Tuesday, 31 December 2013

AULD LANG SYNE


Auld Lang Syne  is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially in English-speaking countries, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. 
It is common practice that everyone joins hands with the person next to them to form a great circle around the dance floor. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands. When the circle is re-established, everyone turns under the arms to end up facing outwards with hands still joined.
By extension, it is also sung  to symbolize other "endings/new beginnings"  - including  farewells, funerals (and other memorials of the dead), graduations. Moreover, the tune is played, and sung by the crowd, in the final stages of the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by" or "old times".  Therefore "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be translated as "for (the sake of) old times".



Read Julianna W. Miner's beautiful article about this melancholy time of the year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!


Monday, 30 December 2013

REVISING OTHELLO



Here you can find some useful materials to revise Shakespeare and Othelloone of his four great tragedies, along with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth.



Thursday, 26 December 2013

HAPPY BOXING DAY!


Here you can read about Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, which is celebrated in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  You can also read the post I wrote last year  here.


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A CHRISTMAS CAROL


The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A Mother’s song the Virgin-Mother sung.

They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng,
Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother’s song,
Blest Angels heralded the Saviour’s birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.




A CHRISTMAS READING


Here you can find one of the most traditional Christmas readings in English speaking countries,  A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, first published in serial form by Chapman & Hall on 17 December 1843.
It tells the story of bitter old miser  Ebenezer Scrooge,  "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner",  and his transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley  and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

LET'S WATCH SOME CHRISTMAS MOVIES!


These are  just some great movies for everyone that loves Christmas and enjoys watching this type of movies during the Christmas season. 
By watching movies in their original language, you will also improve your English, especially your listening and speaking skills. Enjoy!




Saturday, 21 December 2013

SINGING CHRISTMAS SONGS

Christmas is coming up soon! Here are some beautiful Christmas songs which might make your heart fill up with joy and serenity!  Enjoy!



Friday, 20 December 2013

CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES - 1^ C LICEO LINGUISTICO


Here you can download some Christmas worksheets. I hope you will find them enjoyable


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISS AUSTEN!



Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775. Today would have been her 238th birthday, but no doubt she is timeless! We still learn a lot about family, love, friendship, and what it means to be a woman from reading her enchanting novels of manners. We still enjoy the plots, characterisations, and settings as well as the polished and elegant style of her novels  which  are deservedly considered literary classics, proposing a balance between reason and feelings, bridging the gap between romance and realism. 
What better way to celebrate her birthday than to listen to Sense and Sensibility and Emma audio books. A very special treat for these freezing autumn evenings!



And don't forget to read this article  about Jane Austen's  attention to women’s issues!


Friday, 6 December 2013

NELSON MANDELA


No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has died aged 95 after a long fight against illness.
One of the most inspiring figures of the 20th century, he  guided the country from apartheid to democracy during a life filled with hardship and struggle.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES


It's Christmas Eve, and the happy anticipation of the next day will not allow young Thomas to sleep. Then his grandfather starts relating his touching memories of a Christmas gone by. This 1987  television movie is based on the  poetic short story A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. Enjoy!


Click here to read a beautiful blog post about this enchanting Christmas movie. 
Here you can read Dylan Thomas’s short story, one of his most widely known works which, as a model of limpid prose, stands as an everlasting testament to his greatness as a writer.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

DECEMBER



DUST OF SNOW

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Robert Frost  (1923)