Macmillan Dictionary - Word of the Day

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The best word for this context ...

This year I have students who have so many difficulties in English that when I tell them to write a composition in English, they tend to write it in Portuguese and only then translate it into English. They like using the “Google Translator” to perform this task.
Although the “Google Translator” can be a help, they cannot trust it entirely because the same word can have many different meanings depending on the context it is used. It is a fact that the “Google Translator” has been improving much, but you need to check your work before you deliver it to be evaluated.

In the web, I have found excellent sites where words/ expressions are used in different contexts, so it could be a great help when you are unsure about the best word to use.

Here are some examples:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hello! Again ..

Sorry for not posting for a long time, but this school year I am been doing a different type of work. I have been trying to evolve and adapt.

I have two large groups of students, in a total of 140 students. On the one hand, I have a group of students who are much younger than the usual ( 7th grade students) and consequently I had to adapt my teaching methods. On the other hand, I have a group of older students who are attending professional courses and whose curriculum is different from my  previous students. Many of these students have always had problems with English and consequently feel demotivated. I have been trying to motivate them and show them they can succeed if they really try. It hasn't been easy ...

However, I have been posting in my school’s blog together with another teacher of English.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The World of Work

We have been dealing with the topic THE WORLD OF WORK.

Initially, we talked about THE NEW WORLD OF WORK. We compared today's world of work with the past one. We did many exercises in class and we read some texts, for example: “Staying-at- home mums fit the bill”, “Multi- Tasking Madness”, etc. We also did vocabulary exercises and revised the grammar topic, relative clauses. As for videos we watched the music video “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie.

Then we started talking about WORKING STUDENTS. This week, we have been talking about students who have a part-time job, students who work in their holidays, do volunteer work or try a gap year. Many students have never heard of the term "GAP YEAR" since this is something we do not try in Portugal; consequently we will read and listen more about it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


In class we have been talking about the topic multiculturalism. Below you have some questions I asked and some answers I got from my students.

Multicultural societies
Definition of multiculturalism (among many definitions) : The doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country.

1.Can you name some of the most multicultural countries in the world?
Australia, the USA, Canada,  Argentina,  the UK, France, Luxembourg,  Switzerland, etc.

2. Why do people emigrate?
People emigrate to escape from:  unemployment, poverty, hunger, war, religious and political persecutions, natural disasters, drought, etc.
They are looking for:   better working and living conditions; better wages; a better education; political or religious freedom, family reunification, etc.

3. What sort of difficulties do these people face?
Discrimination, loneliness and distance from family and friends, difficulties in adapting to: a new language, new customs, rules, weather;  etc.

4.Should these people adopt the customs of the new country or should they keep their own traditions?
They can adapt to the customs of the new country but at the same time they should keep their own traditions.

5.  Let’s consider now the second and third generations. How different are they from their predecessors?
They are much more integrated in the new society but they often continue to be in contact with the culture of their parents/grandparents.

Reading comprehension exercises: “The British speak out – yes or no to multiculturalism”.
After reading
1.What are labels ? They’re sterotypes.  

   Stereotypes are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions.

2.What does this mean?    Labels are for cans not people- Anthony  Rapp

    3. Why do people label each other? They want to feel superior to others. Many times this attitude hides a feeling of inferiority.

    4.  Why are people discriminated against? People are discriminated because of their: sex, age, race, colour, social status, religious or political beliefs, nationality, etc. In short, they are different from the dominant group.

    5. How does one person discriminate against another?
By excluding that person, by making fun of him/ her, by creating caricatures; by ignoring him/ her, by humiliating him/her, etc.

See the label multiculturalism (on the right) and find many more posts about this topic

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Definition of love ....

Go to Camilo English Corner and find out what  students wrote about love.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ethics in advertising

How can consumers protect themselves from misleading advertising?
Consumers should:
  • Be attentive to advertising messages;
  • Get informed before they buy;
  •  Distinguish between advertising messages/pictures and reality;
  •  Talk to their children about the tactics used by advertisers;
  •  Complain when they feel misled/ fooled/deceived;
  •   Read labels and “the small letters”;

What should authorities do?
-          Should they allow advertisers to do whatever they want?
-                                               establish laws against misleading advertising?
-                                                 ban commercials that influence people to behave in an unethical manner?
-                                               ban commercials aimed at children? 


After watching the second video, answer these questions:

1-     What are the chronic diseases caused by fast food?

2-      Who profits from children´s obesity?

3-      How do advertisers target kids?

4-      What can society do?

A debate on consumerism

On February we are going to have a debate/ role play on consumerism.
Students are going to work in groups of four or five and are expected to perform the role of the following  characters.

Groups of four:
A shopaholic, a psychologist; an advertiser and defender of the consumer society; an activist against consumerism.

Groups of five:
A shopaholic, a psychologist; an advertiser and defender of the consumer society; an activist against consumerism; a friend or a relative of the shopaholic.

  Get prepared!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Consumerism and advertising

We have been talking about the topic, Consumerism, which is divided in 3 different sets.

In the 1st set, we discussed the following topics:
·         the impact of the media in our society;
·         the difference between reality and the pictures conveyed by the media;
·         the making of a celebrity;
·         today’s focus on popularity and success;
·         the perpetuation of the impossible “thin” and eating disorders;
·         Body idioms and expressions;
·         Grammar: Infinitives and gerund;

In the 2nd set, we talked about:
  • the impact of advertising in our society;
  • commercial and non-commercial advertising;
  • goals of advertising (AIDMA)
  • what makes a good print ad;
  •  xamples of advertising in our daily life;
  • the differences between slogans and advertising messages;
  • grammar: modals
  • grammar: IF clauses type 3
We used videos such as, Emmy 2011 best commercial nominees ; Movie segments to assess grammar goals;

In the third set, we have been talking about:
  • ·         the ethics in advertising;
  • ·         examples of unethical/misleading advertising;
  • ·         protection against misleading advertising;
  • ·         aggressive advertising techniques;
  • ·         effects of junk food advertising on childhood obesity.
We have been using videos such as, " Food ad tricks;  "Effects of junk food advertising on childhood obesity ;