English Culture Icons I

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This Wedenesday, November 29th we started with the first speeches and adresses session. The students get a more than expected performance with clear pronounciation and a good sense of rythm. I appreciate to those who worked hard to take their best english out.

We'll wait for the other group of students next wednesday when it will be also our final class.

See ya!

Martin Luther King's Speech: "I have a dream"

British National Anthem: "God save the Queen"

PowerPoint

John Lennon's "Imagine"

John Kennedy's "Inaugural Address"

PowerPoint

United States of America's National Anthem
PowerPoint
"God Bless America"
PowerPoint

Ensayo al aire libre

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On Wednesday 22nd the group went to the beach to have one of the last practice sessions before the presentation day, that will be on Wednesdays, November 29th and December 6th.
The idea of going to the Chinchorro beach was to find a personal place to practice aloud the text asigned. To read a text is not that difficult than to read it aloud, in front of an audience and with a speech format.
I hope the activity is at the level that the students shows class by class.
Good Luck!

WebPage where you can... no, you must... no you have to STUDY!

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This is the link to the webpage you can practice with several exercises.

http://club.telepolis.com/phonetics/

go to exercises 1 or exercises 2 for practicing.

NOTE: focus on the phonetic vowel exercises

Good luck

Speeches, adresses, songs and poems

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In case you don't have yet your material I've uploaded the different text you have to speech soon. - In some of them there's a MP3 version fi you want to download-

Kennedy's address
Nixon's resignation speech
Martin Luther King's speech: "I have a Dream"
Star Spangled Banner
God bless America
God Save the Queen
Whitman's O Captain my Captain MP3
Lennon's Imagine
Beatles' Yesterday
Denver's Conutry Road Take me Home
The Eagles' Hotel California

Chilean National Anthem (in Spanish)

Study hard. I want your best effort in this final activity.
See ya.

Some interesting sites

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Dear students,
If you are interested in the web page about phonetics... this is the address:

http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/

Others:

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/english.htm
http://club.telepolis.com/phonetics/
http://www.learnenglish.de/Level1/Pronunciation/phoneticpage.htm
http://www.unibuc.ro/eBooks/filologie/mateescu/cuprins.htm

Bye

Photo Session

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These are some of the pictures I took in classes.

Enjoy or suffer!

Task 11: 'Jokes in English'

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A Birthday Cake

A man wanted to celebrate his wife's birthday by throwing a party. So he went to order a birthday cake. The baker asked him what message to put on the cake. He thought for a while and said, "Let's put, 'You are not getting older, you are getting better' on the cake".
The baker then asked, "How do you want me to arrange it?" The man replied, "Well, put 'You are not getting older', at the top and 'you are getting better' at the bottom.
The real fun didn't start until the cake was opened and everyone at the party saw the message on the cake: "You are not getting older at the top, you are getting better at the bottom"!

Geography Class
An elementary school teacher was trying to encourage her students to be active in class. While teaching geography, she looked at one student and said, "Stanley, go to the map and find North America". Stanley stood up, went to the front of the room where a world map was hanging, and pointed to North America. "Correct!", the teacher exclaimed. "Now class, can anyone tell me who discovered America?". The whole class shouted together, "Stanley"!

A Big Decision
A six-year-old boy walked up to his father one day and announced, 'Daddy, I'd like to get married.'
His father replied hesitantly, 'Sure, son, do you have anyone special in mind?'
'Yes,' answered the boy. 'I want to marry Grandma.'
'Now, wait a minute,' said his father. 'You don't think I'd let you get married with my mother, do you?'
'Why not?' the boy asked. 'You married mine.'
Tasks:
1. Tell a joke in English.
2. Write the underlined words and find its meaning related to the context. Deliver the meanings next class, on Wednesday, June 25th, written in a sheet of paper.
These are the last tasks for this semester so let's make your best effort and enjoy your winter holidays.
See ya!

Task 10: 'Chilean students return to classroom after strike'

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- A million high school students returned to classrooms Tuesday after a three-week strike wrested new education money from Chile's socialist government.

Many, however, said they were skeptical about official pledges to end inequalities in the schools.

The return to school after weeks of rowdy sit-ins and sometimes-violent marches through the capital came after a long holiday weekend in Chile and as the new government of President Michelle Bachelet launched an advisory panel to draft education reforms.

Bachelet already has pledged nearly $200 million for repairs to hundreds of dilapidated schools, as well as benefits including thousands of free school lunches and free entrance exams.

Bachelet on Tuesday met with Education Minister Martin Zilic and urged officials to "go full steam ahead and draw up the best reform plans possible for boosting the quality of our education system."

But student leaders said they were wary of the 72-member presidential advisory council she set up last week to deal with student demands for reform. Students had demanded a majority of seats, but wound up with only 12 of 72.

"We won a lot through our mobilization, but there's still a lot left to fight for," said one student organizer, Maria Jesus Sanhueza.

The students on Monday announced plans for their own commission to offer proposals for improving schools, and they warned they were ready to act if the official recommendations don't satisfy them.

"We are confident that it (the council) will function. But if it doesn't, we will be the first to respond," student organizer Karina Delfino said.

Bachelet's council has three months to recommend modifications to a law enacted by former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet the day before his 1973-1990 government ended. It made municipalities responsible for education, leading to a gap in school quality between rich and poor areas.

The unexpectedly strong and fast-growing student strike was the first major challenge for the Bachelet government that took office March 11. She had campaigned to improve an education system that has failed to match the advances of Chile's vigorous free-market economy.

Text was taken from: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/06/13/chile.students.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Questions:
1. What do you think about the last student's strike?
2. In what way did you participate in it?
3. What do you feel with the meassures given by the government to improve Chilean education?
4. What would you say or ask President Bachelet if you are in front of her now? (In one sentence)

DEADLINE: June 17th

Task 9: "Lennon's Jealous Guy"

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This song belongs John Lennon. Appeared in the album Imagine in 1971 after Beatles' breakdown. This is one of the most beautiful songs Lennon wrote.

First, read it, then, listen it and finally answer the questions below.



JEALOUS GUY

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control
I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me anymore
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside
I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain
I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I made you cry
Oh no, I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy, watch out
I'm just a jealous guy, look out babe
I'm just a jealous guy.

1. What did you feel the first time you read the lyrics?
2. What did you feel the first time you listened the song?
3. Who do you think this song is about?
4. Explain in your own words -in English or Spanish- these sentences:
  • ... I began to lose control...
  • ... I was feeling insecure...
  • ... I was swallowing my pain...
  • ... I'm just a jealous guy, watch out...
DEADLINE: JUNE 3th

Good News for me and for YOU!

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Dear Students,
I took this week off beacuse my baby was born on May 19th. So I thought I could have enough time to upload a new article for this week, but that will be impossible. So I recommend all of you that in this 'free' week send up all your massages about task 7 and 8.
My new son's name is Philippe Michel Rossel Guzmán. I'm happy but at the same time very tired.
This wednesday you will be with other English teacher. He has more vocabulary for you about Inside The Plane.

Remember that with the vocabularies you have to create a simple role play using phrases and words learnt.
Good Luck and see ya on Wednesday, May 31st.
Bye.

Task 8: "Warning marks start of Chile's polluted winter"

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Argentine Gas Cuts Force Businesses To Use Polluting Fuels(April 19, 2005) The government of the Metropolitan Region lifted its pollution warning Monday, saying the quality of the air had improved since a pre-emergency was declared the day before.

But this warning could be the first of many this year, as Argentine gas cuts force more companies to use less environmentally friendly fuels.

The state of pre-emergency was announced Sunday morning after the Air Particle Quality Index (ICAP) registered critical levels of pollution at the monitoring station in Pudahuel. Traffic restrictions were imposed and factories were ordered to halt production.

These measures, combined with the usual decrease in emissions caused by traffic and factories during the weekend, caused ICAP figures to fall by one-third by Monday.

“(Sunday’s) ICAP reading signals a change in the atmosphere that happened quicker than expected. This meant businesses could start up again,” said Ximena Rincón, governor of the Metropolitan Region.

But even though the state of pre-emergency was revoked, air quality is expected to get worse in the capital in the coming days and months, resulting in high levels of smog in Santiago.

With winter on the horizon, gas shortages caused by Argentine cuts are becoming a greater problem for Chile’s fuel-consuming businesses.

“Predictions for this year have not been fulfilled because of the energy crisis,” Rincón admitted.

Executives have been forced to seek cheaper types of fuel after Finance Minister Nicolás Eyzaguirre rejected a bid for subsidies made by businesses affected by gas shortages (ST, March 11). But this will have repercussions on the environment because the alternate fuels emit the most fine and harmful polluting particles, known as PM2.5. Environmentalist Dep.

Guido Girardi from the Party for Democracy (PPD) predicts this winter will be one of the most polluted ever because companies will continue to use petrol instead of natural gas.“There is no way this can be resolved. Pollution will not be tackled until it gets a lot worse than it is now,” he said.

The weather has also played a part in the poor air quality. According to Chile’s Meteorological Directorate, the recent lack of wind will continue at least until Wednesday. Meteorologist Patricio Urra said that during the next weeks, there will not be climatic shift bringing windy weather. “At this time, we don’t have a weather front coming from the coast, which is what we need for better air quality,” he said.

The air quality in Santiago is already worse than predicted, according to reports from the Santiago offices of the National Environmental Commission (CONAMA RM). CONAMA RM Director Pablo Badenier said pollution will get worse toward the middle of the week, but he assured that the authorities were right to withdraw the state of pre-emergency Monday.

“Our team believes that on Wednesday the air conditions are going to get worse because there are always more emissions during the week. We will keep an eye on conditions next week by constantly monitoring the ICAP,” Badenier said.

Critics say that CONAMA RM is not taking the necessary measures to avoid Saturday’s critical levels of pollution. In response, Badenier said it is always difficult to foresee the first states of pre-emergency each year as weather conditions are not always stable, making it difficult to predict when high particle accounts will occur.

“We can’t always be certain our predictions are correct. We weren’t capable of predicting the very bad air conditions on Saturday,” Badenier said.Dep. Girardi, who is a physician, is trying to make La Moneda aware that their current pollution policy will benefit no one.

“Loosening restrictions on emissions, as the government plans to, will create a greater health risk for children with bronchitis and cause cancer and heart attacks in adults,” he said.

Girardi proposes that the government offer tax breaks as an incentive to companies who are prepared to invest money in reducing emissions. He also suggests that companies with the worst pollution records should be moved out of the capital and that PM2.5 particle emissions should be monitored daily.

Article taken from: http://www.tcgnews.com/santiagotimes/index.php?nav=story&story_id=8849&topic_id=1

Questions:
1. What do you think about the pollution in Santiago?
2. Why the pollution is harder year after year?
3. What could you do if the government asked you some help to solve this problem?

DEADLINE: Sunday, May 20th.

Task 7: "South Americans reach energy deal"

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Argentina and Brazil have accepted Bolivia's moves to take state control of its gas industry but want talks on future prices and foreign involvement.

The deal was reached at an energy summit which also included Venezuela.
Earlier this week President Evo Morales took control of Bolivia's natural gas industry and told foreign firms to leave if they did not comply.
Brazil and Argentina rely on cheap gas imports from Bolivia and fear that nationalisation could push prices up.

Staying or going?
"The important thing is that gas supplies for the countries needing them have been guaranteed and that prices will be discussed in the most democratic form possible between all parties involved," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said following the meeting.

Correspondents say that while Mr Morales probably faced some stiff arguments from Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and his Brazilian counterpart President Lula, he was likely to have been supported by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela has South America's largest reserves of oil and gas, and it has pledged to help Bolivia in the nationalisation of its own energy industry.

The Bolivian government has said it will start renegotiating energy contracts with all foreign companies from next week, giving them 180 days reach agreement, or face eviction.

They will be asked to hand over majority control of all Bolivian operations to the country's state oil firm, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos.

State-owned Brazilian energy firm Petrobras, the largest foreign investor in Bolivian energy, had said it would cancel further investments, but President Lula said this decision could be reversed after more negotiations.

Spanish giant Repsol, which has invested more than 1bn euros in Bolivia, said it plans to remain in the country and co-operate with Mr Morales' government.

Article taken from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4974710.stm

1. What do you think about the article?
2. Bolivia's government took control of the natural gas industry. Who is worried for that? and Why?
3. Why did all these presidents meet in Argentina?
4. Write some new words found in the article.


DEADLINE: SATURDAY, MAY 13th.

Good News for this week!!!

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Boys and girls,
This week -from May 1st to May 7th- there won't be articles to read and comment beacuse you'll have written tests and I prefer you have all time time necessary to study without having any excuses.
Enjoy this free week without articles. I'll upload your marks soon, so stay tuned!


See ya soon.

Task 6: "The Story of Mother's Day"

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The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.

During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Chile and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.

Text taken from http://www.holidays.net/mother/story.htm

1. What do you or your family usually do for the Mother's Day?
2. Name a historical sequence from the first to the nowadays Mother's Day.
3. Who were Rhea, Julia Ward Howe, Ana Jarvis, Woodrow Wilson? What did they do?
4. What do you plan to do for your Mom this year?

DEADLINE: SATURDAY, APRIL 29th.

Trabajando en el computador acerca de computación

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Durante cuatro clases Curso Electivo de Inglés trabajó en el Laboratorio de Computación para desarrollar un proyecto sobre el aumento del vocabulario de computación siguiendo y dando instrucciones orales.

La primera clase fue teórica. Allí, los estudiantes revisaron una guía con vocabulario sobre Internet para conocer sus significados y fonética.

La segunda clase ellos trabajaron en el laboratorio de computación. Los estudiantes debían seguir instrucciones orales dadas por el profesor. Las instrucciones eran oraciones detalladascon el fin de usar el máximo del vocabulario dado.

En la tercera clase, los estudiantes trabajaron en parejas. Había una lista de 9 objetivos a lograr. Uno de ellos le daba al otro órdenes específicas para cumplir uno de estos objetivos, por ejemplo: "1. Pegue un una imagen de un perro en un archivo Word". Esto indicaba que el estudiante que daba las órdenes tuviese que encontrar una imagen en Internet, copiarla, luego abrir el programa Word, y finalmente pegar la imagen en el. La mayoría de ellos trabajaron bien y preguntaron mucho.

Las clases finales, fueron planificadas para tomar la evaluación. En parejas tenían que decirle al profesor 4 de los 9 objetivos dados y luego el profesor escogía 1 de ellos para evaluar. El profesor se sentaba con el ratón en su mano y esperaba para hacer exactamente lo que ordenaran hacer los estudiantes. Los resultados fueron excepcionales. Los estudiantes conscientemente usaron el vocabulario para dar las órdenes y asi lograr el objetivo.

COMENTARIOS
Público
1. ¿Qué piensa de la actividad?
2. ¿Tiene algunas dudas con respecto a ella?

Working with computers about computing

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During four classes the Elective Class of English worked in the Computer Lab developing a project about increasing computing vocabulary following and giving commands.

The first class was theoretical. There, the students checked a handout with
vocabulary about internet knowing their meanings and phonetics.

The second class they worked in the computer lab. The students have to follow oral intructions given by the teacher. The instructions were details sentences using the maximum of vocabulary given.

In the third class, the students worked in pairs. There were a list of 9 goals to accomplish.One of them told the other specific commands to accomplish one of these goals, for instance: "1. Paste a picture of a dog in a Word file". This indicated that the students had to find a picture in the internet, copy it, then open the Word program, and finally paste the picture in it. Most of them worked well and asked a lot.

The final classes, were planned to take the evaluation. In pairs they had to tell the teacher 4 out of the 9 goals given and then the teacher would choose 1 of those 4 to evaluate. The teacher was sitting down with the mouse in his hand waiting to do exactly what the students said to accomplish the goal.
The results were outstanding. The students onsciously used the vocabulary needed to say the commands.

COMMENTS:
STUDENTS:
1. How did you feel working with the computers in this way?
2. Did you learn anything? What?

Task 5: "Acne"

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Serious skin conditions affect around seven million of people in the UK alone.
They can cause significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.


What is it?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots.
Spots result from the build up of dead skin cells and grease that block the pores or hair follicles, typically on the face, upper arms, upper back and chest.

It is not contagious and is nothing to do with not being clean.
Hormonal changes, such as those related to puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, can contribute to acne.
Some medicines will also make it worse, including some contraceptive pills and steroids.

Who gets it?
Most people experience acne at some time in their lives, typically as young adults. Girls tend to develop it slightly earlier than boys - around the ages of 14-17 compared to 16-19 years, respectively.
Acne can occur later in life. Around five per cent of women and one per cent of men aged 25-40 continue to have acne after adolescence.

What are the symptoms?
As the pores of the skin become blocked, blackheads develop and small, tender, red spots appear. These can turn into pimples or whiteheads filled with pus.

What is the outlook?
Usually it is a mild condition, most commonly during young adulthood, and will resolve by itself. But for 15% of people it is severe.
The spots can become infected and cause significant scarring, particularly if they are scratched or squeezed.

How can it be treated?
Mild acne does not need treating as each inflamed spot will eventually heal. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water will help keep the skin healthy.
Keeping spot-prone areas clean by washing the affected area twice daily with an unperfumed cleanser can help. However, excessive washing and scrubbing of the skin will not help and may make the inflammation worse.

More severe acne may need treatment. The aim is to clear the spots and prevent scarring.
Treatments work by either unblocking blocked pores, reducing the amount of grease or sebum made by the skin, reducing the inflammation or fighting the bacterium that infects the lesions.
Creams, gels and lotions that can be applied to the skin are available to buy at pharmacies without a prescription. These usually contain antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide, which also works by drying out the skin and encouraging it to shed the surface layer of dead skin.

There are several more potent oral tablets that can be prescribed by a doctor if the acne persists.

Make-up can be used to cover blemishes but heavy use of concealer may make acne worse.
Any scarring will improve with time. Laser therapy, chemical peels, dermabrasion and other treatments have been suggested for acne scarring.

Acne can be extremely distressing and it is important to seek help if you are anxious or depressed about it.

Article downloaded from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/medical_notes/4791176.stm

Questions
1. What do you think about the article?
2. Did you know something about the acne?
3. What do you do to fight against acne?
4. Write a list of 10 to 15 new words found in the text.

DEADELINE: April 21th, 2006, midnight.

Task 4: "Mobile phone TV begins in Japan"

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Mobile phone users in Japanese cities can now watch digital TV on compatible mobile phones for the first time.
The service is not the world's first, but it has the potential to be the biggest, by reaching more subscribers than in any other country.
Finding new phones in Japanese shops has proved difficult as only limited quantities have been produced so far.
Japan's 90m mobile phone users can already play video games, send emails and check websites on tiny handsets.
The new service has been carrying test transmissions for several months and will remain free while mobile operators assess its potential and the number of subscribers.
Broadcasters Nippon Television, Fuji Television and TV Asahi are among the companies which have signed partnerships with mobile operators.

'Preparing specific content'
"In the short-term, digital terrestrial broadcasting on mobiles with the same programming as normal televisions will be of little interest for us," said Masao Nakamura, the CEO of Japan's top mobile operator NTT DoCoMo.
"But we are getting ready by preparing new specific content for the service that could come into use later when new channels are available."
Japan's major mobile carriers say sales of compatible phones have been good, but they have not yet disclosed any figures.
Subscribers can watch up to nearly three hours of uninterrupted television with a normal battery.
1. What do you think about mobile-phones with all these gadgets included? Are they really useful?
2. Name all the functions that a mobile phone can have included nowadays.
3. Find the meaning of these following words:
reaching; assess; broadcasters; partnership; available; disclosed.
Remember, the deadline will be on Friday, April 14th.

TASK 3: 'How Telenovelas conquered the world"

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The telenovelas - Latin American soap dramas - are stereotypical, over the top and melodramatic - but, also, highly successful.
In fact, they are possibly the number-one form of human entertainment on the planet.
The facts are something to be reckoned with. This addictive formula has captivated audiences in Africa, Asia and Europe, and telenovela stars are mobbed at airports in Poland, Indonesia, China and the US.
Hundreds of millions of people watch telenovelas around the globe, everyday. Some go as far as saying two billion people - a third of the human race - are glued to these programmes on a daily basis.
But having been established on the simplest of formulas, they are now expanding their audiences by raising social issues.

'Love and logic'
Traditionally, most telenovelas tend to reproduce the same idea: one couple falls in love and have to fight disapproval and obstacles, until they end up together, usually on the last episode.
"You have the struggle between good and evil, between poor and rich, and this process of trying to finally fulfil your dream of a romantic relationship and live happily ever after," said Antonio La Pastina, professor of communications at Texas A&M University.
One indication of the degree to which they are taken seriously was given when women took to the streets in Venezuela protesting about a plot centring on a husband who cheated on his wife.
The writer was planning for the wife to forgive him in the last episode, but after he was threatened by some of the protesters in a grocery store, he changed the script to allow the wife to get a divorce.
Carla Estrada, one of the foremost telenovela producers in the world, said that a good script is the most important aspect of a successful telenovela.
"You need suspense, emotion, love and logic, in order to carry the story through 190 episodes," she said.
"It's not easy."
Sophisticated
According to some estimates, Mexico alone produces almost 3,000 hours of telenovelas each year, at a total cost of about US $250m - more or less the cost of, for example, the Hollywood film Titanic.
In the end, though, it is the audience who decides what really works.
"The telenovela has managed to create a very loyal market," Ms Estrada explained.
"They're loyal to a market that thinks of them. It's like having a daily date with someone.
"For some people, the telenovela is like their own life - and this is a continuing process that creates a feeling of belonging and identity."
And now, people are beginning to see the telenovela as a tool for social change.
Even the producing countries have now developed styles of their own. Venezuelan telenovelas are designed purely for entertainment.
Meanwhile Mexican ones tend to be the more melodramatic, and are very conservative. Colombian telenovelas tend to show the diversity of the country - with a feeling of more contemporary issues, like corruption, transvestites and greed, and with the use of irony and comedy.
It is worth remembering also that it was the Colombians who broke with the mould of telenovelas by producing the enormously successful Betty the Ugly, where the main character, as the name suggests, wasn't the prettiest girl in town.
The Brazilian soaps, however, are more sophisticated, with different stories, like human cloning or love between Muslims and Christians and more of the social realism.
When one soap - Family Ties - dealt with a character who needed a bone marrow transplant after getting leukaemia, the Brazilian attitude towards organ donation was completely changed.

Cultural influence
And beyond the world of dreams, some telenovelas, it seems, have began to push the envelope a bit further and deal with issues that before were considered taboo.
For decades, the main telenovelas producers in Mexico and Brazil were often criticised for being aligned with the political powers of the moment and not allowing any criticism of the government.

But the opposite is also happening, says Maria Luisa Alves, of Mexico's Television Azteca.
"They have started making more political telenovelas," she says.
"More controversial events are being included in the Mexican telenovela - and that is a new trend. They have featured homosexuality, having a child with special needs, abortion, and sex before marriage. In a very Catholic society, I think that is a lot to say on public television at prime time."
And the more global telenovelas become, the bigger the cultural influence they seem to have.
But regardless of the weakness or the strengths of this very Latin American product, the truth is that millions of people around the globe, love them.
"For an hour, six times a week, we can forget about our sorrows, our fears, our personal little mysteries - and embrace a wonderful love story that works as a balm for our souls," explains Carolina Espada, one of the main writers for Venevision, the main telenovela producer in Venezuela.
"Long live the Telenovelas."

Questions:
1. Did you know how popular were the american telenovelas around the world?
2. What do you think about them? Do you like them?
3. Why are the telenovelas so popular?
4. Write some new words you found in this article.

DEADLINE: Friday 7, April, 2006