Thursday, 31 May 2012

A school year in video sticky notes

Just a little something to remember the school year!

I hope you have enjoyed as much as I have!

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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Click, read, watch, listen and learn

Click on the interactive spots that the image below has and learn a bit about this building.

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Friday, 25 May 2012

Fancy going to the cinema this evening?

Then, do not miss Wild Kids, coming to a cinema near you today, 25 June 2012!
Meanwhile, watch this great inteview Patricia Ferreira, the film director, has just recorded for Urbanitas Salvajes, a blog that talks about Cinema and Education.

In Spanish, for once!

If after watching her interview, you make up your mind and go to the movies this evening, please, let us know your viewpoints on the première, but in English this time, OK?
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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Send me a voice message!

Today, I'm introducing what might be the last activity of our school year, or maybe not, who knows?

Anyway, if you have a look at the right hand side of the blog, you'll see a new widget: Send us a voice message.

Well, ready to try? OK. Then, just click on the widget; you'll see a popup window like the one on the image below:

Start recording. If you see a warning, similar to this one , just click Allow and go on.

Stop when you are finished, please let me know who you are, and Send

I'll be listening to your messages and promise to answer as soon as I can.

Nice last minute practice for your upcoming oral tests, isn't it?
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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Let's punctuate properly!

Here you are a brief test to help you with your punctuation when writing. 

To enter the test, you must register as a Student at NoRedInk and key in this Invite Code: 701e64ec
Just join our Advanced ESL. EOI Luarca classroom and begin testing yourself.

I hope you find it useful to improve your writing skills!

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QuizSlide: Verb + preposition

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Monday, 21 May 2012

Sponge cake


4 eggs
1 yogurt
1 measurement* of oil (Not fill it)
3 measurements* of sugar
4 measurements* of flour
1 packet of baking powder
Scratch of lemon
A bit of butter (put it in the microwave to melt) 
*Measurement: It’s the empty yogurt cup

How to make it 

First beat the four eggs, and then mix all the ingredients (yogurt, oil, sugar, flour mixed with the baking powder, lemon, and butter). Orange juice and a bit of anisette (spirits) can be added.  
It’s necessary to mix all the ingredients well until no lumps stays; if you want, you can use the whisker. 

Preheat the oven at 200 ºC. 

Smear the baking tin to make sponge cakes with little oil and breadcrumbs, while the oven is preheating. Then put the dough in the baking tin. 

Finally put the baking tin into the oven at 200 ºC for approximately 30 minutes. 

The result, a delicious sponge cake like this one:

Mónica Corrales Marbán. Advanced level. 2nd year.
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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Friday, 18 May 2012

A collection of our best writings

Here you are a sample of the best writings you have signed along the year, all bound in an ebook. 

I hope you like it!

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories


Read further information about his book on Wikipedia.

Starring Mónica. Advanced level. Year 2

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Hobbit, reviewed by Elena

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Deaf Sentence, starring Mercedes


Read more about Deaf sentence on The New York Times

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The hobbit


The hobbit is the first novel written by Tolkien and settled in a world of fantasy that he later developed in his trilogy called The Lord of the Rings. We can certainly say that The Hobbit is a wonderful introduction to that masterpiece sequel, so it is recommended to start with the first one before reading the second one.

This enchanting tale was made up for the author’s children in the 1930s, but once it was published, it achieved enormous success. The story tells the awesome adventure of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins and a group of dwarves. They were all called to an unexpected party at Bilbo’s by the wise wizard Gandalf. Bilbo lives in a comfortable hobbit-hole in the ground and as any other hobbit he likes quiet and food, while he dislikes adventures and has never gone beyond Brandivino River. But things change for Bilbo after the meeting, when he sets off as a burglar with fourteen dwarves and Gandalf’s help on the most amazing journey ever imagined: going to the distant Lonely Mountain to recover the treasure stolen to the dwarves by the terrifying dragon Smaug.

They run dangerous adventures, such as being captured by goblins under the Misty Mountains, where Bilbo meets the nasty and hissing creature Gollum and he finds the later famous ring which makes him invisible when slipped on his finger. They were also caught by trolls, which are fantastic creatures that must be underground before dawn, otherwise they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.

On the other hand, they also meet extraordinary characters, such as Elves in Rivendel, where the dwarves and Bilbo stayed at least fourteen days at Elrond’s Last Homely House; and Bearn, who is called Carrock and is very strong and a skin-changer: sometimes he is a huge black bear and sometimes a great strong man. Bearn keeps cattle, horses and great fierce bees, but he never hunts or eats animals. He warns the travelers against the perils of Mirkwood, where they have many more dangerous and weird adventures.

The book is quite shorter than The Lord of the Rings, highly entertaining and easy to read. At the same time it displays all Tolkien’s talent with a fluent narrative technique that takes the reader’s mind to incredible fantasy lands with magical animals and unforgettable characters.

For all lovers of fantasy and adventure novels this book is a must, a real delight.

By Elena. Advanced level. Year 2
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Monday, 14 May 2012

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories


I like Roald Dahl’s books, when I was a child I read Momo, Matilda, Charlie and the chocolate factory,… One day I was looking at some English books when I found this one, at first I believed that it was a book of ghost stories written by Roald Dahl, but when I picked it up, I realized that it was Dahl who had selected these terror stories by different writers.

Dahl read seventy hundred and forty-nine ghost stories at the British Museum Library before selecting twenty four with the purpose of making a television ghost series, but the pilot film was a disaster. Twenty five years later, he thought it was a good idea to put the better ones, fourteen amazing stories, together in a book.

As he said the best ghost stories don’t have ghosts in them, at least you don’t have to see them. Instead of reading what happens to the ghost, you only read the result of their actions, occasionally the story describes how the main character can feel the ghost brushing past to him or her, or how they are made aware of its presence by subtle means.

My favourite, among all the stories is ‘Harry’ by Rosemary Timperley, which describes what happened to a couple and her adopted daughter, Cristine. One day Christine starts to talk with an imaginary child, Harry, and tells her mother that he is her brother. Her mother is a bit worried about her, so she decides to see the Doctor who explains to her that it’s normal in childhood. But while Christine is at her first day at school, her mother goes to the Adoption service where she asks about the girl’s past; she is the only survivor of an accident in which her brother Harry saved her before he died. After knowing her past she goes to pick her at the school, but the school principal tells her that Harry has just picked her. Nobody has seen her again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic ghost stories, this is an amazing anthology.

As Roald Dahl wrote in his book: Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story’.

Mónica Corrales Marbán. Advanced level. Year II

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Shall we go for dinner at Mónica's?




A lettuce
Two eggs
Half an onion
One Lemon

How to make it:

While you are preparing the salad boil two eggs.

First you should pick out any broken or damaged lettuce leaves, and then break the lettuce up into larger than bite size pieces. Gentlly wash your lettuce in water, rinse it and put it in a bowl.

Chop the onion and the boiled eggs into small pieces and add them to the bowl.

As for dressing, a little lemon, oil and salt.



One chicken breast
Tinned tomatoes
A bottle of milk
Some cheese

How to make it:

Cut the chicken breast in tin fillets. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken fillets after adding a pinch of salt. When they are fried put them in a baking dish.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the bechamel and tomato sauce.

To make the tomato sauce you only need to fry the tinned tomatoes and add a pinch of salt.

To make the bechamel sauce, add oil into a frying pan and when it is hot, add flour with a pinch of salt, and whisk it vigorously. Gradually add milk, mixing with a whisk if it is necessary to prevent lumps.

Then spread the tomato sauce over the chicken breasts and cover all with the bechamel sauce.
Finally spread some cheese and put the baking dish into the oven at 200º for 15 minutes.



Some whipped cream

How to make it:

Put some walnuts into a bowl, add some whipped cream and mix it. If you want you can add some caramel.

Full meal by Mónica. Advanced level. Year 2
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Let's talk about age

Faced with the questions below, these are the reactions by Graciela, Mónica, Elena and Mercedes, four B2 ESL students.

What’s your ideal age?

What are the joys and problems of your age group?

How do you feel about growing older?

Would you like to be 100? Or be back in your teens again?

Do you think we should try to disguise the ageing process?

Is youth overrated nowadays? And old age underrated?

Have you heard of the Peter Pan effect? Can you guess what it refers to?

Do you find it easy to communicate with other age groups?

Is it better for people to be part of a family or to live independently? Think of different age groups and of the advantages or disadvantages of each.

The proportion of people over 65 is increasing in many parts of the world due to declining birth rate and better medicine. How does this compare with the situation in the past? What benefits/problems are derived from this?

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You are going to listen to a report about Trastevere, a well-known part of the city of Rome.

While you listen, fill in the gaps with a word or short phrase.

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Rafting in New Zealand

Listen to the interview about a rafting trip in New Zealand and choose the correct option or options for each of the questions.

When you are done, check your score to see how well you have done.

*From ELLLO.
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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Winner of The Espiral Edublogs Prize 2012


Our blog Stop and Learn English is one of the three winners of The Espiral Edublogs Prize 2012
I had already felt vey honoured when the previous week I found out that it had been shortlisted, but this Friday 12 May I learned that we had been one of the winners of this valued spinning top.

After a hectic weekend thinking of what to say or what to write on this award, I haven't been able to come up with any brilliant idea or phrase, but one word: Thanks! 

Thanks to the Espiral team, and thanks to all of you, for your effort, work, and for helping to keep my spirits, and the blog, up!
On 2 June we'll be in Madrid collecting the spinning top and meeting other awarded colleagues, such as Alberto, my friend from Kuentalibros, and his Bitácora de la lengua, or Juan José, an expert at Internet en el Aula with his Educativa, to name but a few.

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Friday, 11 May 2012

The secret diary of Adrian Mole, by Graciela


I have chosen The Secret diary of Adrian Mole to read along the third term from my language school.
Adrian Albert Mole is the fictional protagonist in a series of books by English author Sue Townsend.
He is a British boy. He is 13 years old and he lives with his mother, his father and an animal known only as ‘the dog’.
Adrian Mole writes his secret diary, which has gone on for a year and a quarter. He lives in a closed world where he tries to ‘become an intellectual’, reading  the classics and he would like a whizz future although he is worried about his parents and his blackheads.
To sum up, in his diary he tells about his relationships with his parents, friends, the girl he loves, Pandora and his grandmother. All the stories have a funny and a tender perspective.
It’s my belief that this book reminds me of the Wimpy kids series although it´s a realistic and humorous approach to the life of an adolescent boy.

By Graciela Suárez. Advanced level. Year II

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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Happy Birthday, Bono!

Bono. Does this name ring a bell?

How would you describe Bono? What features and facts do you know about him?

Watch the video below and, as you listen, note down the different words, phrases and expressions used to talk about Bono.

Source: video clip and facts from Bio True Story.

Now, watch the video again and make a timeline with the remarkable facts that took place around the dates below:


Finally, let's watch the video for a third time and answer the questions below:

1. Name some important nominations and awards in Bono's life.
2. What fact does just Bono see, according to the broadcaster Dave Fanning?
3. What was the cause of Bono's disagreement with school and family?
4. How does Bono's biographer, Michael Wall, depict Bono, in financial terms?
5. What did Live Aid mean for Bono?
6. Who was the money raised at Live Aid for?
7. What has Bono's humanitarian work given him across the world?
8. Name two humanitarian projects in which Bono is involved, and that are mentioned in the video.

Check your answers when you feel ready.

Now, have a look at this infographic, read the statement below and discuss with a partner:

You may get a full meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but 
billions don't have the same luxury.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Europe Day

Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. For the EU, 9 May is also known as Schuman Day, commemorating the historical declaration by French Minister Robert Schuman.
Europe Day is one of a number of European symbols designed to foster unity among Europeans.

Can you think of captions to illustrate the images shown in the video above?

Let's celebrate Europe Day together with some quotes featuring what Europe means to you. Please, post them as comments under this entry.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

Social networks and education

On 11 and 12 May I'll be introducing Stop and Learn English with all your classroom projects, podcasts, videos and works in #redesedu12

I hope you like the presentation I have designed for the event.

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Movies, a kind of entertainment

Students' opinions about movies, cinema and the picture below.

Photograph from INTEF. Banco de Imágenes y Sonidos

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Tips for a more effective use of Microsoft Powerpoint.

You are going to read part of an Internet article in which we are given some tips for a more effective use of Microsoft PowerPoint.

When you are finished with the task, check your score.
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Sunday, 6 May 2012

Please, take me home

That day in the morning, Morris Lessmore was reading, as he did every day. Suddenly, the wind began to blow, slowly at first, and eventually more last it was blowing so strongly that all the books were blown away. Even Morris Lessmore was carried away by the wind.
Finally Morris and the books were dropped on the ground. He looked around. There were a lot of books that had lost all the words, and thousands of letters were all around, everywhere.
Morris didn´t know where he was, or what had happened.
He began to play with the letters, making words...






Finally he made one sentence:


By Miguel A. Martínez. B2+

This short story is a follow-up activity of The Joy of Books
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Friday, 4 May 2012

Shortlisted for The Espiral Edublogs Prize 2012

Today, Friday 4 May I'd like to say thank you to you all.


Simply because our classroom blog has been shortlisted for the Espiral Edublogs Prize 2012, and this moving nomination is yours, as it is thanks to your effort and good work that this blog is alive and kicking.

Stay tuned for the prize updates, and good luck!!!!!

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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Does using one paper towel matter?


Let's Begin…

Judging this activity by its title, what topic do you think we are tackling?


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Library meat (Inspiration from The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore)


“You cannot leave us. We possess your name.”
“Please... It's been such a long time since I left my home.”
The guardian saw the shelves hanging over her like a mountain that was about to crush her. The thick volumes threatened her with their weight. The thin sharp pocket volumes seemed anxious to jump over her.
We have your name, guardian. Whithout it you cannot go back to the world. Nobody will name you and you will not exist.”
The guardian sobbed. There was a time when she existed. She looked down at her red shoes and perfect matching skirt. She had always wanted to have shoes like those, but now she knew that there were no more than shackles around her ankles. She exchanged her name for this aspect. Now she was as she had always liked, but nobody would ever see her.
Words are power, guardian. We have your name. You will not exist out of here.”
The guard took a deep gasped breath and rose a tearful gaze.
What if I bring you another name? I can bring you somebody else's name, so he can take my place.”
There was not even time for a thought, and the answer came.
“Bring us another name and you will recover yours.”

The volumes entered and left the nest at their will. They were sometimes more, sometimes fewer, but all locked up enough words to content all the world in them. The guardian took the blank book, which was used to create them all. Stumbling on her heels, she sat at the mahogany desk that they had created for her and opened it.
She stared at the blank book and, again her mind was launched in search of the callers who read the words. A whirlwind of images and feelings surrounded her. A little girl spelled her first words in a textbook, an old man with wrinkled eyes behind his glasses read a teen adventure, a young woman focused on the self-help book that would take her out of misery...
Young, old, tall, short, male and female. Thousands of different skin tones in the eyes of the guardian, imperceptible to ordinary readers, the faces of the reader. The guardian passed from one mind to another, like a shot. Most barely noticed her, but some threw away the book they were reading when they perceived that something was looking at them back from the words. She needed to find one that matched.

And there he was. The guardian felt how that mind caressed the words with devotion. He was the one. And he looked like her some years ago. She remembered herself, small and alone in the library, eager to have the figure, the success and the popularity of Alice, with her high heels and confident smile. She remembered the day a book looked back at her and ofered a deal.

The guardian stopped her will on the mind of the man to see his reaction. He was not frightened, in fact, she thought that perhaps he had not perceived her, but it was not the case. He was so devoted to his world of letters that he did not give a chance to fear. The guardian was not wrong. To say that Morris Lessmore loved books was like to say that a fish liked the sea. In fact, Morris Lessmore could not exist without them.

The guardian extended her hands of words through the mind of the man, to the origin of his personality, down to his essence. She embraced it in her hands and looked for the grammar that provided it with a shape in the world of ideas. She pulled it, and was surprised at the ease with which his name left him. As the concepts were removed, there was an implosion, and the world tried to fill the void that was left in that mind. The guardian quickly withdrew to avoid being absorbed by the storm.

Hes eyes focused on the nest, again, and she rose her gaze from the blank book. Her hands dug into it as if it was made of water. Around her, hundreds of sheets and volumes flew in excitement. Everyone in the nest could sense that she had brought a name.

The guard stood up and slowly extracted the name from the book. She held it in her hands, and showed it to everyone.
“¡¡Morris Lessmore!!”
There was an uproar.

Linette Farawell felt a twisted happiness while the volumes took her back to her world. Down there, a sad-looking young man, lonely and lost, rose his eyes to her.
“You are now library meat”, she thought.
One of the volumes flew to him to guide him to his new evermore home.

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lord Richard Allan and Facebook

In January 2012, Facebook director Lord Allan claimed that Facebook is protected by its own users.

Later, in April 2012, he visited a bunch of Primary students at the school library of IE Cañada Blanch in London and talked to them about several issues regarding Facebook.

Watch the video below.

Compare both speeches and find out similarities and differences about the language he used.

Then, leave your comments about what you think of his talk, what aspects about Facebook you already knew before listening to him, which ones you have learned about, how you liked his talk and any other opinions you may care to share with him.

Your comments and impressions will reach Lord Allan soon!

Here is what has called Mauge's attention:

Here are two questions to Lord Allan, by Vicky:

I know that it doesn’t enable anyone to access private user information without explicit user consent. However, you usually send lots of e-mails to people who don’t want to be a facebook member in order to convince them to sign up for a facebook account. Don't you think that they could feel upset with your company? 

I have another question: 

On facebook, I can say if I like something, share it and write comments. However, why 
can't  I choose "I don't like"?

Here are Elena's impressions:

Facebook has turned into such a powerful and quick tool to spread opinions, that many users have found an easy way to make comments discrediting people. For instance, some Facebook radio-channels are used by people under false identities to slander politicians, union members and very well-known people in local areas. Has Facebook thought about having any kind of control of these bad-behaviors in order to prevent a damage that, otherwise, will remain beyond a possible judgment?

Here are Merche's viewpoints:

I don’t know much about social networking communities. Though I unsuccessfully try to make my daughter understand that more than 500 photos shared with her online friends is too much for someone her age. That she is probably showing things that in the future may no longer reflect her anymore. And I try to warm her that somebody could use any information about her to harm her. Nevertheless she keeps talking about privacy rules, as if she knew everything.
 My daughter is a teenager and she feels tremendously attracted to Facebook because of its addictive appeal. Although she isn’t old enough to have a Facebook account, most of her friends have one. Therefore they had to lie about their identity in order to set an account. It is not only possible, but especially common among youngsters to set up fake accounts. Sometimes they do it just to be able to set an account on Facebook, some other times just to fool their friends on social grounds.
 Moreover, as far as I know some companies use fake business accounts to promote their products. And some people set up fake accounts in order to grow the visibility of certain fan pages. Apart from the potential danger that people who are not happy with their own identity and they create a second identity online, so the people who get into a relationship with them may eventually get hurt.
Although lately Facebook has started actions to delete fake accounts on the social networking website, and the site disables an account it deems fake, they don’t really have a system to verify every single account.
In my opinion, as regards this matter of privacy, Facebook cunningly turned the discussion over choice and informed consent. But the debate is unfolding because people are being duped, tricked and even coerced and confused into doing things without taking the consequences into consideration.
I think we should be realistic and recognize that the better protection for users is to have more information about the consequences of sharing personal information. It is important for young people to know about other people’s complaints. So in my opinion a national education campaign on this matter should be launched.
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


After being swept away from Kansas by a cyclone, Dorothy lands on an unknown land, where the Witch of the North tells her that she will have to go to the Emerald City and ask the Wizard of Oz to help her. On her way down the yellow brick road, Dorothy meets the brainless scarecrow who wants to get a brain, the tin man that wants to have a heart, and the cowardly lion that wants to have courage. Thx to @Nyseaa

By Mónica. Advanced level. Year 2
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Bob Beamon's World Record Long Jump - 1968 Olympics

An Olympic Hero

... And Finally

Lesson created using TED-Ed Beta

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