Friday, 14 December 2012

What's on your bedside table? (1)

Winter is here in Bucharest with everything we hate: temperatures below freezing, dirty snow, slippery pavements, bumps and bruises, aggressive drivers stuck in traffic jams. Another dusting of new snow is expected next week.

But at home, at home we have everything we love: family and friends, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, our favourite tea, the cosy sofa.

Sometimes you come back home, put your cold feet into your fluffy slippers and realize something's missing. A good book is  missing, or a stack of books.
                                                                                      
By the way, what are you reading this winter? What about "Great Expectations"? You might ask, "Why on Earth would I read Charles Dickens in the 21st century? He was a man of his times, all right. In his novels he teaches us how to think. But many other writers do."

The reason why I like and recommend Charles Dickens is because he tells us things about ourselves, because he is such a keen observer of the human nature. Dickens is a man of our times, as well. His messages about poverty and charity, about misfortunes and forgiveness can teach us valuable lessons on how to survive, about generosity and faith. Aren't poverty and charity themes we are talking about a lot these days? You'll probably recognize your neighbour or a relative in the novel, your teacher, a lawyer or a famous Romanian politician. It's about your life.

There are lots of offers and promotions you should take advantage of:

Try this preview sample if you don't believe me, or this Kindle edition. Both are in English, at affordable prices.

What are you reading this winter?


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Updates you might have missed

ACADEMY ISLAND
Practice your English with Cambridge games.

- Level: Exam level: Preliminary, (PET), First (FCE), Advanced (CAE)
- CEFR level: B1-C1
- Skills practised: Reading

Friday, 30 November 2012

New Café on the Block


Statiscs say the following about the Romanians.

"As for their leisure time activities, 81.5% never goes to theatre, 77.1% states that going to cinema is not a habit for them, meanwhile 48% goes out in discos on regular basis. 39% never reads books and 41% does not practice any sport. Seems like the only constant activity is watching television, as 63% declared." Source (2007): CafeBabel.com

                                                                        
The above figures have been changing dramatically in the past years. The capital city offers a generous list of attractions for theatre-goers, book-hunters, music lovers or for social interaction.
                                 http://antante.ro/cafeneaua-bloggerilor/

Good news. A new cafe to open in Bucharest! Excellent news for bloggers. The man behind the idea is Victor Catalin. I've never met him and probably, never will.
Still, it seems I've known him for ages. Immediately after I had created this blog for young English students, in March 2010, I found out about ToateBlogurile portal and registerd my blog. The young, restless man never ceased to amaze me.

Producing projects seems to be have been written in his job description:
tB.ro (Portal),  ZtB.ro (Ziarul Toate Blogurile), VtB.ro (Comunitate de presa pentru bloggeri), ADtB.ro  (Program de afiliere) and last but not least, Cafeneaua bloggerilor. Not only does he have projects, he also fulfil them all.

Congratulations Catalin and best of luck!

Read more in Popa Nan 3A

Romania's National Holiday

Fii sincer: ce inseamna 1 decembrie pentru tine? If you are Romanian, have you ever asked yourself this question? If you live abroad you must have strong feelings for Romania and I applaud you for this.

Whoever you are, wherever you live in the Global Village, please read this post in Romanian or enjoy some of Romania's most beautiful places through a photo tour.

http://lexisscoli.blogspot.ro/2012/11/fii-sincer-ce-inseamna-1-decembrie.html

Happy National Day!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Mondays with Crazy English

Learning English is fun. I've given you plenty of examples. Here's another one: spoonerisms. They are slips of the tongue due to inattention, insufficient knowledge or a deliberate play on words.
                                        Source: http://www.crosswordunclued.com/

This tendency to switch consonants and vowels is manifest with little kids, but adults are also prone to this impediment. This tendency was named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner  who was famous for this tendency. According to Wikipedia the following examples are attributed to him:
  • "Three cheers for our queer old dean!" (dear old queen, referring to Queen Victoria)
  • "Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?" (customary to kiss)
  • "The Lord is a shoving leopard." (a loving shepherd)
  • "A blushing crow." (crushing blow)
  • "A well-boiled icicle" (well-oiled bicycle)
  • "You were fighting a liar in the quadrangle." (lighting a fire)
  • "Is the bean dizzy?" (Dean busy)
  • "Someone is occupewing my pie. Please sew me to another sheet." (occupying my pew...show me to another seat)
  • "You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain." (missed...history, wasted...term, down train)[6]
A newspaper column[2] attributes this additional example to Spooner: "A nosey little cook." (cozy little nook).

The English language develops and if we have a spoon(erism), why can't we have a fork(erism) and knif(erism). They are usually known as nonce words (words that are not excepted to occur twice. 
                                    Source: http://bestuff.com/


"Honorificabilitudinitatibus" is such an example and was used by Shakespeare in his works.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bastilia 2012 - Condamnaţi la lectură

Dacă ai trecut prin Piaţa Romană, venind dinspre Universitate, ai zărit cu siguranţă o vilă somptuoasă care te întâmpină cu distincţia caracteristică fostului Mic Paris. Din goana maşinii nu ai timp să admiri decât arhitectura clădirii care se încadrează în stilul neo-romanesc. Treci cu vederea detaliile bizantine şi elementele decorative româneşti, grabindu-te spre locul tău de munca dintr-un bloc de birouri sau spre casa proaspăt echipată cu sisteme audio şi vedeo, gadget-uri şi mobilier ultra funcţional.

Nici nu-ţi dai seamă că de fapt trăieşti şi lucrezi într-o temniţă de termopane şi-ţi bei cafeaua sub un bombardament electronic, unde stresul te încătuşează şi câmpul magnetic creat de boxe, monitoare, telefoane etc te striveşte.

Bastilia a căzut. Trăiască Bastilia!

Ai o pauză? Ia-ţi laptop-ul şi urca În al 9-lea cer. Nu e o metafora, e o cafenea; spaţiul e generos, lumina te inundă, liniştea te calmează. Şi culmea, bucureştenii care-şi savurează cafeaua sau ceaiul la mesele colorate sunt foarte tineri. Par studenţi care fac planuri de succes şi tineri profesionişti care îşi savurează deja succesul.

Dacă eşti adult, părintele unui adolescent sau student, odată ajuns acolo, ai toate şansele să devii cool. Cred că acesta a fost sentimentul celor 50 invitaţi la workshop-ul organizat de Lexis Scoli de Limbi Straine. Tema, “Adolescenţii şi nevoile relaţionale”, nu este subiect de cafenea. Şi totuşi, ingredientele evenimentului au făcut ca cele trei ore   
să treacă pe nesimţite :
                                                                                                                         
- o prelegere şi o conversaţie agreabile, stăpânite cu fineţe de Cristina Elena Negut – senior trainer Habitat Management Team;
- invitaţii de toate vârstele, spirituali şi cu simţul umorului, au demonstrat o disponibilitate reală pentru informare si comunicare;
- şi nu în ultimul rând, staff-ul librăriei, discreţi dar de un profesionalism exemplar. Şi cafeaua, sortimentele de ceai şi... (wow!) ciocolata caldă.
 
 Ce să-ţi mai spun? Ţi se vor întâmpla lucruri absolute neobişnuite. Sigur vei fi tentat să te ascunzi în Colţul pentru lectură sau pur şi simplu vei rămâne cu ochii pironiţi pe pereţi (!?). S-ar putea să-ţi îndeplineşti visul de a-ţi vedea copilul transformat într-un cititor de carte. În sala de lectură şi activităţi pentru copii, mâna de care s-a sudat un I-Phone nu va rezista tentaţiei să nu răsfoiască o carte, să nu-şi testeze “geniul” încercând un joc logic. Crede-mă pe cuvânt, du-te să vezi.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Big Ben and the Romanian kid

Yesterday, I visited a school in Bucharest, Romania. A new school with an old tradition. With a group of enthusiastic teachers from Lexis Schools of Languages, I participated in a lesson on the European Day of Languages with games, flags and cartoons - everything primary school kids love in a language lessson.

The lesson was over. The kids were leaving the classroom when I saw a boy coming straight to me with a picture of Big Ben in his hand. Most seriously and unexpectedly for me, in the circumstances, he asked  if I could explain how the clock mechanism powers the famous Big Ben.

I didn't hesitate to give him brief explanations, but I realized it was not enough. He seemed to have been fascinated with technology and here I made this selection of videos for him.
Help needed!!
If anybody has more information for David S., the10 year-old boy with such a desire to learn new things, please post or recommend other reliable sources.
Thank you School 27 (Scoala Gimnaziala 27) from Bucharest for your hospitality and exceptionally smart students.
This post is dedicated to all children in Grade 3 A and Grade 4 C and their teachers, Mrs. Nicoleta Nigai and Angela Paslariu.
If you have other questions you'd like me to answer, please post them below.  You can write in Romanian.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Take a virtual tour of Big Ben and neighbourhood


 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pentru cine a reinceput scoala?

Orice reintalnire cu Cristina Elena Negut este o noua sansa. Cristina Negut - Senior Trainer Habitat Management - te inspira, iti da speranta si-ti sugereaza solutii. Training-ul sau de comunicare este mai mult decat instruire; este ocazia de a-ti analiza greselile si de a-ti redescoperi copilul.

Lexis Scoli de Limbi Straine si Active Events 
va invita la un nou ATELIER PENTRU PARINTI, 
sambata 29 septembrie 2012 

Inscriei la: events@activetraining.ro/ 0724 568 140 (Malina Neagu)
sau
mioara.iacob@lexis-romania.eu/ 021 - 225 1978 (Mioara Iacob)



Thursday, 6 September 2012

Zilele Culturale Lexis





















Lexis Unirii deschide seria evenimentelor din cadrul proiectului "Lexis - 20th Anniversary" cu o calatorie intr-o lume fascinanta a muzicii, filmului, sportului sau politicii din lumea Anglo-Saxona. Participantii beneficiaza de un cupon pentru inscrirea la cursurile Lexis cu o reducere de 10%.
Alte detalii pe  Facebook.

Libraria Diverta (din incinta Unirea Shopping Centre) este partener si gazda a evenimentului dedicat tinerilor elevi si studenti (16+ ani) carora li s-a pregatit si o oferta completa de produse scolare, o tombola si un raft cu surprize.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

English without tears

There's no way to learn faster and more efficiently than fun learning. Try infographics and you'll see what I mean.

Grammar Comics by The Oatmeal

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Care este varsta potrivita pentru studiul limbilor straine?

Va recomand: Kids4Top
"Copiii din generatia Internetului sunt la fel de inteligenti ca si cei din generatia cu cheia de gat; ei nu sunt si nu trebuie tratati ca genii. Ei au nevoie de idei novatoare, de profesori geniali care sa-i ghideze spre succes. Orice copil are o sansa de a ajunge in top: in arta, stiinta, politica, sport. Pentru copii deosebiti avem nevoie de o abordare deosebita.

Proiectul Kids4Top introduce o noua abordare a metodicii predarii limbilor straine, dinamica, logica, eficienta si atragatoare prin varietatea tehnicilor de lucru cu copiii." (www.copiisuperdotati.blogspot.ro)

Amintiti-va mereu rezultatele dezastruoase de la Bacalaureatul 2012, pentru a nu trai o asemenea experienta cu copilul dumneavoastra. De ce s-a ajuns aici? Cine este vinovat? Aveti nevoie doar de 2 minute pentru a raspunde la sondaj.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Extreme Photo of the Week -- National Geographic

I've never shared photos on this blog before, but this time I couldn't resist temptation. After I have watched these photos again and again I decided I needed to share for as many people to admire the exceptional skills of the National Geographic photographers and the spectacular views.

Enjoy them all!

Extreme Photo of the Week -- National Geographic

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Baron Pierre de Coubertine's Dream

If you are working on Olympic topics in class When Sport Can Change the World  provides a clear overview over the Olympic movement, Olympism, its founder and the games. The brochure is aimed at young learners aged 10 - 14 and is produced by the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and the Bridgeman Education in London. Unfortunately, the museum is closed for renovations until 2013, but it continues to provide publications and kits for educators.

Looking for even more resources? Download the education international programme produced by the London 2012 Education team for schools from around the world (registration required).









photos: http://olympicticket.blogspot.com/2012/04/london-olympic-stadium-olympic-tickets.html
            http://train4tradeskills.wordpress.com/tag/london-2012-olympic-legacy/

Yesterday 40,000 people, 30 British celebrities had a once in a lifetime chance to open the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Park. There are 81 days to go. Till then, happy teaching!





Friday, 27 April 2012

BBC Shakespeare Animated Tales - Romeo and Juliet - Part 1


These videos could be useful for supporting the students' reading of Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth,
The Taming of the Shrew.
You can watch Shakespear's most famous plays on YouTube Shakespeare Animated channel. Hope your students will enjoy it.

Technology for teachers recommended by Lilika Couri, co-director of Educational & Training Consultants

Friday, 20 April 2012

The cheapest way to go to the Olympics

Have you decided whether you are going to London? You might be nervous about the high prices, fees and fares everywhere during the Games. You have a good reason to hesitate, but there are solutions. Here's what I have selected for you.

London is the 18th most expensive city in the world. If you are planning to save as much as possible you'll find solutions for the cheapest way to go to the Olympics here:

There are big screens in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square
There are restrictions on how much food and drink you can take into the games venues.
A series of cultural events will take place alongside the Olympic Games. There will be about 500 events culminating in a Culture Festival. It's not a new idea; like the ancient Greeks, Pierre de Coubertin had in mind to bring sport and art together. Cultural events to complement the sporting games were for the first time performed in 1952. It was only in 1992 that the Cultural Olympiad was launched as a four-year event.

Find out more about opening and closing ceremonies, VIP packages, disabled access tickets etc.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

London 2012 countdown - 100 days to go

Modern Olympic Games
Pierre de Fredy, the Baron de Coubertin was only 17 when he started developing a strong belief that sport and athletic competition can benefit humankind and encourage peace among the nations of the world. In his opinion, participating in competitions can result in improving character in each individual and unite nations of the world in peaceful contests. Like the ancient Greeks before him, he was driven by his commitment in Olympism, by determination and lofty ideals: morality, mutual respect and respect for culture, education and ethical principles.

Thanks to the Baron Pierre de Coubertin we have the chance to experience once again one of the ideals of Olympism – peace in the world -, and re-create or strengthen a way of life based on balanced body, will and mind. In 1913, the Baron introduced the five Olympic Rings (Antarctica is excluded and the two Americas are considered as one). The International Olympic Committee introduced the Olympic flame in 1934 as a link between the ancient and modern games, a symbol for eternal youth, purity and unity.

There have been important changes in the evolution of the Games during the 20th and 21st centuries: the Winter, the Paralympic and the Youth Olympic Games. The developments of the economic, political and technological realities determined the Olympics to allow participation of professional athletes and also lead to sponsorship and commercialization. Neither theories, nor ideals could prevent the Olympics from cancellation; in 1916, 1940 and 1944 the World Wars proved stronger than ethics.

Later, these mistakes were rectified and the multi-sport events attracted more and more athletes: and volunteers:
• There were 15 sports in 1928 (Amsterdam) and 46 nations were represented
• 46,967 people helped at the Olympic venues in 2,000 in Sydney
• 10,625 athletes competed in Athens in 2004 accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. The costs exceeded €10 billion for hosting not including construction. The budget for security was about €2 billion and more than 70,000 policemen patrolled Athens and other Olympic venues.
• 11,028 athletes from 204 countries competed in 28 sports and 302 events in Beijing, China (2008). The officials informed the Media the costs were as high as for Athens, but different sources reported that about $40 billion had been spent in China.

In the next posts:
What do you know, what do you want to find out about London 2012 Olympic Games, what are the future and the potential city candidates? 
Why are 22,000 schools and colleges participating in the Olympic Games? 
How will 12 million children aound the world be encouraged to become actively involved in sports? Your comments are highly appreciated. Share this post with the others!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Let the Games begin!



Ancient Olympic Games 

The first Olympic Games were held in the village of Olympia, Greece, in 776 BC and were religious festivals. The origin is unclear; however, there are several legends and a known fact that it takes its name from Olympia, a sanctuary site for the Greek gods.

Sport and athletics were of great importance in Ancient Greece when the citizens believed that a healthy body was essential and naturally accompanied a fit mind, preparing the soldiers to march and carry the heavy equipment. Another concept, agon (=competition) was in the centre of attention. It was an honour to win a contest. It is important to mention that the Greeks competed for honour, not for material goods, and the only prize they received was an olive wreath. 

For about three centuries, the games served to strengthen the religious beliefs and the sense of national unity. Little by little, fame and the exceptional abilities of the competitors aroused the imagination of artists, sculptors, poets and writers. The games became what they are today: a celebration of athleticism, respect, fair play, art, morality etc.

In 393 AD, the Olympic Games were abolished by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. It was only after about 1,500 years that the so-called Modern Olympic Games began.

More about: Olympia, Greece
                      The modern town of Olympia, Greece
                      Ancient Olympic Games



In the next post: What influenced Pierre de Fredy to found the modern Olympic movement?

Friday, 30 March 2012

Mondays with Crazy English


Why we love and why we hate English
(Intermediate/ Upper-Intermediate level)
Read these sentences and you'll understand why:

1.  The bandage was wound around the wound.
2.  The farm was used to produce produce.
3.  The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4.  We must polish the Polish furniture.
5.  The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
         6.  Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the  present.
7.  I did not object to the object.
8.  The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
9.  There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
   10. They were too close to the door to close it.
   11. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
   12. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
   13. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
   14. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
   15. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

1.  to wind /waind/, wound, wound /wound/ = to wrap around ; wound n. /wuːnd/= injury
2.  to produce /prə ‘dju:s/ = to make, create, manufacture; produce n. /’prɒdju:s/ =
farm products
3.  to refuse /re'fju:z/ = to say you don't do sth.; refuse n. /'re fju:s/ = rubbish
4.  to polish = to clean a surface and make it shine; Polish = belonging, related to Poland
5.  to desert /di’zз:t/ = to abandon; dessert /di’zз:t/ = sweet food eaten at the end of a meal;
    desert /dezət/ = area of land with little water and few plants growing on it
6.  present /preznt/ = the time now; to present /pri’zent/ = give sth. esp formally ; present /preznt/ a thing given as a gift
7.  to object /əb’dʒekt/ = to protest; object /ˈɒbdʒɪkt, -dʒɛkt/ = solid thing that can be seen and touched
8.  invalid /inˈvalɪd/= not officially acceptable; invalid /ˈɪnvəlɪd/ = made weak by illness
9.  row /raʊ/= violent argument; row /rəʊ/ = a violent argument
10. close /kləʊs/ near; to close /kləʊz/ = to shut

11. wind /wind/ air moving; to wind /waind/ = to turn, to coil
12. number /ˈnʌmbə/ = an arithmetical value; number /nʌmə/ = deprived of physical sensation
13. tear /teə/ a hole, a split;  tear /tiə/ = drop of water coming from the eye
14. to subject /səbˈdʒɛkt/ to bring under control   the subject /ˈsʌbdʒɛkt, ˈsʌbdʒɪkt/ person or object being discussed
15. to intimate /ˈɪntɪmət/ to make known subtly; intimate /ˈɪntɪmət/ closely related

This is just an example why we both love and hate the English language.The characteristic called flexibility and has developed over the last five centuries due to the loss of inflections.

On the other hand, being relatively uninflected (analytic), English conjugation is not difficult to learn.

English is also characterized by free admission of words from other languages and the ready creation of compounds and derivatives (derivation).

Do these characteristics - any many more - make the English language difficult to learn? Tell us about your experience as a language learner.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Mondays with Crazy English

Georgie Porgie and the Three Musketeers 
Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.

Georgie kissed the girls. Naughty. But why did he run away when the boys came out to play?

 

Have you taught your children the well-known rhyme "Georgie Porgie"? Of course, you have, but you probably omitted to mention that Georgie, the real character was quite naughty. According to Linda Alchin Georgie  is connected to George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingnam (1592 - 1628), a man of suspect morals. Although his good looks appealed a lot to the ladies, it is believed that King James I took George as his lover. "Georgie' was notorious for his love affairs and political schemes. His behaviour and attitude was often overlooked due to his "friendship" with King James I. He was involved in many scandalous relationships with married queens and married ladies. One of them made him literature character for the second time. Alexandre Dumas featured George Villiers's romance with Anne of Austria in his novel "The Three Musketeers".
It seems there's a lot of murderous history behind English Children's Nursery Rhymes. Despite the murder, greed or betrayal in these poems, reciting these verse help children develop their pronunciation, intonations and vocabulary skills.

And one more example:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Dear European Leaders

EU aid budget has saved millions of lives and enrolled children in primary education. The budget is now under threat and could be cut by 30%. You can help to prevent this by signing a petition that reads:

Dear European leaders,
During your negotiations on the next seven year EU budget please agree to the level of international aid proposed in 2011, to ensure the EU continues to build on the amazing progress it has achieved in the fight against extreme poverty.
(excerpt from original message sent by Stuart McWilliam, ONE, org)




Please sign our petition calling on European leaders not to cut back on the proposed EU aid budget:
Read the petition
Please spread the word 


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Vrei să studiezi în străinătate?


Reprezentanţi a zeci de institutii universitare din Europa, Asia si SUA vor fi in Bucuresti peste cateva zile. Incep recrutarile!!! Citeste detaliile!
                                                                                      
Cum îţi poţi folosi cel mai bine cunoştinţele de limba engleză? In cadrul unui program de studiu în străinătate!

EDMUNDO te ajută gratuit să aplici la programele de master şi licenţă din cadrul a peste 50 de instituţii de învăţământ din Europa, America şi Asia. 
Te ajutăm să iţi alegi programul potrivit pentru tine, îţi spunem de ce documente ai nevoie, cum să le pregăteşti şi apoi îţi trimitem mai departe aplicaţia.
Te consiliem în absolut toate privințele: de la primele documente până la scara avionului și chiar mai departe, pe parcursul studiilor.
Cauta-ne !

Thursday, 23 February 2012

TARGUL DE UNIVERSITATI INTERNATIONALE - RIUF 2012

Echipa RIUF se pregateste pentru editia a 10-a a Targului de Universitati Internationale. Daca doresti sa-ti continui studiile in strainatate gratuit sau cu costuri scazute, vei afla cum este posibil, participand la intalniri cu reprezentatii celor mai prestigioase institurii academice:

17 - 18 martie la Sala Palatului (Bucuresti)
20 martie la Craft (Timisoara)
22 martie la Hotel Unirea (Iasi)

Concursuri cu premii, (computer-based) test de evaluare a cunostintelor de limba engleza!

Ne vedem la Sala Palatului!!

Detalii:  
http://educativa.ro/
Grup Educativa - FB page
 Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, 20 February 2012

Differences in American and British English grammar - article | Onestopenglish


Question: Is British English or American English accepted in the ESOL tests?

In general the language input to the Trinity College London and Cambridge University ESOL  tests is likely to be of a standard British English variety. Some American English terms are included in the vocabulary lists. The Listening test contains both British and American accents. In terms of a candidate’s output, both standard British English and standard American English are equally acceptable.

The most important rule of thumb is to be consistent in using either British or American spelling/ grammar/ vocabulary.

Here are a couple of grammar differences explained in the article, as well as activities and tips for you to enjoy!

Differences in American and British English grammar - article | Onestopenglish

British vs. American English - Activities and tips