Lesson summaries March 2014

Wednesday March 5th

The saying for Wednesday's lesson was:
" It's the price you pay."

The lesson was about kitchens, homes and furniture. There was a lot of new vocabulary.  Here are the lists we made together in class:

living room
dining room

The furniture was mainly kitchen furniture, but you can find some of it in other rooms in the house too.

chairs (and folding chairs)
cupboard (they can also be tall and they can have drawers)
step  (and stairs)
stove (wood-burning or coal-burning)

freezer (which can also combine as fridge-freezer and can also have drawers)
cooker (gas, electric or induction)
washing machine
clothes drier
clothes line
coffee machine

We all agreed that the kitchen is the most important room in the house and we were all very happy with our kitchens.  We all spend a lot of time there and we like to invite friends to come and sit around the kitchen table and spend hours and hours eating and talking.

For homework I gave you some copies of a couple of pages from a textbook with exercises to practise the vocabulary of homes and furniture.  We can look at this together in the next lesson and we'll do a listening activity.

Monday March 10th and Wednesday March 12th

This is a double summary because we covered more or less the same areas on both lessons.

In the lesson on Monday we talked about flats and homes and rooms and the distribution of space.   We added to our previous vocabulary lists with new names for rooms and more parts of the house.

The new  rooms we added to the list were:

Games room
Utility room

Do you remember what they all are?
Can you write a sentence explaining what you do in each room?
For example: This is where we store our food.

Parts of the house
This was a new vocabulary area. There were some words we know already and some new ones:
Floor (remember that this has two meanings)
Wall (remember that there are a lot of different types of walls!)
Rooftop terrace
Ground floor
Top floor
Water tank

Make sure you remember what each word means.  Do you have all these things in your flat or building?  We don't have a rooftop terrace or a water tank for rainwater.  There's no basement, but there is a large garage under the building.

In the lesson on Wednesday we reviewed this vocabulary with some activities. We looked at pronunciation and definitions and we talked about our flats.  I showed you a simple plan of my flat and you listened to a short "tour" of the flat. By coincidence, José Antonio knows one of my neighbours who lives on the 10th floor!

We also looked at these verbs:


We saw that it has two meanings: to play a musical instrument and to play a sport.
When we talk about music we use the:   Lourdes plays the piano. 
When we talk about sport, we don't use theLourdes and José Antonio play French billiards.

Make and do

These two verbs can be confusing. In Spanish they are both translated by hacer.  Do often describes an action, for example a sport, or work.  Make describes the production of something – usually an object.  Look at these examples.

Yesterday I made a chocolate cake.
I always make a cup of tea in the morning.
My friend makes bread every morning.
Do you usually make a list when you go shopping?

I don't do a lot of sport.
Did you do your homework last week?
I do the housework in the morning.
I do the shopping in the afternoon.

The difference is subtle and sometimes it doesn't help to think about the basic difference in meaning. Sometimes it's better to just remember the fixed expression e.g. do your homework.

For homework I asked you write a short description of your flat.  Next lesson we will go back and talk about Romerías and the books you are reading. 

Monday  March 17th

Today we reviewed the vocabulary to talk about houses and homes, we talked about festivals, religious and pagan, and we shared a lot of stories.  As always, when there are a lot of stories, there was a lot of new vocabulary.

Let's start with some pronunciation points from the class.  Can you remember how to pronounce these words and expressions?  I'll ask you again next lesson.

dining room
games room

Here is the definition we wrote together for Romería.

It is a religious festival, but it is also an excuse for a party.
It is a group of people that/who travel to a holy/sacred place and often carry a holy statue.  Normally they travel on foot, or on horse-drawn carts or on horseback.

We talked about different festivals. Toñi told us about her experience in the Rocío festival years ago.  She didn't like it.  She thought it was just an excuse for a party. There were a lot of people and at one point she was carried by the crowd. Her feet didn't touch the ground and she was scared.  She doesn't want to go back ever again!

Lourdes agreed that she doesn't like the big festivals, but she likes the smaller ones. They are simpler and quieter and not so much of a party.

José Antonio told us the story of the earthquake of 1755 and the priest who stopped the tidal wave when he brought the standard of the virgin out onto the street.  We talked a lot about the origin of these festivals and that many are pre-Christian or Celtic in origin.

Look at the words in bold in the four paragraphs above.  Can you remember what they mean?  For homework can you write a short description of one of the stories from today's lesson?  And please remember to watch the short video about houses.  You can use the link here, or there's a link on the home page of the blog.

Wednesday March 19
Saying of the day:  I looked for a better way of expressing our thought for today’s lesson (The student becomes better than the teacher). Here are some sayings I found and liked on the topic but I couldn’t find exactly the right expression:
A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~Thomas Carruthers
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” 
Phil Collins
True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their
Nikos Kazantzakis
We started the class with a lesson about Cádiz history. I learned about the “pimpis”, their fantastic English and their lives on the docks.  I also learned about the underworld in Cádiz, the sailors, the soldiers, the bar that was also a currency exchange, changing coins from all kinds of different countries, and the shop that sold souvenirs and took photos of people with a horse made of card.  It was very interesting!  I feel more knowledgeable now.  It’s a pity San Juan de Dios has lost these special places! 
Then we looked again at the video you watched for homework, the one about the different kinds of housing.
These were the types of housing we discussed:
apartments or flats
I said that the main difference between flat and apartment is that British people use flat, and Americans use apartment.  We disagreed with the man on the video who said that houses are all big. We said that there are small houses too, and that people who live in houses are not necessarily rich. We disagreed too with his definition of cottage. We talked about its origin, a small house in the country, built for people for worked on the land and we looked on google and found images that were more similar to our idea of a cottage (like in Harry Potter or David Copperfield or the MIss Marple stories).  We talked for a long time about huts, in Africa and in Spain, and about the materials used to build them: stones, mud, grass, sticks.  We also talked about flats and buildings in Cádiz and some of the blocks of flats that were built in the poorer part of Cádiz.   In Spanish you say they’re like anthills, in English we say they’re like rabbit warrens.
We then started to talk about hotels.  To start with we talked about expensive, 5-star hotels, and the importance of a good view and easy access in Cádiz.  We all agreed that we didn’t like the design of the new Parador, with its strips of steel but Toñi told us a friend of hers said the view from the roof is the best in Cádiz (the best in the world José Antonio added) especially at sunset. And we talked about the beautiful sunsets you can see on the beach in the Caleta, with the colours reflected in the rock pools and the sun setting between the rocks and the two castles.  I’m not sure how the conversation changed, but soon José Antonio was telling us about how he impressed the girls on the beach by building sundials (solar clocks) with the stick from a chupa chup!

To finish we looked quickly at photos of two hotels that are very different from the Playa Hotel and the Parador.  For homework, please read about these hotels and complete the exercises on the prepositions of place. 

Monday, March 24th
In today’s class we had a lot of conversation that covered a lot of topics! 
Toñi, you gave us the example for our first language point:
The present continuous
Toñi isn’t coming today, she’s working.
We form the present continuous with the verb to be and the ---ing form of the verb: 
I’m going
You’re going
She/He’s going etc
I’m not going
You aren’t going
She/He isn’t going etc
We use the present continuous to talk about something that’s happening now or today, especially when it is different from the things we do every day.
We looked at the difference between the present simple (She comes) and the present continuous (She’s coming)
Toñi usually comes to the lesson but today she isn’t coming, she’s working.
I usually eat at home, but today I’m having lunch in a restaurant.
In the next lesson we’ll look at this again.  It’s a very common verb form and it’s easy to use and remember.
The next point came from a question from José Antonio:
Pronunciation of “the”
There are two pronunciations of the 
The beginning  (this is the normal pronunciation)
The end  (here we pronounce the “e” as “i”)
The pronunciation changes because of the letter that follows at the beginning of the next word. If it is a consonant, the pronunciation is as normal.  If it is a vowel (a,e,i,o,u), the pronunciation is with an “i”.
The banana, the apple, the doctor, the actor etc
More pronunciation
We looked at some of the words from the conversation. We looked at two groups:
1 words that are similar in Spanish.  Often the words look very similar, but there are differences in the pronunciation.  Can you remember how to pronounce these words?  If you want to chek you can use the audio on google translate or these two online dictionaries have audio too. It’s very good for listening and repeating:
presence, reference, society, chocolate, licence, serious, education, future.
Write a simple sentence with each word and practise reading it. This helps with the pronunciation.
2 words that are not similar in Spanish.  Can you remember what they mean? Can you say them?  Use a dictionary to check.
knowledge, devil, wheel, stock exchange, buy

We talked about a lot of very important and serious topics. Toñi, Lourdes and José Antonio will tell you about them on Wednesday!  This was one of the sayings that we looked at in the conversation: “The Gaditanos are their own worse enemy.”  Do you agree? 

Wednesday, March 26th
In this lesson we looked mainly at the story of Robin Hood and we talked about the book that you read.
It was clear that you enjoyed reading the book and that you learned a lot of new vocabulary from it.
Here are some of the words you remembered. Can you remember how to pronounce them all?

bow and arrows
weakness  (weak)
pride  (proud)
strength  (strong)
smile  ( :) )
laugh  (hahaha)

and some expressions:

they lived happily ever after
through the forest 

Monday, March 31
Morgan was your teacher for this lesson.  Here is his summary:

In yesterday's class we introduced ourselves and talked about our lives. It was very interesting to learn that in our group we had a banker and a chemistry and physics teacher. We also distinguished between the male waiter and female waitress.

We started talking about places, travel and a little about the weather. Jose Antonio talked about his opinions on women (who occupy the lives of men!) and people from Seville (who occupy the places they visit), as well as how wonderful Cadiz is and how we must take care of the city. 

You told me that some areas have changed, for example the beaches of cadiz were more natural, with pebbles. Although the climate here is very hot (adjective) in summer, we agreed that winter can get very cold without heat (noun) in the houses. 

Then we listened to some people describing pictures of their favourite holiday destinations, including a city, mountains, countryside and a beach covered in snow! Does it ever snow in Cadiz?

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