On The Corner

Brief History of British Humour with Charly Taylor

Publicado el 29/05/2018

Charly Taylor

A veces es difícil entender el humor de otro idioma, te quedas con la sensación de que se te escapa algo.

Charly nos hizo un recorrido por la historia de la sátira británica, era imposible abarcar en hora y media todos los géneros de humor británicos… jeje, hubo chistes que me encantaron, mientras que otros no terminaba de pillarlos, pero me hizo gracia que en según qué chistes nuestras profesoras estaban partidas de risa mientras los demás no terminábamos de verlos y es que al final te hace gracia lo que te es más conocido, porque muchas veces son matices lo que hace a una situación desternillante.

See you in the next one!

Actividades en InglésActividades en inglés

 

How languages evolve

Publicado el 11/04/2018

Languages Evolve

En el transcurso de la historia, miles de idiomas se han desarrollado a partir de lo que una vez fue un número mucho más pequeño, ¿quieres saber cómo evolucionaron?

Echa un vistazo a este vídeo de Alex Gendler en TED-Ed: How Languages Evolve

 


 

 

Babies Can Learn English in 18 weeks.

Publicado el 25/01/2018

Bilingual Babies

¿A los bebés se les puede enseñar un segundo idioma si no se exponen a un idioma extranjero en casa?

Un reciente estudio realizado en varios centros públicos de Madrid demuestra que si. Los investigadores desarrollaron un método y un plan de estudios intensivos en inglés basados en la interacción social, el juego y la alta calidad y cantidad de lenguaje de los profesores. El enfoque utiliza el “habla dirigida al bebé“, llamada “parentese“, el estilo de habla que usan los padres para hablar con sus bebés, que tiene una gramática más simple, un tono más alto y exagerado, y vocales más largas.

Los bebés de 7 a 33 meses recibieron una hora de sesiones de inglés por día durante 18 semanas y al final del programa pudieron expresarse utilizando un promedio de 74 palabras o frases en inglés por hora. La ciencia indica que los cerebros de los bebés son las mejores máquinas de aprendizaje jamás creadas, y que el aprendizaje de los bebés es sensible al tiempo. “Sus cerebros nunca serán mejores para aprender un segundo idioma que los que tienen entre 0 y 3 años de edad “, dijo la coautora Patricia Kuhl, codirectora de I-LABS y profesora de ciencias del habla y del oído de la Universidad de Washington.

Coffee & Books in Zaragoza

Publicado el 15/11/2017

Coffee & Books

¿Te apetece tomar un café mientras lees tranquilamente un buen libro en una cafetería? Pues ahora en Zaragoza puedes, ya son varias las cafeterías que te prestan libros mientras tomas algo. Te dejo un articulo de Heraldo de Aragón donde nos cuentan un poco más de esta corriente que se está poniendo de moda en varias ciudades desde hace tiempo.

Los bares con libros se extienden por Zaragoza

Y quien sabe, igual puedes encontrar un libro también en inglés.

:)

What is Remembrance Day?

Publicado el 8/11/2017

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day conmemora la finalización de la II Guerra Mundial el día 11, del mes 11, a las 11 horas en 1918. Es una tradición muy arraigada en Reino Unido y otros países, que comenzó el rey George V en 1919, y durante la cual se guarda 1 minuto de silencio en recuerdo de las víctimas de todas la guerras. Este año se celebra el domingo día 12 a las 11 h. y es típico llevar una amapola roja en la solapa, seguro que ya la has visto antes.

Si quieres saber un poco más, lee este artículo de la BBC:  What is Remembrance Day?

Happy Remembrance Day!

rem5

Good books and TV series for October

Publicado el 2/09/2017

leyendo en otoño

Hi everyone! I’m back after a long summer holiday break. We are fully settled into the swing of things; school started back just about 2 weeks ago and our routine is back to normal again. Not that we had much of a summer in the first place, a handful of nice sunny days but mainly a lot of rain. Autumn is definitely on its way. I just checked Zaragoza on my weather app and can’t believe the difference!

I have lots to share with you about books and tv. I must start with the big one. Game of Thrones. Who has been watching it? How amazing was this series? Don’t worry, I won’t post any spoilers here, although I’d love to go into more detail about it! If you haven’t watched an episode you have plenty of time to catch up as the final season isn’t out until 2019. I don’t know how we are expected to wait until then, I am desperate to know what happens next! I had forgotten just how good it was but I am hooked again, so I’m planning to start all the DVDs from the beginning to fill the gap. I’m used to having Jon Snow on my screen again.

My book of the summer was “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham. This was different from Grisham’s usual stories as this is non-fiction. I am fascinated with anything to do with crime, especially death row in America. I have watched hundreds of documentaries and this book didn’t disappoint. What a story it was! At times, I had to remind myself this isn’t fiction. I read it in one sitting and stayed up until 3am because I couldn’t put it down. Yes, my eyes stung a bit the next morning when my girls woke up bright and early, but it was so worth it. I cannot recommend it highly enough. My next read is Corpus by Rory Clements, a spy thriller set in 1930s. Once I’m finished I’ll let you know how I get on.

As you all know I am obsessed with all things Harry Potter. Here in the UK Primark have started selling a full Harry Potter range (PJs and home wear!) I’ve started texting my husband pictures of the PJs I like and hope he takes the hint for my birthday in October! In addition to this magical range, JK Rowling’s other book series written under her pseudonym (her false name; Robert Galbraith) has started on BBC as a drama series. I’m sure you will be able to catch up on BBC iPlayer and watch it. It is based on the book The Cuckoo’s Calling. Usually I hate tv shows and movies adapted from my favourite books because they never live up to my high expectations, I can’t even watch the Harry Potter movies without feeling annoyed about changed bits or bits that have been left out. However, I must admit this has been great. If you are unable to watch it then you should read the book, it’s an easy book to follow and has a fantastic story.

I am also looking for some book advice from you. My dad loves reading in Spanish and everything about Spain. He lived there for a year when he was younger. I’d like to get him a book to read in Spanish, something quite simple as he hasn’t spoken Spanish properly for a long time! Have a think and please send me any recommendations you have!

And finally, I could write this blog without mentioning the terrible attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. I felt incredibly sad hearing the news, as I have every time one of these attacks take place. The Cambrils one shocked me. Cambrils and Tarragona are my favourite places to go on holiday and I cannot imagine that sadness and horror people went through, somewhere that holds so many happy memories. I hope you and your families are all safe and well.

Lots of love

Gemma xoxo

General Election

Publicado el 19/06/2017

general election3

Hi,

Election fever has gripped the UK for the last two weeks. It’s hard not to get caught up in the current events here with it taking over our TV screens, social media, newspapers and radio stations. Now, I’m no political expert but I’ll try and bring you up to speed on what has been happening over here!  This was a “snap” election. We weren’t due to have another general election until 2020 but following Brexit, Theresa May decided to call one this year (despite previously promising she wouldn’t.) In the UK, the two main parties are the Labour Party (Jeremy Corbyn) and the Conservative Party (Theresa May) and here in Scotland our biggest party is the SNP (Nicola Sturgeon)

The Conservative Party’s slogan for this election was “strong and stable” In 2015, the Conservatives (otherwise known as The Tories) won the last General Election with the majority of the votes and hoped to win again with an increased majority. Theresa May promised she was the best candidate to lead a “strong and stable” government, especially when it comes to our imminent departure from the European Union. However, their manifesto didn’t support this claim. It became clear there wasn’t as large a support for a “hard Brexit”, people are more nervous now about what BREXIT means for our country.

The Manchester bombing and London attack brought terror into sharp focus. Campaigning was stopped as a mark of respect, but left people questioning the substantial police cuts which have been enforced during the current Conservative Government. How can Britain carry on the way it is?

Leadership has been the main obstacle for the Labour Party in the last few years. Unconvincing leaders have failed to win votes and public support. Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership election for his party with 59% in 2015. However, following Brexit the Labour Party called another Leadership Election to challenge Jeremy Corbyn as leader as it was claimed he lead a weak Remain Campaign. However, Corbyn won this again with 61% of the vote. Corbyn rose to the challenge of becoming the next Prime Minister. His campaign seemed to go from strength to strength promising that a vote for the Labour party was a vote “for the many, not the few”. Corbyn’s message resonated with many who want to see change, but in particular with the younger generation. This General Election had the largest number of votes from 18-25 year olds with a 72% turnout, the largest in history.

This was the strongest campaign labour have led for a long time. They gained seats that had been lost in the last few years and closed the gap between Labour and Conservative, however it wasn’t enough. Neither Labour nor Conservative succeeded in winning a majority in parliament. The conservatives won 42% of the vote and Labour won 40%, which means we now have a “hung parliament” and there is no clear winner.

Another huge loss at this General Election was the SNP party in Scotland. As mentioned previously, the SNP is Scotland’s largest party. Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s first minister. One of the most divisive political points in Scotland is Independence. Following BREXIT, there was a lot of talk about a second referendum for Scotland to become an Independent country, and this is one of the reasons the SNP is losing support. Some constituencies voted conservative, which is unheard of and a real shock. Historically Scotland never vote Tory due to the closure of the mining and steel industries in the 80s and 90s, which was detrimental to so many families in Scotland. The loss of  many SNP seats prevented SNP joining a coalition with Labour to form a Government together.

So where does that leave Britain now? Well, the Conservative Party are in talks with the DUP, The Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland. They are hoping to reach an agreement to enable Theresa May to form a minority government. The DUP have many controversial opinions and policies including women’s rights, LGBT rights and a history of violence between them and the Republic of Ireland.

The Queen’s Speech is given at the opening of Parliament. The speech is written by the government and delivered by the Queen. It is a list of promises to be honoured by the Prime Minister and Government throughout the year. It is traditionally written on goat skin paper, however now no animal hide is used, but the paper still bears the mark of a goat. The Queen’s speech was due to take place on Monday the 19th of June, but with all the uncertainty it has been postponed until Theresa May and the DUP are able to come to an agreement.

This blog is a lot more complicated than I had intended it to be. I knew I was going to write about our General Election as it is the one thing everyone has been talking about. I was planning on sending this piece over to Ann the morning after the election with a nice, easy resolution telling you all the results of the vote, but I very quickly realised that wasn’t going to happen! So, if you’re confused at the end of this then you’re not the only one. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone who knows fully what is going on. And who knows how long this will go on for? Our country is hanging in the balance at the moment and I just hope we reach a peaceful and sensible solution soon!

Gemma xoxo

The Phrase of The Week: Heads Up

Publicado el 8/06/2017

heads up

Hi,

June already. It’s crazy, time is flying in. Here in Scotland June means one thing, end of term. We have two and a half weeks left of school, nursery, playgroups and other clubs and they aren’t half packing it all in. I run the local toddlers group, so we are busy planning parties, graduations and summer trips at the same time trying to remember all the dates for non-uniform, fun days, trips and school discos at the primary school too. June is also a big month for my family. My oldest daughter is 6 on the 24th of June (How did that happen? I seem to have blinked and suddenly, my beautiful baby isn’t a baby anymore!) so we are planning a Princess Party and inviting half the country if her list is anything to go by. Nobody warned me of this crazy rush when I became a parent, and a wee heads up would have been really helpful. I am wiped out. Which leads me to our blog piece this week!

 

Heads Up

A heads up is defined as “A warning that something is going to happen, usually so you can prepare for it” People are full of advice and give you plenty of warning about sleepless nights and other new baby related things, but didn’t mention all the crazy things that come when they start school. This week alone it has been “Health Week” in my daughter’s school, so we need to prepare them for judo, yoga, rugby and loads of other activities including a “shorts and shades” disco. Her after school club had a mermaid theme party, so had to find a costume for that and her maths homework was to bake a cake! That’s only one child! I was hoping the weekend would bring me a little bit of peace, but unfortunately not. We have the dancing show dress rehearsal all day on Sunday. Isn’t Sunday meant to be the day of rest? Apparently not. Which brings us nicely to my next phrase:

 

“Wiped Out”

Wiped out simply means to be very tired or exhausted. Is it any wonder? I must admit; this week hasn’t been my best. On Monday, I forgot to bring Leila’s swimming bag to her lesson with her and managed to send her to school with the price tag hanging out her new top. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not the worst and despite all this craziness, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But OMG do I need a holiday. (OMG is an acronym for Oh my God, which is a common phrase used to express surprise, excitement or disbelief) So as I’m writing this I’m really jealous of you all in sunny Zaragoza. Tapas and sunshine is exactly what I need, but we still have another 2 weeks of madness to go!

Wish me luck!

Gemma xoxo

Manchester Tribute

Publicado el 29/05/2017

manchester

When I started writing this blog, Ann and I decided that I would write about current events and life in Scotland. So far, I have enjoyed finding my patriotic side and sharing some of the light-hearted examples of our culture. But this week, the whole of the UK has come to a standstill due to the horrific attack in Manchester. I’m sure it is in your newspapers, on your twitter feeds and tv screens as much as it is on ours, and the purpose of this blog isn’t to discuss the sadness or the horrors that have taken place. It is to teach you a different side to British Culture, the side that has shone even in these terrible circumstances.

I saw this lovely quote on Facebook, “When I was a boy I would see scary things in the news and my mother would say “Look to the helpers, you will always see helpers” And there have been hundreds of helpers doing everything they can to support the victims and the city. There were taxi drivers who worked through the night, hotels that let people stay for free and the queue to give blood went on for miles. A fundraising page was set up with a target of £15,000 and the target was smashed within hours with donations from Tom Hardy, Wayne Rooney, Russell Brand and thousands of others.

Every day our emergency services prove their hero status, but in addition to them, one man has now been named the “Homeless Hero”. Steve Jones was sleeping rough nearby, but a man who has nothing gave absolutely everything as he ran into the arena to help. As a result, the owner of West Ham United (a London football club) managed to find him and is going to pay his rent on a new home to thank him for everything he did on the night. How great is that? Out of something horrible comes something positive.

British people are known for our dry sense of humour and it’s something even a tragedy like this can’t take away. Shortly after the attack the UK’s threat level was raised to critical. And what was the general public’s response? On twitter #BritishThreatLevels started trending. These social media jokes make fun of the British National Character and stereotypes to lighten the mood. When reading some of the examples, I just couldn’t help but laugh. I struggled to find my favourite example to include in the blog, so instead suggest you look them up and find your own (or ask Ann to explain it!)

But my favourite of all the “good news” stories from this horrific attack had to be the response of the people in Manchester at one of the vigils. They held a minute silence to show respect for all the victims and at the end burst into the Oasis anthem “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. The song has become a symbol of Manchester’s spirit in the face of tragedy. The band Oasis come from Manchester and are one of the UK’s most famous bands ever. “Don’t Look Back in Anger” has always been a British Anthem but a chorus of this song is being sung more and more at each tribute and is a fitting response. Here is one example of the town coming together singing this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT8sJuLjx7Y

I’m sorry for a more subdued post this week on the blog, but anything other than this felt wrong and disrespectful. I hope that I have managed to show a little bit of our strong British spirit. Those of you who have been reading my blogs or who took part in the activity a couple of weeks ago will have noticed that I always manage to fit in a Harry Potter reference somewhere and this blog is no different. I’ve realised that Dumbledore can say what I’ve been trying to much better than me when he said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”. And so, I urge you all take a moment to be thankful for everything that you have, and that you all have a safe and happy week.

Gemma xoxo