English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com


Try Mega Mega English.com – an interactive new approach to listening practice!

There are lots of websites that have interactive quizzes for testing your English, but Mega Mega English is the first I have seen where you get to join in a conversation with an online character via listening. It’s ideal for practicing your listening and reading skills!

Webmaster Matthew Baxter told us:

“Mega Mega English is a great way to learn real English conversations skills.  Players interact with a variety of characters in places such as hotels, restaurants and shops. They must answer and ask questions.  The virtual characters then give unique responses.  Some choices are correct, some are wrong, and some will make you laugh!”

Why not check it out and let us know what you think?

http://www.megamegaenglish.com/

Screenshots from Mega Mega English.com:

Mega Mega English.com

Mega Mega English.com


Teacher Training with Russian Teachers in Poland!

We were lucky enough to host a fantastic group of teachers from Saratov University recently at our school – Study English in Ostroda. They joined us for five nights for one of our language holidays.

The visit was a great success with all of the teachers saying that they enjoyed it and learned many new techniques that they could take back to their university – and private – students in Russia.

The group leader Tatiana M. commented:

“The course provided the opportunity for the students to be active and creative at the classes, work together with other students and speak English while performing the tasks. The course integrated all of the aspects of language learning (speaking, reading, pronunciation, grammar, writing and listening) and actively involved students into the learning process. The organisation of the course (flexible schedule, the timing, course materials and accommodation) were arranged and provided on a high level. New things I learned:

  • organising the learning process without a textbook
  • a new approach to teaching phonetics 
  • reiterating the most important language points at every lesson
  • a captivating and enjoyable way of working with newspaper articles”

Here is a picture of the group hard at work:

Teachers from Saratov University, Russia

…and at play, enjoying a barbecue with some of our local students:

Polish hospitality - a good old fashioned grill!

We even got an article in the local paper!

Article in Nasz Glos newspaper in Ostroda

If you would like to join us for a language holiday – to improve your English language skills, or to brush up on your teaching practice – you are more than welcome to join us! Please click here to find out more about our offer.


NEW FREE BOOK! You Are The Course Book 2 – In Practice (480 pages)


FREE English Class on the topic of “Clothes”! (VIDEO)

You are welcome to join us for this FREE pre-intermediate English language class on the topic of “Clothes”. It was a pleasure to teach this class last night in partnership with MySchoolo.com


Learn English Vocabulary and Feel Good about It with FreeRice.com!

This great website has been around for a while, but it’s a fantastic way to test your knowledge of English vocabulary (and other subjects, including Science, Geography, and Humanities).  We spent around 10 minutes playing and earned 630 grains of rice, which doesn’t sound that much, but if 30 other people also did the same, we’d have enough grains of rice to feed one person for one day. Why not give it a try? 🙂

http://www.freerice.com

FreeRice.com


Announcing the First Ever English Banana Summer School – 13th-17th August 2012!

Glyn Purland, Chair, English Banana Trust, writes:

The Opportunity of a Lifetime for English Teachers Using English Banana Materials!

 Free Teacher Training in the UK!

You are warmly invited to attend English Banana Free Summer School 2012

English Banana Trust (founded in 2008) aims to support teachers who are helping people to find a route out of poverty through learning English.

We are currently inviting applications for the first English Banana Free Summer School, which will be held at the prestigious Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk, England this summer from 13th to 17th August 2012.

This summer school gives you the unique opportunity to learn how to get the most out of English Banana worksheets and books with the author of the material – English teacher and writer Matt Purland. As you improve your teaching skills through a series of practical, hands-on sessions, you will learn a wide range of valuable and effective teaching methods that you can take home with you and share with your colleagues. The programme will also include other expert educational input and a range of activities designed to support you in your work environment after the school has finished.

If you are accepted as a delegate to the Summer School, all residential, travel and teaching costs in England will be paid for by the Trust, together with a contribution towards travel to the UK and associated costs, of up to £400 sterling.

Who is eligible to apply?

Professional English teachers (including ESL, EFL, TEFL) aged 21 or over, living in the UK or overseas. You must be able to demonstrate that you are using English Banana materials in your school and have a strong interest in learning how to use them more effectively.

If you would like to find out more, please email the following information to

ebtrust@englishbanana.com

1) Your current CV

2) Your name, postal address, telephone number, and email address

3) A short summary of which English Banana materials you are using/have used and how you are using them (e.g. group size, age, level, frequency, etc.)

4) A description of your current teaching situation, e.g. self-employed, private lessons, language school, college, university, state school, etc.

5) A short note explaining why you think you would benefit from a place at the English Banana Summer School 2012 (minimum 100 words)

The closing date for receipt of your email is Saturday 31st March  2012

We look forward to welcoming you!


New Free Printable English Lesson to Download Now!

Talk a Lot Intermediate Book 2 – Unit 2.2: English is a Big Boiling Pot of Delicious Steaming-Hot Word Stew!


10 Levels of Politeness in English

Imagine the scene: a young couple arrive home after a long day at work. One of them is hungry. There are many different ways to get what you want in English, but being polite will probably be the most effective way. But how polite should you be? Look at the following levels of politeness, and decide which level is the most acceptable:

↑ MORE DIRECT ↑

1. “Dinner!”

2. “Make dinner!”

3. “Make dinner, please.”

4. “Can you make dinner, please.”

5. “Could you make dinner, please.”

6. “Could you possibly make dinner, please.”

7. “Could you possibly make dinner, please, if you have time.”

8. “Could you possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”

9. “I was wondering whether you could possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”

10. “Sweetheart – I was wondering whether you could possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”

↓ MORE POLITE ↓

Answer: Level 5 or 6 would be fine in this situation, while Levels 1-3 are too direct. In general, English ears hate to hear the imperative voice (giving orders). Levels 7-10 are maybe too polite and too formal for a young couple who know each other well. As you can see, the more words and clauses in the sentence – and especially the more modal verbs – the more polite it becomes.


Buy Hard Copies of English Banana.com Workbooks Here!

Big Grammar Book and Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1 – Hard Copies!

Now you can buy hard copies of two of our most popular books from English Banana Trust. Both books are sturdy wiro-bound volumes with laminated covers, which will prove really handy when you are photocopying them all day! Both books cost £22 each, with all of the proceeds going towards the work of English Banana Trust, which is a charity set up to support the English Banana.com website.

Why not order your copy today from the Trust? Here are their contact details:

English Banana Trust, P.O. Box 35, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 9AB   Tel. 01263 715842

Email: ebtrust@englishbanana.com

Find out more about the books here:


My New Polish Vocabulary Words (05.09.11)

Because I live in Poland, I’m a student of Polish (at pre-intermediate level). I’m currently working through “Polish in 4 Weeks – Level 2” by Marzena Kowalska. It’s a great course book to work through on your own. Here are 15 of the latest vocab items that I’m learning – without diacritical marks, because I haven’t got a Polish keyboard. 😮

brzmiec: to sound, e.g. “sounds interesting”

pobyt: stay

znakomity: great

wliczony: included (e.g. in a hotel package)

odmiane: changes

sluzbowo: on business (adverb)

wywiad: interview

pech: bad luck

jedyny: the only

przestan!: stop it!

zajmowac sie: to deal with

dzial: department

mnie rowniez: me too

nie mozna wytrzymac…: I can’t stand…

magazyn: warehouse


Thursday 11th August: Practice IELTS Speaking Test…!

Practice Parts 1-3 of the IELTS Speaking Test and get personalized help and advice with an experienced Teacher of IELTS!

http://www.wiziq.com/class/info.aspx?3NYJ2qAy5CUspaQRj3lRZG3G%2fLkltWrBa9%2fe5H5OWrBcr7wgs3Azjv43xDhOMEOk

Why should you pay to learn English with me? Well, here are 7 good reasons:

* I’m an English native speaker
* I’ve been teaching English full time since 2002, so I’m experienced
* I’ve been teaching on WizIQ since 2009, so I know how to teach online
* I have nearly 200 member recommendations on WizIQ, which isn’t easy to get
* I’ve written hundreds of pages of material for learning English, including 11 books and all the material on English Banana.com website
* I really want to help YOU to improve your English – speaking, listening, reading, writing, grammar… Tell me what you want to work on and we’ll do it!
* Finally… my lessons are cheap! Let’s face it: $10 an hour for a quality lesson isn’t expensive ;o)


Practice IELTS Speaking Test – Part 3 (VIDEO!!)

Learn how to answer questions in Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Test with experienced IELTS trainer Rob Lewis. Listen to him – he knows what he’s talking about!  You can visit his Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/voxguru


Practice IELTS Speaking Test…! with Matt Purland

About the Class:
Practice Parts 1-3 of the IELTS Speaking Test and get personalized help and advice with an experienced Teacher of IELTS! Click below for full details!

http://www.wiziq.com/class/info.aspx?065NF8vQxB8XTr%2fg88tovKWCZVV6C2LbwyOQBh1Q8AqOmgCDiDvees4GJDer2BJG