Friday, 28 March 2008
Here you are a BBC video about a new invention: moon burials. Do you know what a 'burial' is? Click here to find out.
This video is not related to what we are currently doing in class, but the point is that you can listen to both British and North American speakers of English, so I think it can be interesting for you...
There are 4 speakers: the commentator,Charles Chafer and two people in the street. Who speaks Britsh? who speaks American English? Give it a try!
Thursday, 20 March 2008
I hope you're having a nice holiday! Here you are an excerpt from the Wikipedia about non-religious Easter traditions in English-speaking countries just in case you desperately miss our class and need some activities in English... :)
Some words are clickable, so that you can see what they mean.
As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting. Today it is commercially important and there are wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans.
In North America, Australia and parts of the UK, the Easter holiday has been partially secularized, so that some families participate only in non-religious traditions such as decorating Easter eggs on Saturday evening and hunting for them Sunday morning, by which time they have been mysteriously hidden all over the house and garden. Chocolate eggs have largely supplanted decorated eggs in Australia.
In North America, eggs are delivered and hidden by the Easter Bunny in an Easter basket which children find waiting for them when they wake up. Many families in America will attend Sunday Mass or services in the morning and then participate in a feast or party in the afternoon.
In the UK children still paint coloured eggs, but most British people simply exchange chocolate eggs on the Sunday. Chocolate Easter Bunnies can be found in shops, but the idea is considered primarily a US import.
Many families have a traditional Sunday roast, particularly roast lamb, and eat foods like Simnel cake, a fruit cake with eleven marzipan balls representing the eleven apostles. Hot cross buns, spiced buns with a cross on top, are traditionally associated with Good Friday, but today are eaten through Holy Week and the Easter period. In the north of England and the north of Ireland, the tradition of rolling decorated eggs down steep hills is still adhered to.
Friday, 14 March 2008
Would you like to practice some reading?
Here you are a text I found at www.britishcouncil.org about houses, techonology and environment. I think it's quite interesting and you can also do some activities on the text here
ENERGY SAVING HOMES FOR EVERYONE
Energy-saving homes are no longer just a high-priced hope for the future. A housing project just outside of London is showing that technological housing can be built to help the general population and the world's environment.
HOW DOES THE PROYECT WORK?
he Ecopark project has built 39 houses that use a selection of energy-saving technological fixtures and fittings. None of these are brand new inventions - many of them have been around for some time but have often been considered too expensive. This project proves that times have changed; saving energy is no longer just for the wealthy who can afford futuristic homes. When these simple devices are used together, in everyday housing, the result is modern energy-saving homes that most can afford.
HOW IS THE ENERGY SAVED?
Each house will save energy by creating its own power through solar collectors, which use the sun's energy to heat water. Under-floor heating offers a more cost-effective source of warmth. Low flush toilets and spray taps save water. Sunrooms provide spaces that are lit and heated by the sun's energy. Rooms are painted with water-based paints (rather than oil-based paints that are a drain on the Earth's natural resources). Non-drinking water for washing is recycled for flushing. These will save energy; just as importantly, they will save money through lower water and electricity bills.
SHOWING US HOW
So that people can see how the energy-saving technology works, the project includes a Naked House. This is part of the site's visitor centre. Built with see-through walls and cut-away sections, this offers visitors the chance to see each device in action.
The visitors' Centre is open to the general public and bookings can be made at http://www.gallionsecopark.co.uk.
WHY BUILD ENERGY-SAVING HOMES?
Energy-saving is more important today that it ever was. The Earth's own natural resources are slowly reducing year by year; meanwhile, the population is growing. Projects like this are vital if we are to sustain our living standards and the planet we live on.
Ecopark shows us that innovation is part of everyday life - that inventions are not dreams for the future. This project proves that energy-saving can work in everyday housing. Today, it's a new idea; tomorrow it could be the standard way to build every home.