Saturday, December 17, 2011

New activity about crime


Try to find the meaning of the new words, then watch the video and answer the questions that follow either on your blog or mine. Good luck, Manolis! :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fantastic tenses chart!

These visual explanations of each English tense provide visual clues for all major tenses of English. Each tense has a dedicated visual clue card with an explanatory sentence. These tense charts help learners use visual intelligence to understand key tense concepts. Basic tense usage and sentence construction is provided following each visual tense chart.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oliver Twist

In a city of England, there was a place for people who had no money and nowhere to live, called the warehouse. Oliver Twist was born in there. His mother died after the birth. Poor Oliver was born in a world which had no love or pity for him, since he had no relatives. When Oliver became a nine-year-old child, he started working for three poor meals per day until the day when Oliver with his friends decided to ask for more food. As a result, Mr. Bumble, an important officer in the town, took him away and shut him up in a dark room with a notice on the gate which was offering five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver. Oliver was a prisoner in the dark room, clearing the yard every morning. One week later, Mr. Sowerberry, a man who was making coffins, saw the notice on the gate and asked to take the little child with him for five pounds.

That evening, Mr. Bumble took Oliver to Mr. Sowerberry’s house, but his wife got very angry, as Oliver was just a little child yet and he would grow up on their food and drink. Next morning, a boy whose his name was Noah Claypole, was knocking the door. Because his parents were penniless, all other boys were rude to him, but Oliver didn’t know that, so he was glad that he in turn could be rude to Oliver.

During the moths which followed, Noah and Mrs. Sowerberry made Oliver’s life very unpleasant, while Mr. Sowerberry was very kind with him. One day, Noah told Oliver that he comes of a bad family and in a second, Oliver got mad and attacked him. Mrs. Sowerberry listened to the screams and rushed in the room the boys were fighting and blamed Oliver for his bad behavior and asked Noah to run to Mr. Bumble and ask him to come home while at the same time, she shut Oliver in a dark room. When Mr. Bumble came, he told Mrs. Sowerberry that she was very generous with the kid and she should stop giving meat at his meals, but only some soup and then he left.

When the first light of the day showed through the windows, the little kid left the house running forward to the hills. He was walking for seven days having some bread and water with him, until he arrived into the little town of Barnet, a few miles from London. There, he met a child who was about his age, his name was Jack Dawkins. Jack gave him food and a place to stay for the night with some other kinds and an old man named Fagin. Next morning, when Oliver woke up, the old man and the other kids taught him how to steal handkerchiefs and watches, but he couldn’t understand how it would help him to become a good man. Some days later, Oliver got out with the two other boys for some pick-pocketing. Their target was an old man who seemed to be rich. When they took his wallet, the three children started running back to their lodgings, but one resident grabbed Oliver and injured him. The old man understood that Oliver wasn’t the thief and he decided to take him at his place until he became better. At the same time, the two other children returned back to Fagin and told him the story. Immediately, Fagin decided that they would have to find Oliver and get him back; otherwise, he could cause them many problems if he spoke to the police.

For a couple of weeks, Oliver was ill and was lying in a bed at the old gentleman’s house. A servant of his was taking care of Oliver since he felt better. The same night, he had to return some books he had borrowed and asked Oliver to return them and gave him some pounds to pay for them. While Oliver was going to the bookstore, Bill Sikes, a friend of Fagin found him and returned him to Fagin immediately. Fagin took off his new clothes and took the five pounds from his pockets and shut him in a dark room.
The next morning, Fagin took Oliver to the other thief, Bill Sikes, a bloodthirsty man who needed Oliver to enter in a house he had already targeted and help him rob it. When Oliver got into the house, a couple of servants saw and shot him. After that the thief grabbed the child and started running to the fields, but the servants were running after them, so he left him on the ground and started running alone until the servants lost him.

After some hours, Oliver stood up crying from pain and his hand was bleeding. He took a look around until he saw the house he had to steal and then he decided to walk there and ask for help. The servants opened the door and recognized his face without knowing what to do. At the same time a pretty lady named Rose, appeared from the top of the stairs and asked the servants to lay the poor boy on a bed and call the doctor. In a couple of days, Oliver became better and for three months he lived with the family, being very optimistic for his future.

He was very pleased for his new life, until one night, Rose felt very sick and Mr. Giles, who was the host, sent Oliver to find the doctor for Rose. Oliver started running ahead to the nearest inn in order to find the doctor, but on his way to home, he met a strange man who was very aggressive to Oliver. Oliver tried to get away and started running back home. At the same night the doctor came and was taking a look at Rose, while Oliver was at his bedroom when he saw Fagin with the strange man from the inn pointing at him. He understood that they were planning to take him back and turn him into a thief again.

The strange man named Monks, seemed to be very anxious about Oliver, and he tried to learn as much as he could for the boy. After a meeting with the workshop’s master, Mr. Bumble, revealed to the master that Oliver is his brother. On the other hand, Nancy, which was Fagin’s follower, was looking after Bill Sikes as he was ill for weeks. Next morning, after Sikes felt asleep, she run ahead to Rose’s house, where Oliver was living at, in order to warn her that Monks and Fagin were planning to take Oliver back.

Rose told the story to Oliver and both decided to go and speak to Mr. Brownlow again and reveal him Nancy’s secret. When they arrived at Mr. Brownlow’s house, Rose explained what happened to Oliver that night he sent him to the bookstore, and then the old gentleman decided that they had to find the man named Monks.

Nancy had told Rose that she could only find her at 12 o’clock every Sunday evening. Next Sunday, Mr. Brownlow with Rose and Oliver went to find Nancy, but Fagin had sent Sikes to follow her and find out if she would reveal his secrets. When the little girl returned, Fagin was sitting with Sikes waiting for her; they were waiting to murder her. After they killed the little girl, they both fled away, but the police found Fagin really soon. Some days later, Sikes found some lodgings to stay, but it didn’t last long. One peaceful night, an angry crowd gathered around the house Sikes was hiding. That night was his last, as he decided to hang himself from the roof of the house.

Monks had a little better future, as Mr. Brownlow found him and asked him to leave poor Oliver alone and gave him what belonged to him as his little brother. Monks had no other choice, so he left Oliver and moved to America, where he died in prison after some months. Oliver’s future was connected with Mr. Brownlow and his little friend Rose.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dream jobs!

 What do you do for a living? Is that your dream job? What IS your dream job?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Teaching and Learning English: ADVANCED GRAMMAR PAGES ON ESL.ABOUT.COM: Theory and examples Verb 'use' to express habits Differences between action and stative verbs Reported speech Reporting verbs Cond...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The mobile phone as the digital wallet of the future

Is what the video shows feasible?

How would you feel if you could use your mobile phone in this way?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian gray was a very handsome, confident young man at the age of 19 who had his portrait done by an artist named Basil Hallward, who was also one of his best friends. Basil knew also a person called Lord Henry who was a very cynical man and he was very afraid that Lord Henry could have bad influence on Dorian. Lord Henry approached Dorian and since then they became close friends.
When Dorian saw the portrait he wished that the man in the portrait should be the one who would get old not him. Dorian met a beautiful actress named Sibyl Vane and he fell in love with her. He proposed to her and she was very happy about it.
Then Dorian went to the theater with Lord Henry and Basil to watch Sibyl acting but the only thing they saw was just a horrible actress with a weak voice and unnatural acting. When Dorian Gray asked her what the reason for her bad performance that night was, Sibyl replied that she can’t imitate love in a play now that she knows the real emotion of it. Dorian told Sibyl that she was just ordinary and he left her crying on floor. The day after, Dorian felt very bad for the way he treated Sibyl so he wrote her a letter in order to apologize to her when suddenly Lord Henry appeared and announced to Dorian that Sibyl had committed suicide. Dorian felt bad but Henry’s influence was very strong and Dorian couldn’t fight his personality so he forgot about Sibyl’s death immediately.
Dorian was watching his portrait having an unhappy face all the time and he didn’t like it anymore so he decided to hide it into his old study room. He didn’t want his servants to notice that the portrait is changing so he hired two workmen to do the job. He locked the door and felt safe again.
One night while Dorian was returning  home he met Basil on his way. Basil had to speak with Dorian because all this time Dorian was surrounded by immoral people and he wanted explanations. Dorian was upset with Basil because he continuously asked him questions about his behavior so Dorian went upstairs with him and unlocked the old study room where he was keeping the portrait. Basil was shocked when he realized that the old man in the portrait was actually Dorian and that the wish he had made all these years before, came true. Basil was looking at the portrait and couldn’t believe how evil that was and said to Dorian that he could change. Dorian wanted to change but his life was destroyed since Basil drew his portrait and he thought that Basil introduced him to Lord Henry too, so he felt that Basil was responsible for his horrible life and took the knife from the desk and stabbed Basil in the neck.
Later Dorian called Alan Campbell who was a scientist in order to force him to make the dead body of Basil disappear. And so it was done. Dorian felt relief.
While Dorian was walking on the street, a man caught him and pushed him against the wall. He told Dorian that he was Sibyl’s brother and that he came to kill him. Dorian thought really fast and answered to him that this wasn't possible since he was too young to be Dorian Gray. 18 years had passed since the accident and he looked like a 20-year-old. Sibyl’s brother was convinced. An old woman was watching from an old building and she spoke to James telling him that Dorian Gray escaped and that he lost the opportunity to kill him since she knew that Dorian looked always young without knowing how.
Later on Lord Henry organized a shooting party at Dorian’s country house. Dorian thought that it would be safe for him because James wouldn’t follow him. Suddenly there was a terrible accident and Dorian’s friends realized that they had shot a man instead of a rabbit. Dorian realized that that man was James and he felt relief.
The next week Dorian went to Lord Henry’s house and he confessed to him that he wasn’t happy with his life and that he is not a nice person. Lord Henry told him that he wouldn't change and that it was important for his friends to stay just like he was. Dorian returned at home and he was very nervous, so he decided to look at his portrait considering that it might know his good intentions. He look at the portrait but there wasn’t any change, so he took a knife and stabbed the picture. The servants saw the portrait of the young handsome Dorian Gray and on the floor the dead body of an old man with a very ugly face and evil eyes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Write a letter nominating one person for the exchange program

Dear Editor,

I am writing in reply to an article in your magazine about an exchange program in Boston. I would like to nominate my brother.

First of all, my brother's name is Antonis Sifakis and he is a 22-year-old university student. He speaks English and German well. Moreover, he likes travelling all around the world in order to become familiar with local traditions and practise his foreigh language skills. All the trips he has made are the main reason I recommend him because they have helped him become very sociable and, thus, he will definitely get on well with other participants. Also, he is very responsible, patient and mature, while he loves sports, as he is mad about cycling and skiing.

In my opinion, this exchange could be of great benefit to him, since he has never been to Boston before and he always wanted to travel there. (not necessary, you talk about the benefits here: Antonis would be a great choice) Antony is also planning to study abroad, which means that such an multicultural experience as the one you offer will allow him to taste the life in a foreign country. In addition, when he gets his degree, he is going to continue his studies on the cultural roots of USA. Afterwards, he will be able to write about it in the blogs he maintains and express his opinions and experiences concerning the program.

All in all, I feel he could really benefit from the experience, and I hope that you will consider my brother when choosing the group. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Manolis Sifakis.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Has anyone been cycling?

Hello Antony and Manolis! Did you go cycling yesterday? Tell me all about it! :-)

Type your answer in the comment box.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Examiner: Hi, I'm your teacher. All students in your class, have the opportunity to get work experience for one week. Choose which job you would like to try.

Student: Hello, nice to meet you. Could you please inform me which jobs are available?

Examiner: Of course! You have to choose to work either as a student lawyer, or as a student advertising assistant.

Student: hmm, that sounds interesting! I wonder what I would have to do during this week.

Examiner: When working as a student lawyer, you will have to help the lawyer to prepare legal arguments. Also you will have to watch some courtcases. On the other hand, working as a student advertising assistant, you will have to think of plenty ideas for advertisements, do the photocopying and attend meetings.

Student: that sounds like a useful experience! but before I choose, could you give me a better idea of what each job is like?

Examiner: Working as a student lawyer, you will have lots of reading and writing, and your office will be placed in the city center. If you choose to work as student advertising assistant, you will have to work in fast-paced manner and again, your office will be located in the city center.

Student: I wonder which job suits me best

Examiner: Let me help you. If you're confident, intelligent and good with words, I think that working as student lawyer suits to you best. If not, and if you are more creative and sociable, then you had better choose to try the possision of the student advertising assistant. Moreover, if you work as student lawyer, you will have to work on interesting cages, you will develop your confidence and you will work long hours. Conversely, working as student advertising assistant will be very exciting, as you will develop you language skills, but the job is very stressful, because of the tight deadlines.

Student: It's just the thing I like and it will help me with my career later on, giving me a better idea of what the jobs is, and providing me with fist-hand knowledge. So, I suppose I would prefer to work as a student advertising assistant, as I am very sociable and creative. Moreover, developing my language skills sounds very interesting. In addition, I believe I will perform better under tight deadlines. On the other hand, working as a student lawyer will be dull for me, because I am not good at copying with a great deal of reading and writing, neither with words. These are the reasonsI would prefer to work as a student advertising assistant.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What is Halloween and what do its celebrations involve?

According to Historian Nicolas Rogers, folkists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds or the festival of the dead which is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (summer’s end), falling on the last day of Autumn . There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. In order to ward off these spirits, natives were symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.

 Nowadays, Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world. This influence has extended to places such as South America, Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe, Japan and other parts of East Asia. Halloween is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns , bonfires, apple-bobbing, visiting haunted attractions , playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. The imaginery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of gothic and horror literature such as the novels Frankenstain and Dracula, and classic horror films such as The Mummy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Application Letter

Dear Mr Boston,

I am writing in response to your advertisment which I saw in an English language magazine.

I would be very interested in this job as I am keen on music. I would love to work in a international music shop. I passionately listen to all the kinds of music. As a result, I know a great deal of information about singers and songs. Moreover, I have got a degree on music. As for foreign languages, I am a holder of the ECCE and FCE certificates. Also, I have worked as a teacher of English.

As for my experience, I worked for 3 years in a music shop and I stopped to go to univerity. So, I know how to handle the customers. I can persuade the customers to buy CDs. I am polite, I have confidence and, most importantly, I am punctual. I firmly believe I am suitable for this job because I have all the qualifications needed.
I am looking forward your reply.

   Yours sincerely,
     Christos Babis

An Application Letter

Dear Mr. Boston,
I am writing in connection with the advertisement I saw.I would like to tell you why I am suitable for that job in the global music shop.

 First of all, I have a great knowledge of music on account of my hobbies. In other words, much of my free time is spent by listening to all types of music at home. As for foreign languages, I speak English fluently owing to my teacher who is called Christina.I have been studying English for many years and I am a holder of the FCE certificate.

As far as my experience is concerned ,I have worked  in my family's music shop for many years ,which offered me valuable knowledge. I was so determined that I was studying and listening to music simultaneously.When I was eighteen years old, I worked hard in other music shops. The harder I worked, the better I learnt.

I would be grateful if you chose me. I look forward to hearing from you.
 Yours sincerely,
 Maximos Filippakis

A letter of application

Dear Mr Boston,

I am writing in response to your advertisement about an available position in your international music shop.

I am very interested in this job, as I am very keen on Rock, Classical, Pop and Jazz music. I also speak English quite well and would like the opportunity to practise it more. In addition, I am a holder of the ECCE certificate.

As for my experience, I was a member of the choir at school and I have taken part in a talent show competition in Britain. What is more, I am very experienced, as I have worked in my father's music shop for two years, so I know how to treat the customers. As well as having these skills, I think I am the ideal person for you, since I am sociable and confident and I would enjoy working in your international music shop. It will help me to improve my skills and would enable me to be financially independent.

I hope you will consider me for this position.

 Yours sincerely,
   Rafaela Kokkinou

Car Accidents

Dear Host,

I agree with the government's idea because young people are not very careful and they may cause accidents. Youngsters may also race against each other and they cannot handle the speed. However, I disagree in a way because students at university may need transport to get to their lessons.

The solution is to stop them from driving at night until they are twenty-one. Additionally, one more solution is to keep the age the same, but restrict the size of car they can drive. Moreover, we can drive smaller sized engines up to 1300cc.

I am sure many readers will agree with my point of view.

   Maximos Filippakis

Monday, January 31, 2011

Advice for your magazines....

Dear Ms Sanderson,

     I am writing to give you my comments on your magazines.

     First of all, I think it would be a good idea to publish a style magazine for teenagers.The reason is that teenagers enjoy reading magazines. So, if teenagers read the magazine, it will be successful.

      Secondly, I think the magazine should come out weekly because teenagers buy magazines every week.Most teenagers enjoy reading magazines about fashion and body image. So, it should have these two topics.

     Finally, you asked me about TEEN HOBBIES magazine. I am afraid to say, I do not like the topics and the most important thing is it does not have pictures. If the magazines does not have pictures, it will be such a flop.

     I hope these comments and suggestions are helpful.
              Yours sincerely,
              Christos Babis