26 November 2009

Stereotypes

I've foud the following post at Tripadvisor.com and I think it's quite interesting.

Why don't you read it and then write your opinion about it?
What is your idea of the typical Spanish citizen, if such citizen exists, and what are Spanish people really like?

Click on the picture below and read the post:

The Truth About Spanish Stereotypes



The French

And what about our neighbours? What do you think of the French? Click here and you'll find several listening comprehension and vocabulary activities based on this topic.



25 November 2009

Glacier Collapse Video

Watch this amazing video that Chema, one of your classmates, has sent me and see a huge glacier move and collapse right before the onlookers' eyes!





video



Now answer the following questions:
  1. What did they hear before they arrived at the lake?

  2. What caused the sounds they heard?

  3. Did they imagine what was going to happen?

  4. Were the people frightened at the beginning?

  5. When did the crowd realise that it was really dangerous?

  6. Did the people have time to react?

  7. How long did it take for the whole mountain of ice to fall down?

  8. Was anybody injured when they were swept by the huge wave?

  9. What caused the wave?

  10. Did anybody die when they were pounded against the rocks ?


17 November 2009

Countries and Nationalities

Click here and do the exercises

10 November 2009

V Premios Sociedad de la Información



This blog, ESL Bloggers, has been selected as one of the finalists in the fifth edition of the awards : "Premios de la Sociedad de la Informacion". Our blog takes part in the category: Best Public Initiative of e-Education.
The names of the winners will be known during the ceremony which will be held on 11th of November, 2009, at "Universidad Loboral" Theatre in Gijón.
Regardless the final result of the contest, it has been an honour to have been nominated and then selected as one of the finalists.
I would like to thank the organisers for this initiative, which contributes greatly to the develpment of communication, education and business through the so called New Technologies.
My most since thanks to CTIC foundation and the Government of the Principality of Asturias for organising and promoting this important contest.
If you click on the logo below, you'll find further information, such as the names of all the finalists in the different categories, as well as links to all the websites and blogs.

18 May 2009

Michelle Obama ( By Margot , 2ºA-NB )



Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the first lady of the Unated States and the wife of the forty-fourth president, Barack Obama, and she is the first African American First Lady.
She was born and grew up in the South of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. When She finished her education, She started to work for Sidley Austin, a Law firm where she met Barack Obama after his election for the U.S. Senate.
After this. she worked helping young people and women to live in comunity for the University of Chicago medical center.
Michelle Obama has a brother, a basketball coach. They grew up in the South of Chicago with their parents. Her father was a pump operator of the Chicago water Department and although he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis he hardly ever missed a day of work.Her mother stayed at home looking after their children.
Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave in the state of South Carolina and her great grandfater worked with his only hand making and selling shoes.
Michelle and Barak Obama have two daughters: Malia, aged 10 and Shara, aged 7, who were born in Chicago.
I think Michelle Obama is an inteligent, smart , brave, hardworking woman and American people will do better with Obama's couple.
This is just an opinion, of course.

A Holiday in León ( By Guty,1ºA-NB )


I went to Leon last August with my girlfriend.
We went to Leon by bus. We stayed in a big hotel in the centre of the city.
The hotel was very nice. We could see a very beautiful park in front of our window.
During the day we walked around the city. We took a lot of photos.
We visited the Cathedral. It was very big and we couldn't see it because it was closed. At night we went to a restaurant and then we had some drinks.
Leon is very beautiful but it was very hot.


Andres's Easter Holidays (1ºA-NB)

Last Easter I went on holiday with my wife. We travelled in our car.

We planned a trip visiting several places,. First ,we visited Pamplona, walked along its streets and The places where the "Encierro" (Running) takes place during its famous "Fiestas de San Fermín" (Saint Fermin's Festival). We also saw its "Plaza de Toros".

We visited "Monasterio de Leyre" (Leyre's Monastery) and "Castillo de Javier" (Javier's Castle).
Then we left for Sos del Rey Católico, a village in the province of Zaragoza, where the "Rey Fernando el Católico" (King Ferdinand the Catholic) was born. It's a charming place, with nice streets, houses and picturesque views.




We stayed for several days in Boltaña, a village in the province of Huesca, in the Pyrenees, in a nice and cozy hotel.


While we stayed there we visited several places in the area: "Parque de Ordesa" (Ordesa's Park) and Monte Perdido, and very nice villages: Ainsa, Bielsa, Plan (famous for being the first places which received a "Caravan of women") .We also went to Gistain (said the highest village in the Aragonese Pyrennes), Torreciudad (a shrine built by Jose MªEscribá, the founder of Opus Dei) and Barbastro (the land of "D.O.Somontano",the famous wine).












Finally we moved to La Almunia de Doña Godina, a town in the province of Zaragoza, where my sister lives, and visited the Easter processions in Calatayud, but because of the bad weather almost all of them were cancelled.



During the ten days trip, the weather was not very good, the first days we had good weather, but the last days it was very bad, and we saw snow.

However, the trip was worth it......

14 May 2009

Silver Spinning Top for ESL Bloggers

I'm delighted to tell you that our blog has been awarded a prize in the third edition of Premio Espiral Edublogs.09 .
This prize, which has made me extremely happy, belongs to my students as much as it belongs to me, for they have contributed with their posts, comments and suggestions to make this blogging adventure such a satisfying experience.
ESL Bloggers was born in July 2008 and our journey in the blogosphere has only started, so this prize has encouraged us to go on with even more enthusiasm.
I am most thankful to "Asociación Espiral" and to all the people who have made this blog possible with their contributions, encouragement and support.

13 May 2009

A Visit to Sorolla Museum ( By Chema, 1ºA-NB)

On Saturday, March 14th, I visited Sorolla Museum
In March I went to Madrid to see my son. I did a lot of shopping but I also took the opportunity to visit the house museum or Sorolla, "the painter of light." It was easy to go by bus. I got off at “Glorieta de Emilio Castelar” and from there I went to number 37 “Paseo General Martínez Campos”.


When you enter, you find a beautiful garden inspired by Andalusia, with large plants and some fountains. At the semi-basement there are varieties of pottery, which Sorolla collected, and the only sculpture portraying his wife, Clotilde. The entrance to the museum-house is not through the main door, but by a side door that gives access to a chain of rooms:

Room I) Biography and introduction to his painting.
II) The release and pictures of beach scenes.
III) workplaces where there are great portraits, beach scenes, gardens, as well as furniture, containers, utensils, paint resting place .. and a selection of sketches of his painting in three phases: initiation, development and consolidation.

Then you find the hall of the house, where the parlour, dining room and stairs leading to the first floor are. Here we find furniture, desks, cabinets, sculptures, vases of various styles and locations, as well as tables that dominate nature, the sea and characters, full of light.

On the upper floor rooms you can visit rooms IV-VII where you can find an exhibition of the most of the most characteristic items (portraits, gardens, typical environments ,..). The original Museum of Joaquin Sorolla Bastida (1863-1923) retains the atmosphere of the house and the workshop or work area, where the bulk of his collection and collections of sculptures, furniture, jewellery, textiles, and so Special Spanish pottery, mainly from Valencia and Aragon. I you pay it a visit , you won’t regret it. It’s worth it.

Links:
http://museosorolla.mcu.es/historia.htm
http://pemgila.blogspot.com/2005/11/joaquin-sorolla-y-bastida.html
http://www.estadistica.net/Masoneria/sorolla.html

March in Norway (By Reyes-1ºA-NB)


I know Oslo in summer and I like it very much, but Oslo in winter is beautiful.
I stayed in Norway for ten days and the countryside was surprising : the houses covered with snow, the trees, the frozen lakes etc.


Norwegian houses have many colours. People go to skiing around frozen lakes and go skating on the frozen surface.
At night, all the houses have their lights on and their windows don't have curtains, because daylight is very important for them.
Everybody speaks two languages, English and Norwegian.
In Oslo, the shops open at 9'00 am and they close at 5'00 pm. They don't close for lunch. Norway' s currency is Norwegian Krone.

09 May 2009

Pilar' s holidays in Lanzarote (1ºA-NB)

I went to lanzarote last July. I travelled alone. I flew to lanzarote with Iberia Airways.
I stayed for two weeks in my brother’s house. His house is in Playa Honda. It is very near the beach.
We went to the beach by bike every day. We visited wonderful places like Timanfaya National Park, Jameos del Agua, Teguise, Puerto Calero, Famara, Nazaret, Puerto del Carmen, Femes, Playa Blanca, etc.
My favorite place was Timanfaya National Park, because it is an amazing place!
We walked around the town. We took a lot of photos and we bought a lot of souvenirs.
At night we went to restaurants and ate typical food from Lanzarote, then we went out with friends and had a drink.
We had a great time. Lanzarote is very hot, but it is very beautiful too.


29 April 2009

Welcome to My Life


Welcome to My Life’ is the first single taken from Simple Plan's second studio album, 'Still Not Getting Any... '
This French Canadian pop punk band was formed in Montreal, Canada in 1995, and 'Welcome to My Life' has been one of their greatest hits so far. As the song’s lyrics are about teenage angst, they are easy for youngsters to feel identified with.
Do you feel like practising your listening comprehension and vocabulary skills with Simple Plan? Come on now… it’s just a click away!

28 April 2009

Holidays in the South (1ºA-NB)

I went to "Costa del Sol" last May with my husband and my son. We went by car and we slept in a hotel in Madrid.

We stayed for two weeks in an apartment near the beach, in a housing estate called “Alhambra del Golf”.

We visited some places in "Costa del Sol": Marbella, Puerto Banús, Nerja, Málaga and Ronda. We ate the typical food from Andalucía: fried fish, “gazpacho” and “salmorejo”. We took a lot of photos. We went to the beach and the swimming-pool. We took a tourist train and a horse-drawn carriage. We bought famous pottery from Andalucía.

We had a great time. "Costa del Sol" is very beautiful and the beaches are fantastic. The white villages in Málaga are lovely. Our apartment was cheap and the food was great. We only had two problems: it was too windy and some restaurants were very expensive.

27 April 2009

A Holiday Report (1ºA-NB)

My wife and I went to Syria and Jordan last July .
We flew from Asturias to Madrid whith Easy Jet, and from Madrid to Amman whith Jordan Airways.
We spent twelve days in comfortable hotels.
The tour guide, Mr. Bassam, spoke Spanish very well.
The group and their guide, Bassam, went by bus. We usually ate together.
We saw mosques, the souk of Damascus, the bedouins in the desert ...
We got to know customs, ceremonies, typical food, museums, ruins of civilizations,we swam in the Dead Sea ... and hiked in the legendary Petra.
Bassam was nice, he told us about places and coustoms. He said that "there were many things buried".
In the Zoco of Damascus we found a bit of everything. I missed speaking English.
Things weren't expansive, but they - the shop assistants- bargained a lot.
We bought presents for our family.
I also bought Bedoin´s wife a handmade box, and in gift shop, I bought a book and CDs about the History of Syria and Jordan (Amman,Wadi Rum, Jerash, Palmira, Petra, Dead Sea, Aqaba, Madaba, etc...).
I took a lot of photos and video.
We walked a lot.We had a great time, but it was quite hot. We drank a lot of water and tea because we were thirsty.
After dinner we always were very tired, so we went to bed early and turned on the TV or read, we commented, ... In the morning we got up early too.
We liked it very much. Time passed by very quickly.
If you like history, you must go there.




22 April 2009

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous American landmarks. It was a present France gave to the US to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. It represents political liberty and friendship between countries.
Click on the picture below to get to know more about this historic landmark and then do the reading activity that follows.



30 March 2009

Pruebas de Certificación de Idiomas 2009

Click on the links below to read important information about the test you have to sit if you want to get the EOI Certificate in Basic, Intermediate or Advanced level.
You need to fill in a registration form and pay a fee to enroll for the test. Don't forget the registration dates : May 4 to May 15

24 March 2009

My Profile (by Andrés, 1ºA-NB)


Monasterio de Piedra (on the left) and Calatayud (on the right)

Hello!
Have a good day, everyone!
My name is Andrew, and I am a first year student at the Official School of Languages in Avilés.

I am currently a pre-retired bank clerk, and in my spare time, I help with some work at a friend’s Agency and Estate Agent's in Piedras Blancas. I also study English.

I was born in a small town called Calatayud, in Zaragoza, where my sisters live. It’s a very well located city with many beautiful things to see, so I recommend everybody to visit the area!

17 years ago I came to work in Avilés, in the Central Bank, then called Banco Central Hispano and later in Banco Santander Central Hispano. I worked in Grado, Mieres, Piedras Blancas, Pravia, Cangas del Narcea and Pravia again. I finally retired in 2006, and I settled to live in Piedras Blancas, where I had my house.

I am married, my wife is called Elizabeth, and her whole family is from Aviles. We have two daughters, Andrea and Patricia, and they have already finished their studies and are working, one in Avilés and the other in Toledo. We also enjoy the company of two beautiful cats: Tina (female) and Lucas (male).

Although I am not working now, I don’t have much free time, but I try to enjoy doing what I like now: studying English, going to the countryside, walking, travelling, going to the beach or spending time with my family. Every year I go to the beach for my summer vacation. Recetly I’ve been to "Mil Palmeras", a beach that is between Torrevieja and La Manga del Mar Menor. I also visit my family.

Best wishes. Good health and luck for everybody!

Andrew.


22 March 2009

Flying

Can men fly?
Before answering you should see this video. Isn’t this flying?
I’d say it is, we have already achieved it. The first time that I saw these flights I felt dizzy, very dizzy, but I also felt a lot of envy. I can’t imagine anything more exciting and fun than this and, of course, I'd love to do something like skydiving. I’m not sure I could give one step beyond when I got to the top and it's possible that, once in the air, I could only shout without opening my eyes, but I like to think that while I was flying I’d enjoy the sensation of feeling like the king of birds, a large condor, a hawk, an eagle, -each of you can choose your favourite one-, I’d love to feel like going through the air while I see the earth down there, so far away, so wonderful ....


18 March 2009

New points system for Formula One Championship

Yesterday afternoon, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) changed the scoring system of FIA Formula One World Championship. Before the change, the champion was the driver with the most points at the end of the season. Now, the FIA has established a system where the driver who has won the most races at the end of the season gets the world title. Only if there is a tie between two or more drivers, the points will count.
Lots of Formula 1 teams, drivers and thousands of Formula 1 fans have already complained about the radical change which the Championship is going to suffer because of this new rule, but the change is fixed.
There have been some other minor changes, like a new budget for Formula 1 teams, more freedom for paddock's visitors, etc.
Click here to read the whole piece of news.

Edit: After some days of arguments and bad reactions about the new rules, the FIA has decided to return to the old punctuation system. So, you can forget all this piece of news and think about the next GP in Melbourne.

24 February 2009

"Blindness" ; review by Adrián Rodríguez Ares (2ºD-NB)

Title:Blindness (Ensayo sobre la ceguera)

Author: José Saramago

Genre: Drama

Publisher: Alfaguara

People live their lives as usual. Nothing escapes from common reality, and blind people are a very few. Suddenly, a strange blindness starts affecting all the country. Lots of people die in accidents, caused by this new disease. After thousands of people are affected, the government decides to act. They keep infected people in some quarantine areas like hospitals, old prisons or shopping centres. However, this does not work. After all, everybody is blind.

Well, not everybody. A woman remains in normal state, as the disease does not affect her, and she becomes the new hope for humanity to get back to normal. However, she is locked with a lot of blind people in a local prison. Will she be able to escape from it? Will people become normal again? All the answers to these questions are in Blindness.

I give this book a 4/5. It has a very attractive and genuine plot, and it gets you from start to finish. I think that the beginning and the ending are the best parts of the story, because they are very special, and they make this novel very compelling. However, I think that there are some parts in the book where you could get bored, so I think that it is a bit boring sometimes. But, anyway, it's a book you must read.

Next March, a film called "Blindness", based on this novel, will be released in Spain. I have seen a few trailers, and it seems that the movie is very similar to the book. If you do not like reading, I recommend you to see the film, which has already been released in USA.

And the Oscar goes to ... Penélope Cruz!

Yes, the Oscar went to Pe!
She got it. The 2009 Oscar award for best supporting actress belongs to our Pe.
Although I haven´t seen Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona yet, I'm sure she deserves the award because she is a very good actress and she has offered us memorable performances like her unforgettable Raimunda in Almodovar's Volver.
In the ceremony, she looked classy, gorgeous, extremely elegant and ... so nervous that her voice quivered as she delivered her heartfelt beautiful speech. Don't miss her speech, watch the video and listen to it ; it's moving, intelligent and really good.


video

09 February 2009

Personal Profile, by Victor (1ºA-NB)

Hello ,everybody!
My name is Víctor. I was born in Avilés and I live in Los Campos, Corvera . I´m single. I´m an environmental technician . I used to deal with analyzers, atmosphere, clean water and wastewater, meteorology equipment, etc. I've worked in this field for ten years.
In 2001, I went to live in Barcelona. I worked there for six years as a technician in industrial instrumentation; measuring equipment and industrial control, treatment and data transmission, industrial computers (Plc´s), electrical and electronic signals, measurement and control of temperature, flow, pressure, weight…
In November 2007, I retired from work due to illness and returned to Asturias, where I currently live.
Now I dedicate my free time to study English and German, in the Official School of Languages in Avilés. My hobbies are reading, walking, writing, going out with my friends, going to the cinema or the theater, travelling, swimming, and especially taking pictures. In my car, I always have my photo equipment: a Canon 400D with two lenses, a Canon 18-55 mm and a Tamron 70-300 mm.

Here I leave you a sample of my photographs, I hope you like them.
Greetings to all of you.

Víctor



Avilés Port, 05/07/2009 (photo on the left) and Olimpic Port, Barcelona, 23/02/2008 (photo on the right)



Olimpic Port Barcelona, 23/02/2008 (photo on the left) and Ferrera’s Park, Avilés, Summer 2008 (photo on the right)

Dalí Museum, Figueres, December 2007 ( photo on the left) and Ferrera’s Park, Avilés, Summer 2008 (photo on the right)


"Comediantes" (actors) performing in the street ( photo on the left), smith (photo in the middle) and owl (photo on the right).





Click on the link below if you want to download Victor's profile or see the pictures in a bigger size.


 
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