Tag Archives: online

Word of the Day: to Suggest and How to Make Suggestions

Would you agree with me if I said one of the trickiest verbs in English is ” suggest“?

This is one of the most common mistakes students make with this verb. Do you have this mistake?

My  mother suggested me to learn English

The sentence above is wrong  because “suggest” is not followed by object+infinitive. 

Below you’ll find some of the most common structures with “suggest”:

 

  • Suggest+that clause:  We can use present, past, should+infinitive and subjunctive in the that clause. That  can be omitted in informal style.

My mother suggested (that) I should learn English.

I suggest (that) you study a bit more

  •  Suggest+-ing

I suggest eating in that Italian restaurant.

  • Suggest+ Wh-word (when, where, who, how..etc)

Can you suggest where we  can have a nice meal?

  • Suggest+ noun

He suggested  the new restaurant in town for the wedding.

If we need to mention the person who receives the suggestion, we use a to-construction.

He suggested a new restaurant to me.

     He suggested me a new restaurant.

MAKING SUGGESTIONS

And now that we are on the subject, do you know how to make suggestions in English?

Click “play” on the interactive mind map below to study the different ways we can suggest in English and then see the video to do some practice.

Mapa Mental creado con GoConqr por cristina.cabal

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Tools used: Goconqr and Picovico

Internet Radio: All the Radio Stations only a Click Away from you!

Do you like listening to the radio?

Today, I want to share with you a very nice  user-friendly site to listen to the radio.  With a simple click you can listen  to the best live radio stations from the UK. In fact, you can listen to any online radio station in the world, but the focus here is on English, isn’t it?

Internet Radio UK lists all top online radio stations from the United Kingdom. On the right of the screen, you will see a menu with links to different radio stations in the UK.

Hope it helps you improve your English!

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Clauses of Contrast: Connectors and Online Practice

This is a small presentation I have made for my students using a new online tool smore.com, which is basically a tool for creating flyers. As it happens with  most online tools  originally designed for other purposes, it has a lot of potential for creating beautiful content for our classes. You can add text, pictures, audio, videos… etc , and  you can also embed a link, which in the specific case of  this presentation is a great help.

I hope you find this presentation on connectors of contrast useful. At the end of the flyer, you will be able to test your knowledge with some online exercises. Special attention requires  the punctuation before or after these connectors.

 

6 Excellent Free Sites to Practise Reading Comprehension

It’s been too long since I’ve written about improving reading skills. Last time I posted about sites to help you practise reading comprehension was in May last year. Way too long. The truth is that doing reading comprehension activities in class takes time, especially if we are talking about long texts with an amount of difficulty, and very often this is one of the tasks we give students as homework.

On the other hand, I am one of those teachers who think reading aloud in class is a good exercise. In my opinion,

  • Reading aloud fluently not only helps to improve the reading ability, but also oral expression.
  • It gives students a chance to focus only on fluency, pronunciation and intonation as they don’t need to worry about grammatical accuracy.
  • It gives teachers a nice opportunity to correct pronunciation mistakes.
  • It helps students enhance comprehension as pauses should be made in the correct places.
  • Reading aloud is especially good for students who don’t feel very confident speaking English in public. It gives them a nice chance to use English in a safe environment and helps them gain confidence.

These are some of the sites I’ve been recommending my students to further practise reading comprehension.They are all completely free.

1. Newsela. Have you already tried Newsela? It’s a really good site to help students become stronger readers while reading current event articles.

I teach different levels, and what I like most about Newsela is that you can give the same news article to all your classes no matter the level. Why? Newsela offers five different levels of the same news item. You just need to choose the levelled version you want to use.

The site also offers a multiple choice exercise to test your comprehension of the article.

Although you have to sign up, the site is free. As a teacher, you can assign articles to students in your classes and monitor their progress. Find out how to do it here .

2. Dreamreader is a free website with more than 500 reading lessons. Every lesson comes with free audio, a free printable worksheet and a free multiple choice quiz.

The site offers 5 categories, but the most interesting ones to help enhance your reading comprehension ability are “Fun English” and “Academic  English”. This last category is full of lessons and quiz questions for beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced students.

3. GCF LearnFree.This is a fantastic site to improve your reading skills. There is a wide variety of topics displayed at the top of the page. Choose the topic you want to read about and then at the bottom, select the kind of exercise you want to do. If you want to practise reading comprehension, select “Text” and then from the two options offered, choose “Reading Comprehension”.

The site is very visual and user- friendly and I highly recommend exploring all its possibilities.

4. Easy reading

This is a section of the British Council especially aimed at teens though I have often used it with adults with great success, too. Here, you can read stories and articles written at three different levels A2 (elementary), B1 (intermediate) and B2 (upper-intermediate).

After the reading test, you can do an online interactive multiple choice exercise to test your comprehension and a grammar exercise based on the text. The site also gives you the possibility of downloading the text and the activities.

5. Literacynet. Aimed at adults with an advanced level of English, it offers texts on a variety of subjects.

Select a topic and the piece of news you want to read. Click on “Story” and then from the menu on the left, choose the activity you want to do. There are five comprehension activities.

6. Teaching Kids News is a very interesting site that offers original news articles on topics that are “timely, relevant and intriguing”. Though it doesn’t offer the standard type of comprehension exercises you normally find in English exams, each article includes Writing/Discussion Prompts, Grammar Features, and a Reading Prompt.

Hope you find these sites useful!

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Giving Students a Well-Deserved Break- 13 Addictive Word Games

Ever thought learning vocabulary or grammar was dull? I’m pretty sure this thought never ever crossed your mind, but just in case you know someone who  might need  a break from the traditional  grammar and vocabulary  exercises, let me share with you a nice alternative.

Whether you have two minutes or two hours, spend your break testing your knowledge with these amazing vocabulary and grammar games, some of them from well-known dictionaries. Have fun and learn some new words along the way. You don’t have to register for any of them, although some of these sites offer this possibility for those students who want to track their progress.

My favourite? Yes, I do have a favourite. I am hooked on Fluent (nº 12) from a website called Road to Grammar. Addictive!!! Trust me!

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VOCABULARY GAMES

1. Learner’s Vocabulary Quiz (intermediate and higher)

A 10-question quiz you can try  as often as you would  like as they have  many different versions.

2. Vocabulary Quiz ( advanced and higher)

Take this quiz from Encyclopedia Britannica to test your knowledge of English words and their definitions. You have 10 seconds to answer each question.The faster you answer, the higher your score.

 

3. Topic Vocabulary Quiz (upper Intermediate and higher)

Select a topic -from the Animal Kingdom to Religion and Philosophy-, select a level ( 1 or 2), a timer (30 or 60 seconds) and the number of questions (10 or 25).

4. Knoword  (Proficient)

A challenging vocabulary game for the most advanced students. When you start a new game you’ll be given a definition, the first letter of the word it’s referring to and 1 minute to solve the problem. Guess the correct word and you’ll move on to the next puzzle. If you don’t know the answer, simply press the “X”-shaped skip button.

5. Challenge (upper Intermediate and higher)

This vocabulary game presents successively harder words. Read the sentence or phrase at the top and choose the most appropriate answer. You have 20 seconds per word. Play as many times as you want to obtain a more accurate score which will be calculated by the number of correct words and the speed at which you complete the challenge.

6. Wordbuster   (upper Intermediate and higher)

Type a word that begins with the given 3 letters, and press enter. Press space to delete the letters. Find as many words as you can, that begin with the three-letter seed. The longer the word, the higher the score.

7. Wordshake (intermediate and higher)

How many words can you make from the random assortment of 16 letters in a time limit of 3 minutes? Spell the words correctly and remember, the longer the words, the more points you will score.

VISUAL VOCABULARY GAMES

8. Name that thing  (intermediate and higher)

A visual vocabulary quiz you will get addicted to. You are given an image, four options and 15 seconds.

9Name that Thing  (Proficient)

With the same name as the previous one but sponsored by Encyclopedia Britannica, this visual game will test the most proficient students. You have 10 seconds to answer each question. The faster you answer, the higher your score. When you’re done, try again to beat your best score!

SPELLING WITH AUDIO

10 .Spell It (intermediate)

A 10-word spelling quiz you can do as often as you’d like as it has different versions. Hear the word, and then spell it.  You’ll have 15 seconds to answer each question. The faster you answer, the higher your score.The harder the question, the higher your score.

11. Spelling Challenge  (Upper-Intermediate and higher)

Select difficulty level : Tricky/Difficult/Fiendish and whether you want  British English or American English spelling. Click to hear the word and have fun.

A BIT OF EVERYTHING

12. Road To Grammar.  (upper intermediate and higher)
My favourite. I am addicted to this game. It tests many areas of your knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary and it allows two students to play . Be careful if you choose this game. It’s kind of addictive!

APOSTROPHES

13. The Apostrophe Challenge  (intermediate)

Do you have problems with apostrophes in English? Then, this quiz is for you. Choose the level of difficulty and improve quickly.