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Showing posts from 2011


MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR BEAN!, by maria elena sabadini
Find this and other christmas exercises in English Exercises .org

More Christmas activities

Christmas in Britain: reading

Christmas webquest

Santa Claus is coming to town, by Maria Jose Garcia
Find this and other christmas exercises in English Exercises .org

BASIC LEVEL:Christmas carols

Christmas Vocabulary, by Zora
Find this and other christmas exercises in English Exercises .org
Christmas, by Edite Tentere
Find this and other christmas exercises in English Exercises .org

And now for everyone, sing along!!!


There's a fire starting in my heart....

Sounds familiar? This is the beginning of one of the most popular songs nowadays. I'm sure you've heard of Adele, haven't you? Well, I really love this song. As a matter of fact, I love all Adele's songs but I'm going to show you 'Rolling in the Deep' just for teaching purposes, ok?

While you are listening to the song, please do notice the way she says 'we could have had itall', 'remind me ofus' and 'you played it to the beat'. Also, don't miss the expression "reap just what you sow".

Well, without further ado, here you have this marvellous song. Enjoy and sing along!!

NPR Music: Adele, in concert (you can listen to the entire radio show here)
YouTube mix for Adele


You see, I was watching TV yesterday and, as usual, there was nothing on. I was just about to turn it off when I came across a programme from AprendeInglés TV . It was about one of the most popular shows on Spanish television nowadays. Maybe you are fans of "El Hormiguero", too. Would you like to know how some of the famous people working there get by in speaking English?

Learning English enemy: dubbing


Hello, guys, here you have a link to a video about telling an anecdote, which is good practice for the monologue part of the speaking exam you are going to take in June. The girl is speaking about a time she did something personally challenging.

I want you to focus on how she structures the information, how she moves on from one idea to another one, how she stops to think, how she uses topic-related vocabulary and so on and so forth. Use the play and pause buttons to listen to her and then to repeat after her, trying to imitate her, actually.

Come on! You can do it!


New Zealand travel website

As I promised, here you can see the video about New Zealand tourism again.

Need some help?
green and pristine environmentthe kiwi way of lifethe main reason visitors come to NZ is for our environment so looking after it is not only vital for tourism but also the country's economy.gross domestic productenvironmental protection and sustainability measuresReal Journeys (700,000 tourists a year). The possible environmental effect to that volume of people could have is daunting but the company is well aware of its responsabilities.Real Journeys achieve being environmentally responsible in a number of ways: - we support conservation causes
- we invest in technology
- we ensure we are operting modern low emission top equipment
- we get into recycling
- we do whatever we can to ensure that we operate in the most environmentally sustainable manner
- we also suppor…


This year our school trip took us to Ireland. What can I say about it? It was absolutely grand!!!! A great crack!!! (notice the use of Irish English slang). We saw amazing scenery, the weather was fantastic (really, it was sunny all the time, can you believe it?) and the students overcame their shyness and took every opportunity they had to practise English.

Well, in this post you can do some exercises to know a bit more about Ireland and Irish English. Plus, I'll show some of the places we visited. I hope you 'll be able to see them in person one day. Maybe, you already have.

Ireland - complete the sentences

Saint Patrick's Day - open cloze

St. Patrick's Day Parades

The Republic of Ireland - complete the sentences

Northern Ireland - audio comprehension

An interview with Brendan (Irish accent)

How to put a convincing Irish accent

Molly Malone - song

Famous Irish people

Angela's Ashes - recommended book

Dublin, 10 things you need to know - video

Useful language when going place…


'Crime and punishment' old entries

Crime vocabulary exercise 1
Crime vocabulary exercise 2

Law and Order vocabulary exercises

Crime and punishment and related topics with lots of exercises (vocabulary, reading, listening, games, ...)

Learn English with music: crime vocabulary
Bob Dylan, Hurricane

Learn English with American television: crime vocabulary
Law and Order

Look out for cyclists ad

Whodunnit: who killed Lord Smithe?

Great literature? NY Times
The ingredients for a great Whodunnit
Midsomer Murders (TV series)

My favourite Whodunnit writers:
Agatha Christi
PD James
Ian Rankin
Caroline Graham
Charlaine Harris
Sue Grafton
Camilla Läckberg
Henning Mankell


Compulsive exercise or gymorexia (a kind of new anorexia) is a new mental disorder where people get obsessed with working out so, the question is: how much exercise is too much?

Watch this video and do the fill in the gaps exercise below.

-Some men feel the need to look __________________ and for more and more men their ___________ is turning into an obsession.

- Asked about whether he is addicted, David Moore admits he is a _______________ and worries about calories whenever he misses a day in the gym.

-According to the reporter, gymorexia is due to ___________________ and the _________________ on young men.

-According to sport psychologist, what happens physiologically when you exercise is that the endorphins _________________ and if you miss a day your body feels it’s missing something.

-As the reporter says, the key is finding a balance. Some people like Mark , in fact, have no problems ___________________. He says that if he misses one day or two it’s not the _______…


Listen to this song about regrets and do notice the effort to make words rhyme with 'if', like when she says 'what's the diff?' meaning 'what's the difference?'
The song is quite fast, so the lyrics are provided in case you might need them.
Have fun and sing along, if you can!

Lyrics | If You Hadn't But You Did (From Two On The Aisle 1951) lyrics

Kristin Chenoweth appeared in the popular TV series Pushing Daisies. Have you ever heard about it? It is sometimes referred to as a forensic fairy tale. It centers on the life of Ned, a pie-maker gifted with the mysterious ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. There are some conditions to this talent. Ned quickly learns that if something is revived for more than exactly one minute, something of similar "life value" in the vicinity drops dead, as a form of balance. Additionally, if he touches the revived person or thing a second time, it falls dead again, this time permanently…


Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true. Or as The Dalai Lama said "Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck". Other famous quotes about this are "If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles" by Benjamin Franklin, or "When the gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers" by Oscar Wilde.

Anyway, let's forget about philosophical issues and focus on language learning, shall we?

May 12th 2009 post on wishes and regrets

Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Exercise 3

BBC Learning English listening: Three wishes
BBC Learning English, The Flatmates episode 67: Wish (language point and quiz too!!!)
BBC Learning English, The Flatmates episode 177: Third conditional


Valentine's Day History and things
Videos on the history of VD and the science of love
Valentine's Day crafts and recipes
Valentine's Day crossword
Valentine's Day quiz

Every Breath You Take by The Police


More practice about modal verbs in the past?

You should've said no by Taylor Swift (thanks, Silvia, for the tip)

Modal verbs online exercises, click here.

Click here, if you want to read the post I wrote about the song 'Nothing suits me like suit' from the TV series How I met your mother last year. You'll be able to listen to the song again while reading the lyrics at the same time.


Read this: British or English article Now, here you have a website where you can listen to people with different accents. Have fun! Accents What else? Well, Recently, I've watched a TV series called Gavin and Stacey, you might have heard about it. Anyway, it is about a nice boy from Essex (England) and a sweet girl from Barry (Wales) who fell in love and got married. Now their families and friends have to deal with this new situation and I assure you the consequences of this new life for all of them are hilarious. Besides, you can really notice the difference between English and Welsh accents and expressions. For example, Nessa, Stacey's friend, always says "what's ocurring?" instead of "what's the matter?". Listening exercise: South East Wales voices Reading exercise: what's occurring with Ruth Jones (Nessa)?

The awkward breakfast: Stacey's uncle makes fun of American accent:

Gavin's friends go to Barry: nobody speaks Welsh here, you slag!!!



In this post you are going to find a bit of everything, such as:

31st January, 2010 post on special reporting verbs, click here.

look/see/watch I
look/see/watch II
do/make I
do/make II
Confusing verbs
More confusing verbs
Pairs of confusing verbs: pdf files here and here
BBC quiznet (confusing verbs)
BBC quiznet (expressions with take)

Well, you know there are many others such as threat and warn. This morning we had a bit of a problem telling one from the other, but remember, a threat is a warning that something unpleasant is imminent while a warning is a message informing of danger.

BBC quiznet

BBC quiznet (collocations)

BBC quiznet (cause and effect)
BBC quiznet (reason and result)

BBC quiznet


As ABBA said, 'money, money, money, always sunny in a rich man's world'. Why is money so important? Can't we just live with bare necessities? Well, money doesn't buy happiness (but does it help you to be happy?)
In this post, you are going to do some revision exercises about cleft sentences (Exercise 1, Exercise 2 and Exercise 3) and learn more things about Nauru (Nauru's natural phosphate reserves once made millionaires of the entire population. Now they're among the world's poorest countries). Some recommendations about films dealing with this issue will be provided.

Nauru: lonely planet

Nauru Official Tourism Website

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. The poem concerns the Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.Now, when thinking about this, there were …


The future of the Earth is in our hands, literally. Our planet seems to depend on the way we choose to carry our groceries home, which leads us to one of the most controversial topics nowadays: the plastic debate.
Well, I've prepared a listening exercise for you to do. I took a news item from NPR about the plastic bag ban in San Francisco. Listen to the story and complete the following sentences. When you finish, check the answers at the end of this post and listen once more, now reading the transcript at the same time.
1. A year ago politician Ross Mirkarimi couldn’t imagine __________ he was going to cause.

2. Roplast Industries in Oroville is one of the manufacturers of plastic bags who got a __________ after the plastic ban was passed.

3. A new bag containing more plastic will hold five or six times as much as the standard disposable bag with the advantage of being _________.

4. The best thing about the ChicoBag folds up into a tiny ________ sack.

5. The bag ban was abandoned in Fai…


March, 17th 2010 post on the economic crisis: The Last Laugh

November, 20th 2009 post on consumer society: Buy Nothing Day

Multiple choice listening exercise on Adsense: Making Money Online + vocabulary exercises.

Article on the new consumerism by the BBC.

Article on the history of consumerism: industry, consumerism and social change.

Radio programme on consumerism (click on the links at the left-hand side of the page).

Video on how to get rid of debt faster (Martín's blog).

Top Ten songs about money (with videos).

Selling unwanted Christmas gifts on eBay: top tips