Blog de Cristina

a new language means a new vision of life

Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

 I don’t like this idiom , the only reason being the rodent in it… yes, I am that girlie!! 

Now and then, and as part of the continuous asssessment, I ask my students to write something at home to be marked later  and very often and mainly when it is writing about a celebrity, a book or a film they nick from the Internet. Setting this task when I know pretty well they won’t be able to resist the temptation of copy-pasting from the Internet is a bit of a wicked of me ,to put it midly ,but life is hard ;-) , isn’t it?

To smell  a rat= you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.

So when I start reading essays and some words trigger all my sirens  , then this is the tool I use to catch you red-handed.

It’s called Plagium

Football and football!

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General, Resources

I sometimes wonder how I can get so involved in something I’ve never liked. And I’m talking about football. I’ve gone a long way from not knowing how many players you needed to play a match to watching , if nothing else appeals to me on TV, the match between South Africa and USA national teams ,to name just one.

It must be love! This is what I’ve done to celebrate the promotion of  Villa de Pravia football team ,where my son plays, to the second division . I hope you like it !!

Related Links

An amazing dictionary online

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources
It is called Visuwords and it’s worth a visit.

Never before have I seen such a display of colours, diagrams and words in a dictionary. It is great for everybody to use ‘cause it’s fun and it shows not only the definitions of words but also the connections between words. What’s more, if you place your cursor over any of the words ,the definition appears. You can even click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.If you ver get lost in this crazy tree of words ,use the colour-coded key on the left to understand the connections between the

Understanding “some” Spanish

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Funny Stuff, Listening, Resources
What I’m about to show you is a good example of why English, after all, should not be considered such a difficult language to understand, especially if you compare it to understanding some Spanish native speakers.
Have fun!!!


No kidding now!!If you need to improve your listening skills, why don’t you visit this site? You won’t find any comprehension questions after the audio but you might consider it interesting and useful. The site  belongs to the New York Times and it’s a collection of stories of people from New York. Click on the image and it will lead you straight to their homepage.
Related links:
Some help with the speaking test.. or not?
The Italian Man who went to Malta
Bush Bloopers
Crisis Subprime- The last laugh

Playing with images: Bookr

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources, Word of the Day
Playing? Working? Teaching?Let’s not beat about the bush and call a spade a spade …yes , I am playing , playing with images . It is my firm conviction that when you see something you remember it better. That’s why , once again,  I have used the same tool I used when teaching Food and Cooking : PimPamPum . This is a version  called Bookr , and as its name suggests it creates photobooks  using Flikr images. The photobooks are very simple to create, you just need to type in a key word to find the images you want and then drag them onto the pages and add what you need to be taught and illustrated.
I think this a nice way to teach parts of the animals and I’ve also added  some idioms containing animals that need to be studied. The pity with Wordpress is that it doesn’t allow  “embedding”, so the only way for you to see it would be by clicking on “animals by Cristina” or on the picture.

Animals by Cristina
Related entries:
Wordle: Creating “word clouds”
And yet another way to improve your vocabulary
Food and cooking

Subtitling Videos: a nice way to practise

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Listening, Resources
So, let´s imagine that lately  you ’ve been having some problems with understanding listening comprehension and all of a sudden ,you realize it’s May and you’re taking your listening test in about a week or so. In that case, there are so many good websites I would recommend that I could  keep you busy for  the whole year. Today ,let me show you something that I bumped into quite by chance.
It’s a place  where you can find subtitled  videos and  what’s more, you can even request for some videos to be subtitled too.  This place is called  SubPLY .
As we are learning about food and cooking I tried  searching the site by writing the word “food” and I found quite some interesting videos where you can revise vocab.
Why don’t you try it and let me know what you think? Now, click on the image and it’ll link you to their website and ,from then on, you can do your own search.
Related Links:
Learn English by watching videos
BBC Learning English
Yappr: What on earth is this?

Wordle: creating “word clouds”

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources
It is not the first time I ‘ve used this tool, but it is the first time I’ve used it to revise vocabulary. I like it because it is easy to use and also attractive and we all know that students appreciate it when you give them something different.
How does this tool help me? Wordle is a “toy” for generating “word clouds” from the text you provide.
In the past I mainly used it to decorate some posts and in class to retell a text . It is a great tool for retelling as the clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

But today I’ve discovered a new use to Wordle. I needed tor revise some vocabulary. I normally do it as a competition game with strips of paper and the word to be revised written on them. But today I tried writing the words to be revised and this is the result. I’ve created two word clouds as I am going to split the class into two and let them compete against each other by giving them a maximum of two minutes to try to define the words to their team. So, I’ve printed the word clouds and used it in the OHP. Hope they like it! I had a great time too tweaking the fonts, colours and layout.
Related links:
Karaoke on line
Fancy doing a dictation?

Now that you have a certain skill at mastering new structures it’s time to improve your vocabulary. There is no point in learning a new word unless you know how to use it and it is also important to understand how words are used.
So here is a cool site you can enjoy. It is called WORDIA. What is this and what are they? I quote “We’re a team of language enthusiasts and general word nuts who have joined forces to create a new kind of dictionary - a democratic ‘visual dictionary’. A place where anyone with a video, webcam or mobile phone can define the words that matter to them in their life.”
As anyone can record words , it goes without saying that I accept no  responsibility for anything incorrect, improper, wrong  … you name it.
Click on the image and try it.
You can also get  a new video sent to you everyday, just by adding your email address to the subscription field and each day you will be sent a link to the newest word.
Related links:
Confusing Words
Converting Text into Speech
From London with Love

Food and cooking

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Cooking, Resources, Word of the Day
Food! Food!! Food for thought! Always nice to learn something so useful. Nive way to teach too when it is as funny as doing it using this amazing tool which borrows pictures from Flickr and  allows users to input sentences, phrases or even entire paragraphs and then turn them into illustrated slide shows .
Why don’t you try your own images and share them? Have a look at what I’ve done.
Ways of cooking
Kitchen equipment
What’s the difference between Sour and Bitter?
1.Take a drink of Vinegar : This would be sour or so considered to be.
2.Take a bite of Real pure dark chocolate: This would considered bitter
1.A Grannysmith green cooking apple would be sour
2.Coffee without sugar or cream would be bitter
Sour lemons and limes, or unripe fruit before it becomes sweet.

Enjoy your meal!!

A Book Review

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources, The English Language
You have been reading your books for a while now and I sincerely hope you are enjoying it. But… hurry up if you haven’t finished because your writing test is coming… sorry to give you bad news. I have already made up my mind to do it on  Wednesday April  29 in class.
Here are some considerations and tips about writing book reviews . I hope you find them useful.
What is the difference between a book report and a book review? A book report is completely factual. It includes information on the author, title, place and year of publication as well as a summary of the content of the book. A book review, on the other hand, is much more personal. It is really an expression of the reader’s opinion of the work, or of specific aspects of the work. The review will probably include much of the same factual content as the report, but it is the reader’s personal opinions that are most important. 
You have read your book. Your next step will be to organize what you are going to say about it in your report. Writing the basic elements down in an outline format will help you to organize your thoughts.What will you include in the outline? 
The description should include such elements as: 
  • The setting—where does the story take place? 
  • The time period—is the story set in the present day or in an earlier time period? Perhaps it is even set in the future! 
  • The main character(s)—who is the story mostly about? Give a brief description. Often, one character can be singled out as the main character, but some books will have more than one 
  • The plot—what happens to the main character? WARNING! Be careful here. Do not fall into the boring trap of reporting every single thing that happens in the story. Pick only the most important events. Here are some hints on how to do that. First, explain the situation of the main character as the story opens. Next, identify the basic plot element of the story–is the main character trying to achieve something or overcome a particular problem? Thirdly, describe a few of the more important things that happen to the main character as he/she works toward that goal or solution. Finally, you might hint at the story’s conclusion without completely giving away the ending.   
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