1.en.1 Writing a newspaper article: A talk

Gonzalo Fanjul

This Monday we are attending a talk by Gonzalo Fanjul, an economist specialized in Development Policies and owner of the blog 3.500 millones de ideas irreverentes contra la pobreza.

He will talk about why the number of people in the world  suffering from lack of food is growing, while at the same time obesity and food waste is on the increase.


Listen to what he has to say and take notes during the talk in order to write a newspaper article (225 to 250 words).

Features of your Article

Headline: Font type: ARIAL; Font size: 28

Text Font type: ARIAL; Font size: 12

Text in two columns

Images: Include at least one image, don’t forget to add caption (and source if possible)

Here you are some guidelines on how to do it:

Structure of a newspaper article

Newspaper articles usually have a title (called the headline) that is set in large type. The writer of a newspaper article is often not credited; if the author is mentioned, this credit is called the author’s byline.

The beginning of each newspaper article (the first paragraph) is called the lead (one or two sentences long); the lead should summarize the main facts of the article, telling the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) and how. The first paragraph should also contain a hook, something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes the reader want to read the rest of the article.

The rest of the paragraphs form the body of the article. It can consist of several supporting paragraphs which go into more detail about the topic, often including quotes and interesting facts. The less important information should appear later in the article, since the article may be cropped (shortened) by the editor (the person who puts the newspaper together) to make the article fit on the newspaper page.

This layout is usually called the inverted pyramid layout:     

Task: Imagine you work as a reporter for an English newspaper. Your boss has sent you to cover the talk and write in the next edition of the paper. Use your notes and any extra information you can gather in the web to write a short article (between 175 and 200 words) reflecting the content and the development of the talk.

Don’t forget to follow the Inverted Pyramid layout and include all the different parts of a newspaper article.

To learn more about writing a newspaper article follow this link: Writing newspaper articles.


3.en.61 Talking about the future.

During the last weeks we have been working on how to talk about the future. This time we are going to focus on a simple question: “Where do you see yourself in 15 years”. In order to get an idea of some possible answers, I have interviewed some people who have told me about their future plans.

Task 1Watch the video and answer the following questions in your notebook:

– What kind of job would Andrew like to have in the future? Explain giving details.

– Would he like to have a family by then? Explain.

– Where does Marta see herself in 15 years? Explain in your own words. Include every aspect of what she says.

– What place would Pepi like to go back in the future? Where is it? Research about it and tell the most typical things you can find there.

– Why does Sonsoles expect to be better off when she talks about money?

– Why does Maria think she will be alive in 15 years time?

– What does she say about her family? Explain.

Task 2 – Now let’s focus on grammar and have a look at the new verb tenses we have just learned. Go through the videos thoroughly and extract all the Future Continuous (will be + verb-ing) and Future Perfect (will have + past participle) forms that appear in the video. Sort them out according to the person who uses them. Write a list in your notebook.

Task 3 – Last week you wrote a composition answering the same question. Post it as a reply to this activity .

Here you’ve got your own videos:


Álvaro’s video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZHJRMTzD8I

3.en.60 Mars I. A one-way ticket to the red planet. 28/01/2013

Hello students. Have you heard about the Mars I project? We are going to learn a little more about it following the link below:




Firstly, watch the video, copy these statements on your notebook and say if they are true or false (in case they are false, say why):

1 – A group of four humans will join the initial settlement every year.

2 – Mr. Hooft’s first thought was that the project was’nt going to work.

3- “Mars I” is easier than other Mars projects.

4- In 2020, the crew will land on Mars for the first time.

Now read the text on the page and find synonyms for the following words / expressions:

1 – suceed

2- support

3- in relation to

4- emblem

Now that you know what “Mars I” is about, you can research on your own and explore their website http://mars-one.com/en/

Now, in your own words, answer the following question:

Would you join the “Mars I” project? Why / why not? Give reasons.  (90 words)

Remember that you must have everything done in your notebook for wednesday.

Enjoy it!

3.en.59 Working on Idioms 23/01/2013

Hello students, if you can remember the last two classes, we have seen examples of idioms, such as “to pull someone’s leg”, which means “tomar el pelo a alguien” or “to roll up your sleeves” which means “ponerse manos a la obra”.

It’s time for you to add one you like 🙂 Remember to have a look at your mates’ ones so as not to repeat any.

07/11/2012 Students on the spot

Hello students. I am sure that you can remember the activity we worked with some time ago, the one that dealt with interviews to famous sportspeople. Here you have the link: https://1esoe1011.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/interviewing-sportspeople/

Part of that activity involved yourselves emulating those people in the videos and creating your own recorded interviews. We finally have them all together on the same post (except for Toni and Andreu’s, still waiting…).

Enjoy them!

3.en. 55 Being an Elite Athlete

Have you ever thought how the life of a top class sportsperson is? Have you wondered how their life differ from a regular person’s one?

Here you have this interesting article which focuses on some aspects of elite athletes that some people are curious about:


You will have a double task for Monday:

1 – Read the arcticle and write a list in your notebook of all the words / expressions that you didn’t know before. Remember that online dictionaries such as Wordreference, Merriam – Webster, Longman and / or any Thesaurus can be very useful.

2 – Post an answer to this entry giving opposing online evidence for three of the points which the article talks about. This means that you will have to include three links in your post that say the opposite than any of the points. For example, if one part of the article says that not every elite sportsperson uses steroids, try to find some site in the internet that states the oposite, that all athlete actually use steroids.


Good luck with your search and have a nice weekend! 🙂

3.en.54 A Gigantic Leap for Humanity

If you are a social media user or have just taken a look at today’s news, you must have heard about Felix Baumgartner‘s stratospheric skydive. We are dealing with sports now and, in order to perform his jump, Felix needed 5 years of hard training, similar to any elite sportsman.

Have a look at this video of Felix talking to the press after his amazing jump and answer the questions below:


1 – What adjective does Felix use to describe how he felt right before his dive? What is the only thing he wanted when he was “on top of the world”? Why?

2 – Finish this sentence from the video:  “sometimes you have to have to go up really high to ______________________________”

Now read the following article from BBC News and answer the questions.


1 – Find synonyms in the text for the following words:

a) signed, sealed

b) cancelled

c) departure, exit
2 – Say if these statements are true or false. Provide evidence from the text.

a) Felix has been the first man ever to surpass the sound barrier.

b) His team was suspicious that something was going wrong at the beginning of his jump.

c) Kittinger has lost his record for the longest freefall record.

d) Felix’s jump didn’t appear to be very scientific.

3 – Write a brief opinion on the importance of Felix’s dive (70 words approximately)