miércoles, 30 de marzo de 2011

Stormy Mondays on a rocket

Sunrise number 1, a song by Asturian band Stormy Mondays, has reached the final top ten in NASA's contest Space Rock. The USA space agency has promoted this competition to choose two songs which will be played in space in the course of mission STS-134.

The band from Oviedo is currently number 3 among the top ten candidates. They are the only non-American band in the final stage, and you can vote for them here before 19 April, when the mission will start. You can also visit the band's official website (in Spanish) for more information.

I have posted the video of the song so that you can enjoy it. I hope you like it :-)

If you are interested in space exploration, then you may also visit http://www.nasa.gov, where there are amazing videos, pictures and news.

By the way, do you know any other GOOD songs about space? Post them in your comments and let's all enjoy them!

viernes, 25 de marzo de 2011

The Railway Children

Congratulations to all 2ºESO A/C students, who have already finished reading The Railway Children.

I hope you liked the book and that you are ready for the test. You will have some extra material, like a railway quiz and some information about the Orient Express (one of the most famous luxury trains), in the Classroom materials page.

I have also found some videos for you (don't worry if you don't understand too much).

Here is the link to the trailer of the film:
Here the link to the ending scene...

...and here the "petticoat" episode, when the children save the train from a terrible accident:

C^u vi parolas esperanton?

Those of you who find learning languages too difficult maybe should give Esperanto a try. It is an artificial language created by Dr. L. Zamenhof in 1887. The idea was to have a common language that we could use when speaking to people from different countries.

Its rules are very simple, even more than English grammar! In addition, they have no exceptions. Its vocabulary is based on existing words from several languages, mainly European ones.

Although Esperanto did not have the success that Dr. Zamenhof would have liked, there are approximately one million people with some knowledge of it, and it is taught at schools in some countries. I have written an example below. If you think you understand it, write a comment with your English translation and let's see who comes closest to the real meaning :-)

"Simple, fleksebla, belsona, vere internacia en siaj elementoj, la lingvo Esperanto prezentas al la mondo civilizita la sole veran solvon de lingvo internacia; c^ar, tre facila por homoj nemulte instruitaj, Esperanto estas komprenata sen peno de la personoj bone edukitaj. Mil faktoj atestas la meriton praktikan de la nomita lingvo."

You can find information about Esperanto here, and here.

lunes, 21 de marzo de 2011

Uncountable quizzes

There is a big number of grammar quizzes at usingEnglish.com. Go there if you need practice; maybe you will find what you need in order to improve your English.
I will be posting links to some of their online quizzes in the near future.

Here's a pair of appetizers for my dear 2ESO students:

domingo, 20 de marzo de 2011

Tito Bustillo Rupestrian Art Centre

It is close to our school (in Ribadesella), and believe it or not, it is a good place to practise your English!

You just have to pay attention to the panels and read the English version.

Here's an example:

"The Tito Bustillo Cave, discovered in 1968, is one of the most important rupestrian sets of Palaeolithic Art. Together with other caves of the Cantabrian, it was declared Heritage of Mankind in June 2008 for its extraordinary representations of Palaeolithic Rupestrian Art." Easy, isn't it?

If you visit the centre before 28th March 2011, you won't have to pay to see it.

sábado, 19 de marzo de 2011

Mystery in San Francisco (the day after)

For my 2ESO B students:

We have finished reading Mystery in San Francisco (at last!). While you get ready to start with The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit, perhaps it is time to have a look at some websites that speak about the San Francisco area and other topics we talked about in the classroom.

You will find the links in the Classroom materials page.

viernes, 18 de marzo de 2011

Fruit idioms

Do you know what these English expressions mean?

to go bananas
it's a case of sour grapes
give me the second bite of the cherry

Here's a short video where a funny actor explains them to us. It is dedicated to all our students who have been practising food vocabulary these last days :-)


After you watch the video, why don't you post a comment with the meaning of these expressions? Show off your English and get credit ;-)

miércoles, 16 de marzo de 2011

Think green. It's St. Patrick's Day again :-)

Who would believe it! St. Patrick's day is here again, and it is time to wear green to celebrate Ireland's national feast. Don't forget to bring a shamrock ( = clover) for good luck :-)

You can find more information on this special day here.

Or watch this presentation about Ireland at Calaméo:

[Primera prueba exitosa]

Por fin hemos hecho la mudanza a la plataforma Blogger, que espero nos sirva mejor que la oficial de Educastur.

A forgotten Superhero canvas

So far we could not show off this nice Lino canvas due to the limitations of the Educastur platform. But there it was all the time. Now it is here for you, in all its glory, thanks to Blogger :-)

One of these days we will correct some mistakes, too...

Comics: ten pictures and a thousand words


Our 2ºESO B students have been busy writing their own comics from the material we work with in the classroom. They used the teacher’s tips to create their particular vision of the story.

You will be able to see the results soon. Stay tuned :-)

Safety first in a smoke-free school


Some people say we can breathe freely at last, now that smoking is forbidden near public buildings. We have not been able to find any ashtrays in the Rey Pelayo, but does anyone know how many fire-extinguishers there are in our school? And why are there so many in Building 3?

A Halloween Lino


We have created a new Lino canvas with Halloween content. It is only a dirty laboratory for 2ºESO, but everyone is invited. You can move around and interact with it. So if you have something scary to say, just post it !!!

A Pocahontas Quiz



This is for my dear 2AC students.

If you visit this page, you can do an interesting quiz and test your knowledge of the book. Let’s see how many questions you can answer!

If you get more than seven questions right, you may post your name here ;-)

It's St Patrick's Day!


St Patrick

Shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold… Don’t these words “ring a bell”?

It’s St Patrick’s Day (or Paddy’s Day if we use the colloquial expression), Ireland’s national feast. On March 17th Irish people wear green clothes (green is Ireland’s typical colour) and hold parades all around the world.

You can learn more about the celebration at this link.

Now may I ask you a question: What do shamrocks have to do with St Patrick? And what is the relationship between leprechauns and this feast?

If you know the answer, write a comment. I’ll be happy to read it :-)

Now watch a funny short video on St Patrick’s life:

Saying "Hello" is important


Hello, my dear S2C students!

Don’t you think WALL.E is a friendly robot? People say hello when they meet for the first time, and robots can greet us, too ;-)

Why don’t we introduce ourselves to WALL.E ? We can say who we are, where we live, how old we are, what we like doing… And we can also show some interest for him and ask him about his life, job, friends… You can share your comments with your colleagues. Who can write the most original introduction? :-)

(Remember you will need your Educastur username and password if you want to write a comment)

A Warm Welcome to my 2ºESO Class :-)


Hello everybody and thanks for visiting.

I hope you will have a nice time reading and writing here. There is still a long course ahead, so…


Catch me if you can (2nd post)


Here is the link to the film’s official website. Remember you can find a link to Frank Abagnale’s personal page in this same blog.

Catch me if you can “The true story of a real fake”

And here’s the trailer:

Swapping People: We should pay attention


This youTube film shows how people can only pay attention to one thing at a time. They forget about everything else, even if the person they are talking to is swapped for a different one! Do you understand the directions the man gives to every person in the film?

(Click on the film to get redirected to the youTube page)

Saludo de inicio


Hola Cefe y blogueros of english. Soy José Manuel y sólo quería desearos una buena “travesía”.

The Reform Works


NOTA - February 28, 2009

This is what our lovely school looks like these days thanks to the reform works.

I confess that I am tempted to start a new contest with the name,


For example, you could write things like:

Our school looks TERRIBLY MESSY !!!

or, Our school looks DEFINITELY SHABBY !!!

or even, IES Rey Pelayo seems to be UPSIDE DOWN !!!

The winners would get boots to help them move from one building to the next and some other useful prizes.

The Poems


Write your comments about the poems we read.

Time for a Song


After so much politics rhetoric I think it is time for us to relax and enjoy a nice song. I have chosen this one because it sounds funny. Don’t worry if you cannot understand everything they say (I don’t understand it ALL either).

As always, comments are most welcome :-)

Another Famous Speech


Some people say that Barack Obama speaks like Martin Luther King did.

Just a few days before he was assassinated, Reverend King gave his famous speech in exactly the same place where President Obama spoke on January 22nd. It is known as the “I have a dream” speech because of the words he used to express his conviction that some day white and black Americans would live and work together without any discrimination.

I am posting it here so that you can decide for yourselves if their styles are similar. The “I have a dream” part is at the end of the video.

Obama's Speech (Part II)


Here is the second part for you to enjoy :-)

Obama's Speech (Part I)


Last Tuesday Mr Barack H. Obama became America’s 44th president. His speech is a good example of excellent rhetorical ability, so I thought I might post it here. His speech is 19 minutes long. I have divided it into two parts for your convenience. I would be sooooooo happy if you could post comments with the sentences that you understand. Give it a try!

Another Posting with Poetry for Pupils :-)




A screamasax was a Viking short sword. This poem is an example of the use of “kennings”, where the writer describes something in a number of vivid ways without actually mentioning what is being described. It was a favourite technique in Anglo-Saxon and Viking literature.

If an axe was a dragon-tongue, what would you call a tongue? :


You may choose one of these options or invent your own. (There’s a prize for the winner, believe me!!!).
Write a comment with your choice.

Note: Teachers whose name starts with the letter “M” are explicitly excluded from the contest :-)

The Day before Christmas' Holidays


the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;

The poem which begins with the words above was written by Clement Moore in 1822. It tells children about the visit of Santa Claus, and has become a classic of Christmas-related literature. You can read it by following this link.

Our holidays begin tomorrow. I’d like to wish you all the best for these days.



Hi there, my BH2A students,


I would like to apologise for our last class in the IT (Information and Technology) classroom, a.k.a. (also known as) “aula modelo”. Things didn’t go as well as I had imagined, partly because of bad connectivity and partly because of me; I think I should have started something diffferent before I did so that you didn’t feel frustrated or disappointed.

Anyway, I am already planning a new class there :-). I hope this time Internet won’t let us down and we will be able to have some fun together.

Till then,

Have a nice time


BH2A: Our first post in 2008-2009


This is our first class, and we will post many more times, but for today, just Hello!
Follow your teacher’s directions and try and see if you can write a comment to this post.
I will try to add you as registered users as soon as possible, so that you can write your own articles and not only comments.
Remember you have to write a comment with the heading “Merry Christmas!” before Friday.

Tineo England


What do Tineo and England have in common? Well, you can find the answer in one of the links I have added to the links page. “An English corner in Tineo” is a blog where teachers and students at IES Tineo gather and comment on their teaching/learning experiences. It is very nicely laid out and in my opinion it is certainly worth more than a visit, as I think it will keep growing in the future.

After you come back, do not forget to post a comment here!

The Man with a Hundred Faces


L'homme 100 têtes by JUL & MAT All rights reserved from JUL & MAT on Vimeo.

The video above was made by combining lots of photos of body parts from different people. If you like it you can stop the clip and try to describe the result. It may be funny, and it is definitely good practice!

Catch Me if You Can


Frank Abagnale Jr, the real protagonist of the film Catch me if you can has his own website, which can be visited here.
In it you can find information about what he has been doing since he stopped conning bank clerks into cashing him phoney cheques. It is definitely worth a visit.

Frank Abagnale's portrait

Time Machiner


Now we can send emails to the future!!!

According to Genbeta blog there is an internet service called Time Machiner , which allows you to write an email and "freeze" it for as long as you want. Then, on the appointed date, it will send the message to the address that you have chosen.

The problem is, though, will people still have the same email address in ten or twenty years' time?

Back to the Future Poster

Beauty and the Beast


The protagonist of the famous Disney film gradually falls in love with the beast, which may seem a bit strange considering Beast is a monster. Don't you think the film is telling us a case of identity crisis disguised (disfrazado) as a children's story? Feel free to post your opinions.

Or just mention other cartoons that speak about identity. I'm sure you will find some more Disney films that do exactly that.

Welcome Adrián

You are just in time to post a comment Guiño

Identity Crisis and the Piano Man


Remember the man we talked about in class? The one who could play the piano but had forgotten his name? I have found a link to his real story; it was published on a British newspaper and you can read it here

If you are interested, but your English is not soooo good (I mean, if it is sooooo bad), then visit www.hombrepiano.com . The page is in Spanish BurlaBurla

Piano Man


Welcome Julia, Sara Leticia and Laura. It seems long weekends also have a time for English. Thank you Sonriente

Being Nobody: Playing with the Words



There is an episode in Homer's Odyssey where Ulysses and his friends are about to be eaten by a monster, a cyclops called Polyphem, who has trapped them in a cave. This monster had only one eye -and very bad temper. When he tried to kill Ulysses, this stuck a pole into his only eye (ouch!) and blinded him. Then Polyphem tried to catch the hero, but since he could not see, he was not able to get him. When he realised that they were getting away from the cave, he asked to know their names. Ulysses answered: My name is Nobody.

Now Polyphem was in very good relations with the gods. He called Zeus and complained: Nobody has blinded me with a pole!

And of course, Zeus did nothing to help him.

Do you know cases or stories where the name is used to hide your true personality? Please post a comment here and let us know.

Identity Crisis

I know that many of us may have had an identity crisis, especially when we are young, or when we become older.

Here I suggest some readings or films that deal with identity crisis in some way. Could you add more?

The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka (a novel)
Groundhog Day (atrapado en el tiempo), a film directed by Harold Ramis

Is being yourselves important to you? What does "being oneself" mean?

Talking about Summerhill

My dear 2ºBachillerato students,

I made a mistake when I told you about Summerhill school. Contrary to what I said, decisions at the school are taken between both teachers and students.

I've been visiting the Summerhill website and I found a quotation that I think you will find interesting:

"No one is wise enough or good enough to mould ( moldear ) the character of any child. What is wrong with our sick, neurotic world is that we have been moulded, and an adult generation that has seen two great wars and seems about to launch a third should not be trusted to mould the character of a rat".

This was said by A.S. Neill, the founder of Summerhill, who you can see in the picture below:
A.S. Neill

A.S. Neill

You can read about the school in the following page:

Comics: 10 pictures and 1000 words

Our 2ºESO B students have been busy writing their own comics from the material we work with in the classroom. They used the teacher's tips to create their particular vision of the story.

You will be able to see the results soon. Stay tuned :-)