Thursday, April 21, 2016

Speaking Test Tips


“Good afternoon, my name is Fabio BL…. (entire name) and I am very happy to have this opportunity to share my thoughts today. “

THEN enter into your topic:

“In this photo, we can see ….” or “I can see “ or “There are many people dancing ...”


“I also notice that many of the people in the picture are in a hurry, they are walking along the road toward the port, perhaps they are going to take a boat to another island or maybe they will meet someone who is arriving at the port of Las Palmas.”

RULE THREE (IMPORTANT): Finish off with a flourish!

Examiner: “Okay, excuse me, your time is up, the exam is finished.”

You: “Well, that's all I would like to say, thank you for listening to me and have a great afternoon.”

Friday, April 15, 2016

Another Interesting Link

To my EOI Students of English at any level, 

Here is another  link 

which you may find of interest.

Best wishes!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

NI1 Speaking titles for May 2016

Speaking Titles for the May Exams

Monologue (2 minutes)

1 Talk about what you consider to be a balanced diet.

2 Describe an old post card of Gran Canaria, photos taken in the early 20th  

century. Use extensive vocabulary and interesting expressions.

3 Why are stereotypes so common in our society?

4 Talk about how you manage your income.

5 Talk about how you spend your free time.

Dialogues (4-5 minutes)

1 Interview with a difficult public figure (politician, pop star, actor and so on). One journalist 

and one person being interviewed.

2 Give advice to a person who is looking for work. Candidate A is the unemployed person, 

candidate B is the career counselor.

3 Greeting the good news. Candidate A has just had a baby and candidate B must give the 

congratulations and get all the details of the birth (what name they are going to give the 

baby, size, weight and hair color).

4 Giving advice to a friend with a problem. Candidate A has a son/daughter who is 

addicted   to the WWW, surfing all day and all night long. Candidate B has to give A some 

advice on how to deal with this unpleasant situation.

5 Managing our money. Candidate A always spends money on shopping, gambling, music 

and so forth. Candidate B is more thrifty and advises A to be careful with his/her funds.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Improve your listening skills in English

Here is a terrific resource for all my students, intermediate and advanced, to improve your listening skills.

Just click on the link and do as many listening tests as you can. They are well-ordered and graded.

Randall's Listening Page

Good luck! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Writing paper for final exams NI1 level

Writing Paper for NI1

1. Describe a sport or hobby that you enjoy.
       How long have you done this activity? (Present perfect)
 Why did you take up this activity? ( simple past)
 Have you made friends through it?

2. Imagine you have won a contest with a travel company.
They have awarded (given) you a trip around the world.
You have one year to travel and can visit 6 countries.
What countries are you going to include and why?

Both essays should be 130 – 150 words.
You will be graded on
  • Expression
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary (adjectives)
  • Register
  • Content

Email me with your essay if you
would like to practice:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NI 1 CD 3 Track answers


1. A long dress with short sleeves
2. At the coffee house
3. 21st March
4. One video and a couple of novels
5. On the radio
6. Channel 4 news
7. Horse riding


1. gym
2. Saturday
3. 215
4. lessons
5. age
6. Reysall


1. 11:15
2. A salad, a bowl of soup and a roll
3. Under her chair
4. By bus
5. A sofa
6. Going to the cinema
7. Cloudy


1. The dining room
2. 9:15
3. forest
4. village
5. boat
6. (sun) hat


1. A lamp for his desk
2. No glasses and blond hair
3. In a house
4. Computer World
5. An opera evening
6. 8:15
7. Making himself some supper


1. Monday(s)
2. post office
3. 18 February
4. violin
5. photograph
6. (course) books


1. The music
2. A piano concert
3. A beach bag
4. Cloudy
5. On the dining room table
6. At the bookshop
7. 3:15


1. (sandy) beaches
2. 70
3. fan
4. teabags
5. owner
6. flight(s)


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Leisure Vocabulary

The topic of leisure activities brought out lots of interesting vocabulary in our NI1 sessions
  1. Tiempo de ocio = leisure time (free time, spare time)
  2. hacerse socio de un club = sign up for a club, join
  3. mantenerse en forma = keeping fit
  4. patinar sobre hielo = ice skating
  5. practicar deporte = play sport (tennis, football)
  6. bricolaje = DIY (do it yourself)
  7. hacer ejercicio = do exercise
  8. meterse en clases de spinning = take up spinning
  9. abandonar clases = give up classes
  10. dibujar = draw
  11. jugador = player
  12. arbitro = referee
  13. cancha de tenis = tennis court
  14. piscina = swimming pool
  15. barco de vela = sailing-boat (yacht, ship)
  16. campo de futbol = football pitch (UK) field (US)
  17. coleccionista de sellos = stamp collector (philatelist)
  18. natación = swimming
  19. pesca = fishing
  20. lucha libre = wrestling
  21. boxeo = boxing
  22. voley playa = beach volleyball
  23. lectura = reading
  24. patchwork = quilting
  25. jardinería = gardening
  26. caminar, senderismo = walking
  27. hacer caminatas = hiking
  28. escalar = climbing mountains
  29. paracaidismo = sky-diving
  30. playing the lute = tocar el laúd (o timple)
  31. ciclismo = cycling
  32. esnorkeling de tubo = snorkeling
  33. buceo = scuba diving
  34. ver la tele = watch TV
  35. ir al cine = go to the cinema
  36. esquiar = skiing
  37. esqui acuatico = water skiing
  38. snow boarding
  39. surfismo = surfing
  40. baile = dancing

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Post Card Speaking Activity

Post Card Speaking Activity 
In pairs, look at a post card from the collection.
One partner must speak for a 90 seconds, describing what they can see in the post 

card. The other partner should not speak during this first step.
Then the second partner speaks for a further 60 seconds (1 min).

Here are suggested commentaries:
  • In this picture, I can see …” “There are many birds in the trees ...”
  • The people in the picture are dressed in ...”
  • In the foreground there is (are) ...” “In the background, I can see ...”
  • Underneath the trees, we can see ...”
  • There is snow on the mountain tops.”
  • narrow and wide /tall buildings
  • cobbled streets (adoquines)
  • taxi rank (parada de taxis)
  • wharf, pier, harbor (muelle)
  • town hall, city hall = ayuntamiento
  • fountain (fuente)
  • tram tracks
  • arches (arcos)
  • statue (estatua)
  • street lamps (faroles)
  • roundabout (rotonda)
  • clay pot (vasija de barro)
  • carriage = carruaje
  • ravine = barranco
  • river = rio
  • it dates back to = data a
  • married couple = matrimonio
  • roof = tejado
  • cave = cueva
  • tattered flag = bandera en harapos
  • nostalgic = nostálgico/a
  • oven = horno
  • fishing boat = barquilla
  • peasants = campesinos
  • on top of her head (encima de su cabeza)
  • big waves on the ocean (crash)
  • the cross on the church steeple (campanario a dos aguas)
  • terraced (row house) = casa terrera
  • quaint, typical houses of the period = casa típica de la época
  • sea weed = algas 
  • sidewalks on both sides of the street= aceras a los 2 lados de la calle
  • ornate, wooden balconies

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Good Advice

Don't make a mountain out of molehill! 
                                                  - Ana (La Calzada)

STEREOTYPES: Opinion Essay N1

Opinion Essay about Stereotypes
Choose one of these titles to write a 100-word essay.

  • Do gender stereotypes annoy you?
  • Why do people use stereotypes?
  • What are the stereotypes about people in your country?
Remember to :
  1. Start your essay with a brief introduction
  2. Then write a body of two paragraphs
  3. Include a conclusion

Useful language
In my opinion,
I am inclined to believe that …
From my point of view,
Generally speaking,
Personally, I believe that…
It seems to me that …
As far as I am concerned …
I feel very strongly that …
I would say that …
I do not have any problem with ...
In conclusion,

Friday, March 4, 2016

We recommend ""

An advanced (NA2) student Raquel recommended a translation web page called 

which she uses to get a better understanding of expressions in English.

I queried this site recently regarding "keen on" as in 

My friend is not keen on vegetables. = A mi amigo, no le gustan las verduras. gave me this 

he's a keen cook      le gusta mucho or le encanta cocinar 


I'm not very keen on him      no es santo de mi devoción, no me cae demasiado bien 

Thank you, Raquel! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Letter of Complaint (Paz NA2)

TASK Read the instructions carefully and write a letter of complaint of 120-150 words.
                                                                                               Carretera a los Olivos, 41
                                                                                               35300, Santa Brígida
                                                                                               25th February, 2016
Av. Tirajana, 25
35100 Playa del Inglés
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Dear Mr. James Redston,

I am writing to complain about the meal I was served. Despite reading a positive review on the website, I went to eat to your British restaurant in Gran Canaria. A friend had recommended it to me as a good place to go for a romantic dinner in my holiday. It was the last day in the south of the island and I wanted to go somewhere special. When I phoned to reserve a table I specifically asked if we could eat gluten free food because my husband is celiac. The person I spoke to assured me it would not be a problem.

However, when we arrived at the restaurant, the menu had not gluten free food. When I informed the waiter that I had specifically requested food for celiac, he said that he did not know nothing about that.

They brought gluten-free food from another of their restaurants. Although the food was fine, the service was slow and the waiting staff unfriendly. When I was presented with the bill, I noticed that a 15% service charge had been included. I mentioned that I had been unhappy with the service and politely asked for the service charge to be removed. When the waiter refused, I demanded to see the manager but was told that he was away. I doubt very much if I will ever eat at this restaurant again.
Of course, I hope that the list of allergens will be included in your menu. I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely