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“THE CROWN”, A BRITISH TV SERIES ON NETFLIX (1B2, B2 C1, C2)

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Netflix‘s ambitious new series The Crown is the most expensive TV series to date, costing the streaming service over $130 million (via Daily Beast). A lavish – and thoroughly British – affair which sees the reunion of the creative team behind 2006’s Oscar-winning biopic The Queen, starring Helen Mirren. Screenwriter Peter Morgan and producer Andy Harries are here joined by Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry.

Taking its basis from Morgan’s 2013 play The Audience, the series is set to trace the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from her early years to the present day, balanced over the course of six seasons of 10 episodes each. The show promises to tell, “the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street – and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/the-crown-netflix-most-expensive-show-ever-matt-smith-a7392911.html

AS MANY OF THE TEV SERIES ON NETFLIX ARE AMERICAN, THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD CHANCE TO LISTEN TO BRITISH ENGLISH AND KEEP UP YOUR ENGLISH DURING THE SUMMER. SEASON 1 IS ALSO ON ORORO TV WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

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BREAKING OUT OF THE INTERMEDIATE PLATEAU (1B2)

plateau      READING MY COLLEAGUE CRISTINA CABAL´S LATEST POST MADE ME THINK ABOUT MY OWN STUDENTS.MANY OF MY 1B2 STUDENTS THIS YEAR FEEL AS IF THEY´RE NOT MAKING ENOUGH PROGRESS, HAVING THE IMPRESSION THAT THEIR LANGUAGE LEARNING HAS SLOWED DOWN CONSIDERABLY  OR JUST FEELING THEY ARE STUCK IN THE “INTERMEDIATE PLATEAU”…(SENSACIÓN DE ESTANCAMIENTO),  BUT TO WHAT EXTENT IS THAT REAL?

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“As they move from basic to intermediate to advanced levels in language proficiency, many second-language learners will confirm that language learning does not always follow a smooth progression. There are times when progress seems to be marked and noticeable, as for example with many basic-level language learners. After their first 200 or so hours of instruction, they begin to break through the threshold of learning to become real users of the language, even if at a fairly simple level. Those who have experienced the transition to this level of learning recall the feelings of satisfaction and achievement that came as they found themselves actually capable of real communication in English.

However, once learners have arrived at an intermediate level of language learning, progress does not always appear to be so marked, and making the transition from intermediate to the upper-intermediate/advanced level sometimes proves frustrating. Some may feel they have arrived at a plateau and making further progress seems elusive, despite the amount of time and effort they devote to it.”

Let’s start with why this happens…

There are actually two reasons we might hit a plateau.

The first is that the better you get at a language the harder it is to continue improving. Take this statistic for example:

Just 3,000 English words are needed to understand 95% of everyday texts. Whereas the average native speaker has the ability to use up to 20,000 words.

That’s a pretty big disparity. What this means is that knowing 3,000 words will put you in the intermediate range of language learning, but it takes a lot more effort and a lot more words to become an advanced speaker.

The second reason is that whether you’re learning a new language, practicing a sport, or learning how to type on a keyboard—it’s not only the amount of practice that you’re putting in, but the type of practice.

When we first start to learn a language we progress very quickly, from barely knowing how to introduce ourselves to making complicated sentences in the past and future tenses. We reach an autonomous stage.

The autonomous stage occurs when we no longer have to consciously think about what we’re doing. In language learning, this might be the stage when you can have a conversation without pausing to find the right word or the proper grammatical structure.

Reaching the autonomous stage, however, does not mean that you’re now an expert. In fact, this is the stage where it’s easy to see your language learning falter, because you’re no longer being challenged to learn more.

So what can we do…

Now that we know why we run into these plateaus, let’s look at some ways we can move past them.

The first way is to simply change the way you think about learning a language. It’s important to understand that improving as a new learner is very different from improving as an intermediate learner. There are always going to be diminishing returns as you get better at a language. This doesn’t mean you’re not progressing.

It’s easy to feel like you’re making progress when you master all the tenses of “to be,” but it’s important to keep in mind that learning less common vocabulary and more complex grammar is just as important to becoming fluent.

Best of all, once you have an intermediate or upper-intermediate language level, learning becomes a lot more fun. You can have real world conversations, watch movies and enjoy more engaging books.

The second way to improve is to focus on how you practice. Since it’s easy to become a passive learner at this stage, you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. Try talking about topics you’re not 100% comfortable with, read texts that challenge you, look up words you don’t know even if they’re obscure, and talk to native speakers at a natural pace.

Just like when you were a beginner: Keep studying, keep pushing yourself, and if you haven’t already, find a teacher who can keep you accountable to your language learning goals!

How can I climb higher?

Here are my top tips for escaping from the intermediate plateau.  They’re not rocket science, just basic advice gleaned from my teaching experience.

1)  Don’t give up!

2)  Keep expanding your vocabulary.

This means reading a lot and learning how words collocate (go together in semi-fixed expressions).  Doing this also helps with your grammar.

3) Excavate your ‘fossilised errors’!

You know those little mistakes that you make over and over again?  You probably have a collection of ‘You said… You should have said…’ error correction slips.  Make sure you understand why your errors are wrong and make a concerted effort to change!

4)  Immerse yourself in the language.  Do something in English every day.

5)  Pursue your interests in English!  If you’re into philosophy read philosophical works in English.  This will keep you motivated.

That’s all for now, I’d love to hear your tales of clambering off the intermediate plateau.

https://es.verbling.com/articles/Jon/the-intermediate-plateau-and-how-to-get-over-it-552ee4b35afee0982a1a82ff

IT MIGHT BE INTERESTING TO READ CRISTINA´S POST…BY CLICKING ON HER PICTUREplateau

A THANK YOU MESSAGE!(1B1 & 1B2)

 

THIS POST IS TO THANK  ALL MY 1B1 & 1B2  STUDENTS FOR THEIR HELP AND SUPPORT ALL YEAR ROUND. IT´S BEEN  A TOUGH YEAR FOR MOST OF YOU, I KNOW, I KNOW….. BUT I HOPE YOU THINK IT HAS BEEN WORTH IT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INVOLVEMENT AND COLLABORATION…. (AS WELL AS THE FANTASTIC BREAKFAST / BRUNCH  WE HAD TODAY…)

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IT WAS A PLEASURE TO TEACH YOU! HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR SUMMER AND DON´T FORGET YOUR ENGLISH!! IN A FEW DAYS I´LL PUBLISH A POST WITH IDEAS ON HOW TO KEEP UP YOUR ENGLISH DURING THE SUMMER. WE´LL MEET AGAIN!

 

 

 

1B2 STUDENTS (REVISION OF FINAL EXAM)

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important-info

 

REVISION  ( MAY FINAL EXAM  ) // SPEAKING TEST

AS I TOLD YOU IN CLASS (ACCORDING TO THE SCHOOL WEBSITE), IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOUR FINAL EXAM, YOU NEED TO COME  ON WEDNESDAY 17th MAY  TO OUR USUAL CLASS. I WILL BE THERE FROM 10.30 TO  14.00. IT DOESN´T MATTER WHICH GROUP YOU BELONG TO…. YOU CAN TURN UP AT ANY TIME

 

 

 

TEACHER & COURSE EVALUATION 1B2 2017

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ASSESSMENT (= (Evaluation) is not an easy task, but now the time has come for you to assess the course and my work, as I promised at the beginning of the school year. I´m aware that the course is quite short (120 hours)… However, there´s nothing I can do about it. So let´s  be realistic and concentrate on what I can actually do to improve my performance in the future.

I´d be really grateful if you took some minutes of your time  to complete this teacher & course assessment form online. Your feedback is incredibly important to me to  improve future course preparation and my own attitude to the whole teaching process.

It should only take less than 5  minutes of your time. Your answers will be completely anonymous and by filling out the survey you will be actively participating in next year’s course organisation. All survey results will be published on this blog as soon as my advanced 1 students’ answers are collected.

The teacher´s evaluation survey  can be easily  accessed by clicking on the link below:

https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/WNZDB8B

You can also do it by clicking on one of the tabs on the right-hand corner of this blog.

The response scale should run 1-5 with 5 being the highest (strongly agree).

(1) Strongly Disagree,    (2) Disagree,   (3) Neutral,    (4) Agree,   (5) Strongly Agree

www_surveymonkey_com

PRACTISE FOR SPEAKING TEST 1B2 (1B2)

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YOU CAN USE THIS MATERIAL TO PRACTISE SPEAKING BEFORE YOUR TEST.

REMEMBER THAT…

  • THE MONOLOGUE IS BASED ON YOUR ACCURATE PICTURE DESCRIPTION
  • THE INTERACTION  (COLLABORATIVE TASK) CAN INVOLVE DISCUSSING A TOPIC OR A ROLE PLAY (BASED ON THE TOPICS) WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR PARTNER, IF POSSIBLE…

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Exam Tip: Collaborative task

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  • Look at the instructions and check what you have to do.
  • Talk to your partner, not to the examiner.
  • Give your opinion and try to expand your ideas, give reasons, etc.
  • Take an active part in the discussion, but listen and involve your partner too.
  • Discuss all the options first and then make your final decision
  • Remember you don’t have to agree with your partner!

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ORAL PRACTICE

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PHRASAL VERBS IN SONG LYRICS (1 B2)

WATCH THIS VIDEO. DO YOU KNOW THE SONG?

CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW IF YOU´D LIKE TO DO AN ACTIVITY WITH THE SONG LYRICS.

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  • WHAT DOES SHAKE IT OFF MEAN?

To forget about someone or something, to let go, to get over it, to move on.

According to Taylor Swift  “The message in [‘Shake It Off’] is a problem we all deal with on a daily basis. We don’t live just in a celebrity takedown culture, we live in a takedown culture,” she explained about the insanely catchy track. “People will find anything about you and twist it to where it’s weird or wrong or annoying or strange or bad. You have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you — you have to have more fun than they do.”

PHRASAL VERBS ARE VERY COMMON IN SONGS. HAVE A LOOK AT THE WORDS BELOW AND TRY TO MATCH THE PRASAL VERBS IN THE SONG LYRICS TO THEIR MEANING AND SINGERS.

1. Breaking up is hard to do                                            A.  collect or gather

2. Hung up                                                                            B. don´t take off your clothes

3. I can´t get you out of  my head                                  C.  stop sleeping

4. I still haven´t found what I’m looking for               D. I’m crazy / mad about him

5. My heart will go on                                                        E. continue

6. Wake up                                                                           F. our relationship is over

7. You can leave your hat  on                                          G. remove something from your mind

8.  Pick me up                                                                      H. search for someone or something

  • IS IT CORRECT TO SAY SHAKE OFF IT? WHY WHY NOT?

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http://www.espressoenglish.net/phrasal-verbs-in-english/

PHRASAL VERBS

ACCORDING TO CRISTINA CABAL “This quiz below is a good example of that. According to Roy Norris, author of Ready for First, Ready for Advanced and Straightforward (advanced) among others, these are the 30 most common phrasal verbs in English.

Do you have any others to add to the list?

This is how SHE SUGGESTS you work with the quiz:

  • Do the quiz
  • Once you have finished doing it, try to remember which phrasal verbs were tested and write them down on a piece of paper together with their meaning.
  • Do the quiz once again and compare your written answers with the ones given in the quiz.
  • Write down the ones you didn’t know. Look them up in a good dictionary and read the example sentences to see how they are used in context.
  • Try the quiz again some other day to consolidate knowledge.

So, CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO START…

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GETTING READY FOR ORAL EXAMS (1B2)

ALTHOUGH IN YOUR ORAL EXAM YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DESCRIBE ONLY ONE PICTURE AND I HAVE GIVEN YOU PLENTY OF MATERIAL TO WORK ON, I THOUGHT THAT THIS POST PUBLISHED RECENTLY BY MY COLLEAGUE CRISTINA CABAL MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR YOU.

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CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.cristinacabal.com/?p=9122

PRACTISE LISTENING FOR EXAMS (1B1)(1B2)

ListeningNow that final exams are around the corner, what do you do to practice LISTENING?

My colleague CRISTINA CABAL has just published an excellent post on it. I hope it´s useful.

click-here13CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW

10 Best Free Listening Websites with Quizzes to Practise for Listening Exams

THE “BIKINI” CHALLENGE (1B2) (OPTIONAL)

THIS IS AN OPTIONAL ACTIVITY I DEVISED FOR YOU TO TRY DURING THE HOLIDAY OR AT ANY OTHER TIME…..

AS WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT “LIVE ENTERTAINMENT” LAST  WEDNESDAY……DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN?

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HE´S A BRITISH CHART-TOPPING STAR CALLED ED SHEERAN. HE PERFORMED IN MADRID AND BARCELONA LAST WEEKEND AS PART OF A TOUR AROUND EUROPE. ALL THE TICKETS HAD BEEN SOLD OUT.

HIS LATEST HIT IS CALLED “SHAPE OF YOU” AND IT REMINDED ME OF THE “BIKINI” CHALLENGE, THAT IS TO SAY, THE TIME WHEN YOU WANT TO GET IN SHAPE BEFORE THE SUMMER BATHING SUIT SEASON STARTS…. MANY  PEOPLE GET OBSESSED WITH LOSING WEIGHT, START GOING TO THE GYM AND GO ON DIETS BACAUSE SUMMER IS ALMOST THERE AND THEY WANT TO LOOK GOOD IN THEIR BIKINIS.

WATCH THE VIDEO, WHICH STARTS IN A GYM…. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE STORY IS ABOUT?

WATCH IT AGAIN. What equipment or exercises to keep fit can you spot?

EQUIPMENT

  • (USE) AN EXERCISE BIKE
  • (GO ON) A RUNNING MACHINE (TREADMILL)
  • (DO) (LIFT) WEIGHTS
  • (PUNCH) HEAVY BAGS)
  • (JUMP) THE ROPE
  • (USE) A CROSS-TRAINER
  • (USE) A YOGA MAT
  • (USE) BOXING GLOVES
  • (WEAR) HAND WRAPS

EXERCISES

  • DO SIT-UPS
  • DO PRESS-UPS = (PUSH-UPS)
  • DO PULL-UPS
  • STRETCH
  • DO AEROBICS
  • DO SPINNING
  • DO PILATES (OR YOGA)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY ON “KEEPING FIT” (book page 163).  YOU COULD ALSO WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW (EXERCISING AT THE GYM)

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LISTEN TO THE SONG AGAIN & DO THIS EXERCISE WITH THE LYRICS

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CHECK YOUR ANSWERS:

ED SHEERAN´S PERFORMANCES IN SPAIN  WERE SOLD OUT MONTHS AGO

SELL OUT= ALL BE SOLD  : THIS IS A PHRASAL VERB

IN YOUR BOOK THERE´S A REVISION  OF PHRASAL VERBS (page 144)

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WHICH TYPE IS “SELL OUT”? TYPE 1, TYPE 2 OR TYPE 3? WHY?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO THE ACTIVITY ON LYRICS TRAINING JUST FOR FUN?

I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE ACTIVITY

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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