Monday, 29 August 2011

Read and travel

Here's is your fastcheck free travel guide. If you are thinking of visiting a city, a beach or going skiing, you may find an incredible source of information here. Or if you are simply interested in learning facts about capital cities in the world, it is a nice way to practise your reading skills, too.
It's free, downloadable and printable, and you may choose the language in which to read the info, although obviously I do recommend English.




Amy Walker's tour on how to learn any accent




Spelling rules

Six bookshops in the cinema


Source: Kuentalibros Channel on Youtube.

The city that never sleeps takes a nap

Read the following article from CNN breaking news about hurricane Irene and do the comprehension activities.



After you have dealt with all the questions, check how well it has gone using this answer key sheet.

Read the full article, with highlights and video clips to find out more about hurricane Irene.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A love story ... in milk

Watch the video below and make suggestions on how to be environmentally friendly.


A Love Story… In Milk from Catsnake on Vimeo.


The Notting Hill Carnival

When August is about to end, every year London becomes a fancy dress party. Why? Because the Notting Hill Carnival is celebrated.


Maybe the most colourful European carnival, it is a great chance to smell and taste Caribbean food in the heart of the capital of the UK.

It started as a local festival set up by the West Indian Community of the Notting Hill area, but nowadays it attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. 

Don't miss it! It's the place to be from Sunday 28 to Monday 29 August 2011.

English is so easy to learn and Spanish is very difficult

Read this article and find out why native speakers of English have a great advantage.


Thursday, 25 August 2011

The day of the triffids

Watch this video about the famous film from 1962.


Then, answer the comprehension questions:




Finally, check your score.

A resignation letter

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is a letter formally advising your employer that you are leaving your job. It may help you to remain in good terms with your employer, just in case ...

Tips on writing a resignation letter:

It should be kept brief, simple, and as focused and positive as possible.

It should also include information about when you are leaving, but it should not include any kind of criticism towards your company or your job, if you want to mention why you are leaving.

It should offer some help too, if possible, with the transition; even if the offer is not accepted, it will be surely appreciated.

Sample letter: 

This is Steve Jobs' resignation letter to Apple's Board of Directors. You may find it useful as a template.






Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Savouring Spa: The 2011 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix

Watch the video clip in one go and name at least two issues about which both F1 drivers show the same viewpoints.



Watch the video again and compare the circuit; what it is like to drive at Spa nowadays according to Fernando Alonso and what it was like to drive there in the past.
Go on watching and answer these questions:

a. What makes Spa different both nowadays and in the past? 


b. Where does the beauty of Spa lie in?


c.  When did John Surtees give up racing?


d. What improvements has he missed since then?


e. Where is the balance to be found, according to John Surtees?


f. What do the Ferrari 156 and the 2009 F60 one have in common?


g. According to Fernando Asonso, what happens to F1 drivers in Spa and Monaco?


h. And, according to John Surtees?




Finally, watch it for the last time, and take down some of the mistakes Fernando Alonso makes when speaking in English.


When you are finished, you can check how well your listening comprehension has gone using this answer key sheet.

Busy Bee

Have a look at my children's storybook online at StoryJumper.


I bet you can quit


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

In search of a better life

Describe the photograph below. Give as many details as possible about at least the following prompts: immigration, reasons, potential measures, opinion for and against. Talk about the pros and cons of having to leave your country in search of a better life.


Let's finish with national stereotypes

Have a look at the set of pictures below, read the quotation, and get ready to discuss about national stereotypes.







‘Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it’s all organised by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it’s all organised by the Italians’.

Advanced writing. An informal letter

Advanced writing. A formal email

Every city tells a story

Have a look at this advanced writing activity:


Let's talk about health

Here you are some prompts and questions to do a bit of oral practice about health.

Monday, 22 August 2011

History goes to the movies

Wordle: History goes to the movies

Can you identify any of the films? Which of the films do you consider to be historical films? Why (not)?

Languages in the world


ORAL PRESENTATION

TOPIC: LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD

HAND IN A PRESENTATION ABOUT SOME INTERESTING FACTS REGARDING LANGUAGES 
IN THE WORLD.

YOU CAN ALSO PUBLISH IT ON THE BLOG OR MAIL IT TO ME AND I’LL UPLOAD IT.

PROMPTS:

·        WHICH LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN BY THE MOST/LEAST PEOPLE
·        LANGUAGE SPOKEN IN AN OBSCURE COUNTRY
·        COUNTRIES WITH A MAJORITY OF POLYGLOTS
·        WAYS OF LEARNING LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD
·        COMPARISON WITH YOUR OWN COUNTRY
·        FAVOURITE FOREIGN LANGUAGE. BACK UP YOUR CHOICE.

SPEECH TIMING: 3-5 MINUTES

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL ALLOWED: POWERPOINTS, PICTURES, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, ETC.

Writing an article as a contribution to a book


Writing a report on a website

Communication: Great steps forward

Job application



For further help on writing this kind of letters, read Steps and tips to write a letter of application.

Describing people

Have a look at some of these well-known celebrities and describe them: physical appearance and personality.
Give as many details as possible, organise your speech, use advanced well-linked adjectives, be careful with the order of the words you are going to use.

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Red Rag


First World Obligation



View more documents from M. Jesus Garcia

Best friend or friend from hell?



 

View more documents from M. Jesus Garcia

Life in 20 years' time

SPECULATION AND DEDUCTION


Prepare a three-minute presentation about how you think life might be in 20 years’ time.

Try to use expressions so as to make speculations and deductions, such as modal verbs or other phrases you’ve been learning so far.

Choose some of these prompts to start with and add your own if you like:


Wordle: Life in 20 years' time

You may start like this:

Firt of all, I think it’s very likely that …


When you are ready, go to a talkgroup, for instance, Voxopop, and record your speech. Or you can simply use Audacity and record your talk.

Let your teacher know when you are done.

Speaking. Opinion: The Media



View more documents from M. Jesus Garcia

Writing a letter of complaint

How to Write a News Report


How to write an autobiography



Read more on WikiHow.

Quick tips on how to write an opinion paragraph


Property markets

Listen to this dialogue between David and his sister, Jackie.




*Adapted from British Council. LearnEnglish Professionals