Blog de Cristina

a new language means a new vision of life

Archive for May, 2008

My pleasure

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General

To all my students
With the holidays fast approaching I want to thank you all for being such nice students. It hasn’t been a good year to me on a personal level but my classes have helped me get over some very sad moments in my life.  
      I know this exam week has been tough on you; some of you took it lightly and some totally serious (to be honest, I really appreciate the serious ones). My biggest gripe is having wonderfully good students do badly, while some others that never seem to study enough do extremely well. But I can do little about it. I wish you well and hope you enjoy your summer holidays.
 This photograph is the best I had and that’s the only reason to choose this class and not any other. I hope you don’t mind being in the limelight. ;)
Good luck!!!

Feeling a bit weird today?

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Funny Stuff
I just couldn’t believe it when I bumped into this weird website. Amazing!!! But I did it…
and I’m worth a fortune. But I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m talking about. Well, there is this  guy who devotes time and energy to telling you things such as who died on your birthday or  How much you dead body is worth…  among other curiosities about yourself  you have probaly never asked yourself … what for?
Anyway, interested? Click here
Want to try?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General

Food for thought.

Maria Mena

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Music
Maria Mena is a singer-songwriter from Norway, only 21 years old  and she has already released 3 cd’s, of which her last album“Apparently Unaffected” with the single “Just Hold Me” has  put her on the international charts.
“I’ve always tried to be really honest and really direct and not hide anything,” she says. “I just write songs that I would want to listen to. One song can create one emotion or several.”

For Maria Mena, it always comes back to the music. “Have you ever hummed a melody that you just made up?,” she asks. “That’s how I do it, though it’s more intense, on a more conscious level. I collect words and I collect sentences until I get a song, then I put them down together. I’ve learned to use that gift.” She works with producer Arvid Solvang to create her arrangements. “I sing for him, hum the melody, and he puts chords to it,” she says. “I have this sound in my head. Within pop, you have little boundaries, but I can do whatever I want: I can do jazz, soul, and R&B, but all within pop. Music keeps on breaking boundaries, it keeps on pushing those limits and that is what makes everything so universal and so amazing and I don’t think we should explain it. Just leave it at that and basically see where it takes us next.”
Fancy listening to her lovely voice in “Just hold me”?  Pity the video isn’t any better, I imagine it has a lot to do with the fact that she doesn’t sell many records but ,in my opinion,  this singer has grace, taste and talent and a very rich voice which reaches deep .
Click here to read the lyrics.
Sorry , the video is no longer available for embeddding but you will find it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02_NLgATkv0 . It’s worth a visit.

Yappr: What on earth is this?

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General, Resources
A funny way to learn English ,  a place to practice your English while having fun.

How? Choose a video , from commercials to interviews with celebrities and…. interesting … it has subtitles in English for you to practise your listening . Worth visiting!!

http://en.yappr.com/welcome/Welcome.action

Designer Clothes

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Estela Ramon Garcia, 4th year student
First and foremost, I have to say that I’m not the kind of girl who is hooked on shopping and on designer clothes because I’m convinced that you don’t have to wear brand clothes to be dressed up or to be cool, actually, a lot of brand items aren’t cool at all. I mean, usually, while I’m looking through some magazines I realise how spaced-out film stars are, because they put on such  ugly gear that they look really scruffy and badly-dressed, don’t they?
On the one hand , having brand clothes is surpassing the boundaries because as far as I know, there are people who blow their money on buying these clothes instead of saving it for a rainy day, and in the end they are broke. From my point of view they just do this to boast and pretend they are wealthy.
On the other hand there are well-off people who can afford to purchase these trendy clothes because of their huge wages. This kind of people usually splash out their money on having everything from a designer name. I believe that people usually fall into the mistake of thinking that if you don’t have expensive clothes you are laid-back and not cool at all. Nevertheless, the truth is the opposite thing, because you are more likely to be spaced out and spoiled if you have loads of expensive things. In my opinion, this sort of people isn’t cool or fashionable , they are posh. Read the rest of this entry »

A new way to meet your Mr or Miss Right

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
Sent by Estela Alvarez, a fourth year student. 
A long time ago single women who had a romantic meeting always went with a chaperone who kept an eye on the couple, whereas nowadays people can flirt from their personal computer while they are surfing the  Internet because there are websites where they chat possible partners up. It seems incredible, but there are people who go out with someone without having ever seen them .
Certainly, we live in a stressful world and some people are too busy to look for love. As a result, new ways of meeting the person of your dreams are coming along. Actually, travel agencies arrange special trips only for single people and TV programmes organize blind dates for their contestants. But one of the most original systems to meet your Mr or Miss Right is a speed date, which is becoming more and more popular in different countries, especially among young people.
It consists of a group of people, where there is the same number of men and women, who are gathered together in a room where they have a few minutes to find out as much information as they can about each other in order to see if some of them is their perfect soul mate. At a speed date a person talks one to one to a member of the opposite sex during a while and as soon as a bell rings the participants have to move on to the next person and then, they start a conversation again. At the end of the event they submit to the organizers a list with people they fancy and they would like to see again because they believe they could be compatible. If the other person also feels the same attraction the organizers will get them in touch .
 In Spain a sort of “speed date” is becoming fashionable between university students, although this way to meet a possible pick-up is slightly different. It is called «traffic lights party» and it is usually celebrated in discos. It consists of wearing a sticker with the shape of a traffic light in the lapel and the colours of the signal have different meanings, so if you are wearing the green light switched on, it means you are not engaged; the yellow light means you are single but you are not especially interested in meeting anybody; and the red colour means you already have a boyfriend or a girlfriend.  Funny , isn’t it?

Burma Cyclone

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General
The death toll from the Burma cyclone could hit 100,000, the top US diplomat in the country said, as thousands of shell-shocked survivors emerged from devastated areas, desperate for food.
It is the worst cyclone to hit Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people died in Bangladesh. Rangoon is the largest city and former capital of  Burma  but now it is like a dead city .Most of the trees have fallen down. Many roads have been blocked by the big trees.Water is the main problem for people now. Everybody is talking about the shortage of water. At the moment, monasteries and mosques are providing water to people.
Burma’s government has been criticised over its handling of the crisis.
A number of Burmese nationals and some foreigners have said they had not been properly warned by the country’s military leaders about the approaching storm.
Some witnesses have also said the government’s response to the disaster has so far been slow and inadequate

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Students' Corner
This review has been sent by Irene Miguez Garcia, 2º Basic Level
Alice’s Adventures in
Wonderland” is a book written by Lewis Carroll, who was born in 1832 and was the third child in a family of eleven children.
It’s a fantasy story which takes place in the country while two sisters were sitting under the trees on a sunny day. One of them, called Alice  was too tired and sleepy while the other one was reading a book. Alice fell asleep and the story started. The book tells strange and stupid things about strange people too, in a country where everybody was mad. In Wonderland there were a lot of strange people, for example the Cheshire cat, which was always grinning and vanishing every second, the Hatter and March Hare who were always drinking tea in a boring party, a White rabbit who was always worried about the time and the mad Queen, the Duchess, a pack of cards and a Queen of hearts who wanted to cut everybody’s head.
Alice lives unbelievable adventures that she couldn’t understand, like ” The Croquet game”, where the balls were hedgehogs and the mallets flamingos, she suffered many changes too, getting taller and smaller when she ate or drank  some things, she was in a trial only with animals, etc.
At the end when she was feeling afraid, sad, unhappy and worried, she woke up, it just was a stupid dream.
I think the book was a little bit difficult and it wasn’t because of the language, but it was difficult for me because it’s all nonsense! And I thought I was always lost while I was reading it.
I didn’t like it so much, maybe because it’s a story for little children and it’s a little childish , although I think it’s  quite difficult to read for them, so If I were a little child I wouldn’t choose this one, although the title sounds fabulous!   

Do you like reading?

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General, Resources
Here is a very interesting site to visit . Here you can practice reading   and do comprehension exersises.
 
You can choose to select:
The story: as provided by CNN SF and CBS 5. Intended for adults with moderate reading and speaking comprehension skills including advanced ESL or non-native English speakers.
The Abridged Story: Modification of original story text by simplifying complex ideas and sentences, exchanging advanced words with less difficult ones, and change difficult concepts into precise terms. Intended for adults with low reading comprehension skills including beginning ESL or non-native English speakers.
Story Outline: Outline summary of basic edited story elements.
And what is more, along with the text you can see the video.
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