Game of Thrones blooper spotted- Starbucks cup

Apparently, fans were shocked to find a Starbucks disposable coffee cup on the set of the latest Game of Thrones episode. Listen to this news report to know more about this blooper:

Annotated transcript (pay attention to the highlighted expressions)

  • Do you remember other bloopers you might have seen on film or TV?
  • What’s your take on the last part of the report? Would you say this blooper (or others) are intentional, or simply careless mistakes?

Inversions after negative or restricting adverbs and for conditional clauses- examples in real language use

If you want to know how to use these expressions-typically used for emphasis-you can watch the video below:

  • No sooner had I …than
  • Seldom have I seen…
  • Little did she know…
  • Should you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me again.
  • Had I known …I wouldn’t have…

You can find examples of these inversions in such TV shows as The Crown, The Big Bang Theory, or Friends:

Not only will I drive you there

Nowhere is it specified that…

Under no circumstance will you give her that engagement ring.

 

  • You can also find plenty of examples in the news:

Not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind. 

Only when the capsule has survived that (…) will people talk about success. 

Only then will they be able to agree to an extension. 

Never before has the Security State of Army, Police, intelligence and militias been forced to concede to the will of the people. 

Scientists (…) were prepared to cool the brains, should they show (=in case they showed) any signs of consciousness. Had they done, it would have been hugely significant. (=If they had done, …)

Rarely (in one night) can both main parties have suffered such a grim set of results. [Both the Conservatives and Labour have just lost a significant amount of votes in the recent local elections, in all likelihood as a consequence of the Brexit deadlock].

(On Theresa May standing down as Prime Minister) Perhaps, had she sought compromise much, much earlier (=if she had sought/ looked for compromise…), then Mrs May’s time in Downing Street need not have ended in such disarray and failure. 

(Published 10.02.2019, updated 25.05.2019)

Red Nose Day 2019- its ups and downs

Last Friday 15th March it was Red Nose Day (RND) in the UK, this massive BBC telethon aimed at raising funds for the charity Comic Relief. (More about it here).

In the run-up to RND sponsors and partners filled supermarkets and British high streets with merchandise…

…and I was only too happy to oblige, by acquiring yet another red nose, and a ceramic travel mug.

So I felt terribly guilty when, first thing in the morning on RND, I woke up to this news:

There were also reactions on Twitter about the issue:


To make matters worse, RND fell on a Friday, coinciding with a Fridays for Future strike.

Anyway, I still sat down in the evening to watch the telethon live online. Needless to say, the spotlight of the evening was the sequel to Four Weddings and a Funeral, 25 years after its release. The cast includes most of the original actors and actresses, as well as Lily James and Alicia Vikander.

‘One Red Nose and a Wedding’:

Other sketches of the evening included a spoof of Mamma Mia- Here We Go Again, featuring Jennifer Saunders, Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) and comedian Miranda Hart.

 

Red Nose Day in the classroom

Comic relief is a British charity created in 1985 by British comedians. Their aim is to raise money for people in need, both in the UK and abroad, through entertainment and comedy.

Every two years, they hold a big event which takes place nationwide: Red Nose Day (RND). Apart from a big telethon on BBC, and a series of shows, the whole country is invited to take part, by doing something funny for money, either at home, school, or at work. These may include wearing a red nose (hence the name), or simply coming up with something silly / funny that you wouldn’t normally do, and then get sponsored for doing so.

bean

Click on the image to watch Mr. Bean’s Red Nose Day. It’s one of the earliest sketches to have been written for the event. It gives you an idea of what RND is all about.

Over the years, such comedians as Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), or Ricky Gervais (The Office), among many others, have contributed to the shows. In 2019 Red Nose Day will be on Friday, March 15th.

A very special feature has been prepared for RND 2019: to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral, the cast have reunited to show what the characters’ lives are like 25 years later.

Would you like some ideas to celebrate Red Nose Day in your school? Here are some fundraising (fun) ideas:

Wear something:

  1. Get sponsored to wear a fancy dress for 24 hours.
  2. Get sponsored to wear your PJs (pyjamas) all day at work or in school.
  3. Hold a fashion show and sell tickets for the big event.

Eat something:

  1. Get sponsored to eat nothing but red food for a whole 24 hours.
  2. Get sponsored to give up chocolate, biscuits or crisps.
  3. Hold a bake-off and ask for donations to taste your cakes or biscuits.

Stage something:

  1. Get all your friends together for a quiz night where everyone pays to play.
  2. Hold a talent show and sell tickets to watch all the acts.
  3. Have a karaoke night and get friends to chip in a donation to be allowed to sing.

Hair-do something:

  1. Get colleagues or classmates to sponsor you to wear a red wig for 24 hours.
  2. Give your friends a hairstyle makeover and charge a donation for your stylistic services.
  3. Get sponsored to have a hairstyle like Marge Simpson’s.

Dare something

  1. Get sponsored to be handcuffed to a friend or work colleague for 24 hours.
  2. Do a sponsored silence – a quiet classic.
  3. Can’t live without your laptop or smartphone? Get sponsored to ditch little luxuries for a week.
  4. Get active – get sponsored to walk to work for a week or give the lift the heave-ho and take the stairs.

Ideas from the Comic Relief website:

Pinterest board with ideas

Many of the materials (packs) they produce can be used in the classroom, either in isolation, as a part of a unit about RND, or to raise awareness about social issues and poverty…

If you’d like to see how it works:

(to download the video and English subtitles, you may use http://keepvid.com/, for example. Copy the youtube link, and then download both the video file and the .srt file. Then, if you give the same name to both the video and the subtitle file, and you play the video with VLC player, the subtitles will play automatically, and you won’t depend on -sometimes unreliable-internet connections).

Sometimes, artists record covers of oldies especially for the occasion, as One Direction did some years ago:

One Direction: One Way or Another (Comic Relief 2013)

(if you use Musixmatch you will get the subtitles for the song)

If you’d like to see how some schools in the UK have participated, you may have a look at, for example, Buxton School in Leytonstone, London.

Pupils of Buxton School in Leytonstone dress in red for Red Nose Day

Buxton

More examples of RND in schools across the UK:

Alternatively, you may also have a look at the official RND / Comic Relief twitter accounts

More on RND- possible reading comprehension exercises:

How could you use Red Nose Day in your classroom / in your school? Would you wear your red nose for school? 

(Updated 8th March 2019)

Cómo grabar “Pasapalabra” con TouchCast Studio para repasar vocabulario

En este video cuento cómo se puede “grabar” un programa de Pasapalabra con los alumnos, para repasar vocabulario, conceptos clave:

Las veces que he realizado esta actividad les he propuesto a los alumnos que concursaran por equipos, y que ellos mismos eligieran las palabras y escribieran las definiciones, para que otro grupo de la clase tuviera que adivinarlas. De ese modo, el repaso es doble, porque al elaborar preguntas también están revisando sus apuntes.

Si tenéis iPad y la aplicación gratuita TouchCast Studio, no os hace falta fondo verde para crear el efecto croma. Resulta muy cómodo, ya que no hay que montar ningún fondo, o llevar a los alumnos a otro aula. Si no, se podría grabar con cualquier otra aplicación de efecto croma (ChromaVid, GreenScreen by Do Ink…más información aquí), pero se perdería la posibilidad de ir marcando sobre el video las respuestas correctas e incorrectas.

Christmas 2018- ads and songs for the classroom

However Christmassy you may or may not be, this is a time of the year when lots of audiovisual texts and materials are released, which gives teachers very nice opportunities to use them in class. These are some possible ideas:

John Lewis’ s ad 2018: 

John Lewis released yet again another heart-warming ad, featuring Sir Elton John. The real Elton John opens this backwards look at his career through a series of flashbacks, á la Benjamin Button, and with a string of John’ s look-alikes. The ad comes to a close with Elton John as a child, being given his first ever piano.  The soundtrack to the ad is provided by his hit song “Your Song”.

The slogan (Some gifts are more than just a gift) may be playing with the two meanings of ‘gift’ (present / talent).

As to the meaning of ‘gift’ as ‘present’, Elton John himself donated a piano to St Pancras station in London back in 2016.

Classroom questions and activities:

  • What’s the gift you liked the most? Did it have an impact just at the time of receiving it, or later in life?
  • What are the reasons why people like presents?

Cadbury ad 2018- Secret Santa:

  • What’s the fun in Secret Santa? 
  • What are the reasons why families / friends / colleagues do it? 
  • What strategies can you use to leave your presents / notes and not be noticed? 

Wayfair- Santa caught red-handed (sort of):

  • What would you do if you found Santa / the Three Wise Men in your living room?
  • How can Santa /the Three Wise Men deliver presents to children everywhere in just one night? 

But then, after all this consumerism, some reflection on alternative presents may be in order. This speaker discusses in this clip his DIY take on presents for his family and loved ones:

Transcript here

BBC Christmas 2017:

Ideas for activities and resources here.

Previous years’ ads and resources:

 

Greenpeace-Iceland supermarkets banned Xmas ad

Greenpeace and Iceland supermarkets were banned from showing their joint Christmas 2018 ad on British TV, for being deemed (=considered) ‘political’, and as such, not complying with advertising rules in the UK. Controversy ensued (=followed), with a petition to show it on TV even reaching more than 670,000 signatures. The ad, however, could eventually be shown on social media, attracting millions of views and worldwide support.

You can watch the ad below. The second version features onscreen subtitles.

 

Full text here (p.8)

The text has been written in rhymed poem form. The voice over is by Emma Thompson, in my view one of the best RP (received pronunciation, Standard British English) speaking voices in the English speaking world. Both her accent and intonation provide a great example to be imitated by students of English.

Given both the relevant message and the enchanting prosody of the ad, the following activity could be carried out: before watching the video, just show some screenshots from the ad, like the ones below:

  • Where is the ad set?
  • What is the ad going to be about?

Then, hand out the worksheet below to students. Ask them to guess the missing word(s) in each gap in pairs. That way, their expectations about the message that the ad will be conveying will be activated before actually watching the ad.

You can then play the original ad for students to check their answers against the original text. Which version do they like best?

You can finally ask them to pay attention and try to imitate the stress and rhythm of the poem, as well as the pronunciation of keywords and rhyming words.

Some primary schools in the UK worked alongside Greenpeace and created new versions of the poem of their own: