Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NI1 - Units 8B and 9A: 1st and 2nd type of conditionals

Although most of you have learnt conditional sentences as zero conditional, 1st, 2nd and 3rd type, I'd rather give them a "name" which helps them to be identified more easily:
  • general truth 
  • probable or possible conditional
  • improbable  or hypothetical conditional
  • impossible conditional
If you want a good explanation about all types of conditional you have this link, but we are going to work with the first 3 types:

TYPE 0 General truth; it always happens.
You can use WHEN instead of IF
If you heat some ice
it melts
TYPE 1 Very probable. When the condition occurs, there will be a reaction. Present
If you have a problem,
future – present – imperative
I'll help you
the teacher can help you
call me, please
TYPE 2 Improbable but still possible to happen.
The possibility is more uncertain.
There is a special use with WERE
Past simple
If you had a problem

*If I were you
Simple conditional
I could help you
the teacher would help you

I wouldn't go out today

Here you are some exercises if you want to practise with this grammar point:
  • a link with all the types, but you can choose what you want to do: click here
  • another link with many exercises: click here
  • this is a useful presentation about the use of conditionals: click here
  • if you prefer a video, click here
  • if you like music, here you have a video with examples of songs which use conditionals
  • this video is with songs and grammar expalantions as well: click here
But the best way is to practise by speaking and using them in your daily life, especially some expressions such as:
  • If I were you, I wouldn't do it
  • What would you change if you could?
  • I'd love to do it if I could
  • If you need further information, please let me know
  • Don't worry; I'll do it (if I can)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Visiting Alcalá de Henares

Next FridayMarch 2 we have a study visit throughout Alcalá and I've asked my students to prepare some information about a relevant place: histoic facts, a beautiful place, a memory, a bar you like, a bakery for "costrada" and so on.
If you need some information about our city here you are some web pages to get details and facts:
  • a visit in the old town: click here
  • a lot of pictures and vocabulary: click here
  • a pdf guide with a lot of info: click here
If you need further information you can ask for a guide ate the tourist information desk at Carvantes Square. Nevertheless, don't worry because there will be a lot of things we'll know thanks to your mates. The meeting point is at Cervantes statue (in Cervantes Square) at 9.45am
I'm sure we'll enjoy a lot. See you there!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

NA2 - Working with conditionals

This lesson 6B deals with conditionals. To have some more information here you are some links to help you to revise this grammar point:
About pronunciation, here you are a video which shows you how to pronoun the third type conditional.; click here

To finish with, here you are the three songs heard in class are:

Monday, February 19, 2018

NI1 - Verbs followed by gerund or infinitive

This topic is quite important in English grammar but it's also very difficult for Spanish speakers. Let's work a little on this.

Here you are a good link with exercises  and this one with explanations to start with, but pay attention to the level you need and/or want. Although you are in the intermediate level, I'd rather you use the basic level, but as you can see you have many exercises to work with. Another good link is this one with different levels as well.

This is the video we saw in class, just in case you want to see it again.

As a summary, you may use this diagramme:
  • VERBS followed by
    • -ing form (gerund)   I enjoy listening to music
    • by infinitive
      • with TO   I'd like/want to go with you
      • without TO   She made me laugh a lot
    • by both
      • with a change in meaning   Stop smoking - I stopped to have a coffee
      • without  changing the meaning   I love reading - I love to read
If you need more exercises try with these ones: exercise 1, exercise 2 exercise 3

Verbs and adjectives with prepositions

Although this is a gammar point we are working with in NI1, I think it's quite useful as a revision for everybody so here you have some links to work with adjectives with prepositions:
But we also we saw verbs followed by prepositions. Here you are some more exercises to work with:
Another way of practising is by using a preposition and think about all the posibilities you can find with that preposition. As an example, think of all the possibilities with ABOUT: think about, speak about, worry about, etc.

Hope this will be helpful. See you in class.

Monday, February 12, 2018

NA2 - NI2: Useful language for oral exams

Here you are some useful links to improve your performance while taking the oral exam. They've got good information and tools for doing your best in the exam. The links are:
  • a teacher's blog with useful language for the oral exam: click here
  • a chart with common expressions about agreeing and disagreeing: click here
  • different lists of expressions groups in levels (elementary/intermediate/advance): click here
Apart from these links I'd like to help you with some tips for the speaking exam. Remember you have two tasks to do so we should see how to manage with both, but let's start with one and we'll deal with the other in another post.

  • When you start the dialogue, one of you should start the conversation by introducing the topic and asking the other's opinion:
    • Let's start with the conversation, OK? The topic we have to speak about is how to help our friend Peter with his children's problem. What do you think we could suggest? Any ideas about this? 
  • Make sure everybody speaks enough, especially if there are 3 people involved in the conversation. Be balance in your turns; don't talk too much or too little and if you see someone is not speaking, address to them directly and help them.
  • Listen to your mate. When you say something, try to use what the other has said and go on with that idea. It shows you are paying attention to the others and you may speak longer as well:
    • To study a little every day is a really good idea, as you said before, and it also gives you the chance to solve problems as soon as they turn up. Don't you think so?
  • It's good to use fillers but don't overuse them. It's also useful to learn some idioms or phrases that can help you, especially when you get lost or stuck:
    • Well, you know what I mean, don't you? or that's something I hadn't thought about but I reckon you're right
  • When you get a bit stuck, there are two things you should do: 
    • a) help your mate when that person doesn't know a word or how to keep on talking   
    • b) try to explain your idea by using examples from your own life or your experience.
  • Try to show as much vocabulary as posible and as many structures as you can. We should keep in mind that's an oral exam after all. Use structures such as:
    • If you were him, what would you have done?   
    •  I wouldn't have done in that way but I'm not in his shoes...  
    •  It is said/believed that … but I totally disagree with that    
    • I know it sounds weird but it is like that so     
    • I'm positive that she'll understand it in the end
  • Don't forget to use adjectives and adverbs. They give more details and help to clarify your ideas:
    • He should study more to get good maks - He should study much harder if he really wants to improve his marks significantly