Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Write a story with... (1)

Let's start a new type of activity. As you have asked for some new ideas for your posts... here you are a photo, and try to write a short story with it. 

Here I am leaving you some questions to inspire you...

Where is this door leading to?
What can you see?
Where is it?
Who could be the protagonist?

You can copy the image url and paste it in your new post. Good luck!

The book I am reading (2)

Hi there!

Today I want to recommend you a set of novels which are tremendously hilarious. I have already read two of them, and I am reading the third one.

The writer is Eduardo Mendoza and I had already read some of his books: "La ciudad de los prodigios" (about Barcelona) and "Sin noticias de Gurb", which I read when I was 14 years old. I remember it was very funny... but not like these!!!

The protagonist of these four novels is a man "without name", we don't know his real name as he is a detective "by accident" and he is living in a mental hospital. In the third novel, he is a hairdresser apart from a detective. He talks in a very educated way but with such a sense of humour that yesterday I was about to sputter coffee on my Kindle... twice or three times while reading!

These are the four books:

If you love laughing you will enjoy those books! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking about 30-day challenges

Last Thursday, as I already told you, my students of Practical English and I saw a video about "30-day challenges", consisting on the idea that if you do something unusual during a month, it can become a habit... a good habit! Or maybe not... but, at least, you will have spent your time doing new and maybe even interesting things.

I am still thinking about what could be my 30-day challenge... because it has to be realistic, not too difficult to accomplish, and enjoyable... because it would be nonsense doing something I don't like... so I have looked for some ideas on the internet.

First I have found the personal webpage of the man giving the TED lecture about this topic. He is called Matt Cutts and he works for the Google company. Reading a bit of his blog I have discovered that he has done some challenges like not using social networks for a month, not answering emails after 9 pm, playing the ukelele, having eight hours of sleep each day... It sounds great!

Then I have found a webpage about 30-day challenges. It is great to discover how many people are there trying to improve their lives! Some want to lose weight, others want to have a healthier lifestyle... and there are some simple but effective ways to start. Have a look at the categories section!

I have also found some interesting and detailed lists for different activities, one for every day. Here are some examples related to "photography", "drawing" and "writing" challenges.

What do you think? Will you start a 30-day challenge?
Let me know!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I can't live without... my Kindle

As I have tell you a lot of times, I am very fond of books and reading. When I knew about e-readers, I thought that it was a silly invention... because I really appreciate the smell and touch of a paper book, a "real book" as I said... And I also considered that reading on a small screen is a bit silly if I can read in the computer screen! And it is more tiring for the eyes than reading on a "paper, real book".  But then a very good friend showed me her Kindle and I was a bit surprised to see that it has got a very good resolution, it is  so pleasant to read on it! It has got a special screen with "e-Ink", that is, a special technology to read electronic books.

And then, the amount of space and money that you save thanks to the Kindle!! I read now more than before... in two months (I got my Kindle as a Christmas present) I have already read 25 books!!!

I have taken my Kindle in two long train trips to Barcelona, and time passed so fast that I was amazed!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

30 day challenge

This morning I have shared with my students of "Practical English" this video about "30-day challenges". When you decide to take up a challenge, if you maintain that new activity for 30 days, you will acquire a new habit. Maybe it is not very interesting at first sight... but, have a look and then...

Then, tell me. Don't you feel like doing something like that?

I am thinking about starting my own 30-day challenge... what about you? If you start a challenge, let us know!!!

I can't live without... coffee

What are those things you first thought you would't like... and now are so important in your life?

For example, when first mobile phones appeared, I didn't think I would have one. I can proudly tell you that I am not hooked to Whatsapp or something like that, but I admit that it is a great invention.

Another thing that I didn't like at first... COFFEE! When I was a teenager, I thought that it would be impossible that something so bitter would please me so much... but it really does!

I confess... I am not a person until I have had my first morning coffee!

And you? What do you think of mobile phones or coffee?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Technology dependence

What do these images make you think of? What do you think about our dependence on technology? Maybe you want to use any of these pictures for a post about this topic...

In my opinion, most of us depend too much on technology.

The book I am reading... (1)

Hi again!

Why not talking about the things we are into? I am really fond of reading, as you know... so why not talking about the book I am now reading?

Maybe you feel curious about it... and decide reading it... who knows?

So... the book I am hooked to is called "Dime quién soy" (I am reading it in Spanish) and the author is called Julia Navarro. A friend recommended it to me, as I told her that I am very interested in books who are related to the Second World War.

So... this is it! Amelia, the protagonist, is involved in almost every important historical event from the Second Spanish Republic. She lives a great deal of complicated situations but I think that it is very interesting to "live through her eyes" the most important events. I have learned a lot about the daily life of those days, the tortures who were made to the "traitors", the Nazi concentration camps, the hunger and desperation suffered by normal people... a lot of suffering and bad conditions, but so interesting, at the same time!

 I don't want to "make a spoiler", so if you are interested to know more... ask in the comments section!

Record yourself !!

I am a bit shy when I speak in a foreign language... yes, I am!! But one of the best things we can do to learn and practise the speaking of a foreign language is... reading aloud... and recording ourselves is a great way to check and practise our pronunciation!

I have just discovered this online recorder (Vocaroo) , so you have no excuses... have a try! And then, insert the recording in a new post. You can do this with any text you have... and for example, you can use a fragment of a student's book text...!

Record audio or upload mp3 >>Vocaroo Voice Message

Song to cheer you up: Scatman's World

Sometimes you have a hard day... you feel tired, too tired... even to smile is an effort... so you have a very tough day, then!

I have a "collection" of very personal songs which I use to cheer me up when I feel a bit down... for me, they are infallible! I am sure you also have some of them... because if you listen to them, you start feeling better!

I encourage you to share your collection of "cheer up songs". My first one is this:

This song is  eighteen years old!!!! So probably you haven't listened to it before... but I am sure your parents have. Could you please show it to them and ask them about their opinion? It would be great that your parents (or other relatives) became part of your blogs ;)

By the way... This song was released in 1995... I was 16 years old... (I am getting depressed :P !!!
I liked this and another song by the same artist. He was already an old man when he got famous singing these two energetic and funny songs... so maybe it can help us to think about fighting for our dreams! Never is too late!!!!

I hope you enjoy this song. I am going to share some of my favourite songs with you, and I would be pleased to write about your opinions... either you like it or you don't!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ideas for your posts


You know that you must write a lot of posts about whatever you want, in English. It is so good for you to practise this language in a funny and practical way!

I know that sometimes you don't know what to write about... here I leave some topics you could write about.

* Pick a picture from your photos and write about it... when was it taken? who took it? What is shown in the photo? What does it mean to you?

* Write about your childhood. What did you use to do when you were five or six years old? Who did you play with? What were your favourite activities? What kind of TV programmes or films did you watch?

* Write about your family and friends, about the things you admire most about them, for example... let feelings lead your writings!

* Write a poem! Love, friendship, beauty... but maybe, also jealousy, sadness, loneliness or hate! Again, let your feelings say!

* Write about something you absolutely adored... or something you hated. Recommend us something (a book, a TV programme, a film...) or warn us not to read/see something!

* Share the things you discover (maybe Youtube videos, maybe "special quotes" you find on Facebook walls... )

* The compositions you write for the English subject! You can write them here for a post... and even you can record yourself reading them! Have a try!

* What are you fond of? Tell us about the things you are really into... the things you find so exciting!!! Explain why they are so important to you!