Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas party. December 2010

Here you are a visual summary of our Christmas party at school las Tuesday 21/12/2010. I hope you enjoyed it at least as much as I did thanks a lot for all your effort and good sense of humour!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Young people, by Lidia Rubio

Lidia has designed this presentation to illustrate her speech on youngsters and alcohol for her speaking project about this topic in class. Thank you very much for sharing it with the rest, Lidia!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, by Vicky

This book, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES, tells the adventures and misfortunes of a boy called Greg: his family relationships, things that happen at school and with his friends, etc. His family is very special. The story begins in September, starting with his summer and telling that his older brother, Rodrick, had found his other diary and that his mother had bought him another one. His dad insisted that he joined the swimming team over the summer holidays, because his dad thinks that he is destined to be a great swimmer. But Greg hates swimming. His dad only really wants to hide out in the basement to work on his miniature Civil War battlefield, but this was very difficult in this family. Greg has many problems with his brother Rodrick, who always lies. And he also has problems with his younger brother Manny, whom his parents protect from their brothers. His mother tried to teach him to earn and to save money, and she wanted his children to be friends so she wanted them to spend more time together or she bought a game called Magic and Monsters for them. They all celebrated Thanksgiving day with relatives.At school he has problems because he has the Cheese Touch from last year. Another day, Greg and his friends begin a joke called Invisible Chirag where they pretend Chirag was invisible. Later, the Talent show takes place. Rodrick’s band, called Loaded Diaper gets in. The problem was, when Rodrick’s drum solo begins, Mom started dancing, and the camera focuses on her for the rest of the song. The book ends with Greg helping Rodrick make a science project, and he hopes Rodrick will think about how lucky he is to have a brother like him. I think it is a good book for children or for English students like me because it is easy to read. The most interesting things are the drawings that are explaining the events graphically: it is profusely illustrated with comics. It is funny to observe how children have different numbers of hairs in these drawings. I would recommend reading this book for parents with children of the same age, but I think that I would not read this kind of books in my free time. 

Review. Diary of a wimpy kid, Diego Sierra

Diary of a wimpy kid, by Jeff Kiney
I have just finished reading Diary of a wimpy kid. I think it is an interesting book, although I didn’t like the whole story.It tries to be the diary of Gregory Heffley, a kid who tells us a lot ot things about his life every day. He is the main character. Other important characters are his parents, his brothers, Rodrick and Manny, and one of his friends, Rowley.Greg has a lot of problems at home. Rodrick doesn’t stop annoying him and he can’t do the same with Manny, because his parents are very permissive with the little brother.His father loves playing with a Civil War battlefield and his mother is the one who more or less controls everything around the house.Greg also writes about his classmates, teachers and some interesting or funny things that happen to him at school, such as the time he pretended Chirag was invisible, the Talent Show or his Science projects.He likes playing computer games and watching films. His brother is the drummer in a heavy metal band, Löded Diper. Greg’s father goes mad every time he listens to this band music.In the book we can have a complete look at Greg’s life. It is quite easy to read and to understand, and, in my opinion, it’s very useful, because there are lots of informal expressions, idioms and colloquial language.The style is very amusing and funny, the author tries to make us laugh.When I read that it was recommended (obviously in England) to children between 9 and 11 years old, I realized why it was so easy to read. :D

Review about The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jose

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kiney
This book is a realistic fiction novel and it was recommended by our teacher so that we could improve our English.It is a kind of diary with lined pages where a middle school kid named Greg writes about his daily life. Everything happening is told and illustrated with comics in a funny way.Gregory Heffley is the main character, the “wimpy kid.” He lives in a house with his parents and his two brothers. Rodrick is the oldest and he is always annoying Greg. Manny, the youngest, is the pampered one of the family.The main idea of the story is how Greg deals with a variety of problems in his daily life. Relationships between siblings and friends at middle school age are also meaningful.The setting starts with the past summer time and then continues telling what happened from September to December. It all takes place in a city of America.Rodrick is the only one who knows a real humiliating thing that happened to Greg, so he is always blackmailing him about this embarrassing secret. Greg can’t ever tell on him and he continues with his miserable life, dealing with school, bullies, homework, and family.Greg’s parents are Ann and Frank. Ann loves romantic comedies and she is always coming up with systems of discipline. Frank likes playing with a miniature Civil War battlefield.Rodrick is all the time annoying Gregg and enjoys it. He has his own heavy metal band and an old van. Manny, is five years old, overprotected, fond of drawing and candy. He is often involving Greg into trouble. Roland Jefferson”Rowley” is Greg’s best friend and is a bit naive and goofy. Jeremy Pindle is new at school and got the “cheese touch” from Greg. Chirac Gupta who moved away from school and came back but everyone in school made a joke on him as if he was invisible. Alex Aruda is the smartest kid in the whole class and Christopher Ziegel just the opposite. Bill Walter is the lead singer of Rodrick’s band called “Loded Diper. He lives with his parents even though he is thirty-five years old.I like the story because it is told at a time in short stories in a funny way and the cartoons have helped me understand many words. I came back to my childhood and for a short moment I could feel like Greg.The book is an excellent choice highly recommended because it is amusing and easy to read. I have found lot of new words and useful expressions.The novel is written with a special sense of humour, full of funny comic strips that will help you understand.

Diary of a wimpy kid review. Eduardo

This book is a diary where the narrator is a twelve or thirteen year-old American kid named Greg who tells what happens to him daily. He starts telling some things about his summer, and it finishes on December of the same year.
Greg isn’t a special boy. He is not the one who has the best marks or the smartest one, and he has “normal” parents. He tells in the book lots of things which happen to him, and the problems he has. Many of the situations told are normal situations for a kid of his age, although most of them are funny or absurd.
Greg lives at his home with his parents and his two brothers: Rodrick and Manny. Rodrick is older than him. He is very bad at school, and he loves heavy metal. He plays the drums in a band he has with his friends. Rodrick is always bothering Greg and they fight very often. That’s why the book is called “Rodrick’s rules”. In spite of that, at the end of the book, Greg recognizes that he loves Rodrick just for being his brother, and he helps him do a science project for school. Manny is the youngest one and their parents are always looking after him, so Greg can’t stannd him as Rodrick does with him. He is only three years old, and he sometimes breaks Greg’s things or games.
Rowley is Greg’s best friend. He is quite weird, and he has a little boy mind. Sometimes, Greg asks himself why he is his best friend. Rowley always imitates what Greg does. He even buys a diary just as his friend.
I think this book is easy to read and to understand, even although there are some colloquial expressions and some slang words. I found it interesting, and some of the absurd situations that we can read, they are very funny.

The British Museum is Falling Down by David Lodge. Review by Mª José Gasch

This is Lodge’s third novel and first comedy, written in 1965 while he was a young lecturer on a fellowship in the U.S.
This book is a sly satire about the out-of-date traditions of Catholicism in 1960s England.
This clever and sarcastic novel reports the misadventures of the brainy and absentminded doctoral candidate Adam Appleby and spans a single day of Adam’s attempts to carry on his thesis research in the Reading Room of the British Museum, while his wife, Barbara, is home with their young children.
The subject concerns the trials and tribulations of the young Catholic couple who live in constant anxiety state because they are prevented from planning their family due to their religious beliefs. With three young children in four years of marriage, and now the threat of a fourth pregnancy, both of them are psychologically and economically dejected and sexually frustrated from trying to follow the Church’s teaching regarding birth control.
The events in Adam’s day are funnily detailed: problems with his motor scooter, a fire scare, a sherry party and a visit to the aging niece of a Catholic novelist. All these things and his worry about his wife being pregnant make him get nothing done on his thesis.
Although you can enjoy many amusing scenes and dialogues, you can’t help being sorry for the young couple torturing themselves with the absurd and ineffective “contraceptive” methods like the “Safe Period” and the “Rhythm”.
I also enjoyed Lodge’s evocation of a world which has died - an academic life spent in the British Museum Reading Room - I would have liked to get to know that way of life.
The book is short, easy to read, very funny and cleverly written. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s a very good book worth reading.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Diary of a wimpy kid: Rodrick rules. A book review by Elena Rodríguez

Diary of a wimpy kid is a book written by Jeff Kinney, an American author who has created a very famous character. In fact, there are several books about his funny stories and a film adaptation about one of them.
The book mixes blocks of texts with drawings, which makes the reading dynamic, and the format reminds me of a comic. It is recommended for children from 9 year-old forward.
The main character is Greg Heffey, the narrator, who tells us his adventures through a diary, although he prefers to call it a journal. It starts with a pretty lousy experience in a swimming team during his summer holidays and continues with a lot of humorous situations that happen to the protagonist who is always involved in some trouble. The story finishes with the consequences of the Talent Show at school.
Greg lives in an American village, whose name is not mentioned, with his nuclear family: his father, who likes to work on a miniature Civil War battlefield; his mother, who likes to watch romantic comedies, and his brothers, the youngest, Manny, who is a baby and the oldest, Rodrick, who is the drummer in a band called “Löded Diper” and knows something embarrassing about Greg, which is discovered at the end.
Rowley is Greg’s best friend and went on holiday to South America. He is talking about it all the time, as if he would have spent there the whole life and that annoys Greg. Another friend is Chirac, who had gone in June and now is back at school, his mates make fun of him as if he was invisible.
Almost day by day, Greg describes many unlucky and funny adventures dealing with school, homework, friends, family…. One of them is when he was in charge of the neighbors’ dog Princess while they went on vacation. The dog didn’t want to do her stuff out, she always made it in the foyer so Greg decided to clean up the last day, but his neighbors came back home a day before.
We can enjoy with many different situations in the book, but I think there is also a message at the end, because despite all the problems and tricks that happen between Greg and Rodrick, they finally love and help each other.
I recommend this book to people of any age. I’m sure that you will have a great time reading it!

Diary of a Wimpy kid, reviewed by Paloma Garcia

This book is written by a boy that explains his childhood. The story happens in some USA village because they celebrate Thanksgiving day. His family consists of his parents and two brothers, one is older than him, Rodrick, and the other is younger Manny.He doesn´t get on well with his brother Rodrick and he is worried because Rodrick knows about the journal so he has to be sure he locks up it. As regards his youngest brother Manny he thinks he is very protected by his parents and he would like sometimes to hit him. The book starts in summer time when his family aren’t going to any special place and he has to go to the swimming pool because his father wants him to join the swimming team. He tells about the swimimming lessons in an ironic way and about how he tries to skip the lessons going to the toilet and getting frozen.
He has a friend called Rowley who has travelled during his holidays and he gets mad because he is always telling him about the trips. Rowley celebrates his birthday in a mall and he invites seven year old boys, something that Greg doesn´t find very funny. He complains Rowley is always doing the same things he does and about he was even bought a diary for his birthday.
School starts and he talks about his teachers. He had a Career Day which is a day kids must think about their future. He had to fill in some questionnaires and finally it turned oout he would be a clerk. This is not what he wishes because he was supposed to become a millionaire.
But one of the funniest chapters is when Greg and his brother Rodrick stayed one night alone without their parents and Rodrick, who has a flu, decides to throw a party. Greg goes to the basement to look for some chairs and gets locked. He spends all the party in the basement but the next morning he has to help Rodrick clean the house.
Although Rodrick is always bugging him at the end of the book he recognized he loves him because he is his brother and he offers his help to do the Science project.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The British Museum is falling down, a review by Liliana García

David Lodge
I have just finished reading David Lodge´s novel “The British Museum is falling down”, as a compulsory assignment in my advanced english course.
It is a comic and critical novel and it describes the course of a whole day in Adam Appleby´s life, who is a young student of literature and also the head of a very singular family composed by himself, his wife - Barbara - and their three children - Clare, Edward and Dominic. This particular decision to name their children in alphabetical order is a reflection of Adam´s obsessive behaviour. A kind of inflexibility that seems to come from an ultra – catholic and restrictive education whose rules are respected but very badly-born by the couple, especially regarding contracepcion.
The story takes place in London in the sixties and reports the misadventures of young Appleby, who starts his day with the terrible suspicion that his wife might be pregnant again. For the couple, the idea of having a fourth child is unbearable due to their economic difficulties.
Just for this reason, there are two ideas around Adam´s head during his twenty four hours of adventures and misadventures. One is sex and the moral dilemmas that his religious beliefs imply to him . The other is the need to finish his thesis or – alternatively, writting something – it doesn´t matter what – that catapults him to fame and money, although the mere fact of getting a stable job to leave his small and battered apartment would be fine.
It is just his gossip landlady who gives him a very hopeful letter: The sender, Mrs. Rottingdean, is a famous scholar´s niece and she keeps some unpublished material that could mean a great literary discovery.
Adam is supposed to work on his thesis in the Reading room at the British Museum but more than working he spends his day dreaming about the possibilities of his new fatherhood and the hope of a new job. So, he comes and goes to the phone booth to talk to his wife and, there, some crazy incidents take place, contributing to fill up the novel´s pages with cynicism and irony. False fire alarms, phone calls that are not meant for him and also meetings with his great friend Camel and disagreements with Father Finbar, who seems to be a mobile conscience. And, finally, carnal temptation represented in the body of a young, virgin and libidinous girl when he goes to Mrs. Rottingdean´s home to ask about the manuscripts that, for high, turn out to be useless.
The incidents that close the novel are a shout of laughter on Appleby´s face but they soften the hardness of his horrible day and get all the ridiculous events together.
The whole book is written in a sordid and intelligent way, with a particular joy on Adam´s exacerbated sexual desire.
In my opinion, it is a great novel, relatively bold for its time and sharply critical of the Church. I felt a clear evolution with respect to my feelings for the protagonist. As I was knowing him better, I was surprisingly changing comptemt for tenderness and compassion. I would recommend this reading to have a good time and to think about the relativity of life´s problems.

Guess the idiom

Let’s see if you are able to guess the idiom before the end of the video clip.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Attitudes towards children, by Rosa Menéndez

Rosa Menéndez, from Advanced level, Second Year, has designed this presentation to illustrate her speaking task about current attitudes towards children.Thanks for sharing it, Rosa!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Youngsters and alcohol

Pablo Gancedo, one of my Advanced ESL students, has designed this presentation to illustrate his speaking assignment about youngsters and alcohol and now he’s sharing it with everybody else. Thanks a lot, Pablo.
A nice full lesson for you to revise your Passive Voice. It’s OK for Advanced level. Just click on the picture below and start working with it in your computer. If you have never worked with a full lesson like this, the Malted Web 2.0 plugin will be required. Just click on Install and follow the instructions.

Going out at night, by José Modesto Suárez

Jose, an Advanced student, was telling us about his viewpoints on youngsters, alcohol and going out at night for a while in class the other day. Now he’s sharing his presentation with the rest of you. Thank you very much!

Alcohol and young people, by Elena Rodríguez

Elena, a First Year Advanced student, delivered a speech in class about alcohol and young people on Wednesday 1 December. Now, she’d like to share a presentation about it with the rest of us. Thanks ever so much, Elena!