1.en.7 Global Issues: International Solidarity

Last year in class we talked a lot about Global issues. Next Tuesday we are going to Caixafòrum to participate in a talk with Ignasi Carreras called Viure Solidàriament which is part of a series of talks called Trobades amb Compromís.

Look for information about him on the Internet and note down any information that you consider relevant.

What is his background: qualifications, job, others?

What do you think he is going to talk about?

International Solidarity

Read these two quotes:

In our interconnected world, the human family cannot enjoy security without development, cannot enjoy development without security, and cannot enjoy either without respect for human rights . . . to act on that understanding, we need a strong United Nations, and true solidarity among Governments and peoples working together to fulfil those goals.”

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General

“In a world of common challenges, no nation can succeed on its own; but by working together in common cause, we can build a safer, more prosperous future for all. Solidarity must be the foundation for global solutions.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

What do you think about this? Do you agree with Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon?


The Headlines

Read these recent headlines.

What situation are they describing? Sit in groups and comment them.


Stop Poverty

How can we fight against poverty? Every year thousands of international volunteers collaborating with NGOs participate in campaigns and millions of dollars are donated and spent in aid programmes to stop poverty. Now, some people think that this might not be the best way to help people in need as it makes them dependable on international aid. Watch the following video showing a talk by Iqbal Quadir in which he advocates for a different approach.

Answer the following questions:

1. Who is Iqbal Quadir?        

2. Where is he from?                        

3. What was his job in the US?

4. Why has international aid failed, according to Mr. Quadir?                               

5. How can international aid be improved?

6. What is Mr. Quadir’s criticism towards the World Bank?

 7. How can we empower citizens?

8. What happened in Mr. Quadir’s country in 1979?   

9. Complete Mr. Quadir’s sentence: C…………………….. is P……………………… 

10.  What kind of weapon is the cell phone? 

11. Why people in poor countries don’t have cell phones?  

12. What kind of company did Mr. Quadir create?   

13. Who provided the technological expertise?

14. How many people benefit from the service the company provides?

15. Why does Mr. Quadir say that international aid has damaged poor people?

Copy the questions in your notebook and try to get the answers while you watch the video.


Slavery Footprint

Are you aware that your comsumption habits may contribute to human slavery?

It’s not easy to be a socially responsible consumer. Even if you buy mostly local products and diligently keep track of corporate environmental footprints, you may still be leaving a trail of slaves in your wake. After all, who do you think is digging up the minerals in your smartphone or picking the cotton for your T-shirts?

Watch the following video:

Now, click on the image below. It belongs to a website called Slavery Footprint. Use the application at home to look at your purchases and determine the amount of forced labour that’s gone into everything you own. The number may surprise you.

Bring the results to class.

Deadline Monday 29 October 2012   

2.en.52 Reliable, logical, cynical, responsible… and some pronunciation work

Last Tuesday you took part in an interactive drama workshop at La Caixa. Part of your task was to discuss the way the characters of the play felt and analyse their reactions. There was conflict and lack of understanding between Rosa and her mother, but there was also conflict between Rosa and Judit who were of the same age.

  1. Do you think there are certain attitudes and personality features that go hand in hand with being young?
  2. Do people’s personality necessarily change as they grow old?
  3. Can grown ups change their attitudes?
  4. Is it more difficult to change when you are young or old?
  5. Did you like the play?
  6. What about the ending?
  7. What happened after Rosa’s mom received the phone call? Use your imagination. At the bottom of this post you will find some more adjectives to describe how the ending made you feel.

In this song you’ll be able to practice the pronunciation of some adjectives with similar endings:

_ble; -al

You will also learn the role of adverbs

but you will also need to reflect on how certain stages of life are associated with certain moods and feelings.

Listen to this Supertramp song “logical” and do the activities.

Fill in the gaps

when I was young
it seemed that life was so ________(1)
a miracle, oh it was beautiful,_____(2)
and all the birds in the trees
well they´d be singing so ______(3)
oh joyfully, oh playfully watching me
but then they sent me away
to teach me how to be _______(4)
logical, oh responsible ,practical
and they showed me a world
where I could be so ________(5)
oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical
there are times when all the world´s asleep
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man
won´t you please, please tell me what we´ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am
now watch what you say
or they´ll be calling you a ________(6)
a liberal, oh fanatical, criminal
oh won´t you sign up your name
we´d like to feel you´re
________(7), ________(8), oh presentable, a _________(9)!

at night when all the world´s asleep
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man
won´t you please, please tell me what weve learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who i am, who i am ,who I am.

when I was young
it seemed that life was so ________(10)

Meaning and morphology

Are you sure you understand the meaning of all the words.

Match the word and the definition


Which of the words are adjectives and which are adverbs?


Find more adverbs in the song

Content and mood

1. What type of person wrote this song?

2. Why did he/she write the song?

3. What are the stages mentioned in the song?

4. What are the changes?

5. Is the person happy or unhappy

about the changes?

6. Why?

7. Which line/lines impress you the most?

8. What is the mood of song?

9. Did you like the video?

10 Look at this alphabet, you’ll find some more adjectives to describe your mood. Is there anyone which fits you perfectly right now?

Post your comments to the blog for Monday the 21st

2.en.49 Mònica Bernabé’s talk on Afghanistan: do we live in a bubble?

This morning we went to Mònica Bernabé’s talk at Caixa Forum. We have been there several times: to talks, concerts and exhibitions. Today, 2nd year Batx students joined us and despite age difference both groups seemed to have enjoyed the talk.

Now, in class we’ll try to investigate and learn more about the things we heard. Some of the words she used you might have heard them many times before; words such as “WAR” ,“DEATH” “FREEDOM”. But you might also have heard new ones such as war criminals, cold war, talibans, mujahideens, burka, human rights, civilians, casualties, coallition forces, lords of the war,UN economic index.

However, after her talk, I hope that these words have stopped being just words for you.  Despite living in a very different reality, you should know that there are people and stories behind them,  They are not just a list of meaningless concepts to be learnt by heart . If I were a journalist and I was asked to choose a quote from Mònica’s talk, I guess I would choose “We live in a bubble and  things we take for granted are not so in Afghanistan”

Homework: Tomorrow, Friday 4th, I would like to see your comments on Mònica’s talk in the blog. Summarise the main contents and explain the parts you liked best. She spoke in Catalan and part of the videos she showed us were  in English or in Spanish, so it is up to you, you can post your  comments in the language you prefer: Catalan, Spanish or English.

The data about Afghanistan I asked you to look for (size, population,economy, religion, languages, life expectancy,demography, political system) you have to post them in English.

I found in You Tube the animation video that Mònica’s organization, (ASDHA) The Association for Human Rights in Afghanistan, made as part of the campaign to remove war criminals from Afghan parliament.  Watch it again. I have uploaded the English version, but if you go to the site, you can also watch it in Catalan and in Spanish. It is a good summary of the last 30 years of the country history and war conflict.

2.en.48 From Stockholm to Kabul “Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul”

We set of this term visiting a green city, Stockholm, and moved on to finding a bit more about Sweden, its citizens and their way of life. All of you have discovered interesting facts such as Swedes’ environmental awareness.

It’s about time to talk about wealth and economy. According to the GDP (nominal) per capita ranking elaborated by the International Monetary Fund, in 2010, Sweden was situated among the top ten countries of the world, which means it is among the richest.

In case you look for Spain, its position is 25. See this link

In terms of wars, it is worth mentioning that Sweden has not been combatant in any war since 1814, close to 200 years.

Today,  we’ll go to la Caixa, to listen to a talk about Afghanistan. It will be our third talk this year, part of the series that aimed at broadening your perception of the world. Thanks to Chema Caballero, we learnt about child soldiers in Sierra Leone. In October, Ramón Lobo explained to us how difficult daily life is in conflict areas. Today, the last talk of Trobades amb compromis will be given by Mònica Bernabé and it is called “Afganistan, més enllà dels talibans”

So, from Sweden, we shall move to a totally different reality and find out more about a Afghanistan, a country that has been devastated by wars and conflicts for more than 30 years. In terms of wealth and economy it ranks at the other end of the list.

Sweden also ranks among the top countries in terms of gender equality while in Afghanistan most women lead an invisible life covered by burkas and deprived of most elementary human rights.

You will have the chance to talk to a woman journalist, Monica Bernabé,  that has experience what daily life in Afghanistan is like. I hope that you will also realise that, against all odds, something can always be done, even in the worst situations.

I would like you to have a look at this inspiring video. Let me know what you think of it. Do you think skateboarding can contribute to changing patterns of behaviour?

Now, 20 questions about the film that will make you reflect on what an initiative such as skateistan is perceived by the kids in Kabul.

  1. How old is Murza?
  2. Was he born in Kabul?
  3. What does he say about his village Charekar?
  4. Why isn’t he too scared of violence?
  5. Does  he think violence will end in the near future?
  6. Where did he use to work?
  7. Where does he work now?
  8. What are his tasks in the skate park?
  9. How does Murza describe his relationship with skating?
  10. What does Sharna Nolan do  in Skateistan?
  11. What is the main objective of Skateistan?
  12. How old is Fazilla?
  13. Where does she work?
  14. What can you see in the background when kids are skating on a rooftop?
  15. What does Fazilla’s father think of her hobby?
  16. How does Murza describe his experience during Taliban period?
  17. What do the streets and the buildings of Kabul look like?
  18. What does Murza say the people of Afghanistan must do?
  19. How does he see the future?
  20. Did you like the film?

Homework: Friday 4th February. Post your answers and comments to the blog.

2.en.45 Poison, poisonous, venom, venomous

Last week we went on an outing to visit a very interesting exhibition on poisonous animals at Sa Nostra.

Here follow the questions you had to answer. I have added some more to check  how much you learnt.

1) Most animals in the exhibition are very colourful. What is the function of colours? Write some examples?

2) Which continent do most animals come from?

3) What type of animals were represented?

4)You watched a video about antidotes. Which animals were sed to make antidotes against different poisons?

5) What do we mean when we say that a poison is Neurotoxic?

6) What does a Hemotoxic poison do?

7) Name the animals yo found most interesting and explain why

8) What other living beings were there in the exhibition that were not animals? Write some of them.

9) what type of things did yo find that were not living things?

Now, try to write definitions of some of the following words. All of them are important to explain what yo saw in the exhibition.  Use relative pronouns to link your sentences.

1)fangs; 2)albinism; 3)prey; 4)diet;5) toxic;6) mimesis;7) strenght; 8) oviparous; 9)viviparous; 10)defense; 11) sting; 12) habitat


A butterfly is an insect. A butterfly has colourful wings

A butterfly is an insect which has colorful wings

Is “which” the subject or the object of the relative clause?

Did you enjoy the visit?

Did you learn some new facts about poison and poisonous animals?

Homework: Saturday 4th February

Post your answers to the blog and copy them in your notebook.

1.en.35 Dossier for the outing to Lartigue’s exhibition

3rd December 20010 2nd Year ESO E European Sections

Outing to Caixa Forum

Visit to the exhibition of photographs by Jacques Henry Lartigue.

Name: ___________________________________________________________

During the visit to the exhibition. Use the space `provided to take notes and fill in with the information required. Use the back of the dossier to write down details.

a) Biography

  1. When and where was he born?
  2. How old was he when he died’
  3. How would you describe his family background?

b) Childhood memories

  1. Would you say he had a happy childhood? Choose some images to support your answer. Copy the title and the year where the photographs were taken.
  2. What surprised you most about the pictures of his early years’
  3. What kind of toys can you see?
  4. What kind of games did he play?

c) Sporting events

  1. Which sports can you see in the photographs? Name them:

d) Landscapes

  1. what type of landscapes can you see? Choose one of the following categories:
  • Beaches
  • Sea resorts
  • Ski resorts
  • Cities
  • Other:
  1. By looking at the photographs would you say sea resorts popular in the early 1900?
  2. What made them different from popular resorts nowadays?

e) Fashion

  1. What kind of dresses did women wear?
  1. Are most women in the photos elegant wealthy women?

f) Reflecting on what you see

After watching the exhibition, what do you think was Lartigue’s main reason for taking photos. Tick the ones you feel are the best explanation and add any other reasons you might think of.

  1. He wanted to preserve happy moments
  2. He wanted  time to stand still
  3. He wanted to freeze images
  4. He wanted to trap movement in a frozen image
  5. He wanted to keep a recored of the new technological advances.
  6. Do you think Lartiges photos catch aspects of reality that would be invisible for most of us?
  7. Other

g) Task 1

Find a photo were the person/s portrayed is/are not posing

Find a photo you like in which the person/s portrayed are posing

h) Task 2

  1. If you had to choose a set of words to descibe the overall impression the photos had on you, which words would come to your mind? Choose among the list and add any you might think of:
  • Movement
  • Hapiness
  • Lightness
  • Gravity
  • Speed
  • Fun
  • Wealth
  • Sadness
  • Poverty
  • Elegant
  • Youth
  • Quietness
  • Leisure
  • Work
  • Other
  • Old age

Choose a photo that best describes the words you have chosen.

i) Task 3: Past and present

  1. What kind of sports were popular in the early1900’s?
  2. What kind of toys did Lartigue played with when he was a child?
  3. Would you say he had a happy childhood? Support your answer by choosing some photographs. Write down the caption and a short description.

j) Task 4: Stereoscopes and stereographs

There are many stereographs distributed all over the exhibition. Choose the one you liked best and describe it.

Diary. Look at Lartigue’s hanswritten diary. Have you ever kept one?


After the exhibition

In this web site run by the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue you will find a chronology. of Jacques Henri Lartigue’s life, which has been divided into five different periods.

You will have to visit it to be able to answer the following questions about Lartigue’s life. http://www.lartigue.org/us2/jhlartigue/chronologie/index-c5.html



  1. What was his older brother nickname?
  2. When did he get his first own camera?
  3. How does Lartigue make photographs of “ghosts”? Which technique does he use?
  4. Did he ever live in a palace when he was young?
  5. Jacques was fascinated by planes, who accompanied him on his trips to see test flights of the first airplanes?
  6. When does he start taking panoramic views with a new stereocopic camera?
  7. 1914 is the breakout of world war I. Is Lartigue drafted?
  8. When does he decide to become a painter?
  9. What does he use his race car for during the war?
  10. Who is “Bibi”?



  1. What are the main events in these years?
  2. Who does he marry in these years?



  1. What kind of photos does he take in 1944?
  2. When does he start taking colour shots?
  3. Who does he sell his photos to?
  4. Does he marry again in these years?



  1. Which important museum exhibits his works in the early 60’s?
  2. Which costume designs of a very famous film are inspired by a Lartigue photopgraph of 1911?
  3. Why is 1979 a very important yearfor Lartigue’s work?



  1. What aniverary does Artigue celebrate in 1982?
  2. Where does he die?



  • Did you like the exhibition
  • Did you learn anything by doing the tasks
  • Did the dossier help you reflect on what you saw?
  • Did you find it interesting
  • Suggestions:

1.en.34 3rd December: Outing to Caixa Forum. Photographs by Jacques Henry Lartigue.

Last Monday,  during our English session with first year students, you had the opportunity to see a beautiful stereoscope and a collection of photographs of majorca from the early 1900’s. A History teacher from the Ramon LLull, Gabriel Alomar, lent us a beautiful stereoscope and a collection of stereographs* from Mallorca and you could have a close look at this witty invention that is more than a hundred  years old.

Useful language to describe it:

  • It is a gadget/ device/invention/machine
  • It is called…
  • It is made of… Materials: wood, metal iron, glass
  • It is … size, shape, features…. portable/small/fragile/
  • It consists of a … handle, mask, sliding stand…
  • It is composed/ it is made of
  • It is used for… -ing

If you are interested in finding more information about the origins of stereoscopes and stereographs, check this site.

*Stereographs  consist of two photographs  positioned side by side about two and half inches apart, one for the left eye and one for the right. When a viewer uses astereoscope, a device for viewing stereographs, these two flat images are combined into a single image that gives the illusion of depth.

Homework: 8th December .

Think of another witty device and  define it. Use the description of stereoscope we did in class as as a model. Check the useful language  that appears  in this post  (in blue) and copy it in your notebook next to your definition.

Post your definition to the blog and copy it in your notebook. You can add a photo or a drawing of your device. There is no need to search a lot. There are plenty of witty inventions around us.

As a follow up of this activity, today we are going to see a col.ection of photographs by a famous French photographer, Jacques Henry Lartigue. He also experimented with stereographs and stereoscopes and some of the photographs exhibited in Caixa Forum are from the same period as the ones you saw in class. However, the topics, the environment and the society portrayed in Lartigue’s photos are  very different.

As usual, when we go on an outing, you will have to carry out a task during the outing and then, do some activity on line to complete and fix the information you gathered during the visit.

In the exhibition, you will be able to watch sterographs from the early 1900’s. Last Tuesday, you also had the opportunity to talk with the author of the Mallorca Daily Photoblog who gave you his opinion on photography. I hope you will enjoy this outing and I’m sure it will give you a new perspective to look at the world around you.