"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, AND that has made all the difference" The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

DREAMING IN ENGLISH. Are you dreaming in English yet?

WELCOME!!! This is a bit of a challenge for me!!! This blog is intended for all audiences. I hope you enjoy and get the most of it!!!

Here you might find resources to help you navigate the muddy waters of English. The humble aim of this blog is just to keep you in touch with different types of English and different aspects of the English culture , to increase your curiosity about English through many different fields.

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Are you dreaming in English yet? por BE se encuentra bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 3.0 Unported.

lunes, 2 de octubre de 2017

ALIKE

You are going to watch a short-animated film called ALIKE. It has won a Goya award in 2016 and I believe it may be quite thought-provoking.

After watching the video, try to discuss the following questions in groups:

1. Why is the film called ALIKE? The father and son are called Copy and Paste. This can help you answer the question.

2. Read the following statement. Discuss and connect it with the film: The promotion of creativity is neglected in our society and we don't dare to be different.
3. Colours change all throughout the film. Discuss why. If you watch the film carefully you will notice that Paste ( the son) has a different colour when he is at the park or when he is at school. The same happens with Copy.
4. What's the message of the film?
5. Look at the following words and relate them with our present day life and our society.
   BOREDOM                         ROUTINE                       IMAGINATION
   CREATIVITY                    SAMENESS                         DISAPPOINTMENT
   ENJOY                            OVERWORKED

5. Do you think the way our society is organized destroys creativity and love of life?






6. AFTER WATCHING THE FILM, write a story taking into account things commented in class and your own ideas.


Sir Kenneth Robinson is a British author, speaker and international advisor on education. Watch the following talk and try to make a summary with the most interesting ideas and try to answer the following questions:

1. What do you think Robinson means when he says that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it?
2. What is the hierarchy of subjects that Sir Ken observed in schools around the world?
3. What 3 things do we know about intelligence, according to him?



lunes, 25 de septiembre de 2017

EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES: 26TH SEPTEMBER

Resultado de imagen de european day of languages lesson plan

LISTEN AND COMPLETE THE TEXT YOU HAVE BELOW ABOUT THE CELEBRATION OF THE EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES.

September the 26th is the European Day of Languages. The Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) created _________________ 6th of December 2001. _________________ encourage language learning across Europe. Other objectives are to alert the public _________________ of languages to increase multilingualism and intercultural understanding, _________________ rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe. All Europeans are encouraged _________________ language. The founders of this day also hope those responsible for providing access to language learning are encouraged to _________________ people to learn languages. There is an emphasis on learning a language other than English.
There are about 225 languages _________________. This is about three per cent of the world's total. With an increase in immigration to Europe, the continent _________________ multilingual. The EU says over 300 languages are spoken in London. _________________ EU survey 56% of EU citizens speak a second language. However, 44% only know _________________. English is the most widely spoken second language, with 38% of Europeans speaking it. This is ___________________ for French or German. Around 14% of Europeans say they have mastered one of these languages. The EU spends more than thirty million euros a year _________________ learning and linguistic diversity.



The European Year of Languages 2001, organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union was successful in involving millions of people across 45 participating countries. Its activities celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.
Due to this success the Council of Europe declared a European Day aof  Languages to be celebrated on 26th of September each year. The general objectives are:
1. Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding.
2. Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
3. Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchange.

Learning a language can be very useful and healthy. According to some research it can increase the size of your brain. This is what Swedish scientists discovered when they used brain scans to monitor what happens when someone learns a second language. Could you imagine that?


Resultado de imagen de greetings in different languages




LET'S TRY TO DO THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE QUIZ and learn some facts about some languages.


Do you think the European Day of Languages is a good idea for encouraging language learning and cultural explorations?
Have you ever been inspired to start learning a new language?

jueves, 30 de marzo de 2017

WAR POETS

 They ask me where I have been,
  And what I've done and seen. 
 But what can I reply
 Who know it wasn't I, 
 But someone just like me,
 Who went across the sea
 And with my head and hands
 Killed men in foreign lands...
 Though I must bear the blame,
 Because he bore my name.
                                                               GIBSON- Back

Resultado de imagen de the great war britainWar has always inspired poetry. 
 In the case of the WWI (The Great War), it changed the way people looked at wars. It was fought in a different way, with more advanced technology and this implied that soldiers saw  death on a huge scale with millions of casualties. 
Life at the trenches and the shock some soldiers experienced created a group of poets who wrote in protest of war and its  terrible conditions. Watch the following video and answer the following questions

1. Why was the Great War a  war of horror for soldiers more than for civilians?
2. What was the idea about war poetry at the beginning of the 20th century?
3. What type of poet is called a "war poet"?
4. What type of soldier was Sigfried Sassoon?
5. What was Sassoon ´s attitude to war and what type of information  did he include in his poems?






Resultado de imagen de sassoon
I knew a simple soldier boy 
Who grinned at life in empty joy, 
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, 
And whistled early with the lark.


In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.


You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.







Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen ( another war poet) met during active service. Both endured traumatic experiences. Owen became neurasthenic and Sassoon disillusioned with the conduct of war. In fact, he published in 1917 in The Times a declaration expressing his anger at the War Office. He critisized openly they way soldiers were treated and the living conditions in the trenches. After that,  he was sent to a hospital in Edinburgh diagnosed of shellshock. Wilfred Owen was receiving treatment in that hospital too,  so they got in touch and exchanged conversations and started a friendship.

For both poets literature was a way of expressing oneself. They wanted to show "the pity of war", the psychological effect of war, the incompetence of the Generals and Officials. Wilfred Owen was very intense and lyrical in his poems. He uses bleak realism with lots of metaphores and great technical skill. Sassoon inspired him and,  as Sassoon did,  Owen placed great emphasis on writing from experience.




In Dulce Et Decorum Est and Exposure, two of  Owen´s poems,  pay attention to the imagery used and the way soldiers are described. Look for words which are disturbing, interesting, etc. 
What sort of mood do we have in both poems?
Are these poems effective in showing "the pities of war"?
Do both poems show Owen´s view of warfare? Explain and take examples from the poems.






lunes, 6 de marzo de 2017

"We should all be feminists"

Watch the following video.



"The world has changed but the numbers remained stucked against us." Do you agree with this statement and with and the figures and statistics presented inthe video? Are we really equal?

The video below was part of a campaign to celebrate the International Women´s Day. Here you can learn about different important inventions made by women. Did you know anything about them?

In the video they also mention a group of pioneer women who began a worldvide movement to achieve equal rights. They were called the Suffragettes. Did you know anything about them?




As you can see this video presents a more positive image in the progress of  women´s rights. What do think ? Do you agree with the data and information presented? How would you compare it with the first video? 
Discuss and debate about the different ideas presented in both videos.

Resultado de imagen de celebrating women's rights 2017

Yes. It´s true. Many  things have changed since then! Many things have improved but everything is not as positive. Much has remained the same and so much still needs to be done. Despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues are still a problem. For example, women are often paid less than men; gender discrimination affects girls and women throughout their lifetime; and sometimes they are the ones who suffer the most poverty. At the top of industry and government, the faces remain male.  So how can we justify that?

The Civil Right´s movement for women started long ago. In the English-speaking world it is said that it started with MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT´S A Vindiction of the Rights of Women ( 1792).  Then, in the 19th century some women became increasingly active in the quest for their own suffrage.
Resultado de imagen de emmeline pankhurst y sus hijas
 It was not until 1893 when women in New Zealand achieved the power to vote. Australia followed the next year and in Britain and America they didn´t achieve the national suffrage until the end of the WWI.

BUT WHO WERE THESE SUFFRAGETTES?
These group of women developed different strategies to be heard: they marched in demostrations, attended mass meetings, taught in schools, wrote critiques about how society was organized, they went on hunger strikes, etc.

They sent petitions to the Parliament to persuade the MPs to change the law to enable them to vote. In 1897 they came toghether to form the NUWSS (The National Union of Women´s Suffrage Societies).
Resultado de imagen de emmeline pankhurst
The results about their petitions were not very positive in the beginning. The members of the Bristish Parliament deliberately talked out bills presented and they didn´t want women to vote. As a consequence the Suffragist´s actions became more violent. Emmeline Panhurst said in a speech in 1912:
 "We have tried every way, but we have had contempt poured upon us. Violence is the only way that we haave to  get the power that every citizen should have"
Posters ridiculing the Suffragettes were made as well. Have a look at some of them. What do you think? 

A conservative leader made the following speech in 1912 about women´s right to vote:
" Women don´t have the experience to be able to vote. But there are other problems as well. The way women have been educated, their lack of strength, and the duties they have. If women did gain the vote, it would mean that most voters would then be women. What would be the effect of this on the government? I agree that there are some issues upon which the votes of women might be helpful. But these  ases do not cover the whole political life. What is the good of talking about equality of the sexes? The first whiz of the bullet, the first boom of the cannon and where is the equality of the sexes then?"
Finally in 1918 women over 30 were allowed to vote. It too another decade to abolish the age qualification.


Taking all this into account, Do you think it is necessary to celebrate March 8th? Is everything done? The United Nations have established since 2012 the celebration in October 11th of the International Day of the Girl Child. They focus on increasing awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, gender violence, unfree child marriage. So it seems there´s still lots of things to do.


The novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie makes a new definition of feminism based on inclusion and awareness. Watch her conference in TED talks and answer the following questions.
1. Accoding to what we have read and seen in this post, in what areas do you think the world needs feminism, taking into account her ideas?
2. On the other hand, we have made important progress. Find examples in our society that have brought men and women closer to an equal position.
3. Chimamanda makes the point that the concept of gender tells us how we should behave in society and tells women how they should behave and follow certain stereotypes. Do you agree with her?
4. She says "culture does not make people, people make culture". How can this be important to change some aspects about the gender issue?
5. Make reference to some ideas or situations you have felt identified with or that you agree / disagree with in the conference.






I recommend watching the movie Suffragette. It´s a good opportunity to learn something really important about our history and about how women´s fight for thier own rights started.