30 Dec 2013

Merry X-mas & Happy 2014!

By this time we're all on holiday mood, aren't we? So, here I leave you with some Christmas related stuff, starting with an interesting article My kid's Insane Christmas Wish List.(There are some swearwords in it, just so you know.)

Besides, for all of you who are celebrating New Year's Eve tomorrow with a party, here you are some free printable photo props to laugh with family and friends.

And of course my very best wishes for the New Year 2014.



11 Dec 2013

Word of the week: Out of touch

I'm sure you all know the expression "in touch", but what about the opposite "out of touch"? This week's expression is precisely

out of touch

which means no longer in communication with someone or no longer informed about something or up to date with something; and also no reflecting what is true or actual.



Examples: 
I've been out of touch with my brother for many years.
She's out of touch with new methods of teaching languages.
These statistics are out of touch with reality and cannot be used. 

10 Dec 2013

Future in the Past


Future in the Past is used to express the idea that in the past you thought something would happen in the future. This can be expressed in different ways: 

- By using "was / were going to", you describe a future plan, intention or prediction at a certain point in the past that may or may not have taken place. Examples:

·       I told you he was going to come to the party. (plan)
·       I had a feeling that the vacation was going to be a disaster. (prediction)
·       I knew you were not going to go to the party.

- By using "past continuous". Just as we use the present continuous for arrangements, the past continuous can be use to express what was a future arrangement in the past.  Example:

·       I was travelling to London that night but my flight was cancelled. 

- By using "would" to imply a possibility or expectation. Examples:

·       I knew Julie would make dinner.
·       I knew you would not help him.

Remember No Future in Time Clauses 
Like all future forms, Future in the Past cannot be used in clauses beginning with time expressions such as: when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if, unless, etc. Instead of using Future in the Past, you must use Simple Past. Examples:

·  I already told Mark that when he would arrive, we would go out for dinner. Not Correct
·  I already told Mark that when he arrived, we would go out for dinner. Correct

And now some exercises for you to practise: 

Rewriting     
Rewriting 2        

9 Dec 2013

Time

Talking about something as important as time, always remember:


So I encourage you to use your time wisely, having fun and spending time with friends and family but also studying English. 

22 Nov 2013

Word of the week: Catfish

This week's word is the noun

catfish

which, apart from a type of fish, is used to refer to someone who pretends to be someone they're not, generally using social networking sites to create false identities with the aim of pursuing online romances.

Example: I was really falling for that gorgeous guy on Facebook, but he turned out to be a catfish. 

16 Nov 2013

Homeland

Homeland is undoubtedly the best TV show I've seen in the last two years, a psychological thriller which has received many awards and nominations. A gripping plot and an amazing acting, the perfect combination for a great TV series. 

Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody is considered a hero when he comes back home after eight years in captivity in Iraq. However, a driven CIA officer, Carrie Mathison, suspects he may have been turned and he might be planning a terrorist attack on American soil. 

3 Nov 2013

Courage to grow up

We've been talking in class about childhood, growing and growing up; about the difference between education and upbringing and now I want to share with you some inspiration. 


Have a nice day!

1 Nov 2013

Prefixes

We played a prefixes domino in class the other day and I promised to give you a list of all the possible words you could create with the prefixes given in that game. So, here you are (click). 

Now it's time to revise the grammar related to this matter. Have a look at the following documents

You should also pay attention to the pronunciation of prefixes since many of them vary from the Spanish pronunciation. You can watch the following video where you have some of the most common prefixes pronounced. 


And if you want practice, here you are some very good links with exercises:


31 Oct 2013

Spooky Halloween


Do you like to get scared sometimes? Do you enjoy watching terror films?

If you do, have a look at the following links where you can find plenty of scary stories, videos and podcasts.



And if you're going to a Halloween party, perhaps you can use this idea for your nails.


30 Oct 2013

Word of the week: Chilling

Tomorrow's Halloween, so this week's word is the adjective

chilling

which means frightening, usually because it's connected to something violent or cruel

Examples:
Paul told us a chilling story about a murderer. 
The film evokes chilling reminders of the war.

29 Oct 2013

Pronunciation Patterns

English pronunciation is difficult, we already know that, and there are no rules, which makes things even more complicated. However, there are certain patterns we can follow when we don't know how to pronounce a word, as we saw the other day in class. Here you are the document which includes these patterns for you to download.


Moreover, on this blog you can find other interesting posts on pronunciation, such as one on the pronunciation of the -ed ending for the past, a post on silent consonants, a post on the difference between b & v, among others. You can see them all by clicking on the label "pronunciation". 

27 Oct 2013

TV Show: Betrayal

A language is used for communication and consequently the most important thing is to understand and be understood. Foreign language students usually need to practise listening, a skill many people find difficult. However, all you need is a lot of practice! 

I strongly recommend watching TV shows in English without subtitles in advanced levels. When I say this in class, the next question is: which one? Well, that depends on your interests and likes. Since you can watch a TV show not only to learn English but also to be entertained, the most logical option is to choose one you really like. 

A new one I've recently discovered is Betrayal. Set in the amazing city of Chicago, it stars a beautiful photographer who begins an affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. Both unhappily married to other people and somehow involved in a murder trial on separate sides. You can watch the trailer below.


23 Oct 2013

Word of the week: Deadlock

This week's word is

deadlock

which means a complete failure to reach an agreement or settle an argument.

Examples:
The strike has reached a deadlock. (noun)
Despite months of discussion the negotiations remained deadlocked. (adjective)

21 Oct 2013

Podcast: People fear personality transplants

The other day we talked about personality types in class and we saw several interesting adjectives to describe personality such as thorough, outgoing, overbearing, steady, understanding, among others. 

Today we have a very interesting podcast on how some organ receivers are scared of changing their personality when they are given other people's organs. Listen to it and share your opinion.


I believe there's no scientific evidence to back that and I'd be more than happy to receive any organ if I needed one. What's your opinion on this?

I want to take the chance to thank organ donors and their families!

17 Oct 2013

Collection of Advanced Contents Unit 1

Hey Students!

On the blog you can find some posts related to topics we've seen so far in unit 1 in your book. Here's the list:

- A post on Job Interviews, which includes a reading with comprehension questions, and an article with the top ten interview tips. 

- A podcast on Youth Unemployment, together with an article.

- A vocabulary list on work.

- An article on Stepfamilies.  

So, plenty of practice for you! Enjoy!

16 Oct 2013

Word of the week: I don't like the look of this

This week's expression is

I don't like the look of sth/sb

which means I feel a bit uneasy about something or somebody.

Example:
Do you know Tom's new friend, Jerry? I don't like the look of him at all. 


In Spanish we'll say something like 'me da mala espina' or 'no me gusta la pinta de eso'.

15 Oct 2013

Podcast: Republicans and Obama in debt crisis talks

As you may have heard on the news, there has been a government shutdown in the US because the MPs were unable to do their job and set a budget for the next year. Do you want to know more about this topic? Listen to the following podcast:


There's a lot of interesting advanced vocabulary on this piece of news, such as 'dire consequences', 'impasse', 'stalemate', 'looming debt', 'stagnation', 'wherewithal', among others.

You also have the written text to check your comprehension and exercises to practise.

3 Oct 2013

Word of the week: Crackpot

This week's word is

crackpot

which means (noun referring to a person) a crazy or very strange person; (adjective for an idea) foolish.

Examples: 
Some crackpot called to tell us that the sky is falling in.
Tommy had a crackpot idea and all his stupid friends followed it.

30 Sep 2013

Podcast: UK Mums Protest Over Pink Girls' Toys

The other day in class we discussed sexist attitudes and now it's time to listen to a podcast related to this topic. This podcast is from the website Breaking News English where you can find plenty of audio files to practise your listening comprehension. Apart from the audio file, you have some exercises to do related to the listening as well as the transcript and the key, so it's a very complete site for English students. 

Click on the following link to go to the topic: UK mums protest over pink girls' toys. On that site you'll need to click on the MP3 at the top on the left to listen to the audio file.

This podcast says that pink stinks. Do you agree? Share your opinion in a comment.

26 Sep 2013

Word of the week: The penny dropped

This week's idiom is

the penny dropped

which means that you have finally understood something.

Example: It was only when I saw Peter's car outside Sally's house that the penny dropped and I realised they were having an affair. 

23 Sep 2013

Back to School

Hey students, we start a new school year today, so it's about time you prepare your things to go back to school. As you can see we have a new look on the blog. I hope you'll like it.

This blog has been created for English students and that means you can interact with me and with other students by writing comments on the posts. It's very easy to write a comment, just click on the comments at the end of each published post. 

Besides, if you find something interesting, you can share it with your friends so they can use it too. To share a post, use the buttons at the end of each published post (like the ones below). You can email the post or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Another way of following my blog is by subscribing to it. If you follow it by email, every time I publish something new on the blog you'll receive it in your inbox mail.

I'll also appreciate if you click on the 'Join this site' button and become a follower.

Good luck for all of you on this new school year. I hope you'll learn a lot.

25 Jun 2013

10 Things I loved this Academic Year


  1. Having fun with my advanced students. You've been such a challenging group. I loved it. 

  2. Listening to my elementary students (A2 level) pronouncing the '-ed' past perfectly. The angels sound for English teachers. 

  3. Teaching a reduced group of non-English teachers to help them teach their subject in English in the future. A new experience. It's always fun to try new things.

  4. Working with Tom, our language assistant. We made a bit of fun of his Manchester accent, but it was great to have him. 

  5. Watching adults having fun with board games, despite what some teachers may think. In our sort of non-compulsory education it's very important to motivate our students so they come to the next class. Besides, those games are pretty useful to practise the foreign language. 

  6. Learning new things. I like teaching but I love learning and teaching advanced 2 is perfect for improving your knowledge.

  7. Getting to know about school management, since I've been in the directing board this year. I got a hint of how things work from the inside. 

  8. Seeing how the blog grows and knowing that my students find it useful. There's a lot of time into it and it's rewarding to know that it's useful. 

  9. Receiving nice comments from my students, telling me how much they'll miss me, since I'm moving to a new EOI school next year. It's great to know that students are happy with you and your work. It seems I'm doing things well. 

  10. All in all, getting to love my job one more year. Now it's time for the summer to start; time to relax, enjoy my free time with friends and family and recharge my batteries for the new year. Have a lovely summer!

24 Jun 2013

Word of the week: Stay tuned

For the last post on word of the week before the summer starts, there you go the expression

stay tuned

which means to hang on or await more news on a subject. So, it means, there won't be any more posts during the summer, but the blog will be back in September.


21 Jun 2013

All my support

A very special post to encourage all the people sitting for the competitive exam (oposiciones) to become a teacher.


Believe you can do it, because one day you will.
Good luck

12 Jun 2013

Exam Time

Final exams are coming really soon. 
If you have come to class and studied at home 
you're prepared enough to succeed. 
So, no need to worry! 
Just keep calm and focus on the exam.


6 Jun 2013

Sample Writing Tasks

I know, I know! You're all very worried about the exam at this point. However, you shouldn't be, since we've been working hard the whole year and you're more than prepared for it, as I told you in class.

Some of you asked about the writing exam and the possibility of encountering a writing task from previous years in the final exam. I recommended you to check all the writing tasks in the advanced and upper-intermediate books.

Besides, one of your classmates told me about a webpage with examples of writing texts for your level (B2). In fact, it's quite an interesting webpage since it includes not only the sample texts but also explanatory notes and useful expressions. So, you can have a look at it in order to study for your exam. 


Have a good study time!

3 Jun 2013

Word of the Week: Down-to-earth

This week's word is the adjective

down-to-earth

which means sensible, realistic and practical, in a way that is helpful and friendly; not pretentious.
Examples:
Despite the fact that he won a lot of money, he's very down-to-earth. 
He's a down-to-earth, average guy who's turned his life round.

30 May 2013

Bikes, Beers & Bananas

Here you are an interesting article on environmental issues from Hot English Magazine. You can read it or listen to it. It goes with some exercises, so I also include the key for you to check them.  
 Audio File            Key

29 May 2013

Environment Vocabulary List

I've prepared a list of important vocabulary on the environment topic we're seeing at the moment. Feel free to download it, print it and make sure you're familiar with this vocabualy since you might need it to talk about this topic.


Enjoy your study!

28 May 2013

Environment News


Our next discussion topic is going to be the environment. So, I recommend you start reading pieces of news or listening to some podcasts on this topic in order for you to get informed and learn some vocabulary on it. 

On the website Breaking News English you have many articles on this topic. You can read or listen to them. They even include exercises for you to practise your comprehension.

You can find another environmental post published on this blog here.

8 May 2013

Word of the week: Nasty

This week's adjective is
nasty
which means very bad or unpleasant; morally offensive or in bad taste; or even exasperatingly difficult to solve.

Examples:
Don't buy that coat; it looks cheap and nasty.
Try not to make nasty comments about her speech. 
He told a very nasty joke.
That's a very nasty problem. I don't know what we can do about it.

6 May 2013

What if money was no object?

I came across this amazing video and I wanted to share it with you.


I believe most of what it says is absolutely true!

What do you think? 
Share your opinion in a comment!

2 May 2013

Computer and internet texts

On the same topic of computers and internet, we're going to have a look now at a reading comprehension text, which also includes a video, and some comprehension questions for you to practise. 



Another very interesting text is this one on computer addiction, something very common nowadays. It also goes with activities


We'll discuss this last text in class next day, so make sure you read it. 

See you soon! 


29 Apr 2013

Computers Vocabulary

On this post I'm going to give you some vocabulary related to computers.

First of all, here you are a list of computer parts (click) and a list of computer accessories with images, and also a quiz to practise and memorize them.

Secondly, there's an audio exercise on computers parts. Listen to the definitions and choose the correct picture.

Thirdly, if you enjoy doing a word search, try this one on computer accessories.

Finally, a multiple choice exercise.

Have fun!

26 Apr 2013

Word of the week: Come in handy

This week's expression is

come in handy

which means to be useful or convenient for a certain purpose.

Examples:
I always keep paper clips in my pencil case; you never know when they'll come in handy.

I'll keep these bottles; they might come in handy.

25 Apr 2013

Favourite gadget

The other day in class one of my students asked me to teach them some vocabulary related to computers and electronic devices, so I'm going to start a series of posts on this very interesting topic.  

To begin with I've found a podcast where people are asked what their favourite gadget is. It's quite interesting, since people from different countries are asked this question and, therefore, you can listen to different dialects. 


To listen to it, follow the link and then press the play button. Remember to hide the transcript, so you can listen to the audio without reading it. On the same webpage on the right you have a vocabulary quiz and some questions to check your comprehension

Enjoy the practice!

28 Mar 2013

Keep calm and read a book

Many students didn't do very well in the reading comprehension part of the exam. 
The solution is very simple:


Now that we're on holiday, enjoy and read a book!

27 Mar 2013

Word of the week: To tail someone

This week's word is

to tail someone

which is an informal way of saying to follow somebody and keep them under surveillance.


Example: A flock of paparazzi has tailed them all over Berlin. 



A similar expression is on someone's tail which means following somebody closely

Example: A police car stayed on her tail for ten minutes. 

25 Mar 2013

Podcast: Culture shock


This week's podcast is related to one of the topics for the last speaking exam.


Listen to it and then you can do the fill-in the gaps exercise. 
You have the answers on the same webpage on the right.

Have a good practice!