Lesson summaries (Nov)

Lesson 1 03/11/10 author: Mercedes

1. We started by talking about Fernando's last weekend. He went to a “capea” (an amateur bullfight). Here are some words related to this traditional public entertainment in Spain:
bullock (a young bull)
breed: /bri:d/ raza
bullfight (noun)
bull-fighting (verb)
bullfighter or matador
cape /keip/

2. Then we looked at the difference between subject questions and object questions:
An object question asks about the object of the sentence. We require the auxiliary verb “did/do”.

Question word + auxiliary + subject + main Verb?
Who did you see? (¿A quién...?) I saw my friends

A subject question asks about the subject of the sentence. The question word (who, what, which) is the subject of the verb. We don’t use do/does/did.

Question word + verb + object?
Who saw you? My friends saw me.

We made different kinds of questions about this sentence:
Anyone who wanted to could fight the bulls.

Subject questions: Who could fight the bulls? Anyone/Everyone.
Who wanted to fight the bulls?Everyone/Some people.
Who didn't want to fight the bulls? Me!

Who fought the bulls? / Who was fighting? / Who were the bull-fighters?

Object questions: What did they fight? They fought the bulls.
What could they fight? They could fight the bulls.

More examples:
The Tavira tower: When did they build it? / When was it built? / Who built it?
The gate to the old city: Why did they build it?

3. We also watched a clip which had been sent by Paco to know about how observant we are. Some related expressions:
To catch the eye / catch the attention = atraer la atención.
To pay attention to = prestar atención.
To notice = darse cuenta.

4. And then we finished by looking at some questions on grammar:
a) Question tags using modal verbs.
- The nine “pure” modal verbs are: will, can, may, might, must, shall, could, would, should.
- “Semi” modal verbs: have to,ought to, going to.

Characteristics of “pure” modal verbs:
They are auxiliary verbs.
They are followed by the infinitive without "to" .
They can't use together.

You would like to travel to New York, wouldn't you?
You must go to the traffic office, mustn't you?
As you see, a positive statement is followed by a negative tag, and a negative statement is followed by a positive tag.

Tag questions are used to check information that we think is true or to check information that we aren't sure is true. We show the meaning of the tag question through intonation:
If the tag is a real question it has a rising intonation:
You wouldn't do that, would you?

If the tag is not a real question it has a flat intonation:
You won't forget your homework, will you?
You shouldn't have said that, should you?

b) Can / could / Be able to.
We use all of them to talk about ability or physical possibility.
We also use can and could to talk about knowing how to do something in the present and in the past. But we only use be able to to talk about ability.
We can use be able to in any tense, for example: will be able to, have been able to, being able to,...

We can use both could and was/were able to to talk about abilities in the past, but we use was/were able to talk about success in a particular task or activity and not could.
He can climb just as well now as he ever could before. (never was able to)

In the negative, wasn't/weren't able to or couldn't are both correct:
He couldn't move = He wasn't able to move.

Lesson 2 10/11/10 author : Fernando

We started the class talking about the politically incorrect things in the Disney film "Pinocchio" (Pinocchio's father smoking, the figure of a man hitting a woman in a cuckoo clock when it strikes an hour,....). In that moment of the class I was late, let me know if I forgot something.

We continued talking about the internet courses, Monse's going to start an internet master in Quality Assurance, isn't she? We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of these courses. One of the advantages is that there're forums where you can share information, notes, or maybe the results of a test. I told you that I prefer the face 2 face classes because I prefer the direct contact with the teacher and classemates for better underestanding of the different subjects.

We remembered Paco's video and we talked about how absent-minded or forgetful we are with the name of the people we meet the first time, when we have to do different tasks or favours, when we go shopping and we have to make a shopping list, sometimes we forget the shopping list at home ;), we talked too about important dates or little things such as keys, mobile phones, etc.

In the following part of the lesson we studied the verbs remember, forget, stop, and try and the change of meaning when they're followed by gerund (-ing verb) or infinitive with to:

-Remember (forget)--> +ing verb ---> Something that we did in the past.
---> +to+infinitive- Something you have to do

-Stop---> +ing verb ---> the action of the gerund stops
---> +to+infinitive---> an action stops to start another one.

In order to practise with the verb "remember", we talked about our Earliest memories (primeros recuerdos), in general, we remember the more traumatic memories, we don't remember anything before we were four years old, and curiously some eight-year-old children remember when they were one year old.

We looked at Mercedes's mosaic with the finalists and the new 7 wonders in the world which was chosen in 2007, and we had to identify each one of the windows and we found out which of these were chosen as the best 7 wonders: Colloseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Pichu in Peru, The Great Wall in China, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Pyramid of Chichen Itza in Mexico, and the old city of Petra in Jordan.

And finally, we remembered the different topics that we have studied since September: names and family, weekend activities, technology, transport and trams, senses and colours, personal images, the miners, the rickshaws in India, what else?

Lesson 3 17/11/10  author : Montse

We started the lesson by thinking of phrases using REMEMBER and DON’T FORGET. We had to use to do the phases something that had happened to us or someone had told us.
o        We learnt to use remember / don’t forget + to + inf,  if you’re talking about a situation you mustn’t forget.

Ceri, later, showed us a sequence of pictures. We had to fill the gaps of the bubbles in pairs. It was about an investigator who was following a woman.
o        We learnt some words as new vocabulary:
§         Talking on the phone
§         To window shop / look at the shop window
§         To run after sb
§         To start + to inf / ing (It doesn’t matter which)

We looked at the difference between stop to do something (this is the reason why we stopped) and stop doing something (this is the action that we were doing before we stopped) 

Ceri asked us how we described the day (remember it was raining)
o        Some of the adjetives which we used are: wet, cloudy, dark, windy, special, greyish, cold, overcast ( = cloudy), draining your energy (take your energy), energising (give you energy)
o        New vocabulary:
§         Overcast
§         Drain
§         Wellies

 Later, Ceri show us two different pictures. Both of them were taken in the same places. And using the description given by our partner and ourselves we had to guess it. Two were taken on different dates and from different places. (very curious by the way)
o        We also learnt more new vocabulary:
§         Intersection
§         Aerial  /  above
§         Pedestrian crossing / zebra crossing
§         A blur

Finally we wrote a personal greeting on our new class blog.

Lesson 4 24/11/10 author: Mercedes

1. We started by remembering two aerial shots which we looked at last week. Can you remember them? They were an aerial view of an intersection in a big city, both of them were taken in the same place but on different dates, and one photo was taken by day and the other one at night.
SHOT: A new word with several meanings:
- drink: a shot of whisky
- injection: get your shots
- from a gun
- a photo

2. Next we talked about our blog a bit and read a funny poem from another English students' blog: http://lodelaingli.posterous.com/
TO POST: to put information or pictures on a website.
- Please, post whatever you want and whenever you like on our blog.

3. After that Fernando described an aerial photo of Venice which he had sent by email.
New verbs:
  • TO BARGAIN / TO HAGGLE: to argue with somebody in order to reach an agreement, especially about the price of something. (Definition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
Ceri took this opportunity to review the rules for using the definitive article THE with geographical nouns:

- Do use THE before:
    • geographical areas; the south of Spain, the north
    • names of rivers, canals, oceans and seas; the Thames, the Mediterranean, the Grand Canal
    • deserts, forests, gulfs and peninsulas; the Sahara, the Black Forest, the Iberian Peninsula
    • ranges of mountains; the Alps, the Apennines
    • island chains; the Canary Islands or the Canaries
    • public institutions/facilities; the Presbyterian Church, the White House
- Do not use THE before:
    • names of continents, most countries; Italy (except where they indicate multiple areas or contain the words; state(s), kingdom, republic, union, because they are nouns, so they need an article; the Netherlands, the USA , the UK, the EU) (however, the Vatican, the Sudan, the Gambia).
    • names of cities, towns; Venice (however, the Hague)
    • names of individual lakes; Lake Titicaca, Arcos Lake
    • names of individual mountains; Mount Everest, Mount Teide
    • names of individual islands; Tenerife island
    • names of streets, squares; San Marco square
However, we always use THE with the preposition “of”; the bay of Cadiz, the straits of Gibraltar, the island of Venice, the lake of Arcos, the beach of/in Zahora, the square of San Marco, the Cathedral of San Marco.
We don't use THE with a possessive, when the possessive is used with a proper name, St. Peter's Cathedral

4. After the break, Ceri switched off her laptop and the projector and we did and exercise using a Cuisenarie rods (a box with 10 different sizes of wooden rod and each size is a different colour. They are used for teaching maths) and a list of words.
We learnt eight idiomatic expressions using as ... as... :
as light as a feather /feda/
as red as a beetroot /bi:tru:t/ --- to go red (in the face) ( ponerse colorado)
as sweet as a lamb
as free as a bird
as blind as a bat
as stubborn as a mule
as good as gold
as cold as ice