Monday, 3 August 2015

Cambridge FIRST Use of English - Keyword transformations


Here are a few keyword transformation exercises to get your Use of English juices flowing. I write these all the time for my students in Dublin and thought I'd share them here.

Complete the second sentence so it has a similar meaning to the first sentence. Remember, you can't change the given word, and you must use between two and five words, including the given word.

1. It doesn’t do any good if you remind him to do his homework; he never listens.
There’s _________________ him to do his homework; he never listens.

2. Sometimes my students have difficulty understanding Irish accents.
My students sometimes _________________ Irish accents.

3. ‘Can my grandmother have the aisle seat?’ Martin asked the flight attendant.
Martin asked the flight attendant _________________ the aisle seat.

4. We haven’t gone on holiday for four years.
It’s _________________we last went on holiday.

Post your answers in the comments and I'll check back with the correct answers.

Bonus point: Which word has a silent S? Which word has a silent T?

Who said watching TV was a bad thing?

One of the most fun ways of improving your English is to start watching a series.
Here are just a few of the series that I've watched over the past few year, with links to their pages on IMDB. Some might be easier or more difficult than others, but they are all really good and I think you'll get hooked!
The nice thing about watching a series is that you can watch one episode every day or two (each episode is 45-50 minutes) and you will get used to the vocabulary and the accents that the characters have. For an extra challenge, you can watch the same episode again without subtitles.

There's no shame in watching with English subtitles - even I do it! It's the best way to help cement the new words and expressions you'll encounter in the show. 

I encourage my students in Ireland to subscribe to Netflix streaming. It's pretty cheap and I think it's really worth the money you pay, because you can get the series on demand, the quality is excellent, and there are subtitles. That's really important.

What series have you watched that you like? Leave a comment below so that other students can see your recommendations!