30 Apr 2016

Songs for learning past simple

Hi everyone! Although the videos below were uploaded some years ago, 
I have just found them out ;D
They are worthy and useful for teaching and working on past simple and 
having fun at the same time.
Never give up :)
Cheers!



27 Apr 2016

Making learning awesome!

Hi everyone! This post is special for teachers. 
I have just found Kahoot out and I have thought about many ideas for teachers. I have put in practice it with students and I have to say that it is amazing not only for them but also for myself.
Listen to this. I gave verbs in past to students and they had to study for homework. 
Then, I prepared a quiz with kahoot and it was one of the best lessons in this term. I have never had a response to a educational tool like I have had to kahoot.  Study verbs is dull and sometimes boring but if they have a motivation for playing in the classroom, they will do their best. 
Kahoot ensures engagement by turning the classroom into a gameshow. However, what I love about it is how easy the assessments are to create and the best part is that students can participate in the assessment from laptops. I use 13 of them in a whole group. Students played in pairs.


Here's how it works:
1. Create a free account at www.getkahoot.com. 
2. Choice the kind of Kahoot! you want to create, i.e. quiz, discussion, or survey. 
3. Create your assessment tool by entering questions or statements and response options. Like graphics? You can insert a graphic of your choice as well. 
4. Add a cover picture and put the finishing touches on the assessment tool. 
5. Launch the assessment.
6. Invite students to join using the game pin on laptops 
7. Have fun and watch your students' results as you go. 

If you have any questions, browse its FAQs: 

26 Apr 2016

Powerful music!

What’s up everybody??
This week I have another awesome, fun lesson for you with some popular new music: The hit song 7 Years by Lukas Graham.
When you first listen to this song (or if you’ve heard it before), you might be thinking, understanding this native English is really difficult! But guess what? It’s not native English!
That’s right, Lukas Graham is an English learner just like you, and just goes to show you how powerful music is for English fluency! That’s why today, we’ll be using his kick-ass song, 7 Years, to learn some great English vocabulary, expressions, slang, and even pronunciation!
Are you ready? Then let’s jump in, aww yeah!


Lyrics:
(Vocabulary in blue, pronunciation in red, cultural notes + grammar in green)
Once I was seven years old my mama told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely
Once I was seven years old
It was a big big world, but we thought we were bigger
Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker
By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure
Once I was eleven years old my daddy told me
Go get yourself a wife or you’ll be lonely
Once I was eleven years old
I always had that dream like my daddy before me
So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
Something about that gloryjust always seemed to bore me
‘Cause only those I really love will ever really know me
Once I was 20 years old, my story got told
Before the morning sun, when life was lonely
Once I was 20 years old
I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure
‘Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me at least those in favor
And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later
Once I was 20 years old, my story got told
I was writing about everything, I saw before me
Once I was 20 years old
Soon we’ll be 30 years old, our songs have been sold
We’ve traveled around the world and we’re still roaming
Soon we’ll be 30 years old
I’m still learning about life
My woman brought children for me
So I can sing them all my songs
And I can tell them stories
Most of my boys are with me
Some are still out seeking glory
And some I had to leave behind
My brother I’m still sorry
Soon I’ll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61
Remember life and then your life becomes a better one
made the man so happy when I wrote a letter once
I hope my children come and visit, once or twice a month
Soon I’ll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me
Soon I’ll be 60 years old
Soon I’ll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me
Soon I’ll be 60 years old
Once I was seven years old, my mama told me
Go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely
Once I was seven years old

Notes:

Vocabulary + Expressions

push yourself to the limitPush (someone) to the limit – To make someone use their full capacity or capabilities (Ex: Running the marathon pushed him to his limit, but he was successful!)
Smoking herb – Smoking marijuana
Liquor – Alcohol
Make a steady figure – to make a reliable income
Glory – High honor gained from a notable achievement
Make it major – To be very successful, often famous
My boys – 1. A way to talk about your close (male) friends. 2. One’s sons (Ex.1 I’m going to a party with my boys, Ex.2 My boys are 4 and 8 years old)
Be in favor – To support a decision or cause
Everything I saw before me – Everything that I saw happening in front of me
Roam – To move about or travel aimlessly
My woman – My wife (This phrase could be seen as offensive in English, especially to feminists)
Leave (someone) behind – To abandon someone
The man – I believe that here Lukas Graham is referring to his father. We use the expression my/the old man to refer to our dad

Pronunciation

made in denmarkLukas Graham is Danish, and if you hear him speak, you might notice a typicalScandinavian accent. However, you would never know this when he sings as he sounds British or American. He pronunces some sounds in a British way (like the r’s), and other sounds like an American. So I would highly recommend using this song to improve your pronunciation whether you’re learning British or American English.
Singing is an excellent way to improve your pronunciation, as it helps you learn the rhythm and flow of the language. Much of the pronunciation indicated is connected speech, or how native speakers shrink and link words together. Music that is rhythmic and rap are great for learning to implement this (like 7 years).
Once I – one-sai
Pushing each other – pushin’ ee-chuther
Drinking burning liquor – drinkin’ burnin’ lih-ka
Get yourself – geh-chor self
Started writing – Star-did wry-hin (Writing has a stop T)
About that glory – abouthah glow-ree (Two more examples of stop T’s)
Just always – Jus-tall weez
Twenty – tweh-nee
Those in favor – tho-zin fay-vuh
Make it major – may-kit may-ja
And if we – ah-nif we
Later – lay-da
Thirty – Thur-dee (NOTE: Easy trick to not confuse 30 and 13–30 has a flap T  sound, similar to D, 13 has a regular t sound)
Songs have been – song-zuv been
Traveled around – travel duh-round
I can – ai-kin (Pronunciation of can in English)
Most of – mos-tuv
Sixty – six-dee
Had to – had-tuh
My brother – ma-bruh-tha
Better – beh-da
Made the man – may-thuh man
Wrote a letter once – ro-duh leh-dur wuns (Two more examples of flap T’s)
Will I – Wih-lai

Lot of – lodda

Grammar + Cultural Notes

I was 7 years old – Remember in English that we use the verb to beto talk about someone’s age (Ex. How old are you? I am 21 years old. I was 16 years old when I learned to drive a car. I will be 40 years old next year)
By eleven – In English, it is common to leave off the “years old” when talking about age (Ex. My son is 12. He died at 90. You will be 52 by the time she graduates high school.)
Smoking herb – 1. With verbs that end with –ing we often omit the g sound, so smoking becomes smokin’. 2. Herb’s pronunciation differs in American and British English: American – urb, British – hurb 
My daddy got 61 – Here you’ll see a grammatical error, where the verb to be isn’t used with age. This is not because Lukas Graham is not a native speaker, but rather it is colloquial (albeit incorrect) to use got with age. Even native speakers DON’T always use correct grammar, so don't feel bad if you make mistakes.
Make Learning FUN
When learning another language, motivation is a HUGE key to success, and making the process fun is one of the best ways to stay motivated. So if you enjoyed this article, I highly recommend you check out some of our other fun lessons (links below), AND our popular course, Fluent with Friends, which makes learning fun and powerful with the TV show Friends (which has been scientifically proven to be one of the best resources for learning English).
Another awesome way to stay motivated is by surrounding yourself with people who support your learning, and making friends with whom you can practice your English. 
Enjoy this lesson and want more like it? Have any clips or songs you’d like me to break down? 

23 Apr 2016

Happy St. Jordi's Day

Today is a special day. I really like it because I enjoy walking a long my town and having a look on all the places with books, roses and lovers as well. The Book Day becomes a romantic festivity.
On one hand, it matches with the fact that Sant Jordi has been the patron saint of Catalonia since the 15th century. On the other hand, it comes from the famous 
legend of St. George and the dragon:

Once upon a time there was a small village with a big castle. The village was quiet. 
It was in the mountains.
The castle was big.
In the castle lived the king and a princess. The princess was pretty.















A dragon arrived at the village. The dragon had big eyes, big nose and big mouth. The dragon was very strong and bad. It had long tail and big ears.


The dragon was dangerous and he was hungry. He wanted to eat the princess. The princess was scared.


Saint George arrived at the village. He was brave, he was a knight, he came to kill the dragon.



Saint George fought the dragon. He killed the dragon. From the dragon's blood grew a red rose.


Saint George gave the red rose to the princess.

22 Apr 2016

How do you celebrate the Earth Day today?

If you do something special today and also every day about taking care of our planet, you make a difference.
Each year, April 22nd marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
It means that people around the world are becoming more conscious of the urgent need to reduce pollution and save our green and blue planet.
Earth Day is not just a celebration, it is a call for action as the family in the video below (a good resource to work with children). 
Furthermore, one of the focal points is the importance of trees because they help combat climate change. 
Here you can visit the Earth Day website where you find more information.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!


20 Apr 2016

What makes you carefree?


The tittle of this song "Catch and release" it means more or less "comprehend and let go of" or "learn and share" in my particular case.
Each time I listen to it, my feeling is amazing and so overwhelming that I have to press replay.
Nice song for teaching in our English lessons and find out what are happy places for children and what makes them carefree.
All the best!


19 Apr 2016

There's an important celebration this week.

Yes. That is the Earth Day next Friday, April 22nd!
So, can we do something to help the planet?
Everything you do to protect the planet counts, whether you walk to school or help to clean up litter from your neighborhood park! 
The most important thing to remember is that Earth Day should be every day!
If you are a teacher, click on the poster and you will find some vocabulary out related with that celebration.

16 Apr 2016

Roald Dahl 100

To celebrate Roald Dahl birthday, let's take a trip down "Charlie and the chocolate factory", one of the most famous childhood stories.



14 Apr 2016

CELEBRATING 1000 POSTS

A week ago I was working on doing one of my daily posts when I noticed in my blog dashboard that the total number of posts I have done since I started this blog was actually getting very close to 1,000!
I never would have imagined back in 2010 the journey that this web would be taking me. 
This little blog has chronicled the experience in its own special way. I used to be a bit embarrassed by the older posts on the blog, but I now embrace them as my own learnings.
Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me from post 1 up until today. 


13 Apr 2016

Places around town

Click on the image below and reinforce prepositions and places in the town with this activity.

12 Apr 2016

Prepositions of place

Now, if you want to check them and to have fun, click on the picture below and listen to the dog's position. 

8 Apr 2016

Teaching with songs

Songs are excellent as a starting point if you want to engage your students in English. Before listening to them you can introduce some questions for introducing children into the song. At the same time but after being all ears, you can come up with a list of questions to start the conversation. Here you have some examples:
What is the song about?
What do you think about the song?
Does the singer speak about personal experience?
Do you know the singer?
Do you have any special information about him or her? 
Is he/she young/old?


The song I want to share with you TODAY is "I was here" by Beyoncé. It allows to work past simple and future. Furthermore, it can inspire to do something good for someone. Fascinating message, "what will you do?" That is its last message.
Besides that, you can add a few more exercises in order to work on vocabulary or grammar. Here you have the one I used to work after reading lyrics and watching the video.

After those exercises, you can suggest students to work the song at home 
          through lyrics training page.

7 Apr 2016

Always trying my best!

Have you ever met somebody who was perfect? This is NOT me! ;D Absolutely true but what I can say is that I learn from my own mistakes.
I have many days each school year where I have failed to engage my students in my lessons. I have days where I am unable to have the patience and understanding to work with children who are difficult or challenging but personally I think that a positive attitude helps me many times.
Your positive attitude and your energy teaching and working with children is relevant but also the support that you, as a teacher, have from your colleagues and families.
Thank you very much!


6 Apr 2016

The roulette

The roulette is a warm up activity. Here you have some ideas for introducing it:
Form two circles, one inside and the other outside. They move in two different ways (one facing inwards and one facing outwards) when you say "stop" they have to say the person's name.

Variation:
  • Students describe the person opposite them.
  • Students describe what they are wearing.
  • Very young children just say "I'm happy"/ "I'm sad"/ "I'm angry"/ I'm hungry"
  • Also, they can say "She is a girl, her name is..."/ "He is a boy. His name is...."



5 Apr 2016

Recommended show

La Sala team will present  in few days (April 16th and 17th) The Velveteen Rabbit, a highly recommended show with the label of the Unicorn Theatre at the Principal's Theatre.  Don't lose the play. It's lovely, magical and gorgeous! A perfect show for any time.
Plot: one day, a child receives a gift, a velveteen rabbit, very soft and floppy, and he immediately falls in love with it. However, shortly after, the child is captivated by other more dazzling toys: electric trains, dolls that speak, videogames... The rabbit has kept, deep inside, the child's love, and, thanks to it, it will overcome a long period of indifference. It will be the only toy that would like to go beyond, leave the shelf and become a loving and playful rabbit that hides among the shrubs. One day, the parents will have to burn all the objects and toys of the room to avoid a dangerous contagion. Only ashes will remain...how does it finish? You will have to go to Principal's Theatre and find out by yourself. You have some sketches in the video below.




4 Apr 2016

Toys vocabulary

Hi you all!
Although I used to work this vocabulary at Christmas time, I want to share this power point with all of you because it can be useful to review the use of a/an in front of the nouns.





Here you have some examples:



1 Apr 2016

April 1st


Today is April 1st, the day most commonly called "April Fool's Day" and it's celebrated in many countries by people in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, The Netherlands and other countries around the world. 
 It's a day
to practice jokes,  get creative and play fun pranks on people around you. 
Nobody is exactly sure where the tradition started but nowadays it's an excuse to play silly jokes on friends, as the example below at my kitchen.

Many newspaper, radio personalities, television shows, and internet web sites participate in the celebration.