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May 26, 2010

Traveling Down The Amazon Road

Listen to the following program about the Amazon. A transcontinental highway under construction in Peru and Brazil is bringing the prospects of economic opportunity and environmental ruin to some of the most remote places on the planet.

May 21, 2010


Find the key to the last homework assignment I gave.
Key to exercises:
- Talking about cause and effect
- Houses, flats and rooms
- Health and the body
- The Ultimate Transplant
I think there's nothing else missing, right?

Mac and Cheese

Listen to journalist Joseph C. Phillips talking abouth a black American typical dish, mac and cheese (from
Complete these sentences by filling in the gaps 1-5 with a word or short phrase according to what you hear:
  • Joseph C. Phillips
- feels his children are missing some of the gastronomic PLEASURES
- likes his macaroni in a creamy cheddar cheese______________(1)
- says the dish is so simpe the name tells its ____________(2)

  • At one dinner party, the guests put some food into the _________________ (3)
  • According to Joseph, "to put their foot in it" talks about a good dish made with effort and the cook's __________________ (4)
  • Joseph knows a mother and a daughter involved in a long mac and cheese _________________ (5)

May 20, 2010

Brother, Ms Dynamite

By Ms Dynamite

Listen to this confesional type of song by a great R&B and hip hop artist from Uk. The phonetic symbols will help you fill in the blanks of the lyrics.

Going Green

In this video we saw in class, we learn about the extinction of gorillas in the Republic of Congo. Why are gorillas in the verge of extinction? What measures can be taken?

May 16, 2010

Better Speaking

In case someone missed the programs on Better Speaking, click here. You might as well listen to this series again, it'll help you to improve your speaking.
Better Speaking is all about how you can become a fluent, confident speaker of English. In the programmes we hear from learners of English from around the world and also from someone who specialises in teaching speaking, trainer Richard Hallows.

Guidelines for a successful Oral Exam

My colleague Gabriel and me thought of a few strategies you may follow when taking the Speaking exam.
Hope they help you to be successful!

May 14, 2010


My colleague Gabriel and me thought of a few strategies you may follow when taking the Speaking exam. Hope you find them useful!

-->1. Make few mistakes

Make even fewer “important” mistakes, e.g. - Mens are - The people is -News are -The bigger (superlative)

Mind the concordance in number between Subject and verb.

When talking about the past, don’t forget to mark verbs with the right sound ending.

Make sure all verbal phrases have the proper “SUBJECT”, e.g. is probable that

Make a cohesive speech using signposting.

Use links to make complex sentences
Result, - Reason, - Concession, - Conditional, etc

Make sure that your speech is rounded up, e.g. signal the beginning and the end:
I will first speak about…


Let me start by giving a few …

Signal the end so everybody knows the exercise is over.
And Finally,
In a nutshell, To conclude, So that’s it./ That’s about it.

Breaking the ice: Lately I’ve been hearing about changes in the levels at Language Schools. Have you heard about it? (Dialogues analyzing things) Later you can start asking others.

Take into account the following strategies:
Turn-taking for dialogues. If somebody is quiet and doesn’t speak much, invite him/her to talk: You are very quiet what do you about this? (What would you do? / Do you like the idea?

Make Suggestions using the right language, How about…? Why don’t we hire a ground floor bar?

Remember to accompany people with some expressions on your face and with little comments: Oh, I see!/ Yes. I understand/ Oh yes! I love that!/ That’s annoying/ Sure /Oh well…

Mind that the language in the dialogue must sound more familiar.

Keep a steady rhythm.

Sound assertive when talking about any topic, feel it real. Your voice will vary if you do that!

Deal with ALL the points in your topic.

Teachers cannot talk to you. They take notes to be able to share them and agree on a final mark for your exercise. So they need to concentrate a lot and take notes. Their notes are also about the good things in your exercise, not only about your mistakes.

May 12, 2010

New British Prime Minister, D. Cameron

(CNN) -- Within hours of his appointment, Britain's new prime minister, David Cameron, immediately began forming his coalition government overnight, appointing several Liberal Democrat leaders to Cabinet posts along with members of his own Conservative Party.

Listen to Cameron's acceptance speech and answer, what is he planning to reform? Who is he going to support? What is a "hung parlament"? What is his attitude towards British citizens?

May 11, 2010

A woman's worth, Alicia Keys

Listen to a live performance of the song we listened to in class yesterday. Which version do you like best? Lyrics are in the "comentario"

Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants

How do you approach the use of new technologies? What are you? A digital native or a digital immigrant? According to professor Marc Prensky "Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives" (2001a, 2001b):

Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to "serious" work."

In contrast, those not born in the digital world reveal their non-native status through a "Digital Immigrant accent" that manifests itself in a number of ways—printing out a digital document to edit it rather than editing it online, for example (Prensky, 2001a, p. 4).

May 06, 2010

How an Oil Spill spread into a National Crisis

Why don't you download the following report on the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its repercussions in Washington from the Npr?
It is a good overview on how the events unfolded.
Meanwhile the spill continues to bubble up from a deep sea well, more than two weeks after a drilling rig exploded.

Related NPR Stories


May 04, 2010

Senior Women Reluctant to Cross Digital Divide

Despite the fact that American women now outnumber men in cyberspace, a new poll shows women over the age of 65 are more reluctant to use the Internet than any other group. NPR's Margot Adler reports.
if you want to listen to this document again outside the classroom, questions are in the "comentario".

As we are talking about technology and addiction these days, go to the website Here you can take further tests, read about real-life cases of Internet addiction, listen to podcasts and watch videos.
Just a note on a few words that came up yesterday:
Wean sb off sth

Phrasal verb
(US also wean sb from sth). To make someone gradually stop using something that is bad for them:
It's difficult to wean an addict off cocaine once they're hooked.
The whole scheme is intended to wean people off welfare dependency.

Wane /wein/ v [I]
•to become weaker in strength or influence

By the late seventies the band's popularity was beginning to wane.

May 03, 2010


Find your classmate Carlos' answer to the essay proposal in the comentario:
More and more cinemas are going to close down because people today just sit at home and watch DVDs on their TV and computer.
If you wish to follow suit, post your compositions as well.