29 May 2013


 The Boston Marathon ends up with an appalling incident.  Unfortunately there were some deceased and many injured people.  Learn more about it.


Hi everybody,

Because of the Secondary examinations, next week there will be some changes in the English classes. So, the following days there won't be English class.  

Check your course and pay attention to it.

On Monday, 3rd June:  No Elementary class. 

On Tuesday, 4th June:  No Intermediate class.

On Thursday, 6th June:  No Advanced class.

All the best,

26 May 2013


and smile a bit with it!

Image Source: http://guayoyoycanele.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/cuestion-de-crisis.html


24 May 2013

HARO, my childhood place (ANE)


Haro is a town in northwest La Rioja. It is known for its wine and numerous wineries.
I spent my childhood there until the age of twelve.

I have very good memories and very good friends.

As an anecdote, it was the first town in Spain to have electric street lighting.

Within its festivities: San Juan, San Felices and San Pedro, highlighting in June 29th, San Pedro that held the popular wine battle, declared of tourist interest.

Whoever can do it, should enjoy it once. 

On the other hand, you can enjoy Our Lady the Virgin de la Vega festivities, which begin the first Sunday in September.

 Foto de Nuestra Señora de la Vega

As important monuments we find, the council (an Haro reference building), the churches of the Basílica of the Vega and the parish of Santo Tomás, also numerous palaces and the Breton theatre.


As a curiosity, among the different hotels we can highlight "The Agustinos" Hotel located in a former convent that happened to be before a  hotel,  a hospital, a prison, a school...
Inscriptions made by prisioners in the columns of the cloister are still preserved.


  Haro has also numerous green spots,such as the "Cheerful sight" path, "The moor fountain" park, the "Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente" park,  and the"Happy Valentine's" place, among several others.



You can walk very quietly and disconnect from the noise and stress.

It is a place where I would not mind to go back and live there, and I really hope you have enjoyed yourselves.

I desire to visit it again soon. Bye, Bye

22 May 2013


Let's speak a bit, meet one or two classmates, choose some of these proposed questions and speak a bit!

21 May 2013

Describing myself by Pilar Montenegro

Hello, my name is Pilar.

I am a Spanish woman.  I was  born in Malaga and I lived in there for thirty years.  I'm married now, I live in La Puebla, I come here eight years ago.

At present I  am unemployed, I am tall but I am putting on weight.  My eyes are green and my hair is brown.
I am an enjoyable person, I think I am extrovert, broadminded and independent but a bit stubborn.

My husband and I are in an  English course. 
Every Friday I train basketball with the kids of special olimpics.

This is just me.

19 May 2013

My Top hobbies

I am a person with a great inclination to have addictive hobbies.  For this reason sometimes I had difficulty to dose my hobbies. Since the day has “only” 24 hours and  work occupies a great part of the day, and also we had to sleep and to form  part of the family, it is necessary for me (and I suppose for the rest of the people), to choose and determine priorities.
First-ranked it is the sport (to practice it, not to watch it on tv).  Jogging and riding the bicycle, in this order. And both of them on the mountain, I do not like the asphalt.
The mountain is a hobby that  I have adjusted along last years because I don’t practise winter sport.  And overall, because I like  to walk and it is easier to get to the top of a mountain and to finish it under good weather conditions than in any other moment of the year.  I really hate to remain half-way when I have proposed to do a top.

 As part of the trekking,  I also do some ravine and some via ferrata, but not difficult because I don't like very much the heights. To read books, compensation for the physical exercise is other of my hobbies.  Almost always I have a book  on my hands.
The motorcycle is another of my hobbies, I like it from a very early age.  I do one or a couple of outings by motorbike every month, and with it I have enough, in addition ...  petrol price has raised very much!  Unlike other sports,  I like  watching motorcycle racing on television.
And well, the English language and painting, I occasionally like to paint pictures in watercolour and oil paints but logically I dedicate them less time than I liked it.


17 May 2013

Jobs. Which one do you like?

I realize it's impossible or virtually impossible,  to chose among many jobs in these days. However let's imagine you have a chance to select a job, even you can select your favourite job. Which one would you choose?.  I am going to write a short list of jobs in which I would like to work on. You can make your own list and take part of this fantasy.

1. Chef.  This is one of my favourite jobs, I like to cook very much. When I am in a friend's meeting and we have to prepare dinner, I always try to convince my friends that I am the best cook choice. One of the most important tool as a cook is a sharp knife. You can cut onions and garlic very fast, but carefully don't cut your fingers. It's very important to have a wood table to handle the knife and display the spices close to you (such as parsley, pepper, paprika, oregano, curry, and all of them that can give a better taste and smell to your dishes).

2. Baker. Despite it is an amusing work, as a baker you must get up at 3:00 a.m. or earlier to start making bread. The principal ingredients you must handle are water, salt, flour and yeast. It seems very simple, but you must control the ingredient measures and the cooking time quite carefully. Many bakers have their personal recipe. I have seen bread with sesame seeds or with black olives. The most curious one of all of them is the bread named "pregnant" (in Spanish "preñado"). Before the baking, a piece of sausage or other kind of stuffed meat is put into the dough.  After the cooking, this bread has a mix of bread and sausage flavour and a smooth texture. I really recommend it to all of you.

3. Musician. Probably this is a job that everyone would like to have among her or his favourite list of jobs. Unfortunately very few people work just as a musician in Spain. I know many people with an upper degree (ten years of hard study) on piano, trumpet or violin, but in fact they work as a teacher, engineer, doctor... However, the people that work just as musicians are very lucky people in my opinion, and the professional ones are very good, because as I have said they have to study and practise very hard (eight hours per day trainning with the instrument and four hours per day studying musical theory). Among the kinds of jobs held by musicians, being a conductor is the most rare choice of a potential musician. As a conductor you must master the piano, sing very well, read scores in all the different keys, play another instrument (maybe the violin, guitar, oboe,...), and know how to play the other instruments in a orchestra. It seems hard, and it is. So, as I have said, it is rarely a vocation.    

4. Luthier. This kind of job is connected to the previous and the next described job. If you like music and you like to work with wood (maybe this can be an odd combination, but it is possible) this will be your best option. The luthier not only makes instruments, but he or she repairs and adjusts them for a better performance. Probably the most famous instrument maker of all time was Antonio Stradivari. Not only did he manufacture violins, but he also fabricated many amazing cellos, violas, guitars and harps. 

5. Carpenter. There are two ways of working as a carpenter. The first one is in a factory making, polishing, varnishing or painting doors, windows, tables, chairs or staircases, and likely within an assembly chain. The second one is in a small workshop, surrounded by dozens tools, and working and carving the wood slowly and carefully. I suppose everyone who is thinking about this job, will choose the last described option, it is much more creative.

6. Gardener. This work needs patience and perseverance. Every plant, vegetable, flower, tree... must be planted in a suitable time (I have heard old men saying: "Onions and garlics must always be planted on Friday". Don't ask me why, I think I will never be able to understand this ancient wisdom). If you were a gardener from  "Los Monegros", you would be planting rosemary and thyme all the day.  If you were a gardener from another place with a softer and wetter weather, you would be planting and watering tulips, roses or orchids.

7. Policeman. In this kind of jobs, I just like the research work because you have to use your brain instead of your muscles. There are many types of cases in which you can work as a detective. So, you may be researching within a case of robbery, theft, burglary or assault. It is quite unlikely, but the case could be about kidnapping, but I hope that the case never becomes into murder.

8. Engineer. This term is quite broad because there are many kinds of engineering fields. In all of them you must use your inventiveness to solve problems or finish projects successfully. Engineering includes mechanics, chemistry,  materials, electricity, electronics, communication or software. I'm afraid it is thoroughly necessary to have a good knowledge of technical matters as well as a good knowledge of English, because for instance if you need technical support to review data sheets or to consult an API (application programming interface) to make a piece of software, in many cases this information will be in English.
9. Astronomer. You can expect that an astronomer is someone who lives at night and "waste" all his or her time looking at planets, stars or galaxies, or searching hazardous asteroids coming to the Earth. I think this is not the work of a professional astronomer, it would rather be the work of an amateur astronomer. The amateur ones spend all the time trying to catch an unknown star, asteroid or any stellar body, and they understand the cosmos contemplation as a pleasure. The professional ones research within odd fields. Do you know what a black hole is? Have you ever heard something about space and time fold, string theory or quarks?. Nowadays a professional astronomer studies the far universe as well as the smallest material particle.

10. King. What can I say about this job?. I realize this is not that kind of job that you could have a chance to work for. But I am sure everybody has always wished to be a King or a Queen. You could have a huge palace, many servants, counselors, even a pretty carriage pulled by beautiful horses... Really, it seems a wonderful job, doesn't it?.  However, I would not like to be a King if I were living in the eighteenth century, particularly if I were a French King and I were named Luis XVI.

Which would be your list of jobs?

Give your reasons and we talked about it at class.

By Miguel Angel Varona

16 May 2013

The economic crisis

Unfortunately everybody is familiar with the term "crisis" nowadays. Likely anyone who is reading this post has a friend or a family member (or maybe both) living within a dramatic situation. I read a painful piece of news three days ago: "The number of the unemployed people has reached six million for the first time within the Spanish democracy time". This datum seems very bad, but many economists around the world foretell that this figure will be worst. Surely the number of unemployed people will rise to seven millions after the end of this year (this post is being written in 2013).

In every media you can hear politicians saying "...despite the unemployment awful datum the main problem of this crisis is financial...". What sort of politicians can say this?, When, within the Spanish democracy history, the money (or banks) has become more imporant than people?. I won't say that politicians and banks are responsible for this crisis, but I think some of them have not done their work very well.

Anyway, everybody must do his or her best to leave this crisis behind. There are no clear rules that can lead us out of the crisis, but probably try to increase the social and economic human activity could be a first step. There seems to be a good first step, but we must be careful. If we think like economists, this solution sounds pretty good (people start to spend their savings - consumption is increased - new jobs are made - unemployment decreases - taxes for revenue are increased - larger budget to social benefits and research are held - ... shall we continue? ). Really, it sounds great, but we have a problem with the first stage on this process, there is no money. Most of the families have no savings. Instead they have a huge mortgage debt and a not insured job. From this perspective, it is very difficult to start the economic engine just described before.

So, it seems we (and mainly politicians and bankers) must put all the efforts to solve the problem arised among people and families, and then maybe we start to see the famous "green sprouts". Just remembering the famous and naive phrase said by the former president of the Spanish government (José Luís Rodriguez Zapatero)... "Los brotes verdes").

P.S. I am not an economist nor a statesman. I have no special knowledge of social and economic engineering.  So, maybe I am wrong.  However these words can help somebody,  since my intention was not going further.

By Miguel Angel Varona

15 May 2013

A short tale

Rachel and John are good friends, and they are co-workers at the same company. These two people are smart and thorough workers, but they have a huge problem, they are quite absent-minded.  If they are deeply inmersed into their thoughts, they can not realize what is happenig around them.

This tale happened while Rachel and John were travelling by taxi towards a business meeting.

Rachel: Did you get the latest dossier? It was on your desktop.

John:  Yes. I'm forgetful, but not so much.

Rachel: Ok. I only want to be sure that we have all the documents for the meeting.  Do you know what time is it?

John: One moment, I'm going to check my new phone.  It's ten to ten. By the way, Rachel, have you seen my new phone? I called you yesterday so that you would have my new phone number.  I have not had time to put your number in my contacts list.

Rachel: No, I had not seen it yet.  It's so pretty...

John: But, what is this?. I have a missed call. I don't know which phone number is this.  I'm going to make a call...

Rachel: Ok. Oh! What a coincidence! I'm getting a call...

John: (Talking on the phone)  Hello. I'm John.  I think you have called me.  Who are you?...

Rachel: (Talking on the phone)  Sorry, but I don't know what you are talking about... You aren't in my list of contacts. Who are you?...

John: (Talking on the phone) ...Sorry, I'm going to introduce me.  I'm John. And you?

Rachel: (Talking on the phone) ... So, I'm Rachel, but I don't know any John with this phone number...

John: (Talking on the phone) ... Umm, I don't know any Rachel with this phone number either, but your voice is quite familiar for me...

Rachel: (Talking on the phone).  For me, too.  I'm sure I know your voice... maybe... 

John: (Talking on the phone) Yes... maybe... you could be...

As the storyteller of this tale I must say that the taxi driver had noticed what was happening, and he was laughing loudly then. Because of these loudly laughings Rachel and John could realize what had been happening. There were no words to explain the faces of these two friends when they looked at each other, with their phones against their ears, and their faces red like a tomato.

By Miguel Angel Varona.


Hi everybody,

After our second topic which has been very extensive and interesting, it's time to start our next topic 'Current affairs'.  As you remember this was one of our choices at the beginning of this course, and I would say it's even larger than the previous one since everything that happens around us can be considerated being part of this topic, don't you think so?

So, have a look at everything happening in this world, have a look at the news on TV, at the newspapers, at the people's comments by the street, at your immediate environment, have a look at yourself,... and prepare something which may be interesting and worthy to be told or commented at class.

It would be nice to work in groups as ever because that way more ideas are added and the result is always amazing.

So, have you got a person you want to work with?  Have you got any possible idea to start working about this new topic?

Stand up and find some other student or students in the class and start speaking about some current affair and maybe this conversation can be the starting point to your task.

Remember you choose the way to expose the post, being what you want: a simple post, a link to something, a letter, a power-point, a presentation, a dialogue, a quiz, a game,...

Power to the imagination at these hard times!

Source:  blackandroman.blogspot.com          Source: www.funnyuse.com                   

14 May 2013

Hello World!

Hello World!

My name is Miguel Angel, I am a new student at the "La Puebla de Alfinden" advanced English program, and I have just done one of the most dificult task, a "Hello World!" post.

As a software programmer I always have to do this kind of task. When you have to work with a new programming language or have to get knowledge in a new development enviroment, one of the basic steps is to make a "Hello World!" program. The only function of this program is showing the phrase "Hello World!" on a display (it could be on a PC display, on a smart phone or maybe with a 3D printer).  To show these two words looks easy, but in many cases it could be your worst nightmare.

In this case I think the work has been easy. I know how to make a post now, so I will try to write about other more interesting matters (No doubt, the "Hello World!" is the most bored task, so I suppose the next posts will be funnier for me).

By Miguel Angel Varona.

A NICE PLACE by Ana Belén

Hello class!!

Laguardia, a village in La Rioja Alavesa, is a place that seems beautiful to live in and where it could be perfectly situated the house of my dreams.

It is a village of medieval structure, walled, cosy, well maintained .....
Practically it only has three streets connected each other by various crossings where it is wonderful to wander around.
One of the reasons for which Laguardia invites you to walk and live on the street is that its historical downtown is pedestrian.

If you enter the village and go straight ahead, you arrive at Plaza Mayor where you find the town hall.

On its facade a clock chime can be seen and there, but only at a certain time some automatons dancing according to the rhythm of the tradicional local music go out.

If you go to the right and walk straight along the main street, you can see the library.

If we continue walking towards the northern part which is also a delight, you can go for a walk around El Collado, a park surrounding the Church of Santa María de los Reyes. On the right side there is a bust doing homage to Samaniego, the fabulist, native to Laguardia.

And besides the beautiful stroll you can find there, there are spectacular views since Laguardia is just situated on a hill.

Among its panoramic view, if we look to the North, we will see the imposing Sierra of Cantabria and towards the East and the West vineyards, vineyards and more vineyards.

And of course, you can't leave Laguardia without visiting a winery to learn how the wines of the Rioja Alavesa are made.

I encourage you to visit it.

I hope you like it.

I was living in Zaragoza city by Angelica

Hello classmates,
I want to tell you something from the period I lived in the center of Zaragoza city.  That was very nice because now I can go anywhere in Zaragoza without any problem.

I was living in Juan Pablo Bonet street, it is located between two main streets of Zaragoza, their names are Sagasta boulevard and Gran Via avenue, but Juan Pablo Bonet street is a very small one, it has only got three blocks of flats on both sides, then it changes its name to San Juan de la Cruz but it is the same street.

Calle Juan Pablo Bonet, Zaragoza

Close to Juan Pablo Bonet street you can find a bridge, people usually called it "Puente de los Gitanos", underneath the Huerva river flows. Behind, there is a zone for young people with many bars and discos, there you can dance and have a good fun.

From Juan Pablo Bonet street you have many facilities and services all around. This location is excellent and also you would find many supermarkets.

From Juan Pablo Bonet, go straight on towards San Juan de la Cruz street, walk until Fernando el Catolico Avenue and turn on the left, then walk along that avenue, and in San Francisco Square you can see the University of Zaragoza; cross San Francisco square and five blocks behind, you find the Infant Hospital, there my children were born. In front of the hospital, you can find the Romareda football Stadium.
There are many tram stops near there, because the tram route crosses all those main Avenues: Gran Vía, Fernando El Católico and Isabel La Católica Av.

If you come back to Juan Pablo Bonet street and go towards the other direction, you find Paseo Sagasta Avenue, then turn on the left, walk and cross Goya Av. and in the second block you can find the medical center.  Then go straight on until Paraiso square, there you can find the "Corte Ingles" mall and the Ibercaja bank headquarter, also you can go to the University of Medicine or Faculty of Medicine,  and just behind there you could go to the main library of Zaragoza. 

Sagasta Boulevard

If you go back to the corner of the Faculty of Medicine, you should pay attention because there is a cross with many traffic lights and the tram lane is also there. From this side you can see Independencia Boulevard or Promenade which is the most important street of Zaragoza city.

I don't want you to get tired,  but I think this post has been very nice and useful for me. I have learnt very much while writing and reading this composition.
Thank you very much.  See you in class.

12 May 2013


Hello, Hello,
My husband and my children are visiting the Real Madrid football stadium.
But I have decided to go to visit the surroundings.

    - Excuse me, Good Morning.  What could I visit near here?

 -  Good Morning, the Castellana is the most important boulevard in Madrid, you can see many interesting things there.  If you go to the left, you can see the Royal Palace, the New Ministries, the Cibeles, the Retiro Park, the Gate of Alcalá and the wax Museum.  You can go just walking or you can go by bus or by tube.

  -  Ok, what could I visit if were on my right?

     - It's preferable to go on your left, because on the right you can only see Chamartin train station and one business park zone heading for four towers.

  - Ok, Where can I catch the bus or tube?
  -  Right here.  And there are many other things as the Country House Park, the Puerta del Sol, the Museo del Prado, The Airport, The Thyssen Museum ,…… you might visit them by car, by bus, by tube or by train because they aren’t near by.

  - Ok, Thank you.

 - You are welcome. 

   I really like to visit Madrid, its streets, buildings, parks, services but actually I don't know if I could live in this great city.