Tuesday, 1 April 2014

DIVERGENT FROM THE BOOK TO THE MOVIE - READING & WATCHING

Let's improve our English with a book and a movie which are under the spotlight these days: Divergent by Veronica Roth and its adaptation for the big screen starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James.

Task 1. Reading comprehension: Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 and answer the questions



Task 2. Listening comprehension: Watch the trailer and fill in the gaps


Monday, 24 February 2014

LET'S GO TO DUBLIN

In 10 days we'll be flying to Dublin and we'll experience a week of fun, full immersion in the language and culture of the place, as well as discovery (not too dangerous adventures, OK?) 
What about getting ready to familiarize with the main city landmarks? Here are a couple of video guides and a worksheet with listening comprehension tasks.

Enjoy watching!

Video 1 - Watch and collect as much info as you can. Use the chart in the worksheet  (HERE

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

MOVIE PROJECT - ANITA B. BY ROBERTO FAENZA


Anita B. is the new movie directed by Roberto Faenza starring Eline Powell, Robert Sheehan, Antonio Cupo, Andrea Osvart, Nico MirallegroMoni Ovadia. We are going to see it at the cinema on the international Holocaust Remembrance Day (27th January). 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Monday, 4 November 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH: THE ROMANTICS & LIBERTY


In this BBC documentary Peter Ackroyd,writer, historian and presenter,   reveals how the radical ideas of liberty that inspired the French Revolution opened up a world of possibility for great British writers such as William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, inspiring some of the greatest works of literature in the English language. Their ideas are the foundations of our modern notions of freedom and their words are performed by David Tennant, Dudley Sutton and David Threlfall. 

The Romantics are important because they helped to define, and indeed to create, the modern world. They helped to fashion the way in which we all now think and imagine.

Friday, 4 October 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH - DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989)


Carpe Diem: Seize the day. This is the lesson John Keating, an unorthodox teacher at an all-male prep school in New England, wants to convey to his impressionable students. Keating is an alumnus of the school, Welton Academy, and hopes to make his students as curious and iconoclastic as he was (as is). Keating encourages them to "suck the marrow out of life," pursue their dreams, and find their voice. He does so with unusual teaching methods, such as tearing pages from textbooks, kicking soccer balls while shouting poetry, and standing on desks to gain a different perspective. These approaches are frowned upon by the administrators at conservative Welton, whose creed is "Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

FOCUS ON ... BEING A TEENAGER



Our topic for conversation classes has been what being a teenager means. Here is our worksheet for a reading, speaking, writing activity which can be rather involving since the focus of the discussion is the students themselves and their feelings. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH - J.D. SALINGER, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE


Read the conversation between Holden Caufield (16), the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye,  and his little sister,  Phoebe. He has just come  back home after escaping  from the last college he was expelled from and after wandering around New York City for a few days... "Old Phoebe", 10 years old, wants to know why he escaped and disappeared . She asks him if there is anything he likes in his life, because he doesn't seem to like anything...

The Phoniness of the World 


"You can't even think of one thing"


"Yes, I can, I can"


"Well do it, then"


"I like Allie", I said. "And I like doing what I'm doing right now. Sitting here with you, and talking , and thinking about stuff, and - "

Saturday, 24 August 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 6 - MALALA YOUSAFZAI, A PRESENT DAY TEEN HEROINE



Who's Malala Yousafzai? Discover  her story reading  this article from TheGuardian on line, then answer the questions on the worksheet  (task 1, part I 2scB, 3scA, 4scA-B). Then move to this article and complete the tasks  (task 1, Part II 3scA, 4scA-B).

Friday, 16 August 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITY 5 - MULTICULTURAL BRITAIN

1. Watch the two videos interviews with foreign students living in the UK and answer the questions in the worksheet HERE (task 1 is for 2scB/3scA/4scA task 2 only for 3scA/4scA-B) 



Saturday, 3 August 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 4: HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY DOCTOR WHO!


Matt Smith - the eleventh doctor
2scB/3scA/4scA/B


Reading Comprehension Task - Read the text below about the British TV series Doctor Who  and answer the questions in the worksheet  (Task 1 - click HERE)

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a  Time Lord—a time travelling, humanoid alien known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his 'TARDIS', a sentient time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.
The show is a significant part of British popular culture; and elsewhere it has become a cult television favourite. The show has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series, which is still incredibly popular after all these years

Saturday, 20 July 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 3 - SHOCK AMONG GLEE FANS: CORY MONTEITH DIES FOR A MIXTURE OF HEROIN AND ALCOHOL

Cory Monteith
Reading Comprehension (3scA / 4scA-B)
Read this article about Canadian actor Cory Monteith's recent sudden death and answer the questions in the worksheet (Task 1.a HERE)

Reading Comprehension (2scB)
After very troubled teenage years, Cory became an actor and later on a very popular TV star thanks to his role as Finn in  FOX's musical comedy series,  GLEE. Read his biography (HERE) and answer the questions in the worksheet  (Task 1.b HERE)

Listening Comprehension (2scB/3scA/4scA-B) Watch the video interview below and answer the questions in the worksheet (task 2 - Listening Comprehension)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 2 - YA FICTION & MOVIES


Young Adult (often abbreviated as YA) Fiction  or Literature is fiction written for adolescents or young adults.   It is a very popular genre nowadays, read and appreciated  by many adult readers.  Several YA books have successfully been adapted  for the screen:  Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Twilight, The Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson, Beautiful Creatures, Hunger Games. There are a few new films coming out soon following the popularity of the books. Are you looking forward to any of them? However,  remember, it is always better to read the books before watching the movie. You risk being disappointed of course,  but ... who would read a book already knowing what happens from start to end? Strange as it is, I would do it, I wouldn't  mind spoilers if I liked the story but, you know, I'm a weird, old teacher!

TASK 1 - Reading & Writing (4scA-B/3scA/2scB)

Read " Five Young Adult Books You Must Read Before the Movies are Released" and  answer the questions in the worksheet HERE  

TASK 2 - Listening & Fill in the gaps  (4scA-B/3scA/2scB)

Sunday, 30 June 2013

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 1 - FAME

READING COMPREHENSION & WRITING
Reading Task for 4scA-B (Upper Intermediate) - read the given text then summarize it in 10-15 lines. Finally write your answers to the Discussion Questions in the pink box on the right (5/6 lines each). Change  question 3 as follows : Think about your friends and schoolmates  for evidence of a generational need to be famous or, at the very least, distinctive. What events or influences in your life contributed to your own desire /lack of desire to become famous CLICK HERE
Reading Task for 3scA - (Intermediate)  read the given text,  write a short summary of the article in your own words, add your personal opinion (10-15 lines)  CLICK HERE
Reading Task for 2scB - (Pre-intermediate) Read the text and complete the tasks in the worksheet, "Do fame and money bring happiness?"  CLICK HERE

WATCHING & WRITING  - HALL OF FAME


Thursday, 13 June 2013

SUMMER READINGS - WORKSHEET

 (2scB, 3scA, 4scA, 4scB)


Here's the worksheet  you should fill in to prepare your oral report about the book you've chosen as your summer reading.

Don't forget to

- complete all the exercises at the end of each chapter
- read the texts about the author, themes, and context you'll find in your book
- listen to the audiobook once you've finished reading or while reading 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

POSTS ABOUT VIRGINIA WOOLF AND MRS DALLOWAY

                                                   
Click HERE for the list of posts about Woolf and Mrs Dalloway

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

DEFOE VS SWIFT



The two great prose writers of the Age of Queen Anne stand out as representatives of two worlds, of two cultures in conflict: the last of the aristocrats and the herald of the middle  class.
Here are just a few hints to reflect on the differences between them


DANIEL DEFOE

JONATHAN SWIFT

English

Irish

Liberal ( Whig)

Conservative (Tory)

Dissenter

Anglican

Optimistic

Pessimistic

Exalted the use of reason

Satirized the use of reason

Championed individualism

Condemned individualism

Realistic novels

Imaginary voyages 


 And now a closer look at SWIFT's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
SATIRE
Gulliver’s Travels has been considered a satirical masterpiece. But what is SATIRE?

Monday, 13 May 2013

THE AGE OF THE KNIGHT: THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR. NOTES & ACTIVITIES.

Minstrels and Knights

Up to the Norman conquest scops composed poems and performed them, usually with the accompaniment of a harp. Later, however, they were replaced by minstrels. Minstrels were a kind of professional entertainer: they would wander from court to court or had a fix abode at the court of a noble. They sang and recited lyrics and narratives, including ballads and romances.

Minstrels sang about romances whose main character was the knight, a central figure in the Middle Ages. This figure grew in importance as a result of the prosperity achieved by the courts, particularly in France, where the nobles wanted to hear stories about heroes, adventures and chivalry.

The knight was an idealised figure in literature. He was expected to uphold a code of chivalry which was usually associated with ideals of honour, courtly love and virtue. He was expected to be loyal to his king or lord, fight for him in battle and, if necessary, sacrifing himself for honour.