iTunes U

Do you think this type of learning can replace traditional teaching and

classes, or just reinforce them?

If you were an American, would you rather learn in places like this

or at home listening to a podcast?


Listening Activity: Job Descriptions

In this activity, you will work in pairs and listen to a job description of your choice from the following site:

1. Each pair must listen to a different job description, so tell me your choice.  All of the scripts are interesting; for example Tracey, the secretary, works as a secretary to a very important government official, so her job is much more exciting than you might imagine.

2. Listen two or three times, starting and stopping as you please, and taking notes with your partner and comparing them. Do not try to note every word, this is not a dictation.

3. From your notes, try to orally construct a coherent summary of what the person says. Do not consult the script!

4. You will present your summary to the group if time allows.

5. You will be able to check your understanding with the script if time allows, or at home.


Article quizzes: the, a, and or nothing?

The student above didn't know his science lesson very well, but he did know that he was talking about "ice" in general, so there was no need to say "the ice!"

Here are some exercises to review the use of articles. Some of them will refer to your general knowledge of English, and not only to cases seen in the exercises in class.

1. Quiz: Definite Article or Zero Article?

2. The Definite and Zero Article Exercise

3. Exercise in Choosing Articles (text about American sports)

4. Five Elementary/Pre-intermediate Article Exercises These are the easiest ones -- use for extra revision if you're having difficulties.


Time Expression Revision Exercises

Here is a selection of  online exercises to review different expressions of time:

1. Past Time Expressions

2. For or since with present perfect

3. Various time expressions (Attn. -- a lot of ads on this page, so it's kind of messy to navigate. The ten "time expression" questions are on the same page.

4. Various time expressions: 9 intermediate level time expression exercises. Good images but you have to follow the context and the story to understand.

5. Time expression + verb tense review

This is the exercise used in my 2nd year Bachelor's class this week.


Top 100 -- and 1000 -- words in English

All of my students want more vocabulary; all of my students say that they are lacking in vocabulary.

Of course, in class we learn a lot of vocabulary, but since you're in college, we won't go back to the basics that much. So if you don't know basic vocabulary, you might just have to go get (and learn it) yourself.

The above video is not the most exciting in the world, but it identifies the top 100 words used in English. Amazingly, they constitute HALF -- yes, 50% -- of all words spoken in English. Do you know them all? And do you know how to pronounce them?

If you know the top 100, why not make sure you know the top 1000? Download this simple PDF file of the top 1000 words in English, and check what you know. You could set the objective of trying to complete the chart over the year, maybe with a friend.

Thank you to David Deubelbeiss for the 1000 word list.

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