Conditionals

Here is some information to help you review conditional sentences.

Si prefieres estudiar este tema en castellano (os entiendo, es chungo…) echa un vistazo a: http://aprendeinglessila.com/2013/03/condicionales/

PRACTICE!

Let’s start with two easy activities. Kahoots! Remember: I can see the results to these.
1. First conditional (If + present simple + will)
2. Second conditional (If + past simple + would)
3. Mixed first and second conditionals

Now, here are some activities that are a bit more difficult.
Interactive activities: Click here. Make sure to practice “type I” and “type II”.

 

conditionals-summary-chartif-i-were-you-grammar

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!

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?

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!

Music to Practice your English

I have always felt that music is one of the best ways to work on your pronunciation. However, you must be careful about what music you use to practice your language skills! Personally, I think that there are certain genres (categories, types) that are better than others if you’re looking to improve your English. For example, it’s a lot easier to understand a classic rock song than a screamcore song! I think that country and classic rock are the best types of music to use if you want to study. Why? Both genres are usually quite easy to understand. Heavy metal, rap, hip hop, and modern pop can be quite difficult to understand.

How can you practice your English by listening to music? First, find a song you like that you think you might understand. Search for the song on YouTube, Spotify, or any other streaming service. Then, search for “Lyrics + song title” on your favorite search engine. Ojo: si hablas español, recuerda que “la letra de una canción” es “lyrics” en inglés.

What are my suggestions? Here are a few thoughts:

There are a lot of websites that offer suggestions about which songs to use in order to practice your English skills. Here are two that I think are great:

Finally, as I was about to post this article on Twitter, I saw this article from The Guardian come across my feed: “Saved by song: can singing improve your language skills?” I totally agree with the author. I learned the infamous Spanish “rr” through singing along with my favorite songs!

Do you have a favorite song in English? What is it? Does it help you practice a specific grammar subject or does it simply help you with pronunciation? Leave us a comment sharing your favorite(s) with us!