VISUALS: 9 common mistakes and how to avoid them

Oops, Sorpresa, Nota Adhesiva, RosaHere are 9 mistakes that pop up regularly in conversations with students. Have a look and make sure these are not a problem for you. There will be more posts on this matter. You can subscribe to my mail list* if you want to be in the loop. 

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PHRASAL VERBS: Grammar patterns 1

Alfabeto, Carta, Inicial, De Fondo, Scrapbooking, PAlfabeto, Carta, Inicial, De Fondo, Scrapbooking, V

The sooner you make friends with phrasal verbs, the easier your life as an English learner becomes. The difficulty that they are associated with and the sheer number of them should not stand in the way if you have the right approach. As with everything in life, small steps will take you far. There is a lot to be said about systems to learn them effectively and progressively and the keyword here is context (see footnote), but what this blog post will hopefully do is give you an understanding of how to use them well in terms of grammar and that is a solid first step. Continue reading “PHRASAL VERBS: Grammar patterns 1”

Learning collocations: vaccine

Covid-19, Vacuna, Corona, Virus, Clínica Following the latest developments in vaccines for Covid-19, this term has become commonplace in our conversations. Therefore, it seems the perfect time to learn how to use it in context. In other words, to learn some collocations or words that are used with it naturally. 

A vaccine can protect somebody against something (e.g. flu) or it can prevent something (e.g. a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis).  Continue reading “Learning collocations: vaccine”

Favourite places in the UK – Cornwall and the South West Coast Path (SWCP)

Many moons ago, I had the first glimpse of this stunning region as an Inter-rail pass holder. The philosophy of Inter-rail travelling at the time, and probably still now, was to visit as many places as possible within the validity period. Far from ideal as I see things now, but back then it was thrilling to be moving fast across countries, probably missing amazing spots along the way but undoubtedly gaining a sense of adventure and broad horizons. During a short stay in Penzance (Cornwall), I discovered the South West coast path and was totally captivated by it. This sparked a  desire to return to Cornwall with more time and preparation to walk some stretches of the Cornish section of the SWCP long-distance trail.

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Coronavirus Covid-19: Easing restrictions

This blog post aims to look at the language that is emerging as countries are relaxing their coronavirus restrictions and moving on towards a new phase. Replicating the format of a previous blogpost (dealing with the terminology the Coronavirus arrival brought with it, here), I will introduce language relevant to this stage while providing context examples taken from newspapers.

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A mish-mash of some of my favourite reduplicatives

When I first heard the word mish-mash, it was love at first sight.

We were sitting by the fire in the rustic living room of an old National Trust farmhouse located in a remote valley of the Peak District. A perfect end to a day of volunteering work in the morning, and an afternoon in the hills.

I was having a drink and chatting about languages with the international team. One of them (a fellow volunteer at the time and now a close friend) used the word mish-mash. It was clear from the context that she meant something like a jumble, a mixture of things. A pot-pourri. I asked her to repeat the word just to hear the sound of it in her beautiful British accent. Mish-mash! Love it. Continue reading “A mish-mash of some of my favourite reduplicatives”

Coronavirus COVID-19: Vocabulary List

In this global Coronavirus COVID-19 health emergency, Vitoria has sadly become a hotspot (site with multiple cases of infection) in Spain. In an attempt to prevent the spread of disease, the local authorities are implementing containment measures such as the closure of schools since last Tuesday.

At present, the coronavirus crisis is on everybody’s lips so I have compiled a vocabulary list to enable students to hold a conversation in English about this major issue. This image shows the vocabulary list and down below, each of these expressions is illustrated in the context of current news. 

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Off to Kiwiland!

The Antipodes, pronounced [ænˈtɪpədiːz]: Magical word that evokes a world of contrast and adventure. For us, living in Spain, that would be The Land of the Long White Cloud, translated from the Maori Aotearoa;  in other words, New Zealand, also known as Kiwiland, name which derives from the kiwi, a native flightless bird, which is a national symbol of New Zealand. 

The following map shows highlighted the area equivalent to Spain on the opposite side of the world:

https://www.antipodas.net/antipodaspais/espana/ Continue reading “Off to Kiwiland!”