Monthly Archives: December 2012

THE “12 LUCKY GRAPES” (B1+)

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The way of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Spain is almost the same throughout the country and the Spanish tradition of Nochevieja (literally “Old Night”) says that when the clock strikes 12 at midnight, twelve grapes are eaten symbolizing happiness, hope, and good wishes for the coming year.

This grape-eating tradition was introduced into Spanish society in the early 20th century. In 1909, Alicante’s wine makers created this unique end-of-the-year Spanish custom as a solution to their post-harvest grape surplus. Today, the tradition is followed by every Spaniard, and the twelve “lucky grapes” have become synonymous with the Spanish New Year.

The 12 grapes coincide with the first 12 chimes (12 seconds) of the clock on New Year – Año Nuevo. The Spanish believe each grape represents each month of the New Year and eating it brings good luck. The actual countdown is followed by millions of Spaniards gathered on Puerta Del Sol in Madrid in an event televised nationwide; just as each town and city also hold their own countdowns. When the clock finishes striking twelve and all the grapes have been eaten, people greet each other with a hug and a kiss and the toasting begins with sparkling Spanish “cava” (a champagne from Catalunya), or alternatively with cider.

After the countdown celebrations, many young people attend New Year parties that range from small, personal celebrations at local bars and discos to huge parties with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms and rental venues. These parties are called cotillónes and usually last until the next morning.

To prepare for the Nochevieja occasion, many supermarkets and local shops sell a variety of “New Years’ grapes”: it consists of a small tin can that contains 12 seedless (and sometimes peeled) grapes, for easier consumption. Traditionalists still prefer the “old way” of eating the grapes: buying them whole, still attached to their wreath, and peel them as they wait for the countdown.

On Spanish New Year’s Eve superstitious people believe that wearing red brings good luck: as long as the red item is given to you as a gift by someone else… and the gift primarily consist of a red piece of underwear.

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2012: THE YEAR´S BIGGEST STORIES (B1+)

NOW THAT THIS DIFFICULT  YEAR IS ABOUT TO FINISH AND TO END ON A HAPPY NOTE….. LET´S  LOOK BACK ON  2012.

WHICH EVENT SURPRISED  YOU MOST? WAS IT THE METEORIC RISE TO FAME OF THE  DANCE CRAZE “GANGNAM STYLE” WHICH DOMINATED YOUTUBE?

How much do you know about the news in Spain and Latin America this year?

TRY THIS QUIZ FROM EL PAIS IN ENGLISH

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS

FUCK CHRISTMAS by JOSE (B1+)

ARE YOU FED UP WITH THE SPIRIT OF XMAS?

JUST REMIND YOU THAT “FUCK” IS A VULGAR WORD (SLANG) WHICH IS GENERALLY USED AS AN INTENSIFIER TO EXPRESS ANNOYANCE OR DISDAIN…

ONE POUND FISH: THE LATEST INTERNET SMASH !! (B1+)

FED UP WITH THE WORLDWIDE FAMOUS “GANGNAM STYLE”? WHY NOT TRYING “ONE POUND FISH”? A PAKISTANI FISHMONGER IN LONDON INVENTED A CATCHY TUNE TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS TO HIS SHOP AND IS NOW A WORLDWIDE SINGING SENSATION…

“His song, titled as “One Pound Fish”, has been viewed more than 3.6 million times on YouTube. Shahid moved to London one year ago from Pakistan. He hoped to make money in pounds and send it to his wife and children staying back in Pakistan. But perhaps Shahid had not expected that just a year later he will be world famous. Now people come from every corner of the world to see him singing.”

And here is Shahid singing “One Pound Fish”

Here are the lyrics of Shahid’s now famous song:

Come on Ladies, Come on Ladies, one pound fish,

Come on Ladies, Come on Ladies, one pound fish,

One pound fish,

Have have a look, Have have a look, One pound fish,

Have have a look, Have have a look, One pound fish,

Very very good, One pound fish,

Very very cheap, One pound fish,

Six for 5 pound, one pound each,

Six for 5 pound, one pound each,

Fish to the one pound,

Fish to the one pound,

Fish to the one pound,

Fish to the one pound,

Six for 5 pound, (pause) one pound each,

Fish to the one pound,

Fish to the one pound,

Come on ladies, Come on ladies, Today fish one pound each,

One pound each, One pound eaaaaaaach,

Very very good and very very cheap,

Very very good and very very cheap, One pound fish, One pound fish,

Have have a look, Have have a look, One pound fish,

Have have a look, Have have a look, One pound fish,

Very very good, One pound fish,

Very very cheap, One pound fish,

Six for 5 pound, one pound each,

Six for 5 pound, one pound each,

Very very good and Very very cheap,

One pound fish to the one pound fish,

Come on ladies come on, One pound fish, come on ladies come on one pound fish,

One pound fish, one pound fish

One pound fish, One pound fish

Very very cheap and Very very cheap (In Bangra swagger)

One pound fish, one pound fish

Very very cheap and Very very cheap

HOW CAN PEOPLE BECOME INTERNATIONAL RISING STARS IN SUCH A SILLY WAY? I MIGHT BE CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR FAME WITH THIS POST, I MUST ADMIT…….

 

 

I LIKE TO PLAY….. (A2 & B1+)

WAS “SANTA”  RIGHT WITH YOUR PRESENTS THIS YEAR? HOW LUCKY WERE YOU?

FOR TODAY´S CHILDREN IT IS VERY EASY, ALMOST NATURAL TO GET USED TO NEW TECHNOLOGIES

IF YOU’RE STILL THINKING OF BUYING PRESENTS FOR THE THREE WISE MEN, IT´S GOOD TO KNOW THAT SOME OF THE TOP PRESENTS THIS YEAR HAVE ALREADY BEEN SOLD OUT IN SPITE OF THE CRISIS.

WHICH PRESENTS SHOULD BE INCLUDED ON THAT LIST: TOP CHRISTMAS GIFTS 2012?

PLAY STATION 3, AMAZING HEADPHONES, SLEEK TABLETS,  SOUND TOWERS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, IPHONES, MONSTER HIGH DOLLS, IPADS, PERFUME, BAGS…..

 

CELEBRITIES DEMAND GUN CONTROL AFTER SHOOL SHOOTING IN CONNECTICUT(B1+)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SPOT LAUNCHED BY AMERICAN CELEBRITIES?

WILL THE WORLD END TODAY? (B1+)

The MAYAN CALENDAR finishes one of its great cycles in December 2012, which has fueled countless theories about the end of the world on December 21, 2012 at 11:11……

IS IT THE END OF THE WORLS AS WE KNOW IT?

IF THE WORLD WERE ABOUT TO END, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR LAST 24 HOURS?

 

 

 

 

THE GREAT SPANISH CRASH (B1+)

IF YOU GET BORED AT XMAS, WATCH THIS REPORT BY THE BBC ABOUT SPAIN:

RITA BARBERÁ IS ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS ABOUT THE BROADCASTING OF THIS REPORT CLAIMING THAT IT HARMS OUR TOURIST INTERESTS AND THE IMAGE OF THE VALENCIAN COMMUNITY. DO YOU AGREE?

FUTURE ARRANGEMENTS (A2)

If you want to hear an example of two people arranging to meet, I’ve just found this post from EOI Guía. Listen to the conversation between two of the teachers, Michael and Pina, and see how they use some of the expressions we have seen in class this week. GOOD LUCK AND HAVE A NICE XMAS HOLIDAY!!!

WRITING FORMAL LETTERS (B1)

HAVE A LOOK AT THIS PRESENTATION WHERE YOU’LL FIND SOME INTERESTING ADVICE ON HOW TO WRITE A FORMAL LETTER OF APPLICATION BEFORE TRYING TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK (WRITING UNIT 4)

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