New Year: Open your mind – love to read – love Ted!

As a bookworm, I am mad about reading. Books are educational, informative and entertaining.  They give you the opportunity to experience countries and cultures that you have never been to.  They give you the opportunity to think about things in completely different ways.

 

 

Furthermore, reading in English, will quickly help you to improve your language skills and reinforce useful structures, phrases and ideas in context.  In light of this, why not listen to a Ted talks presentation by Lisa Bu who gives us her thoughts about the magic of books? Books can open your mind!

Three unwise men, a donkey and a pair of bobby dazzlers!

janette-bobby-dazzlersSo, the 3 Wise Men have come and gone and, obviously, all three of them need to go to the ear doctor (an Otolaryngology (pronounced oh/toe/lair/in/goll/oh/jee) because I specifically requested, for the 5th year running, a 1967 Aston Martin, a pub-sized pool table, and a 1950´s juke box, and instead, they gave me a pair of socks with a note on them that said: ‘’Get running couch potato!’’socks

Truth be told, I am very keen on my socks, and, they are called ‘Bobby Dazzlers’ which sounds totally cool, wouldn´t you agree?

Ok, spill the beans, what did you get?

Andalusia: It´s election time

The election countdown has started, the mailshot political propaganda has been sent, and every political party has a snappy bumper sticker slogan to engage the masses.

My recommendation is to ignore all the fist punching and playground antics of electoral campaigns and try to focus your attention on what these parties stand for, what their immediate and long-term priorities are, and how they think they can realistically achieve them.

 

Teaching in bilingual positions: Trinity GESE B2 Inglés

For a wide variety of reasons, many teachers want to teach in schools that offer bilingual programmes. In order to be able to apply for these positions, for now, teachers in Andalusia have to have a B2 level qualification in English. A new edition to the permitted qualifications includes Trinity´s GESE, an examination system which only assesses spoken English.

If you want a B2 English qualification, get in touch for more information.

Government forces banks to pay mortgage-loan notary tax

Well, it´s been a great week for the big guns.

So, prime minister Pedro Sanchez says, when it comes to Catalonia we respect and abide by the judgement and process of the Spanish judicial system, but, when the judicial system doesn´t do what I want because it´s not good for my political standing, I´m going to pull out my Executive guns and say: No.

OK, nothing new here then!

However, having said that, I agree with Sanchez, and more to the point, what the hell is this tax for? I´ve consulted Mr Wikipedia and Mrs Fiscal Impuestos in both Spanish and in English, and all I can deduce is this: it´s a tax levied on pieces of paper that the Banks want, stamped by someone who isn´t obliged to read them, but the government thinks is law-abiding. ( They usually charge you for the oxygen you´ve wasted by being in their office)

Alternative solution: Get rid of the tax.

 

Putin and Málaga

No, no, and more no.

So, I bit my tongue when Burger King opened opposite Málaga´s beautiful Roman amphitheatre, I bit my tongue again when Málaga´s landmark historical square became host to the soulless multinational Costa Coffee, and I nearly bit my whole hand off when Starbucks opened.  I justified all these narrow-minded, legacy building decisions of Mr Paco de la Torre in the context of an economic crisis, eye-watering unemployment, boring party politics, and the fact that you are everywhere.  Everywhere I went, you were there, business meetings, cultural events, concerts, and educational workshops. I believe you love Málaga, and I understand you have a thankless job where everyone will hate you, at least some of the time. But, this is just too much, in the words of the deceased American senator, John McCain: “Vladimir Putin is a thug and a murderer and a killer.” ”Frankly, I would never accept an award from Vladimir Putin because then you kind of give some credence and credibility to this butcher.”

Mr Paco de la Torre, the Russian museum is a wonderful space, Russian culture, as all culture, enriches, educates and inspires, and I am grateful, and honoured that The Russian Museum is in Málaga. But, Vladamir Putin does not deserve the respect that you have afforded him. I would suggest that you reevaluate your team of advisers, as your moral compass is in jeopardy.

The level of hypocrisy knows no bounds

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the first world war armistice. Dignitaries, politicians and the general public gathered to pay their respects. They made speeches to honour the 16 million lives lost, and they took part in a wide variety of events to commemorate the end of World War I.  Many politicians used this opportunity to talk about the fragility of peace, and to increase awareness about the rise in, and dangers of, self-centered nationalism, xenophobia, and the growing global levels of sociopathic behaviour.

And yet, in the very same week the British government are securing deals with Saudi Arabia to sell 48 Typhoon fighter planes. Indeed, since 2015 Britain has sold billions of pounds of weapons that have been used by Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen.  Could anything be worse? Well yes, it could. The UK has a list of 30 countries which, through its own analysis, have committed the greatest number of human rights atrocities, and yet, the UK government is still happy to sell arms to 66% of them.

So, in a nutshell, how am I supposed to reconcile the difference between acts of peace, and facts of war? How are educators supposed to teach children anything about ethics and morality when the bottom line, since time immemorial, clearly demonstrates that money and power will always outtrump the value of peace and humanity.

The British government is putting blood on my hands, and my ignorance to the level of this hypocrisy has made me more than just an innocent bystander. Today, I am ashamed of myself.

 

EOI B2 & C1 Summer Success Stories: Well done Inma & Cristina!

While most people were at the beach sunbathing, or avoiding jellyfish, Cristina and Inma were busy preparing to resit their EOI exams.  Passing an exam requires effort and determination, an effective exam strategy, and a lot of practice. Consequently, I´m on cloud 9 to say that both Cristina and Inma passed their exams. It´s time to celebrate success!

Are you preparing for the official Escuela Oficial de Idiomas exams: B1, B2, C1? If the answer is yes, then The EOI 120 Workout will help you prepare for the speaking exam.