A1, onlineclass, 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

Uncategorized

Conversation strategies: Checking information

Episode 6

In a conversation, you may need to check something that you didn’t hear or understand. Now, think about ways you check for information you didn’t hear in your mother tongue, what do you say? Are there any phrases you say to ask someone to repeat something? Well, in English there are different ways we can do that.

Now, let me tell you a little about the examples I’ll be using in this podcast.

All these examples are true for me. They are contextualized with my recent trips. The reason why I use real examples is because I want to show how these conversation strategies could be used in real conversations. When I recorded this podcast, I was in Spain. Barcelona was my first stop, then I went to Granada and finally, Seville, so all these examples are about these amazing cities.

Today I’ll show you 4 strategies to check information.

You can:

  1. use the expression Did you say . . . ? or What did you say? to check information

A:  There’s usually about a 13-minute wait for the bus.

B: Did you say thirteen or thirty?

A: I said 13, so you can cross the road and get that ice cream you want before the bus comes.

2. repeat words as a question to check information. Just say the same you heard, or what you think you heard.

A:  Well, there’s a Moroccan estaurant within walking distance.

B:  Within walking distance?

A: Yes, it’s around the corner.´

3.  use the expression I’m sorry? or Excuse me? to ask the speaker to repeat what he or she said

A:  Are there any markets to shop around here?

B:  Excuse me? Did you say markets to shop?

A: Yeah, I mean, local markets.

A: Which bus should I take to the Alhambra?

B: I’m sorry? Did you say to the Alhambra?

A: Yeah

B: Oh, you should take the C32.

4. Ask an “echo” question, which is to repeat something you heard and add a question word to check the information you didn’t hear:

A: There’s a Turkish tea shop on the Main Avenue.

B: I’m sorry. There’s a tea shop where?

A: On the Main Avenue, it’s right in front of the bank.

In this case the question word is “where”, other question words are what, who, when and how. Before you ask a question word you need to know what the question is about, for example if someone says “There’s a Turkish tea shop on the Main Avenue.” And the focus is the place, my question word is going to be “where”. There’s a tea shop where?

Another example:

A: Is there an ice cream place around here? 

B:  I’m sorry, a what?

A: An ice cream place. I heard about a famous Italian ice parlor on Gran Via Avenue.

In this case if the information I didn’t hear was ice cream parlor, the question word should be “what”, I’m sorry, a what?

Now think about how to ask an echo question with a question word after the following statements. I’ll give you some time to think about the question and then will give you the answer. Here we go:

A: The sandwich that sells the Iberian ham opens at 11:00am.  (The information you missed is the time.)

B:  Excuse me? It opens at what time?

A: After Granada, I’m headed to Seville. (The information you missed is the place where I’m headed after Granada)

B: I’m sorry, you’re headed where?

A: Breakfast and dinner is included in this hostel? The information you missed is what is included)

B: Excuse me? what is included?

A: We’re flying to Amsterdam the day after tomorrow. (The information you missed is the time)

B: You’re flying to Amsterdam when?

A: I’m meeting Giannina in Miami next year. (The information you missed is the person I’m meeting)

B: You’re meeting who?

Let’s summarize

  1. Use the questions Did you say . . . ? or What did you say?
  2. Repeat words as a question to check information. Just say the same you heard, or what you think you heard.
  3. Use the expression I’m sorry? or Excuse me?
  4. Use echo questions plus a question word.

To listen to the episode, click the button below.

Uncategorized

Conversation strategies: Correcting information in a conversation

Episode 5

In written English, letters, emails, reports, etc we have the chance to correct our mistakes, we can even use tools that help us correct grammar and spelling. However, in spoken English, what is said, has already been said and we can’t change it. That is why it’s important to learn strategies to correct ourselves.

When you make a mistake in English, how do you correct yourself? Well, today we will learn a new strategy: how to correct information in a conversation.

Using “well”, “actually” and “no, wait”

You can correct the things you say with expressions like well, actually and no, wait

A:  Is this you in the photo? Look at how cute you were…

B : Thank you. Yes, that was me. I was 4 in that photo. No, wait, I was 3.

A: Do you remember much about kindergarten?

B:  Not really. Well, I remember my first day of class, my teacher gave me a lollipop because I wouldn’t stop crying, it worked!  Do you remember your first day of school?

A:  Yes, I think so. No, wait… I remember my first day at elementary school, not kindergarten. You have a good memory. To be honest, I don’t remember much from when I was little.

B: I do! I remember there was a tiny bed in my classroom. No kidding. Well, it wasn’t a bed, it was more a little crib.

A: You must be talking about day care, not kindergarten.

B: No, it was Kindergarten, I’m sure. I remember the classroom, my teacher, my classmates and everything…

A: That’s crazy, a bed in the classroom?

B: Yeah, I mean. I started when I was only 2 years old and I supposed it was for us when we were tired or sleepy, I remember sleeping in that crib.

A: So, did you used to take the school bus?

B: Yeah, Uh . . . actually First, my parents would take me to school and then, in high school, I started to commute to school on my own. I would take a bus.

A: The school bus.

B: Yeah, Well, in my country there wasn’t such a thing as a school bus, I just took a regular bus. 

As you can see, in this conversation we used the expressions well, actually and no, wait

At first I said “I was 4 years old in the photo”, but then I remembered I was actually 3 when that photo was taken so I said No, wait and then the corrected the information No, wait. I was 3.

When I was asked if I remembered much about kindergarten, I said Not really but then I said “Well, I remember my first day of class…” Well indicates there’s a correction.

Then I said there was a tiny bed in my classroom, but it wasn’t really a bed but a crib, so I corrected the information using Well. Well, it wasn’t a bed, it was more a little crib.

*A crib is a bed for a baby or young child, with bars on the side to stop the baby from falling out.

After that Chris asked me if I used to take the school bus, I said Yeah, Uh…  actuallyfirst, my parents would take me to school and then, in high school, I started to commute to school on my own.  In this case I’m using actually to correct information.

Chris wanted to confirm if I took the school bus and I first said Yeah but in reality in Perú, where I went to school, we don’t have the iconic the yellow school buses of the United States owned which are owned and operated by a school. What we have is school vans, it’s funny how kids in Lima don’t use buses but vans, and the system is different because these vans offer a private service, they aren’t owned or leased or operated by schools. This is actually an interesting question. Because Chris is from London, he could have assumed that there are school buses everywhere in the world but as far as I am aware, public schools in many developing countries can’t afford to offer that service so they don’t have school buses. That’s why I said, Well, in my country there wasn’t such a thing as a school bus, I just took a regular bus. 

Using “I mean”

You can use I mean to correct yourself when you say the wrong word or name.:

A: I got lost once at a supermarket once.

B: How did your parents find you?

A: Well, the manager, I mean, a cashier told the manager that there was a kid wandering around and he made an announcement through a loudspeaker  

Other examples

  • I love coffee. I mean, dark coffee, never with cream or milk.
  • My friend Ruby is a Spanish teacher, I mean, she teaches English as well.
  • My Jamaican, I mean, he’s half Jamaican, his dad is English and his mom from Jamaica.
  • Now you know 4 different ways to correct your sentences when you make a mistake in a conversation.

Uncategorized

Conversation strategies: Saying more than just “no” and using “really” for emphasis and to soften statements

Episode 2

To say more than just “no”, you can use the following strategies.

Strategy 1: Saying more than just no

When someone asks you a question and you want to give a negative answer, it’s not nice to just say no. saying more than just no is friendly and polite:

  • No, not really.
  • Well, no, actually…
  • Well, no, I mean…

A: Do you enjoy watching sports?  B: Um, no, not really. I mean, I’d rather play sports than watch them.

A: Do you like walking? B: Um, not really. I prefer running.

A: Do you have any hobbies?  B: Well no, I mean, I guess I don’t have time for hobbies.

A: Would you like a dessert? B: No, thanks I’m fine for now. I mean I’m trying to watch my weight.

A: Would you like something to drink? B: No, thanks. Maybe later.

A: Do you enjoy cooking?  B: Um, no, not really. I mean, I cook every day but I’m not really into it.

A: Do you have any hobbies?  B: Well no, I don’t really have much time.

Strategy 2: Using “really” for emphasis and to soften our statements

The second strategy is to use the word “really” for both making your statements stronger and making your statements softer.

You can use really to make statements stronger:

I’d really like to visit Thailand in the near future. (really before a verb). I’ve seen photos of the beaches, islands, Buddhist temples. I’ve heard of the Thai massage, Thailand’s rainforest and of course, it’s cuisine.

Remember the first part of my sentence “I’d really like to…”. We can use “really” to make statements stronger. The pattern is REALLY + VERB

  • I’d really like to go hiking sometime. (really before a verb).
  • My boyfriend really wanted to hike the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco, after the ordeal he realized hiking is not for him.
  • I’d really like to take some time off work. I’m a bit stressed out.
  • I’d really enjoy running a marathon.
  • I’d really like to live in a different country for a few months. I think it would really make me understand other cultures. She’d really hate to be stood up.

You can also use REALLY + ADJECTIVE

  • I’m really good at photography. (really + adjective).
  • I’m really good at computer design. (really + adjective)
  • My best friend is really good at creative writing.
  • My mom is really good at baking.
  • My dad is really good at telling jokes.
  • I’m really fond of cats.
  • My sister’s really fond of dogs. She’s recently adopted a dog called Lily.

*fond of: to like someone very much, especially when you have known them for a long time and almost feel love for them. Example: Over the years we’ve grown very fond of each other.

You can also use really to make negative statements softer:

  • You can use really with adjectives

The pattern is NOT + REALLY + ADJECTIVE

I’m not really interested in photography. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really interested in politics. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really good at cooking. (not + really + adjective)

I’m not really good at video games. (not + really + adjective)

  • You can also use really with verbs:

The pattern is DON’T + REALLY + VERB or DOESN’T + REALLY + VERB

I don’t really have much time for hobbies. (really after don’t or / doesn’t)

I don’t really have much time for hobbies. (really after don’t or / doesn’t)

  • Not really can also be a polite way to answer no:

A: Do you work out a lot?  B:  Not really. Actually, I don’t work out at all.

To listen to this episode click here:

Uncategorized

Condiments around the world – Condimentos alrededor del mundo

Hi English/Spanish Learners! Ayleen here, your teacher from wespeakidiomas.com

In today’s episode Chris and I talk about condiments around the world. Not only will this episode help you improve your listening skills, but it will also help you learn a few new words since we’ll be using different words to describe condiments and sauces in English and Spanish.

Episode 4: Condiments around the world – Condimentos alrededor del mundo

We discussed different types of sauces:

  • Brown sauce
  • Apple sauce
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Mint sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Chilli sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce

In this podcast Chris used different adjectives to describes sauces:

Word in English Definition in English Spanish translation
thick almost solid, and therefore flowing very slowly, or not flowing at all espeso
mild not very strong or hot-tasting suave
smooth a liquid mixture that is smooth has no big pieces in it OPP lumpy sin grumos
spicy food that is spicy has a pleasantly strong taste, and gives you a pleasant burning feeling in your mouth SYN hot picante

 

I used a couple of words that might be new for you:

Word in Spanish Definition in Spanish English translation
empalagoso demasiado dulce (no en un buen sentido) overly sweet
paladar gusto con que se percibe el sabor de los alimentos palate
arándano rojo arbusto de la familia de las ericáceas que mide entre 10 y 40 cm de altura, con hojas alternas, aovadas y aserradas, flores solitarias de color blanco verdoso o rosado y frutos en bayas negruzcas o azuladas cranberry
arándano azul blueberry
icónico representativo de la cultura iconic

These are the condiments in Thailand I mentioned in the podcast.

The one on the left corner is known as chilli flakes. Next to it, you can see the white sugar. At the front, fish sauce and chili and vinegar and chili.

condiments

Oh! and of course, the peanuts!

padthai peanuts

Then I asked Chris a question he didn’t understand:

  • ¿A qué crees que se deba eso? ó ¿cuál crees que sea el motivo por el que…? The translation to English is very simple, Why do you think…?

Now you know different words in English and Spanish to describe your favorite sauce!

By the way, what’s your favorite sauce?

Uncategorized

Back to Thailand – De regreso en Tailandia

Hi English/Spanish Learners! Ayleen here, your teacher from wespeakidiomas.com

Today I want to share my happiness with you. I’m back in Thailand! Yayy!

In this episode Chris and I talk about what we missed the most from this beautiful country. Tune in to practice your listening skills and learn some new vocabulary related to foods and the grammar point of the day-using “although” and “even though”.

Episode 3: Back to Thailand – De regreso en Tailandia

You can learn more about the new vocabulary used in this conversation below:

  • Consecutivos, seguidos: in a row
  • Row: fila
  • Readily available: a tu disposición
  • Watermelon: sandía
  • Mango: mango
  • Guava: guava o guayaba
  • Papaya: papaya
  • Dragon fruit: pitaya
  • Lime: limón o lima

*La traducción depende de tu proveniencia. Si eres de Perú, se va a traducir como limón, lime significa limón. Si eres de Argentina, se va a traducir como lima, lima significa lima. Recuerden la descripción de la fruta, lime hace referencia a la fruta verde, pequeña y más agria. Si esa fruta verde pequeña y agria en tu país se llama lima, entonces lime significa lima. Si a un peruano le dices la palabra lima, va a imaginar una fruta totalmente diferente. Nosotros le llamamos limón, uno de los ingredientes para preparar ceviche es jugo de limón.

  • Aunque: although, even though
  • Servilletas de papel: paper napkins
  • Rubbish: (AmE) Garbage, basura
  • Turquesa: turquoise
  • Dañar: hurt
  • Pebbles: piedritas
Uncategorized

Episode 2: Interesting facts in Gili Air – Cosas curiosas en Gili Air

Hi English/Spanish Learners! Ayleen here, your teacher from wespeakidiomas.com

Today Chris and I come to you from Gili Air, and we’ll talk about the interesting facts we found on this Indonesian island.

This conversation features lots new vocabulary for intermediate students, and is a good example of a spontaneous, authentic English-Spanish conversation between two travelers.

Episode 2: Interesting facts in Gili Air – Cosas curiosas en Gili Air

You can learn more about the new vocabulary used in this conversation below:

  • mosque: a building in which Muslims worship / In Spanish: mezquita
  • acera: orilla de la vía pública por donde caminan los peatones /  In English: sidewalk
  • agonizar: be near death. I said Pensé que alguien estaba agonizando…
  • straw: a thin tube of paper or plastic for sucking up liquid from a bottle or a cup / In spanish: cañita, popote, pajilla.
  • malcriar: ceder a los caprichos de alguien. I said Asia nos está malcriando. / In English: Asia is spoiling us.
  • chant: to sing or say a religious song or prayer in a way that involves using only one note or tone / In Spanish: cántico