Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Every lesson I try to encourage people to listen more, especially online where there is now such a wide variety of material.
Teachers of English often record their students, using both audio and video. Their students' voices and images can then be seen online. Sites such as 'Podomatic' are often used for this.
Here's an example. A teacher has recorded students talking about what they are wearing. And if you scroll down a bit further, listen and watch Andrew, a teacher, describing what he is wearing.
Was this easy or difficult? Write your opinion on the Tag Board or leave a comment.
And if you want to listen and read the transcript at the same time, here is this week's instalment of "Words In The News" on the BBC's "Learning English" site.
Please do record your comments on this Blog!
Friday, September 19, 2008
And by coincidence, you can get help on this very task through the British Council's Learn English Professionals site.
On entering the site, just click on the 'Work Skills' tab on the Main Menu bar which runs along the top of the page, just below the banner.
A drop down menu appears; choose J@M: English in the Workplace. Read about 'J@M, London's best known web design company'. Then click on 'Watch J@M now'.
From the menu, choose 'Episode 2: Applying for a Job'. This is an animated cartoon. One of the pictures shows you a sample job application letter. It will help you to do your homework!
And when you have finished, take time to explore other things in Learn English Professionals. Try, for instance, 'Downloads', then go to Podcasts. These are listening files that you can save to your computer - or even your 'telefonino' (mobile phone). Then you can listen to them as many times as you like.
After reading this and trying Learn English, please do write a short comment either on the Tag Board or in the comments section just below this article.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1. English Online: this British Council site comes to you from China. Hover your mouse cursor over the words in the menu at the bottom of the black banner that runs across the top of the page. There's plenty of material for you here. Try clicking "Learners", then "Listening" or "Vocab and Grammar". Under "Community", check out the Blogs.
And you'll learn about China at the same time. Write one interesting new fact you learned on our message tag Board. Or write a Comment at the bottom of this message.
2. Learn English Professionals: this is from the British Council London. Aimed at business people, lawyers, doctors, bankers, accountants and similar, there is a wide variety of exercises for you. Look at the middle of the front page and try Listening Practice.
You used to need a password to enter the site; now, access is completely open.
3. Go4English: there is a spicy Middle Eastern flavour to this British Council site which is designed for Arabic speakers. If you are feeling really adventurous, you can switch the language of the site to Arabic or Farsi (Persian). However I suggest that you stick to English for the moment. Listen to Ruba Saqer, a Jordanian musician, describing her experiences of learning English. Remember, it is very important to get used to a wide variety of accents and styles of speaking.
The "Ask and Answer" section contains valuable hints and tips about English Grammar. This week, learn more about modal verbs such as "used", "must" and "had to".
You'll learn something about Middle Eastern culture too. Write one or two new facts you learned on our Tag Board or in the Comments section.
That's all for today. See you tomorrow!
Friday, September 12, 2008
We have already seen this Blog in class. But I thought I would just remind you of the ways in which you can use Internet outside the classroom.
1. Listening. Look no further than the BBC's "Learning English" site. Visit the "News English" section first. Here, you can listen to recent news broadcasts and read the text, or transcript, at the same time.
Now, just below "News English", try the Crossword to test your vocabulary.
2. How words are used: revisit the Virtual Language Centre (as we did in Friday's lesson) to see how words are used. Type in "get", "gets" and "got" and find as many examples as you can of the different meanings of this apparently simple word.
That's almost all for now. Two more things: (1) - please do leave a "comment" on the tag board. The purpose of this is to show everyone that you have visited this Blog, and to share with us your opinions of the web sites you have seen.
And (2) - remember that to get the best from your English course, you should spend as much time outside the classroom in personal study as you spend with me inside the classroom.
Finally, scroll down the right-hand column of this blog and try out some of the Grammar links.
Have a good weekend and -