Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Santa María de Guía

English File Website

Did you know that you can use the English File website for extra practice?

Click on the link for your level and put in favourites on your computer so you can find it easily.

Básico 1               Básico 2              Intermedio 1 and 2            Avanzado 1                Avanzado 2


Tell me about when you were a child…

In class we listened to three anecdotes about early childhood memories.  Now it’s your turn to tell me about yours.  Follow the structure in the table – age; the occasion and background to the story; what happened; what happened in the end; and how you felt.  Choose one of the topics from the list in  “Can you remember?”  This is a great moment to show how much you have learned about narrative tenses.  You can also use “used to” (from Intermedio 1) and  adjectives -ing/-ed…childhood-memories1

You will need to write notes to help you but DON’T write the script!  This is reading and not speaking.  I want to hear you speak naturally.  It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes (well, not too many).  This is natural when we speak.  Here’s an example I’ve done to show you.

I’ve chosen the story of a really embarrassing incident I had when I was a child.  Click here to read my notes and click here to hear my story.  It lasts for 3 minutes.  Can you hear any language from the course? You can use Vocaroo to record it and you can send me the link to my email, or use an mp3 recording device or your phone and attach the file.  If you use your mobile, DON’T use the extension 3ga as I can’t open it.  Thanks. I look forward to hearing your tales. Length: 3 minutes.  Deadline:  Friday 17th October.

Pronunciation of -ed and plural endings.

Today I’m posting two videos about pronunciation that I’ve found on a website called Elemental English.

This is the video we saw in class, it contains a clear explanation of how these endings are pronounced. Remember that pronunciation is very important if you really want to improve your speaking skills. You can also read a lesson here, it belongs to the same website.


A similar rule applies for plurals and third person singular endings. Watch this video to learn them. You can also visit the author’s website to see the written lesson that pairs this video.

Working with new vocabulary, houses

Today we’ve seen how to learn new vocabulary and how to work with it. All this vocabulary was related to homes and places to live.

To find new ideas to work with vocabulary, click on the image below and you’ll find lots of visual inspiration to introduce new vocabulary in class.

Learning new vocabulary

If you want to see the presentation with all the vocabulary about houses and and elements inside a house, you can see it here again. I must thank my mate Michael for this wonderful slideshow.

Names and numbers

Here is a fantastic website to practise the alphabet.  Touch the letter and listen to the pronunciation.

Now, watch this video and hear people spell their names.  How do you spell your name?  An alternative way to ask is, “Can you spell your name?”

Can you remember numbers in English.  Watch this video and write the phone numbers.  It is very fast!

Now, check you answers here.


Welcome everybody!!!

We are starting this new course talking about one of the points that make students feel less comfortable when speaking: pronunciation. To start solving this issue, our first step should be getting to know all English sounds better. And how can we achieve it? Well, practice makes perfect, so it’s time you start practicing these sounds with this link to the English File website, where you have an interactive pronunciation chart that can help you improve.

But what happens when you don’t know how to pronounce specific words? Your solution is an online dictionary, where you can repeat words over and over again until you know how to pronounce them. My favourite dictionary is the Cambridge Online Dictionary, where you have a selection of dictionaries, monolingual and bilingual, and where you can find both British and American pronunciation for all entries.

Now there’s no excuse not to start to practise!!!!

Preparing for your final exams 2014

Certificate exams and final exams are round the corner and this blog is full of recommendations for you. Let’s talk about all the possibilities we offer here once again. Don’t say you don’t know where to start from!!!


  • Watch these videos of students taking their English exams, revise the teachers’ notes and try to improve your skills.
  • Watch these videos by the British Council, they give you advice about what to do and what not to do during your speaking test.
  • Saro Rosales, a teacher at EOI Las Palmas GC wrote an article for her students giving advice for the speaking test, don’t miss it.
  • Would you like to do a language exchange? Here you have a list of sites where you can do them.
  • Intercambio de idiomas, a website where you can find out about places to practise English with other learners and native speakers. People gather together to practise while having a drink.
  • Here you are a list of the topics you might be asked about during your exams.
  • Finally, here you have a list I wrote for my students back in 2009, why don’t you take a look at it?

vocabulary and expressions

  • Read this document written by my friend María Valdés, it contains expressions that can help you both with your writing and with your speaking.


  • This post contains a slideshow presentation with a summary of the different types of texts you could find in your certificate exam.
  • Guidelines for writing, a slideshow presentation with lots of tips.

assorted skills

  • Try to follow the advice given in this article, where you can find tips to practise listening, writing and reading.
  • Do you know ELLA? Here you can practise all skills.
  • Busuu helps you with all skills, and you can even practise Engish with other students and native speakers. It’s a great community to learn different languages.


All levels:


  • Randall’s Cyber ESL Lab: Listening activities – do the activities for the easy level.
  • Weekly podcast with video and activities. Do the activities for Level 1. Podcasts are free, but to download activities you need to pay for a subscription.
  • mansioningles:  listenings with differentiated tasks – do the activities for level ‘Básico’.


  • ELLLO: Real life conversations with different accents. Good for Intermedio 1 and 2, y Avanzado 1
  • Global English Salon: Artículos actuales que se pueden escuchar (con acento americano) y leer
  • Breaking News English: news articles for reading or listening. Good for Intermedio 2 and above.

Avanzado 1 and 2:

Certificate exams

Remember that the Consejería de Educación del Gobierno de Canarias has published some examples which contain the certificate exams used last year. You can see them here, and if you want to practise even more, please visit these links, which contain examples from all over Spain.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,400 other followers

%d bloggers like this: