Here's a sneak-peak of my first series of common mistakes exposed.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the presentation!
If you want to get your own downloadable version please fill in the form below. The stickers can come in the standard white version or they can also be available in the blue colour.
What kind of mistakes would you like me to cover in the 2nd edition?
I understand that for many of you talking in the lesson is the most important thing. And perhaps, it should be. But in the learning process the speaking practice should be something more than repeating the same old structures and words. And this “more” comes from targeting certain structures and words. However, to target them, you need to have them written down at some point. And, believe me, there are plenty of opportunities when you can jot things down.
I am not completely sure this post should aspire to its title. It seems that squeezing in a challenge has turned out to be difficult not only for you but also for me. Anyhow, we are here to learn from our mistakes and there's no better feeling than being back on track. And so we are now with our October challenge.
This month I will try to encourage to you to take advantage of multiple online events available on Linkedin. So often times we discuss your professional issues during our lessons. And honing your English skills can always go together with your self-development. Put your English into context, learn something new and have a feeling of accomplishment. Sweet!
And how to find interesting events?
Let's say that you are interested in "coaching", then you type your interest into a searching box and voila! Please read the event description and don't forget to register. Also, make sure that the event is free of charge; you can participate in the paid ones later on.
Here is a pic to get you more familiar with the search.
Oh, it's summer!
Summer is the time to rest and chill out! I guess it will be super hard to plan a challenge that requires being systematic and diligent. Therefore I will give you here a list of less-involving summer-time activities that you can do in your free time. They mostly include online games, puzzles and quizzes. Have fun!
1. Easy speak
You need a mic for this activity. It's quite easy but fun. Good for practising pronunciation as it uses voice recognition mode. There are several categories available. You can try it with friends or even your kids!
2. Phrasal verbs
In this activity you need to choose a proper phrasal for a picture. You have 3 opinions to choose from. The phrasals used here are pretty common and it's good to have them in your active vocabulary.
Here you will get 16 random letters of the alphabet and three minutes. During that time, you have to come up with as many English words as you can using the letters you have, and every time you make a new word, you get points.
The game might not be the easiest but the rules are downright simple: listen to a word and try to spell it correctly. Additionally, you can have a look at visual thesaurus on the right and all the definitions.
5. Crossword puzzles
This webpage is a great treat for any crosswords' lover. It offers a variety of puzzles and levels to choose from.
TubeQuizard is great! It might be more challenging than a simple game as it focuses on intensive listening exercises - it includes short clips from many sources and songs! You can pick and choose as their library is quite impressive. Additionally, you can decide on the level you wish to practise and type of quiz focus - grammar, vocabulary etc.
You have been doing so well in March that it's time to raise the bar.
This month I am inviting you to the "Tell me about your day" Challenge.
The rules are as simple as ABC.
1 - You click the link HERE (there will be an additional link in your learning space if you decide to take part)
2 - put your name (no surnames please)
3 - set up your camera
4 - talk about 1 minute about your day (there's no need to remind you that you don't need to tell the truth; you can lie as much as you want to)
5 - wait for my feedback and the targets for your next recording
6 - get back to point 1
I think we can start from one video a week. The time for submitting your first video is 10th April. Oh, and one more thing - submitting your video equals your registration for this April Challenge.
This month we will be doing some controlled audio recordings.
The task is for you to describe a photo or I guess I should say tell me a story behind the photo. And the target is to use modal verbs of speculation - preferably present and past. Still, please remember you need to sound natural.
As a bonus feature I am giving you a time limit which is 1 minute.
The links to this exercises will be published in this post every week. Pls note that they will become active with a beginning of every week.
Please include your true name and the first letter of your surname if you have a common name in the task. You can submit the task more than once, there's such an option but try not to do it before getting feedback from me.
You might not be celebrating Saint Valentines day but 14th of February seems to be a good day to revise some love idioms.
I've chosen nine; not to overwhelm you :)
Click on a picture to enlarge it.
Also, you can practise these expression on Quizlet - HERE
If idioms were too easy for you, why don't we try some Shakespeare.
Here, you have the sonnet 116 text and just right below Sir Patrick Steward is reading it just for you :)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
This month we'll focus on our listening skills. And you'll also be able to sing a bit if you're up for it. The whole idea of this task is not completely new as we already did the similar task last year. If you want you can check the whole quiz 🔴HERE🔴.
The choice of the songs in this year's challenge comes up with a short story. A few weeks ago I was binge watching one of my favourite series ever. It's old, even ancient for today's standards, very quirky and packed with good but long forgotten music. The songs, however, are so optimistic, cheerful and funny that listening to them immediately put me into good mood. Inspired by the series, I started browsing my Spotify to find more 60's or 60's like music. And then I thought that I really wanted to share this with you guys.
I guess I don't need to tell you that we can learn a lot from songs - of course here in this task we'll be mostly listening to a few seconds of audio clips to get the lyrics but I do encourage you to take this exercise a step further - listen to the whole song; check the words or expressions you're not familiar with, sing a refrain or even dance to it - soooo many possibilities!
The extracts will be published 3 times a week (Monday- Wednesday- Friday)
Try to check the page regularly.
OK, let me give you a set of instructions so you wouldn't feel lost.
If you would like to join our free 12 Months, 12 Tasks program please register HERE
Some time ago I sat down and started talking to myself. I talked for about something for one hour. That had not been my intention but when I finished I thought that it would be a great exercise for my students; or just a great exercise for anybody who doesn't want their English to get too rusty. Based on this experience, I created your first task this year. I believe that you can benefit from it, repeat it now and then and reap the benefits of your hard work.
TALK, TALK, TALK
Make a list of the current topics you have recently discussed with your family, friends or colleagues. The list shouldn't be too long - 3 topics would be more than enough.
Choose one topic from your list.
Set a time limit. If you are an intermediate level student, you can start from 5-10 minutes. The higher the level, the time limit also should be longer but try not too exceed 1 hour.
TiP: It would be a good idea to use a timer.
Talk on the topic for the set amount of time.
Do not finish earlier; if you lack ideas of what else to say, ask yourself an additional question connected with your topic.
When you finish try to write down the words/phrases you felt you were missing during your talk or frequent repetitions.
TiP: Do this immediately after your talk. Do not postpone this step as your memory might fail you the next day.
Check the words you didn't know in a dictionary and write them down.
If you notice you had problems with repetitions, write down the phrases you often repeated - then look for some different structures or synonyms; also write everything down.
TiP: Don't write too much. Having 10 key items in your notes is ok.
Repeat the task a week later but this time shorten the time. If your initial talk was 15min long, make it 7; if 20, make it 10 and so on.
TiP: You can have a look at your notes before your second attempt.
You can record this talk and listen to yourself afterwards.
You can do the same with other topics on your list.
Finally, mark your January task as done; comment on the task if you find it useful; seek your tutor's help if you have doubts about the challenge.
I think planning your learning is good. It boosts your motivation, engages you in the learning processes and gives you a sense of accomplishment (if you, of course, have finished the task).
Every year I encourage my students to prepare a yearly plan of extra tasks they would like to do every month. And as the new year tunes us more into making new resolutions, the fact remains that sticking to the plan can become very daunting at the beginning of April ,if not sooner.
That’s why I’d like to invite you to the 12 Months, 12 Tasks Challenge in which I will be guiding you through the tasks each month. The tasks won’t suck the life out of you, I promise. The tasks will be for people at any level from intermediate to proficiency. They will be published every month and there will be a monthly reminder sent to you.
Please join us; spread the word among your family and friends - the more the merrier!
If you are up for the challenge please submit your info below.
Written by Agnieszka Kansy