Monday, 26 November 2018

RAMI MALEK, BECOMING FREDDIE MERCURY

After Mr Robot, Rami Malek takes on his biggest role yet as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody

Did you know he is Egyptian and an Arab? In this interview he talks with Patrick Abboud about his struggle to become a successful actor in Hollywood.

Worksheet

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

CHOOSE KIND - VIDEO + LESSON PLAN


13th November is Kindness Day! 

Here's a Lesson Plan - B1/B2 from Film English. 

"When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." 

(R. J.Palacio, Wonder)




Monday, 5 November 2018

FLATMATES - BEGINNERS 1-6


Watch the video, copy the dialogues in your notebook correcting the spelling mistakes, translate them, learn pronunciation and vocabulary

Thursday, 18 October 2018

WHY DO WE STUDY LITERATURE? MR KEATING'S ANSWER


Why should we study literature in Mr Keating's opinion?

Take notes of the main points in his speech and then try to explain what he says in your own words.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

THE HARD TASK OF GROWING UP - THE BELL JAR: ESTHER GREENWOOD AND SYLVIA PLATH

Esther Greenwood and Sylvia Plath

The story of The Bell Jar is a first person account of Esther Greenwood,  Sylvia Plath herself, her story at 19. Esther, like Sylvia, is a girl who has almost everything she could ask for. She’s an individual with a mind that is above average , extremely sensitive, intellingent and talented . With all of that provided for her, Esther is also struggling with the perennial problems of morality, behavior and identity crisis. The stress and the pressure of being an achiever burns her mind out ; the tension of sexual relations and the double standards on women’s virginity, the ups and downs of family relationships increase her sense of derangement. Esther compares her life to that of an existence in a bell jar, where the air is stiff, heavy and unchanging. She feels as if she is watching her own life and everything that happened to her from within the jar.

Perhaps the best thing about the book is the fact that the life of Esther is synonymous with what the author, Sylvia Plath, had experienced. Like Esther, Plath had gone through a struggling ordeal in finding the real meaning of life and its hidden uncertainties and her eventual fall into the pit of madness.

The book has some similarities with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye: both Esther and Holden are troubled young souls searching for the true meaning of life. Both escapes the reality they can’t accept. Both are considered crazy because of their atypicality and fragility.

“For the first time in my life, sitting there in the sound-proof heart of the UN building between Constantin who could play tennis as well as simultaneously interpret and the Russian girl who knew so many idioms I felt dreadfully inadequate. The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.
The one thing I was good at was winning scholarships and prizes, and that era was coming to an end. felt like a racehorse in a world without race-tracks...” (The Bell Jar, chapter 7, pp. 72-73)

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

THE HUMAN COMEDY BY WILLIAM SAROYAN - THE HARD TASK OF GROWING UP



It’s a story built on very simple facts, very ordinary people, very simple words which aims at transforming history and reality into unheroic epic mythology. That of everyday battles and sufferings. It is a story set in California in the time of WWII but it is actually a story beyond space and time. Homer
the 16-year-old protagonist, Ulysses, his little brother,  and Marcus, his elder brother at war. They live in Ithaca, San Joaquin Valley, California. They’ve got a sister and a mother. But there are no heroes. The Macauleys’ struggles and dreams reflect those of America’s second generation immigrants but-  and especially- also  those of any human being at any time in any place. No , they are not heroic epic figures but real life protagonists of  THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943).

Homer  is the protagonist, in his teen, determined to become the fastest telegraph messenger in the West, happy to be the man of the family in a difficult moment. Happy to ride his bycicle in the wind. But it’s wartime. Time to grow – up for him. Childhood ends when we realize sufference and death exist and are there inescapably for all of us. Homer becomes aware of that little by little: he is a messenger of death. A mother opens the door, he gives her a telegram and …

“It wasn’t  Homer fault. His work was to deliver telegrams. Even so, he felt awkward and almost as if he alone were responsible for what had happened (… )He was on his bycicle suddenly, riding swiftly down the dark street, tears coming out of his eyes, his mouth whispering crazy young curses. When he got back to the telegraph office the tears had stopped, but everything else had started and he knew there would be no stopping them” (pp.26/28)

Saturday, 11 August 2018

INTERNET SAFETY - THE ADVENTURES OF KARA & THE SMART CREW














In the UK, the organisation Childnet has produced a series of five videos to introduce different aspects of internet safety to 7-11 year olds. These cartoons illustrate 5 e-safety SMART rules and include a real life SMART Crew of young people, who guide the cartoon characters in their quest, and help them make safe online decisions.

Let's start with a quiz to discover how smart we are online.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

FRANKENSTEIN AT 200 - 5 VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW + VIDEO & WORKSHEET




Elle Fanning as Mary Shelley (2018)

1.  THE OVERREACHER 


Victor Frankenstein is defined "The Modern Prometheus" in the subtitle of the novel. As Prometheus defied Zeus stealing the fire from him to bring it back to Mankind, the Swiss scientist protagonist of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel defies any natural law and God himself for his great ambition: to create, not to generate, life. To give life to an inanimate body.

Both Prometheus and Dr. Frankenstein are OVERREACHERS, special  types of rebels who

 - try to go beyond the limits imposed to Mankind by God or Nature
-  are moved by great ambition
 - are usually punished with death (not Prometheus, since he was a Titan, a semi-god)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

SHAWN MENDES ON ANXIETY, SUCCESS AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD (B2 ACTIVITIES)



Shawn Mendes is a global phenomenon. He began his meteoric rise to fame as a teen posting song covers on Vine and YouTube, then as a young artist on Island Records. He is only 19 and earlier this year was named one of Time's most influential people in the world.

Friday, 22 June 2018

KAZUO ISHIGURO, THE REMAINS OF THE DAY - READING, LISTENING, WRITING ACTIVITIES (B2 - C1)


Kazuo Ishiguro won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature . Ishiguro has met incredible acclaim for his seven novels, which include Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant. Probably Ishiguro's most beloved book is The Remains of the Day  (Man Booker Prize,  1989) which was adapted into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in 1993. The movie is one of the Merchant-Ivory classics with A Room with a View and Howards End. 

The story is told from a first person point of view. The narrator, Stevens, a butler, recalls his life in the form of a diary while the action progresses through to the present. Much of the novel is concerned with Stevens' professional and, above all, personal relationship with a former colleague, the housekeeper Miss Kenton.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

LET'S WORK ON THE NEWS: EMMA GONZALES & THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES MOVEMENT



Since the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, in which a former student of the school killed seventeen students and staff with a legally acquired semiautomatic rifle, several of the survivors have become veteran public speakers. Among them 17-year-old Emma Gonzales who, during the March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C., galvanized the crowd  with her words and, especially, with her silence.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

NOTES - FROM THE TUDORS TO THE STUARTS


When Queen Elizabeth I died with no heir in 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England. It was the beginning of the Stuart Dynasty.


James I Stuart 1603-1625

  • James was the son of Mary Stuart who had been condemned to death by Elizabeth I in 1587
  • As James the VI of Scotland he united the two kingdoms of England and Scotland under one crown with the name of James I
  • He was a protestant, unlike his mother
  • Like the Tudors, he worked with a small council of ministers
  • He only summoned Parliament to ask for money
  • He surrounded himself with Scottish favourites and his court was disreputable, corrupt
  • That caused a pessimistic view of human nature we can recognize in the works of two famous playwrights of the time, Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare (especially in his last works: Henry VIII , Othello, Macbeth, The Tempest)

Thursday, 21 December 2017

WUTHERING HEIGHTS AND ITS BYRONIC HERO


A scandalous novel by a clergyman's daughter

Emily BrontĂ«  was a clergyman’s daughter. She grew up in a remote part of England, in Howarth, a tiny village in Yorkshire.  She didn’t like to travel. When she left home she became ill. She never married and she died at the age of 30 having published her only novel and some poetry.

Wuthering Heights was one of the most shocking novel in English literature. When it was first published in 1847, it created a firestorm of protest. It was called “one of the most repellent book ever published”. One critic said it should be burnt. The protest only settle down when the second edition came out and the author was revealed to be the daughter of a parson from west-Yorkshire. How had a parson’s daughter created such a threat to civilized society as Heathcliff, a   hero driven by sexual passion and vengeance and, instead of a proper Victorian heroine,  she gave the world a married woman who runs around on the moor in her nightgown with her lover. The reading public was shocked. Shocked. But the novel has never been out of print and has had many film  adaptations. 


Sunday, 5 November 2017

HOW CAN WE FACE THE FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR? - LAYOUT OF A SPEECH


It's a fateful moment in history. We've seen divisive elections, divided societies and the growth of extremism -- all fueled by anxiety and uncertainty. "Is there something we can do, each of us, to be able to face the future without fear?" asks Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In this electrifying talk, the spiritual leader gives us three specific ways we can move from the politics of "me" to the politics of "all of us, together."

Friday, 3 November 2017

MACHIAVELLI AND ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND


European Influence of Machiavelli

The influence of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) on European poliical and philosophical thought and literature was immense in the 16th and 17th century, particularly with his famous treatise on politics and statecraft: Il Principe (written 1513 - published 1531). This fame, however, was very much contrasted both in Italy and in Europe.
In Italy, Il Principe was officially condemned by the Church at the Council of Trento (1545) and in 1559 the book was finally included in the Indice dei Libri Proibiti because of its atheism and anthi-religious doctrines. In many European countries, on the other hand, Il Principe was considered to be he instrument of Jesuit propaganda against Protestants and Catholics because he was the first to separate politics from ethics or religion. In his treatise, Machiavelli portrayed not the ideal ruler but the kind of ruler that emerged from a study of past and present history.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

NOTES & WORKSHEETS FOR MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING


Date and Sources

Much Ado About Nothing marks Shakespeare's greatest achievement in comedy with As You Like It and The Twelfth Night. The date of its first performance was 1598 and it was probably printed two years later. A story by Italian author Matteo Bandello is the source of the plot (as it happened for Romeo and Juliet too). Shakespeare read Bandello in the French version by Belleforest in his Histoires Tragiques.

Themes

The central part of the action turns on two main plots: the Hero-Claudio plot, which is a conventional story belonging to the tragi-comedy type, and the Beatrice-Benedick plot, belonging to the comedy of wit. In this way we are offered differrent views of the same reality, views which we might call respectively romantic and realistic, in whose clash and interrelatio lies a great part of the substance of the play.