Lesson summaries February 2014

Lessons 1, 2 and 3

Our sayings of the day on Monday February 10th were:

Better the devil you know!
All roads lead to Rome.

Do you remember what they mean?

Last week you worked with Lorna and Teresa (T).  You looked at two main areas:

1 vocabulary – places in town
2 grammar – using There is/are

I was impressed with your memories and your pronunciation.
Here is the list of places you remembered in class.  Can you add any more?

Police station
News stand
Sports centre
Swimming pool

(I’m sorry I can’t remember the others!)

There is/are
This is what we remembered about how to use There is/There are.

Affirmative:       There’s a/an …  .
Question:           Is there a/an …  ?

Affirmative:       There are some/a lot of/one or two …  .
Question:           Are there any … ?

We imagined a situation in Plaza Mina where a visitor is lost and we help.
Here is an example of the conversations we had:

Visitor:   Excuse me.
You:  Yes, can I help you?
Visitor: Yes, thanks, I’m lost.  I want to go to the Caleta beach.
You:  OK, take this street and you come to the Alameda. Turn left and follow the sea wall.   Walk until you come to two castles.  When you have one castle on the right, you are at the beach!
Visitor: Thank you!

We also talked about giving directions for the Cathedral, the Tavira tower and the City Hall.  We talked about giving extra details and local information to help visitors remember the directions and to help them discover more about Cádiz.

Your homework was to write another similar conversation, or a short explanation of an interesting place in Cádiz.

Of course, we can also say, “Come with me, I’ll take you there!” 

(I’ll = I will.  We use will for the future and to make offers of help). 

Lesson 4

Wednesday February 12th

Thank you Toñi for your hard work with the homework!   In today’s lesson we continued with directions.  We talked about the culture of giving directions. We discussed the different preferences for getting directions: from a satnav or GPS, from a map, calling a friend on the phone or stopping people on the street.  We talked about the possible problems when we stop people on the street!  It was an interesting conversation.  

Here are some expressions to remember when you give (or listen to) directions.

Excuse me, can you help me?
Excuse me, can I help you?
Go straight on.  (do you remember the pronunciation?)
Go straight on until you come to the post office.
Go straight on until you arrive at the museum.
Go straight on from the hotel to the park.
Go straight on for about  10 minutes / 100 metres.
Can you see the post office?
It’s on the left/right.
You can’t miss it!
I’m sorry, I’m not from round here.

We listened to three conversations on a CD and you did very well.  Here are the three conversations:

A: Hi, Matt. Where are you?
B: I’m at the station. Where are you?
A: We’re in a café on Old Street.
B: Old Street? Where’s that?
A: You’re at the station?
B: Yeah.
A: Can you see a post office?
B: Yeah.
A: OK. Cross the road at the post office and then turn left. That’s Old Street. The café’s at the end of the street, on the left.
B: OK, thanks. I’m at the post office now. See you in a minute!

NOTE: look again at this conversation.  Look at the use of the preposition “at”. 

2 Go straight on for 300 metres.  Turn in approximately one minute. Take the second street on the left. Go straight on for 100 metres. Number 68 is on the right. You have arrived at your destination.
A: Excuse me, can you help me?
B: Yes?
A: Do you know where the Regent Hotel is?
B: No, sorry, I’m not from round here.
A: OK. Thanks.

A: Excuse me, can you help me?
C: Yes?
A: Do you know where the Regent Hotel is?
C: Yes, sure, it’s just over there. Turn right at the traffic lights … the car park’s on the left. You can’t miss it!
A Thanks a lot!
C: You’re welcome. Bye.

Practise reading the conversations to help your pronunciation and your listening.

Grammar from today’s lesson

1 Imperative verbs

Remember we use the infinitive and we don’t need the subject:
Be quiet!  Go home!  Turn left.  Take the first street on the left.

2 comparative and superlative adjectives

Short adjectives:   add  -er and –est  e.g.  long, longer, longest; old, older, oldest

San José street is longer than Torre street.
Sacramento is the longest street in Cádiz.
Cádiz is one of the oldest cities in western Europe.

Long adjectives:   use more and most  e.g.  more beautiful,  most beautiful

Cádiz is more beautiful than Huelva in my opinion.
Vejer is one of the most beautiful white villages in the province.
In my opinion, Bolonia is the most beautiful beach on the coast.

Check out the video links for more practice of comparative and superlative adjectives.

Lesson 5

Monday February 17th

The main topics of the lesson were:

Parts of the body
Parts of the face
Accidents in the kitchen
The loss of traditional cooking in Cádiz and the region

1  When José Antonio was talking about his butcher and the wonderful meat he bought and cooked, I remembered that we haven't studied the different parts of the body (J.A. asked for the word for cabeza and that made me think!).  So I put two very simple pictures on the board and we collected these words:

Face: nose, mouth, eyes, ears, eyebrows, hair (Toñi liked this word!)
Body: head, neck, arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers (on your hand), toes (on your feet)

Can you remember how to pronounce them?  Some of them are difficult.  Here is a very simple video (it's for children but it works for us too) . It has some new words.  

2 We noticed the similarity between "brow" ( in eyebrow) and "brown", so we looked at colours too.  Here are the colours you remembered:
Red, yellow, blue, black, brown, green, grey, orange, pink, purple, white, hazel, chestnut

Can you remember which colours we use to describe eyes?  And hair?  Do you remember the meaning of "a black eye"?

3 Then we played a game. I asked you to touch different parts of your face and body.   Toñi was teacher first and then J.A. was teacher. He was very good.  His instructions were quite complicated!
Touch your left ear with your right hand.  Put one finger on your nose and push up.  Etc.

It was funny and very useful for remembering the imperative (touch, put, push) and left and right.  We said that in the next lesson we must play Twister!

4 The conversation moved on to food and accidents in the kitchen. We talked about knifes and fingers and other accidents with food and blood!  This took us to the topic of cooking blood and the traditional dishes in Cádiz with blood and onions and blood and tomato. You explained that it was delicious, but you also explained that it is very difficult to find this food in Cádiz these days. 

5 To finish the lesson we went back to the summary from Wednesday's lesson and we looked again at comparative and superlative adjectives.  Do you remember the rules for using –er/-est and more/most? Are they clear to you?

For homework I asked you to write ten sentences, five with comparative adjectives and five with superlative adjectives.  

Monday February 24th

 Our sayings from this lesson were:

Spitting into the wind
What goes up, must come down!

Thank you for your story, Lourdes.  It gave us a lot more conversation.

Here are some points of pronunciation that we noticed:

coast / coastal

can you remember how to say them?

And here were a few new words and expressions.
The Pope's Seat – the name of the mountain where J-A's grandfather had some land.
We talked about points of reference on a map and that this mountain is an important point of reference in navigation.
We talked about religious – and non-religious – festivals and celebrations and about the influence of the church.  We talked about how the word church can describe the building and also the institution.

Irregular verbs
We saw a couple of new irregular past verbs:
Sell – sold
Tell –told
Bring – brought
Buy – bought

I'm going to start a reference list on the blog.

We looked again at two interesting points:

1 Using there
There was nobody there.
There weren't any people there.

Do you remember the two different uses of there?

2 using didn't
We looked again at the use of do, does and did.
Here's a summary:

don't/doesn't + infinitive

I don't like the rain.
Lourdes doesn't like the rain.
didn't + infinitive

José Antonio didn't like riding donkeys when he was a boy.

do/does … + infinitive?

Do you like the rain?
Does Lourdes like the rain?
did …. + infinitive?

Did you do your homework?
Did you have a good weekend?

 Thanks for another interesting lesson! 

Our sayings for this lesson were:
Silence is golden.
Don't go to sleep without learning something new!

We discussed the things that can be gold and golden and we remembered the song "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel.  The original saying is: Speech is silver, silence is golden but we usually only use the first part.

We looked at the notes from last lesson and in particular at the two uses of there.   Look at these examples. Do you understand the use of there in each sentence?  How do you say it in Spanish?

There are a lot of people in the town centre for Carnival, especially in San Antonio square. 
A lot of people go there to listen to concerts.
Last weekend there was a lot of wind.
We went to Tarifa. It was very, very windy there!

Wind and windy
We also looked again at the difference between wind and windy. Remember, wind is the noun. We can say there is a lot of wind, or we can say the wind is very cold, or strong.   Windy is an adjective. We can say Cadiz is a very windy city.  Or It was very windy yesterday.

Look at these other words to talk about the weather:
There was a lot of rain.  It was very rainy.
There were a lot of clouds.  It was very cloudy.
The sky was blue and the sun was shining.  It was very sunny.

Notice:  we can add –y to the noun to make an adjective:
Sun – sunny
Rain – rainy
Cloud – cloudy

Very and a lot (of)
We looked at the difference between very and a lot.  We use very with adjectives: very nice, very hot, very windy.   We use a lot for quantity.   When we use a lot with a noun, we use of.
There were a lot of people  in the square.
Were there any people in the square?  Yes, a lot!

We remembered the parts of the body and the face and we listened to the CD.  We looked at the use of can to talk about ability
Can + infinitive:  I can dance,you can cook,he can write.
Can't + infinitive:  I can't dance the tango,  she can't cook berza
Can + subject + infinitive: Can you speak English?

Remember we also use can to ask for help or permission:

Can you help me?
Can I smoke here?
Can you repeat that please?

And to offer help:

Can I help you?

Can is very common. It is a modal verb. It is the same for all people (I, you, he, she, we, they.)  You always use it with the infinitive but you don't need "to".   It can translate the verbs poder and saber in Spanish.

To finish the class we looked at some books to read at home.  That is your homework for next week.

Happy reading! 

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