Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs steps down as Apple CEO

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned as chief executive of the technology giant and will be replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chile Mine Rescue Anniversary

Mina San JosĂ© - Patricio SepĂșlveda - Gobierno de Chile

Chilean Miners: Still Trapped?

One year after the dramatic rescue of 33 miners from deep beneath the ground Lucia Newman returns to Chile.

Watch the video here:
Al Jazeera Correspondent - Chilean Miners: Still Trapped? 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

East Africa hunger crisis
The UN has declared a famine in parts of Somalia - the first in East Africa this century. Two years of drought have displaced 25% of Somalia's population, while other countries in the region have also been badly affected.

Raising awareness about the famine in Africa
Watch the video:

FEWS Eastern Africa July-September projection.png
"FEWS Eastern Africa July-September projection" by Famine Early Warning Systems Network - USAID - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Crime and Punishment - The Justice System

This is a set of two separate worksheets (not to be used in the same lesson), whose aim is to practice vocabulary related to the justice system and the trial process. There is a crossword puzzle in the first worksheet. The second contains a matching exercise and a cloze exercise.


You can find an online version here:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 8 secrets of success

This worksheet is based on a TED Talks video (Richard St. John´s 8 secrets of success). It contains three exercises. 1. The students listen for the 8 secrets of success and write the words in the spaces provided. 2. They fill in the gaps with the missing words 3. They match the people with their occupations.


You can find an online version here:

The Cutty Sark (reading + passive voice)

On the first page there is an article taken from CBBCnews followed by two comprehension exercises (True/False statements and Find Synonyms in the text) and an exercise on passive voice. On the second page there is the story that inspired the naming of the Cutty Sark. It is followed by two vocabulary exercises (students practise guessing meaning from context).


You can find an online version here:

Grammar and Vocabulary Jeopardy Game

This is a game I've created using Flash Jeopardy Review Generator

Game categories:
  • Present Simple or Continuous
  • Stative Verbs
  • Personality Adjectives
  • Word Formation (Negative Prefixes)
  • Phrasal Verbs with Up

Click on the picture below to play the game.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Berlin Wall's 50th anniversary

The Berlin Wall was erected almost overnight on August 13, 1961 - dividing the German capital in two.
Five decades later, commemorations are today being held, attended by politicians and civic dignitaries.
German historian Michael Stuermer talks to Al Jazeera about the legacy of the wall, and the divisions it created.!

"Berlinermauer" by Noir - Original source: "selbst fotografiert". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

World Wide Web celebrates 20th birthday

Twenty years ago today a modest British scientist launched his new invention. At the time, almost no-one noticed, but it has since revolutionised our lives.
Tim Berners-Lee called his invention the "world-wide-web".
Richard Westcott has been taking a look back at the technology that went on to change the world.

Watch the BBC NEWS video:

There is a 6 Minute English lesson with audio and text to download here: 

Tim Berners-Lee- Mosaic by Sue Edkins at Sheen Lane Centre.jpg
"Tim Berners-Lee- Mosaic by Sue Edkins at Sheen Lane Centre" by Robert Smith - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

“Loose Verses and Twisted Logic”

A poem by Frank and inspired by Serene

Anything big or small will be fine
As long as it comes from your soul
Dimensions really aren’t important
Unless they help you achieve your goal.

Raindrops beating on a window pane
Can be seen in many different ways
Restriction for all those sun worshipers
And romance for those who love rainy days.

A leaf fluttering in a stiff breeze
Can be great inspiration for a poet
But it is only more work for a road sweeper
Even if he doesn’t yet know it.

Teachers are merely life’s great messengers
Passing on the lessons they have learned
Life’s flame of knowledge torch bearers
Giving back the knowledge for which they yearned.

The meaning of life varies for each of us
No two of us are exactly the same
We’re individual snowflakes in a blizzard
Just players in life’s great game.

Ageing is just a simple sign
That the wheel of time is slowing
It will soon be time to pass on the torch
Time for us to get going.

Death is life’s only certainty
Inevitable, final and permanent
The only ones who should fear it
Are the ones who aren’t so innocent.

So anything big or small was fine
Because it came from deep in my soul
Thank you dear, for the suggestions
They helped me achieve my goal.

More poems by Frank Letras here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Japan Earthquake

I used the following special edition of CNN Student News video as the basis for a class discussion about the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011.

Unfortunately, the video is not available on CNN and YouTube any more. However, I have saved the video in my Dropbox so you can view it there. Here is the link

The worksheet contains a set of comprehension questions, the links to the video and its transcript, as well as an Answer Key.


Japan earthquake: Footage of moment tsunami hit (BBC News video)
Rare Video: Japan Tsunami (National Geographic video)
Photos - Massive earthquake hits Japan (
Photos - Japan Earthquake: before and after (ABC News)