Monday, February 12, 2018

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 2: Banks

This topic is a bit specific but it's quite useful. They talk about money, banking, economic issues...
We'll start with the general questions as usual:
  • Are you happy with your bank? Are you charged for managing your account? How often do you go to your bank? Do you use the internet for managing your account? Why/why not?
  • Have you ever had a problem with your bank? What happened? How did you solve it?
  • Do you normally use cash or credit cards? Do you usually use an ATM? Why/why not?
  • Do you think banks are necessary? What for?

Activity 1

On page 22 of your text book you can find exercise 9 which is a role-play. Work with your partner to do this activity.

Activity 2

In this activity we are going to practise with SO and NEITHER. Try to find 5 sentences to make your mate say a comment such as in this example:
  • I prefer to use my credit card to pay in cash when I travel  ----  So do I
  • I've nerver been in the red in my account  ----  Neither have I
Activity 3

On page 27, the exercise 7 is to be made with your mate. Read the sentences and give your opinión saying if you agree or disagree and why you say so.
Activity 4

Speak about getting a loan from a bank. Think about the difficulties to borrow the money, how to pay it back and the interest rates, how you can save money... It's important you use the vocabulary learnt in this unit and also the ways of expressing agreement and disagreement. 

Activity 5

Here you are a Reading comprenhension about banks. Go to this link and do the exercise: click here

NA2 - NI2: Useful language for oral exams

Here you are some useful links to improve your performance while taking the oral exam. They've got good information and tools for doing your best in the exam. The links are:
  • a teacher's blog with useful language for the oral exam: click here
  • a chart with common expressions about agreeing and disagreeing: click here
  • different lists of expressions groups in levels (elementary/intermediate/advance): click here
Apart from these links I'd like to help you with some tips for the speaking exam. Remember you have two tasks to do so we should see how to manage with both, but let's start with one and we'll deal with the other in another post.

  • One of you should start the conversation saying the topic and asking the other's opinion about it:
    • Let's start with the conversation, OK? The topic we have to speak about is how to help our friend Peter with his exam. What do you think we could suggest? Any ideas about this? 
  • Make sure everybody speaks enough, especially if there are 3 people involved in the conversation. Be balance in your turns; don't talk too much or too little and if you see someone is not speaking, address to them directly and help them.
  • When you say something, try to use what the other has said and go on with that idea. It shows you are paying attention and you may speak longer as well:
    • To study a little every day is a really good idea, as you said before, and it also gives you the chance to solve problems as soon as they turn up. Don't you think so?
  • It's good to use fillers but don't overuse them. It's also useful to learn some idioms or phrases that can help you, especially when you get lost or stuck:
    • Well, you know what I mean, don't you? or that's something I hadn't thought about but I reckon you're right
  • When you get a bit stuck, there are two things you should do: a) help your mate when that person doesn't know a word or how to keep on talking   b) try to explain your idea by using examples from your own life or your experience.
  • Try to show as much vocabulary as posible and as many structures as you can. We should keep in mind that's an oral exam after all. Use structures such as:
    • If I were him, what would you do?    It is said/believed that...  I wouldn't have done in that way but I'm not in his shoes... 
  • Don't forget to use adjectives and adverbs. They give more details and help to clarify your ideas:
    • He should study more to get good maks - He should study much harder if he really wants to improve his marks significantly

Thursday, February 8, 2018

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 1: Lifelong learning

This is an issue in fashion as many people think that you learn along your life and not only when you were at school. This is connected to the ability of learning at any age, of changing your career or  adapting yourself to changes or even that's a way of taking advantage of changes.

As usual, let's start with general questions. Here you are some to work with your partner:

  • What does lifelong learning mean for you? Is this course an example for you? Why are you doing this course?
  • If you could go back to college, what would you like to study? Give reasons for your answer
  • Have you ever had to learn something when you were an adult such as driving, using a computer or a mobile, and so on? Tell us your experience.
  • Have you ever tried to take up a sport or an activity for the first time? How did you feel?
  • If you had the time and the chance to learn something, what would it be? Why?

Activity 1
Imagine you are a new student and you want to enrol a course of English. Ask questions to your partner who works at the registration office about:
  • what kind of course you need
  • what skills to improve
  • ask details about when, where, how many hours, how much it costs ...
  • ask for other extra activities
Now swap roles with your partner.

Activity 2
This exercise is a revision of conditional sentences. The game is very simple: one starts with a conditional sentece and the other student has to chain aother sentence with part of yours, like in the example:

     A: If I have enough money I'm going to buy a new car
     B: If you want to buy a new car, you'll need a lot of money
     C: If you need money, you should ask for a loan
     A: If I ask for a loan I'll have to pay it back and that means more money
     B: If you don't ask for a loan, you may borrow the money from your parents
     C: But if your parents can't lend you the money, you won't be able to buy a new car

Then do the same with second (hypothetical or improbable conditional) and third (imposible conditional) types.

Activity 3
We should start to prepare our final exam, the one prepared by Comunidad de Madrid. I firmly recommend doing the samples which are on the internet. They are in the links of this blog but here you are the page: click here

Next classes we'll start to prepare the oral exam. See you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NI1 - The difference between USED TO+infinitive and USUALLY and SOME, ANY and NO

This is the exercise about USED TO that we did in class in case you want  to revise it: clic here

The use of SOME, ANY, NO. You have this exercise to practise (the one we did in class): click here and here

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

That's English! - Module 7 - unit 10: Superstitions and Fears

Not all the superstitions are the same in all the countries; there are differences but what they have in common is that they are true for many people. Let's start with the general questions:
  • Do you have a lucky number, item of cloth or object? Do you believe in lucky objectss? Give reasons for your answer.
  • Are you a supersitious person? Do you have lucky charm you use before important events?
  • Do you think Spanish people are supersititious? Is it a problem of nationality, age, religion or sex? Compare different groups of people according to supersitions.
  • What's the difference between a fear and a phobia? Think about some examples.
  • Do you suffer from any phobias? Do you know anybody who suffers from one?
  • Were you afraid of anything when you where a little child? Do you still have it?
  • Do you have any scary story that happened to you?

Activity 1
In p.102 there is a gramar point about describing repeated and typical behaviour. You should use WILL for the present and WOULD for the past, like in these examples:
  • An actor won't wear yellow clothes during a performance because it means bad luck
  • Pelé would kiss the ground every time he won a match
Using this model try to think about some activities for you:
  • getting up in the morning  -  going to school as a child - playing with my brothers/sisters - something you used to do before an exam - something you do on Sunday
Activity 2
In p.105 there are some proverbs. Choose one o those or pick up one from the ones given below and try to explain it to your mate (taken from this site):
  • "Two wrongs don't make a right."
  • "The pen is mightier than the sword."
  • "When in Rome, do as the Romans."
  • "No man is an island."
  • "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
  • "Better late than never."
Activity 3
Here you are a video about superstitions: click here for the video. After watching it, discuss with your partner the following questions:
 Which of these superstitions are similar to those in your country?
 Which are different?
 What are the things that are considered unlucky?
 What are the things that are considered lucky?
 Do you think that there is truth behind superstitions?
Activity 4

Monday, January 8, 2018

Coming back after Christmas holiday

Here we are after holiday. This is the time for New Year's Resolutions and one of them could be to improve your English. To help you, here you are some links about this topic:
  • A general (and scientific) point of view: click here
  • A funny example with Friends: click here
  • An old but useful link which helps you get stuck to your resolutions: click here
After Christmas and with the coming of the New Year is time for changing your life... or at least we try it. Here you are some documents to work about this topic:
About shopping and sales, here you have two videos which are interesting: the easy one is this and the other is here
To finish with, this is the page I showed in class about "doctor, doctor jokes": click here

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

That's English! - Module 7 - Unit 9: Science Fiction

Let's talk about the future and imagine how many posibilities will have in 20 years time or so. As we do in every lesson, let's start with the general questions to discuss with your partner:
  • In what ways will life be different by the end of the 21st century? Pay attention to different aspects such as transport, communication, city life, medicine, education and so on.
  • Do you think life exists on other planets? What would that life be like? Should we reserch on that to check if we are alone in the universe? Should we spend money and time on such search?
  • What changes will you see in Spain in 50 years time? Take into account social, economical and physical changes, especially in everyday life.
  • Do you think technology will help us in the future or it will be a drawback for humans? Give reasons and/or examples for your answer.

Activity 1
Discuss with your partner about your future in  10 years time about the following topics:

       Family     Work/studies     Travelling     A flat/a house     Where you'll be living

Try to use all the future tenses with sentences such as: In 3 years time I'll have finished my degree at university and I'll be looking for a good job in a big company. I'll try to find a new house and by the end of 2019 I'll be living on my own.

Activity 2
What are your feelings about the future? Are you hopeful or scared about future? Talk about the dangers and the advantages of using technolgy. What will change in our future?. Make predictions using WILL and then we'll compare your feelings and your predictions with the rest of the class.

Activity 3
Here you are a listening about homes in the future: click here
This video is about what you'll be doing in 5 years time: click here

Activity 4
This is a link with cards to speak about future. You'll see different forms and tenses to express future. Work with your partner with these cards and pay attention to the tense you use each time. Click here

Activity 5
Imagine you are a fortune teller. Predict or guess what is going to happen to your mate in a short term, in 5 years time, in 10 years time... To help you you can use this video or if you prefer you can go to this link.

About grammar, this unit deals with future tenses. If you need more practise here you are some useful links: a good exercise or you can do this one with all the tenses. This one is quite long and you also have this link to grammar explanation or this one here.