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December 19, 2012

All I want for Christmas is You

Watching movies in English

As we commented, another good way of improving your English is watching your favourite movies in English. These are the cinemas in Original Version in Madrid:

Althought distributed all around the city of Madrid, most of them are located downtown, among traditional cinemas and inside shopping centers. 

Plaza España gathers most of the cinemas in OV. There you can go to: Princesa, Renoir Plaza de España, Renoir Princesa y Alphaville. 
Have fun!

December 17, 2012

Mini Sagas

As commented in class, a mini saga is a short story told in 50 words. With some discipline and creativity, you can say a lot in 50 words. Find an example from below:

Love at first sight

John was a regular in that train. Today seemed different, probably because of Sally who was in New York for work. They started the conversation casually but both became very close in less than thirty minutes. They exchanged phone numbers, of course. John promptly called a day later – “Wrong number!”

I'd like you to be inventive, ingenious and write down your minisagas in the comment section. Don't be shy!

December 13, 2012

Charles Dickens: A biography

Dear all,

December 12, 2012

Christmas Shopping

Now that Christmas is approaching why not watch a video about Christmas Shopping in London? 
Think about the following questions first: 
  • What do shops in Spain put in their windows? 
  • Have you heard of any British shops? 
  • Where do British Christmas traditions come from? 
Now watch Amandeep visit Fortnum & Mason...from the British Council. 
Don't forget to do the activities below the video in this link.

December 10, 2012

The Globe Theater


Why don't you have a take a virtual look at the Globe Theater by the River Themes in London?

This is a modern reconstruction of  Sharespeare's theater. The original one was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613.

Both of them have thatched roofs.

December 09, 2012


This is a new word that has just come into the English language:

babylag also baby-lag or baby lag

noun [uncountable]
A feeling of being very tired and sometimes confused because of the lack of sleep caused by looking after a very young bab.

babylagged (adjective)

'It's a feeling all new parents are more than familiar with. Not enough sleep at night leaves you feeling like a zombie during the day; caring for your baby and yourself while continuously craving nice, deep sleep. Now it's got a name; Baby Lag …'
PR Newswire 17th October 2012

'I'm 82% babylagged! Basically I'm bloody knackered with a teething 9 month daughter, lively toddler, stroppy teenager, travelling husband and part time job!
forum post, 17th September 2012

December 06, 2012

Crack a joke

Dear NI2 students,
What is the longest word in the English language?
"Smiles". Because there is a mile between its first and last letters!

What's the definition of a pessimist? A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.

We listened to some jokes on Wednesday, why don't you read some in these links and then crack a few ones in class on Monday? ;-)  
For some Scottish jokes, visit this web page. Why not some British jokes, as well?

A cobbled street in Hampstead

A cobbled street in Hampstead, London
Hampstead (/ˈhæmpstɪd/ or /-stɛd/), commonly known as Hampstead Village, is an affluent area of London, England, 4 miles (6.4 km) north-west of Charing Cross

It is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland. It has some of the most expensive housing in the London area. The village of Hampstead has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom.

As you already know, we can find there The Spaniards Inn, a historic pub built in 1585. 

The pub also has a great literary heritage. Not only has it been mentioned in Dickens's The Pickwick Papers and Bram Stoker's Dracula, but it can count among its previous frequenters the artist Joshua Reynolds and the poets Byron and Keats.


Dear NI2 students,

As for the doubt that came up in class, mind that "delay" may be countable or uncountable: 

noun /dɪˈleɪ/ [C or U


when you have to wait longer than expected for something to happen, or the time that you have to wait.
This situation needs to be tackled without delay.
Long delays are predicted on the motorway because of the accident.
Airline travelers are experiencing delays of up to three hours. 
There has been a delay in the book's publication.

December 04, 2012

The Great Exhibition of 1851

Dear NI1 students,

As we're reading about Victorian time in England, let's have a look at the exhibition that took place in 1851 in London. As you may already know, there is a painting of such exhibition and the opening ceremony by Queen Victoria at the Juan March Exhibition in C/Castelló, 77.

In 1851 Great Britain was arguably the leader of the  industrial revolution and feeling very secure in that ideal. The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London was conceived to symbolize this industrial, military and economic superiority of Great Britain.  Just representing the feats of Britain itself would have excluded many of the technological achievements pioneered by the British in its many colonies and protectorates, so it was decided to make the exhibit truly international with invitations being extended to almost all of the colonized world. The British also felt that it was important to show their achievements right alongside those of "less civilized" countries. 

December 01, 2012

Discover London

Dear NI1 students,

This is the web page where we need to find the information for filling in the blancks of "In and Around London": and
Is there any other place that you would like to visit after visiting this web page? 

As we talked about the House of Lords in class, have a look at it in this video: