Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Internet tools - speaking

HI everyone
As promised, here are the sites where you can practice your speaking, but first, my little musical boy with his piano teacher playing ... you guessed it! Jingle Bells!!!

If you want to talk using the internet, you can download skype and from there you can either arrange to talk to each other (or me!) or to go to EFL bridges
You can read what it's about here (we are 1 hour after gmt time).

You can listen to others speaking and hear a commentary about it at advanced level at Splendid Speaking
It's run by the same person who runs flo-joe radio. And as I mentioned before, if you are interested in being on the podcast, I'll gladly put you in contact. You will get excellent support with the technological side and it would certainly be a good experience for your own speaking skills.

But maybe the first place to start is with springdoo
This is the easiest way to go, but communication is only one way. If you want, you can send me a springdoo message and
I'll treat it like a written text - analysing, correcting and giving you advice. A cheap microphone runs at about 20 Franks.
Have I convinced you yet?

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Hello from Bournemouth

Hello everybody
I hope you had all relaxing and sunny carneval holidays.
I enjoy my stay here in Bournemouth (South of England).
I visited interesting places like Stonehenge, Salisbury and the New Forest
and last weekend I went to London.
Actually, the weather is not as good as in Switzerland, but I can say that yesterday
we had a sunny day without any clouds.
After my lessons at school, I often go to the towncentre, which is lovely.
When the wind is not terrible (extremely cold and strong) I also go for a walk to the beach.
Finally, I wish you a good time and enjoy Illya's lessons!
See you in two weeks!

Monday, February 26, 2007

A visitor

I made this post to show a neighbor how to make a blog post. I've removed the text, but I thought the picture was cute, so I've left it on.
Does this picture remind you of anything, e.g. from your childhood?
Leave a comment and let us know.
Greetings :-)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Water is Life

That water is the key to get out of poverty and famine couldn’t better be shown than by the journey I made through the breathtaking scenery of hills and mountains, plateaus and gorges of Ethiopia. During the rainy season the water would wash the soil down the mountains and leave the bare rocks, if people weren’t struggling with erosion and soil conservation. Stone by stone are they terracing the hills to keep water and soil, building check-dams in the valleys to recover fertile land and plant trees, bushes, cactuses, crops, vegetables and food for goats and cattle. Irrigation systems, constructed by the village people in years of work, help provide arid areas with water.

The better supply of water is most important for the women. It decreases their work load enormously, because it’s traditionally women’s work to get water from the water points. It makes a big difference whether you walk 6 to 10 kilometres to get water or you can go to the water point half a kilometre from your village… Clean water reduces the infant mortality, hygiene awareness improves health generally.

When water can save your livelihood, you can hope for a (better) future. Education is essential. Schools have to be in walking distance to the villages (what means up to 2 hours one way!), so that girls and boys regularly can go to their classes. The pupils are hopeful and have dreams of becoming pilots, doctors or artists.

I met many dedicated people, determined to improve the development of their country. They have already reached great success by comparison with the previous state, but there is still so much to do and there are so many “ifs” like impacts of politic and religious peace or effects of change in climate. These people are aware how delicate the balance of the system is and they try carefully to achieve their aims step by step.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I mentioned that you should take a look at the blog for some goodies. Well, here is the first one!

Let me know what you think!

I'm also re-posting a comment from Dorothea, since it might otherwise go lost to you.
I'm sure she would appreciate a response :-)

Greetings from Seattle to all you students in Illya's CAE class. I periodically check the site to see where you are in your studies. As we say in English, you are in the home stretch. Try not to stress out. Dorothea

Finally, I know how easy it can be to forget to look at the blog. I'm a bit late with this information, but there is a simply way to be informed if there are any new entries.
You can easily sign up (it's free!) and add this blog url or any other you happen to be following. Then, whenever there's a new entry, you will get an e-mail.
This is extremely easy and practical if you have just a few blogs you want to follow and aren't otherwise swamped in e-mails.
I'll show you another possibility later.

well, I think I've given you enough to do for now - more later !

enjoy :-)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Summary for 6th February

We had a musical beginning with depth - thank you Anita

I also mentioned, and would like to stress it again here, that you need vocabulary - phrases and word collocations, to be successful in the CAE. That's why it's so important to comb through texts and look for common phrases, interesting expressions, etc. The grammar can be found in the use of vocabulary. Use the vocabulary correctly and you are more than half-way there.

Then we did a listening test.

THe homework is first, to do the reading and English in Use parts of the exam I handed out. You also need to decide if you feel you will be able to take the exam in June. You can contact me if you aren't sure.

The other half of the homework is to do unit 8 - The modern world.

We will look at it after the break, but especially look at the vocabulary (in the back too!) and the writing is in this unit.

Enjoy yourselves and relax.

You deserve it!

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Summary 30th January 2007

Our lesson started with relaxing music: Just listening to the impressive voice of  Nora Joans. Full of energy we went on with the speaking we done the week before. But before we practised Illya crossed two words on the white board which we shouldn’t use at the exam:

Comment from Illya - I actually crossed them out to force you to  expand the phrases you use. Practice them now, and don't worry about them at the exam. With enough practice a variety of phrases should come naturally :-)

I think and In my opinion. Those words were fine for the First exam but not anymore for our exam. Therefore we looked for substitutes:

I would say…

My point of view…

I believe that…

I regard this as…

The picture suggests that…

This certainly is/ isn’t…

It could be…

It is clear that…

It’s clearly a…

It’s obvious…


Finally, we practised whilst listener 1 was looking for the content and listener 2 checked carefully the language and the interaction. After the feedback we headed for the reading on
pg 88. First we read all the questions and afterward only gap A. Our target was to answer the questions which belong to gap A. (Everybody is allowed to do the remaining questions as homework.)

Further one we trained the listening, the part of Multiple choice. One advice: Read first the question and make notes during listening. This important matter we realized we have generally to improve!

At the very end of the evening we had a short look at multiple-choice cloze, where it’s difficult to give tips: Just look at collocations.

As Feeling good is the main target at Unit 7  we got encouraged by Illya to compose a leaflet for a Fitness studio or a wellness Salon for stressed teachers. As a little addition: Just finish Unit 7 and stay healthy whilst learning all the medical expressions.