Die Adventszeit

„Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt, erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier, dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.“

Alicia Martínez – German and English Teacher at AIT Language School

Vier Sonntage vor Heiligabend beginnt die lang erwartete Adventszeit. Für viele Menschen ist sie die schönste Zeit des Jahres. Sie lieben das Plätzchenessen, die Weihnachtsmärkte und die festliche Stimmung.

Ein Adventskranz besteht aus Tannengrün und vier Kerzen und besitzt eine runde Form. Die Farbe der Kerzen kann sehr vielfältig sein,

Wann zündet man die erste Kerze an? Am ersten Sonntag nach dem 26. November oder vier Sontage vor Heiligabend.

Also dieses Jahr zünden wir am 2. Dezember die erste Kerze an. Und so weiter bis alle vier Kerzen brennen..

Was bedeutet Advent? Diese Bezeichnung kommt aus dem Lateinischen und bedeutet die Ankuft Jesu Christi.

Obwohl dies ein deutsche Tradition ist, kann man es in jedem Haus als eine neue weihnachtliche Tradition einführen.


Cuatro domingos antes de noche buena empieza la esperada época de adviento. Para muchos es la mejor época del año. Les encanta comer galletas de navidad, ir a mercados de navidad y disfrutar del ambiente navideño.

El “Adventskranz” está hecho de ramas de abeto y lleva cuatro velas. Su forma es redonda. El color de las velas es indiferente.

¿Cuándo se enciende la primera vela? El primer domingo después del 26 de noviembre o 4 domingos antes de noche buena.

Así que este año empezamos el día 2 de diciembre encendiendo la primera vela. Y así sucesivamente hasta tener encendidas las cuatro velas.

¿Qué significa adviento? La palabra viene del latín y significa la llegada de Jesucristo.

Y aunque sea una tradición alemana se puede introducir en cada hogar como algo tradicional navideño. 


¿Por qué Hollywood tiene tanta predilección por las películas de superhéroes? Te lo desvelamos en esta entrada.

Text found by Alicia Martínez (English and German Teacher at AIT)

Superman and Batman are back …. together!   Once each superhero movie was about just one superhero: Superman, or Batman, or Spiderman, or some other fantastic hero.  Now Hollywood gives us several different superheroes in the same film.  Justice League, which comes out in November 2017, is a movie that includesSuperman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more… all in the same movie

Not just Superman and Batman…

   Superman and Batman are just two superheroes out of many. We could also include Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Robin Hood, James Bond, Zorro, Indiana Jones and a lot more. They’re all more or less the same person, in different forms. Some are in the past, others in the present, others in the future.why-is-hollywood-fascinated-by-superheros

   But why does Hollywood love superheroes? Is it a question of money? Of course; but it’s not only money. 

    People have always loved superheroes. Long before the first Hollywood movie, people loved stories about superheroes. Robin Hood has been a popular hero for over 600 years … and there were others before him. 

    The first superheroes were real people. Nevertheless, the stories about them were often invented. Some of the oldest European superheroes were Charlemagne and Roland (Orlando). Mediaeval writers and singers invented exciting stories about these real men, just as Hollywood invents stories about tomorrow’s superheroes. 

   A thousand years ago, people sometimes sat round in dark rooms in the evening, listening to the adventures of brave heroes. Today, we sit in a dark room in the evening, wat


ching the adventures of the brave Batman. The medium is different, the technology has changed …. but the people are really the same.

    Hollywood doesn’t actually invent many new superheroes. Superman, Judge Dredd, Batman and the others already «existed» before Hollywood discovered them. These three all come from comic magazines. 

    The first Batman story came out in 1939! So, Batman has now been defending the people of Gotham City for over 80 years! There have been several Batman movies, with different

 stars including Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale. How long can it last?

   Superman is even older: he dates from about 1932 (the exact year is not certain). Even Judge Dredd is a familiar figure; he first appeared in England in 1977.

    Hollywood’s biggest superheroes live in the future. That is not really surprising. Hollywood has fallen in love with special effects, and the future allows great spectacular special effects. Besides, people today are frightened about the future. Things do not always look good; perhaps we will need characters like Batman and Judge Dredd in 100 years’ time. Perhaps we even need them today!

SOURCE: https://linguapress.com/intermediate/superheroes.htm

The story of COCA-COLA

Esta semana hablamos del símbolo más reconocido a nivel mundial: la botella de Coca-cola.

Text found by Alicia Martínez (English and German Teacher at AIT)

Level: Intermediate

What is the most recognizable object in the world? Could it be a football? Or a Big-Mac? No, the answer is a Coca-Cola bottle. The famous Coca-Cola bottle is almost 100 years old!

    Footballs and big macs are certainly part of life for lots of people; but Coca-Cola is now a permanent part of world culture. People know and drink Coca-Cola all over the world.

It is said that the Coca-Cola bottle is the most recognised object in the world. Hundreds of millions of people can recognise a Coke bottle by its shape, even if they cannot see it! And the famous Coca-Cola logo is the most famous logo in the world. Unlike any other famous commercial logo, it has not changed in 100 years!

    But the story of Coca-Cola is even older than that. It was in 1886 that John Pemberton, a druggist in Atlanta, Georgia, invented a new type of syrup, using coca leaves, sugar and cola nuts, plus a few other secret ingredients! Pemberton sold it as a medicine; and with its coca (the source of cocaine), it must have made people feel good!the-story-of-cocacola

    Nevertheless, Pemberton’s medicine was not very successful, so he sold his secret formula to another druggist, Asa Candler. Candler was interested, because he had another idea; he thought that Pemberton’s «medicine» would be much better if it was mixed with soda.

    Candler was thus the man who really invented the drink Coca-Cola. At first, he sold it in his drugstore; then he began selling the syrup to other drugstores, who used it with their soda fountains. Candler also advertised his new drink, and soon people were going to drugstores just to get a drink of Coca-Cola.

    Before long, other people became interested in the product, including a couple of businessmen who wanted to sell it in bottles. Candler sold them a licence to bottle the drink, and very quickly the men became millionaires. The famous bottle, with its very distinctive shape, was designed in 1916.

    During the First World War, American soldiers in Europe began asking for Coca-Cola, so the Coca-Cola company began to export to Europe. It was so popular with soldiers, that they then had to start bottling the drink in Europe.

    Today, Coca-Cola is made in countries all over the world, including Russia and China; it is the world’s most popular drink.

    As for the famous formula, it is probably the world’s most valuable secret! The exact ingredients for making Coca-Cola are only known to a handful of people. And as for the «coca» that was in the original drink, that was eliminated in 1903. It was a drug, and too dangerous. Today’s Coca-Cola contains caffeine, but not in 1903. It was a drug, and too dangerous. Today’s Coca-Cola contains caffeine, but not cocaine!

SOURCE: https://linguapress.com/intermediate/coca-cola-story.htm

A short history of English

Repasar la historia nos ayuda a comprender la expansión de la lengua inglesa a lo largo del mundo con el paso de los siglos.

Text found by Alicia Martínez (English and German Teacher at AIT)

The story of English, and how it became a world language  

English is the world’s leading international language. It is the principal language spoken in Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some other countries such as Uganda and Botswana. Almost 400  million people in the world speak English as their first language (estimates of the exact number vary considerably)  – about the same number as Spanish, but less than Mandarin Chinese or Hindi. 

    In addition, over 1,000 million (1 billion) people worldwide speak English as a second language. Many more can get by in English

    English is the main second language in India, South Africa and many parts of Africa and Asia. But – more and more – it is also the language of international commerce, of business, of diplomacy and of tourism. 

The short history of English

      How did English reach the special position in which it finds itself today?    Mostly, the rise of English to its position as the world’s main international language was a result of chance. Britain was the world’s most active colonial nation in the 19th century, and British explorers and colonists took their language with them wherever they went. English became the official language of most of Britain’s colonies. In the 20th century, America has been the world’s most powerful nation – and Americans have brought the English language to other countries of the world. 

     The importance of American international corporations has made sure that English has remained the international language of business; and Hollywood and the music industry have made sure that it has become the principal language for the media and showbiz. 

     The success story of English has been due partly to the nature of the language, but more to the fact that it had developed into a mature national language just when the countries of Europe were beginning to expand their influence and spread their culture all over the world. 

     Over a thousand years ago, when the roots of modern Europe were being formed, western Europe was divided into three sections: in the East there were people who spoke Slavonic languages, in the middle there were people speaking Germanic languages (including Scandinavians), and in the south and west there were people speaking «Romance» languages, derived from Latin. In the far west of Europe, there were also people speaking Celtic languages, such as Gaelic. 

     In those days, England was a Germanic country; its people spoke a variety of Germanic languages including forms of Danish and Anglo Saxon, as well as some Celtic languages. 
     In 1066, England was conquered by the Normans, from France, who brought with them their own langage – Norman French – a Romance language.

     In the years that followed, the nobility of England spoke French and read Latin, while the ordinary people spoke varieties of old English; but since they existed side by side, the two languages immediately began to influence each other. Norman French became Anglo-Norman, and Old English, picking up lots of vocabulary from Anglo-Normans, evolved into Middle English. Middle English was thus rather different from other European languages. It was partly Germanic (particularly the vocabulary of everyday life, the grammar and structures), and partly Romance (a lot of the more litterary vocabulary). It was even influenced to a small degree by the Celtic languages which remained alive in Cornwall and other parts of the British Isles.

      Eventually, since Middle English was spoken by far the largest part of the population, it became the dominant language in England; and by the 14th century, it was well on the way to becoming the national language, not just for everyday life, but for administration and literature too.

      Finally, English also replaced Latin as the language of the church. The Bible had been translated into English in the 14th century; but it was not until the Protestant reformation of the 16th century, the age of Shakespeare, that  English became the language of church services. From then on, its position as the national language of Britain, was firmly established. And it was just at the right moment.

     English became the established national language just at the point in history when colonial expansion was beginning. It was the spoken and written language of the first men and women from Britain to settle in  the Americas; and it was a language that went round the world with England’s early traders, commercial adventurers and missionaries.

     By the year 1700, England had become the world’s leading nation  in terms of international trade, ensuring that the English language was taken all over the world as the principal language of international commerce.


Understanding English

     Since English is at the dividing line of the two principal families of language used in Western Europe today, most people from Spain to Scandinavia can recognise something of their own language in English. 

     For example, if you speak a Germanic language (German, Dutch, or a Scandinavian language), you do not need to have learned much (or even any) English to understand this sentence: 
     The man forgot to water his garden last night 

Anyone who speaks French or Spanish or Italian, should be able to understand this English sentence without too much difficulty: 
     Indicate if you have a difficult problem.   

As English is half way between two different language groups, speakers of other languages have often found it easy to communicate in English, even without paying attention to grammar!  

     Nevertheless, grammar is important; for without grammar, no language can survive. Grammar is the cement with which the bricks of language are held together. Without it, even messages in simple English can be quite impossible to understand.

     Just look at the importance of word order in these simple examples, which are entirely different in meaning:  
     The man the woman saw was hungry. 
     The man saw the woman was hungry. 

Or look at the radical difference in meaning between these two sentences: 
     This is a story forgotten by Charles Dickens. 
     This is a forgotten story by Charles Dickens.      

Modern English

In recent times, as English has become a global language, used in different places all over the world, it has become a much richer language than in the past. It has picked up new words from other cultures, other languages, such as bungalow (from India),  détente (from French), kebab(from Turkey), potato (from American Indian) – plus a lot of modern slang from America. 

     Today, both grammar and vocabulary are still changing. There is no such thing as «official English»; neither Britain nor the USA has anything official like the «Académie Française» to decide what is acceptable and what is not. The most accepted sources of reference are the famous English dictionaries – Websters for the USA and the Oxford English Dictionary for British English. Like other dictionaries however, they are descriptive not prescriptive – i.e. they describelanguage as it is used, they do not tell people what they can or should say or should not say. 

     Today’s English is different from the English of 100 years ago; it is pronounced differently too – and no doubt, it will be even more different in 100 years’ time.


SOURCE: https://linguapress.com/grammar/english.htm

Why are exams useful for language learning?

¿Por qué los exámenes son beneficiosos y útiles para los niños? Te lo descubrimos en este artículo.

<em>Text written by Alicia Martínez</em>

How can exams help children with their language learning?

Assessment and learning go hand in hand. Our exams test all four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). This encourages teachers and learners to take a balanced approach to language learning.

All our exams focus on real-life communication skills. By preparing for a Cambridge English Qualification, we hope your child will develop their communication skills in English, not just for the exam but for life. 

Our level-based exams are also really useful because they help you to find out:

  • where your child is on their learning journey
  • where your child is going on their learning journey
  • what your child will do next.

Where your child is on their learning journey – why is this useful to know?

Your child will make the best progress when learning activities are at the right level – not too difficult and not too easy. They will be more motivated if they have the right amount of challenge.

Cambridge English Qualifications are available at different levels. They clearly show the skills that need to be mastered at each level. Our research suggests that level-based exams are motivating and children enjoy moving up the language learning ladder one step at a time.

We have lots of free learning activities available at each level:

To help you choose the right activities, encourage your child to find their level with our:

Of course, tests are only one way of finding out where your child is in their learning. It’s also important to encourage them to check, assess and reflect on their own work, as they become independent learners and more involved in the learning process.

After an activity, take some time to think about the results. Did your child find anything difficult? Is there anything they need more help with? If the whole activity was too easy or too hard, ask your child to try an activity at the next level up or down.

Where your child is going on their learning journey – why is this useful to know?

It’s hard to move forward with learning if you don’t know where your child is going. Exams give your child something to aim for.

Our level-based exams provide a clear path for developing English language skills, step by step. At each level, your child can work towards getting a Cambridge English Qualification. It’s a great way to reward achievement and build confidence for the next step in their learning journey. Our research suggests that learners feel less test anxiety if they have taken an exam at the previous level.

It’s also helpful to talk to your child about why they are learning English. Why do they want to improve their English? It’s good to have reasons for learning English, other than test results. This will help drive your child forward and is very important for motivation.

What your child will do next – what information do our exams provide?

Our exams test all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening), giving you detailed information on how to move your child forward in the next stage of the learning journey.

Your child is probably stronger in some skills than others – that’s normal. Discuss the results with your child’s teacher. What do they show about your child’s strengths and needs, and what can you work on at home?

Doing well in an exam can be hugely satisfying – the hard work has paid off. Remember, it is important to recognise what has been achieved, as well as how your child can improve.

Sky Garden—Los jardines más elevados de Londres

Hoy te presentamos el mejor mirador gratuito de Londres con vistas 360º de toda la ciudad.

Sky Garden—Los jardines más elevados de Londres

Por Joseph Anthony Salazar, AIT English Language School

¿Qué es Sky Garden?

En pocas palabras, Sky Garden es un invernadero que se encuentra en la azotea de uno de los rascacielos más elevados de Londres. Los londinenses cariñosamente lo llaman el Walkie Talkie, debido al parecido del rascacielos a este dispositivo electrónico. Toda la azotea del edificio es acristalada, y además de contener un precioso jardín, el invernadero también acoge varios bares y un restaurante. Lo más impactante de Sky Garden, sin embargo, son las vistas. Desde lo más alto de este impresionante rascacielos el espectador tiene las mejores perspectivas de 360º de la ciudad, superando incluso a las de la mismísima London Eye—la noria más famosa del mundo.

¿Cuánto cuesta ver el Sky Garden?


Esto es lo mejor de todo—no cuesta nada. Es absolutamente gratis. Eso sí, previamente debes sacar una entrada para subir a la azotea. La entrada se consigue accediend

o a la página oficial del rascacielos. Una vez que tengas la entrada, tendrás derecho a una visita de 90 minutos de duración—suficiente tiempo para tomar un refresco y contemplar las maravillosas vistas.

¿Cómo llegar a Sky Garden?

Sky Garden se encuentra en el edificio 20 Fenchurch Street, en La City—en el centro financiero de la City La Londres. Hay varias maneras de llegar al edificio:

  • Metro: paradas Monument, Tower Hill, Tower Gate, Aldgate, Bank y Mansion House de las líneas Circle y District.
  • Tren: paradas London Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, y London Bridge.
  • Autobús: la línea 40 es la más práctica y cercana.

Para hacer una reserva

Página web oficial: https://skygarden.london/

Es necesario reservar con antelación a través de esta página web, pinchando la pestaña Book a Free Visit. Las entradas salen cada lunes, y normalmente sólo salen entradas para las siguientes tres semanas. Una vez que hayas elegido día y hora, recibirás una confirmación de reserva a tu email que debes imprimir y presentar en la entrada. Al entrar deberás pasar por un arco de seguridad, y después montar en un ascensor hasta la planta 35, donde se encuentra el Sky Garden.

Cómo aprobar el First Certificate—Reading and Use of English Part 3

Os contamos algunas claves sobre cómo aprobar el examen del First Certificate focalizándonos en la parte 3, Reading and Use of Engligh.

Datos útiles sobre esta parte del examen

  • La parte 3 del examen First Certificate—Reading and Use of English consiste en un texto con espacios.
  • En el margen, hay ocho palabras en negrita – una palabra para cada espacio.
  • Deberás modificar la palabra en negrita para que encaje correctamente en el espacio. Para ello, deberás pensar en todos los posibles derivados de la palabra en negrita: sustantivos, adjetivos, adverbios y los plurales y negativos de los mismos.


     The company is looking for _________ people to form part of the team of workers. 


  • Esta parte del examen pone a prueba tu capacidad de utilizar sufijos, prefijos, compuestos y plurales para cambiar palabras.
  • Cada respuesta vale un punto, con una máxima puntuación para esta parte del examen de 8 puntos. Se penaliza cualquier error

Consejos útiles para aprobar el examen First Certificate Parte 6

Recuerda que First Certificate—Reading and Use of English está dividido en siete partes y solo tendrás 75 minutos para terminarlo. Por lo tanto, deberás pensar en dedicar entre 10 a 12 minutos para esta parte. No es mucho tiempo. ¿Cómo lograrlo?

  1. Lee el texto por encima para tener una idea del tema. No dediques más de dos minutos en esta lectura. No es necesario entender cada palabra. Si te ayuda, anota al lado de cada párrafo un resumen breve de cada párrafo. La primera frase de cada párrafo te ayudará.
  2. Cuando llegues a un espacio, lee lo que viene antes y después del espacio, y busca pistas. Intenta averiguar qué clase de información viene en el espacio. ¿Se trata de un ejemplo, una confirmación de algo que se ha dicho, un contraste o un simple comentario “entre comillas”?
  3. Ahora, lee las siete frases sueltas. Subraya aquellas palabras y expresiones que ofrecen pistas. ¿Hay pronombres como he, she, they, it, this, these que pueden aludir a cosas o personas concretas en el texto? Subráyalas. Por ejemplo, si una de las frases dice: “And it is evident that this boy was not prepared for the challenge”, subraya “this boy” y “the challenge”. Ahora, pregúntate: ¿A qué se refiere? Analiza las frases antes o después de cada espacio en el texto, y busca dónde se habla de ese niño y de ese desafío.
  4. Si crees que en un espacio pueden encajar dos posibles frases, anótalas al lado del espacio, y prosigue con el siguiente espacio. Sigue intentando encajar las frases en los espacios usando las pistas que has subrayado.
  5. No olvides que una de las siete frases no encajará en ningún espacio.


Controla el tiempo. Solo tendrás entre 10 y 12 minutos para completar esta parte del examen.


La hora del té—la quintaesencia de tradiciones británicas

¿Sabes tanto sobre la hora del té como crees? Descúbrelo en este artículo.

Por Joseph Anthony Salazar, AIT English Language School

La hora del té es, sin duda, una de las grandes tradiciones británicas. Los ingleses empezaron a guardar la hora del té alrededor del año 1840, durante el reinado de Victoria. La tradición se convirtió en una especie de merienda para matar el gusanillo antes de la cena.


La hora del té, como merienda, normalmente consiste en un surtido de bocadillos tipo sándwich, cortados en finas tiras rectangulares o triangulares. Los ingredientes suelen incluir salmón ahumado, queso, caviar y jamón. También se incluyen pasteles y galletas, y los tradicionales “scones” con nata y mermelada. Y para acompañar, se sirven un surtido de tés y una copa de Cava.


La hora del té comenzó como un evento social para damas que querían subir escalones en la sociedad. Cuando la reina Victoria empezó a guardar la hora del té, el ritual se convirtió en todo un acontecimiento social a nivel nacional.

la-hora-del-te-la-quintaesencia-de-tradiciones-britanicas¿SE SIGUE GUARDANDO LA HORA DEL TÉ?

Muchos turistas todavía piensan que Gran Bretaña es una nación que se detiene cuando llega la hora del té. Pero ha llovido mucho desde la edad victoriana. Hoy, los ingleses guardan la hora del té en ocasiones muy puntuales—una boda, un cumpleaños o una fiesta entre amigos. Es no significa que el té carezca de importancia. Gran Bretaña sigue siendo una nación de bebedores de té. Solo que ahora beben el té a cualquier hora y en cualquier ocasión.

No obstante, la mayoría de los hoteles británicos ofrecen el té entre las 13:00h y las 17:00h. Suele ser muy popular entre los turistas, que buscan una auténtica experiencia británica. Los precios por un té completo suelen oscilar entre los 15,00€ y 40,00€, dependiendo del lugar. A veces, grandes almacenes como Harrods y Marks & Spencer también ofrecen el té, a precios más módicos.

Dónde disfrutar de la hora del té en Londrés:


Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash
Photo by Alysa Tarrant on Unsplash

¿Qué es el Brexit?

Seguro que has oído la palabra Brexit alguna vez pero, ¿todavía no estás seguro de qué es? Lee este artículo de la BBC y descúbrelo.

Tipo de texto: artículo (adaptado)

Nivel: Upper-Intermediate / Advanced

Fuente: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46318565

Brexit: Your simple guide to the UK leaving the EU

Feeling a little lost on Brexit? Never really got your head around it in the first place? Let us walk you through it.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is short for «British exit» – and is the word people use to talk about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).

What is the EU?         

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 countries which trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between the countries to live and work.

The UK joined the EU, then known as the EEC (European Economic Community), in 1973.

Why is the UK leaving?

A public vote – called a referendum- was held on Thursday 23 June 2016 when voters were asked just one question – whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.

The Leave side won by nearly 52% to 48% – 17.4m votes to 16.1m – but the exit didn’t happen straight away.

It was due to take place on 29 March 2019 – but the departure date has been delayed.

What has happened so far?

The 2016 vote was just the start. Since then, negotiations have been taking place between the UK and the other EU countries.

The discussions have been mainly over the «divorce» deal, which sets out exactly how the UK leaves – not what will happen afterwards. This deal is known as the Withdrawal Agreement.

What does the withdrawal agreement say?

The withdrawal agreement covers some of these key points:

  • How much money the UK will have to pay the EU in order to break the partnership – that’s about £39bn
  • What will happen to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU, and equally, what will happen to EU citizens living in the UK
  • How to avoid the return of a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when it becomes the frontier between the UK and the EU

A length of time, called the transition period, has been agreed to allow the UK and EU to agree a trade deal and to give businesses the time to adjust. That means that if the withdrawal agreement gets the green light, there will be no huge changes between the date of Brexit and 31 December 2020.

Another, much shorter, document has also been drawn up that gives an overview of what the UK and EU’s future relationship will be in the longer term. This is the political declaration. However, neither side has to stick exactly to what it says – it is a set of ambitions for future talks.

The deal was agreed by the UK and the EU in November 2018, but it also has to be approved by British MPs.

Have MPs backed the Withdrawal Agreement?

Well, no. They have voted against it three times. On 15 January they rejected the deal by 432 votes to 202 – a record defeat. Then on 12 March, after Theresa May had gone back to the EU to secure further legal assurances, they rejected it again.

And on 29 March – the original day that the UK was due to leave the EU –MPs rejected it for a third time (this vote was slightly different as it did not include the political declaration).

Is that why the UK didn’t leave on 29 March as planned?

Yes. As MPs did not approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, the prime minister was forced to ask other EU leaders to delay Brexit.

The new deadline is 31 October. However, the UK can leave before then if the prime minister can somehow get her deal approved by Parliament.

Why do people oppose the deal?

There are a broad range of complaints, many of which claim the deal fails to give back to the UK control of its own affairs from the EU.

One of the biggest sticking points has been over what happens at the Irish border.

Both the EU and UK want to avoid the return of guard posts and checks, so something called the backstop- a sort of safety net – was included in the deal.

What is the backstop?

The backstop is meant to be a last resort to keep an open border on the island of Ireland – whatever happens in the Brexit negotiations.

It would mean that Northern Ireland, but not the rest of the UK, would still follow some EU rules on things such as food products.

Could Brexit actually not happen at all?

It is still written into law that the UK will be leaving, even though the deadline has shifted.

The European Court of Justice has said the UK could cancel Brexit altogether without the agreement of other nations, but politically, that’s not likely to happen.

What happens if the UK leaves without a deal?

«No deal» means the UK would have failed to agree a withdrawal agreement.

That would mean there would be no transition period after the UK leaves, and EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately.

Cómo aprobar el First Certificate – Listening Part 2

En el artículo de hoy os traemos unos consejos para superar la segunda parte del examen del First Certificate, Listening.

Datos útiles sobre esta parte del examen                  

  • En la parte 2 del examen First Certificate—Listening escucharás una presentación o discurso, en el que una persona hablará sobre su trabajo, hobby u otra actividad en la que participa.
  • En la hoja para esta parte, habrá 10 frases con 10 espacios (numeradas de 9 a 18). Cada espacio corresponde a una palabra o serie de palabras que tendrás que escuchar para completar cada una de las frases. Nunca serán más de tres palabras en cada espacio. En la mayoría de los casos, la respuesta será de una sola palabra.
  • No se penalizan pequeños errores de ortografía. Eso sí, cuando el examinador lee la palabra que has escrito, debe entender claramente la palabra, a pesar del pequeño error ortográfico.
  • Esta parte del examen pone a prueba tu capacidad de escuchar, entender y localizar datos concretos en una presentación grabada que durará unos 4 minutos.
  • Cada respuesta vale un punto, con una máxima puntuación para esta parte del examen de 10 puntos.

Consejos útiles para aprobar el examen

  1. Primero, tendrás unos 45 segundos para analizar las frases en la hoja, antes de que comience la presentación grabada. Aprovecha esos segundos para familiarizarte con las frases y los espacios.
  2. Procura averiguar qué tipo de palabra va en cada espacio. ¿Es un sustantivo, adjetivo, verbo, número, o una fecha?
  3. Si crees que la palabra en el espacio corresponde a un sustantivo, pregúntate: ¿Qué tipo de sustantivo? ¿Se trata de una persona, un oficio, un lugar, un objeto, una comida, etc.? Anota tus ideas con lápiz por encima del espacio.
  4. Si crees que la palabra en el espacio corresponde a un verbo o a un adjetivo, pregúntate: ¿Qué clase de acción es? ¿Se trata un una cualidad o emoción positiva o negativa? De nuevo, anota tus ideas con lápiz por encima del espacio.
  5. Repite este análisis con todos los espacios, hasta donde te permiten esos 45 segundos.
  6. Cuando empiece la presentación grabada, ve paso a paso, empezando con el primer espacio. Las frases están en orden. Es decir, la persona dirá la(s) palabra(s) que buscas en el orden que aparecen las frases escritas. No hay que modificar la(s) palabra(s) de ninguna manera. Simplemente escribe lo que la persona ha dicho.
  7. A veces, la persona dará información adicional que podría despistarte. Por ejemplo, si sabes que en el espacio hay que anotar un número, es muy probable que la persona diga tres números distintos durante su presentación. Es sumamente importante, por tanto, que no anotes el primer número que escuches. Espera hasta que haya acabado, y anota solo el número que encaja con la información que viene antes y después del espacio.


Escucharás la presentación grabada dos veces. Aprovecha el primer turno para ir anotando tus ideas en lápiz. La segunda vez que escuches la presentación servirá para asegurarte de que tus respuestas sean las correctas.

Aquí tienes un ejemplo de esta parte del examen.

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