Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Milwaukee Blues, another great singalong song!



One Tuesday morning and it looked like rain, round the curve come a passenger train
On the blind sat old Bill Jones,  he's a good old hobo and he's tryin' to get home
Tryin' to get home, he's tryin' to get home, he's a good old hobo and he's tryin' to get home

Way down in Georgia on a tramp, roads are gettin' muddy and my legs are gettin' damp
I got to catch a freight train to leave this town,
'Cause they don't allow no hobos a-hangin' around.

I left Atlanta one morning 'fore day,  the brakeman said, "You'll have to pay."
Got no money but I pawned my shoes,  I want to go west, got the Milwaukee blues

Old Bill Jones said before he died,  "fix the roads so the folks can ride
When they ride they will ride the rods,  put all their trust in the hands of God.

Old Bill Jones said before he died, there's two more roads that he'd like to ride
Fireman said what can it be?
Southern Pacific and the Santa Fee.

From Charlie Poole ( also known as  Jay Gould's Daughter)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Minority Languages in Mexico

You may be interested in reading about the fate of native languages in Mexico.  Click on the link to read the entire article.  Minority languages in Mexico 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knocking on Heaven's Door

This is a cover version (a singer and guitar player performing Bob Dylan's song, Knocking on Heaven's Door) . Although it does not include lyrics, it is a convincing rendition. I hope you like it and again, thanks to Wilmer Torres.

Knocking on Heaven's Door

Knocking on Heaven's Door

Thank you to Wilmer Torres for sending me this link to a Bob Dylan song. 

We could try to sing this in class, perhaps. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

English Onion and Leek Soup by Jamie Oliver

In addition to his skills as a chef, Jamie Oliver also makes cooking fun. 

"Crisis sees rise in number of youngsters out of work and not studying" -- El País article

On September 11, 2014, El País, the national daily newspaper published a worrying article about unemployment among young people in Spain. Click here to access   this article.

Although the term crisis is used for our current economic woes, I encourage students to use the word slump.

By the way, the article makes reference to "ninis" which are young Spaniards who do not work or study. This popular expression comes from the Spanish "ni trabaja, ni estudia" = ni + ni. It is often used in the press to describe this depressing situation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Succumb (English) = Sucumbir, ceder (Spanish)

This blog features a hyper link to the Spain's national daily newspaper's on-line English version. If you click on the hypertext today, Sept 10, 2014, you will find an article on Madrid's mayor, Ana Botella, who has "succumbed" to public pressure and decided to step down from her post. Here is the article on this politician

The featured verb, succumb, is commonly used in English journalism when a politician makes this sort of decision. 

Merriam Webster defines succumb as

intransitive verb \sə-ˈkəm\
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die

Full Definition of SUCCUMB

1:  to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire <succumb to temptation>
2:  to be brought to an end (as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces

Wordreference offers this translation into Spanish
  succumb  =  sucumbir, ceder (= YIELD), fenecer

Lightning Hopkins: a Blues Legend

was a blues singer and musician who became associated with his homestate of Texas through his enduring guitar style. When people describe Texas blues style, they always start with Lightning Hopkins. I have been a fan of Lightning for many years. Here are some biographical data .

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Technical English: GLOBAL (Unit 1) NI 1

One interesting aspect of the English language is that it is used by many people as a lingua franca. That is, people whose native language is not English will use the language to communicate with other non-native speakers in specific situations. 

For example, a medical congress in Belgium may be attended by doctors from 20 or 30 different countries, but English is the official congress language so all the papers, workshops and posters are presented in English. This international English possesses certain characteristics, including a lack of phrasal or compound verbs and, of course, limited slang. 

It is impossible here to cover all these characteristics here but you might find these vocabulary lists of interest, from a Technical English website: 

GLOBAL INTERMEDIATE NI 1 Textbook for 2014-15 Academic Year

We are using the Global Intermediate by Lindsay Clandfield and Rebecca Robb Benne (MacMillan Publishing) for this academic year. It is  a very complete textbook which encompasses 10 chapters with a variety of topics and materials. If you are signed up for this course, please purchase this textbook soon. Good luck and see you in class!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NA 1 2014-15 Practice with Idiomatic Expressions (in Spanish, modismos)

Our NA1 class will use the Third Edition of  New English File Upper Intermediate this academic year. 

I recommend you check out the on-line resources offered by this publishing house. You may find the section on Idioms and Collocations useful. Here is the link.

Click here

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome Back!

Hello! I am back to my blog after a summer break. Although most of the summer was spent close to home, we did have a wonderful adventure in the Azores, just three hours north and west of our Canary Islands home. We visited the main island of Sao Miguel and also spent some time in Pico, a lush green island famous for its whaling tradition. I hope you are all well. Best wishes and watch this space for new developments! David Shea

Pico Island Information link.