Thursday, June 27, 2013

Air France Response

Our reference: 6430899001
Dear Mr Brown
Thank you for your letter received on 16th May 2013, regarding your booking reference number 2VQW7R and your flights with us departing on 21st December 2012 from Madrid to Hermosillo via Paris and Mexico City and returning on 6th January 2013. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience you and Ms Camarena Gomez were caused.
I am sorry to learn of the difficulties that you experienced with your missing baggage on your outbound journey.
I must advise you that the last carrier of your journey is responsible for the handling of your claim. As you reported your baggage with Aero Mexico under reference HMOAM31354, we kindly request you to contact them directly. They will be responsible for handling any claims in relation to this matter.
It is also with regret to learn that you baggage was also missing on your return home. Please accept my renewed apologies for the poor impression this may have caused since we consider the efficient handling of our customer's baggage to be of prime importance.
According to our liability under the Montreal Convention 1999, any expenses for delayed baggage should have been claimed in writing within 21 days from the date on which your baggage was returned to you. Nevertheless Air France, on a commercial basis, will allow 21 days from the date of return to your country of residence to make a claim.
I regret to inform you however since your claim was made outside of this timeframe I am unable to consider your claim. I am sorry for any disappointment this may cause.
In this regard I would respectfully refer you to your travel insurers for their review and consideration.
Turning to the matter you have raised in relation to the short connection times between your flights, I understand from your reservation that your flights booked using the minimum connection time at Paris airport.
I would like to assure you that, under usual conditions, the minimum connection time works well and allows our passengers to complete the connection procedures with sufficient time before the closure of the onward flight. I regret however that despite your inbound flight arriving as per schedule, you felt that the allocated time was no sufficient. That said, I am pleased that you did ultimately travel as planned.
Once again, please accept our renewed apologies for the poor impression gained on this occasion. We look forward to welcoming you on board in the near future, when we are confident we can fulfil all of your expectations that you have come to value in the past.
Yours sincerely
R. Machin (Mr.)
Customer Care Europe
The data and information contained in this message may be confidential and subject to professional secrecy and is intended for the exclusive use of the recipient at the address shown above. If you receive this message by mistake, we ask you not to copy, use or disclose it. Please notify this error to the sender immediately and delete this message from your system. Société Air France - Limited company with capital of 126,748,775 euros - Bobigny register of companies (France) 420 495 178 - 45, rue de Paris, 95 747 Roissy CDG CEDEX Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (also known as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) is registered in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, with registered number 33014286.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It really had an impact on me - Review

' It really had an impact  on me.'

Informal review

Today we are going to look at an informal review. The title for this review is 'It really had an impact on me'. Therefore from this title we can infer the following things:
  1. The examiner is not seeking classical review structure, i.e. write 200 words about a modern adaptation of Brecht's Mother Courage.
  2. Nor are they asking you to say 'I went to see a film in the cinema, it made me cry. Boo hoo hoo.'
Oh that´s lovely, How shocking! - Look at the following images and respond appropriately.

What we are looking for here is something which shows your own opinion, while demonstrating in a fairly journalistic style what you are talking about.

Basically some good adjectives, reasons why you feel this way and a little bit of history, culture, whatever, written in the passive.

Adjectives and explanations.

Before we take a look at this example from Vice Magazine lets revise some vocabulary from having an impact.

Vocabulary - Powerpoint and Pictures taken from Vice UK.

Explanations (contrasts, expanding your ideas)

Ok so now we have the impact part of the story, a few adjectives. Next it's important to back up our ideas. This is gut wrenching because ... Obviously the obvious contrast here is with European state hospitals, or we could point out similarities, for example: 

The photos really had an impact on me because they effectively how much trust is placed in doctors, we really put our lives into their hands, though this isn't usually shown so bloodily in Europe, instead we consent to taking prescription drugs.

Objectivity (or semi-objectivity)

A review in English makes heavy use of the passive and reported speech. You will also need to demonstrate an effective control of narrative tenses to tell a story.

So here you can find a fake transcript of the interview. That I made up solely for this exercise.

What I would like you to do is transform the transcript into a journalistic piece, using adjectives to describe how it impacted on you and using the best bits of the interview for quotations.

Similar review

Before we go lets look at some student reviews. Here is one by my student Jose about Sevilla's fine arts museum.

Sevilla fine art museum review.

and Maria´s modest and understated review of

Journey to the past.


Check out Sara's excellent work based on this lesson. Street Doctor's in India. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More plane pain - corrections

Here are a few mistakes from the letters of complaint. Can you try and rewrite these sentences to make them better. Clues are register (formal - informal, particularly the passive) and using adjectives to simplify.

  • We had problems in both flights. These problems were the same in both flights we think it may not be a coincidence
  • I am writing to you to complain about an extremely disappointing situation I had to suffer when I travelled with your flight company last Christmas holiday.
  • Nevertheless, the worst thing was when the aircraft landed in Mexico and I found out that your company had lost my luggage.
  • I became completely worried and angry when I found out that both of my suitcases were nowhere to be seen after having landed at the airport for the first time. Unfortunately, it happened exactly the same two weeks later in the last flight I took.
  • Furthermore, despite having notified my!! this to the person in charge of this sort of problems, I did not receive my bags until several days later; which I find totally unacceptable

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chat up

Chat up: this phrasal verb means talking flirtatiously or seductively with someone.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why do you want to study First Certificate?

Why do you want to study the FCE exam? and why now? The Access exam is in May and the FCE is next year. You will have to do a TON of homework, including one composition a week. Is it worth it?

Well lets see.

I would like you to write a Discursive Essay of 150 words discussing the advantages and disadvantages of doing Access this year. Include:

  • Advantages and why they make you want to do the exam
  • Disadvantages and why they make you feel it would be better to do the exam latter.
  • A conclusion.
You must refer to what you know about the exam and what you think you would find difficult about it. For example, I think I will find the writing difficult because writing things like a letter of complaint is for a very formal adult environment and I am 15 and only used to writing on Twitter.

Can you post your response on the blog. If you don't know how follow the guide or email me.

13/03/13 - OK, so you have given me some writings, some good ideas, but lets look at style. You should be writing in an essay style - what is this? Well there are two ways to write an essay. One follow this guide:

Joseisfrightened Guide to writing an essay.

Or get someone else to do it, South Park style.

Maria -

I think this exam is going to be very important for my future, that’s
why I want to do it.
The advantages are:
-if I pass Access exam and I have First Certificate, I finish studying
English and I would spend my time doing other things.
-If I have that title, I’m sure I would find a better job.
The disadvantages are:
- I think I will find the grammar difficult because I’m not very good
at it. The same with the oral, because I always get so nervous when
something is important.
-Being one more year studying for FCE means one more year without
studying in the afternoons because of the English classes. That would
carry fail more subjects at the high school. [WHAT! Totally unclear rewrite]
In conclusion i should make an effort to pass the access and the first
to have more facilities in the future.

Have a look at Maria's effort? There are some obvious mistakes highlighted in colours, see the writing guide, but there are more general mistakes.

Mario, Pilar, Rosa, Ana, Tereayki, and Lucy. First of all send me your work. Then I want you to comment on each others work using the comments box below. Thanks.

Pain Plane

cid:image001.jpg@01CBCC75.FC7977D0 Pain on the plane. cid:image001.jpg@01CBCC75.FC7977D0

So we have been looking at the perfect letter of complaint. We have taken a recent example that happened to me, a flight in which I lost my luggage on a trip to Mexico, and students from the Access and CAE courses have attempted to write a good letter using this presentation. Click below.

Letter of complaint presentation

So how have they done? Well first of all what do you think. Click below to see some examples.

Access Course

Here are some examples from the Access course.

Which is the best and why? Have a look at your classmates work and post the answer below.

CAE course

Monday, March 4, 2013

Video about call back

Call back: This phrasal verb means to return a call; for example, if a friends call you and you call your friend later, you're calling back your friend.