Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NA1 - Unit 7B: Describing places

In this lesson there is an exercise of describing a photograph, which is not very frequent in our daily life. However, we usually describe places we've been to, destinations we enjoyed a lot or our own favourite sites. apart from the photocopies I gave you in class, here you are some exercise to improve your vocabulary and your writing:
  • a video with adjectives for describing places: click here
  • a presentation to help you improve your vocabulary: click here
  • if you want to see a model of different descriptions of places , click here
I hope this entry is useful but remember to have these tips in mind when you'r describing a place:
  • Start the description thinkning that the person who is reading/listening to you might not have been there before. Take into account the typical questions: where it is that place, think of relevant details for the location and don't take anything for granted.
  • Use adjectives and adverbs to make the description more lively.
  • Make clear paragraphs: 1) as an introduction, start with the location 2) the most important sites of that place 3) what to do there 4) why that place is important for you 5) as a conclution say why that place is so relevant.
See you after Christmas, guys!

Christmas Time

Christmas is very special in English speaking countries and you can find a lot of references on the internet. Here you are some links with videos, music and even recipes to try. I hope you'll enjoy everything. And I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016. Have a nice holiday!

http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/ : this is a page with a lot of information about Christmas including traditions, history, explanations of typical things and some examples of Christmas around the world.
http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/christmas-traditions-worldwide this is a short video which explains the history and traditions about Christmas.
This other page includes videos about many topics related to Christmas:

Christmas carols
This is also a worldwide tradition which is really famous. There are quite a lot of sites and videos with carols. Here you are just a few:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KG4yCPc_Tw : this is a video with some of the most famous carols with lyrics. It's a mix of them so try to see how many you already know.
http://www.carols.org.uk/index.htm : this British page has a large selection of carols with lyrics, music and some videos. As an example I've chosen these two:
But we are also used to listening the typical American carols, with more rythm. These are some of that kind:

Christmas recipes
Cookies are one of the most typical things to do at this time so try this recipe of shortbread, a delicious butter buiscuit or the traditional scones for teatime: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/shortbread_1290
But if you want to enjoy cooking something special with the most “special people” at home, we recommend you to make these funny recipes with your children:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 7: The future looks bright

In this unit we are talking about future plans, dreams and wishes. Apart frome the revision of future sentences, we are having a look at future continous: I'll be working on... We use tis tense when we are quite sure that something will happen in a precise future. For that reason you need certain expressions of time and here we've got some to say that something is likely to happen or we wish something to happen in the future:
  • At some time in the future... I hope to be developing my career... In 10 years' time I hope to be working for a big company... This time next year I'll be living in London...
Apart from future continuous, we have perfect future. This tense is used for finished or complete asctions in the future: By this time tomorrow I'll have finished my work.

exercise 1: futuure progresive      exercise 2: perfect future

For a further explanation and to see some common expressions of time for these tenses go to these links:
Just to finish with, have a look about writing skills on the book and pay attention to the exercises based on your personal opinion as they'll be likely to be used in the oral exam.

NI1 - Unit 3B: Stereotypes

This is a very typical topic, especially when we talk about differences about men and women.
Here you are a video which speaks about this: click here
About grammar we've been working with articles. Here you are some exercises to practise:

To finish with, here you are to songs which show the other's point of view:
  • If I were a boy by Beyonce: click here
  • I want to break free by Queen: click here

Thursday, December 3, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 6: As nice as pie

Tastes in food and clothe have changed a lot recently and this is the topic of this lesson. Let's start with some questions and/or reflections:
  • In food: new products and new ways of cooking due to technology;  more allergies an new tendencies (celiac, vegan, Mediterranean diet, etc.) "globalization" of food such as sushi, tex-mex, couscous,  Chinese food, delicatessen stores and so on.
  • In clothing: new designs and materials, people spend more time and money on going shopping; international trade marks such as Zara or Next; revivals or vintage clothes.
Discuss with your mate what changes in food have you notice in the place you live: supermarkets, restaurants, ways of cooking at home, products which are reduced and some others which have become familiar, etc.

Talk about your favourite food now and the one you loved as a child. Has your taste changed a lot?

In the book they talk about soul food. What's your favourite soul food? How do you make itor where do you get it? Ak your partner about this and give reasons and details with your answers.

Has your way of dressing changed a lot since you were a teenager? Talk about the main changes and try to explain why you've changed. What would you like to wear if you could afford it?

A good way to see how fashion has changed is to compare your dressing as a child and nowadays. What are the main differences?

Food an dressing are part of our own culture and both show a personal taste. Try to compare what you've learnt in the book about British style and Spanish style. Try to see the good points and the drawbacks of both.

In addition to these activities, remember you have some exercises in your textbook to practise your speaking. Go to them with your partner.

About grammar, this unit deals with quantifiers; here you are some exercises to work on this:
The other topic is relative sentences. remember this kind of clauses are used to improve your writing, to give more detail about something mentioned before and to have a more lively description. Here you are some exercises as well:
Although this listening is not about the topic, it might be helpful to work with it; click here

Thursday, November 26, 2015

NA1 - Unit 8A: Beat the Robbers... and the Burglars

This unit deals with passive voice; if you want to see a previous post from this blog you can click here. But the most important thing is to use it in a natural way as these tenses are much more usual in English than in Spanish. Let's remember some examples we saw in class which are really different from Spanish:
  • I was given this parcel for you. It was left at my desk yesterday.
  • Mr. Jonhson is said to be the new headmaster but I think he will be asked to change a lot of things at school.
  • I was fined and my car was taken away by the crane
To keep on working on the topic, here you have some listening comprehension about crime: click here or here

As an example, here you are a piece of news from BBC to see how often it is to find passive voice; click here. But as it is the time of Thanksgiving and this article will give you some information about that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 5: Fish for a compliment

This unit deals with body vocabulary, and it includes some idioms with parts of the body. Here you are a couple of links with a long list like this or this. It's very difficult to learn them all by heart so I think you should start with the ones which are similar to Spanish or which catch your eye and then you go on with the rest. Here you are some:
  • to cost an arm and a leg; to use strong-arm; brain drain;to slip of the tongue; over my dead body; keep your chin up; to be all ears; to keep an eye on sth/sb; to keep your feet on the ground; to have a big mouth; to be a pain in the neck...
The previous week (and post) we saw the use of purpose sentences and modals to give advice. Let's practise orally in class with these activities; then you can repeat it at home:

Work with your partner and think about the typical problems you have at work (you needn't be sincere; it's just an activity). Then, try to give advice and try to get a solution saying. the purpose for it. As an example:
    I have a lot of arguments with my boss.  -----   You should try to be more assertive so that he has less chance to argue, don't waste your time arguing  in order to keep calmer, if I were you I'd try to avoid him as much as possible so as not to have so many rows, you could look for another position in the company in order not to deal with him any more.
You can also use this pdf to work with this topic; click here

Imagine you have to choose 5 changes in your life. Once you've don it, explain to your partner your choice and the purpose of that. When your mate is doing this exercise, try to ask questions and give some advice from your poin of view.

Purpose structures are really useful to describe objects; for instance, you explain what a tin opener is by using this form: a tin opener is a tool you use to open tins. think about some other examples like a camera, a computer, an ipad and so on.

To work with grammar, here you are some exercises: exercise 1 explanation and an exercise at the end here

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Revision 1

This unit is to revise what we've seen in the last four units so let's try to work on the most important or dificult items. We're also introucing part of unit 5. We'll finish with this unit next week.
  • if-clauses: 
    • first type of conditional sentences: using so long as  and  as long as; click here to see the difference; you can use this exercise to practise with the the other connectors: click here
    • second type of conditional sentences: this is much more difficult when you are speaking so let's practice with this. Make sentences one after another in this way: If I had enough money, I'd buy a new car; but if I bought a new car I'd need to change the insurance; if I had to change it, I'd try to find a cheaper one; if I could find a cheaper one, I'd be very happy
  • use of YET and STILL as connectors: for the use of YET go to this link; nevertheless, if you still have problems, go to this link with the translation of those connectors into Spanish: click here. To practise with contrast connectors, go to this exercise
  • using modal verbs:
    • certainty and possibility: here you are an exercised; but take into account you should use other modals apart from CAN. Work with probabilities on a sentece: she hasn't arrived yet --- she must get lost as she doesn't nkow where I live; she might have a problem with her car; she may be stuch in a traffic jam; she can't be working at this time.
    • advice or recommendations: here you have a tendency to overuse MUST when SHOULD is much more common. Try to use forms such as you'd better. Do it orally starting with this sentence: I'd like to lose weight or I'd like to improve my English.(UNIT 5)
To work with the following unit, here you are a listening comprehension about health: click here

Monday, November 16, 2015

NI1 - Unit 2B: Changing lives

If you want to practise more, here you are alink with a long explanation and some exercises at the end: click here. If you want to work with this grammar point, here you have more exercises:

Just in case you have problems with SINCE and FOR, you can go to this link:

This is the video of Adelante Africa  ew saw in class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crGRnof7aAA. If you want to know something else about this NGO here you are the official web page: click here

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NA1 - unit 8B: Reported Speech

Curiously I taught this same topic in level NI1 so I suggest having a look at the entry of this blog for a revision of this grammar point, especially the changes of tenses, pronouns, determiners and so on. If you want to go to the post, here you are what I posted last year:

This topic is a typical grammar point but I'd like you to see it as a natural way of speaking. We use it very frequenltly in our conversation in Spanish and it's very usual in English as well. You must be logical and you'll find this topic much easier than expected. A list of changes is already in your own book. Here you are a video explaining this point, click here, but it's rather simple for you. However, for a good but long explanation, click here. Remember you can do some exercises at the end of the explanation.
Let me remind you that direct and indirect speech are very common in our daily life as well as in the news. If you read or watch some news you'll see it. Click here to check it: BBC news
The other problem was the use of if and whether. Here you are a good page to see the difference between them; click here

Nevertheless, this lesson in NA1 deals with the introductory verbs you should use to be more accurate. You can go to these links to see how these vebs work; click here , here or here
For practice you can do these exercises: exercise 1     exercise 2    exercise 3     exercise 4

To finish with, let me tell you that the best way to learn them is to practise as much as possible; the more you practise the better you use them so here you are some more exercises to do:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 4: Mind your language

This unit deals with body language and other kinds of communication, how important gestures and attitudes are in communicating.
As usual, here we have some questions to start with:
  • What are the advantages of face-to-face communication? Are there any drawbacks?
  • When do you use messages or whatsapps?
  • Is body language important for communication? Give reasons for your answer.
  • Can you think about an anecdote in which you were misunderstood or a gesture that might cause you some trouble?
We also have here a long but really interesting talk about body language in TED: click here. If you want to know a little bit more about this topic, here you have a shorter video: click here. To know a bit more about gestures, here we are a video: click here; but here you are a good summary about how important gestures are while speaking, using examples from "Friends": click here or even this is nice joke with another series Big Bang Theory: click here

About grammar, we are learning the use of the form it. To have a further explanation it's very useful to go to this link: click here and then do this exercise. But a very difficult grammar point is the use of verbs with particles: use this link and this link for exercises but you can find many others if you search on the internet. Remember that it's easier to learn this type of verbs if you think of the particle rather than the own verb: verbs with BACK, with UP, with OFF, with DOWN and so on. Another good tip is to learn it with examples: put that cigarette off; put it off please.

Monday, November 9, 2015

NI1 - Unit 2A: Spend or Save

In this lesson we are working with the topic of money. It's interesting and very common so there are a lot of songs talking about money. The one you have on the book is just one but here you have some more:
  • Girls don't like boys: click here
  • Madonna's vision wit Material girl: click here
  • Money makes the world go round at Cabaret: click here
  • Money, money, money by Abba: click here
  • Money honey by Lady Gaga: click here
It must be an important topic if there are so many songs about it, don't you think so?
But about grammar, we're working with past and present perfect. Here you have some exercises to practise a bit more than the ones you have in your textbook and workbook:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 3: East, west, home is bestPa

This lesson is about describing places and the introductory questions should be about this:
  • Describe the place you live and say something about facilities, public transport, green areas, leisure centres, crime rates and give as many details as you can. Remember this is a conversation, not a monologue: make questions and show interest when the other person talks to you.
  • What's the most important things you bear in mind to choose an area to live? Do you have them in yur current neighbourhood? What do you miss? What would you change? Go to page 31, exercise 12 to help you with these questions, and also page 37, exercise 4.
  • Would you prefer to live in a big town, a smaller town or the countryside? Give reasons for your choice and try to find advantages and drawbacks for any of them (page 36, exercise 6)
  • What's the best place to live in Spain? And in the world? Where would you like to live?
If you want to practise with listening comprenhension, here you have some exercises:
  • an exercise about Paris: click here
  • this is about a new means of transport: click here
To finish with, here you are a video with adjectives to describe cities; quite easy but useful: click here
Here you have the song we sang in class (one of my favourite, by the way) Take me home: click here

Monday, November 2, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 2:Getting on well

We usually start the lesson with general questions to work with your mate(s). Here you are some from this lesson (exercise 11, page 21):
  • Do you think that getting married is a big decision? And living with your partner? Is there any difference between these two options?
  • Is your family spread out of do you live close to each other? Explain the circunstances if you can and tell your mate what's better
  • Who would you lean on for help if you had a problem? Why? Are you a supportive person?
Another exercise to work with your partner for oral practice is on page 26, exercise 7. Try to do it as a conversation so ask questions and make comments to show interest. About how to express concern, here you are a good link to help you: click here

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

That's English! - Module 9 - Unit 1: Time Goes By

In this unit we're going to work with idioms and expressions related to TIME. To start with you may go to this link with the most typical expressions and teh translation into Spanish: click here. However, I'm more interested in this link as it deals with idioms or idiomatic phrases: click here.
If you want to read an article about time, go to this link.
About the possible activities to do in class, here you have:
Answer these questions and compare your comments with your partner(s)
  • When do you lose track of time?
  • Do you ever feel that time is running out? Think of an example
  • In which situations do you feel that time drags on and on?
  • Discuss with your partner(s) ehen you'd like time to just stand still
  • In which situations does time fly for you? When does it go really slowly?

On page 17 there is a good exercise to speak about how to manage your time, especially if you are a clock-watcher. If you've done this quiz, talk about the results: if you agree, what you do to better your time management, ways to improve it and so on.

Tell a story to your partner about a strange or unusual experience you had. Then swap roles and ask questions to get more details.

Use the previous activity and write the story taking into account the prompts given in exercise 7a and 7b in your book.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

NI1 - 1B: Family Life

The topic of this lesson is family so we should revise the vocabulary. To do so, here you are a link for family members with the translation of every member into Spanish (click here) and here you are to do exercises
About the vocabulary of personality, here you are some pages to revise: click here with drawings and here with despcriptions and an example sentence.
This is a page for future tenses: click here and this is another one with a video: click here
Here you are a reading about how families have changed in UK, if you are interested in the topic: click here
This is the link for the song we saw in this lesson, Our House by Madness; but I prefer this one talkining about the generation gap: Father and Son by Cat Stevens, and this is a funny video about brotherhood: My Brother Taught Me How to Swim by Gravity Falls

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NA1- 3B: Incredibly Short Stories

In this lesson a web page is mentioned and if you are interested in reading some more really short stories here you are the link: fiftywordstories.com
But you might prefer something a bit different, with audio included. In that case you can use this link with many titles and many are for free: http://www.learnoutloud.com/Catalog
Apart from this, we've been working with adverbs and adverbial phrases. Here you have some links just in case you want to work with them.

  • a long list but without grammar explanation: click here
  • a good explanation and clear list but with no exercises: click here

Monday, October 19, 2015

Welcome to this new year!

Hello everybody!
Sorry for starting with the entries of the blog so late but I`ve been really busy.
Here we are this new year (2015-2016) so special for us. We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our school and we want you to join us in the celebration.
A new year means new projects, new goals, new activities and so on, and that sounds appealing, doesn't it? But not everything is new. We still have the same textbooks as the ones we used the previous year; however, we will introduce new things to make it more interesting and to make it look different.
This video is a good summary of what we want to do this year:

Here you are a welcome present: a song by Radical Face. Click here
Looking forward to seeing you in class!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


What's on? Are you enjoying your holiday? I hope so but as we usually have more free time during this wornderful period, why don't you try to improve your English?

This entry is to give you some tips about what you might do on holiday and how to spend some of your free time improving your English. Here you have some tips for the four skills:

READING - There are many texts on the internet to practise and you should try to read some books, texts or news to increase your vocabulary, to reinforce your grammar and to see models for your own writing. Here you are some useful links:
  • NA1: you should use ofiginal versions or high level readings in order to improve your standards
    • here you have American short stories with mp3; click here
    • if you like sciences this is a link with short stories related to science: click here 
  • NI1: you can find short texts here
  • For both levels: I've found this link but I don't know yet how it works, to be honest. Sounds good ands it's worth a try; http://lang-8.com/
  • NA1: here you can find some tips for improving your formal writing, in particular for papers at university but also useful for learning English; click here
  • NI1 (but also NA1): this is a page with recommendations about how to improve your writing. It has a lot of useful information; click here
  • This is page for improving your speaking skills similar to the one of writing; click here
  • Speak as much as possible: meeting people (on holiday there are many more chances of doing it); use general topics and say your opinion about it or use the examples of That's English! in this same blog if you like; record your speaking with your computer, your mobile..., and use songs or readings with CD for practising by imitation.
If you want to practice with general exams you could go to these links: 
I hope this will be useful for all of you and for those who have to sit the exam in September, check your grades at CENTROSNET, at the EOI page and your dates for the exams. See you at school in September! Hve fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

NI1 - Preparing the final exam

One of my colleagues at school has a really good bloog and he has many exercises to revise for the final exam. The link is here
If you want to practise with some other skills, here you are some tips to help you:
  • speaking: the best way is revising the speaking parts on the textbook and you should record your performance to see what problems you have: speed, entonation, vocabulary, gaps, etc.
  • writing: mind the topic, write a short draft to organise your ideas, pay attention to the structure (introduction - at least 2 main paragraphs - conclusion or ending) - keep in mind variety of structures - last cheking  (read your composition and revise spelling and typical mistakes).
  • reading: this link has a lot of reading exercises but go to PET an if you find them easy you can practise with FCE.
  • listening: apart from the usual useful links you have, here you are one more; click here and look for your level.
Other exercises we did in class and could help your are:
  • say/tell: click here and here
  • verbs followed by infinitive or gerund: click here and here

Monday, May 18, 2015

NI1 -Lesson 9B: Quantifiers

We've worked with quantifiers in class. Here you have a couple of pages to work on this topic:
exercise 1    exercise 2    exercise 3
Here you are the funny story of Nobody, Somebody, Everybody and Anybody; click here
This exercise is to see separble and unseparable verbs with particle; click here. But if you want to know the general rule, click here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

NI1 - UNIT 8B: Work

This unit is dealing with WORK and you'll see many examples of the grammar we've seen in the recent lessons like passive voice, reported speech and so on. Pay attention to the vocabulary as it's pretty useful. If you want to do some more practice, here you are a good link; click here.

The difference between work and job is quite simple: work is referred to what you do and job means your post, in general. For further explanation, go to this link with an exercise to practise; clik here

About grammar we have one of the most difficult things for Spanish speakers because it's very different from our language; we tend to use infinitive more than gerund. However, let me give you an example to see this point:
  • I saw Peter to play football: Vi a Pedro jugar al futbol.
  • I saw Peter playing football: Vi a Pedro jugando al futbol.
Although the difference is small, it exists in both languages: the infinitive is used for the whole action while the gerund is used for a moment of the action. This example might help you to understand the grammar point: verbs followed by infinitive, by gerund or by both. Go to this link for a very good explanation on this topic (not just a list); click here

But the best way of dealing with this grammar topic is by doing a lot of exercises. Here you are some practice:

Monday, April 27, 2015

NI1 - lesson 8A: Reported Speech

This topic is a typical grammar point but I'd like you to see it as a natural way of speaking. We use it very frequenltly in our conversation in Spanish and it's very usual in English as well. You must be logical and you'll find this topic much easier than expected. A list of changes is already in your own book. Here you are a video explaining this point, click here, but it's rather simple for you. However, for a good but long explanation, click here. Remember you can do some exercises at the end of the explanation.
Let me remind you that direct and indirect speech are very common in our daily life as well as in the news. If you read or watch some news you'll see it. Click here to check it: BBC news
The other problem was the use of if and whether. Here you are a good page to see the difference between them; click here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NI1- lesson 7

In the practical English part of this lesson we are working with suggestions. Here you are a link with some models of suggestions and how to accept them or refuse them; click here Remember how important suggestions are in our daily conversations as we usually work with them. Try to be polite while suggesting.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NA1 - unit 7A: Don't Argue

This lesson deals with a lot of vocabulary and some typical expressions but there is a grammar point I'd like to focus on: the use of RATHER. Go to this link to see a good summary of that; click here
Some students have asked the list of adverbs of degree and you can go to this link, but I think it's a bit too dificult; this one might be easier, click here. If you want to practise, here you are some examples:
 Here you are the link to see the difference between ROB and STEAL; click here

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter is coming!

This tradition is one of the differences between Spanish and British culture as we celebrate Holy Week instead of Easter. Here you are some videos to explain that difference and some information about Easter. I hope you'll enjoy it!
The history of Easter: click here
Easter in the UK: click here
Easter traditions in other places: click here
A video about the Spanish Holy Week: click here
Easter and activities for children: click here
Happy holidays and see you in April!

NOTE: For those who worked with irregular verbs in class here you are a huge list; click here
If you want to revise this list you may use the exercises done in class:
  • the alphabetical order
  • selecting a letter
  • by topics: senses, education, money, human actions...
  • by pattern: A-A-A, A-B-B, A-B-C and A-B-A (cut-cut-cut, learn-learnt-learnt, fall-fell-fallen and come-came-come)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

NA1 - Working with Listening Skills

After the exam some of you asked me to work with exercises of filling the gaps; here you are two of them but the level is B2, a bit higher than yours but not so much. Have a try:
  • About Maasai Lions: clikc here
  • The Best Job in the World: click here
Apart from listening exercises, here you are the photocopy about icons showing feelings; click here
Another thing that some of you asked me was the use the verb suggest; this is connected to something we must revise: verbs followed by -ing form, by infinitive or by both. Be patient as we'll see it soon!
Just as some more curiosities abut tea (although it's a commertial target to American people, sorry!); click here

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NA1 - Lesson 5B: I wish

In the previous lesson we worked with if-clauses and this grammar point is a bit similar because of the use of tenses but in another context: I wish + WOULD / PAST SIMPLE /PAST PERFECT
Although you've got a grammar explanation on the book, let's see these links, which are quite useful, about how to use this structure
  • Here you are a short summary but without exercises: click here
  • This link from the British Council with an exercise: click here
  • A very clear summary with different exercises at the end (except for the song): click here
  • Exercises: exercise 1    exercise 2    exercise 3 (this is a mix of exercises and explanation; quite long but it's worth visiting the link)
To finish with here you are some songs about this construction. There are a lot but these are just a few. Enjoy them!
  • I wish I could: dedicated to parents, especially for fathers (March 19th): click here
  • I wish it would rain down by Phil Collins: click here
  • I wish I knew how by LihgtHouse: click here

Monday, February 23, 2015

Common Writing Mistakes

Although this post is focused on NI1 students of other levels might find it interesting. Here you are soem of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Every verb needs a subject: She doesn't like that skirt because x is too short. In this sentence you don't know the second subject and it could be read in two ways: a) because SHE is too short  or b) because IT is too short 
  • Don't shift the tense of the verbs unless it is necessary: if you are using past tenses don't change to present if you don't need it. If this happens, pay attention to the reference of time. An example: Peter went to the cinema with Susan but they don't like the film. Maybe you wanted to say: ...but they didn't like the film because it was a western and they are not keen on that kind of films.
  • Adjectives don't have plural forms, except for some exceptions, but generally they use the singular form: The British and the Americans (right) are quite differents (wrong).
  • Mind the spelling, especially the use of capital letters and the double consonant. Capital letters are used with I (not with It), days of the week, months, nationalities but never use If unless it is after a period. A typical misspelling is this: I tried to pass the exam last saturday but It was very difficult and I failed; I'll sit the exam again next july If I can. For double consonat, keep in mind how to pronounce the word and the rules for -ED and -ING form. For example: you don't use writting as you don't say likking.
  • Organise your writing in a logical way to be understood better and remember that what it is in your head can't be read, but what it is written on the paper.Use paragraphs with ONE idea in each one,and keep in mind that a paragraph is longer than a sentence but it shouldn't be too long either. If it is so, it is likely you have included more than one single idea in the paragraph. 
To finish with, here you are some links to help you to improve your writing skills:
  • A link with typical mistakes according to the level: click here
  • Exercises of correcting mistakes: click here
  • A list of mistakes comparing two similar words like between vs. among and it incluses some other frequent mistakes:click here
  • This is about how to avoid some mistakes for "formal" writing: click here

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

On the last Tuesday of Carnivals, there is a special feast called Shrove Tuesday, and the following day Lent starts. Here you are some links to know a bit more about this feast:

  • a video about Pancake Races in London: click here
  • a video with an explanation about Shrove Tuesday: click here
  • if you need a recipe for pancakes, try this one (vocabulary): click here
Here you are the link with the good comments about how to use How come; click here. Remember that it's similar to the expression in Spanish  ¿como es que...? I hope this will help you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saint Valentine's Day

This post is a "romantic" contribution to Saint Valentine's Day. Here you are some short stories and some quotes about love. I hope you'll enjoy them.
  • short romantic stories: click here
  • romantic messages: click here
If you want to know something about Saint Valentine's Day here you have some videos:
  • Saint Valentine's day in America: click here
  • This is another video with some interested facts; clic here
If you want to work with usually and used to here you are an exercise or this one with used to. If you think you can go further, try this exercise with to be used to+ -ing; click here or this one with the three forms

Thursday, January 29, 2015

NI1 - 5A: Sports

In this lesson we are working with sports. Let's revise some things which are important:
DO - PLAY - GO +---ing - PRACTISE
Look at the examples:

  • you do exercise: do yoga, do aerobics, do judo, do karate, etc.
  • you play games: play football, tennis, basketball, etc.
  • you go + an activity, and you usually go to a place to do it: go cycling, go jogging, go running, go skating, go swimming  or  I go for a ride, for a swim...
  • you practice to be better, to be sucessful: I practise running to win a medal 
A grammar point I would like to revise is the use of verbs inicating likes and dislikes, which are usually followed by -ing form. Let's see the most usual ones:        

-ING form
If you want to revise and/or enlarge vocabulary about sports, click here 

NA1 - Preparing the Exam

We've worked in class on how to prepare oral part. Here we are some clues about what we've learnt in these lessons (1A-4B):
  • short stories
  • anecdotes: about my childhood, about weird events, about the weather, about travelling, etc.
  • talking about future: short and long term plans, by 2020, expectations, predictions, etc.
  • describing: people (vocabulary and adverbs), places, books, etc.
  • expressing your point of view about several topics: elderly people, favourite books, being ecofriendly,favourite clothes, working and jobs (extreme job interviews), etc.
About writing skills, you should revise how to write these (click here to see models):
  • a short story, an anecdote, something that happened to you
  • a description of a person (even yourself) or a place
  • an e-mail to a friend to explain something
  • a covering letter
  • expressing your opinion about a topic: elderly people, favourite books, clothed, ecology and global worming, to be ecofriendly, working and employment, health problems, etc.
As there was a problem with how to use especially and specially, here you are an explanation or a kind of translation .This other link has the explanation and an exercise. I hope it helps.
Revise these lessons for the exam but don't get panic; it's not so difficult.
See you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

NI1 - lesson 4B

In this lesson we have modals of obligation (for this gammar point have a look at the post of That's English! module 5, unit 8) but we also have SHOULD HAVE + past participle. This form is not exactly a recomendation but a regret. The main difference between simple and perfect should is the reference:
  • SHOULD: it's referred to future and it means a piece of advice; you should go to the doctor's
  • SHOULD HAVE: it's referred to past events and it means a regret or a complaint; you should have gone to the doctor's.
Apart from the grammar use and the meaning, we`ve seen how to pronounce it, especially with trird conditionals as you can see in this video and this is an example with songs: The Beatles or this song by Kate Winslet
Here you are a video about good manners in English; click here
Just to finish with, here you are the song of the book: You Can't Hurry Love

Monday, January 26, 2015

NA1 - unit 4B: Zero and First conditional

We've been working in class with Zero and First Type of conditionals, also called Real or Possible conditionals. Here you have a link which includes Unreal conditionals (type II) but it could be interesting to visit this page; cick here
Apart from if-clauses, we've alredy seen other connectors; here you are a link for some difficult points, although some of them are not included in the list of the book:
  • IN CASE versus IN CASE OF; click here
  • WHILE versus WHERE: click here
  • DESPITE versus IN SPITE OF and ALTHOUGH versus EVEN THOUGH; cick here
There is an exercise in this lesson which deals with TAKE. This word has a lot of meanings in English and it is in many expressions. Here you are some links to see those meanings: click here for a list of expressions or a similar one here
Apart from the topics of the book, I'v found this page with two people preparing a visit. They use a lot of typical expressions and I hope you'll like it; click here

Monday, January 19, 2015

NA1: future perfect and future continuous

We'd already revised some futere tenses such as  WILL, GOING TO or present tenses for future.These new future tenses are not very frequent either in English or in Spanish as they are quite specific. Maybe you should revise all the future tenses and try to see the differences so click here to read about future tenses. But if this page is too complicated, maybe you could use this one.
To finish with, here you are the song at the very end of this lesson: Heatwave
Hope this is helpful!

NI1 - unit 4A

This lesson has a grammar point about reflexive pronouns so here you are the page I showed you in class in which they explain they are used as a reflexive form or as an intensive form; click here. Remember there is a very common form which is by+reflexive pronoun. Here you have examples of all these uses:

  • I cut myself yesterday (an ordinary reflexive form).
  • I myself saw you doing that (emphatic form).
  • I did it by myself, without any help (this means "lo hice yo solo")
  • I did it myself (this means "lo hice yo mismo" or "lo hice yo")
The use is not very difficult in written English; I think it's more difficult when you use it in spoke English. Nevertheless, here you have some exercises to practise: exercise 1  and  exercise 2 (a list of exercises to practise).

When we spoke about the tips to learn or improve English, I told you that songs are very useful; here you are a couple of examples:
  • The Hall of Fame: use of can/could , superlative and vocabulary; click here
  • Wake Me Up: phrasals, some fixed structures, tenses; click here

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Can, Can't and To Be Able to

In NI1 (Englihs File-unit 4A)  we've been working with this modal and we've seen that as CAN is a defective verb we should use TO BE ABLE TO + infinitive if we want to use it in some verbal forms such as the following ones:

  • I haven't been able to finish my homework yet
  • I'd like to be able to do it soon
  • I love being able to do my homework on time
  • I'll be able to do it next time
Although it is possible to use TO BE ABLE TO in present and past simple, it sounds a bit formal and it's more frequent (and easier) to use CAN and COULD. But whenever we need infinitive, gerund or past participle forms, we must use the forms of to be able to because CAN doesn't have those forms. If you need some more information about this point, you can click here

If you want to practise with this modal and to be able to you have these exercises:
We've also worked with pronunciation in class and here you are a video which helps you to pronounce CAN and CAN'T properly; click here or here

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

This is the 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