Thursday, March 30, 2017

NA1 - 5B: Suffixes for Adjectives

In this lesson we've reviewed the use of -ED and -ING; here you are the list I showed you in class but remember it's just a list and the best way of learning is by using them.

The more you use word formation the larger your vocabulary and you'll also be able to be more precised and to avoid repetitions.

Enjoy the exercises and try to find more on your own!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - unit 6: First Impressions

Last week we worked with this topic and here you are some general questions we used in class:
  • Do you think everybody makes a good or bad first impression? 
  • What are the best ways to make a good impression? 
  • Have you ever met someone you hated right away even though you didn't know them? 
  • Have you ever been wrong by judging a person for your first impression? 
  • Are you worried about the first impression you make? What do you do to improve it?
We also worked with some activities like these ones:

Activity 1
Work with your partner and think about 10 characteristics or features you pay attention to when you get a first impression.

Acitvity 2
Think about 5 good questions to know your partner. Then make these questions to your mate and let your mate do the same with you. For example: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why? or What are your strengths and your weaknesses?

Activity 3
Imagine you're going to a job interview (for a shop-assistant, a clerk, a nurse, a teacher and so on) and you are the interviewer. Make questions to your mate. Then swap your roles.

Activity 4
Have you ever got wrong about somebody because of their appearnace? Share your experience of being wrong due to your first impression about someone and tell us what happened in the end. 

We are going to watch a couple of videos in class. This first video is about polite questions in a job interview but it's a bit easy; it's useful for revising what you already know; click here
This one is a good example of a job interview although it focus on compound adjectives; click here

Monday, March 27, 2017

NI1 - Giving and Asking for directions - Unit 8: Places

To ask for directions is quite important, especially if you travel to a place you don't know. But giving directions is also important if you want to help people while they visit our country. Here you are the links we saw in class:

  • how to give directions: vocabulary, expressions, prepositions and so on; click here
  • a listening with some examples: click here
  • another useful link: click here
  • this video is to work with American vocabulary: click here
  • a link with exercises to work with a map, prepositions, vocabulary and so on: click here

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - unit 5: Going Places

This unit is about getting around a city and it's very useful for travelling. Let's see the general questions as usual:
  • Dou you usually go away at weekends? Do you always go to the same place or do you go to new places? When was the last time you went away? Describe it.
  • What kind of cities do you prefer? What is your favourite town in Spain and abroad?
  • What things could you improve in your own town: facilities, transport, traffic, etc?
Activity 1
Imagine you have a friend or family visiting your town. Suggest places to visit and things to do. Work with your partner and then swap roles. Here you have a video about Madrid if you need some inspiration!

Activity 2
Work with your partner and compare two interesting towns you know well such as Madrid and Alcala/Seville/Barcelona/etc. If you don't know the towns chosen by your partner very well, ask questions about places to visit, why that town is so interesting, the tourist sites and so on.

Activity 3
There are some exercises on the book to do with your partner. They are on p.52 (exercise 11) and p.57 (exercise 9). Practise asking information about transport or tickets to museums, exhibitions, theatre... Swap roles.
Here you are a video with an example and this easy exercise with a listening comprenhension about buying train tickets. Here you have another exam of buying a train ticket; click here. The last practice is a long activity with plenty of material; pay attention to the last part with listening, vocabulary and other activities.

Activity 4
Let's use this presentation to work with descriptions, including interesting vocabulary and helpful questions to orgaise your ideas: click here. You may also use the following point:

Useful Vocabulary
When you are describing anything you usually need a lot of adjectives so here you are just some:
amazing - huge - peaceful - quiet - lively - outstanding - incredible - exciting - amusing - pleasant - interesting - enjoyable - spectacular - breathtaking - overwhelming - colourful
dull - boring - crowded - isolated - busy - unconfortable - dreary - ugly - dreadful - suffocating - disgusting - unbearable - tedious

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NI1 - Lesson 8: The use of the articles and countable/uncountable nouns

The use of the article we saw in class is simples as we explained it:
  • indefinite article: A car (singular): just one   ----   SOME cars (plural): a few cars
  • definite article: THE  car (singular): that specific car  ----  THE cars (plural): those cars
Apart from this general rule, we have to take into account some uses:
  • We use THE with :
    • places in plural: the Nederlands, the USA, the Arab Emirates, the Alps, the Canary Islands, the Himalayas, etc.
    • with specific countries: the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom
    • with rivers and seas/oceans: the River Thames; the Pacific Ocean
  • We DON'T use THE with certain places such as lakes, mounts: Mount Everest, Lake Victoria
About COUNTABLE and UNCOUNTABLE nouns we have to take into account that the uncountable nouns are always in singular: you say the sugar, some sugar but NOT 3 sugars. Have a look this chart which could help you to understand the problem about countable and uncountable nouns and how to use the quantifiers.
Here you are a chart to help you with quantifiers:

COUNTABLE* = plural
SOME Some people are worried I need some sugar
ANY (?) Did you see any books on the shelf? Did you need any sugar for the recipe?
ANY (-) I didn't take any photos I didn't have any time
NO I have no photos in my bedroom I have no time to miss
A FEW There will be a few friends for dinner XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
MUCH XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I don't have much time
MANY I don't have many friends XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
HOW MUCH XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX How much sugar do you need?
HOW MANY How many children do you have? XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
A LOT OF I have a lot of friends I have a lot of time
ENOUGH I have enough friends I don't have enough money

*When the countable noun is singular you use the indfinite article A+singular or the definite article THE+singular; e.g. a car the car.

Here you are some exercises to practise:  exercise 1 (done in class)     exercise 2 with a list of exercises about quantifiers and countable/uncountable nouns   exercise 3 another list of exercises
 If you are interested to know something about Canada, here you are some videos:

  • An introduction with photos: click here
  • Something about the country: click here

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That's Englilsh! - Module 6 - Unit 4: Books, Books, Books

The topic is reading and most people like reading, don't you? Here we are the general questions as usual:
  • What kind of books do you read? Tell us about your habit of reading: what, when, where, how long, how much, etc.
  • Do you take advice from reviews or from a friend's opinion?
  • What is the last book you read? Tell us about it and if you'd recommend it.
  • What are you reading now?
About grammar we are working with relative clauses; here you are some links that may be useful for you:
  • the British Council page: click here
  • Perfect English page: click here
  • Just in case you had a problem, here you are a page in Spanish: click here
Let's practise with this point of grammar with a list of exercises in different levels: click here

Activity 1
Use the cards with objects given by the teacher and describe it to your mate without saying what it is. You should use expressions such as it's something (that) we use to open tins or it's a place where you go to buy food. When your mate guesses what it was, swap roles.

Activity 2
You write some names or things which are connected to your favourite food, the best film, a book you loved, a place you visited, etc. Your partner should guess the reason for that word or person. Do the same but this time your partner starts. As an example:  pizza
You wrote pizza because that is the dish (that) you like most    or     That is the dish (which) you ate yesterday. 

Activity 3
Look around and choose a thing which is in the class and say sentences saying where it is or what that thing is like. Use relative pronouns and prepositions like in the example:
It is something that is on the wall and close to the door; it's an object (that) the teacher uses to explain and to write on ...  The whiteboard.

Activity 4
You're going to be given some pictures and you have to imagine you are an archeologist from the distant future who is digging them up. Describe the object and its apparent purpose while avoidnig what you really used that for using  sentences such as "This is a tool (which was ) used to make noise in special occasions" (a saucepan) or you can describe it as what it is "It's something you use to fry or cook".

Listening activities: a city break
Here you are some listenings about different places to visit in UK but some other exotic places as well; most of them have exercises . Do as many as you like.
  • Bath: click here
  • Cambridge: click here
  • Edinburg: click here
  • Cardiff: click here
  • Mexico City: click here
  • Some facts about London: click here
  • Some tips to go to London: click here

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NA1 - Lesson 4A: Eco-guilt

In this lesson we will work with future perfect and future continuous. Here you are the links I showed you in class to review this grammar point:
Vocabulary about environmental problems: click here

In class we have seen the form TO BE LIKELY TO+infinitive; here you are an explanation about how to use it: click here.  In the BBC Learning English website you have this comment:
it's likely that + clause

Likely is quite often used with it as a preparatory subject:
  • It's unlikely that this afternoon's session will last very long. It should be over by five o' clock.
  • It's more than likely that I shall see Chris in Cambridge. I am almost certain to bump into him, in fact.
be likely to + infinitive
As an alternative, we can use the be unlikely to + infinitive construction with a normal subject, but probable cannot be used in this way:
  • This afternoon's session is unlikely to last very long.
  • I'm unlikely to be back late from the meeting.
  • Are you likely to be staying in when you get back?
It is this realisation of likely that is used in your example, Reinhard:
  • The authorities are likely to be hard pressed to respond to the disaster.
Note that if we wanted to use probably as an alternative in these examples, it would need to re-phrase them as follows:
  • This afternoon's session will probably finish quite early.
  • I shall probably be back quite early from the meeting.
  • Will you probably stay in when you get back?
  • The authorities will probably be hard pressed to respond to the disaster.

Another way of explaining the problem with LIKELY and PROBABLY using translation:
  • Likely = posible o probalbe. It's an adjective and it's followed by TO+INF as you can see in these examples:  It's likely to rain  I'll be likely to go to your party   She was likely to arrive on time
  • problably = probablemente. It's an adverb and it's used with future: I'll probalbly go to your party; however, the chance of going seems to be more remote or more unlikely
  • bound = "destinado a", "tied to" and many other meanings. I'm bound to go to your party. It's a bit informal and it means that the action is going to happen for sure.
Here I found another way of explaining the difference among similar terms, taken from this link:

Maybe: you use this word when you are not sure. It could be a "yes" or it could be a "no," and you are not certain.
For example: 
- "Are you going to Janet's party tonight?"
- "Maybe, I haven't decided yet."

Possibly: It's like saying "maybe."
For example: "Renovation will take two weeks, possibly longer."

Likely: something that is likely sounds logical and has very good chances of being true.
For example: "Spain has 117 points, and Italy has 42 points. It is likely that Spain will win."

Probably: this one is pretty much like "likely." They basically have the same meaning, but a different usage.

"Likely" is an adjective, and "probably" is an adverb. 
You would say: "It is likely that Spain will win" and "Spain will probably win."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

That's English!: Module 6 - lesson 4: Books, books, books!

The title of this lesson is "Books, Books, Books!" so guess what's this about...
Reading is one of the skills that a student must practise while learning a language. Why is reading so important? From my point of view this skill helps you to fix structures, to enlarge your vocabulary and to crystalize typical sentences you can use in your language performance, especially in speaking and writing skills.
Here you are some examples how to improve your reading:
  • Try to use readings adapted for your level: if the text is too easy or too difficult you can`t get interested in it and you're likely lo leave it. the best way is to use adapted versions.
  • Use different kinds of material, not only literature such as magazines, leaflets, texts from the internet, articles...
  • If possible, take texts with audios, to practise reading, listening and phonetics with the same material: first, read the text and try to guess the meaning of the difficult words; then, use the listening without the text to practice listening comprenhesion, and when the text is clear for you, use the text with the audio to fix the pronunciation and entonation.
Here you are some pages to work with reading:
  • For those who love Harry Potter,go to this link; click here
  • Many general pages have a reading section, like these ones: click here, here , here or here
But for many people, reading is just a pleasure, something to have fun. In that case, you have plenty of sites to read texts, especially classic short stories or other texts. Many of them are not adapted but you know the story as it is a classic:

Sunday, March 5, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - unit 3 - There's no place like home

As usual, let's start with general questions about this topic:
  • If you moved to a new house, what features would you consider most important?
  • What's your favourite room in your house and why?
  • Have you ever been involved in works at home: redecorating, changing electrical wiring, a new bathroom...? What was your experience like?
  • Think about the main problems you can have at home (or in your hotel room!) and discuss with your partener about how to solve them: a leak, a blocked drain, a leak...
Here you are some exercises to review the vocabulary of housing: exercise 1
You can also visit this blog with adjectives to describe

Activity 1
Imagine you are in a hotel and you have problems in your room. Ring the reception desk to complain: a blown fuse, a leak, a blown light bulb (or burnt out light bulb), a blocked drain ...Then exchange roles.

Activity 2
Describe your house and what you'd like to change. If you've made any works recently explain what you did and what it was like to do it. Then exchange roles.

Activity 3
Imagine you want to rent an appartment for 6 months in Great Britain; you go to an estate agent's to hire what you need. Then exchange roles.

Activity 4
Discuss with your mate about the main problems of the housing bubble and the following housing crash. Is it important to have your own house? Is it better to rent a house?

Listening exercises
  • Go to this link to hear some videos about this topic. The problem is that the vocabvulary could be a bit specific and there are no activities or exercises connected to these videos. Click here
  • This link is a conversation about housing complaints, with a listening exercise included but rather difficult; click here
  • This link has lots of models about housing: renting an apartment, problems at the flat, etc. Click here

Here you are an article about the problem of housing in Spain. The level is a bit high but you can find very useful vocabulary

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

That's English! - module 6 - unit 2: Lifestyle choices

Life can change in many ways for different reasons. Think about those reasons and discuss with your partner how life might change due to them; you may think of these among some others:
  • Having children  /  a new job, especially in another town / a serious illness / to break up with your partner / winning the lotto / meeting an important person in your life
Have you ever been in one of these situations? Do you know anybody who has? Which of these reasons do you think is the most important for you?

Activity 1
Describe your lifesyle to your partner giving details about where you live and work, your hobbies and free time, what things you'd like to change in your life and why and some of your plans for the future.

Activity 2
Working with vocabulary: choose 5 words from this unit and ask your partner about the meaning and then think about a sentence using that word; e.g.: neighbourhood - sources - compassionate - challenging - choice - belief - to trust - to feed - staff - living off-the-grid

Activity 3
Describe a person you know well (as you can find in your textbook in exercise 4 p.21) using as many adjectives as possible and then explain why you've chosen that person.
You can also do this listening comprehension exercise; click here

Activity 4
What do you prefer ...? Choose between the options given below and explain your choice:
  • Living in a big city / living in a small town or a village
  • Working for a big company / working on your own
  • Living in a flat in the city centre / living in a terrace house in the suburbs
In this unit we are working with indefinite pronouns; here you are some grammar explanations like this one  or this, and some exercises:
The other point of grammar is about neither / either / both and here you are some good explanations; the one from BBC Learning English, this simpler one or this longer one. Once you've seen the explanation, here you are some exercises:

Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday

Today we start with Lent but yesterday it was Mardi Gras, which is a famous festivity in America, especially in New Orleans. Here you have a video of National Geography: Mardi Gras. This is another video, with longer speeches and a bit of history if you want to practise.

Another typical feast is Shrove Tuesday, which is the Tuesday before Lent as well: click here to know what this is and some useful vocabulary; and this link is just an example to explain it, the same as this one.