Friday, 18 May 2018

Revision time!

(Our students can ask to be sent the link to an online folder full of revision material)

Online GCVR test:

Listening practice at home:

Lots of interesting speaking and writing topics on the right-hand column of the blog (desktop view), such as:

More for our students: Phrasal verbs, prepositional phrases, word lists and mock tests.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 9: Global Population

1. One of the best known initiatives to limit population growth was the One Child Policy instituted in China from 1979 to 2015. Things have now changed, and all couples are now allowed to have two children. Here is a video explaining why the policy was of limited success, what the consequences have been, and why other countries achieved comparable reductions in population without introducing draconian laws. At the end of the video you'll find links to videos on population issues in other countries.

 2. India is soon set to be the world's most populous nation. Here is a Deutsche Welle report (in English!) on how education and income influence family size, particularly among India's growing urban middle class.

3. Following on from the above, here is a TED talk by the Swedish academic Hans Rosling (1948-2017) on why the global population has ballooned in recent decades, and his view of the only sensible solution to the problem.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Into the universe

Here is an official documentary called “Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking: The story of everything” which explains the advantages of venturing into space in its last 20 minutes. Of course, all of the video is extremely intriguing and informative.

Monday, 26 March 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 7: Space Exploration

A TED talk entitled "Space Exploration is the Worst". Or is it? Plenty of food for thought. Watch and see:

More poetry: The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is perhaps the best known American poet of the 20th century. In honour of his birthday (26th March), here is his most famous poem.

The Road Not Taken 

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.

And here is a short discussion with an expert on why, according to him, the poem is generally misunderstood:

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

International Day of Poetry 21st March: Dead Poets’ Society

Have you seen the exceptional “Dead Poets’ Society” starring Robin Williams? These are certain scenes of the film related to this day.

Understanding poetry:

Why do we read and write poetry?

Against conformity:

Carpe diem lecture:

O Captain, my Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, 
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; 
                         But O heart! heart! heart! 
                            O the bleeding drops of red, 
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
                                  Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; 
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills, 
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding, 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 
                         Here Captain! dear father! 
                            This arm beneath your head! 
                               It is some dream that on the deck, 
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, 
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, 
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; 
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells! 
                            But I with mournful tread, 
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

Wikipedia link to the poem:!_My_Captain!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 7: Science and Technology Videos

1. Watch this video by the Irish Stem Cell Foundation, offering a simple introduction to stem cell research.

2. And this on the biotechnology behind 'clean' meat and fish, and the future battle to win over the hearts and minds of the eating public

3. Looking forward to the essay, here's a BBC Newsnight report and debate on the pros and cons of GM crops:

4. Finally, we have read of the claim that GM crops are needed to help solve the problem of hunger in developing countries. Here are Greenpeace's objections to that argument.


ECPE Challenge Unit 5: Capital Punishment

Click here  for a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the death penalty in the U.S. state of Tennessee, and prospects for its abolition.

Videos, slides and extra reading on the concept of tolerance

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Vocabulary: Negative prefixes and body parts

ECPE CHALLENGE, Unit 4 Workbook, Vocabulary activities 7, 8 and 9

Activity 7 

Parts of the body: chin, heel, jaw, spine thigh, vein

Problems: ailment, choking, fracture, rash, stiff, neck, tumor

Solutions: heal, immune system, plaster, recuperation, remedy, vaccination


  1. Show = display (δείχνω)
  2. Disorder= chaos (χάος, έλλειψη τάξης)
  3. Mislead= give the wrong impression (παραπλανώ)
  4. Misconception= a mistaken idea (λανθασμένη αντίληψη, ιδέα)
  5. Malnourished= underfed (υποσιτισμένος)
  6. Disembark= get off (αποβιβάζομαι)
  7. Mislay= lose or forget where you put sth (τοποθετώ σε άλλη θέση, ξεχνώ πού το έβαλα)
  8. Discount= a reduced price (έκπτωση)
  9. Mispronounce = say sth wrongly (προφέρω ή λέω κάτι λάθος)
  10. Mishandle= deal with sth badly (διαχειρίζομαι κάτι λάθος) 

Remember: mis= indicates a mistake / mal= indicates sth bad / dis= the opposite of sth else


  1. Get out of hand = get out of control (Common expression: The situation got out of hand)
  2. Head in the right direction = walk towards somewhere
  3. Put your feet up= relax and enjoy
  4. Have my hands full OR have my plate full= be very busy, have lots to do
  5. Keep my head= keep cool, never lose temper or control, always be calm and ready to act
  6. Have the cheek (συνήθως: μάγουλο, αλλά εδώ: θράσος) = have the nerve to say sth rude (mischievous= naughty, boisterous)
  7. Hand sth down to the next generation= pass it on, give it to your descendants
  8. The foot of the mountain = lower parts of the mountain (πρόποδες)
  9. Foot the bill= pay the bill (πληρώνω τον λογαριασμό)
  10. I’ve got to hand it to you= hats off to you= I give you the credit of doing good work