Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Santa María de Guía

Preparing for your final exams 2015

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!!!

speaking

  • 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?
  • Examples and tips to pass your speaking test, level Avanzado 2.

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.

writing

  • 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.

listening

All levels:

Básico:

  • Randall’s Cyber ESL Lab: Listening activities – do the activities for the easy level.
  • Podcastsinenglish.com: 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’.

Intermedio:

  • 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.

Things my mother taught me

Mothers never give up teaching

Have you ever wondered how many things you’ve learnt from your mother? They teach us everything we need to know:
  1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A WELL DONE JOB.
    “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”
  2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
    “You better pray that stain come out of the carpet.”
  3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
    “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
  4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
    “Because I said so, that’s why.”
  5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
    “What’s for lunch, mom? – Food!”
  6. My mother taught me IRONY.
    “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
  7. My mother taught me about THE SCIENCE OF OSMOSIS.
    “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
  8. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
    “Look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”
  9. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
    “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
  10. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
    “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”
  11. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
    “I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”
  12. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
    “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”
  13. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
    “Stop acting like your father!”
  14. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
    “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”
  15. My mother taught me ESP (ExtraSensory Perception).
    “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”
  16. My mother taught me BLACK HUMOUR.
    “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
  17. My mother taught me WISDOM OF AGE.
    “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”
  18. My mother taught me VENTRILOQUISM.
    “Stop grumbling, shut up and answer me: why did you do it?”
  19. My mother taught me TO BE THRIFTY.
    “Save up your tears for my funeral!”
  20. And my mother taught me about JUSTICE.
    “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

As time goes by, we see our mothers in different ways: The images of mother.

Thanks to all the anonymous authors of these sentences for their sense of humour.

And remember that mother, there is only one, so don’t forget yours!

Holophonic sounds / Binaural audio

Have you heard about Holophonic sounds or Binaural audio?

The next recording is entitled “Virtual barber shop”. Put on your headphones, close your eyes and listen to it (remember, you MUST use headphones to enjoy it in the right way).

This recording was created by QSound Labs. They have other demos in their website.

How does it work? Basically, the sound is recorded by microphones situated as if they were the ears of a person, simulating their position and even the shadowing effect of our head. It means that sound is recorded as if we were listening to it. So, headphones are required to take advantage of recordings made with this technique.

Examples of binaural recorders

In this link, you can watch an advertisement of a BBC Radio programme recorded that way.

You can find other interesting recordings searching things like “holophonic sounds” or “binaural audio” on the Internet. For example, this one:

Did you like any of the recordings? Did they surprise you?

These will be good listening practice, trust me!

My plans for next weekend

futureplanWhat are your plans for next weekend? Do you remember how to talk about future plans? Remember, you need “be +  going to” + infinitive.

Click here and here for interactive practice on the English File website and click here to hear me talking about my plans for next weekend.

Now why don’t you try it? Can you talk for 1 to 2 minutes about your plans?  What are you going to do? Where are you going to eat? Who are you going to meet?

Writing reviews

The last kind of text we are revising (you had seen all of them before) are reviews. Here you have all the materials you need to write a good review of a movie or book. Just help yourselves!!!

Apart from what you can see in the presentation, don’t forget all the methods we have learnt to attract the reader’s attention, to use vocabulary related to the subject-matter and to use topic sentences.

For further information,  you can check the following links.

From your Mouth to the World

This article was written by Nauzet Armas, from Avanzado 2.

How many times have you thought “if I had spoken English, I’d have obtained that job” or “if I spoke English more fluently, I could travel to anywhere around the whole world”…? Did you know that most of the students at Official Languages Schools succeed passing all the school planning?

  The first thing you should know is that learning a language is the most demanded aspect in job interviews nowadays, due to the globalization our society is living. So, you’ll probably need a second or even a third language to get a job because you need to communicate with customers or colleagues from other countries. Companies like Google, Apple, or Coca Cola are opening new headquarters almost every day all around the world.

Moreover, it’s well known that if you want to travel on your own, it would be very interesting the fact that you could get on with the language as you wouldn’t need a dictionary or an automatic translator.

So, If I’ve got you to be interested in learning languages such as English, French or whatever, you might take a look to an Official Languages School like http://www.eoiguia.com. There, you are going to be plenty informed of what you need to sign up so that you can attend lessons and be a multilingual person in less time that you’re thinking about.

Here you can see a link to see the things you can do there: 

Don’t be shy and go straight from your mouth to the World!

PASSION FOR HORSES

This article was written by Natalia Rodríguez from Avanzado 2.

Have you ever thought about riding a horse? Would you like to have at least one equine? I would have never imagined to have one horse or mare and now, I am not able to live without them. It is a perfect way to spend our free time disconnecting from our daily routines.   

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-22 a las 14.03.28

  Traditionally, horses were employed to transport goods and even or to plough the fields. Humans have also trained them as a military tools to fight in wars. However, the current use of these animals is chiefly equestrian sports and they are being used to sports competitions such as hippic events. Catching the attention of tourists is another purpose and they might travel in a carriage pulled by horses.

Horses are characterized by being curious, social and intelligent animals. It is said that they have a prodigious memory and it lets them remember the things that they learn.

According to life expectancy, horses may live between thirty and forty years and they are considered as adults after their fourth year. Captura de pantalla 2015-04-22 a las 14.03.21

Among the varied breeds, there are three kinds of horses which are more common: Spanish, Arabian and English horses.

Exceptionally, genetic has mixed them and, and as a result, it has obtained extravagant horses of combined colours named Palomine, Apaloose or Pio.

As a lover of horses, I  recommend you to practice horse-back riding. Breathing pure air and being in direct contact with nature is ideal. Moreover, the healthy effect they produce in children with autism or cerebral paralysis has been proved. Are you ready?

This video shows us why equine therapy is so beneficial with real experiences.Captura de pantalla 2015-04-22 a las 14.03.41


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