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March 25, 2010

Hungry House Pitch

This is the video about Hungry House, the online takeaway business we watched in class. If you want to see the second part, go to Part 2, and yes, they got some funding!!
BTW, this is their web page:
For more info on the aftermath of the project, click here!

March 24, 2010

Setting up a business

Following the Dragons' Den program, today in class we will talk about "Setting up a business" in groups of 4. You will have to:

• Decide what kind of business you want to set up: manufacturing a product, or offering a service such as in education, tourism, beauty
• Set out your goals
• Put together a comprehensive business plan
• Define your market
• Work out how to get financial backing
• Write down the questions to ask your potential financial backer
• Decide how much to charge for your product or service
• Design your name and logo

Finally, we will plan a short joint presentation to give an overview of your business plan, working out who will say what.
We will be voting for the best idea, as well as for the best presentation.

March 23, 2010

Hogarth's Gin Lane and Beer Street

Compare the two engravings! What's the difference? Carlos will talk about the 18th century painter William Hogarth in class (March 24) .

March 22, 2010

Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den is a venture capitalist television programme that originated in Japan where the format is owned by Sony and partially Microsoft and Taimoor. The format, which is now broadcast internationally, consists of entrepreneurs pitching their ideas in order to secure investment finance from business experts—the "Dragons". Dragon's Den first transmitted on BBC Two in January 2005 and aired its seventh series in the summer of 2009.

Entrepreneurs pitch for investment in the Den from our Dragons, five venture capitalists willing to invest their own money in exchange for equity. Since series five, the five Dragons have been Duncan Bannatyne, James Caan, Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis.

March 17, 2010

A cover letter

Today March 22nd, we will talk about formal letters, precisely about Cover letters. As homework assignment, we will write a cover letter for the position we choose in one of these newspapers links!
Good luck!

The Guardian

The New York Times


Today we'll be discussing about "helicopter parents". Do you know what that is? Do you know any helicopter parent? What's your opinion about it?
Find questions on the text here!

The Independent: Can you hear that low whirr above our school playgrounds? Can you smell the tang of fuel permeating our university campuses? They are the after-effects of Britain's helicopter parents, who hover over their kids, ready to swoop when any risk or stress or spontaneity strikes.

March 16, 2010

Office crime

I believe it's a great idea to analyze the way native speakers carry out the task we did in class yesterday. How do they speak about the different crimes committed in the office?

VOCABULARY from written text:
noun./ˈhʊt.spə/ n [U] approving unusual and shocking behaviour, involving taking risks but not feeling guilty. Syn.: Audacity, insolence
noun . [U] the crime of stealing farm animals
noun /ˈhaɪ.dʒæk/ n [C or U] (also hijacking)
when someone uses force to take control of an aircraft or other vehicle. The hijack ended with the release of all the plane's passengers unharmed.

March 14, 2010

Oscar Triumph for "Hurt Locker"

Listen to the Report on the Oscars Awards we did on Thursday 11th again.

Report, 8 March 2010
The prize for best film at this year's Oscars, has been won by a film about American troops in Iraq, The Hurt Locker. Its main rival, the multi-billion dollar blockbuster, Avatar, didn't pick up any of the major awards.

March 11, 2010

In Milliseconds, Brain Zips From Thought To Speech

Here you can listen again to the task we did in class today, questions below. Thanks again, Gabriel!

--> -->
Mark whether these sentences are true or false .
1. Dr. Ned Sahin has had two Dr. Broca’s patients.
2. The brain area in which these patients had suffered damage was named after the French doctor.
3. Dr. Sahin and some researchers revealed the inner working of that area as an aftermath of an epilepsy surgery.
4. Dr. Sahin has found evidence that it takes shorter to process a word grammatically than actually to utter it.
5. Dr. Nina Donkers says that Sahin’s study shows the brain area in question can perform various activities simultaneously.
6. It’s believed that somehow human beings process speech in the same area as music.

March 10, 2010

Dinner for one

This a slapstick type of comedy that has become a cult film in Germany and other countries. It is played on television for New Year's Eve every year. The sketch presents the 90th birthday of elderly upper-class Englishwoman Miss Sophie, who hosts a dinner every year for her close friends Mr Pommeroy, Mr Winterbottom, Sir Toby, and Admiral von Schneider to celebrate the occasion.
Thanks to my colleague Gabriel!

March 09, 2010

The Oscars' Awards

Hey! What do you think of the Oscars' Awards ceremony? Which language do actors use in their acceptance speeches? Do you agree with the awards given? Can you spot these words in the video? Trailblazer: one that blazes a trail to guide others, pioneer, pathfinder and To forgo: to give up the enjoyment or advantage of : do without

March 08, 2010

Progress Check 1

Find the key to Progress Check, Units 1-5, p. 57-58 here.

Key to exercises on Grammar and Vocabulary on p. 56.

March 07, 2010

Usulful podcasts

I believe it's a great idea to listen to some of the podcasts in Splendid Speaking site. You can polish the way you present your ideas and boost your speaking skills in general by concentrating on for instance:


After our marathonian evening on Friday 5th, I think we need to consider one important aspect when giving short monologues, and that's signposting.

Signposting comes from signs posted on street corners, which tell travelers where they are and where they are going. In presentations, Signposting is informing the listener as to what things are going to be talked to about, and when sections have been completed and new sections are opened. 
 I suggest you listen to this audio by Sylvia, a Romanian English learner, and learn how to signpost short talks.

Another useful podcast is this one. Vana, a German student, speaks about a teacher who influenced him a lot.

Useful language shows the listener, for instance, how you'll organize your speech:
  • I've divided my topic into three sections/parts, they are....
  • This presentation can be divided into the following subtopics, ...
  • The first point is... First, / First of all... The next point is ...
  • Second,/ Secondly... Next, we come to... Third, / Thrirdly
Show your listeners that you're about to finish both by using entonation and the right language as well:
  • Finally, Last The final point is ...
For extra signposting language, click here!