Tuesday, 6 September 2016


2016 is a special year for our School since we are celebrating our 25th anniversary. 

Ms. Mayte Roura, our Deputy Director for 7 years, has been promoting  the cultural life of our School and has created an interactive poster which wonderfully summarizes our 25 years of existence.

Congratulations to all the teachers who have devoted their work and dedication to the teaching of languages in our School and to all those who are or who once were a part of our school community!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Why Is Jesus White? - MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali /ɑːˈliː/;[9] (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring.

Clay was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training when he was 12 years old. At 22, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in an upset in 1964. Shortly after that, Clay converted to Islam, changed his "slave" name to Ali, and gave a message of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.(Wikipedia)

May he rest in peace!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Friday Bloody Friday

A song like Sunday Bloody Sunday, by U2, becomes relevant after events like the ones that took place in Paris last Friday.
The band were scheduled to perform two concerts in Paris last weekend. Instead, they kept silent in the face of tragedy and visited the scene of the wildest attack to place some flowers and pay their respects for the victims of such senseless brutality.

Larry Mullen Jr., the drummer of U2, said the following about this song in 1983:

"We're into the politics of people, we're not into politics. Like you talk about Northern Ireland, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday,' people sort of think, 'Oh, that time when 13 Catholics were shot by British soldiers'; that's not what the song is about. That's an incident, the most famous incident in Northern Ireland and it's the strongest way of saying, 'How long? How long do we have to put up with this?' I don't care who's who - Catholics, Protestants, whatever. You know people are dying every single day through bitterness and hate, and we're saying why? What's the point? And you can move that into places like El Salvador and other similar situations - people dying. Let's forget the politics, let's stop shooting each other and sit around the table and talk about it. (...) There are very few bands that say, 'why don't you just put down the guns?' there are a lot of bands taking sides saying politics is crap, etc. Well, so what! The real battle is people dying, that's the real battle...."

Yes, what´s the point? How long must we sing this song?

Friday, 18 April 2014

How to Pronounce -ed Endings

Pronouncing -ed endings in the past simple and past participle of regular verbs usually gives the students of English as a foreign language a hard time. 
However, it´s not that difficult. We must let common sense help us here. 

The first thing to take into account is that there are only 3 ways to pronounce this ending:
           -/t/ ;    -/d/ ;    -/ɪd/

/ed/ is not an option! :)

The ending -ed is pronounced /t/ in regular verbs whose last sound in the infinitive is unvoiced (except for /t/): /f/, /k/, /p/, /s/, /θ//tʃ/, /ʃ/. E.g.:
  -like liked: /laɪkt/
  -stop ⇨ stopped: /stɒpt/
  -laugh ⇨ laughed: /lɑːft/      *Note that it´s the sound and not the spelling what counts.

For all other final sounds (except for /d/) in the infinitive of regular verbs, the ending -ed is pronounced /d/. E.g.:
  -listen ⇨ listened: /ˈlɪsnd
  -discover discovered: /dɪˈskʌvəd
  -allow ⇨ allowed: /əˈlaʊd

In fact, it´s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pronounce the sound /d/ after an unvoiced sound. If you try to pronounce "liked", for example, with a final /d/ sound, you´ll realize you cannot do it. It´s a sound /t/ what comes out, isn´t it?

Anyway, the difference in the pronunciation between the /t/ and the /d/ endings is insignificant. Therefore, if you can get the /ɪd/ sound right, you can count yourself lucky. That´s good enough!
So, the key question is, when do we pronounce /ɪd/?
Well, it´s quite straightforward and this is when common sense plays its role: when the last sound of the verb in the infinitive is /t/ or /d/, adding a /t/ or a /d/ sound wouldn´t make any difference, that´s why we need to add the syllable /ɪd/ to really distinguish the infinitive from the past simple and past participle. E.g.:
   -want ⇨ wanted: /ˈwɒntɪd/    
   -end    ended:   /ˈendɪd/
   -hate   hated:    /ˈheɪtɪd/   *Remember: It´s the sound and not the spelling what matters!

As you can see, these one syllable words turn disyllabic.
  -permit ⇨ permitted: /pəˈmɪtɪd
  -recommend ⇨ recommended: /ˌrekəˈmendɪd

Also, these two and three-syllable words add one more syllable when pronouncing the -ed ending. Indeed, when it comes to regular verbs with a /t/ or a /d/ as a final sound in the infinitive, adding one syllable to pronounce the past simple is the key to getting it right.
Now then, after this explanation, perhaps you´d like to test yourself by doing the following exercises:

Pronouncing -ed endings

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Conditional Sentences. Part 2: Unreal Conditionals. If I were a rich man...

A conditional sentence describes a condition that is necessary for a particular result to occur.

 If the weather is fine this weekend, I´ll go skiing.

I.e. I´ll go skiing on condition that the weather is fine this weekend.

There are different types of conditional sentences depending on the meaning we intend to convey. So whether we need to show certainty, a possibility in the future, a hypothesis, or a regret about something that already happened, we will need to use one particular type of conditional sentence or another.

The conjunctions if, even if, when, whenever, whether, and unless (amongst others) often appear in conditional sentences.

As you can see, conditional sentences are not a simple matter and they need to be studied in detail.

In a previous post, I dealt with zero and first conditionals. Next, you´ll be able to have a look at a PowerPoint presentation where I try to clarify unreal conditionals (i.e. 2nd and 3rd types). 

Now, try and practise what you´ve learnt by doing the following exercises:
Finally, try working with your conditionals by filling in the gaps in the song "If You Were a Sailboat", by the wonderful Katie Melua.

If you found it useful, I would be terribly happy!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Narrative Tenses

Narrative tenses are the grammatical structures used to refer to the past time. They are used to tell stories and describe past events and states.

Fifty years ago, schools used to be single sex.

Past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple and past perfect continuous  are all narrative tenses. Also, the expressions "used to" and "would" plus infinitive can be used to talk about the past.

These past tenses are used to express:
-A finished action or state that happened at a definite time in the past (Past simple)
     I saw an interesting film last night.
-An action in progress happening at a specific time in the past (Past continuous)
     We were having dinner when someone knocked on the door
-An action or state that happened before a past action or state (Past perfect simple)
     When we arrived at the theatre, the play had already started
-An action in progress that was happening before another past action (past perfect continuous)
     When she arrived he had been waiting for over an hour!

-Things we did in the past but do not do any more ("used to"+infinitive-for actions and states- and "would"+infinitive-only for actions)
     My father used to smoke a lot, but he gave up some years ago. 
     When I was a child, we used to live in the countryside and we would walk to school every day.

If you are interested in looking into Narrative Tenses more closely, you can check out the following PowerPoint presentation:

Narrative tenses new english file advanced, Past simple, Past Continuos, Past Perfect Simple, Past Perfect Continuous, Action/ State verbs, Used to / Would, from Lola Domínguez

Now, you could try the following excersises to practice Narrative Tenses:

Narrative Tenses 1
Narrative Tenses 2
Narrative Tenses 3: Used to / Would

For a detailed explanation about "used to", "would", and "be used to" you can follow this link