Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Verb phrases with be

Remember what be about to, be against, be all for, be in/out, be into, be on/off, be over, be up to (sth), mean...

Friday, 18 February 2011

NEF A2: 8 Giving your opinion


The Good Side

For me the best thing about the weekend is that I wake up later than on weekdays. I like sleeping very much. I think that I have a short ‘clock’ gene. When I was a child, my father used to say that I was like a silkworm because I slept very much. Another good and important thing is that I can do more things, I like going for a quiet walk by El Retiro, relaxing after a busy week, listening to music and reading a good book or seeing a good film.

The Bad Side

However, there are some things I don’t like. For example I have to go shopping and the shops and supermarket are crowded. Also I have to do the housework that I couldn’t do during the week.
But, in general, I love the weekend except Sunday evenings because I know that the weekend is about to finish.

Monday, 31 January 2011

NEF A2: 7 Describing a building


The most beautiful building in my town is the Cathedral of Apostle Santiago. It's in the center of Santiago de Compostela, in the middle of the old town.
The construction of the present Cathedral began in 1075 during the reign of Alfonso VI and it was sopported by Bishop Diego Gelmírez. It ended on April 3, 1211 under the supervision of Archbishop Pedro Muniz and King Alfonso IX. But, after that, more discoveries were made under the Cathedral.
It has four facades overlooking a square, one in each cardinal point. The main facade is the Obradoiro Square (West), the Platerías Square (South), the Quintana Square (East) and the Azabachería Square (North). Outside, you can also see the fabulous Glory Portico, the tympanum, the mullion, the jamb, the side doors, the bell tower, the north tower or the tower of "Carraca" and the clock tower of the Trinity or "Berenguela".
Inside you can see and visit the choirs (one of stone and the other one of wood), the high altar, the one thousand pillars, the great organ, the burial crypt and a lot of chapels: Pilar's, Mondragón's, Azucena's or St. Pedro's, Salvador's, Nuestra Señora la Blanca's, St. Juan's, St. Bartolomé's, Concepción's, Espíritu Santo's, Corticela's, Comunión's, Cristo de Burgos' and Reliquias'; the Cathedral Treasure, the cloister and archive, the wall-hangings and the famous Botafumeiro, which weights 62 kilos empty and measures 160 centimeters and when it is in motion it reaches 68 Kph; the beautiful windows and the eye of God which is in the middle of the roof.
One of the best things you can do in Santiago is to go up to the roof of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The view is wonderful, you can see all the old town. You need to pass first through the wall-hangings museum to climb up the steps to the top.
The entrance to the Cathedral is free but if you want to see more things you have to pay and you have to dress propriately because it is a place of pilgrimage.

The most beautiful building of Córdoba is The Mosque-Cathedral. It’s today a World Heritage Site.

Construction began in 786 on the place occupied by the Visigothic basilica of St. Vincent Martyr. The Mosque was expanded during the Caliphate of Córdoba. With 23,400 square meters, it was the second largest mosque in the world in area, behind the Mosque of Mecca. One of its main features is that, unlike most mosques, when it was built, the qibla wall wasn’t facing the Mecca, but points to the South, according to the wishes of Abd al-Rahman I (it was oriented to the Guadalquivir River because of the love he had for his native Damascus).

We enter the Cathedral by the Puerta del Perdón, where we can see the rows of orange trees and palms. The Mosque stands surrounded by fountains and horseshoe arches. Inside we found a forest of 1,300 columns of marble, jasper and granite on which 365 two-coloured horseshoes arches are supported. The mihrab, a holy place, is a masterpiece of marble, stucco and brightly coloured Byzantine mosaics on gold, bronze, copper and silver.

In 1236 when the city was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile, the Mosque was turned into a Christian church. In the fourteenth century it was rebuilt and the minaret was converted into the bell tower of the Cathedral. It was adorned with bells taken from the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and it was designed by Hernán Ruiz on the remains of the minaret built by Abd al-Rahman III. It is crowned by a statue of St. Rafael.

This monument can be visited from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 to 18:00 and Sunday form 8:30 to 10:00 and 14:00 to 18:00. The admission is 8€ for adults and 4€ for children and it is free every day from 8:30 to 10:00 except Sunday and religious holidays.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

NEF A2: 6 A letter to a friend

From: Susana
To: Daniel
Subject: Visit to Spain
Date: January 26 2011

Hi Daniel!

Thank you for your last e-mail. I’m very happy for your news. I’m looking forward to seeing you.

I’ll try to answer to all your questions. I think that the best month to come is May or June, because the weather isn’t very hot yet. If I were you, I would visit Barcelona, Valencia, Córdoba, Málaga, Sevilla, and Granada. If you take the train AVE from Madrid, you’ll get very quickly to all these cities. I would recommend more places but you only have three weeks.

When you arrive in Madrid I’ll take you to the most beautiful and interesting places in the city: the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum, the Retiro gardens, the Sun Gate, the Mayor Square and the part of the city called “Madrid de los Austrias”. This is a part of Madrid that I like very much.

In Madrid there are many hotels. Depending on the money that you want to spend I’ll recommend the best hotel to you.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

NEF A2: 5 A formal e-mail

From: S C
To: Thai Cookery Courses In Chiang Mai
Subject: Information about courses

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to ask for information about your Thai Cookery Courses. I am especially interested in an intensive course in August. I am 45 and I am unemployed at this moment. I cook quite well but I do not know Thai cookery and I want to learn it.

Could you please send me information about dates and prices of the course? I would also like some information about accommodation. I would like to stay with my husband. Would it be possible?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Jennifer ESL: Conditionals


Monday, 17 January 2011

NEF A2: 4 Describing where you live

"The place where I live"

I live in Santiago de Compostela, which is a city in the north west of Spain. It has a population of 350,000 people and it's the second biggest city in A Coruña.

It's a beautiful city and it's great to walk around the old town. It's full of monuments, churches, museums, squares, fountains, small shops, bars and restaurants. There is a street called "Rúa do Villar" but it is known as the Hippie Street because the hippies sold things there before and now there are a lot of peddlers.

There weather here is very changeable, it's very different from others cities of Galicia. Autumn and winter are really wet, it rains a lot and it's cold. In spring it rains less but it's usually cloudy. And in summer, if you have good luck, you can enjoy two sunny months.

Santiago is famous for the Cathedral, the way of Santiago, the wine, the food and the popular festivals. Besides the Cathedral, one of the biggest tourist attractions is the famous "Paris-Dakar", (two bars which are on the "Rúa del Franco" (the Wine Street)), and you make the wine route starting in "Paris" and finishing in "Dakar". If you can do it probably you will have a big problem because you will get incredibly drunk. Santiago's Day is on 25th July, there are a lot of people in the streets, fireworks, attractions and everybody spends more money eating, drinking and playing in the fair.

But I think the worst and the best of the city are the tourists. The worst because it is a small town and it is very stressful to walk in the streets and the best because they employ many people. I like living here but not with so many people.


Córdoba is a city of Andalusia, near the Guadalquivir River and nestles at the foot of Sierra Morena. Its story is very old. It was founded by the Romans. In the tenth and eleventh centuries Córdoba became the most important city in the world for its culture, its politics and economy. In this time Arabs, Jews and Christians lived in pace and harmony there. We can feel all this things in the atmosphere of the city.

It’s a beautiful city, and it’s great for walking around. In the old town we find narrow streets, yards full of flowers, squares with statues of the most important persons of Córdoba (Séneca, Maimónides, Averroes, Luís de Góngora, and many more), churches, museums, and its most famous building: The Mosque-Cathedral.

There are many outdoor bars and restaurants where the people go to eat, drink and sit in the sun. The food is wonderful. The typical food is “rabo de toro estofado” and “salmorejo”. All the people go “de tapas” (small plates of food) before lunch or dinner.

The winters are mild and the summers are very hot. The best season is spring because the temperature is mild and the whole town smells like flowers, especially orange. During this time there are many festivals: Easter, The May Crosses, The Patios, and Córdoba Fair at the end of May, which is similar to the better known Seville Fair with some differences; mainly that the Seville one is private, while the Cordoba one is not.

The people of Córdoba are very friendly. We all know each other because the city is small. Its atmosphere is calm and everything invites to tranquillity.

Jennifer ESL: Snowy weather

NEF A2: 5D The name of the game

Your most exciting sporting moments...



NEF A2: 5B The sound of music

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

NEF A2: 3 An informal letter

Maldonado, 53
28001 Madrid (Spain)
8th January 2011

Dear Mrs Sander,
Thank you for your letter. I’m very happy because I’m going to stay with you next summer, and I sure I’ll spend many wonderful days there.
I’m arriving at Gatwick airport at six o'clock on July 11. I have a mobile phone and the number is 600459680. I’ll call you when I’m on the train.
I’m not a special person. I can eat or drink anything and yes, I smoke (I hope you don’t mind but if you mind I won’t smoke in the house). I prefer a single room. When the course is finished, I’m going to go back to Spain immediately because I have to return to work.
I’m looking forward to see you.
Best wishes