Tag Archives: tips

Tips and Links to Prepare for the Oral Exam at Home

I love trying new tools and today I’m trying Wideo, which is a tool which lets you create beautiful animated video content in a very easy way. Although I’ll write about some of  its pros and cons below, the reason why I’ve chosen Wideo today is because I needed a tool that allowed me to insert interactive buttons in an easy way and Wideo is perfect for this.

So, here’s the video: Tips and Links to Prepare for the Oral Exam at Home

Play the video. It will stop where interactive buttons are provided (last two slides). Click to resume the video.

What I like about this tool:

  • it’s free, easy to use and very intuitive.
  • It provides free video hosting
  • Lots of professionally-designed templates to choose from
  • You can upload your own picture, music and background images
  • You can add interactive elements (clickable buttons and contact forms)
  • It provided a unique url and an embed code
  • You can switch from video mode to presentation mode for slide-by-slide presentation.

 What I don’t like:
    • Time limit: on a free plan, the length of the videos is restricted to 3o seconds.
    • You have to pay to download your video

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Five Different Ways to Practise your Listening Skills.

I won’t spend much time introducing this post, mainly because today is one of these days when the muse has decided to leave me.

Perhaps you’re wondering what else you can do to pass your listening test with  flying colours apart from doing every single listening comprehension exercise in your student’s book and all the ones in the workbook. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but here are a few things you might want to try.

1.Read a few tips and put them into practice. Students often complain that despite grasping the main information content of the recorded material, they sometimes seem to be unable to provide the right answer and this leads to frustration.

Getting a high mark in a listening comprehension exercise requires practice, lots, and also knowing a few tips. The most common types of listening exercises are Blank Filling and Multiple Choice and there are a few handy hints on how best to deal with them that you might want to read. The tips below aim at teaching students to listen effectively to enable them to select the information they require from what they hear.

 2.The obvious. Find a good listening site with plenty of listening exercises to choose from.

One of the sites I have been recommending my students lately to practise Listening is Ingles en Aviles, a fantastic blog aimed at B2 (upper-intermediate) and C1 (advanced students) where you’ll find lots of listening comprehension exercises to choose from.

Can I also suggest my own Listening section? 

3. Listening to Vaughan radio

Vaughan Radio is a live radio station broadcasting from Madrid, Spain that provides listeners the chance to improve English language skills. So while you’re at home, maybe cleaning or ironing and bored to death, you might want to give it a try. From time to time you’ll hear some Spanish words to help Spanish listeners, but most of the time the show is in English and really worth listening to.

Here’s the link to listen on the computer. Alternatively, you can download the app on your smart phone. Type Radio Vaughan in the search box to download the app. My favourite programme? “The show with no name”.

4. Watching series.

Here, I would recommend ororo.tv. What can ororo.tv do to help you improve your English? What will you find on this website? An amazing number of TV shows and films in their original versions and with subtitles in English. Right now, I am hooked on the Big Bang Theory, an American sitcom about four young scientists, but surely you’ll find attractive alternatives here to suit every taste and mood.

5. A new web tool: Youglish.

A very interesting tool to help you with your pronunciation and your listening is Youglish.  In the search box, type the word or expression you want to hear in context. Youglish provides you with videos, from You Tube, where the word/expression is spoken by real people and in context.


In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post. It’s just a few recommendations from a humble teacher trying to help students by sharing some useful links.

Thanks for reading!

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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.

 

Hints on Blank Filling Listening Comprehensions+ 2 Listening Activities

In this kind of listenings  you don’t need to write  a full sentence to give the correct answer.
Normally there is a maximum of three  words to complete notes, statements or questions.

In these exercises it is very helpful to:

And don’t forget to read the completed sentences to make sure the words fit grammatically  🙂

PRACTICE 1

 

Source: Cambridge FC Practice Tests
PRACTICE 2
Source: Cambridge Complete First Certificate

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