Latest Entries »

Fun listening game

Fun Listening game

A really fun listening game with variants for large and small classes.

Class size: Small group and classroom variations
Level: Ideal for beginners to lower intermediate
Age: 4 to 12 
Materials: None required, some optional ideas for props

1. How to Play

This game is excellent for practising new vocabulary, or for revising large amounts of known words.

A. Small Group Variation:
Stand in a space with the children all around you and close to you. The children should either be touching you with an outstretched hand, or you can tie scarves around you and each child holds onto the end of a scarf. The younger children love this kind of prop, but it is optional. Another optional prop is to stand on a square of coloured paper. The children must all have one foot on that square.

The children must stay touching you, or holding the scarf until you say a specific word. When you say that word you can try and catch one of the children and they have to escape before you do.

As I have said before, with the very young children it can be necessary never to catch them as it can make them cry.

So for example start by telling the children the magic word, it could be "summer". You now start to say words such as spring, winter, autumn, sun, rain, etc. When you say, summer, the children must run off and you try and catch one of them. You do not necessarily have to chase after the children, you can just try and touch one of them before he or she has let go of you, without you actually moving from the spot. If you like you can make a rule where you are allowed to take one step only.
 You can add great variety to this game by changing the way you say the words. Sometimes you can use a flat monotone for several words and then suddenly say a word with great enthusiasm. This alone can make some children let go of you even though you did not say the magic word.

You can also add variety by changing the set up. For example you may have the children seated around you on the floor. When they hear the magic word they must get up and move away to safety. You can also use ideas such as having the children balance on one leg while they listen out for the magic word and then clap and run away when they hear it. If a child  cannot balance, or forgets to clap before running away he or she is out.

Instead of having children who are out sit around getting bored and restless, let them just sit down for one turn and then join back in again, or have them do a forfeit. There are plenty of fun forfeit ideas in my e-book of games.

If you have a strong group member you can let them take your role in the game.

B. Classroom Variation:

To use this idea in a classroom situation where you have desks and chairs plus too many students to play the small group version you can adapt the game as follows: Use the magic word idea as described above but this time the children must clap
when they hear the magic word and the last one to clap is out. Or the class sit down on hearing the magic word, and last one seated is out. Use any action you fancy that suits your classroom situation.

2. Language ideas to use with this game

This game lends itself to any vocabulary. You may also use short sentences by way of revision, or in preparation for introducing those phrases properly later in the lesson, or in the next lesson. For example you could have the word train as the magic word and say, I like buses, I like cars, I like planes, I like trains! Replace the phrase I like with more or less anything that you would like to practise. For example if you want to teach the past continuous then the magic word can be reading and you say sentences such as I was driving, I was walking, I was reading!

If your children are too naughty then use a quiet version of the classroom game and have a rule where any noise and the child is out, or loses a point for his or her team.

I hope you enjoy using this game with your pupils soon.




exercise 1      exercise 2     exercise 3     exercise 4

We can use let to mean to rent out a house.

  • We moved to Australia and let our house in London.

A major use of let is for talking about ‘allowing’ and ‘permission’.

  • My mother let me come.
  • I let her leave early.

One pattern is let followed by an OBJECT followed by a BARE INFINITIVE

  • She let me have the last one.
  • You must let us know when you are coming to New York.
  • I didn’t let my friend drive my car.
  • Why did you let Jane do that?

Another pattern is let followed by an OBJECT followed by a COMPLEMENT

  • Let me past.
  • The police aren’t letting anybody out of the building.
  • Don’t let him get away.
  • Why did you let him in?

Notice that we can use reflexive pronouns to talk about what we allow ourselves to do.

  • I let myself be influenced by her.
  • She let herself out.
  • I didn’t let myself be talked into it.
  • Did you let yourself in?

Notice that we do not make a contraction out of let us when asking for permission.

  • Let us help you.
  • Let us pay for this.
  • Let us buy that.
  • Let us take the risk.

We use let’s when we are making a suggestion.

  • Let’s go to the cinema.
  • Let’s stay at home.
  • Let’s not argue. (formal)
  • Don’t let’s argue. (informal)

Compare these

  • Let us watch TV, please. (asking for permission)
  • Let’s watch TV. (a suggestion)

There are many fixed expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs using let.

Let alone means ‘much less’

  • I’ve never been to Africa, let alone Ghana.
  • I’ve never met any actor, let alone Brad Pitt.

Let go can mean to dismiss

  • My company let 20 people go.
  • I was let go three weeks ago.

Let your hair down means to lose your inhibitions.

  • At the office party, everybody let their hair down and we had fun.

Don’t let it get you down means to stay cheerful although something bad has happened.

  • Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t let it get you down.

Let you off/let you off the hook means that you are excused, even though you did something wrong or had something bad to do.

  • I made a mess but the boss let me off.
  • I was supposed to tidy up after the party but I was let off the hook as Sandra did it.

Letting off steam means to get rid of excess energy or frustration.

  • After work I go to the gym and let off steam on the treadmill.
  • We need to go out after the exams and let off steam.

Let me see and let me think are expressions used to give you time to think.

  • You want a raise? Let me think. Can we discuss this later?
  • A good place for lunch? Let me see. How about the Italian restaurant?

Let’s say and let’s suppose are used to talk about hypothetical situations.

  • Let’s say that you were boss. What would you do?
  • Let’s suppose that we don’t get the contract. What do we do?

Let’s hope is used to express a hope.

  • Let’s hope he gets the job.
  • Yes, let’s hope so.


exercise 1      exercise 2     exercise 3     exercise 4


Game for beginners

The game gives the students a fun way to practise saying vocabulary repeatedly. It’s ideal to practise new vocabulary and for revision.

It works best for up to about 20 students. If you have a bigger class you can do a demonstration first so everyone knows how to play and then split the class into two or three groups.

Originally this game is a name game warmer. The class sit in a circle game where someone is in the middle. The person in the middle calls out someone’s name three times as fast as possible and the person whose name it is has to try to say their own name once before the three repetitions are finished.

You do not need to sit in a circle – this is nice because all students can see each other’s faces, but it can also be played while sitting at desks.

You may practise vocabulary by giving the person in the middle a vocabulary picture to name three times. Students listen and must try and jump in to say the word before the three repetitions are up.The student saying the word first takes the place of the pupil who said the three repetitions.

If you want your students to practise specific words you can give pictures out for the words to be named, or you can write a theme on the board and tell students to think up a word in that theme. Students can only come into the middle if they have thought of a word that has not yet been said. This avoids everyone sitting waiting while someone tries desperately to think of a word.

If the same students jump in time and again then put them in a group together and let them work together as a “fast” group in future. Or simply tell them that they cannot win every time and must play one turn and take one turn out. Or make them judges and in charge of a group.

 Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Au-pairs por el mundo

I just thought you may need some information about how to be an au-pair.

Au pair en Irlanda

Programa Au pair en IRLANDA

GRAFTON SCHOOL gestiona y organiza el programa de trabajo  AU PAIR en Irlanda. Un programa que te permite trabajar y aprender inglés al mismo tiempo.

El programa Au-pair  está  dirigido a chicas  de entre 18 y 30 años que quieren pasar una larga temporada en el extranjero, es un programa de total inmersión lingüística. Ya que las au pairs no tienen contacto con otras chicas de su idioma, salvo cuando van al colegio, dos días por semana.

Este programa se realiza con familias que residen en cualquier parte de Irlanda, aunque el 70% de las familias son de  Dublín o alrededores.

¿Qué requisitos tengo que cumplir?

  • Ser chica mayor de 18 años
  • Gustarte los niños y jugar con ellos.
  • Tener nivel como mínimo nivel pre-intermedio de inglés
  • Quedarte mínimo 6 meses
  • Enviar un buen dossier.
  • No tener antecedentes penales.
Grafton school organiza programas de estudio en Irlanda. Con ellos los jóvenes pueden estudiar inglés y pasárlo muy bien. Disfruta de la experiencia visualizando nuestro video de Cork.

Here you have some English practice links which you can use to improve your English skills.

Learn English Writing

For many ESL students learning to write good English is much more difficult than learning to speak. Even advanced level students face this problem. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Written communication is more formal than spoken communication.
  • You have to avoid grammatical or spelling mistakes in written communication.
  • Spoken communication, on the other hand, isn’t exactly about grammar: It allows for more grammar mistakes. What’s more, you don’t have to learn spelling to speak.
  • People tend to think while writing; not much thought goes into speaking.

The following points can be helpful when considering how to learn English writing skills:

Speaking skills are something that we learn unconsciously. Writing, on the other hand, takes a conscious effort on the part of the learner.

Writing involves the learning of a number of rules and structures.

How to improve one’s writing skills

Good writing skills can be developed with practice. The first thing that you need to do is to learn the grammar rules. Although, you can speak without learning much grammar, you won’t be able to write correct sentences if your knowledge of grammar is poor. So if your job involves a lot of writing, there is no excuse for not learning the rules.

Learn different sentence patterns. These are the basic structures that we use to construct sentences. A basic understanding of the most common sentence patterns will help you to write numerous grammatically correct sentences.

Keep writing. That is true. Your writing skills improve with practice. Therefore, make it a habit to write at least 200 words a day. Keep a diary. In this digital age, blogging is perhaps better than writing a diary. Participate in online forums where people express their ideas in English.

This is  the last one I have, I really hope they have been useful for you.

  • The die is cast.
    La suerte está echada.
  • The early bird catches the worm.
    A quien madruga, Dios lo ayuda.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
    Lo mejor siempre lo tiene el otro.
  • The shoemaker’s son goes always barefoot.
    En casa de herrero, cuchara de palo.
  • There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip.
    Entre mano y boca desaparece la sopa. / Del plato a la boca se pierde la sopa.
  • Think twice, act wise.
    Piensa dos veces antes de actuar.
  • To call a spade, a spade.
    Al pan, pan y al vino, vino.
  • To err is human; to forgive, divine.
    Errar es humano, perdonar es divino.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
    Demasiados cocineros estropean el caldo. / Muchas manos en un plato hacen mucho garabato.
  • Two in distress makes sorrow less.
    Las penas compartidas saben a menos.
  • Variety is the spice of life.
    En la variedad está el gusto.
  • What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.
    Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
    Donde fueres haz lo que vieres.
  • When one is hungry, everything tastes good.
    Cuando hay hambre, no hay pan duro.
  • When there’s a will, there’s a way.
    Querer es poder.
  • While the cat’s away, the mice will play.
    Cuando el gato no está, los ratones bailan.
  • You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
    No se puede tener todo en la vida. / No puedes estar en misa y repicando.
  • You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
    No se puede pedir peras al olmo. / Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
    Loro viejo no aprende a hablar.
  • You have to take the rough with the smooth.
    Hay que tomar la vida como es. / Hay que estar a las duras y a las maduras.
  • You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
    Hoy por ti, mañana por mí.

Here you have some other ones: 

  • In for a penny, in for a pound.
    De perdidos, al río.
  • It never rains, but it pours.
    Las desgracias nunca vienen solas.
  • It takes all sorts to make a world.
    Hay de todo en la viña del Señor.
  • It’s good fishing in troubled waters.
    A río revuelto, ganancia de pescadores.
  • It’s never too late to learn.
    Nunca es tarde para aprender.
  • It’s no good crying over spilt milk.
    A lo hecho, pecho. / No hay que llorar sobre la leche derramada.
  • It’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.
    Es la gota que colma el vaso.
  • Let bygones be bygones.
    Lo pasado, pisado. / Borrón y cuenta nueva.
  • Many hands make light work.
    Muchas manos hacen el trabajo ligero.
  • Money is the root of all evil.
    El dinero es el camino de la perdición.
  • More haste, less speed.
    Vísteme despacio que tengo prisa.
  • Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.
    No te hagas problema hasta que los problemas te angustien.
  • No pain, no gain.
    El que quiere celeste, que le cueste.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Quien no arriesga, no gana. / Quien no se arriesga, no cruza la mar.
  • One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
    Sobre gustos no hay nada escrito. / Para gustos, los colores.
  • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    No hagas a los demás lo que no quieres que te hagan a ti.
  • Politeness costs nothing.
    Lo cortés no quita lo valiente.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    Roma no se hizo en un día.
  • Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.
    La experiencia es la madre de la sabiduría.
  • Take care of the pennies/pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
    Ahorra la calderilla y tendrás dinero. / Muchos pocos hacen un montón.
  • The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
    De tal palo, tal astilla.

I thought you just may be interested in learning some English Proverbs: 

  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando.
  • A cat in gloves catches no mice.
    Gato con guantes no caza ratones.
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
    Más vale prevenir que curar.
  • A word is enough to the wise.
    A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan.
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    La ausencia alimenta al corazón.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
    Los hechos valen más que las palabras.
    Del dicho al hecho hay un gran trecho.
  • All cats are grey in the dark.
    Por la noche todos los gatos son pardos.
  • All griefs with bread are less.
    Las penas con pan son menos.
  • All roads lead to Rome.
    Todos los caminos conducen a Roma.
  • All that glitters is not gold.
    No es oro todo lo que reluce.
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    Hay que divertirse y dejar de lado el trabajo por un rato.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
    Más vale prevenir que curar.
  • Appearances are deceptive. / Looks are deceiving.
    Las apariencias engañan.
  • Barking dogs never bite.
    Perro ladrador, poco mordedor. / Perro que ladra no muerde.
  • Beggars can’t be choosers.
    Cuando hay hambre, no hay pan duro.
  • Better late than never.
    Más vale tarde que nunca.
  • Better safe than sorry.
    Más vale pervenir que curar.
  • Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
    Más vale malo conocido que bueno por conocer.
  • Birds of a feather flock together.
    Dios los cría y ellos se juntan.
  • Blood is thicker than water.
    Los lazos familiares son más fuertes.
  • Chip off the old block.
    De tal palo, tal astilla.
  • Common sense is the least common of senses.
    El sentido común es el menos común de los sentidos.
  • Do what is right, come what may.
    Haz siempre lo correcto.
  • Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
    No le muerdas la mano a quien te da de comer.
  • Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
    No cantes victoria antes de tiempo. / No montes el caballo antes de ensillarlo.
  • Don’t cry before you are hurt.
    No llores antes de tiempo.
  • Don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth.
    A caballo regalado no le mires los dientes.
  • Don’t meet trouble halfway.
    No te preocupes antes de tiempo.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
    No te lo juegues todo a una sola carta.
  • Early to bed, early to rise,
    makes the man healthy, wealthy and wise.
    A quien madruga, Dios lo ayuda.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
    No hay mal que por bien no venga.
  • Every law has its loophole.
    Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa.
  • Every time the sheep bleats, it loses a mouthful.
    Oveja que bala, bocado pierde.
  • Experience is the mother of knowledge.
    La experiencia es la madre de la ciencia.
  • Finders, keepers; losers, weepers.
    El que se fue a Sevilla, perdió su silla.
  • Give a dog a bad name and hang it.
    Hazte fama y échate a dormir. /
    Un perro maté y mataperros me llamaron.
  • God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.
    Dios aprieta pero no ahoga.
  • Half a loaf is better than none.
    Algo es algo, peor es nada. / Menos da una piedra.
  • He that fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.
    Soldado que huye, sirve para otra guerra. /
    Quien en tiempo huye, en tiempo acude.
  • Hunt with cats and you catch only rats.
    Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.
  • If you have made your bed, now lie in it.
    Si cometes un error, debes asumir las consecuencias.
%d bloggers like this: