28 November 2016

NUMBERS (THAT'S ENGLISH MOD. 11 UNIT 5)

  • What are important numbers in your life? (vg. '2' the number of children you have)
  • Do you have a head for numbers?
  • Do you find maths fun and easy?
  • What do you use numbers for in your everyday life?
  • Do you know anyone who's hopeless/excels at numbers?
  • What do you remember about your maths teachers at school?
  • Why do you think maths is often unpopular as a school subject?
  • How would you make the subject more accessible and popular?
  • Have you got a lucky number and why is it lucky?
  • Do you agree with Benjamin Disraeli's idea that "There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics"?
Answer these questions which all have idiomatic expressions with numbers:
1 On what occasions do you go out dressed to the nines?
2 Do you often leave things to the eleventh hour, or do you prefer to be well-prepared?
3 Do you know anyone who only looks after number one? Describe them.
4 Do you really think life begins at 40?

Watch the video and answer the questions below:

1. How far away from London is Ludhiana?
2. What two pieces of equipment are used for students and tutors to communicate?
3. How much money do online tutors make in Ludhiana? 
4. How many students are there on the online class?
5. What is the main disadvantage of the programme, according to the teachers union representative?

Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE AND CONTINUOUS

USED TO/BE-GET USED TO/WOULD

A QUIZ
EXERCISE 1   EXERCISE 2   EXERCISE 3     EXERCISE 4

24 November 2016

Home For the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving (Full Documentary)

Everyone knows the story of the first Thanksgiving, when a small group of Massachusetts's settlers celebrated making it through the year by feasting with their Native-American neighbors. But the story of Thanksgiving goes back much further, to ancient harvest festivals, and the holiday has been transformed over time into today's celebration marked by family, food and football. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a warm look at this particularly American celebration. Discover how New York was the first state to officially declare a day of Thanksgiving, and how President Lincoln first made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Explore period accounts and art that bring Thanksgiving celebrations through the centuries to life, and find out the origins of traditions like the Macy's parade. And why do we serve turkey on Thanksgiving anyway? It's an intriguing look at the sometimes surprising tales behind one of America's most beloved holidays.

21 November 2016

VOLUNTEERING (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD. 11 UNIT 4)

Brainstorm some of the sectors of the population who are badly in need of help and who could benefit from a helping hand.
Example: families who have been evicted from their home 
Discuss the organisations that are trying to help those groups.
ExampleStop desahucios is trying to help families who are evicted from their home.

How can individuals contribute in the above-mentioned organisations?
Do you know any volunteers who lend a helping hand in these organisations?
What does their job consist of?
Would you like to volunteer in one of these organisations?
Which one(s) do you find most appealing? 
What are the rewards of being a volunteer?
What are the disadvantages?
What are the government's duties and responsibilies?

Interaction: Choosing a charity to volunteer
Choose A or B, tell your partner about your charity and together decide which one you both would like to join.

A) Worldwide restoration
The aim of our organisation is to empower women and provide decent housing for families, not only in the USA, but in many other countries in the world. We work to train volunteers in building skills. Our primary goal is to teach women how to solve problems for themselves through training in practical areas, such as making cement or plumbing and dealing with general house repairs. However, men are also welcome! Our volunteers work together with homeowners to rebuild or restore deteriorated houses and give disadvantaged families a place to live. We welcome volunteers but also need donations to buy materials and support our training programmes.

B) City education project
The mission of our project is to improve conditions for children and teachers in slum areas in Bangladesh. If you volunteer with us, you may be asked to help renovate a classroom in an existing school, carry out repairs to roofs or windows or even help to build extra facilities for the school. Traditional materials and techniques are used, but you don’t need any special skills because you will be supervised by local builders and carpenters. However, you should be fit and healthy and ready to work in all weather! You will stay in the school where the project is taking place, but it won’t be like home. Take a mat to sleep on and remember there are no showers, just a bucket of water.

To illustrate the point you can watch this video of The Duchess of Cambridge on the charity Children's Hospice.
Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com

USED TO/WOULD



THE MAYFLOWER AND THANKSGIVING

The Pilgrims were English Separatists. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, in Holland where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years.

In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden.


How many people were on the Mayflower?  How long did it take for them to get to Plymouth? Get the facts.

Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday.
After watching the video, can you answer these questions?
1- What did the Wampanoags teach the pilgrims?
2- How long did the first harvest meal last? 
3-What did this meal include?
4-Later, what did the celebration mean for the Puritans?
5-in 1777, why did the Continental Congress decreed a Thanksgiving Day?
6-Sarah Josepha Hale started a letter writing campaign. Why?
7-Who declared the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day? When?
8-List some traditions started during the 20th century.

How much do you know about the Thanksgiving holiday? What are the origins of this annual celebration? Take the Thanksgiving Trivia Quiz and test your knowledge of Thanksgiving history and lore. CLICK HERE


WHY TURKEY?
Turkeys are an integral part of Thanksgiving celebrations. No Thanksgiving dinner feels complete without a turkey! Do you know why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Well, there are a number of interesting stories that are accounted for turkey becoming such a dinner staple on this day. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day was NOT ALWAYS a part of the traditions. There is pork, there is chicken, and fish and then, there is turkey. Our great-grandfathers could have chosen anything as the highlight of the dinner celebration, so why turkey? I don't think anyone can put a finger on a specific incident that led to this custom. Seems like a bit of mystery, but, we can try solving the puzzle with these pieces from the history of Thanksgiving. READ MORE.

TURKEY PARDON 2013  

Know or Go: Thanksgiving Style!



Ellen had three members of her audience on the Know or Go machine to find out how much they know about Thanksgiving! Would you have won?


NARRATIVE TENSES


SCRIPT
EXERCISE 1
EXERCISE 2

20 November 2016

Earliest New World Writing Discovered


  • What events brought the ancient stone from the quarry to the archeologists?
  • What details from the story suggest that the markings on the stone are writing and not art?
  • Why might some of the symbols on the stone be familiar to archaeologists?
  • Why do you think ancient writings such as these were connected to religion and ritual practices?
  • Why is it now important for researchers to find additional artifacts similar to the Olmec stone?

14 November 2016

INTELLIGENCE (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 11 UNIT 3)

  • Being good at school subjects like languages and maths is a sign of true intelligence.
  • How should parents and society treat very intelligent children?
  • Brains or beauty? Which brings greater success in life.
  • Which animals do you think of as being intelligent? What about birds and sea creatures?
Do you … ?
1 have to solve unexpected problems on a regular basis
2 think studying is a wise choice
3 regret not acting more wisely in a particular situation

Classify the statements into advantages and potential dangers of using technology, machines and robots. Add your own ideas.
  1. Machines can’t interpret feelings, so interaction is more dehumanised.
  2. We are too dependent on computers and technology, which is problematic if a machine breaks or crashes.
  3. Machines don’t make mistakes, people do.
  4. Workers are replaced by machines, which increases unemployment.
  5. People stop thinking about how to solve problems because machines can do it for them.
  6. Technology means more people have access to education, health care, etc.
  7. Artificial intelligence can benefit society in numerous ways but it must be controlled.
Watch this EuroNews video on gifted children: Being gifted has long been equated to being intelligent and having a high IQ. However, many scholars believe that students can also be gifted in the sense of having increased emotional or social intelligence. Being gifted can be a double-edged sword: smart students can get bored and frustrated if their classmates and teachers fail to engage with their special abilities.

Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com

THE HAPPINESS FORMULA

How to be happy? That's the greatest question of all, in the sense that it is what motivates what we do on a daily basis. All the choices we make stem from a consideration, often unconscious, between which choices would make us probably the most happy.


TEST YOUR HAPPINESS  




Do you have any tips for being happy?
Leave your tip as a comment (80 words). Thanks. 

13 November 2016

Small Business Owners Face Pressures Of Minimum Wage Bumps In Big Cities


  • How will raising the minimum wage be helpful for workers? 
  • What are the effects of raising the minimum wage? 
  • What pressures do small business owners feel when the minimum wage increases? 
  • What is Edica Reese teaching her daughter about pay equity by bringing her to minimum wage rallies? 
  • Why do some critics think that raising the minimum wage will not improve income inequality?

12 November 2016

TEATIME-MAG

If you like reading, learning about the English-speaking world, watching videos and learning a lot of vocabulary... This is your magazine. 
You can sign up FOR FREE and receive an issue in your email every month. There are lots of articles about different topics. This month's issue is about New Zealand. Besides apart from reading, you can also listen to the article.
In the articles you'll see there are some words which are underlined. If you place the cursor on them you have the translation. To sign up you have to scroll down the page.
So, What are you waiting for?  Sing up now!    http://www.teatime-mag.com/es/ 

New Zealand’s geography and culture have helped the locals develop a language all their own. Native Helen Cordery helps us tell ourjandals from our gumboots with no worries.
Text by: Helen Cordery
Country: New Zealand
ew Zealand, despite its relatively young history, small population, and variety of influences, has a strong sense of identity and what it means to grow upKiwi’.
Straight off the bat we are born into a world where the sayings “no worries” and “she’ll be right” indicate an easy-going attitude that can be seen almost everywhere, from mothers giving birth then buying the weekly groceries just hours after, to children being sent to school barefoot and playing rugby in stubbies (short shorts) during winter. Here you are not bundled up and protected from the environment, but rather, you adapt to the land.
What do you call a man with no shin? Toe-Knee.
We kiwis pride ourselves on our relationship with nature, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why ‘Jaffas” (Aucklanders) are viewed with such derision away from the big smoke (city). Even the biggest cities, however, provide ample spaces to connect with nature.   READ MORE...

10 November 2016

READING: What keeps a 65-year marriage going?

ADJECTIVES TO DESCRIBE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS

Every morning, Sam is so enthusiastic to begin his day that he jumps out of bed and begins to sing.
His mother became worried when she didn't hear from him for two days.
David is quite shy so he doesn't like talking to people he doesn't know.
A year after being fired from his job, Alan is still very bitter. He has a lot of resentment towards his former boss.
Even though I am accustomed to traveling for business, I still get homesick if I am away from my home for more than a week.
Katie feels threatened every time her boyfriend talks to another girl. She thinks that every girl wants to steal him.
In the U.S., Thanksgiving is a holiday in which people give thanks for the blessings they have. Before the Thanksgiving meal, family members will say what they are thankful for.
I am absolutely furious!! I cannot believe that my dog chewed my favorite shoes. Now they're ruined!

9 November 2016

VETERANS DAY

        Veterans Day 2016 will be observed on Friday, November 11th, 2016.   As a federal holiday Veterans Day is typically observed on November 11th every year.  However, if it occurs on a Sunday then the following Monday is designated as the Federal holiday, and if it occurs on a Saturday then either Saturday or Friday may be designated. READ MORE...

POPPY DAY




What is Armistice Day, what time are we silent and why is it for two minutes?  READ MORE...

ZODIAC SIGNS AND ASTROLOGY SIGNS MEANINGS AND CHARACTERISTICS

There are 12 zodiac signs, and each sign has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own specific traits, desires and attitude towards life and people. By analyzing the projection of the position of planets, and the Sun and the Moon on the Ecliptic at the moment of birth. Astrology can give us a glimpse of a person's basic characteristics, preferences, flaws and fears.
We made it simple for you to find out what your zodiac sign is, Its complete profile and it's compatibility with other zodiac signs. By selecting your sign from the detailed zodiac sign dates list you will discover everything on the character of your Sun sign, it's Horoscope, traits, profile, history, myth and love compatibility.
Each of the 12 horoscope signs belongs to one of the four elements – Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These elements represent an essential type of energy that acts in each of us. Astrology aims to help us focus these energies on the positive aspects and to gain a better understanding of our potential and our positive traits and deal with negative ones.
These four elements help describe the unique personality types associated with astrological signs. The four zodiac elements exhibit profound influence on basic character traits, emotions, behavior and thinking.

7 November 2016

GOOD MANNERS. (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 11 UNIT 2)

How would you define “good manners”?
To what extent are good manners important?
Do you think our society in general is becoming less civil and more rude? Why or why not?
Do you remember an occasion when somebody was impolite to you?
Do you remember an occasion when you could have been more polite to someone else?
What examples of good manners do you think are most essential?
What examples of bad manners annoy you the most?  
    How do you feel about the following?:
    - Someone not saying please or thank you
    - Holding the door open for women
    - Someone picking their nose
    - Burping when eating or drinking
    - Boasting about money
    - Talking about your achievements  
    - Slapping someone on the back
    - Someone invading your personal space
    - Arriving late for a meeting or a date
    - Staring at people
    - Putting your elbows on the table when you eat
    - Not covering your mouth when yawning
    - Not giving your seat to an elderly person on public transport 
    - Staring at someone
    - Swearing 
    - Telling rude jokes
      What personal qualities do you think are the most and the least highly valued in your country?
      What eating habits do you consider unacceptable?
      What are your feelings about public displays of affection?
      Do you usually complain if you have a problem in a shop or a restaurant?
      Who do you habitually defer to: e.g. your parents, older people, your boss?
      Do you have a laid-back attitude to life or are you more uptight?

      To illustrate the point you can watch the Speakout video Behaviour, where a number of passers-by answer these questions:
      Give a recent example of when you experienced good or bad manners.
      Do you think our attitude to behaviour changes as we get older?
      What kind of behaviour in public places gets on your nerves?


      Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com

      Spanish parents begin month of weekend strikes over excessive homework for children

      A girl does her homework in southern SpainA girl does her homework in southern Spain CREDIT: JON NAZCA/REUTERS

      James Badcock, Madrid 4 NOVEMBER 2016 • 7:35PM

      Millions of Spanish children have been called out on strike this weekend, with families and teachers asked by a national parents’ association to say no to homework.

      Spain’s confederation of parents’ associations (CEAPA) has asked teachers not to set homework and told families to ignore any exercises programmed on weekends during November as part of a campaign against what many see as an excessive workload on the country’s young minds.

      “My family will be on strike as a way of making more visible the view that the current system of homework in Spain is appallingly inefficient and socially divisive,” said Gracia Escalante, a social worker and the mother of two boys in state schools in Madrid, arguing that as well as being mind-numbing, homework deepens the gap between wealthy and disadvantaged households.   READ MORE...

      Electing the US President


      VOCABULARY EXERCISES
      A CROSSWORD
      AN ARTICLE FROM THE US EMBASSY

      5 November 2016

      GUY FAWKES AND THE GUNPOWDER PLOT


      Guy Fawkes was born in April 1570 in York. Although his immediate family were all Protestants, in keeping with the accepted religious practice in England at the time, his maternal grandparents were 'recusant' Catholics, who refused to attend Protestant services. When Guy was eight, his father died and his widowed mother married a Catholic, Dionis Baynbrigge. It was these early influences that were to forge Fawkes' convictions as an adult.
      Fawkes and Spain
      By the time he was 21 he had sold the estate his father had left him and gone to Europe to fight for Catholic Spain against the Protestant Dutch republic in the Eighty Years War. His military career went well and by 1603 he had been recommended for a captaincy. He had also adopted the Italian variant of his name, becoming known as 'Guido'.
      In the same year, he travelled to Spain to petition the king, Philip III, for support in fomenting a rebellion in England against the "heretic" James I. Despite the fact that Spain and Britain were still, technically, at war, Philip refused.
      "A man highly skilled in matters of war"
      Personally, Fawkes was an imposing man. His former school friend Oswald Tesimond, who had become a Jesuit Catholic priest, described him as "pleasant of approach and cheerful of manner, opposed to quarrels and strife ... loyal to his friends".
      Tesimond also claimed Fawkes was "a man highly skilled in matters of war", while the historian Antonia Fraser described him as "a tall, powerfully built man, with thick reddish-brown hair, a flowing moustache in the tradition of the time, and a bushy reddish-brown beard... a man of action ... capable of intelligent argument as well as physical endurance, somewhat to the surprise of his enemies."
      Fawkes is drawn into the plot
      It was while on campaign fighting for Spain in Flanders that Fawkes was approached by Thomas Wintour, one of the plotters, and asked to join what would become known as the Gunpowder Plot, under the leadership of Robert Catesby.
      His expertise with gunpowder gave him a key - and very perilous - role in the conspiracy, to source and ignite the explosive. But 18 months of careful planning was foiled with just hours to go, when he was arrested at midnight on 4 November 1605 beneath the House of Lords. Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were found stacked in the cellar directly below where the king would have been sitting for the opening of parliament the next day.
      The foiling of the plot had been expertly engineered by James I's spymaster, Robert Cecil. Fawkes was subjected to various tortures, including the rack. Torture was technically illegal, and James I was personally required to give a licence for Fawkes to endure its ravages.
      While just the threat of torture was enough to break the resolve of many, Fawkes withstood two days of the most terrible pain before he confessed all. Famously, his signature on his confession was that of a shattered and broken man, the ill-formed letters telling the story of a someone who was barely able to hold a quill. His fortitude throughout had impressed James I, who said he admired Fawkes' "Roman resolution".
      Fawkes was sentenced to the traditional traitors' death - to be 'hanged, drawn and quartered'. In the event, he jumped from the gallows, breaking his own neck and thereby avoiding the horror of being cut down while still alive, having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened and his guts spilled before his eyes. His lifeless body was hacked into quarters and his remains sent to "the four corners of the kingdom" as a warning to others.
      The burning of the 'guy'
      Guy Fawkes instantly became a national bogeyman and the embodiment of Catholic extremism. It was a propaganda coup for the Protestant English and served as a pretext for further repression of Catholics that would not be completely lifted for another 200 years.
      It is perhaps surprising that Fawkes and not the charismatic ring-leader Robert Catesby is remembered, but it was Fawkes who was caught red-handed under the Houses of Parliament, Fawkes who refused to speak under torture, and Fawkes who was publicly executed. Catesby, by contrast, was killed evading capture and was never tried.
      Through the centuries the Guy Fawkes legend has become ever-more entrenched, and by the 19th Century it was his effigy that was being placed on the bonfires that were lit annually to commemorate the failure of the plot.