web, and it often has rather sinister associations.

The exact proportions of the deep web haven't been established, but it's likely to be many hundreds of times bigger than the surface web, and contain a massive repository of data that can't be located by a simple Google search.

As more and more people across the world access the Internet, they're in fact finding less and less of the data that's actually stored online. The web as we know it can be viewed with standard web browsers and search engines, but in the same way that just the tip of an iceberg can be seen by observers, these tools only allow us access to a mere fraction of the web in its entirety. Buried below the web we know and love, which is often correspondingly characterized as the surface web, lies the deep (or dark) web, also known as the hidden/invisible web, or the undernet.
Source: Macmillan Buzz word

September 11, 2014

Barabara Corcoran's Shark Tank

Shark Tank is a very popular tv show that came to Spanish television not long ago. Have a listen to their business proposal, and try to answer these questons:
- what's the name of their company?
- how much are they asking?
- how much have they made so far?
- would that business idea be successful in Spain?

September 10, 2014

An online English course

I am posting a link for you to join a MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) course, which is a free online course. This is for the B1 level of English by the British Council. You can even get a diploma. This is one example of the courses of the future.
Even though the course has already started, you can register online today and start doing all the  activities

Exploring English: Language and Culture

This course for learners of English looks at British culture and examines English in use to help you improve your language skills.