Category Archives: Did you know?

Did you know… What’s the weather like? or How is the weather?

Officially it’s still spring, but here in the north of Spain it seems the summer has arrived. So, while some people are already kind of brown and wearing colourful garments, I am still hidden under layers of dark clothes looking like a stuffed sausage and crazy busy 🙂 checking exams.

Talking about the weather seems to be a favourite topic of conversation,but not only for British people. Every foreigner I’ve met, no matter the nationality, eventually talks about the weather.

Do you talk about the weather?  Isn’t it true that when talking to people you have just met to simply start a conversation and avoid the I-don’t-know-what-to-say embarrassing moment, we talk about the weather?

So, how do you ask about the weather? Choose the correct answer

  1. What’s the weather like?
  2. How’s the weather?
  3. Both

The correct answer is c.

There is not much difference between these two questions when talking about the weather. Either of these is used in every day English. Some people might argue that “What’s the weather like in Spain?” asks for a more detailed description of the usual  weather in Spain, whereas “How’s the weather in Spain?” would be more casual and  would get “Good/Bad/Rainy” as an answer .

The truth is that asking these two questions will almost always get you the same answer.

Blog de Cristina is also on Facebook. Follow us!

 

What Type of Learner are you?

Have you ever asked yourself how you revise for an exam or how you learned English irregular verbs? Read through the traits and identify the kind of learner you are and  the kind of activities that will help you best in your learning process.

Every learner has one primary learning mode. Your learning mode or learning style is just the way you learn best. People learn using a variety of these modes depending on the task, but there is one  that is normally predominant. Therefore, identifying it as soon as possible is important to help you learn better and faster.

There are three main learning modes and there are traits for each type of learner.

  • The visual learner prefers learning by seeing and watching
  • The auditory learner prefers learning by hearing
  • The kinaesthetic learner prefers learning by doing, touching and interacting

Which type of learner are you? Read through the traits and identify the kind of learner you are and the kind of activities that will help you best in your learning process.

Auditory learners:

  • You like traditional teaching techniques
  • You like to learn things by hearing them or saying them.
  • You prefer listening to a book on tape to reading it
  • You prefer telling stories to writing or acting them out
  • You like drilling and pronunciation practice
  • You like listening tasks
  • You like music
  • You love discussions
  • You talk better than you write
  • You like giving speeches and oral reports

If you fall into this category, then doing the following will help you learn more easily

  • Pay attention in class
  • Make recordings of learning material
  • Repeat facts with your eyes closed
  • Ask questions
  • Explain the subject matter to another student
  • Record lectures
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Study in a quiet place

Visual learners:

  • You learn by seeing and watching
  • You like infographics, pictures, diagrams, films
  • You are well organised
  • You are quiet and observant
  • You need an overall view and purpose
  • You may have some difficulties with verbal instructions
  • You like to read and  write stories more than telling them or acting them out.

If you fall into this category, then doing the following will help you learn more easily

  • Copying from the board
  • Writing down everything the teacher says
  • Highlighting key information in the textbook
  • Keeping a lexical notebook
  • Making mind maps
  • Using flashcards
  • Watching videos
  • You can also learn easily from infographics, posters, charts, maps, and photographs.
  • The best way for you to study is by looking at flash cards or some sort of paper that has the information written on it

Kinaesthetic learners:

  • You learn things by doing, touching, feeling, experimenting, moving
  • You learn by trial and error
  • You like to memorize things by acting them out or doing them
  • You prefer playing some kind of game to reading or listening to a book
  • You like sequencing tasks
  • You respond to physical rewards
  • You point when reading
  • You make gestures when you are learning
  • You like action-oriented books

If you fall into this category, then doing the following will help you learn more easily

  • Direct involvement
  • Hands-on activities
  • Demonstrations
  • Using realia
  • Doing pair/group work
  • Doing role-plays
  • Team games and competitions
  • Working with Cuisenaire rods
  • Mimicking to guess  vocabulary
  • Standing up and moving around

As teachers, we need to bear in mind that in our classes there are different kinds of learners. Therefore, we need to incorporate different teaching strategies to reach every one of them.

What I hear, I forget.

What I hear and see, I remember a little.

What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand.

What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill.

What I teach to another, I master. (Silberman, 1996)

The more actively engaged a learner is with the content, the better she learns and the more she remembers.

Thanks for reading!

References:

  • Schunk, D. H. & Zimmerman, B. J.. Self-Regulated Learning: From Teaching to Self-Reflective Practice. Guilford Press.
  • Silberman, M. Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

 

The quiz: 13 Modern Words Recently Added to the Dictionary in 2015

Three years ago, a colleague of mine wrote the word “selfie” on the board. She says none of her students knew what the word meant. Nowadays, even my great grandmother, should I have one, would most definitely know what a “selfie” is, and would probably have taken one or two to send her peers.

It is said that the English language has more words than any other language in the world and it seems it might be true. The Oxford Dictionary Online stores over 600,000 words. Despite this number, new words are coined, clipped and blended all the time and although some of them are very soon forgotten, others make their way into the dictionary.
But how do they choose the words they include in a dictionary? The answer is simple: people need to use them. Basically editors watch the word for several years to see how it is used in both spoken and written English. They check to see that the word is used to express an idea clearly, and that the idea is understood. Then, when the word is seen in writing and speech regularly, it can go in the dictionary.

New words are added every year, but also words that are no longer used are eliminated.

Every year, the Oxford Dictionary selects a Word of the Year. “Selfie” was chosen Word of the Year three years ago. This year, the award has been given to the emoji (plural emoji or emojis) Face with Tears of Joy. The decision to choose a pictogram as word of the year, when it is clearly not a word, has been publicly criticized by many. But despite the selection of this word being frowned upon in many circles, the question to consider is: if words are used to communicate, aren’t emojis also used to communicate feelings and emotions in this new digital era?

So, as stated above, lots of new words enter the dictionaries every year. In this little quiz below you will find some of the most recent additions to the dictionaries

Are you up to the challenge?

Blog de Cristina is also on Facebook. Click to follow

 

 

Did you Know…. hung or hanged?

I can almost see my students smiling with a hint of irony painted on their faces when they hear me saying the words” English is very easy”. And yes, you  might disagree with me here but  it all depends on what language you compare it with and, in their case, Spanish grammar is a far cry from English grammar, being the first much more complicated to understand. I am also well aware of the difficulties they have when learning English but we need to focus on the positive things. I wouldn’t be doing a good job if I don’t motivate my students!

But… sometimes… only sometimes, English could be a bit confusing, and the use of  hung and hanged is a little quirk of the English language.

This is what one of my students wrote . “He said that  nobody  lived in that house  because the man who lived there had killed all his family and then he hung himself.”

I crossed it off and wrote “hanged” instead. The verb “hang” can be regular or irregular. You study:

                 hang- hung/hanged-hung/hanged

So far, easy.But when do you use “hung” and when “hanged”? The explanation can be either short or long. I think I’ll go for the short one as you can always check meanings and use in a good dictionary.

  • Hanged is used  when the meaning is
  1. to kill somebody  by tying a rope attached from  above around their neck and removing the support from beneath them .

                              The prisoner  was ​found guilty of the crime  and hanged ​.

       2.  (slang) to damn or be damned: used in mild curses or interjections. 

                               I’ll be hanged before I ask her out again

  • Hung is preferred in all other senses of the word.

Once clarified, it isn’t that difficult, is it?

Do you have time for a little test?

Some pictures ___ on the walls of his house

hung

[collapse]
His arms __ down limply, over the edge of the couch.

hung

[collapse]
Red meat is __ for at least 28 days, making for a memorable steak

hung

[collapse]
He was __ for murder

hanged

[collapse]
I am __if I know

hanged

[collapse]
A heavy gold necklace __ around her neck.

hung

[collapse]
He _____ himself from a beam in the attic

hanged

[collapse]

Did you Know….Aged?

Did you know that the word “aged” has two different pronunciations?

 

1.It’s pronounced /eidʒd/ when it means “years old” or when it is the verb in its past or past participle form

♥a woman aged 40

♥she has a son aged eleven

2. It’s pronounced /ˈeɪdʒɪd/ when it is the adjective (formal)

♥an aged professor

♥ my aged computer is very slow

Also : The aged in this country need more services. /ˈeɪdʒɪd/ = very old people

Hope it helps! Keep posted!

Did you Know…… Near?

Look at these two sentences. Are both sentences correct?

  • I live near the school
  • I live near to the school

The answer is yes.

Near can be used as a preposition .When near is a prepostion , near to is less common but also possible .

  • Go and sit nearer (to) the fire
  • We came near (to) being killed.

Source : Practical English Usage (Michael Swan/Oxford) and Oxford Dictionaries

Follow Blog de Cristina on Facebook

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...