My blog

A1, A2, vocabulary

Board games

How many words related to Board games do you know?

Step 1: Watch the video

While you watch listen and repeat after me. I recommend taking notes of each new word to practice spelling. In this video you will learn 19 science verbs in English.

Happy learning!

Step 2: Do the exercises

travel tips

Cenotes tour

Hi there!

This is not an English lesson but I thought I could share a little about one of my favorite places in Mexico.

Have you ever heard of Cenotes?

A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater. The regional term is specifically associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico and that’s where I was staying for 6 months!

There are “thousands” of cenotes but I only went to three, now I regret not visiting more… Anyway, I thought I could share some information about the two cenotes that I liked the most The third cenote, “Cenote Calavera”, I won’t really talk about in the video. It’s OK I guess, although it’s smaller and kind of dark, more like a cave with hundreds of bats 🦇🦇 in it! Not that I don’t like bats, I think they’re cute 🙂

Well, here you have a couple of options to explore the amazing Riviera Maya:

  • Cenotes in Chemuyil: (more private) 40USD for the bike tour, includes bikes, equipment (snorkel) and LOTS of photos
  • Cenote azul: 6USD, doesn’t include snorkel but you can rent one for 6USD

More details in the video!

A1, Recorded class, Youtube channel

Transportation

How many words do you know to describe transportation in English? Watch this video to learn how to use this transportation vocabulary in context.

Step 1: Watch the video

Step 1: Watch the video

Step 2: Do the exercises

A1, Youtube channel

The numbers

I have a new free lesson for you!

In this video you will learn the cardinal and ordinal numbers in English.This lesson is for “real beginners”, so if you have just started to learn English, this video is for you!

Step 1: Watch the video

Step 2: Do the exercises

B2, Blog, story

Beto, the pot-headed crazy chef

Level: B1-B2

One night in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

  • Let’s call Beto!
  • I texted him but he didn’t reply.
  • This guy… he’s playing with our feelings.
  • I know… he’s turned us into pasta addicts and then he ghosts us.

Who is Beto? Beto is this guy who makes amazing pasta dishes and lives around the corner from our apartment.

One Saturday evening…

Hungry and desperate Chris and I were walking down the road looking for a restaurant. We’d seen Beto’s restaurant before but it was closed then. The guy living next door said “take a brochure, he cooks Italian food and also delivers!” We put the brochure away and decided to call him the next day.

And so we did. We texted him and ordered an Amatriciana (a tomato-based pasta dish with bacon, onions and chilies) and a Four-cheese pasta (I think there’s no need to explain this one). The food was mouthwatering, it smelled and tasted delicious. We made a promise to ourselves to have it at least 3 times a week, I mean, $4 dollars for home-made, fresh pasta? Why in the world would I cook ever again?

Three days later…

We texted Beto. He didn’t reply. I insisted and texted again, called him twice, I was acting like a drug addict desperate for a fix. He didn’t reply until the following day “I apologize, I had to handle some family matters and couldn’t work yesterday. I’ll open again tomorrow”, it turns out he was lying! He didn’t open the day after, either.

The following Thursday…

Trying not to keep our hopes up, we texted him again but this time he was cooking! We got Amatriciana and Carbonara this time. Again, he had lived up to our expectations. Happy that he was back, we decided to fulfill the plan of getting his food delivered every day I had to teach back to back with no time to prepare dinner.

The Thursday after that…

We texted him again. Fifteen, thirty, forty-five minutes later, no reply. Hopeless, we left the house and embarked ourselves on a journey to get good food for a reasonable price, which wasn’t tacos or anything with a tortilla in it. As we were walking past Beto’s house, we saw him smoking weed with his friends in the living room of his house—doors and windows wide open. I stopped and demanded my pasta.

  • Why haven’t you replied to my messages? (with a sense of entitlement)
  • I’m sorry, you really don’t want me to cook right now. (holding on to a lamppost to keep his balance)
  • How about tomorrow? Will you open tomorrow?
  • Tomorrow I’ll definitely open. Sorry again!
  • Ok, Beto. I’ll text you tomorrow!

So, he was busy smoking weed, I get it, the guy has his own business and works when he wants to… I guess it’s his right. You should have seen me demanding my pasta from a guy that was totally high. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine I would be begging for food from a pothead. A very humbling experience, I have to say. I couldn’t help it, though. It’s like he gave us heroine to get us addicted and then left us wanting more (I’ve never tried heroine but I’m pretty sure it’s like that)

The following day…

  • Text him.
  • I just did.
  • (10 minutes later…) He hasn’t even seen the message.
  • I’ll try texting from a different number.

I had been texting Beto from Chris’s phone, thinking maybe he was overwhelmed by us, I tried contacting him from a different number. The message got through but he never replied.

The next day he had seen both our messages, two blue checks, yet, no response from him.

We’d been totally ignored, but we didn’t care, we were hungry and wanted his pasta. I swallowed my pride and called him again, he didn’t pick up the phone.

Three days later the brochure had been removed from the door… Why, Beto! why did you have to go? To this day we still dream of Beto’s pasta. I’m sure we’ll be reminded of this when we go back to the US and fail to find reasonably priced, fresh Italian food.

We’ll miss you, Beto the pot-headed crazy chef.

Vocabulary:

  • mouthwatering:food that is mouth-watering looks or smells extremely good
  • pothead: a person who smokes marijuana, especially habitually
  • demand: to ask for something very firmly, especially because you think you have a right to do this
  • entitlement: the official right to have or do something, or the amount that you have a right to receive
  • get through: to succed in speaking to someone on the telephone
A1, Recorded class, Youtube channel

Telling the time

Do you know how to tell the time in English? Watch this video to learn how to tell the time in two different formats.

Step 1: Watch the video

1. Say the hour first and then the minutes. Hour + Minutes

  • 6:25 – It’s six twenty-five
  • 8:05 – It’s eight O-five (the O is said like the letter O)
  • 9:11 – It’s nine eleven
  • 2:34 – It’s two thirty-four

2. Say the minutes first and then the hour.  (Minutes + PAST / TO + Hour)

For minutes 1-30 we use PAST after the minutes. For minutes 31-59 we use TO after the minutes.

  • 2:35 – It’s twenty-five to three
  • 11:20 – It’s twenty past eleven
  • 4:18 – It’s eighteen past four
  • 8:51 – It’s nine to nine
  • 2:59 – It’s one to three

When it is 15 minutes past the hour we normally say: (a) quarter past

  • 7:15 It’s (a) quarter past seven

When it is 15 minutes before the hour we normally say: a quarter to

  • 12:45 – It’s (a) quarter to one

When it is 30 minutes past the hour we normally say: half past

  • 3:30 – It’s half past three (but we can also say three-thirty)

Step 2: Exercises

A1, Recorded class, Youtube channel

Countries and Nationalities

Hello English learners! Today I’m coming to you with a new lesson on COUNTRIES AND NATIONALITIES 🇺🇸🇪🇸

Take your notebook and write down the new words ✏️ What new nationality did you learn?

Step 1: Watch the video

Step 2: Do the exercises

Podcast

Making comments using the Present Perfect

Welcome to another episode of my series “A sneak peek into an online class”.

What can you expect to find in this podcast?

In this podcast you will find segments of my online classes with real students, real questions and feedback provided in real time.

In this episode, we will learn how to use the Present Perfect to make comments about movies we’ve seen.

Class details: This is a A2 level class (upper basic level). My students’ mother tongue is Spanish, they’re both from Perú.

Click below to access the podcast!

Blog

Elections in the USA – The basics!

Would you like to be able to talk about the presidential elections that are being held in the US? Well, you will need a lot of new vocabulary! In this blog post I’ll show you the basic concepts you need to know:

An election for president of the United States happens every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

What are the requirements to run for office?

You need to be:

  • A natural born citizen.
  • At least 35 years old.
  • A US resident for at least 14 years.

Political parties

Political parties are  organized groups of people with similar ideas or ideology about the function and scope of government.

These are some examples of political parties in Peru.

In the US, there are two main political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Democrats are donkeys and Republicans are elephants.

The democrat and republican candidates campaign around the country to get more supporters.

You have probably heard people talk about the House of representatives, but what is it?

The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers or Houses. The House of Representatives shares equal responsibility for lawmaking with the U.S. Senate. As conceived by the framers of the Constitution, the House was to represent the popular will, and its members were to be directly elected by the people. In contrast, members of the Senate were appointed by the states until the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment (1913), which mandated the direct election of senators.

Who are the representatives?

They are also referred to as a congressman or congresswoman. Unlike the president, who is elected every 4 years, representatives are chosen every 2 years to serve the people of a specific congressional district. Among other duties, representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees.

Each state gets as many electors as it has members of Congress (House and Senate). There are currently 538 electors. Each state’s political parties choose their own slate of potential electors.

How is the population represented?

Well, although there are 50 states, there is not one representative for each state. In the US the population of the 50 states is represented proportionally.

For example, California has 53 districts, that means there is a representative for each of them, 53 representatives. The estate of Alaska is large in size but has a small population, therefore it has only one district, which means there’s only one representative for Alaska in the House.

What does a candidate need to win?

To win, a presidential candidate needs to get at least 270 votes.

Let’s compare!

I’m pretty sure elections are done in a different way in your country (because the way the US does it is pretty confusing and I don’t think it happens anywhere else in the world), so here’s an example of a comparison between the US and Peru.

More about electronic voting

There are three types of Electronic voting in USA :

  • The Paper based E vote system has a touchscreen added for the voter’s use. This system will print a hardcopy of the ballot once the voter is done. This ballot needs to be passed out the election officer so it can be counted.
  • The Direct recording electronic system has a touchscreen with digital swipe card buttons which will be used in order to make the choices. All votes are stored in a physical memory device which are sent to a special voting station for their results.
  • Internet voting is the type of vote that is done in remote locations. This type of voting service is not supervised by governmental representatives. The most common devices to used for this type of vote are: Personal computer, Television via Internet also known as i-voting and mobile phone.

Other related words:

absentee ballot (voto en ausencia), ballot, candidate, Election Assistance Commission, electoral college, electronic voting, runoff, paper ballot, paperless voting, poll, voter registration