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July 01, 2015

How to improve your reading skills

What’s the best way to improve your reading skills? Here are a few of our top tips.

1 Why you should read!Reading can really help you learn a language. As you’re reading something, you’re learning hundreds of useful words and expressions without even realising it. You’re also seeing how words fit together and how language structures are used. Plus, as you’re reading, you’re finding out about interesting things, which could give you something to talk about in conversation.

reading I2 What to read!The key is to read things you want to read. When you’re interested in something, you focus on the content not the language. This means you learn without even realising it – the language simply flows in and gets registered in your brain. So, choose a topic that motivates you: sport, film, music, marketing, politics, economics, travel, business, technology… the options are limitless. And choose a format that suits you too: a book, a magazine, a website, a newspaper, a social media site… whatever you want.

3 How to read!Before reading, you need to activate your existing knowledge of the topic. When you do this, you “connect” with the text, and your understanding of it will increase. You’ll also find it easier to guess the meaning of any new words and expressions. For example, if you’re going to read an article on skiing, you could start by thinking about all the words you know related to this theme; or you could answer discussion questions on the topic. Then, when you start reading, you’ll find it easier to follow the text.

June 30, 2015

Do you speak English?

Simon Pegg and the Big Train comedy sketch team perform a funny short on life of an English speaking tourist in France.


June 28, 2015

June 22, 2015

Letters from Dad

To celebrate Father's Day, Time asked influencial dads to write open letters to their children.

To Clara and Liam

My dad didn’t know how to tell me he loved me. I know that he did, in his way. But he never told me. And what I’ve learned from him, God rest his soul, is how important it is to tell you both how much I love you, every day, even when I’m angry.
Because you really are the best of me. I look at your world, and I see one so much different than the one I grew up in. You’ve got a dad that’s black and a dad that’s white. You grew up knowing same-sex couples. So your understanding of sexuality, of race—it’s just not that of where I come from. And I learn from you every day because of it.
Clara, you want to be a filmmaker and producer, and you already know more about film than me. You’re me on steroids.
Liam, I’ll never forget your first steps. When you and Clara were both one, she started walking and you didn’t. So I was very concerned. I thought maybe you couldn’t walk. Then one day, I was playing Whitney Houston’s ‘I Believe in You and Me.’ And you didn’t just start walking—you started dancing over to me. That was a bigger moment than your birth.
When you were young, I was gone often. I had to be on the road doing films. Those were the hardest times, because I couldn’t be with you when you wanted to be with me. Then, all of a sudden, you no longer wanted to sleep with me or cuddle with me. It’s like, “I love you, bye.” You got things to do! It’s interesting how life can change so quickly in front of your eyes.
That’s why I always tell you that patience is a virtue. I know you’re anxious a lot and you’re always in a hurry, but remember to take your time. Tomorrow is not promised. So you must live in the most honest way that you can, being as kind as possible to other human beings.
That’s really the only advice I can give you, because you’re so good at giving me advice. That’s how incredible you are. That’s the plane you’re on.
I better get a Fathers’ Day gift.
Love,
Dad

Daniels is the award-winning creator of FOX’s Empire

June 20, 2015

Refugee Day

The 20th of June is World Refugee Day. So to mark the date, we are going to take a closer look at the issue at the Australian news channel ABC. Here's Carl with more.
Full Transcript
video
 
After watching, try to answer the following questions:
  1. Give some reasons why people flee their country.
  2. The word `refugee’ comes from the French word meaning...
  3. The UN estimates there are at least_____ refugees who need shelter or a new home.
  4. Which countries do most refugees come from?
  5. Most refugees flee to countries like Australia and the US. True or false?
  6. About how many refugees are settled in Australia each year?
  7. Where in Europe are many refugees travelling to by boat?
  8. What do you understand more clearly since watching the BtN story?
  9. How did this story make you feel?

June 19, 2015

Tongue Twister challenge!

Macmillan 'King of Pronunciation Skills' Adrian Underhill has written a special tongue twister challenge for you! 

Have a go with your colleagues, and if you're brave enough film your attempts and send your videos to us. We'll select the best to share on our official YouTube channel!

June 17, 2015

A model monologue

Hi,

I think this sample monologue will help you see what is required from you on this task in the speaking exam:

Thanks Irene!

June 16, 2015

Call for September speaking exam

Hi,

This is the call for the speaking exam on September 11th:

15:30h
Jacinto Á
Paz C
Marisa A
Judith A
Sebastián C
Luz M
Ana F
Loreto F
M.ª Teresa G
Natalia G
Zarko J
Pedro L
M.ª Antonia M
José Antonio P
Susana S
Rocío T
Veracruz R
Mariano V

17h
Alba A
Aroa A
Alejandro B
Elena F
Juan F
Verónica M
Carlos B
Marina U
Abel G
Jezabel S
Juan José G
Begoña J
Esther C
Verónica M A
Rafael N
Violeta P
Jorge Luis R
 

June 13, 2015

Final Grades

Hi,

These are your final grades:
Remember you can check your exam on Monday 15th at 19h.

Those taking the exam in September again can see the dates below:
 
September 9th  at 16:30                -> Written exam (Reading 65'; Listening 30'; Writing 70')
September 11th  starting at 15:30 -> Speaking
September 14th at 19h                  -> Exam checking

School Webpage

June 12, 2015

English Immersion Courses

You might apply for these grants to study English until the 22nd of June:

http://www.educa2.madrid.org/web/revista-digital/convocatorias/-/visor/ayudas-para-cursos-de-inmersion-en-lengua-inglesa2

What class are you?

Chinese supermarket


What social class are you? Hundreds of millions of people around the world are escaping poverty and becoming middle class.
In Asia, there's a huge increase in the number of consumers - people with more money to spend. What does this mean for the future?
In 6 Minute English, Rob and Neil discuss the language behind being middle class.

June 11, 2015

Grades

Hi,

These are the grades of the first part of the exam:

I'll see you later in the speaking exam.

Practical English

It would be nice to go over these practical expressions we went through in class.

105 regular verbs

Let's keep reviewing: 105 Regular English Verbs with ED in the Past Pronunciation Practice
 

June 10, 2015

-ed sound

This video will teach you the 3 different pronunciations of the past tense -ed. If you leave off this little ending, many of your native English speakers will seriously be lost!



June 09, 2015

Giving your opinion | Macmillan

  • I think: the most usual and general way of giving your opinion:
    I think if you work hard you’ll do very well in the exam.
  • I reckon: a more informal way of giving your opinion:
    It’ll be cheaper to take the plane, I reckon.
  • In my opinion/In my view: a more formal way of giving your opinion:
    In my view, it was a big mistake not to try to buy the company last year.
  • It seems to me/All things considered: used for giving your opinion when you have thought carefully about a situation:It seems to me that John’s plans for the website are very convincing.
    All things considered, I think we were wise to cancel our flights.
  • If you ask me: used for giving an often critical opinion:
    If you ask me, both Paul and Simon are being extremely immature.
  • To be honest/To tell you the truth/To be frank: a way of giving your opinion when you know that that people may not like what you say:To tell you the truth/To be honest/To be frank, I thought the show was pretty awful.
  • Personally: used for emphasizing that you are giving your own opinion:
    Personally, I think you should apologize to your brother.
  • To my mind/As far as I’m concerned: used for giving your own opinion, when you realize that other people may not agree with you:To my mind, the way she behaved was inconsiderate.As far as I’m concerned, tennis is a much more interesting sport than football.
Source:
Life skills tip of the week: giving your opinion | Macmillan

June 08, 2015

Miss Japan: First mixed-race winner provokes debate

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Ariana Miyamoto has become the first bi-racial woman to be crowned Miss Japan. The question of whether a person of mixed race should be eligible to win the competition has since provoked a heated argument on social media,

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports.
5 June 2015 BBC Last updated at 02:35 BST
 

A few dates

Hi,

I'd like to remind you of a few important dates:

On Thursday 11th at 15:30 written grades will be published.
On Saturday 13th at 12 p.m. grades will be published online.
On Monday 15th at 7pm you can check your exams.

Those who pass all exams can collect their registration envelope for NI2 on July 2nd and hand it in back the following day July 3rd.

I'll see you later on today in the written exam.
Good luck!