Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 5 – The End of It (Answers)

Answers:
According to the text, are the statements true or false?
The three ghosts have visited Scrooge in the same night. TRUE
Scrooge buys a big turkey for Fred's family. FALSE
Scrooge celebrates Christmas with his nephew. TRUE 
The day after Christmas Day, Scrooge is angry with Bob Cratchit because he is late for work. FALSE
In the end, Scrooge still thinks that Christmas is ‘humbug’. FALSE

Find a word in the text for each of the definitions given below.
A person with wings that lives in heaven. – ANGEL
It's the day before today. – YESTERDAY
A place where people go to pray. – CHURCH
A place where people live. – HOUSE
The money people get for the work they do. – SALARY

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 5 – The End of It

Yes! And the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the time before him was his own, and he could make the best of it.

“I will live in the past, the present, and the future.” Scrooge repeated, as he got out of bed. “I don’t know what to do! I am as happy as an angel! I don’t know what day of the month it is. I don’t know how long I’ve been among the spirits. Hallo! Hallo there!”

He ran to the window, opened it, and put out his head.

“What’s today?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes.

“Today?” replied the boy. “Why, Christmas Day!”

“It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven’t missed it! The spirits have done it all in one night. Hallo, my fine fellow! Do you know the poulterer’s at the corner? And do you know whether they’ve sold the big turkey that was hanging up there?”

“What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy. “It’s still hanging there now.”

“Is it!” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it! I am in earnest. Go and buy it and come back with the man that I may give them the direction where to take it. I’ll give you a shilling for it. Come back with the man in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown!”

The boy was off like a shot.

“I’ll send it to Bob Cratchit,” whispered Scrooge cheerfully. “It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim.”.

He dressed himself all in his best, and at last got out into the streets. He had not gone far, when he came towards the two gentlemen, who had walked into his office the day before.

“My dear Sir,” said Scrooge, “How do you do? I fear I wasn’t pleasant to you yesterday. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness to …”, here Scrooge whispered in his ear.

“Lord bless me!” cried the gentleman, “My dear Mr Scrooge, are you serious? I don’t know what to say to such generosity.”

Scrooge then went to church, and walked through the streets, and watched the people. He had never dreamed that anything could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he went to his nephew’s house.

“Fred,” said Scrooge, It’s your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?”

Of course, Fred let him in; it was a very hearty welcome and they all had a wonderful party.

But Scrooge was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only catch Bob Cratchit coming late. And he did it; yes, he did. Bob was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come in.

“Hallo!” growled Scrooge, in his usual way. “What do you mean by coming here at this time of day? I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,” he continued, jumping from his stool, “and therefore I am about to raise your salary. A merry Christmas, Bob.”

Bob Cratchit was very surprised, and so were many people who found Scrooge so changed. Scrooge became a better person. To Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. Scrooge became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city or town in the good old world.

It was always said of Scrooge, that he knew how to keep Christmas well. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim would say, God bless us, every one!


Questions:
According to the text, are the statements true or false?
The three ghosts have visited Scrooge in the same night.

Scrooge buys a big turkey for Fred's family.
Scrooge celebrates Christmas with his nephew.
The day after Christmas Day, Scrooge is angry with Bob Cratchit because he is late for work.
In the end, Scrooge still thinks that Christmas is ‘humbug’.

Find a word in the text for each of the definitions given below.
A person with wings that lives in heaven. –
It's the day before today. –
A place where people go to pray. –
A place where people live. –
The money people get for the work they do. –


For the answers, check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 4 – The Last of the Spirits (Answers)

Questions:
Answer the questions according to the text.
Who owned the things that the thieves have now? Scrooge
Why is the Cratchit family so sad? Tiny Tim is dead
What does Scrooge promise the ghost? He wants to become a better person

Find the opposite for each word in the text.
quickly - slowly
cried - laughed
dead - alive
happy - sad
seldom - often

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 4 – The Last of the Spirits

Slowly and silently the ghost came nearer. It was very tall and wore a deep black piece of clothing, which covered its whole body and left nothing of it visible but one outstretched hand.

“Are you the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?” asked Scrooge, “I fear you more than any other spirit.”

The ghost did not say a word, and Scrooge was really scared. They wandered through the city and Scrooge heard some men talking about a person who had died. Scrooge knew the men and wanted to find out, whom they were talking about. But the spirit moved on.

They next stopped in an area where thieves and liars lived. They had stolen things with them and made fun of the person who once owned those things.

“Ha, ha!” laughed a woman, “He frightened everybody away from him when he was alive, to profit us when he was dead! Ha, ha, ha!”

After that, the ghost led Scrooge through streets that were familiar to him; and as they went along, Scrooge looked here and there to find himself, but nowhere was he to be seen. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house and found the mother and the children by the fire. Quiet. Very quiet. The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues. When Bob Cratchit came in, the children hurried to greet him. Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid their little cheeks against his face as if to say, “Don’t mind it, father. Don’t be sad.”

“You went there today?” said his wife.

“Yes, my dear,” returned Bob. “I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green the place is. But you’ll see it often. I promised him that we would walk there every Sunday. My little, little child.” cried Bob. “My little child.”

He broke down in tears. He couldn’t help it. If he could have helped it, he and his child would have been farther apart perhaps than they were.

The ghost moved on and took Scrooge to a churchyard. The spirit stood among the graves and pointed down to one. Scrooge slowly went towards it and following the ghost’s finger read upon the stone of the grave his own name, Ebenezer Scrooge.

“Spirit!” Scrooge cried, “hear me. I am not the man I was! I will not be the man I must have been so far! Why show me this if I am past all hope? Good Spirit, I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The spirits of all three shall be within me. I will not ignore the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me that I may change my fate!”

Full of fear, Scrooge caught the spirit’s hand. But the spirit suddenly changed – it shrunk and faded and finally turned into a bedpost.


Questions:
Answer the questions according to the text.
Who owned the things that the thieves have now?
Why is the Cratchit family so sad?
What does Scrooge promise the ghost?

Find the opposite for each word in the text.
quickly -
cried -
dead -
happy -
seldom -

 
For the answers, check back tomorrow!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 3 – The Second of the Three Spirits (Answers)

Answers:
Complete the sentences according to the text.
Scrooge's clerk does not have much money.
Tiny Tim is very sick.
Scrooge asks the ghost about Tiny Tim's future.

Homonyms are words with the same spelling and sound, but a different meaning.
Find the words in the text.
meaning 1meaning 2word
a measure of timea certain ordinal numbersecond
the time in progress nowsomething you get for freepresent
a supernatural beinga certain kind of energy or feelingspirit
to lose lifea cube you use in boardgamesdie
the form of somethingany number between 1 and 9figure

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 3 – The Second of the Three Spirits

Scrooge woke up in the middle of a snore, just before the clock struck one again. He sat up in his bed and waited for the second ghost to come. And there it was – the Ghost of Christmas Present. It had curly brown hair, sparkling eyes and it wore a simple green robe with white fur. Its feet were bare and on its head it wore a holly wreath.

The ghost took Scrooge to Bob Cratchit’s house – a very poor little dwelling. In the kitchen you could see Mrs Cratchit preparing Christmas dinner. Her children were cheerfully running around. Then the door opened and Bob Cratchit came in with Tiny Tim upon his shoulders. Tiny Tim was Bob Cratchit’s youngest son. He bore a little crutch and had an iron frame around his limbs.

“On our way home, Tiny Tim told me that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple. It might be pleasant to them to remember on Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.” Bob’s voice trembled when he said this.

Then Christmas dinner was ready, and everyone sat down at the table. As the Cratchits were very poor, it was not much they had for Christmas dinner. But still everyone was joyful and you could feel that they all had the Christmas Spirit in their hearts.

“A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears! God bless us!” said Bob Cratchit.

“God bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim.

He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. Bob held his little hand, as if he feared to lose him.

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, who felt sorry for the boy, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see an empty seat,” replied the ghost, “and a crutch without an owner. If these shadows don’t change in the future, the child will die.”

This made Scrooge very sad, but the spirit went on and took Scrooge to his nephew’s house. Fred and his friends had a very cheerful party and played games. Scrooge really enjoyed their party and wanted to stay for another while but in a second it all faded and Scrooge and the spirit were again on their travels.

They visited many homes in many places: they saw sick people who were cheerful; people in foreign lands who were close at home, poor people who felt rich that day – all because of the Christmas Spirit.

Suddenly, Scrooge noticed something strange about the ghost. Two children-like figures were at the ghost’s feet – a boy and a girl. But, they looked old and dreadful, like little monsters. Scrooge was shocked.

“Spirit, are they your creatures?” Scrooge asked.

“They are Man’s creatures,” said the spirit “The boy is Ignorance. The girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy” said the spirit.

“Have they no place they can go?” asked Scrooge.

“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” the spirit turned on Scrooge with his own words.

The bell struck twelve. The Ghost of Christmas Present disappeared. And at the last stroke of the bell, Scrooge saw the third ghost coming towards him.


Questions:
Complete the sentences according to the text.
Scrooge's clerk _________________.
Tiny Tim is  _________________.
Scrooge  _________________.

Homonyms are words with the same spelling and sound, but a different meaning.
Find the words in the text.

meaning 1meaning 2word
a measure of timea certain ordinal number
the time in progress nowsomething you get for free
a supernatural beinga certain kind of energy or feeling
to lose lifea cube you use in boardgames
the form of somethingany number between 1 and 9

For the answers, check back tomorrow!

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 2 – The First of the Three Spirits (Answers)

Answers:
Choose the correct answer according to the text.
When Scrooge was a boy, he enjoyed Christmas.
Why did Belle leave Scrooge? He only cared about money.
When Marley was dying, Scrooge sat in his office.

Make adjectives out of the nouns or nouns out of the adjectives. (You’ll find the words in the text.)
noun          adjective
happiness  happy
beauty       beautiful
comfort     comfortable
warmth     warm
heartiness hearty

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 2 – The First of the Three Spirits

When Scrooge awoke, it was still very foggy and extremely cold, and there was no noise of people in the streets.

Marley’s ghost bothered him. He didn’t know whether it was a dream or not. Then he remembered that a spirit should visit him at one o’clock. So Scrooge decided to lie awake and wait what happens.

Suddenly, the clock struck one. Light flashed up in the room and a small hand drew back the curtains of his bed. Then Scrooge found himself face to face with the visitor. It was a strange figure – like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it.

“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge asked the ghost.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. Rise and come with me.”

The ghost took Scrooge back in time, to a place where Scrooge was a boy. There Scrooge could see his younger self playing with other children. They were cheerfully running around the Christmas tree; and although they were poor, they had lots of fun.

The spirit also took Scrooge to a warehouse, where Scrooge was an apprentice. Scrooge saw the merry Christmas Eve they spent in the office with their boss Mr Fezziwig and his family. There was food and music and dancing and everybody was happy.

Then the spirit took Scrooge to yet another place. Scrooge was older now. He was not alone, but sat by the side of a beautiful young girl, Belle. There were tears in her eyes.

“It is sad to see,” she said, softly. “that another love has displaced me – the love of gold. Your heart was full of love once, but now …? I think it is better for us to part. May you be happy in the life you have chosen.”

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, “show me no more. Take me home. Why do you torture me?”

“One shadow more,” said the ghost.

They were in another scene and place; a room, not very large or handsome, but full of comfort. There was a happy family celebrating Christmas with all their warmth and heartiness. Scrooge recognised Belle, his former girlfriend. She was married now and had children.

“Belle,” said her husband with a smile, “I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. Mr Scrooge it was. I passed his office window; and as it was not shut up, and he had a candle inside, I could see him there. His partner is dying, I hear; and there he sat alone. Quite alone in the world, I do believe.”

“Spirit,” said Scrooge in a broken voice, “Take me back! I cannot bear it any longer.”

He struggled with the ghost to take him back. And finally Scrooge found himself in his own bed again. He was very exhausted and sank into a heavy sleep.


Questions:
Choose the correct answer according to the text.
When Scrooge was a boy, he ________________.
Why did Belle leave Scrooge? ________________.
When Marley was dying, Scrooge ________________.

Make adjectives out of the nouns or nouns out of the adjectives. (You’ll find the words in the text.)
noun                           adjective
happiness                   ________________
beauty                        ________________
________________   comfortable
________________   warm
________________   hearty

For the answers, check back tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cyber Listening Lab

Christmas is coming

...and you need to do a little more listening practice? 

 No problem, just go to this really great site.
There are multiple choice answers and a key!

CLICK HERE

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 1 – Marley’s Ghost (Answers)

Answers:
Who is who? Complete the sentences according to the text.
Jacob Marley is dead.
Fred is Scrooge's nephew.
Bob Cratchit works for Scrooge.
Scrooge is a business man.
The two gentlemen collect money for the poor.

Find a synonym for each word in the text.
spirit - ghost
next - following
start - begin
happy - cheerful
at once - immediately
shut - close

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christmas Carol: Chapter 1 – Marley’s Ghost

Marley was dead, to begin with – there’s no doubt about that. He was as dead as a doornail.

Marley and Scrooge were business partners once. But then Marley died and now their firm belonged to Scrooge, who was a stingy and heartless old man. Once upon a time, on Christmas Eve, old Scrooge sat busy in his office. It was very cold outside and in Scrooge’s office it was not much warmer either. Suddenly, a cheerful person entered the office. It was Scrooge’s nephew.

“A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” Fred said.

“Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “What’s Christmas time to you? You have to pay bills without money! You’re a year older but not an hour richer! Keep Christmas in your way, and let me keep it in mine.”

“Keep it? But you don’t keep it,” said Scrooge’s nephew, who was a very friendly young man. He even tried to cheer Scrooge up and invited him for dinner on Christmas Day. But Scrooge said no and sent him out.

When Scrooge’s nephew left, two gentlemen came in to collect money for the poor who had no place they could go. Stingy Scrooge, however, didn’t give the gentlemen any money.

“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” he asked sarcastically and told them to leave the office.

When it was time to close the office, Scrooge talked to his clerk, Bob Cratchit.

“You want all day off tomorrow, don’t you?” said Scrooge.

“If that is okay, Sir,” answered the clerk.

“It’s not okay,” said Scrooge, “and it is not fair. After all, I have to pay you for the day although you don’t work. But if it must be, I want you to start work even earlier the following morning.”

Cratchit promised that he would; and the two went home.

Scrooge lived all alone in an old house. The yard was very dark and scary that night and when Scrooge wanted to unlock the door, he had the feeling that he saw Marley’s face there. This was rather spooky, but Scrooge was not frightened easily. “Humbug,” he said, opened the door and walked in. He locked himself in, however, which he usually didn’t do. But then he felt safe again and sat down before the fire.

Suddenly, Scrooge heard a noise, deep down below, as if somebody was dragging a heavy chain. The noise came nearer and nearer, and then Scrooge saw a ghost coming right through the heavy door. It was Marley’s ghost, and his chains were long; they were made of cash-boxes, keys and heavy purses.

“Who are you?” said Scrooge

“In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.”

“But why do you come to me now?”

“I must wander through the world and I wear the chains because I was so stingy in life. I only cared about business but not about the people around me. Now, I am here to warn you. You still have a chance, Ebenezer. Three spirits will come to you. Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls one.”

When he had said these words, Marley’s ghost disappeared; and the night became quiet again. Scrooge went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep immediately.



Questions:
Who is who? Complete the sentences according to the text.
Jacob Marley  _____________.
Fred is _____________.
Bob Cratchit  _____________.
Scrooge is a _____________.
The two gentlemen  _____________.

Find a synonym for each word in the text.
spirit -
next -
start -
happy -
at once -
shut -

For answers, check back tomorrow!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Listening

Do you need more listening exercises?

I have a solution right here!

Go to the English Club and click on any of the links.


Ready?

Click here


Thank you English Club

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cover Letters

Just recently I published an article on how to write letters, today, I want to cover how to write proper cover letters - often referred to as motivational letters.

I came across an interesting article on The Guardian, written a while back, but still relevant today and felt it was a good share to all my students.

Cover letters are the first chance you have to impress a future employer – they're not just a protective jacket for your CV. Here's what the Guardian had to say:

The first thing a potential employer sees in your job application is the cover letter. This doesn't just support your CV – it's an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and persuade the recruiter to put you through to the next round.

Be wary of spending hours on perfecting your CV at the expense of your cover letter. If you need some inspiration on what to include and what format to use, here are our helpful guides – just remember not to copy them as exact templates.

1. Standard, conservative style
This is ideal for sectors such as business, law, accountancy and retail. For more creative sectors, a letter like this might be less appealing, and could work against you.

Dear Mr Black,
Please find enclosed my CV in application for the post advertised in the Guardian on 30 November.
The nature of my degree course has prepared me for this position. It involved a great deal of independent research, requiring initiative, self-motivation and a wide range of skills. For one course, [insert course], an understanding of the [insert sector] industry was essential. I found this subject very stimulating.
I am a fast and accurate writer, with a keen eye for detail and I should be very grateful for the opportunity to progress to market reporting. I am able to take on the responsibility of this position immediately, and have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of it.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
2. Standard speculative letter
This may vary according to the nature of the organisation and the industry you're applying to.
Dear Mr Brown,
I am writing to enquire if you have any vacancies in your company. I enclose my CV for your information.
As you can see, I have had extensive vacation work experience in office environments, the retail sector and service industries, giving me varied skills and the ability to work with many different types of people. I believe I could fit easily into your team.
I am a conscientious person who works hard and pays attention to detail. I'm flexible, quick to pick up new skills and eager to learn from others. I also have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. I'm keen to work for a company with a great reputation and high profile like [insert company name].
I have excellent references and would be delighted to discuss any possible vacancy with you at your convenience. In case you do not have any suitable openings at the moment, I would be grateful if you would keep my CV on file for any future possibilities
3. Letter for creative jobs
We've used the example of a copywriter but you can adapt it for your profession. The aim of a creative letter is to be original and show you have imagination, but understand what the job entails. Balance is essential: don't be too wacky, or it will turn off the reader.
Dear Ms Green,
· Confused by commas?
· Puzzled by parenthesis?
· Stumped by spelling?
· Perturbed by punctuation?
· Annoyed at the apostrophe? (And alliteration?) 
Well, you're not alone. It seems that fewer and fewer people can write. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who can read. So they'll spot a gaffe from a mile off. And that means it's a false economy, unless you're 100% sure of yourself, to write your own materials. (Or to let clients do it for themselves.)
To have materials properly copywritten is, when one considers the whole process of publishing materials and the impact that the client wishes to make, a minor expense. Sloppiness loses clients, loses customers.
There is an answer. Me. Firm quotes are free. You can see some of what I do on my multilingual website at [insert web address]. If you'd like, I can get some samples out to you within 24 hours. And, if you use me, you'll have some sort of guarantee that you can sleep soundly as those tens of thousands of copies are rolling off the presses.
Luck shouldn't come into it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Jokes!

Happy Holidays! These Christmas jokes will help you “ho ho ho” like a certain jolly old elf.

Sean: Knock, knock.
Fawn: Who’s there?
Sean: Murray.
Fawn: Murray who?
Sean: Murray Christmas, one and all!


Will: What’s a good time for Santa to come down the chimney?
Bill: What?
Will: Anytime!

Tim: Did you know Santa had only eight reindeer last Christmas?
Jim: Huh?
Tim: Comet stayed home to clean the sink.

Will: Where do snowmen keep their money?
Bill: Beats me.
Will: In a snow bank.

Chris: What do snowmen like to do on the weekend?
Chrissy: What?
Chris: Chill out.






Josh: What does Jack Frost like best about school?
John: What?
Josh: Snow and tell.

Zoey: What do you get if you cross an iPad with a Christmas tree?
Johnny: I don’t know. What?
Zoey: A pineapple!

Moe: What are you going to give your little brother for Christmas this year?
Joe: I haven’t decided yet.
Moe: What did you give him last year?
Joe: The measles.

Pedro: What has a jolly laugh, brings you presents and scratches up your furniture?
Ordep: Beats me. What?
Pedro: Santa Claws.





































One last one, for good measure!

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”
His wife asked, “How do you know?”
“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

Friday, December 11, 2015

Word Partnerships: Answers

Answers:
  1. campaign
  2. figures
  3. team
  4. potential
  5. target
  6. margin
  7. campaign
  8. research
  9. launch
  10. office 
  11. company 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Word Partnerships

Some words are frequently used with a key business word.

Look at the words below which can be use with the word "sales", for example: sales potential, sales strategy, sales team:

team 
campaign 
strategy
forecast
potential
launch 
figures 
target


Some of these "word partnerships" can be used to fill the gaps in the sentences below.

Please fill in the gaps. Then make some sentences of your own to help you to remember the partnerships.
1.The company is planning to launch an important sales  to promote their latest product.
2.The sales  for the last quarter were very encouraging and we made a substantial profit.
3.The sales  consists of the sales director, his assistant and ten sales representatives.
4.At the moment, we are conducting market research to find out the product's sales in Germany.
5.The sales director is confident of achieving the sales  set last January.


Word pairs
A lot of business words are frequently used in combination with another word. It is useful to learn such combinations.

Can you match the words in column A with the words in column B?

AB
1.Profit
2.Advertising
3.Market
4.Product
5.Head
6.Subsidiary

Answers: Christmas Vocabulary & Speaking Exercise

If you took the time yesterday to fill in the answers, have a look now to see just how well you did:
  1. Santa (or Father Christmas) enters your house through the chimney and the fireplace. True
  2. Traditionally, if you hang a stocking by the fireplace, Santa will fill it with money. False - he fills it with presents!
  3. Father Christmas travels on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. True
  4. Santa lives in the North Pole, and if English children send a letter to Santa, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, SAN TA1, he will reply.  True
  5. It is traditional to kiss people underneath the mistletoe.  True
  6. Now, holly is used as a decoration, but traditionally, it was to protect us against evil spirits. Apparently this is true - a long, long time ago!
  7. It is bad luck to have Christmas decorations up after the 6th January. True - if you forget to take them down you should leave them up until the next Christmas to avoid back luck.
  8. Traditionally, crackers contain jokes, hats and food. False - jokes and hats, but not food! 
  9. English people traditionally eat turkey on Christmas Day. True-ish - Although goose and other fowl are also eaten.
  10. It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day. True, but its one of those old laws which aren't enforced anymore. If you don't believe me look at this website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6204511.stm 
  11. It is traditional to cook money (for example, a £10 note) inside a Christmas Pudding.  False - coins, not notes!
  12. The Mariah Carey song "All I want for Christmas is you" is a carol. False - carols are songs of praise or joy!
  13. The day before Christmas is called Christmas Eve, and the day after is called Boxing Day.  True
  14. There are 25 days on an advent calendar. Depends on the family, but yes, some have 25, others 24.
  15. Snowmen are traditionally dressed as Santa. False 
  16. We have used the word "Xmas" instead of ‘Christmas’ for over 500 years. True

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Vocabulary & Speaking Exercise


I completely understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas. However, if you are wondering what someone is referring to when talking about Santa's sleigh, have a look here!

First, match the words in bold with the pictures. Then decide if the following sentences are true or false in the UK.
  1. Santa (or Father Christmas) enters your house through the chimney and the fireplace
  2. Traditionally, if you hang a stocking by the fireplace, Santa will fill it with money. 
  3. Father Christmas travels on a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
  4. Santa lives in the North Pole, and if English children send a letter to Santa, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, SAN TA1, he will reply. 
  5. It is traditional to kiss people underneath the mistletoe
  6. Now, holly is used as a decoration, but traditionally, it was to protect us against evil spirits. 
  7. It is bad luck to have Christmas decorations up after the 6th January. 
  8. Traditionally, crackers contain jokes, hats and food. 
  9. English people traditionally eat turkey on Christmas Day. 
  10. It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day. 
  11. It is traditional to cook money (for example, a £10 note) inside a Christmas Pudding
  12. The Mariah Carey song "All I want for Christmas is you" is a carol.
  13. The day before Christmas is called Christmas Eve, and the day after is called Boxing Day. 
  14. There are 25 days on an advent calendar.
  15. Snowmen are traditionally dressed as Santa.
  16. We have used the word "Xmas" instead of ‘Christmas’ for over 500 years.

Look back tomorrow for the answers!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Day in the Life of A Football Player Answer Key


Here you are, the answers to yesterdays exercises!

Student A


1. What time does he get up?
2. What does he have for breakfast?
3. What does he do in the morning?
4. What time does he have lunch?
5. What time does the match start?
6. What does he do after the match?
7. What does he do when he gets home?


Student B

a. What time does he have breakfast? 
b. What does he do in the morning?
c. What time does he go to the stadium? 
d. What does he have for lunch?
e. What time does the match start? 
f. What does he do in the evening? 
g. What time does he go to bed?

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Football Player...

This is a fun exercise to do together with one of your classmates, or someone who is also learning English.

Student A
My name is David Johnson and I’m from England. I’m a footballer and I play for Manchester United in the English Premier League. In England, football matches are usually on Saturday. I get up at 1) ................................... and have breakfast at nine o’clock. I usually have 2) ................................... In the morning, I 3) ................................. and read the newspaper. I go to the stadium at about half past eleven and have lunch at 4) ................................... with the other players. We usually have fish and vegetables. The match starts at 5) ................................... and finishes at about quarter to five. After the match, I 6) ................................... with the other players. In the evening, I usually go to a restaurant with my wife. When I get home, I 7) ................................... and then I go to bed at about half past eleven. I’m usually very tired and sleep for a long time. 


Complete the questions to find out the missing information. Write one word in each space.


What time ...................... ...................... ...................... ......................?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... for breakfast?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... in the morning?


What time ...................... ...................... ...................... lunch?


What time ...................... ...................... ...................... ......................?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... after the match?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... when he ...................... home?


Now, ask your partner the questions and complete the gaps.


Student B
My name is David Johnson and I’m from England. I’m a footballer and I play for Manchester United in the English Premier League. In England, football matches are usually on Saturday. I get up at half past seven and have breakfast at a) ................................... I usually have bacon and eggs. In the morning, I b) ................................... and watch TV with my children. I go to the stadium at about c) ................................. and have lunch at quarter past twelve with the other players. We usually have d) ................................... The match starts at three o’clock, and finishes at e) ................................... After the match I have a drink with the other players. In the evening, I usually f) ................................... with my wife. When I get home, I watch a movie on TV and then I go to bed at about g) ................................... I’m usually very tired and sleep for a long time.


Complete the questions to find out the missing information. Write one word in each space. 


What time ...................... ...................... ...................... breakfast?


What............................................do............................................morning?


What time..................................................................to the stadium?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... for lunch?


What time......................the match......................?


What ...................... ...................... ...................... in the evening?


What time ...................... ...................... ...................... to bed?

Now, ask your partner the questions and complete the gaps.

For the answers, you'll have to come back tomorrow :) 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Language Focus: Camden Scene 2

WORD ON THE STREET  
 
Bildergebnis für IMAGE WORD ON THE STREET


This week Rob talks about the sort of questions people ask use when they go clothes shopping.



Watch the video. HERE

Don't Forget to click on the language focus( on the bar on the right of the page)  as well.

Language Focus, Camden Scene 1

WORD ON THE STREET
 
Bildergebnis für IMAGE WORD ON THE STREET


Rob explains question forms and expressions people use when they go shopping.



Watch the video. Begin HERE  

Visit the British Council Language Focus website; go to tasks and complete the activities.



Good luck!

Friday, November 20, 2015

How is your health?



Are you sick?
Let's review some health words! Begin Here http://www.schularena.com/englisch/reading_compr/task5/health01.html

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Learn English Through Songs and Music?

So what is it about songs that make them such effective English language learning tools?

  • It works. There is considerable scientific evidence that demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling. Then there is the so-called “Mozart Effect”, the concept that listening to classic musical boosts the performance of mental tasks like learning.

  • Everyday language and colloquial speech. Songs and music almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, songs and music include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and actually usable, if you pick the right music.

  • Get familiar with the sound of English. Listening to songs will also allow you to focus on your pronunciation and understanding of the English language’s rhythm, tone and beat.

  • Get English stuck inside your head. Many of the words and sound patterns within a song are repetitive and this makes it easier for them to stick in your mind. You probably already know this. Music has an uncanny ability of getting stuck in our heads. Tunes and lyrics will often infiltrate our thoughts and play over and over in our minds. All of which will help you to learn English through songs as you easily memorize vocabulary and phrases. In fact, after a short period of time you will find it almost impossible to forget them.

  • Songs are emotional. Our relationship with music is deep, powerful and hugely rewarding. It is a key that unlocks our emotions, influences our moods and enhances our mental and physical well-being. When something is emotional, then of course it is also easier to remember.

  • Music is an easy habit. One reason people find language learning difficult is they don’t have an extra minute in the day to devote to their studies. But when you’re learning English through songs, you don’t need to set aside too much time because you can take the music with you wherever you go. You can have English songs playing in the car, the kitchen and the shower. And by picking music you like, you can listen to the same material over and over again, without becoming bored.

  • Music teaches you English culture. Music gives you insight into English-speaking culture and how English-speaking people think and feel. Familiarity with popular songs and artists gives you something to talk about with your English-speaking friends.

Check out Fluentu for some fun videos :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Testing: Practice Makes Perfect Answers

Yesterday you were given a mini exam to test yourself and your confidence level in English - lets see how well you did by looking at your answers versus the correct ones
  1. would 
  2. get 
  3. traffic 
  4. highly 
  5. had agreed 
  6. where 
  7. little 
  8. long 
  9. ought 
  10. coast 
  11. jeans 
  12. opening 
  13. interesting 
  14. painter 
  15. speak
How well did you do? Do you feel comfortable with the mini test?

In order to get into the testing spirit here an overview of those who haven't had a peek at the comparison of CEF levels for the various exams:

Level: A1
A basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
Example: CAN ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.

Level: A2
An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
Example: CAN take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.

Level: B1
The ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with nonroutine information.
Example: CAN ask to open an account at a bank, provided that the procedure is straightforward.

Level: B2
The capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics.
Example: CAN show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.

Level: C1
The ability to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
Example: CAN deal with hostile questioning confidently. CAN get and hold onto his/her turn to speak.

Level: C2
The capacity to deal with material which is academic or cognitively demanding, and to use language to good effect at a level of performance which may in certain respects be more advanced than that of an average native speaker.
Example: CAN scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic of text, reading almost as quickly as a native speaker.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Testing: Practice Makes Perfect


How well do you understand English? Which exam should you study for? 

This test contains grammar and vocabulary questions and your test result will help you choose a level to practise at. You will not be able to see the correct answers to the questions.
At the end of the test your level will be assessed at a CEF level (A2 to C2). You can choose to have the results sent to your email address.

You should complete this test in about 10 minutes. You can also do a listening level test.

There are 15 questions in this test. The questions get easier or harder according to your responses. At the end of the test your English level will be assessed. You will not be able to see the correct answers.

Question 1
When Sam was a small child, he ……… spend hours every day playing with stones in the garden.
  used
  would
  was
  should

Question 2
Please don’t forget to ring me when you ……… home.
  get
  are going to get
  are getting
  will get

Question 3 
It’s a great place to live apart from the increasing volume of ……… that passes under my window every day.
  traffic
  vehicles
  transport
  circulation

Question 4
You should read this novel — it’s been ……… recommended by all the critics.
  truly
  highly
  fully
  deeply

Question 5 
I am sure I would have regretted it if I ……… to take the job.
  would have agreed
  would agree
  did agree
  had agreed

Question 6 
Have you been back to the house ……… you grew up?
  who
  which
  when
  where

Question 7 
I’ve only got a ……… money in the bank.
  few
  less
  little
  bit

Question 8 
How ……… have you and your family lived in this flat?
  much
  soon
  often
  long

Question 9 
You ……… to ring Aunt Jean to thank her for her present.
  should
  must
  could
  ought

Question 10
Skye is a beautiful island off the west ……… of Scotland
  border
  edge
  coast
  beach

Question 11 
Your blue ……… are dirty — put on your blue skirt.
  jeans
  dress
  shoes
  shirt

Question 12 
It’s hot in here — would you mind ……… the window?
  open
  opened 
  to open
  opening

Question 13 
I didn’t like that writer’s first book but his second one is much more ……… .
  interesting
  easy
  excellent
  expensive

Question 14
Paul loves art and he would like to become a ……… .
  cleaner
  singer
  mechanic
  painter

Question 15 
Jack loves working in Tokyo but he can’t ……… Japanese yet.
  speak
  say
  talk
  tell