Happy Christmas from us all at CEC!

Christmas lights
Image courtesy of Justin Brown

Welcome to the last blog of 2013. We would like to wish everybody a very happy Christmas holiday. Don’t forget to keep up your English while you’re enjoying the festive season -we have some links and ideas below to help you get into the Christmas spirit and also practise your English!

First: Some Christmas carols (songs traditionally sung at Christmas time)

Listen to the carols and read the lyrics (and you can even sing along!) by following this link:

Of course, a holiday is the perfect opportunity to review your grammar and make sure you know the basics:

Don’t forget your irregular verbs – these are generally very common verbs so you should make sure you know them very well. There are some interactive revision exercises at “Grammar Bytes” here.

grammar bytes

Remember the difference between present simple and present continuous we covered in a previous blog? A fun way to make sure you keep on top of them is in this revision “Snakes and Ladders” game you can find here:

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Would you like to find out some Christmas vocabulary?

Click on the English Club logo to find some words which we associate with Christmas traditions.englishclublogo

Now you can check your new Christmas vocabulary with a medium-difficulty crossword here: www.learn-english-today.com or a more challenging crossword here www.learn-english-today.com

Christmas tree and stockings
 Christmas is a time when we celebrate being with our families and communicating with people, so it’s the perfect opportunity to develop your speaking skills. A big part of this is pronunciation, so below there are some ideas and links to keep you busy during the holiday season:

Go to English Media Lab to do some exercises to improve your recognition of English intonation.englishmedialablogo

There are some “listen and repeat” exercises at http://www.manythings.org/lar/ which can help you to improve pronunciation, rhythm and stress in English. (This sites uses American English).

There are also many other things at the very well-named site www.manythings.org where you can choose to work on your vocabulary, listening and grammar.

Another way to improve your pronunciation is to record yourself reading aloud a news story and then comparing your recording with the native-speaker mp3 file at the BBC site here.

BBC-Logo

And finally, don’t forget to improve your writing by practising with a letter to Santa!

You need to tell him

  • why you are a good boy/girl
  • what you want in your stocking
  • why you deserve the present(s) you’ve asked for
  • what you have left for Santa and his reindeer to eat and drink

To give you some ideas, there is some advice for English-speaking families here and don’t forget to check back at our previous blog on writing here.

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Image courtesy of Joriel “Joz” Jimenez
Season’s greetings to everyone! We hope you all enjoy the holidays, whether or not you celebrate Christmas, and come back refreshed and ready to continue learning English in Cork in 2014.
Photo credits:

Christmas lights photo credit: Justin

Christmas tree and stockings photo credit: Stuck in Customs

Santa photo credit: “Joz” Jimenez

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