Monthly Archives: March 2011

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment jumps to just short of 4.3 million in Spain

By h.b. – Mar 2, 2011 – 12:39 PM
The rise in February was ,however, lower than in previous years

There is a new all-time record number of people out of work in Spain at 4.3 million.
February saw 68,260 people join the dole queues and register at the old INEM offices.

Unemployment rose in both sexes, but more so among women, up 38,887, and increased also in all regions of the country.
Of the new contracts signed in February, a million of them, only 9% were indefinite.

The Ministry for Employment is trying to put a brave face on the numbers, and has highlighted that the yearly increase of 4% in unemployment is the lowest since 2007, and the increase in February is smaller than in other years.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that the Social Security system lost 237,888 affiliates over the past 12 months. February alone saw a reduction of 14,744 to take the number of contributors to the system down to 17,347,094, according to the Ministry for Employment and Immigration.

Read more: http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_29437.shtml#ixzz1FXoKEkZU

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NEITHER-NOR GENERATION (B1)

Estudias o trabajas?” When young Spaniards gather around the bars and patios, that’s their traditional icebreaker line: “Do you study or work?” In the past year, it’s become almost mandatory to answer, with a self-effacing smirk: “Nini.”

It is half a joke, for nini is a way of saying “neither-nor,” and NINI is the Spanish government acronym for “Not in education or employment” – that is, lost to the economy. Nini is used to refer to a young person neither in education nor employment. A generation thought to being doing nothing, nada, nini. Or NEETS (not in education, employment or training, to be precise), as the less loving Labour government called them.

But it’s not really a joke, because now almost everyone is NINI. The under-30 unemployment rate in Spain has just hit 44 per cent, twice the adult rate. Italy also has passed the 40 per cent mark, and Greece has gone even further. If you count all the people who’ve given up looking, it means the number of people between 20 and 30 who have any form of employment in these countries is something like one in five.

An entire European generation is leaving school to discover they have no place in the economy. The ‘lost generation’ is merely losing young people who want to work and study to the depths of the Job Centre.

WHAT HOPE DOES OUR “NINI” GENERATION HAVE?

IS IT FAIR TO USE SUCH A “LABEL” FOR YOUNG PEOPLE?

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO USE “NEITHER…NOR” IN ENGLISH?: “NI ESTUDIA NI TRABAJA”

CLOCKS GO FORWARD !! (B1)

CLOCKS GO FORWARD ONE HOUR ON SUNDAY 
By: ThinkSpain , Friday, March 25, 2011
Clocks go forward one hour across the whole of the EU this Sunday, March 27th, switching from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to British Summer Time (BST) or daylight saving time, which will last until the last Sunday in October.The change will mean darker mornings but lighter evenings.Daylight saving was first suggested in 1784 by American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin, to allow people to enjoy more light in the evenings.The EU authorities decided to standardize the time change in 2001 as each member state was changing its clocks at a time to suit them, creating problems in transport between countries, especially in the rail system.Energy savings through lower electricity consumption for lighting is the main objective of this measure, which began to be generalised from 1974, following the first oil crisis.Spain, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden will all be two hours ahead of GMT, i.e. GMT +2.The UK, Ireland and Portugal and the Canary Islands, which have always been one hour behind Central and Western Europe will move to GMT +1, while Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania will advance to GMT +3.
 

SO, I´M AFRAID IT’LL BE DARK AGAIN WHEN WE MEET ON MONDAY…..!!

TALKING ABOUT “SAVING ENERGY” AND “BEING IN THE DARK” REMEMBER WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TOMORROW!!

EARTH HOUR 2011

RETIREMENT AT 67 (B1)


Spain raises retirement age to 67  

2/2/2011

 After a hurried month of debate that started with an emergency cabinet meeting, the Spanish government has decided to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67, according to Reuters. This makes the country one of many to recently strategically plan for baby boomers by delaying pension collection.

This comes at a time where Spain faces both a looming debt crisis and the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone. Experts predict that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is attempting to calm worried investors, so that the nation won’t face a bailout solution similar to that of Ireland and Greece.

The proposal to raise the retirement age was designed with Spanish unions. One major concession that labor groups won was that, if an employees had paid into the current pension system for at least 38.5 years, they would still be able to retire at 65.

The reforms are expected to take effect in 2013.

Spain will still be spending a lot on pensions – by 2050, approximately 14 percent of total national expenditure will be spent on benefits for retired baby boomers and seniors.

Raising the retirement age has been an international retirement trend, as countries from Spain to Portugal have enacted similar measures. One of the countries that is still debating the prospect is Poland, where liberal party members want to raise retirement age, cut social programs and privatize business, according to a separate article from Reuters.

ARE YOU FOR OR AGAINST THIS MEASURE?

VIOLET EYES ……. PASSED AWAY (B1)

Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of the 20th Century’s biggest movie stars, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

The double Oscar-winning actress had a long history of ill health and was being treated for symptoms of congestive heart failure.

People say that legends never die……

TAYLOR is a very common surname in the English language which was originally derived from trades, jobs and occupations. Sometimes they slightly changed the spelling so as to hide its origin (TAILOR).

Many surnames are taken from jobs e.g. if a man was a carpenter he might be called John Carpenter and because sons very often followed their father’s occupation the surname stuck. Some occupational surnames are obvious e.g. Smith, Potter, Cooper, Mason, Tailor or Taylor, Spinner, Weaver (Webb was another word for weaver, a webster was usually a female weaver), Dyer, Thatcher, Tyler, Slater, Miller, Baker, Cheeseman, Spicer, Cook, Fisher, Hunter,Shepherd, Carter, Clarke, Skinner and Gardener (alternative spellings are Gardner and Gardiner)etc…

 As we are dealing with JOBS, do you know what TAYLOR /TAILOR  means?

 DOES IT HAPPEN THE SAME IN SPANISH? CAN YOU THINK OF ANY EXAMPLES?

“ZAPATERO” SHOULD BE CALLED “SHOEMAKER” IN ENGLISH AND “SCHUMACHER” IN GERMAN…

VERBS AND ADJECTIVES + PREPOSITIONS (B1)

HAVE YOU EVER  APPLIED FOR  A JOB?

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN FINDING ONE?

FATHER´S DAY (B1)

Fathers Day Dancing Letters Animated Gif

Father’s day is celebrated on the 19th of March in Spain. It falls on St. Joseph’s day since the Catholic Church holds a significant influence on its culture. In some parts of Spain, like Valencia, there’s a grand celebration on St. Joseph’s day and it is called “Las Fallas.” There can’t be a better occasion than Father’s Day to show your gratitude and love to fathers in all possible ways. Following are the steps to celebrate father’s day in Spain.

Tips on how to celebrate Father´s Day

things you’ll need:

  • Ingredients to make authentic Spanish breakfast or any other recipes
  • Gift
  • Tray to serve breakfast
  • Photographs
  • Bottle of Spanish wine
  • Scrapbook
  • Hand made card
    • 1

      Give your dad the classic treat of breakfast in bed prepared by you. Give him a hug and wish him Happy Father’s Day. Serve him churros (deep-fried fingerlike doughnuts), tortilla (Spanish omelet) or magdalenas (Spanish tea cakes), accompanied by hot chocolate, tea or coffee.

    • 2

      Surprise your father with some beautiful hand made cards and make him realize how special and important he is in your life.

    • 3

      Cancel all your appointments and other commitments. Your time is the most precious thing that you can give him on this day.

    • 4

      Take him out for lunch in an elegant restaurant serving delicacies your father enjoys. Consider taking him to a restaurant specializing in cochinillo asado (roast baby pig) or gambas ajillo (large prawns cooked in olive oil, garlic and chili flakes).

    • 5

      Plan a homemade meal, which can be lunch or dinner and invite your father for it. Serve traditional Spanish delicacies such as paella (Spanish yellow rice made with seafood, chicken or pork) or gazpacho (cold tomato-based soup with cucumber, green pepper and garlic).

    • 6

      Include a bottle of Spanish wine in your festivities. Consider wines that originate from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Cava and Penedès, the wine-making regions.

    • 7

      Observe your dad’s preferences in respect of gift in advance and give him the gift that he is unlikely to buy for himself. Keep his hobbies in mind before buying a gift. You can search for and order a gift online (see Resources below).

    • 8

      Arrange a party in the evening and invite all the father figures in your life. Include your grandpa, your teachers, elder brothers and even your first boss.

    • 9

      Thank them for their contribution in your life. Tell them how special they are to you.

    • 10

      If your father has passed, remember him fondly on this day and consider sending a donation to a charity that supports a cause close to his heart.

    • 11

      Prepare a scrapbook for your dad in advance. Paste some of the best photographs of you and him together in it.

ARE YOU FOR OR AGAINST THIS KIND OF CELEBRATIONS?

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (B1)

 

cln-291-fallas-page-3.jpg

One of the most difficult editions of the Fallas comes to an end tomorrow

THIS year’s Fallas celebrations will go down in history as being one of the most difficult and fraught with obstacles ever.

Artists first had to contend with the financial crisis that forced a drastic reduction in budgets, having to stretch their imagination and resources to build the best possible creations with the means available without allowing the quality and reputation of the group suffer.

But then this week brought extra problems in the shape of dark clouds and fierce winds.

While several fiesta groups requested that the monument judges overlook damage caused by the rain when deciding the winning ‘falla’, five monuments were partly ruined and in some cases blown over completely in Valencia city by the fierce gusts whipping the city this week.

Eight monuments in Valencia city were also left unassembled due to mistakes and internal problems within the various groups.

However and despite the hiccups, Convento Jerusalén ‘falla’ won first prize for the second year running with a satyrical and dynamic assembly displaying various types of caged birds including ‘dumb bird’ (Zapatero) and ‘seriously dangerous birds’ (Mubarak and Gaddafi).

As always, the ‘fallas’ reflected the most relevant and topical subjects of the last year.

As such, Spain’s World Cup victory was among the most widely depicted elements, including star couples Iker Casillas with Sara Carbonero and Gerard Piqué with Shakira.

 Read more in this week’s Costa Levante edition

WHICH “FALLA” DID YOU LIKE BEST THIS YEAR?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE IN A “SLOW CITY”?

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THESE LOGOS? WHAT DO THEY MEAN?

List of Slow Cities in Spain :

CLOZE EXERCISES: QUANTIFIERS (B1)

 

THE CONCEPT OF COUNTABLE AND UNCOUNTABLE IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN DEALING WITH QUANTIFIERS.

[authorSTREAM id= 262733_633924220420757500 pl= player/player by= jeonlaghari]

TRY THE LINK BELOW AND TRY CLOZE EXERCISES (EXAM TYPE) USING QUANTIFIERS.

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/StudyZone/410/grammar/count2.htm

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

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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