Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Native American view of Thanksgiving

On the fourth Thursday in October, Americans celebrate their most important holiday, Thanksgiving. You probably have a general idea of how Thanksgiving Day is celebrated through movies. The origins of Thanksgiving have been romanticized. Pilgrims (peregrinos) fleeing religious persecution in the Old World come to the New World, where they are helped by the indigenous people to survive. To give thanks to the Native Americans, the pilgrims hold a big feast in their honor. The video below talks about the significance of Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective

Friday, November 12, 2010

Manuel's English

Manuel is the waiter at Fawlty Towers hotel and he is also learning English !! Watch this hilarious ( very funny) video of the famous BBC sitcom (situation comedy). Have fun !


Manuel: You see, I speak English well.I learn it from a book.
Hello, I am English, hello. How are you Sir ? I can speak English.
Hello Major! How are you today ?
Major: AaaaaaaaaIIII I am fine, thank you.
Manuel: It's a beautiful day today.
Major: Is it ? Yes, yes, I suppose it is.
Manuel: I can speak English. I learn it from a book.
Major: Did you ? Did you really ? Oh. There you are, Fawlty !
Faulty: Yes, I am just going to open up , Major.
Major: Oh, fine. . I say , that’s a remarkable (1) animal you have there Fawlty. Where did you get (2) it ?
Fautly: Sampson’s in the town.
Major: Really ? Was it expensive (3) ?
Fawlty: 12 pounds I think.
Major: Good Lord. Japanese was it ?
Fawlty: Canadian , I think Major.
Major: I didn’t know Canadians were as clever as that.(4) My God.
Fawlty: He’s started early today….


1- Remarkable = unusual, special.
2- Get = en este contexto, comprar. Where did you get it ? = Where did you buy it ?
3- Expensive= caro
4- I didn’t know Canadians were as clever as that = No sabía que los canadienses fuesen tan listos.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Verb! That's what's happenin'

Continuing with School House Rock series of educational cartoons, here's a groovy (genial) one about verbs that mixes motown with superheroes!

I get my thing in action (Verb!)
To be, to sing, to feel, to live (Verb!)
That's what's happenin'

I put my heart in action (Verb!)
To run, to go, to get, to give (Verb!)
(You're what's happenin')

That's where I find satisfaction, yeah! (Yeah!)
To search, to find, to have, to hold
(Verb! To be bold)
When I use my imagination (Verb!)
I think, I plot, I plan, I dream
Turning in towards creation (Verb!)
I make, I write, I dance, I sing
When I'm feeling really active (Verb!)
I run, I ride, I swim, I fly!
Other times when life is easy
(Oh!) I rest, I sleep, I sit, I lie.

(Verb! That's what's happenin')
I can take a noun and bend it,
Give me a noun -
(Bat, ball, rake, and plow)
Make it a verb and really send it!
(Show me how)
Oh, I don't know my own power. (Verb!)

I get my thing in action (Verb!)
In being, (Verb!) In doing, (Verb!)
In saying
A verb expresses action, being, or state of being. A verb makes a statement. Yeah, a verb tells it like it is!

(Verb! That's what's happenin'.)
I can tell you when it's happenin',
(Past, present, future tense)
Ooh! Tell you more about what's happenin',
(Say it so it makes some sense)
I can tell you who is happenin'!
(Verb, you're so intense)
Every sentence has a subject.
(Noun, person, place, or thing)
Find that subject: Where's the action?
(Verb can make a subject sing)
Take the subject: What is it? (What!)
What's done to it? (What!)
What does it say?
(Verb, you're what's happenin')

I can question like: What is it?
(Verb, you're so demanding.)
I can order like: Go get it!
(Verb, you're so commanding.)
When I hit I need an object
(Verb, hit! Hit the ball!)
When I see, I see the object
(Do you see that furthest wall?)

If you can see it there, put the ball over the fence, man!
Go ahead. Yeah, alright.
What?! He hit it. It's going, it's going, it's gone!


I get my thing in action.
(Verb, that's what's happenin')
To work, (Verb!)
To play, (Verb!)
To live, (Verb!)
To love... (Verb!...)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Someone stole my bike !!!

Yes, someone stole my bike last Friday. I had chained my bike to one of the cycle racks in front of the office and when I left work... it was gone ! &%?Ç@# ! They broke the lock and I was really, really upset.
Has this ever happened to you? How did you feel? What did you do?
Listen to these people talking about their experiences. Don't forget to check the vocabulary first !

chain (noun) = cadena
chain (verb) = encadenar
cycle rack(UK)/ bike rack (USA) = aparcamiento para bicicletas
lock (noun) = candado
break the lock = forzar el candado
lock( verb) = cerrar con llave
fit out (phrasal verb) = equipar
you know= sabes. Se utiliza al hablar para hacer tiempo mientras piensas lo siguiente que vas a decir .

I had just spent about 400 dollars having this beautiful bike fitted out . I had chained it with this ginourmous kriptonite lock. I think I left it a little longer than usual. Maybe an overnight stay. When I came back only the lock remained. (ha,ha) .There was nothing else there and I think it takes you a minute -you know-to realize whether did you in fact leave the bicycle at that location or you spaced out or something like that , so it takes a few minutes and then you realize that your bike is gone. There is definitely a personal affront -you know- feeling like it is some sort of personal attack , even though it is totally not. When you buy a bike -you know- you totally appreciate that it is like a circular method-you know- you buy it and then it gets stolen . Then you buy another one and so-you know- I think you try to just enjoy the one that you have while you have it.