"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, AND that has made all the difference" The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

DREAMING IN ENGLISH. Are you dreaming in English yet?

WELCOME!!! This is a bit of a challenge for me!!! This blog is intended for all audiences. I hope you enjoy and get the most of it!!!

Here you might find resources to help you navigate the muddy waters of English. The humble aim of this blog is just to keep you in touch with different types of English and different aspects of the English culture , to increase your curiosity about English through many different fields.

Licencia Creative Commons
Are you dreaming in English yet? por BE se encuentra bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 3.0 Unported.

lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016

Electing a US president

The American election is a few weeks away. Their system is a bit complicated. Do you know how the whole process is? Listen to the following videos and answer the following questions.

1. What are the primaries and who wins them?
2. What is a "super Tuesday"?
3. When do national  elections take place?
4. What are "electors" and how many do the different states have?
5. "The winner takes it all". What does this sentence mean in electoral terms?
6. What is a "swing" state?
7. When can we say we have a new president in the country and when will he be invested?

When elections are held, we usually have some debates between candidates to show their opinions to the audience. They are a good chance to put candidates under the microscope. Everyone is watching for mistakes or any key moment in their speeches. 
  This week , for example, we have some debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The press has defined these debates as some of the worst ones in the US presidential history.
  Here you have some highlights from yesterday´s second programme between the official candidates. What do you think of it? What was the main topic? What do you think of the speakers´ reactions? 
Analyze the following statements. Do you find any similitaries with debates in your own country?

" I hate to say it  but if I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation"

"There has never been so many lies, so much deception. The people in this country are furious"

" You ought to be ashamed of yourself"

Public speaking and debates are a difficult art. They are used to persuade and rally audiences and change their point of view or at least try to influence them so they can be very powerful and they teach us how important words are!!
 What do you think of the video you have just seen, are Trump and Clinton good orators? What makes a good orator? Eye contact is very important when giving a speech. At the same time you have to know how to use your voice taking into account pace, rythm, pitch, volume and know how to make pauses. 

Listen to the following videos and learn a few tips about public speaking. Try to remember this when you have to do your oral presentations.

martes, 10 de mayo de 2016


Listen and read this short play by Eugene O`Neill and answer the folloquing questions:
Principio del formulario
1.What does Mrs. Rowland find in her husband's vest pocket?
2. Write downs some reasons why Mrs. Rowland is angry with her husband. Do you think she has enough reasons? Why? 
3. What kind of jobs do they do to support themselves? Give as many details as you can and analyse the ideas of success and failure implied in both characters.
4. What was the reason Alfred and his wife married? What do you think about their marriage? Why does Mrs. Rowlands insist on staying married to her husband despite their differences and problems?
5. Personality traits of both characters.
6. Analyse the importance of  stage directions in this play. Give evidence and explain.
7.Why would the playwright not provide Alfred any speaking parts in the play?
8. What do you think about the end? Do you think it was in a way predictable?

martes, 17 de noviembre de 2015


Gothic is a term that has been "usurped" by our modern world. When we think of gothic, the first image that comes to our minds is that of some body wearing black or listening  to certain type of music, etc. 
But this preference for darkness and the exploration of the sinister is not new. If we go back to the 19th century you will discover lots of writers and poets dealing with the darkest insights of the human soul. 
Writers such as Mary Shelley, Emily  and Charlotte Brontë, Edgar Allan Poe, and many others  were involved in showing us psychological terror, mystery, supernatural worlds, decay, madness and curses. With all these elements and subject matter they could explore more easily different aspects of the human being difficult to understand otherwise. That´s why in their writings they always presented excluded characters such as monsters (Frankenstein), villains and Byronic heroes (Mr. Rochester or Heathcliff), ghosts and characters from the other world or psychopaths ( as the ones we have studied in Poe), etc.
At the same time, they like mixing horror and romance that`s why in most of the books you can find a love story as well.

Read the following extract. Analyse the gothic elements in it  and what is going on in the passage.
The intense horror of nightmare came over me; I tried to draw back my arm, but, the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed,Let me in – let me in!”Who are you?” I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself.Catherine Linton,” it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton). “I’m come home, I’d lost my way on the moor!”As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window – Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bed-clothes: still it wailed, “Let me in!” and maintained its tenacious grip, almost maddening me with fear.

This extact belongs to WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Brontë, a novel often described as wild because of its revenge themes, violent scenes and complicated characters.

 This book must have been a shock for the Victorian society. It has characteristics from the Romantic period and the Victorian period and in general it is a mixture of gothic and domestic realism. We have an emphasis on intense passions, glorification of nature, celebration of the individualism together with family, duty, and a sense of community, which is more Victorian. To do that she uses a powerful imagery, with a very passionate language, descriptive passages showing the feelings of the characters in a very open way. (A good example of psychological drama)

Who is Heathcliff? Read this extract taken from chapter 4 and analyse how this boy is described and what impression he makes on the Earnshaw family.

One fine summer morning - it was the beginning of harvest, I remember - Mr. Earnshaw, the old master, came down-stairs, dressed for a journey; and, after he had told Joseph what was to be done during the day, he turned to Hindley, and Cathy, and me - for I sat eating my porridge with them - and he said, speaking to his son, 'Now, my bonny man, I'm going to Liverpool to-day, what shall I bring you? You may choose what you like: only let it be little, for I shall walk there and back: sixty miles each way, that is a long spell!' Hindley named a fiddle, and then he asked Miss Cathy; she was hardly six years old, but she could ride any horse in the stable, and she chose a whip. He did not forget me; for he had a kind heart, though he was rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring me a pocketful of apples and pears, and then he kissed his children, said good-bye, and set off.
It seemed a long while to us all - the three days of his absence - and often did little Cathy ask when he would be home. Mrs. Earnshaw expected him by supper-time on the third evening, and she put the meal off hour after hour; there were no signs of his coming, however, and at last the children got tired of running down to the gate to look. Then it grew dark; she would have had them to bed, but they begged sadly to be allowed to stay up; and, just about eleven o'clock, the door-latch was raised quietly, and in stepped the master. He threw himself into a chair, laughing and groaning, and bid them all stand off, for he was nearly killed - he would not have such another walk for the three kingdoms. 'And at the end of it to be flighted to death!' he said, opening his great-coat, which he held bundled up in his arms. 'See here, wife! I was never so beaten with anything in my life: but you must e'en take it as a gift of God; though it's as dark almost as if it came from the devil.'
We crowded round, and over Miss Cathy's head I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child; big enough both to walk and talk: indeed, its face looked older than Catherine's; yet when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand. I was frightened, and Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors: she did fly up, asking how he could fashion to bring that gypsy brat into the house, when they had their own bairns to feed and fend for? What he meant to do with it, and whether he were mad? The master tried to explain the matter; but he was really half dead with fatigue, and all that I could make out, amongst her scolding, was a tale of his seeing it starving, and houseless, and as good as dumb, in the streets of Liverpool, where he picked it up and inquired for its owner. Not a soul knew to whom it belonged, he said; and his money and time being both limited, he thought it better to take it home with him at once, than run into vain expenses there: because he was determined he would not leave it as he found it. Well, the conclusion was, that my mistress grumbled herself calm; and Mr. Earnshaw told me to wash it, and give it clean things, and let it sleep with the children.
Hindley and Cathy contented themselves with looking and listening till peace was restored: then, both began searching their father's pockets for the presents he had promised them. The former was a boy of fourteen, but when he drew out what had been a fiddle, crushed to morsels in the great-coat, he blubbered aloud; and Cathy, when she learned the master had lost her whip in attending on the stranger, showed her humour by grinning and spitting at the stupid little thing; earning for her pains a sound blow from her father, to teach her cleaner manners. They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room; and I had no more sense, so I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it might he gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house.
This was Heathcliff's first introduction to the family. On coming back a few days afterwards (for I did not consider my banishment perpetual), I found they had christened him 'Heathcliff': it was the name of a son who died in childhood, and it has served him ever since, both for Christian and surname. Miss Cathy and he were now very thick; but Hindley hated him: and to say the truth I did the same; and we plagued and went on with him shamefully: for I wasn't reasonable enough to feel my injustice, and the mistress never put in a word on his behalf when she saw him wronged.

He seemed a sullen, patient child; hardened, perhaps, to ill- treatment: he would stand Hindley's blows without winking or shedding a tear, and my pinches moved him only to draw in a breath and open his eyes, as if he had hurt himself by accident, and nobody was to blame. This endurance made old Earnshaw furious, when he discovered his son persecuting the poor fatherless child, as he called him. He took to Heathcliff strangely, believing all he said (for that matter, he said precious little, and generally the truth), and petting him up far above Cathy, who was too mischievous and wayward for a favourite.

martes, 10 de noviembre de 2015


What makes you feel stressed? It seems school is the top source of stress for teenagers. Do you agree with that?
What are the main causes of stress for teenagers?

Resultado de imagen de feeling stressed outDo you know that stress can be bad for your health?
 The mind and the body are closely connected and you may suffer from both emotional and physical symptons of stress. All of us suffer from stress in different points of our life. The good thing would be to learn  to cope with it before it gets something chonic and overwhelming. If we are able to manage daily stress , we can have a more positive outlook in our lives. 

So let's start by watching this video. Complete the sentences below while listening.

1.  Stress is a _________________________and has immediate  physical effects on our body such as __________________
2. Consequences of stress in the 21st century are ______________
3. Top tips to reduce stress are ___________________________

Now you know ,it is very important to look after our brain to have better results and understand things better.

Resultado de imagen de feeling stressed out
Do you do any of these things to control stress? 
Have a look at the following  relaxing pictures. Choose one you like, take your time and get relaxed! 
After that, try to write a small text about the way the picture makes you feel. 

jueves, 8 de octubre de 2015

Technology slaves?

Do we live in a world of self interest, self image and self promotion? 
It seems humans have become addicted to social media and smart phones. Will we retain the human touch?

Watch the video and share your opinion about this topic in the voicethread below. Speak for 5 minutes about it and show your agreement or disagreement.


sábado, 3 de octubre de 2015


Resultado de imagen de malala
Pay attention to the reactions of these teenagers when they find out who she is and what she has done.


Once, you have watched the video, What do you think about her? What are your feelings and ideas about the different topics she presents? 
In the following voicethread speak out your own impressions and your opinion about education, religion, islam and human rights.


Resultado de imagen de gerunds or infinitives

I know this topic can be a bit annoying.... Trying to decide when to use one structure or the other can drive you crazy sometimes. 
Here you have some links to practice more.


lunes, 1 de junio de 2015


In An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestly looks back in anger to the 20th century Britain. Society is basically concerned with profit and money and the abyss separating upper and lower classes seems bigger than ever. To understand this wonderful play have a look at the historical context. What was going on in Britain in 1945? 
Remember the play was written in 1945 but it was set in 1912. This is done deliberately by they author. Why do you think this is like that?
 Watch the video and let's discuss about it!! 

Listen to Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot and The Hours director) and his opinion about this play,which he himself directed as well.

 Here you have the whole play in a BBC version performed in th 8os.

domingo, 5 de abril de 2015

Modern Drama and Elizabethan Drama

Theatre and plays have changed a lot since the Elizabethan period till now. One thing remains the same though: drama was and is essentially social. It involves contact, communication, negotiation of meaning, dreaming, emotions, Both the actors and the spectators move between real time and imaginary time.
Performances , the culture and traditions around theatre have developed and changed a lot. Have a look at this presentation to learn about it.

domingo, 15 de febrero de 2015

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree...

Resultado de imagen de innisfree pictures yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 
and a small cabin build there, of lay and wattles made: 
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
 and live alone in the bee-loud glade.
 And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
 dropping from the veils of the morning to where the Cricket sings; 
There midnight´s all a glimmer and noon a purple glow,
 and evening full of the Linnet´s wings. 
I will arise and go now, for always night and day, 
I hear lake waters lapping with low sounds by the shore; 
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey
I hear it in the deep heart´s core.

Resultado de imagen de william butler yeats
WILLIAM  BUTLER YEATS  was an Irish poet and playwright, winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, and one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. In 1893 he published "The Celtic Twilight", a collection of poems about Ireland and Irish legends and myths. He was quite involved in Irish politics and he believed in the power of literature to bring a sense of unity to Ireland.

This is what Yeats himself says about his own poem:

"I am going to begin with a poem of mine called 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' because if you know anything about me you will expect me to begin with it. It is the only poem of mine which is very widely known. When I was a young lad in the town of Sligo I read Thoreau's essays and wanted to live in a hut on an island in Lough Gill called Innisfree which means 'Heather Island'. I wrote the poem in London when I was about twenty three: one day in The Strand I heard a little tinkle of water and saw in a shop window a little jet of water balancing a ball on the top - it was an advertisement, I think, for cooling drinks - but it set me thinking of Sligo and lake water. I think there is only one obscurity in the poem - I speak of noon as a 'purple glow' - I must have meant by that the reflection of heather in the water"

After reading the poem try to answer the following questions:
1. What is suggested about the narrator by his desire to live on an unpopulated island? Might the island symbolyse something else?
2. We have an interesting use of imagery in the poem. Look for some examples of powerful images.
3. Look for one example of personification and metaphor.
4. The poem is also quite musical. Look for examples of alliteration.
5. Describe the place the narrator models in the poem and analyze the structure of his "fictional" space.
6. Analyze the syntactical structrure of sentences and look for repetitions, parallelisms, lexical repetitions and discuss about the effect of that.

The Stolen Child is one  of Yeats´ earliest poems. It is based on the myths and legends he heard from local people while growing up in County Sligo. He makes reference to a fantasy world where it is possible to obtain freedom and retain innocence. The image of the child taken away into a fairyland was quite popular in the Irish folklore. The child can´t help following the fairies because they are so enchanting and the new world he sees in front of him is so joyful and playful. Even though the child is unhurt, the reader can´t avoid a sense of uneasiness and confusion.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we´ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world´s more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world´s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the fills abovae Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world´s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he´s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He´ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human  child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world´s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Answer the following questions:
1. In the poem we have an ideal vision of Ireland and he uses a very effective imagery to achieve that. Find some examples.
2. Rhyme and Rhythm.
3. There is a refrain in the poem. What effect does it have on the reader?
4. We have the use of alliterations and repetition. Can you find some examples?
5. The language used is mellow and dreamlike. Can you look for some examples? What´s the purpose of using this type of words?
6. Is the child going away freely? Analyze the role of the fairies. Are they good or sinister and evil?
7. Two worlds are continously contrasted. Which ones and why?