Tuesday, September 20, 2011

News resources for intermediate students

We have been discussing today a few resources for reading news that you can use if you are at an intermediate level (I will update this  if I find more)

Onestopenglish.com Monthly topical news lessons from The Guardian.  These are reading exercises based on news adapted from the UK newspaper The Guardian. They have three different levels: elementary, intermediate, and upper intermediate. There are teacher's notes and answers.

Inside Out e-lessons offers a weekly reading e-lesson, which is often based on current news as well. The level is different every week, and it ranges from pre-intermediate to upper intermediate so be careful. There are teacher notes, answers and a glossary.

Despite the old-fashioned design, http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/ has very complete lessons based on current events, complete with an MP3 file that you can use for listening practice.

That's all for now! Again, I'll update this if I find more info.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Useful links for tourism students in Madrid.

This year I'll be working at a school of hospitality and tourism with adults, so I'm going to share a few links that may come handy:

aéroport Madrid

(by Tagon

1) Groups for language exchange in Madrid.

(To my high school ex-students, please note that these are intended for adults!)


Both groups have facebook pages associated to their websites. Apart from meeting regularly in Madrid for exchanges, dinners, visits to the movies and parties, they sometimes organize trips to different areas in Spain. For obvious reasons, this is great practice for students of tourism!

2) In Madrid newspaper. 

 Great for finding one-to-one language exchanges and for general information about news and events in Madrid, as well as stories about everyday life for expats here. You can get the newspaper in most Irish Pubs along the city at the beginning of the month. It's free so you need to hurry, they run out really fast! If you can't get hold of a copy, you can always check their website: http://www.in-madrid.com/

Mboro sur mer

(by Tagon

3) A few travel sites I like:

http://www.quirkyguide.com/  A nice travel site full of interesting articles about little known sites and events.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ This is a travel site for backpackers mostly, but it is packed with information and you can do a lot of research on real questions and problems that occur to tourists through their forum, the Thorn Tree section.

http://wikitravel.org/  follows the wikipedia structure to give information about countries and cities, specifically oriented towards travelers.

http://iwannagothere.com/ is a website that compiles traveler experiences in different countries and cities. It's great to find information about off-the-beaten-track attractions.

Fevered Mutterings  is a blog by a friend of mine, Mike. He's currently working at  http://travelllll.com/ and, being an experienced globetrotter, he's my main source for travel advice so you might want to check these sites out, too. You might want to look at his huge blogroll for more inspiration, too :-)

4) A few English as a Second Language sites you'll need to use:

http://www.wordreference.com/es/ THE online dictionary. You can also download an application to check the dictionary on your phone via Wi-fi or 3G. Great for having a lightweight dictionary always available.

http://www.forvo.com/  A pronunciation dictionary, especially useful for proper nouns and other words that may not be in a dictionary. Real native speakers record the words so you can listen to how they are pronounced. You can also contribute to it on the Spanish section.

http://simple.wikipedia.org/ is the simplified English version of Wikipedia. It's good for English learners who might feel a bit overwhelmed by the main English Wikipedia.

And, last but not least, http://www.agendaweb.org/ is a great site to look for general English practice, especially grammar exercises. It compiles activities from a large number of ESL websites all over the internet.