Wednesday, 16 December 2009

English, baby!

Hello everyone! Christmas are almost here and so are the term exams at the school. I bet you are all trying to find sites and webs to help you with your weaknesses, mainly listening, speaking and grammar. And that is the reason of this post, to introduce you to a website which provides a wide range of useful exercises and activities for those who enjoy using the net as an interactive tool. Give a try and tell me what you think of it. All you need to do is click on the pic and will be directed to one of their activities about giving advice.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Saturday, 28 November 2009

PASSIVE VOICE

Using Glogster I have created this presentation about the passive voice. You only need to to right-click and choose the full-screen mode, to have a complete version of the presentation. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Another celebration: Thanksgiving Day



And here is another one! This time it is about Thanksgiving. This American one-day holiday is very well known all over the world, but do we really understand the origins and history behind this American tradition? Take a look at the documentary and the enjoy the exercise about Thanksgiving day. Do not forget to leave some feedback: either positive or negative, both will help.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

REMEMBRANCE DAY

(WIKIPEDIA)

Remembrance Day – also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day (the event it commemorates) or Veterans Day – is a day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. It is observed on 11 November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.) The day was specifically dedicated by King George V, on 7 November 1919, to the observance of members of the armed forces who were killed during war; this was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Something to never miss out when writing: Punctuation.


Hi everyone! I hope you are still enjoying the amazing videos offered by The Teacher. Today I would like to tackle a very worrying issue dealing with your writing: Punctuation. I know it is a long time most of you left school and you are so much used to chatting, where commas, full-stops and all those little annoying bits and bobs are "of no use", but we must all realize that those writing marks are very important if we want to be understood. Punctuation marks are as important as words themselves and their proper use may be crucial for a successful writing. To get a whole range of useful tips about punctuation just go to this site "How to use English Punctuation". They also provide lots of how-tos on different matters, check it out!!

Monday, 28 September 2009

The teacher: a fresh view on idoms

Hello everyone,

Sorry for being so quiet these past few weeks, but the beginning of the school year has been a tough one for me, lots to take on and very little time to devote to this site. But everything seems to be back to where they belong and I can start taking some time for this project, mine and yours. Before I go into the topic of the heading, I would like to invite all of you to post comments and suggestions to improve this blog.

Now, BBC, as usual, have thought of a way to give listeners of all around the world a the opportunity to use their site to learn the language. Therefore, they created a section within their web page which is called BBC Learning English, where you can find all sorts of activities, quizzes, listening, materials and many more. One of those exciting features is as a section called The Teacher, the aim of it being teaching idiomatic expressions in a very fresh and original way. I will not spoil the surprise, but I would like to give you a bite of what the site has in store.

By the way, you have the opportunity to post your own sentences with the idioms explained on the video.

video

I want to make clear that the copyright of these clips belongs to the BBC.

Friday, 4 September 2009

And summer is finally over!

Having fun everyone? Hope so, you still have another week before lessons start. This post is just to announce that we are back to the classroom on the 14th and 15th of September. I still do not know exactly what levels I will be teaching, but I have made the decision to keep up with this blog for all of my students, past and future. So you are welcome to make any suggestions you think it may help us all improving. Come on in and start giving ideas, my ears and eyes are excitedly open. Looking forward to reading and hearing from you.
C U Soon.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Enjoy your holidays

Hi guys! I hope you are all enjoying all the spare time you have now that the lessons and exams are over. In this post Iwould like to wish you the best for the summer and say goodbye till September when the school opens its doors for another exciting year. But I want to recommend, as well, a few sites which may be helpful to do some practice or revision. I have already mentioned Busuu.com, a website where you can learn and practice your English and make friends at the same time. Other socialnetworks with the same features are Babbel, livemocha, sharedtalk, italki and, finally, xlingo.

Amazing, is it not? Well, hope you enjoy all the possibilities these sites have to offer and see you after the summer. ENJOY!!!!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Flashcards for the speaking exam

Hello! The English department has already posted some links to a few documents with very helpful examples of flashcards for the oral exam. These stuff comes from the EOI in Valencia and looks pretty good. Here is the link to their blog. I know they'll be of great use. See you.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Listening stuff to tune up your ears

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't posted anythig for quite a while but as you know I got married and just got back from my honeymoon. Anyway, the reason of this post is to draw your attention to the widget on the left because I have been selecting on my google reader some interesting audio stuff so you can open up your ears. Most of them are just raw material, that is to say, no exercises just plain tracks about all sort of topics. I hope they might help you with ones of your most heatred skill practices. If there is any you particulary like or think it is interesting don't hesitate, be generous and post a comment so as to help the rest of the visitors. Let's keep the community growing bigger. Best regards.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Modals of obligation

Hello! A new moth and we are getting closer to the end of this school year. But before that happens, we still have time to improve our skills before the final exams. I have seen how difficult has been for you to get the knack of modal verbs expressing obligation. For that reason, I've been searching the net to provide you with some extra material that could help you.

  1. If you follow this link, it will take you to a multiple-choice exercise on Englishclub.com. This place also provides with a wide range of exercises and grammar explanations which can be really handy.
  2. This other link will lead to a different site but the purpose is the same to help you with the modals of obligation.
Hope you find them both useful.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Being passive is useful sometimes!!


At least when we do not have a clue about the actor of an action or we do not want to give that information straight away! That is why passive voice is so useful and that is the purpose of this post. Follow this link and find out what the BBC section for language teaching have to offer, not only to study the passive, but also a good amount of activities tackling a wide range of grammar points. Come on, do not be passive and take some action!! Your English needs you.

Giving directions


Hello boys and girls! Looking for some kind of teaching material for you I have come across this site run by the BBC and which is meant to give some backup to those who are learning the language. As it is only a few days ago we worked about giving directions, I have chosen in the how to... section an activity where you can practice a bit. Do not miss the opportunity to browse all over the section, the amount of stuff is unbelievable!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Another surprise on Britain's Got Talent

This third season of Britain's Got Talent is being highly productive. Last week we had a Scottish unemployed housewife with an outstanding voice. Her success was such that celebrities from all over the world -Demi Moore, among them- felt really touched by her performance and spoke up for her. If you have not managed to watch it, here is the link.

However, the second week has brought another surprising performer. He is really young and what an extraordinary voice! I will not give any more details by now, but get ready for an amazing surprise. I only want you to send a reply with the reactions to the video and the titles of the songs this little mister wonder sings. If you find the lyrics on the Internet you can also include the link. Let's get amazed!!!


video

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Visuword- A new look into dictionaries and thesaurus.


This is a post for the students of the intermediate group. We have just started studying the topic of Olympics and sports and I have thought that it would be a good idea to introduce you to an amazing, this is my opinion, tool: Visuword. This new on-line visual dictionary will provide you with two different options: a proper dictionary and a neurone-like layout of all the terms related to the word you are looking for. And that is what I have done: I typed Olympics and below you haver the link to the result.

CarlosClassroom- Part 2

Hello! I know the wiki I have set up for you has not had any success, although I have thought for a better use in the classroom. However, while that time comes, I have decided to improve both pages, for basic and intermediate, with some appealing resources: several word clouds, a visual dictionary entry and a video. Hope to see your contributions soon.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Carlos classroom- a wikispace for contribution


Hello! Hope you have had a nice Easter break. After so much relax, it is time to get back to the cruel reality and start making your few neurons left work again. Remember that in the second half of the week, we are having the speaking exams planned for March. For that reason, I have decided to open a wikispace where you can find some flashcards in order to begin working as a group the details to be taken into account before we give a speech (vocabulary, main ideas, secondary ideas, etc.) Let's do it all together, it's much easier and we can all learn from each others' contributions.

Here is the link to the wikipage

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

More language exchange sites

Hello dear students! A few weeks ago, I recommended you a website where you would be able to find people who are looking for partners to practice their speaking skills via Skype. Today I want to introduce you to two different websites which have the same aim, but different approaches.

  1. busuu.com: It is a social network like facebook or myspace but their main goal is not only to provide partners to practice your language, but you can also find all sort of exercises from various levels you can take and the same network users will correct. They are sponsored by the UNESCO and even teach Gomeran wistle language! Amazin site, isn't it?
  2. babelan: In this case, this a languages site to find native people for a language exchange. It also allows to search and offer language classes and translations services. It also provides a Global language exchange (messenger, e-mail, voice) area. This is where you can find native people to practice your target language from home, just with your e-mail, messenger or voice software.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Twitter Poll: A socialnetwork experiment

Howdy! Hope you are all studying for the exams next week. I remind you I'll be away on Wednesday and Thursday, because I'm attending an EEOOII national congress in Las Palmas. Anyway, the reason for this post is that I have just discovered a way of creating polls which can be helpful in class. At the moment it is only an experment, I'm just waiting to see what the outcome is and then I may find a way of introducing them in some lessons: to create discussion groups or viceversa, after a debate we could create a poll and find out what the general opinion about a particular topic is. At the moment I have the first question:





Thursday, 26 March 2009

Some Present Perfect practice

Hello! Here I am again. This time I want to offer you some links which will lead you to some webpages where you will be able to practice a bit more the grammar points we have seen in class. They all include explanations and exercises, just press the link and get started!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Language Exchange via Skype


Mixxer

I have already explained in class that there is a possibility for you to practice your speaking skills with native speakers. All you have to do is log on at The Mixxer, a free website where all those who are learning a foreign language advertise themselves searching for conversation partners. The rules are quite simple: half an hour in your language and another half in the partner's one. Once, you start filling the application form to become a member, they will require a user name for Skype. Do not panic if you do not have any, you will find a link next to the box which will lead you to Skype's website and start the process. Do not fear anything, nobody is going to steel your identity or do anything nasty to you. If you do not like what you see or hear. Turn the skype off and delete the contact. Dead easy!


Saturday, 14 March 2009

New Widget from Google Reader

Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I have stopped a minute before I start with mine and decided that it was time to share with you the stuff I come across on my Google Reader. If you take a look to the left you will see there a black box stuffed with headlines, they can be news, audio tracks, videos, TV programs or anything I think it can be useful, interesting or helpful for your English. You cannot complain now about not finding interesting material to read, listen or see in the language you are studying. Looking forward to your comments on the topics you are interested or your requests.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Some (modals of) speculation

This is a post for the students from the intermediate level. I have found a really interesting exercise on the net to practice the use of modal verbs for speculation. The task is made up of five activities each of them suggest a different situation about which you have to speculate. Do at least one and send it to my emai. I'll send it back corrected and commented.

Friday, 6 March 2009

One about Speak Up

Some things lead to different ones! And that is what has happened to me when browsing the blogs of the EOI from Santa María de Guía. All of a sudden I bumped into a link to one of the most loved resources you all have been demanding and using at the school: Speak Up. If you click on the pic at the top of this post it will take you to the italian version of this useful magazin. Fantastic, isn't it!
P.S: Thank you to Laura, Eva, Pilar and Asun for thier great contributions, good luck with the Edublog Competition

More interesting English blogs

Hi there! Just about to start the weekend, isn't it? But before we switch off I would like to introduce you to some good initiatives our colleagues from the EOI in Santa María de Guía have been running for a while and which you may find quite useful and handy. They are three different blogs, each of them devoted to the corresponding level and full of stuff to help you with your English. Below you have the links to each of them, don't miss them!

Friday, 27 February 2009

Fame Star

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the stuff I've been posting here. Today, I would like you to become celebrities yourselves. You may be wondering how you are going to do it if you do not sing, act or have any special abilities, apart from driving your English teacher mad, no bitterness, and the answer is my famestar. It is a website where you can create your a celeb personality of your own and they do the rest. It is real fun! Below, you will find an example I have made up myself. I wwould like you to do one and send it to me so we can show it in the classroom and practise the autobiography. Hope to hear your stories soon.



Time Warner CableCreate your ownOddcast Powered

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Another one on advertisement

Howdy! The other day I posted on a very funny advert campaign from a well-known chocolate brand. Today I'm doing the same with a new sensation on British TV. Actually, they are two. The main character is Alexandr Orlov, a meerkat of Russian origin, who runs a website aiming to compare meerkats. He is somehow upset because people mistake his site for another one. can you tell me the name of the website?




video video

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

London views

Now that Carnivals have taken over the attention of the public. It may be a good idea to run away from the frenzy of so much flesh and alcohol and enjoy the views of the capital of Britain. Maybe it will give you ideas for a possible get away in the near future. Why don't you try and make your imaginary trip around the always exciting London. You can post and share your arrangements with the rest of the readers. Nice trip!!


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

More Practice on future plans

Hiya!! I found on BBC's website this exercise which may be useful to keep practicing about future plans and arrangements. Below you have the document with two exercises. If you want the key, you will have to ask for it. You know who and how, jejeje. Sorry I'm a bit mean today. See you!


Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Save File: grammar_challenge-_future_plans.doc


Saturday, 7 February 2009

Remembering vocabulary

Hi again! On the Sixthings blog a set of six tips to remember de new vocabulary has been posted. Click the link below to read more about it. Pay special attention to the link about mindmapping. It is a great tool to organize all the vocabulary related to one topic, word or idea. Maybe the first time will not be easy but with some time and practise you will manage to handle it with great accuracy. As for the rest of the tips, you already have seen them in class but it is encouraging to know that other people use them as well.

Six ways of remembering words

And here is an example made by myself to prove my point. It took some time, but it was a great experience. I bet you will get tired of me using it now. Click on the image to enlarge it and have a better view.


LEXIMO: The social dictionary


Hello pupils! I have just discovered a new social web for those who love learning vocabulary in different languages. Its name is Leximo and I think it is quite a thrilling idea. Below you have the words of the administrators of the site explaining the philosophy behind this new invention. Feel curious and give it a go. You may find it exciting: making friends by giving away pieces of your own language. You will even learn new vocabulary. Don't you reckon? Looking forward to your feedback.

Leximo is a “Social Dictionary” that invites users to submit words in every spoken language of the world. Since each word can be submitted by multiple users, definitions can vary widely in quality and thus other users can rank these definitions, so that the most popular definitions appear first.

The goals of Leximo are to:

  1. Formulate a vision in which Leximo is free and open to all users.
  2. Appeal to people who have an interest in world languages, culture and travel.
  3. Allow the contributions of users to directly translate into the advancement of Leximo.
  4. Bring together people of different ideologies, races, beliefs and cultures.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Freaky advert

Hey there! In recent days a new advertisement capaing has been luanched by one of the world's biggest chocolatieres. At first it is a bit scary, but after a few seconds you get drawn into it quite easily. What do you think of it? Looking forward to your responses.

Internet Safety

Just recently we had a conversation in class about on-line shopping and we talked about how little trust we had on the safety meassures of the web. Here you have an article dealing with the topic. Let me know if it is too difficult for you.

Cleaning Tips- Use of the future

We have already learnt about arranging all sort of activities for the future, or so I hope! Now is time to make predictions and talk about the future in a less compromising way than we have been doing recently. Read the advice and tell me what you think about it.

Warning: This file has been uploaded thnks to file.dropper which is an amazing tool for uploading and sharing heavy documents, imposible to send via email. The downside is that it is removed if it's not downloded regularly. If yo see that this happens just let me know and I'll put back on. Thank you!

This is a really effective way to clean the toilet; I'm straight off to the pet shop!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Future Plans

This is a post for students from basic 2. This past days we have been tackling future arrangements and I can tell that you find it pretty difficult, but we still have time to pick it up. Here you have some listening and other stuff to help you. Hope you find it helpful.



clipped from www.bbc.co.uk
The Flatmates

blog it

And here you have a quiz about the
use of the future for arrangements

View quiz-pdf


If you still feel like you want more, below I have posted some exercises which may also be helpful.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Emotional Robot

Here is the video of the MDS Robot called "Nexi". This is an attemp of building a machine which can show expressions among other skills. Can you please leave a comment stating what the acronym MDS stands for and give some examples of the abilities of this amazing piece of technology?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Vokis from Classmates

One of your classmates in basic2 has sent a voki for you. Can you tell me what his name is and where he is from? There is some more information but I think we all will need to ask his designer. I hope he posts a comment with the rest of the information. Looking forward to reading your comments.


Get a Voki now!

New Vocabulary Feature in thisBlog

Hello everyone! A few weeks ago I found quite a few new gadgets (widgets they call them) which will help you when reading this blog. The first is the appture which allows me to select information that I think you may be ineterested in and link it in to a pop-up window where a definition or other sort of material is displayed. In this case, the marked information is highlighted in different colour and by the symbol of an open book. The other interesting feature is that of answer tips. This time whenever you click on a word the meaning will be displayed in a pop-up window, so you do not need to go to a dictionary and look up the meaning. Apart from these two devices, I have included another widget with which you will be able to chech the links I consider can be useful. They are updated every week. Please leave a comment if anything does not work or if you have any interesting accessories. Even constructive criticism is accepted. See you soon

Hotel Dialogue

Hello dear Basic2 students! We have worked in class situations dealing with hotels and travelling. That is the reason why I am posting this entry. Here you have a link to a recorded dialogue where someone is booking a room, you can read at the same time the transcript but I would advise you to listen first and get as much information as you can, you will see it is not so difficult. Enjoy!

Click here to go to the page.

P.S: Try to bookmark the page because they are stuffed with all sort of really excellent and helpful material.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Obama's Victory Speech

The other day I introduced you to an exercise dealing with part of Obama's victory speech. The exercise was prepared by a teacher from the EOI in S/C de La Palma. As not all of you were able to come that particular day I'm going to post it here together with the video of the speech published by the New York Times. The activity is focused on the excerpt from minute 15 to almost the end. You will find that the script for the whole speech is on the right bar next to the video displayer. Try not to cheat the first time and test yourselves. Hope you enjoy it. Yes you can!

Click here for the exercise

And here for the video

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Twelfth Night gift for all of you

Hi dear students! As you have been very lazy these holidays. I have thought it would be a good idea to bother your rest and start getting you awake before the lessons start again on Thursday next week. And what a better idea than a bit of comedy from Little Britain. Take it as present from me to you for the Twelfth Night. Hope you enjoy it. See you on Thursday or Friday. Carlos

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