Category Archives: GOTTA READ IT

READING COMPREHENSION

WRITING BASIC FORMAL AND INFORMAL EMAILS (2A2, B1)

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LAST YEAR WE STUDIED THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WRITING FORMAL AND INFORMAL EMAILS.

  • HAVE A LOOK AT THIS USEFUL HANDOUT TO IMPROVE YOUR EMAILS. 
  • YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT ON USEFUL PHRASES FOR INFORMAL EMAILS & LETTERS BEFORE DOING YOUR HOMEWORK (SCROLL DOWN)

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise

USEFUL PHRASES for FORMAL EMAILS and LETTERS

USEFUL PHRASES for INFORMAL EMAILS and LETTERS

THE 17 WORST THINGS ABOUT LIVING IN SPAIN (1B1)

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Graham Hunt is an Englishman who has spent more than half his life living in Spain. Here he takes a cheeky look at what we all hate about living here:

(WARNING: This article is full of sarcasm).

  1. BUREAUCRACY
  2. LONG HOLIDAYS
  3. LACK OF RAIN
  4. TOO MUCH FRUIT & TOO MANY VEGETABLES IN YOUR GARDEN
  5. CHILDREN & FAMILIES IN RESTAURANTS
  6. BEING ENVIED BY PEOPLE FROM YOUR COUNTRY
  7. THE PRICE OF WINE (TOO MANY EXPERTS!!)
  8. NOT BEING ABLE TO USE RAINWEAR
  9. HOME-COOKED RUBBISH
  10. BELLS FROM CHURCHES & FIREWORKS
  11. LONG STRAIGHT MOTORWAYS
  12. CITIES ARE TOO SMALL
  13. OPENING TIMES OF BARS & PUBS (TOO LATE!!)
  14. CHEAP ALCOHOL
  15. ROAST CHICKEN SHOPS
  16. PUT UP WITH THE FAMILY

http://www.thelocal.es/20170220/these-are-the-17-absolute-worst-things-about-living-in-spain

KEEP A CONVERSATION GOING (1 B2)

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  • WHAT DO YOU FIND DIFFICULT WHEN HAVING A CONVERSATION IN ENGLISH?
  • WHAT STRATEGIES DO YOU USE TO KEEP A CONVERSTION GOING?

You don’t have to say much to keep the other person talking. In fact, in many cases you can reply using three words or less.

Here are some ways of doing that:

Make a comment

Show surprise at what the other person is saying with “No!” or “Wow!” Show sympathy at someone’s bad news with “How awful”  or “How terrible”. Show you’re interested with a comment like “That’s incredible” or “Amazing” or “Unbelievable”.

Encourage the other person

If the other person stops talking for a second or so, you can encourage them to keep talking with a phrase like “Go on” or “Oh yeah” or “So what happened next?”

Ask a question

In all the questions below, make sure your voice goes up at the end to show it’s a question.

“Really?” – to show surprise.

“Did you?” – Echo or reply questions can be used to encourage someone to tell their story.

For example, “I heard from Pete yesterday.” “Did you?” “Yes, he’s been ill for a couple of weeks.”

Over to you Listen and practise examples of these tips here:

Keep the conversation going .Make a comment

Keep the conversation going.Encourage the other speaker

Keep the conversation going. Ask a question

(from ENGLISH SPEAKING ONLINE)

HAVE A LOOK AT THE HANDOUT I GAVE YOU IN CLASS.  YOU CAN ALSO DOWNLOAD THE DOCUMENT FROM DROPBOX.

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HOW EFFECTIVE IS “LANG8” FOR WRITING TASKS? (1B2)

IN A PREVIOUS POST IN NOVEMBER I TOLD YOU ABOUT “LANG8”, A LEARNING PLATFORM WHERE NATIVE SPÈAKERS CORRECT WHAT YOU WRITE. DO YOU REMEMBER?

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whatislang8

bigupdateanimJUAN, one of your 1B2 classmates,  TRIED IT AND WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TOOL:

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“In my opinion it´s a very interesting and effective tool, considering that when you upload a text people don´t delay in making comments.
However, there are some risks as always on the internet, as the information you get may be right or not depending on the person who has corrected you.
It’s fine in order to have an extra revision, but I’d rather be corrected by someone I trust.
Despite this, It´s worth a try.
I also wanted to warn you that it is addictive! Once you start helping to correct texts in Spanish, written by Japanese, English or German people, you can´t stop!”

I HOPE YOUR WORDS ENCOURAGE SOME OF YOUR CLASSMATES TO TRY IT! THANKS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION!!!

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SOME OF YOUR CLASSMATES LAST YEAR TRIED IT AND I´VE CHOSEN ONE EXAMPLE OF THE ASSIGNED INFORMAL EMAIL: THE STUDENT´S FIRST DRAFT (IN BLUE) AND THE SAME EMAIL CORRECTED (IN BLACK).

I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT THE CORRECTED VERSION IS NOT 100% PERFECT BUT, ANYWAY….. I´D LIKE YOU TO COMPARE BOTH VERSIONS AND ASSESS THE RESULT. HOW EFFECTIVE AND USEFUL DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE FOR YOU IN THE FUTURE?

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IF YOU REALLY WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING SKILLS IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO GIVE IT A TRY.

WRITING COLLABORATIVE OPINION ARTICLES (1B2)

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An article is usually written for a magazine or newspaper. The main purpose is to engage the reader, so the opening paragraph should catch your reader’s interest. Attracting the reader’s attention can be done in a number of ways

An article is usually factual and includes some comment, recommendation or opinion. It can be formal or informal depending on the target audience.  This is academic writing, so you cannot use contractions, abbreviations, or colloquial language.

An ARTICLE  consists of the following parts:
Opening. It is the general presentation of the topic, in which you also state your opinion clearly.
Body (two or more paragraphs, each presenting a separate viewpoint supported by reasons / examples). The first paragraph should contain the strongest argument or example. The second paragraph the second strongest argument and the third the weakest.You could also include a paragraph giving the opposing viewpoint supported by reasons /examples…
A paragraph consists of several sentences about a certain topic. It has the following parts:

  •  A topic sentence, i.e. an idea.
  •  One or several supporting sentences to expand on the idea.
  • A concluding sentence.

Conclusion. It is the paragraph that summarizes the main idea (using different words) or presents a conclusion, depending on the kind of article you need to write. Some things to bear in mind:

  • It should not bring new ideas.
  • o It shouldn’t be very long.
  • o It can be similar to the opening, but presented in different words.

(BY CRISTINA CABAL. Adapted)        https://tackk.com/jvkmh1

NOW, WE ARE READY TO START A COLLABORATIVE OPINION ARTICLE: “IS TODAY´S TV WORTH WATCHING OR JUST RUBBISH?”

GO TO PADLET (BY CLICKING ON THe WALL BELOW)

  • Click on the brick  board below,
  • A box will pop-up,
  • Please add your name.
  • Start typing your contribution. It should be an argument to be used in an opinion article
  • You can add an image or a link to a video or sound clip to accompany your argument.

Made with Padlet

WATCHING FILMS & SERIES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES (1B2)

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After a long, long wait, the American video streaming site HBO has finally arrived in Spain, offering Spaniards access to the streaming service that not only provides all seasons of HBO’s content, but also content from Disney and Nickelodeon.HBO España, a brand new broadband streaming service, offers a subscription video on demand service providing premium content directly to consumers via hboespaña.com. The launch was first announced last January, set to compete with Netflix. But what about ORORO.TV?

This brings us to the question: Is HBO actually better than NETFLIX or ORORO.TV to watch films and series in English with subtitles? What are the main differences?What is the best choice for students of English?

Here, I would recommend ororo.tv. What can ororo.tv do to help you improve your English? What will you find on this website? An amazing number of TV shows and films in their original versions and with subtitles in English. Surely you’ll find attractive alternatives here to suit every taste and mood.

https://www.bloomsbury-international.com/blog/2013/10/04/how-to-improve-your-english-with-movies/

I CREATED A WALL  ON PADLET FOR ALL MY STUDENTS TO WRITE A CONTRIBUTION BUT NOW YOU DON´T NEED TO GO TO PADLET AS THE WALL IS AUTOMATICALLY ACTIVATED BY CLICKING ON IT(BY CLICKING ON THE BLUE BOARD WALL BELOW)

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  • Click on the blueboard, a box will pop-up, please add your name
  • Start typing your contribution. It should be a brief comment based on your own experience
  • You can add an image or a link to a video or sound clip to accompany your argument.

Made with Padlet

 

IMPROVING YOUR WRITING (1 B2)

WE´VE BEEN WORKING  ON WRITING SKILLS . HERE ARE THE STEPS TO BE FOLLOWED, WISELY WRITTEN BY MY COLLEAGUE JAVIER SANTOS ASENSI.

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PLANNING_what_to_WRITE_Summary_SLIDE

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IN CASE YOU NEED FURTHER WRITING AND CORRECTION, HAVE YOU HEARD OF LANG8?

LANG

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http://lang-8.com

ALPHABETICAL OR PASS THE WORD?? (1B2)

THIS WEEK WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT KINDS OF TV PROGRAMMES. HAVE A LOOK AT THIS….

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ALPHABETICAL is a fast-paced quiz show, which sees three contestants compete against a returning champion in series of games based around the alphabet. Over the course of four rounds the aim is to accrue as much time as possible in preparation for the final round. However, two contestants will be eliminated leaving just the reigning champion and their challenger to go head-to- head in an effort to win the jackpot.

The tense ALPHABETICAL final requires the remaining two contestants to make their way around the entire alphabet by answering a question based on each letter. They are racing against the clock with just 100 seconds, plus the time they have accrued. By successfully completing the alphabet the winner walks away with the jackpot. Or, if both contestants fail to achieve this, the jackpot remains unclaimed with the prize money accumulating with every day it rolls over.

DOES IT RING A BELL?

FRIDAY 13th: UNLUCKY DAY? (1B2)

HOW SUPERSTITIOUS ARE YOU ABOUT FRIDAY 13TH?

Unlucky for some: Ten of the strangest Spanish superstitions

Did you know that Tuesday 13th in Spain is considered unlucky? Read on for the lowdown on all the strangest Spanish superstitions.
If you’re the kind of superstitious soul who never walks under a ladder and is always confused about whether black cats are meant to bring bad luck or good, then you will want to know what twists of fate await you according to Spanish beliefs.

It is Tuesday the 13th that is considered unlucky in Spain, and not Friday the 13th as in Anglo-Saxon countries.

That’s because Tuesday is said to be dominated by Ares, the Greek god of war — known as Mars in Ancient Rome — who gives his name to Martes, or Tuesday, in Spanish.

There is an even old proverb that explains the superstition: “On Tuesday, don’t get married, embark on a journey, or move away (‘En martes, ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu casa te apartes’)

But there are plenty of other Spanish superstitions you need to know about to make sure your time in Spain is as lucky as possible! Read on to find out more.

http://www.thelocal.es/20170113/top-ten-must-know-spanish-superstitions

DO YOU KNOW ANY OTHER COMMON SUPERSTITIONS?

WRITING A COLLABORATIVE FOR & AGAINST ARTICLE (1B2)

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A “FOR & AGAINST” ARTICLE FOR A MAGAZINE

USEFUL LANGUAGE

Introduction

We can find both advantages and disadvantages …
Nowadays…

ARGUMENTS For

On the one hand, there are many reasons why …

On the one hand, those who are in favour of (tend) to claim that …

On the one hand, those who believe that … say that …

People who prefer … say that …

There are several arguments in support of …

There are many advantages to + gerund

Some people argue that …

Those in favour of …

ARGUMENTS Against

On the other hand, there are many reasons why …

On the other hand, those who are against (tend) to say that …

A major disadvantage is that …

On the other hand, those who believe that … say that …

On the other hand, the arguments against … are convincing

On the other hand, there are some/many disadvantages.

Conclusion

It is clear that there are both advantages and disadvantages to …

In conclusion…

To sum up…

All in all…

Although there strong arguments in favour of/ against, I think that … It is obvious that …

On balance, I think that …

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NOW, WE ARE READY TO START A COLLABORATIVE  FOR & AGAINST ARTICLE: “SHOULD CHILDREN UNDER 13 OWN THEIR OWN MOBILE PHONE?”

  • GO TO PADLET (BY CLICKING ON THE GREEN BLACKBOARD WALL BELOW)
  • Click on the green board, a box will pop-up, please add your name.
  • Start typing your contribution. It should be an argument for or an argument against.

FOR:

AGAINST:

  • You can add an image or a link to a video or sound clip to accompany your argument.

Made with Padlet

 

POST ONE ARGUMENT FOR OR ONE ARGUMENT AGAINST THE TOPIC ABOVE
DO THE EXERCISE ON FOR & AGAINST ARTICLES ON THE HANDOUT

Smart Up Your English

LEARN NEW WORDS, EXPRESSIONS, PHRASES...

Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation

Smart Up Your English

LEARN NEW WORDS, EXPRESSIONS, PHRASES...

Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation