LISTENING COMPREHENSION “HAPPINESS”

30 01 2009

listening-comprehension 

Well, guys, in case you didn´t come to class or if you want to pay more attention to the listening activity related to the topic “Happiness” that we did in class and that some people found quite difficult, there it goes.

I am including the listening comprehension with the questions as well as the mp3 listening activity taken from the radio.

 listening-comprehension  QUESTIONS

 

 LISTENING COMPREHENSION

Well, after doing this, you can give me your opinion about HAPPINESS. How can we reach it? Is it possible to be happy all the time?

As Mark Twain once said: “Whoever is happy will make others happy, too”. Do you agree?

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Barack Obama Inauguration & Speech – 20th January 2009BB

21 01 2009

Well, here you have just a part of the inauguration speech of Barack Obama on the 20th of January 2009, such a historical day. I consider it really important not only for the future of the United States, but for that of Europe and the whole world too.

Do you think that Obama will be able to live up to all people’s expectations? Do you think that he will be able to account for all the hopes that we have placed in him?

He has such a difficult task ahead of him that he may get lost in the way. But he does not look like the kind of person who gives up whenever a problem turns up. Well, as it usually happens, only the time will give us the definite answer!





“DUBLIN PEOPLE”- A COMMENT ON THIS BOOK

20 01 2009

Everyone has a personal story of how a book gets to oneself at a particular moment, so I am going to tell you mine.

I had already read “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” not long ago, so I profited that my school teacher had asked us to read the book “Dublin People” to talk about it here.  At first, most of my classmates said that they would use the typical knack: downloading a summary about the book from the Internet. However, I don’t know if I may not be considered cool, but I prefered to read the novel instead.

I love reading books, it is one of my favourite hobbies. I can´t stop reading a book till I finish it, it is my way to relax and forget everything around me.

To be honest, I am not used to reading English books unless teachers orders us to do it, but “Dublin People” can be considered a good way to spend some of your free time.

There are two current stories represented in it: the first one is based on a girl who had been living all her life in a small village in Ireland, and now she wants to make her way into a multi-faceted city like Dublin. The second one is about an ex-alcoholic man whose wife and children feel neglected, so abandon him. His wife is prepared to ive him a second chance, but there are some bad habits that may be too difficult to give up.

I recommend this book to everybody who wants to know how you would feel in one of those situations, since life isn´t always easy. 

It is an educational book  that noone can miss out.  

By Natalia





“ALL I WANT” BY MARGARET JOHNSON

14 01 2009

I haven´t read the “The boy in the striped pyjamas”, so I´ve decided to write something about another book I read some time ago. The title is “All I want” by Margaret Johnson.

The plot of the book is about a young women. Alex is a thirty- year old art gallery assistant and she is in love with her boss. Everyday she goes to work with a big smile, because she is going to spend a good time with her boss, Brad.

One day an incident happens at the art gallery, as a consequence Alex and Brad have to spend some days at Brad´s country house.  At this time Alex tries to kiss Brad, and she wants to marry him and have his babies. This is her opportunity to impress Brad but nothing seems to go the way she planned.

Obviously a perfect man dosen´t exist, and Alex gradually discovers that Brad is a different man, he is a very selfish person, so she realises that she has fallen in love with an imaginary man.

A surprise guest and a Christmas party help Alex to discover what she really, really wants:she is in love with Barry, her old boyfriend.

So this book makes you wonder what real love is.

By Germán





“MOMO” BY MICHAEL ENDE

13 01 2009

I had just read the book “The boy in the striped pyjamas” in Spanish, so I decided to read Momo instead. Momo speaks about a young girl who has a fantastic quality, her listening capacity. She can change the heart of people with just some minutes of attention.
Since she doesn’t have any parents, a neighbour in the village adopts her. But they are attacked by some strange foreign men who want to control time. They are called grey men. The time that the people in Earth don’t use for being happy is kept and transformed in cigarettes by those people. Momo, with her special gift, is the only person in the world that can avoid the end of our lives.
Momo is one of the most typical books of Michael Ende, who becomes famous for the “Neverending Story”. He is my favorite writer. He always writes with a mixture between reality and fiction. He talks about fantastic worlds but this is only the excuse for sending a critical message about our lifestyles. He thinks that our society has lost the authentic values.
On the other hand, as the book is written for young people it is easier to read for English students. You don’t need the dictionary all the time and you can enjoy the test. I encourage you to read it.

By Inma





GET DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

12 01 2009

 

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Last Wednesday afternoon, while I was doing the washing up, I was listening to the radio too. The main topic was the polemics about the dress worn by the minister of Defense during a parade the day before.

I don’t really know which was worst, the polemics itself, or the points of view expressed by the talkers. One of them was a journalist who had already written about it in a newspaper and the other one was a spokeswoman of the association of progressive women. During the discussion the journalist said that dresses sent messages, and the minister was sending a message of self-confidence and strong personality.

How can still be people thinking in that way in the  21st century? Of course that being clean is important, but that’s all. I think that keeping on considering these things or treating people because of the way they dress instead of what they say or what they do, is one of the most incredible backwardness signs a society can keep with.

On the other side, the spokeswoman said that she was completely sure that if the minister had been a man that polemics would never have happened. Or course I couldn’t avoid remembering our debates about women and men. Honestly I can’t understand those kind of arguments which are many times used in these discussions, because the idea beneath this argument is “hey, you are paying attention to her clothes because she is a woman and she should look beautiful all the time, and what she could said or do is not important, because you know… she is a woman, what interesting thing could she say?”

Well, I think this is quite unfair, maybe a long time ago beauty could be one of the only tools or weapons women could used to have any chance in a society governed by men. But nowadays it’s quite different; I think there are enough structures and laws that guarantee equal rights, so it’s time to finish with “power” that beauty has but, unfortunately, this does not happen . Not everybody complains against beauty queen competitions, or against all the advertisements “dedicated” to sell us the importance of style, or again that women may be working in several different jobs just just because they are pretty. Even more, there are hundreds of social event chronicles that focus only on what was dressed and who dressed it. For example in two months time the Oscars awards will take place. The day after it many tv or radio programmes will be talking about who designed what dress, who looked more elegant , but only a few ones will be talking about who deserved to be awarded.

But that seems not to be important, maybe because there is a very big business behind all that stuff, with very big profits to share. I suppose that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

By Roberto