Escuela Oficial de Idiomas Santa María de Guía

Category Archives: esl

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?
  • 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.


  • 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.

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!

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?

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.

This article was written by Ana Elena Ponce, from avanzado 2. 

Last year I was shown one of the most breathtaking creations of nature: the metamorphosis of the Danaus plexippus, well-known as the “Monarch butterfly”.

It all starts with the colourful Asclepias curassavica. This flower is the only one chosen by Monarch butterflies to lay their white little eggs. It takes them a week to develop and hatch into a larva. Then, it starts to eat the flowers and leaves of the plant. As days goes by you can appreciate how the plant gets dry, a process that is parallel to the larva growth.

These larvae have a characteristic pattern of white, yellow and black transverse bands. Below a larva in the first and last stage is shown. It is believed that it takes them 25 days to reach their final size which is 2000 times their initial one. Amazing, isn’t it?



Only then will they hang and build their chrysalis. At the beginning, the chrysalis is light green but soon the lines of the wings pattern appear. Then, the chrysalis get darker and darker till the day they are seen brown, what means that in 24 hours’ time the butterfly will go out of it. As you can imagine, this is the most magical moment of the whole process. I still cannot believe how this is possible.


For me it was like becoming mom. The first hours of life they cannot fly and the feeling that this little beautiful animal needs you is perfect.


This article has been written by Gustavo Díaz from Avanzado 2. 

The way people listen to music has changed drastically throughout the years. Currently, we have access to any kind of music just in a few seconds. However, why are vinyl records increasing their sales?Captura de pantalla 2015-04-20 a las 12.04.50

     Both CDs in the nineties and MP3 in the new century made vinyl records disappear almost completely due to several factors. For instance, both of them are more convenient to bring with you wherever you want to play them. Moreover, the CD was much more difficult to damage and was perceived by the public to be better sounding.

     Nevertheless, in the last six years, vinyl sales have tripled. In the first part of 2014, Billboard counted 6.5 million units sold. Currently, vinyl represents 3.5 percent of overall music sales, while a decade ago it was only a 0.2 percent. As a result, Digital Downloads and CDs still constitute the majority, but sales for those formats are down.

     Finally, it is also worth mentioning the emotional difference between vinyl albums and digital downloads. It could be the answer to the vinyl revival. You can download as much music as you can from thousands of groups, but people usually listen to the same songs repeatedly. Listening to vinyl is a special experience. You cannot do it at work or in the car. Consequently, you will be practically forced to listen to all the songs, which will make you appreciate it more. As Charles Lamb said ‘Contented with little, yet wishing for more’.

      In my opinion, vinyl discs are an amazing way to enjoy music. They create an incredible atmosphere since you see the cover art. Definitely, this classic format has returned to stay.

The following article has been written by Aarón González, student of Avanzado 2.

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a las 19.24.42

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a las 19.24.35Who hasn’t  seen Rin Tin Tin or Sam, the loyal and devoted companion from Will Smith’s in I Am Legend? The German Shepherd Dog (also known as GSD) is a dog of legend. Everyone, no matter their age or origin, knows how a GSD looks like: the black and tan coat, a noble and intelligent gaze or the two sticky up ears. However, there are other characteristics that future owners should know.

The GSD is a herding dog; it descends from other herding dog breeds. It means that they have inherited some of their features; they are bright, intelligent and learn quickly. But, this also implies that it’s an active dog which needs daily exercise or an occupation which keep them busy. If not, as the excellent herding breed that they are, they might herd the members of the family or other pets.

Regarding  their character, they are going to take their duties as guardians quite seriously. Although they are family dogs, which love playing with the kids of the family, no German shepherd dog won’t hesitate to bark, growl or bite if any strange person approaches your home, your garden or even the youngest members of the family. For this reason, their owners should be ready to set limits and train them hard in obedience.

To sum up, a German shepherd dog require an owner who understands and is ready to cover its specific needs. The future owner of a GSD, or any other dog, should have enough time to train or exercise it daily, but, above all, to love and protect it.

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-19 a las 19.24.52


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,524 other followers

%d bloggers like this: