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October 30, 2009

Halloween needn't be a nightmare!

Happy Halloween to you all!

I suggest you read this article from The Guardian about how to get through Halloween celebration! An interesting encounter between American and British culture.

By Tim Dowling.

October 27, 2009

The Freegan Phenomenon

One man's trash is another man's treasure. This proverb goes well with the Freegan Phenomenon. Watch this video from Ophra's TV Show in which Freegans take Lisa Ling along on a search in the trash for food.

So what are freegans? Can you tell?

For extra listening, download the following podcast!

October 23, 2009

A report

For Monday we have to write a report about Accessibility in Spain and specifically in Madrid.
How well prepared is our environment to provide for people with disabilities? Do you think something should change? Can you imagine your life in a wheelchair? How about crossing a pedestrian area without your eyes shut? Is our city prepared for all types of citizens?

Remember, an effective report is one that is read; and that stimulates some sort of an action as a result of being read.
Use subtitles to separate sections and short paragraphs.

October 21, 2009

"It never rains but it pours."

After the downpour of yesterday night in Madrid, I thought of this proverb. It means that misfortunes do not just happen a few at a time, but in large numbers all at once. For example:
Fred: I can't believe it. This morning I had a flat tire. When I went to the garage to get the tire patched, I discovered I didn't have any money, and I couldn't even charge it because my credit card's expired.Jane: It never rains but it pours.

This proverb implies a pessimistic view of things. Do you agree with it? Has it ever happened to you something similar? Or would you rather think in a more positive way? Do you know a positive proverb opposing the one for today? ;)

October 18, 2009

Being different!

This week we are going to talk about disabled people. We already did a listening on how accessible San Francisco is for disabled people. Now you can listen to a series of podcasts from the BBC on this subject.

Geoff Admas- Spink travels to three continents to meet a number of disabled people.
He finds out what motivates and frustates other disabled people in their daily lives and compares their experiences with his own.

Mads on the enlightened provision for those with disabilities in Denmark
Muhannad and Ghada Alazzeh talk about being visually impaired

October 16, 2009

Proverb of the day!

Each day we will start the class with a different proverb. The one for today is "Actions speak louder than words", which means that what a person actually does is more important than what they say will do.

I quite agree with this statement. Just by words, we can draw up wonderful plans, but these plans will lead us to nothing if we don't have necessary actions.

What do you think? Do you agree?

October 15, 2009

The Uneducated American

Paul Krugman was the Economics Nobel Prize winner in 2008. He is a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

We read "The Uneducated American" in class and here you have access to the comments readers made online. Feel free to participate yourself!

If you are interested in economics, you can listen to an interview with him.
And here you can find the article published in Spanish by ELPAIS.

October 12, 2009


Throughout the year we will be having class the following Fridays:
- Oct 16th
- Nov 13th
- Dec 11th
- Jan 15th
- Feb 5th
- March 5th
- Apr 9th
- May 14th

Christmas holiday goes from Dec 23rd to Jan 7th.
Spring break from March 26 to Apr 5th (included).

October 09, 2009


Coursebook: Premium C1 Level. Coursebook. Pearson. Longman. 2009


§ Foley, Mark and Hall, Diane (2003). Advanced Learner’s Grammar. A self-study Reference and Practice book with answers. England: Longman.

§ Hewings, Martin. (2005) Advanced Grammar in Use. Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

§ Vince, Michael with Sunderland, Peter. (2003) Advanced Language Practice with key. English Grammar and Vocabulary. Oxford: McMillan.

§ West, Clare. (2002) Recycling Advanced English. Georgian Press.

§ Richard Side and Guy Wellman. Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency: With Key (Grammar & Vocabulary). Longman.


  • English collocations in Use. Advanced. Felicity O’Dell and Michael McCarthy. Cambridge University Press. 2008
  • English Vocabulary in Use. Advanced. Cambridge University Press. Michael McCarthy and Filicity O’Dell. 2002
  • English Idioms in Use. Michael McCarthy and Felicity O’Dell. Cambridge University Press. 2002

October 07, 2009

New Blog!

This is the blog where all things related to the Book Club will be posted. Feel free to participate and contribute to the discussions!

October 02, 2009

Book Club

This year Cristina Sánchez and me are going to continue with the Book Club meetings. For those people interested, we are first going to meet in November. I'm leaving here a list of suggested readers.The first day I see you in class (Oct 8th), we'll decide on which books we want to read.


- Terrorist , by John Updike

- The Kite Runner, or A Thousand Splendid Suns (Podcasts) by Khaled Hosseini

- The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi

- The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight by Mark Haddon. Get audio!

- Things fall apart, Chinua Achebe (Podcast, Interwiew with the Nigerian writer)

- Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates (Movie Trailer)

- Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee, 1999 Booker Prize Winner (Literary Review)

- The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz