A sheer pleasure to have YOU as a reader of my blog. At present my main teaching area is English so you will find that most of my posts are in English -my second language of communication. I promise to publish posts related to Spanish eventually; in the meantime, those of you interested in Spanish will find some interesting links regarding my native language. Truly hope you will visit my blog now and then; will try not to disappoint you!


Mi foto
GÄVLE, Sweden
I am an English/Spanish language trainer who thinks communication is a key issue in human interaction. Good sensible communication is needed whatever the language. On the personal side I strive for happiness by keeping love, respect and honesty as main ingredients. Last but not least, my smile is my trademark :O)

30 de abril de 2009

Writing your own obituary

Let me direct your interest to the post published on 29th April by South of Watford (one of the blogs I'm following) about Javier Ortiz's decease, a Spanish jounalist.


The obituary was written by the deceased himself. One can't help shivering when reading and realising that this person has already passed away. His wit and sense of humour simply honour him.

My apologies to those that cannot read Spanish.

How about sharing a coffee while practising English

It simply sounds a great idea: http://www.leafcup.com/english/index.htm

A cosy welcoming place where you can have a coffee, or a tea, while having a chance to practise English with other people.

It may not have been your aim at first, but I'm sure getting to know people from other countries will become an even more rewarding experience.

It's a pity this coffee place is in Japan :o(

News featured in main Spanish newspapers

Just a reminder!!!

If you want to read about what's been featured in the main Spanish newspapers, don't forget to click on the site Typically SPANISH.com (also found in my Useful links list.

Allow me to direct you :O)


28 de abril de 2009

Swine flu case confirmed in Spain

My 17-year-old son (well, almost!, his birthday is tomorrow ;O) spent the whole afternoon/evening yesterday browsing on the Internet for more news on this flu outbreak. He even contacted an old school Mexican friend, who's now living in Mexico, and was glad to know that he was doing fine. I am happy to know, too!

If you want to read more:


Learning is fun with RAW Skills for everyday life :O)

RAW Skills for everyday life http://www.bbc.co.uk/raw/ is a brilliant website that teaches you how to move around in everyday issues like Money, Bills, Family, Computers, work, etc., the list is long: http://www.bbc.co.uk/raw/help/topics_list.shtml

The explanations are clear, humorous and illustrative plus the added feature of subtitles for those of you who would like to do some extra listening focusing on vocabulary.

I've been watching Computer basics http://www.bbc.co.uk/raw/computers/yourcomputer/computerbasics.shtml

and Baby's arrival http://www.bbc.co.uk/raw/money/family/index.shtml

They are fun and instructive.

Have a go!!!

24 de abril de 2009

How about a toast this weekend?!

The news on unemployment in Spain are rather gloomy, to say the least, so surely not many people would feel like celebrating. Still, it's spring time and the warm sun here in Madrid feeds us with optimism and nice plans for the weekend.

Although this wine report on Spanish wine phrases and proverbs is addressed to English speakers to help them mix at ease in Spanish bars, as a learner of English, you can certainly reverse it and impress your "guiri" friends when performing as a cicerone (or impress your English teacher and fellow students ;O)


DON'T miss the first link suggested at the end of the report:

Learn To Interpret The Spanish Wine Label, at Catavino.net:

18 de abril de 2009

The art of reading & publishing in Roman times doesn't sound that far from ours -so to speak!

Just read this interesting article on writing and publishing in Roman times, and as the author states, the essence of writing, publishing and retailing doesn't seem to have changed that much. The similarities are really striking, so I have cut and pasted some excerpts that have especially caught my attention below the link.

The author of the article is Mary Beard, professor of classics at the University of Cambridge and classics editor of The Times Literary Supplement. Her latest book is “The Fires of Vesuvius.”


“My book is thumbed by our soldiers posted overseas, and even in Britain people quote my words. What’s the point? I don’t make a penny from it.” This is not the complaint of some young American author who has suddenly discovered that his contract pays him nothing for foreign sales. These are the words of the Roman poet Martial, first-century satirist and defender of authors’ rights.
The books they read were not “books” in our sense but, at least up to the second century, “book rolls” — long strips of papyrus, rolled up on two wooden rods at either end. To read the work in question, you unrolled the papyrus from the left-hand rod, onto the right, leaving a “page” stretched between the two. It was considered the height of bad manners to leave the text on the right- hand rod when you had finished reading, so that the next reader had to rewind back to the beginning to find the title page. Bad manners — but a common fault, no doubt. Some scribes helpfully repeated the title of the book at the very end, with just this problem in mind.
All the same, there’s a lot in the Roman literary world that seems quite familiar two millenniums later: money-­making booksellers, exploited and impoverished authors, celebrity book launches and career-making prizes.
For those who did go in [bookstores], there was usually a place to sit and read. With slaves on hand to summon up refreshments, it would have been not unlike the coffee shop in a modern Borders. For collectors, there were occasionally secondhand treasures to be picked up, at a price.
They may not have made much money during their lifetimes, but I can imagine them smiling with satisfaction in the Elysian Fields as they work out what their 2,000 years of royalties might have added up to.

17 de abril de 2009

Appearances can be deceptive or just the opposite!!!!

Watch this youtube clip and you'll see for yourself:


She's awesome!!!!

"That was stunning, ...an incredible performance, ....amazing!"

"I'm so thrilled...........and I think that's the biggest wake-up call ever!"

"You can go back to the village with the head held high."

14 de abril de 2009

Back with a FALSE FRIENDS activity ;O)

Hi, everyone!!!

Hope you've had a nice Easter holiday, and the return to work or study has not been that hard. I'd like to resume my blog with a false friends activity.

Many native-speakers of Spanish tend to confuse some English words which are similar to Spanish in form but actually mean something different.

Would you like to have a go and fill in the following sentences with the suitable word? If you doubt just click on the link and find out more about it:


  1. You should be careful when talking to Mary these days as she has failed her driving test and she is very ___________ about it. (sensible/sensitive)
    That’s not a very _____________ remark; I should say it sounds rather stupid. (sensible/sensitive)
  2. After hearing that Mary had broken up with her boyfriend, her boss was very ____________ and overlooked the fact that she had forgotten to send that important letter. (friendly/sympathetic)
    The new student is very _______________ and has already made good friends with his classmates. (friendly/sympathetic)
  3. As it had been requested, all the students _______________ the conference on the new school regulations. (assist/attend)
    The patient was immediately _______________ by an orderly when walking feebly into the hospital. (assist/attend)
  4. Don’t forget your ____________ at the end of the page. (signature/subject)
    The new school _________________ doesn’t seem to interest my students. (signature/subject)
  5. Mary was sure she would ________________ the exam so the news of her failure came as a shock. (approve/pass)
    I didn’t _______________ the way he reacted to the news. (approve of/pass)
  6. Her _______________ was very much applauded by the audience. (representation/performance)
    A ________________ of the whole community was received by the ambassador. (representation/performance)
  7. Because of the road works, we had to pay a lot of attention so that we wouldn’t miss the _________________. (fun/diversion)
    We had lots of _____________ during our stay with Mary. (fun/diversion)
  8. We ______________ that the order had been sent out without checking. (carry out/realize)
    We ________________ the instructions by the book. (carry out/realized)
  9. We got to the ____________________ just on time to get the train. (station/season)
    Most children say that summer is their favourite _____________ (station/season)

ANSWERS: 1. sensitive -- sensible; 2. sympathetic -- friendly; 3. attended -- assisted; 4. signature -- subject; 5. pass -- approve of; 6. performance -- representation; 7. diversion -- fun; 8. realized -- carried out; 9. station -- season

2 de abril de 2009

Don't miss yesterday's South of Watford post!

Actually, just seen it -how could I have missed it yesterday evening ;O))

Click on Esperanza Aguirre Resigns or South of Watford under My blog list for a good laugh.

It nicely illustrates my post on April Fools' Day.

Thanx Graeme!

1 de abril de 2009

Listening&reading to a news review thanx to English Club.com


I like this proposal of reviewing past news at the same time as you practise your listening & reading skills and, consequently, learn more vocabulary. The pieces of news are not very long and the pre-listening vocabulary is certainly a help. There are some comprehension questions to follow for each story, which you can tackle and contrast with the Answer Check given at the end.

The explanatory steps on how to proceed are undoubtedly useful. You can decide to do them all in one go, or one at a time along the week or the month.

I do encourage you to do them, anyhow.

An adding feature is the Guide for teachers; so if you're a teacher don't miss it.

April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day

Just would like to draw your attention to this day, April, 1st, known in many countries as April Fools' Day and it could the equivalent to our December, 28th -Día de los Inocentes-, when jokes or pranks are played to embarrass the gullible.

If you want to find more about it click on:


Even newspapers play along as it is shown in this article published by The Guardian today:


This is how it starts:

"Consolidating its position at the cutting edge of new media technology, the Guardian today announces that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication."


*********** new words*************

fool (a silly person) (un tonto)

prank (joke) (broma)

gullible (credulous) (crédulo)

cutting edge (innovative, pioneering) (de última generación, de vanguardia)