Es muy importante tener un contacto constante con el inglés fuera de las sesiones que tienes con tu coach de English Coaching Projects. Aquí tienes enlaces a nuestra revista digital 'Weekly English Practice', nuestros videos en YouTube y a recursos que nosotros creemos pueden ser útiles.

¡Usa el inglés fuera de clase! Y si sabes de otros recursos, no dudes en recomendarlos a tu English coach y a tus compañeros de clase.

Leer, escuchar, escribir y hablar. Habilidades esenciales para comunicarse en inglés. Cada semana, English Coaching Projects te enviará nuestra exclusiva revista digital - WEEKLY ENGLISH PRACTICE (WEP) - para que puedas practicar estas habilidades. Incluye un artículo con su audio (5 voces distintas), definiciones del vocabulario y preguntas que estimulan la opinión y el debate. Puedes escribir tus respuestas, y incluso grabarlas, para enviarlas por correo electrónico a tu coach. En la segunda página hay más actividades prácticas e información sobre los eventos que organizamos en English Coaching Projects para que puedas practicar tu inglés en situaciones sociales.

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Weekly English Practice

WEP 270619 – How To Create A Summer To Remember

In this week’s Weekly English Practice, ECP coach Alison talks about 5 things you can do to make this summer more memorable. Read the WEP to find out more!

 

Click on the image to download the pdf

5 ways to remember your summer

After much wishing and waiting, summer is finally here! But before you know it, September will roll around again. Instead of dreading the eventual end of summer, let’s live purposely right now!

Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

to dread something: to feel bad about something in the future

in a flash: very quickly, in an instant

journal: a notebook to write daily thoughts; a diary

mood: a temporary emotional state

to take a day out: to reserve a day for a specific purpose

to make room for something: to devote space and time to something

sibling: a brother or sister

to make something count: to take advantage/make the most of an opportunity

ray: a visible line of sunlight

point: a message or argument

Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)

If there’s one thing I dislike about summer, it’s the way it seems to be here and gone in a flash. In order to combat this feeling and to really make this summer as memorable as possible, I’m going to put the five things listed below into practice. Care to join me?

  • Keep a gratitude journal

While it’s fun and important to capture special moments on camera, writing down three things you’re grateful for every day can help you to focus on the positive aspects of life.  This summer, why not write down three things you appreciate every evening and see how it keeps your mood at it’s peak!

  • Do something that scares you

Whether it’s speaking a foreign language or going scuba diving, taking a day out to overcome a personal challenge is a great way to build memories and confidence at the same time. Everybody’s fears are different, so you just have to find something that frightens you… and do it anyway. Your  courage and inevitable progress will make you feel really good about yourself.

  • Learn something new

Summer is a great time to make room for learning. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending summer with friends, family or alone. You could pick up a musical instrument thanks to the many free YouTube videos, take your first steps in a foreign language, bring new recipes into the kitchen or simply read a book. After the summer, you’ll feel a little more inspired than before.

  • Reconnect with your family

You might want to take advantage of the extra free time summer brings by planning a special me-and-you day with each of your parents, children or siblings. It could be very simple: a meal, drive, swim or cycle to connect with your loved ones and show them that you enjoy spending time with them. The days may be long, but the season is short, so let’s make it count!

  • Take your indoor activities outside

One of the greatest gifts summer brings is a more flexible schedule full of new opportunities. Find a quiet place to sit outside near your home where you can enjoy everyday activities such as meditation, reading, and drinking a cup of tea, all under the rays of the sun.  I often choose the park for my afternoon siesta! (Note to self: don’t forget sun cream.) 

Of course, there are many other ways to make this a summer to remember, but the main point is that we need to make a conscious decision to do so. Otherwise, the time will slip through our fingers like the sand at the beach.

Written by ECP coach Alison Keable

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  • Will you do any of the five points from the article?
  • What will you to make this a summer to remember?
  • Do you usually feel like time flies during summer? Why is that?
  • What are your holiday plans this year?
  • What’s the best and worst thing about summer?

 

 

WEP 200619 – Dublin’s ‘Ecopreneurs’

In this week’s Weekly English Practice ECP coach Darren talks about the positive side of recycling and sustainability. Read the WEP to find out more about Dublin’s ecopreneurs!

 

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Dublin's ecopreneurs

Practices that have always made environmental sense are now making business sense

Look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

swirling: move in a twisting or spiralling pattern. revolve, circulate

hipster hood: neighbourhood where you can find lots of hipsters

end up: to finally be in a particular place or situation

ecopreneurs: Entrepreneur who creates/sells environmentally friendly products

buzzword: a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context

premises: a house or building, together with its land and outbuildings, occupied by a business

ghastly: something horrible or terrible

light is shining out my backside: used for saying that someone thinks that they are very special or that someone else is very special

Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)

The roasting machine at Imbibe Coffee is swirling hot beans and a delicious smell down a lane in Dolphin’s Barn. So far, so familiar; another sunny morning in an artisan coffee roaster in Dublin’s hipster hood.

The difference here is that most of the beans won’t end up in plastic and foil-lined bags with plastic valves. Instead, they’ll be sealed in refillable metal buckets and delivered to coffee shops around Dublin, in a growing minimal waste wholesale coffee operation.

Gary Grant and his three colleagues in Imbibe are part of a new wave of ecopreneurs, small food and drink businesses doing things with a real focus on the environment. It’s “conscious capitalism”, his friend and business partner Vincent Cahill of Lilliput Trading Stores chimes in.

Practices that have always made environmental sense suddenly now make business sense. Conscious consumerism is on the rise, and sustainability is the buzzword for everything from meat-free menus to wine on tap.

Thom Lawson knows he’s not going to save the planet by refusing his customers paper receipts in his Asian restaurant Lucky Tortoise. But he’s sticking to his guns. The customer can see their receipt on a tablet and have it emailed. But not everyone has been happy.

Taking dairy and beef off the menu because of its carbon footprint earned Lawson some serious online outrage. “My girlfriend’s an engineer. A lot of her work is based around sustainability and change. We talk about it all the time.”

When you find yourself looking at 15 bags of rubbish “for a tiny little premises” you realise restaurants are some of the biggest producers of waste per square metre of any business, Lawson says. “I think restaurants are disgustingly wasteful . . . and destroying the environment is a ridiculous thing to consider okay in the pursuit of money.”

So all the drinks in Lucky Tortoise come on tap. “We have no cans, no bottles.” Wine by the glass from WineLab measures up to anything Lawson has tasted, he says. But the TripAdvisor feedback has been “how ghastly” and “where on earth has that come from?”

People judge a wine by what they’re familiar with, Lawson says, and they like the feel of a “bottle on the table”. Menus are written on the walls. Water is filtered and carbonated from the tap and served for free. Technology has also been used to eliminate paper from the operation. Kitchen dockets are on screen.

“I’m not claiming to be perfect or a shining light,” Lawson insists at the end of the interview. “I don’t want to preach. I don’t think the light is shining out of my backside. I’m just doing me, and hopefully that makes a small difference.”

Adapted from this The Irish Times article written by Catherine Cleary

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  1. Do you know any eco friendly bar/restaurant where you live?
  2. Would this type of business be popular where you live? Why/not?
  3. Are you conscious of buying eco-friendly products when you go shopping?
  4. Do you make a conscious effort to avoid excess waste of plastics?
  5. What do you do that hopefully makes a small difference?

 

 

WEP 130619 – How To Be Pedantic

This week’s Weekly English Practice talks about being pedantic. How, when and why should we correct other people? Should we even correct them? Find out more in this week’s WEP!

 

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How to be pedantic

To be pedantic or not to be pedantic, that is the question

When and how to correct people is a hot, and sometimes divisive, debate, especially in teaching circles. Is it acceptable to call a person who corrects your grammar a “Grammar Nazi”? Here are two articles on the subject.

Article 1

Why do pedants pedant?

Some people love pointing out mistakes and errors made by others. Why?

Look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

expertise: the skill of an expert, expert opinion or commentary

connotations: something suggested by a word or thing

factoids: an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print

show off: to display proudly, to seek to attract attention by conspicuous behaviour 

anal: often used in nontechnical contexts to describe someone as extremely or excessively neat, careful, or precise

displays: exhibitions or demonstrations to make something evident

competence: the quality or state of having sufficient knowledge, judgment, skill, or strength

Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)

Some people really love pointing out mistakes and errors made by others. Why? What do they get from it?

A “pedant” typically describes a particular kind of annoying person. You know the sort: the person who tends to correct small errors other people make and who pays way too much attention to minor details. Or the person who’s an expert in some narrow, boring topic and makes sure everyone else knows the extent of that expertise. 

Pedantic comes from the noun pedant, which originally wasn’t a bad thing to be: a pedant was a household tutor or a schoolteacher. But the adjective pedantic seems to have been, even from its 17th-century beginnings, something that not even a 17th-century pedant would want to be. 

Pedant itself took on negative connotations soon after it was first used in the late 16th century, and it mostly keeps those negative connotations today. The “tutor” meaning is long gone; when pedant is not referring to someone who’s pedantic, it refers to a teacher who highly values rules and precision.

Pedants frequently correct grammar and factoids when you are trying to have a friendly chat with them or at a meeting, but almost always when others are present, so they can show off their ‘knowledge’.

For example, plenty of people at conferences or in meetings try to catch speakers out with awkward questions rather than posing alright queries they have a genuine desire to know the answer to.

Sigmund Freud stated that pedants are men who are unable to laugh at themselves. Female pedants exist, but he would probably say I was being anal. Or maybe genital.

Pedants are individuals who make excessive displays of their own knowledge based on formal rules and overly precise details with an enormity that disregards common sense. Mostly, they are just BLOODY ANNOYING!

Adapted from a Guardian article written by David Steele

 

Article 2

A moderate pedant’s grammar manifesto 

People need to learn grammar to teach them the language for work and exams

Look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

to prompt: to cause an action or reaction

to drive someone mad: to make someone very irritated or angry

better-off: to be in an advantageous position, especially in financial terms

Listen to the audio (refresh the page if it’s not visible)

A group of headteachers and educationalists who carried out a government-commissioned study on the testing of English school children noted how divisive the issue was. “Every proposal which enjoys any significant support from some respondents can prompt a negative reaction from others,” it said. 

Grammar excites many people and drives some mad. One newspaper column on the subject prompted a reader to leave a comment that without proper grammar “happiness is impossible”. 

For those with a strongly held belief that good grammar teaching is vital, here is a four-point manifesto for dedicated grammarians. Or “gramagicians”. Or “grammaristas” But please don’t use Nazi, that’s just insulting.

1) Grammar is the way we write and speak.

While there are plenty of obvious and clear rules that need to be followed, some aspects of grammar and punctuation are matters of opinion. The use of less or fewer is one example that divides experts. As an example in writing, take this question from a test that English primary school children were given: “Insert three commas in the correct places in the sentence below: I need to pack a swimming costume some sun cream a hat sunglasses and a towel.” 

If you asked this question in the US, there would probably be protests. This is because over the pond you need four commas to punctuate the sentence correctly. Americans would write: “I need to pack a swimming costume, some sun cream, a hat, sunglasses, and a towel.” Most US language authorities regard the comma before the “and” as correct. Most British writers leave it out. Agreement on the matter seems to be impossible.

2) Students need to learn that there is a “standard grammar”.

While we should never discourage a person from speaking in the manner of their family and neighbours, those who are in charge of university admittance and job applications will almost always judge candidates, at least in part, on their use of grammar and vocabulary. That is a good reason to learn the standard grammar rules and when it is appropriate to use them. 

3) Grammar helps you write and speak more clearly. 

This is not about right or wrong. It is about knowing how language is put together. If you know what an adverb, adjective, direct and indirect speech are, it helps you to communicate better and express yourself more convincingly.

4) Young people need to learn grammar. 

This is not just to improve their writing and speaking skills but to teach them the appropriate language for work and study. The failure to teach language more systematically hits young people from the least-advantaged families the hardest. It denies them educational and employment opportunities available to their better-off peers. That, rather than the diminishing use of “whom”, is what should make us all unhappy. 

Adapted from a Financial Times article written by Michael Skapinker

 

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  • Are you a pedant? Do you know any pedants?
  • Is pedantry ever justified? If so, when? If not, why not?
  • What’s your opinion about being corrected in front of your classmates?
  • Does your ECP coach correct you too much or too little?
  • Do you agree that learning good grammar gives you better opportunities later in life? Why/not?
  • How would you rate your grammar in your mother tongue (1-10)?

 

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