Highlights of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Are you a movie buff?* If so, you might be excited for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival! The international film festival, which is currently taking place in the French Riviera, is known as the best place to learn about the most exciting new movies from around the world.

If you are not familiar with Cannes, check out our article about this international film festival and its history before learning about this year’s celebration.

*movie buff = a person who likes movies

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70th Anniversary
This year is the 70th anniversary of the festival. The Jury for the main competition includes American actors Jessica Chastain and Will Smith, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, French-Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared, and film directors Paolo Sorrentino (Italian), Maren Ade (German), Agnes Jaoui (French), and Park Chan-wook (South Korean). The Jury President is Spanish director and screenwriter Pedro Almodovar. The Jury will award films in many categories: check out our previous article for information regarding these main awards.

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Monica Belluci

A few other important names and faces of 2017 Cannes include Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies. The film Ismael’s Ghosts by Arnaud Desplechin was chosen as the film to open the festival and a beautiful photo of Italian actress Claudia Cardinale was chosen as the film’s official poster.

Golden Palm films
The most prestigious award for Cannes is the Golden Palm. The following films are competing for the award. Have you heard of any of them? Film lovers should check these works out: they are considered some of the best new movies of the year.

  • In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) directed by Fatih Akin (Germany)
  • The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) directed by Noah Baumbach (USA)
  • Okja directed by Bong Joon-ho (South Korea and USA)
  • 120 Beats per Minute (120 battlements par minute) directed by Robin Campillo (France)
  • The Beguiled directed by Sofia Coppola (USA)
  • Rodin directed by Jacques Doillon (France, Belgium)
  • Happy End directed by Michael Haneke (France, Germany, Austria)
  • Wonderstruck directed by Todd Haynes (USA)
  • Redoubtable (Le Redoutable) directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France)
  • The Day After directed by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
  • Radiance directed by Naomi Kawase (Japan, France)
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Ireland, UK, USA)
  • A Gentle Creature directed by Sergei Loznitsa (Ukraine, France)
  • Jupiter’s Moon (Jupiter holdja) directed by Kornel Mundrczo (Hungary)
  • The Square directed by Ruben Ostlund (Sweden, Denmark, USA, France)
  • L’Amant Double directed by Francois Ozon (France)
  • You Were Never Really Here directed by Lynne Ramsay (UK, USA, France)
  • Good Time directed by Joshua and Ben Safdie (USA)
  • Loveless directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)

To learn more, visit the official Cannes Film Festival website.

Have you heard of any of these directors or movies? Do you think the jury and the films reflect the diversity of filmmaking? Give us your thoughts on the Ziggurat Facebook page!

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality
http://sedimentality.com/ 

The Alphabet Game

Estrenamos Alphabet Game para 2017. Los que seguís la Daily Vitamin desde hace años seguramente ya habréis vivido más de un Alphabet Game de los que hacemos en verano.

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Mañana empieza una nueva edición. Del 25 de mayo al 30 de junio jugaremos a este concurso con el objetivo de aprender nuevo vocabulario y repasar las Daily Vitamins de este año académico. Y, por supuesto, también os vamos a dar la oportunidad de ganar un premio:

PREMIOS

  • 1r premio: Kindle Fire Tablet
  • 2º premio: cheque regalo de Amazon valorado en 25€
  • 3r premio: 2 entradas de cine para ver la película que tu quieras

Cada día daremos una definición o pista para una palabra o expresión que empieza con una letra específica del abecedario. Empezaremos con la letra A, luego la B, la C… hasta que completemos las 26 letras del alfabeto inglés.

Enviaremos la pista en la Daily Vitamin y la compartiremos en Facebook y Twitter.

IMPORTANTE: para participar (y ganar uno de los premios) deberéis:

  1. Ser seguidor de alguna de las siguientes redes sociales (Facebook o Twitter)
  2. Compartir el post inicial (del 24 de mayo) en una de las redes sociales
  3. Postear la respuesta correcta en una de nuestras redes sociales cada día. Al final de las 26 lecciones, la persona con más puntos ganará.

CÓMO CONSEGUIR PUNTOS Y GANAR

Por publicar una respuesta correcta en nuestras redes sociales, cada participante del Alphabet Game recibe automáticamente un punto. Entre los participantes que posteen respuestas correctas cada día, el primer participante recibe 10 puntos adicionales, el segundo participante recibe 9 puntos adicionales, el tercero recibe 8 puntos adicionales, etc. Por lo tanto, las primeras 10 personas que publiquen obtienen 1 punto más los puntos adicionales según su posición (de la 1ª a la 10ª).

Si tienes alguna pregunta, contacta con nosotros (didactic@ziggurat.es).

¡Esperamos vuestra participación!

Cannes Film Festival

May is the time when the weather warms, the beaches become filled with people, and celebrities from around the world gather in the French Riviera. Why? It’s Cannes!

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What is Cannes?
“Cannes” is another name for the Cannes Film Festival. Until 2002, it was called the “International Film Festival.” The festival is in Cannes, France, each year in May (this year from May 17-28). The 2017 Cannes is special: this will be the festival’s 70th year.

Cannes is not like events such as the Academy Awards (also called the Oscars), which are only awards shows. Cannes is where new films from all over the world are previewed, and it provides great opportunities for European film makers: because many film producers and celebrities attend, the festival is an excellent place for filmmakers to sell their films. People attend Cannes by invitation only.

Cannes Jury
Cannes awards are chosen by the Cannes jury (the group of people who vote). Each year, these jury members, who are all people in the international film industry, are chosen by the Cannes board of directors. The board also chooses a jury president. For 2017, the president is Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.

Cannes Awards
Cannes gives many awards at its competition. The names of the awards are in French; below we are also giving including an English translation of the names.

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The main awards of the festival are the following:

  • Palme d’Or (Golden Palm). This award is for the best film of the year. The film is selected from 20 films.
  • Grand Prix (Grand Prize). This award is similar to “Second Place” for the festival’s films.
  • Prix du Jury (Jury Prize). This award is considered to be “Third Prize” at the festival.
  • Palme d’Or du court métrage (Best Short Film). This is the award for the best film in the category of short film.
  • Prix d’interprétation féminine (Best Actress)
  • Prix d’interprétation masculine (Best Actor)
  • Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director)
  • Prix du scenario (Best Screenplay)

There are other awards and categories, such as awards for student filmmakers, recognition for films about the environment, and a category for documentaries. One of the funniest is the award for the best performance… by a dog! Yes, a dog. The Palm Dog award is for the dog that “acted” the best in a movie.

Compared to shows such as the Oscars, many consider Cannes to be more “serious” festival that is an opportunity to learn about more artistic films.

What do you think? Have you seen some of the Golden Palm winners from previous years? Check out the list of previous winners and see.

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality
http://sedimentality.com/ 

7 redes sociales para amantes de la lectura

raton_de_biblioteca.pngPara aprender idiomas es esencial leer y escribir. Os hemos dado sugerencias sobre cómo crear un Word bank para ampliar y recordar el vocabulario y consejos para ser un mejor escritor. Hoy, os traemos una lista de redes sociales específicas para el mundo de la lectura (algunas en inglés y otras en español).

Lecturalia
Es uno de los sitios más conocidos en cuanto al mundo de la lectura. Actualmente tiene más de 75.000 usuarios registrados, más de 97.000 libros y alrededor de 22.000 autores. En ella encontrarás recomendaciones, novedades sobre el mundo literario y una tienda para adquirir eBooks.

Entre lectores
Novedades literarias y editoriales es lo que encontrarás. También podrás gestionar tus recomendaciones y libros leídos, igual que en otras redes sociales. Entre los usuarios encontrarás lectores, autores, libreros y editores.

Sopa de Libros
Es fácil de usar, se pueden buscar novedades, libros más leídos, reseñas, crear listas de libros que queremos leer, etc.

Library Thing
Como ellos dicen, una comunidad con 2 millones de apasionados de la lectura. En esta plataforma, podrás unirte a grupos, conversar, crear listas personales y gestionar tu propia biblioteca.

Tú que Lees
Funciona de la misma manera que el resto, donde se pueden crear listados de lecturas, hacer recomendaciones, consultar próximas novedades y dispone de accesos directos para comprar los libros en Amazon y Casa del Libro.

El Club Literario
Más que una red social, es un foro donde los “socios” del club, mediante votación conjunta, deciden qué leer para, posteriormente, comentarlo.

GoodReads (en inglés)
Por último, una red social para lectores en inglés. Te recomienda libros basados en tus gustos y te ayuda a encontrar a lectores con gustos afines. Podrás hacer búsquedas, realizar listados, puntuar, etc. Además, también tiene una app para smartphones.

Recommendations for selecting a novel in a foreign language

Are you considering reading a book in a foreign language? Good for you! Reading will vastly improve your vocabulary and help you see your new language’s grammar in use. However, selecting the right book can be difficult. Read on, bookworms*, for some recommendations for selecting a novel to read in a foreign language!

635994817168223213-230785194_why-you-should-read-and-re-read-these-high-school-books-as-an-adult.jpegRecommendations for selecting a novel in a foreign language

1. Consider choosing a novel you’ve read in your native language
You liked the book enough to finish it, and you understand the basic plot. Now, tackle the book in another language! Not worrying about the plot will allow you to focus on the language instead.

2. Check out Young Adult fiction (or even children’s books)
Reading a book written for adults could be difficult (and disappointing if it’s too hard to finish). Consider reading a book that is written for a slightly younger audience (in English, these books are called “Young Adult” or “YA” novels). If these novels are too difficult, don’t stress: even children’s books can be a great way to learn new vocabulary and grammar! Try to read a book that was one of your favorites when you were a child.

3. Search for audiobooks
These days, most books come in audio versions. Make your novel-reading adventure an opportunity to improve your listening skills.

4. Avoid books with technical or specific language
When selecting a novel, keep in mind that some genres can be more difficult than others: books that use complex ideas and complicated or technical language can be tough to understand. A general rule? If it’s technical in your native language, you should probably avoid it in your new language.

Remember that websites such as Google Books allow you to preview books. Before buying the book, try to read a few paragraphs online to get an idea for the level of difficulty.

5. Ask for recommendations
Your teacher or friends will be happy to recommend some books for you to check out. Additionally, try searching online for book lists that are published by schools and universities. Another great way to search for novels? Use Amazon! Select a book that you’re considering reading, and then look at the bottom of the page for Amazon’s recommendations. You can see what other books people purchased while buying the book you’re considering, and you might stumble across** a new book.

Have you read a novel in a language other than your native one? Why did you select this novel? Would you recommend this novel to others? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook!

*bookworm = a person who loves to read
**stumble across = to unexpectedly find

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality
http://sedimentality.com/ 

A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter (Mark Bezos)

Aquí tenéis un nuevo pack de actividades TED. Esta vez, Mark Bezos, bombero, nos da una lección de vida. Si queréis practicar vuestras habilidades de listening mientras escucháis su historia en menos de 5 minutos, visionad su vídeo y después, ¡a poner a prueba vuestra capacidad de comprensión auditiva! Descargar actividades

Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn’t go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don’t wait to be a hero.

English Daily Vitamin (March 2017)

Next week there will be no Daily Vitamin lessons because it is Semana Santa (Easter Week). We will be back on Tuesday, April 18th with more lessons. In the meantime, you can review the Daily Vitamin lessons from March.

MISSING MONDAY

TENSE TUESDAY

WORDY WEDNESDAY

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THEME THURSDAY. MARCH

PHRASAL VERB FRIDAY

2017-03-24

 

TEACHER INTERVIEW. Let’s meet Steve Roberts

We have a lot of musicians and artists on the team! Today, we’re interviewing Steve Roberts, who’s not only a singer and musician but also one of our most experienced English teachers.

Steve was born in Northampton (England). He’s been working as an English teacher for 23 years and working for Ziggurat since 2006. Apart from teaching, Steve has also written books and articles about teaching and training methodology and he’s trained as a coach. He also plays music and loves walking in the mountains or on the beach. Now let’s meet him!

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Photo: Àlex Fernandez

Hi Steve! Glad to interview you. First of all, let’s talk a little bit about you.

Q: You’ve been living in Barcelona for a while. When did you decide to move here and why?
A; Well, it’s a long story, but it was in 1994, and basically because I loved the city and had the feeling that I could make a life here.

Q: What is your favourite thing about Barcelona?
A: Now it’s become really cosmopolitan, so there are a lot of fantastic places to eat, for example Indian food, Japanese, etc. But there are lots of other things…

Q: Tell us something about your background…
A: I studied English literature at University College London and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, then spent ten years trying to make a living as a writer. Because this is virtually impossible if you don’t already have a job as a journalist or academic, in the end I decided to teach English, which is when I moved to Barcelona.

Q: You’ve been working for Ziggurat for more than 10 years and you teach a lot of English telephone classes. Let’s focus on these.
A: Why would you recommend this type of classes? They’re basically one-to-one classes, so you get personalised attention from your teacher throughout the class. Also, because of the format, you have to concentrate very hard on listening, so it develops your comprehension quickly in this essential skill. Finally, it’s very flexible, and can easily be adapted to your work schedule.

Q: What type of learning activities do you most like to emphasise in your classes?
A: A bit of everything is necessary, but I specially emphasise speaking, since that’s most people’s main priority, and it’s the most powerful way to learn new language in general.

Q: What aspect of the Ziggurat classes or methodology would you like to highlight?
A: I don’t know, there are a lot of positive things… Perhaps the way that we do our best to adapt the classes to the specific needs of the students. And the communicative focus, so that we’re teaching people to communicate effectively from day one.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Again, there are a lot of things, but I particularly like the social side of meeting a wide range of people from many walks of life and helping them to communicate in English.

Steve

Photo: Àlex Fernandez

Apart from teaching, you’re also a singer. You have recently launched a new CD, ‘The Loss and the Gain’

Q: What music do you play and sing?
A: It ranges from folk to acoustic pop and rock.

Q: Do you write the lyrics? If so, what inspires you to write?
A: Yes, I write both the lyrics and the music. I never know what’s inspiring me until I get an idea!

Q: When is your next gig?
A: At the moment I don’t have any lined up because I’m recording a couple of new albums. But I expect I’ll play one again soon. If you know of any good places to play, tell me!

Q: Where can we see you?
A: I play a lot in venues in Sant Boi, where I live. Apart from that I’ve also played often in La Contra, an art space in Poble Sec. That’s the type of venue I like. But when I have a gig lined up I’ll let you know!

Q: And finally, how does your musician side influence you as an English teacher?
A: I use music in my classes, but most teachers do! Also I try to help my students as much as possible with their pronunciation, and having a musician’s ear really helps in this respect.

It was great to know more about you! Thank you very much for the interview, Steve! 🙂

You’re very welcome! All the best!

You can follow Steve on his Facebook page, the page of his band Grog. And you can also listen to him on this Bandcamp links: Steve Roberts and Grog.

Steve was also interviewed by Olga Merino (El Periódico) on April the 3rd. Check it out! STEVE BRUCE ROBERTS_elPeriodico_3apr17

Trekking to the South Pole (Ray Zahab)

Aquí tenéis un nuevo pack de actividades TED. Esta vez, Ray Zahab nos habla de su travesía de 33 días por el Polo Sur. Si queréis practicar vuestras habilidades de listening mientras escucháis su historia en menos de 5 minutos, visionad su vídeo y después, ¡a poner a prueba vuestra capacidad de comprensión auditiva! Descargar actividades aquí

Extreme runner Ray Zahab shares an enthusiastic account of his record-breaking trek on foot to the South Pole — a 33-day sprint through the snow.