The BLC Blog

A forum and learning place for British Language Centre students

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is the fourth Thursday in November so it is Thanksgiving again in the States. It's a time for family and friends to get together, have a beautiful meal with a big, succulent turkey and lots of fresh vegetables and potatoes.
Practise your English by going to this site >>> and reading more about why the Americans celebrate this holiday and do a quick quiz and test your knowledge.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Expression of the Fortnight

To get (straight) to the point

This is an expression that we use to mean talk about the important matter and not less important things although they may be related. The Spanish equivalent of this expression is 'ir al grano'.
We haven't got much time in this meeting so I will get straight to the point...
Stop beating around the bush and get to the point!

To beat about the bush is another expression related to communication. The Spanish equivalent is 'andarse por las ramas'.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Word of the Week -31

First of all, my apologies for the lack of blogging in the last week or so. This was due to two reasons. A) I have been having technical difficulties with the computers both at work and at home and B) I have been feeling under the weather this past week. This second reason leads me to today's word of the week.


This is a very useful word and one that you have surely come across many times in your English learning experiences. Today, we are going to look at the word as an adverb or an adjective meaning not at work or at home or on holiday.

I was off work last week because I was ill. (I was off sick)
John is going to take a few days off to spend with his wife and new baby.
I need some time off to visit my father in hospital.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Guinness World Records Day

While reading one of the free newspapers on my way to work this morning, I found out that today is Guinness World Records Day. There are a whole host of strange, whacky and impressive achievements listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. You should go to the website and find out about some of the weirder entries! For instance, this photo shows the woman who holds the record for having the smallest waist in the world.

Go to the Guinness World Records Website >>>>

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Word of the Week - 30

This week's word is another adjective which is very apt for this time of year. Especially if, like me, you have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to work. You may have noticed that first thing in the morning it is rather cold. At this time of year I like to wear layers ( a vest, a T-shirt, a jumper, a coat) because in the morning it is a bit chilly on my way to work and then in the classrooms at the academy, but in the afternoon when the sun comes out it warms up a bit and the heating kicks in and I can take off one of my layers!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The USA have a new president.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you are probably aware that Barrack Obama became the USA's first black president today, making history. Watch this video to hear what he thinks about his election victory and his immediate thoughts. If you like you can see the speech written in full here > > >

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Word of the Week - 29


This week's word is a verb. I thought of this word because now it is time for the Winter harvest and we are getting closer to Thanksgiving in the States.

This verb has several meanings but when I decided on this word for today I was thinking of the meaning 'collect'.

The children gathered wood to build a small fire.
Some animals gather food in the summer and store it for the winter.

Other meanings of the verb include 'to come together' ...

A crowd gathered outside the shop trying to see what was happening inside.
Gather round children, I'm going to tell you story.
A family gathering (n.c) is often common at Christmas time.
There will be a gathering of world leaders at the summit.

... and 'to understand or believe'

I gather that you have bought a new house?
(I have heard that you have bought a new house, is it true?)
"I am not very happy." "Yes, I gathered that." (Yes, it was obvious to me)

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead is a holiday which is celebrated mainly in Mexico or
by people of Mexican heritage living in other countries. A variation of this holiday is celebrated in other countries around the world such as Brazil and of course here in Spain, where some families pay a visit to the cemetery to sit with their loved ones who have passed on.

You can find out more about this festival and how it is celebrated around the world by reading the article provided on Wikipedia.

Do you celebrate this day? What do you do? Leave a comment in the comment box, we'd love to read it!

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