Thursday, May 11, 2017

Preparing the final exams: Correcting Mistakes

I 've found these pages for correcting mistakes so I think you could use them to practise for the exam, especially for the writing part. You have to write the right answer and then you have the explanation when you clik on Answer:
  • Intermediate level: click here and here
  • For a higher level, click here
For the oral exam the typical difficulty is to do it fluently and with few mistakes. Let's focus on the main problems:
  • fluentcy and entonation: try to say full sentences and mark a rhythm in your performance; don't rush, say a couple of sentences qhen you speak and try to sound natural
  • accuracy and avoiding mistakes: learn some structures which are useful, mind tenses and use a good vocabulary, especially with the topics of the book
To practise on your own, use your mobile to record your performance, especially the individual part, and try to practise with other students by Skype or by phone.

Reading is not very difficult but if you wnat to practise with cloze tests you can go to this link  and this one for multiple choice for intermediate level. Forn higher levels, you can use this other link by choosing advance level. For advanced level, you can use this other link as well.

If you want to practise with listening comprenhension, you can go to this page for intermediate level and this other for advanced level.

I hope this post will be useful for you all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NI1 - Passive voice

Let's see the 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... Me han dicho... Se habla inglés
  • 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!

Monday, May 8, 2017

NI1 - Adjectives with a preposition

You can do practise this grammar point in two ways:
  • focusing on the preposition: go to this link
  • focusing on the adjective: here you have a list
As you can see there are many adjectives and many prepositions so you can do it in whatever way you like but the best option is to practise as much as possible. Here you are exercises:
There are a couple of things you must keep in mind:
  • when you have an action after the preposition you must use -ING form, as it happens in Spanish; e.g. I'm good at writing but I'm worried about taking the final exam.
  • sometimes an adjective can take different prepositions; e.g.   I'm bad at maths  ---  I'm bad with computers  ---   Smoking is bad for you
Apart from this grammar point, we saw something that was a bit confusing for you:
  • COMPARISON: She is as tall as me  ---  She is taller than her brother (you compare)
  • CONTRAST: She is so tall that she could play basket (you remark something)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

That's English! - Module 6 - Unit 10: Stories and Legends

General questions
Do you believe in ghosts? Do you like those stories? And fairy tales?
Do you remember any legend? Think about El Cid, la Santa Compaña, La Dama de la guadaña, etc.
what are the main characters of a fairy tale? What do they represent? (go to Activity 5 to read about this topic)

Activity 1
Think about a fairy tale, a legend or something similar and tell the story; pay attention to details and the questions you need to frame the story: where, when, who, how, what happened, why...

Activity 2
What did you use to do/go on holiday when you were a child?

Activity 3
Think about an anecdote or a strange event that happened to you. Explain it to your mate and give as many details as possible.

Activity 4
Think about an important character and try to tell his/her story: Don Quixote, Picasso, Ramón y Cajal, Isabel de Castilla...

Activity 5
If you want to know about symbols in fairy tales you may use these two links: this one is about the main characters; the other one is about the typical stories and their interpretation.

Preparing the exam
  • Revise the grammar and the vocabulary for both oral and writing parts.
  • When you are writing remember to have an outline of your composition but don't write it twice because you don't have enough time. 
  • When you finish, read your own composition and pay attention to the most typical mistakes: the -s for the singular 3rd person in present, adjective berfore nouns, no plural for adjectives, most modals without to, tenses according to the reference of time and spelling.
  • When you are in the oral exam, try to speak slowly and clearly; if possible, repeat the question in another way to clarify, listen to your mate and be collaborative; try to use as many tenses and vocabulary as possible.
  • To practise with oral exam you could use the general questions you find in each lesson in this blog. If you could record and check your performance, you'd improve it a lot.