Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Writing part 2 final exam

Write an answer to one of the questions 2 - 4 in this part. Write your answer in 120 - 180 words in an appropriate style.

2. You have seen the following advertisement in an international magazine:

THE IDEAL JOB What job would you most like to do?

We would like readers to write an article for our magazine telling others about your ideal job and why you would like to do it.

The writers of the three most interesting articles will each receive a year's free subscription to this magazine.

Write your article.

3. You have decided to enter a short story competition. The competition rules say that the story must begin or end with the following words:

He knew she wouldn't be pleased but he just had to tell her.
Write your story.

4. You have had a class discussion on the following statement:

Cars and lorries should be banned from city centres.
Your teacher has asked you to write a composition giving your views on the statement.

Write your composition.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Speaking Exam schedule

14 December Room 445

9:30 - 9:50

Carolina E.

9:50 - 10:10

10:10 - 10:30
Francisco O.

10:30 - 10:50

10:50 - 11:10
Carolina V.

11:10 - 11:30
Paulina F.

11:30 - 11:50
Paulina B.

11:50 - 12:10

12:10 - 12:30
Paula M.
Carolina C.

If you are not on the list contact me ASAP

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Writing assignment 7: A Report

This will be our last writing assignment of the year.

Today in class we looked at the features of a report. Here are some tips and an example

The director of the place where you study English wants to set up a new common room for student to use when they are not in class. You have been asked to write a report saying which room in the school should be chosen for the common room, and make suggestions for how it could be made comfortable and attractive.

Write your report in 120 - 180 words.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Final Exams & Answers Unit 11 Review

Final Exam schedule:

Listening - 02 December 11:00 room 431
Reading - 03 December 8:00 room 423
Writing - 03 December 9:30 Lab 3 (this will be a handwritten paper exam)
Use of English - 09 December 9:30 room 461
Speaking - 14 December 9:30 - 12:20 room 445 (I will send round a sign up sheet)

Answers Unit 11 Review

A. Weather
1. light rain/wind/showers
2. heavy rain/storm/showers
3. strong wind

1. gentle breeze
2. angry-looking clouds
3. rough sea
4. torrential rain
5. scattered showers
6. brilliant sunshine
7. overcast sky
8. tidal wave
9. violent storm
10. gale-force wind

B. Put
1. down
2. out
3. up
4. on
5. in
6. off

Conditional sentences
1. stays, 'll probably
2. had known, could have prepared
3. wouldn't do, paid
4. had taken, wouldn't be
5. do, 'll make
6. would have done, hadn't helped
7. am, always watch
8. would go, had

1. if it wasn't/was not/weren't/were not so/too
2. if I hadn't/had not spoken
3. I would not have written
4. not help you unless you
5. I had/'d remembered to take
6. give up smoking you put
7. to put up with
8. is being put at
9. provided it is
10. as long as you give

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crime and Environment review

As a review I've set up some links where you can read more about the two topics.

Here's a link for the yahoo directory of crime and click on some of the links for information. Comment on your blog about what you found out and your opinions about some of the crimes.

Have a look at National Geographic's environment website. Check out their galleries, videos, interactive stuff and articles.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Catch up

Today in class we are going to finish up unit 11, so in the lab class I'm going to give you an opportunity to catch up.

Have a look at this video of the speaking exam Do you think the students in the video got a good grade? Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Also, go ahead and do the unit 11 review on pages 144 & 145. We will go over it during class later.

Homework Answers

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post these up on my blog.

Passives (p. 127/128)
1. are, 2. have 3. are, 4. was, 5. had, 6. was, 7. had, 8. is/has been, 9. to be, 10. are, 11. are, 12. will, 13. being, 14. be, 15. was
Present simple : is raised, are recorded
Present continuous: is someone being paid
Present perfect: they have been hired
past simple: he was told
past continuous: if your phone was being bugged
past perfect: he had been spied on
future simple: will teenagers be spied on
infinitive: ought to be properly regulated
gerund: the risk of being investigated

Practice (p128)
1.must not be taken
2. is known to have broken
3. is not thought to be
4. will be made to (note use of to with make in the passive)
5. must have been tapped
6. has not been contacted by

Further practice (128)
1. letting/ he let
2. was found
3. will send/sends
4. have been found
5. put
6. are fined
7. caught
8. do not clean
9. was told
10. was invited
11. being followed/having been followed
12. being ordered

Unit 10 Review

The passive
1. has been robbed
2. were arrested
3. be made
4. being burgled
5. are (being) smuggled
6. will be given / is going to be given
7. are currently being looked
8. had never been told

Error correction
1. been
2. by
3. being
4. nearly
5. more
6. is
7. correct
8. for
9. correct
10. them
11. they
12. any
13. the
14. correct
15. taken

Phrasal Verbs
1. c 2. a 3. e 4. b 5. f 6. d
1. c 2. f 3. a 4. b 5. d 6. e
1. burgled 2. stole from 3. robbed of

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writing assignment 6 : Formal transactional letter

Today's assignment is a formal transactional letter. As you may remember we have already done a couple this semester i.e. assignment #1 as well as part 1 of the mid-term written exam.

Have a look at page 145 for the task.

Be sure to:
  • read the instructions carefully
  • include all the information
  • write it in an appropriate style
  • check your writing for spelling and grammar mistakes when you finish

Here's an explanation of what a 'transactional letter' is. Here are some suggestions and examples

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The end of semester is near

I've come to realize that with all the breaks we've had this semester we will not be able to do unit 12. So, I have decided to finish up unit 11 this week and then spend the rest of the few weeks that we have left of the semester doing some revision in preparation for the final exam. Also, because the FCE is a long exam, our last few classes of the semester will be part of the exam:

25 November = Reading & vocabulary test from units 10 & 11
02 December = Listening final
03 December = Writing and Reading finals
December exam session = Use of English and Speaking finals

For today's lab lesson I've got some activities looking at conditionals, phrasal verbs with 'put' and some listening activities about weather and the environment.

first conditional

second conditional

third conditional & another one

mixed conditionals

phrasal verbs with put


Saving the Earth

Friday's Weather Report

A Greener World

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Environmental Survey

Today you are going to work in pairs and create an environmental survey for your classmates. Your survey should be a minimum of 10 questions focused on your classmates' opinion on a variety of environmental subjects as well as what action they think should be taken. Once you have finished your questions, go to other blogs and answer the survey in the comment.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our next topic is about the Earth and environment. Today we are going start by looking at some vocabulary, quizzes and exercises connected to this topic.

Directions: Match the vocabulary words on the left with the definitions on the right.

1. lightninga) natural electricity produced in thunderstorm clouds and appearing as a bright flash or streak of light in the sky.
2. precipitationb) pellets of frozen rain or a storm of such pellets.
3. tidec) a frozen form of precipitation that falls as ice crystals formed into flakes.
4. erosiond) the force by which a planet or other such body tends to draw objects toward its center.
5. snowe) a brief electrical storm usu. accompanied by heavy rain and high winds.
6. tornadof) water vapor in the atmosphere that condenses and falls from the sky to earth.
7. hailg) the process by which material from the earth's surface is worn away by forces such as glaciers, wind, and waves.
8. hurricaneh) the state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as characterized by sunshine, moisture, temperature, precipitation, and other variables.
9. pressurei) snow, rain, or the like, or the amount of such matter to fall on a given area in a given amount of time.
10. thunderstormj) a very destructive but short-lived windstorm in the form of a funnel-shaped cloud that moves close to the ground destroying whatever is in its path.
11. gravityk) the applying of constant force upon a surface.
12. rainl) a powerful cyclonic storm that originates in the West Indian region of the Atlantic Ocean and that has heavy rains and winds exceeding seventy-three miles, or 119 kilometers, per hour.

13. weather

m) the periodic change, occurring about every twelve hours, in the height of the surface of oceans and bodies of water near or feeding into them, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.

On your blog write a paragraph about an experience you have had during some kind of weather or natural disaster (It can be as simple as walking in the rain). Describe the experience with as much detail as possible.

Here's a vocabulary quiz about the Environment and climate change

Here's a link to a quiz about what the future will be like

Here's a link to a personal quiz and some vocabulary exercises. Do only exercises A - C. How green are you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writing assignment 5: an article

You have been doing a class project on crime. Your teacher has asked you to write a contribution for the school's English language magazine with the following title:

What can ordinary people do to help in the fight against crime?

Write your article (120 - 180 words), giving other students practical suggestions for beating crime.

Things to think about:

Who is the target reader?
Should the style be formal, neutral or informal?

Organization and ideas
Introductory paragraph:
Why is it important for ordinary people to help in the fight against crime?
Can they do very much to help?
Paragraphs 2 & 3:
Think about what you discussed with your classmates in recent activities.
To finish your article you could:
Encourage readers to take action
give them advice on what they should do
ask them to consider the consequences of not doing anything.


Continuing on the topic of crime today we are going to do a jigsaw reading/speaking activity.

  1. You need to find a partner.
  2. One person will read this text: Abdul Shanwaz and the other person will read this text: Patrick Kinlin.
  3. Once you've finished reading go on to do the ChoiceQz & vocabQuiz above the text.
  4. When you both are ready retell the stories without looking back at the text. While you are listening, ask any questions if you need clarification.
  5. Then have a look at the ideas for conversation and discuss them with your partner.

During the lab class today, I will continue to meet with individuals to talk about your progress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Passive Voice

After going over the mid-term exam, I think we all agree that we need to do some work on the FCE Use of English exercises. The language focus in the beginning of Unit 10 is Passive Voice. So here is a link for an explanation of the usage and some links for some exercises, some of which include active/passive sentence transformations.

Also, here are some phrasal verb exercises connected to the topic of crime.

I also found a really nice interactive piece on British youth crime. Open the book and have a go at the various activities. I'd really like to know what you think about it. If that one doesn't work here's another one about violence and guns.

I would also like to give individual feedback to everyone during the lab class to talk about your progress this semester.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Unit 10 Crime and Punishment

We are finally finished with all the exams and tests! In class today we will go over the mid-term and test.

Today in the lab class we will start looking at the topic of crime and punishment. Here are some links to some activities on the topic:

Listening about home security
crime vocabulary games
An interactive investigation game

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mid-term writing task

Part 1
1. You must answer the above question.

Part 2
Write an answer to one of the questions 2 - 6 in this part. Write your answer in 120 - 180 words in an appropriate style.

2. Your college magazine has invited you to write an article about a member of your family who helped you in some way. Describe the person and explain what they did that was helpful to you.

3. You have decided to enter a short story competition. The competition rules say that the story must begin or end with the following words:
They were sad to leave, but they had no choice.

4. You have had a class discussion on the following statement:
It should be illegal for parent to hit their children.
Your teacher has asked you to write a composition giving your views on the statement.

5. You have a part-time job in a games centre, where people can go to play computer games. The owner would like to buy some new software and he has asked you to write a report, suggesting two games for the centre. You should briefly describe each game and explain why you think the customers would enjoy both games.

6. You recently visited a place which you had not been to for a long time. Your cousin, who now lives abroad, also knew this place very well. Write a letter to your cousin, describing the changes and your feeling about them. Do not write any addresses.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Writing preparation

Today we are going to focus on the FCE writing paper.

Here are links with tips:
FCE writing guidelines check out the dos and don'ts as well as the hints and samples for each type of writing

Flo-joe has some great exercises:
authentic writing with examiner comments there are a variety of tasks from discursive essays to informal letters.
linking expressions
formal expressions in writing

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unit 9 Homework answers

Reading 1 (p.106/107)
1. C 2. A 3. C 4. D 5. C 6. B 7. A 8. B

Expressions with give (p. 110)
1. d 2. c 3. e 4. a 5. b
1. e 2. d 3. f 4. a 5. b 6. c

Reading 2 (p. 112/113)
1.F 2. D 3.B 4. E 5. G 6. A

Review (p 117)
1. might not be playing
2. must have been pleased to
3. can't/couldn't have phoned
4. might have stolen
5. may have given
6. give away a secret / give a secret away would
7. 'd/had better give/hand
8. gave a nervous laugh

Word formation
1. noisily
2. traditional
3. colourful / colorful
4. Surprisingly
5. Evidently
6. suspicious
7. amazing
8. imprisoned
9. Shortly
10. mysterious

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing assignment 4 - Informal letter

Upcoming events:

  • Speaking mid-term = Wed. 30th September 8:00 - last group (this will be like a FCE exam)Room 445
  • Reading + Vocabulary quiz = Wed. 7th October 11:00 - 12:20
  • Written mid-term (Reading, Use of English, Listening)= Thurs. 8th October 8:00 - 9:20 room 423
  • Timed writing mid-term = Thurs. 8th October 9:30 - 10:50 Lab 3

***If you want to take the official FCE in December, the last day to sign up is on 25 Sept. There is more information about this at the bottom of my blog.

Informal letter
Today in class we talked about writing informal letters and analyzed a model letter. Now you will write your letter using the same instructions:

You attended an event last weekend to celebrate a traditional festival in your country. Write a letter to your English-speaking penfriend, describing the event. Briefly explain the origins of the festival to your penfriend, then describe what happened and say whether you enjoyed yourself. Write your letter in 120 - 180 words. Do not write addresses.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chain Stories

This activity requires a group of 3 students working together on 3 different stories. Each person will start with a different prompt and continue the first part of the story. The next student will add another paragraph in the comments section of the original story. The story continues until it has been around at least 2 times.

Required elements:
  • lots of descriptive adjectives and adverbs: describe the setting, the characters, action & suspense
  • short dialogue
  • narrative tenses (past simple, past continuous, past perfect)
If you need some help starting your story you can begin with one of these prompts:
  • I got an eerie feeling when I heard...
  • I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw...
  • As I carefully entered the haunted house, the door shut behind me and...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

modals in the past

Here's a clear explanation for speculating in the past using modals. Once you've had a look at that you can do this gap fill connected to using past modals. For a further challenge for your understanding of the use of a variety of modals try this gap fill

Below are 4 strange pictures, I'd like you to write a few sentences speculating about what's happening in them them on your blog.

And last but not least here's a story about a girl who went on a trip to Indonesia. After you've read the story, answer the questions at the end of the story. Write your answers on your blog.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unit 9 Fact or Fiction?

Today we're going to have a preview into Unit 9.

Here are some Listening activities on the topic of UFOs:
Do you believe in UFOs?
John's UFO sighting
if those don't work try this one: UFO: A Story to Remember

Question tag practice exercises

Expressions with give and take do both part 1 & 2

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Writing Assignment 3: Composition

Today in class we looked at the components and an example of a composition. In today's assignment you are going to write your composition.


Your class has been doing a project on travel and transport. Your teacher has asked you to write a composition with the following title:

The best way to travel in (Santiago or a town or city you know well)

Write your composition. You should write between 120 and 180 words.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Travel continued

Have a look at my recent posts about grades this semester and the presentation list. Let me know if you have any questions.

Today Panxo will be making a presentation in class.

Remember if you don't finish the activities in the lab class you need to finish them at home. It seems that only about 5 people posted questions and comments for the last lab class.

For today's lab class we are going to continue with the topic of travel. I would like you to brainstorm some ideas on your blog about the positive and negative effects tourism. Then read the article "Travel Narrows the Mind" on page 100/101 in your coursebook. After you read I would like you to react to the text: Do you agree with the writer's opinions? Give reasons for your answer. What effect does tourism have on Chile?

If you have extra time here's a couple word formation activities: Travelling alone & Greece

Friday, August 28, 2009

Evaluations for 2nd semester

50% = Final Exam = First Certificate Exam: Reading, Writing, Listening, Use of English

13% = Mid-term exam = Selected parts of the FCE - 30 September(oral) & 8 October(written)

12% = Reading & Vocabulary quizzes - 1) units 7,8,9 in mid September 2) units 10,11,12 end November

12% = Writing - 1) 4 best assignments end of September 2) 4 best assignments end November. Written assignments are due 7 days after they are assigned. Late assignments will not be considered.

13% = Speaking - 1) 5 minute presentation 2) oral final exam

Five Minute Presentations


2 Francisco Gonzalez
3 Constanza Arellano

9 Bernardita Duque
10 Paulina Bergmann

23 Nelson Retamal
24 Gisselle Palacios


1 Jeannette Ulloa & Fernanda Maturana

7 Melissa Rodriguez & Daniela Rocha

14 Myriam Pinto
15 Paula Monsalve

21 Soledadd Ulloa & Alicia Barrera
22 Carolina Vasquez

28 Alejandra Reyes
29 Paulina Figueroa


4 Ayleen Hernandez
5 Natalia Martell

11 Carrie Valenzuela
12 Carolina Castananeda

18 Carolina Espinoza
19 Francisco Olmedo & Guillermo Ovalle

25 Pier Vasquez
26 Patricia Osses

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Travel Stories

While we're on the topic of travel let's escape for a bit and have a look at some exciting places to visit around the world.

Read 1 story from the iexplore travel site and post 5 comprehension questions for that story on your blog. Then read your partner's story and answer the questions. Finally make comments on your blog comparing the two places and explain which place you would prefer to go to and why?

Enjoy your trip!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some review of unit 7 and FCE practice

Last week we pretty much finished unit 7, so today we'll do some review. Here's an odd one out quiz with shopping vocabulary. Here's an exercise using present perfect simple or continuous.

Here is a multiple matching reading activity about 5 people who work in tourism, which is the topic of the next unit.

Here are some FCE practice exercises for Use of English and Reading. For more FCE practice have a look at my sidebar where I have a link to Flo-joe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writing assignment 2: The advantages and disadvantages of living in the city or countryside

Yesterday you read a couple versions of Aesop's Fables: city mouse and town mouse and then we listened to an interview of a couple people who live in the countryside. This morning in class you made your own list of advantages and disadvantages of either living in the city or countryside.

If you made comments on yesterday's lesson, you should develop your ideas into an essay. Here is a link for some instructions and advice: How to write an advantages and disadvantages essay

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Unit 7 topic activities

Here are a couple links for some listening tasks Spending Money , shoppping for the day , ABC of money matters . Do at least one of them and then follow up with the exercises.

Go to, click on learning English Central, go to magazine and look up city vs country. Read the tale about Town or country mouse then scroll down to the modern version of the story. On your blog post your answer whether you prefer living in the city or country.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Writing assignment 1: Letter of Complaint

Today in lab class we are going to look at an FCE writing part 1 example. Part 1 of the writing paper consists of a compulsory transactional letter in which prompts are provided in the form of written input material such as a letter, an advertisement &/or notes.

Have a look at the instructions and prompts for an example task on page 87. After you have carefully read the instructions, look at an example letter on page 88 and answer the questions in exercise 2. Once we have discussed this you will read the instructions and prompts in exercise 3 and then write the letter.

Remember to check your spelling and grammar before you post it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A day of quizzes

We are going to start today's class with a fun little quiz. When you are finished, let me know what you thought about it.

Monday's homework was to read an article (p.83/84) about shopaholics. Here's another quiz to find out if you actually are a shopaholic. Post some comments on your blog about what you think about the problem. Include some advice you would give someone who was a shopaholic.

Here's yet another quiz about phrasal verbs using the verb "come". Once you've done the quiz and looked at the exercises on page 86 post some sentences about yourself using phrasal verbs and collocations.

Spring Semester 2009

Welcome back!

I hope you are ready to get down to work, because we have a lot to do this semester!

In class yesterday we talked about our plans and expectations for this semester. We have 2 blocks in the classroom and 2 blocks in the laboratory this semester so we will be using the blogs not only for written work but also for some more interactive activities.

I will give you more detailed information about grading for this semester in a future post.

Yesterday we established that we would enforce the 15 minute rule. That is: if you are more than 15 minutes late you will not be allowed to enter the class, and therefore be marked absent.

We discussed having an English Only rule. Where a $10 peso fine will be enforced for those who speak Spanish during class time. We will discuss what to do with the collected money near the end of the semester.

Also, it was requested to have individual oral presentations. We agreed that one student will give a short presentation for each lab class on a topic of their choice. I will be sending round a sign up sheet this week and will post it here once it's been finalized. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

There was also a request to incorporate short story reading into the course. I have some ideas to do some reading activities in the lab class.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

I look forward to doing some fun activities this semester!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Final exam information

Here is some information about your final exam.

Oral exam - Wednesday July15, 11:00 - 12:20 (will probably take longer) room 456

Written exam - Friday July 17, 11:00 - 12:20 room 453

If you fail the written exam you can take it again on Tuesday July 28, 11:00 - 12:20 room 454

The oral exam is similar to the FCE speaking pt 4. There will be questions related to a topic that you will discuss with a partner.

The written exam will consist of FCE style questions from the Reading, Use of English, Listening and Writing papers.

Good luck!

FYI: At the end of the year in December you will be taking a mock FCE exam as your final exam. There will be more information about that next semester.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This week we are focusing on doing a review before the final exam. Here is a link for a website that I've used a lot to help my students prepare for the FCE exam. If you get bored, have a go at the word formation crossword puzzle that I found.

Make sure that you finish any previous Lab assignments if you haven't already done so.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


In class today we talked about describing people's personalities and appearance. Your assignment today is to write about someone you met for the first time in unusual circumstances. Explain what happened and describe the person. Use the example and exercises on page 75 as a reference. When you are finished be sure that you check your writing for grammar and spelling mistakes before you post it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


In this week's assignment I would like you to create a 10 question survey for your classmates. It can be about one of the following topics:

  • relationships such as family, friends &/or boyfriend/girlfriend (using some of the phrasal verbs from page 68/69)
  • future job/career (using the vocabulary from page 60)

Once you have posted your survey, visit your classmate's blogs and in the comments answer the questions to their survey.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Letter of Application

Today we had a look at a letter of application on page 62. Your assignment for this week is to write a letter of application. The instructions are on page 63, be sure to read them. You can apply for any of the jobs except gardener. Remember that this is a formal letter so have a look at pages 200 & 201 if you need more examples of formal expressions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10 Assignment

In today's lesson we looked at a variety of past tenses. Many of these tenses are useful when telling a story. So, today's assignment is to write a short story. You need to use all of the tenses we looked at in exercise 1 in the language focus on page 49 at least once in your story. You will also need to enhance your story by using some appropriate linking words (there is a list on page 209). More information about what to write can be found on page 51.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 4 assignment

On Tuesday we talked about films, so for your assignment I would like you to write a film review. It could be about a film you saw recently or awhile ago. Be sure to use some of the vocabulary on page 42 to describe the film and also don't forget to include your opinion.


Hello students.

I will be taking over as your teacher for this class in June so Maria can have some time for her new baby.

I'm excited about having a blog with this class so that we can create some interesting stuff. I look forward to getting to know you all.

See you soon,