Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Writing skills

To write properly is not as easy as one might think. You must keep some general rules in mind:
  • the content: be precise and say why you are writing, give relevant information and keep in mind who you are addressing to.
  • the structure: go from the most general information to the most precise, give examples if necessary and "guide" the person who is reading your text to the principal point. Use paragraphs to organise your ideas and connectors to link sentences.
  • richness: variety of vocabulary, of tenses, of connectors and so on. The person who is reading you should be pleased to read your text, if not he/she will stop reading it.
  • accuracy: you shouldn't make mistakes and you should use complex sentences in order to be more accurate. Punctuation is also important.
Remember these will be the four marks you'll get when I give you back your composition.

About how to write the text, the steps you should follow are these.
  1. Read carefully what you are asked to do: what do they want me to do? what  is this for? what piece of writing is this: a letter, an e-mail, an article ...? 
  2. Have a draft of your writing but DON'T write it twice because you won't have enough time and then follow it.
  3. Be sure you have paragraphs and there are enough (neither few nor too many) connectors
  4. Once you've finished, read it again to check it's understandable and correct the typical mistakes.
  5. Try to be precise, clean and neat in your writing.
To sum up, take into accaunt that the reader is not in your head and the only way to know what you want to say is by reading your piece of writing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NI1-unit 1B: Family

This unit is about family. Let's revise the most usual vocabulary with this video and here you have a list  if the main words with the phonetic symbols. After revising the vocabulary, you can practise with this page with plenty of exercises.

About grammar we are working with future forms so here you hve some exercises to work with:
If you need further information about how to use it, go to these links:
  • the use of WILL; to to this link
  • the difference between WILL and GOING TO; go to this link (a bit long and high level)
In the vocabulary bank we've also worked with personality; here you have a link with adjectives and sentences to give you examples (click here for the list and do this exercise   or this to revise) 

To finish with, here you are the song Our House

See you in class!

NA1-unit 1B

This unit starts with spooky stories and I've thouhgt it'd be a proper time for introducing Halloween. For those who like this kind of stories, here you have a link where you can read short stories related to this. Apart from those stories, you might be interented in the history of Halloween, its origin and so on; in that case, you should click here but if you want to see a longer video, click here.

The other topic in this lesson is about how to interpret handwriting, with a long listening on the textbook. If you want a short summary, watch this video which gives you some examples; click here

About grammar, we have the use of double comparative with the more/less ... the more/less. This form is quite usual to express cliches or idioms such as "the sooner, the better" or "the more, the merrier", which means the more people there are, the merrier they will be.

Here you have the link for the song Unbelievable and this is for the translation

To finish with, this is the link for compound adjectives I showed in class: click here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NI1-unit 1A: Food

This unit deals with food, diets and so on and they also speak about the use of present tenses.

To increase your vocabulary you can use the vocabulary bank you have at the end of your class book and this video with phonetics, but you can also have a look to this video which shows you some useful partitives: click here
If you want to practise with vocabulary of food (although the level can be quite easy), you can go to this link with plenty of exercises: click here

Let's revise present tenses:
  • Simple present: click here
  • Present continuous: click here
  • Here you have the spelling rules for -ING (and for -ED): click here
To practise with present tenses you should do these exercises for revision:
Hope to be helpful! See you in class.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

NA1-unit 1A: questions and answers

This unit is a revision of question formation. We should pay attention to the use of auxiliaries and when you don't use them. Here you have an exercise with a funny video at the end:click here.

Apart from the typical structure of a question, we have question tags and echo questions; if you want to know more about them and how to pronounce them you can go to this presentation; click here.

On page 6 you have a text about extreme interviews and I've found these videos that might interest you:
  • this is a very funny job interview; click here
  • this video is about body language; click here
                                                                                                                                                                      • this video is about how to have a good job interview; click here

Welcome to the new school year 2014-2015!

Hi! Here we are starting a new course and that's great. This blog has the aim to help you to improve your English and to have fun while learning. To be more helpful, I'll mark on the heading of the post which is the target level but you can use any post of any level you need or fancy.
To start with, here you are a video of the song Happywhich will make you feel good with this starting course. The first link is like a karaoke and then you can watch the original video here:

Because I'm happy...  Happy to see you in class!