Thursday, September 20, 2018

B2.1 - Making Questions

We've already seen in class the way of making questions. Let's practice a bit with the grammar we worked with. Here you are some exercises to help you:
  • a long explanation with a good exercise at the end of the web page: click here
  • this exercise is quite simple but it may help you: click here
  • this is another exercise to do: click here
  • and another one: click here
Once you get confident with the grammar, try to practise with them. Here you are 2 examples:
  • A typical way of using subject questions is having a survey: Who has any pets at home? Who went to the cinema last weekend? Who can drive? What happens if you boil water up to 100ºC?
  • When you ask about hobbies, likes and dislikes, routines, etc : Who likes sports? Who gets up early in the morning? Who hates rock music?
  • For the object ones you may ask questions about another person: What kind of music do you prefer? Who do you speak to when you have a problem? What books have you read recently?
As we are dealing with communication and speaking, here you are a TED talk I like a lot: click here

Friday, September 14, 2018

Starting the new school year!

We're starting our new year (2018-19) and apart from the text book we'll need to make some personal effort to improve your English. Here you are some recommendations so you'll be able to do it on your own and at your pace:
  • Read a piece of news in English every day: it'll take you little time and you'll be updater at the same time. If you have an intermediate level, you could use this link of VOA (Voice Of America): click here. If you are in a higher level, you should go to an international edition of a newspaper like The Gardian or Le Monde in the English version, although it's rather difficult to understand.
  • Talking is one of the most difficult things to do on your own but not impossible. Take advantage of all the tools you have with IT (the internet, moviles, ipads, etc.) . You could use hangouts, phone calls or  Skype to have a chat with your mates from time to time. You may speak about your holidays, what you've been doing, your plans... You might even use wassaps using the microphone and send messages to your mates telling them what you've done, a book you recommend, a film or a place you liked and say why you recommend it. Why don't you have a conversation group? You may meet from time to time to have a coffee and to talk about a topic. If you need help with the topics, let me know and I'll help you.
  • Write an email to your mates or a diary explaining your experiences. Your're not a proffesional journalist but if you write down every week you'll realise that you do many things although you might think they're not so relevant. Remember: the more you write, the better you do it.
  • Listening skills are very easy to practise thanks to the internet. Remember you've got some links on this blog (go to useful links on the right bar)  but you can use other links or look for some new webpages. Another possibility is to read a graded audiobook (from the "useful links" as we) and then listen to the audio when you've finished with your reading; listen to it when you're going for a walk, lying on the beach, cooking... and you should do it again some time later to check how much you remember. On the internet you can find many listening exercises if you serach in this way:
    • Listening exercises+B2 (better a higher level than the one you are)
  • But if you like grammar like me, you can use all the previous posts we've got on this blog or some others you may find. If you need something in particular you should search it on your own by introducing the topic in English or the search bar; e.g B2+Exercises+passive
You've got class again. This school year is going to be a wonderful challenge with all the changes we've got and I'm eager to see you again; maybe you are not in my classroom any more, but you may attend class in next room. Nice to meet you if you're a new student and nice to see you again if you aren't.

Enjoy your classes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Useful links to improve your writing

I'v tried to find some web pages to help you with your writing. Here you are some links:
  • a general idea about how to write, click here
  • useful linkers and connectors: click here
  • this is about paragraphs: click here
  • a link to work with spelling, including exercises: click here
But what you have to keep in mind is some general tips which are pretty simple:
  • Be logical and coherent: don't take anything for granted and explain well what you want to say.
  • Organise your text and use paragraphs for that.
  • Use variety in vocabulary and structures; avoid repetitions.
  • Check your composition before hand it in.
I'm sure you're going to do it really well. See you son!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Preparing oral exam for Advanced Students

Some students asked me for typical expressions to use while having the oral exam. I've tried to find something to help you and these are my suggestions:
  • let's review something we saw for the previous oral exam in our blog: click here. For the indiviual part of the oral exam, have a look to the tips below.
  • use this link to a blog in which you can find useful language for oral exams, such as starting or closing conversations, fillers, expressions of agreement and disagreement, contrast and so on: click here
  • this link could help you to prepare and give your speech: click here
  • Remember you can use your notes but you CAN'T read them so avoid writing complete sentences on your piece of paper and use key words instead to remind you your main ideas.
  • Organise your speech with introduction, main ideas and conclusión. Make sure you have included all the points required in your task and control the time.
  • Try to keep calm, don't rush when you are speaking; you'll make more mistakes and it'll be more difficult to understand you.
  • When you explain an idea, give examples to support it and to increase your oral production.
  • Use your entonation and even your body language (eye contact, your hands, etc.) to support your speech and to sound interesting. If you don't believe in what you're saying, why should the examiner do it?
I'm sure you'll do well at the exam. No doubt!

Possessive and Saxon Genitive

Here you are a post about this topic, which is one of the last points of gramar we saw. It is oriented to NA2 but other students with a high level of English might find this interesting.

There are some expressions in which you use possessives that are not familiar for Spanish students. Here you are two links to help you with special uses of Saxon genitive:
  • this one from BBC Learning English: click here
  • this is for unusual cases: click here
See you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Listening practice

For different levels: click HERE
Intermediate level: clik here  and here
Short dialogues with natural English; although they say it's intermediate it could be considered higher because it's fast and with accent: clik here

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 10: Media

This lesson deals with mass media. It's something which is very familiar for us, especially if we think of TV, radio, magazines, and the Internet. Let's see the general questions, as usual:
  • Do you watch TV a lot? How long for? What programmes do you prefer?
  • What's your favourite programme? Why? Have you seen it this week? Is it very popular? Are there any you don't like? Why?
  • Some people think the radio is dead. Do you agree? Is it the same for young pople? and for elderly people?
  • People have many options nowadays. Compare mass media 20 years ago and in these days. What are the main differences?  Does Internet have something to do with this change? Give reasons for your answer.
  • How would you improve our television? Would you release more channels? Would you change any programmes? Which ones and why?

Activity 1

Go to page 107 and do the questionaire to your mate(s) and then tell them what kind of viewer is that person. Swap roles and when you finish, discuss if you agree or not. Give reasons.

Activity 2

Do activity 9 in the same page. Try to agree what programme to watch on TV. You can use the programme schedule on the book or you may choose another one.

Activity 3

Globalization is present on TV. Most programmes are copies or imitations from the ones on American, British or other European televisions. Discuss this point with your partner and give examples.

Here you are some pages to see the words connected to this topic: