Nowadays, learning English is really important for a wide range of reasons. Giving our children the opportunity to learn English will allow them to continue their studies in many countries. Do you know of any interesting places where you can improve your English? Farm-Camp in Guadalajara gives you the opportunity to make it possible.
Farm-Camp is a week long program that includes activities, workshops and games based on a farm which encourages the use of English. Children from 6 to 14 learn English while they are riding a horse, dancing or doing exercise, but also during meals and free time.
The farm is very well situated. It is one hour distance from Madrid by bus. In fact, the last day of the language immersion week consists of an amazing tour of Madrid, visiting the most important places of the city.
The accommodation also makes the visit a very pleasant experience. Facilities have been recently refurnished to offer comfortable classrooms. However, the most beautiful areas are located out of the building, where everybody can enjoy doing different sports, having a nice time with animals or relaxing in green areas.
Nevertheless, it is important to take into account that the weather could be really cold because of its location. Warm clothes are obviously necessary during these days because it is possible that temperatures are not so high.
Don’t you think that these kinds of experiences would be beneficial for learning English? Several groups of students who have been there before think so.
You can click here for more information.
Have you ever wondered how a story was imagined by its author?
That’s what some people did in this short film entitled George Lucas in love, creating a funny explanation about how Star Wars was conceived:
In a few weeks, the seventh film of the Star Wars saga will be released. That reminded me about this short film. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know too much about Star Wars, most gags are easy to understand because we all know the characters.
Some years ago a brewing company (beers) made a funny campaign based on the concept of how some customs started. I know five videos (more information in this link):
- The Peace sign is born
- The Lighter Phenomenon is born
- The birth of Scratching
- The birth of Posturing
- The Macarena dance is born
They are quite easy to find in streaming video servers like Youtube or Vimeo.
Do you know any other film about imagining how a something was imagined?
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.
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!
Podcasts are a useful tool to learn and practise your English comfortably from home, when driving or even when you are exercising. When looking for a podcast, I tend to visit both the BBC Learn English or the British Council websites, as they usually include supplementary materials together with their podcasts, being their quality is very high.
Today I would like to draw your attention to The English We Speak, a series of podcasts published by the BBC which are described as follows:
Make the English you speak sound more natural with The English We Speak from bbclearningenglish.com. Every week, we look at a different everyday English phrase or piece of slang in this fun three-minute programme.
As said before, every episode offers an expression explained in context and with examples. Would you like to know what “no-win situation” or “keep me posted” mean? Well this is your podcast. This series does not include transcripts as the English spoken is them is very easy to follow, both for intermediate and advanced students.
As most of you know, you can listen to these podcasts from a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Who hasn’t got 3 minutes to practise some English?
As promised, here I leave you the presentation we saw in class to practise the pronunciation of these sounds.
Unfortunately, Spanish native speakers use both the sounds /b/ and /v/ for letters “b”and “v”. This makes that Spanish-speaking students of English have many problems making difference between these sounds. If you want to improve the pronunciation of these sounds you can check these video lessons taken from the BBC website.
If you want to practise the pronunciation of /b/, see this video.
If you want to practise the pronunciation of /v/, see this other video.
Finally, you can see this presentation again to practise these sounds in context.