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Monday, 31 January 2011

LONDON: 10 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW (+ some spectacular photos of London by night)

The Big Ben

The river Thames & the Tower Bridge

London's Eye

Canary Wharf

Picadilly Circus
As an extensión to the 1st BAC classroom listening of a teenager describing how is his life in London, we include this post with a video-listening with the ten most important things to know about the city before visiting it, just as we did with New York. To illustrate the post some spectacular photos of London views at night.

Video 10 important things about London:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

SONGS FOR PEACE DAY JANUARY 2011: "BLOWING IN THE WIND" & "HYMN TO FREEDOM"



The “School Day of Non-violence and Peace”, founded in 1964 and also known as World or International Day of Non-violence and Peace, is a pioneering, non-state, non-governmental, non-official, independent, free and voluntary initiative of Non-violent and Pacifying Education, which is now practised in schools all over the world and in which centres of education, teachers and students of all levels and from all countries are invited to take part.
It advocates a permanent education in and for harmony, tolerance, solidarity, respect for human rights, non-violence and peace.It is observed on January 30 or thereabouts every year, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi.

As usual the IES Rafael Dieste's library is organizing an activity for Friday January 28th with some classes during one of the morning sessions (5th hour). They'll be listening to some songs related to peace, some of them in English.

One of them is "BLOWING IN THE WIND" original by Bob Dylan. Today we're posting versions of the song: Peter, Paul & Mary's audio with lyrics, and more recent singers: Katie Melua & Alanis Morisette, who have covered the song in live concerts. Enjoy peacefully!
Video "BLOWING IN THE WIND", Peter, Paul & Mary's:


Video with Katie Melua's live version:

Video with Alanis Morisette's version:

Another song is Oscar Peterson's "HYMN TO FREEDOM". Here's the video of the choir version with on screen-lyrics:

Monday, 24 January 2011

NEW YORK: 10 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW




To practice writing about a place, 1st BAC student's book proposes a description of New York. But we can practice listening about New York, too. Here's a video with the top ten things you need to know about this amazing city before you visit it.


Video on New York:

Sunday, 23 January 2011

THE GIRL WHO HATED BOOKS




This animated short about literacy introduces us to Meena, a young girl who hates books even though her parents love to read. Books are everywhere in Meena's house, in cupboards, drawers and even piled up on the stairs. Still, she refuses to even open one up. But when her cat Max accidentally knocks down a huge stack, pandemonium breaks out and nothing is ever the same again...
[Thanks to ONF NFB (National Film Board of Canada) and to English is all around-blog for sharing it.]


Video "THE GIRL WHO HATED BOOKS" by Jo Meuris based on the book by Manjusha Pawagi:

Saturday, 22 January 2011

WHY SHOULD I LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?



This is a question many of you make: "why do I have to learn a foreign language?" Here's an answer and a good possible reason... Watch the video. Tapescript below it.
Video:


Tapescript:


A German coast-guard on his first day at work:
(after the German introduction by senior coast-guard officer)

Man on the radio, from a ship: "Mayday! Mayday! Hello, can you hear us? Can you hear us? Can you... over. We are sinking. We... are... sinking".

German coastguard officer (with strong German accent): "Hello. This is a German coastguard".

Man on the radio (speaking nervously): "We are sinking. We're sinking..."
German coastguard officer: "What are you sinking* about?"
[*The German coastguard pronounces THINKING as SINKING, so he also understands SINKING for THINKING. Think=pensar/Sink=Hundirse]

Thursday, 20 January 2011

THE HISTORY OF MADAME TUSSAUD

On page 44 of 2ºESO English stuednt's book there's a spotlight on Madame Tussaud: who she was and why her name is so famous now. Here's some more information and videos to complete it.

Marie Tussaud, born Anna Maria Grosholtz (1761–1850), was born in Strasbourg, France. Her mother worked as a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius in Bern, Switzerland, who was a physician skilled in wax modelling. Curtius taught Tussaud the art of wax modelling.
Tussaud created her first wax figure, of Voltaire, in 1777. Other famous people she modelled at that time include Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. During the French Revolution she modelled many prominent victims. In her memoirs she claims that she would search through corpses to find the decapitated heads of executed citizens, from which she would make death masks. Her death masks were held up as revolutionary flags and paraded through the streets of Paris.
Her marriage to François Tussaud in 1795 lent a new name to the show: Madame Tussauds. In 1802, she went to London. By 1835 Marie had settled down in Baker Street, London, and opened a museum. One of the main attractions of her museum was the Chamber of Horrors. This part of the exhibition included victims of the French Revolution and newly created figures of murderers and other criminals.
Madame Tussaud's wax museum has now grown to become a major tourist attraction in London, incorporating (until 2010) the London Planetarium in its west wing. It has expanded and will expand with branches in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Berlin, Dubai, Hamburg, Hollywood, Hong Kong, Blackpool, Las Vegas, Moscow, New York City, Shanghai, Vienna and Washington, D.C.. Today's wax figures at Tussauds include historical and royal figures, film stars, sports stars and famous murderers. Known as "Madame Tussauds" museums.
Here are some videos about Madame Tussaud and her London wax museum:

Friday, 14 January 2011

SONGS FROM "AQUARIUS"



On Wednesday, 26th January, 3rd and 4th year ESO students will attend a musical-lecture play at our assembly hall. Its name is "AQUARIUS". Rupert Marshall, anthropologist, musician and director of Firewalk Theatre will perform his musical-lecture and he will check on old rock hits from the 50s and 60s and their meaning within the social context in which they were successful. On this blog we're going to try to post as many of the songs which appear on the play as we can. We are posting the audios with the lyrics, so you can follow and understand them and also practice listening as usual. Here are the ones we've found:
Audio+lyrics "ACROSS THE UNIVERSE", The Beatles:

Audio+ lyrics "SATISFACTION", Rolling Stones:

Audio+lyrics "WISH YOU WERE HERE", Pink Floyd (On a post on this blog dated 22-09-2010, there's the same song in a cover version by Spanish singer Ana Torroja also with audio+lyrics):

Audio+lyrics "WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY?", Cat Stevens:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

THE WORST FLOODS IN AUSTRALIA IN DECADES

Australian state of Queensland has been appearing on news reports on TV for the last few weeks as torrential rains have hit the land and brought the worst floodings in decades. The floods are now about to affect Brisbane, the third largest city in the country and its inhabitants are getting ready to be evacuated leaving their homes and possessions behind. Here are videos with the news:
Videos:


Sunday, 9 January 2011

2011, INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FORESTS




The year 2011 was declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations to raise awareness and strengthen the sustainable forest management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.
Forests are an integral part of global sustainable development. According to World Bank estimates, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. The forest product industry is a source of economic growth and employment, with global forest products traded internationally in the order of $270 billion.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that every year 130,000 km² of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation. Conversion to agricultural land, unsustainable harvesting of timber, unsound land management practices, and creation of human settlements are the most common reasons for this loss of forested areas.
According to the World Bank, deforestation accounts for up to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. FAO data estimates that the world's forests and forest soil store more than one trillion tons of carbon – twice the amount found in the atmosphere.
The World Bank estimates that forests provide habitats to about two-thirds of all species on earth, and that deforestation of closed tropical rainforests could account for biodiversity loss of as many as 100 species a day.
Governments, regional and international organizations and civil society organizations are expected to create national committees and designate focal points in their respective countries to facilitate organization of activities in support of the International Year of Forests.



Video about DEFORESTATION:

Saturday, 1 January 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011! BEGIN IT WITH AN ABBA SONG.

"Happy New Year" is a popular song by Swedish pop group ABBA from their 1980 album "Super Trouper". Although recorded in 1980, the song wasn't released as a single until in 1999. "Felicidad" was the Spanish language version of the song. So wishing you a happy 2011, we leave you with the original video by Abba and another one with the lyrics.
Click to an exercise HERE. Then check your answer below.
Video "HAPPY NEW YEAR", Abba:

Video with the song's lyrics:

"Happy New Year" (noted in red the mistakes found in the previous video lyrics)
No more champagne
And the fireworks are through
Here we are, me and you
Feeling lost and feeling blue
It's the end of the party
And the morning seems so grey
So unlike yesterday
Now's the time for us to say...
Happy new year Happy new year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy new year Happy new year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lay down and die
You and I
Sometimes I see
How the brave new world arrives
And I see how it thrives
In the ashes of our lives
Oh yes, man is a fool
And he thinks he'll be okay
Dragging on, feet of clay
Never knowing he's astray
Keeps on going anyway..
Happy new year...
Seems to me now
That the dreams we had before
Are all dead, nothing more
Than confetti on the floor
It's the end of a decade
In another ten years time
Who can say what we'll find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine...
Happy new year.

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