sábado, 17 de septiembre de 2016

Multilingualism in the EU – European Day of Languages Conference

You learn something every day if you pay attention. ~Ray LeBlond

How do you become fluent in 11 languages?

How do you become fluent in 11 languages?

Twenty-year-old Alex Rawlings has won a national competition to find the UK's most multi-lingual student.
The Oxford University undergraduate can currently speak 11 languages - English, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Afrikaans, French, Hebrew, Catalan and Italian.
Entrants in the competition run by the publishers Collins had to be aged between 16 and 22 and conversant in multiple languages.
Alex drew on all his skills to tell BBC News about his passion for learning languages and how he came to speak so many.

Produced by the BBC's Susannah Reid.

European Day of languages: thank you in 29 languages

This video has been produced by high school students so it may contain some inaccuracies.

European Day of Languages

European Day of Languages, 26th September

Photo of the logo for the European Day of Languages
The European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September, as an initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.  
Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe's 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages, at any age, in and out of school. Being convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent, the Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe.
For the day, a range of events is organised across Europe: activities for and with children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences.


European Day of Languages
The European Day of Languages celebrates plurilingualism and encourages the 800 million Europeans in the Council of Europe's 47 member states to learn more languages.

Financial administration: definition

Resultado de imagen de administration and finances
financial administrationnoun [ U ]

(Definition of “financial administration” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2016


The first thing to do when considering your response is to underline the keywords in the sentence. What areas should you focus on?
EXAMPLE: Many young people today leave their own countries to work abroad. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working abroad and give your own opinion.
Incorporate your own experience. Think about WHAT you really think on the topic: do you want to go abroad (to leave your own country) to work or study? What are the advantages for you in going abroad, and are there any disadvantages? What might happen while you are in a foreign country? 
Make some notes under the headings Advantages and Disadvantages. These will help when you come to write your essay.
A formal writing style is essential.
The essay will have at least four paragraphs and you need to understand how to move smoothly from one paragraph to the next. Basically, each time you begin a new topic you start a new paragraph. If you are writing about different times, you begin a new paragraph when the time you are writing about changes.
The outline or plan for this essay could look like this:
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Advantages for young people working abroad
Paragraph 3: Disadvantages for young people working abroad
Paragraph 4: Conclusion in which you sum up and give your own opinion
Essays on Advantages and Disadvantages

I. Topic Sentences

Task 1

Read the following essay about living abroad and fill in the topic sentences given below

a) One of the main advantages of living in a foreign country is that people can enjoy better financial opportunities.

b) To sum up, even though living in a strange place may be hard at first, in time one can adjust to it.

c) On the other hand, it may be difficult for people to adapt to their new surroundings.

d) As we know, today there are about six billion people in the world.

Advantages and disadvantages of living abroad

1 ________________________All of them live in different countries and have diverse cultures. Some countries have become well developed, while others haven’t as yet. For this reason, some people want to go to well-developed foreign countries to live more comfortably and earn more money. Living in a foreign country has many advantages, but it also has some disadvantages.

2 ________________________For example, they may get a good job and a high salary so they can buy what they want and have a better lifestyle. For example, they may benefit from well-developed education and health systems. Moreover, one is given the chance to learn and become fluent in another language through everyday use. For instance, people can participate in lots of social activities thus improving their communicative skills. Finally, they become more independent by having to deal with difficult situations on their own. 

3. ________________________If they live alone, they miss their families and countries. Sometimes they may feel isolated, frustrated, and lonely. In addition, if someone can’t speak the language yet, he or she may face communication problems. What is more, there is discrimination in some countries. Foreigners aren’t easily accepted in these places.

4. ________________________In my opinion, if a person has an opportunity to go to a well-developed foreign country, he or she should benefit from this opportunity for his or her future.

Task 2
Look at the outline of the essay you have just read. The arguments in the two paragraphs have been messed up. Put them in the right order.

Introduction – people choose where to live; living abroad has advantages and disadvantages
Paragraph I – Advantages
Argument 1 - better financial opportunities; example – jobs, education and health care
Argument 2 - foreign language problems; example – difficult to communicate
Argument 3 – discrimination; example - foreigners not easily accepted
Paragraph II – Disadvantages
Argument 1 – getting used to the new country; example – living alone
Argument 2 – learning a foreign language; example – social life; communication
Argument 3 - becoming independent; example – coping with difficult situations
Conclusion – Summing up and expressing a personal opinion

Task 3
Write down the linking words and phrases used in the sample essay.

Task 4
Fill in the blanks with one of the following words and phrases. Do not use the same expression twice.
First of all/Firstly/Second/Secondly/Third/Thirdly/Finally
In addition/Moreover/Furthermore/What is more
So/As a result/Therefore
However/On the other hand/In contrast
In conclusion/To sum up/On the whole

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in the Country

Living in the country is often the secret dream of certain city-dwellers. ………..(1), in reality it has its advantages and disadvantages.

There are many advantages to living in the country. …………..(2), one is much closer to nature and can enjoy more peace and quiet. ……………(3), life in the country is much slower and people tend to be more open and friendly. A further advantage is that there is much less traffic, and as a result it is a much safer place to bring up children.

……………..(4), there are certain drawbacks to life outside the city. ……………….(5), because there are fewer people, one has a smaller number of friends. …………..(6), entertainment, particularly in the evening, is difficult to find. Furthermore, the fact that there are fewer shops and services often means that there are fewer employment opportunities. ………….(7), one may have to travel long distances to work elsewhere, and this can be extremely expensive.

…………(8), it can be seen that the country is more suitable for some than others. ………(9), it is often the best place for those who are retired or who have young children. ………….(10), young, single people who are following a career and who want some excitement are better provided for by life in the city.

Task 5
Comment on the essay, answering the questions below. Compare your answers with the answers of your colleagues.
1. Does the essay include all the points asked for in the question?
2. Does each paragraph have one clear topic?
3. Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence (TS)?
4. Does the writer use linking words and phrases to make the meaning clear?
5. Does the introduction give the reader an overall idea of the essay?
6. Does the conclusion summarise the whole essay and make a personal comment?

Task 6
Write a brief summary of each paragraph in the spaces below:


Paragraph I: Topic Sentence:


Paragraph II: Topic Sentence:


Task 7
Using the ideas below write an outline of an essay titled

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mass Tourism
(+) creates jobs for local people; country benefits from the tourists i.e. money, popularity; broadens the mind; brings peace and understanding;
(-) can ruin areas of natural beauty, exploits local natural resources, has negative effect on environment i.e. air and water pollution

1. Example:
2. Example:
3. Example:


1. Example:
2. Example:
3. Example:

Task 8
Write your essay on advantages and disadvantages of mass tourism.
Make sure that it has an introduction, a paragraph on advantages, a paragraph on disadvantages and a conclusion.

Having written your essay, please use the following checklist:
Yes No
  1. The essay consists of 4 paragraphs
  2. The introduction states clearly what the essay will be about
  3. There is a Topic Sentence introducing Paragraph 1 of the Body
  4. There are three advantages in the paragraph on advantages
  5. There is an example for each advantage
  6. There is a Topic Sentence introducing Paragraph 2 of the Body
  7. There are three disadvantages in the paragraph on the disadvantages
  8. There is an example for each disadvantage
  9. The conclusion summarises the main points and makes a personal comment
  10. There are linking words/phrases
  11. Each sentence has the following word order: Subject Verb Object


Oliver and Alfie decide to enter a bike race.
We have different ways of talking about the future. We often use going to (+ infinitive), the present continuous (to be + -ing) or will (+ infinitive). The structure we use depends on the function of what we want to say, whether we are talking about arrangements, plans, predictions, etc.
I thought will was the future tense in English.
It’s one of the ways of talking about the future, but there are a few others. Let’s look atwill to start with. We use will / won’t (= will not) + the infinitive for predictions about the future.
Oliver’ll be back soon.
We won’t be ready.
Do you think it’ll rain this afternoon?
We also use will when we decide something at the moment of speaking.
(The doorbell rings) I’ll get it.
So, you sometimes use the verb think before will?
Yes, that’s very common. We also use: don’t thinkexpectbe + sure.
I’m sure you’ll have a good time.
You said will is used for decisions made at the moment of speaking. What about decisions made before the moment of speaking?
Then we can use either the present continuous or going to (+ infinitive).
Amy’s coming round.
We’re going to watch a film – want to join us?
What are you doing this evening?    
Is there a difference between them?
We use the present continuous more for arrangements with other people and be +going to + infinitive for intentions. Sometimes it’s important to choose the right structure, but often we could use either because many events are both arrangements and intentions.
Amy’s coming round. (= arrangement between Amy and Daisy)
Amy’s going to come round. (= Amy’s intention)
I’m going to clean my room tonight. (= intention)
I’m cleaning my room tonight. (not an arrangement)
So could I say 'I’m going to go to the cinema with Alex'?
Yes, that’s correct. But we usually avoid saying going to go, just because it doesn’t sound very elegant. We normally use the present continuous with go.
I’m going to the cinema with Alex.
And 'I will go to the cinema with Alex'?
No. We don’t use will for arrangements or intentions if the decision was made before the moment of speaking.
Oh, yes, you told me that before. Anything else?
Yes, there’s another use of going to. We use it for predictions too, especially when you can see something happening or about to happen.
Look out! You’re going to spill that coffee.
Can you use going to for other predictions?
Yes, sometimes both will and going to can be used.
I think the Green Party will win the election.
I think the Green Party are going to win the election.
OK, and one last thing! Is it correct to say, ‘When’s the race?’ That’s present simple, isn’t it?
Yes. You can use present simple for timetabled events.
My plane leaves at 4pm tomorrow.
The match starts at 8pm.
Phew! So sometimes you can use going to or the present continuous and sometimes you can use will or going to. And you can also use present simple for timetabled events. I’ll never understand the future!
I’m sure you will! You’re using it correctly already.