Κυριακή, 27 Μαρτίου 2011

Learning English? Check this out!

Learning English can be an interesting and enjoyable process for all those involved.... teachers, learners and speakers. Watch these videos to understand what I mean...

                                          A scene from the greek movie 'Καλώς ήρθε το δολλάριο'

Correct pronunciation is indeed important so do not get angry the next time your teacher insists on a new word. Check out why!

             Practice makes perfect????

'We are sinking, we are sinking...' What a difference does a letter make!

Wanna be a translator???? Well, body language is not enough...

However, as the following video shows everybody can learn provided that he/she has got strong will (oh, yes, and if he/she does his/her English homework regularly!).

                                                  Zoumpoulia from 'Παρά πέντε' in action

All about Shakespeare


Short Biography οf William Shakespeare

        William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, in England in 1564. While his exact birth date is unknown, it is most often celebrated on April 23, the feast of St. George. He was the third of seven children born to John and Mary Arden Shakespeare. 

                                         Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-Avon

    Shakespeare's father was a tanner and glove maker. He was also a fairly prominent political figure, being an alderman of Stratford for years, and serving a term as "high bailiff" (mayor). He died in 1601, leaving little land to William. Not much is known of Mary Shakespeare, except that she had a wealthier family than John.
     William Shakespeare attended a very good grammar school in Stratford-upon- Avon, though the
time period during which he attended school is not known. His instructors were all Oxford graduates, and his studies were primarily in Latin. Little else is known of his boyhood.
    In 1582 at 18 years of age, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a lady seven or eight years older than he from Shottery, a village a mile from Stratford. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born in 1583, followed by twins in 1585, Hamnet and Judith. By 1592, Shakespeare was an established playwright in London.  The plague kept the theaters closed most of the time, and it was during this time that Shakespeare wrote his earliest sonnets and poems.
    Shakespeare did most of his theater work in a district northeast of London, in two theaters owned by James Burbage, called the Theatre and the Curtain. In 1598, Burbage moved to Bankside and built the famous Globe Theatre, in which Shakespeare owned stock. Around this time, Shakespeare applied for and got a coat of arms, with the motto: Non sanz droict (not without right). This gave him the standing of a gentleman, something that was not generally associated with actors, who were considered to be in the same class with vagrants and criminals. 

You can take  a virtual tour of the Globe theatre here.

The Globe Theatre in London
    In 1603, Shakespeare's theatrical company was taken under the patronage of King James I, and
became known as the King's Company. In 1608, the company acquired the Blackfriars Theatre.  Shakespeare soon joined the group of the now famous writers who gathered at Mermaid Tavern, located on Bread Street in Cheapside. Among others, some of the writers who frequented the Tavern were Sir Walter Raleigh (the founder), and Ben Jonson.
     Shakespeare retired from theatre in 1610 and returned to Stratford.  In 1613 the Globe Theatre burned down, but Shakespeare remained quite wealthy and contributed to the building of the new Globe Theatre . Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616 and was buried in the chancel of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford. A monument to Shakespeare was set up on the north wall of the chancel, with a bust of Shakespeare. The bust and the engraving by Droeshout that prefixed the First Folio are the only renderings of Shakespeare that are considered to be accurate.  

Shakespeare's funerary monument in Stratford

Ο Ουίλλιαμ Σαίξπηρ (αγγλικά: William Shakespeare, Απρίλιος 1564 - 23 Απριλίου 1616) ήταν ένας από τους σπουδαιότερους ποιητές και θεατρικούς συγγραφείς.
Θεωρείται μια από τις κορυφαίες μορφές της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας. Τα έργα του έχουν μεταφραστεί στις περισσότερες γλώσσες του κόσμου, ενώ τα θεατρικά του παίζονται έως σήμερα, διατηρώντας αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον. Ο Σαίξπηρ κατάφερε να χειριστεί με απόλυτη δεξιοτεχνία τόσο την κωμωδία όσο και το δράμα και την τραγωδία. Τα έργα του διαπνέονται από μία βαθειά κατανόηση της ανθρώπινης φύσης και παραμένουν επίκαιρα.
Η επίδραση του, ειδικότερα στην αγγλική λογοτεχνία, θεωρείται τεράστια.

Ο Σαίξπηρ γεννήθηκε στην πόλη Stratford-upon-Avon (ή απλά Stratford) τον Απρίλιο του 1564. Πατέρας του ήταν ο John Shakespeare, πετυχημένος έμπορος και μητέρα του η Mary Arden, κόρη εύπορης οικογένειας. Ο πατέρας του Σαίξπηρ, συμμετείχε για ένα διάστημα στις δημόσιες υποθέσεις, ασκώντας καθήκοντα δημοτικού συμβούλου περίπου στα 1560, θέση που αργότερα έχασε καθώς κατηγορήθηκε για παράνομο εμπόριο. Έχει επικρατήσει να θεωρείται ως ημερομηνία γέννησης του Σαίξπηρ η 23η Απριλίου. Η ακριβής όμως ημερομηνία παραμένει έως σήμερα άγνωστη. Η μόνη γνωστή πληροφορία που υπάρχει σχετικά, είναι πως η βάφτισή του έγινε στις 26 Απριλίου όπως καταγράφεται στα μητρώα εκκλησίας του Στράτφορντ. Επιπλέον είναι γνωστό πως την εποχή εκείνη, η τελετή της βάφτισης γινόταν λίγες μόνο ημέρες μετά τη γέννηση.
Για την παιδική ηλικία του Σαίξπηρ ελάχιστα είναι γνωστά. Θεωρείται πιθανό πως έλαβε την εκπαίδευσή του στο σχολείο του Στράτφορντ, όπου πρέπει να ήρθε σε επαφή με την κλασική λογοτεχνία και τα λατινικά. Έχοντας μελετηρό χαρακτήρα, ο Σαίξπηρ διάβαζε πολύ στα νεανικά του χρόνια, αν και δεν έγραφε πολύ. Κανένα στοιχείο δεν μπορεί να πιστοποιήσει κατά πόσον η εκπαίδευσή του συνεχίστηκε αργότερα.
Στις 28 Νοεμβρίου του 1582 ο Σαίξπηρ παντρεύτηκε την Anne Hathaway, οκτώ χρόνια μεγαλύτερή του και ήδη τριών μηνών έγκυο όταν παντρεύτηκαν. Ο γάμος τους έγινε στο ναό Grafton κοντά στην πόλη του Statford. Μαζί απέκτησαν τρία παιδιά. Στις 26 Μαΐου του 1583 βαπτίστηκε η κόρη τους Susanna ενώ στις 2 Φεβρουαρίου του 1585 καταγράφεται η βάπτιση των δύο δίδυμων παιδιών τους, του Χάμνετ και της Ιουδήθ.
Ο Σαίξπηρ κατά καιρούς υπέφερε πολύ από φτώχεια. Μολοταύτα είχε τις φιλοδοξίες του και ήλπιζε. Το 1587 πήγε στο Λονδίνο για να προσπαθήσει να καλυτερέψει την οικονομική του κατάσταση. Διαφορετικές εκτιμήσεις κάνουν λόγο για φυγή του από το Statford με την κατηγορία κλοπής ή για συνεχείς μετακινήσεις του στη χώρα με την ιδιότητα του δασκάλου.
Στο Λονδίνο, ο Σαίξπηρ έδειξε ενδιαφέρον για το θέατρο. Επειδή δεν είχε τα μέσα να πληρώνει για τα εισιτήρια, προσπαθούσε να κερδίζει χρήματα κρατώντας τα άλογα των θεατών του θεάτρου. Αργότερα έγινε ηθοποιός, και αφού απέκτησε αρκετή πείρα, άρχισε να βοηθά θεατρικούς συγγραφείς στο γράψιμο των χειρογράφων. Με το ανέβασμα του πρώτου του έργου "Αγάπης Αγώνας Άγονος", περί τα 1590, άρχισε τη σταδιοδρομία του.
Το 1594 ο Σαίξπηρ εμφανίζεται να συμμετέχει στη θεατρική ομάδα Lord Chamberlain's Men, η οποία χρηματοδοτείται από τον λόρδο Chamberlain. Ο θίασος αυτός θεωρείται πως είχε σημαντική αναγνώριση καθώς το 1603 ο νέος μονάρχης, James I, συνέχισε να τον συντηρεί οικονομικά αφού μετονομάστηκε σε King's Men. Ο Σαίξπηρ συμμετείχε ως ηθοποιός και θεατρικός συγγραφέας. Αρκετά νομικά έγγραφα της εποχής που διασώζονται πιστοποιούν πως στη διάρκεια αυτής της περιόδου ο Σαίξπηρ κέρδισε αρκετά χρήματα. Αναφέρονται χαρακτηριστικά η απόκτηση του σπιτιού του (New Place) στο Στράτφορντ, το 1597, το οποίο ήταν το δεύτερο μεγαλύτερο σπίτι στην περιοχή καθώς και η αγορά έκτασης στο Blackfriars του Λονδίνου. Παράλληλα φέρεται ως συνιδιοκτήτης του θεάτρου Globe στο Λονδίνο. Την ίδια περίοδο θεωρείται πως είναι γραμμένα μερικά από τα πιο γνωστά του έργα, μεταξύ των οποίων οι τραγωδίες Αντώνιος και Κλεοπάτρα, Ιούλιος Καίσαρ, Άμλετ, Βασιλιάς Ληρ, Μακβεθ και Οθέλλος.
Τα πρώτα σονέτα του Σαίξπηρ δημοσιεύτηκαν το 1609, αν και γράφτηκαν λίγα χρόνια νωρίτερα και αποτελούσαν ως επί το πλείστον ερωτικά ποιήματα. Τα τελευταία οκτώ χρόνια της ζωής του καταγράφονται μόλις τέσσερα θεατρικά του έργα εκ των οποίων το τελευταίο είναι ο Ερρίκος ο Η' , του 1613. Μετά το 1613, ο Σαίξπηρ διέκοψε τη συγγραφή και αποσύρθηκε σε ένα ωραίο καινούργιο σπίτι του Stratford. Όμως πρόλαβε να αφήσει πίσω του ένα εντυπωσιακό αριθμό έργων. Πέθανε στις 23 Απριλίου του 1616 και ο τάφος του βρίσκεται στο ιερό της εκκλησίας της Αγίας Τριάδας του Statford. Ο ενταφιασμός του στο ιερό ήταν μια ιδιαίτερη τιμή που του έγινε όμως όχι λόγω της συγγραφικής του ιδιότητας, αλλά διότι είχε εξαγοράσει ένα μερίδιο της εκκλησίας έναντι 440 λιρών, ποσού σημαντικό για την εποχή. Στον τάφο του Σαίξπηρ τοποθετήθηκε έπειτα από δική του επιθυμία η παρακάτω επιγραφή:
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
But cursed be he that moves my bones.
και σε ελεύθερη μετάφραση:
Καλέ φίλε, στο όνομα του Θεού συγκρατήσου,
Στο να σκάψεις τη σκόνη που εσωκλείεται εδώ.
Ευλογημένος όποιος ήσυχες αφήσει αυτές τις πέτρες,
Καταραμένος όμως όποιος ανακινήσει τα κόκκαλα μου.
Σχετικά με την επιγραφή αυτή, καλλιεργήθηκε ένας μύθος σύμφωνα με τον οποίο, αδημοσίευτα έργα του Σαίξπηρ πιθανόν να βρίσκονται εντός του τάφου. Μέχρι σήμερα δεν έχει αποπειραθεί να διαπιστωθεί η αλήθεια αυτής της υπόθεσης.

Shakespeare's grave

Οne of Shakespeare's most famous commedies is 'A midsummer night's dream' (Όνειρο καλοκαιρινής νυκτός). You can watch it in two parts:

Part 1

Part 2

For those who prefer reading than watching,  here 's Romeo & Juliet in comics.


(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page)

Σάββατο, 26 Μαρτίου 2011

The Present Perfect Simple


[has/have + past participle]
  • You have seen that movie many times.
  • Have you seen that movie many times?
  • You have not seen that movie many times.
Complete List of Present Perfect Forms

USE 1 Unspecified Time Before Now

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.
  • I have seen that movie twenty times.
  • I think I have met him once before.
  • There have been many earthquakes in California.
  • People have traveled to the Moon.
  • People have not traveled to Mars.
  • Have you read the book yet?
  • Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.
  • A: Has there ever been a war in the United States?
    B: Yes, there has been a war in the United States.

How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect?

The concept of "unspecified time" can be very confusing to English learners. It is best to associate Present Perfect with the following topics:

TOPIC 1 Experience (=Eμπειρίες)

You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying, "I have the experience of..." You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event.
  • I have been to France.
    This sentence means that you have had the experience of being in France. Maybe you have been there once, or several times.
  • I have been to France three times.
    You can add the number of times at the end of the sentence.
  • I have never been to France.
    This sentence means that you have not had the experience of going to France.
  • I think I have seen that movie before.
  • He has never traveled by train.
  • Joan has studied two foreign languages.
  • A: Have you ever met him?
    B: No, I have not met him.

TOPIC 2 Change Over Time(=Αλλαγές μέσα στο χρόνο)

We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over a period of time.
  • You have grown since the last time I saw you.
  • The government has become more interested in arts education.
  • Japanese has become one of the most popular courses at the university since the Asian studies program was established.
  • My English has really improved since I moved to Australia.

TOPIC 3 Accomplishments(=Επιτεύγματα)

We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot mention a specific time.
  • Man has walked on the Moon.
  • Our son has learned how to read.
  • Doctors have cured many deadly diseases.
  • Scientists have split the atom.

TOPIC 4 An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting(=Αναμενόμενες πράξεις που δεν έχουν τελειώσει)

We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for the action to happen.
  • James has not finished his homework yet.
  • Susan hasn't mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.
  • Bill has still not arrived.
  • The rain hasn't stopped.

TOPIC 5 Multiple Actions at Different Times(=Επαναλαμβανόμενες πράξεις στο παρελθόν σε διαφορετικές στιγμές)

We also use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions which have occurred in the past at different times. Present Perfect suggests the process is not complete and more actions are possible.
  • The army has attacked that city five times.
  • I have had four quizzes and five tests so far this semester.
  • We have had many major problems while working on this project.
  • She has talked to several specialists about her problem, but nobody knows why she is sick.

Time Expressions with Present Perfect

When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has happened at some point in our lives before now. Remember, the exact time the action happened is not important.

Sometimes, we want to limit the time we are looking in for an experience. We can do this with expressions such as: in the last week, in the last year, this week, this month, so far, up to now, etc.

  • Have you been to Mexico in the last year?
  • I have seen that movie six times in the last month.
  • They have had three tests in the last week.
  • She graduated from university less than three years ago. She has worked for three different companies so far.
  • My car has broken down three times this week
Key words: lately, recently, already, yet, ever, never, so far, since+point in time, for+period of time e.t.c.

Now try to do these exercises to practice on this tense!

Exersice 1
Exercise 2

(Source: http://www.englishpage.com)

Δευτέρα, 21 Μαρτίου 2011

Poetry day!

The 21st of March is celebrated as the international day of poetry (the international day of sleep falls on the same day as well, although I can't really see any connection between them). The poem for today is one of Robert Burns' most famous love poems ' My love is like a red, red rose'.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt.

My love is like a red, red rose
O, my love is like a red, red rose,
that's newly sprung in June.
0, my love is like a melody,
that's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
so deep in love am I,
And I will love thee still, my dear,
till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
and the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will love thee still, my dear,
while the sands of life shall run.

And fare the weel, my only love!
And fare the well awhile!
And I will come again, my love.
Tho it were ten thousand mile!

You can watch a video of the poem read by an actor:

You can also check out more about  Burns' work in the Digital library archive:
Burns' Popular Songs - World Digital Library


1. The Zero Conditional (Type 0)

The zero conditional is a structure used for talking about general truths, or scientific facts -- things which always happen under certain conditions.

A zero conditional sentence consists of two clauses, an "if" clause and a main clause (note that most zero conditional sentences will mean the same thing if "when" is used instead of "if"). For example:
If the "if" clause comes first, a comma is usually used. If the "if" clause comes second, there is no need for a comma.
The simple present tense is the tense use in both clauses. Examples:
If you cross an international date line, the time changes.
Phosphorus burns if you expose it to air.

2. First Conditional (Type I)

The first conditional (also called conditional type 1) is a structure used for talking about possibilities in the present or in the future.Type 1: if + present + future.
If I have the money, I will buy this car.
If it's sunny, we'll go to the park.
Peter will be sad if Susan leaves.
If you cook dinner, I'll wash the dishes.
Among other variations the structure if + present + present is also possible. It is used when the results are habitual or automatic. Example: If a commodity is in short, supply prices tend to rise.

3. Second Conditional (Type II)

The second conditional (also called conditional type 2) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the present or in the future.Type 2: if + past + conditional
If I had the money, I would buy this car. (Since I do not have the money I cannot buy any new car). The action in type 2 is characterized by unreality.
If I were you, I would drive more carefully in the rain.
If dogs had wings, they would be able to fly.
Paula would be sad if Jan left.

4. Third Conditional (Type III)

The third conditional (also called conditional type 3) is a structure used for talking about unreal situations in the past. In other words, it is used to talk about things which DID NOT HAPPEN in the past. Type 3: if + past perfect + perfect conditional
Full form : If I had studied harder, I probably would have passed the exam.
Contracted form :If I'd studied harder, I probably would've passed the exam.
If I had had the money, I would have bought this Audi. (But I did not have it, and so did not buy).
If you had driven more carefully, you would not have had an accident. (You had an accident because you didn't drive carefully enough.)
If we had played a little better, we could have won the game.(We didn't play well, so we lost the game.)
The action in type 3 is characterized by impossibility.

While type 1 and type 2 focus on the present or future, the time in type 3 is the past and signifies a completed action in the past. The condition, therefore, cannot be fulfilled because the action in the if-clause did not happen.

Practice time!

Exercise 1 
Exercise 2 (Sentence completion)
Exersise 2: 1st&2nd type conditionals
Exercise 3: 2nd&3rd type conditionals


Παρασκευή, 18 Μαρτίου 2011

Time for a song!

These are the lyrics of a song we did in class with grade c at highschool while trying to revise the past simple (and the past participle) of verbs, together with the video of the song. I think, for some strange reason, boys enjoyed it more than girls.


Alexander The Great
Artist(Band): Iron Maiden

"My son ask for thyself another
Kingdom, for that which I leave
is too small for thee"
(King Philip of Macedonia - 339 B.C.)

Near to the east
In a part of ancient Greece
In an ancient land called Macedonia
Was born a son
To Philip of Macedon
The legend his name was Alexander

At the age of nineteen
He became the Macedon King
And he swore to free all of Asia Minor
By the Aegean Sea
In 334 B.C.
He utterly beat the armies of Persia

Alexander the Great
His name struck fear into hearts of men
Alexander the Great
Became a legend amongst mortal men

King Darius the third
Defeated fled Persia
The Scythians fell by the river Jaxartes
Then Egypt fell to the Macedon King as well
And he founded the city called Alexandria

By the Tigris river
He met King Darius again
And crushed him again in the battle of Arbela
Entering Babylon
And Susa, treasures he found
Took Persepolis the capital of Persia

Alexander the Great
His name struck fear into hearts of men
Alexander the Great
Became a God amongst mortal men

A Phrygian King had bound a chariot yoke
And Alexander cut the Gordian knot
And legend said that who untied the knot
He would become the master of Asia

Hellenism he spread far and wide
The Macedonian learned mind
Their culture was a Western way of life
He paved the way for Christianity

Marching on, marching on

The battle weary marching side by side
Alexander's army line by line
They wouldn't follow him to India
Tired of the combat, pain and the glory

Alexander the Great
His name struck fear into hearts of men
Alexander the Great
He died of fever in Babylon

TASK: Find all the verbs in the past simple and then write the three columns of the verb.

Everybody's intelligent

 The theory of Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner is a famous psychologist that developed the theory of multiple intelligences. He  initially formulated a list of seven intelligences. His listing was provisional. The first two have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called 'personal intelligences' (Gardner 1999: 41-43).
  • Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
  • Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
  • Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.
  • Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
  • Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
  • Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate.

You will now wonder why this is of any importance to us. This is because this theory affects our learning styles, which is the way we learn and process new information ranging from school subjects to almost everything. Don't you think it's useful to know 'how you learn'? What type of learner are you after all???(Maybe this will spare you from some hours of studying!!!).

Follow this link, take this test and find out for yourself:

And then explore ways to learn in an easier way...
Once you've discovered your learner's individual mix of strengths, you can begin tailoring your teaching methods. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but it helps to begin with an overview of general strategies for engaging each intelligence.
    (Source: http://literacyworks.org/mi/intro/index.html )

Πέμπτη, 17 Μαρτίου 2011

New KPG test

For those who don't know KPG stands for the Κρατικό Πτυχείο Γλωσσομάθειας(ΚΠΓ), which is a language degree exam designed and carried out twice every year by the Greek ministry of Education(ΥΠΕΠΘ). You can find details such as regulations, exam dates and registration fees e.t.c here.

However, the 'old' KPG exam is about to change. Find info on the new integrated KPG test here.

«Φεστιβάλ Γερμανόφωνου Κινηματογράφου» πρωινές προβολές για μαθητές | βραδινές προβολές για το κοινό

«Φεστιβάλ Γερμανόφωνου Κινηματογράφου» πρωινές προβολές για μαθητές | βραδινές προβολές για το κοινό

Τετάρτη, 16 Μαρτίου 2011

Saint Patrick's Day on 17th March!

Every 17 March, Irish people all over the world celebrate St. Patricks Day in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Lets find out what was so special about that person.
When St. Patrick was born, his name actually was not Patrick but Maewyn. He grew up in Wales, but when he was 16, people kidnapped him and sold him into slavery in Ireland.
Maewyn spent six years as a slave in Ireland, but then he escaped and went to Gaul in France where he studied in a monastery for 12 years. Finally, Maewyn became a bishop and adopted the Christian name Patricius (in English: Patrick).
Later Patrick decided to go back to Ireland. Unlike many other missionaries before him, Patrick successfully converted Irish pagans to Christianity because he knew a lot about Irish life and their gods. So Patrick for example did not simply introduce the Christian cross – he put a sun behind it because he knew that the sun was an important symbol for the Irish. The so called Celtic Cross therefore is a cross with a circle symbolising the sun.
Furthermore, Patrick explained the holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) with the help of a shamrock, which grows everywhere in Ireland. The shamrock has three equally sized leaves and Patrick used this to show how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could exist as separate elements of the same entity.
There are several legends about St. Patrick, for example that he banned all snakes from Ireland (still now there are no snakes in Ireland). People also say that Patrick met some Irish legends such as the Children of Lir.
Patrick died on 17 March 461. That day now is a national holiday in Ireland and there are parades in the streets and music everywhere. Not only in Ireland – Irish emigrants took this tradition all over the world. So there will most probably be a St. Patricks Day party in an Irish pub near you. Why not go there and get a little St. Patricks Day feeling? Have a good time and sing along. Here are two traditional Irish songs that will surely be sung in every Irish pub that night: Whiskey in the Jar and The Wild Rover.

Questions on the text

Are the statements true or false?
  1. St. Patrick spent his childhood in Ireland.
  2. St. Patrick knew the Irish very well.
  3. 17 March is the day of St. Patricks birth
  4. St. Patricks Day is celebrated in many countries.  

The two traditional songs sung by two great Irish groups, Thin Lizzy and the Pogues. Enjoy and feel free to sing along!

Why GREEN???
    The colour GREEN is associated with St Patrick and the celebrations on this day. Check out why in this interesting video

    Extra sources & resources for you to check out:
    The History Channel about St Patrick
    Interactive St Patrick's book