3.en.10. Visiting the past.

Is it possible to visit the past?

Look at the image below. What do you think it could be?

Can you think of the usefulness of such an object?

Recently one was opened and this encouraged a group of students to create their own one.

Watch the news

Have a look at the photo below. What is this machine?

Do you think that time travel is possible? Let’s find out

What could be the benefits and the inconveniences of time travel?

3.en.09 The way to succes

Have you ever wondered why some people succeed in life while others don’t? What paths can lead you to success?

We will try to explore whether success in life is one of our goals and how we can make them come true.


Let’s start by thinking what is success for us:

Look at the image below. Who are these people? Can you identify anybody?

Do you think these people have been successful? Why / Why not?


Now think of a person who, in your opinion, has succeed in life. It can be a celebrity or somebody you know.

  • What makes you think this person has succeeded?
  • How does it show?
  • How has this person become successful?
  • What does success mean for you?
  • What abilities or talents must someone possess in order to succeed?
  • Are personal abilities enough?

Outliers – The key to success according to Malcolm Gladwell

We have heard a radio programme in which they commented Gladwell’s book about success: Outliers

Click on the image in order to learn a bit more

In the programme, Jenny Osmond, editor of FOCUS – the BBC monthly science and technology magazine – comments her interview with Martina Hingis’ mother, in which she stated:

“My daughter has been hitting tennis balls since the age of three.”

Can you identify the verb tense? Find out more by clicking on the image below:

Abilities & Skills

Do you think it is necessary to have any special abilities or skills to succeed in life?

Click on the links below to learn ways to describe skills and abilities

Describe your Skills

Talking about talent

Now you’re going to listen to Kathy and Brad talking about the talents and abilities of some players:

Use the words below to complete the following expressions to describe talents and abilities used in the conversation:


a) The would be Sarah. She’s a …………………………..

b) No one comes ………………………. to her speed.

c) She’s got …………………….. and …………………….. for getting out of difficult situations.

d) She sounds ……………………………..

e) She can almost do it in her …………………………………..

f) She’s also ……………. at being a leader.

g) She has a …………………… for getting along.

h) We recruit only ……………………… players for the national team.

i) This year we hope to be …………………… and ……………………… above any of the other teams.

j) I think you’ll be impressed with the …………………… you see.

Task: Use five of the expressions from the vocabulary exercises and write five different sentences about your abilities and talents.

Failure & Success

Now watch this animation film about success. The film was created by Laura Lee and it is based on ideas from Alain de Botton (a well-known British philosopher), who, by the way, is the narrator of the film!

Visit Laura Lee’s website to see many other interesting animations:

Lara Lee


  1. What common ideas of what success is are challenged in the video?
  2. Name at least two examples of less heralded things that also show success according to Alain de Botton.
  3. What does he say about being successful at everything? Give one of his examples.
  4. What is even better than being sucessful?

Alain de Botton and the School of Life

If you want to find out more visit Alain de Botton’s website, The School of Life. The website is devoted to develop emotional intelligence through the help of culture.

The School of Life

Now watch this TED video in which Alain de Botton examines our ideas about success and failure – and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

Task: What does Alain de Botton has to tell about success and failure?

Find the answers to the following questions:

  1. Why do we really need materials goods?
  2. What does driving a Ferrari tell us about its owner?
  3. What is today’s dominant emotion in our society?
  4. What is meritocracy?
  5. Does meritocracy have any negative implications?
  6. What can meritocracy lead to, according to Émile Durkheim?
  7. Complete St. Augustine’s quote: It’s a _____ to judge a man by his _____ .
  8. Why do we fear failure?
  9. What was the main purpose of Ancient Greek Tragedy?
  10. How can we describe our modern society compared to ancient ones in what we worship?
  11. What do we have to accept about success?
  12. What is de Botton’s piece of advice about our own success?

In case you would like to learn more about Alain de Botton, visit his website:

Alain de Botton

You could also read any of his many books. Here you are a few:

status anxiety

how proust can change your lifeconsolations of philosophy

2.en.07 Seeking advice


Who should you listened to and get advice from? Who can give you the help, advice and the emotional support you need in achieving your goals?

The important thing is to listen to the right people.

Do you believe yourself good at giving advice? Well, lets see if this website can help you!

Friends and family are often well intentioned but like all of us, they see the world through their own eyes. There will be times when friends and family can be of great help, but be careful taking advice if they have not already experienced or understand clearly what you are going through.

Now, think about yourself. Who do you usually seek advice from? Do you seek the advice of different people depending on the problem you have?

Many people make use of websites that offer help. They are called problem page or agony aunt.

Here you are some of them:





Now you can try an exercise by clicking on the link below:

Reading Exercise

Writing a letter of advice

Imagine you had to write a letter of advice.It’s true that writing letter is not very popular nowadays, but it’s always advisable to know how to write a letter.

Structuring a letter giving advice

Click on the image below to learn more about writing letters.


Useful Language for Letters Asking for Advice

2.en.06 What makes a good life? A TED talk by Robert Waldinger

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

Use the information you gathered at the talk to write a short newspaper article. This time your article must take the shape of an interview:

Click on the pic below to learn a bit more about how to write one

One of the most useful language tools when transcribing an interview is the REPORTED SPEECH.

Click on the image below to learn how to use it:

1.en.02 Getting to know others

Have you ever wondered how important is having people who love and support you?  We are going to explore the world of social relations and try to understand why we need people around.

Let’s start by watching a short film:

Could you think of a title for the film?

What does the film show?

Is there anything wrong with him?

How do you think the young man feels?

Why do their school mates react treat him like that?

Continue reading “1.en.02 Getting to know others”