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 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