Here you are some links to listen to some podcasts in English, some of them with activities. 

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/es/category/language-level/b1 (activities included)

https://www.podcastsinenglish.com/pages/level2.shtml   (Level 2 is for intermediate students)

http://www.pearsonlongman.com/speakout/video-podcasts/int.html (no activities included)

 

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   Here you are two writing tasks you need to prepare for next week. 

Write an article for a magazine. The  article is called : «The worst holidays ever» Write between 175-200 words. 

Write a post on a blog  to express your opinion about: «What makes a good holiday?» Finish your post asking your readers to give their views.  Write between 125-150 words. 

DEADLINE:  5th April  

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onlinedating3Here you are an online dating reading. Perhaps, it is not a b1 text in terms of difficulty, but very useful to get ideas for your speaking or writing.

 

onlinedating1

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bestoffriendsRead the following text and choose for the questions below the best answer (a, b, c, or d).

Best of friends

Who needs friends? According to most psychologists we all do, particularly nowadays when so many other aspects of modern life are changing. It seems that having friends keeps us both healthy and happy.

The number of TV series about groups of friends shows just how vital friendship is to us. Psychologist Dorothy Rowe says that many of us now turn to our friends, instead of our families, for advice, comfort and security. One woman she interviewed even told her that if she had to choose between her husband and her friend, she would choose her friend.

Since our friends mean so much to us, it is not surprising that the happiest marriages are also friendships. ‘Once the romantic stage of a relationship has passed, it is friendship that holds people together’, says Rowe. If the couple do not make the transition, they will either split up or stay together and seek friendship with others.

But is friendship equally important to women and men? According to author Rhonda Pritchard, women are more likely than men to have close friends. ‘You tell a friend things that you’d never tell a partner’, says one woman she interviewed. ‘Friends just accept you as you are.’

For men, friendship is usually based on doing things together rather than the intimate conversations that are typical of women friends. Men share time and activities like building a fence or a business, running, riding a bike, fishing or watching football, but they don’t often share their feelings.

Whereas many women find their relationships with a husband or boyfriend is not enough, many men say that their partner is their best friend. Even women who are very happily married are likely to become depressed without a close friend and can even find the break up of an intimate friendship as painful as the end of a marriage.

People often say that there have been times when a close friend has not only saved their sanity but their lives. There is, in fact, more and more evidence that having friends protects us against illness and depression. The uninhibited laughter that is typical of many friendships reduces the effects of stress and helps the immune system work properly.

Lasting friendships can provide a lot of the same support that families provided in the past, but the ideal situation is to have your family there for you as well. For most people, this is still very important. Friendships and family relationships can both change, but a friend will not take you into account when making really important decisions in the same way that a family member will.

1.What did the woman who was interviewed by Dorothy Rowe say?

a. She broke up with her husband because of her friend.

b. She thinks her husband means more to her than her friend.

c. She thinks her friend means more to her than her husband.

d. She had to choose between her friend and her husband.

2.Why do some couples look for friends outside their relationships?

a. Because they are not in love with their partners.

b. Because they break up with their partners

c. Because they think romance is more important than friendship.

d. Because they do not get what they need from their partners.

3. According to the text, what is the main difference between men’s and women’s friendships?

a. Women prefer to spend time doing things with their friends.

b. Men don’t spend as much time talking about their emotions.

c. Women talk to their friends about men.

d.Men talk to their friends about work and sport.

4. How do some women react when a friendship ends?

a. They begin to think of their partners as their best friends.

b. It upsets them as much as splitting up with a husband would.

c. They become unhappy with their husbands.

d. They decide never to trust a friend again.

5. How does friendship help us physically and mentally?

a. There is no evidence that it does.

b. We are more likely to stay physically and mentally healthy.

c. It keeps us happy but it doesn’t keep us healthy.

d. It can make us depressed but it doesn’t make us ill.

 

Reading KEY ANSWERS: 1.C, 2D, 3.B, 4.B, 5.B

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onlinedating1 Here you are an online dating listening. Click on the picture to do it. Remember to use this listening to get ideas.

 

onlinedating3

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onlinedating1

Listen to the following document and do the following activity:

1. Read the statements. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a. Most Americans think online dating isn’t a good way to meet people. T / F
b. Up to 60% of Internet users said it was OK to find a partner online. T / F
c. Around 10% of Americans have tried Internet dating services. T / F
d. About a third of Americans think online dating helps marriages. T / F
e. A sociologist advised women to be careful of creepy guys. T / F
f. Men find it difficult to find a date because women get many messages. T / F
g. Very few people read profiles and know the person behind the profile. T / F
h. Less than half of people said their date didn’t match his/her profile. T / F

2. Listen to the document again and complete the gaps with ONE word

A new report says most Americans think online dating is a good (1) ____________ to meet people. Almost 60 per cent of Internet users said there is nothing (2) ____________with trying to find a partner on the Internet. This has changed from ten years ago when the (3) ____________was 44 per cent. The report is from the Pew Research Center. It says around one in ten Americans has used online dating (4) ____________. It also said 11 per cent of people who started a long-term relationship in the past (5) ____________met their partner online. However, some people think the Internet does not help with marriage. Around 32 per cent of people (6) ____________that «online dating keeps people from (7) ____________down because they always have (8) ____________for people to date».    
Sociologist Dr Kevin Lewis of the University of California told the USA Today newspaper that women must be (9) ____________with online dates. He said: «For women, there are lots of guys who are just (10) ____________or unattractive or undesirable.» He also said men can have problems (11) ____________a date: «They can’t get a woman to (12) ____________because [women get] so many (13) ____________.» Dr Lewis also said that 38 per cent of online daters have read an online (14) ____________of someone they knew. The Pew Report warned people to be careful about those who tell (15) ____________about themselves online. About 54 per cent of online daters said they had a date with someone who was a lot (16) ____________from their profile.    

Key answers on http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1310/131023-online-dating.html  (here you will find the transcript to check your answers)

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Hi guys,

Next week we need to start a new topic, relationships. This topic may involve:

-reading, listening, writing and speaking about how people relate to each other nowadays,  and about what we understand by friendship.

With respect to speaking, just to let you know that the speaking activities related to this topic in the PUC speaking exam have been the following ones:

-Prepare and deliver a monologue about friendship. Explain what makes a good friend and how you can tell someone is a good friend of yours.
-Speak about the best way to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. Do you think it is possible to find the love of your life through a dating agency or the Internet? If you were looking for a partner, what would you try?

-Describe one of your closest friends in detail, how you met, what he/she does, how often you see each other nowadays and how you keep in touch with him/her. What makes a good friend?

As you can see there have been  a few  speaking cards about this topic. Consequently, we will work this topic quickly. 

 

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reading  Here you are another PUC reading test (Aragón)

Read the text and match the statements below (1 to 7) with one of the 8 paragraphs in the text (A to H). One statement DOES NOT correspond to any paragraphs and one paragraph DOES NOT  correspond to any statements. Statement 0 has been done as an example.

                                            THE PERFECT COTTAGE GUEST

Example. 0. Have a nice gesture.   paragraph C

1. Be ready to be on your own.
2. Compliment your hosts.
3. Don’t change your plans unexpectedly.
4. Help yourself.
5. Prevention is better than cure.
6. Respect your surroundings.
7. Skillful people are welcome.
A. Some cottages, like Sawatzky´s, are accessible by water only, meaning guests have to be picked up at a marina. If you say you’re going to appear at a certain time, be there; don´t leave your hosts waiting while you go for dinner or tour the town.
B. Rather than have your hosts rummage through their home for extra fleece jackets or make a trip to town for a particular brand of suntan lotion, be prepared for the weather, the bugs and the area you’re visiting. If you require special sunscreen or insect repellent bring it with you, and if the temperature tends to plummet at night, pack extra clothing.
C.  If you’re planning on staying for a meal or more, bring a dish like lasagna or goodies for the grill. In all probability your hosts will be able to accomodate it in the fridge or freezer and use it as an alternative. You may also think if there might be something they’re missing, like bottled water or fresh vegetables.
D. John Sawatzky and his wife, Irene, have a cabin. The couple invited good friends to join them there, but the conversation turned to how cottage life just wasn´t for their guests. «For them to come to our cottage and to tell us why they didn´t want a cottage….we didn´t invite them again for years.»
E. Your hosts probably go to their cottage to relax, so be a low-maintenance guest. «I don’t want to cater to people, it´s my weekend, too,» says Linda Wiseman, who owns a cottage. «Company has to take out food and drinks from the refrigerator when they want them, put their dishes in the dishwasher. If they’re here for a meal, they should help in the kitchen, before and after. »
F. If you’re looking for a vacation with maid service, go to a hotel, not a friend’s cottage. Clean up after pets, use coasters for drinks, keep tidy, and throw out garbage. Guests of Elda Repping tossed cigarette butts on the ground, which is not only a mess to clean but also a fire hazard in the middle of the woods. «I didn´t want to tell them to stop smoking, so I picked up the butts.»
G. If you’re a regular guest and your host has some projects on the go, roll up your sleeves and pitch in. «We had a guest who built us some new stairs, » says Caldwell. «The couple will definitely be invited back and we offer them the cottage for a week of their own.»
H. Don´t expect a planned itinerary for your trip. «We have friends who come to the cottage, but what they really want to do is vacation and sightsee, » says Sawatzky. If there’s something you’d like to do, go for it. Invite your hosts along, but don´t be offended if they turn your down; caring for a cottage is hard work and sometimes, fun excursions have to take a back seat to chopping firewood or waterproofing the deck.

Key answers: 1h, 2-, 3a, 4e, 5b, 6f, 7g

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listening Listen to a radio programme about sporting activities and exercise in modern Britain. For questions 1-6, choose the correct answer (a, b, or c). Question 0  has been completed as an example.

Example:

0. The British government recommends exercising….

a. 5 hours per week

b. 2 and a half hours per week

c. half an hour every day

 

1.  According to the presenter, women….

a. prefer to exercise together with other women

b. don´t like to join team sports

c. go to the gym less than men

 

2. Sue Tibballs says that girls ….

a. start disliking sports very early

b. like playing sports at school

c. should watch more sports in the media

 

3. Guerry Sutcliffe thinks that…..

a. sports are part of people´s culture

b. girls find it easier to play sports now

c. playing sports is good for everybody

 

4. Sue Tibballs says that …..

a. sports help you to keep fit

b. 60% of men enjoy sports competitions

c. most women don´t like the competitiveness of sports

 

5. Sue Tibballs thinks that women…..

a. are not well represented in the sports sector

b. don´t have time for sports

c. are sometimes discouraged to play sports

 

6. Sue Tibballs wants….

a. better information about health and sports

b. a new perception about sports

c. more goverment involvement in promoting sports

 

Key answers: 1b, 2a, 3c, 4c, 5b, 6c 

 

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Here you are a  link to review past simple/past continuous and past perfect simple.

And here you are another link with tests which will help you learn, review, and refresh your knowledge about Past Simple – Past Continuous – Past Perfect in English. Each test contains 10 questions. After finishing a test, you can review your answers.

http://englishteststore.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10696&Itemid=400

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