Reading comprehension practice

 Esl-bits offers this extraordinary resource to practice reading comprehension in exam format. There are different kinds of activities you can do: comprehension of signs; true/false questions; matching people with the most suitable situation for them; fill in the gaps with the missing words; and general comprehension of a text.

All in all students of A2-early B1 level (Básico 2 for EOI standards)  can find 19 activities at their disposal to develop their reading skills and prepare for their forthcoming exam.

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KEY TO ENGLISH FILE PRE-INTERMEDIATE ENTRY CHECKER

Hello class,

for those of you who have purchased all the New English File materials, you have an entry checker. This is a summary with all the grammar points from 1st of basic level. It´s a great booklet to review and revise all those contents. Here you have a document with the solutions. Happy checking!

key English File entry checker to Pre-int 3rd ed

TRAVEL, TRIP OR JOURNEY?

Here is a video that could be very useful when you want to talk about your holidays. Those three words may be a bit difficult to use.

‘A/an’, ‘the’ or ‘no article’? Bed / home / work / town

Hello guys! Let´s start the new school year by reviewing some interesting information about the use of the articles with these words. Pay attention! :)

Bed

Bed is a strange word! If we don’t use an article, it means a place where we sleep, not a particular object:

• The children are in Ø bed.
• We didn’t get out of Ø bed until after one o’clock.
• She got home and went straight to Ø bed.

But when we are thinking about a bed as an object, we use articles in the normal way:
• She sat on the bed in my room [I choose 'the' because the listener knows which
bed I mean].
• I need to buy a new bed [I choose 'a' because I don't know which bed yet, I'm
not talking about a specific one].

Home

The word home is also a bit strange. We usually use ‘no article’:

• They went Ø home.*
• I stayed at Ø home.
• Julie works from Ø home.
• It’s time to go Ø home.
• Lucy is at Ø home at the moment.

*Notice we don’t need to with ‘go home’ (not ‘go to home’).

But we can use an article with home when it means ‘the building that somebody lives (or used to live) in’. In this case we use articles in the normal way:

• We visited the home of Jackie Kennedy.
• My sister has made her flat into a beautiful home.

[It's also possible to use 'home' as short for 'retirement home' or similar expression.
We use articles in the normal way: Her grandmother is too frail to stay in her own house, so she lives in a (retirement) home.]

 

Work (used as a noun)

When we use ‘work’ to mean a place, then we don’t need to use an article:

• She’s at Ø work.
• I arrive at Ø work at nine.
• We leave Ø work every day at six.
• You should go to Ø work earlier.

When we use ‘work’ to mean a project that we are working on now, ‘work’ is a normal uncountable noun. So, we can use ‘the’ if we are talking about some specific work that  the listener knows about:

• The work I’m doing at the moment is very interesting.

[An exception is when work means a piece of art/literature/music. In this case work is a normal countable noun].

Town

When we are thinking about the town centre near to us, we often use ‘no article’ with certain expressions:

• In town: John’s in town at the moment.
• Go into town: Shall we go into town this afternoon?
• Leave town: He left town after he argued with his wife.

Town can also be a normal noun:

• The town where I live is quite small [we use ‘the’ because the listener knows which one].

 

Let´s try an exercise. Answers at the bottom….

Fill the gap with the or no article (Ø).

1. John is at ______ home now.
2. Let’s go into ______ town later – I’d like to do some shopping.
3. I went to ______ bed early last night, but I still feel tired.
4. ______ work that Julie is doing at the moment sounds boring.
5. My son’s just rented his first flat and needs furniture – I’m going to give him
______ bed in our spare room.
6. I usually arrive at ______ work at about eight thirty.
7. She bought a book about ______ homes of the rich and famous.
8. ______ town where my mother lives is very pretty.

 

 

KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY-KEY

 

1. John is at Ø home now.
2. Let’s go into Ø town later – I’d like to do some shopping.
3. I went to Ø bed early last night, but I still feel tired.
4. The work that Julie is doing at the moment sounds boring.
5. My son’s just rented his first flat and needs furniture – I’m going to give him the
bed in our spare room.
6. I usually arrive at Ø work at about eight thirty.
7. She bought a book about the homes of the rich and famous.
8. The town where my mother lives is very pretty.

Conversations about clothes and fashion

Hello!!! Here you have a few questions to get you started talking about this topic. You can use them as monologue or dialogue tasks. I think you have’ll  enough with these…:)

  • About how much money do you spend on clothes a year?
  • Do you like shopping for new clothes?
  • Do you often buy new clothes?
  • Do you prefer to go shopping or just browse? Why?
  • Do you think men should be allowed to wear skirts?
  • What piece of clothing do you spend your money on the most? Why?
  • Do you read fashion magazines?
  • Do you sometimes wear a hat?
  • Do you think it is important to wear fashionable clothes?
    • Do you think it is important to be in fashion?
  • Do you wear jewelry?
    • If so, what kind of jewelry do you wear?
    • How often do you wear jewelry?
    • What is your most valuable piece of jewelry?
  • Do you wear the same color clothes now that you wore ten years ago?
  • Do you wear the same size clothes this year as you wore last year?
  • Do you think people feel different when they wear different clothes?
  • Have you ever made your own clothes?
    • If so, what did you make?
    • Do you often make your own clothes?
  • How many pairs of gloves do you have?
  • What are some of the strangest fashions you have seen?
  • What colors do you think look good on you?
  • What colors do you think look good on your mother?
  • What did you wear yesterday?
  • What do you think of body piercing?
    • Do you have pierced ears?
    • Do you know anyone with a pierced nose?
    • Would you ever pierce your tongue?
  • What do you think of people who dye their hair green?
  • What do you think of women who wear high heel shoes?
    • Do you think high heel shoes are bad for a person’s health?
  • What fashions that you see today do you think will be out of fashion within two years?
  • What is your shoe size?
  • What kind of clothes are in fashion now?
  • What kind of clothes do you usually wear?
  • What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you have ever bought?
  • What’s your favorite color for shoes?
  • When was the last time you got dressed up?
    • Why?
    • How often do you get dressed up?
    • Do you like to get dressed up?
  • Where are some good stores to buy clothes in this area?
  • Where do you usually buy clothes?
  • Would you like to be a fashion model?

Questions on Styles, Clothing and Fashion-based Stereotypes

  • What would you think of a women who cut off all her hair and went around bald as a fashion statement?
  • What do you think of a man who is bald for fashion’s sake?
  • What do you think of women who wear short mini-skirts?
  • Do you think that the clothes we wear reflect what is inside us ?
  • What do you think of people who always and only wear black?
  • What do you think of people with tattoos?
    • Do you have a tattoo?
    • Do you know someone with a tattoo?
  • What do you think of people with body piercing?
    • Do you have pierced ears?
    • Would you pierce other parts of your body?
  • What would you think of a high school student who always wore very conservative clothes?
  • What type of clothing do you wear when you are angry and you want to express yourself?
  • What colors do you choose to wear when you are happy?
  • Would you dress the same as you do in your country if you went to America for a visit?
  • Do you dress the same when you are depressed as you do when you are very happy?
    • In what ways do you dress differently?
  • If you went out with a group of high school friends, would you dress differently then if you went out with your grandmother and her friends?
  • In what ways does your Grandmother dress differently then you?
  • When you get old do you think you will dress like your grandmother or grandfather?
  • Would you ever wear dreadlocks?
    • What do you think of the people who wear them?
  • Have you ever worn your hair braided in small braids.
    • Did anyone look at you differently because of it?
  • Would you ever wear contacts to change your eye color?
  • What is the difference in the people who choose to wear contacts and the people who choose to were glasses?
  • What do you think about women who don’t wear earrings?
  • What do you think about men who wear earrings?
    • What do you think of women who do?
  • Is it possible for women to wear too much make-up?
    • When is a person wearing to much make-up?
    • What do you think of men who wear make-up?
  • Is it possible to be beautiful without wearing any make-up, earrings or other accessories?
  • Do fashionable clothes really change the way a person looks?
  • What differences have you noticed in the fashions here and in your country?
  • What do you think of men who where tights?
  • What do you think about secondhand clothes?
    • Why do you think people buy secondhand clothes?
    • Have you ever been to a store that sells secondhand clothes?
    • Have you ever bought secondhand clothes?
    • Would you buy secondhand clothes?
  • When and where did you buy an article of clothing you’re wearing right now? Why did you choose it?
  • What would you think if the mother of the groom wore black at a wedding?
    • What would you think if a bride wore red?
    • Should a bride’s dress be long or do you think it could be the length of a regular skirt?
  • What items of clothing do you consider provocative in this country?
    • What types of clothing are provocative in your country?
    • Do you ever dress this way?
  • What do you think of men wearing high heels?
  • What do you think of women wearing high heels?
  • Why is it acceptable for women to wear men’s clothing, but not for men to dress in women’s clothing?
  • Is there a stigma attached to people who buy no-name (no brand) clothing?
  • Are some people more fashion conscious than others? What types/groups of people?
  • Have you ever bought imitation brand clothing?
  • What traditional clothes do people from your country wear?
    • When do you wear them?
    • Are they comfortable?
  • In your country do children have to wear school uniform?
    • Did you wear a school uniform?
    • Do you think wearing uniforms is a good idea?
  • What would you do or feel if you were refused entry to somewhere because of what you are wearing?
  • Do you think dress codes should be adhered to if requested on an invitation?
  • What would you wear to meet royalty or the President of your country?
  • Would you go to a fancy dress party? Why or why not?
  • How much do you spend getting ready to go to school? Work? Out with friends? To a party?
    • Do the times vary much?
  • What traditional clothes do people from your country wear?
  • When do you wear them?
  • Are they comfortable?
  • Do you think there’s a difference between” fashion ” and “style” ?
  • How often do you go clothes shopping?
    • Where do you like to go?
    • Who do you like to go with?
    • How much money do you usually spend?
    • Would you bring your husband/boyfriend with you when you go clothes shopping?
  • What do you like to shop for the most?
  • Where is your favorite shopping centre?
  • What is your favorite brand?
  • Are you a shopaholic?
  • Do you go to many shops before buying one particular item or do you just buy the first one you find?
  • Do you spend a lot of money on clothes your clothes?
  • Which type of clothes do you “collect”?
  • What’s your favorite piece of clothing?
    • How much did it cost?
    • Where did you buy your favorite piece of clothing?
  • Have you ever felt uncomfortable with what you wear?
  • Did your parents ever make you wear something you didn’t like?
  • Do you like to go shopping during the sales?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG

A Catchy Little Tune 

Read the story and then answer the questions.

This simple four-line ditty was written as a classroom greeting in 1893 by two sisters. Mildred Hill, a teacher at the Louisville, Kentucky Experimental Kindergarten, and Dr. Patty Hill, the principal of the same school, together wrote the song for their five year-old pupils.

The melody of the song was composed by Mildred, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A, on June 27th, 1859. The song was first published in 1893, with the lyrics written by her sister, Patty, as Good Morning To All.

Mildred was an expert on spiritual songs and played the organ in her local church, while Patty, who later became a professor at Columbia University, specialized in kindergarten education. Although the song was published in 1893, it wasn’t copyrighted until 1935. The copyright was taken out under a different name and it wasn’t renewed until 1963.
The song was popularised in the late 1930′s when it was sung in the Broadway production of As Thousands Cheer, and has since become the mega-classic hit of all time.
In 1988, Birch Tree Group Ltd, the original publishers, sold the rights of the song, and all their other assets, to Warner Communications for an estimated $25 million.
During the 1980s, the song was believed to generate about $1 million in royalties annually. Along with Auld Lang Syne (sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve) and For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow (sung to celebrate someone’s achievement), it is among the three most popular songs in the English language.
It continues to bring in around $2 million in licensing revenue each year, according to current publisher Warner Chappell.

Answer the questions:
1. In which city was Mildred born?
2. The song was originally titled Good ______ To All.
3. What’s the word for a short, simple song or poem?
4. Which musical instrument did Mildred play?
5. Which US state were the sisters from?
6. Which sister wrote the words of the song?
7. What do Americans call a school for 5 to 6 year-olds?
8. Which sister wrote the music for the song?
9. The Broadway show which made the song famous was called As ______ Cheer.
10. Money or property that a person or company owns.
11. You get paid this if someone uses your work.
12. What was Patty’s position at her school?
13. What was the name of the university where she later worked?
14. On New Year’s Eve, people sing Auld Lang ______.
15. If something is your intellectual property, it means you own the ______.
16. What kind of songs was Mildred an expert on?
17. The publishers who now own the song are called ______ Chappell.
18. The publishers who first owned the rights were called __________ Tree Group.

Answers:

1. Louisville                    7. kindergarten                         13. Columbia
2. Morning                      8. Mildred                                    14. Syne
3. ditty                              9. Thousands                              15. copyright
4. organ                           10. assets                                      16. spiritual
5. Kentucky                   11. royalty                                    17. Warner
6. Patty                            12. Principal                                18. Birch

Related Websites

Take a look yourself:

http://www.planetpals.com/birthdayparty.html

Scroll down to see Happy Birthday in every language

http://www.warnerchappell.com/wcm/home2.jsp

The current owners of the copyright

http://www.famousbirthdays.com/

Who else was born on your birthday? Anyone famous?

http://www.happybirthdaytoyou.com/

Send your friends a birthday card

Aside

MORE PRESENT PERFECT PRACTISE

In our Real English series we are showing three more videos to exemplify the use of the present perfect.

In the first video, a really nice guy answers questions about his job -he is a messenger. At one stage he answers the question How long have you been a messenger for?, which shows the second use of the present perfect that we studied last week, present perfect to talk about a situation which started in the past and continues up to the present.


You can do an interactive exercise on the Real English site here.
You can watch the same video with English subtitles on the Real English site here.

In the second video Michael, a policeman in New York, answers some questions about his life. The two questions in blue refer to the use of the present perfect to talk about experiences. The question in red refers to the use of the present perfect to talk about situations which started in the past and continue up to now.
What’s your name?
What do you like doing in your free time?
What did you do yesterday?
Apart from New York, what other towns have you lived in?
When did you live in Hamburg?
Where were you born?
Was that a long time ago?
What’s been the best year of your life?
What have you been doing in the city today?
Were you good at school?
What’s the most beautiful city in the USA?
Which is bigger New York or San Francisco?
Which is the most beautiful language?
What would you do if you won 10 million dollars?
What do you hope to achieve before you die?
What are you going to do tonight?

In the third video, once again we can see the difference of usage of the present perfect to talk about activities or situations that started in the past and continue up to now (first interviewee, the juggler, who answers the question How long have you been juggling today?) and to talk about experiences (second interviewee, who answers the questions Have you travelled abroad?Where have you been?).

However, you shouldn’t miss the third interview, where Minda shows her bubbly personality and extroverted manner. In addition, she answers a battery of questions we have been studying in our Real English series and that you can also use to revise all the grammar we have been studying throughout the series.

What is your name?

Would you spell that for me?
What are you doing right now?
Where do you live?
Where do you work?
How long does it take you to get to work?
How do you get to work?
When were you born?
What have you been doing in the city today?
Have you been to Europe?
What are you going to do tonight?
What are you going to do on your next holiday?
What do you like to do for fun?
Can you play any musical instruments?
What time is it?
What’s the weather like today?

PREPOSITIONS OF TIME

Let´s take a  look at some prepositions of time. Exercises below
time

 

 

PREPOSITION USE EXAMPLES
in in months in July; in October
year in 2005; in 1798
seasons in summer; in the summer of 89
part of the day in the morning; in the afternoon; in the evening
duration in a minute; in two weeks
at part of the day at night
time of day at 8o’clock; at midnight
celebrations at Christmas; at Easter
fixed phrases at the end of the week
at the same time
on days of the week on Sunday; on Friday
date on the 25th of December
special holidays on Easter Sunday; on my birthday
a special part of a day on the morning of September the 11th
after later than something. after school
ago how far something happened (in the past) 20 years ago
before earlier than something. before Christmas
between time that separates two points between Monday and Sunday
by not later than a special time by Wednesday
during through the whole of a period of time during the holidays
for period of time for three weeks
from … to
from… till/until
two points form a period from Monday to Wednesday
from Monday till Wednesday
from Monday until Wednesday
past time of the day 10 minutes past 3 (3:10)
since point of time since Monday
till/until no later than a special time till tomorrow
until tomorrow
to time of the day 20 minutes to 6 (5:40)
up to not more than a special time up to 8 hours a day
within during a period of time

within a day

 

Now, let´s try some exercises:

 

http://www.better-english.com/grammar/timepreps.htm

http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/time-prepositions-exercise-2.html

http://www.englishpage.com/prepositions/time_prepositions_1.htm

ST. PATRICK´S IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

Hello guys! Please look at this infographics and some videos at the bottom. Get ready and enjoy!

green

 

 

 

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN´S DAY

So many things have changed for women. Let´s keep working hard to continue changing them. Enjoy these videos, share them and cherish your womanhood. Happy International Women´s Day, today and everyday to come. 

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