Friday, December 21, 2012

Reported speech

1. Mr Brown said:" I was watching TV last night."
    Mr Brown said (that) .

Click Here to begin

                                                                                                                           thanks E4U

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Come watch the "Strand Beest"

Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs.
Jansen's vision and long-term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves.

His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck.

Watch this incredible kinetic art in action!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

About BEC Preliminary

BEC Preliminary is the 'Business English Certificate' at the B-1 level, the first level Cambridge business English exam.
What is the BEC Preliminary test like? The test has five sections:
  1. Reading & Writing- 90 minutes, 45 reading questions, 2 writing questions
    1. part 1 - 5 short texts each followed by a multiple-choice question
    2. part 2 - match questions to parts of a text
    3. part 3 - match questions to parts of a graphic
    4. part 4 - text and questions: Right/Wrong/Doesn’t say.
    5. part 5 - text and multiple choice questions
    6. part 6 - text with multiple choice gaps
    7. part 7 - note completion
    8. writing part 1: internal communciation such as email or memo
    9. writing part 2: business correspondence
  2. Listening - 40 minutes, 30 questions
    1. part 1 - multiple choice
    1. part 2 - note completion, numbers and letters
    2. part 3 - note completion
    3. part 4 - multiple choice
  3. Speaking - interview, normally with another candidate, 12 minutes

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sentence Patterns

Some of you remember tht I spend a lot of time pumping into your heads:

     S            V          O       + complement
subject    verb    object          extra info

The complement can usually be placed at the beginning or the end of the main SVO

Because we speak a different language, sometimes we 'forget' that we need the English verb pattern.

If we translate the German sentence:
Gestern ging ich spazieren.
                 V    S       O
I went  for a walk yesterday.  OR  Yesterday I went for a walk.
S   V          O                                                           S    V       O

Try this exercise from Oxford Living Grammar


Friday, December 7, 2012

Unreal Uses of the Past

1.The kids really need to go to bed now.  It’s nearly midnight.

It’s time the k..............................................................................
2.I’d prefer for you not to smoke in here.

I’d rather...............................................................................
3.I would like to be able to have enough money to retire at 50.

I wish I......................................................................................
4.We shouldn’t have bought the black car-it’s so hard to keep clean!

If only we..................................................................................
5.Don’t you think you should start to look for a new job?’s time you.........................................

6.He shouldn’t be so stingy! Then he’d enjoy life more.

If only he...................................................................................
7.Would you prefer us to come on another day?

.................rather we.................................................................
8.I should have bought the Mac not the HP.

I wish.........................................................................................
9.I would prefer you pay cash.

I’d rather.................................................................................
10.I’m allergic to dogs. Can your dog stay outside?

I’d rather .................................................................................

WHAT? No Key?  Print this out and bring it to Torrie!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Swiss Sami Claus Day!

Quick History Lesson

St. Nikolaus was a Saint with roots in Myra. He passed away on December 6 in the year 343. There are lots of accounts about this extraordinary bishop who was well known for his generosity. The modern day St. Nicholas in Wil would tell one of the stories which is age appropriate for the kids attending. “It seems clear that younger kids believe in Samichlaus, but we never claim to be St. Nicholas himself.”
Read more. Click here

Thank you Newly Swissed

Santa Claus is Coming To Town

You better watch out, you better not cry.      Better not shout                                                 I'm telling you why-                                      Santa Claus is coming to town.                           He's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town.
He knows when you are sleeping He knows when you're awake. 
 He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!
SO- you better watch out you better not cry you better not shout!  Santa Claus is coming to town!!

Watch and sing along with  the Youtube video HERE

First Listening Part one

Okay people, let's sharpen our listening skills!
In part one you hear  people talking in eight different situations. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To thoughtfully evaluate a work of art... must determine what your criteria are for judging it. Only you the artist can provide this information. Do not assume your fellow student , the viewer, or the teacher shares your point of view. Try to look at it objectively.
 1.   Describe the work

·        what does it look like?

·        what is it made of?

·        What are the colors lines, shapes, texture, & space you see

Assume others (the audience) does not see the piece and that you alone are there for their understanding of it's qualities.  

2.   Interpret the work

·        What does it mean?

·        What do you notice first in this picture?

·        Where is your eye led?

·        Why?

Here you are asked to synthesize any information you have with your own (subjective) interpretation of the work's meaning/significance.  

3.   Evaluate the work

·        is it art?

·        is it interesting?

·        does it "work"?

This is, perhaps, the most difficult critical task, yet it is usually the one to which most people skip when evaluating(criticizing) a work of art. Explain why you feel the way you do.

Saturday, December 1, 2012



synonyms: Joint work toward a common end coaction, cooperation, synergy, teamwork.

Collaboration refers to two or more people or entities working together to achieve some common aim. (noun)

When the police department and a politician work together to get a new crime bill passed, this is an example of a collaboration between the police department and the politician.

For the German translation click here

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sentence Completion 3

Complete the sentence using the word or set of words for each blank that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The letter A is the ______ letter of the English alphabet.

A. last

B. first

C. second

D. third

The ______ woman has gray hair and many wrinkles. She was born many years ago.

A. strong

B. young

C. old

D. kind

Oranges and apples are ______. They are both ______.

A. similar … fruits

B. special … red

C. identical … different

D. bad … healthy

Jim ______ brings a hammer to work. He uses it every day.

A. never

B. always

C. rarely

D. sometimes

While walking together at night, the children hear a loud noise and get ______. They run away in search of a place to hide.

A. angry

B. excited

C. scared

D. tired

The ______ man is the only one who can lift the heavy rock.

A. silly

B. tall

C. proud

D. strong

Timothy is ______. He always gets good grades. He studies hard and always does his homework.

A. smart

B. funny

C. tall

D. popular

The animal looks ______. Tom has never seen one like it before.

A. calm

B. embarrassed

C. strange

D. disgusting

When the sun goes down, the sky gets ______.

A. warm

B. dark

C. bright

D. cloudy

We were driving east, but we needed to go the opposite way. So we turned around and drove ______.

A. west

B. north

C. left

D. right


scroll down to check your answers
1 B
2 C
3 A
4 B
5 C
6 D
7 A
8 C
9 B
10 A
thank you englishforeveryone

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Expressions with have, make, and do

A large number of expressions are formed with the words have, take, break, make and do. These are often called collocations.
Here is a list of them.
(For more collocations, consult a good dictionary.)

Have a bath
The telephone always rings when you are having a bath.

Have a drink
I would like to have a drink.
Have a good time
‘We are going to the beach. Would you like to come with us?’ ‘I would like to, but I can’t. Anyway, have a good time.’
Have a problem
I have a problem and I need to discuss it with you.
Have a relationship
I have a good relationship with them.
Have a rest
Go home and have a rest. You will feel better.
Do business
He isn’t the right person to do business with.
Do nothing
I did nothing all day.
Do someone a favor
Will you do me a favor?
Do the cooking
I don’t mind doing the cooking.
Do the housework
She doesn’t like to do the housework.
Do the shopping
It is your turn to do the shopping.
Do your hair
Susie, who does my hair, has moved to another beauty parlor.
Do your homework
I do my homework in the morning.
Make a difference
With a little effort all of us can make a difference to the world.
Make a mess
She has made a mess of the kitchen.
Make a mistake
I think we are making a mistake.
Make a noise
Don’t make a noise.
Make an effort
The boy made no effort to escape.
Make progress
They have made little progress so far.
Make room
Can you make room for this table?
Make trouble
I don’t want to make trouble, but I have a few suggestions.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Land Art

Land art or Earth art is an art movement which emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which landscape and the work of art are linked. It is also an art form that is created in nature, using natural materials such as Soil, Rock, boulders, stones, organic media (logs, branches, leaves, and water with introduced materials such as concrete, metal, asphalt, mineral pigments. Sculptures are not placed in the landscape, rather, the landscape is the means of their creation. Often earth moving equipment is involved.

His purpose is to produce plastic emotions in the spectator who faces a landscape. The fundamental beginning of the Land Art is to alter, with an artistic sense, the landscape, to produce the maximum of effects and sensations to the observer.

It Tries to reflect the relation between the man and the land, the environment and the world, expressing at the same time the pain, for the environmental deterioration of the climate that exists nowadays. The principal thing is the interstirrup-strap of the man - artist with the environment.

-In fact, one of the major distinctions between Land Art and most of the art one sees in the museum is that Land Art is designed to evolve, change, and eventually decay. Some works of art are quite ephemeral, persisting only for a few hours or days, while others are deliberately exposed to erosion and wind so that they become distorted over time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Phrasal Verbs

Do you feel like you are going to blow up?
(to explode in anger)

It makes you feel bad when someone you know passes away.( to die)

CLICK HERE to practice these phrasal verbs and more!

                                                                                                                                                    thank you E4U

Thursday, November 8, 2012

We Own the Sky

Watch this video. Listen to the words in the song.  Waving Hands.
This is filmed and sung in Chur, Switzerland byYassin Mahdi & Hannes Barfuss
The Video is by Damian Caduff & Yassin Mahdi
The puppet is done by Daria Caduff
Well done!  I love it!

Click here

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Art Basel Miami Beach announces 2012 Art Video program

For the second consecutive year, Art Video will present works by some of today's most exciting artists across two venues, inside the Miami Beach Convention Center and in the outdoor setting of SoundScape Park. Organized in association with David Gryn, Director of London's Artprojx, Art Video Nights will showcase 60 film and video works on the 7,000-square-foot outdoor projection wall of the Frank Gehry designed New World Center. Selections drawn from the participating galleries of Art Basel Miami Beach include works by a wide array of artists, both emerging and established, from Latin America, the United States, Asia and beyond.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Topic: The voiced TH sound

More practice with Jennifer.
Lesson 2 in TH pronunciation.


If used incorrectly, well, you can imagine the misunderstandings!

Read the paragraph given below and fill in the blanks using appropriate prepositions.

Computers have been shrinking ……………………. size ever since the introduction …………………………. the concept almost two centuries ……………………………… The latest developments ……………………………. microchip manufacturing is likely to make them even smaller.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


A chant is a song, melody or something repeated over and over again. (noun)
An example of a chant is a simple church hymn.

Chant means to sing or to say something over and over again. (verb)
An example of chant is to continuously shout the same cheer at a sporting event.
Sentence examples:
  • Chant the mantra, sign up, send money.

  • We got as far as the porch, before hearing the sung chant of the offices within.

  • The music is very much inspired by gregorian chant.

  • Chanting loudly and displaying banners so that the public know what is happening behind all that razor wire.

  • Think a dragging romantic performance of handel's messiah, or " village church " anglican chant.
  • For the German translation click here

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Young and Free Street Artists

    Whether you like the hand of Kid Zoom as shown here, or a plethora of other really really good street artists, this is the place to read more.

    Click here

    Sunday, October 28, 2012


    Vocabulary for Visual Arts

    Abstract art.

    A style of art that achieves its effect by simplifying or altering the visual elements (e.g., line, shape, colour), rather than by representing recognizable things or people.


    The process of making art work abstract.


    A type of balance in which the parts are unequal in size, shape, etc., but still produce a balanced visual effect.


    The part of a composition that appears to be farthest from the viewer.


    A principle of design. A feeling of balance results when the elements of design are arranged to create the impression of equality in weight or importance.


    A form of art in which a variety of materials (e.g., photographs, fabric, objects) are glued to a flat background.


    An element of design. Colour is the particular hue that is seen when light is reflected off an object.

    Colour wheel.

    A tool for organizing colours and representing relationships among colours.

    Complementary colours.

    Colours that are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel (e.g., red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple).


    The organization of the elements of design in an art work, following certain principles of design.

    Contemporary art.

    Art created in the present day.

    Cool colours.

    Colours that suggest coolness (e.g., blue, green, purple).


    A term used to describe an object's extent in space. A two-dimensional object is one that has length and width. A three-dimensional object is one that has length, width, and depth.

    Elements of design.

    Fundamental components of art works. They include colour, line, texture, shape, form, and space.


    A principle of design. Emphasis may be defined as the special attention or importance given to one part or element in an art work. Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.

    Focal point.

    The element or object in a work of art on which the viewer's attention is focused.


    The area of a picture that appears closest to the viewer. It is often at the bottom of the picture plane.


    An element of design. Form is sculptural or three-dimensional shape (e.g., cube, pyramid, sphere).

    Geometric shape.

    A shape that is based on geometric figures (e.g., square, circle, triangle).

    Horizon line.

    The "line" at which the sky and the earth appear to meet.


    The common name of a colour (e.g., red).

    Impressionistic art.

    Art in the Impressionist style, a characteristic of which is the depiction of the effect of light on objects.


    An element of design. A line may be defined as the visual path left by a moving point.


    A symbolic form that identifies organizations, products, etc.


    Any material used by an artist to produce a work of art.

    Middle ground.

    Area in the picture between the foreground and the background.

    Mixed media.

    Any art work in which more than one medium is used.

    Monochromatic colour scheme.

    A colour scheme in which only one hue is used, along with its tints (i.e., hue plus white) and shades (i.e., hue plus black).


    A principle of design. Movement is the way in which the elements of design are organized so that the viewer's eye is led through the work of art in a systematic way.

    Negative space.

    The void or open areas around an object or form.


    A technique for creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. There are three types of perspective: - linear perspective, which involves the use of parallel lines that appear to converge as their distance from the viewer increases; - diminishing perspective, in which objects appear to diminish in size as their distance from the viewer increases; - atmospheric perspective, which is produced by the gradual lessening of the intensity of colour and the reducing of detail as the distance between an object and the viewer increases.

    Organic shapes or forms.

    Shapes or forms that are non-geometric or free- flowing, and that are based on natural objects.

    Positive space.

    Shapes or forms on a two-dimensional surface.

    Principles of design.

    Principles or guidelines used by artists to organize the visual elements of an art work. They include balance, emphasis, rhythm, unity, movement, variety, harmony, and proportion.

    Primary colours.

    Colours that cannot be created by mixing other colours, but that can be mixed to produce all the other colours (red, yellow, and blue).


    A principle of design. Proportion may be described as the relationship between objects with respect to size, number, etc.

    Representational art.

    Art whose subject matter contains recognizable images from real life.


    A principle of design. Rhythm involves the repetition of elements to create the illusion of movement.


    A work of art in three dimensions (i.e., with height, width, and depth) that is meant to be seen from all sides.

    Secondary colours.

    Colours that are created by mixing the primary colours (orange, green, and purple).


    A colour with a certain amount of black added.


    An element of design. Space is the area around, within, or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping of objects, varying of object size or placement, varying of colour intensity and value, and use of detail and diagonal lines.


    The artist's way of representing something. The choice and use of materials, methods of work, subject matter, etc., reflect the style of an individual, a culture, or a historical period.


    A type of balance in which parts or elements are equal in size or shape, or in some other attribute.


    A method or procedure used in producing a work of art.


    An element of design. Texture is the feel or appearance of an object or material.


    A colour with a certain amount of white added.


    A principle of design. Unity is the coherence of a work that gives the viewer the feeling that all the parts of the piece are working together.


    The lightness or darkness of a colour.

    Vanishing point.

    In perspective drawing, the point on the horizon line where the converging parallel lines appear to meet.


    A principle of design. Achieving variety involves the use of differences or contrasts.

    Warm colours.

    Colours that suggest warmth (e.g., red, yellow, orange).

    Friday, October 26, 2012


    Hyperbole means exaggeration. In a hyperbole things are described as being bigger or smaller than they really are. This form of style is often well used in writing to add 'flavour'.

    Hyperboles are common in everyday language and in poetry.
    Read on and you will see what I mean:

    We have been waiting for ages.
    She wept oceans of tears.
    I wouldn't do that for all the tea in China!
    I was hopping mad.
    I nearly died laughing.
    All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. (Shakespeare)
    When she smiled all the world was gay.
    If I had to marry him I would kill myself.

    Next time you write an essay why not try putting in a hyperbole or two?

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    since and from

    Both from and since can be used to say when things begin or began. Since is usually used with perfect tenses. From is used in other cases. From can also indicate the starting point in space. Since cannot be used with this meaning.

    Test your understanding of from and since with this grammar exercise.

    A special thank you to English Practice

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Unreal Uses of Past Tenses

    This can be tricky!

    Why not do a little reading up on the grammar behind sentences such as:
    If only I had known then what I know now.
    I'd rather he didn't come over tonight.
    If only I had a better computer.

    I have found this nifty place to read up and then practice this form.
    CLICK here to begin

    PET B-1 Reading anyone?

    Dear English Learner,
    To get the certificate for PET- B-1 - we have to study.
    Time to read people!
    In PET Cambridge PET(Cambridge Preliminary English Test) part 2 you have to read notices.

    Let's practice here

    ...special thanks to the people who put these exams online for us.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    But, However, So, Because, And

    Linking words help you to connect ideas and sentences, so that people can follow your ideas.

    Study this example.

    She loves the cinema.  She goes as often as possible.
    Because she loves the cinema she goes as often as possible.
    She loves the cinema so she goes as often as possible.

    She loves the cinema. She doesn't go very often.
    She loves the cinema but she doesn't go very often.
    She love the cinema. However she doesn't go very often.

    Here are some links to practice!


    Saturday, October 13, 2012

    but, though, in spite of and despite

    All of these are words used to express contrast. While but and though are conjunctions, in spite of and despite are prepositions.

    Read the following sentences.
    He was ill. Still he went to work.
    The meanings of these two sentences can be expressed in a single sentence in the following ways.
    He was ill but he went to work.
    Though he was ill, he went to work.
    In spite of being ill, he went to work.
    In spite of his illness, he went to work.
    Despite his illness, he went to work.

    Let's practice!

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Seaside Holidays

    A listening exercise for intermediate learners.

    Go to this page and click on the ipod arrow:


    PET Writing part 1

    I would like to tell you about the
    Cambridge Preliminary English Test B-2 level.
    Here you find some samples of the writing part.


    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    Letter writing tips

    Every educated person should know how to write a good letter. 
    All of us have to write letters of some sorts at some point of time.
    There are several different kinds of letters. For examples, there are personal letters and business letters. The form of each letter is determined by its kind. For example, personal letters are written in a friendly tone. Business letters, on the other hand, are written in a formal style.
    Parts of a letter
    There are six important parts to all letters. They are:
    1. Heading
    2. Salutation
    3. Body of the letter
    4. Subscription or leave taking
    5. Signature
    6. Superscription on the envelope

    The heading usually consists of two elements – the writer’s address and the date. The purpose of the heading is to inform the reader where the letter was written and when.
    The heading should give the full postal address of the writer to which the reader may reply. The heading is usually given in the top right-hand corner of the first page. The date is given below the heading. Don’t put your name with the address. The address and the date may alternatively go on the left.
    The date may be written in any of the following formats:
    18 October 2003
    18th October 2003
    October 18, 2003

    The date may also be written entirely in figures.

    All-figure dates are interpreted differently in British and American English. For example, 12.10.2003 means 12th October 2003 to British people. To an American it means 10th December 2003. Americans put the month before the day.
    Salutation or greeting
    The form of greeting depends upon the relationship between the writer and the reader of the letter.
    In letters written to family members and close friends, the greeting could be –
    Dear Father, My Dear Mother, Dear Uncle, Dear John etc.
    In business letters the greeting should be Dear Sir/Dear Madam/Dear Sirs etc.
    Note that here the use of the term dear does not imply any special affection. It is a merely a polite expression.
    Put the salutation at the left-hand corner of the page. It should be put at a lower level than the heading.

    BEC Higher Reading Part 1

    Business English is all about a specifically learned vocabulary. In order to improve, reading and practicing are a must.

                                      For practice at the C-1 level.

    Monday, October 1, 2012


    Honest describes someone or something that is truthful, trustworthy or genuine. (adjective)
    1. An example of honest is someone telling their friend that a meal they prepared had too much salt.
    2. An example of honest is a student admitting they cheated on a test.

    For German translation click here

    Friday, September 28, 2012

    The Divided Brain

    Left Brain? Right Brain? Are you creative?  Or are you analytical, good at maths?
    Humm, it seems scientists no longer consider this truly correct.; hence, they no longer talk much about!  Well this famous psychiatrist and author is going to try to make you understand.

    Watch this video.

    Saturday, September 22, 2012

    PET Writing Part 1

    Transform a sentence so that it has the same meaning.
    Look at these examples:

    The film was shorter than I expected.

    The film was not_______________I expected.

    as long as

    She asked if I wanted to go to the theatre with her.

    She said '______________to go to the theatre with me?'

    Would you like

    Now you can practice this key skill for the Cambridge B1 PET.


    Friday, September 21, 2012

    World of Computers

    Suppose you are applying to work for a computer software company. What qualifications and skills would be needed in different positions within a company? What kinds of questions do you think you would be asked in a job interview for such positions?
    Lets practice your listening skills and see if we can find the answers to those questions


    Monday, September 17, 2012

    Today's News

    Would you like to read the world's latest news in English and be sure you understand?
    Than this is the place for you!

    The New York Times Newspaper has the most awesome blog especially for English learners.


    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Basic Word Skills

    Take the test.
    Get your feedback and score results.
    Print the results as a record.

    Click to begin:   BASIC

    Saturday, September 15, 2012

    Intermediate Word Skills Self Help

    I really enjoy coming back to this word skills site. 
    The test is new each time.

    It helps me to see where my strengths and weaknesses are.

    Click on the pencil icon to begin.

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    Reading Comprehension

    Do you like to read?  Do you like to answer questions about a story you read?

    Here is the place to go:

    Saturday, September 8, 2012


    This is a photo of a mountain landscape in Patagonia.  As you can see, the vegetation is sparse.This is due to alot of factors.  Would you like to help in the biggest reforestation project in the history of Patagonia?

    Read how.