The English We Speak

Yesterday's English Workshop at Start2Bee was a new occasion to have fun while meeting very nice people... and practicing English, of course, as everything we say, read or listen to from 19.30 to 21 hs must be in this language.

With some "casualties" due to the Mobile World Congress and different personal activities, we were six this time: Helena, yesterday's newcomer; the regulars Paco, Ester, Roberto and Paula and, last but not least, Mr. Smith (AKA Dante ), without whom this workshop would have no sense at all.


We started with the usual "The English we speak", learning Common English expressions with funny dialogs at the BBC Learning English site. Yesterday's was "To be on the ball", which means to be alert, focused on something. Dante also told us that the term "focused" is used a lot in business.

Then, we innovated and changed to a section that we discovered "Words in the news", also at the BBC site. Reading a piece of news about the creation of an onion that doesn't make you cry (I want that!!!! ;-) ),we discussed the following words:
chopping / to chop: cut vegetables (or other things) into small pieces, Dante told us the word shred can also be used for that. Dante also has thought of "to shed light on something" (for next week)
varieties: different types of something
hybrid: a new plant created from two different plants
aroma: a nice smell (an easy one for us, Spanish speakers ;-) )
breath: the air that comes out of our mouth

For the conversation part, Dante wanted us to practice creating an elevator pitch: a very short speech, not longer than the time it would take to go some floors up in an elevator, in which you have to manage to get someone else's attention on your project, service or professional profile. In the end, due to some technical problems we decided to leave this practice for another day.

Still having more time for conversation, we asked Helena if she wanted to choose a topic, as it was her first day. She told us that she loves going for walks and that there is a very nice place to do it in Barcelona: the riversides along the Besòs river. Most of us didn't know it, so it was great to also learn something new about the city we live in! Dante also told us that if the walking takes place outside the city (country, mountain, etc.) then it can be called hiking.

From walking and hiking, and because of Paco's "out of order" knee, we ended up talking about movies. He told us about "Carmina y amén", which he didn't like (luckily the word he used to describe it was in Spanish and therefore it's not necessary to mention it here ;-) ). Finally, Paula told us about "Wild tales" ("Relatos salvajes") which she did like and did emphatically recommend to us.

After the Workshop, as usual, many of us didn't miss the chance to have a beer at the bar next door... still speaking English, of course (and maybe even better!!)