Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Practise Speaking Online!

To All Classes, from Level 2 to Level 5.

We have often discussed the problems connected with Speaking Practice. How to do it? Where to do it? Who to do it with?

Solutions that I have suggested include:

1. Recording yourself with a tape recorder, listening to yourself, and maybe asking someone to correct you. But do you know anyone who can correct you?
2. Going down to Campo dei' Fiori and starting a conversation ("chatting up") any of the English-speaking people who frequent the bars there. But many people are too embarrassed to start a conversation.

Now here is solution number 3: Chinswing. (Look up the words 'chin' and 'swing' in your dictionaries.)

This is a Web site where you can record your voice. I advise you to listen to a few recordings first. Then register on the site and make your own recording. Hopefully, someone will contact you and correct you.

There is no problem about registering: you are asked to create a user name (choose one that is easily pronounceable!), a password, give them your e-mail address and tell them which country you are from.

Oh and you are also asked to privide an 'icon', that is, a small picture that represents you. This can be a photo of you, or a graphic or cartoon. It must be under 2Mb in size - see instructions on the site. It will be resized to 48 by 48 pixels.

Good Luck! and do not forget to leave a comment describing your experiences with this site!

About the
British Council Hub - the latest posting is about an earthquake in southern Portugal last weekend - 'Earth moves... ' Go and visit!
- Mike

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Sleep Questionnaire!

Primarily for Level Three, this questionnaire complements a unit about Sleep in our book.

But anyone can have a try. Answer the questions, and the Shut-Eye site will tell you if you have a problem.

And you'll learn more English at the same time.

As always, please do tell us what you thought of the questionnaire by leaving a comment.

See you again soon!

Mike

Friday, February 02, 2007

Music in Mali; Michel Montignac and more

First of all, my apologies for not updating this Blog since 13 December last year. My excuse must be that I have been otherwise occupied, notably in updaing some software that my colleagues use.

Happy New Year 2007, even if a bit late, to all readers of this Blog.

And now for a few links:

Everyone: visit the BBC website and see the Desert Music Festival, held in the Malian Sahara at Essakane, sixty kilometres north of Timbuktu (Tombouctou).

Level Three: we have recently been studying food, and in particular, recommendations by food expert Michel Montignac. have a look at his Website.

Levels 4 and 5: you need more listening practice. Here is an excellent place: the BBC's Learning English Words In The News.

Look at the latest news about Greek olives and a possible cure for cancer (as of today, 2 Feb 2007), or find an interesting story in the Archives. You will findit very useful to listen and simultaneously read the text, or try listening without the next. Note down as many words as you can, and then read the text to see if your words are there. Use the glossary to learn new words and expressions.

Whatever site you visit, please do leave a comment.

More very soon!