Back to school with Friends!

I was thinking wether to write about the famous British rowing competition in which Oxford and Cambridge crews fight to win (this year Oxford won) or about tomorrow's celebration of April Fool's Day in the UK (always on 1st April).
However, as I wish my readers, mostly students, to get strenght to finish the course, I decided to include this video of my favourite TV comedy show, which, as you probably know, is Friends. There are 10 series with many episodes and it would be a hard task for me to choose one or other scene, so, I choose this compilation of bloopers.
A blooper, gag reel or outtake is a part of the recorded material which is not finally included and not normally shown on TV because it includes mistakes of the acting team or any other incident which makes it not appropriate to be broadcasted. Even though it is completely in English, most of them are easy to be laughed at and understandable.
Are you a Friends' fan like me? Did you like the video? 
Would you like to watch it in class?


There is/ There are...shown in an infographic

My first infographic,  I used Piktochart, completely free and very easy to use; the only problem I had is to export it. I am really looking forward to my students using it...
Do you like the result?


Practising English with Apps 4: Irregular verbs 2

Irregular verbs 2
Now that we are on holidays, we are going to continue with the apps' series. This time, I am presenting you one to learn English irregular verbs. When you open the menu, you find a list of the verbs which are in the game and you can listen to the three forms (base, past and past participle). You also find an Options button, if you click there, you can change the amount of verbs you want to play with in each game.

 You find the game by clicking on the Practice button. You see three chests and one of the three forms of the irregular verb; you also see four keys accompanied by the other two forms and other similar ones; besides, you can listen to the three forms if you do not remember them. You click on Check and you see if you are right; at the end of the game you can replay the wrong ones only, so that you can learn them better.

What do you think of this app? I think it is very good, especially for the first cycle of ESO because it does not have many verbs.

Practising English with Apps.


Holidays, at last!!!

On my way to work
This is a photo taken in a hurry from my car this morning, I had seen the rainbow as soon as I left Seville heading to the village where I work every day. As you can see, the sky was very dark, grey and brownish blue; it almost hided a beautiful rainbow. It made me smile.

Even though I was really happy to go to work because it is the last day before our little break for the Holy Week -and I reeeeeally need to rest a little, I do need this break. I am also a little sad because it seems that it is going to rain during this week. You may think it is not that awful, just a little rain, but the truth is that if it rains many of the events happening during this week in my city, Seville, cannot happen: during the Holy Week (starting on Palm Sunday, 24th March this year and finishing the next Sunday, 31st March), the life of Jesus Christ is represented  on top of beautifully carved wooden structures (pasos) held by men who carry hundreds of kilos on top of the backs of their necks. Besides, magnificently dressed Virgin Marys accompany their child on top of another structures usually surrounded by candles and flowers that fill our streets with wonderful scents. These "pasos" are accompanied by hundreds, if not thousands, of people; some of them belong to the brotherhood that takes care of the images, many other accompany them, sometimes in religious or artistic fervour, others just to enjoy the ambience and get hooked on the beauty of the images mixed with the smells and the magnificent music of the walking orchestras. 

I hope it did not rain... 

I want to seize this opportunity and invite all the people who read this blog from all parts of the world, to come and visit Seville, this is the best time of the year to do so. To my students, get a little rest too, you are going to need it to finish the course!!! Have a nice holiday!!


How to improve listening comprehension

Oxford's Owl
These days, finishing the second term, we have been talking in class about how to improve the listening and reading comprehension skills. In order to improve listening, we have said that we could try to listen to songs in English, and, if possible, try to look for videos in the Internet (You Tube, Vimeo...) which have the subtitles of the song in English, so that we can sing at the same time that we read them. Another good way to improve both listening and reading comprehension is to read audio books in English, above you have a link to an ebook library which has free audio ebooks for native speakers of English starting with 3 or 4 years up to 9 to 11 years old. You will have a permanent link to this library at the bottom of the blog, as you can see in the picture.

Summing up:
  • Listen to songs in English.
  • Watch for English karaoke version videos.
  • Read audiobooks while listening to them.
 Have you tried any of these? 


Saint Patrick's Day in Chicago

Tomorrow is a great day in many parts of the world where  Irish people live because they celebrate Saint Patrick's Day, the patron of the Irish country. They celebrate it everywhere wearing their flag's colours, especially the green one, wearing their traditional shamrocks and many other things. In Chicago, USA, where one of the greatest celebrations takes place, they have a parade, they choose a queen and they even dye their river in  green for that day!!!, you can see it in the video.

Do you know the name of the river?
Do you know the other two colours of the Irish flag?

If you want to know more about Saint Patrick's Day, read:


Modern Classics: Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley (Mississipi, 1935) was, and still is, one of the most famous singers in the USA and in the whole world. He revolutionised the music in all the world in the 1950s and onwards, until his death in 1977 with a short stop of 18 months to serve military duty. You can see an interesting timeline of Elvis life here.

He recorded more than 150 albums and singles, many of them number 1 hits; and starred in 33 films which were widely heard, bought and watched because apart from his great voice and ways of moving his body, he was very good-looking and attractive and had many fans that followed him everywhere.

He was a very special person, his musical influences (gospel, among others) taught him to love and respect African-American people and, with his example, he promoted equality of rights for  them too.  He was also a bit eccentric and he bought a great mansion, called Graceland, where he lived and died, probably of drug abuse.

If you want to know more about the  so-called King, you can download an activity book.
Did you know Elvis Presley? Do you like his music? 


The little chick cheep

In these days, things around myself are getting too serious, so I feel like doing something not serious at all.
This video is very funny, I see my students smiling when they watch it, specially at the  end of it, that is why I would like to share it here.
Nevertheless, it is also a fun way of learning of vocabulary by the repetition of the words; on the one hand, we revise animals' vocabulary that my students already know; on the other hand, we get to learn the onomatopoeic sounds these animals make, which is new vocabulary. I have not found the lyrics in English but it is a very repetitive song which basically follows this pattern:
"On the radio there's a little (name of animal) and the (name of animal) (name of onomatopoeic sound)
and the (name of animal) (name of onomatopoeic sound)
and the (name of animal) (name of onomatopoeic sound)
On the radio there's a little (name of new animal) and the (name of old animal) (name of onomatopoeic sound of the old animal)..."
Names of the animals and sounds in order:
chick->cheep, hen->co-co, cock*->doodle doo, turkey-> gobble-gobble, pigeon-> cru-cru, cat-> mew, dog-> woof, goat-> mah, lamb-> bah, cow-> moo, bull->muu, tractor-> brumm.

This songs cheers me up and I hope it also works with you, all the students working for final exams and all the teachers who work hard day by day.  Do you like it? Does it cheer you up?

 *This can also be a rude word, be careful!


International Women's Day 2013

Tomorrow many of us will be celebrating International Women's Day. In these hard times, it is important to remember all the things women (and also men) have achieved since almost a century, the time which we have been celebrating this date. Women can vote now, we can work... and many other things.

This year, the United Nations have united some women across the world to sing this song called One Woman. I just want to say HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!!! to all those who believe a better world is possible having women and men working and living together.


Negative and interrogative of the simple past

Thanks to the help of this mindmap, we are going to learn the negative and interrogative forms of the verbs in the simple past. At the same time, we are reviewing the same forms of the simple present.

I am very bad at drawing, but I guess my main idea is on the paper, the circled words in light blue are the auxiliaries we need to form the negative and the interrogative, the green squared ones are the subjects and the red triangled are the verbs, which, in no case, is conjugated, that is, it is in the base form (infinitive without "to")
I hope my students like this mindmap because we are going to be working this in class the next days, I am going to encourage them to make one of their own, they will probably be much more beautiful than mine!!!
To know more about mindmaps, we will go to this MindMapping Site.

Some exercises on Learn English on the negative and the interrogative. Anice game to remind the form of the affirmative from a school called Bradley's English School in Japan.

What do you think of it? Don't be too harsh on me...


Practising English with Apps 3: ML Phrasal Verbs

ML Phrasal Verbs
This is the third of the series of Apps I am presenting you, you can have a look at the other two here. I think this is a great app to have in your mobile device and use it every now and then. As you know, I hate lists as a way of learning vocabulary, but I do think repetition is a good way to learn new words if there is some kind of reelaboration and this app is great for that.

In the main menu, we have two different parts:
  • Reference.
  • Phrasal Verbs Games.
In the Reference part, there is a list of up to 1,063 phrasal verbs with their meaning in English, an example and the translation to Spanish. There is a star next to each phrasal verb so that you can make your own list of phrasal verbs (just in case you need to revise some for an exam, for example), it is difficult to click on the star, though.

In the Phrasal Verbs Games part, we find three different types of games:
  1. Verb by Meaning: you have the phrasal verb and an example and you have to choose a synonym phrase or word in English.
  2. Meaning by Verb: you have the synonym phrase or word and you have to choose the phrasal verb (no examples in this one).
  3. Anagram: This is my favourite!! There are disordered letters on screen that you have to put in the correct order to form 2 or 3-word phrasal verbs. If you press the word CUE, you get a synonym word or phrase. I like this one because I think it gets our brains to think which word can it be with the letters you see and I think that mechanism in the brain makes it easier to remember the phrasal verbs.
This is a very goog way of learning phrasal verbs and it is totally free, (you get ads, but they do not interfere with the game), so I strongly reccommend it. You can download it through the link under the picture and have fun!!!