Thursday, 17 December 2009

Intermediate II. Listening: phobias.

Some of you, on dealing with the issue of transport and travel, have confessed to having a fear of flying. You may think that is a terrible handicap. Just in case it might be of any comfort, whatch the video below. Before watching it, go to the comments section where you will find some useful vocabulary and expressions that will help you understand it better.

Advanced II. Bhutan. Listening exercise.

The link below is to a video about Bhutan. In the comments section you will find a "fill-in-the-gaps" exercise with the script. I will forward the solutions on request.

Advanced II. Linking words



· Such as. E.g.: A plan such as you propose will never succeed/When hockey commentators such as Roy MacGregor or Don Cherry make controversial remarks, the buzz at the water cooler the next morning is louder than usual.

· Like. E.g.: The positive effects are things like, say euphoric mood, while the negative effects are things like headache, nausea, depression.

· For example/for instance. E.g.: Different jobs need different ways of relating to other people. For instance/for example, some jobs require that we ‘work in teams’ or ‘help the public’.

· Particularly/ in particular. E.g.: What can be done to help save endangered fish stocks, particularly/in particular the ones that are on the dinner table?

· Especially. E.g.: Family traditions, especially those that come from the kitchen, are what the holidays are all about


· That is to say/ i.e. (the latter mostly in written English. From Latin ‘id est’). E.g.: One of the best things about works of music is that they are repeatable, that is to say that one can listen to the same work over and over without becoming tired of it.

The three U.S. states on the west coast (i.e., Washington, Oregon, and California) have favourable climates.

· Specifically. E.g.: But I need to get this cancer info out there as I continue to learn more about the disease. And specifically the one that clobbered me.

· In other words. E.g.: What is the "message" in Lord Of The Flies? In other words, what does it represent?

· To put it in another way/to put it differently. E.g.: God showed Noah that he would "save his house" provided he built the ark according to the advance faith warning. To put it differently, Noah would not have saved his house had he not acted upon the faith information he received from God.

· In other words. E.g.: If you spend time away from someone you love, you will love them even more. In other words, you realise how much you love something when you spend time away from it.


· Or rather. E.g.: Today, I took—or rather gave—one of the three best yoga classes in my life,


· As. E.g.: Nathan asked if the man could please call an ambulance, as he was feeling a little faint.

· Because of. E.g.: This is a liberal essay rebutting the myth that the rich get rich because of their merit alone.

· Since E.g.: Since there was no agreement in the promotion of two other sports, the 2012 program will feature just 26 sports.

· On the grounds that E.g.: he has declared the negotiations of this treaty to be a secret on the grounds that divulging the information would harm the security of the nation

· Seeing that/as E.g.: Seeing that she has no money, Sally won't be going shopping

· Due to E.g.: Due to the lack of gravity on the moon, why don’t the smallest of rocks float off into space? –Gravity on the moon is about 1/6 that of earth. Not zero! Seeing as she's an athlete I can totally understand why she was probably unaware that she was pregnant

· In view of E.g.: The minimum penalty was imposed, upon the express recommendation of the fiscal in view of their spontaneous admission of guilt.

· Owing to E.g.: Owing to the complete disruption of transport and the consequent lack of supply of essential materials, the factories and mills have stopped working

· What with E.g.: What with all you have to carry, we should take a taxi.

· For E.g.: I do not pretend to make new discoveries or to include everything about my character's life or work, for I am sure that I would fill up several books

· Now that E.g.: Now that she has seen the truth, she apologizes for her actions, borne out of hatred.

· So E.g.: I stayed so I could see you.


· As E.g.: She did as her father had taught her.

· (In) the way E.g.: Eventually the colonists learned how to hunt for food –and they did it (in) the way the Natives taught them.

· (in) the same way (as) E.g.: When I became a presenter in front of the audience, I acted in the same way as he did on the TV Program Show.

· As if/As though E.g.: The thing that worried me most about the defeat at United was that Everton looked as though they were waiting to be beaten.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Intermediate II. Public Transport.

Watch the videos and add your comments.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Advanced II. Verb + prepositions collocations


Verbs followed by "in".

• Absorbed in something (e.g. work, a book)
• Confide in someone
• Be engrossed in something (absorbed in, oblivious of whatever surrounds one)
• Implicate someone in something (incriminate)
• Involve someone in something (engage as a participant)
• Result in something (e.g. The torrential rains resulted in flooding)
• Specialise in something
• Succeed in something (commonly followed by a verb + "-ing")

Verbs followed by "for".

• Account for something (to explain or provide an explanation)
• Allow for something (make provisions for or expect something to happen without too much of a surprise) e.g. "One has to allow for some sacrifices if one wants to succeed."
• Apologise for something or someone (on their behalf).
• Blame someone for something.
• Care for something/someone (find enjoyable or agreeable/have affection for).
• Cater for (attend to the needs of. Eg. “These measures cater for the unemployed.”)
• Charge someone for something
• Count for (I count for nothing to you). Compare “Count on” (“Can I count on you for the trip?”)

Verbs followed by "of"

• Accuse someone of something.
• Convict someone of something (declarar culpable)
• Remind someone of something/someone (he reminded me of the obligation to meet our deadlines/she reminded me of my sister).
• Suspect someone of something

Verbs followed by "with"

• Acquaint somebody with something (to introduce someone to an unfamiliar thing).
• Associate somebody with something (to link sth/sb in ones mind to sth/sb else).
• Charge someone with (to place criminal charges against someone/to order someone a particular task).
• To be cluttered with (to be full of objects in a disorderly fashion).
• Coincide with something (This two colours coincide/my birthday coincides with Thanksgiving day this year).
• Collide with (crash with or bump into).
• Comply with something (conform to or obey guidelines or rules).
• Be concerned with something (to be busy with or slightly worried about).
• Confront someone with something (to face someone with incriminating evidence or criticism.
• Confuse sb/sth with sb/sth.
• Cram with (to be crammed with- to fill exercising pressure/be packed with/crowded with).
• Deal with someone/something (To take action on. To be concerned with. To do business with.). e.g. “We will deal with each problem in turn”. “The book deals with Dutch art” “The company deals with many suppliers.”
• Discuss something with someone-
• Be faced with (to be presented evidence of something. To have to confront : “He was faced with many difficult choices”).
• Ingratiate oneself with someone (to bring oneself into the favour of another).
• Meet with something (encounter, experience).
• Be packed with (be crammed with).
• Plead with someone (appeal or request earnestly: “I pleaded with him to stop”).
• Provide someone with something (e.g. “they provided us with all the necessary information”).
• Tamper with (to interfere with in a harmful manner: “this lock has been tampered with”).
• Trust someone with something (allow someone to deal with or look after something important).

Verbs followed by “from”.

• Bar someone from a place (to forbid someone to go somewhere).
• Benefit from something.
• Derive something from something (to get something from something else “he derives a lot of pleasure from reading”)-
• Deter someone from something (to make someone not want to do something).
• Differ from (be different from).
• Distinguish one thing from another.
• Distract someone from something.
• Exempt someone from something. (“Eximir”)
• Expel someone from a place.
• Refrain from something (usually from doing something: to deliberately not do something.)
• Resign from a job (announce that you are leaving).
• To result from something (be the result of something).
• Stem from something (to originate in or be caused originally by something).
• Suffer from (especially an illness).
• Translate from one language into another (“Translate this from Spanish into English).

Verbs followed by “on”.

• Base sth on sth (e.g.. “He based his conclusions on the evidence”).
• Blame something on someone (She blamed the accident on Jane, who was drunk).
• Be centred on sth (to have that something as the focus of attention).
• Concentrate sth on sth (e.g.” They concentrated their efforts on high-risk, high return areas of business”).
• Decide on something (e.g. “During second grade my father decided on home schooling”)-
• Depend on something.
• Elaborate on something (to explain or talk about it at length or in more depth).
• Impose on someone (to unreasonably expect someone to do something they do not want to do).
• Insist on something/on someone doing something.

Verbs followed by “against”.

• Insure something against something.
• Protest against something.

Verbs followed by “about”.

• Argue about something.
• Be concerned about something (be worried about).
• Boast about something.
• Decide about something.
• Protest about something.

Verbs followed by “out”.

• To phase something out (stop doing/using something gradually, in phases).
• Glance at something (look at very quickly and then look away).
• Guess at something.
• Hint at something (suggest something in an indirect way).
• Marvel at something (express surprise, wonder or admiration)

Verbs followed by “to”.

• Answer to something (especially answer to a description. E.g. “the Japanese never built an aircraft ever answering to this description)
• Appeal to someone (beg)
• It appeals to me (I like the idea).
• Apply oneself to something (concentrate hard on doing something).
• Attend to something said/heard (to pay attention to).
• Attend to something (deal with something).
• Attribute something to someone.
• Commit oneself to something (be committed to, especially. To decide that you definitely want to do something/t promise you will do it).
• Confess to something.
• Devote oneself to something.
• Prefer one thing to another thing.
• React to something.
• Refer to something (mention, talk about).
• Refer to someone (to send something somewhere, e.g. a hospital for treatment).
• Be resigned to doing something
• Resort to something (to have to do something in order to achieve something else, especially when other things failed).
• See to something (make sure it is done)-
• Subject (stress on “-ject”) someone to something (to make someone experience or undergo something).
• Succeed to the throne.
• Be used to doing something.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Advanced II. The Global Economy, Corporate Greed, Outsourcing and Unemployment.

For those of you who could not watch the video in class or want to do it again, here it is.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Intermediate II. Money Videos

Below you'll find two videos related to the topic of "money." The first one is short and just contains explanations on the meaning of one vocabulary item. As for the second one, I have included in the comments section some expressions from it that you should look at and try to remember before viewing it. Once you've done that, I would like you to explain in a comment what the man has done to make some extra money and what you think about it. Is his advice useful? Would you consider doing the same as he did?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Advanced II. Work-Life Balance.

Watch the two videos below and leave your comments on work-life balance.

As requested by Ana, I have included in the comments some potentially difficult expressions from the first video. I hope they help.

Intermediate II. Debate (2)

Is it better to be laid-back, easy-going and lazy or responsible, hard-working and moody?

Post your comments.

Intermediate II. Debate.

Say whether you agree or disagree with the statement below and explain your reasons:

Personality can only be explained by what a person has experienced during his/her life. Since that is beyond anyone's control, we should try to forgive other people's defects as much as possible.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Advanced II. Funny Job Interview.

Below, you will find a link to a video we watched as a humorous conclusion of today's class. The sound quality is not very good, but a previous reading of some of the vocabulary and expressions (thay I have included in the comments section) will make it easier to understand.

Advanced II. CV Resume Writing

Homework for next week: Write a one-page resume (between 200 and 230 words). It can be your own, but preferably an ideal one containing the skills, education and work experience that you would have loved to have. Base it on the following layout and tips:


In the CV heading you can write your general information:
Local address
E-mail address
Phone number


- Optional, but highly recommended. • Include type of position or occupational field you wish to enter, skills, experience, and background you have to offer, and any special interests or areas of focus.


• List institution name, post secondary degree(s) received and dates earned or expected• Include major, minor, area of concentration, specialization, or certifications.• List city & state when looking outside of state where employers may be unfamiliar with your college location.• Don’t include institutions you attended, but didn’t receive a degree from, GPAs under 3.0, and years enrolled.• This category may be a separate section or divided into subsections depending on the information presented.• May include relevant courses and skills/knowledge learned, special projects, G.P.A. if over 3.0, honors, awards, scholarships, thesis, research projects, percent of college expenses earned, extracurricular activities.


– Required. • List paid and unpaid experiences, internships, co-ops, volunteer activities, fieldwork, student teaching, etc.• Include position title, employer or setting, city, state, and dates. (Place in reverse chronological order).• Emphasize responsibilities, accomplishments, and skills. Think - How? Why? Results?


- Optional• Title this category(s) according to type of information presented.• May include professional/student associations and positions held, athletic participation, extracurricular activities, special skills (computer, languages, etc.), certifications, publications, military or community service experience, interests, etc.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Advanced II. Work versus Job


Remember that “work” as a noun is uncountable. Do not say things such as “*that was a good work”, or “*I have two part-time works.” The only time “work” can be countable is when referring to a work of art (literature, painting, sculpture etc.). As you know, it is also a verb ("trabajar", although, when referring to a machine or something abstract such as a "measure/strategy" it also means "funcionar")

Job, on the other hand, is a countable noun that primarily refers to someone­­’s post/position in a particular company or institution. It is not commonly used as a verb.

The emphasis of job is the post/position you have that enables you to earn a living, duty, responsibility (also “task”) whereas “work” suggests the effort you have to make to earn a living.

Common expressions with work.

To put a lot of work into sth.

To be at work

To be hard at work.

To be off work (i.e. to be off sick).

To take a day off work

I­­’ve got so much work to do

Friends from work

The Works (obras o fábrica. E.g. “there were road works on the motorway”. “At the metal works they make aluminium rods”)

Shift work

Team work

Office work

Work load (carga laboral)

Paperwork (papeleo)

Work overtime

Work place

Work force (mano de obra)

Work exerience

Common expressions with job.

The best person for the job

It is your job to make the beds

You are doing a good job

It is a good job that

Job hunting

Job description

Job creation scheme

A stable job

A job offer

To apply for a job

To be part of someone’s job

Expressions where job and work are interchangeable:

That was a good job/good work (but "keep up with the good work).

Be out of work/a job

But Compare:

It was a job for a professional

It was the work of a professional

Other useful expressions:

To take/be on sick leave/maternitiy leave.

To take a break from work.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Advanced II. Watching Documentaries and TV Programmes

The two links below contain interesting viewing. The first one is a free documentaries channel (with lorry loads of documentaries on different topics) and the second one the official page of British TV channel ITV, where you can watch the news and a selection of other programmes.

Advanced II. Debate on Friendship Continued

Lest it should go uperceived, I have posted -as promised- my opinions on the topic of friendship in the "comments" section. I would like you to express your agreement and/or disagreement.

Intermediate II. Ways to Express the Future

Watch this informative video discussing the tenses used to express the future in English. It is quite complete, although it leaves out an important point: the use of "shall". Remember to use "shall" to make offers and suggestions in questions with "I" and "we", e.g:

"SHALL I help you with your luggage?"
"SHALL I open the window?"
"SHALL we go to the cinema?"

"Shall" can also replace "will" with the same meaning when the subjects are "I" and "we" , although this use is somewhat oldfashioned. E.g.:

"I shall not reveal to you what happened. It is none of your business".

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Advanced II. Linking Words II



SIMILARLY. e.g.: Sheep identifly their lambs by their bleet. Similarly, a baby's cry is instrantly identified by the mother. En galego "do mesmo xeito."

LIKEWISE. e.g: The banks advise sending cash. Likewise, sending British cheques may cause problems. En galego "do mesmo xeito".

IN THE SAME WAY. e.g: Individuals who are forcibly changed will quickly declare that this is not true. In the same way, transgendered persons will resist any assigned gender identity that they do not want. En galego "do mesmo xeito".

EQUALLY. e.g: Not all those who live in the inner cities are poor. Equally, some poor people do not live in the inner cities. En galego "do mesmo xeito".


DESPITE. e.g.: He didn't get the job despite the fact that he was/being qualified for it.

IN SPITE OF. e.g.: He didn't get the job in spite OF (i) the fact that he was/(ii) being qualified for it. NOTE “DESPITE” IS NOT FOLLOWED BY A PREPOSITION, WHEREAS “IN SPITE OF” IS.

REGARDLESS OF. e.g.: He carried on regardless of the difficulties he encountered.

ADMITTEDLY. e.g.: Admittedly she tried very hard, but she didn't complete the assignment. (It is true that she tried very hard, but she didn't complete the assignment).

CONSIDERING. e.g.: He recovered very fast, considering how ill he was.


EITHER... OR. e.g.: The past can hurt. You can either run from it or learn from it.

ALTERNATIVELY. e.g.: The past can hurt, and you often try to run away from it. Alternatively, you can learn from it. NOTE THE PUNCTIATION.

NOT ONLY … BUT ALSO. e.g.: Not only should you get the seasonal flu vaccine, but also the pandemic flu vaccine.


WHAT IS MORE. e.g.: He enjoys a prosperous life, with a healthy family, land and livestock. What is more, he is a good and righteous individual.

AS A MATTER OF FACT/ACTUALLY e.g.: Have you talked to your girlfriend lately? Yes, as a matter of fact/actually I talked to her on the phone last night.

TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH. e.g.: They look like twins but to tell you the truth they aren't from the same family or country.

INDEED. e.g.: I did not tell her the truth. Indeed, I should have done it, but I was afraid of hurting her.

LET ALONE. e.g.: Do I have a hundred pounds? I do not have five pounds, let alone a hundred pounds. En galego "e xa non digamos."

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Advanced II. The World of Sounds

I've found a wonderful sound library on the Net at where you can do a search to find examples of the sounds listed below. It is a very long list (and there are many more I've left out), but do try with some of them:

person bawling
bells chiming/tolling
bee buzzing
donkey braying
door creaking
mew (meow)
horse neighing
rain pattering
cat purring
duck quacking
blowing a raspberry