20 July 2017

NEWS IN LEVELS



This is an excellent site to develop the reading, listening and vocabulary skills for students of all levels. (CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ACCESS THE SITE).
Every working day a short video news item is published. The content is adapted for level 1 (beginners) and level 2 (intermediate) and level 3 (advanced).
There is always an accompanying transcript with the key words highlighted. These key words are also defined for the students in level 3.

If you read and listen to two articles every day, your reading and listening skills can improve fast. You can learn quickly and after some time you will not have to translate into your own language. You will simply understand. Why should you do this?
When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.
Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.
You also have to hear every new word 5 to 10 times if you want to remember it. That's why we use the same words in one level. If you read and hear the same words again and again, you will understand them and remember them. If you know words from one level, you can go to a higher level and learn new words. It is important to go step by step, and read and listen to words which are used in English often. This is what we do with our news. In our short news, we use words which are used in English often. Level 1 has the 1000 most important words. Level 2 has the 2000 most important words, Level 3 has the 3000 most important words.
So, if you want to understand English fast and learn fast, read two articles or more a day. You can improve your reading and listening quickly when you read easy English news. We will help you learn English fast and understand it. When you use this website every day, you can learn 3000 words which you need for communication with anybody in English.
Read more: http://www.newsinlevels.com/


9 July 2017

WRITE AND IMPROVE

Want to practise your written English? Write & Improve gives you feedback in seconds. 

Simply choose a task, write or upload your text and submit your writing for feedback. Then try again and use the feedback to improve.

www.writeandimprove.com 

6 June 2017

BBC Learning English Upper- intermediate course

As part of the BBC World Service, BBC Learning English has been teaching English to global audiences since 1943, offering free audio, video and text materials to learners around the world. 
Perhaps the best thing about BBC Learning English is that many of the materials are delivered as full length courses, a service which would you usually have to pay for. However, each component of the course is standalone and can be studied on its own. This means the learner can choose the best way to study for them; by following a full course or by following the individual materials most appropriate to them. A new feature is site maps, which allow you to find a particular grammar point or language area to work on. You can see the site map for the Lower-Intermediate Course here, and find out more about the current and future courses here.
Here are direct links to the courses. The courses consist of 30 units (click on OPEN UNIT SELECTOR to access each unit):
As well as courses, they also have a range of long-running features such as 6 Minute EnglishWords in the News, and The English We Speak, some of which are available as podcasts.


4 June 2017

Jeremy Paxman interviews Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn face questions from Jeremy Paxman on the big issues of the 2017 General Election, hosted by Sky News and Channel 4.

GENERAL ELECTION EXPLAINED


Presented by comedian Jay Foreman, this short film follows the progress of an election campaing right up to the polling day and the formation of the coalition government. Jay Foreman visits a constituency in the middle of an election campaign and finds out from the candidates and local young people why it's important to vote and make your voice heard.
http://www.parliament.uk/education/
campaig

The UK election explained

Here's a good video from the Financial Times that explains the UK General Election, scheduled to take place on June 8th.

28 May 2017

Security Researcher And Microsoft Worked To Stop Spread Of Cyberattack


  • In what ways was this attack an international issue?
  • Why were computers in Russia especially vulnerable?
  • Why were the reporters discussing the age of the person who created the kill switch?
  • What was learned from this cyberattack?

18 May 2017

SURVEY

I have received an email from a student at the Universidad Europea de Valencia. He is carrying out a study to analyze both student's and teacher's preferences and beliefs regarding error correction in oral interaction. The study will also analyze the connections between error correction and foreign language speaking anxiety.  
Click on the link and do the survey:

17 May 2017

COUCHSURFING

COUCHSURFING: LISTENING and SCRIPT 


CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travellers and the local communities they visit. Watch the video and decide if the following statements are TRUE or FALSE. 


                                               COUCHSURFING



1.- Couch Surfing has been invented recently. 



 2.- The collapse of the airlines hasn’t affected the cost of the holidays.

 3.- Couch Surfing is similar to Facebook. 

 4.- The first thing you have to do is make a request to stay at some else’s house. 

 5.- This year, the number of people couchsurfing has gone down.

 6.- Brian, from California, is travelling around the world.

 7.- A friend from California told Brian about Couch Surfing.

 8.- The only advantage of Couch Surfing is that you save some money.

 9.- After Brian’s positive reference, our reporter found a host in Tokyo for 1 night.

 10.- In Tokyo, he slept on a traditional straw mat and Shitaro showed him around.

FAKE CORAL REEF



1. The Mesoamerican barrier reef stretches from Cancun to __________.
2. The barrier reef faces different threats, for example _______ and ______.
3. Jason Decaires Taylor is trying to help to protect the reefs through ______.
4. His project involves sinking _____________.
5. Taylor wants to attract tourists to these artificial reefs and keep them away from__________.
6. The fish can use the sculptures to _____________from predators.
7. This museum is atracting a growing number of ___________________.
8. The museum will add sculptures as long as ____________________.

KEY
1-HONDURAS
2-POLLUTION, WARMING OCEAN TEMPERATURE, OVERFISHING, TOURISTS
3-ART
4-400 STATUES/SCULPTURES
5-THE NATURAL REEFS
6-HIDE/ESCAPE
7-DIVERS
8-FUNDING IS AVAILABLE

KILIMANJARO

Watch the video and find out how global warming and deforestation are melting the vast snow fields of Mount Kilimanjaro. Complete the following statements:
1-Mount Kilimanjaro is also known as __________________.
2-It is located in ____________________.
3-People travel there to ____________and______________.
4-Ernest Hemingway described the ice fields as________________.
5-The glaciers are a vital source of ___________ and __________ water.
6-Since 1912, the glaciers ________________ by more than 80%.
7-The NASA satellite has been taking pictures for _____________.
8-As the Kilimanjaro is located in the tropical area, glaciers _____.
9-Deforestation means that trees _________ in large quantities.
10-Some consequences of the loss of the glaciers include: __________ and__________.

KEY:
1-the roof of Africa
2-North Eastern Tanzania
3-climb the mountain_and view the gracier-covered peak
4-wide as the world, great high and unbelievably white in the sun
5-drinking_ and _farming
6-have shrunk
7-more than a decade
8-are especially vulnerable to climate changes
9-are cut down
10-lack of water resources in the area,  a decrease in the amount of tourism



15 May 2017

WRITING A REPORT


1. You help out at a music festival which is held in your town every year. This takes place outdoors over one weekend. The organisers want to improve the festival and so have asked you to write a short report.. You should comment on the site, the programme, the food and other facilities, the cost and anything else you consider relevant. (180 words)
2. Some American students are on an exchange programme with your college for a month. The college has asked you to write a report on entertainment in your area for the teacher who is in charge of the group. You should give advice on such things as types of entertainment, venues and prices. (180 words)
3. Your headteacher (or University Chancellor) has sent you a letter explaining that the government is awarding 50, 000 euro grants to organizations which are making big efforts to become greener. He asks you to tour the school (or university) to see what can be done to make the building more environmentally friendly. Then he wants you to write a report describing the current situation and making recommendations on how improvements can be made. (180 words)
4. You belong to a youth club which is subsidised by the village council. The youth club leader has asked you to write a report on the activities of the club to help the council decide whether or not they will increase the small grant they give every year. (180 words)

10 May 2017

THE HOUSE OF THE FUTURE

Watch this video about smart houses. For statements 1 to 10 complete the gaps with the missing information. Number 0 has been completed as an example. You do not need to use more than five words.

0. The technology displayed in the house will be available in ____5 years___.
1. The kitchen is often considered to be _________________.
2. It is designed to have all the __________ and ____________ in a modern kitchen.
3. Apart from a built-in LED TV and a music player, you can have _____ you need for cooking.
4. If you fancy a romantic evening, you just have to ______________ on the smart board.
5. If you run out of wine, you can add it to your ______________ list on the smart board.
6. The smart board helps you with your everyday ______________.
7. In order to pay your bills, the smart board will _______________ your fingerprints.
8. You can warm your towel in a modern _________________.
9. The electrical appliances are controlled by ________________
10.  The house of the future is equipped with the most hi-tech and coolest __________.
KEY:
1.The heart of the house
2. Comfort/functionality
3. Every piece of equipment
4. Press the touch screen
5. Grocery
6. chores
7. screen
8. Towel heater
9.  automation/an easy to use system
10. gadgets

29 April 2017

STORIES (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 12, UNIT 9)


What would be the modern version of that folktale or fairy story?
What makes a good story?
What makes a good storyteller?
Do you know anyone who's a particularly good storyteller?
What kind of stories does he or she tell?
When did you last hear a good story? What was it about?
Do you prefer reading stories or listening to them?
How important are folktales and fairy stories in forming someone's cultural background?
Are folktales and fairy stories taught in schools?
Certain groups of people criticise myths and fairy tales for communicating an undesirable set of values. How do you feel about this?

Personal story: A change in plans
You are going to tell your partner about a time when you had to change your plans. 
  • What had you planned? A holiday? A party? A career change? A new home? Something else?
  • Were you responsible for making the plans or did someone else do the planning?
  • How far ahead were the plans made? Was there a lot of planning involved?
  • What exactly was the original plan? Were you looking forward to it?
  • What happened to force you to change your plans?
  • Did the change happen at the very last minute or did you have time to make new plans?
  • How did you react when your plans fell through?
  • Did you do something else instead? Do you think it turned out for the best in the end?
  • Is there anything else you'd like to add?
To illustrate the topic you can watch the story of Little Red Riding Hood, included in Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes.


ht www.mythatsenglish.blogspot.com

26 April 2017

WISHES AND REGRETS

EXPLANATION AND EXERCISE
A MULTIPLE CHOICE EXERCISE
ANOTHER ONE...

CONDITIONAL SENTENCES


EXERCISES: CLICK HERE
future time clauses

WRITING: REQUESTING INFORMATION

Useful language for letter requesting information:

Opening remarks:
I am writing to enquire about ...;
I am writing in connection with ...

Introduce first request:
Could you possibly send ...;
I would be grateful if you could...;
Would it be possible for you to tell/send me...;
I would appreciate some information about...

Introduce further request:
Could you also please send me...;
Another matter I need information on is ...
I would also like some information on...

Closing remarks:
I look forward to receiving...;
I would appreciate it if you could inform me as soon as possible.

MODEL
You have just seen this advertisement in a Pet’s magazine and you would really like to take the course. However you feel you need some more information before taking the course. Write a letter between 120 to 180 words in appropriate style.


DOG OBEDIENCE CLASSES 
Train your dog in our special classes.
Register now for the autumn course.
For more information write to:
Smart Dogs
3, Longhill Green
Wolfhill

- breed/age of dog
- specific aspects it needs training in
- cost of the course




Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to inquire about your advertisement in the September issue of Favourite Pets magazine. I am interested in dog obedience classes but I would be grateful if you could send me further details.
Firstly, I would like to know what breeds of dogs are accepted for the classes and whether the dog must be a certain age in order to take part. I have a six-month-old male cocker spaniel which I am anxious to train. He is very excitable and especially needs to learn how to walk without pulling on his lead.
I also require information on the cost of the course, when it will commence and how long it is likely to last.
I look forward to receiving details about the dog obedience classes.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Yours faithfully,
Kristen Miller.

Exercise:

Instructions: You belong to an activity club. In the last meeting, it was decided that the group would arrange a river-rafting trip. Peter was in charge of writing a letter to a rafting club requesting some more information about it. He wrote this letter and asked you to revise it. However you have found some impolite phrases and expressions and you have underlined them. Rewrite the sentences in Italics for something a bit more formal.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was reading a magazine when I saw your ad the other day so I decided to write. Our school activity club is planning a river-rafting trip next month and I want you to tell me some more information about your club.
Can you tell me how many people can go on your trip? There are about thirty planning to go in our group. Is that too many?
As we will probably just go for a day I also want to know what it costs for a whole day of rafting per person. Can you also find out what it costs to hire a coach for one day? This would be helpful as that is how we intend to travel.
Finally, it is necessary to take any special safety precautions to go rafting? Obviously we will want to be properly prepared and equipped before we start.
I hope you can help me with these details. Please let me know as soon as you can.

All the best,

Teri Bauer

NOW, IT'S YOUR TURN: 
The advertisement below appeared in the last weekend edition of ´Beauty´. You are interested in spending a holiday at this resort and decide to write a letter requesting further informantion about it. You letter must be of about 180 words.

WELCOME TO HEAVEN
Spend a whole week in paradise in the company of attractive people of your age.
Leave your worries behind: here all you will find will be beauty and pleasure.
Boost your ego: an experienced advisor will be at hand to point to improvements in your looks.
Revitalize yourself: we have the most modern swimming pools, courts, and disco around.
And who knows? Maybe meet your soulmate?

Write to us for free details about the chance of your life.

FILMS

10 April 2017

ART (THAT'S ENGLISH! MOD 12 UNIT8)

Get together with the members of your conversation group and talk about the questions below.
  • Do you think Art is important?
  • Do you know much about art or know someone who does?
  • Do you own any art books?
  • Which do you prefer, painting , photography, sculpture?
  • Do you have a favourite painting or artist?
  • How often do you visit art galleries or museums?
  • What was the last exhibition you saw?
  • When you go to another city, do you usually visit an art gallery or museum there?
  • Can you name some art galleries and museums in New York, Paris, London, Madrid, Florence?
  • What do you think is the most famous painting in the world?
What’s your reaction to the remarks below?
     ‘Art isn’t art until somebody says it is.’
     ‘A painting belongs to the person who’s watching it.’
     ‘Art? What’s that?’
     ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’ Picasso.

To gain further insight into the topic you can read this article on David Hockney's exhibition in London last year from The Telegraph. Watch the slideshow of Hockney's paintings accompanying the article and
  • describe the pictures
  • compare the pictures
  • do you like them?
Finally, watch the accompanying video. You can answer these questions, also taken from the It's Magazine activity.
  1. In the video, Alastair Sooke describes David Hockney as ... 
  2. He describes the landscapes in the first rooms as ... 
  3. He thinks the series of landscapes of woods are full of ... 
  4. In the next room, he thinks the paintings are ... 
  5. In his favourite room he describes the paintings as ... 

3 April 2017

10 “right” and “wrong” expressions

COVER LETTERS

Now it's your turn. Choose one of the job listings below and write a cover letter to apply for the job.  Include your purpose for writing the letter,  where you saw the ad and 3 qualifications that make you the right person for the job.  180 words approx.
Animal care specialist
National Zoo requires experienced person to feed, water and clean the cages of small animals. Duties also include conducting tours for young visitors. Send resumé and cover letter to Cassandra Beck, National Zoo, P.O: box 42, Metropolis city MA 02210
International Tour Guide
Tour leaders needed for our small-group luxury tours to Hawaii, South America and East Asia. Excellent  salary and benefits, plus unlimited free travel. Contact Melinda Lee, Starline Travel, 16 Bayfield Drive, Mayfield NY 22267
Personal Shopper
Macy’s Department Store is looking for people with a great sense of style to help our customers plan their wardrobes. Competitive salary plus great employee discounts on all our clothes. Contact Personnel Dept., P.O. box 401, San Francisco CA 61240 

POWER (THAT'S ENGLISH MOD. 12 UNIT 7)

Do you agree with these statements?
There should be greater openness about what local councils do with our taxes.
Many local politicians try to do a good job for people in their area.
Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

If you had the power to change something in the world, what would it be?
How can ordinary citizens express their views in today's society?
Do you think that ordinary people wield more power than before?
In your opinion, what are some of the worst decisions made by the powers that be in recent years where you live?
Have you ever been the victim of abuse of power?
Who would you prefer to work for, a female boss, a male boss or neither? Why?
Which of these factors do you think have the most power over people today? And in the past?
Religious institutions - Social and digital media - TV and radio - financial institutions - politicians


HT http://mythatsenglish.blogspot.com.es

29 March 2017

Melinda Gates on making a successful life

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent tens of billions of dollars to fund improvements in global public health. Melinda Gates sits down with Jane Pauley to discuss her long-held commitment to science and data, and how it is vital to combating hunger, maternal and infant mortality and malnutrition, and to improving access to education and family planning.

27 March 2017

THE CANDIDATE

As the job market becomes redundant with candidates, companies are finding it difficult to hire the right employee for the right job. With the vast interview advice and CV resources available online, job seekers are able to design a very attractive CV and prepare & rehearse answers to questions in the interview. With the growing cost of a poor hire, it is imperative to select a candidate that will prove to be beneficial in the long term. The Dutch brewing company Heineken took interviewing candidates to the next level in order to hire the right employee.
On May 25th, 2013, Heineken needed to hire an intern for its Event & Sponsorship Marketing team to prepare for the Champions League final. Heineken received a staggering 1,734 applications for this position. They faced the question how to choose a right talent amongst 1,734 candidates, who not only have good knowledge but also suitable behaviour, thinking style and interests to do the job. Finally Heineken decided not to follow a very strict hiring policy and selected the man who could handle such a responsibility and to take an unconventional route.   READ MORE

History of Daylight Saving Time — DST


Daylight Saving Time (DST) is used to save energy and make better use of daylight. It was first used in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada.
DST normally adds 1 hour to standard time with the purpose of making better use of daylight and conserving energy. This means that the sunrise and sunset are one hour later, on the clock, than the day before.
DST Changes — Dates and Local Times


First Used in Canada in 1908
In July, 1908, Port Arthur which today is known as Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada became the first location to use DST. Other locations in Canada were also early to introduce Daylight Saving bylaws.

On April 23, 1914, Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada implemented DST. The cities of Winnipeg and Brandon in Manitoba followed on April 24, 1916. According to the April 3, 1916, edition of the Manitoba Free Press, Daylight Saving Time in Regina “proved so popular that bylaw now brings it into effect automatically”.
DST Statistics — Past and Present Use

Germany First Country to Use DST
Germany became the first country to introduce DST when clocks were turned ahead 1 hour on April 30, 1916. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort during World War I.

The idea was quickly followed by the United Kingdom and many other countries, including France. Many countries reverted back to standard time after World War I, and it wasn’t until the next World War that DST made its return in most of Europe.

GIVING EMPHASIS


.
EXERCISE: CLEFT SENTENCES
EXERCISE: SO/SUCH 

MIND YOUR MANNERS (THAT'S ENLGISH! MOD 12 UNIT 6)

How polite are you?
In what situations are you polite?
Can you think about a situation in which you have been rude or 'not so polite'?
Can you think about a situation when someone has been rude to you?
How important is it to be polite and have good manners?

Do people in Spain generally queue up and respect the line?
How would you define good table manners?
When might a child be told to be on his/her best behaviour?
What is the cause of the aggressive behaviour of football hooligans?
Can you name a public figure whose remarks often cause offence?
Do you dislike it when other people use rude language?

Discuss the following topics in the light of rudeness/good manners:
  • drivers
  • rudeness to certain type of employee
  • the effects of city life
  • saying 'please' and 'thank you'
  • the right and wrong way to greet people
  • mobile phone abuse
  • kissing and cuddling in public
To gain further insight into the topic, you can watch this NBCNews video clip where we are given some tips on how to deal with rude people.

HT http://mythatsenglish.blogspot.com.es