lunedì 29 dicembre 2014

Happy New Year Lads and Lasses.

lunedì 27 ottobre 2014

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;       
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,       
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.       
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

venerdì 24 ottobre 2014


Quali sono le parole chiave in questa nuvola di parole?

martedì 16 settembre 2014

lunedì 15 settembre 2014

May it be back to school, or may it be back to homeschool each one and to all of you, a happy journey through this wonderful  experience called learning.

mercoledì 3 settembre 2014

Quando pensate al Darjeeling, cosa vi viene in mente? Obviously, Darjeeling Tea! Ecco, Orwell nacque nella regione del Darjeeling (India del Nord Est)  e da bravo Britannico che era scrisse un vero e proprio trattato su come si prepara una buona, addirittura ottima, tazza di thè. Provare per credere.

A Nice Cup of Tea by George Orwell
If you look up 'tea' in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

  • First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase 'a nice cup of tea' invariably means Indian tea.
  • Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.
  • Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.
  • Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
  • Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.
  • Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.
  • Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
  • Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.
  • Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.
  • Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.
  • Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

    Some people would answer that they don't like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tealeaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one's ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

giovedì 31 luglio 2014

Chiudiamo per le vacanze estive da Lunedì 04 Agosto, 2014 sino a Domenica 24 Agosto, 2014
Con una nuova energia, diversi progetti e tanto entusiasmo ci reincontreremo in Settembre.
Cheerio our friends,
The Active Languages' Staff

"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world." Robert Louis Stevenson

mercoledì 5 marzo 2014

Silvia's final assignment after 30 hours of English. C1.4 level:

Rational description:

I took this picture during an excursion in the Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia). Plivitce is a huge, beautiful park, famous for its natural lakes, its wonderful cascades and square kilometers of uncontaminated woods. Of the 16 lakes that can be seen, that on the picture is the highest (altitude) and the largest one; its name is “Prošćansko jezero”.  The flat surface of the lake reflects the light like a mirror giving a striking view in which sky and water become the same thing.

Irrational/ fantastic/creative description:

1)      Drawing inspiration from the pictures I tried to imagine that what we see is not just an optical effect but that under the water surface there is a real submerged world. In this fantasy world, the reality is similar to what we know but with the difference that everything is surrounded by water.

In this world, people would swim instead of walking, and wouldn’t be able to speak without emitting bubbles from their mouths!

This water world could have many advantages:

-          nobody would be worried about staining, washing or ironing clothes;

-          people could go out without umbrella even if in the other world  it’s raining ;

-          the meaning of “thirst” would be unknown!  

2) As the stretch of water turns upside down the landscape, I imagined that in this reversed world all things could be upside down. People could move around walking upside down “head over heels” in this way:


And if we want to imagine even more funny situations, people could wear their clothes still in normal position so with their arms inside the jeans, their hands inside the shoes and with their legs inside the sweater. The effect would be like this:

In that world people would live in strange houses with the roof well-fixed to the ground…

…and all the population would be used to communicate speaking in reverse. It could be normal to meet someone and say:

“Ih” instead of Hi

“Olleh” instead of Hello

“gninrom doog” to say good morning!!!


In this upside down world we would cry when we are happy and we would laugh when we are sad, but to tell the truth sometimes this thing already happens in our “straight” world! 


Purtroppo abbiamo avuto difficoltà con l'inserimento delle immagini che non sono state accettate, ma proverò a descrivere in parole quanto Silvia aveva incluso:

1) Una prima grande foto introduttiva, la sua foto. Una catena montuosa riflessa nella immagine a specchio di un lago. Cielo intenso, nuvole grosse in movimento, vento ed uno specchio d'acqua fermo, impassibile.

2) Una persona che cammina sulle mani. Braccia allargate per tenere la posizione e gambe allargate verso il cielo. Una posizione di perfetta apertura verso il mondo, un perfetto uomo vitruviano a testa in giù.

3) Ah questa foto faceva troppo ridere. un uomo che cammina sulle mani, gambe in aria ... ma anzichè avere gli indumenti al posto giusto ... le gambe con i piedi nudi che "sventolano" al vento sono coperte da una simpatica camicia a righe mentre la testa e le braccia "indossano" dei pantaloni scuri e le mani corrono lungo il marciapiedi.

4) Infine una foto veramente troppo peculiare. Una casa vera, ma proprio vera ... capovolta. Cioè il tetto è sul prato mentre le fondamenta guardano verso l'alto. Si entra dalle finestre sul tetto mentre il pavimento della casa funge da copertura.

Ecco, Silvia Vitulo ... sei stata eccezzionale. Leggere ed osservare un compito fatto con talmente tanto spirito e passione ... well done!


giovedì 13 febbraio 2014


Happy Lovers Day Friends