Sunday, March 27, 2011

Game: wordshake

A2, B1, B2, C1, (C2)


How many words can you make in three minutes from a grid of 16 letters? Try playing "Wordshake" from the British Council website. It's a great way to test your knowledge of vocabulary.  Play as many times as you like - the letters change every time.

Task: Go to the site. The first time you play, go to "Read me" to see the rules. Refresh the page or click again on the link below for a new set of letters.

Go to the activity here.

Video: the blue whale

A2B1

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a nuclear submarine?  No, it's a blue whale. In this video from the BBC, you will learn some interesting facts about the biggest animal on earth. Video time: 2 minutes and 9 seconds. Activity time: 5 to 30 minutes

Task:  Watch the video and make notes on the following information:
Length/ Weight/ Tongue/ Heart:/ Blood vessels / Tail / Speed/ Appetite/ Migration and breeding habits

Go to the video here.
Check your answers here
Discover more fun facts about the blue whale here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pronunciation: the talking dictionary

A2, B1, B2

The online site howjsay is a talking pronunciation dictionary. It allows you to hear the pronunciation of individual words, or a series of up to 10 words. In this short activity, you will see how the site works.
Activity time: 5 to 15 minutes


Task:  1 Look at this list of words. What two things do they all have in common, in terms of pronunciation?

cupboard - neighbour - future - picture - forward - major - certain - pressure - labour- failure

To hear the words, go to the site here
Put your cursor on each word in the vertical list and repeat what you hear
To check your answers, go here.

 

2 Here are some more words that are difficult to pronounce correctly:  variety, idea, area, advantages, reliable, catastrophe, guarantee, clothes, knowledge, temperature.
Go to the home page of the site here , type the words one by one and press "Submit" each time. Repeat what you hear. Note that you also see the translation of the word into your own language.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Audio: Phrasal verbs to describe your childhood

B1, B2, C1

In this activity from the BBC Learning English website, you will learn five phrasal verbs used to describe your childhood. It is divided into two sections, each with audio sequences and accompanying exercises. Activity time: 15 to 30 minutes

Task:   For each part:  1  Look at the phrasal verbs in Part A and listen to the audio without looking at the text. Can you guess the meaning of the verbs?  2  Read the text in part B and listen again. Repeat the sentences aloud after the speaker (or at the same time) 3 Listen to some more examples in Part C. Download the text if you would like to print a copy of the lesson.  
There is also a short phrasal verbs quiz at the bottom of the page to test your understanding.

Go to the activity here
For a translation into French of the phrasal verbs, go here .


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pronunciation - Linking words in sentences 1

A2, B1, B2

When English speakers speak quickly, they link words together. This is one reason why they can be difficult to understand. In this short video from Youtube, you will learn the simple rule for linking words together and do a short practice exercise.  Video time: 6 mins 40 secs  Activity time: 7 to 15 minutes.

Task:  1  Look at the sentence above. Say the sentence aloud  What do you think is the rule for linking words together?  2 Watch the video and check your answers.  Repeat the sentences aloud after the presenter, pausing the video if necessary.

Go the video here.

(1/9/14 : For more work on linking in pronunciation, go to this new post)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reading: Jiffy's Eco-quiz

A2, B1, B2

How can we protect the environment in our everyday habits? Try this quiz created by the European Union. There are 20 questions. Activity time: 15 - 30 minutes 

Task First, look at the illustration on the right and memorize the colours associated with the four themes of water, energy, earth and air. Then go to the quiz and follow the instructions.

Go to the quiz here.