Thursday, 19 March 2015


Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration giving primary school children a great first encounter with Shakespeare. Read here.

Friday, 13 March 2015


Here you can find a very detailed analysis of this Anglo-Saxon epic poem. Click here to download a PDF presentation to revise it.

Thursday, 12 March 2015


Robert Louis Stevenson is best known as the author of the children’s classic Treasure Island (1883), and the mystery story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) which deals with the theme of man torn between good and evil forces in his  soul.
The only son of a wealthy civil engineer, he was born in Edinburgh in 1850. He belonged to a very conservative, authoritarian and Calvinist household and was destined to follow his father's career. At the age of 17 he rebelled against the family and entered university to study law, led a Bohemian way of life, became an atheist and took up a critical attitude to the hypocrisy of bourgeois respectability. At the age of 23 he started to travel to attempt to recover from a respiratory illness. In 1876 he met and fell in love with an American divorced  lady, followed her to America  and married her in 1880. In the same year he reconciled with his father, went back to Scotland and began writing stories. He soon had to move to milder climates to cure his bad health. In 1887 he went to America again and then to Samoa where he spent his last years. Native Samoans called him Tusitala, which means storyteller. On  3 December 1894, at forty-four years of age, Stevenson died of a cerebral haemorrhage.
Here you can read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,  which is considered "one of the best guidebooks of the Victorian era" because of its piercing description of the fundamental dichotomy of the 19th century "outward respectability and inward lust (=concupiscence, self-indulgence and moral corruption)" as that period had a tendency for social hypocrisy and self-possession.

Sunday, 1 March 2015


"Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees."
Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring

Thursday, 26 February 2015



Before watching some lovely comedy movies to improve your English, click here to read an interesting article about how "movies make language come alive".

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Click here and here to do some useful exercises.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


You can start to improve your listening skills and your pronunciation as well as enlarge your vocabulary by watching the following videos. They are really nice! Enjoy!

Monday, 16 February 2015


The Victorian period in Great Britain (1837-1901)  was one of political stability, huge industrial and technological change, major economic development, prosperity, optimism and faith in progress as well as poverty and social unrest, shocking divisions between the rich and the poor, and grand attempts to combat squalor and disease.  
Click here to download a PDF presentation.
Here you can find my previous post on the Victorian age.

Saturday, 14 February 2015


Click here to find lots of exercises on this tense.

Friday, 13 February 2015


John Keats died young, but he left behind some fine collections of poetry admired most of all for their sensuous language (= language of sense impressions, rich in images appealing to the senses of sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing)  and exaltation of beauty. He now stands among the great Romantic poets.

One of John Keats's most famous poems, Ode on a Grecian Urn, was written in 1819 and published before his death. In this poem the transience of human life merges with the power of the artist and a work of art to make things permanent. The urn has sometimes been regarded as a metaphor for poetry and the role it can serve. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015


Poldark is a BBC television series based on the novels written by Winston Graham which was first transmitted in the UK between 1975 and 1977. It is one of the most successful British television adaptations of all time.
The romantic saga follows Ross Poldark  (Robin Ellis) as he loses his fiancée, the beautiful and well-mannered Elizabeth, to his cousin Francis. Ross ends up marrying his servant Demelza, but he is always torn between the two women from very different social backgrounds.  Set in late 18th century Cornwall, the plot follows Ross  Poldark's attempts to make his ruined tin mines a success. Life is tough, smuggling is rife and Ross Poldark finds himself taking the side of the underprivileged against the merciless behaviour of his enemies, the greedy Warleggan clan. Although the emphasis is primarily  on Ross and Demelza, there are many other characters with their own stories. 
In February 2014, the BBC announced a new adaptation of the series, Poldark, due for broadcast this year and  starring  Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark.

Ready to enjoy the remake of this exciting series? Read here.