Treat yourself!

Find the time to dedicate to your loved ones and yourself! Yes, you´ll get other things delayed, maybe postponed, but you won´t regret this quality time you honor yourself and these very special people around you.

I have my own VIP´s, these unique little people in my life who deserve my full support and attention. There seems to be something wrong with society these days, adults not spending enough time with children, kids hours long in front of TV and video games, not enough discipline, principles, values but…how can we as adults compete with the thrill of a video game? Well, let me tell you, WE CAN! And believe me, up to a certain age, the vast majority of children would rather spend a morning out in town with their parents (or just one of them, and also with a relative) than 5 hours in front of a TV.

My students tell me that their kids rule the TV in their houses (another excuse for not watching TV content in English when I suggest it as homework) and I say “…but, who´s in charge in your house??”… Children can teach us so much if we just allow them to…xxx…More next week

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Listening TO

Bear in mind: To listen to others and to be listened to. To be exposed to conscious and passive listening…because our brain keeps processing, analysing, contrasting with what we know, giving us the time to come up with a suitable answer, a brand-new idea, a terrific argument…

It´s funny how some students speak and don´t actually listen to the grammatical mistakes they´re making. Sometimes other students in the class notice and smile while the person who has made a mistake is wondering what´s going on… It could just be forgetting a “–S” at the end of the verb in the present tense when applied to the 3rd person of the singular, mistaking SHE for HE, very, very common, in higher levels too!… For the one who´s listening, these mistakes sound terrible!… And very frequently misleading!… Imagine you´re talking about your brother Martin and you continue talking about him saying She…I would think you´re telling me about someone else!!

I tell my students to practise reading aloud in their own time, recording themselves and listening to their own recording. This exercise is recommended by Cambridge University and it helps them to be aware of their mistakes.

My students enjoy listening to Vaughan radio (Bilbao 106.7), which is specially designed for Spanish students of English. I also like News in Levels, where you can choose, from 3 levels, the appropriate level to listen to a piece of news while you read it. In London I was recommended to Listen to BBC Radio 4, really interesting! I believe this radio station is still available online although I heard rumours that it might be privatised with the Brexit.

You can also access any radio station in the world with this link:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/dec/16/tune-in-to-worlds-radio-stations-radiogarden

Enjoy your listening and let me know why you think Listening is so important in your life!!….xxx…More next week

Declutter

Spring comes and it´s time for spring cleaning. Getting rid of the old stuff and making room for  the new. All those things we´ve been keeping, wondering if we´ll ever use them again but… finally deciding it´s time for them to go…

Clearing up is a drag, you need to be in the mood to do it, but for some reason, it sometimes happens automatically, as if the time is right for it to be done now…

We get attached to a lot of things in our lives, filling up wardrobes and neurons, and we are reluctant to detach them from our day to day, it´s not easy… but we must do it, as clinging to them would maintain us where we were stuck…

I´m decluttering my life now, giving away everything I can spare, which is a lot!… Making room for the new, room for improvement, room for more….xxx…More next week

Pronunciation

Everybody says that English grammar is much easier than Spanish but…the problem is the pronunciation… Yes, we´ve heard this a million times but it is a big truth. Students ask me whether it is that important if they mispronounce one or two letters and I have to say YES, as it is indeed what separates clarity from muddle and confusion.

One example: Yesterday one of my students struggled to pronounce 19, she kept saying “nighty”-(camisón, in Spanish). I told her that it was as if a foreign person was saying “decineve” , and after about 15 attempts, she got it right. That goes to show how long it can take to correct bad habits!

In Pamplona I had a group who complained every time I corrected their pronunciation mistakes, and I could see that it was impossible to progress with them. The method I work with now focuses on this problem and I can see how well it works.

Listening in English helps a lot to improve pronunciation, please try every day, radio, TV, TED videos, music… The more exposed your ears are to listening to the English language, the better your brain will adjust to the English pronunciation…xxx…More next week

Release

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Cauldrons build day in day out, too much information, too many people waiting, pressure everywhere around us…
The need to release is grand. Sometimes we burst, and we later regret it…
The capacity to release needs to be acquired and mastered. Some methods can damage our bodies, and without being conscious about it we harm ourselves in the long term…
For me, my diary is my main healer. Very frequently, my words come out in English, I´m not quite sure why… Other techniques help too: talking and spending time with close friends and loving family, therapies, sport, pampering yourself, spending time on your own…

What´s your method when you want to release? Send me an email and let me know!…xxx…More next week