Monthly Archives: June 2010

ARE STATE SCHOOLS OF LANGUAGES IN DANGER? (B1)(A1)

WATCH THIS VIDEO AND MAKE COMMENTS ON IT:

IF I WERE A SMOKER….. (B1 & B2)

READ THIS ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN “EL PAÍS” TODAY. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE ISSUE?

I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, which has mostly been lived among smokers — some of them smokers and proud of it, unlike the apologetic kind who offer you a gasper and when you refuse, say: “You don’t know how lucky you are.” Being hedonistic by nature, I have always suspected that the unlucky one is me, having willfully deprived myself of what must be a pleasure, if so many people are hooked on it. Of course it annoys me to breathe other people’s smoke in public places — especially if it drifts right into my face, as it always, without fail, seems to do. But I view with stupefaction the Zapatero government’s preparations for a new anti-tobacco law, which will perhaps result in a new episode to add to its previous record of resounding declarations followed by tail-between-the- legs retractions. Meanwhile, the smoker is intimidated on a daily basis by fearsome messages on his cigarette pack, which remind me of the vividly colored cards of bad children burning in hell, that the priests used to give you in Spanish primary schools.

 If I were a smoker, I would rise up in dialectical arms against such a disproportionate law, which apparently aims not only at the regulation of an annoyance, but also at the entire elimination of a habit — turning the habitué into a pariah of society. If I were a smoker, I would equally abhor, however, the literary romanticizing of the habit — a pose that can be just as affected as the activists of sexual freedom who, to sugar-coat the pill of something as natural as homosexuality, feel they have to bring up the names of Socrates, Sappho, Michelangelo, etc. Why should these great names be required to justify the proposition that a consenting person can sleep with someone of the same sex, if he so desires? Or drink himself under the table (another field where great names abound), or gamble his wherewithal away — or, of course, smoke. If I were a smoker who travelled, I would be yelling (if it is not too late?) for the availability of a means of public transport that allows effective separation of areas for smokers. To wit, the train. The authorities, and not only in Spain, have gone directly from allowing travellers to smoke anywhere, to not allowing the traveller, who has paid for his ticket like the rest of us, to have a smoke anywhere on a long train, which may take hours to reach its destination.

If I were a smoker, I would endeavor to boycott the hotels that now forbid smoking in any room, however much you have paid for it. Not long ago a Spanish writer I know was in Paris, staying at a five-star hotel at the invitation of his publisher. A friend who visited him there was directed, by a snotty disdainful receptionist, to a garret huddled under the roof and accessible only by a special narrow elevator — about the humblest room in the hotel, not graced with its famous carpet. A room they give to smokers.

Though it is far from clear that smoking is a religion, I think that it ought to benefit from the principle of freedom of worship. Even in a secular state, the religious lot are allowed to ring their bells and have their public processions, and burn their incense in public places. When I see a knot of office workers in shirt sleeves, even in cold weather, at the door to an office building, performing their forbidden ritual, I am reminded of early Christians lurking in the catacombs. We who pass our days in our cities, breathing perforce the burnt filth of automobiles — which no one seriously tries to restrict— let us leave the smokers to their worship, or vice, as long as it doesn’t “damage the health of others,” in the words of the fearsome warning printed on the cigarette pack a friend has just drawn from his pocket, as he lights up in my living room.

Vicente Molina Foix is a writer.

http://www.elpais.com/misc/herald/herald.pdf

WOULD IT BE RIGHT TO SAY “IF I WAS A SMOKER”?

AFRICA QUIZ (B1)

 HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT AFRICA? TRY THESE TRIVIA QUESTIONS AND FIND OUT…..

  1. Two major economic activities in Kenya are farming and
  mining
  fishing
  tourism
  herding
2. About a third of the land in Central Africa is

  rain forest
  savanna grassland
  mountains and highlands
  desert
3. Which of the following does NOT border Africa?

  Red Sea
  Atlantic Ocean
  Coral Sea
  Indian Ocean
  Mediterranean Sea
4. The _________ River is an important water transportation route in Central Africa.  
5. The Arabic word for “border” is  
6. Lesotho and Swaziland are considered enclaves because they are completely surrounded by the larger country of _________.  
7. A deep valley that cuts between highland regions in East Africa is called the _?_ _?_ Valley.  
8. A dry, dusty wind from the Sahara is called a  
9. Which of the following is not a crop widely grown by subsistence farmers in West Africa?

  Cassava
  cotton
  yams
  peanuts
10. All of the following are true about Kilimanjaro EXCEPT

  It is a long and narrow lake.
  It is the tallest mountain peak in Africa.
  It is on the border between Kenya and Tanzania.
  Many tourists visit it.
11. Swahili is a

  colorful cloth in Africa
  language spoken in East Africa.
  an ethnic group in East Africa.
  a popular food served three times a week.
12. Eritrea is the smallest country in Africa.

  True
  False
13. A policy of racial separation in South Africa was called  
14. Which is NOT true about the Sahel region?

  on the border of the desert
  undergoing desertification
  having a long drought
  widely used for growing crops
15. What is Nigeria’s most important export product?

  kola nuts
  bauxite
  oil
  cacao
16. The land area of Africa would fit into the United States a little over 3 times.

  True
  False
17. Africa is mostly desert and jungle with a few areas of grassland.

  True
  False
18. In the Congo most farm crops, household goods, and products of all kinds are transported

  on highways
  by planes
  by railroad
  using rivers
19. Dutch, French, and German settlers in South Africa were called

  Afrikaners
  Bantus
  Zulus
  Homeboys
20. The desert that covers most of northern Africa is the  
21. What West African country has the largest population in Africa?

  Nigeria
  Chad
  Mali
  Senegal
22. Which of the following is not a religion of West Africa?

  the Muslim religion
  the Christian religion
  traditional African religions
  the Buddhist religion
23. The children of the forest who live in the Ituri Rainforest of Central Africa are called the  
24. Africa’s oldest independent country is

  Egypt
  Ethiopia
  Eritrea
  D’Jibouti
25. Nearly all African are black.

  True
  False
26. Most Africans speak the same language.

  True
  False
27. Nelson Mandela is best known as

  a leader who fought against apartheid
  winner of Nobel Peace Prize
  president of South Africa
  All of the above
28. Many tourists come to Kenya for wildlife _____.  
29. In Congo most farmers grow crops that are used to feed their families, such as

  bananas and cotton
  yams and cassava
  coffee
  palm oil
30. The Namib and Kalahari are large ____ in southern Africa.  
31. Africa is a rich land with many resources.

  True
  False
32. The largest country in Africa by land area is  
33. There are very few conflicts between ethnic or cultural groups in Africa.

  True
  False

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS: http://www.quia.com/quiz/237001.html?AP_rand=914295400

WAKA WAKA ! (B1)

HAVE YOU HEARD THE OFFICIAL FOOTBALL WORLD CUP SONG?

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DANCE THE “WAKA WAKA”?

IF NOT, TRY THE VIDEO BELOW…..

 

 

 

 

 

You’re a good soldier
Choosing your battles
Pick yourself up
And dust yourself off
And back in the saddle

You’re on the frontline
Everyone’s watching
You know it’s serious
We’re getting closer
This isnt over

The pressure is on
You feel it
But you’ve got it all
Believe it

When you fall, get up
Oh oh…
And if you fall ,get up
Oh oh…

Tsamina mina
Zangalewa
Cuz this is Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Listen to your god

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

This is our motto
Your time to shine
Dont wait in line
Y vamos por Todo

People are raising
Their Expectations
Go on and feed them
This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down
Get up Oh oh…
When you get down
Get up eh eh…

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa
This time for Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh
Tsamina mina zangalewa
This time for Africa

Tsamina mina eh eh
Waka Waka eh eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa
Anawa aa

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS SONG? ALTHOUGH IT HAS A “CATCHY TUNE” , DO YOU FEEL IT WAS A SUITABLE CHOICE?

DO YOU THINK SOUTH AFRICANS ARE HAPPY ABOUT A COLOMBIAN WOMAN SINGING THE WORLD CUP ANTHEM?

WHAT DOES “WAKA WAKA” MEAN?

HAPPY HOLIDAY (A1) (B1)

SCHOOL´S OUT BUT  YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE THIS BLOG DURING YOUR HOLIDAY ….. ENJOY YOUR SUMMER HOLIDAY , ANYWAY!

HAVE YOU LISTENED TO THIS SUMMER HIT? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?

TRY THE LINK BELOW AND VOTE!

The Triangles – Applejack – skreemr

Smart Up Your English

LEARN NEW WORDS, EXPRESSIONS, PHRASES...

Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation

Smart Up Your English

LEARN NEW WORDS, EXPRESSIONS, PHRASES...

Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation