Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summer Study Ideas – Pre-Intermediate (A2+)

Some summer study ideas for A2+ level students.

  • Word order:  order the words as you hear them using the New Headway Online phrase builder
  • Listen and Write is a great place on the web to practise listening skills and hear about the news.  Try some of the dictation activities at different levels (try something at level 5 or 6 to start off and move up from there).  This site is free but you’ll have to create an account to get the most out of it (click on:  “sign up”)
  • The BBC Learning English website has lots of videos, audio and activities to help you improve your pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary and listening with 6 minute English (podcasts you can stream or download)
  • English File Pre-Intermediate grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation activities and more can be found here and here.
  • Another Pre-Intermediate course book website from Oxford University Press, English Result Pre-Intermediate, has more practice activities to try out here.
  • Try Lyrics Training to test and develop your English listening skills with songs.
  • Test your A2 level English skills against a Cambridge English Key English Test by downloading and doing a sample exam from this page.  Find and Click on “Where can I find sample papers for Cambridge English: KEY” to download.
  • ello.org is a site where you can try out listening activities on a variety of topics.
  • Take this grammar challenge on the BBC Learning English website
  • Pronunciation:  Work through these Phonetics Focus activities
  • Simple English Videos – short, easy to follow video lessons which focus on commonly confused words and grammar patterns.  A really helpful site!

Check back on our page regularly as it will be updated over the summer with more study ideas!

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Filed under A2+ - Pre-Intermediate

Summer Study Ideas – Kids 2 and 3

Hi there!

Here are some links to some games and activities which you can use to practice your English during the summer.

  1. Monkey Puzzles A reading game from Cambridge English
  2. Funland A reading and listening game from Cambridge English
  3. Check your listening skills with this maze game.
  4. Play a game with plural words.
  5. Choose the correct word game – help the frog eat the flies!  Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4
  6. Fly the spaceship to make sentences – Game 1Game 2, Game 3,
  7. Spelling – can you complete the words correctly?  Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4
  8. Use this picture dictionary to help you learn and remember important vocabulary.
  9. A variety of games to practise English vocabulary at English Flash Games

More to come soon!

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Summer Study Ideas – Teens 6 (B1)

Some ideas for summer study for our students finishing Teens 6 this June.

  • Revise irregular verbs with this Irregular Verb Wheel Game from Macmillan ELT
  • Try some reading, listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary games and activities from this B1 course from Cambridge University Press:  More! 4
  • Pronunciation:  This game focuses on word stress – Stress Monsters
  • Word building – test your vocabulary: nouns and adjectives with this game from Project 5 by OUP
  • Download a full Preliminary (B1) exam from the Cambridge English website.  Work through it and check your answers in the key.  Cambridge English:  Preliminary  Cambridge English Preliminary for Schools
  • The BBC Learning English website has videos, audio and activities to help you improve your pronunciationgrammar and vocabulary and listening with 6 minute English (podcasts you can stream or download)
  • Listen and Write is a great place on the web to practise listening skills and hear about the news.  Try some of the dictation activities at different levels (try something at levels 6 or 7 to start off and move up from there).  This site is free but you’ll have to create an account to get the most out of it (click on:  “sign up”).
  • Check out Lyrics Training for dictations with songs!
  • Simple English Videos – short, easy to follow video lessons which focus on commonly confused words and grammar patterns.  A really helpful site!

More to follow soon!

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Summer Study Ideas – Teens 4 (A2+)

Some summer study ideas for students in our Teens 4 course in 2012-13

  • Revise irregular verbs with this Irregular Verb Wheel Game from Macmillan ELT.
  • Funland – check out this game from Cambridge English.
  • Try some reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary resources available from a  Cambridge University Press coursebook series:  More! 2 online  More! 3 online
  • There are various grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation games in the arcades here for these courses from Cambridge University Press.  Try some out.  If they seem to easy, click a higher number on the menu screen to go to a different menu.
  • Listen and Write is a great place on the web to practise listening skills and hear about the news.  Try some of the dictation activities at different levels (try something at levels 4 or 5 to start off and move up from there).  This site is free but you’ll have to create an account to get the most out of it (click on:  “sign up”).
  • Check out Lyrics Training for dictations with songs!
  • Games to help you practise pronunciation at the Phonetics Focus website

More ideas to follow soon!

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Summer Study Ideas – Teens 8, Upper-Intermediate and FCE (Cambridge First) (B1+ / B2)

Some summer study ideas for students on or going into B2 level courses in the next academic year (preparation for Cambridge First).

Grammar and vocabulary / Use of English

Speaking and pronunciation

  • Watch a video of a Cambridge English: First speaking exam with a commentary from the Pearson Exams Place (scroll down the page to find the video).
  • The BBC Learning English website has videos and activities to help you improve your pronunciation
  • Focus on word stress with this game:  Stress Monsters
  • English File (OUP) Pronunciation activities:  Intermediate + and Upper Intermediate
  • Games to help you practise pronunciation at the Phonetics Focus website
  • Spoken Skills is a website which allows you to practise pronunciation by listening and recording sentences including particular vowel or consonant sounds, functional language for presentations, telephone dialogues, and intonation.  This menu page has links to various things.  Browse, find something you’re interested in practising and give it a try (to record, allow the page to access the mirophone on your computer).

Writing

Listening

  • Listen and Write is a great place on the web to practise listening skills and hear about the news.  Try some of the dictation activities at different levels (try something at level 10 to start off and move up from there).  This site is free but you’ll have to create an account to get the most out of it (click on:  “sign up”).
  • www.elllo.org is an English Listening text library with activities.  Find something you’re interested in and practise your listening skills with a variety of accents.
  • Follow news stories in English with BBC News: One-minute World News video.

Cambridge English:  First – Exam Practice

  • We have a wealth of resources within the school available for our students to use.  Why not take advantage of our summer opening hours in July and September to come in and do some practice with our extra resource books and CDs?
  • Full exam papers are available to download on the Cambridge English website.  Click on “Where can I find sample papers?” on the following pages:  First  First for Schools (FCE level but aimed at younger learners)
  • Flo-joe provides online practice for Cambridge Exams:  http://www.flo-joe.co.uk/
  • If your study group has an online group set up on edmodo (www.edmodo.com) remember to check the page for any quizzes, assignments, posts that you may have missed during the year and anything we post during the summer months.  Let us know if you need your password resetting or if you don’t have the group code to access the site: ihsantaclara@gmail.com

Things to follow on Facebook

You might find these pages on facebook worth following…

Keep visiting this page as we’ll be updating and adding more links during the summer.

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Filed under B1+ - Teens 7 and 8, B1+ - Upper-Intermediate, B2 - Cambridge English: First

Summer 2013 Study Ideas – Advanced and Proficiency (C1 and C2)

Some ideas for summer study for higher levels.  Keep your English fresh for the next academic year at International House Santa Clara!

Reading and writing

Advanced and Proficiency Set Texts – Reading and Films

Advanced: Set text for 2013 and 2014 exams

Proficiency: set texts until December 2014

Reading these texts and watching the film versions will give you the option of writing about them in Part 2 of Paper 2 (Writing).  Typical questions ask you to:

  • Write reviews of them
  • Write essays on the relationships between characters in a story
  • Write essays on a main character’s development through the story
  • Write reports on the key themes that the text deals with

Other texts:

  • Read the examples of the genre of texts the exam asks you to write.  For example, you can find articles and reviews on the net at newspaper and magazine sites.
  • What magazines do you normally ready in Portuguese?  Find out if there is an English language equivalent and see if its website has anything that grabs your interest.

Grammar, vocabulary and Use of English

Speaking and Pronunciation

  • New English File Advanced Pronunciation activities
  • Stress Monsters (advanced) – a game to practice word stress
  • Splendid Speaking – build up your speaking skills for Cambridge Exams with activities at this site:  http://www.splendid-speaking.com/index.html
  • For Proficiency students, practice speaking on a particular topic related to things you read, watch and listen to in English during the summer.  Build up the time you speak for from 30 seconds to a minute and then a minute and a half before reaching the two minutes that you’ll speak for in the exam.  Try incorporating a range of linking words into your speaking (refer to handouts from our course to date for ideas).  To get some feedback, you can record your talk on to a website like http://vocaroo.com/ and send the link to us at ihsantaclara@gmail.com.  To practise with typical exam questions, refer to handouts from our course related to Part 3 of Paper 4 (Speaking).  There are also example tasks on our edmodo group page.  Remember, don’t prepare these too much – you need practice in being able to respond to a question about a topic without much planning time!
  • Spoken Skills is a website which allows you to practise pronunciation by listening and recording sentences including particular vowel or consonant sounds, functional language for presentations, telephone dialogues, and intonation.  This menu page has links to various things.  Browse, find something you’re interested in practising and give it a try (to record, allow the page to access the mirophone on your computer).

Listening

  • BBC World Service Documentaries: Topical programmes on a wide variety of subjects – there’s a huge archive of programmes to stream or download.
  • BBC Dessert Island Disks:  Interviews with influential people from the 1940s to the present day.  Guests talk about their lives in frank detail and reveal the songs they would want with them if they were shipwrecked on a dessert island.  Explore the archive, find someone you’re interested in listening to, stream or download the audio.
  • Videojug.com Need to learn a new skill over the summer?  Why not pick up tips on this in English?  Videojug has 1000s of video guides to help you.  Exposure to different accents and vocabulary.  Try recording new vocabulary from the recordings in your notebook as you go.  For something more intensive, check out www.coursera.org/courses – a site where you can take free online courses of varying lengths and difficulties in many disciplines.
  • Radiolab.org Curiosities of everyday life analysed and explained in accessible, fascinating and entertaining podcasts and broadcasts.  Explore the site, find something interesting, listen and read about it on their blogs at :  www.radiolab.org  When you’ve listened you could write a summary of what you learned from the programme or what you felt were the key points.  You can also leave comments on the page.
  • Listen-and-write.com You’ll need to create a free account to use this site but when you have you access a lot of listening texts with accompanying activities: full dictation, first letter of a word dictation and complete the gaps.  Useful for building language awareness and practising note taking skills.  Try any of the activities from level 11 and above.
  • www.elllo.org is an English Listening text library with activities.  Find something you’re interested in and practise your listening skills with a variety of accents.
  • Follow news stories in English with BBC News: One-minute World News video.

Exam Practice

  • We have a wealth of resources within the school available for our students to use.  Why not take advantage of our summer opening hours in July and September to come in and do some practice with our extra resource books and CDs?
  • Full exam papers are available to download on the Cambridge English website.  Click on “Where can I find sample papers?” on the following pages. Advanced  Proficiency
  • Flo-joe provides online practice for Cambridge Exams:  http://www.flo-joe.co.uk/
  • If your study group has an online group set up on edmodo (www.edmodo.com) remember to check the page for any quizzes, assignments, posts that you may have missed during the year and anything we post during the summer months.  Let us know if you need your password resetting or if you don’t have the group code to access the site: ihsantaclara@gmail.com

Pages to follow on Facebook

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Filed under C1 - Cambridge English: Advanced, C2 - Cambridge English: Proficiency