Student’s Review: ‘Revenge’ by Patricia

Can you imagine a story similar to The Count of Monte Cristo but with the glamour of The Hamptons as a backdrop?
If you like drama series combined with intrigue, glamour and the possibility of bringing The Hamptons into your home … then REVENGE is the series for you!

Revenge

THE PLOT
When the main character, Amanda Jones, was a child, her father took the fall for a crime he did not commit. The same people who destroyed her father ensured that she was sent to a juvenile detention center in order to never see him again.

Once she is an adult and abandons that center, she finds out that she is the heir to a fortune her father had and decides to come back to The Hamptons as her alter ego, Emily Thorne, to get revenge on those who destroyed her family and caused his death.

“Revenge” is the story of a revenge that takes place in the glamorous and cosmopolitan Hamptons, the most famous residential seaside resort of New York State where celebrities and rich people come together.

The Hamptons

The Hamptons

WHY IS THIS SERIES GOOD FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS?
Not only because watching Revenge is a way to improve your English while you are enjoying watching a series but also because of the different characters and accents that appear in Revenge! You can start watching it with subtitles and as your confidence grows and you get familiar with the characters, challenge yourself and take them off!

CONCLUSION
Revenge can be summed up as a sort of Count of Monte Cristo in our modern world! Once you start watching it, you will be hooked!

We want to thank Patricia for this great contribution to our blog!

5 vídeos para practicar inglés

Hoy os recomendamos algunos vídeos de VIMEO en inglés que os servirán como recurso para practicar vuestras habilidades de comprensión oral y que os harán reflexionar. Visiona los vídeos y contesta a las siguientes preguntas. Have fun!

SCHOOL PORTRAIT
Comedy is tough in another language. Does this video make you smile?


MAKE IT COUNT
There are 10 quotes in this short. Which is your favourite and why?


BACK TO THE FUTURE

Would you like to have a photo recreated? Which one?


WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE

Do you believe in the proverb “What goes around comes around”?
What was the last good deed you did?


THE EMANCIPATION OF PRINCE

Have you ever wondered what your pet is thinking? Check out this video. You might be surprised!

Student’s review: ‘Better Call Saul’ by Paco Sandoval

better-call-saul-key-art-1200Introduction
Did you like Breaking Bad? If so, you will love Better Call Saul, the spinoff series created as a comedy of 30-minute episodes that has become a drama-comedy of approximately 50 minutes per episode.

What’s it about?
The main character is the “great” Saul, the lawyer from Breaking Bad, who is played by Bob Odenkirk. The series is set in 2002, six years before his appearance on Breaking Bad. Already in the first episodes, we find quirky characters as in Breaking Bad. There are the typical villains and drug traffickers and even the “relative” character as was Walter’s brother-in-law in Breaking Bad. In Better Call Saul, it is Saul’s brother, Chuck, with a strange disease. Another character with an interesting past who appears in both series is Mike. The same attractive landscape of Albuquerque and the mistreated lawyer with his office in the spare room of a beauty salon are all attractions for the viewer.

Why is this series good for English learners?
For its clear and popular vocabulary, it is the best and most entertaining way to learn English. You can watch it with subtitles and work on your reading and listening skills at the same time.

Conclusion
This was a risky bet by the writers, Vince Gillian and Peter Gould, to retrieve Breaking Bad fans. We believe it was successful and can’t wait for the next series!

We want to thank Paco Sandoval for this great contribution to our blog!

Business English in Reality TV (Part 2)

Last November we looked at Dragon’s Den, a business realityseries which can help you to improve your English communication skills in a business context if you have an upper-intermediate level of English (Read last November’s article).

Now it’s the turn of The Apprentice UK

Alan Sugar started his career at 16 years of age selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he had bought for £50. Now he is a British business magnate and political advisor with an estimated fortune of £770m!

In the Apprentice, 16 lucky candidates are given the opportunity to work with grumpy Alan Sugar. In each episode, the candidates are divided into two teams, which are led by theappointed PM. The teams have to complete a tough task and at the end of the task, both teams go to Sugar’s boardroom to discuss the experience and learn which team has won the task.

The winning team is given a reward while the losing team’s Project Manager must select two colleagues to accompany them back into the boardroom. Lord Sugar will then hear their arguments before deciding which of the three will hear his famous catchphrase: “You’re fired!”  The winner of the series is the last remaining candidate in the competition who manages to survive the 12 tough tasks! This person will hear the magic words: “You’re hired!”

As you watch an episode, your objective should be to understand:-

  1. What is the task?
  2. Who are appointed project managers and why?
  3. What do each team do well and badly in each task?
  4. What is the final result in the boardroom (listening for figures in most cases)?
  5. Who are the final 3?
  6. Who is fired and why does Alan Sugar fire that candidate?

GLOSSARY
Goods (npl) – merchandise, items for sale
A magnate – a wealthy and influential businessman or businesswoman
Grumpy (adj.) – miserable, bad-tempered
To appoint/appointed/appointed – to assign a job or role to someone e.g. he was appointed sales manager
PM – Project Manager
Tough – difficult
Boardroom  – a room in which the board of directors (big bosses e.g. CEO) meet regularly
A reward  – a prize
You’re fired! – you have lost your job!
You’re hired! – you have got the job!

A Ziggurat student’s experience  
«My favourite series is The Apprentice UK because I have discovered a lot of nice expressions from Alan Sugar and the candidates (to come up with, to struggle, to pitch a product…), and at the same time I have been able to learn more about the British culture and to “visit” different cities and London neighborhoods!». By Santiago Dacuña

El salto 2.0 de la Daily Vitamin

Me acuerdo muy bien de la primera Daily Vitamin que enviamos el 23 de octubre de 2003; fue sobre la expresión “above and beyond”. En aquella época no había Facebook, casi nadie conocía LinkedIn y pocas webs eran interactivas; era un momento pre-web 2.0.

Desde entonces hemos creado más de 1.800 “vitaminas” y en febrero de 2008 lanzamos la Essential Weekly Vitamin los viernes, una lección como la Daily Vitamin pero escrita en español y dirigida a alumnos hispanohablantes con nivel de inglés beginner.

A lo largo de estos nueve años, hemos creado una comunidad de más de 7.000 usuarios. ¿Qué tienen en común todos estos seguidores? Quieren mejorar su inglés y la Vitamin les está ayudando a crear un hábito diario con el idioma. Como siempre decimos en Ziggurat, la actividad más importante de un alumno de inglés (u otro idioma extranjero) es mantener lo aprendido. Es vital crear un hábito no sólo para mejorar tu inglés sino para mantenerlo. Esperamos que la Daily Vitamin y la Essential Weekly Vitamin os estén facilitando esta labor.

El Futuro de la Daily Vitamin
En este momento estamos actualizando nuestra plataforma digital y queremos aprovechar esta oportunidad para introducir mejoras en el servicio de la Daily Vitamin y hacerlo, entre otras cosas, más “2.0”. El objetivo primordial es incluir herramientas que faciliten la comunicación entre todos los miembros de la comunidad del ZIGspace y que hagan más útil las lecciones.

Si nuestra idea es fomentar esta comunidad 2.0, el primer paso es pediros vuestra opinión. ¿Qué cambios os gustaría ver en la nueva Daily Vitamin y Essential Weekly Vitamin? Por favor, ayudadnos a mejorar la Daily Vitamin. Por supuesto que tenemos algunas ideas, pero antes de finalizar el diseño del apartado de la Daily Vitamin en la nueva web, queremos vuestras sugerencias, please!

Para ello puedes postear tus ideas en el nuevo foro creado en Facebook (deberás iniciar sesión en Facebook y acceder a la aplicación de foros).

Gracias a todos por el apoyo que nos habéis dado a lo largo de estos años. Con vuestra ayuda, esperamos poder seguir ofreciendo este servicio gratuito durante muchos más.

Talk About… Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking was the title of the latest Talk About session which was held for our Ziggurat followers on 15th November.  “Are you an optimist, a pessimist, a realist or a mix of all three?”  was the question which opened the talk led by Matthew Ray. The group of 10 participants was mostly made up of optimists and realists although as one pessimist pointed out: “A pessimist is an optimist with experience “. 

Participants discussed the numerous resources available which promote Positive Thinking and whether this way of thinking can really help us or in fact be dangerous as it could make us lose all sense of reality. The Secret became the focus here.

Matthew then showed participants three short videos, one of which was the Spanish crisis from a different point of view, a now infamous video by Grant Thornton. Can positive thinking really get us out of the crisis?


Finally, Matthew gave participants some tips on how to use Positive Thinking to improve their English: instead of saying “I can’t do that in English”, say “I can’t do that in English YET”! 🙂

In the next session of Talk About in January (to be announced), the topic will be New Year Resolutions. If you want to participate, write to zigclub@ziggurat.es

Hope to see you there!