Archive for the ‘Oral Drilling’ Category


C1 Resource Pack!!

January 10, 2017

I just published / I’ve just published my notes to help advanced students learn to learn to become independent and resourcesful lifelong learners!

Check it all out on!

Direct link


Beginning of the learning year – some tips for learning English

September 3, 2013

A two-page document I’ve written for my students




June 14, 2013

These days, total exposure to English (listenings) and as much LISTEN & REPEAT AS YOU CAN. IT’ll help you a lot!

The most important thing: avoid making mistakes you know you can avoid making! And if you make them, yes, relax, it’s ok if you… FIX THEM! Practice Useful language for that, in case you make a mistake. “Sorry, I mean…” (corrected version)

Communicative Strategies: Useful language
audios to listen & repeat – do Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3
Listen to the audios for Interactions, too

Learning to monitor your production as you speak
Watch the videos with my corrections, and repeat out loud the corrected sentence. By watching videos os this kind, you’ll learn unconsciously to fix your mistakes when you make them as you speak. Here are some audios too with corrections on the webpage:
Here, I didn’t do the Intermedios, but I did the Básicos and Avanzados (click on their Reproduction List and watch the ones with my comments)

More, here: including a mon on bullfighting for Avanzado (by me) and some ideas for potential problems during the interaction, so you can prepare useful language to be fluent and accurate (grammatically) while doing something to fix the problem!


This has been the first year when the Avanzado 2 Reading and Listening Tests were at the B2 level, with no C1 questions. As people did their Writing test some teachers corrected the Reading and Listening of one of my groups (because I don’t have enough days to do all the work I have this week – even though I’ll be spending this weekend checking Writing Tests), and everybody has passed those two parts (Avanzado 2 Tuesday).

Anyway, when people see their marks, if they have failed some part, they should come to revisión. Check the time and the date for that, and come, if you fail any part. I could be late for Revisión because I’ll be part of an Oral Examining Board the hours before, so wait for me keeping quiet if you are in the corridor.


Screenplay to work on your English!

June 13, 2013

best_exotic_marigold_hotel_ver2At last!!! Finished preparing the screenplay of the movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!

It’s taken me two months because I did it whenever I had some free time!

I’ve prepared this screenplay for me to use in class next year with Upper Intermediate and Advanced students. Teachers are welcome to use it, of course. And if you are a lifelong learner, you might want to use at home to work on your English.

the-best-exotic-marigold-hotel-bk13 (44 pdf pages – the two last are ideas for activities!)


Useful Language (+audios)

May 29, 2013

Some with audios to listen and repeat


Clauses. Result (so = así que, por tanto…)

February 22, 2013

Part 1: so… (for result)

  • It is pouring rain, so take your umbrella if you don’t want to get wet!
  • The talk was really interesting, so there were lots of questions!
  • The train leaves at 6pm so we should get there by 5.30pm!
  • I’ll get home at 9pm, so give me a ring then!

This lot should not be confused with “so that” indicating purpose (finalidad; para…).

Part 2: so … that; such (a) … that.

Then you have these structures, related to (adv +) adjectives and quantity + nouns:

so (+ (adv.) adjective or quantifier + noun) … (that) + S + V”

I was so (very) tired (that) I fell asleep in class!
The trip was so (very) tiring that I slept for 23 hours!!
Their performances were so stunning that the movie was a great success worldwide!

quant. + n.
There were so many people that some had to stand up at the back.
There were so few projects we had to cancel the contest.
There was so much rain that we had to find shelter.
There was so little time we had to do it all in a rush

“such  (+ a, for sing., no determiner for plurals + (adj.) + noun) … (that) + S + V”

It was such a thick book that it took me a month to read!
They were such heavy boxes that we had to ask for help.
I went into such a whole lot of trouble that in the end I felt it had not been worth it.
There was such a lot of noise that we had to move to the third floor.

Part 3: As a result, As a result of , Consequently, Therefore, Thus, For this/that reason, In consequence.

There was heavy rain for the whole day. As a result, numerous areas were flooded.
As a result of heavy rain, numerous areas were flooded.
We hadn’t turned off our mobiles. As a result of that, we were asked to leave the room. It was very embarrassing.
The estimated budget for this project is €10,000 and we are €2,000 short. Consequently,/Therefore,  we need to do some urgent fundraising.


Clauses. Purpose (finalidad) – one or two subjects, and about the “so” confusion

February 22, 2013

CEFR B2 level and above. Think about these examples and how they work (function) in language (what they mean). Then, look for an example you can easily remember, and do some Oral Drilling with that structure.

We have various ways in which we can express purpose:

  • The Purpose Infinitive: “Why are you learning English? To travel the world!” “I am writing to suggest ways in which we can improve our fluency while speaking.” With this very common way to indicate purpose we need to have the same subject (“I”) for the two verbs (“learn”, “travel”).
  • So that” (not “So” = result!,* although it is true native speakers may be heard omitting the “that” in “so that”!) “We developed this project so that students could learn/were able to learn how to interact constructively.” This structure allows us to have two different subjects: If instead of two different subjects (“we”, “students”) for the two different tenses (“developed”, “could learn how to/were able to”) we had a same subject (“we”), we could also say: “We developed this project to learn / so as to learn how to interact constructively.”
  • So as to“: this is just like the Purpose Infinitive. “I’m learning English so as to (be able to) travel the world.” Here, again, we need the same subject in both sentences (I learn, I’ll travel).
  • Formal writing: in order to. “We are conducting this survey in order to assess the issue of happiness at work / at the workplace.”

* So = result. Example: It’s raining, so don’t forget to take your umbrella!

There are two other structures indicating purpose you could do some oral drilling on!

  • For + Object + Full Infinitive: This technique is good for us to improve our fluency.
  • For + –ing verb: This tecnique is good for improving fluency.

Compare with:

  • So that + Subject + Verb: She gave us these notes so that we could (possibility) improve our fluency / so that we were able to (ability) improve our fluency.

Practice/Practise speaking about clothes and footwear

December 26, 2012

I put together this webpage,, ages ago, when I was a secondary teacher and I didn’t have a podcast! It was material I designed for 1ºESO students! (the ones just out of primary!) They learned/learnt to use this language because then we would have a catwalk show! That was fun! They were so good at it!! Of course our catwalks had nothing to do with ordinary catwalks: everybody would walk down the corridor and be cheered. Because they were great at it!

Sadly, more on catwalks here:

Look at this picture: someone has deformed these women’s breasts. A dirty mind. Why should they do that?! It’s like when Fb people close down an account because you’ve uploaded a picture of breast-feeding, or one of nudists on a beach. The same people who are so alert on banning pictures of people who freely choose to be naked do not do anything about all the nudes of people who are forced into prostitution, human trade, pornography, or into eating disorders… We’ve even got porn-type “sexy” girls in Family TV programs/ programmes, and everybody seems to be OK about it.

Femen_anorexic_models_3People don’t seem to mind the fact that all our visual life is bombarded with women whose bodies are being used to make money, and perpetuate the equation FEMALE = doll to USE sexually (nothing to do with having sex with someone, which, incidentally, is not about the visual, but about all the other senses!). People tolerating, even defending, this “market freedom” get really upset, better said, outraged, when women strip in actions of their choice. So what does this mean? This speaks about hypocrisy in society, certainly, and mysogyny, too. It’s at the core of the patriarchal social system.

Women deciding when to strip, what to do with their bodies is OUTRAGEOUS, DANGEROUS and won’t be TOLERATED. Throught their silent consent, they do allow this radical visual invasion of naked women when the system is using and abusing them.

My respect to these women! Who are fighting for a better world for women. Dirty, the mind of whoever edited this pic.

Underage models should be banned from catwalks


Example of LoM (List of Mistakes)

November 11, 2012

Here is an example of how to work with your mistakes in productive tasks (speaking, writing).

You should use your LoM to learn to monitor your production, and there is no formula for how you should organize/organise it. It all depends on what is best for you.

How to use it. You can read it before you sit to write, to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. And you can have a look at it, before you practice speaking at home. Lists of Mistakes are specially useful when you have a fossilized mistake, but remember Oral Drills help a lot, too (parting from a sentence, change different elements so that you learn well its structure, and you automatize production — allow yourself to be more spontaneous because you are counting on your mouth’s memory and your ear’s memory!)

First Draft of M’s LoM – OH! CAN’T UPLOAD IT… Mysteries! I will, eventually!

MICHELLE’S LIST OF MISTAKES – First Draft (Nov 2012) (5 pages, pdf file)

Example of Oral Drilling (LINK TO TALKINGPEOPLE.NET)


Practice your final “s” and dentals!

November 1, 2012

Today in Intermedio 2 we practiced the -(e)s endings /iz/ and the -(e)d endings /t/, /d/, /id/

Here are two links I recommended, in case any of you all want to do some reading aloud! You can listen and repeat, or listen to the whole story while jotting down sounds over the written words and then read.

This other episode includes modal-awareness

Oh, a third!!:

Today I recommend that if it’s hard for you to pronounce a final D (especially after V and N), you can say a T. It’s OK. Well, for those of you who wish, like Elena, to know when it’s a D and when a T, here is an explanation I can give in class, if you like.


Improve your pronunciation of the -ed ending

October 18, 2012

Check out this webpage and click the link to get to the audio on the Talking People Podcast


A new episode at the Talking People Podcast!

October 16, 2012

Use it to automatize your production of indirect questions making sure you are fluent and accurate!


Oral Drilling for Intermedio 2 y Avanzado 2

October 15, 2012

The following are language issues for Upper Intermediate and Advanced students. However, Intermedio 2 is not learning at the B1 level, but at a B2 (Upper Intermediate) level, and Avanzado 2, instead of having a textbook at the B2 level, it is a true Advanced level (C1). Anyway, this might come in handy for both!

Find similar sentences in your audio and audiovisuals, or examples you might want to use, and which are easy to remember!

Indirect Questions: wh- + Subject + Verb

I don’t know where I put my keys
I can’t remember what her phone number is!
I don’t know what we have to do
I can’t remember how many people are coming
I don’t know when the exam is
She doesn’t know which you chose
He doesn’t remember how much that was
They can’t remember where she lives
She doesn’t remember how many books we need
I don’t remember how you use this
We can’t remember what she told us to do
I’m not sure who my teacher is
She can’t remember where she parked the car
We don’t know when they are coming
He is working out how long it takes us to get to Seville by car
I don’t know what this means
I don’t know who it is
I can’t remember who he is
She doesn’t remember how much it cost her
He can’t remember how many people are coming to the party
I can’t imagine why I did that!
I can’t explain why I did that!

With to-infinitives

I don’t know where to go now
I can’t remember how to do this
I don’t know what to do
He can’t remember how many (drinks) to get
I don’t know how to pronounce this
We’re working out how to do this exercise!
She isn’t sure who to call
We’ve forgotten where to put it
I can’t remember how to use this machine!
He can’t remember how to get to the airport
I’m not sure how much/long it takes (cuánto lleva)

More indirect questions at the Talking People Podcast:

Comparative Structures – Upper Intermediate/Advanced 

The more the better
The more the merrier

The more you listen to English the better you’ll speak / you speak
The more you read aloud the more fluently you speak!
The more you practice speaking at home, the more natural it’ll be for you to speak in class! 😛
The more you speak English on your own, the less shy you’ll be in class / the more spontaneously you’ll participate in class
The harder you work, the better results you’ll get
The friendlier the atmosphere at work, the happier people are/will be!
The more bored you are in class, the more difficult it’ll be to enjoy the subject and learn!
The kinder people are, the more intelligent (I think they are)!
The older we grow the wiser we become
The more I watch the news the less I know about the world
The higher you climb the colder it gets
The more you earn the less you save
How do you like your coffee? The stronger the better
The faster
you drive the higher risk there is of a traffic accident
The colder and rainier it gets, the more I feel like reading in bed!
The sunnier it is when it is fresh, the happier I feel
The sooner we start, the sooner we finish!

Watch/Listen to this wonderful teacher:

a/an + noun + of + possessive pronoun

A/This/That friend of mine lives here
A cousin of mine used to live here
I don’t know that friend of yours whose name is Peter
I like a friend of his (of Darren’s)
He likes a cousin of hers (of Mary’s)
A friend of ours has a house where we can stay!
I like a friends of yours. Her/His name’s Chris.
This belongs to a friends of theirs (Martha and Tim’s)

Whose is this?
It’s mine! It’s Michelle’s!

For Avanzado 2: Double genitives:

A cousin of Peter’s told us that…
A friend of Jane’s told us that…

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