Writing in English

Sometimes you find a resource that makes you say “YES!” This is one of those resources.

Are you trying to improve your writing skills? Santa Barbara Community College has an absolutely phenomenal website with loads of resources to help you! PLEASE take the time to check out all they have to offer: http://www.sbcc.edu/clrc/writing_center/onlinewritinglibrary.php

I highly recommend that you pay special attention to the “RESOURCES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS” section.

This would be great for students in the upper levels of ESO, Bachillerato, university or adults in general.

I hope this resource helps you improve your writing skills!


¿Quieres hacer un poco de listening? El BBC tiene una página web muy buena con muchos recursos disponibles. Se llama BBC Learning English y lo puedes encontrar en: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish

Todos los listening van dirigidos a un alumno de nivel intermedio.

Recomiendo que miras la sección de FEATURES. A mi me gusta mucho la sección de 6 Minute English porque tienen unas lecciones realmente interesantes sobre muchas temas diferentes. Las secciones Lingo Hack y The English We Speak hablan del inglés que puedes oír en la vida cotidiana y en las noticias.

¿Qué opinas de la página? ¿Lo has usado alguna vez? ¿Entiendes poco, algo, mucho o todo?


Word Order

Would you like to read more about word order in English? Check out: http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps/media/objects/3388/3469470/ch41.pdf


Did Tuesday’s lesson confuse you? Would you like to study pronouns in more detail? Check out: https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/pronouns.htm for further explanation. Put your knowledge to the test with the activities available at: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/pronomen.htm

I hope that you find this post helpful!

Songs for Children

Some adults find it difficult to tolerate music written for children. I must admit that I am one of these adults. For this very reason, I get excited when I stumble across something that both my youngest students and I really like! I decided to put on some music the other day while my little ones were working on decorating their Easter eggs. That’s when I stumbled across the Super Simple Songs channel on YouTube.

Without further ado, here’s the blog post I promised:

Classic Children’s Songs:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Skidamarink (“I love you”: good for Valentine’s Day)
The Wheels on the Bus

Animal Vocab:
What Do You Hear?
Wag Your Tail (Awesome for actions, “fast”, “slow”, and imperatives)
Yes, I Can! (Also, “can” and short answers)

Food Vocab:
Do You Like Broccoli Ice Cream? (Great for practicing “Do you like___?” & short answers)

Parts of the Body:
My Teddy Bear (Also great for practicing “has”)

Number Vocab:
Counting Bananas
Ten in the Bed
Count and Move

Color Vocab:
I See Something Blue

Clothing Vocab:
Put on Your Shoes

Winter Vocab:
Little Snowflake
I’m a Little Snowman (Body vocab)

Sweet Dreams

This is just a start! Spend some time on Super Simple Songs’ YouTube page. They have a ton of songs available! They also have loads of free resources available on their website. Check out: Super Simple Learning.

Guys, I’m in love! I hope you enjoy their resources as much as I do!

Pet Peeves: Mis Manias

Let’s talk about some of the most common mistakes that I see in the classroom.

So many of my students confuse “fun” and “funny”. It has become one of my biggest pet peeves (manias)! Please remember that the general rule is:

FUN = divertido, te lo pasas bien
FUNNY = gracioso, algo que te hace reír

Woodward English, one of my favorite websites, has a better explanation that is worth reading: http://www.woodwardenglish.com/difference-between-fun-and-funny/ Be sure to do their mini-quiz at the end of the article!

The second issue I want to study today is the phrase “Shut up.” Teachers, one should not use this phrase in the classroom unless you’re at your wit’s end. “(Please) be quiet” is the much more polite alternative.

Imagine the situation:

  1. Please be quiet.
  2. I’ve already told you once. Be quiet.
  3. You’re not paying attention. Be quiet!
  4. Guys, I’m serious, BE QUIET.
  5. SHUT UP.

My eighth grade English teacher wouldn’t even allow us to say “shut up” in her classroom!

The word pis.

I know, it’s basically socially acceptable to utter the words “voy a hacer un pis” or something similar. Please, don’t directly translate this phrase into English! Believe it or not, I was once told: “Can you watch my class? I am going to do a piss!” That’s… VULGAR! Remember, we’re not as direct in English. A much better alternative is: “Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom/washroom/toilet/powder room.”

These are the first three big mistakes I can think of right now. I am certain that this will turn into a series of articles about my pet peeves.

What are your English/Spanish pet peeves? What are the most common mistakes you have seen?

Present Simple

Do you want to review what we learned in class today?

Here are two other explanations of the Present Simple: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Present_simple_%28ingl%C3%A9s%29 (in Spanish) http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/sim_pres.htm (in English).

Try any of the exercises listed under “Simple Present” to test your knowledge about this tense! http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/zeitformen.htm#simple_present

Good luck!

“Hay” (Present): There is / There are

Do you want to practice what we studied in class today? Check out the explanation of “there is / there are” at: http://www.grammar.cl/Present/ThereIsThereAre.htm

Exercises to practice there is/there are:



Have and Have Got

Como hemos estudiado hoy en clase, el verbo tener tiene dos maneras de traducirse:

Have Got

Si tienes alguna duda sobre las formas afirmativas, negativas e interrogativas del tener en inglés, visita: http://www.curso-ingles.com/gramatica-inglesa/have_have_got.php (explicación en castellano). Si te atreves a estudiarlo en inglés, aquí hay otra explicación: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/have_have_got.htm

Para practicar la forma have got (la forma más enseñada en España), aquí tenéis algunos ejercicios:

Afirmativa: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises/tenses/have_got.htm
Negativa: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises/tenses/have_not_got.htm
Interrogativa: http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/exercises/tenses/have_got_questions.htm

If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me a tweet!

Good luck!

El primer día: ¡sabes más de lo que tu crees!

Es nuestro primer día de inglés. Quizás nunca has estudiado el inglés en tu vida. Quizás llevas años sin tocar un libro de inglés. ¡No te preocupes! No tiene que ser agobiante. ¡Sabes mucho más de lo que tú crees! Los cognados son nuestro mejor amigo. ¿Qué son los cognados? Son dos palabras de dos idiomas distintas que se parecen. Son una manera muy fácil de aprender mucho vocabulario en poco tiempo.

Echa un vistazo a esta lista: http://www.colorincolorado.org/pdfs/articles/cognates.pdf ¡Cinco páginas de cognados!

No todo puede ser fácil. También tenemos “falsos cognados” o “falsos amigos”. Estos son palabras que se parecen pero NO tienen el mismo significado. Hay que tener muchísimo cuidadito con ellos. Si te atreves, lee la lista de falsos cognados aquí: http://www.ebpai.com/storage/False%20friends%20between%20spanish%20and%20english%202.pdf

¡Mucha suerte!


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