viernes, 20 de febrero de 2009

English Phonetics

English Sounds
We all know how difficult it is to pronounce English, students need to have a clear idea about English sounds and practise a lot. For this reason, I have included this article for my students in my blog.

There are some links to study the theory and be able to distinguish between the different vowel and consonantal sounds and some links to do activities.

Click to listen all the sounds, listening activity.
In the following link, you can find pairs of sounds as for example: /I:/-/I/, /S/-/Sh/. If you click on the sounds, you will find more examples and you will be able to listen to the pronunciation. More activities listen and practise.

There are different sounds depending on the place of articulation, the manner of articulation , the way the air comes out. In this link, you can listen the sounds according to their features. English pronunciation.

For advanced students, they can learn about English pronunciation around the world they can click on the following links: American English, Canadian English.

If you want to have some fun , try this one hangman, matching pairs, mazes, shoot a symbol

To check your level in English pronunciation do the tests

You can find more links about English sounds (theory and activities) on the pronunciation corner.

lunes, 9 de febrero de 2009

English is confusing! What do you think?

Good evening, everybody!” said the teacher, Donna. “Where is everybody?” That was sort of a daily joke by Donna. Usually the class started with only two or three students present, and then filled up as the minutes went by. It was summertime. Summer school was only eight weeks long. Class attendance was always smaller than during fall and spring semesters.
“I don’t know, teacher. Maybe they late or no come,” said one student. “Maybe watching TV football tonight.”
“Is there a soccer game tonight? It seems like there’s a soccer game every night. Oh, well. Let’s get started, okay? We’re on page 36 in the workbook. Tonight we’re studying participles as adjectives. Students are always confused when they learn about the present and past participles, so we will practice this a lot. Tonight, we’re just going to practice the present participle.
“The present participle tells us what emotion or feeling the subject is causing. For example, ‘Grammar is boring’ means that the subject—grammar—causes an emotion of boredom. If we say, ‘The movie is interesting,’ we are saying that the movie causes a feeling of interest. If we say, ‘The roller coaster is exciting,’ we are saying that the roller coaster causes a feeling of excitement. Any questions so far? Am I confusing you? Is everyone confused?”
The classroom was quiet. Donna looked at blank faces. They were confused. She knew this would take a while. But eventually, the faster students would grasp it, and then they would help the slower students. By the end of the evening, most of the class would feel comfortable using the present participle.
Donna erased the board and put some new examples on it. She loved guiding her students through difficult topics like this one. She always felt a little bit thrilled when the look of understanding came to their faces.

Click on the links
Yes / No questions



To practise more reading

jueves, 5 de febrero de 2009

Saint Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day
I'm going to tell you about Saint Valentine's origins and propose you some activities to work with.
Saint Valentine's background
This festival probably began in Roman times. They celebrated Lupercalia on 14th- 15th February. This day every young man took out the name of a young woman from an urn, she was the man's sweetheart for one year, there were games and dancing, too.
In the 19th century this festival changed the name into Saint Valentine's Day. The reason could be the name of a Christian martyr, who died on 14th February 270. His name was Valentine, he secretly married soldiers to their girlfriends because the Emperor Claudius didn't like soldiers to marry since he thought they wouldn't want to go to war and die if they had a family. When the emperor knew what Valentine was doing, the saint was put into prison and died.
Nowadays the Cupid's residence is in the town of Loveland in Colorado in the USA. The post office receives lots of Valentine's cards from all over the world. The post office cancels the cards with the Loveland Colorado cancellation and stamp a picture of Cupid and romantic verses on the envelope and the cards are returned to the addressee again.
Since the 17th century sweethearts exchange cards and presents, nowadays couples send romantic mails and cards on the internet.
To know more about Saint Valentine's history watch the video.

Now it's time to practice listening skill, click on these activities

Do you like wordsearch?, try this one! (click on the activity to get it bigger)

Are you good at crosswords? (click on the activity to get it bigger)

If you want to send a card and write a poetry on it here there is an example

Valentine's Day verse
Roses are red, Violets are blue

Carnations are sweet,And so are you.

And so are they,That send you this

And when we meet, We'll have a kiss.

Roses red, Violets blue,

Darling sweet, I love you.
Postman, postman,
do your duty,

Take this to my loving beauty.
My pen is black,
My ink is pale,

My love for you, Shall never fail.
My love is like a cabbage,
Divided into two.

The leaves I give to others

But the heart I give to you.

Now, it is time to celebrate your Saint Valentine's Day!