Tuesday, April 25, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - unit 9: The world is a stage

General questions
Do you prefer going to the theatre or the cinema? Why? From your point of view, what are the main differences between these two entretainments?
What is the main problem for theatre? Why isn't is so popular?
Did you used to go to the theatre as a child? Do you stil do it?
When was the last time you went to the theatre? Did you enjoy it?

Activity 1
Discuss with your partner about these questions and try to find the reasons why theatre is not so popular. Compare theatre to cinema and remark the main differences.

Activity 2
Speak about the main problems to make theatre more successful in our country. Think about the pros and the cons of going to the theatre.

Activity 3
theatre can be used with educational purposes as a therapy (see the article below) but aslo as a tool for learning, especially for learning a language. These are some examples:

  • role play: a doctor and a patient; a shop-assistant and a customer; a receptionist and a guest; a waiter and a customer; a police oficer and a thief; a parent and a child; two friends chatting ...
  • entonation: to produce a sentence in different ways taking into account speed, pitch, feelings...
    • I love going shopping on sales with my friend Laura.
  • using mime for performing and speaking about that performance or as a game (Guess the film)
  • storytelling: telling a story which could be invented or retold in that occasion

Activity 4
You can use these listening exercises to revise about this topic.
  • About theatre in general, we have this article: click here
  • About The Globe in London: click here
  • Cats in a video: click here

My favourite place in Alcalá de Henares

We are preparing a study visit around Alcalá in which you should speak about a place you like in our town and explain to your mates why you like it or give us a piece of History about that place.

To help you to prepare it here you are a link with a guide and with some information on wikipedia. Don't forget to use the outline I gave you in class and to bring it to the visit.

To finish with, here you are more videos about Alcalá de Henares: this general one, ans this one made by Jesús.

We'll have a good time!

Monday, April 24, 2017

NI1 - Lesson 10: Take care! (Past continuous+ used to)

In this lesson we are going to work with past continuous so it may be interesting if you have a look to this link, which has exercises at the end. In this other link you havea short summary of past simple and past progressive with exercises as well: click here

Apart from that you can do these exercises to practise with this tense and to distinguish it from past simple: exercise 1 and exercise 2

The other point of grammar is USED TO + infinitive to express an action in past you did quite often in the past but you don't do it any more. Here you are a link with an explanation and to practise with some exercises: click here.

See you in class!

NA1 - Lesson 6A : Gerund and Infinitive Pattern Verb

This is is one of the most  difficult parts in this level because you must learn by heart when you use one or another, or even both. Nevertheless, there are some general rules to help you:
  • verbs of likes and dislikes are usually followed by -ing form: enjoy, don't mind, hate, fancy, feel like, love, etc.
  • verbs of order, requests and commands are usually followed by infinitive: want, order, wish, ask, hope, etc.
  • after verbs with particles we use -ing form: give up, keep on, talk about, look forward to, etc.
  • sometimes there is an infinitive for purpose after the principal verb: she came to see me
Apart from the list you already have in the textbook, here you can find some lists of verbs:
The best way of learning this point of grammar is by doing many exercises. Here you are just a few of the possible ones you can find on the internet if you look for them on your own:
  • exercise 1 (gerund or infinitive?)     exercise 2 a good list with exercises at the end (British Council)     exercise 3 a long list of exercises with levels      exercise 4 a huge list of exercises with differnt levels
  • verbs followed by both; exercise done in class, click here

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NA1 - Working with a short story: The Landlady by Roald Dahl

In class we're going to work with this short story. This will be a topic for discussion, for increasing vocabulary and for doing collaborative work. Here you are the link for the short story:
Once we've read and "seen" the story, let's work with it. We are going to write a review about it. Here you are a link to explain how to do it: click here; but you can also use this one, with an example. To finish with, here you are a summary to help you: click here

See you in class next day to go on with this story!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That's English! Module 6 - lesson 8: The Art World

Art is a topic that many people don't find so interesting but it's true that when you go on holiday or get away to a town you always try to visit museums, art galleries, sculptures in the street or parks, music and so on.
If you go to a museum it's very common to have a guide talking about the works of art you have in front of you so you need the vocabulary to understand as much as possible. If you want to practise, here you are some sites:
  • the Prado Museum: click here
  • British Museum for children: click here
  • 15 different curious works of art: click here
Activity 1
Discuss with your partner about modern art. Do you like it? Give reasons for your answer.

Activity 2
Have you ever been to a museum? and to an art gallery? what kind of works of art do you prefer? Why?

Activity 3
You have been given a photocopy with blanks about art. Do this activity with as a listening comprenhension. If you want to hear it at home this is the link.

Activity 4
Turn the page and write about modern art. Then correct yourself with another colour.

In this lesson you also have two quite important grammar points: the position of adverbs and passive forms. Let's work with them.

Position of adverbs
Depending on the adverb, you should put it in one place or another of the sentence. The frequency adverbs are always in front of the principal verb; if you use it with a compound verbal form, the adverb is between the first auxiliary and the principal verb. Let's see some examples:
  • I usually go to work on foot; however, you are always taking the car to go to work.
The other common adverbs are manner, place and time, and they usually go in this order. For Spanish speakers I usually give this memory aid: MaLeTa, that is, Modo-Lugar-Tiempo. But let's see some exceptions you should take into account:
  • Verbs of movement need first the place you are going to and then how and when. Look at the example: I went to the shop very quickly but it was close.
  • When you use an adverb which is just ONE word, this can be placed as a frequency adverb, that is, in front of the principal verb or after the first auxiliary: I immediately realised she was sick. 
  • When the adverbial form is not just one word but a phrase, this should be in the beginning or at the end of the sentence: I saw Pete last Saturday morning.
If you want to know something else about the position of the adverbs, go to these links:
  • a simple explanation with exercises; click here
  • the 4 types of adverbs, their position and exercises to practise; click here
  • here you are another link with exercises at the end; click here
Let's see the other grammar point: passive voice. There are plenty of links about this but the general rules are these:
  • Passive voice is much more used in English than in Spanish; it's a way of solving the impersonal form in Spanish: Se dice que... Se ha inaugurado... Se descubrió que...
  • The verbal form is quite simple: TO BE + PAST PARTICIPLE; the auxiliary takes the tense and the past participle takes the meaning: The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday
  • We use passive voice for 4 main reasons:
    • when you don't know the subject of the action: A bank was robbed yesterday
    • the subject is not important but the action: English is spoken here
    • if the subject is hidden on purpose: I've been told you're engaged, is that true?
    • when the subject is too general: It is said that English are cold but it's not so.
Remember it's much more used in English than in Spanish as this is a way to avoid "impersonal" sentences such as: "América se descubrió en 1492", "se dice que es muy importante" , "se habla alemán en esta tienda" o "me dieron esto para tí":
  • America was discovered in 1492
  • It is said that it is really important
  • German is spoken (in this shop)
  • I was given this for you.
If you go to the news you'll see many examples of passive voice. Let's see some of them: BBC news
If you want to work on this grammar point, here you are some links:
  • quite long explanation with exercises on the different tenses of this form; click here
  • a traditional way of practising: active into passive and so on; click here
  • it's also quite traditional form of explanation with examples; click here and here for transformations.
If you want to read a further explanation, you can go to this post about passive voice or go to a previous post in my blog by clicking here.

To sum up you should take into account that passive voice functions as the impersonal form in Spanish and it's much more frequent and natural in English than in our language.

See you in class!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - unit 7: Play time!

This week we work with games, giving instructions, giving explanations and so on. Here you are the activities will do in class just in case you want to revise at home.
About grammar, you should revise modals and grammar points connected to rules, orders, commands, strong recommendations, etc. Some examples are:

  • MODALS: must or have to (obligation), can and to be able to (possibility), should or you'd better (strong recommendation)
  • TENSES. imperative and the form LET'S, used to (habits is the past), present tenses...
  • CONNECTORS: Once you've done this..., Before starting.., After throwing the ball...

Activity 1
Work with your partner and think about what games you like playing, what you used to play as a child and if you still play it, how long you've been playing it.

Acitvity 2
Guess the game: ask your partner as many questions as possible in order to find out the game he/she has in mind (p.71)

Activity 3
A friend of yours is going to have a weekend getaway with their family/some friends. Give as many suggestions as possible about where to go, what to do, where to stay and so on. To finish with this activity you may tell your mate the last time you went to a leisure park or you spent a weekend away.

Activity 4
Taboo is a very popular game. Describe something written on a card without saying the word and your partner has to guess it. Then swap your roles.

Activity 5
We did the role play which is in page 77. You can practise with it and you can also practise with individual questions with exercise 9 in this same page.

We saw a video in class about the Tower of London. Click here. If you use the subtitles, remember there are quite a lot of mistakes.  You can also practise with this video about Beyoncé; click here

See you in class!