Word on the Street

I just love this section in the British Council website .Word on The Street is a co-production of the mighty BBC and the British Council. If, on their own, they produce superb material you can only imagine the outcome when they decide to join efforts and work together in the production of short videos (4 or 5 m) to teach everyday life and different aspects of the British culture . The videos are easy to watch , some of them accompanied by captions that help elementary students follow and divided into scenes for a deeper understanding. There are several tasks you can do after watching the video and you can also have a look at the tapescript. Some of the  most popular videos are : Oxford,Travel and Transport,Camden, Animals…etc. Aren’t you dying to try some of these? My favourite will most definitely be Camden. I am in love with the market!

Video: Pickpockets

Are you learning about crime and legal vocabulary? Then, you might be interested in watching this video and seeing how a gang of Romanian pickpockets work in Barcelona.

Task: Watch the video Pickpockets Performing the Ronaldinho and then answer the questions .

Anwers here .

1. What do crime statistics say about Barcelona?

2. When the gang commits a crime…

Johnnie is the …..

Danny is the …

Mario is the ….

3. Why have they named this tactic The Ronaldinho?

4. Where do they sell the laptops, cameras and phones?

5. What do they prefer to steal?

6. How does the gang feel about committing this crime?

7. The reporter agreed to be robbed. Why was he surprised?

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Some Useful Websites for Elementary Students to Practise Listening

Have I ever told you that I’m not a morning person? Fortunately, at the EOI , I work the afternoon shift otherwise I don’t think I would be able to get a coherent thought out of my mind in Spanish , let alone in English, and I’m sure this is something my demanding students would not be too happy about.
Have I ever told you that I’m not a Monday person either? I very much prefer Fridays… ha,ha,ha … just joking!

Let’s start Monday with a smile on my face and three cups of coffee in my body and this selection of websites to help my Elementary students improve their Listening Skill. Hope it is helpful ,guys!

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!
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Listening : Going Shopping

I am going to teach Elementary Level a lesson about shopping and I have found this very easy short video to get started. There are so many things to learn/revise when you are teaching about going shopping! Teaching Going Shopping gives me the opportunity to revise numbers and prices, the shops in a city, items of clothing and a variety of questions including offers and requests . There will be several steps ending up with the students, hopefully, being able to use interactional language in a role-play situation. An example here

Watch the video (if you don’t want to see the introduction ,start 40seconds into the video) and answer the questions. Then ,activate the subtitles to check your answers.

Question

♥What does the woman want to buy?

♥What kind of …… is she looking for?

♥How much does the woman think the …….. costs?

♥How much does it really cost?

♥Does she buy it?

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2 Interesting Sites to Learn English through Videos

These are two sites to learn English and practise Listening through films

Learn English through Movies : Practise your English with trailers and  video clips  . Basically , you need to watch the video  and do different tasks. You always have the choice of taking an easy or difficult  Fill in the Blanks Exercise Quiz .

♥Lingual.net which  provides interesting movies, with subtitles, scripts, and quizzes, to help you practice English listening. They have a variety of videos: music, comedy,…etc  They also have some games  like Listening Master you need to try.

Hope they are useful!

Video Lesson: What your Signature Says about You

It is said that your signature tells a lot about your personality. What do you think?

Try this simple exercise. On a piece of paper write a short note to someone and then sign it. Done??? Let’s now analyze your signature. Ready?

♥If your first name is more prominent than your surname , then you have positive feelings about your childhood and your “private” life is more important than your “public” life.

♥Do you use initial letters in your signature? If it is in your first name , then you want to keep your personal life more secretive

♥If you have a legible signature, then you have clear ideas and objectives. If it is illegible , then you are less confident and tend to avoid conflict.

♥If you have a rising signature, then you are optimistic and ambitious. A descending signature will indicate you lack self-confidence and tend to get depressed. A horizontal signature will suggest you are a well-balanced person.

♥If you sign in capital letters, then you are arrogant.

♥Finally, if your signature is bigger than the rest of the document , it means you have a high opinion of yourself and if it smaller you might be insecure and have low self-esteem.

Well, well…  after learning all these things I might consider changing my signature. What about you? Do you believe in Graphology?

Watch this video where a graphologist analyses the signature of several famous people and try to answer the questions

Question 1. What does the underscore in a signature tell us about this person?
Question 2. What do we learn of Elisabeth I from her signature?
Question 3. According to the expert, what does a rising signature indicate?
Question 4. What does an underscore looking like a dollar sign say about the person?

Answers: Watch the video again in youtube (click here). Activate the subtitles feature  and check your anwers.

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VOA Learning English: Interesting Site to Read and Listen to American English

Voa Learning English really needs some serious exploring. Though I have to say that, in my opinion, the site is a bit of a mess, it could be a great help to some autonomous learners.

What does it offer? The site provides interesting articles based on news and information.The stories are read slowly , or at least at a slower speed and it allows you the possibility of reading the story and listening to the audio at the same time. The mp3 audio can be downloaded , which is also very helpful.

What about the level? Difficult to say  because although the stories are read quite slowly , the vocabulary is quite advanced. You’ll just have to try and see.

Stories are divided into Level 1 and Level 2  and very often there are exercises following the audio.

if you further explore the site , you will find a section “Learning English TV” with captioned videos that will allow you to watch a story while reading the rolling script.

But there are two sections that I absolutely adore that deal with idioms and expressions:

Words and their Stories and English in a Minute where each week idioms and expressions that many learners of American English find difficult to understand are explained .Don’t miss them!

Another interesting feature in this site is that it has a built-in dictionary . You just have to click on any word to get its meaning.  You really need to give a go to this interesting site , especially if you like reading the news and are interested in American English

Listening Comprehension: What Makes Beyoncé Tick

I have very much enjoyed listening to Beyoncé in this long interview and I thought maybe my students would be interested in knowing a bit more about this superstar. Unfortunately , I have had to chop it as it is very long (10m) and quite difficult for my High Elementary Students but the questions posed are , for the most part,  quite simple. This is just a three-minute section but if I have managed to pick your curiosity , here’s the link in youtube.

Now read the questions and see how many you can answer. Don’t worry if you cannot understand everything the first time.  Listen ,at least three times, before giving up and clicking here to see the answers.

She’s made the decision not to do certain things. Which are mentioned?

How does she feel about her success?

What was Beyoncé’s father’s job?

What was Beyoncé’s mother’s job?

How long has Beyoncé been performing?

How old was she when she became professional?

Who were her pop idols when she was a young girl?

How does she feel when she is on stage?

How old was she when the quartet Destiny Child was formed?

♥Destiny Child spent a lot of time on the bus while on tour, what did they read?

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9 Useful Websites to Help you Improve Pronunciation and Listening

The speaking test is already knocking on your door and you still need to improve your pronunciation? Don’t rest on your laurels !Time to do something about it!

This a selection of some of the posts I have been publishing over the years where you can find not only listening activities but also the tapescript of the recording.  The school year is almost over  but it is maybe not too late to give a little push ,in the right direction, to your pronunciation. Remember,we learn by imitation so let’s get down to some serious parroting !

To make this image interactive I have used a tool called ThingLink, that  allows you to turn your images into a multimedia launcher . Click on the icons and start practising.

I hope it is helpful!

Listening: How to Clean your Teeth in Space

Dead tired after a long day, I finally sat down and turned on the telly.I took my ipad to  see what was going on on my facebook while , at the same time, talking to my husband about  my afternoon meeting ,which I’m sure he only pretended to be interested in, when a man singing on TV caught my attention(This is called “multitasking” , in case you’re wondering, and it’s something we, women, are very good at).

Anyway, apparently the man was singing a version of David Bowie “Space Oddity” but the amazing  thing was that he was floating . I soon learned he was an astronaut and he was singing it from the International Space Station. Wow!!  And I’ve always thought astronauts were very serious people!I went to Saint Google, looked up this man and found that his name is Chris Hadfield, Canadian , and who among other things has become” the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave the Earth” (source wikipedia)

I got quite curious about this man and found in YouTube several videos he recorded while in space.I have chosen the one below for my Elementary students, which I’m sure they will enjoy. By the way, have you ever wondered how astronauts manage to  clean their  teeth in space?

LISTENING TASK

WATCH THE VIDEO AND THEN COMPLETE THE SENTENCES BY PROVIDING THE RIGHT WORD OR CHOOSING THE MOST APPROPRIATE ANSWER.


1. You need a _______ of water from the water bag

2. Then, get your toothbrush w_____

3. Grab some t_______

4. He says you have to brush your teeth for as long as you sing  __________

5. After cleaning his teeth, what does he do  with the toothpaste in his mouth?

a. he swallows it      b. he spits it     c. he reuses it

6.To clean his toothbrush , he gets w_____ in his mouth.

7. According to the astronaut, is the toothbrush…?

a. clean   b. quite clean     c. not so clean

Follow Up: If you could travel to the moon or to Mars, what would you take with you and why?

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