domingo, noviembre 23, 2014

The Selfish Giant- Segunda Parte- Audio clip bilingüe


Esta semana Enrique Bernal, de eBBi Books nos trae la segunda parte del Gigante Egoísta de Oscar Wilde. Ya sabes, son audioclips bilingües, que puedes escuchar en inglés británico.

Espero que lo disfrutéis.

Mónica

************

Uno de los mejores cuentos de Oscar Wilde 

Continúa la serie de 4 post con las 4 partes de El Gigante Egoista de los mejores cuentos de Oscar Wilde,el autor de El retrato de Dorian Gray.

Aquí está la primera parte.
El texto es el original, pero al estar dirigido principalmente a los niños, su lenguaje y construcciones se aproximan al nivel intermedio. El audio corresponde a la grabación de Librivox hecha por Joy Chan
Ir al post original.

sábado, noviembre 22, 2014

Diferencia entre aim, goal, objective y purpose




Pregunta:

Me podría explicar la diferencia entre:
  • Aim
  • Goal
  • Objective
  • Purpose

Rosa



*******
Responde nuestra colaboradora, Alba Martín Fernández.

Respuesta:

Hola Rosa:


Los términos que planteas en tu pregunta son bastante complejos en cuanto a su uso y generan cierta dificultad entre los estudiantes de inglés. De hecho, en algunas ocasiones los mismos nativos ingleses hacen uso de estas palabras de forma indistinta en el lenguaje hablado.

Empecemos con la explicación de cada uno de los términos.


Goal: meta. Es lo que se quiere conseguir. (Haz clic en la palabra para saber cómo suena)
/gəʊl/


Purpose: propósito. Es la razón por la que hacemos algo.
/ˈp3ːpəs/


Aim: objetivo, propósito. La idea de cómo conseguiremos nuestra meta.
/eɪm/


Objective: objetivo. El plan detallado de cómo conseguir esa meta.
/əbˈdʒektɪv/


En el siguiente ejemplo podemos apreciar la similitud en el significado de estas palabras pero a la vez sus pequeñas diferencias.

Imaginemos que queremos aprobar el CAE, el examen de Cambridge que prueba un nivel avanzado de la lengua inglesa, para conseguir un trabajo y para ello tenemos que estudiar mucho. Para tal propósito nos creamos un plan de estudio detallado en el que incluimos las horas que vamos a dedicar al estudio y el tipo de ejercicios que vamos a hacer para practicar.

En otras palabras, nuestro propósito (purpose) es aprobar el examen para conseguir un trabajo (goal) y para ello tenemos que estudiar mucho (aim) haciendo un plan detallado de las horas de estudio (objective).

Por lo tanto:

Goal: es la meta que queremos conseguir a largo plazo. Digamos que es el final del camino. En este caso es conseguir un trabajo.

Purpose: el por qué de hacer algo. Estudiamos para aprobar el examen.

Aim: es cómo vamos a conseguir algo. En este caso, nos proponemos estudiar.

Objective: es un plan más conciso y detallado de cómo vamos a conseguir algo. En este ejemplo nuestro objetivo es planearlas horas de estudio y el tipo de ejercicios.


Resumiendo:

PURPOSE- AIM - OBJECTIVE - GOAL

La meta está al final del camino y para conseguirla nos tenemos que proponer algo, y para conseguir ese algo tenemos que decidir el cómo lo haremos (de forma general) y fijarnos un plan específico de cómo actuar.



Espero que esta explicación te ayude a resolver tus dudas.



Un saludo,
Alba Martín Fernández


viernes, noviembre 21, 2014

Unidad 3 TOEFL iBT




Curso TOEFL iBT patrocinado por Kaplan.


Esta unidad ha sido preparada por la profesora de Kaplan preparadora de TOEFL, Sabrina Loubiere


Ahora tendrás que hacer el esfuerzo de leer todas las indicaciones en inglés.

Esta es una buena medida, ya que -como sabes- el TOEFL requiere el dominio de un alto nivel de inglés. Si no entiendes algo, por favor tómate el trabajo de buscarlo en Wordreference, o Google translator. 

Verás como esta unidad ha sido preparada por una profesora con mucha experiencia en el TOEFL, y que sus consejos son muy buenos.

NOTA IMPORTANTE: Por un problema técnico, no hemos podido publicar los audios de esta unidad en la fecha prevista para la publicación de la misma. No obstante, los subiremos la semana del 25 al 28 de noviembre. Ruego, disculpéis las molestias. Mientras esperas te sugiero intentes repasar todos los temas y entenderlos bien, buscando en el diccionario los términos que no conozcas. Mónica
 

TOEFL SPEAKING



Speaking in the TOEFL iBT exam

You enrolled for the TOEFL exam and you realised that the speaking exam would be just you and a computer….Stop panicking! 

The good thing about being sat in front of an exam is the examiner cannot be swayed by your outrageous clothes or analyse your body language to find out if you are lying about a brother you admire….

However, being sat in front of a computer and speaking into a microphone is daunting, artificial and nerve-wracking. 

Start recording your answers on your smartphone when you practise at home. This way, on the day of the real exam, you will be more focus and less fearful of the microphone.

Judging an answer – Giving a score

Like any exam, it is important to know what the examiner is looking for. The examiner will judge you on three main areas:  

  • Topic Development
  • Delivery 
  • Language use.   

The examiner wants to see that you can argue or explain yourself clearly so this is why it is important to use linking words. This will help you develop your answer and deliver your message clearly to the examiner. Thirdly, the examiner is not concerned by every single grammar mistake so do not panic! 

The examiner is only checking that none of your mistakes impede comprehension. 

For example, if you are describing a brother and then you start using the pronoun “she”, it confuses the listener. This type of mistake impedes comprehension.

Each speaking task is graded out of 4. Your total score is then converted to a score out of 30. Let’s review how the examiner decides on a grade.

0 – To get a zero, there must be no response or the response is irrelevant to the task.

1 – To get a one, your speaking contains many problems. These problems with grammar/language make it hard for the examiner to understand you. As a result, the problems interfere with intelligibility. Also, your answer might contain very limited relevant information.

2 – To get a two, speaking needs to have some of the ideas but the development of ideas is limited. Speaking also contains enough problems to sometimes interfere with intelligibility.

3 – To get a three, speaking must be clear and unintelligible parts must not impede on intelligibility. The answer must contain relevant information, even if it is not entirely fully developed or does not have all of the required information.

4 – To get a four, speaking must be clear and show control of complex language. The answer must also be fully developed.

SPEAKING QUESTIONS
At a glance, let’s look at the table below as it gives you a brief overview of what is expected from you in each task.
Task
Number
Independent/
Integrated
Subject
Reading
Listening
Prep.
Time

Speaking time
Task
 1
Independent
A familiar topic
None
None
15 sec
45 sec
Talk about something familiar with lots of details
2
Independent
Your personal choice or Preference
None
None
15 sec
45 sec
Give your point of view on a particular question
3
Integrated
A campus scenario – something is changing
Read an announcement
Listen to a
Conversation between a man
30 sec
1 min
Give an introduction and then explain one speaker’s opinion
4
Integrated
Academic  Content from two sources

Read an Academic
Passage
Listen to part of a lecture on the same topic
30 sec
1 min
Summarise information from both sources
5
Integrated
A campus Scenario – A student has a problem
None
Listen to a conversation between 2 students/ a student and a professor
20 sec
1 min
Summarise a problem, list solutions, then state which solution you prefer and why
6
Integrated
Academic Content from 1 source
None
Listen to an academic Lecture
20 sec
1 min
Summarise the information

As you can see from the table above, you will not be speaking for very long so it is important to make a good impression. Remember that the examiner wants you to develop your ideas and to synthesise the information you hear.  

We are now going to review each task independently. 

For tasks 3-6, the examples were  taken from Kaplan TOEFL IBT, by Simon & Schuster, 2nd edition (20 May 2002) For any more examples, please consult the book.

TASK 1
Task 1 is asking you to speak about a familiar topic and to give as much detail as possible in 45 seconds. 

The first beep will signal preparation time after the question. 

The second beep will mean it is your turn to speak after 15 seconds of preparation. 

You cannot stop the process so you have to be ready to speak. 

The recording will stop promptly at 45 seconds so be sure to have answered and added all the details you need to answer the question before your time elapses!

A task 1 question normally follows the following templates:
Choose a __________________________________________ . Say why it is important to you. Use specific examples to explain your answer.
Describe a _______________________________________________ .  Say why ________________________________________________________ .  Use details and examples to support your answer.
What is your favourite ____________________________________________ ? Explain why it is your favourite, using specific details and examples.


To prepare for this task, try filling out the above templates and anticipate the type of questions you might be asked.  

For example:

Describe a place in your city you enjoy going to. Say why you enjoy going there. Use details and examples to support your answer.

In this task, you will only have 15 seconds to prepare, which is a very short amount of time. During these 15 seconds try to write down two or three main words that will help you to answer the question.

For example:      Park – sports – picnic – escapism

You then need to structure your answer. 

Use linking words to organise your ideas and to indicate how you are going to introduce each idea. 

Do not worry about hesitations, this is natural.

 Please do not speak as fast as you can without breathing as you will get penalised for doing so. 

Try to speak as clearly as possible. Aim for three main reasons or two good reasons with more details.

Sample example:

A place that enjoy going to in my city is my local park. (This paraphrasing of the question introduces the topic). It’s a place I love for several reasons. Firstly, I can do a lot of different free sports there. I can do Tai Chi, I can ride a bike or I can go jogging and it is cheaper than a gym membership. Secondly, the park can help me relax, release happy endorphins but also to change my mind set and escape the city. Being surrounded by nature can make you forget your problems, it’s like a short holiday! Thirdly, I can meet my friends and have a picnic in summer so it is a sociable place for me to hang out with friends and spend some time with them. For all these reasons, this is why I enjoy going to my local park. (Mini conclusion to recap what you said)

Now look back at marking criteria and decide how much you think an examiner would give this response. How could you improve this answer?

 Remember to evaluate each response, yourself including on clarity/pronunciation, organisations, details/examples, grammar and vocabulary. 

This will always give you areas you can focus on to improve!

TASK 2

This task is an independent task in which you will be asked to give your point of view on a particular question. In this task, it is very important to pick a side and to argue that side. 

You will not have enough time in 45 seconds to give a balanced view of both sides so do not attempt to do this. Pick one side of the argument and try to make your answer persuasive.

A task 2 question normally follows the following templates:
Some people believe it’s better to _________________________________________________ . Others prefer to ___________________________________________________________ . Which do you think is better and why? Give details and examples to support your answer.

To prepare for this task, try filling out the above templates and anticipate the type of questions you might be asked.

For example:

Some university students choose their major field of study based on their personal interests. Other students choose the field of study they think offers the best job prospects. Which approach do you favor and why? Provide details in support of your choice.

 Once again, try again to write down three key words and use linking words to answer the question.

For example:

 Study what you enjoy – life is too short – demotivated at work – top entrepreneurs did not study


Sample answer

In my opinion, I think it is very important to study something that you like at school and not to study something which you think you can earn money from. I think this for several reasons. Firstly, I think that life is too short and so you have to study something that can bring you joy because if you don’t you will be very…hmm… demotivated. You might not finish your course. Secondly, you might decide you want to have a career in something you are passionate about and if you don’t study it, you will have to retrain yourself and waste more time and money. Thirdly, many entrepreneurs did not go to school, they just started companies off their own back in something they liked and still made money. So, to sum up, I believe you should study something you like.


Look back at the marking criteria and decide whether you think this is a good answer. 

How could you improve this response?

TASK 3

This task is an integrated task. In task three, you will have an announcement that appears on screen. You have 45 seconds to skim the text and make notes. Try to note the main point of the announcement as this is what the students will be discussing.

Example:

Notice from Academic Advisory Board
Electronic “pets” will be prohibited from the university network and on personal computers used within dormitories. It has come to light that a number of students have frequently missed classes because of the demands of their “pet”. There will be a two-week amnesty during which dorm counsellors and the academic advisory board will be available for students who have difficulty allowing their “pet” to “die.”  After that, network security will be conducting searches for the “pets” and destroying them. If you have questions, please contact your dorm manager.


Notes:
During the 45 seconds, briefly write a few words or one sentence that summarises the academic board’s intention and what the announcement is.


Listening

You will then listen to a conversation between two students discussing the announcement. 

Normally you are asked to express one person’s opinion but occasionally, you can be asked to pay attention to both the students’ opinions.   

When you listen to the conversation, try to organise your notes to make it easier for you to identify the different opinions expressed. One way you can take down notes is by doing this:











Now listen to the conversation:


Then you will be asked a question which asks you to summarise either one of the student’s opinion or both of their opinion.  

In this case the question:

Both students support the new rule prohibiting electronic pets. 

Explain why they support the new rule, using information from the conversation regarding a classmate’s behaviour .

You will have 1 minute t speak. Try to organise your thoughts and opinions. Use the announcement as an introduction.

Sample answer:

Both the students are discussing the new university announcement that will be banning electronic pets from the university network and personal computers. The university will also be providing counsellors to students who find it difficult to let go of their electronic pets. The girl and the boy both agree with this policy. They discuss the case of Sally who became very addicted to her virtual pet. You have to feed it and look after it. Sally stopped handing in assignments and it affected her work. The man thinks it is very strange that Sally became addicted to a virtual pet.
Both students think it is a good thing that they will be banned from campus because it affects student’s performances. The girl also adds that having a counsellor to hand is a very good idea….


TASK 4

In this task, you will be asked to read an academic passage in 45 seconds. Skim through the passage and make notes as you did in Task 3. Pay close attention to the main details or any mentioned categories as the lecture will expand on the reading.

This example was taken from Kaplan Strategies’ book, pages 226-227.
Example:

Although the word appears to be getting smaller with the onset of globalization, lack of cultural awareness can sometimes become a barrier in doing business outside of the safety of domestic markets. Before developing marketing strategies or even trying to build business relationships with overseas associates it is crucial to familiarize oneself with certain aspects of the local culture.
A first step in the process of increasing cultural sensitivity is to deconstruct one’s business environment. When we analyse how we interact with our business associates, we can identify some important factors. These include how we greet people, how we address colleagues and associates, how we socialise with clients, even how we sit or stand. Body language can mean very different things in different countries. It is possible to cause deep offense without even being aware that one’s actions might be considered rude.  

Notes:
  • No cultural awareness – cause pbls for business
  • Crucial to know how to greet people/ address colleagues/ socialise ect
  • Might be unintentially rude.

You will then hear an academic lecture. Try to take down notes by concentrating on the main points and using short symbols and abbreviations.  Press on the symbol below to hear the lecture.


Notes:

  • Punctuality not high priority in many parts. Call ahead to make sure person is there.
  • Greetings: Indian women do not handshake men, likewise western women should not.
  • Do not receive or pass anything with your left hand, do not point.
  • Make sure you find out the proper way of addressing people. If you are older, expect to be called older name.

Then you will be given the following prompt:

The professor describes some social differences between India and America. Explalin how these differences relate to doing business.
30 seconds to prepare
1 minute to speak.

The trick to this task is to link the information you have understood to the question, so where possible, see if you cannot link your answer back to the question. If possible, use the information from both sources. This will make it clear that you have understood both parts and know how to relate it back to the question.

Sample example:

Um….Cultural sensitivity is very important when doing business internationally. If you want to develop good relations with business associates it is important that you don’t do anything to offend them. In India, for example, it is rude to point with a finger, instead you should point with your hand. In America, people use first name a lot, but in other countries that is not polite. In India, you should not call an older person by his given name, you should use a title like Doctor or Ms. or Mr.  Ah….also, you shouldn’t get angry about some differences….like timeliness for example. In America, people are always in a hurry and you mustn’t be late, but in India people are more relaxed about being on time.

Evaluate the answer. How could you improve it and add more linking words? 

Remember to judge any answer using the criteria we discussed at the end of Task 1.

TASK 5

In this question you will be asked to listen to a conversation between two students or a student and a professor. The two speakers will discuss a problem and possible solutions to this problem. You will be asked to briefly summarise the problem, state the solutions and then state which solution you prefer by giving reasons to support your decision. Thus, there are four parts to this question.  As a general rule, it is a good idea to devote 20 seconds to describing the problem, 20 seconds to explaining the solutions (include the disadvantages only if you have time) and 20 seconds to justify your opinion (you can use the disadvantages of each solution to justify your choice


Notes:

To take down notes in this section, I would advise you try to organize your notes in this way so that you do not waste too much time in your twenty seconds preparation time:


What is the solution and what are the advantages?
What are its disadvantages?
Problem


1st solution


2nd solution


3rd solution



Now listen to a conversation between two students. Press on the icon to start the conversation:

Question:

The students are talking about a problem faced by the man. Summarize his problem and the solutions being discussed. Then state which solution you prefer and why.
20 seconds to prepare
60 seconds to speak.

Sample example:

The students are talking about….umm…uh…one of the students is going to do a semester abroad. Umm…and he is trying to choose between England and Italy. His friend advises him to make a list of the advantages of going to Italy and then to compare it to his list for England. It’s pretty clear that he really wants to go to Italy, but his mom wants him to go to England. His friend advises him to go to Italy and to follow his dream and maybe to on  a trip to England. I think it’s a good option for him to follow his dreams and go because he is an adult and he needs to start making his own decisions. If he follows his mother’s wishes and goes to England when he really wants to go to Italy, he might end up feeling resentful towards his mother. That would be bad for their relationship. He should explain his feelings to his mother and she will probably want him to be happy, so she would probably be very supportive.  So I think he should explain himself to his mother and go to Italy.


TASK 6

In task 6, you will listen to an academic lecture and you will be asked to summarise the information you have heard on the topic. You will be expected to give the reasons and points from the lecture and to structure your answer.  As will all academic tasks, be sure that you organise your notes and leave enough room to add details under different labels.

Now listen to a lecture:

Question:

Using points and examples from the talk, describe the differences between men and women’s writing styles and explain why these differences affect grant writing success rates.
20 seconds to prepare
60 seconds to speak.

Sample:

The lecture describes tow important differences between male and female writing styles.  Women write in a more involved style and men write in a more informational style. Also, male writing is more like non-fictinon whearas female writing is more like ficiton. In orther words, men write about the thing, or the action and the details about that, but women write about who is doing what. Umm…the professor thinks that….umm, that the people who decide about grants….umm…they might get a little frustrtate by the female writing style, because it is less efficient. They just want to know what , they don’t care about who. So that is why male and female writing styles might affect umm, might affect the success rates of grant proposals from men and women scientists.

Speaking Quiz



It’s time for a quiz to see how much you remember about the speaking tasks!
See if you can answer the following questions:
1.     How many questions are there in the speaking section?
2.     What is the position of the Speaking section in the exam?
3.     How many questions involve a listening element?
4.     How many questions require you to speak for exactly one minute?
5.     What is the total amount of time given for reading in the whole Speaking section?
6.     What is the maximum score in the Speaking section?
7.     What is the maximum score for each individual question?
8.     Which questions give you exactly twenty seconds to prepare?
9.     Which questions are described as independent?
10.   In which question(s) to do you hear a conversation about a campus scenario?
11.   In which question(s) do you read a passage on an academic topic?
12.   What is the total amount of time given for preparation in the Speaking section?
13.   What are the three areas which contribute to your score?
14.   In which question(s) are you required to give your opinion?
15.   Which question usually has four parts to it?

ANSWERS
1.     How many questions are there in the speaking section? 6
2.     What is the position of the Speaking section in the exam? 3rd
3.     How many questions involve a listening element?4
4.     How many questions require you to speak for exactly one minute?4
5.     What is the total amount of time given for reading in the whole Speaking section? 90 seconds
6.     What is the maximum score in the Speaking section? 30
7.     What is the maximum score for each individual question?4
8.     Which questions give you exactly twenty seconds to prepare? 5 & 6
9.     Which questions are described as independent? 1 & 2
10.   In which question(s) to do you hear a conversation about a campus scenario? 3 & 5
11.   In which question(s) do you read a passage on an academic topic? 4
12.   What is the total amount of time given for preparation in the Speaking section? 130 seconds or 2:10 minutes
13.   What are the three areas which contribute to your score? Topic development, delivery and language use.
14.   In which question(s) are you required to give your opinion? 1, 2 & 5
15.   Which question usually has four parts to it? 5


Now that you have a better overview of the speaking section, we will concentrate on some more examples and strategies in the following weeks. 

In between time, do not forget to listen to documentaries or English Academic lectures. When you listen try to take down notes and concentrate on the main ideas of the lecture. 

Sabrina Loubiere
Profesora Kaplan

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