Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Tudors month- Charles Brandon

Charles Brandon was the third son of Sir William Brandon who, as Henry VII's standard bearer, had been killed by Richard III in person at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was brought up at the court of Henry VII and became a favourite of Henry VIII. He held several posts in the royal household and distinguished himself in the French campaign of 1513. In 1515 he privately married Mary Tudor, Louis XII's (king of France) widow and Henry VIII's sister, to avoid the political difficulties surrounding the marriage — Henry was keen to acquire the gold plate and jewels which Louis had promised Mary before his death and he made it clear he would only sanction Suffolk's marriage to her if he did indeed get them. Wolsey brokered a deal, however and the couple were able to have a public wedding some months later. Suffolk supported Henry's divorce from Katherine of Aragon, in direct opposition to Wolsey, and after the latter's disgrace, his influence increased rapidly to the point where he acted as High Steward at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. He died in 1545, a year after commanding an English army invading France. Through his daughter by Mary, Frances, he was grandfather to Lady Jane Grey who would reign for nine days in 1553.

Actor's Bio

Henry Cavill began his career as an actor in Stowe Boarding School in England where he appeared in many student productions. He has appeared in several films, including The Count of Monte Cristo, I Capture the Castle, Riding Hood, Hellraiser: Hellworld, and the film adaptation of the myth of Tristan & Isolde. He will soon be seen alongside Robert DeNiro and Claire Danes in the magical-realist fantasy Stardust.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Tudors Month - Anne Boleyn


Anne Boleyn began her court life as one of Katherine of Aragon's ladies in waiting, and went on to become Henry VIII's second wife, bearing him one child, Elizabeth. She was a very powerful figure at court and found herself actively promoting the cause of Church reform; Henry's divorce from Katherine had been "legalised" through the Act of Supremacy which placed the King at the head of the Church in England, freed from Papal authority. In 1532 Henry made Anne the Marchioness of Pembroke, making her the first English female commoner to become a noble in her own right by creation rather than through inheritance. However, her relationship with Henry was volatile: she was upset by his string of mistresses and he felt betrayed by her apparent inability to produce a son. On May 17th, 1536 she was accused of adultery, incest (with her brother who was also tried and found guilty), witchcraft and high treason and two days later she was executed in the French style, with a sword.

Natalie Dormer

A native of Reading, England, Dormer had her breakthrough big screen debut opposite Heath Ledger in the period comedy Casanova, a film The New York Times described as, "...a lively, sly and altogether charming farce."

Along with considerable experience in British theatre, she lists appearances in such television series as "Rebus" and "Distant Shores" among her credits.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The Tudors Month - Characters from the TV series Thomas More

Sir Thomas More was a scholar, author and a statesman. During his political career he was secretary and personal advisor to Henry VIII, Speaker of the House of Commons, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Lord Chancellor. He refused to sign a letter asking the Pope to annul Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon and did not accept Henry's claim to be head of the Church of England. In 1535 he was tried for high treason and was beheaded. His body was buried in the Tower of London while his head was hung over London Bridge for a month from where it was rescued by his daughter Margaret. He was canonised in the Catholic Church in 1935.


Jeremy Northam made his American film debut in The Net, but has appeared frequently in British period films such as Carrington, Emma, The Winslow Boy, An Ideal Husband, Enigma, and as famed actor and singer Ivor Novello in Robert Altman's Oscar®-winning Gosford Park.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Tudors Month - Characters from the TV series King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII

Henry was never intended for the throne of England. However, the death of his older brother Arthur at the age of 15 and his taking of his dead brother's bride, propelled the young prince into the limelight and laid the foundations for one of the most spectacular reigns in English history. The young Henry VIII was an artist, musician, theologian and sportsman — the perfect Renaissance prince — but the failure of his first wife Katherine of Aragon to produce a male heir brought out his darker side. Henry could be cruel and capricious, using arbitrary execution as an instrument of Royal policy. In his bid to produce an heir he would dismantle the established church in England, loot its possessions, and set himself up as an absolute monarch. By the time of his death, his desire to maintain his own magnificent dynasty had seen him marry six times, deplete the nation's coffers, and cut a swath through the English nobility. Yet a new age had been born in the fires of change and though the years had transformed a Renaissance prince into a sickly, overweight tyrant, his rule marked a sea-change in the fortunes of England.

Actors Biography

Jonathan Rhys Meyers first gained international attention for his starring role in Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine opposite Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and Toni Collette. Rhys Meyers' daring performance as ex-glam rocker Brian Slade garnered him a London Film Critics Circle Award nomination. Since then, Rhys Meyers has landed leading roles opposite today's hottest film actors and directors, and has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought-after leading men.

In 2006, Rhys Meyers received a Golden Globe Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie" for his portrayal of the young Elvis Presley in the television miniseries "Elvis." In addition to this honor, he received an Emmy® nomination. The flawless portrayal of "The King" by a young Irish actor floored critics and audiences alike.

Next spring, Rhys Meyers will be seen in August Rush, alongside an all-star cast, including Terrence Howard, Robin Williams and Keri Russell. The film will be directed by In America's Jim Sheridan.

Rhys Meyers was most recently seen in the much-anticipated action sequel Mission: Impossible III, in which he co-starred with Tom Cruise, Laurence Fishburne and Philip Seymour Hoffman, under the direction of J.J. Abrams.

In 2006, Rhys Meyers earned critical acclaim for his role in the highly anticipated Woody Allen film Match Point. Dubbed as Allen's "comeback," the film was nominated for three Golden Globes, including "Best Picture." Match Point, which co-starred Scarlett Johansson, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, with Rhys Meyers winning the festival's Chopard Trophy for Male Revelation.

Rhys Meyers is also recognized for his role as the girls' soccer coach in the award-winning sleeper hit Bend It Like Beckham, in which he starred alongside Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra. Rhys Meyers recent film credits include starring roles in Oliver Stone's epic Alexander, with Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie; and Mira Nair's Vanity Fair, with Reese Witherspoon.

On the small screen, Rhys Meyers has starred in a wide range of long-form projects, both in the U.S. and U.K. Among his television credits are the Showtime presentation of "The Lion in Winter," with Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart; Alfonso Arau's "The Magnificent Ambersons"; "Gormenghast"; "The Tribe"; and "Samson and Delilah."

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Rhys Meyers made his film debut in A Man of No Importance, and then played the young assassin in Neil Jordan's biopic Michael Collins. His subsequent film credits include The Maker, Telling Lies In America, starring Kevin Bacon; The Governess, opposite Minnie Driver; the thriller B. Monkey; Mike Figgis' The Loss of Sexual Innocence; Ang Lee's western Ride With the Devil; Julie Taymor's Titus, with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Prozac Nation opposite Christina Ricci; The Tesseract; the crime drama I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, with Clive Owen and Charlotte Rampling; and The Emperor's Wife. Rhys Meyers currently resides in London.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Tudors Month - The Family Tree

This month I want to present you a fascinating story...................... The Tudors. I hope you have seen the TV series presented in Colombia by People and Arts. Who are they? Why they were so important in the English Monarchy?

Tudor Family Tree

The Tudor Family Tree
Who were the Tudors? The Royal Tudors family tree traces the rise and the fall of the Plantagenet dynasty and the start of the Tudors dynasty with Owen Tudor. The Tudor family tree ends with Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth I died childless, thus ending the famous dynasty of the Tudors, and she was succeeded by King James I (1603–1625) and the dynasty of the Stuarts. Who did the Tudors marry? The six wives of Henry VIII immediately spring to mind. Who were the children of the Tudors? And who were the close relatives of the Tudors? Full details of the Tudors and their family tree is available in this section. King Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 which started the House of Tudor. It is interesting to note that Edmund Tudor married Margaret Beaufort who was a descendent of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.

The Tudor Family Tree

Edward III

The Black Prince
( Duke of Clarence)
(No Issue)
(Duke of York
John of Gaunt
(Duke of Lancaster)

Richard IIRichard
Duke of York

Henry IV

Edward IV and Richard Duke of York

Henry V

Edward V and Richard Duke of York
were murdered
Princes in the Tower

Henry VI
Married Catherine of Valois

Succeeded by their uncle who became Richard III

Catherine of Valois
( widow of Henry VI)
Owen Tudor

Edmund Tudor

Henry Tudor
King Henry VII
Elizabeth of York

King Henry VIII

Edward VI

Bloody Mary

Elizabeth I

Tudor Family Tree - The Tudor Kings and Queens
The Tudor Family Tree and the House of Tudor reigned from 1485-1603. The Tudor family tree included three Kings and two Queens:

  • King Henry VII who reigned 1485-1509

  • King Henry VIII who reigned 1509-1547

  • King Edward VI who reigned 1547-1553

  • Queen Mary I who reigned 1553-1558

  • Queen Elizabeth I who reigned 1558-1603

Tudor Family Tree - The End of the Tudor Dynasty
The Tudor Family Tree and the House of Tudor started with the defeat of the last Plantagenet, King Richard III, at the Battle of Bosworth Field when he was defeated by Henry Tudor who became King Henry VII, the father of King Henry VIII who was the most famous Tudor King. The Tudor family tree then continued with his children: Edward VI, Bloody Mary and Queen Elizabeth I. The Tudor Dynasty and Family tree then ends as all of the children of King Henry VIII were childless.

The Start of the Stuart Dynasty
The next English royal dynasty were the Stuarts who started with James I who was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth I.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

False Friends? Actual and Actuality

Have you listened about this word? False friends are all those words that in English have a completely different meaning from Spanish (as an example) but they sound very similar in appearance.

What are the mistakes in these sentences?

  • What do you think about the actual crisis?
  • In the actuality he's living abroad.
The mistakes are in actual and actuality.

Actual is truthful, real.
Actuality is reality.

Correct sentences:

  • What do you think about the present crisis?
  • At the present he is living abroad.
Correct sentences with Actual and Actuality.

  • Those were her actual words.
  • His novel blurs the division between dreams and actuality.
More false friends soon in this blog or in our English classes.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Accent reduction

This is a complete issue for people who are learning another language. Communication is no only how well you use the grammar, vocabulary etc but also how is your accent. By your accent you can tell where the people is from. I found this useful guideline from and I hope it will help specially to spanish speakers.

Common Mispronunciations
for Spanish Speakers

Because Spanish is your native language, you may find that the following sounds are particularly difficult for you to pronounce.

1. The “b” and “v” sounds are often confused
You may notice that you pronounce “b” like “v” and “v” like “b.” These are important sounds to practice and master.

To form the "b" sound, place your lips together, then force out the sound.

For the "v", you will need to lightly bite your lower lip and continue the sound so that you can feel your lower lip vibrate.

The word “vet” may sound like “bet.”
he word “boat” may sound like “vote.”

2. The “sh” and “ch” sounds are often confused
The “sh” and “ch” sounds are often interchanged in words. The difference between these two sounds is this: The "ch" is actually made up of two sounds: "t" and "sh." For this sound, you will need to remember to begin by placing the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth; then finish with "sh." Pay special attention to learning how to hear and feel the difference between these two sounds.

The "sh" sound still begins with the tip of your tongue near the spot for the "t" sound, however you continue this sound.

The word “sheep” may sound like “cheap.”
The word “chop” may sound like “shop.”

3. The “z” sound is pronounced like “s”
This sound may be very challenging for you because you naturally pronounce “z” in Spanish like the American English “s” sound. The difference between the sounds is in what we call “voicing.” We use our voice to say “z” but don’t for “s.” The tricky part is that most of the time, the “z” sound in English is represented with the letter “s.” Devote a lot of time to this sound. Let’s look at how it can affect your English.

The word “was” may sound like “wuss.”
The word “busy” may sound like “bissy.”
The word “zoo” sounds like “Sue.”

"z" sound

Smile and place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Use your voice as you continue the sound.

"s" sound
This is what we call the "snake" sound because it sounds like hissing. It is formed just like "z" but you do not use your voice.

"sh" sound

Round your lips and gently place your tongue tip behind your upper front teeth. It is a gentle sound that continues. We say this when we want someone to be quiet.

"ch" sound

This is made up of "t" and "sh." Begin by rounding your lips, then place your tongue tip behind your front teeth and say "t" followed quickly by "sh."

"b" sound
You must begin with your lips together, then separate your lips as you force out the sound.

"v" sound

If you lightly bite your lower lip and continue the sound, you will create a "v" instead.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

NEW vocabulary word/From scratch

Taken from

This is a phrase which means from the beginning or zero.
This expression is derived from the line scratched or drawn in the ground that people used as the starting line of a race. The phrase also means starting from raw ingredients.
For example, you can say, “My sister baked a cake from scratch for my birthday; she didn’t use any of those pre-mixed ingredients.”

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Multi-word verbs - MWVs

taken from

‘Get on' and ‘turn off' are multi-word verbs.

In the classroom
Recording MWVs correctly can help learners understand and use them. Verbs can be grouped together according to the particle, e.g. verbs with ‘up', according to meaning, e.g. verbs about feelings, or according to the main verb, e.g. verbs beginning with ‘turn'. However verbs are grouped, it is useful to encourage learners to include an example of the verb in use.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Text messages and the Internet

The increasing use of mobile phones and the Internet has had a significant impact on the lives of learners. I have found it really easily to use internet in my classes, but as a student how can you find it useful the usage of the internet when you are learning a language? How can you think you can learn English using your mobile phone?

Sometimes I feel that I have so much bookmarks in my internet explorer that I feel surprise when I don't remember the name of that webpage where I saw an interesting exercise. Also, I really don't know if using the mobile is a good idea. I have listened that many people feel annoyed when they receive so many text messages. I really think technology is useful but it has become more and more an important tool when learning a language that the day that occurs a black out I will really freak out!