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Feel free to send your ideas to my email: / To use the lesson plans in my blog, you do NOT need photocopies for students. You MAY need to print instructions or to use a projector and/or a computer.

Browse LABELS to the right, underneath to find prompts and tasks.New!! VIDEO BLOGS on English for Communications and on English for Office Applications (Computers). See links below.

* English for Communications. Click HERE. By Beatriz Papaseit Fernández and myself, María Zabala Peña

* English for Office Applications (Computers :Word 2007 and more). Click HERE. By Beatriz Papaseit Fernández and myself, María Zabala Peña

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Linguee on-line dictionary. Find words in context

Linguee is an on-line dictionary that contains a search engine that enables users to look for bilingual texts.

The available languages are English to/from: Spanish, German, French and Portuguese.

Click HERE to access Linguee
  •  How does it work?
Capaz de = Able to = Capable of
Let's  say that, as a Spanish speaker, you want to know  the  preposition that   follows the expression "ser capaz" , which in Spanish is followed by the preposition "de".

You enter the text "capaz de" in the engine  and Linguee offers many parallel texts with that expression. As you can see in the displayed image, the English preposition is "to"  after "able"( not "of")  and "of" after "capable". 
  • Advantages
The parallel texts have been checked by Linguee editors. If the translation of the word has not been verified the parallel texts is preceded by a warining sign (a triangle). 
Linguee is NOT an automatic translator. Use your head and in the long run you will see this as an advantage.

Click HERE to access Linguee 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pronunciation: How do you pronounce...?

"How you say" is an on-line tool that will help you to learn how to pronounce words.
Aim: students introduce words they do not know how to pronounce in order to learn them with the sound Suggested procedure if you want to use this tool in your class
  •  make a list of the words students mispronounce.
  • group students in teams
  • write the words on the board
  • ask teams (in turns)  how a word is pronounced
  • check the pronunciation by introducing the  in How j say
  • give a point to the team that pronounces the word correctly
Access the HOWJSAY page by clicking HERE 

IF your students are Spanish speakers, you may start with some (or all) of these words:
  • Problems with "I" or "AI" sound:  to determine, idea, opposite, to  examine, horizon, since, microphone,  to print, tiger.
  • Problems with stress pattern:  successful,  component (stress in "po"), foreigner (FO), surface, insurance, hotel, interesting, invalid (IN)
  • Words with two stress patterns: to present/ a present, to report/a report, to progress/ the progress, to address/ an address...
  • The "able" words: vegetable, suitable (the "i" does not sound), able, comfortable, table, capable, removable, printable 
  • Letter B  does not sound: debt, plumber, doubt
  • Letter W does not sound:  sword,  answer, drawer. would
  • Other silent letters: mayor (no "y"), heir (no h), guard (no u), shepherd (no second h)
  • The -es ending sounding as "iz"or "is". Most student ignore the ending: services, oranges, he fixes/watches, exercises
  •  The ones they always get wrong:  biscuit (the "u" does not sound), receipt, recipe, architecture (the K), busy, , key, Pharaoh, choir, aisle,rare, archive (K), corps  /kɔː/ as in Peace Corps vs. corpse.
  • The ones that are very similar to Spanish words and students pronounce in the Spanish: fashion: Jamaica, Arkansas, Zanzibar, Ottawa.Lancaster, Asia, Trafalgar (FA), predator (PRE), cigarrette (TT), controversy (TRO), transparent (PA)
  • The ones with less syllables than we expect: chocolate, digital, restaurant,  basically
  • Teasers (homophones or almost homophones): flour and flower,  guerrilla and gorilla, waist and  waste, pear and pair, heir and hair, write and right, four and for, hear and  here, no and know...  For more homophones in British English go to this page HERE
  • -age words: beverages (also stress pattern), village, image, message, usage 
  • The - ure words: nature, creature, future, structure, adventure, literature 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bombay TV - (short) written or spoken texts

Bombay TV  offers the possibility of  creating  short written or spoken texts by subtitling short segments of Indian movies.

Aim: students write or record their voices creating a short text.
Level: any
Procedure.  Students:
  • enter the  provided Bombay TV link
  • choose a segment of a film
  • prepare a dialogue
  • record or write their dialogue 
  • send the video segment to your e-mail
  • open e-mail and share your video with the class  

Click HERE to access BOMBAY TV

 See an  example below

Personalize funny videos at Bombay TV by Graphéine - Graphiste independant

Thanks to Ricard Garcia, speaker at the April 2013 teacher training sessions at the British Council, for providing me with this link.