Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Into the Holler (by D Shea and Katy Hooper)

This is a song I wrote with my friend Katy Hooper who sings with me on this recording. We were pleased to have the able accompaniment of Diego Torres on the flute. I hope you like it. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Questions, a key language learning technique (for all my students)

For the last few academic years, I have been considering different strategies to stimulate conversation in my classes. One fairly simple method of getting people talking is to propose topics of interest. For each topic, the students are presented with a series of questions to share with a partner or in small groups. 
This idea is not original, it actually dates backs to the Greeks, but more recently, I have been taken by the work of Larry Pitts who teaches English language and culture in Korea. His book has been a valuable resource for me. I do not use all his listed questions, but rather choose a few that I hope the students will appreciate. In future postings here, you will find some of my lists.




ADVICE

Advice

What three pieces of advice will you give your children?
Whose advice do you follow more, your parents’ or your friends’ advice?
If you could give the leader of your country some advice, what would it be?
If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would you
tell your younger self?
Who was the wisest person in your country’s history? 
What kind of advice did that person give?
Where do you go to get good advice?
Now it’s your turn to give some advice:
1) 
2) 
3)
What are some things students should do to improve their English?
What should I do to make more money?
How can I get more free time?
What should people do when first meeting their boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents?
What should someone do to be happy?



( Adapted from the following source materials: http://iteslj.org/questions/)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

CLIL students

Welcome to all my CLIL students who want to improve their communication skills, achieve better speaking skills. 
Here are our first questions: 

1) How useful is English to you?
2) How often do you use it?
3) What are your strengths in English?
4) What English speaking countries have your visited?
5) Do you have any strategies for improving your spoken English?

Huddie Ledbetter, great American singer, songwriter and the king of the 12-street guitar

Huddie Ledbetter, as known as Leadbelly, is one of my favorite singers. I am going to include two of his songs in the next few classes. I hope you like them and find them interesting and fun to sing!


biographical data for Huddie Ledbetter

On a Monday (by Huddie Ledbetter, aka Leadbelly)



On a Monday (by Huddie Ledbetter, aka Leadbelly)

On a Monday
I was arrested
And on a Tuesday,
I got locked up in jail
And on a Wednesday
My trial was attested
And on a Thursday
Nobody would go my bail

Yes I'm gone
Aaaalmost most gone (3x)
And I ain't going to be seein' them pretty women no more

Take these stripes
These stripes from off my shoulder
Take these chains
These chains from off-a my leg
Well these stripes,
You know that they don't bother me
But these chains
These chains are killin' me dead

Yes I'm gone…

Now on a Friday
My baby went out walking
And on a Saturday
You know she locked up the door
And on a Sunday
She must have done some talkin'
Cause on a Monday
She had sold all o my clothes.

Yes I'm gone …


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

CD4 NI1

To my NI1 students,

Here are the answers for CD4. Sorry I did not post this material sooner.

1
1. courses
2. timetable
3. three lessons
4. (revisión) clases
5. report
2
1. Quite long and thin like a pen
2. He got out his mobile and took photos
3. At about 8 pm.
4. A house
5. Black, with the size of a tiger
3
1. Incorrect
2. Incorrect
3. Correct
4. Incorrect
5. Incorrect
4
1. 1972
2. model
3. 21
4. comedy
5. (concert) tickets
5
1. A digital video camera
2. His pen
3. Spacesuit
4. His laptop
5. Going to the gym
6
1.B
2.C
3.A
4.B
5.B
7
1.F
2.A
3.D
4.B
5.C
8
1. Correct
2. Correct
3. Incorrect
4. Incorrect
5. Incorrect
9
1. sang a (funny) song
2. told jokes
3. wasn’t nervous
4. a comedy show
5. not laughing

10
1.A
2.A
3.C
4.B
5.A

11
1.F
2.C
3.B
4.D
5.A

12
1.A
2.B
3.A
4.B
5.C

13
1. six months
2. washing-up
3. higher salary
4. computer programmes
5. less travelling

14
1. Her key
2. The old pyramids
3. The (heavy) traffic
4. Paris
5. A sun hat

15
1.E
2.F
3.A
4.B
5.C

16
1. over 200 stores
2. 9 am on Saturday
3. order your food
4. the children’s play area

5. a cash machine

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Speaking Test Tips


RULE ONE: BE POLITE

“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 ...”

RULE TWO: LOOK BEYOND THE IMAGE

“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: davidsshea@gmail.com


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

NI 1 CD 3 Track answers

NI1
CD3

1.
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

2.
1B
2C
3A
4C
5B
6C

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

4.
1F
2T
3F
4T
5T
6F

5.
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


6.
1B
2A
3B
4C
5A
6C

7.
1. The dining room
2. 9:15
3. forest
4. village
5. boat
6. (sun) hat

8.
1F
2F
3T
4T
5F
6T

9.
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

10.
1C
2A
3B
4A
5C
6B

11.
1. Monday(s)
2. post office
3. 18 February
4. violin
5. photograph
6. (course) books

12.
1F
2T
3F
4T
5F
6F

13.
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

14.
1B
2B
3C
4A
5A
6C

15.
1. (sandy) beaches
2. 70
3. fan
4. teabags
5. owner
6. flight(s)

16.
1T
2F
3F
4F
5T
6T


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 …
However,
I would say that …
I do not have any problem with ...
In conclusion,

Friday, March 4, 2016

We recommend "Reverso.net"

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

http://diccionario.reverso.net/ 

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.

Reverso.net gave me this 

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

and 

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

Thank you, Raquel!