Wednesday, February 27, 2019

B2.1 - Relative clauses

There are two types of relative clauses, defining and non-defining. Let's have a look on both:
  • DEFINING (especificativas in Spanish): they help to identify or remark the noun which is referring to; e.g. That's the person who works with me at school.
  • NON-DEFINING (explicativas): these go between commas and it's just an explanation or a comment about the noun; e.g. The tall girl, who works with me at school, plays basket.
If you need further explanation you may use these links: this is the first one but you can use this other

Once you are sure how to use them, let's practise qith these exercises:
Remember we use this kind of sentences very often:
  • The person I admire most is ...
  • Something that I can't stand is ...
  • A screwdriver is a tool you use to fix screws or repair things
  • A place where I used to go was ...
  • I've lived in Meco, which is a village near Alcala, for almost 20 years
  • I can't speak French, which is a pity as I go to Paris quite often
Here have you a listening exercise about Reading Festival: click here

See you in class!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

B2.1 - Unit 9: Entretainment

There are many ways of getting entretainment, but according to the textbook these are the most typical ones:
  • Sports: places to practise sports, click here and this is the video about the two Ronnies playing squash.
  • Cinema and TV: apart from movies, agood way of spending some time laughi like this vieong is just watching videos like this one.
  • Music: we've seen in class how much songs can help you to learn English like this video with examples of passive voice.
  • Hobbies: reading, travelling, going out, cooking, etc. Here there is a link with vocabulary about different topics so click here to see if your favourite is included.
About grammar, we are dealing with passive voice. There are hundreds of links but remember to include these specific issues:
  • To have / get something done
  • I was told to be here at 9
  • I was given the job in the end ( passive with double object, click here)
  • It is generally believed that ...
  • She was born ... but she was brought up in ...
  • Peter was made to walk after the operation

Monday, February 25, 2019

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 6: At Work

General questions are here. Go through them and disc uss with your partner about this topic:
  • Do you like your job? What do you like most? And the least?
  • Have you ever had a problem with your boss?  What was it like?  
  • What would you like to change at work if you could?
  • Do you remember your first day at work?  What was it like?
  • When you studied for your profession you expected to find a job. Were your expectations fulfilled or not?
Activity 1

Work with your partner and discuss what are the most relevant things to take into account when you start a job. Here you are some suggestions:
    • job satisfaction/expectations
    • earning a good salary
    • possibilities for promotion
    • personal satisfaction
    • meeting people or/and new places
Activity 2

This is a listening exercise about motivation. Do you think this is very important for work? In what way? Have you ever thought about this topic? What would you do to improve motivation at your work? Discuss this with your partner.

Activity 3

Have you ever had a problem at work? What was it like? How did you solve it? Discuss with your partner about this and then let's listen to this other podcast about complaining at work. Think about the suggestions of the HR manager and say your opinion.

Activity 4

If you want to go further with this topic about problems at work, here you have a video. It's quite easy so it's suitable for revision rather than for enlarging your vocabulary, although you have some new words to learn.

Activity 5

Imagine that a friend of yours is a workaholic. Discuss with your partner about his/her symptoms and possible solutions for this problem.


There is an important grammar point in this lesson: reported speech. I guess you've seen it many times and there are many exercises to practise with it, as you can see below. Nevertheless, we'll try to work with it in conversation because it's something very common when you're speaking.
Work with your partner on these situations and try to use reported speech:
  • Yesterday you phoned your best friend to tell her an argument with your partner.
  • A friend of yours has told you a big problem she has. Now explain it to another mutual friend.
  • You had a problem with your boss last week. Explain to your mate the conversation you had
  • Last Monday you went to the doctor's. Tell your partner what you were asked and told
  • Your mother called you yesterday to speak about a personal problem. Tell your siblings/friends what she told you and your answers

Exercises for Reported Speech

These are pages to work with this grammar point. Most are lists of exercises so you have plenty of them to practise.
  • this is a list of exercises
  • remember the importance of reported verbs: this is a list and there is an exercise at the end
  • exercises with reporting verbs: exercise 1   exercise 2   exercise 3
  • an exercise with direct into indirect speech; click here
  • another list of exercises and a link to a grammar explanation; click here
  • this is a similar one but it has a list of common mistakes at the end; click here
  • this is a video to do an exercise: click here
  • This one is about reported speech in general: click here
Job interviews videos:
  • This is a video with tips about questions and answers: click here

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

B2.1 - SO & SUCH

As a general idea, you can summarize this grammar point in this way:
  • SO + adjective/adverb : She's so nice but she speaks so quickly
  • SUCH + noun (with or without modifiers) : She's such a nice girl
If you want or need further explanation, go to this link: click here. This is another one.

To practise and to revise this point, go to this exercise. But here are there some more:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 5: The Music Industry

This a really amusing topic and we'll stat with our general questions, as usual:
  • What kind of music do you prefer? Why? Is there a kind of music you can't stand?
  • When and where do you usually listen to music? Compare your answer with your partner and try to see if you agree or you don't
  • Can you play any intruments? If so, when did you start? How well do you play? Do you practise very often? If not why not? Would you like to play an instrument? Why?
  • Have you ever been to a concert? When was it? What was it like? Explain your experience
  • Do you give any money to buskers (musicos callejeros) ? Give reasons for your answer 
  • Should music be used for political purposes like protest songs? Give reasons for your answer and think of examples in your country or in other places.

Activity 1

Here have you a listening exercise about Reading Festival. You can have a look and revise the vocabulary and to get some ideas to discuss with your partner. Click here

Activity 2

Listen to this radio programme and do the listening exercise: click here. Then discuss with your mate if you think that radio is dead or it's still alive; if you usually listen to the radio or if you buy music.

Activity 3

If you want to listen to some more audios about music you might like to see this about music in New Orleans: click here

Activity 4

Discuss with your partner about these statements and say if you agree or not. Give reasons for your answers.
  • Downloading music shouldn't be penalised; it should be free
  • Music is just a matter of business and marketing not quality
  • Learning how to play a musical instrument should be compulsory at schools
  • Music and politics shouldn't be mixed
If you are interested in this topic here are you  an article or an audio (you can use it as you like) about music and politics in the USA. Click here

Activity 5

A wonderful way of learning English is by using songs in order to improve your vocabulary, grammar structures and pronunciation. If you like you may use this link with songs;

B2.1 - Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing

Oral practise: use -ing or -ed on these topics like in the example (exercise taken from this page)

Remember: …ing adjectives make you feel …ed
For instance: I think the film was boring. I felt bored when I watched the film. Because it was such a boring film, I was bored the whole time. Check out our grammar point on adjectives ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS
  1. Tell us about a time that you felt really relieved
  2. When was the last time that you felt offended?
  3. What do you find really boring?
  4. Have you ever felt petrified by something?
  5. What makes you determined to be successful?
  6. Do you often feel tense at high school?
  7. What seems thrilling to you?
  8. Are you a sympathetic person?
  9. Are you interested in language learning?
  10. What do you find very amusing?

B2.1 - Personality & Advertising (unit 4)

If you want to speak about these topics, you'll need to use some specific vocabulary. These links are related to how to deal with an oral exam so have a look:
  • Advertising: click here
  • Personality and character: click here
  • Other topics of the same kind: click here
About tag questions, here is there the exercise we did in class: click here; but there are many more like these ones: exercise 1      exercise 2    

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

B2.1 - Telling Stories

In class we've been working with telling stories. Remember the chart I gave you:
    • introduction: give details about the setting (when, where, who was there...)
    • what happened: keep in mind that the readers don't know anything about the story and you should their guide. Don't leave anything for granted.
    • ending the story or a kind of conclusion
    • use past tenses principally (simple, continuous, perfect, perfect continuous) in active and passive if possible
    • you may use direct and indirect speech (remember introductory verbs followed by -ing or infinitive: suggest, warn, remind, etc.)
    • variety of sequence connectors: first / then / after ... / later / when / before / finally / in the end
    • other connectors: so / as / although / because / not only ... but ... / so - such ... that / however, / in order to / so as to / ...., though / if / as soos as / unless 
    • this links could help you: click here
    • use of adjectives and adverbs
For having models (literary samples) go to this page: click here

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

B2.1 - The use of the article in English

This link is related to how to use articles in English: click here.
Apart from that, what we saw in class is that in general the articles must be used in this way:
  • THE = the definite article is like a determiner so it's used as THIS or THESE; e.g. Have you seen the new car (this new car)? 
  • A/AN = the indefinite aeticle has the meaning of ONE so it goes with countable nouns in singular and it can be taken as an example; e.g. I have a car  but  A car is faster than a bike
You should keep in mind that the use of articles is sometimes very different from Spanish as we never use article when it's referred to a general meaning: I love animals

There are many uses  but the best way to learn how to use articles is by practising so here are there some exercises to work on the grammar point; and remember that some of them have a grammar reference as well:
Geographical nous are more difficult so practise with these exercises: exercise 1   exercise 2
I hope you won't have more problems with articles.

Monday, February 11, 2019

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 4: Shopping

This is a very common topic and it must be adapted to your own level, that is, to speak about shopping but with an accurate vocabulary and required structures. But let's start with the general questions, as usual:
  • Do you enjoy shopping? How often do you buy food/clothes/electronic devices? Do you prefer going alone or with someone else?
  • Have you ever bought something you didn't wear later on? What happened? Did you give it away? How did you feel in the end?
  • Do you ever buy second hand clothes? If so, where from? If not, give reasons. Have you ever given your clothes to a charitable organization? Why?
  • What kind of shopper are you? Do you search a lot or do you buy the first thing you find?
  • Do you ever buy on the Internet? Why/why not? What was the last thing you bought and what was your experience like?

Activity 1
On p.40 exercise 2 you read two people talking about buying in a local shop or in a supermarket. Discuss with your partner what kind of shop you prefer and give reasons. Try to see 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages of both places. What are your conclusions?

Activity 2
On p.42 exercise 7 you have some sentences about shopping habits. Having this in mind, ask your partner about their habits. Remember it's a conversation so make questions and answer them saying as many reasons as possible for your response.

Activity 3
On p. 47 you have a questionnaire about buying food. Comapare with your partner to see if you shop helathily and how you buy food. Try to use the vocabulary learnt in the previous page: 'used by' date, 'best before' date, 'display until', 'sell by', 'products have gone past the date on the labelling' and so on.

Activity 4
To practise with the order of adjectives, here you are some web pages:
  • here you have an explanation and an adjective at the end: click here
  • this is another page: click here
  • here you are the explanation and here is the exercise
Activity 5
Let's work with listening. We'll start with a simple one like this. Then try this one with both exercises.
This is another one about buying clothes.
Although these exercises are quite easy they could be taken as models or samples of a typical conversation in a shop.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

B2.1 - Modals of ability

In lesson 4A we've dealt with this sort of modals and this is a video that explained it (in a "funny" way I must say!): click here. Then you could work with these exercises:
Apart from the modals CAN / COULD / TO BE ABLE/UNABLE TO, there are verbs which can be used instead as they have a similar meaning: MANAGE TO+ infinitive and SUCCEED IN+-ing and also *TO BE CAPABLE OF+ -ing (a bit weird). These verbs should be used when you are succeesful by doing the action, when you are very likely to do it. See the examples below:
  • This morning I managed to start my car despite the cold
  • I had a job interview and I succeeded in getting the post
Do this exercise to practise these two verbs and check the meaning: click here

Monday, February 4, 2019

That's English! - Module 8 - Unit 3: Green Issues

This is a very typical topic for speaking and even for other exercises such as listening and reading. Let's start with the general questions, as usual:
  • Do you recycle a lot or just what it's necessary? What do you do to try to be greener or ecofriendly?
  • What do you do to reduce water wasting in your house? what other things can be made to shorten the amount of water used at home?
  • Do you think  your town is an eco-friendly place to live? Give reasons for your answer.
  • Do you believe there is a climate change? Is it the same as global warming? Can we do anything to avoid it? Do you think it's possible to do anything yet or is it too late?
  • What species in danger of extinction do you remember? Why are they necessary, if so?
  • What policies do you know about sources of energy: solar panels, windmills, nuclear power stations, biomass, oil, electricity (renewable and non-renewable sources)?

Activity 1

Do you remember what the 3 R's stand for?  Just in case, they are for the 3 principal actions to save our planet: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. Work with your partner and try to see how important these actions are for protecting our environment. Give examples

Activity 2

Here you are an activity of listening. The task is too simple for your level, but it's a good example of vocabulary and expressions connected to the environment. Once you've done the exercise go to the script to check the words used. Click here

Activity 3

Here you are a talk from TED about environmental issues; let's have a look and we'll discuss about what we've understood. Click here

Activity 4

Try to explain with your own words these terms connected to environmental issues:
  • deforestation and rainforest
  • endangered species
  • global warming and greenhouse effect
  • climate change and ice caps melting/droughts/floods/heat waves
  • carbon footprint/to be eco-friendly
  • renewable energy source or non-renewable ones
  • some specific vocabulary: dumps, dam or reservoir, debris, trash, garbage or rubbish, etc.

Activity 5 

To work with the vocabulary learnt in this unit, try to do this fill-in-the-gaps exercise: click here

Other exercises of listening connected to environment:
  • a pre-intermediate about climate change: click here
  • different activities on this topic for teenagers: click here
  • a listening from ESL: click here
  • climate change: clik here  (taken from a blog - Cristina's blog - with many listening exercises)
  • a list of videos about environmental issues: click here