viernes, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Top 9 Phrasal Verbs with MAKE and Their Simple Meanings

Top 9 Phrasal Verbs with MAKE and Their Simple Meanings

make for
move towards something; contribute to or cause a result or situation, make something possible

- They suddenly stood up and made for the door.
- It was so hot that all the tourists made for the beach.
- Doubting the other’s reliability doesn’t make for a prosperous partnership.
make towards
start moving towards something
- As the policeman entered the bar, some of the customers made towards the back door.
- After a long delay at the station the train made towards the next town at last.
make into
turn into, change somebody/something into somebody/something else
- My brother suggests making our pantry into an extra bedroom.
- Do you think you can make this lawnmower into a go-kart?
make of
understand the meaning or find a reason for something, think and have an opinion of somebody/something
- What could you make of what was said at the meeting?
- This article is too vague, I can’t make anything of it.
- I don’t know what to make of their unfriendly attitude towards us.
make off (with something)
hurry away, especially in order to escape; steal something and hurry away with it
- The robbers made off in a van before the police arrived.
- The burglar made off with grandfather’s gold watch, but he couldn’t find mother’s jewels.
- The chairman made off from the meeting before the reporters could find him.
make out (1)
get along, manage well, be successful, deal with something
- How did you make out while your parents were away?
- Our team didn’t make out very well in the match last Sunday.
make out (2)
distinguish; manage to see or hear somebody/something; understand somebody’s character; claim or think something of somebody
- I could hardly make out his figure in the darkness.
- We could hear voices through the door but we couldn’t make out what they were saying.
- The new manager makes himself out to be more important than he really is.
- They aren’t as happy as their friends make out.
make out (3)
write out or complete a form or document, fill out the details
- The cashier made out a cheque for a hundred pounds for me.
- The doctor sent me to the chemist’s but he forgot to make out a prescription.
- The contract was made out in duplicate.
make over
give, transfer ownership; transform, change something, remodel, give a different appearance or function
- I hope my uncle will make over the property to me before he dies.
- Mother will make over my suit to fit my brother as I never wear it.
make up (1)
put on cosmetics
- I’d like to go to the bathroom to make my face up.
- Nobody recognized her when she made her face up to look like a clown.
make up (2)
put together, constitute, form, construct, complete, create, prepare
- They made up a list of all the things that they needed for the trip.
- I’ll make up a nightgown from that pink material.
- This poem is made up of twelve stanzas.
- The unemployed make up about 20% of the population in our country.
- The chemist refused to make up the prescription free as I didn’t have insurance.
- When I was a child, mother made up a bedtime story for me every night.
- She was late but she made up some excuse about a traffic jam.
- Why don’t you stay for the night? We’ll make up a bed for you on the sofa.
- The bill was 20 pounds, but I could pay only 15, my brother made up the rest.
- Sorry, but we don’t need you to make up a team.
make up (3)
end a disagreement and become friends again
- My wife and I had a quarrel yesterday but we soon made up and everything is fine now.
- After long months without talking to each other they made up at last.
make up (for)
replace, compensate
- I must leave early today but I’ll make up the time tomorrow, I promise.
- We can’t put off this project, we’ll never be able to make up for lost time later.
- I don’t think anything can make up for the loss of a child.

Vocabulary and phrases for making presentations in English

Vocabulary and phrases for making presentations in English

After you give your opening statement, you should give a brief overview of your presentation. This includes what your presentation is about, how long you will take and how you are going to handle questions.
For example, a presentation to sales staff could start like this:
"Welcome / "Hello everyone."
Opening statement
"As you all know, this company is losing its market share. But we are being asked to increase
sales by 20 – 25%. How can we possibly increase sales in a shrinking market?"
"Today I am going to talk to you about how we can do this. My presentation will be in three parts. Firstly I am going to look at the market and the background. Then I am going to talk to you about our new products and how they fit in. Finally, I'm going to examine some selling strategies that will help us increase our sales by 20%. The presentation will probably take around 20 minutes. There will be time for questions at the end of my talk."
Useful language for overviews
"My presentation is in three parts."
"My presentation is divided into three main sections."
"Firstly, secondly, thirdly, finally…"
"I'm going to…
take a look at…
talk about…
tell you something about the background…
give you some facts and figures…
fill you in on the history of…
concentrate on…
limit myself to the question of…
"Please feel free to interrupt me if you have questions."
"There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation."
"I'd be grateful if you could ask your questions after the presentation."
The main body of the presentation
During your presentation, it’s a good idea to remind your audience occasionally of the benefit of what you are saying.
"As I said at the beginning…"
"This, of course, will help you (to achieve the 20% increase)."
"As you remember, we are concerned with…"
"This ties in with my original statement…"
"This relates directly to the question I put to you before…"
Keeping your audience with you
Remember that what you are saying is new to your audience. You are clear about the structure of your talk, but let your audience know when you are moving on to a new point. You can do this by saying something like "right", or "OK". You can also use some of the following expressions:
"I'd now like to move on to…"
"I'd like to turn to…"
"That's all I have to say about…"
"Now I'd like to look at…"
"This leads me to my next point…"
If you are using index cards, putting the link on the cards will help you remember to keep the audience with you. In addition, by glancing at your index cards you will be pausing – this will also help your audience to realise that you are moving on to something new.
Language for using visuals
It's important to introduce your visual to the audience. You can use the following phrases:
"This graph shows you…"
"Take a look at this…"
"If you look at this, you will see…"
"I'd like you to look at this…"
"This chart illustrates the figures…"
"This graph gives you a break down of…"
Give your audience enough time to absorb the information on the visual. Pause to allow them to look at the information and then explain why the visual is important:
"As you can see…"
"This clearly shows …"
"From this, we can understand how / why…"
"This area of the chart is interesting…"
At the end of your presentation, you should summarise your talk and remind the audience of what you have told them:
"That brings me to the end of my presentation. I've talked about…"
"Well, that's about it for now. We've covered…"
"So, that was our marketing strategy. In brief, we…"
"To summarise, I…"
Relate the end of your presentation to your opening statement:
"So I hope that you're a little clearer on how we can achieve sales growth of 20%."
"To return to the original question, we can achieve…"
"So just to round the talk off, I want to go back to the beginning when I asked you…"
"I hope that my presentation today will help you with what I said at the beginning…"
Handling questions
Thank the audience for their attention and invite questions.
"Thank you for listening – and now if there are any questions, I would be pleased to answer them."
"That brings me to the end of my presentation. Thank you for your attention. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have."
It’s useful to re-word the question, as you can check that you have understood the question and you can give yourself some time to think of an answer. By asking the question again you also make sure that other people in the audience understand the question.
"Thank you. So you would like further clarification on our strategy?"
"That's an interesting question. How are we going to get voluntary redundancy?"
"Thank you for asking. What is our plan for next year?"
After you have answered your question, check that the person who asked you is happy with the answer.
"Does this answer your question?"
"Do you follow what I am saying?"
"I hope this explains the situation for you."
"I hope this was what you wanted to hear!"
If you don't know the answer to a question, say you don't know. It's better to admit to not knowing something than to guess and maybe get it wrong. You can say something like:
"That's an interesting question. I don't actually know off the top of my head, but I'll try to get back to you later with an answer."
"I'm afraid I'm unable to answer that at the moment. Perhaps I can get back to you later."
"Good question. I really don't know! What do you think?"
"That's a very good question. However, we don't have any figures on that, so I can't give you an accurate answer."
"Unfortunately, I'm not the best person to answer that."
What can you say if things go wrong?
You think you've lost your audience? Rephrase what you have said:
"Let me just say that in another way."
"Perhaps I can rephrase that."
"Put another way, this means…"
"What I mean to say is…"
Can't remember the word?
If it's a difficult word for you – one that you often forget, or one that you have difficulty pronouncing – you should write it on your index card. Pause briefly, look down at your index card and say the word.
Using your voice
Don't speak in a flat monotone – this will bore your audience. By varying your speed and tone, you will be able to keep your audience's attention. Practise emphasising key words and pause in the right places – usually in between ideas in a sentence. For example "The first strategy involves getting to know our market (pause) and finding out what they want. (pause) Customer surveys (pause) as well as staff training (pause) will help us do this."
Don't forget – if you speak too fast you will lose your audience!

5 Ways + 7 Amazing Websites to Improve Listening Skills

5 Ways + 7 Amazing Websites to Improve Listening Skills

5 Ways + 7 Amazing Websites to Improve Listening Skills

No matter how long you have been learning English you can still find yourself in surprising situations and meet a dozens of novelties especially if we are talking about listening skills.
With the uprising trend of globalization, English has been reborn in many forms: different structures are used on the internet compared to those of real life conversations, business English has gained more importance and it might happen that if you dial the number of a call center with a problem the person answering the phone (speaking in English) will be sitting in country that has nothing to do with English.
It is better to be prepared to be able to speak not only with native speakers of the language but to those who come from completely different part of the world and use English for their work.
Fortunately there are a lot of great ways of improving your English listening skills. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Learning English via Skype
This is not the first time I suggest you to choose a teacher and test online classes. There are advantages and drawback too, but there is no doubt that it can be one of the most useful ways to improve your listening skills. You don’t even have to go that far. If you have foreign friends or colleagues use every opportunity to speak with them through Skype!
2. Listen to audiobooks!
Audiobooks are a great source of pronunciation practice and proper speech. And they also provide a pleasant way of spending your free time and learning effortlessly!
3. Watch serials and movies!
I mean watch British and American serials and movies in English! Search cinemas that show movies with subtitles! Don’t wait until your next serial is dubbed! Subscribe to Tv channels that broadcast your favorite serials, and if you buy the DVD edition watch in English. If you find it too difficult use English subtitles at the same time! Recent statistics have shown that countries that broadcast the TV shows, movies and serials with subtitles have more citizens speaking foreign languages.
4. Attend to English classes!
This seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? But there is a difference between language classes. Stick to groups and teachers that only speak in English. If you cannot join a multinational class, or cannot afford to pay for a native speaker don’t forget that you can learn from and through the speech and mistakes of your classmates even if they are from the same country.
5. Go online!
Internet has become a huge playground for English learners. I collected you some web pages that are full of listening practice. ESL-cyber labs is free with dozens of listening scripts pre and post listening exercises and with an online checker.
Or if you prefer a video as a listening task visit, and select among the different topics listed there.
I also recommend you to learn English using English Central‘s amazing video materials. You will learn new words, improve your listening skills and your speaking as well.
Last but not least Youtube is always at hand. If you feel like relaxing for instance search for your favorite song and find a version with lyrics and try to understand it.
Do you know any other useful websites for practicing listening?


Why Correct Grammar is Important

Why Correct Grammar is Important

Using the correct grammar (when you write or speak) is important to avoid misunderstandings, and to help the other person understand you easily. If your English is too full of mistakes, you will slow down communication and conversations, and find it harder to express your ideas and thoughts clearly and concisely. Of course, most people know this. And it’s the fear of making mistakes that often makes them shy about speaking!

Here are some of the problems many people experience when they’re learning English

Nobody telling you if you’re making a mistake
If you’re speaking with a native speaker of English, it’s less likely that he or she will correct your grammar – and far more likely that he or she will correct your vocabulary and choice of words.
Not being sure about a particular point of grammar
It’s easy to have doubts when you’re speaking. Which preposition should you use? Which tense is better? Not being sure about the right grammar can often slow you down or make you hesitant when you speak
Not knowing enough grammar
A good understanding of grammar will allow you to be flexible when you speak English, and to choose the best way of saying something. So for example, you might be talking about a situation where the passive would be the best choice, but because you can’t remember the past participle of the verb (or the correct structure) you end up having to use the active form. The more grammar you know, the more choices you have to express yourself concisely.

So what are some of the solutions?

It’s important to speak as much English as you can, as this is the only way to improve fluency and confidence. Here are some ways you can do this – at the same time as making sure your grammar is as accurate as possible.
Keep it simple
Use simple sentence structure to help you avoid mistakes. Don’t make your sentences too long, and stick to a simple format of SVOMPT (subject, verb, object, manner, place, time) in your sentences.
Set yourself some grammar targets to practise
You can’t learn everything all at once. If you’re using a course book to help you learn English, use the suggested module order as a guide. So for example, if you’re learning how to use conditional forms, try to practise these as much as possible outside the classroom, too. “New” language takes time and practice to absorb – you’ll probably make mistakes at first, but keep going. You can be flexible with your targets, taking the time you need to concentrate on one particular area of grammar
Listen closely to what other people say
A lot of grammar words in English (articles, determiners, auxiliaries, prepositions etc) are not stressed – unlike the information words, such as nouns, adjectives and verbs. But just because you can’t hear them as easily doesn’t mean that they aren’t there! Ask someone to slow down (or repeat) if they’re speaking particularly fast and you think you’ve missed some of the grammar words. This will help to check your understanding of grammar rules too.

How to improve your English Conversation Skills

Hot to improve your English Conversation Skills

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014


Keep Your Students Interested While Practicing Pronunciation

Keep Your Students Interested While Practicing Pronunciation

  1. 1

    Don’t Get Tongue Tied

    Tongue twisters are fun for just about anyone, and the fact that they are universally challenging makes ESL students less frustrated about making mistakes. Put theirpronunciation to the challenge, then, with some fun tongue twisters. You can find over five hundred English tongue twisters here. Choose some according to the pronunciation challenges of your students, or just pick the ones that you think your students will enjoy. If you like, have a tongue twister “bee”. Instead of giving students words to spell, hand them a slip of paper with a tongue twister on it. If they pronounce it correctly, they stay in the competition. If they make a mistake, they pass the tongue twister to the next person and sit out the rest of the competition.
  2. 2

    Stress It

    If you are teaching syllabification and stress, this simple dice game might be right for you. Give your students a list of words you have previously broken down into syllables and identified where the stress goes. The list should contain words with one, two, and three syllables. On the list, though, do not put any markings for stress or syllables. Using a blank die or spinner, label the spaces 1, 2, and 3. You can play the game with your entire class or in groups of three to four students. To play the game, a student rolls the die. If she rolls a 1, she must read a word from the list that stresses the first syllable. If she rolls a 2, she must read a word from the list which stresses the second syllable, and so on. The other players listen to see if she has made a correct choice. If she chooses correctly, she scores one point. The first player to reach five points wins the game.
  3. 3


    This game is fun whether you are practicing general pronunciation skills or a specific set of challenging sounds. Take several notecards and write the words you want your students to pronounce. About eighteen cards is a good number. Then add two or three cards that just say Bang! Put all the cards in an empty container and you are ready to play. Students take turns pulling a card from the container and reading the word on that card. If they pronounce it correctly, they get to keep it. If they make a mistake, the card goes back in the container. If they pull a Bang! card, all their cards go back into the can. Play until time is up. Whoever has the most cards in their possession at that time wins the game.
  4. 4

    Fill the Belly of the Shark

    If you teach very young students (ages three to six or thereabouts), you are probably familiar with coloring pages for dot markers. (If you don’t already have a collection in your class resources, simply do an image search for dot marker pages or try one of these.) You can use these easy coloring pages as motivation for your students on their pronunciation journey. If you can, work one on one with your students. But if that isn’t possible or practical, have students work with a partner. Give your class a list of words to say that work on a specific pronunciation skill. Also, give each pair a dot marker and each student a dot marker sheet, such as a shark. Students take turns reading the words on your list. If they pronounce them correctly, they get to fill in a dot in the shark’s belly. Race to see how quickly your students can fill their sharks’ bellies.
  5. 5

    Which Fish to Follow

    Part of getting students to pronounce words correctly is getting them to hear words correctly. This can be especially challenging with certain sound pairs. For example, native Spanish speakers have a tough time distinguishing between long and short i (as in pine and pin) while native Japanese speakers have difficulty distinguishing between l and r. To test how well your students are hearing what you are saying, try this listening exercise. On a piece of paper, create a fishy flow chart. Draw a small fish on one side of your page, and in it write a minimal pair using the sounds your students need to work on (such as pine and pin). Draw two wavy lines from that fish to two other fish. Students will choose either the top or bottom fish depending on what they think they hear. In those fish, write another minimal pair (such as seedy and city). Write the same pair in each fish. Then write two waves going from each of those fish to two more. Students will have four fish to choose from this time, depending on which fish they started with and what word they think they heard in the last round. In these four fish, write another minimal pair (such as lime and limb). Draw two wavy lines from each of those fish to eight boxes this time. In each box, write a fishy location (and teach some ocean vocabulary at the same time: e.g. the tuna palace, brightbubble beach, swordfish island, etc.). Copy your flow chart and give one to each student. Then read one of the words in the first fish, and have students put their finger on the appropriate fish. Read a word in the second fish, and students move from there depending on what they think they hear. Continue with a third round, and then ask students where their fish has landed. If they heard all the words correctly, everyone should be on the same box.