Friday, February 25, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I’m still feeling nostalgic about my Saturday-morning cartoon hours. So here’s another School House Rock video about adjectives. This one uses a camping theme. After this, you’ll long for (echar de menos) those summer days in the woods!
Adjectives are often used to help us compare things,
To say how thin, how fat, how short, how tall.
Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other's the smallest of all.
We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear.
He was a hairy bear,
He was a scary bear,
We beat a hasty retreat from his lair.
And described him with adjectives.
Whoah! Boy! That was one big, ugly bear!
You can even make adjectives out of the other parts of speech, like verbs or nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending like "-ic" or "-ish" or "-ary". For example, this boy can grow up to be a huge man – but still have a boyish face. "Boy" is a noun, but the ending "-ish" makes it an adjective - boyish. That describes the huge man's face, get it?
Next time you go on a trip,
Remember this little tip:
The minute you get back,
They'll ask you this and that,
You can describe people, places and things...
Simply unpack your adjectives.
You can do it with adjectives.
Tell them 'bout it with adjectives.
You can shout it with adjectives.
Friday, February 18, 2011
The days of the week in English .
Several days of the week in English are derived from Anglo-Saxon words for the Gods they worshiped.
Saturday , Saturn's-day
Monday, February 14, 2011
What is the origin of Valentine's Day? Valentine was a Christian priest who lived in Rome in the third century. The emperor, Claudius II, believed that single soldiers would be better than married soldiers so he did not allow(1) his soldiers to marry. Valentine celebrated marriages in secret but, one day, he was caught(2) and sent to prison. In prison, he became friends with the jailer’s(3) daughter and, before his execution, sent her a farewell note(4) signed “From Your Valentine”. Cards still say this today.
So how did the “Day of Love” start? There are two main theories. The first is that it was connected with the Roman feast of Lupercalia. This was a fertility celebration in honour of Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage. The day before the festival, each woman wrote a love letter and left it in a large urn(5). Then each man took one of the letters... and the woman who wrote the letter became his companion for a year. The other theory dates back to(6) the Middle Ages, when people realised(7) that birds started to mate(8) on the 14th of February.
The custom of sending cards on the 14th February started in 1415 with a Frenchman, Charles Duke of Orleans. He was in prison in the Tower of London and sent a love letter to his wife on that day. Nowadays, Valentine’s Day cards (or “Valentines”), which are often marked with an X instead of the sender’s name. The X represents a kiss. Many years ago, when people could not write, they signed documents with an X and then kissed the X symbol, in front of witnesses,(9) to show sincerity. In the past, people also used to write SWAK on the outside of their letters to their lovers. It meant “Sealed With A Kiss”.
Now you know everything you need to know to send an English Valentine to your sweetheart.(10) Don’t miss your chance;(11) it’ll be a nice touch!(12).
Here’s a typical Valentine rhyme:
Roses are red,
Happy St. Valentine’s Day!
(1) permitir, (2) ser pillado con las manos en la masa, (3) carcelero, (4) carta de despedida, (5) urna, (6) remontarse, (7) darse cuenta, (8) aparearse, (9) testigo, (10) enamorado, (11) perder la oportunidad, (12) todo un detalle
Thursday, February 10, 2011
February 6th was Waitangi Day, otherwise known as New Zealand Day. And what better way to celebrate than watching a video of this country’s most emblematic tradition, the Haka Dance! Rugby is considered the national sport of New Zealand. Perhaps, the most recognizable icon of New Zealand is its rugby team, the All Blacks, arguably the best national rugby team in the world. It is the only team to have a winning record against all other rugby-playing nations. Not surprisingly, the All Blacks receive their name from their all-black uniform. Even if you don't understand the game or have never seen it played, you probably know who the All Blacks are, because you have seen the Haka war dance. A Haka is a traditional dance of the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, that involves slapping hands, stamping feet and chanting. The Haka war dance is performed by the All Blacks before the rugby match starts in order to challenge and intimidate their opponent.
The video below has subtitles in English describing the Haka with a translation of the Maori chants.
 pegar una palmada,  dar una patada,  partido,  contrincante
Monday, February 7, 2011
The massive bronze statue of the legendary Queen Boudicca in her chariot near Westminster Bridge.
Watch this exciting documentary film about the life of the warrior Queen !