Tucked at the end of a narrow, crooked street in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, you may be surprised to come upon an ancient public bathhouse, a surprising relic from another time. The Admiral’s Baths have stood sentry here for 700 years, through wars, reconstruction, epidemics and the Inquisition—and still stand today. If only these walls could talk, you might think. What stories lie beneath those star-carved ceilings, across these tiled floors…
With this novel The Admiral’s Baths, author Dana Gynther offers us one possibility. Told from the perspective of four women of different times and circumstances, we witness the unfolding history of the ancient bathhouse through the struggles, desires, tragedies, and triumphs of Fatima, Angels, Clara, and Rachel. Though these characters are separated by hundreds of years, we find that what connects them is more powerful than the passage of time, and we celebrate the enduring human spirit, which stands strong like the Admiral’s Bath’s themselves. READ MORE
THESE DAYS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TALKING A LOT ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY: GOYA AWARDS, ETC… In 1918, following years of bitter struggle, (some) women finally gained the right to vote in the UK. 2018 marks 100 years since Parliament passed a law which allowed the first women, and all men, to vote for the first time.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, it’s painfully obvious how much more work there is to be done….“We must celebrate the incredible advances previous generations have made. But as we recognise the battles they fought and won, we need to regather our strength and determination for further battles. We can’t stop yet. The job’s not yet done!”
Television is great for learning English. The pictures make it easier to understand than the radio and because you can see who’s talking, you get a better idea of what people mean. Just watch their “body language”!
Watch programmes that you find enjoyable and entertaining – whatever you watch will help you to improve your English. Ororo.tv is great but I´ve written about it before…Why don´t you try watching tv online? CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW
After clicking on CHANNELS, you can choose the programme you want to watch.
Before Brexit, I used to watch watchallchannels.com/. Unfortunately, it doesn´t work anymore abroad due to right issues after Brexit.This website was mobile friendly so you could watch it on any device.
Here’s a guide to learning as much as possible while watching English television:
Only watch programmes you find interesting. Learning English should be fun – not something you have to force yourself to do. If you have a passion for football, watch matches or the sports news. A variety of programmes is best, anyway.
Keep a notebook near to your television, so that you can jot down any new words or expressions that you hear. This is especially useful if the programme you are watching has been subtitled into your language.
Try to watch English television regularly. Even if you can only watch 15 minutes a day, you’ll be amazed how much you learn.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything – English television is normally aimed at native English language speakers. Programmes often include difficult words and expressions. If the programme you’re watching is full of unknown words, just concentrate on understanding the general meaning.
Even cartoons and children’s programmes are useful when learning English and quiz shows are useful for learning how to ask and answer questions in English.
Keep a note of television programmes and presenters that you find easy to understand and try to watch them regularly. Doing this will increase your confidence and give you a sense of achievement. (http://www.english-at-home.com/business/learn-english-with-television/)
Whatever you like to watch the most important thing is that you sit back and enjoy. Learning English should be a fun activity, especially during the summer season, and it’s amazing how much more we can learn when we’re relaxed.
SPAIN SPECIAL 2018
How to be Spanish
Swear like a trooper, drink your red wine cold and always finish your dinner
Learning the language is only the first step to becoming Spanish. Getting a tan and knowing your tapas from your pintxos are steps two and three, but there’s still a long way to go before you can pass yourself off as anything other than a guiri. There are some shortcuts, though.
First, forget Anglo-Saxon notions of politeness, discretion and decorum. Being Spanish involves walking into a bar, kissing and hugging complete strangers, shouting “oiga” at the waiter and chucking anything you can’t eat or drink on the floor. Except glasses. That’s too much. But you can drop the please and thank yous. They’re so unnecessary.
If you’re a lady, carry a fan. Over here, it’s a tool, not a souvenir, and regardless of gender, do try to develop the uncanny Spanish skill of knowing instinctively where the coolness is. Not hipster coolness. The ambient one.
You also need to unlock that potty mouth. Spoken — or, rather, shouted — Spanish is shot through with obscenities of astonishing inventiveness and anatomical awareness, and it doesn’t matter who you’re talking to. In Salamanca, I heard a teacher on a school trip tell his pupils to “**** off for lunch”, and that “any ****er” who wasn’t back at 3.30 sharp would be “****ing left behind for social services”. The kids seemed cool with that, even though being Spanish requires utter disdain for punctuality. Arriving anywhere 30 minutes late is actually considered quite early and quite rude.
You need to learn food etiquette, too. Start with a breakfast of tostada, sobrasada and a cortado, and don’t ask for butter. This is olive-oil country. Stop whatever you’re doing at 11am and nip out for a beer and a sandwich. That should keep you going until lunchtime, at 2pm. You’ll be going for a three-course menu del dia, and it will take between two and three hours. Then have a kip.
Next, tapas. You can always spot the Brits. They’re the ones who walk into a crowded tapas bar and can’t believe there’s a table free. That’s because the Spanish sneer at tables. Tapas are eaten at the bar, while yelling at the waiter and throwing stuff on the floor. Except the glasses. Remember that.
Then go home and watch telly. Got Talent España and Sabado Deluxe — a sort of Jeremy Kyle for celebrities — are good choices. They’re probably on the TV in the bar, but with all that shouting, you won’t be able to hear a thing.
Ten o’clock is dinnertime. Start with beer or ice-cold red wine, because cocktails are for after dinner, and make sure you eat everything you’ve ordered. Countries that have suffered famine are funny about that. Don’t go overboard on tips (it’s not done here), be ambivalent about bulls and, finally, always take your phone to the toilet. This is a) so you can check for messages from your secret lover, and b) because every motion-activated toilet light on the Iberian peninsula is programmed to go out after four seconds.
Had I read this article in “The Sun”, I would have understood. What you publish tells volumes about the publication you are. It is highly disappointing to see such article in a serious paper.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE FIRST SENTENCE WRITTEN BY ANA GARCÍA? IS THIS A THIRD CONDITIONAL?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO FEEL LIKE A FAMOUS TV STAR?
This little tool is a cueprompter. My students need to give a speech and I find this little tool can help them a lot monitor the time it takes them to give their speech as it has adjustable speed features.
How to use it
♥Copy/paste the text into the prompter text window
♥You can set screen size, font size and colour
♥Start the prompter and adjust the speed
♥ Use the Space Bar to stop/start the cueprompter
IT´S AS IF YOU WERE WORKING ON TV AS A NEWSREADER!! BUT REMEMBER THAT THIS IS JUST FOR REHEARSING AT HOME: YOU CAN´T USE IT DURING YOUR ORAL PRESENTATION IN CLASS.
THIS POST IS FROM CRISTINA CABAL´S BLOG. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR GREAT IDEAS!!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE? IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?
Among many other benefits “reading aloud can help your pronunciation. Even if you already know how to pronounce the language pretty well, it is hard to fit your mouth and tongue around the foreign sounds. Reading aloud gives your vocal organs the exercise they need to speak without getting tired or stumbling. If you are still fuzzy on pronunciation, use texts with recordings on CD or MP3 files, and repeat after the native speakers. But following along in the book will give you added input over simply listening and repeating. Try to copy the intonation and rhythm as well. You will be using eyes, ears, vocal apparatus, and of course, brain — all at once!”
SOME APPS CAN HELP YOU DO THIS WORK WHENEVER YOU DON´T HAVE THE RECORDING: READINGS ON YOUR TEXTBOOKS, GETTING READY FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS, ETC….
- DO YOU KNOW ANY OF THESE WEBSITES OR APPS ?
- WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR?
- CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY SIMILAR APPS?
You can paste the text.(SUITABLE FOR IOS &ANDROID)
TIPS TO IMPROVE PRONUNCIATION WHEN YOU´RE READING ALOUD
(BY my colleague JAVIER SANTOS ASENSI)
Step 1: Find CONTENT WORDS in the fragment you have chosen and make sure you know how to pronounce them.
- Even if meaning is different for different speakers, there are certain word categories that are usually more meaningful and therefore commonly stressed. They are often called content words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, negative words, pronouns (demonstrative, possessive –mine, yours…, reflexive –myself, yourself…, reciprocal –each other, one another , interrogative –who, what…), question words (where, how often, etc), intensifiers (too, much, quite, etc.) and modifiers ( numerals, cardinals, etc.)
- Pay special attention to those words you are very familiar with. Are you positive you have not made a habit of mispronouncing them? Check their pronunciation in your print or online dictionary or CD Rom
- First locate the stressed syllable (long words usually have a secondary stress as well)
- Then make sure you use weak vowels / Ə / and / I / in unstressed syllables
- Is there any consonant or vowel sound that you have problems pronouncing?
Step 2: Check the pronunciation of GRAMMAR WORDS (also called function words)
- Most times grammar words are not stressed. These include articles, determiners (the, some, each), auxiliary and modal verbs (do, have, be, may, will, etc.), one-syllable prepositions and conjunctions (to, from, of, and, but, etc.) If they have a weak pronunciation form, use it instead of the strong form you might be familiar with (check the pronunciation of these words in your reference chart)
Step 3: Are there any words you can contract?
- Remember that contraction is a feature of spoken language. You do not usually contract words in more formal written texts. If you are reading aloud you should try to contract whenever possible even if you do not see the contraction
- Revise the most common contractions: in the reference chart your teacher will provide you with.
Step 4: Connect unstressed words to meaningful stressed ones in a logical way
- First connect words into phrases (noun or prepositional phrases, etc.) in a logical way to avoid reading word to word and stressing every single word. These connected groups of words are often called thought groups
- Then try and connect phrases into short sentences
- Contracted forms as well as Word linking (connecting words ending in a consonant with the next word starting in a vowel or else words ending and beginning with vowels) will help us do it. In British English final “r” will be pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel (linking “r”).
- As a result the number of words in spelling and pronunciation will be absolutely different.
Step 5: Make sure you respect punctuation marks: pauses and intonation
- Periods (full stops) , commas, colons, semi-colons, parenthesis and the kind are realized as pauses in oral speech. These pauses will allow the listener to follow our utterance and ourselves to breathe. Moreover, if you run over the sentence limit, your utterance will make no sense at all for listeners, for they mark the end of an idea, a piece of explanation or clarification, an example, etc.
- Question and exclamation marks are realized as intonation patterns. Avoid flat intonation patterns, otherwise it will be difficult to make out your speech intention
RECORDING YOURSELF WOULD BE THE FINAL STEP AND PLAYBACK…. BUT WE´LL TALK ABOUT THIS IN ANOTHER POST…..
Netflix‘s ambitious new series The Crown is the most expensive TV series to date, costing the streaming service over $130 million (via Daily Beast). A lavish – and thoroughly British – affair which sees the reunion of the creative team behind 2006’s Oscar-winning biopic The Queen, starring Helen Mirren. Screenwriter Peter Morgan and producer Andy Harries are here joined by Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry.
Taking its basis from Morgan’s 2013 play The Audience, the series is set to trace the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from her early years to the present day, balanced over the course of six seasons of 10 episodes each. The show promises to tell, “the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street – and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.”
AS MANY OF THE TEV SERIES ON NETFLIX ARE AMERICAN, THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD CHANCE TO LISTEN TO BRITISH ENGLISH AND KEEP UP YOUR ENGLISH DURING THE SUMMER. SEASON 1 IS ALSO ON ORORO TV WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES