Did you know that? ‘A baker’s dozen’

‘A baker’s dozen’

It’s widely believed that this phrase originated from the practice of medieval English bakers giving an extra loaf when selling a dozen in order to avoid being penalized for selling short weight.

A baker’s dozen is 13, one more than a standard dozen. The oldest known explanation for the expression “baker’s dozen” dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes called the Assize of Bread and Ale.  Bakers who gave short measure could be subject to severe punishment including judicial amputation of a hand. To guard against losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12 in order to be certain of not being known as a cheat.

Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was insurance against “short measure”, on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original legal dozen. When selling in quantity to wholesalers they would add an extra loaf or two. When selling single loaves to individuals they would offer a small extra piece of bread. The Worshipful Company still exists and reports that this carried on within living memory and that a small ‘in-bread’ was often given with each loaf.

However, there is some doubt over whether this is the real explanation for the expression, because baking 13 instead of 12 units has been good practice all over Europe, not only in England.

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Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. But the tradition of this Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century.

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.

At this time of year, American flags are easy to spot. Each part of the flag stands for something. The 50 stars stand for the 50 states. The 13 stripes stand for the 13 British colonies, which declared their independence on July 4, 1776. The flag is a symbol — a way to show the world what we stand for.
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1st April: April Fools’ Day

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in different countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

In Spain, an equivalent date is December 28, Christian day of celebration of the Massacre of the Innocents. The Christian celebration is a holiday in its own right, a religious one, but the tradition of pranks is not, though the latter is observed yearly. After somebody plays a joke or a prank on somebody else, it is common to say just “Inocente!” (“Innocent!“). Nevertheless, in the Spanish island of Menorca “Dia d’enganyar” (“Fooling day”) is celebrated on April 1 because Menorca was a British possession during part of the 18th century.

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How do you study?

Although in Spanish, here you have a very useful website  from the Ministry of Education:


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Diagnostic Tests

Now it’s time to test your English level after the summer break.

Oxford offers students of ESO this opportunity. I hope you had a great summer and you had a bit of time to study English!!

Answers are included so you can check your progress:

1st ESO


2nd ESO


3rd ESO


4th ESO


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English Newspapers

If you’ve been learning English, you know that attaining proficiency in a foreign language requires considerable practice. There are plenty of resources available. For example, why don’t you read foreign news online?


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Language exchanges

Instantly connect with native speakers around the world through live video.
If you don’t know anyone or you don’t have time to have a meeting, in this website you will find people with whom you can practice a language through video conference.

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