14 November 2015

On your grammar gym

We will begin with a diagnostic test to help you identify the areas of English grammar where you need to concentrate.

The grammar gym will provide you with 15 minutes of regular exercise each day as you work to make your grammar more accurate and confident.

Let us explore the GRAMMAR GYM:
  • Use it regularly, for about 15 minutes a day, to help you revise and practise important areas of English grammar.
  • You will see different sentences and questions each time you use it.
  • Use a notebook to record each session as you complete it; In particular, make a note of the areas of grammar where you need further study and practice. 
  • Review your notes regularly, as you look for opportunities to concentrate on different areas of grammar in English.
You can use a range of different resources to help you understand and use different points in grammar:
  • The following books are recommended:
Raymond Murphy, 2012 English Grammar in Use, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (4th edition, with answers and CD)
  • The online resources available from the following sites are worth exploring:
    • Apps for grammar practice are available from iTunes, etc.

    On apps for English language learning

    Apps can allow anyone who has a smartphone to carry a language laboratory around in their pocket, so that opportunities can be taken for language practice when travelling, waiting for someone to arrive for a meeting or enjoying some 'me time' in a coffee shop.

    Over to you
    Explore what is available here.
    Post a message with your comments on the app that you think is most valuable for you, with a brief commentary on why you like it.
    (You may also wish to take the opportunity to review the app on the publisher's website.)

    On a generation gap?

    Is there still a generation gap with technology?

    13 November 2015

    On English Corner

    Spend a few minutes on this site.

    Over to you
    Use COMMENT to write a few sentences about the value of this resource.


    Like myself, Peter Hill served the Commissioners for Northern Lights, 84 George Street, Edinburgh.
    When Peter Hill, a student at Dundee College of Art, answered an advert in The Scotsman seeking lighthouse keepers, little did he imagine that within a month he would be living with three men he didn't know in a lighthouse on Pladda, a small remote island off the west coast of Scotland.
    Hill was nineteen, it was 1973 and, with his head fed by Vietnam, Zappa, Kerouac, Vonnegut, Watergate and Coronation Street, he spent six months on various lighthouses, "keeping" with all manner of unusual and fascinating people. Within thirty years this way of life was to have disappeared entirely.
    The resulting book is a charming and beautifully written memoir that is not only a heartfelt lament for Hill's own youth and innocence but also for a simpler and more honest age.

    The book was serialised on BBC Radio 4 some years ago.
    The first instalment is available here.

    12 November 2015

    ON CELTA Diaries

    This site contributes to a clearer understanding of the format, content and commitment required by the CELTA.
    See also StudyCELTA.

    Over to you
    Have you any suggestions for additional resources that can help a person who is thinking about doing or preparing to do the CELTA?