English Daily Vitamin (November 2018)


Hoy hemos publicado la última Daily Vitamin del mes de noviembre. ¿Te has perdido alguna? Aquí tienes el listado de todas las lecciones del mes:

The first week of November, we brought back the Spot-the-Error theme. Do you know what is wrong with the sentences below?

English often has a phrasal verb that is the less-formal equivalent of a formal word or phrase. We looked at these pairs.

Thanksgiving is a time when people reflect on what they have and what they are thankful for. To celebrate, we looked at idioms and expressions for being thankful.

You don’t have to be studying for a Cambridge exam to learn something or to participate! Part 4 of Reading and Use of English is a fun grammar and vocabulary challenge. Here’s how it works:

  1. You have two sentences. One sentence is complete. The other is missing words.
  2. You must complete the second sentence so that its meaning is the same as the first sentence.

For the First Certificate Exam, you can use 2-5 words. For the Certificate of Advanced English, they allow 3-6 words.

 Y para repasar las lecciones del mes de noviembre, podéis descargar el ACTIVITY PACK AQUÍ.

English Daily Vitamin (October 2018)



¿Os perdisteis alguna de las Daily Vitamin de octubre? Hoy os dejamos la lista de todas las lecciones publicadas. Y, al final del post, link al activity pack descargable.

We hope you can use these phrasal verbs at work, but you will also see that they can be used outside of the office.

You do not have to be studying for the BULATS to benefit from this week’s lessons: they are gap exercises that test your vocabulary.

Students so often say that they have issues with prepositions. We are focusing on Verb + Preposition Combinations.

We are concentrating on words that are often confused in English. We are presenting words that are very similar, which is why they are often confused. Sometimes the words sound the same; sometimes they are spelled similarly but are pronounced differently and have different meanings.

Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated in different ways in different countries.

Y para repasar, podéis descargar el ACTIVITY PACK AQUÍ.

3 Fun Websites to Practise your English Online

Looking for some other sources of inspiration to practise your English? Check out these 3 websites below. Best of all, even if you only have 5 minutes to spare, I guarantee you can use this time productively!

1. Tube Quizard

1.pngTube Quizard (http://www.tubequizard.com/) is a collection of YouTube videos on a variety of topics with gap-fill quizzes. You can browse in several ways: by level, by language focus, by category, and by accent.

Click on the empty box in the exercise and the video will cue to that time. Fill in the blank and check your answer.

It’s easy to use and with so much content, you can spend just minutes or hours on it.

2. BBC World One-minute News

2.pngWant to put your intensive listening skills to the test and at the same time catch up with the latest global news? BBC World One-minute News (http://www.bbc.com/news/av/10462520/one-minute-world-news) is the place for you.

You will hear a short summary of a few headline news items. At first, you may not get much information, but repeating the clip several times will help considerably.

Best of all, it is updated regularly so you can listen several times a day if you wish.

3. PlayPhrase.me


Playphrase.me (https://www.playphrase.me) is an innovative platform that allows you to practise pronunciation through short excerpts of movie and TV series.

It is suitable for English learners of all levels. You just have to write the word, expression or phrase you want to hear in the search box and Playphrase.me will produce a number of short video clips that feature the item.

You can pause the sequence of video clips so that you can repeat the phrase you hear. It is also a great way to see expressions in context as in the example here (on the horizon).

Happy Practising!

7 Ways to Learn Languages Online

The Internet is an incredible tool for language learning, but sometimes we have so many options that we don’t know where to begin! Check out these 7 ways to learn languages online for some creative and fun ways to learn a new language.

With Lyricstraining.com, you listen to songs while reading the lyrics and complete the missing words. The site offers songs in dozens of languages and offers classics and current hits. The site offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced options for all songs, so it’s great for all levels!

Listen and read at the same time with an audiobook! Short stories, novellas, classic novels, and even speeches are all available in written and audio form on many sites. For English learners, we recommend ESL Bits.

3. TED
Perhaps one of the most popular sites for learning a language is TED: the videos come with transcripts and well-written subtitles in many languages. With so many topics, you are sure to find a TED Talk that fits your interests.

Practise with our TED Activity Packs. Check them out here!

Sites such as Instagram are excellent for learning a language through context: by seeing the photo, you will better understand its caption. After reading the caption in your new language, click on “translate” to see if you understood.

Google has created an extension called Language Immersion that allows you to learn new words while you are reading online. The extension translates some of the words of any site into the language you choose (currently there are 64 languages offered). If you don’t understand the word, simply click on it and Google changes the word back to your native language.

Teachers have been using Quizlet for years, and it’s a great tool if you’re looking for some vocabulary practice!

The world of podcasts is large: find one you love! Podcasts are great while commuting, cleaning the house, or just relaxing. If you’re not at the level where you can listen without a transcript, check to see if the podcast has one: many do.

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality

Tips for Keeping your Language-learning New Year’s Resolution

Coffee-Study-Read.jpegMany people will make language learning a New Year’s Resolution. Unfortunately, as with many other NY resolutions (remember that gym class we all stopped going to by mid-February?) these resolutions will probably not be followed through until the end of the year . . . rather, they’ll leave us feeling like failures! Follow the guidelines below and you will set yourself up for a language learning plan you are sure to complete.

Tips for Keeping your Language-learning New Year’s Resolution

  1. SET A CLEAR GOAL. Do not just say “I want to improve my French” or “I want to speak English better”: this will never work! How do you want to improve, or what do you want to improve? Perhaps you have some problems using irregular English verbs to talk about the past and so you need some more practice with these. Maybe your pronunciation skills are lower than you’d like. Perhaps you always feel stuck when you see a phrasal verb. Identifying your clear goal is the first step towards reaching it.
  2. CHANGE THINGS UP A LITTLE. A year is a long time: don’t be stuck doing the same thing for 12 months! Also keep in mind your many resources: when it comes to learning a language in today’s technology-filled world, we have so many websites, podcasts, apps, etc. to choose from. Take advantage of the options you have!
  3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH A CHEERLEADING SQUAD. You will need the motivation! Make friends with other language learners so that you can motivate one another, and be sure your friends and family know that this is a goal you are serious about.
  4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FALL A LITTLE SHORT. Life has a way of getting in between our plans and ambitions. You will get sick, your boss will change your hours, your friend will have a crisis and need you . . . don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t always reach your goal. But also remember that the time you spend doing things like scrolling through Facebook can be better spent! (Aren’t we all guilty of wasting a little too much time on the internet?)
  5. BE FLEXIBLE. If something’s not working, change it. Perhaps you decided to read a chapter of a book each week, but then you realize after two weeks that it takes you MUCH longer to read a chapter than you thought. Change your plan! How about a new goal of “reading 5 pages per week” instead? Be willing to change in order to help you reach your goals.

With determination, a clear plan, and a support system, you can achieve your language learning goals in 2017. And we are here to help! Check out the Daily Vitamin for a daily English lesson, read our Blog for useful articles and TED Activity Packs, and subscribe to us on Facebook and Twitter for chances to participate in English conversations (and even contests).

Now about that gym membership . . . 😉

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality

Student’s Review. BBC’s website ‘Learning English’ by Lourdes Montero

Hoy os traemos una nueva review escrita por una de nuestras alumnas de inglés. ¡No os perdáis sus recomendaciones hablando de la página de BBC, donde encontraréis infinidad de recursos para practicar! Thank you very much Lourdes!

Sin títuloIntroduction
One of the biggest difficulties when learning English is understanding people when they are speaking. Oral comprehension is one of the skills that we English learners have to improve in order to gain linguistic skills and fluency.

Nowadays it’s much easier to learn languages thanks to the Internet. In this respect, there are a multitude of free resources available to help in the learning of English. One of the main websites dedicated to this goal is the BBC’s. It’s a virtual place where you can be in touch with real British English.

What’s it about?
The BBC is a world broadcasting reference in the English language. Furthermore, its importance in journalism, news, education and culture is well-known throughout the world, especially within English-speaking countries. In non-English-speaking countries, the BBC represents a model of success and a huge school of this world language.

In its educating role, the BBC has a specific website called Learning English, which is really helpful for vocabulary and expressions and also for listening practice:

Why is this website good for English learners?
BBC’s Learning English website is part of the BBC World Service, which offers free audio, video and reading materials to English learners around the world. Thanks to this wide range of multimedia, every learner can choose the most appropriate material for their needs.

You can access courses according to your level, topics depending on your needs or interests and material relevant for each level. Here are my three favourite sections:

  1. 6-minute English. In these podcasts, BBC presenters discuss a topic and at the same time introduce related vocabulary. Some of the listening files include quotes from an interview or the participation of a guest speaker.
  2. LingoHack. This section uses authentic BBC World news bulletins. Key words are selected from certain pieces of news to help learners go into depth of the meaning.
  3. The English we speak. This part provides phrases and expressions that can be used in everyday conversations, just like native English speakers do.

Mistakes are good for you!

Sin títuloHave you ever been in a situation where you wanted to express something in your target language but did not do so because you were afraid of making a mistake? In my years of teaching, I have sometimes experienced frustration with students who preferred to limit their experimentation with the language due to fear of making mistakes. Why do I get frustrated as a teacher? Well, because ultimately this fear impedes progress and also because it is vital that my students enjoy experimenting and improvising in the language.

You may remember a time when you have felt embarrassed due to a mistake you have made. I clearly remember one occasion when I was living in Austria and speaking to my new flatmate in German. He thought I was offering him a massage when I really just had a message for him. I can laugh about it now and I will never ever forget the word for message in German! So you see, making mistakes helps you learn. 🙂

Although you may have had a bad experience with learning a language at school where you were constantly judged on your knowledge, learning a language in your adult life should not be seen in this way, but rather as an extremely useful communication tool which could help you move up the career ladder or improve your life in general.

It is true that you can sometimes feel discouraged if you feel that you receive lots of correction. It is important, though, that the mistakes you make are highlighted to you and that you understand the correction. You should also record recurring mistakes in a notebook or in a Word doc and regularly review them. By doing so, you will eliminate them. We always say that regular exposure to the target language plays an important role but receiving valuable feedback and learning from it is just as, if not more, important.

You should record recurring mistakes in a notebook or in a Word doc and regularly review them

And a positive attitude here is the key to success. Why do we say that children learn languages so quickly? Although it may be true that there is a link between age and ability to learn, the key to progressing in a language could also be to “think like a child.” Children play with the language and are willing to make mistakes. They are not self-conscious. An adult is much more likely to say, “I can’t”, rather than, “I haven’t learned that yet”. Let go of your adult inhibitions!

The US political activist, Ralph Nader, once said, “Your best teacher is your last mistake!” Learn from your mistakes and you will make progress!