La Lente 2013 is out!

A new edition of La Lente de Loranca is out. For the 6th consecutive year, a group of students at IES Barrio Loranca in Fuenlabrada (Madrid) have published their newspaper in El País de los Estudiantes. The main pieces of news in this new issue deal with the conflict in Syria. They have interviewed a Syrian doctor living in Madrid who has first-hand information. The picture on the front page is really shocking. It is also very  interesting the article about animal testing in the cosmetic industry, written by Noelia Trijueque -who was awarded best national report in the last El País de los Estudiantes edition- and Alba Pereda. This article is included in the environment section which is completely written in English. It is also astonishing the article about Norwegians helping evicted Spanish people.

You can also enjoy some of the interesting interviews as for instance the interview with Lorenzo Silva, winner of the Planeta Award, or with Jorge Lorenzo, the MotoGP world champion, among others.

One of the novelties this year is that it is possible to publish a digital newspaper on the El País de los Estudiantes web site and, of course, La Lente de Loranca has also published its DIGITAL EDITION.

The whole newspaper is really awesome and all the articles have been carefully planned and written as all the students involved in their publishing have done an amazing job. We hope you enjoy it!


Front vowels: /i:/ vs /I/

/i:/ and /I/ are two front vowel sounds.  

/i:/ is a long sound. The front of the tongue is raised to the highest possible point: the lips are spread; the tongue is tense, with the rims making a firm contact with the upper molars.
This is the sound which makes English people smile: when they are taking a photo at people they usually say "CHEESE" so that they appear smiling in the picture.
/I/ is a short sound. The tongue is nearer to centre than to front, raised just above the half-close position; the lips are loosely spread; the tongue is lax, with the side rims making a light contact with the upper molars.

Phonologically, /i:/ and /I/ are distinguished by length, but this is not related to real time duration. Before a voiceless consonant /i:/ can be shortened, in fact as short as /I/: beat-bid. The real difference is that /i:/ is a tense vowel whereas /I/ is a lax vowel. 

/i:/: "ee, ea, e, ie, ei, ey, i". For example: see, meat, even, brief, seize, key, machine.
Exceptions: the vowels in these words are also pronounced with /i:/: quay, people, Caesar, phoenix
/I/: "i, y, e, ie, a". For example: sit, crystal, except, sieve, courage.
There are also exceptions. The bold letters in these words are pronounced with /I/: build, busy, women, minute, Sunday, Disney.

Watch this video:

E.1) Tongue twister: decide when to use /i:/ or /I/. Then practice the words individually. Finally, repeat the whole tongue twister:
a) I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit. And on a slitted sheet I sit. I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit. The sheet I slit, that sheet was it.
b) If Freaky Fred Found Fifty Feet of Fruit and Fed Forty Feet to his Friend Frank how many Feet of Fruit did Freaky Fred Find?
E.2) Recognize /i:/ and /I/ in this game. Play games 4 and 5. Good luck!

Do this quizz. Mind the spelling of the words provided and choose /i:/ or /I/.
Hope you enjoy it!
PS: don't forget to write a comment on this post telling us if you find these exercises helpful.


Project: a job interview

In this term we have worked on two units entitled "Meeting up" and "Life choices". In order to assess students, they have been asked to record a video. They must choose an appropriate scene to use as much vocabulary we have seen in these units as possible:

Context: personal life, working life, job interview.
Vocabulary: adjectives for description, relationships, social networking
Functional language: giving opinions, giving advice, talking about oneself, describing pictures of places.

This is the video by Alba Pereda and Tania Catena, two students of 1st of Bachillerato. It is a very good example of a video in which students show that they can use the vocabulary and structures studied in two units. It can be used as a model by other students who have to record a video for a similar activity.


/f/ vs /v/

/f/ and /v/ are two labio-dental fricative sounds.

A) DESCRIPTION: the lower lip makes light contact with the upper teeth, so that the escaping air produces friction. For /f/, the friction is voiceless, whereas for /v/, the friction is voiced.

/f/: "f, ff, ph, gh". For example: fork, off, physics, enough, nephew.
/v/: "v, f". For example: very, of, leave.

C.1. Open this chart, click on FRICATIVE, then click on /f/. Play the video with the mouth picture. Then play the video on the right.
C.2. Watch this video:

Now answer the following questions about these two sounds:
C.2.1. What's the same in both sounds?
C.2.2. What is the difference?

D.1. Open this chart again, click on FRICATIVE, then click on /f/. Play the video with the mouth picture. Then play the video on the right. Listen and repeat the sound and words. Do the same with /v/.
Now watch the video again in order to practice and repeat the sounds and words.
D.2. Finally, try these tongue twisters:
-"My wife gave Mr Snipe's knife a wipe".
-"Violet bet a bat her best vest".
Hope you enjoy it!

PS: once you have done all the activities write a comment on them in this blog.
Pictures in this post:
Author: Banco de imágenes del CNICE.
License: CC: reconocimiento, no comercial, compartir igual.

Listen, answer, check and move on

Here you have a web page with listenings of different levels: advanced, intermediate and elementary. Please go to this particular intermediate listening, play it twice or 3 times if necessary and answer the test. After that, check your answers. Finally, come back to this blog and write a comment on the activity. Please refer to the following points in your comment:
1. Difficulty
2. Right answers
3. Times you played it
Now, if you didn't have any mistakes try an advanced listening and write another comment in the blog. If you did have some mistakes, please try an intermediate listening again and don't forget to write a comment here.


Transcription tool to turn texts into phonetics

Here you have a good transcription tool to transcribe words or texts into phonetics. One of the most interesting characteristics of this tool is that it provides both a BrE or an AmE output.


Eight-day course in Dublin

Ha'penny bidge - Dublin

We travelled to Ireland for 8 days to take an English course in Dublin at the end of June and the begining of July. We were 17 students and teachers. The students attended Swan School which is in the very centre of Dublin (Grafton Street). We lived with Irish families, two students of the same age in every family. All the students were very happy with the school, the families, the city and the Irish people. We visited a lot of interesting and amazing places. Glendalough, for example, was a wonderful trip.
At the end of thhe week ALL the students said that they have learnt a lot. All of them would like to come back to Ireland again.
We travelled to Ireland with Lenfex company which organized the English course, the families, plane tickets, connections and everything.
All in all, it was a great experience for teachers and students. Something worth doing again.

Picture by AHH.


LA LENTE chosen best newspaper of Madrid Community

The newspaper LA LENTE DE LORANCA, written by our school students of 4th ESO and 1st Bachillerato, has been chosen the best newspaper of the Comunity of Madrid in El País de los Estudiantes journalist-students programme. The 18 best newspapers from all the counties in Spain will attend a ceremony in El País on 22nd June. There, it will be known which three newspapers get the final prizes. We wish them good luck!

Ireland course

Next Wednesday we will meet in order to give you all the information about our course in Dublin. Remember it is at 17:00 pm in our school.
Here you have the information about our departure and arrival:

-IDA: Miércoles 22 de junio
Salida Madrid: 17:55 (Terminal 1)
Llegada Dublín: 19:30 (Hora Irlanda)

-VUELTA: Jueves 30 de junio
Salida Dublín: 13:50 (Hora Irlanda)
Llegada Madrid: 17:20 (Terminal 1)

La compañía aérea es Ryanair


IES Barrio Loranca becomes an English bilingual school

Our school has been chosen as a new English bilingual school for the next academic year. We are not only having a new English programme but we will also keep the Frech one. Thus, students in Loranca will have to options to choose in our school: they can join the English bilingual studies or the French bilingual studies. On the whole this is a very good piece of news as languages have become a key issue in present day studies and are key to get almost any kind of job. IES Barrio Loranca will provide students with an outstanding background in languages, helping students to live in a world without frontiers in which knowing a language is substancial.
We congratulate all the teacher staff and the whole educational community in IES Loranca who have bet on languages and worked on providing this interesting offer to students. Now a new cycle starts which is filled with enthusiasm and joy. Congratulations!! 


Intermediate and advanced listenings

I'd like to suggest a web page full of listening exercises from elementary level to advance level. In the followinig link you will get to the page in which intermediate listenings are. You are asked to do at least 5 listenings along this week. Then you have to report here how you have done it. Therefore, you should do 5 listenings and report about them before the 6th February.
Here you have the link:





The Beatles Project

The Beatles are the band which have
sold more records ever in music
Working with The Beatles has always been and will always be both a pleasure and a need to understand nowadays music. This band is also a capsule of British cul- ture, a door towards a period of time, a moment in history which is worth analysing.
We are going to work on The Beatles with the aim of get- ting to know the history of the band, some of their most famous songs, their lyrics and trying to understand the importance of the band in music. The aim of this project is that students give a speech on different issues related to the band.

In order to do that, we are going to work individually and in pairs on the following topics:
1. Liverpool
2. The Beatles birth, development and split
3. John Lennon with The Beatles
4. John Lennon solo career
5. Paul McCartney with the Beatles / solo career
6. Ringo Starr
7. George Harrison
8. Songs and Lyrics

Students will work on one of the following topics in order to prepair a 3-minute speech. This speech will be recorded in mp3 format and used in a video or power point presentation so that it can be showed to the rest of the group. Besides, every student (we are just 8 in class) will choose one song by The Beatles and with the help of the teacher they will prepare two activities for each song. One of these activities must be on Phonetics (ie. underline all the words in the songs which contain a particular sound, match the phonetic transciption of a line (or two) with the actual line, ...). Once they have been checked, they will be used in class.

As a warm-up, you can visit the following web page and watch a video on the early Beatles. There are quiz questions for you to answer. Good luck!

Picture by ahh