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: Continue reading “Off to Kiwiland!”

Phrasal Verbs and Register: Formal

There is a widely-held belief that phrasal verbs in English are informal and will be frowned upon in academic writing such as the essay, the formal letter, or the report tasks in the CAE.

While there is an element of truth in that,  there are indeed certain phrasal verbs, formal ones that is, which are not only acceptable but will also enhance your writing and show mastery of the language.

Continue reading “Phrasal Verbs and Register: Formal”

8 manageable tasks to keep your English afloat during the summer holiday


The long summer break is round the corner. Classes, teacher’s supervision and weekly homework will be over for an extended period of time and it is now in you to take the reins of your own learning so that you do not fall behind and lose the momentum you have gained throughout the course.

This list contains 8 activities that you can easily tackle by yourself. It is a source of ideas from which you can select what motivates you. Alternatively, you could create your own list. One way or another, try to find a way to let English be part of your summer if you intend to keep it up and continue learning in September without that unpleasant feeling of rustiness. Continue reading “8 manageable tasks to keep your English afloat during the summer holiday”

Out and about and other BINOMIALS

A binomial is formed by two words and a conjuction that joins them as in: “After a quick visit to the hotel to drop off her bags, she’s been out and about exploring the city all day”. 

The order of the words is fixed and if you reverse it, it would sound unnatural and be wrong, e.g. “about and out”.

What follows is a selection of some binomials that  I consider useful.  I encourage you to learn them and and try to use one next time you have a conversation in English.  Continue reading “Out and about and other BINOMIALS”

As mad as a hatter and other SIMILES

Image by Prawny – Pixabay

A simile is a  figure of speech that compares two things using as or like. It differs from a metaphor in that the metaphor says that something is something else as in “the world is a stage” whereas similes presents similarities between two elements, e.g. ,as free as a bird. Let’s learn about the origin of some of them. Continue reading “As mad as a hatter and other SIMILES”

Show your feelings with the help of interjections

In informal English, you can use interjections to express your emotions.

An interjection is a bit like a sound, a short word * usually followed by an exclamation mark.

They are abrupt and  spontaneous.

Here follows a list of some of the most common ones and the emotion they convey.

Continue reading “Show your feelings with the help of interjections”

When it comes to pronunciation, pick your battles

English pronunciation can present a significant challenge to non-native speakers; it can hinder fluent speaking and create insecurity issues. But the good news is that with time and perseverance your pronunciation can improve drastically. 

Based on my experience, both as an English learner myself and as a language teacher, in this blogppost I intend to hint at some ideas to help you rise to the challenge and start a journey to a more confident approach to pronouncing, and thus, speaking. Continue reading “When it comes to pronunciation, pick your battles”