Saturday 31 January 2009

More Reported Speech

This is not the first time we revise this structure, but if you want to do more practice, try these hot-potatoes exercises; you will get the solutions at the end.

Be your own teacher.... and if you need some more click on English Grammar Secrets

Monday 26 January 2009

Reported Questions

Noelia from Spain explains about reported questions, listen to her and practice quizz 1 and quizz 2. And if you have any doubt read the grammar explanation.

Saturday 24 January 2009

Jack London's The Law of Life

Jack London got the materials of his books from his own adventures; his philosophy was a product of his own experiences; his love of life was born of his wanderings over the earth and voyages across the seas.

In his official web page we can learn about his stories and his life. Select one of the shorter ones and try to do a summary.

Now you can read 'The Law of Life' while you listen to it in VOA.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Be a Film Reviewer!

Have you seen The Clone War? Do you want to leave your opinion about the film?
Enter the BBC newsround and read about the plot, the stars, the best and the weak bits, the comments of other people.. and give your own review about it.

And in the official page you can enjoy some games

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Listening to Jokes

A good dancer:
A girl and a boy are talking.

The girl says, "You would be a good dancer except for two things."
The boy asks, "What are those two things?"
The girl answers, "Your feet."

$100 Bill:
A: Why are you late?
B: There was a man who lost a hundred dollar bill.
A: That's nice. Were you helping him look for it?
B: No, I was standing on it.

3 Mice:
Three mice were being chased by a cat.

The mice were cornered when one of the mice turned around and barked, "Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!" The surprised cat ran away scared.

Later when the mice told their mother what happened, she smiled and said, "You see, it pays to be bilingual!"

Monday 19 January 2009

Edgar Allan Poe

Today is Edgar Allan Poe anniversary: he was born on the 19th January, 1809.
He is best known for his poems and short fiction. Moreover, he was the father of the modern mystery and detective stories. Additionally, Poe has had a worldwide influence on literature, films and music. Nobody could think about modern literature without him.

Now let's read one of his best known stories The Black Cat. But you can read it in another special way.

As Poe said, 'All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream', you can dream the story. As you read, you will have a chance to select a picture that most closely represents what you are thinking about at that point in the story.
As you work, you can also listen to a narrator read the text.
(Press the play button on the narrator bar to hear the story read to you. You can also pause or stop the narration if you would like)
Once you've finished, you can print out the pictures you have selected and rewrite the story in your own words.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Hadrian's Legacy

Everyone knows about Hadrian's most famous legacy in Britain – the 73-mile-long wall he had built between England and Scotland following his first tour of the country in AD 121 – but few other facts about the Roman emperor (117 -138AD) have become common knowledge. The British Museum's major summer exhibition tries to solve this by examining through 180 exhibits, including the museum's bronze head of Hadrian, the complex life of this leader. A military man showed tolerance for other cultures and took a great interest in architecture, commissioning buildings including the Pantheon in Rome.

Discover what the wall was built for,
the Roman legions who built it
and who lived near it and what they thought about it.

Friday 16 January 2009

Doubts on Reported Speech?

If someone tells you something and you want to tell another person, can use 'direct speech' or 'reported speech'. Find out the differences in this programme: listen to the programme and try quizz 1 and quizz 2 or read the grammar explanation.

Dong Jun from South Korea plays the role of a spy who has to pass on important information about a conversation to his boss.

Thursday 15 January 2009

I Have a Dream...

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up
and live out its belief that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my
four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged
by the colour of their skin but by their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on 15th January 1929: ninety years ago. Too long for somebody who said that 'peace is more precious than diamonds'. After so many wars, his words have a powerful meaning.
Learn more about this Peace Nobel Prize and if you want, read the complete speech

Would you like to test your memory? Try this game on his words.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Funniest Exam Answers

Do you remember that nasty feeling of sweaty palms?
A wave of nausea coming over you?
The sudden inability to talk your mouth is so dry?
This is the feeling at the door of an exam room...for some students, but others are quite relaxed, I think so, as they give answers like these in history exams.
Have a laugh and tell me which one is the funniest from your point of view.

But before reading try this drag and drop word game about exams.

Exam answer: Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.

Explanation: Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ (Origin) of the Species. Madman (Madam) Curie discovered radio (radium). And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers (Karl Marx was the co-author of the Communist Manifesto and died in 1883. The Marx brothers were a famous comedy team who made many movies between 1929 and 1949)

More funny answers to exam questions written by history students.

Monday 12 January 2009

Rush Hour in London

Many people love the excitement of living in a big city such as London. But for others, things happen a bit too fast - people seem busy and stressed all the time.

A group called 'Slow London' wants everyone in the city to slow down and take some time to relax. But what do people living in London think about all this? Is life in the capital really too fast?
Listen to these people and answer the questions in the final quiz.

Friday 9 January 2009

'Luck' by Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Twain enjoyed immense public popularity, and his keen wit and incisive satire earned him praise from both critics and peers. American author William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."

Thanks to VOA we can read and listen to a short version of one of his funny stories Luck.
(remember you can listen to it at the same time you read clicking on the reproducer below or just on the same text)

If you have enjoyed with this story try some more online, but before reading another one, answer some questions about Luck:

a.- What kind of person was the hero?

b.- Where did the clergyman meet him?

c.- Was the action of the clergyman a good idea?

Tuesday 6 January 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Most people celebrate New Year's Day on January first. People observe the New Year's holiday in many different ways. The idea of admitting mistakes and finishing the business of the old year is found in many cultures. So is the idea of making New Year's resolutions. A resolution is a promise to change or do something different in the coming year. Have a look on this list, have you ever thought in some of these?

Lose Weight/Gain Weight
Get out of Debt
Save Money
Get a Better Job
Get Fit/Eat Right
Get a Better Education
Quit Smoking
Reduce Stress
Take a Trip
Volunteer to Help Others
Be Less Grumpy
Be more independent
Watch less violence
Learn something new

From VOA we can learn about hopes and wishes for two thousand nine, New Year's Resolutions by Ashley Preston and Charlotte Cicero and friends in Washington D.C.

After reading and listening the programme, why don't you tell us about yours?

Monday 5 January 2009

The Three Wise Men

Are you sure there were three those wise men who visited Jesus in Bethelem?
Matthew 2:1 tells us:

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethelem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem..."
Learn more about how many men threre were, their names, means of transport,gifts, if the place where they worshiped Jesus was a stable or a house and much more...

Do some Christmas traditions have pagan origins?
Was Jesus born on December 25?
What was the star of Bethlehem?
What should parents tell their children about Santa Claus?

Sunday 4 January 2009


Australia is the story of Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman), an English, aristocratic woman who leaves England to follow her husband to Australia. He is in Australia with the intention of selling his cattle station the size of Belgium. However, Lady Ashley believes he is having an affair and travels out there to confront him. The property is in the north of Australia, and she embarks on an African Queen type journey, accompanied by a rough, hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman). Ultimately, Lady Ashley finds herself inheriting the cattle station and, in order to save it, she and the drover must undertake an epic cattle drive to Darwin. In the course of that journey, she falls in love with the drover, and the Australian landscape, and realises that her life is not over, and there’s always a new life to be had. The title Australia is intended to sum up the story of her life - her journey, the landscape, and the people she meets - all of which transform her life forever.
The making of the film
Image Gallery
Soundtrack Lyrics
Tourism Australia