Monday, 29 July 2013

We have moved!

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012 an online collocation dictionary, at last!

It has been a long time since the ast post, but I hadn't found anything worth posting. Today I want to introduce you to a new resource I have been waiting for a long time. It is an on-line collocation dictionary and its name is ozdic.comIt is very useful for your writing tasks and even when planning any speech for your class or work.

Most of the times, we stick ourselves to the same combination of words, basically because we are unable to find other words to use or combine with the ones we need. There is when a collocation dictionary like this comes handy. Don't get frustrated if you don't know what to write or how to describe something, got to a collocation dictionary and part of the problem is sorted.

Imagine you have to write about your holidays in a little village and you need to describe it. Sometimes we end up describing the place as nice or friendly, but there are more possibilities, as the picture shows, there are a wide range of options we can choose from, it is only us now to pick the most convenient to our interest.

It is also useful if we don't know how to combine a verb or noun. Remember that most languages have their natural way of mixing words which we need to be aware of so we do not get misunderstood. Take for example the noun "research", in most cases students use "do" or, in the worst case scenario, "make" which is incorrect. If you look up in a collocation dictionary, you can find out what are the verbs and adjectives most convenient for this noun. Take a look at the picture to check what has been said.

 Hope this brief tutorial can be of help. Any contribution os more than welcome.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Happy 200th Birthday Mr. Dickens

Dickens 2012

On 7 February, 1812, the greates British author of all times was born: Charles Dickens. It was in Portsmouth, South East England. His father was a clerk who went bankrupt and sent to prison when Dickens was only a child. At the age of twelve, he was sent to work in a factory and soon after he started his career as a journalist. A the age of 24, his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, gained a huge success and was the beginning of a prestigious career as a novelist. 

And this year we are ceebrating the bicentennary of his birth. 

Friday, 13 January 2012

SiestaMovies: Original Sountrack Movies with subtitles


A really nice present for you all to start the year, SiestaMovies is a website with a good range of movies in different languages (mainly English) in their original soundtracks. There you have the option to download them with or without subtitles. In most cases those subtitles are in the original language, however a small number of them come with Spanish subtitles. And that is it! Now click on the link below and choose your next film for the weekend.

  Ingles |


Friday, 11 November 2011

Tips for any speaking test

First, I would like to thank Eva Suárez from EOI Santa María de Guía for pointing out to this web site. The Bristish Council is a well reputed institution devoted to, among other things, making the British culture and language accesible to the rest of the world. One of their aims is to provide useful materials to help English Language learners (LearnEnglish). Also, they provide tips to be used when sitting an exam and this si what you will find when you click on the link below: tips in the form of videos to assist preparig and facing a speaking test. Thes videos come with comments on dos and don'ts and the transcripts to make it easier to understand what is said.

If you decide to follow the link, do no miss the opportunity of surfing the site. It's worth the time!

IELTS Interview Skills | LearnEnglish | British Council


Monday, 11 July 2011

Verbling: practice the language with native speakers

Summer is already here! And now that you have a lot of time free (sic), it is time to make use of what the net has to offer. 

In this post, I want to talk you about Verbling, a website designed for students of English as a foreign language to get in touch with native English speakers from around the world and practice in real time. It is meant to be an exchange between you and your chat partner: 5 minutes for each language. 

On top of that, if you don't know what to talk about, the site itself gives you the possibility of choosing a topic you like and proposes a question that could help as a conversation starter. All you need is a mic, a webcam and an email address. About privacy, these guys are in control of everything and they will not provide any personal information to anybody. You should also remember not to do it yourself!

Ups, nearly forgot! This website is not meant for under 13. 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Challenge your vocabulary!!

" is the easiest, most intelligent way to improve your vocabulary. It combines an adaptive learning system (The Challenge) with the world’s fastest dictionary (The Dictionary) so that you can more quickly and more efficiently learn words." These are their words and, believe me, it is true. If you are one of those who moans about how little vocabulary you know, or if you are a words freek, or just a regular student, this website will probably be of help.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Fun with grammar? Road to Grammar


Yes, there is a fun way to study grammar! Road to Grammar is a website specially disigned to offer fun exercises to practice any grammar difficulty you may have. All activities are adult orientated so you will not find them too childish. There you can find online quizzes, extra practice and games, they also do printables if you like to work on paper. If you have children learning English at school, there is a junior version that you can use with them and enjoy learning together. Thank you Antonio Jiménez for the tip. 



Thursday, 3 March 2011

More help to improve your writing: logo

When learning a foreign language writing and speaking are the two most frustrating skills students have to deal with; the former being a real stone in the shoe that may lead to quitting. There are many reasons for that, but the basic problem is that writing is a very demanding skill, it needs to be highly organized and structured. On top of that the person(s), whom the piece of writing is meant for, are not present, what implies an extra effort in providing the information in full, nothing can be left aside. I bet you are already yawning or put off just with the thought of it. Well, it is time for you to take a look at the website I am introducing today Writing Fun. Jenny Eather has gathered all the basic types of writing and made a useful presentation using the latest technology in order to help ESL students with their writing skills. There you will find explanations, exercises, printables and examples of how to write and organize your ideas in formal and informal pieces of writing. By the way, I must thank Laura Martín (ESL teacher at EOI Las Palmas) for the tip.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Linguee: a new way of searching for meanings


linguee logo


In this post I would like to introduce you to a new tool which would be of great help with your writing. As you can see in the picture, the name of the tool is and it is a search engine for words and expressions in multiple languages and their translation in various contexts. It also provides the user with helpful information and examples. Although specifically meant for translators, can be used by students of English as a kind of thesaurus. You type the word you want to know the use of and the engine will bring you a set of different sentences with the specific word in a variety of meanings and contexts. One thing to bear in mind, is not a dictionary. Here you have a link to their about-us page.

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