Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

by Bruce Lee

miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2018

Stephen Hawking, a unique brain.

Stephen Hawking, the man who was expected to live two or three more years at the most when he was 21, according to doctors, has passed away today, on π Day (Pi Day, pronouncing it like 'pie').


Hawking suffered from a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, known in Spanish as 'ELA') that gradually paralysed him over the decades. At the time of his death, he was still able to communicate using a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device. Hawking has died today, 14th March 2018, at the age of 76.


And now 10 Amazing Facts about Pi.


But let's go back to Stephen Hawking and his big ideas >>>

Here are other interesting videos to watch:


Best of Big Bang Theory - "Stephen Hawking"


Some articles to read now:

A film has even been made about this unique physicist: The Theory of Everything  


jueves, 8 de marzo de 2018

NO CHEWING GUM, but shoe soles!!!

"No chewing Gum!!!" That would be the classical start of one of our English classes at school. However, this act of throwing it away can turn out to be a green act, as a fantastic way to recycle it has just been discovered so as to make shoe soles and many other items out of this sticky litter we usually come across on the pavements and that are such a nuisance for city councils.

Here are some articles to read about the issue:

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  Apart from talking about chewing gums, can you tell me the different ways of transport you can use to cross the English Channel? Which British cities do you go from and to which European cities can you go to?

Phrasal verbs: put sth/so up (KSA Academy Granada)



  • Episode 180307 / 07 March 2018    >>>  Turning chewing gum into useful objects   -  Language related to 'Recycling'.  Need-to-know language: litter, versatile, to hammer home, new lease of life & eye-catching.

A good expression to learn: A taste of your own medicine (The English We Speak)

sábado, 3 de marzo de 2018

Wearables to help and save patients

It's just amazing how technology can help us!!!! Now when you go jogging you will probably have some kind of gadget on you to know how much you have run, how many calories you have burnt, your heart rate... and so on. By the end of the week certain apps report you how much exercise you have done and what you should do. 


Well, now, stroke patients (can you define what a stroke patient is?) can carry some wearable tech which will give vital data to the doctor.

Some interesting articles for you to read:

Living Alone & Moving Abroad | Teatime with English with Lucy!

Let's revise verbs that are followed by an -ING form or by an infinitive: Exercise to do (British Council)

What's the difference between these two sentences?
1. Sometimes people are stopped for speeding.
2. Sometimes people are stopped by speeding.


  • Episode 180228 / 28 February 2018    >>>  Wearable tech aids stroke patients   -  Language related to 'Health'.  Need-to-know language: vital signs, monitor (their) progress, speed (her) recovery, medical team & heart rate.
Another post related with wearable technology:


A stroke patient is a patient who has suffered a sudden change in the blood supply to a part of the brain, sometimes causing a loss of the ability to move particular parts of the body. (Example: "He suffered a stroke that left him unable to speak for a while")

miércoles, 28 de febrero de 2018

Do you fancy mermaiding?


You have probably read or watched the Disney film The Little Mermaid, or the film Splash starred by Tom Hanks and Daryl Hanna, but what does it really mean 'mermaiding'? Some would rather say our English teacher is a beached sperm whale than a little mermaid. 😂😂😂😂😂😂


By the way, do you know where the little mermaid is?

Here's a listening exercise to do: Swimming like a mermaid (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)


Here are some articles you can read about the issue:

Here's an interesting site Eva, the Practicum student from the University of Granada who is coming to our school lately, has provided me with:

Learn English Teens (BRITISH COUNCIL)

BBC English Accent | Tutorial

Let's revise this grammatical issue doing these exercises:

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  You can do this exercise on the PAST CONTINUOUS >>>>

Solutions to VOCABULARY exercises in the previous post.

25.  1. deal (got very little) 2. deal (a great .... of) 3. warnings (issued)  4. way (of life)  5. relationship (with)    6. park (drove; half an hour)   7. idea (have ... a rough)  8. prescription (sleeping pills; doctor)

lunes, 26 de febrero de 2018

Barking trains

This is no fake news!!! In Japan they have invented barking trains so as to prevent collisions with animals, such as deer, on the tracks.

Here are some related articles you can read:


English with Lucy   >>>  STUPID English mistakes



25. Identify the correct word combination in each sentence. Circle both clues and the correct responses. 

1. I paid a lot of money, but got very little for it. So, from my point of view, it wasn't a very good ...................    (A  exchange    B   rate   C  value   D   deal)
2. They had a great .................. of trouble getting through customs.    (A  lot    B   level   C  quantity   D   deal)
3. The police have issued ........................ to local shopkeepers to be on the lookout for thieves(A  complaints    B   warnings   C  advice   D   information)
4. When you stay in a country for some time you get used to the people's  ..................... of life.     (A  habit    B   custom   C  way   D   system)
5. Suzanne had had a special ........................ with her aunt ever since her mother died.   (A  affection    B   sense   C  relationship   D   feeling)
6. I drove around the town for half an hour, but couldn't find a car .....................       (A  park    B   garage   C  plan   D   parking)
7. Have you a rough ............ of how many people are coming to the party?     (A  hope    B   imagination   C  thought   D   idea)
8. You can't get sleeping pills unless you go to the doctor and get a ................         (A  receipt      B   bill   C  prescription   D   recipe)

Solutions to VOCABULARY exercises in the previous post.

24. 1. exchange    2. bargain    3. deal      4. change    5. rate   6. opinion   7. advice   8. mind  9. intention   10. meaning


  • Episode 180221 / 21 February 2018    >>>  A new scheme to encourage old play   -  Language related to 'Social improvement'.  Need-to-know language: pilot scheme, gain traction, draw inspiration from, government guidelines & to champion.

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  Do you know any old games your parents or your grandparents used to play when they were young? Ask them and write about the games they used to play and the games you play now. 

Have a look at these STREET GAMES.

sábado, 24 de febrero de 2018

Teachers armed with...

... books, pencils, values, etc NOT WITH GUNS!!! Schools are not the Far West, where cowboys used to solve every matter shooting.

Here's a real cowboy, John Wayne, and the way he solved matters. Is this what we want for our schools?

And here's Gary Cooper in High Noon (Click here to watch the full movie). Again any resemblance with a school?



Here are some related articles to read about the issue:

What is the verb that comes from the adjective 'deterrent'? How would you say in English: "La alarma disuadirá a los ladrones de entrar en la casa".

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  What would you like your teacher to be like?



24. Fill in the gaps with these words:     bargain  ,  deal ,  exchange ,  change  ,   rate  

1. There was a fascinating ________________ of views in the debate.
2. It was quite cheap. It was a tremendous _______________ in fact.
3. Let's make a _______________ . You have my sweater, and I'll have your jeans.
4. This isn't the right _______________ . I gave you twenty pounds, not ten!
5. What's the _____________ for dollars today?

And now with:     advice   ,   intention  ,   meaning  ,   mind   ,   opinion

6. In my ___________, I think that marriage is definitely a good thing.
7. I took my mother's ______________ . I didn't get married until I was twenty-five.
8. I can't make up my _____________ whether to get married or not.
9. I have no ____________ of ever getting married.
10. Marriage? My husband doesn't understand the real _____________ of the word!

Solutions to  VOCABULARY exercises in the previous post.

A. 1. borrow    2. lend    3. lend      4. lent    5. borrow   6. borrowing   7. lending
B. 1. fault   2. mistake   3. fault  4. error   5. mistake  6. error/mistake

Here you can read about the difference between error and mistake.   FAULT/ERROR/MISTAKE, further explanation and exercises.

domingo, 18 de febrero de 2018

Drones, the solution or ....???


Becas inmersión lingüística BACHILLERATO

Here's a listening exercise to do: The rise of drones (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)



The future of flying robots (TED talk)


You can read about the issue in the following articles:


Related post: Travelling to Ibiza and Dronies


Secret British Accent Pronunciation Training




A. Complete the following sentences with the correct form of 'lend' or 'borrow'.

1. Could I ............... some money from you?
2. Could you ................. me some money? If you can't, I will have to ask for a loan.
3. Could you .................. me a hand with my English homework?
4. I ................... my brother-in-law a lot of money last month and he still hasn't paid it back.
5. If you're short of money, why don't you ............. some from the bank?
6. I don't believe in .............. money from my friends.
7. I don't believe in ............... money to other people, not even my friends.

Pay attention to the expressions marked in red and tell me what they mean.

B. Complete the following sentences with 'fault', 'error' or 'mistake'.

1. Federer missed the second serve, so he committed a double ...............
2. I took someone else's coat by ................. 
3. The accident wasn't my ................
4. The letter was sent to you in .................
5. It was a big .................... to pay so much for your car.
6. Look! Here's another spelling .............. in this stupid book!

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  What were you and your family doing yesterday at 9 p.m.? Use different verbs even if it i not true.

miércoles, 14 de febrero de 2018

Pirates of the Web

They are not Pirates of the Caribbean, they are ordinary pirates of the web. They download, copy and raid the web stealing anything they find on their ways. Well, actually, everybody is a bit of pirate of the web.


What is music piracy? Have a look at the bottom of this post.

Related articles to read:

David Pogue: The music wars | TED Talk |

How to build & expand your vocabulary - 4 useful steps for improvement  (English with Lucy)

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  How do you get your music? Do you buy any CDs? Do you download music from the web? Do you think music piracy is a crime?

Solutions to the exercises in the previous post:

page 53  Vocabulary. Rewrite these sentences with suitable prefixes.

1 repaint it       2 misspelled my name        3 overcook the meat       4 miscalculated        5 overreacted

page 56  Writing a formal letter.

ANSWERS to the first exercise  1 C 2 D 3 A 4 E 5 B

SUGGESTED ANSWER for the second exercise
       Dear Sir or Madam,

       I am writing in response to the advertisement for a waiter which was published in the evening newspaper on 21 October. I enclose a copy of my CV and I would be grateful if you would consider me for the position. I think I would be suitable for the job because I am polite and hard-working. As you can see from my CV, I worked in a shop last summer, so I have experience of serving customers and dealing with money. I would enjoy the opportunity to work in your restaurant and I am available to start immediately.

       I would be happy to attend an interview and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

       Yours faithfully,
        Katie Wilson



  • Episode 180214 / 14 February 2018    >>>  Bus for unemployed young Italians   -  Language related to 'Job interviews'.  Need-to-know language: jobseeker, contract, short-term, candidates & the competition.


A good expression to learn: The best of both worlds (The English We Speak)


Music piracy is copying or downloading music without paying for it.


lunes, 12 de febrero de 2018

The future of travelling

How will we move around in the future? Self-driving cars, virtual voyages, hyperloops...

Here are som related articles about the issue you can read:

What does the expression 'a pie in the sky' mean? Look it up here.

Previous post you can have a look at:



Here's a listening exercise to do: Transport of the future (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)

Lucy tells us about 7 Ways to Improve English Writing Skills >>>>

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  What means of transport do you use? Which would you like to use in the future?  Pay attention to the prepositions used. Example: Albert  >>>  I used to cycle to school when I was a student. Now I go to school by car. How would you say in English: "Mis abuelos solían ir al campo a caballo"?

Some extra exercises for my students in 2º Bachillerato  >>>

UNIT  4     Work

page 53  Vocabulary. Rewrite these sentences substituting the underlined words by words with suitable prefixes.

1 The paint is coming off the door. I’ll have to paint it again.
2 I was annoyed because he spelled my name wrongly.
3 Don’t cook the meat too much, or it won’t be nice.
4 We calculated wrongly how long the job would take.
5 Juan reacted too strongly when I told him the news.

page 56  Writing a formal letter. I advise you to have a look at this previous post to remind you certain things to do when writing a formal letter: Formal letter writing

Look at the letter again and find expressions 1–5, then match them with their meanings A–E.

1 in response to                                                               A I would be good at
2 I enclose                                                                      B (I) can
3 I would be suitable for                                                  C because of
4 I would enjoy the opportunity to                                   D I am sending you
5 (I) am available to                                                        E I would like to

Read this letter and elicit all  the things that are too informal. Then, rewrite it using more formal language, using the letter in exercise 1 as a model.

Hi there,
I’m writing because I saw the advert for a waiter which was in the evening newspaper on 21 October. I’m sending you a copy of my CV and I’d like you to think about giving me the job. I think I would be good at the job because I am polite and hard-working. Look at my CV and you will see that I worked in a shop last summer, so I’ve already tried serving customers and dealing with money. I’d love to work in your restaurant and I can start immediately.
I don’t mind attending an interview and I hope to hear from you soon.
See you soon,
Katie Wilson


jueves, 8 de febrero de 2018

Why not Nigeria for our summer holidays?

Our students in 2º ESO have been presented with several attractive holiday destinations in the world. Well, here's an interesting country to visit. Pay attention to the superlatives and comparatives. Let's start with some videos (you can watch them with English subtitles):


12 Incredible Facts About Nigeria

And here's a second one:

Incredible Facts About Nigeria - Part 2 

Some articles for you to read about this African country:


By the way, do you know Hakeen Olajuwon? He's a Nigerian sportsman. Which sport did he practise? Which team did he play for? Why is that team called like that? Here's a video for you to see  >>>>

  TED talk  >>> 

Alison Quirk: Making a difference in the world


Learn 13 idioms for ILLNESS, SICKNESS & HEALTH with English with Lucy

By the way, what is the slight difference between 'feeling sick' or 'feeling ill'?

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  Answer the question above and tell me what language you know about health, doctors and patients.   



"I bought some mineral water"     YOU: "Did you? So did my mother." OR  "Did you? My mother didn't"
"I didn't buy any beer"    YOU: "Didn't you? Neither / Nor did my mother." OR  "Didn't you? My mother did."

1. "My brother is very tired."  YOU: "................? __________________ I".

2. "I always study before dinner."   YOU: ".................? ____________________ my sister."

3. "I've missed my bus to Motril"       YOU: "............? __________________ my parents."

4. "I'm not very good at English."     Víctor: "...................? I ___________________"

5. "I can't speak German"    YOU: ".....................? ________________ we."

6. "I can't find any photos for my tourist brochure."  YOU: "..........................? My English teacher ____________"

7.  "We are going to Edinburgh at the end of March."   YOU: "..................? _________________ Albert's students."

8. "She has got a new boyfriend."    YOU: "................? I _______________"

9. "I don't smoke Havana cigars."    YOU: ".............? ________________ smurfs."

10. "I was born in Salobreña."       YOU: "..........? Albert ____________. I think he was born in Colone, Germany."     


Key to Selectivity exam in the previous post: Key to Sexism in language   




- We use HAD BETTER instead of 'should' or 'ought to' to give advice or as a kind of threat.
You'd better hand in all the compositions Albert asks you to do.
You'd better not be late for class if you don't want the teacher to tell you off.
- We often use WOULD RATHER to express preferences either for yourself or a preference  someone has that another person does something. We use past tenses.
I would like to play tennis rather than football
I'd rather play tennis than football 
I would like you to drive her to the airport.   >>>   I would rather / I'd rather you drove her to the airport

Exercises to do connected with HAD BETTER /WOULD RATHER:


  • Episode 180207 / 07 February 2018    >>>  Nigeria: world's biggest yam producer   -  Language related to 'Commerce'.  Need-to-know language: exporting, generate, diversify, funding & mainstay.

sábado, 3 de febrero de 2018

My name is...


My name is Bond... James Bond. 




No, no, this is no fake post. This post has a lot to do with sexism in language and in life. Ironically, the Anglo-Saxon World has got a big problem with this as women usually graduate with a surname, they get married and lose it, they get divorced and change it again, they get married a second time and they change it again. This is a neverending story and labour market can't stand all this, so many women choose to keep their original surname or even... Have a look at this listening exercise and discover it: What's in a name? (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English).

Here are some related articles you can read about the issue:

You can also do this old Selectivity exam: Sexism in language   (I will give you the key to this exam in my next post)


So what is your opinion? Do you agree or do you disagree with any of these trends? Actually, we don't have to care about this in Spain as women keep their family names even if they get married. Anyway, there are certain words in Spanish used in the masculin to refer to both sexes as these are the non-marked terms. There are also new non-sexist terms coming to replace some of the old sexist terms, such as...

Agreeing with someone (Learn English with Papa)


Another interesting video about giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing  


Solutions to the exercises in the previous post:

Vocabulary. Fill in the gaps with suitable words.   >>>  1  abroad      2  experience     3  hours      4 Staff

A high-flyer is an ambitiously competitive person with high aspirations/expectations.

page 49  Vocabulary. Fill in the gaps with suitable verbs.    >>>>     1 take            2 earn               3 have                 4 took


Activities for my 2º ESO students:  Give me your opinion about the issue dealt in the post. Do you know the meaning of the word 'shortcut'? Have a look at the LINGOHACK section and tell me which means of transport do you prefer. You can do this exercise online.


1. Whose book is this? It's your book. It's yours.   2. Whose pencils are these? They are his pencils. They are his.  3. Whose omelette is this? It is our omelette. It's ours.   4. Whose spoons are these? They are my spoons. They are mine.  5) Whose cars are these? They are their cars. They are theirs.
Fill in the gaps with the right prepositions :
1. about      2. with     3. to, on    4. into, in    5. from   6. in, in


  • Episode 180131 / 31 January 2018    >>>  Hyperloop: the train of the future?   -  Language related to 'Speed'.  Need-to-know language: glimpse, hurtling, miles an hour, test track & cut the journey (remember the word 'shortcut'  >>  How would you translate it into Spanish).

miércoles, 31 de enero de 2018

Albert, your sledge hammer ;-))))

Your English teacher may seem to you as your sledge hammer because he is always telling you what to do, but the thing is that he does not treat teaching as an ordinary job. As well, remember...

Don’t treat love or leisure like a job (The Guardian)  Selectivity exam to do  



In this world of machines you can be easily misled.

Here's a listening exercise to do: Rise of the machines (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)


And now let's listen to this song: Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel


Have a look at this version with lyrics. What does 'sledge hammer' mean? However, Sledge hammer! was also a sitcom in the 80's



Learn English with Papa  >>>  "Be up to" vs "Be up for"  


Some extra exercises for my students in 2º Bachillerato  >>>

UNIT  4     Work

page 47  Vocabulary. Fill in the gaps with suitable words.

1 Do you want to work … ?
2 No work … is required.
3 Working … may vary.
4 … need to be flexible.

Define the word 'high-flyer'.

page 49  Vocabulary. Fill in the gaps with suitable verbs.

1 She will not _____________ the lift.
2 I didn’t think I could ___________ a living doing what I loved.
3 I need to ___________ a little danger in my life.
4 It ____________ me three years to qualify.

MISS or LOSE? Lucy explains to us the difference  >>>>

Activities for my 2º ESO students:  Give me your opinion about the sitcom episode Sledge Hammer! , try to translate the song and do these exercises. Also write a sentence with 'lose' and another one with 'miss' after watching Lucy's video.


1. ______ book _________________ ? (you) It's __________ book. _____________________
2. ______ pencils ______________ ? (he) ______________________ .  ____________________
3. ______ omelette _____________ ? (we) ______________________ .  ______________________
4. ______ spoons _______________ ? (I) _______________________ .  _____________________
5) ______ cars _________________ ? (they) ____________________ .  ____________________

Fill in the gaps with the right prepositions :

1. I'm thinking ______ you.      2. Joe is ______ Tom and Jim.     
3. He is listening ______ the radio ______ the beach.
4. Come ______ my house! Come ______ !    5. This postcard is ______ Arthur.    
6. Arthur is sitting ______ an armchair ______ Mrs Harrison's  kitchen.