Thursday, 24 December 2009

New feature: The Best of the Web

Over the next weeks and months, you'll see the Best of the Web Collection grow to include a large variety of great talks on technology, entertainment, design and all the other topics you can find on

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Credits: An acknowledgment of work done, as in the production of a motion picture or publication. Often used in the plural:
e.g. At the end of the film we stayed to watch the credits.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is a Western Christmas tradition in which members of a group are randomly assigned other members to whom they anonymously give a gift. Often practised in workplaces, or amongst large families, participation in it is usually voluntary. It offers a way for many people to give and receive a gift at low cost to those involved

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ready for CAE p 69. Essays. Useful Language

Ready for CAE Ss p 69. Essay. Useful Language

Ready for CAE p 69. It is Better to Live Alone Than in the Parental Home. Essay

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Ready for CAE p 67. Listening. Vocabulary

Immaterial (to sb/sth): not important or relevant in a particular situation. Irrelevant: E.g. The cost is immaterial. It is immaterial to me whether he stays or goes.
Hold back on sth: stop from moving forwards. To withhold something; to give or take only a limited amount.E.g. Hold back on the gravy. I'm on a diet. That's enough. Hold back. Save some for the others. Frenar
Stunts: escenas peligrosas
Rally: a car race on public roads or land.
Peak performance: best performance.
Roll: to turn over and over or round and round. Dar vueltas, rodar.
Noun: a long channel dug at the side of a field or road, to hold or take away water. Cuneta, acequia
Verb: to get rid of sth/sb because you no longer want or need it/them: E.g. The new road building programme has been ditched. He ditched his girlfriend.
Step in: to help sb in a disagreement or difficult situation: E.g. A local businessman stepped in with a large donation for the school. Intervenir.
Underrate: to not recognize how good, important, etc. sb/sth really is: E.g. He’s seriously underrated as a writer. An underrated movie. Subestimar

Ready for CAE p 65. Relationships. Extra speaking

Ready for CAE Ss p 65. Relationships. Extra Speaking

Description of the picture on the left:

The picture portrays a tiny desert island with a palm tree in the centre. Perhaps this island is located in a tropical part of the world. I would say that because palm trees normally grow in tropical countries.
Anyway, underneath the palm tree, and sitting at either side of its trunk, we can clearly see a couple, who, judging by their posture and what they are saying to each other, seem to have quite a rocky relationship. They don’t face each other but, quite the opposite, they are sitting back to back, leaning against the tree trunk.
Both of them are wearing scruffy clothes and are barefoot. They look as though they are two castaways. They must have been shipwrecked and may have had to swim to this desert island.
We can’t say that they are getting on like a house on fire. On the one hand, she has folded her arms tightly across her chests. This comes to show us that she might be feeling uncomfortable or nervous. Studies have shown that when a person folds his arms not only has he negative thoughts about the other person, but he is also paying less attention to what is being said. On the other hand he appears to be completely unaware of how bored and confused she seems to be. I would say that the relationship must have turned sour some time ago.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Ready for CAE p 65. Malcolm X at Oxford, 1964. Extra Listening

I enjoy replaying this vintage gem every now and then -- Malcolm X debating at Oxford University in 1964. In this classic video, you get a good feel for Malcolm X’s presence and message, not to mention the social issues that were alive during the day. You’ll hear X’s trademark claim that liberty can be attained by “whatever means necessary,” including force, if the government won’t guarantee it, and that “intelligently directed extremism” will achieve liberty far more effectively than pacifist strategies. (He’s clearly alluding to Martin Luther King.) You can listen to the speech in its entirety here (Real Audio), something that is well worth doing. But I’d also encourage you to watch the dramatic closing minutes and pay some attention to the nice rhetorical slide, where X takes lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and uses them to justify his “by whatever means necessary” position. You’d probably never expect to see Hamlet getting invoked that way, let alone Malcolm X speaking at Oxford. A wonderful set of contrasts.

“I read once, passingly, about a man named Shakespeare. I only read about him passingly, but I remember one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Hamlet, I think, it was, who said, ‘To be or not to be.’ He was in doubt about something—whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—moderation—or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you’ll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who’s in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you’ll be waiting a long time. And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built, and the only way it’s going to be built—is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.”

Ready for CAE p 62. Motherhood's Best-kept Secret. Vocabulary


To drift off to sleep: to fall asleep.
To wander: to walk slowly around or to a place, often without any particular sense of purpose or direction.
Wreck: a person who is in a bad physical or mental condition.
Old self: the type of person you are, especially the way you normally behave, look or feel
To downsize: to reduce the number of people who work in a company, business, etc. in order to reduce costs.
Siege: a military operation in which an army tries to capture a town by surrounding it and stopping the supply of food, etc. to the people inside. Cercar.
Ambush: the act of hiding and waiting for sby and then making a surprise attack on them. Emboscada.
To prevail: to exist or be very common at a particular time or in a particular place.
At bay: to prevent an enemy from coming close or a problem from having a bad effect. Mantener a raya.
To drop sby off: to stop so that sby can get out of a car, etc.; to deliver sthg on the way to somewhere else.
To back up: to support sby/sthg; to say that what sby says, etc. is true.
Manageable: possible to deal with or control.
To stumble: to discover sthg/sby unexpectedly.
To rely on: to trust or have faith in sby/sthg.
To empathise: to understand another person’s feelings and experiences, especially because you have been in a similar situation.
Whereas: used to compare or contrast two facts.
Reluctant: hesitating before doing sthg because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do.
To break away: to move away from a crowd or group. Separarse.
Cuddly: if a person is cuddly, they make you want to cuddle them. (Adorable) To cuddle: to hold sby/sthg close in your arms to show love or affection. Abrazar, achuchar.
Accepting: approving.
Frailty: weakness in a person’s character or moral standards. Debilidad, flaqueza.
Whilst: during the time that sthg is happening.
Bond: strong connection.
To edit: to prepare a piece of writing, a book, etc. to be published by correcting the mistakes, making improvements to it, etc.
To confide IN: to tell sby secrets and personal information because you feel you can trust them.
To put up: to build sthg or place sthg somewhere.
Rough: not gentle or careful; violent. Bruto, rudo.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Ready for CAE p 61. Listening. Vocabulary

Hasten: /ˈheɪsən/ to say or do sth without delay: E.g. He has been described as a ‘charmless bore’—not by me, I hasten to add. Apresurarse.
Turn down: to reject or refuse. Rechazar.
The whole works: everything available. The whole thing. The whole shebang /ʃɪˈbæŋ/.
Lavish: large in amount, or impressive, and usually costing a lot of money. Extravagant. E.g. lavish gifts / celebrations. They lived a very lavish lifestyle.
Statement: declaration
Allowance: an amount of money that is given to sb regularly or for a particular purpose.
Besotted:/biˈsɒtɪd/ besotted (by / with sb/sth) loving sb/sth so much that you do not behave in a sensible way: E.g. He is completely besotted with his new girlfriend. Locamente enamorado. Chiflado.
Strain: pressure, tension, worry, anxiety.
Prove to be: turn out: resultar.
Restricted: limited
Truthful: honest
Stick at sth:to continue to work in a serious and determined way to achieve sth:
If you want to play an instrument well, you’ve got to stick at it. Persevere /ˌpɜːsɪˈvɪə/. Perseverar.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Ready for CAE p 57. Vocabulary

  • Slapdash: done, or doing something, too quickly and carelessly. Chapucero E.g. She has a very slapdash approach to keeping accounts. A slapdash piece of writing.
  • Stubborn: determined not to change your opinion or attitude. Terco, testarudo, tozudo. E.g. He was too stubborn to admit that he was wrong. She can be as stubborn as a mule.
  • Reluctance: hesitation before doing something because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do. E.g. With great reluctance (a regañadientes).
  • Domineering: trying to control other people without considering their opinions or feelings. Dominante. E.g. a cold and domineering father. A domineering manner.

Ready for CAE p 56. Personality. Extra Vocabulary

Ready for CAE p 56. Personality. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE Ss p 56 Personality. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE p 56. 01 Personal Identification and Experiences.

You can find posts on this topic here and here

You can find conversation questions on the subject here

Remember that you can find more conversation questions on the EOI Curriculum Topics at The Internet TESL Journal.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Ready for CAE Ss p 55. TIME. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE Ss p 55. TIME. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE p 55. Vocabulary. Listening. David Markham: Time Management. Time

Asset /ˈæset/: a person or thing that is valuable (bien).
To map sth out: to plan carefully
To be snowed under: to have more work than you feel you are able to deal with.
To be pressed for time: in a hurry; under time pressure.
To take on: to decide to do sth; to agree to be responsible for sth/sb (asumir/aceptar algo): e.g. I can’t take on any extra work. We’re not taking on any new clients at present.
Crease: an untidy line that is made in cloth or paper when it is pressed or crushed: e.g. She smoothed the creases out of her skirt.
Pursue /pəˈsjuː/: try to achieve sth
Pursuit /pəˈsjuːt/ of sth: the act of looking for or trying to find sth.
Slump: to sit or fall down heavily (dejarse caer, tirarse): e.g. The old man slumped down in his chair. He slumped in front of the television.

To set aside: to save or keep money or time for a particular purpose: e.g. She tries to set aside some money every month.

Harvest: the time of year when the crops are gathered in on a farm, etc.; the act of cutting and gathering crops: e.g. Harvest time. Farmers are extremely busy during the harvest.

Prime time (BrE also peak time, peak viewing time): the time when the greatest number of people are watching television or listening to the radio: e.g. prime-time television.

Record-breaker:a person or thing that achieves a better result or higher level than has ever been achieved before.
Record-breaking: adjective [only before noun]: a record-breaking jump

Injury time: (BrE) time added at the end of a game of football, hockey, etc. because the game has been interrupted by injured players needing treatment.

Qualifying time: he failed to achieve the qualifying time (Sport) → no consiguió el tiempo mínimo requerido para la clasificación

Sow/səʊ/: to plant or spread seeds
Sew/səʊ/: to use a needle and thread to make stitches in cloth.

Ready for CAE p 54. To Bear Someone a Grudge. Extra Vocabulary

Ready for CAE p 54. Extra Speaking

Ready for Cae Ss p 54. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE p 54. Vocabulary

Grudges: a strong feeling of anger and dislike for a person who you feel has treated you badly, which often lasts for a long time To bear no grudges: No guardar rencor.

To rise through/from the ranks: to be moved up from a low level position in an organization to a higher one.

To bear a resemblance to someone or something: to have a degree of similarity to someone or something. E.g. This wallet bears a strong resemblance to the one I lost last month. Do you think that Wally bears any resemblance to his sister Mary?

Can't bear something: to be so upset about something that you feel unable to accept it or let it happen [= can't stand]: Please don't leave me. I couldn't bear it.
Can't bear the thought of (doing) something: I just can't bear the thought of having to start all over.(Se me hace difícil creer/ no puedo soportar la idea de ...)

Favour: behaviour that helps someone and gives them an advantage in an unfair way.
Show favour to someone: E.g. He was careful to show no favour to anyone. (favorecer a alguien)

Stun: to surprise or shock sb so much that they cannot think clearly or speak. Aturdir. I sat in stunned silence → me senté en silencio, anonadado

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 52. Are Women Becoming Unhappier? Extra Listening

Over recent decades, women have been becoming unhappier while men's happiness has increased. That's according to data from the General Social Survey which has tracked Americans' moods since 1972. What are the possible causes? Listen on Forum.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 52. The Fast Track to Burnout. Vocabulary


To promote: to raise someone to a higher or more important position or Rank.

Income: money that is earned from doing work or received from investments.

To turn out: to happen in a particular way or to have a particular result, especially an unexpected one.

To show off: to behave in a way which is intended to attract attention or admiration, and which other people often find annoying.

To cope with: to deal successfully with a difficult situation.

To relate to: to understand a situation or someone’s feelings because you have experienced a similar situation or similar feelings.

Overload: to put too large a load in or on something.

To turn one’s back on: to refuse to help someone.

Grudges: a strong feeling of anger and dislike for a person who you feel has treated you badly, which often lasts for a long time To bear no grudges: No guardar rencor.

To get sucked in: to cause someone or something to gradually become involved in an an unpleasant situation or harmful activity.

To quit: to leave.

MBA: Abbreviation for Master of Business Administration: an advanced degree in business, or a person who has this.

To snap up: to immediately accept someone’s offer to join your company or team because you want them very much.

Retail: the activity of selling goods to the public, usually in small quantities.

Stage: a part of an activity or a period of development.

Implementation: To implement: to put a plan or system into operation:.

Unforeseen: unexpected.

Problems ARISE

Appraisal: when an employee meets with their manager or employer to discuss their progress, aims and needs at work.

Rating: a measurement of how good or popular someone or something is.

Devastating: making someone very shocked and upset.

To set up: to formally establish a new company, organization, system, way of working, etc.

Recruitment: To recruit: to persuade someone to work for a company or become a new member of an organization, especially the army.

Flourishing: To flourish: to grow or develop successfully.

Perks: INFORMAL an advantage or benefit, such as money or goods, which you are given because of your job.

Burden: something difficult or unpleasant that you have to deal with or worry about.

A cog in a / the machine: a member of a large organization whose job, although necessary, makes them feel unimportant.

Burnout: extreme tiredness usually caused by working too much.

To step into one’s shoes: to take someone’s place, often by doing the job they have just left.

Developing countries: describes a country or area of the world which is poorer and has less advanced industries, especially in Africa, Latin America or Asia.

Worthwhile: useful, important or beneficial enough to be a suitable reward for the money or time spent or the effort made.

To sign up: to sign a document saying that you will work for someone or do a particular job or activity.

Leading: very important or most important.

To admit TO + -ing

To rise through / from the ranks: to be moved up from a low level position in an organization to a higher one.

Overtime: (time spent working) beyond the usual time needed or expected in a job.

Reluctant: not very willing to do something and therefore slow to do it.

Flawless: perfect or without mistakes.

Utterly: completely, extremely.

To mystify: to confuse someone by being or doing something very strange or impossible to explain.

To talk sby out of sthg: to persuade someone not to do something.

To resent: to be angry about and to dislike being forced to accept something or someone annoying. Resentment: noun.

To alienate: to make someone feel that they are different and do not belong to a group.

To update: to give someone the most recent information.

To withhold: to refuse to give something or to keep back something.

To hand in: to give something to someone in a position of authority.

To hand in / to give in your notice: to tell your employer that you intend to leave your job after a particular period of time.

Flexi-time: a system of working in which people work a set number of hours within a fixed period of time, but can vary the time they start or finish work.

Ready for CAE p 51. Vocabulary

Ex C
Despondent about/ over sth.: /dɪˈspɒndənt/ sad, without much hope. Dejected. E.g. She was becoming increasingly despondent about the way things were going.There are times when it is hard not to feel despondent.

Ready for CAE p 50. Extra Listening: People Watchers Job Interviews. Vocabulary

Hinge on: to depend on sth completely. E.g. His success hinges on how well he does at the interview.
put sb/sth through their / its paces: to give sb/sth a number of tasks to perform in order to see what they are capable of doing
put sth in: to spend a lot of time or make a lot of effort doing sth: E.g. She often puts in twelve hours' work a day.
Attire: clothes: E.g. dressed in formal evening attire
Engaging: interesting or pleasant in a way that attracts your attention: e.g. an engaging smile
Temp: to do a temporary job or a series of temporary jobs: e.g. I’ve been temping for an employment agency.
come / spring to mind: if sth comes / springs to mind, you suddenly remember or think of it: e.g. When discussing influential modern artists, three names immediately come to mind.
Marquee: a large tent used at social events
Come across:
1 to be understood: e.g. He spoke for a long time but his meaning didn’t really come across.
2. to make a particular impression: e.g. She comes across well in interviews. 
Personable (adj) : attractive to other people because of having a pleasant appearance and character. Personably (adv.)
Amiable: /ˈeɪmiəbəl/ pleasant; friendly and easy to like
Spark: (chispa) a special quality of energy, intelligence or enthusiasm that makes sb very clever, amusing, etc.: e.g. As a writer he seemed to lack creative spark
Plonk: to put sth down on sth, especially noisily or carelessly: e.g. He plonked the books down on the table.  Just plonk your bag anywhere.
Expand on: to say more about sth and add some details:
Could you expand on that point, please?
Barge in (on sb/sth): to enter a place or join a group of people rudely interrupting what sb else is doing or saying: e.g. I hope you don’t mind me barging in like this.  He barged in on us while we were having a meeting
Badge: a small piece of metal or plastic, with a design or words on it, that a person wears to show that they belong to an organization, support sth, have achieved sth, have a particular rank, etc. (insignia, chapa)

Ready for CAE p 50. Listening: Job Interviews. Vocabulary

Subsidiary: a business company that is owned or controlled by another larger company
Slack: not putting enough care, attention or energy into sth and so not doing it well enough: e.g. He’s been very slack in his work lately. Discipline in the classroom is very slack. (flojo, descuidado)
Take on: to employ sb: e.g. to take on new staff. She was taken on as a trainee
Uptight: anxious and/or angry about sth: Relax! You’re getting too uptight about it.
Course: of course. E.g. ‘Will you be there?’ ‘Course I will.’
Lean: to bend or move from a vertical position. Inclinar(se)
Bubbly: 1. full of bubbles 2.(of a person) always cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic.
Fill / fit the bill: to be what is needed in a particular situation or for a particular purpose: e.g. On paper, several of the applicants fit the bill.
Of all people, things, etc.(informal): used to express surprise because sb/sth seems the least likely person, example, etc.: e.g. I didn’t think you, of all people, would become a vegetarian.
Turn out: to be discovered to be; to prove to be: e.g. The job turned out to be harder than we thought.
Tricky: difficult to do or deal with. E.g. a tricky situation

Ready for CAE p 50. Interview Dos and Don'ts. Extra Listening

Ready for CAE p 49. Vocabulary

Ex 1
Versatile: / ˈvɜːsətaɪl/ able to do many different things.
Ex 2
Serve out: continue doing sth, especially working or staying in prison, for a fixed period of time that has been set. E.g. He has three more years in prison before he's served out his sentence. They didn't want me to serve out my notice

Ready for CAE p 48. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work. Extra Listening

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. He lays out the main problems and offers three suggestions to make work work.

Ready for CAE p 48. Punctuation p 218: Vocabulary

stork: cigüeña
stay put: continue to be in the place where they are or where they have been put.
acute: very serious or severe. Grave, extremo, agudo
bring sb out in sth: to make sb's skin be covered in spots. e.g. The heat brought him out in a rash.
1. to talk with too much pride about sth that you have or can do. (Fanfarronear): e.g. She is always boasting about how wonderful her children are.
2. to have sth that is impressive and that you can be proud of. Gozar de, contar con: e.g. The hotel also boasts two swimming pools and a golf course
oak: roble
ash: fresno
elm: olmo
beech: haya
alder /ˈɔːldə/: aliso
birch /bɜːtʃ/: abedul

Ready for CAE p 46. Slopes at the Top of the World


To master: to learn or understand sthg completely.

Hurdle: obstacle.

To pick: to choose.

Piste: a track of firm snow prepared for skiing on.

Well-groomed: clean, neat.

Drop: a distance down from a high point to a lower point.

Ranks: the members of a particular group or organisation.

On the whole: considering everything; in general.

Fairly: to some extent but not very.

To groom: to prepare, to look after. To prepare (a trail) for skiers, as by packing down new snow or levelling moguls.

Cool: calm, confident.

To cater for: to provide the things that a particular person or situation needs or wants.

Cable car: a vehicle that hangs from and is pulled by a moving cable and that carries passengers up and down a mountain.

Resort: a place where a lot of people go on holiday / vacation.

To branch off: to be joined to another road or river but lead in a different direction.

Steep: rising or falling quickly, not gradually.

Nasty: very unpleasant.

To cruise: to travel at a steady speed.

Reaches: the parts of an area or a place that are a long way from the centre. Tramos.

To tuck away: to be located in a quiet place, where not many people go.

Downhill: towards the bottom of a hill; in a direction that goes down.

Postbus: A small bus, van or similar vehicle, used for delivering mail and carrying passengers, especially in rural areas.
To try out: to test or use sby/sthg in order to see how good or effective they are.

Tricky: difficult to do or deal with.

T-bar: a machine which pulls two people up a mountain on skis together.

To put sby off: to make sby lose interest in or enthusiasm for sthg/sby.

Off piste: away from the tracks of firm snow that have been prepared for skiing on.

Chairlift: a series of chairs hanging from a moving cable, for carrying people up and down a mountain.

Must: something that you must do, see, buy, etc.

The lot: (informal) the whole number or amount of people or things.

Cornice: a decorative border around the top of the walls in a room or on the outside walls of a building.

Lip: a hollow place in the ground. The edge of an opening or cavity, as of a canyon.

Powder: loose, dry snow which has fallen recently

To fight your way through: to try very hard to get your way or to achieve sthg.

In terms of: used to show what aspect of a subject you are talking about or how you are thinking about it.

Crevasse: a deep open crack, especially in ice, for example in a glacier. Grieta (en un glaciar)

To lurk: when sthg unpleasant or dangerous lurks, it is present but not in an obvious way.

To tower: to be much higher or taller than the people or things that are near.

Jagged: with rough, pointed, often sharp edges. Irregular, recortado, con picos.

Serac: A large pointed mass of ice in a glacier isolated by intersecting crevasses.

Speechless: not able to speak, especially because you are extremely angry or surprised.

To queue up: to queue.

Sheer: used to emphasise the size, degree or amount of sthg.

To screen: to protect.

Safety net: a net placed underneath acrobats, etc. to catch them if they fall.

Close-up: a photograph, or picture in a film / movie, taken very close to sby/sthg so that it shows a lot of detail.

Imposing: impressive to look at; making a strong impression.

Moguls: a raised area of hard snow that you jump over when you are skiing.

To stop sby in their tracks: to suddenly make sby stop by frightening or surprising them; to suddenly stop because sthg has frightened or surprised you.

Ready for CAE p 44. The Perils of Pizza Making. Vocabulary


To turn out: to be discovered to be; to prove to be.

Topping: a layer of food that you put on top of a dish, cake, etc. to add flavour or to make it look nice.

Let alone: used after a statement to emphasise that because the first thing is not true or possible, the next thing cannot be true or possible either.

To toss: to shake or turn food in order to cover it with oil, butter, etc.

To roll out: to make sthg flat by pushing sthg over it

Rolling pin: a wooden or glass kitchen utensil (= a tool) in the shape of a tube, used for rolling pastry flat.

Dough: a mixture of flour, water, etc. that is made into bread and pastry.

Trainee: a person who is being taught how to do a particular job.

Sorry: [only before noun] very sad or bad, especially making you feel pity or disapproval.

To sigh: to take and then let out a long deep breath that can be heard, to show that you are disappointed, sad, tired, etc..

Craft: all the skills needed for a particular activity.

Craftsman: a skilled person, especially one who makes beautiful things by hand.

Stoker: a person whose job is to add coal or other fuel to a fire, etc., especially on a ship or a steam train.

Proceedings: [pl.] an event or a series of actions.

To struggle: to try very hard to do sthg when it is difficult or when there are a lot of problems.

Handful: the amount of sthg that can be held in one hand.

To press out: to make sthg flat or smooth by using force or putting sthg heavy on top.

Edge: the outside limit of an object, a surface or an area; the part furthest from the centre.

To twirl: to make sthg turn quickly and lightly round and round. To spin.

To shake off: to get rid of.

To toss: to throw sthg lightly or carelessly.

For show: intended to be seen but not used.

Disdainful: showing disdain, contemptuous, dismissive.

To scoop up: to move or lift sthg with a scoop or sthg like a scoop. Scoop: a tool like a large spoon with a deep bowl, used for picking up substances in powder form like flour, or for serving food like ice cream.

Snug: warm, comfortable and protected, especially from the cold. Cosy.

To pull sthg off: to remove.

To sow: to plant or spread seeds in or on the ground.

Seed: the small hard part produced by a plant, from which a new plant can grow.

Failure: lack of success in doing or achieving sthg.

To shower: to drop a lot of small things onto sby.

Crestfallen: sad and disappointed because you have failed and you did not expect to.

To step: to lift your foot and move it in a particular direction or put it on or in sthg; to move a short distance.

Paddle: a tool or part of a machine shaped like a paddle, especially one used for mixing food.

Baffled: confused.

To be on to sthg: to know about sthg or be in a situation that could lead to a good result for you.

To top: to put sthg on the top of sthg else.

Smear: an oily or dirty mark.

Crunchy: (especially of food) firm and crisp and making a sharp sound when you bite or crush it.

Crispy: pleasantly hard and dry.

Even: smooth, level and flat.

Overworked: too hard.

To amble: to walk at a slow relaxed speed.

To head for: to move in a particular direction.

Stage: phase.

Stickiness: the fact of being sticky. Sticky: made of or covered in a substance that sticks to things that touch it.

To slap: to hit sby/sthg with the flat part of your hand.

Chilled: very cold.

To take sthg in: to understand.

To go wrong: to experience problems or difficulties.

Breast: chest.

To plunge: to move or make sby/sthg move suddenly forwards and/or downwards.

Target: a result that you try to achieve.

Red-hot: so hot that it looks red.

Ready for CAE p 42. Fool if You Think It's over. Vocabulary


To sound out: to try to find out from sby what they think about sth, often in an indirect way.

Raw: in its natural state; not yet changed, used or made into sth else.

Tune: a series of musical notes that are sung or played in a particular order to form a piece of music.

To reappraise: to think again about the value or nature of sth to see if your opinion about it should be changed.

Afterthought: a thing that is thought of, said or added later, and is often not carefully planned.

Gushing: (disapproving) expressing so much enthusiasm, praise or emotion that it does not seem sincere.

To shave: to cut a small amount off a price, etc.

Daunting: intimidating.

Track: part of a tape or computer disk that music or information can be recorded on.

To release: to make sth available to the public.

Label: a company that produces and sells records, CDs, etc.

Throwaway comment: something you say quickly without careful thought, sometimes in order to be funny.

The final straw: the last in a series of bad events, etc. that makes it impossible for you to accept a situation any longer.

OUT OF the question: impossible or not allowed and therefore not worth discussing.

To reel off: to say or repeat sth quickly without having to stop or think about it.

To trap: [often passive] to keep sby in a dangerous place or bad situation that they want to get out of but cannot.

Along the lines: (informal) at some point during an activity or a process.

To bracket: to consider people or things to be similar or connected in some way.

Middle-of-the-road: not extreme; acceptable to most people. Moderate.

Compliant: (usually disapproving) too willing to agree with other people or to obey rules.

To wheel: to push or pull sth that has wheels.

Operating theatre: a room in a hospital used for medical operations.

To stamp: to print letters, words, a design, etc. onto sth using a special tool.

Moaning: to groan, to complain.

To plead: to beg.

Raucous: sounding loud and rough.

Stomp: (informal) to walk, dance, or move with heavy steps.

Setting: a set of surroundings; the place at which sthg happens.

Gravelly: (of a voice) deep and with a rough sound.

Slide: a part of a musical instrument or other device that slides backwards and forwards.

Bass drum: a large drum that makes a very low sound, used in orchestras.

Riff: a short repeated pattern of notes in popular music or jazz.

Unearthly: very strange; not natural and therefore frightening.

The blues: feelings of sadness.

Exchange: building.

To shudder: to shake because you are cold or frightened, or because of a strong feeling.

Upbeat: optimistic.

Catchy: (of music or the words of an advertisement) pleasing and easily remembered.

Ready for CAE p 41. Vocabulary

Open Cloze
Mildew: /ˈmɪldjuː/ a very small white fungus that grows on walls, plants, food, etc. in warm wet conditions. Moho.
Batch: a number of people or things that are dealt with as a group. Hornada, tanda, lote, pila, montón, grupo. E.g. Each summer a new batch of students tries to find work. He worked his way through the batch of letters on his desk. We deliver the goods in batches.

Ready for CAE p 40. Internet. Extra speaking

Ready for CAE Ss p 40. the INTERNET. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE p 40. Word Formation. Vocabulary

Overtake: to become greater in number, amount or importance than sth else
SYN outstrip:
Nuclear energy may overtake oil as the main fuel. We mustn’t let ourselves be overtaken by our competitors.

Factual: basado en hechos. Based on or containing facts:
A factual account of events. Factual information. The essay contains a number of factual errors

Expertise /ˌekspɜːˈtiːz/ (in sth / in doing sth) expert knowledge or skill in a particular subject, activity or job:
professional / scientific / technical, etc. expertise. They have considerable expertise in dealing with oil spills. We have the expertise to help you run your business

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The American Novel Since 1945

The talk above is the first of 26 lectures making up a free Yale course called “The American Novel Since 1945.” Taught by Amy Hungerford, the course introduces you to the novels of America’s finest post-war writers -- Nabokov , Salinger, Keroauc, Pynchon,...
You can activate the subtitles by clicking on the bottom right arrow.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 39. Vocabulary

Stale: no longer fresh and therefore unpleasant to eat or smelling unpleasant. Pasado. E.g. stale cigarette smoke.
Brew: /bruː/ to make a hot drink of tea or coffee. E.g. freshly brewed coffee.
Sizzle: to make the sound of food frying in hot oil. E.g. sizzling sausages.
Acrid: / ˈækrɪd/ having a strong, bitter smell or taste that is unpleasant. Pungent. Acre, fuerte. E.g. acrid smoke from burning tyres. 
Rancid: /ˈrænsɪd/ if food containing fat is rancid, it tastes or smells unpleasant because it is no longer fresh. Rancio. E.g. rancid butter. Butter soon goes/turns (= becomes) rancid in this heat. There was a rancid smell coming from the kitchen.
Pungent: /ˈpʌndʒənt/ having a strong taste or smell. Olor acre. E.g. the pungent smell of burning rubber. The air was pungent with the smell of spices.

Ex 3
Faint: that cannot be clearly seen, heard or smelt. Débil. E.g. a faint smell of perfume.
Musty: smelling damp and unpleasant because of a lack of fresh air. Rancio. E.g. a musty room. A musty smell of old books. These clothes smell musty.  
Unmistakable: that cannot be mistaken for somebody/something else. Inconfundible. E.g. Her accent was unmistakable. The unmistakable sound of gunfire.
Overpowering: /ˌəʊvəˈpaʊərɪŋ/ very strong or powerful. Abrumador, opresor, opresivo, sofocante. E.g. an overpowering smell of fish. An overpowering personality. The heat was overpowering.
Sickly: that makes you feel sick, especially because it is too sweet. Empalagoso. E.g. a sickly sweet smell

Ex 4
Give off something: to produce something such as a smell, heat, light, etc. Desprender. E.g. The flowers gave off a fragrant perfume. The fire doesn't seem to be giving off much heat. 

JD Salinger’s Uncollected Stories

JD Salinger captured the public imagination with The Catcher in the Rye in 1951. If you want to read more stories written by him, visit this site.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 38. Scents and Sensitivity. Vocabulary to Describe Objects

Ready for CAE Ss p 38.Scents and Sensitivity.vocabulary to Describe Objects

Ready for CAE p 38. Scents and Sensitivity. Extra Speaking

Ready for CAE Ss p 38 the Senses. Extra Activity

Friday, 20 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 38. Scents and Sensibility. Vocabulary


To sniff: to smell something by taking air in through your nose.

Sentient: able to experience physical and possibly emotional feelings.

Anosmic: relating to an impairment or loss of the sense of smell; having impaired sense of smell.

To thrust: to push suddenly and strongly.
To recall: to remember.

On the grounds that: or the reason that.

Alas: interj. Used to express sorrow, regret, grief, compassion, or apprehension of danger or evil.

Beverage: a drink of any type.

To collapse: If someone collapses, they fall down because they are ill or Peak.

Hob: the top part or surface of a cooker on which pans can be heated.

Burner: the part of a cooker, light, etc. that produces flame or heat.

Aural: relating to hearing.

Leak: a hole or space through which a liquid or gas can flow out of a container, or the liquid or gas that comes out.

To blow up: to explode.

Bout: a short period of illness or involvement in an activity.

Best-before date: the day or month before which food or drink should be eaten or drunk.

Assiduously: showing hard work, care and attention to detail.

To treat: to behave towards someone or deal with something in a particular way.

Olfaction: the sense of smell. The act or process of smelling.

Backdrop: the general situation in which particular events happen.

To trigger: to cause something bad to start.

Rush: a sudden strong emotion or physical feeling.

Sickly: weak, unhealthy and often ill.

Ear, nose and throat: otolaryngology.

Consultant: a doctor who has special training in and knowledge of a particular area of medicine.

To soldier on: to persist in one’s efforts in spite of difficulties, pressure, etc.

To reminisce: to talk or write about past experiences which you remember with pleasure.

Challenged: Having a disability or impairment.

To attend: to happen as a result of, and at the same time as.

Blindness: inability to see.

Sour: having a sharp, sometimes unpleasant, taste or smell, like a lemon, and not sweet.

Nuance: a very slight difference in appearance, meaning, sound, etc.

Odour: a smell, often one that is unpleasant.

Body odour: an unpleasant smell on a person’s body that is caused by sweat.

Blockage: something that stops something else passing through, or when something does this.

Reluctant: not willing to do something and therefore slow to do it.

Fumes: strong, unpleasant and sometimes dangerous gas or smoke.

Varnish: a coloured liquid which is painted on fingernails or toenails.

Remover: a substance which removes something.

To pass on: to transmit.

Offspring: a person’s children.

Mugful: the quantity that can be held in a mug.

Season: to improve the flavour of savoury food by adding salt, herbs or spices when cooking or preparing it.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Ready for CAE p 36. Vocabulary

Ex 2
Herder: a person whose job is to take care of a group of animals such as sheep and cows in the countryside. E.g. goat herder. Reindeer herder.
Trusty: that you have had a long time and have always been able to rely on. Reliable. E.g. a trusty friend. She spent years touring Europe with her trusty old camera.
Cramped: a cramped room, etc. does not have enough space for the people in it. E.g. working in cramped conditions.
Play up/ play somebody up: to cause somebody problems or pain. E.g. The kids have been playing up all day. My shoulder is playing me up today. The kids couldn't run around, they'd start playing up, tempers would overheat, and everyone fell out.  
Temper: if somebody has a temper, they become angry very easily. E.g. a violent/short/quick, etc. temper. He must learn to control his temper. She broke the plates in a fit of temper. After an hour of waiting, tempers began to fray (= people began to get angry)
Fall out: to have an argument with somebody so that you are no longer friendly with them.
Go about: to start working on something. Tackle. Emprender: E.g. You're not going about the job in the right way. How should I go about finding a job?
Down to earth: sensible and practical, in a way that is helpful and friendly.
Account: a written or spoken description of something that has happened. E.g. She gave the police a full account of the incident. The diaries contained detailed accounts of the writer's experiences in China.
Reluctant: hesitating before doing something because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do. Reacio. E.g. She was reluctant to admit she was wrong.
Open up (to somebody): (British English also open out (to somebody)) to talk about what you feel and think; to become less shy and more willing to communicate. Abrirse, sincerarse. E.g. It helps to discuss your problems but I find it hard to open up. He only opened up to her very slowly.
Country bumpkin: a person from the countryside who seems stupid. Paleto.
Despise: to dislike and have no respect for somebody/something. Despreciar. E.g. She despised gossip in any form. He despised himself for being so cowardly.
Defiant: /dɪˈfaɪənt/ openly refusing to obey somebody/something, sometimes in an aggressive way. Desobediente, desafiante. E.g. a defiant teenager. The terrorists sent a defiant message to the government.
Prune: to cut off some of the branches from a tree, bush, etc. so that it will grow better and stronger. Podar. E:g. When should you prune apple trees? He pruned the longer branches off the tree. Prune something back: e.g. The hedge (seto) needs pruning back.
Cut sth back: to make a bush, etc. smaller by cutting branches off. Prune. E.g. to cut back a rose bush.
Moan: /məʊn/ to complain about something. E.g. What are you moaning on about now? They're always moaning and groaning about how much they have to do. Bella moaned that her feet were cold.
Influx: the fact of a lot of people, money or things arriving somewhere. Afluencia. E.g. a massive/sudden influx of visitors. The influx of wealth into the region.  
Buy something up: to buy all or as much as possible of something. E.g. Developers are buying up all the land on the island. They buy up land at giveaway prices.
Giveaway prices: low.  
Sell sth up: to sell your home, possessions, business, etc, usually because you are leaving the country or retiring.
Species: (sg=pl) /ˈspiːʃiːz/ a group into which animals, plants, etc. that are able to breed with each other and produce healthy young are divided, smaller than a genus and identified by a Latin name. E.g. a rare species of beetle. There are many species of dog(s). A conservation area for endangered species.
Die out: to stop existing. E.g. This species has nearly died out because its habitat is being destroyed.
Be up to somebody: to be somebody's duty or responsibility; to be for somebody to decide. E.g. It's not up to you to tell me how to do my job. Shall we eat out or stay in? It's up to you.

Ready for CAE p 34. Report: TV Advertising. Writing

Watch the collection of TV adverts in the playlist above, then write a report for an international research company about the different kinds of TV adverts you can find. You should at least include:
- some of the positive and negative aspects of each type of TV advertising you have come across.
- say how effective these TV adverts are.
- suggest one or two changes which could be introduced to counter the negative aspects.

You will find samples of reports on pages 34 and 201 in Ready for CAE.

Page 201:

Ready for CAE p 34. Vocabulary

Ex 2
Managerial: /ˌmænəˈdʒɪəriəl/  connected with the work of a manager. E.g.  Does she have any managerial experience? Managerial responsibilities (obligaciones directivas).
Ex 3
Imagery: /ˈɪmɪdʒəri/
1. language that produces pictures in the minds of people reading or listening. E.g. poetic imagery (imágenes poéticas)
2. pictures, photographs, etc. E.g. satellite imagery (= for example, photographs of the earth taken from space).
Knowledgeable (about something): /ˈnɒlɪdʒəbl/  knowing a lot. Well-informed. Instruido, informado. E.g. She is very knowledgeable about plants.
Buoyant: /ˈbɔɪənt/ tending to increase or stay at a high level, usually showing financial success. Boyante. E.g. a buoyant economy/market. Buoyant sales/prices. A buoyant demand for homes.
Strategically: /strəˈtiːdʒɪkəli/ E.g. a strategically placed microphone. A strategically important target.