Saturday, 4 December 2010

Show & Tell - 4th ESO

What is Show & Tell? It is a public speaking exercise which gives students a chance to discuss or introduce a special memory, item, photo, book or object to their fellow classmates.

The school's 4th ESO students had the opportunity of talking to their classmates about the following topics:  English food and its cliches, Lady Gaga, Matt Groening, Family Guy, their class football team and the evolution of mobile phones. It was really interesting and... funny sometimes. Good job, guys!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Could less film dubbing make Spaniards better linguists?

Learning English at the academy of Brad and Angelina
FRANCESCO MANETTO     18/11/2010     EL PAÍS
     The subject of showing films in their original language - and its relationship with the mastery of foreign tongues, above all English - has been raising passions in Spain for decades.
     One of the most recent participants in the debate is Education Minister Ángel Gabilondo. While recognizing that Spain has a dubbing industry made up of highly qualified professionals, he said that it was "also evident that in countries where films are not dubbed, it has clearly had a bearing on the knowledge of languages."
     Spain is the fourth-worst country in the EU when it comes to mastering foreign tongues, according to a recent report by Eurostat. Among the top-performing countries to which the minister was alluding are Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland and Slovenia, though he made it clear that original-version movies, accessible in a few dozen or so film theaters, all located in big cities, are not a "cure-all" for the problem.
     Julio Morales Merino, director of the Doblarte de Madrid acting school, as well as a translator and show adaptor, is emphatic: "If languages must be taught, why don't they ban the profession of translator, and let everyone fend for themselves when reading Shakespeare in his language, Schiller in German or Tolstoy in Russian?"
     It is an exaggeration, but Morales' argument reflects a concern among dubbers, exhibitors and distributors. Last week the Federation of Dubbing and Voice Professionals said that links between dubbing and poor knowledge of foreign languages were "imprecise." It is a view supported by the EU report Study on Dubbing and Subtitling Needs and Practices in the European Audiovisual Industry, which, covering 31 countries, highlights that "it is risky to conclude that original subtitled versions favor the learning of any language and that dubbing is the cause of an inferior level of linguistic knowledge."
     That said, teachers agree that even indirect exposure to a language can help master it. "Even though it is a passive activity, [watching original version movies] provides a lot of information, perhaps at an unconscious level, about the language," says Paul Kelly, who has been teaching English in Australia, the UK, Italy and Spain for more than 20 years. "It's more about familiarizing oneself with the music of the language, with how it is expressed, with the intonation... This is something very difficult to teach in a class because the pupils only have one model, the teacher, who in many cases changes his way of talking due to not being in contact with other native speakers, something that occurs in an unconscious way."
     Teacher Karen Hees insists on the importance of broadcasting programs in their original version on television. In the era of digital and pay TV, television could become more of an opportunity to get accustomed to languages (which in 90 percent of cases means getting used to US productions). In recent weeks, Fox has been promoting the latest series of House in English with Spanish subtitles.
     According to the channel's director of programming, Pablo Viñuales, it has been doing this for the early premieres of series such as House, Cold Case and 24 for several seasons. "It gets us closer to the US premiere and satisfies the demand of an important group of pay-television viewers, for whom subtitled original versions have added value," he explains.
     One of the most frequent arguments used by defenders of original-version films is the link between dubbing in Spain and Francoist censorship. It is true that the grotesque maneuvers of the dictatorship's board of censors destroyed - to give just one famous example - the story of John Ford's Mogambo. In 1950s Spain it was inconceivable that the married woman played by Grace Kelly in the film could have an adulterous relationship with Clark Gable. The dubbing and dialogue alterations helped to change Kelly's husband into her brother, thus making the adultery look like incest.
     But after so many decades of compulsory dubbing, would it be legitimate to impose original-version films? "You don't go to the movies to learn English, that is what schools are for...," says Elena Palacios, an actress with 23 years of experience and the voice of characters in Cold Case and Lost, among others. "Why don't we leave things as they are, with freedom to choose?"

The imperative and its uses - 1st & 2nd ESO

Have a look at this video! You see, I'm using an imperative.

Past Simple vs. Past Continuous - 3rd ESO

This is a very interesting video on the differences between the past simple and continuous.

Prepositions of place - 2nd ESO

Have a look at this video on prepositions of place (spatial location as the video says).

Pronunciation tips - 3rd ESO

Here you are a video giving tips on how to pronounce "i" and "ee" sounds correctly.

And now one on past simple "-ed" endings.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Vigo's Old Town - 2nd ESO

Last Thursday (November 4th) the class of 2nd ESO went on a field trip organised by "Vigo por Dentro" to the Old Town of Vigo. We toured the Old Town getting to know streets, historic buildings, and the structure of the medieval village.

The tour started at Porta do Sol where we wondered why this name for a square. After having a look at a picture of the Old Town contrasting it with one of the present city, we started going to A Praza da Princesa. There we talked about the name of its fountain (A Fonte do Anxelote) and some key moments in the History of our city. 

After these first two stops we went deep into the old streets imagining we were walking on the walls and trying to recreate how the villa used to be. We pursued the streets imagining why their names, what they were like and how life used to go by during those times. We also talked about traditional jobs and crafts.

This experience gave the students the notion of English as a communicative tool, not a s much as a school subject, and allowed them to practise the language in real context. 

Objectives of the activity:

- get to know the Old Town of Vigo, recognizing its antique urban planning, streets, squares, historic buildings and history of the small village, using English as a communicative vehicle.

- try to recreate the village that Vigo used to be during the period of walled villa.
- recognise and valorise architectonic and urban patrimony, giving special attention to the state of rebuilding and restoring old urban areas in modern cities.
- see how time passed by these old streets, comparing them with modern urbanism.
- use English to communicate and ask for information, describe, give opinions and other functions and skills when speaking a language.

Click to play this Smilebox collage

Saturday, 30 October 2010

ICT activity - November

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County & Los Angeles Griffith Observatory

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County opened in 1913 as the Museum of History, Science, and Art. The museum is the largest in the western United States, and its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts and cover 4.5 billion years of history. The museum maintains research and collections in many fields including: entomology, anthropology, archaeology, malacology, etc.

The Griffith Observatory is a non-profit educational institution whose purpose is to provide information on astronomy and related sciences to the public. It is not a research institution, although from time to time it carries out modest research projects.  The Observatory has been a major Los Angeles landmark since 1935. It sits on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood with the Los Angeles basin spread below. 

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The history of Halloween

Here you are a video on the history of Halloween by National Geographic Channel.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Extra practice - 1st ESO

BE - Present Simple
Exercises: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7.

HAVE GOT - Present Simple
Exercises: 1, 2 & 3.

Extra practice - 2nd, 3rd & 4th ESO

Present Simple:
Exercises: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15.

Present Continuous:
Exercises: 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Contrast between Present Simple & Continuous:
Exercises: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8.

Present Simple vs. Present Continuous - 2nd, 3rd & 4th ESO

Have a look at the differences between the Present Simple and Continuous.

Present Simple - 1st & 2nd ESO

Take a look at these videos on the Present Simple. They'll be useful for your next exam.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

ICT activity - October

Take a trip through music history

The British Music Experience (aka* BME) is a permanent exhibition installed into The O2 Bubble, part of The O2 in Greenwich, London. Opened in 2009, it features a retrospective look at the British music industry since 1944 and also a wide selection of content and experiences presented using multimedia resources.                           
aka* - also known as

Monday, 4 October 2010

ICT activity - October

We'll travel to New England (in the Norteastern corner of the United States) to find out about this beautiful region.

Monday, 27 September 2010

New TV show on CWTV

The new TV show is called "Hellcats". Take a look and tell me what you think.

Saturday, 25 September 2010