Le voyage en Égypte avec un petit incident

En Ziggurat Escuela Corporativa de Idiomas también hacemos clases de francés. Hoy queremos compartir un escrito que una de nuestras alumnas, Almudena, ha redactado para practicar sus habilidades de escritura:

“Il y a 18 ans, à peu près, quand je travaillais dans un tour opérateur ici à Barcelone, je suis partie en vacances avec mon mari en Égypte. Nous avons fait une croisière sur le Nil pendant cinq jours, et après nous sommes  restés trois jours au Caire.

Le jour où nous étions à Louxor nous avons fait un tour en calèche tirée par deux chevaux (chariot typique) jusqu’au marché d’Edfou. Là, il y avait beaucoup de monde, surtout des touristes, comme nous. Nous sommes entrés dans quelques petits magasins traditionnels avant d’acheter les souvenirs pour la famille.

Quant à la fin je me suis décidée à faire mes achats, j’ai eu une surprise… J’avais oublié mon porte-monnaie ou je l’avais perdu. J’étais très nerveuse. Le guide touristique qui nous accompagnait est venu pour essayer de nous aider. Il parlait en arabe avec les vendeurs, il avait peur qu’on m’ait volé le porte-monnaie…, mais nous n’avions pas le temps, et mon mari a payé les cadeaux que nous avions achetés et nous sommes retournés au bateau avec la calèche. Ma surprise a été majeure quand je suis entrée dans notre cabine et j’ai vu mon porte-monnaie sur le lit.  Heureusement, tout cela est une anecdote de voyage, mais le moment où je cherchais mon porte-monnaie dans le sac et où je ne le trouvais pas je ne l’oublierai jamais.”

Por Almudena Romeu

Almudena, ¡muchas gracias por compartir!

Love is in the air… 4 classic rom-coms to watch this month!

Love is in the air this month as we celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. So let’s look at some classic rom-coms and 10 expressions we can use when speaking about relationships.  Rom-com is short for romantic comedy and is a film, series or book about love that is intended to make you laugh.  Here are 4 of my favourite rom-com films in chronological order: 

1. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) – British English

Renée Zellweger stars as Bridget, a 32-year-old single girl who (1) has a thing for her boss, Daniel, played by Hugh Grant. Daniel is a bit of a (2) love rat but fear not, as there is another man, Mark Darcy, who could potentially be Bridget’s true love and who (3) is a real keeper.

A sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was released in 2004 and another sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby, was released in 2016.


2. Love Actually 
(2003) – British and US English

When it comes to celebrating love in all its forms, very few can beat the kind on display in this epic rom-com. This film has an amazing cast of actors and all the love stories are interlinked in some way and cover the positives and negatives of relationships. In one story, a marriage (4) is on the rocks as one character thinks his wife is (5) the love of his life but, in reality, she (6) is having an affair with his brother.  Also, it is set at Christmas so if you love watching films about that time of year, it’s the film for you!


3. Bridesmaids (2011) – US English

If you are looking for something less sugary and sweet, this rom-com is for you. Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman in her mid-30s and her life is a bit of a mess. Her business has gone bankrupt and her love life is disastrous. (7) She has fallen for Ted, an idiot who she should really (8) dump as he is not interested in making their relationship more serious. Things get worse when her best friend tells her she (9) is tying the knot and asks her to be maid of honour.


4. 
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – US English

Although this film may not fall into the usual rom-com category, it really is one… with a bit of drama too. Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), who has bipolar disorder, is released from a mental health facility into the care of his parents. He learns that his wife has moved away and doesn’t want (10) to get back together with him.  At a dinner with his friend Ronnie, he meets Ronnie’s sister-in-law, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow and recovering sex addict. Pat and Tiffany start to develop an odd friendship through their shared neuroses.


And if you are a bookworm and looking for pure romance with a bit of drama, see these reviews that our students have written about romance novels: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan and P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern.

(1) to have a thing for someone – to be attracted to someone, be interested in someone:
e.g. “He has a thing for his colleague but she doesn’t feel the same way.”

(2) to be a love rat – a man who is cheating on his partner with someone else:
e.g. “I can’t believe he is seeing two women at the same time! He’s such a love rat!”

(3) ​to be a (real) keeper – someone with good qualities, who you can have a long relationship with:
e.g. “She supported him through a very difficult time in his life. She’s a keeper.” 

(4) to be on the rocks – a relationship that is in difficulty:
e.g. “When she moved out of their apartment to take a break, it was clear their marriage was on the rocks.”

(5) to be the love of one’s life – the person you want to spend the rest of your life with:
e.g. “Of course we’re going to get married. He’s the love of my life!”

(6) to have an affair with someone – to cheat on your partner with another person:
e.g. “She is having an affair with her colleague. Her poor husband has no idea.”

(7) to fall for someone – to fall in love with someone:
e.g. “He always falls for the wrong kind of woman”.

(8) to dump someone – to end the relationship:
e.g. “He dumped her as things were getting too serious.”

(9) to tie the knot – to get married:
“They’re tying the knot next Saturday. I hope it doesn’t rain.”

(10) to get back together (with someone) – to return to a relationship or marriage after separating:
e.g. “I really hoped we would get back together after a break but now he is seeing someone else.”

By Jenny Smedley

L’italiano, un amore di lingua

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Sono studente di italiano e il mio livello di comprensione della lettura è abbastanza basso. Mi piace molto cumunque leggere gli autori italiani nella mia lingua materna per capire di più sulla cultura italiana. Questo mese è il mese dell’amore ed è per questo che vi raccomando un libro molto bello che ho letto in inglese e che spero un giorno poterlo leggere in italiano… Gli amori difficili (Difficult Loves) di Italo Calvino.

È un libro che parla d’amore con diverse storie che testimoniano come l’amore sia in realtà il frutto di un esperimento combinatorio. Il mio racconto preferito è L’avventura di due sposi. Si tratta di una coppia, Arturo e sua moglie Elide. Il ritmo del lavoro in fabbrica gli impedisce di vedersi ma non è una ragione di disperazione. È un elemento fondamentale del rapporto amoroso che rivelano attraverso gesti di affetto semplici, come quello di cercare il calore che l’altro ha lasciato nel letto. Buona lettura!

Ascoltare l’italiano è piu facile per me e mi piace molto ascoltare la musica italiana sopretutto il jazz e blues di Paolo Conte, uno dei più importanti e innovativi cantautori italiani. Ha scritto moltissime canzoni ma la mia preferita è Via con me (It’s Wonderful). Divertiti! 🙂

 

By Pollyanna

Book Review by Beatriz (Wonder)

Wonder is a book that I especially enjoyed, because I have a child who is the same age, and it helped to me to understand certain issues, with this nice and emotional story.

The author has really gripped me because of the easy language, and humanitarian plot.

It is wonderful.

It tells the story of a boy that was born with a hard physical problem that makes him a special person in more ways that we can imagine. The author makes you love the character, and you can understand his relationship with all the people that are involved with him.

What I really loved about the story is how the author describes in a perfect way all the feelings of the characters, from every point of view, in order to thought-provoke the reader, who could understand the huge power of overcoming what you can have if you learn to love yourself.

I certainly would highly recommend reading this book to teenagers, because it is a way to set them in the society.

All in all it is a highly recommended book for adults, not only to parents, that could identify with the story, but also for any different more sensitive people.

Beatriz

Book Review by Mercè G. (Wonder)

I really enjoyed the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s interestly organized into different chapters for each character. It’s an emotional novel, even though it is a sad story, one of the strongest points is that it’s very humanitarian and some pages make you laugh out loud.

The plot is fascinating when we first meet the main character Auggie, who was born with his face deformed. The book is set in the current day and it tells the story of Auggie’s difficulties because he is different.

Over the course of the story we little by little find out that Auggie is intelligent, wonderful and a kind boy. What I really loved is how Auggie overcomes complicated situations.

I would strongly recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy make disgusting jokes to people that are a bit different.

All in all the book is emotional and compassionate and everyone should read it.

Book Review by Mercè (Wonder)

I enjoyed being able to reading this book a lot, and it was in English! It was the first time I finish a book written in a foreign Language in a few weeks.

It is easy to read, and I found it very orginal in its structure. The idea of writting  each chapter from the point of view of the different characters of the story makes it very funny. And one can imagine the universe aroung Auggie. I recommend it to everyone, but I think it is especially appropiate for the young readers.

The story of Auggie is very touching. As you go on with the book you discover how every character feels about him.

The plot tells the story of Auggie, a boy who has a deformity in his face which makes him different from de rest.

He starts going to school after being educated at home for years. How will the children in the school react? How will Auggie feel?

The way of writing every chapter from a different point of view on the same subject makes you identify with one character or another.

I recommend this book to young people, and teachers in order to work with in class, bullying and the different people you can meet an how to manage this.

Book Review by Silvia (Wonder)

Introduction
WONDER is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It gripped me from the first page. The book tells the story of August, a special kid who was born different.

One of the strongest points of the book is the ability to express the feelings of the different characters. On the other hand, the story is as sad as humanitarian and it shows the best and the worst part of human beings. At the end, the book gave the readers a powerful and positive message.

Describe story, main characters
“I am not an ordinary boy”- August Pullman (our main character) said at the very beginning of the book. And actually, he’s not. The book is about him, his family and friends ant the story is set in USA, in a middle class family who have a daughter and son. Their lives got an unexpected change when August was born because he had several and important health problems and a not ordinary (and frightening) face.

For this reason, August didn’t go to school until 5th grade when August’s mom, Isabel, decides it was time for August to leave the security of home and to meet boys and girls and the real life.

It was not ever easy for August, his sister Mia, and the young girls and boys from the school, to have a boy like August as a classmate. But what I really love is the way almost everyone’s lifes got touched and the way everybody had an important lesson to learn about life, compassion and empathy.

Mia, August’s sister is such an intelligent and great little woman. Her life was really touched by the fact of being the sister of such a “special” and “unique” boy, and she developed several qualities that make her an extraordinary human being, even if it was painful and hard.

Student Book Club: Wonder

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Una de las actividades con la que nuestros alumnos disfrutan mucho es leyendo una novela en común con sus compañeros de clase. Cada semana, alumnos y profesor se marcan un objetivo (x número de páginas o capítulos) y, en la siguiente clase, dedican unos minutos a comentar qué ha sucedido, a valorar la lectura, resolver dudas de vocabulario, etc.

A continuación, os dejamos 4 reseñas de la novela ‘Wonder’. Resulta interesante leer cómo cada alumno aporta su toque y estilo en la escritura de sus Book Reviews.
¡Échales un vistazo!

Book Review by Beatriz
Wonder is a book that I especially enjoyed, because I have a child who is the same age, and it helped to me to understand certain issues, with this nice and emotional story.

The author has really gripped me because of the easy language, and humanitarian plot. It is wonderful. Read more

Book Review by Silvia
WONDER is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. It gripped me from the first page. The book tells the story of August, a special kid who was born different.

One of the strongest points of the book is the ability to express the feelings of the different characters. On the other hand, the story is as sad as humanitarian and it shows the best and the worst part of human beings. At the end, the book gave the readers a powerful and positive message. Read more

Book Review by Mercè
I enjoyed being able to reading this book a lot, and it was in English! It was the first time I finish a book written in a foreign Language in a few weeks.

It is easy to read, and I found it very orginal in its structure. The idea of writting  each chapter from the point of view of the different characters of the story makes it very funny. And one can imagine the universe aroung Auggie. I recommend it to everyone, but I think it is especially appropiate for the young readers. Read more

Book Review by Mercè G.
I really enjoyed the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It’s interestly organized into different chapters for each character. It’s an emotional novel, even though it is a sad story, one of the strongest points is that it’s very humanitarian and some pages make you laugh out loud.

The plot is fascinating when we first meet the main character Auggie, who was born with his face deformed. The book is set in the current day and it tells the story of Auggie’s difficulties because he is different. Read more

The Girl on the Train: the bestseller everybody is speaking about! by Patricia

Do you like thrillers? If so, The Girl on the Train is the book for you!

Although it is not a page-turner from the beginning, it won’t be long before you are hooked!

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The Plot
The main character, Rachel, is a woman in a very hard situation due to her divorce. First thing in the morning every day, she takes the commuter train to London where she sees a neighbourhood with different houses and different neighbours. While she imagines that life is perfect there, she finds herself involved in a crime which she tries to solve.

Nothing is what it seems in the Girl on the Train …

Why is this book good for learning English?
As well as enjoying the novel, you learn a lot of phrasal verbs and colloquial expressions from the dialogues that allow you to speak much more like a native person.

The book is written in the first person and the chapters are quite short… things that make a book easy to follow.

And finally, once you have finished the novel, you can also watch the film to see how it compares!

Happy reading!

Thanks to our student Patricia for this great review!

The Best Guidebooks for Travelling Abroad

I love to travel, and for me there is nothing more exciting than buying a new travel book before a trip. I spend hours reading the book and learning all about the new place: it’s an excellent way to get really excited for a trip and familiarize yourself with somewhere new! The following are some of the best guidebooks (and corresponding websites) for travelling abroad.

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  • In print: Fodor’s is the largest publisher of English-language travel and guide books in the world. The company is over 80 years old and is known as one of the authorities on travel writing and tips. Fodor’s guide books are excellent because they also provide a history of the region, suggestions for ‘free and cheap’ activities, activities for kids, and information on sporting events.
  • Online: The Fodor’s website has extensive information on travels throughout the world and includes trip itinerary suggestions, hotel discounts, cruises, and a forum where travellers can ask questions. Check it out! http://www.fodors.com/

 

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  • In print: Rather than focusing on entire countries, Time Out guides are focused more on specific cities that you are traveling to. The guidebooks are great resources for the city’s nightlife, foods and drinks, and entertainment. They’re also compact and easy to carry.
  • Online: Time Out’s website provides great lists of ‘101 Things to Do’ in many cities as well as ‘weekend guides’ for short trips. Read these lists here: http://www.timeout.com/city-guides/

 

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  • In print: Fodor’s is the largest English-language publishing company, but Lonely Planet earns the title of the world’s largest travel and guidebook publisher. Local writers create the content for Lonely Planet’s guidebooks, which are not only very informational, but also very well written articles that read more like travel stories.
  • Online: The Lonely Planet website provides information for bookings (insurance, hotels, car rentals, etc.). It also allows you to search for travel ideas using interesting categories, such as ‘Adventure travel’ or ‘Explore every day.‘ Lonely Planet has teamed up with GoPro to produce incredible videos that highlight destinations. See the world from all angles (and even underwater!) on their website. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/video

Print

  • In print: Frommer’s began in the 1950’s when Arthur Frommer published “Europe on $5 a Day.” Since then, the company has continued to publish guidebooks that are based on budgeting. Travelers who need specific information on the prices of hotels, restaurants, and attractions will enjoy the detailed pricing included in Frommer’s guidebooks.
  • Online: The Frommer’s website is an impressive compilation of articles, a forum, videos, and travel news. http://www.frommers.com/

 

Have you used an exceptionally useful guidebook on your travels?

Leave your suggestion in the comments!

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