When did it happen?



When did it happen?
The ever growing necessity to improve English Language Teaching in Colombia,
has motivated us to create a material in which learners can have opportunities
to learn English with some elements that allow them to associate Vocabulary,
Expressions, and information in general to aspects of Colombian culture, so that
they engage more in learning English as a way to discover their own country.
Another motivation to create this piece of didactic material is to promote a
process of cultural awareness in which learners interact with their culture by
means of English Language. The major reason to innovate through this bank
book is to make teachers, students and parents aware about the importance of
a cultural identity behind and beyond learning a Foreign Language.
Now you can start enjoying an amazing exploration across architecture, nature,
food and landscapes from our beautiful country, also you will experience an
engaging English Learning Experience.
The Editors
What does the city look like
Objective: To describe important places of some Colombian cities
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Look at the following pictures, and then match the sentences. Do you know these
places? Where are they located?
The Prime Cathedral of Colombia is in
The Coltejer Tower is in
The Saint Felipe’s Castle is in
The PANACA Park is in
The Saint Agustin Statues are in
The Quimbaya Gold Museum is in
A. Armenia (Quindio)
B. San Agustín (Huila)
C. Medellín (Antioquia)
D. Cartagena (Bolivar)
E. Bogotá DC
F. Quimbaya (Quindío)
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Make some sentences describing a one of the
places of the pictures above. Use the adjectives
Amazing, Entertaining, interesting, well-known,
high, and old. See the example
Ex: The Prime Cathedral of Colombia is a
well-known church of Bogotá
PANACA is ______________________________
The Saint Austin’s Park ____________________
The ______________________________________
For describing places use the
verb to be plus an adjective
as follows:
The Distrital University is a
famous Institution of
Colombian museums are
Is – for one object
Are – for various objects
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Read the following article about La Candelaria neighborhood, then answer the
questions and discuss with your partners
This, Bogotá's oldest district and its historical center, dates back to the city's foundation.
Keep your eyes open as you walk these streets as points of interest abound. The district is
located between 7th street and Jimenez de Quesada Avenue, and between Carreras 1st
and 15th, and it is comprised of two distinct zones, easily distinguishable by their location and
style. The residential sector lies toward the eastern hills. It is famous for its colonial houses with
their wooden balconies and clay tile roofs. The once white walls are now painted in bright
colors more in keeping with the spirit of the city. This area contains many places worth
visiting, including Silva Poetry House, the San Carlos Palace, the Marques de San Jorge
House, the Luis Angel Arango Library, the Colón Theatre, and the churches La Candelaria,
San Ignacio and Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
On the west of Carrera 7, you will find the Bolívar Boulevard, with the National Capitol and
the Lievano Building, built during the Republic, as well as the Justice Palace, the 20 de Julio
Museum, the Prime Cathedral, the Tabernacle Chapel and the Archbishop's Palace. A few
steps toward the south, you will come across Echeverry Palace, and The Nariño’s Palace,
the presidential residence.
Nueva Santa Fe, part of a project to revive the city center, lies to the south of La Candelaria.
The new neighborhood is a perfect example of late-20th-century architecture in Bogotá.
Nearby, you will see the impressive Archivo General de la Nación . Toward the north end of
La Candelaria, very near the intersection of Jimenez de Quesada Avenue and Carrera 7,
you will find another collection of interesting sites, such as the San Francisco Palace and the
churches of La Tercera, La Veracruz and San Francisco. Other places of interest include the
Santander Boulevard, the Gold Museum and the Rosario University, on the square of the
same name.
1. How is La Candelaria like?
2. Which places do you know from the ones
mentioned in the text? Describe one of
3. Draw a map based on the information
provided in the text; locate some of the
places mentioned in the article. Then
compare your map with your classmates.
Use the information in the box below.
For asking for descriptions use the following clauses:
What is the Gold Museum like?
What are the colonial houses like?
How high is the Colpatria Tower?
How old is Bogota city?
It is a modern building in the Centre
They are old, but colorful and decorated
It is 198 meters high
It is 472 years old
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Look at the following letter sample, then write down your own letter describing a
place you have recently visited and the activities you did there. Make sure that you
follow the steps provided in the sample.
• Hi / hey / hello
• What’s up? / What’s going on? / What’s new?
• I want to tell you… / Let me tell you that… / I’m glad to tell you that…
• First / Second / Secondly / then / after that / finally
• Take care,
• Regards
• Blessings
• God bless you
• Good luck
• Love,
• Lots of love
• Best wishes,
• Missing you lots,
• Yours forever,
Teaching tips
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Introduce with places of the city, ask students to mention the most common
places of the city (e.g. castles, churches, museums, parks, restaurants, etc.)
Make students classify the places according to the kind of activities that
people do there. (e.g. culture, education, entertaining, shopping, tourism,
Explain the different kinds of questions to ask for the location of places and
provide examples. Use:
1. What does ________ look like?
Exemplify using Colombian
2. How old is /are __________?
Places. Classify the places
3. What color is / are _____________?
According to their characteris4. How high is/ are ________________?
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Explain the use of the verb to be through an example describing one place.
Write on the board:
1. The Coltejer tower is high
Emphasize on singular and
subject / Verb to be / adjective
plural of the verb to be.
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Ask students to describe the Image using adjectives. Use questions like the
1. What does the street look like?
2. What are the people doing?
3. What color are the houses?
Ask students at randomly to read aloud the text by paragraphs, ask for the
meaning of adjectives.
Ask students to draw a little map according to the description provided in the
text. Finally ask them to socialize their drawings.
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Explain the parts of the letter using the sample provided.
(Optional) You can ask pupils to write an outline with the ideas to be
presented in the post card (e.g. the places, their characteristics, and the
activities done there). Then they can connect the ideas more easily when
writing the letter.
Give examples using the useful language tips provided in the box. Try to
assess students by pairs.
You can also make students exchange their letters and make them read
those letters. Ask them what they understood from their peers’ papers.
Which is better?
Objective: To make comparisons between places and between food.
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Look at the following pictures, are these objects well-known? Describe the objects
and make comparisons among them. Use the information provided in the Grammar
For comparisons, take into account these rules:
Subject 1 / be / adjective / -er / than/ subject 2
Example: Bogotá is larger than
Villa de Leiva.
Subject / be / more / adjective / than / subject 2 Example: Life in cities is more
expensive than life in towns.
Subject 1 / be / as / adjective / as / subject 2
as important as Monserrate’s church.
Example: The prime cathedral is
Subject 1 / be / less / adjective / than / subject 2 Example: Neiva is less polluted
than Medellin.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Fill in the blanks using the comparatives taking into account the images above.
1. Bocadillos are __________ (sweet) ______ arepas.
2. The Colpatria Tower is _________ (high) _______ the Gold Museum.
3. The Gold Museum is _________ _______________ (interesting) _______ the
Colpatria Tower.
4. Bandeja Paisa is _________ (delicious) _________ Tamal
5. Tamal is ____________ (greasy) _________ Bocadillo
6. The Gold Museum is _________ ____________ (visited) _______ The Colpatria
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Read the following dialogue and
answer the questions.
Waiter: Can I take your order, Sir?
Customer: Yes, can you lend me the menu,
Waiter: sure!
Customer: I’m not sure… mmm a fruit salad or
fried chicken. Which is cheaper?
Waiter: Fried chicken is more expensive than
fruit salad
Customer: Also fruit salad is healthier than fried
Waiter: But I think chicken is more delicious
than fruit salad.
Customer: Well… I guess that one is as
delicious as the other, but I think this time I will
have a fruit salad, please.
Waiter: All right Sir! As you prefer.
Customer: Thanks so much.
What is the customer’s choice? ____________________________________________
Which dish is healthier? ____________________________________________________
Which one is more expensive? _____________________________________________
Is fried chicken as cheap as fruit salad? ____________________________________
What does the waiter say about the fried chicken? _________________________
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Write a restaurant review about Colombian food; follow the criteria of the chart
below. Include more dishes from the country
Is (superiority)
Cuchuco soup
Heavier than fruit salad
National Museum
Is (inferiority)
Is (equality)
As spicy as lechona
Less noisy than the
National park
20 de Julio’s church
Tayrona park
Medellin Subway
Coffee National
Sancocho soup
Virgilio Barco
National University
Nariño’s palace
Simon Bolivar’s
Salitre Mágico Park
Make comparisons between things that you like and things that you dislike regarding
food and places of the country. Follow the example.
• Morcilla is more greasy than mondongo soup
1. ___________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________
6. ___________________________________________
7. ___________________________________________
8. ___________________________________________
9. ___________________________________________
10. ___________________________________________
Teaching tips
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Introduce some typical dishes and places of the country, ask students if they
know or recognize them or what they would like to try.
Present students adjectives to characterize the pictures. If necessary, explain
that adjectives are words used to describe something.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Explain students when we use the suffix er at the end of the adjective to
express a comparison of superiority and when we use more … than. Be
careful with the exceptions to the rule.
Explain that when adjectives are composed just by one monothong and end
with just one consonant, the last consonant is duplicated before adding er.
Explain that when monothong adjectives end in e, we add just an r to express
Explain that when monothong adjectives end in y, we replace it by ier to
express superiority.
Explain the use of less than to express inferiority Explain students when we use
the suffix er at the end of the adjective to express a comparison of superiority
and when we use more … than. Be careful with the exceptions to the rule
o ‘Less’ goes before the quality or adjective.
Explain the use as… as to express equivalence between two objects. Give
o Martin is as old as katherin
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Ask students to read and practise the dialogue by pairs.
Ask pupils to search for the unknown words
Request some students to read aloud the sentences of the dialogue, ask for
the meaning of words and ask students to underline the adjectives
Ask students the questions about the reading, discuss the answers with the
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Provide students with examples to full fill
Explain the use as… as to express equivalence between two objects. Give
o Martin is as old as katherin
Use the Useful language box to provide more examples in order to make
comparisons between the places or the food provided in the chart.
Give examples with other places or pieces of food different to the ones
provided in the chart.
When did it happen?
Objective: To describe important events and people in the history of Colombia.
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Look at the following pictures about important historical events. Then match the
descriptions. Pay special attention to the verbs.
The foundation of Colombia was
A. Broke the Llorente’s vase
The 20 of July of 1810, criollos
B. Created the Constitution
The Bogotazo’s (1048) main cause was
C. The first line of TransMilenio
In 1985 Soldiers of the National Army
D. The 6th of August of 1538
In 1991 the National Constituent Assembly
E. Jorge E. Gaitan’s murder
In 2000, Bogotá celebrated
F. Broke into the Justice House.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Look at the Grammar Box. Try to
organize these sentences describing
For referring to past events, use the
past simple and the verb to be.
important events of Colombian history.
• Gabriel García Márquez received
1. Was / Gabriel García Márquez / 1927 /
the Nobel prize in 1982
born / in
• José Celestino Mutis was an
Enrique Peñaloza / 2000 / created / in /
important botanic of the 18
century in Colombia
For asking questions, use the WH
3. Used / people / 1948 / trolley / Bogotá /
in / before.
• When did the Bogotazo happen?
4. In / shakira / a / Latin Grammy award /
• Where was the Boyacá battle?
2006 / won
• Who was the founder of Santafé?
• What was Mariano Ospina like?
5. Álvaro Uribe Vélez / president /twice /
• How long did the irruption in the
was /Colombian /the
justice palace take?
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Read the following comic and answer the questions
What was the comic about?
What was the problem of the boy?
What did he decided to do?
Was the solution proposed by his
friend the accurate?
5. What was the boy’s homework
6. Did the boy do his homework?
7. Did the boy learn anything from the
8. What did the boy say about
9. When did the independence from
Spain happen?
10. What movie did the girl suggest?
Verbs in past
• Be
• Propose
• Do
• Decide
• Consider
• Find
• Talk
• Have
• Know
• Wake up
• Get up
• Can
• Call
• Need
• Learn
was / were
woke up
got up
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Complete the text about Francisco José de Caldas’ Biography. Use the correct
form of the verbs in brackets.
FRANCISCO JOSE DE CALDAS (4 October 1768 – 28 October 1816)
He ___ (be) a Neogranadine lawyer, naturalist, and geographer who ____(die) as a martyr
by orders of Pablo Morillo during the Reconquest for being a precursor of the Independence
of Colombia. Caldas ________(begin) his studies in the city of Popayán in the Seminary of
Popayán. He later ______(study) in the Rosario School graduating in Law but was also
passionate for mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences. Caldas was part of numerous
scientific expeditions including the ones with José Celestino Mutis and Alexander von
Humboldt. He _________(travel) across the New Kingdom of Granada exploring the
newfound land, studying flora, fauna, geography, meteorology and cartography. In 1805
Caldas was appointed by Mutis to direct the Astronomic Observatory. Once the revolution
of July 20, 1810 _______(occur), Caldas soon _________(become) the editor of the official
state newspaper, the Diario Político. Upon Nariño's taking power in Cundinamarca in
September 1811, Caldas was drafted as an engineer. Caldas was captured by the Spanish
royalists in 1816 and ________(execute) on October 29, in the San Francisco Plaza by orders
of Pablo Morillo, Count of Cartagena. When Caldas was about to be executed and the
people present at the place _________(appeal) for the life of the scientist, Morillo
_________(respond): "Spain does not need wise people"
His body was interred in Veracruz Church, which was later turned into the National Pantheon
but later _________(move) to Popayan.
Writing your own biography
1. Think about some important events in your past life.
2. Write down a list describing those events using past simple and the verb to
be in past.
3. Finally connect the ideas and write a biography of you.
Use the tips provided in the Useful language box
I was born in…
First I…
I began…
I became
Then, I…
After I…
Once I… I…
Finally I…
I was…
I enjoyed…
I went to…
1989 Bogotá / Mosquera
was / went /studied /worked
studying / working
a good football player
made / tried / travelled
stayed / moved
Once I graduated, I travelled
entered / passed
glad / proud / happy
swimming / visiting
Cali, Popayán, Barranquilla
Teaching tips
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Ask students about the pictures
o Do you know when it happened?
o Do you know who participated in the event?
Let students do the task and then, summarize each even in one or two
o Before 2000 Bogotá was not very safe and transportation was not very
good. However since the creation of TransMilenio the conditions of
transportation and safety in the city improved.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Ask students to write a list with some important dates of Colombian history
and their corresponding events. Then help them make sentences in past with
that information using the tips provided in the grammar box.
o The earthquake of Armenia – In 1998 there was a strong earthquake in
Now make students write down a list of 5 important people of Colombia, and
then ask them to write their achievements
o Shakira became a famous and successful singer after her album
“servicio de lavandería”
Explain the use of infinitives in questions with the auxiliary did
o Did Mutis work Francisco José de Caldas?
Make students create a chart with three Colombian historical events, taking
into account the WH questions who, where, when and how as follows:
The ayacucho’s
The foundation
of Bogotá
The Bogotazo
José Celestino
The Magdalena
river and others
When How
The expedition through
Colombian jungles.
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Explain how to use regular and irregular verbs with examples before the
reading. Ask students to read the text aloud.
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Write a model of your own Biography on the board. Write with a different
color the phrases provided in the Useful language box, so that pupils can
easily identify how to use them in their writing.
Planning a trip
Objective: To talk about the plans you might have when travelling.
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Look at the following pictures about touristic places. Which activities can you
perform in these places? Where would you like to go?
Do you recognize these places?
If you were in Colombia, where would you go first?
o Ex: I would go to the beach because I want to enjoy the amazing view
For planning future events use Will, be going to or gonna :
We use will + infinitive to predict the future: Mary will go around the world in 80
The negative form of will is won’t: domestic robots won’t look like human
Going to:
We use be + going to + infinitive to talk about future plans: I’m going to visit the
The contraction for going to is gonna. It is very informal.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
A. Look at these sentences:
We’re going to drive around Medellín
I’m sure we will have a great time
Which is a prediction? Which is a plan? Which verb comes after be going to
B. Fill in the gaps using will or be going to:
I ___________ (retire) next year. I’m looking forward to spend more time doing the
activities I enjoy. For instance, I think next year I __________ (go) to Cartagena for at
least two months. And as soon as I retire, I _____________(do) a degree in history of
We are ____________ (drive) around Santander. We ____________ (spend) about a
year travelling. I’m sure we ________________ (have) fun there because we
_________________ (do) many of the activities we found in a Touristic guide.
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Read the following article about Monserrate, then answer the questions and discuss
with your partners
This Plan Includes:
Door-to-door transportation
Private tour transportation
Tour Guide
Ascent to Monserrate
“Onces santafereñas” or "traditional
Colombian Tea Time" in restaurant
Santa Clara to see sunset.
Visit of Monserrate
Medical assistant card
Times of tour: From 3pm to 5pm according to availability.
Plan Description:
This authentic tour features a tradition like no other. You will have the opportunity to
taste and indulge traditional and delicious onces santafereñas. Try homemade
tamales and hot chocolate along with agua de panela with cheese and
almojábana at the most popular restaurant of the capital featuring panoramic
views of the city where you will be able to see the sunset.
Monserrate is one of the natural viewpoints as it is situated on a mountaintop. Here,
you will see the capital from a whole new absolutely fascinating angle, without a
doubt 2,600 meters closer to the stars.
This plan includes the ascent to Monserrate via cable railway or cable car. Our tour
guide will take you to the recognized national monument where he/she will narrate
the historic tales of the fallen Christ of Monserrate, popular monument created by
Pedro de Lugo y Albarracín and praised by locals. Small shops around the church
hold valuable hand-made artifacts typical of the region and the rest of Colombia.
This wonderful tour will further introduce the richness that Colombian culture has to
1. If you go to that tour, what will you have the opportunity to taste?
2. What will you see from the mountaintop?
3. Imagine you are in that tour, what will you do? How will you feel?
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Fill this chart, suppose that you are going to a trip for five places. Provide the
information required.
Tayrona Park
La Candelaria
Saint Felipe’s
Las Lajas cathedral
The Quimbaya
Golden Museum
Who will I go
I will go with
• My parents
• My brothers
• Some friends
What am I going When will I
to do there?
I am going to
• Make some photos
• Eat in a typical
• Listen to the
I will start the trip
• On Saturday
• Next week
• In two days
Teaching tips
ACTIVITY 1: Vocabulary
Make a brief review of the vocabulary regarding activities, places and food
from the Unit 1.
Ask students if they have visited any of the places of the pictures, or if they
recognize any of them.
Ask students to describe or compare two of the pictures.
If necessary, explain the pictures, where those places are.
ACTIVITY 2: Grammar
Write on the board some examples of utterances regarding the planning of
an activity. Use examples employing names of Colombian places and
activities commonly done in those places
o I am going to spend New Year’s Eve in Cali. I don’t want to miss the
Ask students to think in a place they want to visit, and then ask them to write
in sheet 3 activities they will do there, using the tips provided in the grammar
box. Make students exchange their sheets and finally ask questions.
ACTIVITY 3: Reading
Ask students to make a list of unknown words and search for them in the
Organize students by pairs, and ask them to read the touristic pack and
answer the questions.
Socialize the answers asking at randomly to different couples. Diiscuss.
ACTIVITY 4: Writing
Provide examples to the students about sentences to express future plans,
relate them to places, food, activities, etc. of Colombia.
o I will go to Medellín. I will get on the subway. I am going with my family
and some mates. I will leave on Saturday at 6:00 PM.
Ask students for their own examples before filling the chart
o Where do you plan to go for Christmas?
o What will you do there?
o Who are you going with?
o When will you leave?
Remind students the vocabulary seen in previous Units
o Activities
o Places
o Adjectives
o Food
o Places of the city
Covers: Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Design: Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Photography and information selection and edition: Angie Lisseth Espinel
Correction: Angie Lisseth Espinel
Plan of the Book: Angie Lisseth Espinel & Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Revision: Angie Lisseth Espinel & Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Color: Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Activities design: Angie Lisseth Espinel & Nixon Alejandro Gamba Rodríguez
Tutoring: Aurora Venegas Hernández
Materials and Media design for secondary school. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, 2010.