Friday, 28 September 2012

Tips for writing a discursive essay, via @IELTSPodcast

Over the summer, Ben Worthington, from IELTS Podcast, got in touch with me to talk about Discursive Essays and see if we could have an online interview to discuss this issue.

We eventually managed to overcome the various time constraints, and found some minutes to chat online for a while. As a result, there are you the podcast that you can listen to below.

He has just published it on his site and I'd like to thank Ben for giving me the chance to try and help ESL students with this burdensome task.

Just click and listen to the tips.

Or read his full blog entry.

And, if you'd like some more useful tips and prompts to improve your English, do not forget to visit Ben's site and listen to all the interesting interviews he regularly publishes.

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tweet Shop

Ever thought you could use Twitter for something else apart from chatting around with your mates and sharing interests and knowledge? 

Well, now you can pay with Tweets. Where? At the Special K Shop.

From now and until the end of November your tweets are worth their 140 characters!

Don't miss this creative chance to Tweet and get your Kellogs for breakfast!

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

European Day of Languages


Listen to the following text about 26th September, European Day of Languages:

Then, try and fill in the gaps in the text below.

September the 26th is the European Day of Languages. The Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) created _________________ 6th of December 2001. _________________ encourage language learning across Europe. Other objectives are to alert the public _________________ of languages to increase multilingualism and intercultural understanding, _________________ rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe. All Europeans are encouraged _________________ language. The founders of this day also hope those responsible for providing access to language learning are encouraged to _________________ people to learn languages. There is an emphasis on learning a language other than English.
There are about 225 languages _________________. This is about three per cent of the world's total. With an increase in immigration to Europe, the continent _________________ multilingual. The EU says over 300 languages are spoken in London. _________________ EU survey 56% of EU citizens speak a second language. However, 44% only know _________________. English is the most widely spoken second language, with 38% of Europeans speaking it. This is ___________________ for French or German. Around 14% of Europeans say they have mastered one of these languages. The EU spends more than thirty million euros a year _________________ learning and linguistic diversity.

When you think you are ready, check your answers using this transcript.

Finally, write a magazine article about European Day of Languages. Write about what happens around the world. Include two imaginary interviews with people who did something on this day.

Source: ESL Holiday Lessons

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Why architects need to use their ears

According to Julian Treasure, because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed.

Watch the video below and leave your comments about this Ted Talk if you feel like it.

Is there any way to actually overcome in our schools the drawbacks he is pointing out?
 How does  acoustic pollution affect your learning? 
And your everyday life?
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Monday, 17 September 2012

How fiction can change reality


Complete the quiz


Dig Deeper

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Film + History = FilmStory

Does History ever go to the movies? Of course it does, all the time, so if you like cinema and you like History, then FilmStory is the perfect place for you.

It is an online place where you will find a wide range of historical films, neatly organized depending on which era they are dealing with, which countries history they include in their plot, the subject and the type of film.

And, if you are not sure about the category of the film you are looking for, you can always use their helpful search engine.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Gadgets and Apps

Watch a short film about a gadget or an app called Sight.

Think about what the advantages and disadvantages of Sight might be and discuss what Sight is. You can write your thoughts on the Comments section if you like.

Have you ever heard about Project Glass? Now, you are going to watch a video about Project Glass. Think about how this project is similar to Sight.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of augmented reality gadgets and apps? Discuss.

Visit full lesson at Film English.
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Monday, 10 September 2012

Stephen Wiltshire and the city

Have a look at the pictures below.
They come from

Do you recognise any landmarks?
Which cities are portrayed?
Have you ever been to any of them? Did you enjoy your visit?
If you haven't, would you like to go? Why/Why not?

Now, watch the film below:

Is there anything that you regard as special about Stephen Wiltshire?
What is Stephen’s personal philosophy on life? Do you agree with this philosophy?

Now, you are going to watch a short video about the daily life of Stephen Wiltshire. As you watch it, answer the following questions:

In what ways does Stephen behave in an autistic manner?

What does Annette, Stephen’s sister, say about his behaviour?

What are Stephen’s interests?

What does Annette think about her brother?

Visit full lesson at Film English.

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