Thursday, 20 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Corner

How much do you know about Christmas? Learn about Christmas festivities all around the world . Throughout the centuries, each country and ethnic group have developed their own diverse set of customs and traditions.  Uncover the mysteries of Christmas stockings, kisses under the mistletoe, advent calendars , Yug logs and so many others . 

Fancy a Treasure Hunt? 
Click HERE to find the answers to the following questions.

a)Who asks Austrian children for a list of their good and bad deeds?
b) What are the names of the two Santa Claus figures in Belgium?
c) What do Chinese Christians call their Christmas trees?
d) What do people in Costa Rica do before they eat their Christmas supper?
e) What is hidden inside the Christmas rice pudding in Denmark?
f) What type of fish is typical at Christmas in Finland?
g) Who does St. Nicholas protect in Greece?
h) What are Greek ‘killantzaroi’?
i) What do Iranians call Christmas?
j) What do Japanese people eat on Christmas Day?
k) When does Christmas officially being in Nicaragua?
l) Who did St. Nicholas become in Russia during the communist years?
m) When do children receive Christmas presents in Syria?
n) How does Santa Claus sometimes travel in California?
o) What are Venezuelan ‘pesebres’?


Monday, 10 December 2012

Duchess of Cambridge pregnant

The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby !

Members of the Royal Family and the duchess's family, the Middletons, are said to be delighted.
The duchess, who is thought to be less than 12 weeks pregnant, was admitted to a London hospital with acute morning sickness and stayed there for a couple of days. She required supplementary hydration and nutrients.

The baby - the couple's first - will be born third in line to the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William.

Catherine and William, who are both 30, were married at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

MOVING ON - Dynamic theatre in English

   "Man is  the most extraordinary computer of all" – John F. Kennedy


The London Olympics, summer 2012. The owner of  an old fashioned, out of date cinema decides to refurbish and modernise her  business with the latest in technology and digital cinema to show the Olympics,  live and in full 3D to the millions of international tourists that have flocked  to the city.

However, something is wrong, and the computer that controls  everything is behaving in a strange and inexplicable way.

When the "computer engineer" arrives at the  cinema to solve the problems a whole series of mishaps, misunderstandings and  hidden secrets will make fixing the machines and opening the cinema impossible.

They have to broadcast the games, whatever  happens, and they will have to employ all their human qualities to beat the  computer.

Remembering that life itself is in 3D, they may be able to find the  perfect solution and, at the same time, make us all think about the value of  new technologies and the way we use them.

3D Evolution is a dynamic, musical and participatory comedy where events happen at a great pace that will try to show  that humans really are, and always will be, the most extraordinary computers of  all.

 Just as every year the play was thoroughly enjoyable.

They have such a rapport with students that they just love it !.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

International Day against Violence to Women

An original Windhaven song which is dedicated to all victims of domestic violence and spousal abuse.

Monday, 19 November 2012


The Pilgrims, who celebrated the first thanksgiving in America, were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. In 1609 a group of Pilgrims left England for the religious freedom in Holland where they lived and prospered. After a few years there, they decided to travel to the New World. On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. 

 The first winter was devastating to the Pilgrims. March brought warmer weather and the health of the Pilgrims improved, but many had died during the long winter. Of the 110 Pilgrims and crew who left England, less that 50 survived the first winter.
In 1621, after a devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim's harvest was very successful and plentiful.  

The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving.


Watch this educational video which covers how Thanksgiving became a national holiday ( if you watch it on Youtube , you can follow an interactive script as well ).

Monday, 12 November 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

American Elections Results

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Meet the President of the USA

Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States in 2008, becoming the first African-American to assume the office. In 2012, he was re-elected to his second term as commander-in-chief.

Do you want to know a little bit more about him? Watch the video below

Obama wins the 2012 Election

Watch Obama´s victory speech ( you have  the full transcript as well )

Thank you so much.
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.

I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.
I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.
I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.
I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president — that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward. That’s where we need to go.

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.

By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.

Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.
Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.

I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.

I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.

And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth

Monday, 5 November 2012

Gunpowder plot - interactive game


In 1605, a group of Catholic conspirators plotted to assassinate King James I of England (and VI of Scotland) by blowing up the House of Lords during the opening of parliament.

They hid kegs full of gunpowder in the cellars beneath the chamber where the king and the rest of the political elite would assemble. Enough powder was stored to completely destroy the building and kill everyone present.

One of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes, was tasked with igniting this huge bomb. It is Fawkes' effigy that is still burned on 5 November bonfires to this day.

Click HERE to test your knowledge about the Gunpowder Plot through this BBC interactive game

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bonfire Night

In Great Britain, Bonfire Night is associated with the tradition of Guy Fawkes' Night. The modern event is held annually on or near 5 November, although its  significance has generally been lost: it is now simply a night of revelry and fireworks. Celebrations are held throughout Great Britain, in parts of Northern Ireland, and in some other parts of the Commonwealth.

Watch the video and learn a little bit about this celebration

A different view on the Spanish Crisis

A country full of opportunities ?  This is how Grant Thorton Spain sees it .

( Grant Thorton are nternational business advisors providing assurance, taxation, corporate secretarial, corporate recovery and consulting services ) 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sandy´s Impact

(CNN) -- Sandy is winding down, having spent much of its fury in the past two days crashing into homes and trees, cutting power and wrecking coastal cities.

It has claimed at least 40 lives in the United States.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Monday, 22 October 2012

50th Anniversary of The Beatles

It is 50 years since The Beatles had their first hit record with their single Love Me Do.
The Beatles went into Abbey Road studios with George Martin to record the single in September 1962.
Love Me Do was released on 5 October, 1962.Even though it only peaked at number 17 on the British charts, Love Me Do was not only the group's first record but also their first hit.

It was a moment that changed music history and popular culture forever.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Sunday, 30 September 2012


The next United States presidential election is to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will officially elect the president and the vice president of the United States on December 17, 2012, will be chosen. 


Incumbent President Barack Obama is running for a second and final term during this election. His major challenger is former Massachusetts Governor, Republican Mitt Romney

Now learn about the us presidential election system.

Watch the videos and complete the worksheets .

Thursday, 2 August 2012

London 2012 - OLYMPIC GAMES

The Olympic Torch Relay
The city of London is the host of the Games of the XXX Olympiad. London was elected following four rounds of voting by members of the International Olympic Committee on 6 July 2005 in Singapore, where London beat Paris in the final round.

If you want to keep fully informed , here you have the links to the official websites of the Games.

Photos - 2012 Olympics | London 2012

Monday, 16 July 2012

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Diamond Jubilee takes place in 2012, marking 60 years of The Queen’s reign. The Queen came to the throne on 6th February 1952 (her Coronation took place on 2nd June 1953).

View news, announcements, historical information and official images of The Queen released for the Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen is Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was born in 1926 and became Queen at the age of 25, and has reigned through more than five decades of enormous social change and development. The Queen is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and has four children and eight grandchildren.

In this section packed full of images and videos, you can find out more about Her Majesty's early life and reign, public life, marriage and family and personal interests.

Do you prefer a video ? Watch this MINI BIOGRAPHY. It is excellent !!

AND .... if you click here  you can also ANSWER a questionnaire about it. See how well you do !!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Victoria Grant

Listen to Victoria Grant, a 12-year-old Canadian girl explaining our modern banking system. Just brilliant !!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Word on the street

Word on the Street is an exciting new English Language teaching programme co-produced by the BBC and the British Council.

Word on the Street looks at how English works in everyday life and presents lively aspects of young British culture. Each half hour episode is filmed in a different place in the UK and features drama, interviews and reports to help you improve your English language skills.

To go to Word on the Street , click here

Hablando en plata

Enjoy this video. Although it is in Spanish, there are subtitles in English  with very up-to-date vocabulary !!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Picking up the accent

Have you ever thought how Spanish sounds to English speakers? How does a French person sound to you ? And German? Have you ever tried to imitate accents?

Picking up the accent is so important ... !!

Watch the video and see what you think .... - English Language Listening Library

Todd Beuckens has created this site with more than 1000 listening activities with accents from all over the world, including videos, interviews, news, songs, talking points, listening games, etc. with comprehension exercises, quizzes, and lots of different activities.

I learnt about it thanks to the blog "Enjoy Learning English " , which I usually follow. I must say that the site I´m talking about is one of the best I´ve seen on the web.

Everything is ready to use !

CLICK on the link

Monday, 6 February 2012

DICKENS : bicentenary of his birth

Charles Dickens is one of the most famous British novelists ever. This month the world of literature is celebrating the bicentenary of his birth, which falls on the 7th of February.

Although he was a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a massive contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia.

Do you want to learn a bit about his life? Watch this nice video

If you click on the link you will see the same video BUT this time you have a questionnaire online about it .

If you want to get into more serious stuff , here is a nice link where you will learn about the fantastic range of celebrations taking place to celebrate the bicentenary.

Also , and although it is in Spanish , I leave here another very interesting link , where you have an awful lot of information about his life, his books , his characters ... really worth it !!

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 60-year anniversary

In 1952 the woman known today as Queen Elizabeth II was just Elizabeth, a 25-year-old member of England’s royal family visiting a remote village in Kenya.
When word came on Feb. 6 of that year that her father, George VI, had died, Elizabeth cut her trip short and flew home to London. She was greeted at the airport by her country’s then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill and she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

Today, 60 years later, the 85-year-old Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee anniversary.

The anniversary makes Queen Elizabeth, already Britain’s oldest serving monarch, the country’s longest-serving monarch after Queen Victoria, who reigned for more than 63 years. The queen, mother to four and grandmother to eight, has now outlasted 11 U.S. presidents.

The celebrations will continue throughout the year . The main event, the 2012 Diamond Jubilee weekend, will be held in June and feature a star-studded concert and boat pageant on the Thames river with a 1,000-strong flotilla.

Watch this video taken from
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Skyscrapers 2010 : the tallest buildings in the world

As there is no official definition of what constitutes a skyscraper, a relatively small building may be considered one if it protrudes well above its built environment and changes the overall skyline. The maximum height of structures has progressed historically with building methods and technologies. 'Supertall' has arisen as a contemporary expression for exceptionally tall buildings, although again there is no formal definition.

If you are you a skyscrapers enthusiast, watch this video. Isn´t it amazing what man builds !!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Chinese New Year

In our school the Chinese community is quite large. These days , our Chinese students  are celebrating the beginning of the new year. Chinese New Year is probably the most important festivity for Chinese people all over the world. The exact date on the Western calendar changes from year to year. We know it takes place between 1 January and 19 February. This year , New Year is celebrated tomorrow,  23 January.

Every year has got an animal´s name. 2012 is the year of the Dragon.  Chinese people believe that a person born in a particular year has some of the characteristics of that animal.

Celebrations in Chinese families last for about a fortnight. Usually , celebrations begin with the cleaning of the house. The Chinese get rid of useless things , to throw away the misfortunes of the past year. Then on New Year´sEve they all enjoy a family meal. Fish is always part of the dinner because it represents abundance. Also , Chinese children wear new clothes, usually of red colour, which brings good luck. Parents give children "Lai see" ( lucky money) in red envelopes.

In places with big Chinese communities , there are also wonderful parades, where the lion dancers are always present. They dance to the rhythm of drums and noisy firecrackers which frighten away evil spirits.

But the dragon is the most important lucky figure in these parades. There are also acrobats and musicians , all dressed up in costumes with bright colours.