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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Flatmates - episode 1

This is from the BBC Learning English page - see the left hand column in the blog. It's really useful.

You can follow "The Flatmates" series on you-tube now. It is fun and helps you learn many new expressions and constructions.

Give it a go!

Tough time for Iberia

Business class drop hits Iberia

Iberia has reported a loss of 165.4m euros ($237.2m; £145.7m) in the first half of the year after passenger numbers fell during the downturn.

Revenue plunged almost 20% to 2.2bn euros. The group said declines in business class passengers accounted for almost a third of this fall.

As a result of the loss, Iberia said it would cut capacity by a further 5% in the second half of the year.

The Spanish airline made a profit of 21m euros in the same period last year.

Many major airlines have been struggling against falling passenger numbers during the downturn, with a number of them reporting big losses.

On Thursday, Aer Lingus reported a big increase in first-half losses while Air New Zealand announced a large drop in annual profits.


Source: BBC News

Good spelling

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Schools to rethink 'i before e'

The spelling mantra "i before e except after c" is no longerworthteaching, according to the government.

Advice sent to teachers says there are too few words which follow the rule and recommends using more modern methods to teach spelling to schoolchildren.

The document, entitled Support for Spelling, is being distributed to more than 13,000 primary schools.

But some people believe the phrase should be retained because it is easy to remember and is broadlyaccurate.

Bethan Marshall, a senior English lecturer at King's College London, said: "It's a very easy rule to remember and one of the very few spelling rules that I can remember and that's why I would stick to it.

"If you change it and say we won't have this rule, we won't have any rules at all, then spelling, which is already terribly confusing, becomes more so."

Judy Parkinson, author of the best-selling book I Before E (Except After C), told the D…

Italian dishonesty

Japanese tourist turns down free holiday offered by Italy as apology Italian government offers Yasuyuki Yamada and his fiancee a trip to Italy to make amends for €700 restaurant bill
It is the sort of offer that most tourists would jump at: an all-expenses paid return visit to a dream destination, as amends for a *sleight by an unscrupulous host.

But not Yasuyuki Yamada, who yesterday *turned downan offer of a free holiday in Italy as guests of the country's government after he and his fiancee were presented with an enormous bill at a restaurant in Rome earlier this month.

Yamada, 35, thanked Italy's tourism minister, Michela Brambilla, for the offer but said the trip would be a "useless way to spend Italian taxpayers' money," according to the Ansa news agency.

The couple complained to the police after they were charged €700 – including €207 for a pasta dish and a €115 service charge – for lunch at Il Passetto, a 150-year-old restaurant that counts Grace Kelly, …

Budget airline?

How To Fly With Ryanair Without the Extra Cost

Ryanair is famed for offering incredibly cheap flight fares, sometimes as little as £1. But beware of being caught out by their hidden additional costs.

These days finding a cheap deal on flights is easier than it used to be, with airlines like Ryanair offering such low prices to get from A to B. However, what looks like a £1 flight can often inflate to £100 when you factor in extra charges and fees.

We take you through these charges so that you can see for yourself how much your bargain Ryanair flight is really going to cost you.

Booking your flight

Unless you pay by Visa Electron to book your flight, you will be charged £5 per person, per one-way flight, when you pay by debit or credit card.

‘Priority boarding’ will cost £3 per flight. You must specifically de-select this when booking to avoidpaying the fee if you don’t want it added to your flight cost.

Make sure that you enter your name correctly when you book your flight. If the name p…