C1 · C2 · culture · Idioms

English Idioms A Skeleton in the Cupboard

Hi! I’m back with another fun video (well, it’s meant to be fun anyway ). This one’s for the idiom A Skeleton in the cupboard/closet. This idiom actually has an almost humorous use, but I couldn’t find the right type of music, so I hope it doesn’t make you jump out of your skin. (that’s a good one!).

By the way, I had to upload it as Youtube detected that the laughter I used was from the album Thriller! That laughter belonged to Vincent Price! I mean, how can somebody own somebody’s laughter? Ridiculous! Anyway, it took me ages to find it and I had to make a horrible change, such a pity! (it now sounds more like Eddie from Iron Maiden)

culture

Over 640 people sing for life and solidarity during the lockdown in Spain

Over 640 amateur singers from all over Spain interpret Coldplay’s Viva la Vida in an online chorus project which aims to celebrate life and solidarity during the relaxation of the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I can’t think of a more suitable and beautiful way to say goodbye to the visitors of the blog and my students as the classes at the EOI and examinations are coming to an end. This has been an extremely sad year where many families have been separated from their loved ones without even having the opportunity to say goodbye. And, as if this wasn’t bad enough, we’ve also seen both sides of human nature, the worst and the best, where the politicians that run our country have failed to compromise for the benefit of the people they represent.

In spite of the mentioned above, I really want to believe that reason will eventually win and bridge the gap in the same way that these 640 voices come together in one harmonious song for life, solidarity and hope.

Goodbye for the time being.

Be back soon, (wherever that may be 😉

Serena

PS Thanks for visiting the blog. I’m thrilled by the fact that it’s about to reach 100,000.

Advanced C1 listening · C1 · C2 · culture · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening

C1-C2 Listening ‘How old-timey skiffle music liberated British rock

Last month I was reading Mark Kermode’s novel ‘How Does it Feel?’, which is a funny and interesing recount of his goal towards becoming a famous popstar. At a certain period of his life, the author enrols in a band that played skiffle, and I thought to myself ‘skiffle! What’s that?’ I hadn’t the slightest idea of what it was, so I googled it up and found, among many other interesting links, the one that I’ve turned into a listening activity for those that are loony about the history of rock bands. The video mentions big names like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and the Rollings, among many others, who had all apparently started off in the showbiz as kids playing skiffle in their sheds or even busking. Anyway, if you feel like doing a listening activity, just click on the button below and let me know if you found it interesting.

Before doing the listening, you might want to watch this video by Knob Town Skiffle Band on Youtube.

Art and literature · culture

Women in films & Literatura

If you enjoy watching films in English and would like to learn more about English-speaking authors, from the 26th of November to 17th December APABAL (Associacio del Professorat d’Anglès de les Illes Balears), will be showing four selected titles which deal with different representations of women as the main theme.

Anybody with an intermediate, advanced or proficient level of English can attend. Entrance is free and you’re welcome to bring along a friend.

B1 · B2 · culture · Grammar activity

Intermediate b1/b2 Tense revision activity: Where Did Christmas Crackers Come From?

crackers
Photo from Getty

In Britain not pulling a cracker means that something is missing! Both children and adults love them and they add more fun and laughter to Christmas dinner and parties. But where did this tradition come from? I came across this article and found it such a sweet story that I just couldn’t help not using it, so this one is to help you go over past tenses (active and passive ) and some  present tenses too.

The source is Metro.co.uk

Click for activity

B1 · B2 · culture

Culture quiz: How much do you know about British Christmas?

Trafalgar_Square_Christmas_tree8
Picture from Wikipedia

I say British because Christmas is celebrated almost all over the world and obviously, everybody has their way of doing this. If you’re from a country but you live in another one (like me), you will most probably blend both traditions which means that on Christmas Day you might eat a typical Majorcan soup for starters and have turkey as main dish, just to set an example. It might also mean that you have to behave extra-well if you want both, Santa and the Three Kings to call round, but it will also sound a bit awkward for relatives back in England when you tell them that you are still feasting and celebrating when they have already got back to their daily routine at the workplace and have probably been on a diet for the last fortnight (getting rid of those extra Christmas calories). Anyway, whatever you do and whatever your beliefs are, I think Christmas is a lovely moment to enjoy time with your loved ones and to reach out to those you haven’t seen for some time just to remind them how much you love and care for them. That for me is what really matters at Christmas, don’t you agree?

Here you have a Christmas quiz on some cultural aspects from British Christmas. I hope you enjoy it.

Ho, ho, ho!!!!