Thursday, June 28, 2007

Answers to Review Exercises

the answers to the review exercises (units 5 and 6) are alreay online! Don't forget to check them before taking the test!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Today my students listened to the song "If I had $1,000,000", by The Barenaked Ladies, and here is a video with the song. I'd like you all to watch the video, listen to the song (again) and leave a comment answering the following question:

*What would you do if you had $1,000,000?*

Check out the lyrics here!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Contemporary Issues

Well, there is nothing more appropriate for the topic of our next unit (Contemporary Issues) than our blog, which is located in the most contemporary of issues (in my opinion) - the INTERNET!
So, I'd like to begin asking you all to watch these two videos and then comment on how you feel about this extremely fast (and probably unbrakeable) development of the virtual world.
Have fun!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Review Test 1

I have prepared a grammar review exercise for written test 1.
If you want to review the vocabulary, check out the many vocabulary execises in our e-folder.

Have a nice test tomorow!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


As a typical pioneer in revolutionary stuff, UnB, our city's university, has proposed some changes for the next years in its undergraduate system. The proposal is that students who enter the university would have to study two years of general subjects, in other words, for two years they would study the basics of all fields covered by the university's departments, and only after these two years the undergraduate student would choose his/her major and then start taking the specific subjects. What do you think about this proposal?

I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

Monday, April 02, 2007


our blog is dying... I have been thinking about euthanasia, but since there is an alternative treatment, I'll give it try... the treatment depends on you: you have to make comments so that our blog doesn't die! If I continue making these nice posts but there are no or very few comments, euthanasia will be the only solution...
Now, today's post is very easy to comment on: since we read a text about Nigeria, here is a song by Nigerian singer Sade, listen and tell us what you think about it! And don't forget to contribute to the modal verbs post right below this one!
Have fun!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Modal Verbs in the past!

Finally, a grammar post!

What you have to do is look at the pictures, imagine what probably happened BEFORE the picture, and write sentences speculating about what might/could/may/must/can't/couldn't have happened to the people in the pics or suggest what they should/could have done to prevent their situations. Don't forget to number the sentences according to the numbers of the pictures.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What is the place I would like to visit?

Divisions apart, cyber space is always here to put people together, and we are no exception!
Unit 2 now, last class we talked about places you would like to visit, and I too have a place I would love to visit if money were no restriction. Here are some pictures of this place and I want to see your guesses. What place do you think it is? Write your comments and next week I'll reveal it by putting some pics of more well-known places from this country.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Don't get lost!

Hey guys!

I have moved the link to the absent students' page to the left and have also added a Cambridge Dictionary on the left.
And I have added a new funny video at the bottom of the blog about pronunciation. Check it out and
Have fun!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

And the Thomas Award goes to...

Hi guys, as I told you in the classroom, today's activity will continue here in our blog! All you have to do is vote on the movie you think deserves the Thomas Award for Best Picture and leave a comment too. If you want to read more about the movies before deciding your vote, click on the name of the movie below the the voting box.

The voting box is here:

What movie do you think deserves the Thomas Award?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Oscar-ese - text by Ron Martinéz

Guys, check out this great text about the Oscar vocabulary by book writer Ron Martinez

"It occurred to me late last night, while watching the Academy Awards presentation in English, that Oscar night has its own special lexicon.

For example, Americans say movie, and the British say film… But when it comes to the Oscars, the translation for Melhor Filme is Best Picture. Movies were once called moving pictures, which then got shortened to “movies”. The word picture remained, however, in the now formal-sounding term “motion picture” – hence the now abbreviated “Best Picture”.
The fact that we call the best movie of the year “Best Picture” is even more confusing when we get to the animated and foreign-language movies, called Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film (not “picture”), respectively.

Go figure.

And then there’s the music. We all know the word song, but in a movie the songs played are collectively called the soundtrack. But there’s no Oscar for “Original Soundtrack”. The Academy Awards only have categories for best Original Song and best Original Score. Huh? “Score?”, you ask? Yes, “score,” which in Oscar-ese seems to usually mean “music with no words”.
These specialized terms can even confuse native speakers – even people inside the “industry”. When Clint Eastwood stepped up to introduce an honorary achievement award for Italian composer Ennio Morricone for his decades of work writing music for movies, he was unsure about what to actually call him, saying he was the best “scorer” he’d ever worked with, and then questioned himself and the audience: “Um… ‘Scorer?’ Is that right?”

And then there’s the Oscar, um, himself. That little golden award is a kind of trophy, basically, in the shape of a statue, but it has a special name. When costume designer Milena Canonero received the award for her work in the film “Marie Antoinette”, she called the award a little “doll”. Most folks call the award a statuette.

Finally, I learned the origin of an expression last night which now seems so obvious, but which I’d never thought about before. Kate Winslet introduced the award for best editing, and she said, “I don’t know who first said the expression ‘cut to the chase’, whether is was…” and it hit me where this phrase, which I had uttered probably a thousand times in the last 38 years of my life, actually originated from. In case you don’t know, the phrase let’s cut to the chase basically means, “vamos ao que interessa”. The expression in English comes straight from movie-editing jargon, since film editors used to physically cut stretches of film that they didn’t want, and in action movies in particular, often directors and editors would want to cut out any boring parts and get to the “chase scene” (usually good guys chasing bad guys) …in other words, they would cut to the chase.

Have a good week.
By Ron Martinez

Referência: Texto publicado originalmente na comunidade do Ron Martinez no Orkut, a "Como dizer tudo em inglês”

Friday, February 23, 2007

First Homework - enjoy while it's easy =)

Guys, this is your first homework:

  • Step 1: before our next class, which will be on March 3, try to go to the cinema and watch one of the movies nominated to the Acadamy Awards 2007. If you don't know which movies have been nominated, click here to check them out;

  • Step 2: come back here and make a comment about the movie you have watched saying if you liked it or not and if you agree it really deserved to be an Acadamy Awards 2007 nominee.

  • If you have already seen one (or more) of the nominated movies, don't waste your time and leave some comments about it/them. Don't forget to mention your name and the name of the movie, of course.

  • If you haven't seen any of the movies nominated to the Oscar, and don't have time to go to the movies this week, don't worry, there will be easier tasks later.

Have fun!!!

Learning with the Italian guy, learning with radio announcers... pronunciation is a MUST!!!

This is the video of the Italian guy I told you about. Have fun and watch out you pronunciation!!!