Friday, January 25, 2008

Level 2: Revision for Test

To all students in level 2:

Here is a short guide to some of the Internet sites that you could use to revise grammar for next week's test:

1. The English File Pre-Intermediate Web Site. Visit this site for

- opposite adjectives - try the word search game
- the body
- clothes
- Practical and Social English
- all Grammar in files 1, 2, 3 and 4

2. for Comparative and Superlative adjectives.
Explore EnglishClub to find other grammar explanations.

3. The Online English Grammar for:

Adjectives. This link is to the main menu. From here, look at all the topics connected with adjectives, including
- comparatives and superlatives.
- Comparatives ""

- the future forms of verbs
- the present simple and continuous
- the past simple
- an introduction to the present perfect
- the present perfect with "yet", "never", "ever", "already"
- contrasting present perfect with past simple

relative clauses:
- introduction to relative clauses
- non-defining relative clauses
- defining relative clauses

4. Go to the British Council's Learn English site for more on the past simple and pronunciation of "ed" in the past simple of regular verbs.

Do use the links in the right-hand column of this Blog, in conjunction with the Test and Revision Programme that I have given you.

I hope this helps. Please do leave a comment - either in this message or on the Tag Board.

Extra listening and video comprehension practice Levels 3 and 4

Dear All,

Click here to watch and listen to BBC Rome correspondent David Willey on Mr Prodi's resignation.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Testing Times: levels 3 and 4

It's that time of year again: mid- or end-of-course tests. Today's posting points you to ways in which you can revise those difficult grammar and vocabulary points beofre you do the test.

The first place to go is the English File group of web sites, also listed on this Blog down the right-hand column under Web sites for New English File (NEW!!) (now not quite so new.)

Right now I am giving advice to levels 3 and 4. I plan to help Levels 1 and 2 very soon - today if I can.

Level 3:
Start with English File Intermediate - File 6. Try all the exercises, from Lesson A Reported Statements and Questions (1) to Lesson C relative clauses: defining and non-defining (2).

Then go back through the previous files, at least to file 4.

In the revision scedule I gave you, some topics such as "used to" are not specifically listed in the book. No problem. Just go to the British Council's Learn English Central site and study the rules and examples.

For other grammar problems such as Verbs and Prepositions or Adjectives and Prepositions, try the main grammar page of the British Council's 'Learn English Central' - though it does not cover every topic. Or you could try these links:

Verbs and Prepositions on

Prepositions Test on the site.

Also, try the site. From the main site, you can search on anything for which you need further information.

The Online English Grammar site provides a comprehensive index of grammar topics. You can also use the search facility.

Level 4

Try this presentation of gerunds and infinitives on helps you decide which to use: a gerund ("---ing") or an infinitive.

There is a lot more material on You can search the site - just scroll down to the bottom. This takes you to the Englishpage Forums. A search on "Relative Clauses" gets you this:

Relative Clauses Forum

You might also like to see Reporting Verbs on the British Council Learn English site.

On the English File Upper-Intermediate site, go to Grammar and download the various PDF files you will find there. Save them to your computer and read through them.

The Online English Grammar site provides a comprehensive index of grammar topics. Have a look at Relative Clauses and Reporting Verbs. You can also use the search facility.

Next: Levels One and Two!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Welcome to 2008 to all our readers.

I'm glad to see that people are now using the Comments box on the right. Inevitably, this box attracts Spam, but I try to eliminate it as fast as it appears.

Franca recommends Randall's Cyber-Listening Lab. This is a very useful site for all levels. It's also American, which is valuable as it gives you experience of different accents. You may even be planning a trip to the United States or Canada, in which case I doubly recommend Randall's site.

For advanced students (level 3 and above), I recommend that you sign up to the British Council Hub, a blog that has been set up by Mark Appleby, a teacher at the British Council Porto, Portugal. This blog gives to the opportunity to join in discussions on all sorts of currently important topics. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to practise your English. Do not worry about making mistakes: it is more important to express yourself. Visit the site and have a look round, and then contact Mark in order to be invited to join. There are instructions on how to join at the top of the front page of The British Council Hub.

Note that there is also a link to the Hub in the right-hand column of this Blog.

More very soon: coming up: more ideas for research into the use of English words.

- Mike