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VALENCIA IN ENGLISH (ALL LEVELS)

reflection of cityscape in sea at night

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“VALENCIA in English ” is a new section of an online journal called “Spain in English” written by Catherine Dolan, an English mum in Spain as she calls herself… I thought that living in Valencia it might be interesting for you to read it…. HAVE A GO!

“While the lockdown has caused pain and suffering to so many, there are also some positives to come out of it. The environment is starting to breathe again and there can’t be many of us who haven’t learnt some new technological skill. Even my mother-in-law has had to download houseparty by herself while in confinement.

For me I’ve been fortunate enough to discover Spain in English and am delighted to be joining the team, giving a glimpse into what’s happening in the Valencia region.

I’m originally from a village near Canterbury, in the UK, where I used to be a reporter on a local newspaper.

I’m based in l’Eliana, where I live with my Valencia-supporting husband Juan, our four Spanglish daughters and two dogs. (I’m really a cat person at heart, but one of the small people in our family is extremely allergic to cats so we had to settle for a cat-sized dog instead).

We moved to Valencia nearly five years ago to be closer to my husband’s family, because as they say in Spanish la sangre tira! As the eldest of six siblings, it goes without saying that Juan’s family is quite large. As we are the only ones with a garden, and space enough for everyone to get together, our house has become the venue for birthdays, saints’ days, mother’s day, Easter Egg hunts, Eurovision, Cup finals, the list goes on.Before moving to Valencia we lived in deepest Aragón, just an hour south of the French border, in a small village near Huesca. Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of it, most people haven’t. The most famous former resident I managed to discover was Spice Girl Geri Halliwell’s mum, Ana María Hidalgo.

If anyone has ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, my background is like the husband’s: a small, calm, quiet Anglo-Saxon family, while Juan’s is more akin to the big, noisy, laughing, fun Greek family. That’s the Mediterranean way for you.

Since moving here we’ve settled in and got to grips, to varying degrees, with the local language, Valencià. It’s very similar to its cousin, Catalan and, like Catalan, is becoming ever more important.

I managed a couple of years of evening classes, which anyone can attend here for free – that’s how keen the government is on pushing the language.

I would recommend some basic classes for anyone relocating here, not with an eye to becoming fluent but just to have a basic understanding.

So much of everyday life here is in Valencian and it really will give you brownie points with the locals, especially in smaller towns, where it remains the main language.

The girls and I have also all developed a taste for the local speciality horchata (the cold drink made from tiger nuts) and fartons (the delicious elongated pastries for dipping in the horchata), much to Juan’s horror!

Las Fallas
Catherine Dolan, her husband Juan and their daughters at Las Fallas in 2019.

During the 10 years we lived in Huesca, we never once missed the Valencia Fallas festival – and the girls have always dressed up, ever since they were babies.Dressing four falleras doesn’t come cheaply, however, so soon after we moved here, I enrolled in an Indumentaria fallera course and have so far made two complete outfits of the traditional costume. The only thing I haven’t yet done is dress up myself. Maybe one day.

To the untrained eye, yes, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re made of curtain fabric and I must confess, the first time I saw a fallera with her coiled plaits over her ears, I immediately thought Princess Leia. (But just don’t say it out loud.) And a word of warning, never refer to it using the Spanish verb disfrazar. Dressing as a fallera is a very serious business, not to mention being a huge part of the local economy.

For the past two months we’ve been confined to our house in l’Eliana. We’ve certainly been much luckier than those living in city apartments. We’ve been able to use the garden, swim in the pool and even take the dogs for walks. Which I suppose makes them more useful than a cat would have been.

I fear that when we finally do make it to Phase One of deconfinement and larger groups are allowed to meet, I’ll be inundated with girls as my daughters’ cousins descend on us to jump in our pool.


Having worked in Spanish secondary
education for the past 10 years, there may be some bias towards school issues and children.But when I find some peace and quiet among the barking dogs and the splashing girls, I will be rounding up the main stories in the area, concentrating on those which people are talking about.

At the moment I shall mostly be looking at how we are dealing with lockdown, how we will come out of it and how on earth the government will face the mammoth task of social distancing at swimming pools, beaches and bars.

Will we be able to swim in the sea this summer? When will we be able to travel between provinces? When will it be safe for Madrileños to visit their second homes on the Mediterranean?

I’m delighted to be involved in this new project – Valencia in English – just as we begin moving towards the New Normal, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

You can read more about my life as an English mum in Spain, including my Diary of Spain in Lockdown at www.catherinedolan.net or contact me directly with any news stories at catherine@catherinedolan.net”

IF YOU ENJOYED IT, YOU CAN READ MORE ARTICLES TO KEEP YOUR ENGLISH ALIVE ….
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HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PRESENTATION (B2.2, C1)

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EVERYBODY GETS NERVOUS WHEN THEY HAVE TO TALK IN PUBLIC (BUTTERFLIES IN YOUR STOMACH, TREMBLING VOICE, SWEATY PALMS ETC…) SPECIALLY IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. THAT´S WHY I´D LIKE YOU TO WATCH THIS VIDEO WHERE THEY TRY TO GIVE YOU SOME USEFUL TIPS ON HOW TO DO IT IN ENGLISH CALMLY AND WITH CONFIDENCE

MOST PRESENTATIONS ARE DIVIDED INTO THESE PARTS:

  1. WELCOME YOUR AUDIENCE : ” Good morning, everybody…”
  2. INTRODUCE THE TOPIC: ” Today, I´m going to talk about…”
  3. OUTLINE THE STRUCTURE: “To start with, I´ll start by…”
  4. QUESTIONS: “Do feel free to ask my any questions at any time”….
  • HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR INTRODUCTION

  • HOW TO ORGANIZE THE BODY

  • WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR CONCLUSION 

‘Signpost language’ is the words and phrases that people use to tell the listener

what has just happened  and what is going to happen next.

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CORONAVIRUS VOCABULARY (B2.2)(C1)(C2)

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Imagen de Markus Distelrath en Pixabay

IF YOU´D LIKE TO WORK ON THE SUBJECT AND ARE NOT FED UP WITH IT, HERE YOU HAVE SOME ACTIVITIES AT DIFFERENT LEVELS

B2.2

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The Reading is from Linguahouse.com and you can download the listening from this website:
http://www.diamondnyelviskola.com/uploads/3/2/1/5/32159101/corona_virus.mp3

B2.2, C1, C2

CORONAVIRUS & COVID 19 VOCABULARY

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2001/200124-coronavirus.html

NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS WEBSITES BY CRISTINA CABAL (B1,B2, C1)

IF YOU WANT TO KEEP UP YOUR ENGLISH  AND / OR  IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH, WHY DON´T YOU FOLLOW MY COLLEAGUE CRISTINA CABAL´S ADVICE AND READ HER AMAZING POST ON THIS?

The 8 Best Audio/Video News and Current Affairs Websites to Learn English.

CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO VISIT HER WONDERFUL BLOG AND READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

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WATCHING AUTHENTIC TV IN ENGLISH (B2, C1, C2)

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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 which will link you to Transponder TV. You only have to register for free and  enjoy a trial period of 7 days. Then you’ll be downgraded to their free service with fewer channels and worse quality

https://tvcatchup.com

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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.

 

BORED AT CHRISTMAS…? (1B2)

I´m sharing with you an activity designed by my colleague CRISTINA CABAL, which was recently published in her blog….

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CLICK ON THE PHOTO BELOW TWICE TO BE DIRECTLY LINKED TO CRISTINA´S ACTIVITY

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ISN´T THIS GOING TOO FAR?(1B2, B2, C1)

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is now encouraging the public to stop using popular idioms because they are considered “anti-animal language.”

The organization said people should take the phrases that involve animals and make them more animal-friendly.

“Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations,” PETA wrote in a tweet. READ MORE…

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DO WE HAVE SIMILAR IDIOMS IN SPANISH? CAN YOU THINK OF SUITABLE TRANSLATIONS INTO SPANISH?

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CONTROVERSY?

“CUE PROMPTER” A TOOL TO REHEARSE YOUR SPEECHES (1B2)

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

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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!!

TUTORIAL

“FINDING YOUR FEET” A NEW BRITISH COMEDY RELEASE (B2) (C1) (C2)

“FIND YOUR FEET”  (TRANSLATED INTO SPANISH LIKE “BAILANDO LA VIDA” ) IS A NEW BRITISH COMEDY RELEASE FOR THIS WEEKEND TRYING TO SHOW THAT THERE IS LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT…..

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When ‘Lady’ Sandra Abbott (Academy Award nominee Imelda Staunton, Maleficent, Vera Drake) discovers that her husband of forty years (John Sessions) is having an affair with her best friend (Josie Lawrence) she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister Bif (Celia Imrie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bridget Jones’ Baby). The two could not be more different – Sandra is a fish out of the water next to her outspoken, serial dating, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs at the moment, and she reluctantly lets Bif drag her along to a community dance class, where gradually she starts finding her feet and romance as she meets her sister’s friends, Charlie (Timothy Spall), Jackie (Joanna Lumley) and Ted (David Hayman).
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE ENGLISH EXPRESSION “TO FIND ONE´S FEET”? CAN YOU THINK OF A SUITABLE TRANSLATION INTO SPANISH?
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“THE STITCHER LIST”: PODCASTS ON THE GO TO IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING SKILLS AT EASTER (1B2)

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TheStitcherListblog2

Stitcher is a smartphone app that lets you aggregate radio shows and podcasts, stored on your phone for on demand listening or streaming from the web.

Listen to over 65,000+ radio shows and podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, Android or PC -anytime, anywhere

Get the freshest episodes of your favorite podcasts and radio shows streamed directly to your smartphone or iPad – no downloading or syncing. From NPR’s Fresh Air to Adam Carolla, WNYC’s Radiolab to the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow and more, Stitcher organizes and delivers the world of talk radio fresh daily. Listen whenever and wherever you want.

Create Your Own Radio and Podcast Playlists

“Stitch” together your favorite shows into customized station playlists and save them for easy access. Create a news playlist for your morning commute, and a comedy playlist for the weekends. Browse or search through over 65,000+ different shows, or select a pre-set station from Stitcher’s editors like Top 20 Comedy shows, Top 20 News & Politics shows and much more.

Discover New Radio Shows & Podcasts

Let Stitcher give you personalized recommendations based on your listening preferences. Enjoy This American Life? Stitcher lets you see what other listeners of This American Life also like to listen to – you’ll have new favorites in no time. Let Stitcher help you discover

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