Friday, 28 November 2008

Daylight Savings Time. Any Problem?

Daylight Saving Time gives us the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings by moving our clocks an hour forward in the spring.
Yet, the implementation of Daylight Saving Time has been fraught with controversy since Benjamin Franklin conceived of the idea. Even today, regions and countries routinely change their approaches to Daylight Saving Time.
Throughout its long and fascinating history, daylight saving time has had a remarkable impact on a wide variety of unexpected areas--from Middle East terrorism to feuding twin cities, voter turnout to time-change riots, radio stations to trick-or-treaters, and opera performances to manslaughter charges.

and discover the worldwide daylight saving.


(Click on the image to enlarge)

Try this quiz online from BBC

Thursday, 27 November 2008

How much do you know about Thanksgiving Day?

After yesterday's Lookybook now try this quiz about this celebration, you only have to nove your mouse over the red [A] to view the answers.

Or try this quibblo quiz:

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Haunted Places in Britain II

Pubs in Britain are frequently said to be haunted. This might be because they are often century-old buildings, or it could just be that ghosts like a pint as much as the rest of us.
The 400-year-old Red Lion Inn in Wiltshire is one Britain’s most haunted pubs. The pub is situated inside Avebury stone circle - a World Heritage site and the largest stone circle in Europe - which greatly enhances its already unique atmosphere.
The hotel reports a sinister history. Legend tells of the landlady, Florrie, being murdered and pushed down the village well during the civil war, by her soldier husband who returned to find Florrie had been unfaithful.
This legend haunts the Red Lion pub, with several customers and employees seeing the lady, dressed in black, walking around the pub in search of a bearded man.
One eyewitness report detailed a spinning chandelier with a bearded man sat underneath.
Customers have seen Florrie in the ladies toilets and a previous pub landlady said the ghost of Florrie hurled salt and pepper over tables and chairs.
Ghostly horse-drawn carriages have been seen pulling up outside the pub, which dates back to the 16th century.
Continue reading...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ten Tips for Learning English?

Thanks to BBC Learning Programmes we have the opportunity to clear doubts and practise the language.

This time a student from Egypt asks about how to improve the language and George Pickering, a British Council inspector of language schools in the UK, helps with some advice.

Try to complete the listening test and give your opinion about his ten tips, do you agree with him? Would you suggest anything else?

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Chat Guide ;-}

BBC programme 'ChatGuide' brings us the best information on how to keep you safe online with games for children, teenagers advice on keeping safe in chatrooms and dealing with bullying, parents' page, teachers' info and much more...

Now let's know about texting:

There are lots of different kinds of ‘chat speak’ developing. For example, acronyms are often used in online chatrooms, and texting is used to message between mobile phones. An example of text speak would be ‘LOL’ or ‘laughs out loud’. Another example is 'TTFN' or 'ta ta for now'....go on reading

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Would you Like to Be a Webranger?

On of the most famous National Parks in US is the The Grand Canyon's, which is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States state of Arizona. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
The National Park Service offers us the possibility to be a webranger. Webrangers help to preserve National Parks in the distance; they learn about the Grand Canyon, have fun, and are Park representatives to their friends, families, and schoolmates. Rangers spread their new knowledge about Parks and continue to use good environmental practices.

Enter the page, join the webrangers service and enjoy!

Monday, 17 November 2008

For or To? English Prepositions

When I correct my students' essays, they have some doubts when using for or to + noun/verb form, thanks to BBC Learning English, we can solve some of them... I hope!

For other doubts on prepositions...
to be continued!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Question Tags

Thanks to English Grammar Secrets (see the permanent link on your left 'Elementary, dear students') you get an explanation on 'Question Tags' and to BBC an audio about some doubts on this topic.
Listen to the audio with or without the tapescript and try the exercises at the end of this post.

We use tags in spoken English but not in formal written English.
They are not really questions but are a way of asking the other person to make a comment and so keep the conversation open.
Making a tag is very mechanical. To make a tag, use the first auxiliary. If there is no auxiliary, use do, does or did.

With a positive sentence, make a negative tag and with a negative sentence, make a positive tag.

  • It's beautiful, isn't it? He has been, hasn't he?
  • You can, can't you? It must be, mustn't it?
  • You know him, don’t you? He finished it, didn't he?
  • He will come, won't he? It isn't very good, is it?
  • It hasn't rained, has it? It can't be, can it?
  • They didn't leave, did they? He won’t do it, will he?
  • Jenny doesn't know James, does she?

Notice this:

  • There isn't an ATM here, is there?
  • Let's have a cup of coffee, shall we?

To reply, use the same auxiliary:

  • It's beautiful, isn't it? ~ Yes, it is. I think it's fabulous.
  • It isn't very good, is it? ~ No, it isn't. In fact, it's terrible.

Although, the rules are very simple and mechanical, in order to use them easily in conversation, they have to be automatic. So you need to hear and practice them very often.

Exercises one, two, three, four, five and six.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Love Actually

Last week while looking for a book, I remembered this song. Dido is not my favourite singer but this song, this film was special. It's one of these films you can see again and again in special moments... and after it you always feel better. Don't ask me why, only sit for 90 minutes and enjoy some sweet and funny moments.

Note: I couldn't find another version with subtitles in English working properly... sorry!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Karl Marx is Back in Fashion Again! II

After BBC article on 22nd October try now to know more about this philosopher and some others searching information on this webquest: What is the Best Form of Government?

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Wild Animal Trivia

How many things do you know about animals? Could you answer these questions?

1) Which animal seems best suited to praying?
2) Which animal would do best in the Olympic stadium?
3) Which animal causes people to look worse than usual?
4) Which animal offended a dictator?
5) Which animal would be most welcome in a library?
6) Which animal is the laziest?
7) Which animal could get a shock when it is hungry?
8) Which animal has special protection when having a drink?
9) Which animal seems poorly adapted to its natural habitat?
10) Which animal would be easiest to sleep with?

Listen to the British Council EnglishLearnCentral programme and discover it. And if you have any doubt try the test or read the tapescript after listening.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Today, Black Means Hope

Thanks to Segrel

Listen to BBC News by Mike Wooldridge

If this is a "Mandela moment" for America, there were - perhaps inevitably - few specific clues in Barack Obama's victory speech as to how that will work its way through on to the world stage. But for those who have objected to American unilateralism during the Bush years there was the commitment to listening, the promise - in Mr Obama's words - of a new dawn of American leadership, coupled with the pledge to defeat those who "would tear this world down".
Among the reaction from Europe, President Sarkozy said the American people had chosen "change, openness and optimism". And the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, said "we need a new deal for a new world".

Iraq's foreign minister was quick to tell Mr Obama that there was "a great deal at stake" in Iraq and he did not foresee a quick US disengagement, while President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan said he hoped the election would bring peace, life and prosperity to his country.

Managing such expectations abroad, as well as at home, will clearly be one of Mr Obama's biggest challenges.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


One of my favourite American writers is Nathaniel Hawthorne. So was Herman Melville's, whom dedicated his major work 'Moby Dick'.
Author of 'The Scarlet Letter' and 'The House of the Seven Gables', he wrote many stories of human imagination that can be read as moral allegories. Feathertop offers a critical view of society.

Read this short version between lines and give me your opinion about humanity and appearance.

"The long cold winter was gone at last. At first the cold nights went away slowly. Then suddenly, the warm days of spring started to come. There was new life again in the earth. Things started to grow and come up. For the first time, green corn plants began to show. They pushed through the soil and could now be seen above the ground.
After the long winter months, the crows, the big black birds, were hungry. And when they saw the little green plants, they flew down to eat them. Old Mother Rigby tried to make the noisy and hungry birds go away. They made her very angry. She did not want the black birds to eat her corn. But the birds would not go away. So, early one morning, just as the sun started to rise, Mother Rigby jumped out of bed. She had a plan to stop those black birds from eating her corn..."

Continue reading and enjoy listening below thanks to VOA

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Haunted Places in Britain I

By night, Highgate Cementery is like something out of a horror movie. Eerie crooked gravestones, headless angles covered in ivy, dark overgrown passages between the tombs, it’s no wonder this is Britain’s number-one ghost spot. Despite it’s chilling atmosphere, by day Highgate Cemetery showcases some of the Britain’s most spectacular Gothic architecture, offers fascinating guided tours. It’s also the burial place of Karl Marx, George Eliott and many other famous people.

If you are brave enough enter the Sexton' Tales , the true life stories of the Victorian men and women which four generations of grave diggers have sat and told one another.

Have a nice time!


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