Friday, September 30, 2011

Frankly My Dear ..... more movie reviews

This movie is set in the USA, in the Deep South, during the US Civil War, also known as The War Between the States. It is a romantic drama but you can find elements of US history, too. It is the story of a stormy relationship between a man and a woman. The woman is called Scarlett O’Hara and her love for an impossible lover and of course, her real love for her land (Tara), the family plantation.

The main actor is Clark Gable, he plays a wonderful role, as Rhett Butler. He is in love with Scarlett, she loves him but she comes to realize it in the end of the film. Both of them are selfish and hypocritical, but also romantic, generous and good lovers. The movie is very long (3 hours).

For me the most important line sets , in the middle of the film when Scarlett, poor an desperated says : “As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again.”

Can you tell me what is the name of the film?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carlos Speaks on the Glories of Barcelona!

Our NI2 class was pleased to receive a visit from Barcelona-native Carlos who spoke about his home town. The other students interviewed the young Catalonian businessman specializing in industrial, wooden pallets. Although Carlos has lived in Las Palmas for three years, he spent the first 38 years of his life, growing up in the neighbourhood near Parc Güell in Barcelona (see photo here) so he obviously prefers the Mediterranean city. One student asked Carlos what the Catalan people are really like, a question which he found difficult to answer. He told us that although the Catalans are not as warm and bubbly as the Canary Islanders, they are very devoted to their friends and family. Indeed, once you have a Catalan friend, they are "true blue" (muy leal). Another classmate wanted to know why Barcelona is such an expensive city, especially compared to other capitals in Spain such as Seville or even Las Palmas. He replied that the standard of living (nivel de vida) in Barcelona is very high as its citizens earn a good wage. It was an honor to have Carlos speak to our class and we learned a lot from this experience, I think. -- David

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pass the Popcorn

We have been talking about favourite films. Together we came up with a game that involves guessing the titles based on student descriptions. Here are the results. Please note that a couple of films are described twice as some students coincided in their tastes. Good luck and thanks for playing along, movie buffs!

I like action films a lot. So, I am going to speak about a film that I have seen recently called ................................... It is set in a US Coast Guard academy. It has elements of action. In fact, I think that this film is considered an action drama. The main actor is Kevin Costner, he is a famous coast guard and he work as instructor of coast guard academy. I think the most famous line is “for others to achieve live.” Nauzet

The film is called …................ in which two musicians witness a murder. They flee the state in a female band disguised as women, but they will have a lot of problems. It’s set in 1929 in Chicago and Florida, is an American comedy. The main actors are Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, and the main actress is Marilyn Monroe. The film was directed by Billy Wilder. I think the most famous line is when Osgood, the old millionaire, at the end of the film says "Nobody's perfect." Gustavo

My favorite film is …. It is set in 1912 in the journey from Northern Ireland to New York City. It has elements of historical and romantic drama. This film was nominated for fourteen Oscars and it won eleven. The main actor is Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the role of Jack Dawson. He was a poor young man who could travel on the ship. The main actress is Kate Winslet, who plays the role of Rose Dewitt Bukater. She was a rich woman, who belonged to an important family. They fell in love during the trip, although they belonged to different classes. My favourite line is when the two lovers are about to be separated because the ship was sinking and the woman says: "I´ll never let go, Jack. I promise". Yurena

My favorite film since I was a child is …..................................... It's set in 1960s in a resort during a family's summer vacation in New York. The story is about a teenage girl (Baby) that starts a relationship with a dance instructor called Johnny against her father's wishes. Johnny's dance partner is pregnant and decides to get an abortion. This leaves Johnny alone and Baby agrees to take her teacher's place. She has to learn how to dance. It has elements of romance, drama and dancing. The principal actor is Patrick Swayze and the first actress is Jennifer Grey. Begoña

This film tells the story of a married but lonely Italian woman, living in 1960, who engages in an affair with a National Geographic photographer from Bellingham, Washington who is visiting her county. He likes taking all types of bridges. This love happened when her husband and children were in another country. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood who also stars in a role opposite the main actress Meryl Streep. An important phrase is: “I don´t want to need you, because I can´t have you.” Carmen

I have never had a single favourite film but there is one that I always liked. It is ............... whose main actor is Sean Penn and main actress Michelle Pfeiffer. He plays a mentally retarded man with a daughter and social authorities want to take custody. Michelle Pfeiffer is a lawyer who tries to help him. I think the plot has elements of comedy and drama and shows the human side of people with mental problems. However, I think the film did not win any award although Sean Penn was nominated as best actor. Elisabet

One of my favourite films is ................. The mains actors are, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and the child actress, Dakota Fanning. The plot is about a mentally challenged man, Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), he is about thirty-five years old but in his mind (or intellectual development) is only seven. He has got a daughter, Lucy (Dakota Fanning) but he has to take care of Lucy alone because his girlfriend left home. He has got friends that take care of Lucy when he cannot but for Sam, everything is difficult, he has to work long hours as a waiter and while Lucy is growing, she needs help in many things as her homework, she asks Sam many question he can´t answer. Sam feels increasingly sad and forlorn. He has to fight fo keep Lucy with him because the state wants a normal family for her. Sam met Rita (Michelle Pleiffer), a lawyer who helps him fight. I enjoyed this drama, the actors are fantastic, the music is very good, some of the songs are by The Beatles, the ending is also very positive. I definitively love this film. (Ana)

The movie ...................................... is set in the 1950s at the fictional Welton Academy, a conservative, aristocratic boys’ prep school. The film has elements of comedy, but also drama. The main actors are Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard and Ethan Hawke, among other actors who plays Academy’s pupils. Robin Williams plays an English teacher who inspires his students to change their lives. The teaching methods of the new English teacher are unorthodox by Welton Academy. He used to take the pupils out of the classroom, in order to explain better the idea of "Carpe diem".
For instance, some of the more famous lines are: “O Captain, my Captain!” (from the Walt Whitman poem) and “Seize the day!”Aurora

One of my favourite films is …............................................... This movie was filmed in 1985 and was directed by Sidney Pollack.. It also won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It´s a romantic drama about Karen, a Danish married woman who goes to live in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century. She and her husband have a coffee plantation, but he is not a good person and he abandons her. Karen learns to love Africa and there, she find the love in a adventurous and independent hunter. The main actress is Meryl Streep, unforgettable, and the main actor is Robert Redford, sublime. It is a beautiful film based on a true story, very emotional, romantic and when you finish watch it you feel love for Africa. Isabel

My favourite film is ….......... because it is a major motion picture based on real historical facts. Besides, it involves several different matters I think are very interesting. Also the film's action is wonderful. The star and director is Mel Gibson. It is set in Scotland. In conclusion, this film is the best I have watched in my life. Hector

My favorite film is set in 1965 and it is a romantic drama. The main actor is Clint Eastwood and he plays a photographer of National Geographic magazine and the main actress is Meryl Streep who plays an solitary italian housewife married with an ex american soldier. They meet while he is taking photographs of the cover bridges in the Madison county and when her husband and children are in the Illinois county. They suddenly fall in love and the days they spend together are the most important in their lives. For me, the most famous lines are when he asks her to go with him because "this kind of certainty is only have once in the life". At the end she does not go to him but she always remembered him in her heart as her one true love. Raquel

My favourite film is ….................................... It has elements of comedy and romantic. The main actress is Reneé Zellweger. It is set in London. She has a small apartment and three friends, two girls and a boy. She plays a girl about thirty years old and she is single woman. She is looking for a perfect man and she wants to fall in love but the life is no bed of roses for her. Her parents live in another city. When she visits them, she meets a boy. He is an important lawyer but they don´t like much. She likes her boss but he likes a lot of girls. Finally the lawyer says her: “I love you like you are” and she falls in love. During the film, there are a lot of anecdotes very funny because she is a clumsy girl. This film has three parts (to date) and I have seen them all. Eli

One of my favorite films is …........... It has elements of comedy, romance and a little drama. The main actor is Hugh Grant and the main actress is Julia Roberts. The film is set in a beautiful neighbourhood of London (Notting Hill). He is owner of a book shop in this neighbourhood and there he met a famous star in the world and both fall in love. I’d recommend this fantastic film to watch with your sweetheart. Carlos B

One of my favourite films is a love story. It is set mostly in London. The main actor is Gary Oldman, and the main actress is Winona Ryder, but there are a lot of famous actors in the film. The film has elements of drama, terror and love. And my favourite line is when the main character says to the woman, "I have crossed oceans of time to find you." Iballa

It is set in Hawaii where Henry falls in love with an art teacher called Lucy. She has an illness and wakes up without a memory loss. It has elements of comedy, laughs and sadness but with a happy ending. The main actor is Adam Sandler and the main actress is Drew Barrymore. Henry tries to win Lucy's trust with his imagination. It’s very difficult because she can’t remember things that occurred the day before and Henry decides to go to the Arctic. Then, Lucy’s father give her a CD of The Beach Boys because she always sings the same song to remember Henry. Finally, she improves her memory and Henry comes back to Hawaii. After this, and after a lot of dates my favourite film is… Dara

It's set in two different timelines, it develops in a town in California. It has elements of scince fiction and adventure. Its main actor is Michael J.Fox, ha plays Marti McFly, a young boy who travels to the past by mistake in a time machine built by his friend, a scientific who is a little crazy. There he will try to get back to the present with the help of his friend who is thirty years younger. While the time machine is fixed, he meets his mother and by accident she falls in love of him instead of with his father. He has to join his parents again, so the timeline is the same. This film was so good, that they made two more parts. They used a Delorian as time machine, a famous car of that era. Roberto

The star is Meryl Streep and she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this film. She plays the writer of a famous book about "the art of French cooking.”The other main actress plays the writer of a blog with the experience of cooking the 524 recipes in this book in 365 days.It is set nowadays and in the 1950´s in New York and Paris. It has elements of biography and comedy. Paco M

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weather Terminology (for Intermediate Students)

I have always been fascinated by the weather and its changing.
This fascination almost surely owes to my parents' encouragement.
My mother and father always described the weather for us in great detail
and it was believed that the changes of the weather affected
the human spirit.

Whatever the case, I hope this vocabulary section is useful to you as you study
English. - David

When we describe the weather, Spanish uses "hace" and "hay"
whereas in English uses
"to be" For example: It is sunny = Hace sol (literally it makes sun)
It is hot = Hace calor
It is very windy - Hace / Hay mucho viento

Asking about the weather:
what’s the weather like? = "¿qué tiempo hace?" or "¿cómo está el tiempo?"

Other set expressions
tomorrow will be dry = mañana hará tiempo seco
there’s been a change in the weather = ha cambiado el tiempo
let’s hope the weather holds out = esperemos que no nos falle el tiempo
the weather spoiled our plans = el tiempo nos estropeó los planes
it looks like it's going to rain = parece que va a llover
the bad weather is still with us = seguimos con mal tiempo
the garden could do with a spot of rain =
al jardín le vendría bien que lloviera un poco

you get better weather on the south coast =
en el sur hace mejor tiempo;

weather permitting = si hace buen tiempo
we’re hoping for good weather while we’re on holiday =
esperamos tener buen tiempo durante las vacaciones

I don’t like the look of the weather =
no me gusta cómo se está poniendo el tiempo

Meteorological Expressions (Taken from Weather Broadcasts)
a clap of thunder, a thunderclap = un trueno
a clear sky/day = un cielo/día despejado
a cloudburst = un chaparrón
a cold front = un frente frío
a downpour = un chaparrón
a flash of lightning = un relámpago
a flood = una inundación
a force nine gale = vientos de fuerza nueve
a frosty night = una noche de helada
a gale = un viento fuerte, una vendaval
a gust of wind = una racha
a hailstorm = una granizada
a light covering of snow = una fina capa de nieve
a shower = un chaparrón, un chubasco
a snowball = una bola de nieve
a storm = una tormenta, un temporal
a stormy day = un día tormentoso
a streak of lightning = un rayo
a sunny day = un día soleado
a sunny spell = un claro
a thaw = un deshielo
a thundercloud = un nubarrón
to become muggy = abochornarse
climate = el clima
to rain cats and dogs = llover a cántaros
cloud = una nube
cloudburst = un chaparrón, un aguacero
damp = húmedo
degree = grado
depression = una depresión atmosférica, una borrasca
dew = el rocío
flashes of lightning = un relampagueo
frost (white frozen dew) = escarcha
It's chilly today = hace fresquito hoy
fog = la niebla
to ride out the storm = capear el temporal
a weather vane = una veleta
blustery = borrascoso
a heat wave = una ola de calor
forked lightning = una culebrina
gale-force winds = los vientos (con intensidad) de tormenta
hailstones = los granizos, las piedras de granizo
haziness = la nebulosidad, lo neblinoso
he was struck by lightning = le cayó un rayo
hot = cálido
humid = húmedo
humidity = la humedad
it’s cloudy = hace nubes or está nublado
it’s drizzling = está lloviznando
it’s foggy = hay niebla
it’s frosty = está helado
it’s hot = hace calor
it’s misty = hay neblina
it’s muggy / clammy / close (Brit)= está abochornado
it’s raining = está lloviendo
it’s sleeting = cae aguanieve
it’s snowing = está nevado
it’s sunny = hace sol
it’s windy = hace viento, está ventoso
a breeze / a sea breeze = una brisa / una brisa marina
drizzle / to drizzle = llovizna / lloviznar
low/high-pressure = de bajas/altas presiones
mist = la neblina
the coastal area (used in weather forecasts) = el litoral
night dew = el sereno
rain = la lluvia
scattered showers = chubascos aislados (dispersos)
sea mist = la bruma
sleet = aguanieve f.
sleet showers = chubascos de aguanieve
snow = la nieve
snow showers = chubascos de nieve
sun = el sol
sunstroke = insolación
the outlook for tomorrow = la previsión del tiempo para mañana
the temperature = la temperatura
the weather = el tiempo
thunder = los truenos
to clear up = despejar
to flood = inundar
to frost = helar
to hail = granizar
to rain = llover
to snow = nevar
to thaw = deshelar
turbulence = la turbulencia
unsettled weather = un tiempo revuelto
wind = el viento
hurricane = un huracán

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

David's Email Address for my EOI Students

My email contact address for my students is

If you would like to contact me, this is the best place to write.

I suggest that in the SUBJECT heading you put your full name and also your EOI code (NB1C, for example).

Best wishes

David Shea


Dear Students,
For information concerning my classes this academic year (2011-2012), you should check this blog on a regular basis. I will keep the page updated each week with announcements concerning the upcoming assignments. You might find students' work from my four groups (NB1B/NB1C/NI2A/NI2B) or essays that I have written. My pen name is Delmar Lemming, by the way!
Anyway, you may want to know that this is my timetable:
Monday/Wednesday 17:00 - 19:00 NI2A
Monday/Wednesday 19:00 - 21:00 NB1B
Tuesday / Thursday 17:00 - 19:00 NB1C
Tuesday / Thursday 19:00 - 21:00 NI 2B

The classes are held in room 19 again this year and we are using the same textbooks as last year (as listed in the main page of the EOI Santa Brigida):

NB Cutting Edge Elementary Textbook and Workbook by Sarah Cunningham and Peter Moor (Pearson Longman).
NI Premium B1 Coursebook and Workbook by Rachael Roberts (Pearson Longman).
I look forward to seeing you in class and working together to improve our English.
Best wishes
David Shea

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Song for Tim

John McCutcheon's Song "Starlight"

This is a song I was learning last summer for a friend in the states. I intended to send it to him but he passed away suddenly and now I have to just sing this song to the stars.

All the best, Tim!

When the sky was new and the night was endless
And the world and we were young
The old ones strung the stars into stories
And a tale took every tongue
"See the North Star and the Great Bear
There's Orion, the hunter, on the horizon over there
Every once in a while he lets fly an arrow
And in the darkness some lost star is hurled" And they sang...

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

Out on the sea, with her sails a-billow,

A ship plows a lonely line
Out on the foredeck the eye of a sailor
Searches the heavens for a sign
"If I sight true and I sail right
"Keep the Cross on my shoulder and Polaris in sight
"We'll be safe in the harbor tomorrow night!"
The moon, like a beacon, does shine

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

And so, tonight, like some homesick sailor,

We too search the heavens for a sign
And, like my mother's own mother, I trace out the stories
To this young voyageur at my side
And we reach out and we dream long
We tell our tales, we sing our songs
And, like ancient stargazers, we travel along
On this midnight mystery ride

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

And it's one world and one sky

We get one time we get one try
And each generation it's the same question, "Why?"

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true

Starlight, star bright

First star that I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have my dreams come true