21 December 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It's a time of celebration, but Christmas day with the family can be nerve-wracking and depressing. We offer some tips on how to cope.

Visiting the extended family for the holidays? Here’s how to keep your sanity in the face of all that good cheer.

How to avoid family arguments at Christmas. Watch this video:

How to behave at the office Christmas party:
And finally an article from THE GUARDIAN

HOGMANAY

A little history lesson

Hogmanay is Scottish New Year, a celebration providing a unique combination of both traditional and modern customs.
The exact origins of Hogmanay are unknown, but it is thought that it was introduced in the 8th or 9th century by invading Vikings. The Vikings originated from further north, so it is possible that they paid more attention to celebrating the winter solstice than to Christmas. The shortest day was a good reason for them to have a party. For nearly 400 years, from the 17th Century until the 1950’s, Christmas wasn’t celebrated at all in Scotland. Christmas day therefore was just a normal working day and the big celebrations were saved for winter solstice holiday, which became Hogmanay.
There is a lot of debate over the origins of the word “Hogmanay”. Some linguists say it comes from the Scandinavian word “Hoggo-nott”, which was the name of the feast before the mid-winter Yule festival. Other people believe it might originate in the Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, French, or Spanish languages, to name but a few!

Weird and wonderful traditions

Nowadays Hogmanay mixes traditions of the past with modern day celebrations. Things start with a custom called “Redding”. This tradition means cleaning the house before the bells at midnight so that you have a clean house to welcome in the New Year and make a fresh start. All debts from the previous year should also be paid back. In the past, it was also important to clean ashes from the fires, to make space for the new fires of the New Year. People also burned juniper in the house to remove any negative spirits from throughout the year.
Another Scottish custom to survive is that of “First Footing”. The “first foot” is the first person to visit your house just after midnight to celebrate the New Year and the person who brings you good luck for the New Year. In the past the “first foot” used to bring a traditional gift of a piece of coal, but nowadays people tend to bring something to eat or drink. It’s bad luck to visit empty-handed, and tradition says that it’s lucky for the first foot to be a dark haired male!

Party time!

Nowadays the modern Hogmanay celebrations include all-night street parties in the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, with big crowds, live music, parades and fireworks. Some people wear traditional highland dress such as kilts – a tartan skirt worn by men. You can also find bagpipers and highland dancing. At midnight it is customary to sing “Auld Lang Syne” whilst dancing in a circle. This song is based on old Scottish songs and poems adapted by the poet Robert Burns. The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” means “time gone by” and is a way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one.
Maybe one of the best things about Hogmanay is that it is so important in Scotland that both the 1st and the 2nd of January are public holidays! (In England only the 1st January is a holiday).
If you ever get a chance to welcome in the New Year in Scotland make sure you take it!


People sing Auld Lang Syne at midnight on December 31, but what are the lyrics? Most people don't know that it is a Scottish poem written in 1788 by Robert Burns and later set to the music of a folk song. 

BOXING DAY

In most countries, Christmas begins and ends on 25th December. But in England and other Commonwealth nations, the good times roll on into the next day, known as Boxing Day. Writer Cat Allen shares some traditions and memories from her childhoodCLICK HERE TO READ AND LISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE.

20 December 2016

WRITING A STORY

Write a story (200 words approx.) following the guidelines on page 35 of your student's book,. Choose one of the following titles. Write your story in the comments section below.

  • The luckiest day of my life
  • A day when everything went wrong
  • The most frightening day of my life
  • A day I'll never forget

19 December 2016

People will live on Mars and never come back

More than 100,000 people are eager to make themselves at home on another planet. They've applied for a one-way trip to Mars, hoping to be chosen to spend the rest of their lives on uncharted territory, according to an organization planning the manned missions.
There were 200,000 people who applied to participate in the project called Mars One. It's a private enterprise to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars and film a reality show along the way. "Mars One Way" documents the thoughts and theories of Five hopeful Mars One astronauts as they contemplate the reality of leaving planet Earth forever, for a new home on Mars.
I'd like to thank Sara for recommending this video.

The Mars One mission is a one-way ticket to the Red Planet. It’s scheduled for 2023, when the first group of 4 men and women will land on Mars. There, they’re expected to collect data, plant oxygen-producing vegetation and prepare the planet for human colonization. Despite the obvious dangers of this enterprise, over 200,000 people from around the world have applied.
Watch this video about ANGEL, a Spanish Candidate

HEROES (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 11, UNIT 8)

Which of these people is the most heroic? Say why.
1 A climber who reaches the top of Mt Everest without oxygen.
2 A nurse who has never had a day off sick in 25 years.
3 A businessperson who has created thousands of jobs.

Can you think of a self-made man or woman you feel admiration for?
Who would you say are some of your heroes or heroines? Why do you admire them?
What is the difference between a celebrity and an icon?
Which modern icons do you admire?
Can you think of an unsung hero you know? What are they like?
Can you think of a hero you used to admire but who had feet of clay?
What fallen idols can you think of? What happened to them?
What folk heroes are there in your country? 
Who are some of your country’s national heroines? 
Do you think their heroic status is justified?

Have you ever had a moment of glory?

What characteristics do you think a modern-day hero should have? Choose from the list below or add your own ideas.
have a sense of humour
avoid conflict 
be open to bribery
be compassionate 
give up easily 
be resilient
be courageous 
be truthful 
show humility

Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old Australian teen, crossed the finish line of a round-the-world journey in her pink yacht after seven months at sea. She has become the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted. Thousands of spectators erupted into cheers as Jessica sailed into Sydney Harbour, the finale to an epic adventure in which she battled 12-metre waves, homesickness and critics who said she'd never make it home alive. "She said she'd sail around the world, and she has," a tearful Julie Watson said as she watched her grinning daughter cruise past the finish line from a nearby boat. "She's home." Jessica waved as she sailed past the finish line at the entrance to Sydney Harbour in Sydney, Australia. She gasped, laughed and waved her arms frantically as she caught sight of her parents when they pulled alongside her 10-metre yacht, Ella's Pink Lady. The teen was set to touch land for the first time in 210 days by docking at the city's iconic Opera House, where she was to be greeted by throngs of fans, the Prime Minister and her family.
Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com 

14 December 2016

HAVE/GET SOMETHING DONE

A video explaining this structure:
TO REFURBISH means to renovate and redecorate a building.

EXERCISE 1
MORE EXERCISES

12 December 2016

FOR AND AGAINST / ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES


For And Against Essays Guide from monira21
Choose one of the following topics and write your composition. (200 words approx.)


  • The internet as a reliable source of news and information.
  • Credit cards can be a blessing and a curse.
  • Damage to the environment is an inevitable consequence of worldwide improvements in the standard of living. Discuss.
  • Most study-abroad programs should be renamed "party abroad": they are a waste of time and money.
  • The media should not investigate the private life of the Royal Family.

PREFERENCES AND CHOICES (THAT'S ENGLISH MOD 11. UNIT 7)



  • Would you rather live in your home country or live abroad?
  • Would you rather be smart or beautiful / handsome?
  • Would you rather be poor and happy or rich and unhappy?
  • Would you rather marry someone plain with a good personality or someone beautiful without much personality?
  • If war broke out in your country would you rather flee the country or fight?
  • Would you rather be rich or famous?
  • If you had to lose one of your senses(sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste) which would you rather lose?
  • Would you rather marry a rich celebrity or a rich CEO?
  • Would you rather have a brand new Mac or PC?
  • Would you rather take a trip to a new country or get a new TV?

  • If you could be another person for a day, who would you be?
  • If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  • If you could meet any famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  • If you could solve the problem of hunger in the third world or repair the ozone, which would you do?
  • If you could go back to any moment in history, where would you go?
  • If you were given a choice between being given great wisdom or great wealth, which would you choose?
Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

INTERACTIVE TRANSCRIPT

5 December 2016

Good Morning America - Toning Shoe Lawsuit


0. A lawsuit claims that the Shape-Ups can cause _________________
SERIOUS INJURIES
1. The Shape-Ups are easily identified due to their ____________.

2. The toning shoes are the ___________ segment in the athletic shoe market.

3. According to Holly Ward, the ________ of the shoes has injured her.

4. In their ads, the company claims that their shoes help you __________ and __________.

5. Ms. Ward wore the shoes during her _____________.

6. Ms. Ward had fractures in both hips, near where they meet the ____________.

7. She broke both of them without being in a/an ____________.

8. It is agreed that the Shape-Ups _________________.

9. Ms. Ward’s lawyer thinks the shoes are dangerous and  the company should have made sure they _______________.

10. Most orthopedists are ____________ about the shoes alone causing fractures.

11. According to some doctors, the shoes have also caused ____________ because people lost their balance.





key
0. A lawsuit claims that the Shape-Ups can cause _________________
SERIOUS INJURIES
1. The Shape-Ups are easily identified due to their ____________.
ROUNDED SOLE
2. The toning shoes are the ___________ segment in the athletic shoe market.
FASTEST-GROWING
3. According to Holly Ward, the ________ of the shoes has injured her.
EXTENDED USE
4. In their ads, the company claims that their shoes help you __________ and __________.
GET IN SHAPE/REDUCE PAIN
5. Ms. Ward wore the shoes during her _____________.
WORK AS A WAITRESS
6. Ms. Ward had fractures in both hips, near where they meet the ____________.
THIGH BONE/FEMUR
7. She broke both of them without being in a/an ____________.
CAR CRASH /TRAUMATIC INCIDENT
8. It is agreed that the Shape-Ups _________________.
CHANGE THE WAY WE WALK
9. Ms. Ward’s lawyer thinks the shoes are dangerous and the company should have made sure they _______________.
DON’T HARM THEIR CUSTOMERS
10. Most orthopedists are ____________ about the shoes alone causing fractures.
SCEPTICAL
11. According to some doctors, the shoes have also caused ____________ because people lost their balance.
FALLS


PERSUASION (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 11, UNIT 6)


Are you good at persuading people?
How easy is it to persuade you to do things?
Do you ever change your mind once you have decided (not) to do something?
Talk about a time when you managed/didn't manage to persuade someone to do something.

What do you think are common influences which persuade people to do things? Choose your top three from this list.
-advertising 
-the media 
-friends / peer pressure 
-feeling guilty about something
-feeling sorry for someone 
-passion and conviction 
-convincing arguments

Which of the following do you have strong opinions about? Which do you have more of an open mind about?
-clothes and what to wear 
-politics
-ecological and green issues 
-gun control
-food and diet 
-gender roles
-the healthcare system 

How strongly do you think you are influenced by advertising? 
Can you think of powerful or effective ads?
Have you ever bought an item because you had seen an ad?
What campaigns do you remember where the government is/was trying to persuade citizens (not) to do something?
How effective are/were the campaigns?
What effect do sales people and shop assistants have on you when you want to buy something?

Thanks to mythatsenglish.blogspot.com