Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Library tasks - 16 July 2014

Hi Students,

Your tasks for this lesson:

1. Please create a Gmail/Google login if you don't have one.

2. Write a job application letter (minimum 20 minutes - on your own.)

3. Review future tenses, using the documents for practice (paper tasks) or links on my blog - with a partner, if you like.

4. If you're confident with future tenses, do some self-study: choose a topic with a partner, and look at web links on this blog to help you . Make notes about what you find out. You will report back to the class afterwards.

5. Tutorials: I will do tutorials with 2 or 3 students (Majed, Jiny, and Jun).


Friday, 11 July 2014

A History of the world in 100 objects - listening, writing and speaking

With your partners, look at the web site of the British Museum and/or the BBC about A History of the world in 100 objects.

Choose at least one object and listen to the talk. 
Discuss what you heard with your partner - why was the object significant enough to be included in this list?

Listen again. Write a short summary of the object:

  • what it is
  • when and where it's from
  • why it is in the list
  • what you think about it
  • etc.
(If you finish early, choose another object.)

Work on this until 4pm, when we will share our writing with the other groups and discuss what we listened to.

2.55 Jiny
3.10 Majed
3.25 Sayer
3.40 Rasheed

(Next week - Jun.)

After break - room 3.1

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wednesday 2nd July


Today's tasks:

(1) In pairs of one 'old' student and one 'new' student please do your corrections from previous writing tasks: COPY the whole text, paste it underneath my comments, and remove as many mistakes as you can. Talk about it together. Ask me if you're not sure.

(2) We're going to have a blog discussion today, using the class blog. The first pair of students to finish writing will write a blog post on a topic somehow connected to 'The Economy'. 

(i) Other students will respond by creating new posts replying to the first student. (Please don't use the comments boxes, as it would get even more confusing!)

(ii) In your post, make it clear WHO you are replying to.

(iii) Remember the conversation will flow upwards: the newest posts will be at the top. Try to comment on everything that people say which is controversial or interesting.

Sunday, 29 June 2014


I've been forgettinfg to post photos here recently.

This one's from Maitham.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wednesday - library

1. Writing task - page 137.

2. Please look at your corrections from last week, in pairs. (COPY your writing and PASTE it below the original text. Using this COPIED TEXT, correct your mistakes with your partner's help.)

3. After that, if you have time left:

(a) Look at other links on this blog to help with your weakest skills. 

(b) Read this amazing story of endurance:

(c) Look at the Student Zone on the National Geographic site:
See what you can find that will be useful in your studies.

Tutorials this week:


Monday, 7 April 2014

KAHOOT quizzes


Please create gmail accounts if you don't have them, so I can share our class blog and Google Drive folder with you.


One student in each group needs to sign up here for a Kahoot account:

  •  Create a 5-question quiz for the other students using wish / if only / would rather.

  •  Put the link to your quiz in a blog post, so we can find it easily.

  •  If you have time at the end, you can add pictures to the questions, or add more questions.


Jane's Kahoot quizzes

Future perfect and continuous 6A p71 Spk UI  

Thursday, 3 April 2014

GOOGLE language settings

How to change language settings to English.

Once you have changed the settings, they should apply across all your Google applications.

Library - Thursday 3rd April

1. Please show new students how we use Quizlet (online and the smartphone app), Google Drivemy blog and the class blog.

2. Writing – error-correction
Look at your earlier work and do any corrections that are needed. (Copy your writing and make the changes. Ask your partner, or me, if you are not sure how to make it correct.)

3. Watch Hans Rosling on - ‘The magic washing machine’.

Write a short article for a student magazine, called ‘The magic washing machine’ with your thoughts about housework, industrialisation and the use of energy, using a selection of modals, e.g.

In the past, our grandmothers used to have to wash their sheets in cold water. Although this was energy-efficient, it was very demanding physically.
Use some of the modals that we looked at in Unit 6.

I will do a few student tutorials.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wednesday 26 March

1. Please show new students how we use Quizlet (online and the smartphone app), Google Drive, my blog and the class blog.

2. Writing – error-correction
Look at your earlier work and do any corrections that are needed. (Copy your writing and make the changes. Ask your partner, or me, if you are not sure how to make it correct.)

3. Adverts - our next topic

Find your favourite advert (a still image or a video). 
Tell your partner what you enjoy about it. Take turns to do this. Discuss whether you think the adverts are successful, and why.

Choose one advert to write about in a short blog post on the Class Blog (‘New Post’). Describe it, say what you enjoy about it, etc. - use the best points from your discussion.
Add a link to the advert.

When you have finished, look at other people’s posts and make helpful comments in the comments boxes.

I will do tutorials for Sulah and Sebastiano.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Recent stuff

Future continuous and future perfect

(for Fhad or anyone else who may not be here when we study these)

go to the links for how to form and how to use these tenses

English grammar videos
I've not looked at many of these, but my first impression is that they are accurate, and that they will also challenge your listening skills!

Audiobooks smartphone app
There's a good free app - English Audiobooks - Librivox
The books are read by volunteers, so are of mixed quality, but my first impression was that they could be very helpful with listening skills.

Thanks for the suggestions!

(added to pages)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Research task, Friday 21st March

Friday plan
  • homework check - articles and past tenses
  • research preparation:
            brainstorm interesting questions about books, bookshops, shop assistants,                       shoppers/readers, etc.
  • decide whether to write: 
         (i) an IELTS-type essay explaining your data in an academic way (min 150 words) 
         (ii) an informal article about your findings for a student magazine (min 150 words) 

  • split into groups (2 or 3) with similar interests
  • decide the group's research focus
           - choose about 6 questions to research            - write your introductory script if you need to tell
                people who you are and why you want to ask them questions: 'Hi, I'm XX, and
                I'm an English student. We are researching X. Would you mind...

  • share out research tasks
               (A) spreadsheet/document writer for the preparation stage
               (B) interviewer (if required) - could also be the time-keeper for the                                      preparation tasks
               (C) note-taker while in the shops 

  • decide how you will write your final essay/article: 
  •             - each student to write a paragraph? 
                - the 'note-taker' to write the 1st draft and the others to do the 2nd
                   draft and final version?
          - everybody to write a separate report?
  • 3.30 - look at other groups' work and edit your own spreadsheet
  • break - 3.45?
  • Jane will get your documents printed.
  • meet downstairs - 4pm?
  • visit 1/2/3 bookshops to collect information - please wear your NCM pass
  • try to talk to people, but if this is not successful, make some observations to talk about in your writing
  • 5.30 meet for coffee or meet back at school? 
  • weekend homework: write your essay/article in Google Drive (for Monday)

Suggested bookshops
Travelling Man, 4 Dale St, Manchester M1 1JW 
WHSmith, Arndale Centre
The Works, Arndale Centre 

My mobile number in case of difficulties: 
07801 234881

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Library 12 March - narrative tenses

(1) 30 minutes (4.30 to 5 p.m.)

Write the story you have prepared, using Google Drive (with your partner.) 

Go to our shared folder, 'INT / UPPER INT NCM', create a document, and give it a title.

(2) for the remaining time (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

(a) look at the new Quizlet sets - Speakout Units 1,2,4, and the pronunciation sets, and learn 10 items of vocabulary or pronunciation   

Test your partner.

Please email me if you would like any sets printed, and tell me which ones.

(b) do some narrative tenses tasks:

past perfect simple

past perfect continuous

(c) if you have time, revise some irregular verbs

After testing each other, use the verbs in complex sentences - use a blog post to write them up.

(d) if you finish all this, tell me, and you can start to create the missing Unit 3 Quizlet set   :D

Sunday, 16 February 2014

More useful links for you...

Pronunciation (with thanks to Karenne)

How words are pronounced differently with different accents - e.g. US / UK 
Just search for a word and play the examples...

'Minimal pairs'
Practise saying difficult sounds, with lists of words which have been carefully paired to contrast 2 similar sounds, e.g. /p/ and /b/

Pronunciation tips (with thanks to Richard)

BBC Learning English - choose the phoneme from the chart, listen to the pronunciation video, and see which words use the sound


English for Academic Purposes (with thanks to Richard)

Improving accuracy in academic writing - very high level English

The accuracy section of this website has several interactive exercises

Listening to academic English

Interactive listening comprehension and note taking – gap fills – often key words

Manchester Phrasebank
Useful phrases you can copy and adapt for your own academic writing - just add your own ideas (content words). They are common phrases so you don’t need to worry about plagiarism...

Listening to academic English - BBC Learning English
A series of 12 programmes, which are useful listening practice in themselves, but which also contain good advice for prospective students

University of Reading lectures
Several academic lectures on different subjects with tasks (questions), answers (key) and transcripts - again good practice mixed with advice

These links are also on the relevant PAGES.