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

domingo, 16 de febrero de 2020

What do we need to pass English? Resilience!!!!


Here's a good listening exercise for you to do related to the issue: Are we born with resilience or can we learn it? (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)


So you need to be resilient to succeed!!!



Bounce Back - the resilience song



Songs for resilience!!!  


Task for 1º ESO students: What do you usually do to pass English?


English in a Minute:  5 verbs followed by -ING   (BBC Learning English)

miércoles, 12 de febrero de 2020

Love? It is just a matter of choosing the right partner.

St Valentine's day is getting closer and we can see at school students selling roses, or even bunches of them. But is it really a good present for our partner? What would you say about a cactus? 


A long time ago that was my St Valentine's day and the person I gave it to didn't get the metaphor. Again a few months ago, I tried again with another cactus, but this time I also gave her the most expensive and wonderful bunch of flowers in the shop. What was the result? Did she get this time the metaphor? I don't really know because she didn't say a word and, you know, one of the most difficult tasks in life is to say 'SORRY' or admit you were wrong. 


The fact is that days passed and the flowers from the bunch began to fade and fade until they were all dead, and the cactus got better and better with so little water and care!!! By the way, she threw away the first cactus a long time ago, because if she hadn't thrown it away, we WOULD HAVE TWO CACTI (or 'cactuses', or even 'cactus') NOW!!!!

By the way, have a look at this last conditional sentence and tell me what type it is. It is the one we saw in the previous post, because the 'if-clause' action is impossible to change, but the effects of that action are still permanent.

Going back to the title, a romantic relationship is like a cactus. You have to choose well, a partner strong enough to cope with all the problems you may come across in life and who is not so demanding that you could feel overwhelmed. A bad choice, as we have seen many times lately, can have a fatal end.


What would your ideal partner be like? I'm talking about personality, not appearance!!!

You can find some other interesting posts in this blog about the topic of  love and St Valentine's Day .   

Friday phrase: "take after someone"  

Who have you taken after?

Learners' Questions: 'WIN' , 'EARN' or 'GAIN'? 

News Review   >>   Do you want to live longer? Try running! (BBC Learning English)


  • Episode 200212 / 12 February 2020    >>>  Longest ever space flight by female astronaut  -    Language related to 'space'.  Need-to-know language: capsule, gravity, cosmonaut, mission & space walk.

domingo, 9 de febrero de 2020

The person I look up to the most is...

Who do you look up to? It is  probably a person who influences you either in your personal life or work career and the decisions you take. Why is that? Is it because of his/her personality, his/her achievements in life? 


The first person that comes to my mind is my master at university: Professor Dr Neil McLaren, as he was the most influential person in the way I teach and how I try to face the difficulties I come across in my job, apart from being the director of my Bachelor Thesis and my PhD.

However, let's check first the meaning of this phrase:

Friday phrase: "to look up to someone"  


Let's now have a look at this forum:

Who do you look up to and why?  



25 Most Influential People in History By Attribute




Here are some articles for you to read about the issue:

But remember that this phrase has also got a literal meaning, and the expert in this matter was of course Dr Stephen Hawking:

'Remember to look up at the stars': the best Stephen Hawking quotes (The Guardian)



Learners' Questions: 'SEE' , 'LOOK' or 'WATCH'?  and a quizz on THE FUTURE FROM THE PAST.



English in a Minute:  Mixed Conditionals (Impossible+Hypothetical)   (BBC Learning English)

Stories for Children >>> The Perfect Thing (BBC Learning English)

jueves, 6 de febrero de 2020

A slave, a cowboy, a Viking, a gangster... he was Kirk Douglas!!!

Kirk Douglas, one of last Hollywood icons of all times has just passed away at the age of 103. He played the roles of a slave (Spartacus), a painter (Vincent Van Gogh), a cowboy, a Viking, a boxer, a gangster and so many others.


Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas dies at 103 (ABC News)

Tribute to Kirk Douglas (CBS) 

Some movie clips  >>>>

I'm Spartacus

Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life - Trailerç



The Vikings - 1958 - Einar and Eric last fight scene


Last Train From Gun Hill (1959) Trailer


The Street is cleaned up by Harry and Archie



... and so many others!!!


Kirk Douglas obituary (The Guardian)



English with Lucy   >>>   DO NOT SAY 'I'm sorry...' - say THIS instead - 17 more advanced alternative phrases (STORY LESSON)





Listening exercise for you to do: Is it healthy to disagree? (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English) Can you remember the difference between these two verbs: 'to discuss' & 'to argue'?

Tennis >>>  The Self-Appointed Commissioner of Tennis (McEnroe): The Tennis Legends On The Davis Cup


  • Episode 200205 / 05 February 2020    >>>  Are you scared of spiders? (Beating your fear of spiders)  -    Language related to 'fear'.  Need-to-know language: the heebie-jeebies, phobia, getting over, bother & crippling fear.

miércoles, 5 de febrero de 2020

No more pollution in our cities, please!!!

Once upon a time, Granada was a beautiful walkable city where you could even play football on the streets because there was not so much traffic. Now it is still a beautiful city, but every time I drive from the coast I can see all the pollution above it from the summit of El Suspiro del Moro (The Moor's Whisper). 



Here's a listening exercise for you to do about the benefits of low emission zones  >>>   Cleaning up the air we breathe  (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)

Previous posts connected with the issue:


The Grammar Gameshow: THE SECOND CONDITIONAL (BBC Learning English)


Nancy Pelosi rips up Trump's State of the Union speech


News Review: Trump impeachment trial comes to a close (Impeachment procedure) , BBC Learning English

Trump impeachment trial closing arguments: five key takeaways (The Guardian)

Tennis >>>  Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem Extended Highlights | Australian Open 2020 Final | Eurosport

And here are all the Champions League Finals 1956 - 2019  


viernes, 31 de enero de 2020

Time to leave, Britons!! Brexit is here.

The time has come. Tonight the UK will no longer be a member of the EU. Remember that UK stands for the 'United Kingdom' and EU for the 'European Union'.


Brexit: UK to quit EU at 23:00 GMT - BBC News



Coming back to the topic, and as it was said in a previous post in this blog...


, but it seems Britain is! Look up other previous posts under the label:  Brexit.

Here are some interesting articles for you to read about the topic and a piece of news on BBC News:




Listen to our blog's soundtrack: Get back by The Beatles and its lyrics.

Learners' Questions: 'Too' or 'as well'?  and a quizz on PREFIXES.

Stories for Children >>> Abdu and the traffic jam (BBC Learning English)


  • Episode 200122 / 22 January 2020    >>>  The magic of hot-air balloons  -    Language related to 'hot-air balloons'.  Need-to-know language: gravity-defying, floating, gliding & volume.

Tennis >>>  The Self-Appointed Commissioner of Tennis: McEnroe On The Comeback Syndrome (Eurosport)

domingo, 26 de enero de 2020

Our big brother, Kobe.

Kobe Bryant was Pau Gasol's big brother. He said when he learned about his tragic death on his Twitter account: "Beyond devastated... my big brother... I can’t, I just can’t believe it"

Kobe Bryant Career Highlights Compilation - The Gold Legend


... and: Kobe Bryant Top 50 All Time Plays 



Some articles to read about this great basketball player:


Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna killed in California helicopter crash (CNN News)

Magic Johnson describes Kobe Bryant's deep love for the Lakers (CBS)

Here's a listening exercise for you to do  >>>   What's inspiring women to get into politics?  (6 Minute English, BBC Learning English)

Learners' questions: 'lie', 'lie' or 'lay'? (BBC Learning English)

Tennis >>>  McEnroe. The Commissioner of Tennis: McEnroe on the Health Issue 'Fiasco' at the Australian Open (Eurosport)

viernes, 24 de enero de 2020

They died with their "books" on

To begin with, I admit that the name of this post is a play on words with an idea I had originally in mind and a hint from one of my students in level of 4º ESO (Natalia López) and a lucky misunderstanding.



Anyway, as I have just said, the idea to talk about this historical event came to my mind while listening to this part of the soundtrack of the film: "They died with their boots on" by chance:

This is a film I saw when I was a young boy and it is about the battle of Little Bighorn and General Custer. Here are some very interesting documentaries about what is said in the film and believed for a long time and the real story.

>> The real battle of the Little Bighorn   



The Battle at Little Bighorn | History   >>>


>>> Custer's Last Stand | The Wild West | BBC Documentary    







Anyway, let's go back to our routines and here are some exercises for you to do:


English with Lucy still teaching us how to REWRITE or SAY
THINGS IN A DIFFERENT WAY  >>>  DO NOT SAY 'I think...' - say THIS instead - 21 more advanced alternative phrases   


News Review   >>   New China virus spreads (BBC Learning English)


Here's a quizz to revise the PASSIVE VOICE.


English in a Minute: The future in the past - right now   (BBC Learning English)

Stories for Children >>> Best job in the world (BBC Learning English)

And here I present you an incredible story about swans!!!


  • Episode 200122 / 22 January 2020    >>>  The swans that knock on your door! : The hungry swans -    Language related to 'interpersonal relationships'.  Need-to-know language: irresistible, familiar, nuisance & bother.

Australian Open 2020  >>>  Epic, sensational, breathtaking... tiebreak in the 5th set between Roger Federer and John Millman  (Extended highlights)