“Any teacher that can be replaced with a computer, deserves to be.” – David Thornburg

24 May 2017


"Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there someday" 

22 May 2017

EXAM LISTENING


Choose a level, listen to the audio or watch the video and take a quiz. These lessons take just a minute to do and are designed for ESL students. For example, lesson 1027 Countries United.


Listening Quizzes (easy, medium, difficult). Why don't you have a go at this quiz? Job hunting (multiple choice).

Choose C1 level and practice, practice, practice. Try tackle War's Silver Lining, a gap fill lesson.

11 May 2017

WRITING REVIEWS


Steven Soderbergh bids farewell to cinema in style – with a gripping psychological thriller about big pharma and mental health that cruelly leaves you craving one last fix.
(Side EffectsThe Guardian review)

Side Effects is an old school psychological thriller (you never quite know who to trust...) directed by Steven Soderbergh. It stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum. It was released in the US on February 8th, 2013. An edge-of-your-seat thriller!!



How to write a review 1: Hints and useful language
How to write a review 3: positive and negative adjectives


C1 2016-17 required reading: 
Notes From a Big Country by Bill Bryson


10 May 2017

HOW TO AGE GRACEFULLY



 Conditional sentences practice

"Had any of these things happened differently, the end of Daisy’s afternoon would have been another one"


04 May 2017

27 April 2017

DOCTOR, DOCTOR, I'VE GOT TWO THEIK





Connected Speech radio programme (BBC Learning English)

Link it All Together (exercises)


In a dictionary, words are given in isolation. In natural speech, however, words are connected into sound groups:

18 April 2017

ALL YOU NEED IS ...

Cleft sentences: emphasis exercise
Cleft sentences: multiple choice exercise
Cleft sentences: rephrasing exercise
Cleft sentences: grammar quizzes
Cleft Sentences: The Karate Kid (movie segments exercise)


BBC English Masterclass: Giving emphasis using 'what'




BBC Masterclass: Giving emphasis

06 April 2017

I've been thinking about what to include in this pre-Easter holidays post for a while but I couldn't make up my mind. In the end, I thought that some exam tips would do. Enjoy!


Now, on a more serious note:

Reading (comprehension exercises)


22 March 2017

THE BIG ROBOT QUESTIONS

Artificial intelligence: helpful and dangerous (podcast).

Robots (listening + quiz).

Do you fear artificial intelligence? (BBC Learning English video).

The ethical dilemma of robotics (BBC Learning English reading)


Artificial Intelligence and the future | André LeBlanc | TEDxMoncton:




Sci-Fiction?


Humans (2015-) UK/US is a science fiction television series based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans (Äkta människor)The series explores the themes of artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called "synths".





And when/if things get out of hand, you'll need a:



"A blade runner's job is to hunt down replicants, manufactured humans you can't tell from the real thing".


02 March 2017

C1 Reading Comprehension Practice


Try your hand at this exercise which focuses on the headings task of your test (taken from Martin's blog).

28 February 2017

ELIMINATING PRE-EXAM JITTERS: NC1A mock exam dates


NC1A


(The Guardian, 3 Dic. 2015)


BB2 show: Mock the week

Unlikely Questions From This Year's Exams:



Unlikely questions from this year's exams.
Discuss the met physical meaning of the following poem.

Would you like this exam to be A, multiple choice, or not.

Discuss the following - the Nazis got all their ideas from the history channel.

Who's the chap in The A-Team who would not go on the aeroplane, was it A, B, or B, A? 


If a bank loses 60 billion pounds in a six month period, using numbers that you've plucked out of thin air, work out what the Chief Executive's bonus will be? 

Quantify N in terms of Q when Q is a positive interchur that dissects a parabolic curve. How's your lucky pencil case now, eh, eh, eh?! 

What's the name of that round thing that they throw in the Olympics? Discuss.

Poetry. Is it all a bit gay? 


Draw diagram of the genitalia of the male elephant. Use all 30 sheets of paper provided.

Biology. Without singing, what is the knee bone connected to?


Explain the use of juxtaposition in Macbeth, alternatively, write down everything you know about Macbeth in a blind panic cos you've got no idea what the word "juxtaposition"is.

Drama, question one. What was it that first made you want to become a waiter? 

What is your PIN number? 


Rejected questions from this year's exams:

WHEN IS PANCAKE DAY 2017 AND WHY IS IT CALLED SHROVE TUESDAY?







If you go to New Orleans
You ought to go see the Mardi Gras
If you go to New Orleans
You ought to go see the Mardi Gras
When you see the Mardi Gras
Somebody'll tell you what's Carnival for

Get your ticket in your hand
If you wanna go through New Orleans
Get your ticket in your hand
If you wanna go through New Orleans
You know when you get to New Orleans
Somebody'll show you the Zulu King

You will see the Zulu King
Down on St. Claude and Dumaire
You know, you'll see the Zulu King
Down on St. Claude and Dumaire
An if you stay right there

I'm sure you'll see the Zulu Queen.


16 February 2017

THE PRINCIPLE OF KAITIAKITANGA

Kaitiakitanga – guardianship and conservation (The story)

New Zealand Travel Website

Sounds of NZ English
Learn to speak NZ in 45"



The media in NZ:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand (videos)

Top ten NZ books of the decade

Hauntingly beautiful scenery: The Piano (1993)



The story of a mute woman's rebellion in the recently colonized New Zealand wilderness of Victorian times where people live rudely in the rain and mud, struggling to maintain the appearance of the European society they've left behind.





Truly remarkable!


Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): 

Taika Waititi’s follow-up to the (also great) What We Do in the Shadows, is a pure delight and the perfect antidote after a bad day or a steady diet of too many sad movies. “Bad egg” Ricky Baker has been bounced out of more foster care situations than he cares to remember until he’s given his last chance with a couple living on a rural New Zealand farm. After tragedy strikes early in the film Ricky and his foster uncle (Hec) find themselves on the run in the bush while a nationwide manhunt is initiated on their behalf. Hip-hop enthusiast Ricky and crusty, cantankerous Hec make quite the inspired pairing; this is a very funny film full of the deadpan humor that has become emblematic of Waititi’s work but it is also oddly touching and full of heart.


For more ideas on highly-rated, little-known movies:
https://agoodmovietowatch.com/

06 February 2017

THE VIEW IS STUNNING

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses”Bill Bryson


3D Key
1. 
A. True: 1, 3, 6; False: 4, 5; Not enough info: 2 
B. 2 by boat. 3 cruise. 4 traffic jams. 5 buildings. 6 negociate 
2. 
A. 2 freshly baked. 3 stunning views. 4 mouth-watering. 5 heart-stopping. 6 value-for-money. 7 breathtaking. 8 highly recommended 


My favourite guides: Rough Guides


The Travel Bug: A television travel programme




I also enjoy: Richard Quest, business traveller (CNN anchor and correspondent).


Fancy listening to a road trip song? I do love this one, don't you?

23 January 2017

OTHER WAYS TO SAY... AND WHAT TO USE INSTEAD OF 'VERY'







When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world's asleep,
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

17 January 2017

'Cause we are living in a material world


Material Girl lyrics

Money collocations KEY:













Abusive mortgages in Spain: The so-called mortgage floor clauses ("cláusulas suelo"). Check the news for topic-related vocabulary such as: 
    unfair mortgage terms
    minimum interest rate
    abusive practice
    lawsuit against minimum payments
    fixed minimum rate mortgages
    hand back money to clients
    a ruling in favour
    the clauses were ruled illegal








11 January 2017

TOPIC VOCABULARY AND EXAM TRAINING HELP




List of 20 topics:
http://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk/ielts-vocabulary/

Write & Improve:
1) Choose a topic
2) Write about it in English
3) Get instant feedback
4) Improve!
Write & Improve is a free service for learners of English to practise their written English. Submit your written work and receive feedback in seconds, covering spelling, vocabulary, grammar and general style.

Online English for Advanced Learners (listening and reading exercises)

C1 level exercises: videos, readings, etc.

Tune into English: Learning English through pop music

English Attack: Learn English with movie clips and games (sign up required)

Vocabulary Help YouTube channel (advanced). For instance: