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May 31, 2014

A third of us are fat

No country on earth has reduced obesity rates in more than three decades
+ READ ARTICLE  from TIME Magazine
Almost 30 percent of the earth’s population is obese or overweight, a new study reports, estimating that this affects about 2.1 billion people.
Obesity rates have increased in countries all over the world, but it’s not an evenly distributed health problem, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reported on Wednesday.

May 30, 2014

The environment


My colleague Michel has published a nice revision handout on the environment which I believe is worth having a look at:

Have you ever lost your mobile?

When was the last time you lost something? What was it? Have you ever lost anything and then made an insurance claim? What was it for? The insurance company recently published a list of the most unusual excuses for lost mobile phones. We're looking at a few of them.

Source: Hot English Magazine

May 29, 2014


Your classmate Pilar suggested this website.
Europe by numbers is fantastic, but, in my opinion, the best statistics webpage about the world is:

Maya Angelou, writer, dies at 86

Maya Angelou's most i mportant book was “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1969 — a lyrical, unsparing account of her childhood in the Jim Crow South — it was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership. Let's listen to her "Still I rise" poem.  

Still I Rise  by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

May 28, 2014

Restoring furniture & direction to troubled teenagers

Out of the Dark is a company that restores and upcycles discarded furniture for leading designers and design fairs. The workforce is made up of troubled teenagers from the local community, who find direction and self-discipline, learn a trade and restore a sense of balance in their lives. What do you thinks about this innovative way of helping teenagers?

May 27, 2014

Exam Schedule

NI2 - June 2nd 
  • Introduction           15:45 to 16h
  • Reading                16h to 17:15
  • Listening               17:15 to 17:55 (40 minutes approx)
  • Break                    17:55 to 18:15 (20 minutes approx)
  • Writing                  18:15 to 19:30h (75 minutes)
  • Speaking -> June 11th and 12th 
  • Exam Results -> June 9 at 15:30h 
  • Final grades will be published on June 13th
  • Exam check ->    June 16 at 19h

May 25, 2014

Death of Selena Quintanilla-Perez

This is a video about rising Latino superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez who was shot dead by her fan club manager Yolanda Saldivar on 31 March 1995. She was 23. A biopic movie was made about her.

Source: BBC World Service, Witness

All good things come to an end


As the song says, all good things come to an end, classes are over now and exams will soon start. I wish you all the best!
Lyrics are in the comment.


May 23, 2014



This is the key to the last homework assignment from your coursebook:

p 94-95 READING
1 B                              2 D                        3 A                              4 H
5 G                              6 I                         7 F                               8 E
1 paragraph 3                         
2 paragraph 8
3 paragraph 3                         
4 paragraph 6
5 paragraph 1                           
6 paragraph 2
7 paragraph 4                           
8 paragraph 5

May 22, 2014

Young, British and sober

Empty bottles

Out with the alcohol - in with a clear head!

Britain's young people like to drink lots of alcohol… or do they? The view that 18-year-olds just go out to get drunk may be far from reality.
In this programme we hear about research by the BBC that found more and more young people are not drinking.

We find out some of the reasons behind the change, and explore vocabulary related to drinking alcohol - and giving it up.
This week's question:
How many units are there in a typical bottle of wine? Is it:
    a) 8
    b) 10
    c) 13

May 21, 2014

Grown up and living at home

A washing machine

Who's going to do your washing if you leave home?

The current economic situation means more young people are living at home for longer.
Many are unable to afford to buy or even rent their own place to live. But living at home can have its benefits – no bills to pay, no washing to do and food prepared for you – if your parents are generous!
Rob and Finn discuss the pros and cons of living at home and explain some related vocabulary.
This week's question:
What percentage of 20 to 34-year-olds were living at home with their parents in 2013, according to the UK's Office for National Statistics?
    a) 16%
    b) 26%
    c) 36%

May 20, 2014

Health and Medicine


This is a unit I created with a new program I've just learned. Click on this link and you'll have access to extra activities on health and medicine.

As the Reading is not visible in the document, have a look at it here, 5 tips for better work-life Balance.

NI2 Sample Exams


This is an old post that will help you review for the exam. These are some NI2 exam samples from different regions. Beware that the format may be different from the one in Madrid.
Hope it helps!


May 19, 2014

Immersion courses in Spain

Programa intensivo de inmersión lingüística en inglés en España:Resolución de 9 de mayo de 2014, de la Dirección General de Política Universitaria, por la que se convocan becas para la participación en un programa intensivo de inmersión lingüística en inglés en España, destinadas a estudiantes de Bachillerato, de Grado Medio de Formación Profesional, de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, de Enseñanzas Deportivas, de Enseñanzas Profesionales de Música y Danza y de Idiomas de nivel intermedio y avanzado.


Dear all, 

I'd like you to have a look at this language that you'll find useful when doing your oral expression tasks. 
Introducing the subject

  • I'd like to start by...
  • Let's begin by...
  • First of all, I'll...
  • Starting with...
  • I'll begin by...

Finishing one subject...

  • That's all I have to say about...
  • So much for...
  • That's it

...and starting another 
  • Now we'll move on to...   
  • Let me turn now to...   
  • Next...   
  • Turning to...   
  • I'd like now to discuss...   
  • Let's look now at... 

Pairs for the Oral Exam


This is grouping for the speaking exam in June:
I'll see you later.

May 13, 2014

What damage does it cost to ignore our body clock?

Body clocks rule our lives, determining everything from how we sleep and the way our brain works, to the likelihood of a us ever having a heart attack.

However, leading scientists are warning that as our lives become busier, we are increasingly ignoring it potentially causing serious consequences to our health.

As part of the BBC's Day of the Body Clock, James Gallagher reports on the dangers of not getting enough sleep.

And how about you? Can you answer these questions? Work with a partner if possible:

Do you sometimes have problems getting to sleep? What do you do?
Have you ever overslept and missed something important?
Are you a light sleeper or do you sleep like a log?
Have you ever been jet-lagged? Where were you going? How long did it take you to recover?
Do you take or have you taken sleeping pills?
Have you ever fallen asleep at an embarrasing moment, for example during a class?
Do you snore? have you ever shared a room with someone who snores? Was this a problem?

May 12, 2014

Money, money, money feat


This is a 34-minute penguin podcast about money. As it's a long one, you may want to download it in your pendrive and listen to it on the go.



This is the key to exercises on page 70 and 71 as well as the reading task about different trips on pages 78 and 79 from your coursebook.
Today we will start lesson on Health a Medicine.

Have a good one!

May 11, 2014

Second World War Memories

You may like to listen to 2nd World War stories from Penguin Books. Some vocabulary you may not know:

Air-raid: an attack by enemy aircraft, usually dropping bombings
air-raid shelter: a place to protect yourself from bombings
make do: manage to go by with whatever you have
allotment: orchard, small plot of land

May 06, 2014

Ways of saying "thank you"

Thanks and Thank you are the most usual ways of telling someone you are grateful for something they have said or done. Thank you is slightly more formal.
If you want to emphasize your gratitude, or be very polite, you can say Thanks a lot, Thanks very much, Thank you very much, or Thank you so much:
Thank you for your kind words.
‘You’re looking well.’ ‘Thanks.’
Thanks for dinner – it was great.
Thanks a lot for all your help.
Thanks very much for looking after the kids.

Thanks a bunch is an informal way of thanking someone, but is often used sarcastically, when telling someone that something they did was not helpful or kind. Both Thanks a lot and Thanks very much can also be used in this way:
You told Tony what I said?
Thanks a bunch!Thanks a lot for spoiling my evening.

Much obliged is a very formal way of thanking someone for something they have done for you:
I am
much obliged to you for your patience during the recent difficulties.

You’ve saved my life and I owe you one are informal ways of thanking someone who has helped you in a difficult situation. Cheers is another informal way of thanking someone, used in British English:
Thanks for the lift. You saved my life.
Thanks a million. I owe you one.
‘Here’s that book you wanted to borrow.’ ‘Oh,
You shouldn’t (have) is used when someone gives you a present:
Oh, Martin, what lovely flowers.
You shouldn’t have!

You’re too kind is a polite way of thanking someone that can sound insincere:
Thank you for saying that. You’re too kind.

I’d like to thank… is used when thanking people in a formal speech:
I’d like to thank everyone for coming along and supporting us today.

Many thanks is a formal way of saying thank you used in letters and emails:
Many thanks for the lovely present.

Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying thank you | Macmillan