Wednesday, 30 July 2014

International Day of Friendship (July, 30th) and Friendship Day (August, 3rd)

Friendship day was originally founded by Hallmark in 1919. In April 2011 the United Nations officially recognised 30th July as International Friendship Day but many countries celebrate it on the first Sunday of August.

"On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity 
and promote the well-being of the human family. "
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

"The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation".
Surf the following sites for more information:




Some songs on friendship

"Count on me" - Bruno Mars

"I'll be your friend" - Amy Grant

"Friends are friends forever" - Michael W. Smith

"Any time you need a friend" - Mariah Carey

"I'll be there" - Mariah Carey

"I turn to you" - Christina Aguilera

"That's what friends are for" - Dionne Warwick

"You've got a friend" - James Taylor

"You're my best friend" - Queen

"You've got a friend in me" - Randy Newman


Talking about friends

A conversation about friendship

Friendship Soup Recipe

After having watched the above videos, prepare an oral presentation about your best friend. Tell:

    • how long you have known him/her,
    • what you have in common,
    • which are the things you like about him/her,
    • what is you personal "friendship soup" recipe.

    Sunday, 27 July 2014

    "Establishing lasting peace is the work of education"

    "Establishing lasting peace
     is the work of education"
     Maria Montessori

    In this hard time for peace I suggest some activities to talk about love and tolerance.
    Listen to the following songs about peace:
    "Playing for change" songs bring together musicians from around the world to talk about peace and to fight war.

    Gimme Shelter - Playing For Change 

    Love Is All - Playing For Change

    Imagine - Playing for Change 

    War/No More Trouble - Playing for Change

    A Better Place | Playing For Change
    In the above video there are not subtitles. Can you understand what they are saying? 
    Write down all the words or sentences you can catch.

    Some other classics

    One love - Bob Marley

    John Lennon - Give peace a chance

    U2 - Peace on Earth

    Answer the following questions:
    • What do you think about war?
    • How do you think conflicts should be solved?
    • Do you know anyone who has fought in a war?
    • What war has your country fought in the recent past? What do you know about that?
    • Do you think that war always solves problems?
    • Which is the best way of achieving peace in your opinion?
    • Conflicts are around us everyday (in our family, school, etc.). How do you respond to conflicts?
    • Do you know any important people who promoted peace and non-violence?

    Now have a look at the following diagram I made for you. Are there any other words that you would use to define "war" and "peace"? Use them to compose some sentences.

    Form two groups of students: one group is in favour of force and war to resolve conflicts, the other is in favour of peace and diplomacy. You are on a TV talk show, make a debate!

      “If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
    HG Wells

    Thursday, 24 July 2014

    The importance of Study Tours

    Your travelling teachers went in the UK with their students this July!

    We think that study tours are very important for esl students and 
    we would like to share our experience with you.!

    Why are Study Tours so important?

    International study tours are a great opportunity for learners to combine an overseas travel and cultural experience with studies focusing on the language. Study tours emphasise experiential learning and allow students to explore new territories, cultures and people. They combine theory with real-life experience and cultural perspective.
    By studying abroad students will:

    1. Meet new friends from around the world.
    2. Gain new perspectives on things they normally wouldn't have.
    3. Improve a foreign language and learn a few things they didn't already know.
    4. Learn to be more independent.
    5. Immerse themselves in a completely different culture.

     Before leaving some of our students were a little anxious! 
    Here there are their most common questions.

    Our students’ questions (and our answers)

    Will I find it too difficult?

    You can always ask for help, teachers and college staff will be always there for you.
    When you learn English in an English-speaking country, you will have to use English in everyday life and this is  a very quick way to learn. You will learn in a real environment. This is a authentic education!

    Will a different culture be a problem for me?

    Being in a different country and having to learn different ways of behaving could be a little difficult at the beginning, but remember:  studying  and travelling abroad broadens your horizons and gives you the opportunity to know different cultures. In today’s increasingly global society, it’s very important to possess the skills to communicate across cultures.

    Will it be useful for my future?

    It will be very important for  your CV.
    Employers look for applicants who can speak English and had some experience abroad. The fact  that you went in an English speaking country and used the language in a real context will make a really good impression. Moreover, you will get a certificate that will be very important for your CV.

    Will it change my life?

    You will never forget the new experiences and the international friends you will make. Moreover, you will become more independent and responsible, in fact travelling without your family is a chance for you to learn to fend for yourself and to manage your own finances.

    Our experience in Bristol at the University of West England

    Watch some pictures!
    Click on the image below to open, then hover on each photo to zoom.

    Answer the following questions:
    • Have you ever had an experience like that?
    • Did you enjoy it?
    • Why? Or why not?
    • What did you like most?
    • If you have never studied abroad, yould you like to? Why? Or why not?

    Monday, 14 July 2014

    Are you planning a trip abroad? 
    Do you need English to communicate? 
    Let's revise some vocabulary!

    For many of us it's time for travelling, some are going abroad and need to revise some vocabulary and expressions...
    In this post  I have just put together some resources about the basic English vocabulary for travelling. Surfing the Net, I found some interesting videos that could be very useful for our students (or anyone else who is planning a trip).

    Vocabulary about travel:

    At the airport

    Vocabulary and expressions about hotels, rooms and accomodation:

    At the hotel
    At the restaurant

    Ordering at a restaurant

    Vocabulary about shopping:

    Going shopping

    Saturday, 5 July 2014

    July, 20 1969 - One giant leap for mankind

    45 years ago man landed on the Moon. Let's celebrate this event talking about our magical satellite. It has always inspired artists from all over the world. How can we talk about the moon in our EFL classes? Here you can find some activities that involve the use of digital tools.

    First of all, some information about that great day.

    The first Moon landing

    First Moon Landing-July 20 1969

    Surf the following sites to get more information.

    Apollo 11:

    A day in the life aboard the International Space Station (some videos from the space!):

    A brief history of rockets:

    A clickable spacesuit experience:

    The Moon

    Facts about the Moon:

    The Moon:
    A tour of the Moon by Nasa


    Now imagine that you are a journalist. Write an article on Joomag and tell your readers about the first Moon landing. If you prefer, you can also imagine that you are an astronaut: describe your rocket, your spacesuit and your daily routine in the space.

    The Moon in Arts

    Have a look at my presentation about some famous Moon poems. At the end of the slide show there are two videos about poems (and  haiku) writing . What about trying to write to the Moon?
    (For more information on how to write a poem see this post of mine:

    Poems about the Moon often use a figurative language. You could try PicLits to write a poem starting from a picture. Once you choose your image, you can use the "drag and drop" option: you have some nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs  related to that picture. Moreover, if you click on "Learn It" you'll have some information about the basics of creative writing. 


    Some famous moon paintings:


    Now, use Drawing to make your moon painting! If you are not so good at drawing, don't worry. This tool gives you lessons and examples! Have fun!



    Fly me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
    Blue Moon - The Mavericks
    Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
    The Moon Song - Karen O


    Can you play any instruments? Can you compose music? Try Noteflight to compose your song to the Moon! Write your song's lyrics, as well. Listen to the songs above and reflect on the imagery that they suggest.