Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fantastic pronunciation app

This is a great app if you want to work on your pronunciation:  
The app is not free- but is on sale for 1,99GBP until the 2nd February.

Practise, practise, practise!

In the App you’ll find three different practice modes – listening, writing and reading. You can either work using a random selection of words from the Wordlist, or select a particular sound (or combination of sounds) that you’d like to focus on and practise just those.

Interactive phonemic chart

The chart shows all the sounds of English, divided into three sections: vowels, dipthongs (double vowels) and consonants. You can tap on a symbol to hear the sound, or tap and hold to hear the sound plus an example word. Listen to either British or American English.  You can view the chart in either portrait or landscape mode, just by rotating your device.

How do you say...

We’ve carefully selected over 650 words for the included Wordlist. These are also used in the Practice and Quiz sections. Every word in the Wordlist has an audio recording that goes with it.  You have the option of selecting either British or American English for use in the App.
The selected vocabulary shows how sounds are used at the beginning, middle and end of words and are all high frequency words (red Words in the Macmillan English Dictionary).
You also have the ability in the App to record your own pronunciation of a word and play it back, then compare it with the model we provide. You can do this as many times as you like, until your pronunciation is perfect!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Readers on sale

At the end of January I will be ordering books from the UK for anyone who wants to buy a reader.  Readers are specially written for English students and are suited to your level.  Reading is the best way to build your vocabulary!

These are the books on special at the moment for 5€ each. Most of these books can also be bought with the accompanying CD if you prefer which allows you to practice your reading and listening skills. (cost= 7,50€ for the book & CD)

B1 (1000-1200 Headwords)
  • Star Wars - Clone wars: The galaxy-spanning adventure of the epic Star Wars saga continues in The Clone Wars. Join Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and his new Padawan, Ahsoka, in an action-packed struggle between the noble Jedi and the evil Sith.
  • The Mask of Zorro:  It has been twenty years since the tyrannical Rafael Montero imprisoned Diego de la Vega, alias Zorro, the people's hero. Not only did De la Vega lose his freedom but also his wife and their beautiful daughter Elena. Now Montero has returned to California, and the people desperately need Zorro's help again. Can the new Zorro, troubled bandit Alejandro, stop Montero's evil plans?
  • The Mummy- Tomb of the Dragon Emperor:  Famed adventurers Evelyn and Rick O'Connell find themselves back in action when their son, Alex, discovers the tomb of an ancient Emperor in China. The discovery unleashes a chain of events, taking the O'Connell family on another epic adventure of love, tyranny, revenge and magic.
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Night at the Museum- battle for the Smithsonian: The exciting sequel to Night at the Museum with Larry Daley, former security guard, and his 'friends' - the exhibits - from the New York Museum of Natural History. When Larry discovers that there are plans afoot to archive the exhibits in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, he does everything in his power to help his old buddies . . . . But will it be enough?
  • The Pink Panther: It's the World Cup. Someone has murdered the French football team coach and stolen the priceless Pink Panther diamond. Inspector Dreyfus puts Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling detective, on the case. But can Clouseau find the killer and the diamond before Dreyfus? Who will become the 'Pink Panther detective' and win France's highest honour?
  • Sense and Sensibility:  Following the death of her husband, Mrs Dashwood and her three daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, are forced to leave their family home and move to a small cottage in Devon. There, Marianne meets and falls in love with the charismatic Mr Willoughby but she is left distraught by his inconsistent behaviour. And whilst consoling her younger sister, Elinor is forced to confront her own feelings towards Edward Ferrars, an old family friend ...
  • Jane Eyre: Orphaned as a young child, Jane Eyre has an unhappy start to life living with her cruel aunt and cousins and later enduring the hardships of Lowood school. After taking up a post as a governess, her life begins to improve, helped by her growing friendship with Mr Rochester, her surly employer. But can she achieve true happiness in a place filled with dark secrets?
  • The Devil wears Prada: When Andrea lands a job at top fashion magazine Runway, she knows nothing. She's never heard of Runway before, or its infamous editor, Miranda Priestly. But soon she is wearing heels to work, dealing with the biggest names in fashion, and, most importantly, attending to Miranda's every demand. It will all be worth it in the end, won't it ... ?
  • The Golden Compass: Lyra Belacqua, and her daemon, Pan, live in a world that is similar to our own, but also very different. The disappearance of Lyra's best friend Roger coincides with the arrival of the mysterious Mrs Coulter who takes Lyra to live with her in London. There Lyra uncovers some sinister secrets that take her on a journey far north - to the land of armoured bears and ultimately to the Experimental Station - a place of unspeakable horror ...
  • Hoot: Roy Eberhardt has just moved to Florida and he's not impressed. But one day Roy sees a barefoot boy running for his life, and suddenly things become much more interesting. Does this boy know anything about the problems at the new pancake restaurant site? Why does he want to save the little owls that live there? And can Roy do anything to help?
  • Robin Hood - the silver arrow: Robin Hood and his men live as outlaws in Sherwood Forest. They fight corruption and injustice - both of which appear in large measure courtesy of the self-interested Sheriff of Nottingham. When Robin and the outlaws uncover the Sheriff's latest scheme to buy Saracen slaves, they decide to foil his plans. Will Robin save the slaves, outwit the Sheriff, and win the prestigious silver arrow competition?

Intermediate B1+ (1400-1900 Headwords)
  • Touching the void: 1985, top mountaineers Joe Simpson and his friend Simon Yates went climbing in the Peruvian Andes. After a series of accidents, Simon was forced to cut the rope which held him and Joe together. At the time, Simon believed that he was sending his friend to his death... 
  • Steve Jobs and the story of Apple
  • The story of Chanel
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull It's 1957 and Indiana Jones, everyone's favourite explorer, is back! Dr Irina Spalko, a power-hungry Russian scientist wants to find the crystal skull - and nothing will stop her. Indy and his new acquaintance, Mutt, travel first to Peru and then to the 'lost city' of Akator in the heart of the Amazon. Will they survive the terrible dangers that await them in the kingdom of the crystal skull? 
  • Iraq in fragments: Based on James Longley's award-winning documentary, Iraq in Fragments provides a fascinating glimpse of modern-day Iraq the mass media never shows us.
  • The Lost Chronicles 1: Oceanic Flight 815 has crashed on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Forty-eight people have survived, but no one knows where they are. Each day the survivors discover more about the island and themselves. Who recorded the sixteen-year-old radio message that plays over and over again? Are they alone on the island? And will they be able to escape from the island and their own pasts?
  • The Lost Chronicles 2:  The survivors of the Oceanic Flight 815 crash are finding life on the island difficult and dangerous. And every day there are new mysteries ... What is inside the strange hatch in the forest? Who are 'The Others' and why did they take Claire? And will Michael ever manage to build his boat and bring rescuers to the island?
  • Sherlock: The hounds of Baskerville
  • Pride and Prejudice:  Mr and Mrs Bennet have five daughters. All of them are young, most of them are beautiful and, most importantly, all of them are unmarried. When Mr Bingley and his rich but proud friend Mr Darcy arrive in Netherfield, Mrs Bennet and her daughters are very excited. But as Jane and Mr Bingley become closer, why do Mr Bingley's feelings suddenly appear to change? And why does Mr Darcy act so coldly towards Elizabeth - and the charming Mr Wickham?
  • Amazing Grace:  During the eighteenth century, millions of people were taken from Africa and sold as slaves. Great Britain was the most powerful country in the world with an empire built through slavery. William Wilberforce, a young idealistic government minister, campaigned tirelessly throughout his political career to abolish the slave trade. With the help of fellow humanitarians he steered the cause through parliament, enduring countless setbacks before eventual triumph.
  • Angela´s Ashes:  'A miserable childhood is bad enough. A miserable Irish childhood is worse. But a miserable Irish Catholic childhood is the worst of all'.  A simplified adaptation of Frank McCourt's moving and humorous memoirs about growing up in 1930's Ireland.
  • Batman- the Dark Knight: Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent join forces to deal with the chaos unleashed on the terrified citizens of Gotham City.
  • Black Gold:  Based on a remarkable documentary film, Black Gold tells the story of one man's mission to save his 74,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers from Western exploitation. It exposes the truth behind every cappuccino we drink and asks: is it right that the producers of our coffee often can't afford clean water or an education for their children?
  • Catwoman:  Sometimes, Patience Philips feels the world is against her. She hates her job at Hedare Beauty, and her boss, George Hedare, doesn't like her much either. Then she uncovers a company secret and her life changes for ever. Patience Philips may be dead but Catwoman is very much alive. And Catwoman is ready to face her enemies. Miaow! 
  • Elizabeth - the Golden Age:  After the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I incurs the wrath of Philip of Spain, and prepares to face the onslaught of the Spanish Armada.

 B2 (1800-2300 Headwords)
  • Nowhere Boy: The true story of iconic musician John Lennon, growing up as a rebellious teenager in 1950s Liverpool.  Based on the recent movie by Sam Taylor-Wood.
  • Slumdog Millionaire:  Jamal Malik, a street kid from the slums of Mumbai, has been arrested for cheating after answering eight questions correctly on the quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? As Jamal's story unfolds, it becomes clear to the Inspector of Police that the boy's troubled and chaotic life has provided him with the answers. Will Jamal succeed in answering the final question... and be reunited with the love of his life, the beautiful Latika?
  • A lion called Christian:  In 2006, featured an extraordinary film clip that showed the emotional reunion between two young men and their pet lion, Christian, in Kenya. Before long it had been watched by millions of people all over the world. This true story, told by Christian's former owners, Ace and John, follows Christian's journey from his time as a lion cubliving in the King's Road in London to his subsequent return to his natural home in Kenya.
  • An Education:  Jenny has just turned sixteen and is determined to escape her stifling suburban homelife by going to Oxford University. When she meets glamorous older man David, she starts to reassess her life and her ambitions. A coming-of-age story set in 1960s London based on the hit 2009 British film.

There are no books on sale at the moment.  There is a wide variety of titles and they range in price from 8€ to about 12€ each.  Let me know if here´s something specific you´re looking for and I´ll try find it.

New in the library: January 2013

I have a new DVD available in the library: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Let me know if you´re interested in borrowing it. English subtitles are available on the DVD - so you could watch it in English with the subtitles, if necessary.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Word formation: enable

Verb: enable, disable
Noun: ability, capability, disability, inability
Adjective: able, unable, disabled, capable
Adverb: ably, capably

Word formation: specialise

Verb: speciality, specialism, specialisation, specialist

Noun: specialise

Adjective: specialist, specialised

Word formation: smuggle

Verb: smuggle

Noun: smuggling, smuggler

Adjective: smuggled

Word formation: persecute

Verb: persecute

Noun: persecution, persecutor

Adjective: persecuted

Word formation: legalise

Verb: legalise

Noun: legality, illegality, legislation

Adjective: legal, illegal

Word formation: endanger

Verb: endanger
Noun: danger
Adjective: dangerous, endangered

Word formation: verify

Verb: verify
Noun: verification, verifier
Adjective: verified, verfiable

Word formation: reminisce

Verb: reminisce
Noun: reminiscence
Adjective: reminiscent

Word formation: embellish

Verb: embellish
Noun: embellishment
Adjective: embellished / unembellished

Word formation: accumulate

Verb: accumulate
Noun: accumulation
Adjective: accumulated

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cambridge exam dates for 2013 (in Figueres)

I have just received the exam dates for the 2013 Cambridge exams (to be held in Figueres);

PET (96,00€)
25  July (Thursday) - registration closes 21 June

FCE (182,00€)
9 March (Saturday) - registration closes 27 January
8 June (Saturday) - registration closes 20 April
26 July (Friday) - registration closes 21 June

CAE (192,00€)
6 March (Wednesday) - registration closes 27 January
8 June (Saturday) - registration closes 20 April
25 July (Thursday) - registration closes 21 June
30 November (Saturday) - registration closes 22 October

IMPORTANT: Please note that these dates include all the papers EXCEPT for the speaking test.  The speaking test is normally the week before or after the main date.  These dates will be confirmed ASAP.

I recommend you take the test this date and will email you with further information.