This blog has been designed to provide information about the activities held at the social studies bilingual sections in CPI Tino Grandío (Guntín,Spain). The English language and Social Studies teachers have elaborated most of the resources you can see but our "auxiliares de conversa" also have their own page and posts. Therefore everyone is invited to have a look .

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Singles' Day

Singles' Day or Guanggun Jie is a holiday popular among young Chinese people that celebrate their pride in being single. The date, November 11th (11/11), was chosen because the number "1" resembles an individual who is alone. The holiday has also become a popular date to celebrate relationships, with over 4,000 couples being married in Beijing on this date in 2011, compared to an average of 700 a day.

The holiday has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world, with Alibaba shoppers exceeding 168.2 billion yuan (US$25.4 billion) in spending during the 2017 celebration.Rival hosts an eleven day shopping festival as well, which garnered US$19.1 billion, bringing the Chinese total to US$44.5 billion.

Image by Chrionexfleckeri1350

Chinese Singles' Day, or Bachelors' Day, originated at Nanjing University in 1993. Singles' Day celebrations spread to several other universities in Nanjing during the 1990s. The holiday was named "Singles' Day" because its date, 11/11 (November 11), consists of four "ones," representing four singles.

There are several theories explaining the creation of the Singles' Day festival.The most widely accepted theory is that the holiday grew out of Nanjing University's dorm culture. One origin story is that in 1993, four male students of Nanjing University's Mingcaowuzhu ("All single men") dorm discussed how they could break away from the monotony of being single and agreed that November 11 would be a day of events and celebrations in honor of being single.These activities spread through the university and eventually made their way into wider society. The spread increased with social media use, and the event has become increasingly popular within contemporary Chinese culture and society.

An apocryphal theory is based around the love story of a Nanjing University student called Mu Guang Kun, known as Guang Gun. The story goes that his girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer during his second year at the university and eventually died. The distraught Guang Gun took to placing candles on nearby rooftops in memory of his lover, and on his birthday in the subsequent year, his roommates joined him to keep him company. After this, the day became a holiday at the university and grew to become the national, commercialized festival that is celebrated today.

Singles' Day serves as an occasion for single people to meet and for parties to be organized. The holiday was initially only celebrated by young men, hence the initial name "Bachelors' Day." However, it is now widely celebrated by both sexes. "Blind date" parties are popular on this day, in an attempt to alter the single status of the participants. Some universities organize special programs to gather singles together for the celebration. Singles may take on an annoyed or self-deprecating attitude in response to remaining single as a university student, but university initiatives have helped curb that negativity.Although this date is meant to celebrate singlehood, the desire to find a spouse or partner is often expressed by young Chinese people on this date, while other love-related issues are discussed by the Chinese media.

The event is not an officially recognized public holiday in China, although it has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world. Sales in Alibaba's sites, Tmalland Taobao, have reached US$5.8 billion in 2013, US$9.3 billion in 2014, US$14.3 billion in 2015, US$17.8 billion in 2016, and over US$25.4 billion in 2017. also achieved a sales record of US$19.1 billion in 2017, while Lazada drums up US$123 million.

As more people join in the celebration of this holiday many companies have taken the opportunity to target younger consumers; including businesses such as restaurants, karaokeparlors, and online shopping malls. For example, the Chinese online shopping mall Taobao sold goods worth 19 billion CNY (about US$3 billion) on November 11, 2012.

On Singles' Day 2017, Alibaba set a world record for most payment transactions during the festival. Its mobile wallet app Alipay processed 256,000 payment transactions per second. A total of 1.48 billion transactions were processed by Alipay in the entire 24 hours, with delivery orders through Cainiao (Alibaba's logistics affiliate) reaching close to 700 million, breaking the previous record set in 2016.The event is now nearly four times the size of America's biggest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

2011 marked the "Singles Day of the Century" (Shiji Guanggun Jie) as this date had six "ones" rather than four, increasing the significance of the occasion.In 2011, an above-average number of marital celebrations occurred in Hong Kong and Beijing on November 11.

The following symbolism has been associated with the special date:
"1": The digit 1 symbolizes an individual, a single person
"11": Two individuals, finding each other, and being together on one side of the special date (11.11)
2 x (11): A celebration of 2 (and more) different and separate couples, each comprising two single individuals finding each other on the special date (11.11)
In addition to meaning "single", the Chinese pronunciation of 11/11 sounds similar to the pronunciation of the expression "one life, one lifetime" ( 一生一世, yi sheng yi shi), a basis for the date's popularity for celebrating relationships among couples as well.

Outside China
Singles' Day has since been popularized through the internet and is now observed at several places outside of China as well. The holiday has particularly grown in Southeast Asia, with customers in the Lazada's Southeast Asian marketplaces ordering 6.5 million items in 2017. This is in part thanks to heavy promotions by the Lazada group in this region.

Mediamarkt, a German company, promotes Singles' Day in their stores. Belgian Mediamarkt also participates, but reactions have been negative since the 11th of November is the anniversary of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 that ended World War I, and the day is associated with somber commemoration of the war dead in Belgium.

  1. Why is Singles' Day celebrated today (on November 11th)?
  2. What other festivity is celebrated on the same date in Europe?
  3. Is this date just a commercial event?
  4. Who benefits from this celebration?
  5. Do you know any similar celebrations? Which ones? Why are they similar?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Relative sentences

  • who → when we talk about people
  • which → when we talk about things
  • whose → instead of his/her or their
  • We also use that for who/which.
  • where → when we speak about places
  • when → when we speak about a period of time

We leave out the relative pronoun (who/which/that) if it is not the subject in the sentence.
  • That is the book I like.
If there is a verb after the relative pronoun who/which/that, do not leave out the relative pronoun.
  • He is the teacher who spoke to us yesterday morning.
Examples with the relative pronoun who
1st part of the sentence2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe boywhowasat the party yesterday.
who is subject in the sentence, do not leave it out.
1st part of the sentencePronoun2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe boywhoImetat the party yesterday.
Thisisthe boycan be left outImetat the party yesterday.
who is not subject in the sentence, it can be left out.

Examples with the relative pronoun which/that

1stpart of the sentence2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe bikewhichwasin the shop window.
which is subject in the sentence, do not leave it out.
1st part of the sentencePronoun2nd part of the sentence
Thisisthe bikewhichIboughtyesterday.
Thisisthe bikecan be left outIboughtyesterday.
which is not subject in the sentence, it can be left out.

To understand the distinctions between that and which it is necessary to understand defining (restrictive) and non-defining (non-restrictive) clauses.
Learning these distinctions is one technical aspect of grammar that every user of English should understand, because it is at the root of an assortment of grammatical errors.


non-defining, or non-restrictive, clause is one that can be regarded as parenthetical:

  • My house, which has a blue door, needs painting.
The italicized words are effectively an aside and could be deleted. The real point of the sentence is that the house needs painting; the blue door is incidental.
Use commas to set off non-defining elements, which contribute to, but do not determine, the meaning of the sentence. These elements may be clauses (groups of words that contain a subject and a verb) or phrases (groups of words that do not contain both a subject and a verb).


defining, restrictive, clause is one that is essential to the sense of the sentence.

  • My house that has a blue door needs painting.
Here the blue door is a defining characteristic, it helps to distinguish that house from my other houses.
Defining clauses or phrases are not separated off with commas. A restrictive clause or phrase is essential to the meaning of the sentence; it defines the word it modifies by ›restricting‹ its meaning. Eliminating a restrictive element from a sentence changes its meaning dramatically.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Physical description in English

Today's afternoon class

First of all, we are going to decide which of these two types of project we want to start:

  1. A three-fold project with three parts:
    1. free-time
    2. music
    3. computer games and videogames
  2. A project focused on computer-games:
    1. the ones we like
    2. the most popular
    3. creators
    4. sound and music
    5. pros and cons

After giving our opinion about the project we are going to play the game Odd Man Out, in which we must justify why one of the words in each of the rows is different to all the others. For example:

WINTER           SUMMER         AUTUMN          SPRING          SEASON

Possible answers:
  • Season is different because it is the only one which is not the name of one of the four seasons.
  • Autumn is different because it is the only one which starts with a vowel.
  • Spring is different because it is the only one-syllable word in the row.
 Any answer is correct provided you justify it correctly.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Some & any compounds



Past simple and past continuous

Past simple is often used for past events in a past time. Most stories are told using this tense and it is often used together with past continuous.

Past continuous or past progressive is one of the tenses we are going to study this year.

The following chart summarises the most important aspects you'll have to learn about both of them:

  • Past simple is used to tell about past event or stories:
    • We went to Ireland and there we met your sister.
    • My parents spent a weekend in Coruña but they didn't go to the port.
    • When did they release the film? Last Friday?
  • Past continuous is often used to talk about what was happening at a specific time in the past (talking about memories...)
    • We were watching the film at lunch time.
  • Two past continuous tenses can be used to talk about long, simultaneous actions in the past:
    • We were studying while the dogs were barking in the yard.
  • Both tenses are used to talk about something that happened at one point (in the past simple) while a longer action was taking place (in the past continuous). In this use, the clause referring to the longer action, is often introduced by while or as; or, alternatively, the shorter action clauses is introduced by when:
    • We weren't watching the film when my sister rang.
    • They found the lost key as they were having a walk along the river.
    • Myrtle broke here leg while she was exercising in the park.