Marisa’s advanced English class

Posted by marisadedios on May 20, 2011


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Posted by marisadedios on September 29, 2008

Click on the arrow to go to our


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Posted by marisadedios on July 4, 2008

We are all quite worried about the economic slowdown. How will it affect our own economy? Well, I hope you find this programme interesting. This time you have to fill in the gaps, similar to the exercises we did in class, OK? Click on the burger to get started.

Some of you have already sent me an essay and asked about topics for writing the next one. How about writing a long comment about your personal opinion on this issue?

Animations - burger-01

Posted in LISTENING | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

stay hungry, stay foolish

Posted by marisadedios on June 7, 2008

Steve Jobs is a co-founder of Apple, the man behind the astonishing success of the computer animation firm Pixar – of Toy Story and Finding Nemo fame – a billionaire regarded as a visionary in the industry.Yet compared with Bill Gates he is practically unknown. His speech for the commencement address at Standford University is really one of a kind. I have chosen it to say “see you around” to you. I think the message he gives is one to really follow. I have really enjoyed teaching you this year. Keep in touch.


If you want to do the listening comprehension exercises for parts 1 and 2 click here For the exercises for part 3 click here.

What do you think? Do you like it? In my opinion it is not just what he says that is important, but also the way he delivers his speech? Can you tell me why?

How about writing the transcript? Maybe you could each write a bit. Here goes the beginning:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

You might like to translate the transcript. (Transcript key ). How about writing the Spanish subtitles for the speech? You can then compare to this version: watch the video with Spanish subtitles

As I said to you, I’ll keep updating the blog from time to time and I’ll be delighted to read your comments. You can also send your doubts to the query forum or even your writings if you want me to correct them.

BY the way, thanks for the dinner last night, I had a smashing time. You know what? My earrring finally appeared! It was in my dress!

Posted in VIDEOS | Tagged: | 13 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on May 9, 2008

A few days ago, I friend sent me an email that says there is a little girl who has six months to live. People are asked to forward the email about her to as many people as possible because the American Cancer Society will give 3 cents per email to support her treatment. It starts with a poem titled Slow Dance. Well I was almost taken in by the hoax. The poem has actually been taken from a psychologist’s website.

However, I like the poem and I think it is food for thought so I wanted to share it with you.

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.


In the BBC world service you can find more about The Hoax, a film which stars Richard Gere. The film is based on a true story – how, in 1971, a writer called Clifford Irving tried to get a fake autobiography of the superstar millionaire Howard Hughes published and make himself extremely rich in the process…

Film critic Nigel Andrews uses lots of informal expressions to talk about the setting of the film


Posted in LISTENING, READING | 8 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on May 9, 2008

Thank you Gloria for your important contributions both to the blog and in class. Here go the websites that you have found for us to practise more exercises., (Gloria’s favourite)

Posted in USE OF ENGLISH | Tagged: | 2 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on April 24, 2008


orders and commands quiz

indirect questions quiz

reporting verbs exercise

Posted in reported speech, UNIT 8, USE OF ENGLISH | Tagged: | 8 Comments »

word formation exercise: just click on the image!

Posted by marisadedios on April 20, 2008

Want more practice?

Don’t miss the lessons (May lessons are more exam-training orientated). Meanwhile, you can also try these exercises.

word formation extra practice

word formation in context

more word formation in context

and still more word formation in context

Posted in UNIT 7, USE OF ENGLISH, word formation | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on April 7, 2008

Want more practice? Go to these websites.

ING/INF quiz 1

ING/INF quiz 2

ING/INF quiz 3

Posted in gerund or infinitive, USE OF ENGLISH | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Whoever, whenever…

Posted by marisadedios on March 30, 2008

Want more practice? Just click here

Posted in UNIT 6, VOCABULARY, whoever | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

¿Por qué nos cuesta tanto hablar inglés?

Posted by marisadedios on March 24, 2008

El 65% de los españoles tiene un nivel bajo – Las películas dobladas y el escaso impulso del sistema educativo frenan su difusión

ANA PANTALEONI .  El  País  23/03/2008

¿Qué es un español? Alguien que se pasa su vida aprendiendo inglés. Y, se podría añadir, que nunca lo aprende. Búlgaros, húngaros y turcos son los únicos que alegan hablar menos inglés que los españoles. El 65% de los españoles reconoce que no es capaz de hablar, ni de leer ni de escribir en ese idioma. ¿Por qué lo hablamos tan mal?

Es cierto que se trata de un problema arrastrado. La dictadura de Franco cerró las fronteras al inglés durante 40 años, se centró en la defensa del español y España se convirtió así en un país acostumbrado a ver cine doblado. En la actualidad, el dominio del inglés sigue siendo uno de los factores educativos que más marca la diferencia entre unas clases sociales y otras, de ahí el énfasis en los últimos años en que los colegios públicos sean bilingües o, como ha propuesto CiU, la necesidad de que los colegios impartan algunas asignaturas en inglés para dar una solución a esta situación que afecte a todos por igual.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in GIVE US YOUR OPINION | 11 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on March 14, 2008

Listening podcast: BBC radio Women’s hour

First you need to download the teenagers-staying-over document.

Read the statements for TEENAGER 1. Then, click on the audio link and listen to what she says. You will probably need to listen to it twice to fill in the gaps. Do the same for the rest of the teenagers.

For the second part, read the definitions and stop the listening everytime you think you have heard a synonymous word or expression.

Finally check, as usual, with “ver ocultos”.

As Easter homework you have to write a discursive essay about the topic I gave in class. Alternatively, you can write it about this topic, OK?


Download from BBC

Posted in LISTENING, UNIT 6 | 2 Comments »

unit 6 vocabulary review

Posted by marisadedios on March 14, 2008

Well let’s see if it works. I have had a lot of problems to upload the exercise we did in class the other day. I HOPE you can open the file and if it works I’ll prepare more exercises like this, OK? Just click on the crab!.

Posted in UNIT 6, VOCABULARY | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

body idioms

Posted by marisadedios on March 12, 2008


Feel like doing a bit more practice on body idioms? Here go the exercises we have done in class, together with a few internet quizes.


body idioms quiz

body idioms quiz2

body idioms match

Posted in body idioms, UNIT 6, VOCABULARY | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Hope there’s someone

Posted by marisadedios on March 12, 2008

The video I embedded originally has been removed, so here goes a different video!

I love this song. What do you think about its meaning? I have also attached the exercise we have done in class.



Posted in hope there's someone, SONGS | 8 Comments »


Posted by marisadedios on March 8, 2008

If you found last week lesson interesting, you may want to read a bit more about the topic in unit 6. Here goes an article I found on

How Marketers Target Kids

advertising collageKids represent an important demographic to marketers because they have their own purchasing power, they influence their parents’ buying decisions and they’re the adult consumers of the future.

Industry spending on advertising to children has exploded in the past decade, increasing from a mere $100 million in 1990 to more than $2 billion in 2000.

Parents today are willing to buy more for their kids because trends such as smaller family size, dual incomes and postponing children until later in life mean that families have more disposable income. As well, guilt can play a role in spending decisions as time-stressed parents substitute material goods for time spent with their kids.

Here are some of the strategies marketers employ to target children and teens:

Pester Power

“We’re relying on the kid to pester the mom to buy the product, rather than going straight to the mom.”

Barbara A. Martino, Advertising Executive

Today’s kids have more autonomy and decision-making power within the family than in previous generations, so it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy. “Pester power” refers to children’s ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy. Marketing to children is all about creating pester power, because advertisers know what a powerful force it can be.

According to the 2001 marketing industry book Kidfluence, pestering or nagging can be divided into two categories—”persistence” and “importance.” Persistence nagging (a plea, that is repeated over and over again) is not as effective as the more sophisticated “importance nagging.” This latter method appeals to parents’ desire to provide the best for their children, and plays on any guilt they may have about not having enough time for their kids.

The marriage of psychology and marketing

To effectively market to children, advertisers need to know what makes kids tick. With the help of well-paid researchers and psychologists, advertisers now have access to in-depth knowledge about children’s developmental, emotional and social needs at different ages. Using research that analyzes children’s behaviour, fantasy lives, art work, even their dreams, companies are able to craft sophisticated marketing strategies to reach young people.

The issue of using child psychologists to help marketers target kids gained widespread public attention in 1999, when a group of U.S. mental health professionals issued a public letter to the American Psychological Association (APA) urging them to declare the practice unethical. The APA is currently studying the issue.

Building brand name loyalty

Canadian author Naomi Klein tracks the birth of “brand” marketing in her 2000 book No Logo. According to Klein, the mid-1980s saw the birth of a new kind of corporation—Nike, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few—which changed their primary corporate focus from producing products to creating an image for their brand name. By moving their manufacturing operations to countries with cheap labour, they freed up money to create their powerful marketing messages. It has been a tremendously profitable formula, and has led to the creation of some of the most wealthy and powerful multi-national corporations the world has seen.

Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships. According to the Center for a New American Dream, babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots. Brand loyalties can be established as early as age two, and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.

“Brand marketing must begin with children. Even if a child does not buy the product and will not for many years… the marketing must begin in childhood.”

James McNeal, The Kids Market, 1999

While fast food, toy and clothing companies have been cultivating brand recognition in children for years, adult-oriented businesses such as banks and automakers are now getting in on the act.

Magazines such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People have all launched kid and teen editions—which boast ads for adult related products such as minivans, hotels and airlines.

Buzz or street marketing

The challenge for marketers is to cut through the intense advertising clutter in young people’s lives. Many companies are using “buzz marketing”—a new twist on the tried-and-true “word of mouth” method. The idea is to find the coolest kids in a community and have them use or wear your product in order to create a buzz around it. Buzz, or “street marketing,” as it’s also called, can help a company to successfully connect with the savvy and elusive teen market by using trendsetters to give their products “cool” status.

Buzz marketing is particularly well-suited to the Internet, where young “Net promoters” use newsgroups, chat rooms and blogs to spread the word about music, clothes and other products among unsuspecting users.

Commercialization in educationcoke machine

School used to be a place where children were protected from the advertising and consumer messages that permeated their world—but not any more. Budget shortfalls are forcing school boards to allow corporations access to students in exchange for badly needed cash, computers and educational materials.

Corporations realize the power of the school environment for promoting their name and products. A school setting delivers a captive youth audience and implies the endorsement of teachers and the educational system. Marketers are eagerly exploiting this medium in a number of ways, including:

  • Sponsored educational materials: for example, a Kraft “healthy eating” kit to teach about Canada’s Food Guide (using Kraft products); or forestry company Canfor’s primary lesson plans that make its business focus seem like environmental management rather than logging.
  • Supplying schools with technology in exchange for high company visibility.
  • Exclusive deals with fast food or soft drink companies to offer their products in a school or district.
  • Advertising posted in classrooms, school buses, on computers, etc. in exchange for funds.
  • Contests and incentive programs: for example, the Pizza Hut reading incentives program in which children receive certificates for free pizza if they achieve a monthly reading goal; or Campbell’s Labels for Education project, in which Campbell provides educational resources for schools in exchange for soup labels collected by students.
  • Sponsoring school events: The Canadian company ShowBiz brings moveable video dance parties into schools to showcase various sponsors’ products.

The Internet

The Internet is an extremely desirable medium for marketers wanting to target children:

  • It’s part of youth culture. This generation of young people is growing up with the Internet as a daily and routine part of their lives.
  • Parents generally do not understand the extent to which kids are being marketed to online.
  • Kids are often online alone, without parental supervision.
  • Unlike broadcasting media, which have codes regarding advertising to kids, the Internet is unregulated.
  • Sophisticated technologies make it easy to collect information from young people for marketing research, and to target individual children with personalized advertising.
  • By creating engaging, interactive environments based on products and brand names, companies can build brand loyalties from an early age.

Marketing adult entertainment to kids

Children are often aware of and want to see entertainment meant for older audiences because it is actively marketed to them. In a report released in 2000, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed how the movie, music and video games industries routinely market violent entertainment to young children.

I know what you did last summerThe FTC studied 44 films rated “Restricted,” and discovered that 80 per cent were targeted to children under 17. Marketing plans included TV commercials run during hours when young viewers were most likely to be watching. One studio’s plan for a violent R-rated film stated, “Our goal was to find the elusive teen target audience, and make sure that everyone between the ages of 12 and 18 was exposed to the film.”

Music containing “explicit-content” labels were targeted at young people through extensive advertising in the most popular teen venues on television, and radio, in print, and online.

Of the video game companies investigated for the report, 70 per cent regularly marketed Mature rated games (for 17 years and older) to children. Marketing plans included placing advertising in media that would reach a substantial percentage of children under 17.

The FTC report also highlighted the fact that toys based on characters from mature entertainment are often marketed to young children. Mature and Teen rated video games are advertised in youth magazines; and toys based on Restricted movies and M-rated video games are marketed to children as young as four.

Posted in READING, UNIT 6 | 7 Comments »

Listen again: Scottish news

Posted by marisadedios on March 1, 2008

Would you like to listen to the BBC Scotland news again?

You can also try to do the exercises once more news-20feb exercises

Posted in LISTENING | 2 Comments »

Ms Aguirre in English

Posted by marisadedios on February 29, 2008

Last Wednesday Ms Aguirre gave a speech in English. Good as her English is, there’s always room for improvement. Can you find the mistakes she makes?


key:  as you have already pointed out she says “he’s going to won” instead of “he’s going to win”
More mistakes:
Why Mr Zapatero has decided not to go to any political concentration?” should be “why has Mr Zapatero decided not to…”
Because he doesn’t know what is a bonobus” should be “he doesn’t know what a bonobus is”
he confuse the abono transporte” should be “confuses” 
Because never rides in the public transport” should be “Because he never uses/goes on/travels by/commutes by public transport” 

Posted in VIDEOS | 6 Comments »

Looking for a job? Choose the best company to work for!

Posted by marisadedios on February 22, 2008

Remember the article we read in class the other day? I hope you find this video amusing.

Posted in UNIT 5, VIDEOS | 49 Comments »

who wants to be a millionaire?

Posted by marisadedios on February 22, 2008

To conclude the unit related to money…. click here to play the game.

Posted in GAMES | Tagged: | 7 Comments »