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18 May 2010

Advanced: Reviews

Some practical material this week. Take a look at Dark Horizons. You'll find lots of film review material which you might find useful.

Be on the look out for adjectives, comments and, as always at CAE, the special vocabulary that makes an impact on the reader. Here are (just) five that we noticed in the Angels and Demons review:

  • follow-up
  • polished
  • pad out
  • uses of Had and Yet

Advanced: formal letters

As a partner to this week's FCE task, here's something similar for Advanced level. Take a look at these letters, decide what you think, then take a look at the comments and see if you agree with them!

Obviously we're happy to answer questions here if you have them.

12 May 2010

Advanced: Application letter

From Flo-Joe here's a link to an application letter to try correcting. As usual we're happy to answer any questions you might have.

Look back to previous examples using the labels in the right-hand column >>>> to help your analysis.

11 May 2010

First: Letter of Complaint.

Go here to find a letter of complaint for you to complete the spaces in and then check on line.

10 May 2010

Things to Remember: Lost in Translation?

From recent First informal emails - be careful when using "local" names. Make sure your reader knows what you're talking about.

Examples:

"Don't forget to visit El rastro." - Could be better.

"Don't forget to visit 'El rastro' which is a huge market." Better!

"You can always visit the Prado or the Reina Sofia" - Could be clearer.
"I know you like galleries, so you can always visit two of our most famous ones, the Prado and the Reine Sofia" - Much clearer (although longer of course).

09 May 2010

. . . - - - . . . *

Beware of spots in front of the eyes...

Alternatives to those dangerous three dots -

- and so on (and so on).
- amongst (many) others.
- and many (many) more(!)
- etc.

or at the start of the list -

- including
- such as
- like

Which ones could (should!) Digital Plus have used on this page?

* dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot = S O S

05 May 2010

Things to Remember: Lost in Translation


Q. What have this group got in common?

A parking. A reality. A casting. Footing. Heavy! A latenight. A marketing. A Ticket.
A.They're mistakes waiting to happen!

A simple rule – if it's an English word (or looks like one) the chances are about 99:1 that it's used wrongly (from an English point of view) in Spanish. None of the above are used in English how you use them. Your reader can only see them as either a mistake or a mistranslation. Be careful!
Brian Smith

04 May 2010

First: Reviewing a Letter

Here's a thread with a student's formal letter. Take a look at Peter from Russia's letter, then when you've assessed it look at the other comments.

03 May 2010

uestions for planning


Here's a recent whiteboard related to planning your writing.

Remember to try to be as specific as possible with the consequences that come from your answers to the questions.

Here's an example if it was, for instance, an email to Sally about your holidays:

Q1 . Who´s it for? My friend, Sally.

> So it's informal
>> So I start with something like "Hi Sally!"
>>> So I finish with "Write soon!"
>>>> Just before that I probably need something like "Keep in touch" or "Let me know"
>>>>> I probably need something like "Thanks for the email" at the start too.
>>>>>> I need to remember it's informal when I express other functions (asking for things, apologising perhaps) and in my vocabulary.

Do the same for questions 2 to 4 and question 5 is the total of 1 to 4, pretty much.

Good luck!

02 May 2010

Advanced: Complaints

Go here to find a letter of complaint you can study.

01 May 2010

Keeping It Real: Complaints

Comic complaints from around the world, thanks to The Daily Telegraph.

Avoidable Error Checklist


Here's another whiteboard image. It's a checklist to help you try to stop your teacher getting to your mistakes before you do. Click on the photo to enlarge, and ask us if you have questions about the whiteboard.