Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish you a Jolly Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Hope you have a great time this season and may all your wishes come true!

Holiday assignments

There is a long holiday ahead and I hope everybody can have a bit of everything they want: fun, relax, time for themselves, ... in any case, I hope you all can find some time to keep working on your English.

Students of Intermedio 1 have to finish reading Slumdog Millionaire, and then they have to write a review following this structure:
  • Paragraph 1: Introduction (title, name of author, any other background information about the story)

  • Paragraph 2: Summary of the story (don't include the end, don't spoil the reading to future readers)

  • Paragraph 3: Your personal opinion and recommendation.
Students of Avanzado 1 have to finish reading The curious incident... and they'll have to answer some questions on the book after the holidays. I would also like you to write a story or narration, real or fictional, about any topic, but why not tell a story set at Christmas time. Read a story and get some inspiration.

Monday, 13 December 2010

I1- Jobs

Watch this video where people talk about their jobs and write down the names of new occupations you learn. The second part comes with subtitles, in case you have some trouble understanding the first time you watch it.

How many different ways can you use to ask somebody "en qué trabajas"?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Theatre in Madrid

The company Face to Face is performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in Teatro Alcázar this December. The show is entirely in English, and this is a good chance to see this classic at an affordable price. This version is set in India and it is suitable for all ages.
Pick up a date and enjoy the show!

School trip

The school is organizing a trip to Edinburgh for next March. You can find all the details on Ray's blog and if you are interested there's a meeting in the school next Friday. Have a look and join us in this exciting cultural journey to the land of the shining rivers.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Learn English with songs

We all like music and we all have our favorite groups or singers, and using song lyrics is a great way to work on your English.

On this page you can find an amazing collection of videos by different artists, old and new, even the latest hits, with lyrics included. The game consists on listening to a song and doing a "fill in the gaps" exercise at the same time. There are different levels to choose from, and by choosing the artists you like the most and writing the lyrics, you can practice your English and have some fun.

Try it out!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

It's Thanksgiving day

Today is Thanksgiving day, a very important holiday in the United States, but a date that is also celebrated in other parts of the world.

Today we are going to do a few activities in class to learn more about this holiday, but if you have time I recommend you watch some of these videos:
or any of the many more that you will find at

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, 22 November 2010

To get hooked on

I was surprised nobody in class (neither one, because this expression has come up in both) knew this old song with the expression "hooked on" in it, so I thought about including it here, and I am sure you'll recognize it right away. Here is the original version, and here the lyrics.

Remember: to get hooked on something means to become obsessed or addicted to something.

By the way, I found this version by David Hasselhof, he's got a nice a voice, but my goodness, what was he thinking about when he filmed the video?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A1 - Pronuntiation issues

English pronuntiation is something that gives us Spaniards a lot of trouble, the sounds are difficult to articulate and there is not a direct correspondence between the spelling and how the word is pronounced.

The best thing to improve your pronuntiation would be to listen to as much English as you can. Reading aloud, concentrating or pronuntiation rather than comprehension, is also a very good exercise, as well as saying tongue-twisters, you can find some here.

Nevertheless, it is sometimes comforting to see that even native speakers hesitate or have different opinions on how to pronounce words. Watch this video and read the article to find out how the pronuntiation of certain words in English is changing nowadays. As you can see, there is always a different version on the same problem!

Monday, 15 November 2010

I1 - Past tense

You can practice the past tense in different ways, for instance:

And don't forget the famous quote, Learn the past, watch the present, and create the future (by Jesse Conrad, actor and singer).

Friday, 12 November 2010

Christmas pantomime

The school is going to the theatre on 10th December. We are going to see Alice in Wonderland, a pantomime played by the well-known group The Madrid Players.

The price is only 10 euros, and the deadline to sign up is 16th November.

Come on and join us, you won't regret it!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Writing contest

The school is organizing a writing contest for students of all levels. The theme is Cuéntame lo que pasó, and you have to choose a picture that you love, or that it is important to you, and write about the moment when the picture was taken (where, how, when, what you felt,...).

Students of Intermedio will have to write about 180 words and students of Avanzado about 230 words, and also enclose the picture you are writing about.

The deadline for submission of your works is 13th December, and you can hand it to me, or directly at the office.

There is a prize for each level, and the winners will see their works published in the school magazine. Awards will be given at the Christmas party.

If you need more information, ask me and I will give you more information and help. Come on, tell me what happened!

A1 - Collocations

Learning collocations is essential to improve your vocabulary at this level, and they are a key feature that will make your English sound more natural.

You can find a good introduction to what a collocation is here, and you can practice some exercises here. There is even a dictionary of collocations here that may come in handy when writing your sentences.

Monday, 8 November 2010

I1 - Meet the ultimate pet

Watch this video and find out about the latest trend in pet breeding. You can then answer the questions to see how much you understood.

Will we soon see some around our parks? I'd love to, they are so cute!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Language quiz

How much do you know about languages?

Well, you can now test your knowledge by doing this language quiz which is full of amusing facts and anecdotes. The good thing is that you can take it in nearly any European language, so pick and choose, and you may be surprised at how much you can understand in other languages. Have fun!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

I1 - Revise and practice

Now it is time to go over what we have already learnt in class. Doing grammar exercises on the computer is easier than on paper, and you have the advantage of getting immediate correction.

Practice the difference between present simple and present continuous here, or here. And on this page you can find a short and clear explanation of how to make questions in English, plus exercises to practice.

A1 - Twins separated at birth

Following the interesting story about Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein, the twins that were separated at birth, you can watch this video where they are interviewed about their amazing experience. You can also read the text we did in class here, and these are the answers to the exercise:

1. bout
2. toddler
3. to be strained
4. squalor
5. to bicker
6. appalled

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cool video

In the future I will try to provide you with activities suited to your level, but for now let me just show you this cool video and a very short activity that comes with it, which I hope all of you can do with no much effort. Enjoy!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Welcome to my blog

Here you will find extra information and activities regarding what we are doing in class, as well as information about things going on in the school and the world of English around us. I hope you come here often and leave your comments, and I wish you all a very good year.