Happy 200th Birthday Mr. Dickens

Dickens 2012

On 7 February, 1812, the greates British author of all times was born: Charles Dickens. It was in Portsmouth, South East England. His father was a clerk who went bankrupt and sent to prison when Dickens was only a child. At the age of twelve, he was sent to work in a factory and soon after he started his career as a journalist. A the age of 24, his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, gained a huge success and was the beginning of a prestigious career as a novelist.

And this year we are ceebrating the bicentennary of his birth.

Challenge your vocabulary!!

Vocabulary.com is the easiest, most intelligent way to improve your vocabulary. It combines an adaptive learning system (The Challenge) with the world’s fastest dictionary (The Dictionary) so that you can more quickly and more efficiently learn words.” These are their words and, believe me, it is true. If you are one of those who moans about how little vocabulary you know, or if you are a words freek, or just a regular student, this website will probably be of help. 

Fun with grammar? Road to Grammar

Yes, there is a fun way to study grammar! Road to Grammar is a website specially disigned to offer fun exercises to practice any grammar difficulty you may have. All activities are adult orientated so you will not find them too childish. There you can find online quizzes, extra practice and games, they also do printables if you like to work on paper. If you have children learning English at school, there is a junior version that you can use with them and enjoy learning together. Thank you Antonio Jiménez for the tip.

road2grammar

 

More help to improve your writing: writingfun.com

writingfu.com logo

When learning a foreign language writing and speaking are the two most frustrating skills students have to deal with; the former being a real stone in the shoe that may lead to quitting. There are many reasons for that, but the basic problem is that writing is a very demanding skill, it needs to be highly organized and structured. On top of that the person(s), whom the piece of writing is meant for, are not present, what implies an extra effort in providing the information in full, nothing can be left aside. I bet you are already yawning or put off just with the thought of it. Well, it is time for you to take a look at the website I am introducing today Writing Fun. Jenny Eather has gathered all the basic types of writing and made a useful presentation using the latest technology in order to help ESL students with their writing skills. There you will find explanations, exercises, printables and examples of how to write and organize your ideas in formal and informal pieces of writing. By the way, I must thank Laura Martín (ESL teacher at EOI Las Palmas) for the tip.

 

English Central: A fun way of dealing with pronunciation.

 

http://www.englishcentral.com/en/videos

First of all, I must thank Maria from EOI Santa Brígida for the tip. English Central is a new attemp to make English Learning fun and effective. The idea is to watch a video, record your own voice repeating  the lines on the screen, then their speech recognition technology will analyze yours and give inmediate feedback. The aim is to help ESL students with their   pronuntiation by comparing their speech with that of a native. If you are a group of students who enjoy on-line gaming, you can also set a challange for your group and compete to see who is the best.  There are more features to this brilliant site, but I’d rather let you discover them by yourself. 

Englishpage.com

If ever you need to check any difficulty you have with any grammar point or any of the skills, englishpage.com is there to help you. It is simple, efficient and easy to handle. Obviously, it is not only a tutorial, each section includes a a good bunch of on-line exercises to help improve or correct any deficiency any student or speaker may have.

 

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MULTIMEDIA ENGLISH CLASSROOM

I have already talked about this site on this blog, but I thought it was a good idea reminding those who are new to all this. MEC is a multimedia website meant for English learners to improve their language skills. Here are a few words about themselves and their aims: “(…) a free online classroom to learn English, designed for students from all around the world. It uses authentic material and is targeted at students of English who already have a basic knowledge of the language, but there’s also a complete section for beginners. If you can read this and understand it (at least the general idea), then this virtual classroom is for you!(…)” Below you have the link to their website, there is also the possibility to follow their posts on Facebook.

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>ELLA: English Language Lab Asturias

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Reading the blog by one of my colleagues in Santa María de Guía, I found a post about this site which I bet you will all adore from the very beginning. There you can find all kinds of activities sorted by levels and skills. There are no words to describe it, you need to link to the site and start learning… And enjoying!!! Oops I almost forgot, click on the pic and you will be directed to the site straight away.

>Language Studying Problems? Here’s a solution.

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    Hi again! Browsing the net on the search for new resources for you, I came across with this simple, easy and effective site where you can find lots of useful tips on how to study and improve your language learning. For some, it may be extremely basic but I bet you all will find some nice tips to help with those dark areas of your grammar or spelling, for example. Pay a visit to the place and let your skills grow like foam! Ooops, I nearly forgot, the name of the site is “How-to-study.com” 😉 (If you click on the pic it will take you straight there)

>Multimedia English Classroom

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No many words needed to introduce this new site, they have done that themselves. Here you have a brief and consistent explanation about their work:
MULTIMEDIA ENGLISH CLASSROOM is a free online classroom to learn English, designed for students from all around the world. It uses authentic material and is targeted at students of English who already have a basic knowledge of the language, but there’s also a complete section for beginners. If you can read this and understand it (at least the general idea), then this virtual classroom is for you!

Interesting, isn’t it! Don’t miss out and visit now Multimedia English Classroom