WHY IS HOLLYWOOD FASCINATED BY SUPERHEROES?

¿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

why-is-hollywood-fascinated-by-superheros

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

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?

Skygarden-los-jardines-más-elevados-de-Londres

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.

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.

¿QUÉ ES LA HORA DEL TÉ?

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.

¿CÓMO COMENZÓ LA HORA DEL TÉ?

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:

https://afternoontea.co.uk/uk/london/
https://www.harrods.com/en-gb/restaurants/afternoon-tea
https://www.thesavoylondon.com/experience/afternoon-tea-london/
https://www.the-shard.com/news/afternoon-tea-shards-oblix-restaurant/

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.

Being British!

Hay cosas que seguro no sabes sobre la gente británica. Por eso, en este artículo te dejamos alguna información interesante.

Many language students tend to focus strictly on learning grammar, vocabulary and English slang and expressions. But it is as important to learn about the English culture and social norms. We hope with these points you become more familiar with the British customs and unwritten rules. Let’s go!

British culture has its roots in the United Kingdom‘s rich history, the people and the four countries — England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — that it’s made up of each with their own unique traditions and customs.

British culture and social norms are very unique. One of the most important things to know before going to any country is what their cultural and social norms are. As an international student from another country, you may be clueless. This article introduces you to everything you need to know about the British culture.

Thing you need to know about the British people

The British are punctual. Being late is odd and, in some cases, considered to be rude. If you’re going to be late to something, contact those involved as soon as you know you will be late. Also, it is less rude to be late to a dinner party at someone’s home than it is to be late to a public meeting (such as dinner at a restaurant).

Never jump lines, known as “queues” in UK. In some countries jumping the queue may be acceptable, but

 in UK, people may not be very happy with you and will definitely let you know how unhappy they are about the situation. Standing patiently in the queue is a normal part of British culture.

In the UK, it’s acceptable to keep one arm’s length between yourself and those you are speaking with. Any closer is assumed to be aggressive and can be uncomfortable for those native to UK.

Please, thank you, and sorry are normal parts of everyday conversations and interactions. Some people are simply baffled by how polite British people are. As an international student, you may not be used to this, but you will probably get used to it quickly after your arrival!

When greeting a good friend or family member in UK, you do not simply shake their hand. Many times, especially if one of the people that are greeting or being greeted is female, you will frequently give and/or receive a small kiss on the cheek. If you are not a close friend or family member, then the physical touch is perceived as odd or uncomfortable (you may shake hands, but often a smile and a bow of the head is acceptable enough).

The British have a high amount of respect for older adults and the disabled. If you are on public transportation, you are expected to give up your seat if someone who is disabled or older comes onto the tram (or whatever vehicle you are in) and there is no other seat. If an older adult or someone who is disabled seems to be struggling with something, you are also expected to ask the person if they need your assistance.

 

British people rarely use superlatives and are not very animated when they speak. They value privacy over everything else, so be careful what you ask because you could be prying without meaning to.

British people often avoid extended eye contact. They find it uncomfortable and intimidating.

If you are invited to the home of a native British person, it is normal to bring along a gift, such as chocolate, wine, or flowers to say thank you.

If you go to a pub with your friends, it is common practice to buy a round of drinks for those who you came with.

The person who has invited you to dinner is typically the one who pays. Do not argue about whose responsibility it is, rather, invite them out to dinner at some point and pay for them to reciprocate.

These little cultural differences will be a regular part of adapting to life in UK, and so it’s important to learn them before you even arrive. You want to make sure that you don’t offend anyone as you’re getting used to life in UK.

If you don’t do these things naturally, the British will definitely know that you’re from out of town. This knowledge will help you get better adjusted to British norms before you start enjoying the rest of student life while attending university in UK.

 

Source: https://www.studying-in-uk.org/british-culture-and-social-norms/

Valentine’s Day in the United Kingdom

Valentine’s Day is a romantic observance celebrated in the UK and many other countries every February 14.

When Is Valentine’s Day 2019?

Thursday, February 14th, 2019.

Is Valentine’s Day a Public Holiday?

Valentine’s Day is only an observance, so unless it falls on a Sunday, shops and banks should be open. However, restaurants, hotels, movie theatres, and other romantic venues might be very busy. Be sure to book your room, table, or tickets well in advance.

Valentine’s Day in the UK

According to a 2017 study more than half (52%) of the UK population didn’t plan to buy a gift for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. 48% didn’t even plan on buying a card.

However, the study conducted for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) calculated that the people in the UK would spend almost half a billion pounds on Valentine’s Day gifts, men spending about 40 pounds each, which is nearly twice as much as women. The study also predicted that the average spending on Valentine’s Day would rise 12% compared to the year before.

Valentine’s Cards and Dinners

Like Halloween, Valentine’s Day is a celebration embraced by commerce and used heavily in marketing. Cupid, love hearts, red roses, lovebirds, and the color red is used to symbolize romantic love on stuffed toys, cards, chocolates, and other gifts. It is common for couples to eat a romantic meal together on this day, and restaurants are often booked out.

More than 25 million cards are sent for Valentine’s Day each year. Some people also send Valentine’s Day cards to friends and family to show their love and appreciation.

Regional Valentine’s Celebrations

Nearly half of UK adults consider themselves to be romantic, and Valentine’s Day is considered theday of romantic love, often celebrated with a candlelit meal or a romantic getaway.

The City of Love

Glasgow, Scotland calls itself the “City of Love,” as it is believed that the forearm of one of the two St Valentines is kept in the church of Blessed St John Duns Scotus. The relic is decorated with red roses. Special services dedicated to lovers and featuring prayers for those still seeking it are held in the church on Valentine’s Day. The reliquary holding the forearm is a popular spot for men to propose to their girlfriends on Valentine’s Day.

Gretna Green, the first Scottish village encountered when traveling from England to Glasgow, was famous for English couples to elope to as they could marry at 16 there according to Scottish law. It is still a popular place for marriages, especially on February 14.

Jack Valentine and St Dwynwen

In Norfolk, Valentine’s Eve is celebrated by the mystical figure of Jack Valentine knocking on back doors and leaving gifts for kids and adults alike. Jack Valentine is also known as Old Father Valentine or Old Mother Valentine.

In Wales, St Dwynwen’s Day on January 25 is celebrated instead of, or in addition to, Valentine’s. St Dwynwen is the patron saint of Welsh lovers.

The English Origin of Valentine’s

The modern origins of Valentine’s Day come from England. The first real association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love, or “love birds,” comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem Parlement of Foules. Dating from 1382, it states: “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1600–1601) refers to both Saint Valentine’s Day and the phrase “to be your Valentine,” showing that Valentine’s Day was established in British culture by that time.

Typical food to eat in London

Londres tiene infinidad de platos típicos con los que sorprenderte

If you are thinking about going to London this Christmas Holidays, here you have some ideas of what to eat and where to go.

London has several restaurants where you can try traditional English food, if you do try, let us know what you thought about it!

  1. Fish and chips. This traditional British dish is on the top of any foodie list for visitors to London and the UK. Fish and Chips is traditionally eaten with mushy peas and garnished with salt and vinegar! One of the places where you can try is Poppy’s Shoreditch  or Camden.
  2. Sunday roast with yorkshire pudding. Sunday Roast is a true British classic. Traditionally this meal is eaten any time from 12 noon to 5pm on Sundays.  Traditionally served with beef, Yorkshire pudding’s a  true British classic. A traditional roast comes with meat, potatoes, gravy and vegetables and should be so large you find it difficult to walk afterwards!
    The best traditional Sunday Roast can be found in local pubs like The Three Stags, in Kennington or the Windsor Castle, in Notting Hill.
  3. Pie and mash. Pie and Mash has come a long way from simple steak and kidney or pork pies. Today there are a whole plethora of pie types to try! This dish is a real British treat! Pie served with a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and lashings of gravy. One of the best places in London to have this is The Windmill Mayfair.
  4. Bangers and mash. Another classic with mashed potatoes as a side is Bangers and Mash. This is a British typical dish that is guaranteed to keep you full, happy and warm on a cold London day! Essentially sausage and potatoes. One of the best places to eat this is Mother Mash, Soho.
  5. Full English breakfast. You need to find a dish that incorporates: sausages, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, blood pudding, potatoes and toast. This traditional British dish is easy to make, tasty and usually inexpensive. Enjoy! The Breakfast Club is a very good choice!

Next month I will show you the great variety of desserts that London can offer .

See you next month!  

The Royal Wedding

By J. O’Fee (teacher at AIT Language School)

La boda Real fue uno de los acontecimientos del año 2018 en Reino Unido

Royal wedding

Last Saturday, London witnessed the great event of the year in the UK. Do you know what I’m talking about? Let me give you some clues…

There were crowds cheering, waving British flags, eager to get a glimpse of the beautiful couple. The streets were full of colourful flowers and shops overloaded with souvenirs. Horses and cars were parading along the streets, trumpets and drums were played by smart, uniformed soldiers.

So, do you know what I’m talking about? Yes, of course you do: it’s the Royal Wedding! Prince Charles and the late Lady Di’s youngest son, Harry, married the American actress Meghan Markle. The ceremony took place in St. George’s Chapel, which is the place the groom was christened when he was 3 months old. The chapel is just twenty minutes from London in beautiful, cosy surroundings. It was a day to remember!

Royal wedding Royal wedding

Long gone are the days the cheeky, freckled-face, red haired boy would always be in trouble, so naughty! He’s grown into a fine, handsome young man who has married the girl he’s fallen in love with. Just like a fairy tale. And as fairy tales always end… I hope they live happily ever after!

Royal wedding

Easter Holidays

by J. O’Fee, teacher at AIT Language School.

Con las vacaciones de Semana Santa a la vista, te explicamos cómo se celebran tradicionalmente estas fiestas en UK.

Everyone looks forward to holidays… Who doesn’t! Holidays are designed for us to enjoy ourselves, to forget about the daily routine, relax and do things we normally don’t have time to do.

How do we celebrate Easter in the UK?

Easter in UK is short (and usually rainy) holiday. We eat chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies.

The normal thing to do is to go to the park with a picnic and “roll your egg”. This consists of rolling a chocolate or hard-boiled egg (previously painted by the owner) down a hill. It represents the  stone in Christ’s tomb being removed before his resurrection.

Would you like to know more about the British Easter and practice your listening skills? Watch this video by English Like A Native!

We wish you all a Happy Easter… Eat lots of chocolate, and enjoy yourselves!

Ponte en contacto con nosotros