martes, 29 de octubre de 2013

Reading + Halloween

Here you have some links to practise reading. Sometimes the texts are a bit difficult but reading makes you feel more confident about vocabulary, structures and how to write or speak properly. Try some of these:
Here you have some information (and exercises) about this typical feast in English speaking countries:
  • A listening comprehension about Halloween; click here
  • A reading comprehension; click here
  • the text we read in class; click here
  • you can listen or read this Halloween story here
To finish with here you are the video we watched in class about introducing yourself; click here but you have some more practice here but focusing on pronunciation

miércoles, 16 de octubre de 2013

Simple Past

In  lesson 1.2 we saw simple past. Here you have a summary of what I explained in class.

There are two kinds of verbs: REGULAR and IRREGULAR verbs. To get the past form of the first group you must add -ED to the infinitive; e.g. to work --- worked;  to play --- played
You have some rules for the spelling of this form:
  • when the verb ends in -E you only add -D; e.g.: move --- moved . Logically you cannot do write moveed because the pronunciation should be /mu:vi:d/
  • when the verb ends in CONSONANT+VOWEL+CONSONANT and the vowel is stressed you must double the consonat of the infinitive like in these examples: fit --- fitted; prefer --- preferred but only if it's stressed, if not you leave it: open --- opened (you don't double the consonant)
  • when the verb ends in CONSONANT+Y you change that Y for -IED like copy --- copied; but not in verbs like play --- played
Another problem we have with the REGULAR verbs is the way of pronouncing the ending -ED:
  • /d/ : vowels and most consonants (voiced consonats, that is, with vibration); e.g. lived, played, opened, preferred
  • /t/ : with voiceless consonants, and the most common ones are /k/, /p/ and /∫/; e.g. worked, stopped or finished
  • /ɪd/ : when the last sound is /d/ or /t/ you add an extra syllable; e.g. end /end/ ---  ended /'endɪd/
You can see this video to practise the pronunciation; click here
The IRREGULAR verbs are those which have different forms in past and/or past participle and they are presented in a long list you must learn by heart (de memoria),usually in alphabetical order likein this video but I recommend to study them in different ways:
  1. Choose a letter and try to say as many verbs as possible; e.g. H --- hurt-hurt-hurt; hit-hit-hit, hide-hid-hidden, have-had-had, hear-heard-heard and so on. It's funnier if you work with someone else!
  2. Learn them according to the pattern: A-A-A (cut-cut-cut), A-B-B (buy-bought-bought), A-B-C (write-wrote-written) and A-B-A (come-came-come) Here you can watch this video to help you; click here
  3. By meaning like senses (hear-heard-heard; see-saw-seen; smell-smelt-smelt...), money (buy-bought-bought, sell-sold-sold, spend-spent-spent...), learning (learn-learnt-learnt, teach-taught-taught, , write-wrote-written...), speaking (speak-spoke-spoken, say-said-said, tell-told-told, understand-understood-understood...), everyday activities (do-did-done, cut-cut-cut, put-put-put, sleep-slept-slept, eat-ate-eaten...) Notice that most of these typical actions are irregular verbs while more "modern" ones are regular, especially those which come from Latin: copy, phone, film, register, etc.
  4. Try to recognise similar spellings and pronunciation: -ought /ɔ:t/ (bring-brought-bought, buy-bought-bought, seek-sought-sought, think-thought-thought...); - /i:/- /e/ - /e/ (read-read-read, feel-felt-felt, meet-met-met, leave-left-left...); /əʊ/-/u:/-/əʊn/( grow-grew-grown, blow-blew-blown, fly-flew-flown...or -en in the last form (write-wrote-written, drive-drove-driven, ride-rode-ridden... and also notice other similarities in the present and past form);here you have a video about this topicin a different way.
Here you have some pages to find a list of irregular verbs: : with the meaning but not the pronunciation : this includes the 3rd person in singular in present : with the translation into Spanish but without pronunciation.

Both regular and irregular verbs use the auxiliary DID for questions and negative form; e.g. Did you go to work last Saturday?  No, I didn't. Notice that the reference of time is very important, using words such as:
    • Last ________
    • When I was a child _____
    • In _____ (past dates)
    • Yesterday _________
    • __________ ago
To finish with, you should practise with these verbs to get familiar with them. Here you have some exercises to practise:
  • exercise 1 : a page with many exercises
  • exercise 2 : divided in different levels of difficulty
  • exercise 3 : with different games to practise
  • exercise 4: the traditional form of studying the list
  • exercise 5: a video with the 50 most used irregular verbs
  • exercise 6: 5 more exercises about irregular verbs oriented to ESO students
NOTE: there is a post in this blog I published in May 2009. This is the post about past tenses and the pronunciation:
If you are interested in practising the ending of past have a look at this chart and them do this exercise. It's quite clear and interesting. When you have it clearer, try to do this practice with pronunciation. It's slow but you can practise with it. To finish with here you have a listening comprehension; it's a bit difficult but the questions aren't difficult. Have a look but don't worry if you can't do it perfect.

And after so much grammar, let's sing a song by Adele. First do this exercise of filling the gaps and then go to this link Set Fire to the Rain. See you!

martes, 15 de octubre de 2013

Revision of Present and Past Simple

We're going to revise this tense but keep in mind that it's not the same as the Spanish simple present: this tense is connected to routines, habits or frequent actions. That's the reason why we normally use frequency adverbs with this tense. There are also verbs that are normally used in present simple such as need, think, feel, want, like, have and so on. Let's see some examples:
  • I come to English class twice a week and I usually use public transport.
  • I think I need a new notebook. This doesn't have enough pages so I want to buy a new one today.
  • I like watching TV at night when I have time and I don't feel too tired.
If you want to practise with this tense go to these links:
To finish with, have a look and sing this funny song. The singers use past simple a lot so we are going to try to see which is the present tense of each verb. To listen to the song click here: I don't care, I love it 

lunes, 14 de octubre de 2013


In this first lesson we are speaking about what you do in your free time. We have here the exercise we did in class; click HERE.
If you want more practice, go to these exercises:
We also worked with questions and the use of  AUXILIARY and we've seen DO-DOES-DID. We did this exercise to practise; click HERE. If you want to do more exercises you can go HERE or HERE. Once you've finished with grammar, let's go with music. "Eternal Flame" is a good example of how to make questions; click HERE. For further practice with questions you can use these exercises:
I hope you find this helpful. See you in class.

lunes, 7 de octubre de 2013

Starting the new level (NB2 2013-14)

Welcome everybody!. We're starting this school year and we're going to use this blog as a class diary to know what's on in class.

These first days we are going to revise the main contents of the previous level (NB1), such as:
  • numbers: time, years, numbers up to a million, etc.
  • letters: the alphabet
  • use of the auxiliary in questions: are you ...? do you...? can you ...? did you ...?
  • yes/no answers: yes, I am / no, I'm not ; yes, I do/no, I don't ; yes, I can/no, I can't, etc.
Next week we're going to start with the new book, although it's the same the one we used last school year: Speak Out Pre-intermediate (Pearson/Longman). Try to get it as soon as possible because we are eager to start with it

Here you are my welcome present for all my students: one of my current favourite songs; click HERE

See you in class!

More tips for the exam

Writing: here you are an exa mple of an email with some tips or this one and this example Listening: again go to this link to practise...