Thursday, April 25, 2013

Virginia's Favorite Movie (Tres Metros sobre el Cielo)

Three Meters Over Heaven
(Spanish film, translated and adapted to many languages)
My favorite film is the story of a beautiful, serious teenage girl called Babi who goes to a party and meets a boy, Hugo, (knicknamed Hache)  who is a rebel. He races around on a big motorcycle,  refuses to study and generally hangs out on the edge of society. But after meeting Babi, Hache loses his heart.  The story becomes more complicated when Babi’s best friend, falls in love with Hache’s closest pal. Slowly but surely, Hache and Babi fall in love with each other, but their fate is somewhat tragic. The story is set in a large Spanish city. (Virginia) 

Another Great Ending for The Princess Who Never Smiled

It was Tuesday morning and the young man was convinced that he was going to make the princess smile. However he never thought that the princess was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
When he entered the palace and saw the princess, he immediately fell in love and luckily the young woman felt the same. It was love at first sight and everyone in the room was very surprised because it was the first time they saw the princess smiling. It was an incredible day and all the kingdom celebrated that historical date.
They got married the next week and they had a good life in their palace. Moreover, the princess became a happy woman who smiled every day, and from that year the kingdom was called the Happy Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Here is another ending for the story of the Princess Who Never Smiled by Eric Taylor, taken from his book Using Folktales (Cambridge UP 2000) . Thank you to Tanya (from Arequipa, Peru) for this sweet ending. 

When the young  farmer  went to the castle he saw the Princess and he saw in her eyes a lot of sadness although she was a beautiful woman and she had everything that she wanted, she did not feel happy.
Then he thought and wanted her to be happy so he took the princess to the field to show her how the plants and flowers grew with beautiful colours. She also looked at the animals, but the most important thing was his company so gradually she fell in love with him and the young farmer also fell for her.
Therefore this love that she began to feel for the young farmer changed her life and she never again felt alone, instead she was happy.
The king saw in his daughter a smile on her face and he saw her eyes shine.
After then the princess and the young farmer were married, they fell in love forever and the princess never stopped smiling
NI1 Tania

Comparatives and Superlatives

Here are some of the sentences we went over in class using comparatives: and superlatives:

1 Mexico City is far bigger than Manchester, England.
2 My kitchen is the same size as the living room.
3 My cousin is just as stubborn as me.
4 Our dogs is bigger than your cat. (So, watch out!)
5 My Aunt Rose is the most organized person I have ever known (or met).
6 My friend Tom has the biggest CD collection in the entire capital. 
7 Jorgina's brother is much bigger than she is. 
8 Alexia's job is more interesting than mine. 
9 Fatima's roof terrace has the most fabulous view of Lanzarote, Lobos and the dunes!
10 Jonathan is the best skater in our class.
(Regarding big world capitals, Mexico City must be one of the biggest!)

Anra and the Princess Who Never Smiled (from Eric Taylor's Book Using Folktales)

In NI 1 class, we read Eric K Taylor's story about the princess who never smiled. In it, the king summons any young men from his realm who try to make his daughter smile. Their reward would be half the kingdom, but those who failed would be tarred and feathered and paraded through the main square with a bucket over their head. Many students wrote nice endings for the story. Anra from our Monday morning group wrote a very moving ending. It is one of my favorites. The book that contains this story by Eric K Taylor is Using Folktales (Cambridge UP 2000). Many thanks to Lorena Sousa of Cambridge UP for bringing the book to my attention. In the story of "The Princess Who Never Smiled," the author ends the tale with no ending, the readers, or in this case the students of EFL, have to provide their own versions of the ending. I use this technique a great deal both for writing and conversation activities.


(…) The next day, the young man went to the palace to meet the Princess. The young man, thought he would find a thousand men who tried to get half the kingdom and so it was. Even after the threat of the King, everyday a lot of men appeared at the gates of the palace.
The young man looked at the men while he was waiting his turn. He was looking how the rest of them were preparing their shows: some were practicing jokes, some were practicing their shows but all men were very excited, nervous because all of them wanted to get the kingdom. The only man who did not do anything was the young man.
Suddenly, an old man who worked in the palace asked him why he did not practice anything and only was waiting seatedhis turn. The young man answered smiling that, “I only want to talk with the Princess.”  The old man went away surprised.
When it was the young man’s turn, he came in the palace hall and said hello to the King. Later, he got inside the Princess’ room with the Princess. Five minutes after, the King opened the door and he looked at something amazing: his daughter was smiling slightly and crying at the same time. The King could not believe it and he did not understand anything: Why was his daughter smiling and crying at once? What happened? He was very shocked. Then, his daughter told him, “Dear daddy, I am so sorry. Please, forgive me to worry you about me. I have wasted my time.”
The King asked her very confused, “What?”
The Princess started to talk: “This man is poor; he must work very hard every day to earn money to buy food for his family; his mother was ill; his father is old and cannot work; and he has to look after his three siblings. Despite all these woes, he never complains. Moreover, he came here worried about me and he asked me what was wrong. This is the only man who worried about me and not about my money or your promise. He asked me why I have never smiled if I am pretty, kind, wise and I have a concerned father.”
Then, the King asked so excited to his daughter, “And then? Why have you never smiled, dear?” The Princess answered smiling, “Because I was waiting for a special man who worried about me sincerely and finally I found him.”
Suddenly, the young man started to cry for the first time in his life and he told the Princess, “I was waiting for the special woman who I show my soul, my tears to her.” The Princess wiped the young man’s tears away and kissed him. A few months after, the young man and the Princess married and their families lived together and happy in the Palace. --- by Anra of Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Spain


*Anra's Moral: You decide how to live your life, do not mind if you are poor or rich, tall or small, beautiful or ugly, you decide if you face life with a smile or with tears, even if you are alone, because being with a partner is a decision, not a necessity… Carpe diem!