My adult students LOVED this fragment from Top Gear. Using authentic material with your advanced students is a great idea to make them live the language they are learning.


{February 3, 2011}   Site Recommendation

2011 brought a very nice site to my browser:

It’s a free registration site for learning and practising English, while sharing materials and having a good time with people from all over the world. I’ve been posting here and there this last month, and I highly recommend the site!


See you there soon!

Good grammar pays. No, I’m not making a sentimental statement about the importance
of a job well done or the satisfaction of learning for learning’s sake, though I believe in
both of those values. I’m talking about cold, hard cash, the kind you fold and put into your wallet. Don’t believe me? Fine. Try this little test: The next time you go to the movies, tear yourself away from the story for a moment and concentrate on the dialogue. Chances are the characters who have fancy jobs or piles of dough sound different from those who don’t.
I’m not making a value judgment here; I’m just describing reality. Proper English, either written or spoken, tends to be associated with the upper social or economic classes. Tuning up your grammar muscles doesn’t guarantee your entry into the Bill Gates income tax bracket, but poor grammar may make it much harder to fight your way in.
Another payoff of good grammar is better grades and an edge in college admissions. Teachers have always looked more favorably on nicely written sentences, and grammar has recently become an additional hurdle that applicants must jump over or stumble through when they sit for the SAT or the ACT, the two most important standardized tests for the college bound.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lifetime improving your English. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there, and before you know it, your grammar muscles will be toned to fighting strength. This book is the equivalent of a health-club membership for your writing and speaking skills. Like a good health club, it doesn’t waste your time with lectures on the physiology of flat abs. Instead, it sends you right to the mat and sets you up with the exercises that actually do the job.

Robert Orben – “To err is human – and to blame it on a computer is even more so.”

—– Hope to read your opinions, either here or on!

My secondary school students loved this short video where Inspector Clouseau tries to learn how to speak in an English accent.

{February 3, 2011}   How to learn vocabulary

1. Read. Most vocabulary words are learned from context. The more words you’re exposed to, the better vocabulary you will have. While you read, pay close attention to words you don’t know. First, try to figure out their meanings from context. Then look the words up. Read and listen to challenging material so that you’ll be exposed to many new words.

2. Pay close attention to how words are used.

3. Learning a word won’t help very much if you promptly forget it. Research shows that it takes a minimum of 10 to 20 repetitions to really make a word part of your vocabulary. It helps to write the word – both the definition and a sentence you make up using the word – perhaps on an index card that can later be reviewed. As soon as you learn a new word, start using it.

4. Make up as many associations and connections as possible. Say the word aloud to activate your auditory memory. Relate the word to words you already know. Create pictures of the word’s meaning that involve strong emotions.

5. Use mnemonics ( memory tricks). Also, find out which learning style suits you best. Everyone learns differently!

6. Get in the habit of looking up words you don’t know. If you have a dictionary program on your computer, keep it open and handy. If you don’t, just type: “define: WORD” in google, and you will come across with definitions of the WORD you need.

7. Play with words. Play Scrabble, Boggle, and do crossword puzzles. There are a lot of free online games to play with vocabulary! (there is a post about that in the vocabulary section).

8. Diversity of topics is important. Read some natural science stuff. Then read some applied science stuff. Read some contemporary literature. Then read some Shakespeare. Comb through a pop psychology book and then consume a humorous work. Varied reading will sharpen both general and subject-specific vocabularies.

9.Try out your new vocabulary in speech and writing.

-Are you a teacher needing ideas to work on vocabulary? Here you can find a lot of ideas! (I came across the site via google)

(I also shared this on

{February 3, 2011}   Taboo! Game for your students

Have you ever played Taboo!? It’s a very entertaining game to practice vocabulary with your students.

(picture taken by myself)

Imagine you got a card saying “teacher” Below, you got three words that could be really useful for a definition of “teacher”. What if you couldn’t use those words to explain your word?

Well, Taboo! game is, basically, what I described above. Here you can find some templates and here there are some ready to print games (and you can also download the rules) Oh! And here you can play Taboo! online.

{February 3, 2011}   Nice video to show your students

A teacher of English is not necesarily… English 😉

et cetera