Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Family Tree Worksheet

Family Tree Worksheet 

Macmillan Straightforward Series
Resource prepared by Mark McKinnon



Read  the clues and make up the family tree using this PDF Resource from the Macmillan Straightforward Elementary Series.
http://www.macmillanstraightforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/SFElem009S.MyFamily-Updated.pdf


The answer key and ideas for putting this resource into an action can be found at http://www.macmillanstraightforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/SFElem009T.MyFamily-Updated.pdf

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

English Grammar – MUCH, MANY, A LOT OF (quantifiers) · engVid

English Grammar – MUCH, MANY, A LOT OF (quantifiers) · engVid


Click on the title link and watch Valen from engVid give this video lesson on quantifiers. The lesson is followed by a quiz to test your knowledge on what you have learnt. 

If you have studied nouns (countable and uncountable) previously the lesson should make sense.

However,  if you haven't go to :-
http://tefl-global-resources.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/countable-uncountable-compound-nouns.html#.UH3LN2_A808 

or visit Valen's lesson at 
http://www.engvid.com/countable-uncountable-nouns-english-grammar/


Learning English - Express English - Dreams

Dreams


3 Communicative Resources from the BBC Learning English website on the topic of dreams.  The level of the resources vary, starting with elementary/pre-intermediate and getting more difficult.


Learning English - Express English - Dreams

Express English Series
What do you dream about? Watch a short video. 
Register for 'Express English' and make comments online.
Download audio (MP3) and PDF text files.

Dreams

Talk About English Webcast
"This programme is about dreams and the language of dreams. Why do we dream? What are dreams? A listener tells us about a dream that changed her life and our sleep expert talks about the latest research into dreams". 

Scientists Hope to Record Dreams

From 'Words in the News' Series
29 October 2010
"US researchers say they want to record dreams electronically. Writing in the journal Nature, scientists in California developed a system that can record a higher level brain activity. The lead researcher believes that it could possibly be used to study dreams".Reporter: Pallab Ghosh


BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

5 Pronunciation Quizzes from BBC Learning English at different levels from easy to medium easy.  The quizzes focus on listening to and reading phonetic symbols/spellings of words improving your English pronunciation.

Learning English - Words in the News - Football ticket tension in Naples

Learning English - Words in the News - Football Ticket Tension in Naples 

from  the BBC


16 October 2012
Hardcore football fans in Naples, known as ultras, have sent a warning to the owners of the club against selling tickets online. Many of these ultras are involved in crime syndicates which sell tickets at inflated prices, which could be threatened if tickets can be sold online.
Reporter:
Publish PostMark Duff

  • Click on the title link.
  • Learn and listen to the new vocabulary: cauldron, spiritual home, unfurled, diehard, ultras, make a killing, eager, face value, thugs, empty handed. Links to online dictionaries are below.
  • Listen to and read the newspaper report. 


World Food Week | WFP | Feed a child, Feed a dream

World Food Week | WFP | Feed a child, Feed a dream


A lovely page! Click on the red cups on the interactive map and listen and watch children from around the world describe their dreams. The short videos have subtitles in English so you can practise reading English at the same time.  There is also a box for you to write a sentence of two of what your dreams were when you were a child. Nice, simple English activities that help a good cause!

Take This Short Hunger Quiz -- and you’ll feed a child!

Take This Short Hunger Quiz -- and you’ll feed a child!


Today is World Food Day so take this short hunger quiz.  Simply, click on the title link and answer five questions on hunger. It only takes a couple of minutes, it will help you practise your English and a child somewhere in the world will be given a hot meal!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Becoming a Diné Navajo Medicine Man

Becoming a Diné Navajo Medicine Man


"Join Clayson Benally as he shares the importance of Medicine Men within Navajo culture and explains the complexity of their practice".

A video from http://explore.org/


This Week In History

This Week In History

A resource from EnglishClub.com with a vocabulary activity (Wordchecker), an article to read, a video to watch and then a quiz to complete testing your understanding of the task.



17 October 1961

Protesting Algerians Shot Dead In Paris

French police kill up to 400 people marching in support of Algeria's independence.



Determiners

Determiners

Information from Learn English and an Exercise from the British Council

Determiners are small words used in front of nouns in English. They indicate whether you are referring to something specific (definite) or something more general (and indefinite).

Determiners are explained further in the title link; they are subdivided into two types general and specific.  

  • We use a specific or definite determiner when we know exactly what we are referring to:
Examples of specific determiners are:
the definite article : the
demonstratives : this, that, these, those
possessives : my, your, his, her, its, our, their

  • We use general determiners to talk about nouns without saying exactly who or what they are:
Examples of general determiners are:
the indefinite articles : a, an
a few
a little
all
another
any
both
each
either
enough
every
few
fewer
less
little
many
more
most
much

neither
no
other
several
some


Click on the title link, read through the information.  Then sort a list of determiners into two groups.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Noun Phrases

Noun Phrases


Noun phrases can be made up of nouns, quantifiers, determiners and adjectives. 

Find out more with this grammar resource provided by the British Council.

  • Firstly, check that you understand what each type of word is.  Match each type of word with some examples.


- noun                                some, all, both

- quantifier                        older, taller, younger

- determiner                     some, a lot of, many

- adjective                        dogs, house, people


  • Secondly, you need to understand that noun phrases are made up in different ways.  For example:

- you can have just a 'noun' in a noun phrase


- or you can have a 'determiner + noun'


- or a 'quantifier + noun'


- or a 'determiner + adjective + noun'


- or a 'quantifier + determiner + noun'


- or you can have all 4 types of word - 'quantifier + determiner + adjective + noun'


  • Finally, click on the title link.  The exercise in the task matches the noun phrase in brackets to the patterns.

Business and Ethics

Business and Ethics


Manchester is a city in the North West of England which has been renowned for it's cotton mills for many years. The trade is part of it's people's history and roots!

This resource comes from the British Council Learn English website.  

"The primary goal of a company may be to make money but some companies nowadays also recognise that they have a responsibility towards the society in which they operate".


Read the case study of a current Manchester company set up in the 1920's called James Carston. Today this company have evolved their business plan to the current day and make their shirts from 'fairtrade cotton'.  This is sourced from an organisation of Indian farmers.







  • Read about ethical business and choose the correct company profile from 3 choices.

  • Decide whether the statements in the comprehension activity are true or false.

  • Finally, match newly acquired business words and expressions to their correct definitions.

Episode 7 Elementary Podcast from the British Council

TEFL Vocabulary, Grammar and Communicative Skills.



If you are a beginner (A2 CEFR level) these British Council Podcasts are excellent for getting you started.  As the week progresses I will post up other related work which will be appropriate for different levels of student ability.  If you are an Intermediate level of student you may want to use this resource to revise and then extend your knowledge.  Advanced students may just want to dip into the additional and other resources added during the week.

Go to: 


Find the audio link (MP3) right click and save it so you can listen to it whenever is convenient for you. The podcast comes with a support pack and transcript which is 22 pages long.  Use this link:
Download and do the exercises.

Main Contents of Podcast This Week

  • Talking about families.
  • What famous person would you like to meet and why? Muhammed Yanus a famous Bangladesh man who won the Nobel Peace Prize  for setting up a bank lending small amounts of money to poor people.
  • Vocabulary quiz - words beginning with (single consonant sounds)
  • Cairo (capital city of Eygpt) and travelling around by taxi.
  • Expressing an opinion - what is your favourite way of travelling?
  • Dialogue of Carolina from Venezuela when she is ill with a cold and goes to the pharmacy for medication.
  • Telling/retelling a joke
Here is a summary of the main language points of the podcast. Try to get more practise with these language points during the week if you can:
  1. Use of the verbs 'sound' and 'look' when having a conversation with a friend who is ill.
  2. 'False friends'  - words which sound similar to English ones in your own language but have a very different meaning.
  3. Adding the phrase 'if you don't mind me asking' to make a request for information sound more polite
  4. Use of the phrase 'bless you'
I will follow up with work that is related through the week.  This work will be graded for different levels of student ability.



Friday, 12 October 2012

Culture Secrets - North - Canada - News - CBC Player

Culture Secrets - North - Canada - News - CBC Player

from CBC.ca Player


I loved these videos when I came across them. There are 14 of them in total.  Some are presented in English and some are presented in other indigenous languages with subtitles in English. Click on the title link to access all 14 and then click on the video you want to watch. 

They describe the aspects of culture that are important to each of the 14 northern people featured.  I haven't watched them all yet but am sure to do so. They are fascinating!

From Laakuluk Williamson Bathory's  raven mask dancing showing her connect, collaborate and share her culture through dance; to Romeo Saganash (Cree Politician) guiding and sharing his home away from home in Quebec City; and Kiera-Dawn Kolson of Yellowknife, a Tso'Tine-Gwich'in artist and motivational speaker.  








They are truly inspiring and illustrate perfectly how to value cultural diversity in society allowing people to present their own stories.  

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Childhood Memories

Home Videos of the Queen's Life Revealed

Prince Charles reflects on some old film footage taken by his mother and father.  Absolutely adorable film footage of Charles as a baby playing with his mother and later at the beach playing with Princess Anne.

A comment was left a few days ago:

"Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL!"

A delightful story!  Please feel free to add your own experiences of 'beach' or 'childhood memories'. 

Here is a personal photograph of me as a small child on a donkey at Blackpool Beach. Donkey rides on holiday used to be popular when I was a child.





How Does Stress Change the Meaning of a Sentence?

How Does Stress Change the Meaning of a Sentence?


Have you ever watched a film or listened to a song in English and have known all the words but still not been able to understand what you have heard. 

This video illustrates why. It takes a sentence and looks at 'stressing' different words implying different meanings.  The meaning of the sentence changes a lot depending on which word is selected .  Adam creates some very different sentences without changing any of the words.  He goes on to look at the word 'really' and by using different intonations he implies different meanings in different social situations. 

An excellent intermediate resource focusing on speaking and oral skills.

Documentary Follows Native Students Learning and Preserving Tewa Language

Documentary Follows Native Students Learning and Preserving Tewa Language



Do you know that every 14 days an indigenous language is lost somewhere in the world?


Click on the title link above and follow a documentary by Aimee Broustra following a group of teenagers in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The teenagers are involved in learning Tewa, a pueblo language to help in creating a film due to be showcased in Albuquerque, New Mexico tomorrow (Friday 12th October, 2012).

The title documentary link describes the work of the 'Young Ancestors' and Laura Kay Eagles (a 7th grade literature teacher) at Santa Fe Preparatory School in New Mexico. 

Activities

  • Read the documentary link above about the learning and preservation of the Tewa language and culture.
  • Watch the video of the trailer of the film on the same page.
  • Visit http://theyoungancestors.com/TheYoungAncestors/Home.html and follow the news tab to receive updates on how the film is received. 
  • Read this quote taken directly from the Young Ancestors website.

    "This is a story that needs to be shared and supported to ensure that the era of globalisation does not become synonymous with the tyranny of English language and American culture, of endless strip malls and BP spills.

    Without a multiplicity of languages and cultures, we risk living in a country and in a world in which everything has become homogenised, and white washed, a place in which uniqueness and diversity have ceased to exist"

    Discuss and debate the case for speaking globalised languages such as English, Spanish, Mandarin and the case for preserving local indigenous languages and cultures.

    Activities suitable for Upper Intermediate Learners.






Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Commonly Confused Words in English: TO, TOO, TWO · engVid

Commonly Confused Words in English: TO, TOO, TWO · engVid

Click on the title link and find a video lesson on the correct usage of to, too and two with Valen. You can then take a quiz to test your understanding of the lesson.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud…

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud…

A William Wordsworth (1770 to 1850) poem inspired by a spring flower. Suitable for B2 CEFR students and from Learn English (British Council). 

This flower is yellow or golden, has a trumpet in the middle and 6 other petals.  


Do you know what the flower is called?


Click on the title link above and read the poem.  Learn about::-


  • 'Olde English' poetic and romantic words
  • rhythm and rhyme in poetry
  • a poetic structure called a 'stanza'
  • and finally, reassemble the lines of a jumbled up version of the poem.

For a further PDF download go to:

http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-podcasts-poems-lonely-cloud-support-pack.pdf




Monday, 8 October 2012

ESL Quiz - Astronomy - Prepositions Quiz (Joan M. Diez) I-TESL-J

ESL Quiz - Astronomy - Prepositions Quiz (Joan M. Diez) I-TESL-J


A useful quiz to test your knowledge of prepositions.

Check the preposition list below to ensure you are familiar first:-

after
afterwards
along
among
at
away
below
between
by
for
from
in
of
off
on
out 
shorter
since
through
towards
with

Free English Prepositions E Book


A Free English Prepositions E-Book to Download

Simply click on the title link above and download the e-book in PDF format from English Club.com.

The book contains:-

150 prepositions (one word and complex) and incorporates:-
370 sample sentences
200 quiz questions with answers

Useful for any TEFL student or teacher!

by Josef Essberger

6-Things To Do To Commemorate Indigenous Peoples On Columbus Day.

Commemorating Indigenous Peoples On Columbus Day


I posted up an earlier resource today on Christopher Columbus. On the 12th October, 1492; this well known explorer was said to have arrived as an immigrant to "the New World." 

I follow an organisation called 'Cultural Survival' and I would like to present their viewpoint on the discovery of the New World. Cultural Survival say that Christopher Columbus did not "discover" America. Indeed, there were native people already living there and the territory belonged to them as it was their homeland.




This reminds me of the issue of who discovered Macchu Picchu in Peru (see previous blog post on Macchu Picchu and the Macchu Picchu Multi Media Project). 

On Friday 12th October, let's remember and celebrate the People who are native to the America's. The above picture is a memorial tribute to the Indians in Chile.   Click on the title link and discover 6 things that you can do to support the causes of these people on Friday.  Activities vary from further reading, to making donations or simply spreading the word to your friends and followers so people around the world are better informed of indigenous issues.      

Report Warns Global Hunger is Imminent

Report Warns Global Hunger is Imminent

by Tara Banwell, English Club

  • development of vocabulary around topic of global hunger
  • mp3/audio file based on the Beddington Report
  • gap fill exercise
  • comprehension exercise
  • discussion idea

Organic Foods Have Same Nutritional Value

Organic Foods Have Same Nutritional Value

  • develop new and test existing vocabulary around the topic of food 
  • listen to an audio/MP3 file on the nutritional value of organic foods
  • complete a gap fill exercise
  • answer comprehension questions on the audio and written text
  • idea for discussion with fellow students, friends and colleagues

This Week In History

This Week In History



Christopher Columbus led the First Europeans to sail across the Atlantic.  On 12th October, 1492; he reached the New World or the current day Bahamas.






Click on the title link above and:-

  • listen to and read a short transcript about Christopher Columbus
  • test out and learn new vocabulary 
  • take a quick quiz

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Phonemic Chart

Phonemic Chart

Follow the title link.  If you are a beginner/pre-intermediate English learner and following the British Council Elementary Podcasts I suggest for the time being only trying to focus on the consonant part of the chart. If you are a higher level learner or feel confident to do so; you could go on to the single vowel sounds and then the dipthongs (double vowel sounds) last as they are the hardest!

Download the phonemic chart and refer to it frequently. It will help you to improve your pronunciation.  Check out the exercise 'Using the phonemic chart for autonomous learning'.  It will help you a lot!

Try the other pronunciation activities, they are all very good and if you have an iPad there is a 'Sounds Right' application available to download for free.

BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

BBC Learning English | Pronunciation Tips

by Alex Bellem


Click on the title link to:-

  • find pronunciation tips on voiced, voiceless and other consonants
  • posters on each consonant
  • video on each consonant
  • listen to individual sounds
  • download the full phonemic chart

Famous Female Mexican Painter

Frida Kahlo

An Introduction

In the British Council Elementary Podcast Series Programme 6,  the famous person discussed this week was Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican Painter.  She is truly a fascinating woman and here are some sources of information to help you understand her work and  her life.













The above website incorporates:
  • 6 biographical videos and a written biographical page. You may like to write your own biography on her life after you have read, listened to and watched these video's.  This could be a small group project where you take a small part of her life story each.
  • information, facts and the chronology of Frida Kahlo's life. You could assemble the information into a time line using this link - http://www.dipity.com/
  • a paint gallery  with over 70 self portraits to scroll through by Frida.  Perhaps you could arrange and edit these pictures into a Favourte 10 Frida Kahlo Painting PowerPoint Presentation, writing a summarising sentence about each painting and what it means to you.
  • A selection of quotes taken from what Frida said in her lifetime and her diary which she kept for the latter part of her life.  These could be made into a pocket book of Frida Kahlo Quotes.

My Favourite Quote


Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

In her diary she also wrote:

"Laughing and letting go and feeling lighter give one strength. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing "man" has, and I am sure that however much animals "suffer", they never exhibit their "pain" in open "theatres" or "behind doors". Their colours are truer than any image that any man may "represent" as painful.”

After her experiences in life, I am truly inspired by this incredible woman and her words.  It is a miracle that a person who suffered so much, had this amazing gift of valuing and living her life so fully. Awe inspiring!

The Film - Frida

Frida Kahlo's life was made into film starring Salma Hayak and Alfred Molina, as her husband Diego Rivera (the famous Mexican muralist).

Here is a film trailer to view at:-



And here is a written, online review for the film from Alex von Tunzelmann (The Guardian)




British Council Elementary Podcast Episode 6

TEFL Vocabulary, Grammar and Communicative Skills.



If you are a beginner (A2 CEFR level) these British Council Podcasts are excellent for getting you started.  As the week progresses I will post up other related work which will be appropriate for different levels of student ability.  If you are an Intermediate level of student you may want to use this resource to revise and then extend your knowledge.  Advanced students may just want to dip into the additional and other resources added during the week.

Go to: 




Find the audio link (MP3) right click and save it so you can listen to it whenever is convenient for you. The podcast comes with a support pack and transcript which is 22 pages long.  Use this link:
Download and do the exercises.

Main Contents of Podcast This Week

  • Telling a story - 'being late'.
  • What famous person would you like to meet and why? Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican painter
  • Vocabulary quiz - words beginning with (single consonant sounds)
  • Kazakhstan - a comparison of 'old' and 'new'.  Astana (capital city) versus traditional mountain scenery.  'Berkutchy' - a traditional eagle keeper or modern occupations.
  • Expressing an opinion - how 'green' are you?
  • Dialogue of Carolina from Venezuela when she is at university deciding what societies and clubs to join.
  • Telling/retelling a joke
Here is a summary of the main language points of the podcast. Try to get more practise with these language points during the week if you can:
  1. Use of the word 'like' as a verb, preposition and informal conversation filler.
  2. Informal language and phrases.
  3. Giving information to others.  For example: phone numbers, addresses.
  4. Use of the phrase 'as well'
I will follow up with work that is related through the week.  This work will be graded for different levels of student ability.

Friday, 5 October 2012

BBC World Service - Witness, Fifty years of the Beatles

BBC World Service - Witness, Fifty years of the Beatles




Click on the title link above and listen to Beatles music clips (Love, Love Me Do; Please, Please Me and she Loves You) with an interview led by Simon Watts in 1962.  

The four young Beatles (Ringo, George, John and Paul) are interviewed as are George Martin and Brian Ebstein (their manager and stage manager respectively).  

Their 'natural sense of  humour' and 'love for fun' comes through really well in the interview as indeed do some of their 'character flaws'. 

The interview was conducted in a very different time era where musicians did as their manager and stage manager told them.  They dressed in suits as directed by Brian Ebstein instead of the jeans and leather jackets they had originally turned up for audition in.  

Very informative. Listen, sing along and enjoy!


Allergies and Genetically Modified Cow's Milk

Milk Allergies in Human Babies



This BBC podcast is concerned with genetically modified food and allergies.  Minor to severe allergies are described.  For example; hay fever, nut, egg and cows milk allergies in babies. The resource is suitable for advanced TEFL students.

James Gallagher has studied the immune system, body cells and allergy culprits. The podcast is based on his scientific report.

In baby cow milk allergies, the protein 'beta lacta globulin' has been found to cause RNA interference.  

Cows in New Zealand are now injected with a substance to stop them from producing the protein.  Their milk is therefore genetically modified but deemed suitable for babies to drink.


What do you think about genetically modifying cow's milk for babies?


Do you think it is a spectacular or unethical practise?



Listen to the debate on this podcast and form your own opinion.

If you need an online dictionary please use one of the following links:



Learning English - Words in the News - Life's big questions?

Learning English - Words in the News - Life's Big Questions?


Why have I been born?
- ponder life with a drink in a chair which utter words of wisdom







Click the title link and watch this interesting video story from a bar in Corigliano d'Otranto, Italy and become familiar with new English vocabulary. 


Vocabulary

philosophy, ponder, utters, in demand, catch on




Shawshank Redemption “Cadena Perpetua” « TEFL Iberia

Shawshank Redemption “Cadena Perpetua” 

« TEFL Iberia


An excellent film about men serving 'life sentences' and their lives inside a US prison. 
Click on the title link and listen to Morgan Freeman's speech about 'rehabilitation'. 













Check out the meaning of the words in 'italics' using these online dictionary links.

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/

  • In your own words, explain what a 'life sentence' is.
  • What does a 'rehabilitation programme' involve?
  • Find out what are your friends, colleagues, teachers and relatives views on 'life sentences', 'prisons' and 'rehabilitation'?
  • Do you think that a life sentence should mean that the sentence lasts for life or is there ever a case for 'early release on the grounds of good behaviour'?
  • Do you agree with the 'death penalty'? Explain your reasons.
  • What crimes do you think 'warrant' life sentences and what crimes do not? Complete two lists.

Click on the title link and think again about Morgan Freeman's response to the question of whether he thinks he has rehabilitated.

  • Do you think prison rehabilitates a person? Or do you think a person can feel that 'remorse' for himself or herself in his own time?
  • Does prison have other purposes such as a punishment, isolation .......? Discuss with your colleagues, family and friends.

Finally, think about the phrase 'prisoner of war'.  What does it mean?


"A famous prisoner of war was François Mitterrand. He was a French president who was captured during the Second World War in 1940".

How many times do you think he escaped before arriving home in December 1941?