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December 31, 2015

Anger after flood-damaged homes in York

York residents express anger as they return to flood-damaged homes. Listen to this video from theguardian.com and try to answer what these people are complaining about:
  • Did they ever think this could happen?
  • How does the blonde lady feel about it?
  • Why wasn't the man at home?
  • Is he happy about the job of the firemen and army?
  • What's his complaint about politicians?


December 30, 2015

Today's headlines

US-UK forces in Afghanistan
Cancer not just 'bad luck'
Athletics boss steps down
LingoHack Transcript

December 29, 2015

Christmas kindness

For many children, Christmas is the most exciting time of the year when they look forward to all the presents Santa Claus will bring. But for families who struggle to buy food they can’t afford presents for Christmas day. Neil and Alice discuss how some charities are helping these families in need.

Source: 6 minute English

This week's question

In the famous classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, what does Ebenezer Scrooge buy the Cratchit family for Christmas dinner? Is it…

a) a goose?
b) a turkey?
c) a chicken?

You can hear the right answer at the end of the programme.
Takeaways:

December 28, 2015

I'm game

Are you game? What does this expression mean? Can you tell with your own words what "being game" means?
Neil is dying for a game of squash but Li is not game. Find out why...

The English we Speak 










Download MP3  

December 26, 2015

The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep

After all the Christmas exciting moments, you may want to read your child to sleep using this story. Mind you don't fall asleep ahead of them!

December 23, 2015

Bogliasco

by Robert Polito 
Listen to this poem at Soundcloud

Blogiasco

I’m always running ahead of my life,
The way when we walk you are always
 
Three, fifteen, forty steps behind
Taking a picture, or inspecting
 
A bottlebrush tree, a cornice, the sea
As it breaks white on the striated rock,
 
As though I can’t dare look, and
I’m always running away from myself
 
The way when we walk you are always
Asking me to slow down, and what will happen
 
When one of us dies, and, if it’s me first,
There’s no one’s back in our photos anymore.

December 21, 2015

Spain needs broad consensus to go forward after messy election result

Fractured parliament is as much an opportunity as a challenge. It all depends on the calibre of those elected

Spaniards wanted change, and at Sunday’s elections they got it. The two discredited parties that have run the country for three decades sank to historic lows while bright newcomers stormed their way into parliament. The upturned two-party system was tired and prone to cronyism, but it had one major advantage: much like Britain, it almost always produced stable governments. Sunday’s vote created an unprecedented mess, with the next government needing the support of up to five different parties.

The Guardian, Owen Jones on the campaign trail with Podemos


Happy festive season

December 19, 2015

Where Are We?

For today, a joke. Could you retell this joke below to someone? Take your time for it, practice, try to change voices.

Location of Louisiana in the US
A husband and wife were driving through Louisiana. When they were close to a town called Natchitoches, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town.
After a while of arguing, they decided to go to a local restaurant and have lunch. The husband could not wait to know the correct pronunciation, so he asked the blond waitress at the cash desk.
“Before we order, could you please pronounce where we are very slowly?”

“Burrrr-gerrrr Kiiing.”

Source: Jokes in levels Level 3 

December 18, 2015

Today's headlines

Today's Headlines:
A new solar superpower
A first for South Africa's navy
Historic hospital demolished

December 17, 2015

How to use acronyms

Do you know what an "acronym" is? I'm sure you already use a few. Tell us how many more you learnt after listening to this podcast.


December 15, 2015

Christmas in the UK

London Christmas Eye
Photo credit: waldopepper / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Source: Oxford Culture Mania

December 7, 2015 By Mark

December 14, 2015

World Approves historic Paris agreement to address climate change

Negotiators from nearly 200 countries reached an agreement Saturday on what they say signifies the most important international pact to address climate change since the issue first emerged as a political priority decades ago.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who headed up the United Nations conference, commonly known as COP 21, said the final deal successfully resolved points of contention that had taken negotiations into overtime and called the agreement “the best possible text.” “We have come to a defining moment on a long journey that dates back decades,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon before passage of the agreement. “The document with which you have just presented us is historic. It promises to set the world on a new path to a low emissions, climate-resilient future.”

Source: Time.com

December 13, 2015

December 12, 2015

Today's headlines

Listen to the headlines and learn some new vocabulary:
ceasefire: agreement to stop fighting
ringleader: leader of a criminal group
allegations: statements that haven't been confirmed.

Source:  BBC Learning English Lingohack

December 11, 2015

Pierre Bonnard

Hi,
I suggest visiting Pierre Bonnard's exhibition at Maphre Exhibition Hall on Recoletos. It would be nice to get an audioguide in English and practice some English as well.

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was a key figure in the birth of modern art and at the same time an artist whose profoundly individual work is difficult to categorise. A founder member of the Nabis, his output can be located between a type of symbolism and an overt enthusiasm for decoration and the splendour of colour. Influenced by Gauguin’s painting and by Japanese prints, Bonnard evolved a unique, dynamic and profoundly original style in which the everyday fuses with the dreamlike in a natural manner.



December 09, 2015

Man on the Moon

Watch the new John Lewis Christmas TV advert with The Man on The Moon.

This is the story of a young girl called Lily. Looking at the moon through her family telescope one night, she is amazed at what she finds, a man on the moon. Lily watches on as our man goes about his chores, all alone up there. She becomes determined to get something to the moon, to send him a message and show him that someone down here is thinking of him. The music is ‘Half the World Away’ performed by Aurora, the original song was by Oasis.


December 08, 2015

Forgetfulness

Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate and one of America's best-selling poets, reads his poem "Forgetfulness" with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear.

December 05, 2015

Nature is speaking

Julia Roberts, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penélope Cruz, Robert Redford and Ian Somerhalder all join forces to give nature a voice. Watch the films and take action at http://natureisspeaking.org

VOCABULARY:
Thrive: to grow or develop successfully; to flourish or succeed


December 04, 2015

Shakespeare festival

Schools in Madrid are invited to special performances by Young Shakespeare Company.   The shows are suitable for pupils from 4º Primaria to 3º ESO .  If you are interested in booking free places for your school please contact Silvia Prado.  

December 03, 2015

Today Dec 3rd is ...

Disability Day, or the International Day of People with Disability, is a day that has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992. The aim of Disability Day is to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of disabled people, as well as raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural. Disability Day is not concerned exclusively with either mental or physical disabilities, but rather encompasses all known disabilities, from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis.

To improve our listening skills, how about listening to the most stupid questions not to ask to a disabled person. Can you list them?

The best inventions of 2015

Every year, Time picks the 25 best inventions of the year. Here are five of them. To see the full list of the 25 Best Inventions of 2015, click here. How about you? Which one is your favourite?

 

December 01, 2015

Story

As today Dec 1st is the World's AIDS Day, let's listen to a story of frustration, but also of understanding.

Roger and Christine Bessey were married for 27 years and the parents of six children when they were both diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. Two of their children, Claudia Anton and Diana Keough, came to StoryCorps to remember what it was like to lose both of their parents to the disease in the early 1990s.