Good morning! Today’s Monday and many of you may feel tired and not very motivated by the thought of starting a new week, but the funny thing is that some of us feel happy and full of energy because during the weekend we had time to think and plan new projects and Monday is the perfect day to set them to work. While I was writing an email, this song started playing on my computer and I thought that was just perfect to set people in a positive mood or sort of explain the feeling you have when you are happy and want to shout it out to the world. It’s another of Avicii’s wonderful songs Feeling Good. The lyrics deal with present simple, present continuous and vocabulary related to the natural world, so it’s suitable for students from A2 to B1 although you may want to see the pre-listening list of vocabulary below before doing the listening activity.
Breeze /bri:z/ = a soft wind – blossom /ˈblɒs.əm/= flowers on trees that become fruit – Dawn /dɔːn/= a period in the day just before the sun rises. Dragonfly /ˈdræɡ.ən.flaɪ/ = large insect with four transparent wings that flies over water and can be of different colours like green or red. Butterflies (singular butterfly) /ˈbʌt.ə.flaɪ/= an insect with large brightly coloured wings. Scent /sent/= the smell of something.
Hi! Here’s another How to video. This video is a very first class video that beginners can use at home to practice their first sentences in English and gain confidence. It’s also helpful for going over nationality adjectives as there is a list with words that belong to the A2 certificate exams.
It’s true that these names are very, very similar to Spanish. But I’ve had so many students from Venzuela, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and other South American countries that worried about how they were pronouncing these names that I decided to make a video.
It’s another of the series of How to… videos that aim to help adult beginners build up confidence. I really hope you find it useful for this purpose.
PS. Sorry for leaving out the West Indies! There will be more videos. Promise!
Here’s another of the How to series of videos for beginners. This video deals with names of European countries. At the end of the video you have a quiz that will help you remember and go over some of the names of these countries. I know that there are many names and that it is difficult to remember all of them, but bit by bit, little by little you will become familiar.
Later, there will also be a video for other countries.
Hi! I’m back with another fun video (well, it’s meant to be fun anyway ). This one’s for the idiom A Skeleton in the cupboard/closet. This idiom actually has an almost humorous use, but I couldn’t find the right type of music, so I hope it doesn’t make you jump out of your skin. (that’s a good one!).
By the way, I had to upload it as Youtube detected that the laughter I used was from the album Thriller! That laughter belonged to Vincent Price! I mean, how can somebody own somebody’s laughter? Ridiculous! Anyway, it took me ages to find it and I had to make a horrible change, such a pity! (it now sounds more like Eddie from Iron Maiden)
As a teacher that has taught all levels of English (or almost all levels, anyway), I realised that teaching beginners can be as challenging as teaching C2s students. The first reason for this is that adult learners usually feel very shy and self-conscious about making mistakes in front of their classmates so they need to be able to practise a lot before producing new structures. At the same time, they usually have very little time to do English homework because there are a lot of other things that they need to do like: work, take care of the kids, household chores, etc., just to mention a few. Finding a balance in everything can be very a difficult task indeed and for this reason, on many occasions beginners quit English classes before they see any progress, which is a real pity. But on the other hand, if a beginner manages to stay on, they very soon notice that they are having fun, learning a lot and making new friends.
This year, with A1s and A2s in mind (or the groups that I’ve had anyway), I want to create a collection of videos with some tips and practical information on how to do something like for example, how to give and ask for a price, or how to congratulate somebody, etc. Sort of something very short, simple and clear that will allow learners to focus on very little content and have the opportunity to practise so as to gain some confidence with new structures and chunks of information.
I am aware that the videos are and will be in English (as usual), and that this can seem a bit off-putting for a beginner, but it is also true that all the audio files also appear in writing, so at the same time, learners are doing a listening activity where they can associate the written form of the word to the sound of it.
Here’s the very first video of this project that I’m really enthusiastic about, hoping that they will be useful for A1 and A2 English learners and that I may (only may), get some feedback.
Template and animations by me (sometimes being a graphic designer can come in handy)
Hi there! I’ve just finished a video that includes quite a few idioms and expressions that have blue in them. I’m gradually getting better at animating and putting all the bits together, but still need to do some work on editing audio files (sorry about this, but I know that I’ll finally get it right 🙂 ). Anyway, I hope you find the video useful. You can also do a short quiz after watching the video.
Photos from Pexels and drawings and animations by me on Krita.
When you have a phonetic language like Spanish, for instance, it is quite easy to say the words you have learned from a book or a dictionary because if you know the sounds of each letter you can do quite well when speaking the language and everybody will understand you. But this is not the case with English, which for a lot of people seems like a `crazy´language with its own rules. I already mentioned this feature of English in a post on phonetics and here I’m going to mention another feature that will also look pretty strange to many language learners, that is, letters that appear in the written form of language but should not be pronounced. These letters are called ‘silent letters’ because we do not pronounce them. About two years ago I created a slide lesson, but now that I (unfortunately), have a lot of time, I have also made a video where you can see and hear the examples some of the most typical silent letters.