1.en.9. writing: postcards, letters and e-mails

Whenever we sit down to write, we  have to bear in mind the purpose of our writing. Who are we writing to? What for?   There are different layouts and writing conventions . In your last writing task, you were asked to write a post card. Some of you did a great job. However, we need to reflect on the differences among these means of communication. In this excellent web site, you will have the opportunity to compare and learn how to write postcards, letters and e-mails. 



Nowadays, e-mails are a much more common way to coomunicate . There are also conventions and abbreviations you should be familiar with.  In this site you will find a useful list of abbreviations ready to use.


1. en.7 Music from the Balkans inside a suitcase: The Moussakis

This week we’ll go to La Caixa to see a concert from a group called “The Moussakis”. Their show is called “Music inside a suitcase”, which fits perfectly with the topic we are working on this term: Travel.  This time music will make us travel to different countries, to a geographical area which was a cross road between western and eastern Europe.  Through music, we’ll learn how the term Balkans refers to an area where you can find different languages, religions and traditions. An area  fragmented into  a lot of different countries.

What are the Balkans?

A zone of Europe comprising Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Slovenia, Macedonia, the western part of Turkey and Kosovo  territory.

In this link, you will find an interactive map of the Balkans. It will help you situate the Balkan countries in the correct place.

The Moussakis was formed in Barcelona in May 2003  when 4 musicians from the Balkans got together with a Catalan musician and a singer from Israel. The group was born  after a good meal wheen they had  delicious Moussaka (the Serbian version). After the meal they started to play and sing  and discovered that they enjoyed playing a particular fusion of Balkan and Mediterranean melodies of different periods, tendencies and countries, with the current harmonies and rhythms of jazz, funk and rock. Their music is lively and festive. It that evokes the traditional roots of Balkan culture, of countries like Turkey, Greece, Macedonia or Serbia.
The creator of this Project is Branislav Grbic, an outstanding violinist from Belgrade, Serbia, resident in Barcelona since 1991. He is a graduated violin teacher, with an extensive work experience.

The Moussakis are

  • Branislav Grbic:  violin
  • Tal Ben Ari:  voice and percussions
  • Ivan Ilic:  guitar
  • Pepe Morales:  saz, oud
  • Goran Slavic:  doublebass
  • Marko Jelaca:  drums

After the concert we shall comment the show, so while you listen and enjoy the music, try to act as music detectives. The musicians will take you to different situations. Let’s see if their music manages to  transmit some ot these  feelings:

Loneliness, love, euphoria, humour,excitment, hapiness, calm, nostalgy.  Any others?

How would you describe the music you heard in the following situations?

  • A rainy place
  • A meeting of two old friends
  • A mother and a baby
  • Setting a table and preparing a meal
  • A dance on a table

During the concert, you will listen to a song in Ladino, the Sephardic language spoken by Sephardi Jews. You will be surprised to hear its similarities to Spanish. Your History teacher, Vicent Viel, will tell you who the Sephardi Jews were and their connection to   Spanish History.

TASK Friday 23d November: For your English class, we’ll ask you to write some postcards.

  • In groups of four, you will travel in the Balkans. Decide a route. You must visit four different Balkan countries. We are not going to ask you to write a tourist brochure, don’t panic! You only have to  send a post card from four different destinations (cities, villages, famous buildings, mountains) . Postcards do not let you write a lot. Space is limited. However, you must  tell us how you got there and some interesting comments. Play some Moussakis music  for inspiration and start writing.
  • In this wikitravel, you will find useful information to write your postcards.

  • Each group must make a powerpoint presentation with 5 slides. Each slide will be a postcard.
  • Remember to name your presentation: Group:2ESO D/E Number “X” Postcard from the Balkans. Group members: “__-__,__ and ___”
  • Share the powerpoint  with your teachers and give them editing privileges.