Thursday, December 15, 2005

One last note

Don't forget our shared morning tea today after results.

One more site if you want to practice pronunciation over the holidays (especially if you're at home and not using English!!) Try
listen and repeat podcast.

Congratulations to all of you who passed. Have a very happy holiday, and if you are celebrating Christmas here - enjoy!! I'm sure I'll see most of you next year at some time...


Friday, December 09, 2005

More revision ideas

Have you tried this grammar practice site before? Particularly useful before the exams might be the quizzes for
  • countable/uncountable
  • prepositions
  • simple past and present perfect

Good luck with your study over the weekend, and all the best with Monday's tests.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Vocab from unit 15

If you make a lot of money, what will you do with it? Buying a house is a good investment, but some people prefer to invest in the stockmarket. Investing in a good company might mean that your money makes a profit over a long time. However, if you are in a rush to make money, you could go to the horse racing and bet on the horses. Other people like going to the casino to gamble with their money.

Edward Carson was not as honest as people thought. He had not made wise investments and so he lost all his money. In order to get rich he stole money from his clients and went to the casino to gamble with it. Unfortunately this didn’t work, so he tried to bet on a horse which actually came last in its race. He was not lucky, as a company that he had just invested in collapsed a few days later. Carson decided to kill himself but got stopped by a police officer before he drove off the cliffs. In court the judge said he had suffered quite a lot, but that he should pay back the money that he owed.

My brother-in-law had a series of accidents a few years ago. He fell off the roof when he was checking the chimney. Then, a ladder collapsed under him when he was painting the house. Not long after that, he was knocked off his motorbike on the motorway. He has had three broken bones – both arms and a leg!


Well, exams start in around ten days time. Have you set some study goals for the next week?

Remember you can use this blog

  • for ideas
  • to remind you of some of the things that we have done over the term
  • for suggestions on software and useful sites to help you practice English

Then there is your own blog. Go through all your writing carefully. Remember vocab that we have done in class and vocab that you have learned yourself. And of course, keep practising your writing!

As well, there is also Blackboard which we have used several times during the term. Again, it is useful to remind you of language and structures that we have looked at. There are also lots of ideas from the LLC to help you out. This week the ideas are about vocabulary.

The text book is also incredibly useful for revision. Read through the reading and listening texts again, especially the ones which our vocab has come from. Use the grammar notes in the back to help you revise.


Try this podcasting for learners of English site, as it gives you a number of different podcasts (MP3 files) that you can listen to. I like the Brain Bubbles.

Another site is English Idioms where about once a week you can download someone talking about a different idiom.

Brilliant for your listening practice! Short, repeats the sentence a number of times and the language is just right for learners of English.

Christmas time

Children get very excited knowing that Christmas is coming. One way to help them count down the days until Christmas is an Advent calendar. (Advent is the four weeks leading up to the 25th December) Here is an online Advent Calendar specially designed as part of the BBC site for learners of English with a question for each day of Advent. You can actually win prizes if you send the answer in.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


There are a number of different websites that will collect new items from sites that you like and you can look at them in one place, rather than going to each site yourself. These sites are called news readers. The one I use is Bloglines.

You need to register first (and you can do this in your first language, not English) and then list the sites that you want. You can put in the class blog for example, or any of your friends' blogs. News is also useful if you check bloglines every day and then there is podcasting.

One example of a useful site for learning English is BBC Learning English. If you go to this site it gives you the place to click on the RSS feed or news reader.

Try it!!

More ideas for writing on your blog

You should write on your blog at least once this weekend, and once next week. You can choose your own topic. There are some ideas below, or you might have your own ideas that are even better.

Topics related to the vocab and language structures that we have been studying over the past few weeks -:

What would your dream home be like?
Describe your home in NZ.
Describe the place where you live in your own country.
Describe a favourite room.
Have you been on any short trips recently? Where did you go? What did you do?
What do you think of designer goods?
What are the most important things in your life?
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

Your ideas

This is the time of year when we are thinking about changes in our programme for 2006. We are interested in YOUR ideas.

What do you like about the Certificate in Intensive English Programme?
What things are you not happy about?
What suggestions would you like to make?
How can we improve our programme?

Talk to your partner for a few minutes and then write a comment here giving any ideas that you have.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Australian blogs

Have a look at the
blog for an English class in Australia. Down the sidebar is a list of their personal blogs. Choose three or four and read their blogs, and leave some comments on things that you like or agree with. You could give them your URL and they might visit your blog.


Do you need more listening practice?

  • Use the software in the lab called Issues in English.
  • Try ESL Lab . There are lots of different topics as well as three levels for you to use to practice your listening.

Listening is all about practice! Try doing one of these every day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Revision of vocab from mod 11

Have a go at some flashcards from mod 11. You either have to give a definition, or give the form that is asked for eg. adj or adv or opposite.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Suggestion for writing

Need something to write about? Go to The Friday Five and read some of their questions. Each Friday there are five different questions put up - hopefully you will find at least one topic that you are interested in and can write about on your blog.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Vocab from unit 8

Auckland is in the north of the North Island of New Zealand. It has two harbours and lots of beaches. Aucklanders enjoy sailing, and Auckland is sometimes called the ‘City of Sails’. From the Sky Tower you can see some amazing scenery, including extinct volcanoes around the city, some of which are islands like Rangitoto. If you like adventure sports, you can bungy jump off the Sky Tower!

A popular place in summer is the west coast. It is divided from the rest of the Auckland region by the Waitakere mountain range. The beaches on the west coast are quite different to the east coast beaches, with black sand and surf. One of my favourite beaches is Muriwai and the gannet colony there is a pleasant place to visit.

The population of Auckland is about 1.2 million. The climate is warm and the average temperature in summer is around 20 degrees C.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Topics to write about this weekend

This weekend you should write at least one thing on your blog. It is good practice for your writing test next week.

You can choose your own topic OR you could write about
  • a musician/actor/entertainer from your country (Do workbook p 46 Kenny G first)
  • the experience you talked about in your coursework
  • a group of your friends from school and what they are doing now (See textbook p 61 no 3)
  • the interview that you do with Deanne in class
  • the best thing that has ever happened to you

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Grammar practice sites

Want some quick practice for specific grammar points before the week 5 test? Try
Or try a general site and choose yourself what points you would like to practice.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Vocab for week 3 Mod 5 and 6

A terrible holiday
Rosa and Mark saved up all year for their holiday. It was their wedding anniversary so they wanted to do something really special. They booked accommodation near the beach for a week in January. It cost over $3000, but according to the brochure, it was very luxurious. They were really looking forward to their holiday. Finally, it was time to leave.

The flight was delayed by five hours, so they didn’t get to their hotel until late at night. In the morning, they were terribly disappointed. The beach was polluted with poisonous jellyfish and it was dangerous to swim, while the hotel was dirty and not very comfortable. The hotel staff were rude and Rosa thought the food in the restaurant was disgusting. Instead of being a relaxing time, it was a horrible experience.

What you look like
Fashions are different in many countries. In some countries it is fashionable to have pale skin, whereas in many western countries, people think a tan is very attractive . Hair is another thing that gets changed a lot. The length of hair that is ‘cool’ changes all the time. At the moment it is trendy to have straight hair. People also dye their hair different colours, but some people wear wigs .

Dangerous sports
Some people really enjoy doing dangerous things for fun. Sports like sky-diving really terrify me but I have a friend who thinks it is really exciting. My son has gone bungy-jumping and said it was great fun, but I think jumping off a bridge is one of the most frightening things that you could do.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

How to be a successful language learner

  1. I started learning languages...
  2. We didn't have to learn another language.
  3. My parents advised me to...
  4. I chose to study German and Japanese.
  5. I learned them for about 8 years so I can speak them well.
  6. One of the most important things is motivation.
  7. at the same time
  8. realistic about the progress you can make.
  9. ...try not to get too frustrated.
  10. develop an ear for the language
  11. This is easier for some people than others.
  12. ask someone to explain a new word
  13. look it up in a dictionary

Tense Buster

Today in class we used software to help your grammar - Tense Buster. This is available in the other drop in labs as well, so you can use it to help you practise your grammar.

What do you think about Tense Buster? Did you like it? What did you like about it? What did you not like?

What do they look like?

Do you know these actors - Johnny Depp, Jackie Chan, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom?
What films have they been in?
Do they always look like these pictures? Who do you think is the best-looking?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Common verbs

Check out this site on chunks of words. How good are you at collocations?

Friday, October 21, 2005


Blackboard is a learning place that we use at Unitec. Many other universities around the world use it as well.

Go to Blackboard and look at the School of Languages area. You can find information about the LLC (ideas about practising your speaking) and also look at some websites about Auckland. If you click on Classes, you can write emails to your classmates and talk to them in the Lounge discussion board.

How do I log in?

You can log into Blackboard at

Just use your normal log in and password to get into the Unitec network.

You can also log on at home through Explorer. If you are in a Unitec computer lab you can use the Online Courses icon on the screen.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Writing on your blog

Your blog is a useful place to practise your writing. Try to write something on your blog at least once or twice a week. Some students actually write on it every day.

What can you write about?
  • topics that we have discussed in class eg. yesterday we talked about the education system in your own countries - this is good to revise vocab and grammar
  • things that have happened to you eg. what you did in the weekend
  • advice for other students eg. a nice restaurant you have found, a good movie you went to
  • topics that you like writing about eg. your family, your country
  • topics that I set for homework each week (usually to do in the weekend)
  • writing that has been marked eg. coursework, writing from class

Remember that other students will read your writing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What do you like doing in class to help you learn English?

Share your ideas with us by adding to the comments below.

Vocab for week 2 Mod 3 and 4

Reflections on learning a language
I got frustrated when I was learning Malay. I was living in Brunei, so I was highly motivated. I also thought my expectations were realistic. We had a good teacher and I paid careful attention to everything that she said. However, I didn’t seem to make much progress. I think it was because I didn’t actually need to use the language. Most people seemed to understand English enough for me not to need Malay. It was useful on some occasions though eg. at the market. I have learned languages successfully in the past but, in my opinion, you need a good reason for learning if you want to be successful

Christmas is a religious holiday that most people in NZ celebrate. Some people go to church on Christmas Day or the night before which is called Christmas Eve. A popular tradition is to give gifts to your friends and family. Many people decorate their homes, often with symbols like stars and bells. Most families have a Christmas tree, which is also hung with decorations.

An operation
My mother needed an operation on her hip last year. She was in a lot of pain and was finding it difficult to walk. I arranged to have some time off work to help her when she came home from the hospital. It took a few weeks before she could walk without her stick. We organised food for her so that she didn’t have to do any cooking until she was better. She is much more comfortable now and can walk without any problem.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Welcome to our class blog this term

Welcome to our class blog for Term 4 2005. This is a website for us to use as a class. It will be used for

  • letting you know everyone's blog URL (web address)
  • giving homework answers
  • giving useful links to English practice websites
  • giving you information about things that are on around Unitec and in Auckland
  • giving information about the course eg. assessments
  • access to vocab blog

You might have good ideas about how you think we could use this blog. Write a comment to tell us by clicking on the comments button below.