Intensive Advanced 2

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Advanced 2: Revision (2)

Watch these videos and do the exercises.
Houses and technology. Click here.
Tourism. Click here.
Teenagers and technology. Click here.
Food. Click here.
Sports. Click here.
Animals and the environment. Click here.

Advanced 2. Video: Climate Change Basics

Click here, watch the video and fill in the gaps with one or two words. Select to see the answers. (Special thanks to Ana Felpete for the link)

Climate change has been in the news for years, but what is it? And how will it affect us?
To understand climate change, you first need to know about the greenhouse effect.  The Earth gets heat from the sun. In the atmosphere, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap this heat and keep it from escaping back to outer space.  Trapping some heat in the atmosphere is a good thing, because it keeps the planet warm enough for us to live. But there’s a problem: People all over the world are adding extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That’s because today we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to do many of our everyday activities, like driving our cars, using our computers, and heating our homes. All this extra carbon dioxide is trapping more heat in the atmosphere, making the Earth warmer and causing other climate changes, too.
The signs of climate change are all around us. Temperatures are getting warmer, giant ice sheets are melting, and the oceans are rising. In many places, flowers are blooming earlier, snow is melting sooner, and birds aren’t flying as far south for the winter.  So why does this matter? Well, if the planet keeps getting warmer, we can expect more powerful storms and more flooding, droughts and heat waves. And these changes could cause additional problems, like the spread of certain diseases, more wildfires, and food and water shortages.  Climate change could put entire ecosystems, like coral reefs, in danger, and many plants and animals could become extinct.
The good news is that we can take action! We can put less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if we generate electricity from clean sources like solar and wind power instead of burning coal, oil or gas.  We can also drive less, use public transportation, and choose cars that go further using less gas. And you can do your part! Reduce your energy use by turning off the lights, the computer, and TV when you’re not using them, and walk or ride your bike to work or school.
By making smart choices and working together, we can make a difference.

Check out the rest of this website to learn more about the causes and effects of climate change as well as the practical solutions that can help protect our planet’s future.

Advanced 2. Video: Octopus, Galician Style

Here you are. Enjoy!!
Now fill in the blanks with one or two words.

Octopus, Galician style
Some people are creeped out by octopus. I don’t get it. Others worry about eating them because they’re so intelligent, because –after all— they’re more intelligent than dogs. But of course so are pigs, and chickens, and maybe even grapes.
So this preparation is from Galicia, the Northwestern part of Spain. One of the most beautiful places in the world. One of the places with the best seafood in the world and certainly the place in the world that is most obsessed with octopus. The only place I know where there are “pulperías”, octopus restaurants.
Now, you can cook the octopus whole. Just put it in the water like that and that’s what they do in Galicia, but I wanna make it a little more accessible, something that people really enjoy and don’t go ugh ‘cause that drives me nuts.
One thing I do is I take off the little ends of the tentacles. Octopus shrinks a lot when it’s cooking so these wind up looking like little unattractive threads. So we get rid of those first.
It’s kind of like slimy dreadlocks. Anyway, I don´t cook the head either. I do when I’m cooking myself but I don’t for guests ‘cause, like I said, I wanna make this accessible. So, here’s a nice way to deal with this. There’s webbing at the top of each of the legs. Cut up through that, just to the base of the head on either side and then cut right here. This serves eight, right. Octopus. So, again, cut up through that webbing, cut across the top. All right. Here we go.
We have our beautiful trimmed octopus, we have our pot of lively boiling water. We’re gonna salt it quite heavily. (It’ll) be really good if you cook this in sea water. And then, in they go.
Once they’re in, turn the heat down, and I keep the heat low; you just want a slow simmer, 212 degrees. Generally takes an hour to an hour and a half for an octopus to become tender; so we’ll come back in about an hour and take a look at it then.
It’s ready and I’m gonna show you how we know it’s ready. Look how much that’s shrunk. Not much effort to put the point of the knife in there. So, when it gets to that point, take some potatoes, cut them really thick, good half-inch thick.
I’m gonna cook those potatoes chunks about what? 15 minutes, 20 minutes, until they’re good and tender. And that’s the dish. Well, there’s a cool way of serving it, which I’ll show you when we’re ready.
Twenty minutes later, as I promised, the potatoes are done. The octopus is obviously no less done. And here’s a typical Galician serving style. A couple of pieces of “pulpo”, a fair amount of olive oil (good olive oil), a sprinkling of “pimentón” (Spanish smoked paprika), a few grains of coarse salt (“fleur de salt”, flower of the salt).
Why would anyone be afraid of this? Now, that’s eating smart.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Advanced 2. The Environment

Words to talk about the environment. Click here and here.
Click here and check out some useful words and expressions together with short presentations about climate change, sources of energy and environmental issues.
For other useful expressions, click here and here as well.
Reading comprehension. Click here

Advanced 2. How to cook a Spanish "tortilla".

Click here and fill in the gaps with one or two words.
Hi! I’m Anne Mooney, I’m a personal chef and the food columnist for Simply the Best magazine in Delray Beach, Florida. Today I’m here on behalf of Expert Village to talk more about eggs. This time we’re gonna talk about the Spanish tortilla.
Now, this is neither a Spanish omelette nor is it a tortilla as we’re familiar with, a little flour cake. This is a dish that is very common in Spain and usually people eat it for lunch or for a light supper and it’s an omelette, a thick omelette, that’s stuffed with potatoes and onions and it’s absolutely delicious and very satisfying. It’s just the essence of comfort food.
Unlike the other omelettes, this omelette or tortilla is typically cooked in olive oil. So we have an individual-sized skillet here with olive oil heating up and we have two eggs, the individual portion, to which I will add some cream. The Spaniards probably would add goat milk or water to these eggs, but any kind of liquid probably would do. You can use skimmed milk if you like to, you can use club soda if you want to or plain water or you can go whole hog and use cream like I am.
So there are eggs and here are / here is on Yukon Gold potato that’s been cut up into about one-inch-thick slices, fat slices. So we’re gonna put this potato into the oil first, and you can hear it sizzle so there might be a little crust on that develop on that potato and then we’re gonna add some onions. I use green onions, you can use white onions or any kind of onions you have on hand. Then once this is brought up to temperature we’ll put the eggs in and just pour them over the potatoes like so and kind of move them around so the egg is distributed evenly over the potatoes and let it cook. Sometimes it’s a good idea to put a lid on it, a lid will make it cook a little bit faster. There’s a lid right here, it doesn’t fit particularly well, but that’s ok and at the end of this process, we’re going to have a nutritious lunch.
Now if you wanted to gild the lily, you can put some cheese on top of it, you can add some green peppers or maybe a little ham if you have it around. The classic tortilla is simply eggs and potatoes and onions but there’s nothing that says you can’t add stuff to it.

And at the end of 2 or 3 minutes, there you have a very satisfying and tasty supper or lunch. If you like these tips, check out my other tips on Expert Village.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Advanced 2. Video: Binge Eating

Listen and fill in the blanks with 1-4 words. Answers must be based on the information in the video. Click here. Select to see the answers.

1.-  What ‘symptom’ is associated to compulsive overeating?
Answer: Uncontrollable cravings for food
2. - The speaker thought there was something wrong with her because she felt...
Answer:  Bloated / overweight / ashamed
3.-    How did she feel afterwards?
Answer:    Horrible
4.-The ABC model helped her______ behind compulsive eating.
Answer:    Break down the processes
5.-What triggered her disorder?
a.    Feeling down about herself
b.    _____________________
Answer:    Lacking confidence
6.- The chemicals she ate gave her...
Answer:   Momentary relief
7.- After eating and putting on weight, how did she feel?
Answer:    More isolated and helpless
8.- The feeling that food did not control her was ...
Answer:    Empowering
9.- Now she has lost weight as a result of putting an end to her...
Answer:    binges


I’ve always struggled with compulsive overeating. It started when I was a teenager and worsened in early adulthood. I just had these uncontrollable cravings for food. Unhealthy foods like hamburgers and French fries and soda drinks. I would eat until I was so full that I was on the verge of vomiting. It was disgusting. It made me feel like there was something seriously wrong with me. I was bloated and overweight. I felt so ashamed; yet I continued to do it. I was simply out of control when it came to food. Diet and exercise plans didn’t help, and I just couldn’t understand why I kept doing something that made me feel so horrible afterwards. It was through self-reflection and delving into my past that made me understand why overeating was such a problem for me. The ABC model really helped me break down the processes behind my overeating. ABC, that stands for ‘antecedents’, ‘behaviour’ and ‘consequences’. It helped me identify what was happening immediately before the overeating, what I liked about food and then how I was feeling as a consequence.
Through this exercise I realized that one major trigger for my binges was feeling down about myself and lacking confidence. I had momentary relief from the feel good chemicals in the fatty foods that I ate, but soon after I just felt more down and disgusted with myself.
I also ate when I felt lonely or upset to comfort myself. But ironically eating and gaining further weight made me even more isolated and helpless. It was a closed circle with no way out.
Having identified my triggers, having strategies to support me dealing with those unpleasant emotions, and guided exercises to work through my baggage has enabled me to catch the triggers early enough. Then I had the choice to do something healthy or to binge eat. As time passed and I started feeling better about myself and my life, I always chose to do something healthy. It was so empowering to no longer feel like food controlled me. Instead, I was in control, and I could make choices about the way I treated my body. I feel amazing now. I feel so much more confident about myself and my body. I’ve lost weight as a result of stopping my binges. No diets needed, it was all thanks to ‘How To Stop Overeating” by, which guided me through the process of uncovering my inner struggles and giving me the power to overcome them. I recommend this transformative workbook to anyone struggling with excess weight and overeating.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Advanced 2. Extreme sports

Are you fond of extreme sports? Click here, watch the video and do the exercises. Enjoy the adrenaline boost!!!

Advanced 2. Sports.

What are these sports called in English? Have a look at the pictures and fill in the blanks with the names of the sports. Click here. (Scroll down to see the key)

Advanced 2. Complaining

Here are some useful tips and expressions and here you will find a sample letter of complaint.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Advanced 2. Picasso's Guernica

"A work of art must make a man react... it must agitate him and shake him up." Pablo Picasso.
Now click here and watch the video.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Advanced 2. What is art? / Art and education

What is art? If you want to know more about contemporary art, have a look at this article. Click here.
Art and education: Museums. Read the article (click here) and answer the following question (leave a comment below): What museum(s) would you recommend that your classmates should visit?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Advanced 2. Art vocabulary lesson

Watch the videos and practise. Click herehere and here.
English vocabulary for museums. Click here.

Advanced 2. Conditional sentences.

Click here and watch the video on "if clauses". The video is about the different types of sentences and provides exercises too.
Now you can do the exercises:
Zero conditional. Click here.
First conditional. Click here.
Second conditional. Click here.
Third conditional. Click here.

In case you need extra practice... Click here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Advanced 2. The Impressionists.

Click here.
French Impressionism began in the 1870s and lasted for about 20 years before it faded away to newer more modern trends in painting. The story of French Impressionism begins in 17th-century Paris, France. With a group of art critics known as the Salon Jury, named for a grand room in what is the Louvre museum and a former residence of the kings of France.
The Salon Jury hosted an annual art showcase for aspiring painters. Artists from all over Europe were encouraged to demonstrate their talents by exhibiting their finest works of art. The Salon Jury determined whether or not the work was exceptional. Appropriate subjects considered by the Jury included history, such as an ancient battle, a revolution or a major figure like Napoleon Bonaparte, religious subjects were also appropriate, especially if they focused on the life and time of Jesus or, say, the Last Supper before his crucifixion.
Lastly, Greek and Roman mythology was a time-honoured subject of many a painter with subjects like Oedipus Rex, Pandora’s Box, the hero Perseus and his slaying of Medusa or something minor, like the messenger god Hermes. Paintings followed other rules too. They were not to show any brushstrokes and only to display fine rich details that added meaning and value to a painting story. The rulers were tough. In 1863 alone about 60% of the paintings submitted to the Jury’s annual art show were rejected for being unsuitable for exhibition.
In 1874 a group of several painters did not follow these rules and they were ridiculed as being odd and bizarre. Those art pioneers were sneered at and snubbed by the established art world. Together these artists became known as the Impressionists, based in part on Claude Monet’s 1872 paining “Impression: Sunrise”. At the annual art show, in 1874, the Impressionists boycotted the Salon and established their own Impressionist exhibition.
Impressionists broke the rules of painting. When completed, their paintings displayed short choppy brushstrokes and they had a blurry unfinished sketch-looking quality to them. Many Impressionists painted hastily because they wanted to capture the first impression made by a scene or object, and wanted to capture the uniqueness of any given moment that caught their artistic eyes.

They painted a wide array of subjects, from landscapes, modern life, everyday life in Paris, bars and cafés, barmaids, middle-class activities and of course outdoor life. The Impressionists accomplished their artful tasks beyond their usual art studio by creating three innovations to help them paint out of doors. They invented the easel, the palette and tubes of paint. The world of art underwent a major change in the late 1800s with the conflict between the Salon Jury and the Impressionists because they aspired to be creative and felt hindered by some very outdated rules for painting. The French Impressionists broke the rules for painting and paved the way for the modern styles, art styles of the 20th century. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Advanced 2. Picasso

Click here,
Picasso. The early years.
Picasso lived in A Coruña for 5 years. That period saw the end of his childhood and his early teenage years when he no longer felt like an apprentice and became a young artist. His character was built from the memories of his everyday life at his home at number 14 Rúa Payo Gómez. The sadness of his sister’s death, his first love, his hard lessons with this father at the School of Fine Arts and his first exhibit. A thousand emotions and a unique existence.
Essential works, such as “Barefoot Girl”, considered by many as the artist’s first masterpiece, the precursor of the blue and rose periods.

120 years later, A Coruña retrieves the memory and the vision of a genius through the exhibit “Picasso, the early years. A Coruña 2015” at the Museum of Fine Arts, an exhibit with over 200 pieces, a journey through 80 works by Picasso, an international event that shows the origin and evolution of the genius

Advanced 2: Why Is Modern Art So Bad?

Do you like modern art? Some people would probably say "no". Listen to what an expert has to say. Click here.

Advanced 2. Graffiti and street art.

Click here, read the text and do the true/false exercise at the bottom.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Advanced 2. Homeschooling vs. Traditional Schooling

Here you can find an article about the pros and cons of homeschooling and traditional schooling. If you click here, you can also see the video that goes with the article.
To see more videos, click here and here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Advanced 2. Education

Changing education paradigms. Click here,  watch the video and then leave a comment if you want.
If you want to learn more vocabulary, click here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Advanced 2: Buying or renting property?

Would you rather buy a house or rent it? Watch the following video. Click here.
homeowner: propietario
renter/ tenant: inquilino
landlord / landlady: el casero /casera
monthly rent check: alquiler mensual
a down payment: una señal, un pago inicial (a sum paid in advance)
a washer-drier: una lavadora-secadora
equity: patrimonio neto, participación en la propiedad
shag carpeting: alfombra / moqueta de pelo largo
to chip away: socavar
outright. totalmente
lay out a good chunk of change: desembolsar un buen "pellizco"
cost-effective: rentable
to upkeep: mantener

Advanced 2. Video: Hong Kong apartment

Click here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Advanced 2: The house of the future

Have you ever wondered what the house of the future will be like? Well, if you want to find out, just click here.

Advanced 2. Video: The Wishgranter Short Film

Watch this animated short film and make hypotheses. What would have happened if...? Click here. (Special thanks to Anabel Fernández for the link).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Advanced 2. Mixed conditionals

In English there are mainly two types of mixed conditionals. On this webpage you will find all the necessary information Click here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Advanced 2. Video. My blackberry is not working.

You are going to watch a video in which a customer complains about a blackberry he has just bought from a fruit stall. Click here and do the pre-viewing exercises. Click here to see the video. Finally, if you want to read the original script, click here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in the Emerald Isle. Today, it is also celebrated by Irish communities all over the world.  If you want to find out more about the origins of the holiday, click here.

Advanced 2. Saint Patrick's Day.

If you want to learn some interesting expressions related to Saint Patrick's Day, click here and watch the video. Enjoy!

Saint Patrick's Day

Today is March 17! For the Irish this particular day is full of symbolism because they celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland. Click here if you want to know more about Saint Patrick's history.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Advanced 2. Composition: A letter/ email of apology

Click here and take a look at this task and sample letter. Then write a similar one (150-180 words).
You were supposed to attend an important meeting with a business partner on Tuesday but you could not go in the end. Write an email to the other person. In your email:
-apologize and lay out a specific account of the situation.
-take responsibility and acknowledge that it was your fault (explain the reasons why you could not attend the meeting).
-promise that it won't happen again and express your willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation (eg. rescheduling the meeting for next week, etc.)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Advanced 2: Poverty

Kathleen Kerridge claims that there is a massive gap between the public perception of poverty and what it really means for those who experience it. Click here and watch the video. (Source: The Guardian).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Advanced 2. The history of the Oscars.

Click here, watch the video and then complete the sentences with one or two words. Select the gaps to see the answer.

Each year, millions tune in to watch the Academy Awards.  Over the decades, thousands of Oscar statuettes have been handed out to those who work in the film industry - from actors to directors and film editors.  How much do we really know about the Academy Awards?

The Academy Awards have a
 rich history that spans more than eight decades.  The first official Academy Awards ceremony took place during a banquet held at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. This was by no means the type of ceremony we see today - less than 300 people were on hand.  Each paid a whopping $5 for a ticket to the dinner.

In 1927 and 1928, a total of 15 Oscar statuettes were handed out to winners in various categories. Actor Emil Jannings was the Academy's first-ever Best Actor winner - he received the Oscar for
performances in two films: ''The Last Command'' and ''The Way of All Flesh.''

And what about that golden statuette that all the winners get on Oscar night?  The
 trophy has a rich history.  It was originally designed by founding Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member and art director Cedric Gibbons.  Gibbons came up with the statuette's unique design: the majestic image shows a knight plunging his sword into a reel of film.  The first Oscar statue, originally called the "Academy Award of Merit," was hand-cast in bronze at a cost of $500. In 1939, the award was named the Oscar.

Why is the statue called the "Oscar" now?  The
 nickname origins aren't exactly clear. Some claim that legendary actress Bette Davis dubbed the statuette the "Oscar" because the back of the trophy, specifically the backside, reminded her of her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson.  Other theories say the first librarian of the Academy, Margaret Herrick, dubbed the statue the Oscar because it reminded her of her uncle Oscar.

For more information on this topic visit the links below.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Advanced 2. Money

Read the text about what British teenagers do with their money and then do the exercises. Click here.
Here you can read about a charity called Comic Relief. They celebrate Red Nose Day in the UK. Why? Click here and find out.
Money and phrasal verbs: Watch the video and answer the questions in the exercises below. Click here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Advanced 2. Economy: How the euro caused the Greek crisis

Click here, watch the video about the situation of Greece and the Eurozone and fill in the gaps with 1-4 words. Answers must be based exclusively on the information in the video. Select to see the answers.

1. In a metaphorical dinner if you're cooking for yourself and your spouse, you can cook something both of you love.
2. However, it's harder to accommodate a vegetarian, or someone who is gluten free.
3. Greece's economy has a very high debt burden
4. In order to make their currency cheaper countries can print extra money . 
5. An expensive currency increases people's purchasing power. 
6. The unemployment rate in Greece is 25%.
7. Greece is described as a poor country isolated from the rest of the Eurozone. 
8. The euro was a symbol of Europe's determination to have peace on the continent.
9. When did Greece join the euro? In 2001.
10. In America, the poorer states are constantly getting money through the welfare system, : Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. 
11. Germans are willing to support poor German people, but not poor Greek people. 

To understand what's happening with Greece and the Eurozone, think about a dinner party. If you're cooking just for yourself and your spouse, it's easy: You make something you both like. But if you've got guests, things get harder. If you need to accommodate a vegetarian, and someone who is gluten free, and someone with a soy allergy, your options get really limited. And that's the problem with Europe's idea of having a whole bunch of countries: all use the same currency. So Greece's economy is in a disaster. A quarter of the population is unemployed and it has this very high debt burden. Normally, if you've got really high unemployment what happens is that a country makes its currency cheaper by printing extra money. That makes its products cheaper on world markets, it makes it a more attractive tourist destination and it means that foreign investors can get great bargains. But if unemployment is really low, a country likes to have an expensive currency. That increases people's purchasing power. It keeps prices down. And in Europe you have a bunch of economies that are really different. A price of euros that's appropriate for Greece where they have a 25% unemployment rate is way too low for Germany, where the unemployment rate is below 5%. And Greece's problem is that it's small, poor and geographically isolated from the rest of the Eurozone. It's like the only vegetarian at a barbecue, except when it comes to currencies, there's no side dishes. And so there's plenty of specific decisions we can second-guess, plenty of things Greece did and various banks did that we can question, but fundamentally having all these countries come to a dinner party with only one dish on the menu was a mistake. The euro was a project that Europe set about on for really political reasons. It was a symbol of their determination to have peace on the continent, but they didn't really take the economics of it seriously. So Greece joins the euro in 2001 and initially it works out great for Greece because all of a sudden everyone was like "yeah, sure, let's lend them money", so they borrowed lots and lots and lots of euros, except that didn't change the fact their economy is a lot weaker than some of the other European countries. So to really work, you would need a much, much, much closer union where you had big financial transfers coming from the richer places to the poorer places all the time. In the United States, the poor states like Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, they're constantly getting money from the richer states like Massachusetts, California, NewYork, through the welfare system, through Social Security, through Medicare, through Medicaid. And you know, people may sort of complain about this or that programme, but we don't dispute the idea that it's all one country so money is gonna circulate around. Europeans, you know, they just don't feel that way. Germans are willing to support poor German people but they don't wanna support Greek people with their tax dollars. So they're kind of like half-way integrated in a way that doesn't really work.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Advanced 2. Sample writings

As requested by some of you, here is some advice on how to write an article, an essay, etc. together with a collection of sample writings (model questions and answers). I hope you find this link useful. Click here

Advanced 2. Time Management

Would you like know how to manage your time better? Watch the video and fill in the gaps with one or two words.  (Click here)

Are you constantly finding yourself behind at work or school? You’re right at the end of the day and you realize you’ve accomplished nothing on your to-do list?
Well, odds are you’re not very good at time management. And that is not doing your psychological health any favours. In fact, a study published in “Work & Stress” found that workers who didn’t productively manage their time fell less in control of their lives. Here’s the good news: you can get better. Paying attention to how you spend your time will help you manage it more effectively. And we’re gonna help you learn how to do just that.
Today on Wellcast we’re gonna get you in control of your day with our RAC method: Recording, analyzing and changing. Three easy steps to great time management. Pause and print a copy of our handy Wellcast Day Planner. While it’s printing, let’s dive in.
Step 1: Recording. When you wake up tomorrow, note the time in your day planner. As the day progresses, write down everything that you do. Yes, we mean everything. The ten minutes you spend getting dressed, the half-day of productive work, the hours you spend between social networking sites, we mean it all. Keep this up from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.
Step 2: Analysing. At the end of the day, go through the schedule and highlight any terms of time you don’t feel were used productively. Pick out your five biggest time wasters in your day. Be honest with yourself. You spent half an hour by the coffee machine talking to your coworker. You spent an hour on Facebook and you stared into space for 20 minutes. Come on, you get the picture.
Especially focus on the time wasters at work, why? A study published by the British Medical  Journal sasy that the workplace stress is minimized by effective time management. It also says that workplace stress bleeds over into home life and undermines the relax life at home.
Here’s the ugly part. Add up all the time you wasted, how much productive time did you blow on activities that got you no results?
Step 3: Changing. Now it’s time to come up with a way to get that time back. Your three ways to change your time wasting habits and become a better time manager.
Prioritize: To-do lists are a really effective way to manage your time and your priorities. Limit the number of tasks you have on this list to five and assign rankings to them in order of importance.
Declutter: Not only is decluttering great for your health, but you won’t waste time digging around piles of stuff to find that one piece of paper you really need.
Check out our Wellcast on Clutter for some helpful tips on lightening your load.
Schedule: Hey, we all try to kill two birds with one stone but odds are multitasking will actually just stress you out and delay you even more. Instead, set aside blocks of time for individual activities. For each activity, set start and stop points. This way your day is clearly segmented. Then stick to this schedule.
Try going one week without using these tips to reduce your waste of time. At the end of the week go figure out where you’ve improved your time management skills and how much time you’ve saved.

Let’s recap: Today you learned how to manage your time better by using our Wellcast RAC method. You recorded, analyzed and hopefully changed how you use your time. And you did this by learning how to prioritize your most important tasks, decluttered your workspace to save you time and you learned how to build yourself an effective schedule to block out your day. Hey, how did RAC work for you? We wanna hear how much time you were wasting and how much you’re saving now. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Advanced 2. Media Multitaskers Pay Mental Price.

Watch this video and fill in the gaps with one or two words. Click here.

Well, the study was inspired by the idea that we saw more and more kids on campus and of course all around the country multitasking and, if you look at classical psychology textbooks, they tell you people can’t multitask, it is psychologically impossible. So, on the one hand, we had this clear statement: Look, people can’t multitask. And, on the other, we had people multitasking like crazy.
-I think it is unrealistic to do one thing at a time, but…erm… it’s just the way things are: you can’t help to multitask.
-Thanks for coming in. So in this task you’ll basically be looking at different rectangles that are gonna be presented. It’ll be red and blue rectangles, and they’ll either change orientation or they won’t.
And as soon as you brought in the high multitaskers, the more blue rectangles you brought in, the more distractions, even though we clearly told them that these were completely irrelevant, they couldn’t help paying attention to them.
We really don’t know what’s happening other than that they seem to like to be flooded with information. It ‘s almost as if they preferred to scan the environment, just constantly scanning round new information rather than ponder what they have. We don’t know whether there are advantages to that but, so far, we haven’t found any.
-Are you a good multitasker?
-I thought I was! I’m not so sure for this study, but, erm, I do listen to music and chat with my friends all the time at the same time.
-To our absolute shock, we found that in any of the categories of activities that we thought their brain would be better at, that would enable them to manage multiple streams of information at one time, they were actually worse at all of them. So it is a great mystery what the heck is going on. Right now all we can say is ‘multitaskers are lousy at multitasking.’

Advanced 2. Multitasking.

Watch the video and follow the instructions. Click here. (Special thanks to Ana Felpete)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Just for fun

It all started when a Dutch show presented Donald Trump with a very simple idea: We totally understand it's going to be America first, but can we just say The Netherlands second?
Now the rest of Europe can't stop making similar videos. They can't help trolling Trump. If you want to see them, just click on the links. Enjoy! 
Portugal (jump past the introduction to get to the video at the 2:06 mark)
Germany (jump past the introduction to get to the video at the 1:47 mark)

Advanced 2:Tradtional or digital newspapers?

Click here and read the article.

Advanced 2. Vocabulary: The media

The media: Click here and here and practise-

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Advanced 2. Technology and Kids

Click here and  here and listen to the conversation between Rebecca and Gareth. They are discussing kids and technology.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Advanced 2. Families and Facebook.

Click here and here  and listen to Alex and Maria talking about families and social networks. Answer the questions on the right and take the comprehension quiz.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Advanced 2. Video: Reading

Click here and watch the video

Part 1 V: Hi. I read a lot, mostly non-fiction books about history and politics, but I also like some poetry, too. I’m outside the Tate Modern in central London asking people about reading. Do you read much?
 M1: I do, yeah. I try to read as much as possible. W1: Yes, I do. I’m a great reader.
M2: Yes, I do, yes. Er, mostly non-fiction. W2: Um, I read a lot of mag, fashion magazines.
W3: Er, yeah, I read a fair bit.
M3: Yeah, I read er, a lot of, sort of, art criticism and things, um … things like that. But I also, um, I read a lot of comic books as well.
Part 2
V: What was the last book you read?
W1: Well, the last book I read was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which was a book recommended to me by some friends – I’d never heard of her, or indeed, the book – but I enjoyed it very much. It was a story about a circus in the 1930’s America.
M1: The last book I read was a novel called The Search by a London author called Geoff Dyer, and it’s about, it’s … it’s set in the States. It’s about a man who’s paid to pursue another person and he travels across the land trying to catch him.
W2: The last book I read: Breaking Dawn, part of um, The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Myers. I was re-reading it for the third time because I really enjoy the books. They get you quite hooked.
 W3: I read a collection of short stories by Sylvia Plath called Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.
M2: Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, um, which was an “easy read”, and it was fun, it was humorous. It was a book I, I’d had on my shelf for ages and I just, it took me years to get round to reading it. Part 3 V: What’s your favorite book?
 W1: My favorite book of all time is a book called One Fine Day by Mollie Pan, Panter- Downes, which is a book about a, a, a housewife, just after the Second World War, and it just traces her, her existence in a day of her life. It’s terribly mundane.
M3: Um, probably The Killing Joke, which is a Batman graphic novel.
W3: Well, one of them is definitely a book by Jean Cocteau called Les Enfants Terribles, which is about, er, two siblings and their kind of twisted relationship.
Part 4
V: Which fictional character would you most like to be, or meet?
M1: I’d most like to meet the fictional character, er, John Self from Martin Amis’ novel Money, which is the funniest novel I’ve ever read.
M2: I think that would be the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Um, just his irrationality, or irrationality to everyone else who looks at him, um, but to him, he’s completely normal.
M3: That’s quite an easy one: Batman. I’d love to be Batman, and I’d love to meet the Joker.
W3: Um, I think I’d like to meet, um, Humbert Humbert from Lolita, which is by Nabokov, um, because he’s such a complex character, and in the book you really empathize with him even though he’s got such dark and monstrous desires.

W1: Perhaps one of my, the people I’d most like to meet would be Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. And I suppose, by default, that means I’d quite like to be Elizabeth Bennett.

Advanced 2. Video: E-books or print books?

Click here. Listen to some people talking about e-books vs print books. Read the transcript below and fill in the gaps with one or two words (select the blanks to see the answers).

1.- Customers walk in and go “ahhh, the smell of books”. I completely underestimated that element of print books.
2.- When you’re moving around like I think a lot of people in our generation do these days, it’s just much more convenient to have sort of a digital device to have all of your books organized in one spot.
3.- There are some customers that just totally want a book to put in their hand. They have the smell of the book, they have the feel of the book. They love a book.
4.- What I like about it so much is that a lot of backlist from writers that you really like and you were sorry that their books were out of print, you couldn’t get them anymore except in collectors’ edition. It’s really nice to have those e-books available again.
5.- Well, I guess I think information is information, and however we get it, is significant.
6.- The amount of people who have e-readers are still buying physical books and there’s some static  only 2 % of the people only read digitally you know, I mean , that doesn’t include just reading books but newspapers or whatever. And so it seems that there’s definitely room for both formats.
7.- People who have e-readers also like a regular book. They love the e-reader and they’re addicted to the e-reader but they also do like regular books.
8.- Some people will say that if they like the book enough or they want to give the book to somebody or they want make notes in the books or they want, you know, just simply, you know, an extra copy that they will, you know, have both.
9.- There are some that I do actually have both ways and the reason I do that is because I either have a copy I’ve had for decades at home that I still love or that’s got marks in it or meditations of various kinds. And I still prefer to read a paper book if I get a chance. But they’re books that I love to have with me where I am as well.
10.- I can’t help but believe that we will always have print books.
11.- I don’t think books are gonna die. That’s not gonna happen. No. I think people really appreciate books.
12.- What we might see is if e-books become more popular, people also might get rid of their older copies of the used books and you might see just more used books.
13.-There’s an analogy, it’s not perfect but an analogy that I like when the camera came out, painting didn’t go away. It will be a different thing in print books, but this industry has been evolving for the last 20 years.
14.- The iPod changed most everyone’s reading. I was listening to music listing because I think partially you could have your collection on one device and shuffle through it, but a book is a longer commitment than a song.

15.- I like to think of what is going on with vinyl records, you know, vinyl records are oddly coming back in some ways a kind of boutique music medium. And everybody thought they were completely died out with the CD, but they haven’t. They’ve actually made this comeback. Paper books, you know, don’t totally get replaced by e-books because it’s part of the experience you can’t just reproduce.