Monday, 31 October 2016


At  London Town, Modica  - Centro Linguistico Internazionale we've been welcoming the autumn by making scary scarecrows! We had to follow English instructions:

Then we followed some more English instructions to make these Halloween cats:

Many thanks to Activity Village for the great ideas.


Monday, 1 August 2016


Everybody is talking about Brexit, but do you know what kind of word it is?

It's a portmanteau word - that is, it is made up of elements of two or more words. [Brexit is made up of British and exit, for instance, and refers to Britain's planned exit from the European Union.]  These are different from compound nouns, which are made up of two or more complete words, for example, sitting room.

Can you say which words have been used to form the following portmanteau words? You'll find the answers at the end of the post:

  1. brunch
  2. email
  3. malware
  4. Paralympics
  5. biopic
  6. pob
  7. telemarketing
  8. vitamin
  9. Brangelina
  10. Eurasia
Highlight the space below to see the answers:

  1. breakfast, lunch
  2. electronic, mail
  3. malicious, software
  4. Parallel, Olympics [they are held at around the same time as, and are connected with, the Olympic Games]
  5. biography, picture [a film biography]
  6. political, bob [a hairstyle favoured by female politicians]
  7. telephone, marketing
  8. vital, mineral
  9. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
  10. Europe, Asia

Friday, 22 April 2016


At London Town, Modica - Centro Linguistico Internazionale, we had a party yesterday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday. Many thanks to Cicara Caffeteria and Delizie D'Autore.

When the "birthday girl" arrived, our students had some questions for her:

[Cardboard cutout of the Queen]

These included the most important question of all which is, of course, about food!

We hope you had a very happy birthday, Ma'am!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


To mark the British monarch's 90th birthday this Thursday, here is a quiz about Queen Elizabeth II. You will find the answers at the end of the post.

1.  Queen Elizabeth's given names are

  • Mary Elizabeth Charlotte
  • Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
  • Elizabeth Katherine Maria 

2.  The surname most commonly used by her family is

  • Windsor
  • Buckingham
  • Battenburg

3.  Her sister's name was:

  • Margaret Alexandra
  • Margaret Rose
  • Mary Margaret

4.  The Queen was educated

  • at home
  • at private school, then university
  • at a British state school

5.  During World War II she trained as

  • an air traffic controller
  • a nurse
  • a driver and mechanic

6.  She was preceded as monarch by

  • King George VI
  • King Edward VIII 
  • King George V

7.  The heir to the throne is

  • Prince William
  • Prince George
  • Prince Charles

8.  How many children does the Queen have?

  • Two
  • Four
  • One

9.  Her main official residence is

  • Windsor Castle
  • Sandringham
  • Buckingham Palace

10.  In her position as Queen, she has only three rights.  What are they?

  • To be consulted by the Prime Minister, to encourage certain actions and to warn against others. 
  • To order the Prime Minister to take certain actions, to refuse to sign certain Acts of Parliament and to declare war.
  • To express her opinion directly to the people and to Parliament and to draft Acts of Parliament.


The Queen's Coronation took place in which year?

  • 1952
  • 1960
  • 1953

12.  She was crowned in

  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Westminster Cathedral

13.  In 2012 she celebrated her

  • Diamond Jubilee
  • Silver Jubilee
  • Golden Jubilee

14.  During the 2012 Olympics Ceremony she became

  • a great-grandmother
  • an empress
  • a Bond girl

15.  Why does the Queen have a "real" birthday [21st April] and an official birthday [in June]?

  • so that she can have more presents
  • because the British weather should be better in June
  • because there are more tourists in London in June

16.  If you meet the Queen you should call her

  • "Your Royal Highness"
  • "Your Majesty" at first, then "Ma'am"
  • "Queen Elizabeth"

17.  The Queen wears the Imperial State Crown

  • every day
  • for all State occasions
  • for the State Opening of Parliament

18.  The dogs the Queen likes best are

  • corgis
  • Yorkshire terriers
  • dachshunds

19.  How many State visits abroad has the Queen undertaken in her reign?

  • 50
  • 224
  • 117

20.  Which of the following can the Queen NOT do?

  • express a political opinion in public
  • vote
  • drive a car with no vehicle registration plate [number plate]

Highlight the space below to see the answers:

1.  Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
2.  Senior members of the British Royal Family do not have to use a surname but "Mountbatten-Windsor" or "Windsor" are often used to refer to the family as a whole.  Prince William and Prince Harry often use the surname "Wales" as their father, Prince Charles, is the Prince of Wales.
3.  Margaret Rose
4.  At home.
5.  The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, trained as a driver and mechanic in the ATS [Auxiliary Territorial Service].
6.  The Queen was preceded by her father, King George VI.
7.  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
8.  The Queen has four children:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales;  Princess Anne, Princess Royal;  Prince Andrew, Duke of York;  Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
9.  Buckingham Palace
10.  The Queen's rights are to be consulted by the Prime Minister, to encourage certain actions and to warn against others.
11.  1953
12.  Westminster Abbey
13.  Diamond Jubilee [60 years as Queen].
14.  The Queen famously, and briefly, played the role of a Bond girl with the actor Daniel Craig at Buckingham Palace. She did not jump out of the plane, though!
15.  This is becaue the British weather shoulod be better for parades and ceremonies in June.
16.  You should call the Queen "Your Majesty" at first and then "Ma'am".
17.  British monarchs wear the Imperial State Crown when leaving Wetminster Abbey after their Coronation and for the annual State Opening of Parliament.  It's a very heavy crown!  The monarch is crowned with St Edward's Crown at the Coronation.
18.  Corgis
19.  The Queenn has undertaken117 State visits abroad to date [two of these in her role as Queen of Canada].
20.  The Queen cannot express a political opinion in public or vote.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


It's St. David's Day again and here is Miss Katherine Jenkins to sing the Welsh national anthem:

Over at London Town, Modica - Centro Linguistico Internazionale, we've been making some really scary dragons and of course we've got daffodils and Welshcakes!

You can do a quiz to see how much you know about Wales here.


Monday, 28 December 2015


I hope you're all having a wonderful festive season!

Can you match these Christmas quotes [1 - 6] with their sources [a - f]?  The answers are at the end of the quiz.

1. "Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings."

2.  "There are always Uncles at Christmas."

3.  "I heard the bells on Christmas Day,
       Their old, familiar carols play."

4.  "Where the treetops glisten
        and children listen
        to hear sleigh bells in the snow."

5.  " 'One can never have enough socks,' said Dumbledore. 'Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair.  People will insist on giving me books.' "

6.  " 'Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug."

Little Women - 1933 film version

a.  Irving Berlin: White Christmas [song]

b.  Louisa May Alcott: Little Women [novel]

c.  Dylan Thomas:  A Child's Christmas in Wales [fictionalised autobiography]

d.  J:K: Rowling:  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone [novel]

e.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:  Christmas Bells [poem]

f.  Wonderful Life [film]

Highlight the space below to see the answers:

1f, 2c, 3e, 4a, 5d, 6b.

Friday, 27 November 2015


Is it your cup of tea?

2015 saw the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland.

Can you match these “tea” expressions with their meanings? – Sai abbinare queste espressioni idiomatiche con i loro significati? Riguardano tutti il té!

1.    It’s not my cup of tea
2.    Not for all the tea in China
3.    A storm in a teacup
4.    As good as a chocolate teapot
5.    Put the kettle on

     a. To put water on the hob to boil – fare bollire l’acqua [per il té] nel bollitore

b.    A dramatic reaction to something unimportant – una tempesta in un bicchier d’acqua

c.    I don’t like this type of thing – non è di mio gusto / questa cosa non è per me

d.    Not for any price or reward – a nessun prezzo / per niente al mondo

e.    Useless – inutile / utile come il fumo negli occhi

Have you put the kettle on?

Highlight the space below to see the answers: 

1c, 2d, 3b, 4e, 5a.