Tuesday, 30 July 2013

BODY PARTS WORDSEARCH (elementary)

Move your cursor over the letters and click on them. If the letter of your choice is part of a correct word, it will turn yellow. When you discover a word, click on the first and last letters: the term will become green and will be crossed out in the list below.

Can you find them all?

Make Your Own Word Search



Thursday, 25 July 2013

A SUMMER HIT

By The Animals.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube.



Find this information about the song:
  • Who was the author of the song?
  • When did it become a hit?
  • What type of song is it?
  • What other singers have recorded it?
  • What is it about?


 

THE ORIGINS OF SANDWICHES (intermediate)

You'll be surprised: they are a lot older than you might think!

(Don't forget you can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).



And here is the rest of the story:


Aren't you hungry now?!


Write the recipe of your favourite sandwich:
  1. What kind of bread do you use?
  2. Do you toast it?
  3. What ingredients do you put inside?
Click here to read more about sandwiches.





Tuesday, 23 July 2013

PROVERBS & SAYINGS 1. Guess the meaning!

"You can lead a horse to the water but you can't make it drink"




What does it mean? 
Is there a similar proverb in your language?

[Click here to see the answer ]



Sunday, 21 July 2013

FIRST WALK ON THE MOON

On July 20th, 1969 man landed on the moon for the first time. These three men had been launched into space:


Find the answers to the following questions:
  • What were their names?
  • Where were they from?
  • How many days did they need to get to the moon?
  • Who was the first one to set foot on the moon?
  • What famous words did he say?
  • What was the name of the name of the spacecraft?
  • What this the first successful mission to reach the moon?
  • What other details can you provide?




The moon by Shelley


 Art thou pale for weariness
 Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
 Wandering companionless
 Among the stars that have a different birth,—
 And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
 That finds no object worth its constancy?





Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A SUMMER SONG of 1963 by Nat King Cole

(You can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).



Sunday, 14 July 2013

FRENCH NATIONAL DAY (intermediate video)

Today people in France commemorate the Storming of the Bastille, which took place in 1789. This was the day when the people liberated themselves from the tyranny of the monarchy, an event which changed the course of history in France and started the French Revolution.

Watch this video and learn more details:




But that's not all. See what happened afterwards!



France, enjoy your day!



THIS DAY IN HISTORY (14th July) (Advanced video)


[If the video doesn't work, click here to watch it in the original site]


Saturday, 13 July 2013

THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN THREE MINUTES (all levels)


  • How many of all these historic events can you name?
  • Could you tell the dates?
  • Do you miss any historic facts? If so, which ones?
  • What are your thoughts after watching the video?

Watch this video:


What comes to your mind??


SHOPPING IN CAMDEN MARKET (intermediate)

Let's take a quick tour of Camden Market, one of London's most popular attactions. It's famous for the arts and crafts you can buy there, and especially for its alternative fashion.

You can browse in more than one thousand shops and stalls!

(Don't forget you can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).




Friday, 12 July 2013

NO! (intermediate)

The problem of NOT knowing enough words 
or
The pleasure of pleasing


Someone get her a dictionary, quick!!!


Thursday, 11 July 2013

ROLLING IN THE DEEP

A great version of a fantastic song:



  1. Do you know the original singer?
  2. Did you know this group?
  3. Who are they? Find out information about them.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

RAMADAN

Today (tomorrow in some parts of the world) is a special day for Muslims. It's the beginning of Ramadan, celebrated each ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which the first verses of the Quran, their sacred book, were revealed to prophet Muhammad.

The Islamic calendar follows the movements of the Moon, not the Sun, and that explains why some countries start Ramadan today (those where the first crescent of the moon can be seen today) and some others tomorrow.

[Source: Wikipedia].


Learn more about Ramadan in this video:

(Don't forget you can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).


Can you answer these questions about the video?
  • How many Muslims celebrate Ramadan around the world? 
  • What is the meaning of the word 'fasting'?
  • What do Muslim believers do during this time?
  • What can't they do?
  • What are 'dates'? Why are they special for Muslims?
  • Do you remember the Five Pillars of Islam?
  • How many terms for traditional Turkish food can you mention after watching the video?




Monday, 8 July 2013

A lesson (intermediate)


  • What is the lesson?
  • How does Ragu learn it?
  • Is the monkey an enemy or a companion?
  • Who is the better teacher, the monk or the monkey?
  • What lessons have you learnt and how? 






Sunday, 7 July 2013

NEWS (all levels)


What news would you like to read in a newspaper?
Click here and write it yourself!

Send it to this email address and the best will be published on this blog:





HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RINGO!


A birthday wish from a friend two years ago (still good, I bet).







SUMMER NIGHTS. Grease

Here is a popular song from a very successful American movie, Grease, released in 1978. Its soundtrack album was a hit that year in many countries. 

This is the poster with the names of the principal actors. Do you know them?


Listen to the song they both sing together in the film:
(Don't forget you can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).


  • What other famous song comes at the end of the film?
  • What type of film is Grease?
  • When and where is it set?
  • Do you know any other famous films starred by John Travolta?

Friday, 5 July 2013

A summer hit of 1964 by THE BEATLES

"If I fell" was released in July of 1964 by the very famous group, The Beatles. It was the B-side of the single "And I love her" in the US, and part of the long play A Hard Day's Night (named Something New in the US).

A B-side, yes! Back then there were no CDs or pendrives, not even computers (can you believe it?)! Music was published in singles or long plays. Often a single was released first to introduce the long play into the market. It had two songs, one on side A of a vinyl (one type of plastic) record (hardware that you could reproduce on a record player), and another, a secondary song, on side B.  The LP (long play) was bigger in size and contained  more songs (depending on their length, you could get ten or even more!).

Here is an image of both together:


A gold record was given as an award to singers who had sold thousands of copies of an album.


So "If I fell" was not the "main" song on the single, as it was on side B, but The Beatles made it a hit, as nearly everything they "touched". It was written by John Lennon and sung by him together with Paul MacCartney.


  • How do you like it?
  • What do you think about the singers? 
  • Who is John? Who is Paul?
  • Could you tell the name of the other two Beatles?
  • Is there a similar group now?
  • If so, what are the similarities? What are the differences?


STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT "OLDIE"SUMMER HIT!!


Thursday, 4 July 2013

INDEPENDENCE DAY IN THE USA (intermediate)






(You can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).

Video by  watchmojo.com


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

K

Do you know anyone who can be recognized by a single letter? There are not many people like that, are there?

We know friends and relatives by their names or their nicknames; for most acquaintances we even need a surname. But if you say K, millions of readers around the world will know who you are talking about, Franz Kafka, the writer who was born on this day one hundred and thirty years ago.

This special writer's words leave no one indifferent. His words are enigmatic, as he was himself, yet we can understand if we read carefully, we can recognize his struggle with his main enemy: himself.

This short story, a parable called Before the Law, belongs to one of his books, The Trial, a disturbing novel that starts this way:  one morning two guards knock on K's door and arrest him. K is not given a reason, doesn't know what he has done, where he is going to be taken, who is going to judge him.


The following scenes belong to Orson Welles' 1962 film, The Trial, which begins with this parable read by himself.
(You can activate the English subtitles by clicking  on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).



Monday, 1 July 2013

Kafka

Do you know the term "Kafkaesque"?

It applies to strange, surreal situations such as those that Franz Kafka, the writer who gave origin to the word, described in his novels and short stories, often apparently absurd and incredible.

Kafka, one of the greatest and most influential writers, was born on July 3rd, 1883. He only lived for forty-one years and couldn't see most of  his works published, but his writings have had an extraordinary impact on 20th century writers.

He was born in Prague and was the oldest child of a middle-class family, the only male, as his two brothers died at an early age.

He wrote in German, the language he normally used. His dream was moving to Berlin, but he was only able to do it at the end of his life.

We can read his writings thanks to his friend Max Brod, who protected and preserved them even through the Nazi regime which killed many of Franz's relatives and friends. Brod made most of them public years after Kafka's death in 1924, even though Kafka had asked him to destroy them (perhaps not credibly enough). Some of his work and documents are still unpublished, in private hands, awaiting a legal decision over their ownership.

Kafka's work is extremely personal, an expression of his inner fight through life, an ordeal from which he could only escape through writing. I am literature, he wrote. He loved life deeply but often found pressure unbearable, especially that pressure which forces one to follow certain trodden paths that he could only question, not accept.

Marriage and family life, for example, were an obligation for him as a Jew, but not made for Kafka. He attempted to abide, though, and had a fiancĂ©e for years, Felice Bauer. He wrote dozens of letters to her, who lived in Berlin,  and was about to marry her twice, but in the end he was unable to conform. 

His father was a very important figure in his life, the "perfect" example and reminder of what he "should" be, solid and hardworking, a provider to a close-knit  family, but their relationship was not an easy one, as Kafka often felt crushed by the overwhelming figure of his father. Later he would express his feelings in a long letter published under the title A Letter to His Father.

We could say he was almost relieved when, in 1917, the doctors gave him the terrible diagnosis: tuberculosis. This seemed to make him feel liberated from some obligations. He then broke off with Felice and could finally spend most of his time writing. Later on he moved to Berlin.

Throughout his life, Kafka wrote many letters to his friends, lovers, relatives and publishers; he wrote novels and short stories, and we can even read his personal diaries, the thoughts of one of those men who make us aware of unknown realities      that only a few can sense.


   "A cage went in search of a bird
                                                      (The Blue Octavo Notebooks)

          
Watch this video for more information on Kafka's life and work:



See some images of Kafka, Prague and the women he loved.


[Song: Where is the Village, sung in Yiddish and English by the Barry Sisters]


And a free adaptation of one of his best-known works: 
The Metamorphosis.


Oppressive institutions which annul the individual are a main concern of Kafka's. The Metamorphosis deals with one them, the family.