OSCARS 2015; CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE

Tonight Oscar Ceremony is being held in Los Angeles, before we know the official winners, would you like to have your picks? Take the Oscars Challenge!

MORE NOMINATIONS AND ALL TRAILERS CAN BE SEEN IN:

http://oscar.go.com/nominees

 

 

LEAP YEAR 2016

This February we have an extra day, February 29th. This happens every 4 years as you may know.

  • Do you remember where did you do last 29th February?
  • What will you be doing in 4 years time, when next 29th February would appear again in our calendar?
  • Do you know any ‘leaper’ or ‘leapling’? How old is he/she supposed to be officially?
  • But do you know why this 2016 is 366 days long?

The Earth actually takes 365 day, 5hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds exactly, to make a complete circle around the sun. In order to account for these 6 extra hours, we have to add an extra day every few years to keep our calendar in sync.Leap-Year-Infographic-CheapSally.com_

you can also watch this video

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/08/leap-year-its-origins-and-other-facts_n_1263273.html

 

Listening test: Canadian citizenship

Origen: Listening test: Canadian citizenship

Listening test: Canadian citizenship

Listen to this CBC radio programme on Canadian citizenship and choose the option A, B or C which best complete each sentence.
1. To get the Canadian citizenship, newcomers
A. are required to have lived in Canada for 4 years.
B. must be between 18 and 54.
C. must have a specific level of English.

2. In Ermias Yoseph’s opinion, meeting the requirements is hard for immigrants because
A. a large number of them are not educated.
B. of their age.
C. they are living in difficult conditions.

3. In the past, immigrants
A. didn’t have to prove their knowledge of English.
B. didn’t have to do any tests.
C. had to prove their knowledge of Canadian culture.

4. Ermias Yoseph says that
A. some immigrants will never meet the requirements.
B. the requirements are fair.
C. the requirements don’t make any sense.

5. Ermias Yoseph also says that some immigrants
A. are making a great effort to learn.
B. can’t find work because they don’t have the citizenship.
C. don’t have the time to attend school.

Every year, about 170,000 immigrants to Canada become citizens. But becoming a citizen has become increasingly difficult. In 2010, the federal government changed the citizenship test, requiring a higher score to pass and making the questions more challenging. Then, in November of 2012, the rules were changed again so that newcomers between 18 and 54 must prove they have a Canadian Language Benchmark score of four before they can apply for citizenship. In this interview, Terry MacLeod interviews Ermias Yoseph of Welcome Place about how these changes are affecting newcomers in Manitoba.
How hard is it for newcomers to reach this benchmark level of four?
Considering the background where most of these refugees come from it’s very hard because most of our clients because of unfortunate circumstances did not have an opportunity to go to school or to get a formal education and now to require them to obtain a benchmark level of four and above is very hard for them.
How did it work before these rules came into effect?
Before these rules came into effect you didn’t have to have a required benchmark level as long as you have adequate knowledge of Canadian history and you are able to communicate in English you can and then as long as you’ve lived for about three years in Canada, you are able to apply. It was not mandatory to have a benchmark level of four and above.
Is it fair though to expect people to have a certain level of English in order to function in Canadian society?
I understand the reasoning behind this requirement. It’s a to allow or to assist newcomer families, including refugee newcomers, to be able to communicate effectively or to be able to find work easily. But it should also be understood that most of these refugees did not have a formal education. Some of them never went to school in their lives. So it’s very difficult for them to attain that. Some may not ever, may never be able to attain the benchmark level four, so considering those facts, I don’t think it’s fair for refugee families.
Now the government says the rules are in place because better English leads to greater work success for newcomers. Are these rules encouraging people to work harder because they aim for a benchmark level of four, and therefore they say, I’m going to get that, I’m going to work really hard?
Some of these people actually from the time they arrived in Canada, they’ve been attending school. They realize that it’s important for them to know the language or to have the language skills in order to be successful at work. They’ve been attending school, I know …, they’ve been attending school since they came to Canada, they’ve been working, they know that it helps but the same time, it’s also bringing some obstacles for them to be able to apply for Canadian citizenship but it’s an ongoing problem.

KEY:
1C 2A 3C 4A 5A

Vídeo

more rephrasing exercises

more practice with key

POP-UP STORES

BBC LEARNING ENGLISH ACTIVITY: The pop-up phenomenon

popup-store-concept

A phenomenon has been sweeping the UK – the pop-up shop.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, many businesses had to shut down. Shops, warehouses and offices were left vacant when they stopped trading. But what happened to all these empty buildings? Here’s an article on the pop-up craze in many towns and cities in the UK

  • While you’re reading the first time, decide which is the best summary of the story.

  1. Pop-ups are shops that will save the high street.

  2. Pop-ups allow people freedom when they set up a business.

  3. Pop-ups have no risks when they are started.

What is a ‘pop-up’?
Pop-up shops first popped up in the UK in the early 2000s, with the economy booming and the high streets bustling. They were originally a way for small, niche companies to rent retail space in great locations. This was while landlords who owned these spaces looked for permanent tenants. Pop-up shops can take a number of different forms. They might be temporary shops in the high street or a shopping centre. They might be simple market stalls. They could be based in some kind of transport, like a food truck. Or they could be run by people who visit different establishments, like travelling chefs who take over pub and restaurant kitchens temporarily.

Almost anything that can be on a high street can also be a pop-up. There have been pop-up shops, art galleries, theatres, cinemas and restaurants among others!

Why are pop-ups becoming so popular?

For would-be pop-up entrepreneurs, the appeal of this temporary shopping concept is clear. They can start a business with much lower risk. There are fewer overheads, such as paying wages or heating and lighting for their premises. The temporary nature of a pop-up gives the opportunity to test a product and develop a customer base, without being tied in to a long-term renting contract. Being small, with minimal staff, makes it much easier for pop-ups to expand if they are successful.

Pop-up shops are a way for landlords to fill up empty property they may have. When the economy took a downturn after 2008, many shops became vacant after they went out of business. It makes sense for landlords to be able to allow people to come in and set up a temporary shop as a stopgap and use the available space.

When you look at the business sector, pop-ups make a lot of sense. According to a 2014 report by the Centre of Economic and Business Research, the pop-up industry was worth £2.1bn and is expected to grow by 8.4% in 2015. Charles Davis of the CEBR also said that the pop-up sector “is growing faster than the overall retail sector.”

What is the future like for pop-up shops?

With banks remaining reluctant to lend money to new businesses and landlords still with lots of empty units to fill, there seems to be a future for pop-up shops in towns and city centres. There is also the threat of online shopping, which means that anyone can buy anything they want without leaving their home. If high streets all feature the same selection of shops, there is no variety. Pop-up shops add vibrancy to the high street and make it different and distinctive.


Session Vocabulary

  • phenomenon: a remarkable or amazing thing
  • aftermath: the period of time after an event, particularly an event that has a big impact
  • shut down: stop business
  • warehouses: large buildings where materials or goods can be stored before they are sold
  • vacant: empty
  • trading: buying and selling goods or services
  • craze: an activity or idea that is very popular, usually for a short period of time
  • popped up: (here) appeared
  • booming: growing rapidly, especially used when talking about successful economies
  • bustling: full of activity and people moving around
  • niche: belonging to a specific part of the business market
  • retail space: space used for the selling of goods to customers
  • landlords: owners of property who rent it out to other people
  • would-be: wanting to be a specific type of person
  • overheads: costs that are involved in running a business that are regular and needed, like paying rent or for heating and lighting
  • premises: buildings that a business uses
  • customer base: the group of customers who regularly buy the goods or services from a business
  • expand: get bigger
  • downturn: a decline in economic and business activity
  • went out of business (idiom): stopped doing business
  • stopgap: a temporary solution to a problem
  • reluctant (to do something): not prepared to do something
  • units: (here) shop buildings and warehouses
  • vibrancy: a lot of energy or activity

EXAMENES PAU RESUELTOS LINKS

EXAMENES RESUELTOS varias comunidades http://melophea.blogspot.com.es/p/examenes-resueltos_7.html#axzz40E4EU8rP
http://evalample.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/pau-2014-june-opcion-1.html PAU 2014
http://evalample.blogspot.com.es/2014/04/rephrasing-pau-exams-2006-2013-with.html# PAU 2006-2013

* hay muchas pgs donde encontrareis examenes resueltos, pero recordad que en ocasiones son simplemente propuestas de solución, en ningún caso (solo algunos) son soluciones proporcionadas por la Universidad.

LOVE IDIOMS: On St Valetine’s Day

Specific vocabulary for relationships. Check on the meanings of these expressions seen above (ordered alphabetically):

BLIND DATE = a social meeting between two people who have not met before
DOUBLE DATE = when a person dates two different people at the same time
FALL FOR someone =  have interest in going out with someone
FIND MR RIGHT = find the perfect man to marry
GET DUMPED = when someone ends up a relationship with you
GO DUTCH = share expenses equally
LOVE TO PIECES = deeply in love
HAVE A CRUSH ON somebody/thing = have a real interest in somebody/something
POP THE QUESTION = propose marriage
TIE THE KNOT = get married
http://clickonenglish.blogspot.com.es/2013/02/do-you-have-crush-on-idioms.html

Exercises on rephrasing PAU exam

Rephrasing for PAU exercises

St Valentine’s Day webquest activity

Visit http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day-facts and decide whether the following facts are true (T) or false (F). Correct those that are false.

  1. There are 34 single men aged 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same age.
  2. In the US, there are 2.2 million marriages every year, which is more than 600 a day.
  3. More than 50% of all Valentine’s Day cards are bought in the six days before the celebration.
  4. In 2004, there were 21,667 florists across the US and between all these businesses 109,915 people were employed.
  5. 70%: the percentage of men and women aged 30 to 34 who had been married at some point in their lives in 2006
  6. Valentine’s Day is the most popular time to send greetings cards with 141 million cards sent every year.
  7. In 2008, 112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada. So many couples ’tie the knot’ there that it is the fifth most popular US state in which to marry even though it only ranks 35th in terms of population.
  8. 904: the number of dating service companies in America in 2002
  9. More than 50% of the US population celebrate Valentine’s Day by purchasing a greetings card.
  10. There are 100 single women in their 20s for every 119 single men of the same age.

CHINESE NEW YEAR: the year of the monkey 恭喜发财!

 

WATCH THIS VIDEO

The personality of the Monkey:

People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterised as lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, but it is also believed to be one of the most unlucky years in the Chinese calendar.

The general image of people in this zodiac sign is of always being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth.

In addition, their gentleness and honesty bring them an everlasting love life. Although they were born with enviable skills, they still have several shortcomings, such as an impetuous temper and a tendency to look down upon others.

  • Strengths: sociable, innovative, enthusiastic, self-assured 
  • Weaknesses: suspicious, cunning, selfish, arrogant, jealous
  • Lucky Signs for the Monkey

    • Lucky numbers: 1, 7, 8
    • Lucky colours: white, gold, blue
    • Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, alliums
    • Lucky directions: north, northwest, west

    Famous people born under the monkey sign

    Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Michael Douglas, Alice Walker, Celine Dion, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera, Daniel Craig, Mick Jagger, Bette Davis, Gisele Bundchen, Christina Ricci, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez.

WHICH ANIMAL ARE YOU?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12144891/chinese-new-year-2016-year-of-the-monkey.html

chinese year in numbers:

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