Summer is coming, and we are ready for it!

Hello again everyone!

I hope you’ve had a fantastic Easter!!! But you know that at ES were always thinking ahead and that’s why we’ve already planned all our summer courses, both for children and adults and in both our schools. Do you want to know what courses you can enroll on? Keep reading Continue reading “Summer is coming, and we are ready for it!”

Learning English through play

Hi everyone!

How did those question tags go? Check your answers here:

Answers

And as for the extra challenge….

Continue reading “Learning English through play”

Question tags (Part I)

Hi there everyone!

I can see that our last post (Internet slang) really caught your attention, didn´t it? I wanna say a big thank you for all the visits, pings and trackbacks we’ve been getting for the last couple of weeks. It’s just been amazing!

Image result

But I reckon you really want the answers for the Internet Slang challenge, don’t you? Well, here they are:  Continue reading “Question tags (Part I)”

Present Perfect vs Past Simple

Hello everyone!

Today we are going to talk about a grammar point that is usually quite a pickle for students up to Upper-Intermediate level: Present Perfect vs Past Simple.

Let’s start thinking about TIME, not about tenses, but about time. There are only 3 times: PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE

In this way, we hardly ever doubt when we need to use Past Simple. We simply use it to talk about an action that started in the past and finished in the past.

E.g: “What did you do last weekend?”

We use the Past Simple because the weekend started and finished in the past time.

So, when do we use the Present Perfect tense?

The present perfect is a tense that connects past time and present time.

E.g: When we ask ‘Have you been to Paris?’ what we mean is ‘Have you been to Paris at any time from the moment you were born until now?’

In this way, we can learn a lot about the time we are talking about if the person we are talking to uses the correct tense. We can use Past Simple or Present Perfect in the same sentence, depending on when we are saying it.

Let’s take a look at these sentences as an example:

a)      ‘Did you see Mary this morning?’


As we can see, part of today is in the past time, so when I say ‘Did you see Mary this morning?’, I am doing it because it’s either the afternoon, evening or night of the same day, so the morning already belongs to the past time. You can see it better in the following timeline:

This is today:

Let’s imagine that it’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon and you will see how part of the day belongs to the past, other part to the future and how the present is just 17’00h:

b)        ‘Have you seen Mary this morning?’

If I use the Present Perfect tense in this sentence is because the morning is not over, so it started in the past but continues in the present.

We could use this sentence if, for example, it was 11.30 in the morning:

To review all past tenses, we recommend you check the following podcast: ‘The mystery story’, it’s great practice and great fun!!!

I hope this post has helped you to clarify the use of these tenses and remember: everything’s about time! 😉

Have a great week! 😀

T                             O                            D                            A                            Y

Now, this is today:

Each step counts

Hi folks!

How’s the weekend going? I hope you have enjoyed our quiz on idioms in the previous post, our students surely have! And as promised, here are the answers: 1B, 2A, 3A, 4C, 5A, 6B, 7C, 8A, 9A, 10B, 11A, 12C.

Today we have a post about the younger students, our kiddies. Carol Banet (Head of Junior Department) has written the following article to shed some lights on the YLE exams, why they are becoming so popular and her experience when students prepare and take these exams. Enjoy!

How many times as a teacher or as parents have we asked ourselves ‘How can I motivate young children to study English?’ ‘What can be done to maintain their interest?’ ‘How can they be motivated?’ ‘What about making the time spent at school more enjoyable and entertaining?’

Cambridge Young Learner exams can be one of the ways to answer these questions.

What are Cambridge Young Learners exams?

Cambridge Young Learner exams are tests specially designed for children at primary and lower- secondary school. These tests are an excellent way to motivate our students to learn English, build their confidence using a foreign language and  show parents the progress the students make.

Why should students take Young Learners exams?

These are not the classical tests students normally do at their schools. These are activity- based tests which focus on putting into practice English for everyday situations, covering familiar and interesting topics for the students specially designed to develop the skills students need to communicate in English as a second language in a natural way.

Tests where the most important thing is not what students cannot do but what they can do!

What level are the exams?

There are three levels: STARTERS, MOVERS & FLYERS. All of them designed so students improve their English following a well planned, interesting syllabus. These exams are aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The exams are divided into three parts, covering all language skills appropriate to each level: Reading & Writing, Listening & Speaking.

What do students get after doing the exam?

All students will receive an award. They will be awarded a Cambridge Certificate which will show a number of shields, according to the student´s performance in the different parts of the exam.

Personally speaking, I really think that this is an excellent way to motivate students to see how they can make the study of a subject something more interesting, enjoyable and practical. Soon students at this early age will not be afraid of taking exams and they will see them as something natural and normal in their education. Parents would be surprised if they knew how many times students who have done one of the tests are asking when they will be taking the next.

Written by Carol Banet

From lost to the river

Hi there everyone!

Happy spring! Even though you might not be able to tell by just looking through the window… yet! Better times are always ahead! 😀

Today we are going to look at some expressions in English! I’m sure you have noticed the title of this post “From lost to the river”, a very common expression in Spanish that we don’t know how to translate.

Hi there everyone!

Happy spring! Even though you might not be able to tell by just looking through the window… yet! Better times are always ahead! 😀

Today we are going to look at some expressions in English! I’m sure you have noticed the title of this post “From lost to the river”, a very common expression in Spanish that we don’t know how to translate.

Students often ask in class about these idioms so, well, let’s make it fun, shall we? Here I have prepared a quiz for you to choose the expression in English that you think belongs to the one in Spanish, but no cheating, eh?

1. “De perdidos al río”

A) From lost to the river

B) In for a penny in for a pound

C) All in

2. “Aprender algo de memoria”

A) To learn something by heart

B) To learn something by brain

C) To learn something by ear

3. “Estar en misa y replicando”

A) To have a finger in every pie

B) To be in the church and sleeping

C) In heaven and in hell

4. “Hablando del rey de Roma”

A) Speaking of Rome

B) Here comes Alexander The Great

C) Speak of the devil

5. “Está lloviendo a cántaros”

A) It’s raining cats and dogs

B) Noah’s calling

C) It’s raining jugs

6. “No es mi tipo”

A) It’s not my piece of cake

B) It’s not my cup of tea

C) It’s not my apple

7. “Me suena a chino”

A) It sounds Chinese to me

B) You’re talking Chinese to me

C) It  all sounds Greek to me

8. “Me estás tomando el pelo”

A) You’re pulling my leg

B) You’re making me bald

C) You’re pulling my hair

9. “Dios los cría y ellos se juntan”

A) Birds of a feather flock together

B) Created by God, joined by fate

C) From the same God, the same style

10. “Es la gota que colma el vaso”

A) It’s the last drop that makes you spill water

B) It’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back

C) It’s the most ridiculous thing that makes you cringe

11. “Se cosecha lo que se siembra”

A) What goes around, comes around

B) What you grow you eat

C) If you give tomatoes don’t ask for gold

12. “Cuando el río suena, agua lleva”

A) When the river is full, it sounds

B) If people talk, words are they saying

C) Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

Are there any other expressions you would like to know the translation of? Anything that you want to express in English and you don’t know how? Leave us a comment below and we will solve that pickle! 😉

Don’t forget to check the answers in our next post!

😆

Pronunciation (-ed )

Hey guys!

How are you doing? In Euroschool we couldn’t be happier!!! We have been awarded with the Achievement Award 2016!!!

Do you know what that means? Well, in case you missed it last year, this is an award given by Cambridge English to the best Exam Preparation Centres. We are top notch! 🙂 And the best part is that it is not us saying it: it’s Cambridge! So before getting hands on with pronunciation we want to thank YOU: this wouldn’t have been possible without all your effort to pass.

Here’s the award:

PRONUNCIATION:

-ed pronunciation is usually an issue to students of all levels so, today’s post is going to be dedicated to helping you with this matter.

The first thing you need to understand is that the pronunciation of these endings is going to depend on the last sound of the word without the suffix. (If you are not familiar with the phonetic chart, check out this link: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/phonemic-chart )

For example:

“Watch” is pronounced /wɒtʃ/ and its last sound is /. This means that when adding the -ed suffix it will sound like this: /wɒtʃt/. You can see that a /t/ sound has been added at the end.

“Love” is pronounced /lov/ and its last sound is /v/. So in the past and past participle forms it will sound like this: /lovd/. Here, a /d/ sound has been added.

“Lift” is pronounced just as it is written: /lift/, with a final /t/ sound,  and in its -ed form is pronounced /liftid/

/t/, /d/ or /id/?

As mentioned above that will depend on the last sound of the word which  we know is sometimes difficult to identify. However, we have made this chart in which we categorise those sounds depending on the pronunciation of the -ed suffix.

(Please note that these are not phonemic symbols but an approximation of how they sound when we pronounce them)

/t/ /d/ /id/
/p/

/k/

/f/

/s/

/sh/

/tch/

/ks/

/b/

/g/

/v/

/z/

/dj/

/m/

/n/

/r/

/l/

/t/

/d/

This chart works not only for verbs but for any other word with -ed ending.

I know that phonetics are not very popular amongst Spanish students but I really encourage you to learn them! Your teacher at Euroschool can help you! Meanwhile, if you want to start digging around on your own, here is a great video to get started:

YouTube – British Council Phonemic Chart

As students, we usually think that our pronunciation has to be spot on and that we should know how to pronounce every word. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves! Well, maybe the following video will help you to be a bit more relaxed about it!

Check it out! It’s just hilarious! 😆

<a href="http://www.slideshare.net/EuroschoolOfEnglish/slideshelf“>http://www.slideshare.net/EuroschoolOfEnglish/slideshelf

“>

“>

The Passive Voice (Part 1)

Hi  guys!!!

How’s 2016 treating you?

Today we are going to take a look at “The Passive Voice” as most students at Intermediate level struggle with them and, without a good base, even upper intermediate and First Certificcate students find it confusing when it comes to sentence transformations.

What is the passive voice?

When we form a sentence we tend to do it in active voice (Subject + verb + direct object), focusing the reader’s attention on the person performing that action. E.g.: “Steve eats an apple”

On the contrary, the passive voice focuses on the receiver of the action (in this case “an apple”). E.g.: “An apple is eaten by Steve”

Notice that both sentences have the same meaning despite having a different structure.

How is the passive formed?

Take a look at how the structure changes:

1.- The subject in active voice is now after the verb, we call it “Agent”

2.- The direct object (an apple) is now at the beginning of the sentence (it has become the subject)

3.- The verb stays in the same place but…. Why are there two words now? ❓

Passive tenses:

In the active voice sentence (“Steve eats an apple”) the verb is in present simple and, believe it or not, so it is in the passive voice one (“An apple is eaten by Steve”).But, why have we got two words now?

Notice how the verb carrying the tense is now the verb “to be” and how the main verb (carrying meaning) is now in Past Participle.

Knowing this, we can now form passives in any tense we want.

E.g.:

PRESENT CONTINUOUS: “Steve is eating an apple” vs “An apple is being eaten by Steve”

PAST SIMPLE: “Steve ate an apple” vs “An apple was eaten by Steve”

PAST CONTINUOUS: “Steve was eating an apple” vs “An apple was being eaten by Steve”

PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE: “Steve has eaten an apple” vs “An apple has been eaten by Steve”

Notice how, independently from the tense, in the passive the main verb is always in past participle.

So, would you like to give it a go? Here it is an exercise for you to practise the passive voice and, to avoid temptation, we will post the correct anwers in the next post! 😉

EXERCISE 1:

Turn these active voice sentences into the passive voice:

1.- Manchester United have won the game

2.- Mark and Kevin had the last piece of cake

3.- Jane is carrying an umbrella

4.- Someone has stolen my book

5.- My neighbours are calling the police

EXERCISE 2:

Complete the second sentence, with a minimum of 2 words and a maximum of 5, so that it has a similar meaning (the closer the better) to the first one  using the word given:

1.-My secretary will send you a message next week.

SENT

_____________________ to you by my secretary next week.

2.- John kicked the ball over the fence

WAS

The ______________________ fence by John

3.- Someone had obviously broken the glass on the floor

CLEARLY

The glass ______________________ on the floor

4.- The class have met many famous people on the school trip

BY

Many celebrities ______________________ the class on the school trip.

5.- The technician is fixing the computer now

REPAIRED

The computer is _______________ now.

Steve eats an apple

An apple is eaten by Steve

There's always something to be thankful for, happy Thanksgiving!

…and happy Black Friday, of course!!!

I am sure most of you are familiar with the Thanksgiving celebration; celebrated mainly in the USA, every November we can see movies and even our favourite series celebrating this festivity. But where does it come from, and more importantly, how is it related to Black Friday?

Well, in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated autumn harvest by getting together and sharing the food every family had obtained during the summer-autum season. However, it wasn’t until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. The celebration as we know it today started when Abraham Lincoln finally called all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation” as the Civil War came to an end.

He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression.


So we could say that, in a way, Roosevelt started what we know today as “Black Friday” but it wasn’t until the 1960s when the term stuck to mark of the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.

What I´ve always wondered is, why Black Friday? After all, the colour black isn’t something people associate with good things, is it? Well, as usual, we found an explanation for it. Apparently, at the time shops, and specially retail shops, had a colour code on their accounting records that went from red (to indicate loss) to black (to indicate profit). And so Black Friday was expected to become the date when the shops made most of their profit for the month, the name couldn’t have been more appropiate and it seems to have worked out really well because ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season which, although not an official holiday, is a day off for most employees except, of course, for those working in retail.

Black Friday is becoming more and more popular in Spain, up to the point that some shops have already announced that the discounts will last 10 days this year.

There you have it, now: got some money to burn? Then go for it and start your Christmas shopping next Friday! Oh, and by the way: if you shop from the UK online you may get an even bigger discount! 😉

We're back!!!!!

Hi people!!!

How is the summer going? It is September already!

In Euroschool we’re already preparing the new school year and today we would like to show you a little bit more about us. So let’s get started with a few words from our Director!

`April is the cruelest month……….´or at least that´s what the esteemed poet Thomas Stearns Eliot believed. I´m not sure if schoolchildren around the world  who are now returning to their desks or adults who are returning to their respective jobs would agree. September….they may argue, seems a much crueler deal. After a month or more of enjoying the long, lazy “glorious” days of summer, it is once more unto the breach and no more onto the beach (to paraphrase good ol´Henry V).

Fortunately, here at Euroschool we face no such dilemma. Now that the school is open all year round each day seems like a good day and while each term brings its own challenges we take great pride in being able to offer our services to  those who need them….when they need them.

Speaking of which, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers and students who worked tirelessly throughout the summer and offer my Congratulations to those students who were successful in their exams and my commiserations to those who fell short. Indeed, we are all immensely proud of the June Exam Results in which we managed to maintain our overall pass rate of 85%.

Congrats and thanks must also go to all our teachers and students who took part in our off – site summer courses : England, Southsea; Manzaneda, Galicia and The Big, Fat, Fun Urban Camp, Los Castros. The feedback has been incredibly positive and for that we are eternally grateful.

And so to THE FUTURE. I´m sure you´re all anxious to know what we have planned next. Well, more of the same for one thing and MORE of the new for another. Plans are afoot to relaunch our cinema club, open a conversation club and put into practice any of the ideas you may come up with. So put your thinking caps on and get ready for another GREAT YEAR at EUROSCOOL.

Remember: What we achieve tomorrow depends on what we do today.

Excelsior.

Terence James Paul.

Now, do you want to take a look at our school? Well, you know you just have to ask!


This is us!

Image result for arrow down

Euroschool of English, because “What we achieve tomorrow, depends on what we do today”

So go ahead and contact us via the comments section on this very page, web (www.euroschoolofenglish.com), Facebook, phone (981140024) or just come and visit (Fernando Macías Nº13), we’ll be more than happy to help and welcome you aboard!

I’m sure we’ll see each other very soon! 😉