Friday, September 28, 2018

That's English! - Module 7 - lesson 1: Our planet (B1.2)

This unit is focused on improving your vocabulary in order to be more accurate when you describe a place, especially about geographical features. Let's start with this vocabulary and here you are some exercises to do:
  • an easy exercise to stat with: click here
  • a list of exercises: click here
General Questions
Work with your partner and answer these questions. Give as many details as possible:
  • Do you prefer to live in the countryside or in a city? Why?
  • To get relaxed do you go to the country or to the seaside?
  • Describe the most beautiful landscape you've ever seen
  • What city in the world is your favourite? Why?

Activity 1
To start with here you are a listening exercise about Canada. Pay attention the way they describe the country and the use of adjectives. Do the exercise here

Activity 2
Work with your partner(s) and describe a place you have visited. Try to be as precise as possible and use the vocaburay you've learnt about geographical features. Don't forget to use adjectives to express your emotions in your description:
amazing - spectacular - gorgeous - lively - incredible - breath-taking - vast - peculiar - outstanding -unspoilt - unique - impressive - awesome - astonishing - bustling

Here you have an example of a description of  a well-known place: Paris. To do the listening comprenhension, click here and then use it as a model for your own descriptions.

If you want to know more adjectives related to nature, here you have an exercise: click here

Activity 3
This listening exercise is very easy but it's a good exemple to see what you could do to describe your own country. First, do this exercise (click here) and now try to expalin to your mate(s) the geographical features and climate of Spain/your country or a place you know well.

Activity 4
In your textbook, in page 9 exercise 6 you are asked to describe the place you grew up. Besides, tell us how much or little that place has changed. When your mate is working, make questions to get more details and make the conversation more lively. Use questions such as:

  • What do you remember best about that place and why?
  • Have you ever come back there? If so, what feelings did you have? If not, why not?

Activity 5
Work with your partner(s) to explain the main differences between the north and the south of Spain, or between the coast and the plateau in our country. Then we'll share your opinion aloud.

Activity 6
According to what you have read on your textbook, what place of the world you'd like to visit and what place you couldn't go to or you wouldn't stand going to. Give reasons for your choice.

Here you are an example. If you want to know more about Australia, go to this video.

See you in class!

Welcome to That's English! - NB1.2: module 7 and 8

Great to see you again and welcome to the newcomers!

From now onwards we'll be working with a lesson every week . You should have seen the lesson before coming to class, especially the grammar points and the vocabulary in order to practise. This blog is for my students and here I'll show you what we're going to work in class: activities, grammar exercises, videos, extra material...

These activities, especially the ones for practising speaking skills, are the base for the oral exam at the end of each module. You may prepare this exam with the general questions and the exercises given in the blog.

You know that it's not compulsory to come to class, but it'll be very useful and it's the best way to practise your speaking. We expect you'll attend class as much as possible to improve your English.

Thank you for your attention and see you in class!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

B2.1 - Expressing your opinion

To express agreement or disgreement, here you are a web page as an exemple, but there are many of them. It's really important to sound more natural and accurate while speaking so try to use a large variety of these starters.

Another way of expressing agreement and disagreement is using expressions such as:
  • me, too; me, neiter
  • so do I; neither do I
Go to this page we saw in class and do the exercise at the bottom to review what we saw in class: click here. If you need further practise or explanation, go to this video

In this lesson (1C-Empower B1+) we are also working with present perfect as well. As this is a revision, you may have a look at this page but I think you should see it in context and especially when you compare it with tenses which are a bit misleading such as present perect and past simple; if you need any help, go to this site or this one.

B2.1 - Present Simple versus Present Continuous

To work with these tenses, you may use previous entries lik this or you may find exercises if you look for them on the internet.
About the spelling, you can revise the general rules about adding sufixes:
      • Consonant + Vowel + Consonant in the final syllabel, the last consonant must be double;  e.g.: win --- winner, prefer --- preferred  shop --- shopping
      • When the verb finishes in -E,  you drop the -e and add the sufix; e.g.: write --- writing,  cold --- colder, start --- started 
For extreme and gradable adjectives you can go to this video we saw in class: click here. If you want to read some grammar explanation, go to this page: click here. Another example can be found here. Remember to use these adjectives when you describe things, places, people...

To revise the collocations for DO and MAKE you may use this web page  but you can search or the internet many more; nevertheless, here you are a video (not very appealing but useful) with some clues about how to use DO and MAKE: click here. This video is much more entretaining. Here you are some exercises to practise:
To practise some listening comprenhension, here you are an exercise from British Council for B2.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

B2.1 - Making Questions

We've already seen in class the way of making questions. Let's practice a bit with the grammar we worked with. Here you are some exercises to help you:
  • a long explanation with a good exercise at the end of the web page: click here
  • this exercise is quite simple but it may help you: click here
  • this is another exercise to do: click here
  • and another one: click here
Once you get confident with the grammar, try to practise with them. Here you are 2 examples:
  • A typical way of using subject questions is having a survey: Who has any pets at home? Who went to the cinema last weekend? Who can drive? What happens if you boil water up to 100ºC?
  • When you ask about hobbies, likes and dislikes, routines, etc : Who likes sports? Who gets up early in the morning? Who hates rock music?
  • For the object ones you may ask questions about another person: What kind of music do you prefer? Who do you speak to when you have a problem? What books have you read recently?
As we are dealing with communication and speaking, here you are a TED talk I like a lot: click here

Friday, September 14, 2018

Starting the new school year!

We're starting our new year (2018-19) and apart from the text book we'll need to make some personal effort to improve your English. Here you are some recommendations so you'll be able to do it on your own and at your pace:
  • Read a piece of news in English every day: it'll take you little time and you'll be updater at the same time. If you have an intermediate level, you could use this link of VOA (Voice Of America): click here. If you are in a higher level, you should go to an international edition of a newspaper like The Gardian or Le Monde in the English version, although it's rather difficult to understand.
  • Talking is one of the most difficult things to do on your own but not impossible. Take advantage of all the tools you have with IT (the internet, moviles, ipads, etc.) . You could use hangouts, phone calls or  Skype to have a chat with your mates from time to time. You may speak about your holidays, what you've been doing, your plans... You might even use wassaps using the microphone and send messages to your mates telling them what you've done, a book you recommend, a film or a place you liked and say why you recommend it. Why don't you have a conversation group? You may meet from time to time to have a coffee and to talk about a topic. If you need help with the topics, let me know and I'll help you.
  • Write an email to your mates or a diary explaining your experiences. Your're not a proffesional journalist but if you write down every week you'll realise that you do many things although you might think they're not so relevant. Remember: the more you write, the better you do it.
  • Listening skills are very easy to practise thanks to the internet. Remember you've got some links on this blog (go to useful links on the right bar)  but you can use other links or look for some new webpages. Another possibility is to read a graded audiobook (from the "useful links" as we) and then listen to the audio when you've finished with your reading; listen to it when you're going for a walk, lying on the beach, cooking... and you should do it again some time later to check how much you remember. On the internet you can find many listening exercises if you serach in this way:
    • Listening exercises+B2 (better a higher level than the one you are)
  • But if you like grammar like me, you can use all the previous posts we've got on this blog or some others you may find. If you need something in particular you should search it on your own by introducing the topic in English or the search bar; e.g B2+Exercises+passive
You've got class again. This school year is going to be a wonderful challenge with all the changes we've got and I'm eager to see you again; maybe you are not in my classroom any more, but you may attend class in next room. Nice to meet you if you're a new student and nice to see you again if you aren't.

Enjoy your classes!