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June 25, 2013

NI2 speaking exam

Dear NI2 students, 

Your oral exam will take place on September 9th starting at 16h, days before the written exam. I'd like you to write down your name and the name of your partner together with the time you would like to attend in the comment section. You needn't write down your surname if you don't want to. 

Have a good day!

June 24, 2013

Economic vs Economical

From Mcmillan dictionary, here is some advice about the adjectives economic and economical. People often confuse economic and economical

Use economical to describe methods, products, machines etc that are not expensive or do not waste money or other resources:

✗ They want people to buy more economic cars.  
✓ They want people to buy more economical cars.  
✗ Email is an efficient and economic way of contacting a large number of people.  
✓ Email is an efficient and economical way of contacting a large number of people.
Use economic to describe things that are related to the economy of a country and how well it is performing:
✗ a long period of economical growth  
✓ a long period of economic growth  
✗ a serious economical crisis  
✓ a serious economic crisis
The related adverb for both adjectives is economically:
help for some of the country’s most economically depressed communities.
The average domestic heating system could be run much more economically.

June 22, 2013

The death of the Landline

A phone with a fixed line, called a landline, might seem like a thing of the past.
The popularity of mobile phones these days appears to be killing off the home phone, with four in five phone numbers being mobile phone numbers. But how has this changed the way we live and the atmosphere in our offices? 

Rob and Feifei discuss if this really is the death of the landline, and we learn some language related to telephone calls.

This week's question:
How many landlines do you think there are, for every thousand people?

a) 2.9
b) 29
c) 290

Listen to this six-minute English programme to find out the answer.

June 21, 2013



This post is for people who want to use the verb "recommend". You should mind its pattern. How do you make sentences with it? Check these examples:
  1. recommend (that):
    I recommend that you buy a more powerful computer.
    strongly recommend:
    We strongly recommend you insure your luggage when you travel.
    recommend doing something:
    We recommend booking early, as this is a popular event. 

    The city has much/little to recommend it (= it has many/few pleasant qualities).

September Exams

Dear all,

There have been some changes in your exam dates for September:


  • Reading, Listening, Writing -> Sept 2nd from 18h to 20:50h (Room 7)
  • Speaking -> Sept 5th (Room 7)
  • Exam results -> Sept 13th at 14h 
  • Exam check -> Sept 16th at 15h


June 19, 2013

NI2 Grades

Dear NI2 students,

Your grades are now ready on the school webpage. To see your personal marks, introduce your ID number and your date of birth.

Those who wish to check their exams may do so from 17h to 18h on Monday 24th. 

Have a good day!

June 15, 2013


At the Macmillan Dictionary, this week’s language tip is about countable and uncountable proof.

When proof means ‘information that proves something’, it is almost always an uncountable noun, and so:
       ▪  it rarely comes after a or a number
       ▪  it is rarely used in the plural

✗ The fact that science never stops developing is a proof that man never stops using his imagination.
✓ The fact that science never stops developing is proof that man never stops using his imagination.
✗ There are no proofs that homosexual couples are not able to bring up healthy, stable children.
✓ There is no proof that homosexual couples are not able to bring up healthy, stable children.


The countable noun proof (usually found in the plural) is a technical word for a copy of a book or article which has to be checked before being printed:
The corrected proofs have been delivered to the printer.

June 14, 2013

31 things you can do to improve your life in 31 days

This is a presentation made by Nicole Elmore. She is a marketing strategist and founder. 

How did you come up with the idea for this presentation? 
The idea for the presentation started developing when I was thinking about the things I have done in my life, and how many people get in the routine of doing the same thing day in and day out — get up, get ready, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to sleep, wake up the next morning and do it all over again. So I was trying to think of a topic to inspire people to try out some new things, challenge themselves in a new task, start a new activity in their life. 

June 13, 2013

June 11, 2013

Cultural Misunderstandings

I just wanted to add a bit of humour while getting ready for the exam today! Can you see how important pronunciation is?


June 10, 2013

NI1 Grades

Dear NI1 students,

As arranged, you can see your grades on this school link. You have to introduce your ID number and your date of birth.

Remember that those who wish, may check their exams in the clasroom on Monday 24th at 16h.

Have a good day!

June 09, 2013


Dear NI2 students,
This is a listening exercise that you can do from Hot English Magazine. Listen to the dialogue first and try to answer the questions. Then complete the text with the missing words.

June 08, 2013

Learning in the womb

What do babies learn before they are born? New tests have taken place to understand how unborn babies - called foetuses - learn language. It has been discovered that when babies are born they can already recognise familiar sounds and language patterns.

Rob and Finn discuss this research in 6 Minute English. They also talk about how babies develop an accent at a very young age.

This week's question:
According to a survey by the National Literacy Trust, which one of these words was discovered to be the most common first word for a baby to say - not including Mummy or Daddy?
        a) dog
        b) eat
        c) bus
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

June 06, 2013

The cronut - the US pastry sensation that must cross the Atlantic

These blends between croissants and doughnuts are all the rage in New York, but have yet to make it to the UK. So can you replicate them in your own kitchen?

Cook Edd Kimber's version of the Cronut with this recipe

What do you get when you cross a croissant with a doughnut? Introducing: the Cronut, currently the most sought-after snack on earth. Cronuts have had a rapid rise to fame. New York bakery Dominique Ansel sold its first batch of the portmanteau pastries on 10 May. Within days, pictures of the Cronut had Harlem Shaked their way across the internet, and lines began forming outside the bakery at 6am. Dominique Ansel currently makes just 200 of its trademarked $5 Cronuts a day. Celebrity fans include Hugh Jackman and CNN's Anderson Cooper, and, according to Time magazine, a Cronut black-market has sprung up with pastries selling on Craigslist for around $40. Imitation "doissants" have also gone on sale in the US and Australia.

June 01, 2013

The Great Gatsby

Dear all, 

This is the story of The Great Gatsby, a film based on the novel with the same name by Soctt Fitzgerald published in 1925. 

The story takes place a little bit before 1929. For more information on that crisis visit 'Informe semanal' - Aquel jueves negro de 1929. Doesn't it remind you of what we are experiencing these days?