Spring has sprung

9 de March de 2020 at 19:15

 ‘Spring has sprung’ is a popular expression. We say it when the winter is over and suddenly plants start to grow with new life.  Many people in Barcelona grow plants in window boxes and spring is the time to start planting flowers. If you want to ‘beautify” your living space, why not plant a window box?

What’s with the weather?

17 de February de 2020 at 22:19

A “barometer” tells us the weather. Source @ Wikimedia commons

The weather can be very unpredictable.  People love talking about the weather because it is something that affects everyone and this means that we have a lot of special vocabulary to describe rain, clouds and wind. For example, if we say “unsettled weather” this means that it might rain, but it might not! Learn more weather words here and talk about the weather like a weather professional!

Valentine’s: A celebration of love

14 de February de 2020 at 15:30

Valentine’s Day card. Source @ Wikimedia commons

February 14th, also know as Valentine’s Day, is a very important day in the English-speaking world. Traditionally, it was a day for lovers but it has since transformed into a day where people can express their love to all the important people in their life including family, friends, work colleagues and even pets! This year people in the US are expected to spend more than 20 billion dollars on gifts and cards for each other. But, where did Valentine’s Day come from?

Mary Beard in Barcelona

19 de November de 2019 at 12:15

Mary Beard – Source @ Wikimedia commons

On October 30th this year, the UOC proudly awarded an honary degree (“honoris causa”) to the British academic Mary Beard.  The vice-rector of the UOC Pastora Martínez Samper and the rector Josep Planell presented Mary with this award in a beautiful ceremony in the city hall in Barcelona. So who is Mary Beard and why did she receive the award?

Beach life!

16 de July de 2019 at 15:20

A popular city beach in Barcelona. Source @ Wikimedia commons

“Sunshine is the best medicine” so the saying goes. You can produce Vitamin D by being in the sun and maybe this is one of the reasons that going to the beach in the summer is one of the most popular things to do on holiday. For this reason, in this post we look at beach vocabulary.

Anyone for tennis?

27 de June de 2019 at 17:06

Rafael Nadal (ESP) Source @ Wikimedia commons

Tennis is one of the most popular sports today and Wimbledon is one of the most famous tennis tournaments. The first Wimbledon was in 1877 and it is usually at the beginning of July. It is a ‘grass court’ competition. Tennis can be played on a grass court, a clay court or a hard court. Tennis has a lot of special vocabulary so in this post we are looking at the world of tennis in English! 


Summer fireworks

14 de June de 2019 at 10:35

 

Barcelona fireworks. Source @ Wikimedia

Summer solstice is on its way and in Catalonia and Valencia, as well as in other parts of the world, celebrations take place to commemorate the shortest night of the year, or Saint John’s Eve. This festival is always on the night of the 23rdJune and it is celebrated with food and drink. It is also celebrated with fireworks and bonfires and because of this it is also called the ‘Night of Fire’. In honour of this celebration this blog post takes a look at fireworks.

 


Exam time!

27 de May de 2019 at 8:52

Source @ Wikimedia commons

Exams. Love them or hate them, you just can’t hide from them. Exams are a fact of life and everybody at some point will have to take an exam. In the academic world, May and June are full of exams. Exam stress can be real, so in this post we look at ways to prepare for this big event.

 

What’s in a name?

22 de May de 2019 at 11:27

Not Archie, but a baby boy called Oliver. Source @ wikimedia commons

If you have been reading the news you will know that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan have just had a baby boy. The UK is very happy about this. There has also been some surprise that his name Archie is not a very ‘royal’ name. Male royal names are usually Charles, Albert or George. But what’s in a name? Quite a lot actually, as we will find out

Family Trees

26 de April de 2019 at 14:14

The family tree of Queen Victoria of England. Source @ Wikimedia commons

A very popular activity on the C1 English language course is a spoken activity where students describe a member of their family from the past. Everybody loves talking about family and you don’t need to be a member of the Royal Family to have interesting ancestors.  Here we look at genealogy (the study of family history) and family vocabulary.