31.12.12

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend.

Burlington Books

This is an adaptation of the funny and entertaining novel by Sue Townsend, a British writer who knows and depicts very well the British society and institutions. Adrian Mole is one of her best known characters and has featured many of her novels. In this one, we learn to know him at the age of 13 and 3/4. It starts at the beginning of the year with his New Year Resolutions and a complicated family life.

I hope one of your New Year Resolutions is to read this short and funny book for your English class;  to get the most of it remember that you can download the mp3 recordings of the reading of the book at Burlington Books; you can also answer the questions at the end of the book and send here any comments or questions.

Happy New Year!!!!!

28.12.12

Gmail Motion


Today I am showing you the newest innovation by Gmail. They say that more than 80% of  communication is achieved through body languange and that sitting at a desk typing and moving the mouse is not a natural position for the human being; so, they have created Gmail Motion. This tool is able to interpret body movement as commands (orders). 

For instance: if you want to read a message, you have to do as if you were opening an envelope and this tool which obtains the image from a webcam will interpret it as your order. Watch the video, it explains it clearly. 

This is an impressive tool, but I do not know if it will be able to change our way of relating with machines, what do you think? Leave your comments and tell us!!!

Remember, if you like the post and/or the blog, click on the MacMillan badge (top right) and vote for Close your books, please, it only takes a minute!!!

Update 31st December 2012: Just in case you had not noticed, this is a joke, have  a look at the date: 28th December, is Saint Innocents' Day in Spain and we celebrate it by playing tricks on other people. I hope you   had fun!!!

25.12.12

Sergio Ramos, olé!!

I want to wish my students and all the people who read the blog a  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with  Sergio Ramos' video and I have some good reasons to do so. I know many people are laughing at it because his English is not perfect, but I want to highlight how brave and generous he is.
He wishes the Christmas to all the children of the Real Madrid Fundation school, he says:
"Hi, I hope you all had a good time playing football at the Real Madrid Fundation school. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"
He does it in a way that all the people can understand him. When we talked about the video in class, some students said that he should not have done it, that someone else should. I told them I did not agree, I think a language is to communicate with people and he achieves that, I always encourage my students to talk even though they do not do it perfectly, that is the only way to get better; as Einstein would say:
"It is not that I am so smart, it is just that I stay with problems longer"
I encourage you to keep trying and you will get better.
Merry Christmas and A happy new year!!!!

22.12.12

Love English Awards

MacMillan Dictionary Blog
I have been nominated as Best Blog at the Love English Awards at the MacMillan Dictionary Blog. This is a great honour and a very satisfying and rewarding moment for me. If you like the blog, I would like you to vote for it, it is very simple, you just have to click on the "vote" button next to where the name of the blog is.
I want to thank you in advance and also for reading the blog and making it what it is today. LOL

21.12.12

Merry Christmas from IES Tartessos

Oddcast
If you want to hear Santa Claus wishing you the best for your holidays in my name, click on Oddcast and you will hear him. You can also do your own interactive Christmas card at Chatty Santa.

I want to thank Aurora Jove because I found this web thanks to her wonderful blog Think in English.

How do you congratulate people for Christmas? Do you use e-cards? Which ones?

19.12.12

Practising English with Apps 2: Johny Grammar's Quiz

British Council

As I told you, I am going to show you another app . It is called Johny Grammar's Quiz. This is a very fun and entertaining app also designed by British Council. In this app, you can practice things we see in class in a very easy way. You have a menu subdivided into three:
  1. Spelling quiz
  2. Grammar quiz, and
  3. Vocab quiz
In the spelling quiz, there are two stages: in the first one you say which word is correct; and in the second one, you have to point out the one that is wrong and rewrite it again correcting it. The grammar and vocabulary quizzes are divided into three different levels: easy, medium and hard. The grammar quiz has got four different cattegories depending on the level you choose, for instance modals or conjunctions (on the hardest level), infinitives or gerunds (medium level) and irregular verbs (easiest level). The vocabulary quiz has got ten different categories including phrasal verbs, idioms, food, small talk and so on.

You can practice for hours with this free app for Android. You can also enjoy yourself at the same time. Try it and tell us!! Please, those of you who downloaded the Wordshake app and are literally hooked on it, leave your comments so that your mates know it is true!!

Remember, if you like the blog or this post and think others will like it too, they will find it easier if you push the g+ bottom below or on top right. Thanks!!!

16.12.12

Practising English with Apps 1: Wordshake.

British Council
In a few days (just 5!!!), we will have much more free time. That is the reason why I am presenting  you this new serie of posts: Practising English with Apps.  In this serie, I am going to show you apps that I have come across and that I think are very good to practise English in a fun and entertaining way and/or apps that treat a specific issue, such as vocabulary, grammar...

I am starting today  with Wordshake, this is a free app that you can find at Google Play and it consists of building words of more than three letters with 6 or 9 random letters in a given time (1 or 3 minutes) depending on the level you choose. You get more points the longer the words are. This is a fun way to learn new vocabulary because when you finish, the app makes a list of the words you built but also of all the possibilities that you had, so you see many new words or revise many that you already know but did not have the time to see.

It is quite fun and takes so few time that you can play with it almost everywhere!!
Do download it!! Then, tell me, how many points did you get?

If you liked this post and/or the blog, please remember to g+ at the top right of the page so that more people get here!!! Thanks!!!

13.12.12

A narrative: James Blunt's Stay the Night.



We are already finishing the term, so we are going to relax a little with this song by James Blunt, a British singer and songwriter with a really special voice.  I have chosen this song because we have been treating past tenses (past simple, continuous, present and past perfect, would, used to...) to talk about narratives.

 It's 72 degrees outside, zero chance of rain
 It's been a perfect day 
We're all spinning on our heels, so far away from real In Californ-i-a  
We all watched the sunset from our car, we all took it in 
And by the time that it was dark, you and me had something, yeah! 
Chorus:
 And if this is what we've got, then what we've got is gold 
We're shining bright and I want you, I want you to know 
The moon is on it's way, our friends all say goodbye
 There's nowhere else to go, I hope that you'll stay the night 
 Wooooah, you'll stay the night, wooooah yeah 
 We've been singing Billie Jean 
Mixing vodka with caffeine 
We've got strangers stopping by 
And though you're out of tune 
Girl you blow my mind, you do
 And all I'll say is I don't wanna say good night and if there is no quiet corner to get to know each other then there's no hurry I'm a patient man
 As you'll discover, ah! 
CHORUS
Just like the song on my radio said, 
We'll share the shelter of my single bed
 But it's a different tune that's stuck in my head 
And it go o oes... 
CHORUS

First listen to the song and read the lyrics, then try to picture the time line, that is, try to figure out and tell me which actions happen first and which ones after and send me a comment. I hope you enjoy the song and the video with all its heat!!!

10.12.12

My first scones


Yesterday, as the long week-end we have enjoyed was coming to its end, I decided to try and cook something that I love since I went to Ireland. What you see in the photo is what they call scones and it is a bun half bread half sponge cake. They usually have it at tea time with jam or marmalade, but we also had it at pubs during lunch, accompanying their fantastic soups.

I followed this recipe I took from the BBC, and I must confess they don't taste like the ones I had in Ireland; even though it was eight years ago I can still remember their flavour. I think the problem is I didn't have self-raising flour so I used baking powder instead and I guess I didn't put enough quantity because the buns didn't raise, so they are a bit stale, too stiff to be eaten nicely : ( Though the flavour is Ok, and they look good, don't they?

Next time, I will try adding more baking powder or try to buy some self-raising flour!!! If they are good, I'll try the cheese scones!!

Have you ever tried scones? Did you like them?
Do you have a better recipe? If you do, please let me know!!!

7.12.12

Improving reading comprehension in secondary education(ESL)

@AnaGarciaTeacha
We are having our Reading Comprehension tests next week, I know, it is such a pain!!! But I am going to give you some tips to work on them.

What should you do first?PREDICTING!!!
Have a look at the title and any pictures that accompany the text, also count the paragraphs. The title normally tells you the topic of the text, pictures give a lot of information which is not in English!!!! Each paragraphs brings up a new idea on the main topic. Now that you have some information, think about what ideas will come up and better than this, what words, expressions, even grammar and textual features...

What should you do next? UNDERSTANDING!!!
Read the text one paragraph by one and try to understand the main idea of each one and how it relates to the main topic (understanding a text has a lot to do with understanding what it is talking about, that is the world to which it makes reference). Don't worry about the words you don't understand, try to figure them out; two good ways are: trying to relate it to a word you know (whether in English or Spanish) or trying to fill the meaning gap - this can be fun, teachers should practise this in their classes more often. It is also important to take into account textual references such as those of personal pronouns and others.

What should you then? GET DOWN TO WORK!!!
Now it is time to read the exercise you have to do in order to show that you have understood. What do you have to do? There are different types of exercises which go from the fill-in gaps to the question answering or from multiple choice questions to finding synomyms or opposites... Depending on your level, your teacher will ask you to do different tasks. Many teachers ask students to answer questions, so it is important that you know your wh-words!!! Go back to the text and look for the information you need.

You can get deeper information on how to develop reading skills in your own language and others if you go to How to improve reading comprension. You have many corrected instances at English for Everyone.

Will you follow these tips? 

2.12.12

World Aids Day

World AIDS Day - 1 December
Unfortunately, it is important to remind people that AIDS is still an illness that we can get if we are not careful.  UN has set a day to focus on the illness and promote the knowledge about its symtoms, prevention, diagnosis and treament; it is on 1st December (last Saturday).

Even though we may not know anyone with this illness, it is important to remember that it exists. If you want to have a closer look at it in class with students or students alone at home or with their parents, there is a good website on the subject, it is called E-School Today.

There are also pages that treat this issue in depth:
Have you done something at school this year related with this day?

1.12.12

Modern Classics: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are a Californian group that started back in the 19690s. They are famous for being one of the first rock vocal groups. They talked in their lyrics about the beach, surfing and having fun, so their songs made people have a good time and forget about their problems. Just like the Beatles, they are part of those modern classics that changed music into what it is today.

They were so famous at their time that groups were created in Spain to sing their songs in Spanish, these are called tribute bands, such as The Summer Boys. They even have their own official fansite in Spain called The Beach Boys Spain. The Beach Boys are actually celebrating their 50th anniversary singing on tour.

Did you know them? Do you like them? 

28.11.12

Learning vocabulary: Jobs

British Council
One of the best ways to learn vocabulary is by using it in context. We have been talking about professions and the work clothes and the equipment required to perform the different tasks.
I find that this game by British Council , a non-profit organization to develop British culture and language around the world, is a great opportunity to put in practice all this new vocabulary. 
The game consists in "dressing" the character with the clothes according to the information given in the red square, we also have to guess the character's job. This part maybe a little easy for our 2nd year of ESO students, but they love it!! The second part, which is not so easy and we could add as follow-up in class or at home is that they write a little description similar to the ones in the games and their mates have to guess the job. 

You have many different ways to practice jobs online:
It is a great opportunity to put the vocabulary in context and develop writing, reading and listening skills. What do you think of this idea? Do you like it?
Do you have any ideas for follow-up activities?

25.11.12

Fighting against gender violence.

Dragonslippers
Today is an important day, not only for woman, but also for men. For me, it is a day to be aware of what kind of relationships  we have with our partners and to weigh if it is a healthy one or not.

 The other day with my students when we were talking about gender violence, I told them that the first time he hits you, it is too late. Today, I am leaving you the link to a comic by Rosalind B. Penfold, a woman who went through the horror of an abuse relationship. Her way out was drawing this comic that she later made into a book. You have an excerp of it here, but you have the link to the complete comic where she talks about the signs that make you see that you can be in danger:
  • He wants to go too fast.
  • He makes you think being with him is more important than anything else.
  • He makes plans for you without your agreement.
  • He talks badly about your friends and family.
  • He makes you feel less than others in public.
  • He doesn't want you seeing anybody.
  • He mistreats you and then quickly goes back to treating you too well.
  • He abouses you and then makes as if it had never happened.
  • He says your behaviour is your fault.
  • He is too jealous.
  • He wants to know everything you  do and where.
Please, have a look at the comic and take it into account!!!
If you want to learn more about the author, you can read an interview with her at El Mundo.
What are you going to do to balance gender roles today? Tell us!!!

22.11.12

Thanksgiving already!!!

A year ago, I started this blog with a post about Thanksgiving, one year later, I am still here trying to teach you and learn from you through your comments. In this video (first part of two; you can watch the second part when this one finishes), you can see Charlie Brown and his friends telling the story of the Mayflower and the first pilgrims.

As you already know (because you have read my first post), Thanksgiving takes place on the 4th Thursday every November and it is a holiday, which normally becomes long week-end and it is a very familiar celebration. It appears in many soap operas and TV series; you can watch  some "Thanksgiving dinners" in my favourite one: Friends (very funny!!) and in many others, choose your favourite and check out at YouTube.

Even though this is mainly an American celebration, the Black Friday tradition is getting to Spain, have a look at the leaflet I found today in my mail:
Can you tell me what is this tradition? You can check in the first post or at Wikipedia..
 Leave your comments!!!

19.11.12

International Men's Day.



International Men's Day is celebrated over more than 60 countries on the 19th November. It is a day to celebrate and take care of "men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and higlighting positive role models" as they say at their web International Men's Day.


It was created by Dr. Teelucksingh from Trinidad and Tobago in 1999, next to Children's International Day which is tomorrow and in the month of the Movember (moustache+November) movement, created in 2003 in Australia to promote especially men's health.

In these days, I think men can also claim to have a day of their own so that we can focus on health and social  problems that are specific to them, what do you think of this idea?

16.11.12

Article published in Blog de TIC en Lenguas Extranjeras

Blog de TIC en lenguas extranjeras
This has been a very exciting week for me, I got an article about my blog published in  Blog de TIC en Lenguas Extranjeras  which depends on the institution INTEF (Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas y  de Formación del Profesorado from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. If you want to read the article completely you can do so at this link, it is in Spanish, so many of my students will like it.

The day after, I found out that my article had been reposted on English Elda, a blog of the CEFIRE (Centro de Formación, Innovación y Recursos Educativos de Elda), in which they recommended this blog and said it is "amazing"
English Elda
I want to thank all of you who read me and follow me, especially the people who are closer to me who are not learning English and read just because I write it, I want to thank you for giving me the strength and support I need to continue with this work. I also want to thank my students who use this blog and get better so I can pass more people!!! ;)
What do you think??Leave your comments and tell us!!!

13.11.12

Am I teaching? You learn!!!

Grammar  ideas | Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language | Scoop.it
http://papadeligames.wordpress.com
We are having a look at the differences in form and use of the present simple and present continuous, we have said that we use the present simple for habits (with frequency expressions and adverbs) and we use the present continuous to speak about the  time of speaking (after imperatives, with "now, right now, at the moment" and "today")

In the next chart you can see the form:
PRESENT SIMPLE
PRESENT CONTINOUS
Aff.  Subject (you, we, you,they) +verb (V)
                       
                       (he, she, it)  +Vs, es, ies
Aff. Subject (I) + (verb “to be”) am + Ving.
                        (he, she, it)  + is +Ving.
                        (we, you, they)+ are +Ving.
Neg. 
        Subject (you, we,they) +don’t+ verb                                                                       
                     
                        (he, she, it)  +doesn’t +verb
Neg: Subject (I) + am + not + Ving.
                        (he, she, it)  + isn’t +Ving.
                        (we, you, they)+ aren’t +Ving
Int. Do + Subject (you, we, you,they)+verb…?
       Does + Subject (he, she, it)+ verb…?
Int: Am + I +Ving…?
       Is + he, she, it + Ving…?
       Are + we, you, they + Ving…?
Auxiliary  only in negative and interrogative: DO
Auxiliary in aff., neg. and int.: BE
 If you want to play some games to practise this, you can do it on:
For more exercises:
So, do you learn when I teach? Leave your comments!!!

10.11.12

Be used to, get used to; I used to know these things


While you are listening to this fantastic song by Gotye (there are some mistakes in the Spanish translation), you can have a look to the explanation in the chart below about these three quite similar terms; there is another good explantion at Peter's Blog inglés (in Spanish).You can also do the  exercises I am going to propose you.
USED TO DO (INFINITIVE)
GET USED TO DOING (GERUND)
BE USED TO DOING (GERUND)
Past habit or state

Process of acquiring a habit
Actually having the habit.

Verb in personal form (used to changes), already in the past:



I used to eat a lot.
I didn’t use to eat a lot.
Did  you use to sleep a lot?
Verb in the infinitive, we can find it in present, past or future (used to remains unchanged):

I got used to eating little.
I didn’t get used to eating so little.
Did you get used to eating so little?
Verb in the infinitive, we can find it in present, past or future (used to remains unchanged):

I was used to eating little.
I wasn’t used to eating little.
Were you used to eating so little?


You can practise this at the following pages:

So, tell me, are you getting used to using the blog to study English?
Leave your comments!!

7.11.12

Obama won again!!!: Voting for president in the USA.

Enlace permanente de imagen incrustada
"4 more years", Barack Obama on Twitter
Every four years, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, citizens of the USA vote to elect their president for the next four years. It is a different system from that of Spain. To start with, it is a two-party system, that is, there are only two possible options, the Republican or the Democrat candidate who have been chosen on prior elections within their own parties (primaries). Another important difference is the fact that there is not a list of people who can vote, so they have to register to be able to vote.

In the USA, there is an indirect election, that is, people vote to a candidate in a state and the candidate who wins there gets all the votes for the Electoral College for that state.  It is important to win in those states that are most populated because you get a higher number of electors. The Electoral College has 538 electors of which the new president must obtain 270.

At the moment of writing, Barack Obama, the first Afro-American president of the USA, has been reelected with 303, but he may win some more. (You can see the actual data in real time in the widget on top of the side bar for the next few days).

What do you think of this voting system?
Leave your comments!!

5.11.12

5th November: The Gunpowder Plot

Blog de TIC en lenguas extranjeras
We have ben talking in our 1st Bachillerato class about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, we do not have much time in class so, for me, it is a great pleasure to see that the Blog de TIC en Lenguas Extranjeras, offers a great article by Mª Jesús in which she makes a link to a fantastic webquest that she has done called Bonfire Night. The Gunpowder Plot.

Guy Fawkes was the head of a catholic plot against king James I, the attempt was to explode the Houses of Parliament and have a catholic heir in James I's daughter, if you want to know more, do the webquest.

Go and have a look at the blog and the webquest I am talking about, then, come back and leave your comments!!!

1.11.12

The Beatles

Close your eyes and listen to the song. Have you ever heard  it? Yes! It's on TV! This is one of many of the songs that The Beatles sang; probably you have heard many more without knowing it.

The Beatles revolutioned the world with their music, but not only the music world, they influenced many other aspects of life, especially in the 1960s, that changed some of our world. To start with, apart from music, they created new styles in clothing and hairstyles: men had not worn long hair for a very, very long time. Something that they really changed was how people behaved at concerts, that is, the fan phenomenon started with them: many security and first-aid  people had to be hired because women shouted and did not want to sit down while listening (as they usually did in concerts before then) and many even fainted.

They were called Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon and started as a group in the British city of Liverpool before their twenties; the last one to come into the band was Ringo Starr. Each of them had a strong personality and lots of creativity, not only in the musical field, but also on other grounds. Together, they composed and sang up to 17 albums and featured in more than seven films. But when the 1960s ended, the band took separate ways too.

People were crazy about them, so crazy that one of them even killed John Lennon at the entrance of his house, next to Central Park where there is a mosaic ordered by her widow Yoko Ono, just across the street. I visited it this summer while in New York City, there was a rose on it; many people still remember not only John Lennon but all of the members of the band with real love. There is even a Beatles Day (10th July) which is celebrated  mostly in Liverpool and Hamburg -where the Beatles worked at the beginning of their career.


Do you know the ad I am talking about? Do you like the Beatles?
Tell us!! Leave your comments!!

29.10.12

Hahaha...Halloween!!!

All Famouse Wallpapers
Halloween has its origin in Ireland, it was a Celtic celebration of the end of the harvest time and the beginning of the winter, it was also thought to be the Day of the Dead, so people used to dress up to scare the ghosts and spirits. Nowadays, it has more to do with a children's holiday. Children and youngsters dress up in creepy, scary ways and go from home to home saying the famous "Trick-or-treat" and getting candies from strangers and neighbours. It used to be a celtic, then British and mostly American tradition, in these days, it has almost overcome the Catholic tradition of All Saints Day, even in the rest of the world.
 If  you want to learn more about this celebration, you can do so at History. If you want to practice some games or vocabulary, you have a great collection at the blog Think in English, and also at the British Council for kids page.

I want to thank my mate Carmen for all the information on Halloween she gave me. Thanks Carmen!!

Do you like Halloween? What do you do to celebrate?
Tell us!! Leave your comments!!

26.10.12

MODEL COMPOSITION: Describing a place - SEVILLA

sevilla.org
We are starting to make compositions in 1st of Bachillerato classes and, one of  the first things we do, is organising the information into paragraphs. In order to write a composition describing a place, we have said that we are going to use three paragraphs: introduction, body and conclusion. 

In the introduction, we are going to include the information related to the name of the place, its location and its population, besides from saying why we have chosen to write about that place if we have been given the opportunity to choose. In the body, we can write about many things, mainly the history of its people, their way of life, sightseeing highlights, activities that can be done  particularly in that place and any other thing that we would like to write about. In the last paragraph, we should write about our personal opinion and we could also add a recommendation to visit the place with the reasons to do so.

An example composition about Seville, our city:

Seville is one of the biggest cities in Andalucia, the south of Spain. Its population is of about 700,000 inhabitants.

Seville has been a city for a long time, and many different peoples have lived here, such as the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Moors among others. All these peoples have left many remains of their living here, so we have a great historic city centre with the Cathedral and  the Alcázar, which are part of UNESCO's World Heritage.  Seville is also famous for its impressive Holy Week processions and fantastic April's Fair. Sevillians are people who are used to enjoying life and love doing so in the streets of their magnificent city.

Seville is a great city to visit and walk all year long except for the summer, come and enjoy it.

This composition has got 133 words, which is 13 words more than what we usually ask for (100-120 words); this can be used as a model for you (both students and teachers). Try to get some information about the place before writing and do not copy directly from the source (internet, books...), allow yourself a little time between the reading and the actual writing.

I hope this is helpful for you. Please write comments if it is!!!

23.10.12

LEAVE A COMMENT!!


Some of my students do stop by and use this blog as a tool, it is useful for them to learn English, which is the main idea of this blog. I also know that some of my acquaintances and friends do like it and also give it a look every now and then and also leave their comments.

This post is for those of my students, friends or any other person who passes by who like the blog but do not leave comments:  Writing a blog is a hard but rewarding task, I love to have comments in my entries (if you read this blog, you already know this). So, please leave a comment and say hello!!!

If you do not remember how to do it, have a look at this old entry: How to post a comment in this blog.
If you want to make me really happy, make yourself a follower of the blog!!:))

Thanks!!!

20.10.12

BEAUTY FEVER

Gema Herrerías from A5Farmacia.
Today I had a great day, a fantastic day!! I have to say thank you to Irene Romero from Mi Universo de Belleza because she has organised a fantastic meeting for Beauty Bloggers  called Beauty Fever in its second edition this year. I had an appointment with three friends to spend the day attending to talks related to beauty and visiting stands of different dermopharmaceutical companies.

In the photo, you can see my friend Gema giving a talk on the combination of social media and beauty; Gema is a great expert on social media, she has a great, very informative blog (linked above) and has her own chemist here in Sevilla. You should read her blog because it shows you how important it is to look after our skin.

We did  not have the time to visit all the stands, but we did go to those of Apivita, they work with natural ingredients mainly taken from what the bees produce, great scents!!; Bioderma, in which they explained their best product called Matricium to us; the Carebell one, with fantastic eyebrow make-up and the fantastic Caudalie one with its marvellous frangance which they take from grapes and wine.

In the afternoon, we attended a talk on the concept of beauty, about how it is imposed on us or what is it that makes us feel beautiful and sense beauty around us, really interesting!! After that, we were offered some water and a flat cake with orange and chocolate flavour by Chocolate y limón.

What do you think of my Saturday?
Tell me about your Saturday in the comments!!

17.10.12

PRESENT SIMPLE OR PRESENT CONTINUOUS?

Grammar Goddess
My 1st of Bachillerato students have asked me to do a chart on the differences of use between the present simple and the present continuous, so, browsing through the internet I found  this wonderful mindmap in a blog called Grammar Goddess (fantastic way to remember grammar issues!!). In this picture, we find the affirmative, negative and interrogative forms of the verbs in the present simple, plus the verb to be and the different uses; we have also seen in class the use of present simple for timetables and schedules.

So, here is the chart you were asking me for:

Present simple

Present continuous
  •             Habits or routines (with frequency adverbs and expressions)
  •             General truths or facts
  •          With timetables and schedules.
  •             With state verbs  (feelings, opinions, mental processes, states, posession, senses and measures)
  •         At the moment of speaking.
  •           Ongoing activities.
  •        Temporary situations.
  •            Fixed plans of the near future.
  •              Annoying habits (usually with “always”)
























 
If you need some more practice, go here:
I have done what you wanted, now I'm asking you something: Can you do a mindmap with the present continuous? Please!! If you can, hand it in and we will publish it here. 
As always, leave your comments!!

14.10.12

Tom Sharpe's Wilt

Lope de Vega's theatre in Seville
Yesterday I went to the theatre to watch Wilt, the crime of the inflatable doll, an adaptation on a novel by Tom Sharpe. Tom Sharpe happens to be one of the most humorous and funny British novelists. He is well-known for writing a series of novels whose protagonist is a burnt out teacher in his forties, Wilt, who is long-married to a woman, Eva, who is always scolding him. The turning point of the play, adapted from his novel by José Antonio Vitoria and Garbi Losada, is the fact that his wife meets a fake rich woman who makes her rethink her life with her husband, so she leaves with them for a few days. Meanwhile, Wilt, who is a bit fed up with his wife, decides to plan his wife murder and rehearses it with a life-size sex doll, someone sees him and he is accused of the killing of his wife. It is a hilarious comedy, we had three or four great guffaws and kept smiling throughout. There is even a film based on it.

I guess it also touched me how he is a teacher who is not happy with his job, I felt sadness for him and wished he learnt a way to enjoy his profession, even though his students did not care about the literature he was trying to teach them.

The actors and actresses were great; as you can see, we saw on stage: Ana Milán, Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Ángel de Andrés, Koldo Losada and Aitziber Garmendia, the last two play four roles each.

Have you read anything about this author?
Do you like going to the theatre?
Please leave your comments!!!

11.10.12

Learning vocabulary: diagrams

Diagrams are symbolic representations of information, they are a mixture of pictures and letters organized in a way that they  visualize  information. We usually use diagrams in science classes, but they are a great way to study vocabulary, especially if they are our students' own creations. The one above, which I created for my 2nd year classes, makes it easier for them to remember the contents: verbs that express likes and dislikes have to be followed by the verbs in the gerund (v+ing)

You can practise this structure at English Exercises or at The English Corner by Eva Casals.

We usually use diagrams for vocabulary, like that of the parts of the body or the house, but we should encourage our students to use them for vocabulary and grammar purposes, it is a good way to make their brains work and this will help them to remember the contents more easily.

Do you like diagrams? Do you use them in your classes?
Leave your comments and tell us!!