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November 27, 2015

BBC 6 Minute English – 100 Women (listen & read)

100 Women 2015

The schoolgirl who changed 'sexist' music syllabus
25 November 2015 Last updated at 10:31 GMT
A UK student who lobbied to change the A-level music syllabus after spotting it featured no female composers has spoken to the BBC's 100 Women about her campaign.
Jessy McCabe, 17, says Edexcel, one of Britain's biggest exam boards, contacted her to apologise and pledged to change its course for next year.
"They gave me no clear reason why there was an omission of women," says Jessy, who is one of the BBC's 100 Women 2015.
"Yes - there were fewer female composers but it doesn't mean to say there weren't any," she tells the BBC's Joe Inwood.

November 26, 2015

Pilgrims in America

As today Thanksgiving is celebrated in the USA, let's go back to how it all started. The first Pilgrims in America were nearly defeated by the harsh conditions they faced when they arrived in New England.

November 25, 2015

Exploring English: Magna Carta

Improve your English language skills while exploring the Magna Carta - the 800-year-old "great charter" that shaped the world.

November 22, 2015



Feifei and Finn are going to present a programme – but before they begin, Feifei wants Finn to pass her the… thingy. What does she mean? Listen to the programme to find out.


Source: BBC Learning English, The English we speak

November 21, 2015

An Autumn Reverie by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Through all the weary, hot midsummer time,
My heart has struggled with its awful grief.
And I have waited for these autumn days,
Thinking the cooling winds would bring relief.
For I remembered how I loved them once,
When all my life was full of melody.
And I have looked and longed for their return,
Nor thought but they would seem the same, to me.

The fiery summer burned itself away,
And from the hills, the golden autumn time
Looks down and smiles. The fields are tinged with brown—
The birds are talking of another clime.
The forest trees are dyed in gorgeous hues,
And weary ones have sought an earthy tomb.
But still the pain tugs fiercely at my heart—
And still my life is wrapped in awful gloom.

The winds I thought would cool my fevered brow,
Are bleak, and dreary; and they bear no balm.
The sounds I thought would soothe my throbbing brain,
Are grating discords; and they can not calm
This inward tempest. Still it rages on.
My soul is tost upon a troubled sea,
I find no pleasure in the olden joys—
The autumn is not as it used to be.

I hear the children shouting at their play!
Their hearts are happy, and they know not pain.
To them the day brings sunlight, and no shade.
And yet I would not be a child again.
For surely as the night succeeds the day,
So surely will their mirth turn into tears.
And I would not return to happy hours,
If I must live again these weary years.

I would walk on, and leave it all behind:
will walk on; and when my feet grow sore,
The boatman waits—his sails are all unfurled—
He waits to row me to a fairer shore.
My tired limbs shall rest on beds of down,
My tears shall all be wiped by Jesus’ hand;
My soul shall know the peace it long hath sought --
A peace too wonderful to understand.

What does autumn mean for the writer?

November 20, 2015

Trends and graphs

Let's learn some new vocabulary on graphs and trends. Fill in the blanks by listening to this doc.
Source: Hot English Magazine

November 19, 2015

The teenage brain

How does a young person's brain affect what they do?
We look inside the teenage brain and find out what's going. Neil and Rob discuss how this important organ affects the way young people behave and there'll be some brain-related vocabulary to learn. 

This week's question

What part of the brain is connected with basic emotions? Is it the…
a) prefrontal cortex?
b) cerebral cortex?
c) limbic sytem?

Source: BBC 6 minute English

November 18, 2015

Opera for schools in Spain!

If you are a teacher interested in taking your students to the opera...

Opera for schools in Spain!  
The Nutcracker, La Traviata, Giselle and Frankenstein are coming to cinemas near your school.  If you want to sign your class up for a unique cinematic experience you can do so here.

Eponyms as nouns and verbs

Do you know what an eponym is? Find out by listening to this great podcast.

Source: BBC Radio, 6 Minute Vocabulary

November 16, 2015


Let's sing along this John Lennon's  beautiful song for only peace will defeat terrorism.

November 11, 2015

Socialising in English

Learn idiomatic expressions to socialise, listen to it as well.

Source: Hot English Magazine


November 08, 2015

Out of juice

Helen and Neil are in the studio when Helen's phone rings. But when she picks up there's no sound. What's gone wrong? Find out and learn a useful phrase in the programme "The English we speak"

After listening to the program, what does "out of juice" mean?

November 07, 2015

Here’s What Happens When You Put More Women in Government

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made headlines Wednesday when he announced that half of his Cabinet ministers are female, a decision he justified with the simple explanation that “it’s 2015.” The move won him international praise and more than a few swoons.
Canada isn’t the first country to take steps to increase women’s representation in government. The countries with the most female lawmakers have made major strides on issues such as education, labor force participation, and paid leave. Each of the countries below has either a parliament or a ministry that is at least 50% female, while women make up only 19% of the U.S. Congress and only four of Obama’s 15 cabinet members.
“We know that companies with more gender balanced leadership teams significantly outperform companies with only men at the helm,” says Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of Twenty first, a consulting company that focuses in building gender-balanced businesses. “Why wouldn’t this be even more true at a country level?” Here are a few examples of countries with lots of women in government who are outperforming the U.S. on various levels:


November 05, 2015


What are phrasal verbs? Which ones did you learn in this video? Where can you place the object in phrasals? What if it is a pronoun?

November 03, 2015

Who was Confucius?

Most people recognize his name and know that he is famous for having said something, but considering the long-lasting impact his teachings have had on the world, very few people know who Confucius really was, what he really said... and why.
Bryan W. Van Norden reveals the man behind the mystery. TED ed


1 Why did Confucius grow up in poverty?
2 What best describes the political situation in China during the life of Confucius?
3 What did Confucius think was the most important role of the ruler?
4 Why did Confucius resign his position as an official in his home state of Lu?
5 According to Confucius, how should a virtuous person avoid becoming frustrated or bitter in the face of adversity?
6 Describe Confucius's views on the importance of the family.
7 What advice would you have given to rulers during the era of Confucius?
8 People in Confucius's time disagreed about the value of studying literature and history. Is this similar to current debates over the value of an education in the humanities and liberal arts?