Speaking voices in English I like

These are some of the speaking voices in English I like the most, and that I somehow consider ‘models’ of good pronunciation, stress, enunciation…At some points in life, when I have had to do public speaking, I have reminded myself of some of them, thinking, for example: ‘you should show the same poise as Audrey Hepburn when you’re speaking’.

To my mind, their voices are a delight to listen to and might prove a model to imitate when speaking English.

Audrey Hepburn:

Sabrina (1954)

Brian May:

Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4)

Benedict Cumberbatch:

‘Sherlock’ (BBC 2010-2017)

The Imitation Game (2014):

Martin Freeman:

Jeremy Irons:

‘Brideshead Revisited’ (Granada TV 1981)

Emma Thompson

Much Ado About Nothing (1992)

Kenneth Branagh:

Look Back in Anger (1989):

Hamlet (1996):

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002):

Nicole Kidman:

The Others (2001)

Hugh Grant:

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Notting Hill (1999)

Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie

‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ (1987-1995)

Kate Winslet:

Downton Abbey cast:

Michael Sheen:

The Queen (2006)

‘Good Omens’ (Amazon Prime 2019)

Jack Davenport:

‘Coupling’ (BBC 2000-2004)

‘Next of Kin’ (ITV 2018)

TV shows and films about politics and the monarchy

The following TV shows and films deal with aspects of British and American politics, as well as general views on political systems. They can help you gain insight into the history and traditions of those countries, as well as increase your vocabulary on the subject.

UK politics: 

Yes, Minister (1980-1984)/Yes, Prime Minister (1986-1988)- (C2)

The Thick of It (2005-2012) [includes lots of profanity and swearwords]

Love Actually (2003)

One of the many subplots the film deals with involves the British Prime Minister:

The Iron Lady (2011):

Would you like to watch the sessions of the British Parliament live? Click here for BBC Parliament.

British Monarchy: 

The Queen (2006) [B2 and upwards, fairly clear British accents]

The King’s Speech (2010) [B2 and upwards, fairly clear British accents]

The Crown (2016-) [B2 and upwards, fairly clear British accents]

A Very English Scandal (2018) [B2 and upwards, fairly clear British accents]

Years and Years (2019) [show set in Manchester, some Northern accents are noticeable]

US politics: 

All the President’s Men (1976)

The West Wing (1999-2006)

(from 1’30”)

House of Cards (2013-2018)

Veep (2012-2019)

General views on politics: 

The Great Dictator (1940):

V for Vendetta (2005) [B2 and upwards- international cast, but most of them use British English RP pronunciations, regardless of their original accents]

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)

My Favourite Things (from The Sound of Music) to tell the difference between /s/, /z/ and /ɪz/

This activity is aimed at helping students tell the difference between /s/, /z/ (and /ɪz/) in plural endings (the same as in 3rd person singular present simple endings and possessive ‘s). It uses the song “My Favourite Things” from the film The Sound of Music, which makes a long list of plural things the singer allegedly loves.

Students are provided with the phonemic transcription of the singular word. By applying the rule, they can guess what sound(s)/phoneme(s) would be used to pronounce them in the plural. Then, they can check their answers against Julie Andrews’s performance, by paying special attention to the way she pronounces either /s/ or /z/. Can they tell the difference?

  • Exercise- click here
  • Key to answers- click here


Sesión: uso eficaz de recursos audiovisuales para el aprendizaje de idiomas

El próximo miércoles, 7 de Noviembre de 2018, daré una charla en la EOI 1 de Zaragoza sobre el uso eficaz de recursos audiovisuales en el aprendizaje de idiomas. La sesión está organizada por el Departamento de actividades extraescolares de la EOI, y tendrá lugar a las 18.00 en el salón de actos.

Enlace al blog de extraescolares de la EOI

New Year’s Eve & Auld Lang Syne

Do you know “Auld Lang Syne”? It’s a Scottish folk song, which is traditionally sung in English-speaking countries at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, to welcome the New Year. It features in such classical films as It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) and When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner 1989), among others:

Despite its popularity, however, apparently only 3% of British people actually know the full lyrics to it, according to a recent survey. You can read more about this here, or listen to the news report below:

You can listen to a rendition of the song by Rod Stewart and other stars like Kylie Minogue (with lyrics) below:

Happy New Year 2018 to everyone! 

#WomeninSTEM project- organisation

We’re getting our #WomeninSTEM project started, and I need your help to organise your groups / pairs, and the products you are going to create. Please, go to this link and answer the questions on the form.

Remember we’re talking about these five women / groups of women:


Ada Lovelace, 1st computer programmer


Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood actress and inventor (responsible for Bluetooth, wireless communications…)


Joan Clarke (and many women working at Bletchley Park during WWII trying to decrypt Nazi codes). The beginning of modern computing.


Katharine Johnson (and other African-American women working as “human computers” at NASA during the 1950s and 1960s).


Amy Farrah Fowler, neuroscientist (fictional character on The Big Bang Theory)

M11-U1 Feelings


Listen to Grace and Marie, two teenage girls, talking about their feelings about changing from primary to secondary school.

click here to download the exercises

You may have a look at some extra resources below:

  • Listening: Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953):

Princess Anna is the heir to the throne of a very small country. She’s on a tour of Europe, and at the moment she is in Rome. From what you can see in the clip, how do you think Anna feels? Try to be as detailed as possible, and giving reasons for your answer.

(You may also pay attention to Audrey Hepburn’s lovely RP accent)

  • Listening, Reading and vocabulary: listen to ‘She’s Leaving Home’ by the Beatles. Then answer these questions:
  1. Describe the father’s and the mother’s reaction to the event described in the song. Are they the same? How do you know?
  2. How do you think the daughter felt before leaving home? And when she did? (Base your answer on lines from the song)
  3. What expressions related to feelings and emotions can you find in the song?

 Now, you may read the lyrics to check your answers.

Finally, you may also listen to “Out Here (On My Own)”, a song from the film Fame. It contains some nice expressions related to feelings and emotions.

Emoji to English dictionary