Saturday, 16 July 2016

IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH ON INSTAGRAM / MEJORA TU INGLÉS EN INSTAGRAM


Son muchas las maneras de mejorar nuestro inglés cada día. Algunos miráis series de TV en inglés, otros leéis la prensa en inglés y muchos seguís blogs como éste (gracias por seguirlo!).

En general todos tenemos poco tiempo que dedicar al estudio de nuevas palabras o al repaso de construcciones gramaticales. Por eso abrí una cuenta en Instagram en el año 2015 (@englisharound), en la que pongo 1 imagen al día para recordar palabras o expresiones en inglés.





Podéis seguir la cuenta AQUÍ. Si no tenéis Instagram podéis guardar la página en favoritos y seguirlo desde el ordenador (en realidad se ve mejor que en el móvil).







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SOME ESSENTIAL IDIOMS IN ENGLISH

The use and understanding of idioms is essential to successful communication in English. The student can study grammar and vocabulary, but without a working knowledge of such idioms, even the best student's speech will remain strange to a native speaker.


It's not a question of including an idiom in every sentence, but idioms are widely used in the English language. I'm sure you'll recognise some of these:





A penny for your thoughts
A way of asking what someone is thinking
Actions speak louder than words
People's intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.
Add insult to injury
To further a loss with mockery or indignity; to worsen an unfavorable situation.
An arm and a leg
Very expensive or costly. A large amount of money.
At the drop of a hat
Meaning: without any hesitation; instantly.
Back to the drawing board
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.
Ball is in your court
It is up to you to make the next decision or step
Barking up the wrong tree
Looking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong person
Be glad to see the back of (somebody)
Be happy when a person leaves.
Beat around the bush
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
Best of both worlds
Meaning: All the advantages.
Best thing since sliced bread
A good invention or innovation. A good idea or plan.
Bite off more than you can chew
To take on a task that is way to big.
Blessing in disguise
Something good that isn't recognized at first.
Burn the midnight oil
To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.
Can't judge a book by its cover
Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
Caught between two stools
When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives.
Costs an arm and a leg
This idiom is used when something is very expensive.
Cross that bridge when you come to it
Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.
Cry over spilled milk
When you complain about a loss from the past.
Curiosity killed the cat
Being inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.
Cut corners
When something is done badly to save money.
Don't count your chickens before the eggs have hatched
This idiom is used to express "Don't make plans for something that might not happen".

Don't give up the day job
You are not very good at something. You could definitely not do it professionally.
Drastic times call for drastic measures
When you are extremely desperate you need to take drastic actions.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
Far cry from
Very different from.
Feel a bit under the weather
Meaning: Feeling slightly ill.
Give the benefit of the doubt
Believe someone's statement, without proof.
Hear it on the grapevine
This idiom means 'to hear rumours' about something or someone.
Hit the nail on the head
Do or say something exactly right
Hit the sack 
To go to bed.
In the heat of the moment
Overwhelmed by what is/was happening in the moment.
It takes two to tango
Actions or communications need more than one person
Jump on the bandwagon
Join a popular trend or activity.
Keep something at bay
Keep something away.
Kill two birds with one stone
This idiom means, to accomplish two different things at the same time.
Last straw
The final problem in a series of problems.
Let sleeping dogs lie
Meaning - do not disturb a situation as it is - since it would result in trouble or complications.

Let the cat out of the bag
To share information that was previously concealed
Miss the boat
This idiom is used to say that someone missed his or her chance
Not a spark of decency
Meaning: No manners
Not playing with a full deck
Someone who lacks intelligence.
Off one's rocker
Crazy, demented, out of one's mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.
On the ball
When someone understands the situation well.
Once in a blue moon
Meaning: It happens very rarely.
Picture paints a thousand words
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
Piece of cake
A job, task or other activity that is easy or simple.
Put wool over other people's eyes
This means to deceive someone into thinking well of them.
See eye to eye
This idiom is used to say that two (or more people) agree on something.
Sitting on the fence
This is used when someone does not want to choose or make a decision.
Speaking of the devil!
This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
Steal someone's thunder
To do something that takes attention away from what someone else has done
Take (whatever they say) with a grain/pinch of salt
This means not to take what someone says too seriously.
Taste of your own medicine
Means that something that you have done to someone else also happens to you, or it is done to you, 

To hear something straight from the horse's mouth
To hear something from the source.
To go the whole nine yards
Everything. All of it.
Wouldn't be caught dead
Would never like to do something
Your guess is as good as mine
To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question

Friday, 24 June 2016

BREXIT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES ON TEACHING ENGLISH



As far as I see it, “Brexit” will cause a seismic shift in how we communicate with Europe. French and German are almost as widely spoken in Europe. The question is, for how long will British English remain number one in the EU institutions? And how is Brexit going to affect English language teaching and learning?

It's obvious people will continue to study English for many different reasons: Almost 2 billion people around the world speak English; British pop music spread English worldwide and faster than any other source. Even multinational companies like Samsung have adopted English as a language to improve communication for their business endeavours. 

American culture has played a significant role in spreading the English language too, and many students want to be able to watch films and TV shows in American English.

My first guess is that American English will eventually be the leading variety of English, and that the English spoken in Europe as "lingua-franca" will continue evolving on its own, creating sort of a "Euro-English".

On the other hand, Ireland will become the only English native-speaking member state, which could make Ireland a more attractive location for foreign students, – something which will affect positively the Irish economy. Without the support of a grant from the Erasmus programmes, EU school and university students will no longer be able to afford a cultural exchange year in Great Britain, so I assume they will try to go to Ireland instead. 


Should we all start studying French or German now?    

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

POPULAR SAYINGS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH


Hoy en la cuenta de Instagram (@englisharound) he subido un "saying" muy conocido, y que de alguna manera está presente en diferentes idiomas: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" ("Una manzana al día del médico te libraría").





Pero lo habitual es encontrar refranes y dichos difíciles de traducir literalmente, así que conviene aprenderlos de memoria. Aquí hay unos cuántos:



1. Cuando hay hambre no hay pan duro- Beggars can’t be choosers.
2. Más vale prevenir que curar- A stich in time saves nine / Better safe than sorry
3. Borrón y cuenta nueva- Let bygones be bygones
4. Es la gota que colma el vaso- The straw that broke the camel’s back
5. No vendas la piel del oso antes de cazarlo– Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched
6. Querer es poder– Where there’s a will, there’s a way
7. Nadie da duros a pesetas- There’s no such thing as a free lunch
8. No hay mal que por bien no venga– Every cloud has a silver lining
9. A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda– Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise / It’s the early bird that catches the worm
10. Quien no llora no mama– If you don’t ask you don’t get
11. La letra con sangre entra– No pain, no gain
12. No es oro todo lo que reluce– All that glitters is not gold
13. Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente– Out of sight, out of mind
14.  Vale más una imagen que mil palabras- A picture is worth a thousand words
15. Allá donde fueres haz lo que vieres- When in Rome, do as Romans
16. En la variedad está el gusto– Variety is the spice of life
17. Los ojos son el espejo del alma– Eyes are windows to the soul
18. Más vale tarde que nunca– Better late than never
19. Dios los cría y ellos se juntan – Birds of a feather flock together
20. Nunca digas de esta agua no beberé– Never say never

Sunday, 12 June 2016

SEPARATING WORDS AT THE END OF A LINE


This is not easy, so I always recommend my students never to divide a word at the end of a line. But in case you are wondering what the rules are, here you are:


1. Divide the word between syllables. This means, of course, that one-syllable words are never divided.
Incorrect:  Incorrect:  Correct:
sp-
orts
su-
pport
sup-
port

2. The hyphen goes at the end of the first line.
Incorrect:  Correct:  
sup
-port
sup-
port

3. Prefixes and suffixes make natural divisions.
Incorrect:  Correct:
in-
ternational  
inter-
national
                                                                                     (The prefix is inter.)


4. There should be at least two letters plus the hyphen on the first line and three letters on the second.
Incorrect:  Incorrect:  Correct:
e-
lect
supposed-
ly
sup-
posedly

5. Do not divide proper nouns or proper adjectives.
Incorrect:  Correct:
Wash-
ington
Washington

6. Divide hyphenated word using the hyphen already in the word.
Incorrect:  Correct:
moth-
er-in-law   
mother-
in-law





7. Do not divide a word at the end of a line if the parts of the word will be on two separate pages. This is hard for the reader to follow.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

EJERCICIO RESUELTO PRUEBA 2A INGLÉS PAU: JUNIO 2016 (ILLES BALEARS)






1a) TRUE. The text says: "I do not see why games should be trying to teach us anything." OR "I have been puzzled for a long time by the modern tendency to try to justify life experiences by pointing to research about how they make us better in some way."

1b) FALSE. The text says: "In games, however, the identification is instinctive and immediate."

2) Sample answer: According to the author, the main point of playing video games is that one can experience first hand different emotions just for fun. When you are playing, you identify with the character on the screen and, somehow, you live the same adventures as he or she does.

3) 1) WORTHLESS    2) A STROLL    3) IMPORTANT  4) TO MISS OUT







4)
4.1:     - CAN I SEE IT?
           - ISN'T/WASN'T IT TOO EXPENSIVE?

4.2     A) MINE B) AT

4.3     A) TO TRY OUT  B) SPEND

4.4  I would like to visit the shop WHERE John bought his new video game. OR I would like to visit the shop IN WHICH John bought his new video game.

5)
5.1 COKE
5.2 LIKES
5.3 BRIDGE
5.4 CALLED






  • Organiza las ideas teniendo en cuenta que la redacción debe expresar tu opinión personal.
  • Comienza presentando el tema del que vas a escribir y tu opinión sobre él. 
  • Divide las ideas en párrafos (responde a las preguntas).
  • Utiliza expresiones para organizar, relacionar o añadir ideas: In addition, First, Therefore, Furthermore, I strongly believe, I think...
  • Conclusión: incluye una predicción acerca del futuro, por ejemplo.

En este ENLACE tenéis un ejemplo de OPINION ESSAY.



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EJERCICIO RESUELTO PRUEBA 2B INGLÉS PAU: JUNIO (ILLES BALEARS)








1)
A) TRUE. The text says: "we need to stop procrastinating".

B) FALSE. The text says: "Earlier this month, DiCaprio received the Crystal Award". OR using your words: "Jenny Beavan won an Oscar for best costume design, not the Crystal Award".

2) Sample answer: According to the text, Leonardo DiCaprio's speech is thought to be harsh on politicians because he pointed out that many politicians are moved by money and personal interests rather than by doing what is best for the planet.


3)   1- GREED  2-TO TAKE SOMETHING FOR GRANTED  3- ACHIEVEMENTS   4-COSTUME
 




4)
4.1) A) WENT B) WOULD you LIKE

4.2) A) MAKE   B) ISN'T

4.3) A)  BRILLIANTLY    B) TO STAY

4.4) It MUST be a really good film.

5)
5.1 SOME
5.2 PEA
5.3 SURE
5.4 JUMPED




  • Organiza las ideas teniendo en cuenta que la redacción debe expresar tu opinión personal.
  • Comienza presentando el tema del que vas a escribir y tu opinión sobre él. 
  • Divide las ideas en párrafos (responde a las preguntas).
  • Utiliza expresiones para organizar, relacionar o añadir ideas: In addition, First, Therefore, Furthermore, I strongly believe, I think...
  • Conclusión: unas frases finales ratificando tu opinión, por ejemplo.





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