Saturday, 19 December 2015

Reviews wanted: "A beautiful mind"

Send us a review of a book or film that focuses on somebody who has made an important contribution to society.
Did you learn anything new about their person’s life from the book or film? Did the book or film help you understand why this person made their important contribution?


“A beautiful mind” is a biographical drama film whose main character is John Nash, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, interpreted by Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard.   

The film begins with John Nash as a brilliant mathematician which got a grant to study in Princeton. Nash is under extreme pressure to come up with an original idea. His inspiration arrives when he is gathered with other colleagues in a bar arguing about how to pick up a group of women. As of that moment he was developing the “Nash Equilibrium”, a major breakthrough in Theory of Games and in some areas related to science such as economics.
Few years later, Nash is diagnosed as schizophrenic at an early age; he had to face deliriums and hallucinations during his whole life. The tipping point in his illness was when he realized some people never grew up, even though he knows them for years. Due to the side-effects, Nash decides to stop taking his medication believing he can deal with his symptoms himself. Little by little, he manages to break down the barriers of his illness, learning to ignore the hallucinations and after two decades or so, he was able to teach again at university.  

I didn’t know anything about the personal life of John Nash, and I must admit that little about his contribution to science. The film adopts a close approach to some details of his life; he had a marvellous mind which was able to see hidden geometric patterns.

Monday, 14 December 2015

New TV Show - Hall of Fame

New TV show – Hall Of Fame

We are planning a series of documentary programmes on famous people who have made a positive contribution to history.
Who would you nominate from your country?
Write a proposal nominating ONE person from your country, and explaining why this person is important to the history of your country. 

Due to the fact that in my country have had so many well-known celebrities in a wide range of areas such as science, politics and literature; it is a tricky question for me to make an outline about the life of only one person but if I had to choose, I would say Miguel de Cervantes.

Cervantes was a Spanish novelist, poet and playwright. He is mostly known for being the writer of the masterpiece, Don Quijote de la Mancha, it is said to be the first modern European novel and the most published and translated book in the world, only after the Bible. Little is known of his early years and about the reasons of why he had to move to Italy. Shortly after, he was enlisted as a soldier and took part in the Battle of Lepanto where his left hand was hurt. Coming back to Spain, Cervantes was captured by a crew of corsairs and spent five years as a slave. Eventually, he lived his later years in some cities of Spain like Seville, Valladolid, Madrid, and Toledo and in Portugal.

I believe that Cervantes must be taken into account for The Hall of Fame as almost everyone has heard about his work; some of his books are famous worldwide. He has had a tremendous influence on modern literature breaking the established rules of that era, no one else before had dared to laugh at religions, royalty, traditional cultures and so on. Needless to say that Cervantes, Don Quixote and Spain are bound together forever.

Sunday, 13 December 2015


According to the viewers ratings, nowadays the most popular TV programme in Spain is, in general, “Sálvame” (“Save me” in English), a gossip TV show emitted every afternoon from Monday to Friday.
However, if we focus on the three main time bands, another two kinds of TV programmess have also a lot of followers. They are social TV programmes, about politic and social issues, really on fashion since some years ago, and typical reality shows. The first kind is the king of the screens in the mornings and the second one is that in the evenings. Both of them are safe bets.
It’s important to say that these datas are related to an adult audience, as there are several specialized TV channels for children. Obviously, they prefer watching cartoons anytime of the day.

“Sálvame” last more than 4 hours each day. There are a group of talkers and journalists that talk about the celebrities’ lifes and themselves, as if their lifes depended on it.  They have really hard discussions, highly rudely, as if they would be into their houses instead of being live on TV.
Its audience enjoy watching these heated arguments, often overly dramatized. There are people who laugh and cry with them. Even, some of them say that feel these characters like they would be relatives! It’s something truly crazy but that’s life!
On the other hand, there are many people who really hates this TV show. But nevertheless I think part of them usually watch it secretly, because the number of people that admit watching it and the viewer ratings are not coincident… My opinión is that there are people who feel embarrassed because "nobody" recognize to be a gossip.

I usually watch this TV programme because I find it entertaining. Besides, it permits me to do different tasks at the same time, such as my home chores, job’s things, surfing the net with my laptop, etc. On the contrary, when I'm watching a film, for example, my mind must be totally focus on it.

Of course, when I have nothing to do, I prefer watching a TV series or a movie, they are much more interesting.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


The International Development Agency has given our town a grant to be spent on improving transport and housing facilities.
The Planning Director invites you to send a proposal outlining any problem with existing transport and housing facilities and explaining how they can be improved. A decision can then be made about how the money should be spent.


Over the last few years, our town has experienced many changes in different ways in a very brief period of time. Therefore, an outline about the problems related to transport and housing facilities is more necessary than ever.

As regards public transport, there are some points that must be sorted out as soon as possible. Buses and trains with delays by 15-30 minutes are quite usual and not only in the rush hours, not to mention the shortage of timetables. Another shortcoming is the high price of the tickets; the grant would help to cut down on fares for students and retired in order to encourage the use of these means of transport.  

As far as housing facilities, young people have difficulty in looking for an apartment according to their needs. Nowadays, there are quite a lot empty houses and taking advantage of this situation, a solution may be to use a part of the grant to boost renting and housing benefits. Apart from that, the water and electricity supply services should be improved. There are some neighbourhoods where the water tastes weird due to the old piping system as well as the chlorine. Moreover, some residential buildings suffer blackouts every day.

I hope that my proposals will be useful and taken into account. It is a matter of paramount importance to make an effort to overcome these issues in a near future.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ten dos for the IELTS speaking test

Chris Pell is a winner of the British Council’s Teaching English blog award for his post helping IELTS students with pronunciation. I think is a quite nice read for you guys. I found the Do consider grammar vs fluency paragraph quite interesting. Go on and give it a read!

original source link:
Posted on by Antonios Antonopoulos | No comments

Monday, 30 November 2015

Contribution to a book

An English-speaking friend is writing a book on TV programmes in different countries. Your friend has asked you for a contribution about the most popular TV programme in your country. Your contribution should:

  •  Briefly describe the most popular TV programme
  •   Explain why the programme is so popular
  •   Explain whether or not you think it deserves its popularity

If we take a look to the most watched TV programmes we can see that "Big Brother" is on top of the list, his loyal audience and the social-share have turn this program into a bigger phenomenon each year.

“Big brother” is a reality-show which has been broadcasted in several countries over the world where a group of people, generally about 15, must live together in a house totally isolated from the rest of the world for a long time. There is no TV, radio, Internet, music, and books in the house, in addition to that, they are recorded 24 hours per day. The contestants have to face nominations and evictions every week so as to be able to win the final prize. 

The reality show is so popular because the audience can empathize with the housemates and their behaviours; living together creates situations that they must be dealt with. Apart from that, the audience usually rewards those who generate conflicts in the house. Another point is the strategy, some housemates uses it in order to avoid being nominated. 

Personally, I think that it is a tricky question to explain whether or not it deserves its popularity. Some people argue that this kind of programmes are trash TV but the audience can decide which TV program would like to watch, from documentaries to soap operas. As I see it, “Big brother” is an entertainment and nobody is worse than anybody else only for watching it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Timeline Bataclan attack

On Friday night, multiple coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out throughout Paris. The most outrageous of them happened at the well-known Bataclan concert hall. 

Whilst the rock band “Eagles of Death Metal” was playing a gig, three assailants came in the building. The terrorists had pulled up their car close to the entrance of the concert hall where they got ready for the attack. 

The gunmen had been watching the concert from one of galleries of the hall before they started firing at the crowd, and after that, they took several hostages. Amid the panic, some people fled to safety through an emergency exit. 

2 hours later, the security police launched an assault at Bataclan. They had been planned how to enter at the hall until eventually the police came through and shot at the attackers. Two of the terrorists are thought to have blown themselves up.  

As a result, at least 80 people were killed as well as countless injured.