The TOEIC Times 1: The Super Quiz Machine


There are plenty of sites that can help you prepare for the TOEIC -- so many, in fact, that it is not easy to know where to begin. For pure grammar practice similar to Part V of the test, I can suggest the Super Quiz Machine from the very complete English learning site Many Things.

As its name implies, the site contains many things -- many, many things, in fact -- for learners of English.

The Super Quiz Machine generates random 20 question grammar quizzes; you can go back over your answers and correct the ones you missed.

The weakness of the quiz machine is that it does not explain correction, but the site also includes many specific grammar exercises -- which I may take a look at for the next post of "The TOEIC Times."


Using the phone in English: building our course document

As we start our new topic of "Company Communication: Using the Phone in English," you the students are going to take charge of your own learning.

Is all of this because I didn't prepare my class? NO!

In fact, I have a document on "Phoning in English" all ready to photocopy, and using it would be the easiest thing in the world.

But wouldn't it be more interesting and relevant to produce a document based at least partly on materials found or created by the class? Of course, I can always add a few elements myself if I feel you're missing something crucial.

So today, you're going to work in pairs on Internet in the lab and your task will be to find materials to help create our unit on "Using the Phone in English."

Here are some guidelines to help you work better:

1. Each pair is NOT responsible for finding ALL the materials that the class will use. Focus on one element: vocabulary, expressions, a text, a video, a listening extract, images...and try to do your best to find useful and interesting material.

2. In your research, try to address the question "What do we need to learn about using the phone in English?"

3. When using Google for research, you will of course find more material if you do your research in English, although a search in French could uncover something useful. Add +ESL or +EFL or +"business English" to help you find materials adapted to learners of English.

4. You need to leave a trace of your discoveries for me, and we aren't going to print everything out. Either leave a link/links in the blog comments area, or, if you prefer, send me a link/links or a document by email.

5. If you find your material quicker than the other groups, you can already start working on it and learning from it, or even create an activity that could go with it.

6. When you return to class today, you will give a short presentation of how you worked, what you found, and what you have already learned along the way.


Listening Activity: A Job Interview

Listen to the job interview and take notes.

Notice that in the second part the interviewee asks the interviewer a few questions.

After the interview, there is an interactive quiz. Try it and see how you do. (Also see if you can find the mistake in the quiz answers! Hint: it's an answer about money.)





Strikes and WD40: Class links for the week of October 11 2010

I haven't been here for a while, but then again, have you?

This week was full of classes for me, and I was definitely not...In three of my classes, though, we dealt with the theme of the recent strikes in France: Depending on the class, I used an audio resource, a video resource, or both.

Here is the link to the audio resource by Sean Banville about the September strikes in France. You can also consult his entire lesson here, as we didn't do nearly all of the activities.

Some of you also commented on and listened to a Reuters video about Tuesday's strikes.

For my sales rep course students, here is the WD40 demonstration video we worked with. This was kind of an unusual choice, but we got some great vocabulary out of the "without the sound" portion of the lesson.

Have a great weekend!


Listening: Top international universities

For my second year Bachelor's students, here is the link to the audio file and print script of the listening extract used in class today (and for Monday the 4th of October) about the list of top universities in the world:

Also, on a similar subject, you might be interested in looking at a slideshow of the most beautiful US college campuses.