Archive for October, 2014


The English language varieties


As we saw in class, the English language can be traced back to the 500 AD, when the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes settled on the island bringing their language along. As their rule spread through Great Britain and Ireland, so did their language.

In the 1600s another period of expansion was about to take place, when groups of British colonists headed west to the American continent and established the first English-speaking colony overseas. Soon others would follow as the empire expanded eastward to Africa and Asia.



In each colony or outpost the language gained roots, absorbed influences and adapted to local traditions and needs, acquiring diferent tones and characteristics. As a result, we can now find multiple varieties: Canadian English, Australian, New Zealand, South African, besides the British and American varieties, which are viewed as the legitimate ones. However, this perspective is beginning to change since each variety claims its own legitimacy and importance within the English-speaking world. So learners should get to know a little bit about all of them.

1) Let us begin with American English. A quick revision:




2) Canadian English is also a must.

Here you have the PPT we worked with in class: CANADIANISMS




3) Moving down Under, here comes Australian English:

BrE-vs-Aus-English The PPT we used in class on AustralianEnglish as well as the video:



4) As for New Zealand English, it does not differ that much from Australian English, but it has its own slang and took onsome words from the local native  language the Maori language.kiwi





Here are a few examples:

  • Kia ora – Hello
  • Kia ora tatou – Hello everyone
  • Tena koe – Greetings to you (said to one person)
  • Tena koutou – Greeting to you all
  • Haere mai – Welcome
  • Nau mai – Welcome
  • Kei te pehea koe? – How’s it going?
  • Kei te pai – Good
  • Tino pai – Really good
  • Haere ra – Farewell
  • Ka kite ano – Until I see you again (Bye)
  • Hei konei ra – See you later

Thanks to this worldwide spread, when the world became more globalized, the English language was the natural choice to be used as a língua franca for communication purposes.



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Loanwords 63b490609bf3423266f04e4a05f7dbb4

( or contributions from other languages)


Although English is a Germanic language, throughout its history it absorbed the influence of many other cultures and consequently assimilated lots of words from other languages.Take a look at this pie chart:


piechart_loan words1

In fact, English has borrowed words from about 50 languages, in many cases only a few items, but a very large number from some. However, if you look at the frequency with which words are used today you will find that the Germanic words are most important; they form a kind of basic vocabulary. They are usually short with only one syllable: man, house, go, see, in, and, good …

Retrieved from http://www.ghs-mh.de/migration/projects/language/la_uk_1.htm

Just a few examples:


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Double comparatives

There are  two different ways of using double comparatives. Let’s look at each case:

1)  Comparative  + Comparative

This structure helps us to show that something is gradually increasing or decreasing.



2) The + comparative …., the + comparative


This structure establishes a relation between two things/events that influence each other.



You can revise what we studied in class. Use the link below:

Adjectives & Adverbs12º


Now try a few exercises with both structures:


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~Extreme adjectives & intensifiers~



Many adjectives (gradable) can be modified using other words to strengthen or weaken their meaning.

  • Let’s go in. It is a bit cold here!
  • It’s not very comfortable here.
  • I’m not feeling very well!

Other adjectives (non-gradable) cannot be modified with these words because they already have an extreme meaning.

  • Área de transferência01Dear God, it’s freezing here!
  • I’m feeling awful!


See if you can link each base adjective with its adequate extreme match.




Besides very , you can use other words (adverbs)  such as absolutely, extremely, really, etc. to intensify adjectives. Check their use below and how they modify the adjective.



You can also use so and such to emphasize qualities or characteristics.

  • It was so cold that my feet almost froze.
  • It was such a cold winter that we could hardly go out.

Look at the difference:



Now a few exercises:

1.Extreme adjectives (matching)

2. So and such (gap-filing)

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goodvswellAdjectives and Adverbs


– First question, Miss: how do I tell them apart?

– Quite easily. Look here:


We may add that an adjective is a word or set of words that modifies (i.e., describes) a noun or pronoun, while an adverb is a word or group of words that modifies verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.



 check-bigCheck if you can classify them correctly. Use this link.

With some adjectives you can easily create adverbs by adding – ly. Look at these examples:




Both can used to make comparisons. Look at the examples below:




As you can see here, some are irregular, of course:

check-bigSuggestion: Use this link to check how well you know this.


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The English language in the world


For various reasons, English has become an international lanUKEnglishguage. Born in a medium-sized island near the European northern coast, this Germanic-rooted language travelled worldwide and became the mother tongue in a few countries, a second language in many others and a língua franca for a multitude of travellers, business people and Internet surfers among others.


We are going to walk along that path so as to get a closer view of its various stages of development and the varieties that have resulted from this process. Are you all on board?


English like most of the European languages belongs to a greater family, the Indo-European language family, which is believed to have its roots somewhere in Asia Minor as the map shows.


We can start with the stages of evolution  the language went through while still confined to Britain.


kjv-erasNotice the difference in writing:



A video to help you understand some subleties of the english language:



Now it’s up to you to write a little bit about each stage:


The contribution from 12º2 and 12º1 classes:

The long path of the English Language_12º1

The long path of the English Language_12º2


 What about the future of the English language?

Will English a truly world language? Or will it break up into several dialects?

Get an answer by watching this video:



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Work Plan

Planning out things…



Someone said that a goal without a plan is just a wish, so whatever the task we all need one, so here’s the plan for this schoolyear with:

  • Goals
  • Skills to be developed
  • Topics & extensive reading
  • Assessment /Grading
  • Classroom Policies
  • Special Projects

Planificação anual_12ano_Aerial_14_15





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