Category Archives: Vocabulary

Have a chat with Santa

Father Christmas, also known as Santa, is coming back. If you want to know more about his life, you can have a chat with him. You have to be very careful about your  spelling and grammar, otherwise Santa will not understand your question. The goal of this activity is to practise personal information questions.

Go to: you’ll see a picture of Santa and two text fields. Type your questions into the bottom field and then wait for the answers.


Jennifer ESL’s videos

Jennifer is a professional  English teacher who has created free online instruction to help students to improve their English. In this lesson,  Jennifer explains the difference between -ED and -ING adjectives. Thank you Jennifer for such excellent lessons.

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Personality Adjectives

In Unit 1 we’ve been dealing with personality adjectives. We’ve heard people giving their opinion about the British. Watch and listen to people talking about the French. Match the names on the left with the adjectives on the right column.  When you finish, watch the video with subtitles to check your answers.

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Bill very warm, a little less inhibited
Carlo They’re kind of nice. A little attitude, snobbiness
Tony and Catherine rather rude, some immensely helpful
Kyla easy-going, fun-loving
Mr. and Mrs. Scott more laid back, more relaxed
June reserved, polite, very formal, cultured
Luke more family-orientated, pretty friendly, more relaxed
Alison delightful, most civilized in the world, individually extremely charming, but collectively, some are difficult
Travis fabulous
Barbara and Mary amiable people
Chris and Joanne fashionable, a bit more reserved than the English in some respects
Peter and Steven extremely stuck-up and stand-offish
Marie quite dour, very chic, very hospitable
Michael very passionate,very emotional, good sense of colour,smell
Peter sensual
Richard The Northern French I find very unfriendly
Sara artistic, very family-orientated
Thomas wonderful,friendly,
Colonel Allthorpe and Hayles Fine

Online Dictations

One of the students’  major concerns when they start 3rd level is the listening skill. Most of them complain about the big leap between 2nd and 3rd level where they are exposed to real-life English. Some students tend to come to me after the first mock exam  to ask for advice. What can I do? Is there a way to improve my listening comprehension?. Why do I understand most of the words when I read a written text but  I’m unable to understand the same text when I listen to it?

As you have probably guessed, one of the main challenges when learning English is …. pronunciation. Unfortunately, words are not pronounced they same way they are written and this is the reason why listening becomes an uphill struggle for most students.

So what can I do? you may ask. Well, the best effective way to improve your listening skills is training your ear to recognise sounds and therefore words, clauses and finally texts.

How can I do this?. Here is dictationsonline  for ear training. You can choose from a wide range of graded dictations. Follow the instructions and try to do a dictation at least once every fortnight.    Native speaker dictations, free online

I’m pretty sure that if you keep listening and writing, your listening skills will improve a great deal by the end of the academic year. Good luck!

Goodbye to the Normals

Goodbye to the Normals






Alfie Field

Goodbye to the Normals is a British short film, approximately 4 mins long, which follows a fictional story about a small boy running away from home. The film was originally broadcast in the UK by  Channel 4. It is currently touring the film festival circuit, either on its own or as part of the British Council Festival Submission Scheme.

 I’ve prepared a listening for you but before you start watching the film, have a look at the vocabulary you might need to know  in order to understand the dialogue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     To run away = to leave a place or person secretly and suddenly

To take one’s fancy = If something takes/tickles your fancy, you like it and want to have or do it

To be all packed  =   be packed to have put your things into a bag or box, etc

A surgery =     the treatment of injuries or diseases in people or animals by cutting open the body and removing or repairing the damaged part.

Make up your mind on something = to decide

Can I give you a lift to the airport?  = Do you want me to take you to the airport?

Fairtrade = a way of buying and selling products that makes certain that the original producer  receives a fair price (Comerç  Just)

organic = not using artificial chemicals in the growing of plants and animals for food and other products. (biològic)


Watch the film and answer the following questions.

1.   Where is the boy going?
2.   How long is he going to be away?
3.   Is he worried about school?
4.  What is his dad going to do with his room?
5.   How is he travelling ? 
6.  Why does he refuse the sandwich?
7.    Why does he come back?

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