Monday, June 20, 2011

Pronunciation: quiz on the sounds of English

A2, B1, B2, C1

Written English isn't phonetic. For this reason, it is often difficult to know the pronunciation of a word from its spelling. If you can learn the main phoemic symbols in English, it will help you to (a) memorize the pronunciation of individual words (b) pronounce individual sounds more easily - especially those that don't exist in your own language. 

In this activity from the BBC Learning English website, there are five different interactive quizzes to test your knowledge of the sounds of English. Activity time: 5 - 20 minutes per quiz.

Task: Go to Quiz 1 and follow the instructions. There are links to Quizzes 2 to 5 under the words "Pronunciation tips". If you need more help on individual sounds, go back to the exercise on the sounds of English from 5/12/10.

Go to Quiz 1 here.
To do or re-do the exercise on the sounds of English, go here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Expressions: Useful phrases for presentations

B1, B2, C1

When making presentations in English, it is important to use specific expressions to indicate the different steps or stages in your talk. In this exercise, you will learn some of these expressions. The presenter is talking about a customer service training programme, using the slide on the right. Activity time: 10 to 30 minutes

Task  1 You will see the beginning of 15 sentences from the presentation. They are in the order they are used in the talk. Choose the correct phrases on the right of the page to complete each sentence. Press "Check" when you have finished to see your score.

2  If you would like some more useful phrases for presentations, see the link below for a printable list of expressions. You will also find a copy of the exercise.
Go to the activity here.
Get the list of expressions here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Video: Technology transforms a Peruvian village

(B1), B2, C1

In this video from Youtube , you will see how alternative technology is transforming rural villages in Peru. Video time: 4 mins and 34 seconds. Activity time: 15 to 40 minutes

Task: Watch the video and answer these questions:

1   How is the village different from ten years ago?
2   What facilities and services do villages now have?
3   How does the micro-hydro system work?
4   For how much of the day do villagers have electricity?
5   How many people manage and operate the plant?
6   What do the jobs of operator and administrator consist of?
7   Why do larger users pay less for electricity?
8   How many micro-hydro systems are already installed and what's the target?
9  What specific benefits are mentioned at the end?

Go to the video here.
Check your answers here